Chapter 4: The Purge
In Ravan the Holy City, Ravan the Blessed of Oromasd, Ravan the center of the world, a particular blight was spreading through its wide streets and beautiful buildings, its shaded bazaars and gilded domes. Ever since the death of the late beloved King Shunnar, his widow Shammara had been working her wiles to negate his last request and bring the city under her total control.
King Shunnar had willed that the crown should go to his elder son, Prince Ahmad, upon attaining his eighteenth birthday—even though Ahmad was only his son by a concubine instead of an official wife. Shammara’s son Haroun, just a few weeks younger, would only inherit if anything happened to Ahmad. King Shunnar’s most trusted wazir, Kateb bin Salih, had been appointed regent until the new ruler was