|Portrayed by: Jyothsna Chakravarthy|
|Position||Lady of Solhara|
Scheherazade "Zeda" Amjad is a Lady of Solhara and a member of the Sultan's Court in Zabier. She is the illegitimate daughter of the Royal Grand Vizier, Jafar Amjad, and the Gypsy Queen, Esmeralda Nudara.
Zeda gained notoriety in Zabier when she demanded the Sultan take her as his next bride after one thousand of Solhara's young maidens had failed to earn the Sultan's favor and survive more than a night with him.
In his youth, Jafar was confronted by an oracle who prophesied that his child would free a city from a corrupt Sultan. As he grew into a politically ambitious youth, he swore to a life of celibacy, convinced the Sultan from the prophecy could one day be he himself.
In his thirty-eighth year, he met the gypsy girl, Esmeralda. Transfixed by her cunning personality and incredible beauty, he broke his vows to lay with her. When the revelation of her pregnancy reached him, he sought to have both mother and her unborn child killed, but was unsuccessful due to the intervention of Zabier's Captain of the Guard, Phoebus de Chateaupers.
Esmeralda later gave birth to the infant she called Chey, but the two were separated minutes afterward.
Abduction By Jafar Edit
In order to prevent capture by Jafar, Esmeralda and Phoebus took one route out of Zabier while Asima, Zeda's nursemaid, took the infant along another. She sought sanctuary in the Temple of the Forebearer, but was accosted before she could make it inside. After slipping on the stone steps, she hit her head and died upon impact. Jafar collected the deformed infant with the intention of drowning her in a well on the temple grounds, but was confronted by a priest who had witnessed the events prior.
In the face of his guilt and fearful of retaliation from the Gods, Jafar took the child back to the palace to raise under the assumption that she might one day be of use to him. He later told the Sultan her mother was destitute and that he had claimed her from a harem.
Early Life Edit
Contrary to the social norms of Solhara, Zeda was granted an unrivaled and well-rounded education that included various languages, economics, chemistry, history, arithmetic, and political theory among other topics traditionally withheld from other members of her sex. Consequently, many topics that would have been deemed more useful for a Lady of the Court were ignored in favor of fields with which her father had more experience.
Nevertheless, she was expected to maintain a dutiful demeanor and was raised under the assumption that one day she would take a husband of her father's choosing regardless of her own opinion on the matter.
On more occasions than she could count, Zeda was left behind to memorize elemental scrolls and historical texts while her father traveled and conducted diplomatic missions in the Sultan's name, all the while dreaming of the fantastical places she'd only have the opportunity to read about. She never lacked for comforts or physical pleasures and the Grand Vizier delighted in bringing her back a great variety of exotic fares to study and enjoy, oblivious to the extent of his daughter's unhappiness.
In Zeda's fourteenth year, her father took her on her first excursion outside of the palace and safety of Zabier, an event that reignited her childhood desires for adventure and sparked an unquenchable wanderlust that could not be silenced upon their return. She spent the remaining years of her adolescence planning her future endeavors with another pupil of her father's, Rhadi El-Amin, a kitchen boy sixteen years her senior, who'd escaped the confines of servant when Jafar made him his personal scribe and translator.
Under the Grand Vizier's nose, Rhadi and Zeda's platonic friendship developed into something much more dangerous. Convinced her father would never agree to their marriage, Zeda tried to convince Rhadi they could abdicate their titles and continue their lives together as commoners outside the confines of Zabier, but their plans were halted when Rhadi was discovered intimately with the Sultana and Shaharyar demanded the adulterers be put to death.
Presentation to the Sultan Edit
Enraged by Rhadi's sudden and unexplained execution and ignorant of her father's part in it, Zeda began plotting the murder of the Sultan even before the first girl was put to death, a sentiment that only grew with her rage after each girl's execution. Knowing she herself would not have been included in the lottery hosted by her father, Zeda used this information to enrage the citizens of Zabier and leave Shaharyar no choice but to accept her proposal.
Defying her father's orders, she went behind his back and volunteered to replace the chosen lottery winner expected to spend the evening with the Sultan. On the evening before, she mixed a solution of aqua regia intended to dissolve the gold from Shaharyar's cup into his wine, poisoning him while she told the Shah the story of King Midas.
Jafar's spymaster and cursed former-Vizier, Iago, learned of the plan though and stole the phial off of Zeda's person before she could use it, and immediately confessed her plot to the Grand Vizier. Terrified with no alternate means of escape, Zeda drug out the tale until the sun rose the next morning and she found herself spared.
After spending several months engrossed in Zeda's stories, Shaharyar invited Zeda to witness a private vault filled with magical treasures as a show of intimacy. Then aware that the Shah had no part in Rhadi's sudden and unexplained disappearance, she began to empathize with him more over the loss of his first wife, Nawrah. Shaharyar also informed her that he intended to make a diplomatic trip to the North and wished to take her with him. Though surprised at the offer, Zeda graciously accepted the opportunity to do the one thing she'd yearned to her whole life: leave Zabier.
In addition to Shaharyar, Zeda has exhausted a great deal of effort to earn the trust and support of the people surrounding the Shah as well. After observing her loneliness, Zeda attempted to garner the respect and friendship of Princess Jasmine, by proposing that they share food with the people of Zabier as a show of good will from the crown accompanied by the Princess' guardian, Rajah Abhay. She furthermore displayed her support of Jasmine by protesting the Princess' proposed engagement to her own father and promising Jasmine that she would persuade Shaharyar to change his mind about the match.
The only person immediately surrounding Zeda who she has failed to convince of her good intentions is Rajah.
Reunion with Esmeralda Edit
Though she has run into the familiar woman on multiple occasions, Zeda still does not understand or fully trust the woman claiming to be a friend of her mother's.
Magical Education Edit
Zeda's exposure to magic began in her very first days with Jafar inside the palace, but would only continue to increase throughout her childhood as her father exposed her to many of the illusions and tricks in his repertoire to amuse her, a practice that faded over time as their relationship became more formal. Jafar attempted to instill a robust respect for magic in his daughter at an early age, encouraging instead the study of simple alchemy and chemistry, but between his stubbornness to allow her to actually practice and the sometimes terrifying results of his outbursts, Zeda holds great skepticism and distrust in magical arts.
Nevertheless, Jafar finally decided it was time he shared his magical knowledge with Zeda before it was too late, in case she might be able to use her own abilities, should she possess them, defensively. After several eventless hours, the lesson ended abruptly, and seemingly without fruit, when Zeda accidentally revealed her relationship with Rhadi, prompting Jafar to confess that he had transformed the youth into an enchanted carpet and imprisoned him. Scorned, and under the belief that the Grand Vizier really had never had any faith in her ability, Zeda insisted she would actively petition Shaharyar for Jafar's removal from Zabier.
Diplomacy in the North Edit
Zeda accompanied Shaharyar on his travels in the North, the ultimate destination intended to be Caerleon:
- Thrine - While attending a feast for The Living Flame, Shaharyar and Zeda were joined by the Big Bad Wolf and Hannelore Hawthorne. A shaky alliance involving the destruction of the Solharan silver mines was proposed, but forgotten when Aethanryke appeared to Shaharyar and convinced the ruler to reconsider by gifting him a magical pot to feed the hungry Solharans. Later that night, the city was attacked by a wyvern and Zeda and Shaharyar stayed behind to defend the foreign city with Hannelore. Though the pair escaped, Zeda burned her arm badly.
- Caerleon - After noticing a strange person in the city square, Zeda investigated with a woman from Dokrayth. Later, when purchasing opium in the marketplace, she ran into the Black Knight, Owen Blackwell. After recruiting Merlin's help to forge a magical ring. Zeda used it to disguise herself as a male hunchback so she could compete for Solhara in the Warrior's Tourney undetected.
Murder of Rhadi El-Amin Edit
After recruiting Mozenrath's help transforming her cursed lover back into his human state, Zeda confronted Rhadi about his involvement in Nawrah Nejem's death and executed him for his crimes. She later presented one of Rhadi's tassels as proof of her deed to her father.
Current Whereabouts Edit
Zeda has since returned from her travels abroad and is currently preparing to wed the Sultan.
Zeda is a storyteller and thus many of her threads are have themes of stories that may or may not be true.
- The Tale of the Gold King - the story Scheherazade tells Shaharyar on their first night together. It is based on a story performed by Jafar's boyhood acting troupe, "The Tale of the Djinn," and chronicles the rule of King Midas. The story exhibits messages about the price of greed and the dangers of short sighted actions. She references the tale, in part with numerous characters including Shaharyar, Jasmine, and Mozenrath. .
- The Tale of the Dancing Flame - Scheherazade begins to tell this tale at a feast in Calladahn, but is interrupted by the Big Bad Wolf, who insists he has a more impressive tale to tell.
- The Three Princes - In an A.U. timeline, Zeda (Chey) told this story to Esmeralda in her fourteenth year while Esmeralda was in labor with her younger brother, Husam,
- The White Cobra - Zeda claims to know the whereabouts of an albino cobra, deaf and blind, tasked to protect a treasure that's long since been stolen from him. It is implied this tale is about the snake that crippled her father.
- The Enchanted Carpet - Zeda tells Mozenrath she knows of a lecherous thief turned into an enchanted carpet to hide his secrets. This is presumably Rhadi.
Zeda possesses a variety of traits inherited from both of her parents. Like her father, she comes across as rather collected and deeply ingrained in rationalism and educational pursuits, but is prone to periods of prolonged melancholy and outbursts of extreme anger and volatility. Due to her status in Solhara as a woman, she is expected to ignore these emotions, or rather, conceal them from her male keepers - an expectation that she has always struggled against.
Despite her mother being completely absent from her formative years, Zeda has fostered a great likeness to the Gypsy Queen that transcends their physical appearances. Like her mother, Zeda is feisty despite all her father's efforts to keep her tame and strongly fixated with justice and social activism to an extreme teetering dangerously close to anarchism.
She holds numerous controversial and politically charged opinions, and often surprises those around her with her liberal tongue and her outspokenness. Her father lovingly referred to her as "Scheherazade the Obstinate" throughout her childhood, failing to realize that such traits might be considered undesirable in her adulthood. She is a vocal critic of classism and social inequality, including but not limited to slavery and the treatment of women in Solhara.
Furthermore, Zeda possesses an adventurous spirit and a strong desire to support those less fortunate than herself. She can be sly and incredibly charming, sometimes even manipulative, but is typically well intended. She is rash, deeply troubled by inaction, and lacks the patience of her father to manipulate outcomes slowly and in her own favor.
- Jafar Amjad - father
- Esmeralda Nudara - mother
- Phoebus de Chateaupers- step-father
- Djali Nudara- half-brother
- Asima Nudara - half-sister
- Samarah Nudara - half-sister
- Husam Nudara- half-brother
- Midas Nudara - direct ancestor
- Esmeralda Nudara I - direct ancestor
- Zareen Nudara - indirect ancestor
- Dunyazad Nudara - indirect ancestor
- Lady Hugo
- Lady Verne
- Lady Victor
Skills and Abilities Edit
- Alchemy - elemental chemistry, basic transmutation, and manipulation, potion-making, and more traditional physicianship such as creating salves, knowledge of herbs and medicine-making, and setting bones.
- Ancestral Dream Projection - a manifestation of Jafar's sorcery in her blood, Zeda has the ability to glimpse into the past through the eyes of her ancestors in her dreams, though she is unable to control or alter these events in any way. She does not understand this passive ability and considers these dreams to be nightmares.
- Climbing - despite her physical limitations, she has built up enough muscle mass to scale steep walls and heights with great skill, though lacks the same precision if her hands and feet are not bare.
- Enchantment - another ability inherited through Jafar's line, Zeda, in extreme circumstances of anger or fear, possesses the ability to manipulate those around her through the power of suggestion, though she does not understand this ability and is not entirely conscious of it.
- Negotiation - her intuition and perceptiveness mixed with her own inclination to listen carefully before speaking make her an ideal mediator. She believes it is important to understand what every individual lacks in order to determine what they truly want.
- Poison Tolerance - though it is more of an inconvenience than a skill of any real use, Zeda has been medicating with various concoctions made from hemlock, white mandrake, valerian root, and related anesthetics since infancy to combat the pain she still experiences daily. She has thus built up a rather high tolerance for these specific poisons and requires otherwise dangerous doses to keep the pain at bay.
- Storytelling - boasting an imaginative and bold personality, she is greatly skilled in the art of storytelling, though most of her ideas come directly from her dreams of the past.
- Wood-carving - ill versed in other more female-centered arts such as needlepoint, she has great precision with a knife and enjoys carving small figures and such out of soft woods or fruits imported from the north as a means of stress relief.
Physical Appearance Edit
Zeda bears a striking resemblance to her mother, sharing her characteristic emerald green eyes, bushy black curls, and deep bronze skin tone. She possesses her father's villainous hooked nose, contrary to his urge to alter it in her infancy. Like her father, she is tall and slender, but possesses significantly more muscle mass from her years spent scaling the palace walls.
Born with kyphosis, her spine and back are naturally characteristically curved. Knowing the affliction would prevent the young girl from leading a normal life, her father performed a series of complex operations to correct the deformity in her infancy, employing both his knowledge of physical surgery and his sorcery to accomplish the task. In order to ensure her survival, Jafar gave his daughter his cobra staff to hold during the procedure, unknowingly granting her the ability to access it, as such Fae magic items must be freely given and cannot be taken.
Despite his efforts to reverse the condition completely, she still bears an ugly, jagged scar that starts between her shoulder blades and snakes all the way down her spine, and lives with a great deal of residual pain.
"I choose to live like the spider, diligently working, day after day for it is what I was born to do." - Was It Two Wills?
"You do the people of Zabier, of all of Solhara, a great disservice by putting my comfort before their needs, Your Highness.” - Seven Veils To Midnight
"This is not Caerleon. There is no proper here and you will find no chivalry.” - The Storyteller