Shaharyar Nejem
The Sultan Wiki
Portrayed by Alexander Siddig
Created By Falcon
Status Alive
The Basics
Gender Male
Age 50
Species Human
Position The Sultan of Solhara
Affiliation Solhara

It's Woven In My Soul Edit

The oldest of two sons born to the ruling family of Solhara, Shaharyar always knew that he would one day become Sultan. And he tried his best to prepare himself for that responsibility. But Solhara was a harsh desert kingdom, filled with diverse tribes warring over limited resources. Ruling it would never be easy. As he grew up, Shaharyar developed a deep respect for the power of the desert, along with a streak of nihilism that still runs through him.

Uneasy familial relations also shaped the man Shaharyar would become. Shaharyar never got along well with his younger brother, Zaman -- mostly due to Zaman's complete disinterest in helping govern Solhara. And yet, Shaharyar's father actually seemed more fond of his delinquent son, frequently praising Zaman's religious zeal. This planted a seed of insecurity in Shaharyar, which would eventually make him vulnerable to manipulation by those he trusts.

The Ones We Hail Edit

During his teenage years, Shaharyar often traveled to the other kingdoms on various diplomatic missions. This was when he discovered the unflattering way that his homeland was perceived by many outsiders:

"They condemned our use of slaves while wearing the gold and jewels that those slaves cut from the mountains. They shuddered at the cruelty of our warrior culture while hiring our soldiers to fight their wars. And when they thought I was not listening, they whispered their judgements of us. Heathens. Barbarians. Savages."

Reacting to this negativity, Shaharyar became even more fiercely nationalistic. To this day, he remains quite biased against anyone who doesn't come from Solhara.

Your Eyes, They Shine So Bright Edit

When Shaharyar turned twenty, the time came for him to marry. His parents selected Nawrah, the daughter of a powerful tribal leader. And, although the marriage was purely political, Shaharyar soon fell deeply in love with his new wife. Nawrah encouraged his sense of curiosity and wonder. For her, Shaharyar assembled a private collection of rare objects gathered from all over Ga'leah. He also came to value her advice.

During the course of their marriage, the couple produced a son named Tahir and a daughter named Jasmine. Shaharyar truly loves his children, and is very proud of them both. Sadly, the task of ruling Solhara requires most of his attention, leaving him little time to spend with his family.

The Masquerade Edit

Shaharyar's father died soon after his son married. And despite all the years he'd spent preparing for it, the burden of leadership fell heavily on Shaharyar's shoulders. Fortunately, he had a trusted friend to help him -- Jafar Amjad, who had served as a vizier for Shaharyar's father. Indeed, Jafar appeared so devoted to the task that he even adopted a baby girl, so that he would be better able to give the Sultan advice about raising children. That little girl was named Scheherazade, and Shaharyar still has no idea that she is actually the biological daughter of Jafar and Esmeralda Nudara (the current gypsy queen).

A Hunt

So They Dug Your Grave Edit

Shaharyar's world came crashing down when he lost his beloved wife. Her death was swift and mysterious, leaving him little time to grieve. The pain drove an even deeper wedge between Shaharyar and his remaining family. Although Shaharyar had no wish to take another bride, Solharan tradition would not allow him to remain single. So Shaharyar quickly married Junah, the woman that Jafar selected for him, assuming that he would eventually grow to love her as he had grown to love Nawrah. But it was not to be. Shaharyar's heart never opened to his new bride. And she, wounded by his rejection, initiated affairs with various members of his court.

Blaming himself, Shaharyar tried to ignore his wife's romantic entanglements. But when a handmaiden caught her kissing Rhadi El-Amin (Jafar's young assistant), Shaharyar could no longer look the other way. Law demanded that both Junah and Rhadi be executed. Shaharyar believes that this was done, unaware that Jafar actually transformed Rhadi into a carpet and stashed him in the royal treasury.

I Can't Escape This Now Edit

Still reeling from the loss of his first wife, and now suffering guilt over the death of his second one, Shaharyar began to drown his sorrows in drink. But Jafar came to his rescue, reminding Shaharyar of his duties to the people he ruled -- including getting married again. Shaharyar reluctantly agreed. However, he imagined that any new marriage would only be a repeat of his second one, leading to prolonged shame and suffering for his brides. Believing that he was being merciful, he ordered each one to be executed the morning after they spent the night with him.

This went on for years, with brides being chosen by a lottery, until Scheherazade demanded that she be the next one. Shaharyar was hesitant, since he didn't want to deprive Jafar of his daughter. But Scheherazade gave him little choice. So Shaharyar selected her, and Scheherazade spent the whole night telling him stories about Solhara's rich and mythical past. These stories reawakened the sense of wonder that Shaharyar had once known with Nawrah. Enchanted, he found himself unable to order Scheherazade's execution when morning came. Those feelings soon led to the beginning of a tenuous and dangerous courtship.

The Darkest Place You Knew

This Is My Kingdom Come Edit

Freed from the responsibility of "mercy killing" all of Solhara's young women, Shaharyar began tackling the duties of leadership with renewed zeal. As might be expected, this has yielded somewhat mixed results. He met with Esmeralda and began mending old wounds between his family and the gypsies (properly known as the Court of Miracles).

Song of Exile

He also set off on a political tour of Ga'leah, hoping to find allies who will help him make Solhara more independent (mostly by annexing at least a portion of Dokrayth).

Night of the Dancing Flame

On the domestic front, he's planned marriages for both of his children. Tahir has been instructed to court a resident Dokraythian princess, while Jasmine was promised to Jafar.

Because I Say So

Make Me A Match

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