Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Yusuf ibn Azif
A devout trader of the Ashirra sect, well known for his hatred of Crusaders. He plots ceaselessly against the Christian elements left in Al Quds.
A short, over-weight Persian with warm brown eyes and a full, somewhat unkempt square black beard. He wears the attire common to merchants of affluence and influence; his fingers are bedecked with jewelled rings, and his robes and turban are made of fine linens and silk. He tends to walk with the bandy-legged gait common to those who spend a great deal of time on horseback. A knife, more tool than weapon, rests through his sash.
(modified from Jerusalem by Night , pp. 71-72)
Yusuf is a Muslm trader whom Azif Embraced in the 1160s; he was the ancient one’s primary tool for controlling his business interests all over the Levant while he spent his own energies covertly undermining the Kingdom of Jerusalem. When Azif finally revealed his duplicity as the city fell to the armies of Saladin in 1187, Yusuf was one of the first Ashirra to make his way to Al Quds, and he has served his master as a loyal flunky ever since. Unlike his sire, Yusuf appears to lack the stomach or imagination to engage in long-term intrigue against the Christians. Instead, he wears his distaste on his sleeve and openly plots against their interests. He is proud to use the powers that Allah and Azif have granted him. The supplies he sells on Azif’s behalf and their men’s methodical elimination of enemy stragglers contributed substantially to the Ayubbid conquest of the region — a fact that Yusuf is quick to share with fellow Ashirra.
Azif, sire of Yusef.
His travels take him all over the region, but he is in Jerusalem for about a week out of every month. Yusuf appears to be somewhat frustrated and jealous that Azif has felt the need to Embraced Jared, who is not only a Christian but a weakling, instead of relying on his own militant passions. He is known to despise his younger brother-in-blood, spurning his company and taking every opportunity to speak ill of him without also speaking out against his sire’s choice. His love and respect for Azif himself seem to be undiminished, for Yusuf veritably fawns over his sire when in his presence. Even so, the strain on their relationship has been noted, for the old Mushakis has publicly lost patience with his swaggering older progeny on a number of occasions since the turn of the 13th century.
Yusuf chooses to feed on the enemy, those of his own choice and Azif’s. He tends to hunt in the Armenian, Christian, and occasionally the Jewish quarters, although he is careful to be mindful of local Cainite domains so no one has excuse to take issue with it. He thinks nothing of over-hunting and over-feeding on Christians, often leaving his victims anemic for weeks after an attack, but he has yet to take a life. Yusuf has even showed enough daring to hunt close to Boniface’s hospitals. His usual response to being chastised by Christians for his activities, is an insouciant smirk and poorly disguised pleasure at having irked his enemies so wonderfully. And while not a few Cainites would love to forcefully remove his smirk, so far no one has been willing to risk the ire of Azif to do so…
When in the city, Yusuf is tireless in his efforts to drum up support for his sire among the resident Ashirra. He can be friendly, charming and generous to his co-religionists, although he is quick to show his disapproval if they show friendship to the infidels. Aware that he has lost some of his sire’s favour, he has taken to lobbying the Ray’een al-Fen and Banu Haqim residents of Al Quds, hoping to earn his sire’s good graces by strengthening his camp against the intrigues of Mahmud ibn Suleiman.
Of late, unpleasant rumour has trickled into the city that Yusuf has made an alliance of sorts with the Assamite road assassin Rashid, and that together they hunt the pilgrim and merchant caravans on the northern trails. Indeed, there has been a spike in bandit activity to the north; a number of caravans have been plundered and their people slaughtered. If the Crusader Ventrue find proof of Yusuf’s crimes, the tense detente of Jerusalem could evaporate within nights.
Embrace: AD 1167.
Lineage: Childe of Azif; further lineage is unknown but Yusuf is thought to be of the 7th generation.