The Story of Dalma al-Din, Sheikh of Darkness

Come all ye faithless, unfurl your ears, and listen to a tale of laughter and tears...

With humble beginnings as a poor fisherman, Dalmaddin had seen more lack than luster. Growing up with little else than the clothes on his back, Dalmaddin was raised by his mother and named Dalma, which meant darkness, for he was born in the middle of the night. One afternoon, as he was strolling along a promenade on the bustling port of Ayn al-Sokhna, gathering shellfish for his shop, a man named ⚕ Ayoon al-Thaban ⚕ passed him by, threw down a pair of dice and whispered into his ear, “This is the number of islands you must travel to before you become a rich man. Wait for a crescent moon; but be wary lest you come to the end of your journeys and squander all your wealth.” Then, he vanished, the dice revealing ⚂⚁, which vanished almost as soon as the snake-eyed man. Hardly had the dice disappeared when a ship emerged at the dock of the bay with a hull shaped like a crescent moon and twenty turbaned sailors garbed in all black and gold, hoisting and hustling about. Dalmaddin knew this had to be the destined ship, so he ran back to his shop, clutched his fishing pole, closed up shop and hopped aboard the mysterious ship with only a moment’s hesitation...
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