Mirrors in the Desert
The beautiful and aloof Nuri al’Hakim represents the largest foreign threat to Balic business interests.
Nuri al’Hakim is a merchant from Tyr, as well as the Balic representative of the powerful House Rubaiyat. As the most influential, if not the wealthiest, foreign trader in Balic, Nuri has found herself at center of numerous plots by Balic praetors, patricians, and merchants alike, often working together. Nuri remains, however, an economic power and mercantile necessity, and none of the schemes directed at her person have succeeded; whether this is due to the threat of thwarting House Rubaiyat or Nuri’s own political acumen is up to debate.
Little is known about her personal life — and indeed, she doesn’t seem to possess one, spending most nights double-checking her accountants’ work or interrogating newscriers for happenings about the lands. Though her haughty bearing and (some say unparalleled) beauty has often made her the target of scandalous rumors, most witnesses agree that her interactions with others revolve around working the margins of the markets, pushing down operating costs, and ensuring the safety of the House’s caravans — not, as House Rees’ latest slander would have you believe, spending long nights in the company of a certain Praetor Epistate.
One of the few topics to pierce her detached and dismissive attitude is talk of ancient ruins and buried treasure. Nuri eagerly sponsors expeditions to uncover and retrieve artifacts of Ages past, though no one has ever seen the fruits of these investments.
Nuri al’Hakim possesses unusually pale features, and often wears robes colored with Tyr’s famous purple dye. Whenever she leaves the confines of her tent or bedroom, she is accompanied by Qarsti, a female half-giant and former gladiator whose warm, gentle personality belies a tough, unyielding warrior.