Jinn of Arabia (WIP) UPDATE: 05-Jan-23

Set in a time when Arabia was dominated by jinn and gods, you play as the crown heir of a (mostly) unified kingdom.

The story begins with you imprisoned under the orders of an evil vizier. The vizier knows that you posses a kind of magic that will forever threaten his rule. Therefore you have no prospect of ever being set free.

But by chance, you encounter a snake that promises to give you the keys to your freedom. His only request is that you help him find a special heirloom that he has lost - a measly brass oil lamp. For a chance for freedom, surely that’s a fair trade?

Jinn of Arabia is a historical fantasy inspired by the One Thousand and One Nights and other mythological tales set in the Middle East. Plunge in an adventure where the caravans, spices and spears are plenty.

Will your tale be forgotten in the pages of history? Or will your legend be so memorable that even Scheherazade will speak of it?

  • Play as a male or female.
  • Choose between four kinds of jinn: ifrit, marid, jann & hinn. And unlock their respective elemental powers.
  • Navigate court carefully, making sure to build a strong web of alliances. Or use dread and dare any naysayer to lift a finger against you.
  • Be close to your half-siblings or lock them up in gilded cages deep in the walls of the royal harem.
  • Own a bird that can carry a grown elephant in its claws as pet! Or stick to a cat.
  • Flatter the gods to gain their favour. Or stand your ground and refuse to be their mortal plaything.

So far this is the prologue and part one of chapter 1. It’s about 40k words in total. It’s still rough and will be edited later as I get more confortable with variables.

Link to demo: https://dashingdon.com/go/12208

I’d love to hear your feedback. Anything about the spelling, grammar, and just the general flow of the story is welcome.

And also I’d like to know what you would like to see as the story progresses. I’m not promises that I’ll put everything that is requested but I’ll certainly consider a suggestion that is reasonable and would add value to the story.

*The spelling used in the story is British English.

RO

I’m not done finalising the ROs yet. I do want to make clear that even though this game is focused on politics and alliances, the MC won’t be forced to marry or have kids. There’ll still be consequences on the choice of whether or not the MC marries.

The two RO’s that will presented in the prologue (depending on MCs gender) won’t be forced on the player. You can still choose to marry someone else. Or you can marry the given RO later as a first spouse for political gain.

Content Warning

Language, Violence and Slavery.

Pinterest

I just want to clarify that this wip is mostly fantasy inspired. So the pics I chose (since I’m not much of a descriptive writer) give the general feel about the world.
Link: https://pin.it/3FZTdCG

Tumblr

https://at.tumblr.com/princejackal/9jos2wirjyw0

Changelog

Demo update 05-Jan-23

Rating: 16+

276 Likes

Wow this is a good one you got me hooked gotta keep an eye on this one

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Good morning! (noon?)

I am in deep love with your work already.

You had me at the synopsis like. . . We can keep a bird that has an elephant pet??? :face_holding_back_tears:

Sold.

Going into the demo, the setting was established very quickly and the transition between past and present was natural — feeling almost effortless. Pacing, humor, interactions all felt very smooth and vivid. I am gonna be keeping close, close eyes on your gem of a story! :heartpulse:

I gave a date to my little rat friend and now can’t help feel it is sentient somehow. Even if it’s not I’m gonna be naming the fur baby soon. It kept us company after all. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Political intrigue seems to be already building up, even though the MC is still pretty young. The options between being polite, haughty, is all delicious, as are the reaction that differs between normal servants and the wet nurse Rab. Trying to imagine how many times she must have been threatened for pulling the MC’s ear to say: chop my head off after you take a bath. :rofl:

And the interactions between the palace workers, all the little things made me cackle a little too insanely on a bus ride to work.

I love it! Going back to replay again once I’m home and no one would mind some hyena laughters.

Might have missed a few things due to reading this quickly on the bus— but have some questions:

  1. Is MC the only legitimate heir? If they are the youngest how are they the Crown Prince?
  2. Is it ever mentioned how the mom passed away?
  3. Can we name our baby rat friend?
  4. Are we imprisoned on legal orders or just the petty whims of a very feared tyrant?
  5. Never thought I’d ask this — can we make friends with eunuchs? Why are they so interesting???
  6. Is the nice lady who gave us an egg on our birthday a potential RO? Commoners and royalty are all fair games for romance right? I would like myself a Cinderella RO because that egg is just (chef’s kiss) :heartpulse: always the little things that gets my heart ticking, even though I threw that egg out the window.

Looking forward to more and will be reading further when I get home tonight! Thank you for the fascinating read! :eyes:

25 Likes

Interesting

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Will we see the rise of a Monotheistic religion (Islam) since you might not use that name for it and do the Abrahamic Religions exist?

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Thanx :smile:

That would be something lol. But I meant was that the MC can have a giant bird as a pet that could carry an elephant around.

:melting_face:

Let me try to answer a few of your questions:

  1. Nope. The MC has half-siblings but they could never inherit the throne. The fact they were not invited to the MCs twelve birthday party shows they lack political might.

  2. Now thinking about it, no. But the mother died after child birth. I’ll probably mention it later on the story.

  3. I plan on having your rat friend come back to check on you. I’ll think about naming it later.

  4. You’re imprisoned for “your protection”. Your uncle, the vizier, is effectively a regent and the MC is legally the sovereign of the kingdom.

Of course the vizier wishes to take the crown and proclaim himself the new sultan. But that would require convening the great assembly. And no one is foolish enough to trust an invitation from your uncle after what had happened at the MC’s party.

  1. Making friends with servants huh. Well, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to build trust with the eunuchs, maids and other palace staff. Having a good relationship with them could make them more willing to spy on others for you.

  2. I actually never planned on her being a potential RO. It could be interesting. The main issue is that she’s not a commoner but a palace slave.

And on top of that, she’s human. It would be rather scandalous lol.

The story takes place around 1000 BCE. So polytheism is still strong everywhere. The only exception is the kingdom of Israel which in this story is still ruled by King David.

The rise of a monotheistic religion at this point is unlikely. Especially with gods who have no trouble smiting mortals who dare go against them.

29 Likes

Super interesting already! Do you have any facts about the half-jinn queen? Will she be an enemy of the MC if their father wanted to conquer her?

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Well she’s an excellent queen. She used guerrilla tactics to weaken your father’s army instead of engaging in battle.

And since she is a half-jinn, one half human and one half jinn, her court is diverse with people of many backgrounds, including human advisors.

And her kingdom is rich. Southwestern Arabia is blessed with rains and the kingdom has used this advantage to invest in agriculture and dam building.

It will depend on the MC’s future choices. If you refuse to recognise the sovereignty of her kingdom than she’ll consider you an enemy.

17 Likes

Jackal, you big bloody beautiful bastard, you’re gonna pay for dropping this on us without giving us a hint! The lads are gonna be coming for ye!!

Well well well why am I not surprised

I like the premise of course. Its totally different than most of the genres out here, i like the concept you’re going for, if it becomes a revenge arc, even better.

Middle eastern fantasy has that token of mystique with their Alibaba and the 40 thieves and the turbans, spices, and the intricacies of a very interesting culture that is very intoxicating to read. Ans youve captured that perfectly till now.

However, there is but a simple issue. The immersion could use some working on. For example, some of the passage seem mechanized, especially when were preparing for the 12th birthday party. it seems a bit animated with the “you prepare for the party” “you put on your turban” “you look in the mirror”, as such the pacing is hintered as a result of that as well. You could do well to pepper some more organic back and forth between the characters befitting their station, keeping the humor low, since it’s already visible in the text, and also as you narrate the story. That way it’ll flow better and not sound like a recount of an incident. The narration could use some ostentations.
For example : the slave in charge of you sighs when the guard captain asks what’s the matter as she pulls on your ear. That sigh feels a natural interaction b/w them. Need more of that to show that they’re more than just a name on a script.

But apart from that, pretty good!

typos


Places ; servant


A far cry ; wishes to not


Are ; missing a (?) ; Missing a "

There are a few more punctuation errors here and there, nothing that can’t be fixed through grammarly or GDocs

I second the notion to make the servant girl from present day a RO.

We’re gonna keep a critical eye on your work now, Jackal, you’ve set the board, we’ll play it now huehuehuehuehe

Keep up the good work :beers:

16 Likes

Intriguing

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Are the save slots broken?

I like it so far! There are some problems with grammar and a lack of pronouns where there should be. But the story itself is great so far. I recommend “Grammarly” for the grammar and spelling. It’s free to use, as far as I know

Question: how detailed/important will the RO’s be? Ranging from “barely there” to “a kind of big chunk will be dedicated to them”

10 Likes

Does MC have set appearance (except skin color)?

I’ll try to document all the typos I’ve seen tomorrow so far this is very interesting. It’s really peculiar how middle eastern fantasy always seems to be quality with IFs :rofl: We only have few of those and they are all great.

2 Likes

Evening :blush:

I’m back to explore new pathing and pay my reading tolls.

Here be typos:

Squashing Typos





Also some scene-by-scene reactions:

Excuse my midnight rambles. Just free-styling my thoughts, so take everything with a few grain of salts.

Finding Cousins

This part had me laughing just because of how casually MC sends their guards to go cousin-hunting.

I literally can picture this as a public search-and-arrest, especially since guards are involved. :rofl: totally understand why MC sent out the guards to find their cousins, but this was too funny.

Eunuch Interactions

This talk was just gold.

From complaining about soap to Chief Eunuch’s 180 attitude shift, please give this man more spotlight and interaction with MC.

Sassy, arrogant, and flattery butterball-in-command. He’s an instant darling in my heart. :heart_eyes_cat:

Royal Party Invite

It is interesting to see ourselves invited to our own party, and definitely a neat touch. But since this is the Crown Prince / Princess, would the party invite not spell out their full name — long and insane as it might be? Even if everyone knows this is the Crowned heir, I think Royal summons should still include all those long lineage stuff. :joy_cat:

I mean the opening address is longer than the invite itself, unless that is just a form of satire.

Dad’s Death and 8 years imprisonment

Given how he’s the sultan and MC’s dad, big dad’s death seems a little rushed. He just got back after years and gets barbecued by his dear brother in front of MC. Oof, man. Good thing no one ate anything heavy yet.

Also curious how Jamal cleaned this up, through sheer power? What does the palace guards think? Did anyone fight back at all against the coup? And how did Lady Wife handle that sudden pyre?

Will we be given the chance to reflect on his death while he is set on fire in future update? You also mentioned MC’s mom dying from childbirth, so will MC have some time to reflect on losing both parents down the road?

I would love to see more about the parents down the road. But given how big this board and sandbox you have created in world building, I am very excited to dig deeper into the character relations and possibilities down the road. Especially with our betrothed, cousins, and personal guards.

Poor Rab stay strong, I am coming back for you as soon as I burst from the cell. My wet nurse is my mom and Jamal better not lay a single hand on her.

More questions, if you don’t mind:

  1. Does Sultan have his own magical powers?
  2. How about our cousins, siblings, and the other wives of royal blood? Anyone able to fight back against Jamal?
  3. Can we have some descriptions for RO? Or it would not matter in the prologue because we will their adult version soon?
  4. How did the MC keep track of time in the cell? Eight years seems like a tedious amount of time to go insane or just have the days blur together in a cell. How was MC about to count accurately which exact date is his birthday?
  5. How was Jamal able to prevent MC from using their elemental magic powers to jailbreak all these years?
  6. I have a suspicion the Aunt that forced the MC to show his power “secret” is on Jamal’s side. Seems like a planned open scene for this whole coup thing — humiliate the royal heir to show how powerful the uncle is. So is this divination Aunt going to interact with MC down the road for either a showdown or some resolution?

Moving forward thoughts.

Given how traumatic MC’s birthdays have been — dead dad, dead mom, and giving away the only date to a rat — there’s a lot of golden moments to unpack some emotions here. It would be worthwhile to explore “am I just cursed” or “this is gods’ faults” or “I will make them all pay” theme for sure.

I would honestly be mildly concerned if MC endured 8 years of powerlessness, murdered parent, and still turned out completely normal. Cuz being normal is just not normal after that kind of betrayal. I’d personally be a little crack-headed if forced into his shoes, so to speak.

After 8 years, we are probably past the point of mad, angry, bitter, and betrayed. Is the MC planning something Joker-style to break out? Or just lounging around in sadness?

Thanks for hearing me rambles! You don’t need to answer a lot. I’m just writing down my thought process and reactions as I go and hope they will be somewhat helpful. I’m excited to see more :sweat_smile: Good night now.

24 Likes

I dont know if this is a spoiler or not but based on the fact that Iramite (i think thats how its written) is a language in the game, are we going to see the so-called “Giants of Iram” later on in the game or will that be a part 2 thing (if you’re going for a duology)?

I’m loving everything about this story so far, the setting most of all. It’s not one I engage often so I’m very interested in seeing what you’ll make of it. I also can’t wait to learn more about jinns and how their magic works. I love how we can make lighting, although to be honest when I picked fire and then air I was actually expecting the synergy to be “oh you can make bigger flames”, but you know, I was pleasantly surprised, lighting is so much cooler. I wish I had more helpful comments to offer, but alas. Thanks so much for sharing this story, it was a very pleasant read.

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Well, this was a pleasant surprise! Didn’t expect you to start writing a WIP, Jackal! Especially when I’ve just started getting interested in the Middle East. Will keep an eye for this one, that’s for sure.

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I love it and I love pretty much every aspect of the chosen setting. Great work.

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:sweat_smile: :rofl:

If you check the Interest Check Thread a couple of years ago you’d see my post about the game :grin:. I admit I’m a slow writer, I didn’t want anyone to get excited about a project that would take forever to get out.

I agree with this. At some point, I had to ask the MC’s gender and stuff. I’ll try to smooth things out as I continue to write and edit.

This is why feedback is so important. Thanx Para.

I wanted the characters to shine more in the later chapters. Since the prologue is mostly a flashback, my thinking was that readers would want the flashback to finish as quickly as possible so that the plot could progress.

But I guess I could let the characters breathe a little more. And I’ll try to tone down on the humour but humour is still going to be very much part of the story.

Thanks for typos. I’ll correct them once I’m in front of my laptop.

Was a boiled egg really all it took to be head over hills for her :upside_down_face:

I’m not sure. I’ll check later once I’m in front of my laptop again.

Thanks for reading the game. I know I should use Grammarly. But the time I was done with editing the prologue for a millionth time, I was in no mood to once again check for grammar/spelling. I wanted the game out in order to see if people liked the basic concept of it.

But lesson learnt. I’ll use Grammarly from now on.

It depends on the RO. I’d like for the ROs to be part of the story as the MC goes about on their adventure.

While this game is not romance focused, romance will still be important.

Not really? I’ll probably add more options describing how the MC looks in chapter 1.

At the same time, the MC is a poc. So a player expecting to look like a blond haired and blue eyes jinn is not going to happen.

@saggittarius Wow, thanx. I hope as the story continues the quality remains good.

That’s a major spoiler :laughing:

@Rock I think in the first draft, fire and air made a hotter flame. But I changed it coz I thought lightning was cooler.

Your MC, if they are a fire user, will get a chance to cast hotter flames with cool colours.

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