A mysterious stranger who freed Jace and released him unto Ashgara.
Human male in his 50’s. Balding but with a long, pointed mustache. Very thin and pale. Speaks slowly and deliberately with a slightly high pitched, thickly accented voice. Eyes are a dark brown that all but appear black.
Fikri Kazemi’s voice was the first sound Jace heard as he woke up from his long sleep. Speaking from the darkness, Fikri warned Jace that “they” were coming for him, and then heavily armed guards came to drag the groggy boy into the fighting pits.
After Jace’s first day surviving two rounds of battle, Fikri spoke to him and approached from a neighboring cell. The older man, clearly from the desert realm of Oharos and not from Jace’s native land of Ashgara, told the boy that he had been dumped into the cell the previous evening and that a sentence in the fighting pits had but one inevitable outcome: death.
Fikri took an interest in the boy, however, and after the young man survived a second day in the pits, the native Oharosi confided in him that he had contacts that had paid a large sum of gold to the guards to let him free that evening. He offered to take Jace along with him, but they must leave that night, and freedom for Jace would mean a three day voyage across the sea confined in a small crate.
Jace accepted the older man’s offer, and the two fled the fighting pits after the guards released them. Fikri went so far as to order the guards to provide Jace with a pair of daggers and a thick leather shirt, which they strangely provided without comment.
Fikri stood nearby as the captain of their ship nailed shut the crate that would be Jace’s home for the next three days, and he warned the boy that that time would be very, very uncomfortable.
Jace next saw the Oharosi man when they reached Ashgara. Fikri pried open the crate and told Jace to swim ashore quickly as dawn was approaching and most of the crew was still asleep. He wished the boy well and told him that perhaps they would meet again in the future.
As Jace slipped into the cold water, Fikri smiled at him almost wickedly, and said “And if, during your undoubtedly exciting adventures you should happen to meet the Emperor… give him my regards.”