Sultan Al-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din of the Ayyubid - JonathanR

Player: JonathanR
Faction: Islamic States, Ayyubid

Al Afdal is the eldest son of Saladin himself, and is a respected general, shining diplomat and devout Muslim, in much the same manner as his father. He is currently residing in Damascus, over which he has a certain amount of power - with his father's backing.


The Life of Al-Afdal ibn Salah ad'Din, Sultan of Egypt and Syria, Saviour of the Hajj and upholder of the fourth covenant

A trio of films was made in the early 1990s, celebrating Al-Afdal's life. Pieced together from fragments of tales told about the Sultan, modern audiences rejected it as far too fantastic; nevertheless they were noted for their impressive use of special effects. The third film won three Getans, one of which was given to Patrick Warburton for his portrayal of Al-Afdal's manly jawline. The following is a vague plot summary of the three films:

The Crazy Misadventures of Al-Afdal

Fearing that he may be getting old too quickly, Al-Afdal goes on a series of crazy misadventures on board the Al-Nazihah flying ship of the desert with his all-time buddy Siddig and his all-time brother Az-Zahir, who has a great time spreading the new word. Al-Afdal learns the wonders of the previously forbidden drink, wrestles bears in the mountains of Rus, steals a dozen golden eggs from the lair of a skeletal dragon, wakes up with a hangover in a gutter in constantinople, chases a bronze elephant automaton through the streets of Tripoli wearing only a curtain tied around his waist, gets into a pub-brawl with the manticore… the list goes on. During these hijinks, Al-Afdal is driven by the needs of Empire and a burning desire for unexplained revenge. Eventually he tempers these actions in favour of concentrating on his more serious goals.

Despite its success with audiences, the film was massively slated by critics for dramatizing history beyond reasonable limits, since the love interest was clearly tacked on to make the film appeal to a wider audience. Although the first film's box office takings were positive, studio bosses switched directors, and the plot for the second film was thrown in a much more serious direction.

Al-Afdal II: Africa!

In what critics declare in mixed reviews to be simultaneously the most accurate and also the dullest depiction of statesmanship in modern cinema, Al-Afdal takes North Africa for the Ayyubid Empire, eventually annexing the Moorish caliphates. There is hardly any fighting involved, with most of the Caliphs glad to join the prosperous Empire. Az-Zahir travels alongside him, preaching the truths of the fourth covenant. Al-Afdal's love interest plot develops more slowly but more prominently and the focus of the film is largely on the responsibility he faces as he matures, and the emotional growth forced upon him by leading a powerful empire. The film's action is still waylaid by occasional “wacky” interruptions from supporting characters, but a later-released director's cut removes these altogether along with some snarky comments about “writing by committee” in the audio commentary. The film was much less successful with audiences than the first but studio bosses agreed to have the third filmed after nearly a year of development hell.

Al-Afdal - The Reckoning

The third film was given to yet another director but was by far the most successful of the three, and deals with the end of Al-Afdal's life. Historians debate the accuracy of the film's plotline, but the film spawns two spin-off television series and goes on to be the highest grossing film ever made.

The Empire has stood for a long time. Allegiance with the Al-Nazihah tribe has increased the standard of living for even the poorest man, and nearly everyone has a home. Al-Afdal is an excellent and beloved ruler, but one thing remains for him as he approaches his old age - a burning desire for revenge against those who wronged him. Al-Afdal, along with Az-Zahir and Siddig, take boats of men with them and sail northwards from the western-most expanses of the Empire. There they land in a rainy thirteenth-century Britain, and march on the fictional town of Gloucesterbury.

They arrive there to find that a series of mythical characters from the events of the Covenant are ranged against them. An evil puppet-master named Basilus has raised a hulking eight-foot tall demon named Henry and a wiry but powerful mage called William from the depths of hell to terrorise the country. The mad and evil trio rampage from town to town - Henry slaying even the toughest knights with his ethereally-sharp sword and William burning villagers and villages with great gouts of fire.

There at Gloucesterbury Al-Afdal personally hunts down and with the aid of his friends slays the evil ones and restores peace to Britain. They all learn much about companionship and the help that one's friends can give you despite setbacks. Al-Afdal, however, suffers a grievous wound in the final battle, and as they sail back triumphant to the Empire he gives a poignant speech to those present about love in all its forms before collapsing into his brother's arms.

Al-Afdal's death was marked with a day-long state funeral, with his eventual burial beside his father in the new temple on the rock. Like his father, a large stone sarcophagus was made. And like his father, he was not buried therein, but in a simple wooden coffin. For it was an Islamic tradition that all men are born equal before Allah, and so all men die equal - and that was a tradition that Al-Afdal valued greatly.

Az-Zahir outlived Al-Afdal, but not by long. Age eventually took him also, and he too was remembered greatly, as a great hero of the new faith, and one of the finest diplomatic talkers of his age. None at his funeral remembered him as the awkward boy with a foot in his mouth that he was as a youngster.

Al-Afdal did bear children, however. Al-Karim Wali ibn Al-Afdal was the eldest, and took over the Ayyubid Empire on the day of his father's death. The Empire prospered well under his rule, and that of his first daughter, and that of her first son…

Critical reception was unanimously approving, though the film was plagued by budgetary doubts and the ending particularly was criticised for being far too long and boring. The film spawned a number of internet memes but the most famous was the picture of the close-up of Al-Afdal's jaw in the final shot, the jawline becoming a cult reference for its purported ruggedness and manliness.

Further Legacy

The Ayyubid empire remains as one of the few modern empires. The Ayyubid dynasty continues, the bloodline of Salah ad-Din and Al-Afdal present in its rulers today. It is clear from most treatments of the nation's history that such enduring legacy would not have been possible with Al-Afdal's munificent and strong rule, which set up a tradition of humanitarianism under the ways of the Fourth Covenant.

Al-Afdal is considered also one of the greatest generals that ever lived. He reportedly had never lost a battle and many years later his writings on tactical and strategic thought are still taught in military academies. Further to this, his writings on many other subjects have become the centrepiece of the Great Library of Alexandria where scholars have translated them into virtually every language. His poetry is considered classical and bores to tears fourteen-year-old children in literature classes everywhere.

One of the Moon's largest seas has been named Shrewsbury's Plain, for the magnificent gardens built outside Damascus which even today are considered one of the wonders of the world for their beauty, architecture and opulence. it is noted in contemporary notes that Al-Afdal on occasion personally helped with work on the world's largest garden.


Al-Afdal was, of course, keen on public spending. All of Salah ad'Din's treasury was left to charities as a term of his will, and so Al-Afdal ensured that this was spent correctly, with money going to hospitals and shelters for the homeless, as well as other charitable pursuits.

In particular though, he spent money from his own treasury to build some fine new buildings across the land.

  • In Baghdad, amongst other repairs and beautification projects, is built the great Muntasir Memorial Hospital. The patients here are treated with the utmost care and precision by doctors trained by the dread Jamila herself. Outside is a statue of Muntasir with hands on hips, with a bronze plaque saying 'Ha HAA'.
  • In Alexandria, the Brother Basilus memorial library is commisioned, containing some of the finest and rarest scrolls and books around. The Necronomicon is chained up and sealed in a guarded basement with guarded guards on watch all day and night. With guards. Outside is a statue of Brother Basilus being slain in battle by Pyotr Loria, with a bronze plaque saying 'Have that you bastard!'
  • In Constantinople, the high class Khawan al-Khatara memorial brothel is ceremoniously opened. It has some of the finest harlots and courtesans in the known world there. Outside is a statue of Khawan being buggered by the Manticore, with a bronze plaque saying 'Eek!'
  • In Damascus, the rather dingy William of Shrewsbury memorial privy is erected in a dark alley. Next to it is a statue of William of Shrewsbury on fire, with a bronze plaque saying 'AAAAAAAGH!'
  • But finest of all is the new hospital built in Jerusalem. Staffed by doctors from across the known world, it stands upon the wisdom of Jamila and other fine doctors and alchemists as a symbol of peace and healing. Outside is a statue of a man shrouded in simple robes. No brass plaque adorns it, although carved into the stonework at the base are the words 'RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH' in Latin.
bio/al_afdal.txt · Last modified: 2009/08/31 21:28 by dave
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