The most powerful airy spirits of the mystical East, the djinns and related creatures combine awesome strength with superhuman magical abilities and a nearly indomitable will. Many have dreamed of bending these powerful beings to their own will, many have acted on these visions, and many have mysteriously never been heard of again. Tilt the odds in your favor by considering a few bits of wisdom concerning these mysterious prodigies of might and power.
- Locating a candidate. Get yourself to the most remote and legend-bound corner of the ancient Orient if you are looking for a djinn. If they are running scot-free they are nearly impossible to corner even with a large host of fighters, as they cannot be bound by any material chain. The reputation of a powerful djinn travels over an expansive region, so you may need to exercise considerable persistence in tracking down the subject of a number of rumors and fantasies to their source, typically ending up in a deserted place such as an abandoned tower or cursed ruin. Sometimes you may need to use formidable powers of discernment to identify a beggar in the street, a fatherless street urchin, or a beautiful maiden for a djinn in disguise.
- Getting a handle on it. You are hoping to find a powerful djinn who happens to be in a vulnerable position at the moment, perhaps because of some leftover business from a previous master, or a past history of embarrassing indiscretions, or perhaps a more or less permanent disfavor with the powers of the netherworld. To take advantage of this, you should possess a key that allows you to exert leverage over the djinn, whether this might be magical, technological, or moral in nature. Be very certain, however, that this advantage is secure, because if you slip, the djinn is likely to exploit the opportunity to take revenge on attempted extortion with a devastating onslaught.
- Legal details. The key to maintaining one's control over a djinn is the spirit's extreme fidelity to the letter of a bargain, which they regard with the utmost reverence, particularly if it has been drafted in the name of the Almighty. In many cases, you will be at a disadvantage as they draw on their millennia of experience working out such agreements to propose certain key stipulations which may in the fullness of time prove to be damaging to your own position. Go over any obscure language with a fine-tooth comb to make sure that there are no lurking surprises that can spring the djinn free at an inopportune moment.
- The perverse sense of humor. One key to making your relationship with your subject djinn work is to appeal to the innate sense of humor that animates these beings born of preposterousness. If the overall aim of your evil career is one which will one day make a great story for the djinn to tell, if it involves acts of derring-do such as the toppling of the mighty and the raising of the low, and above all if it has built into its very fabric enough twists and turns to prove to be potentially the most fascinating puzzle to pick over for the long eons of the life of this immortal spirit, play these aspects up to your djinn and you are likely to find that these will go a long way to fostering acceptance of the new power structure.
Strokes of genius
- Courtly behavior. It is usually not a good idea to behave in a vulgar, casual, or blasphemous manner in front of a djinn, especially those of the most ancient vintage, as they generally have a fairly old-fashioned sense of propriety. If you can make yourself understood in classical Arabic, so much the better. In any case, save any truly egregious displays of bad grace until after your negotiations have concluded.
- Treasure hoards. The djinn take personal pride in knowing all they can about caches of precious items in their immediate region: location, size, contents of note, provenance, and current titleholder. Striking up a rapport with the one you have in service is a good way to liberate some of these key bits of knowledge that can lead you to a fabulous trove. But if you come across as an unworthy master, with poor appreciation of the riches available for the effort, the djinn is more likely to keep all of that locked in his heart until such time as his service has ended.
- The art of disguise. You may be able to inveigle a suspicious djinn of your acquaintance by concealing your true nature and aims, up to the time where he has agreed to a contract of bondage. Spare no effort or expense on your disguise, as they are naturally perceptive beyond human capabilities particularly when a bargain is being struck. Perhaps the best strategy is to adopt an appearance as close as possible to your usual image, modified to reduce those aspects which may be offputting and to play up others which come across as favorable in the djinn's eyes.
- Integration with your other forces. Non-magical and demonic allies may balk when asked to work alongside a powerful djinn, partly out of fear and oftentimes partly out of ill feeling. Here you must above all exert your authority as master over all, while pointing out to both sides the mutual benefit to be achieved by setting aside such contentious issues as morality, religion, and history of wrongs, at the same time spelling out the very real penalties to be incurred for acts of strife within the ranks. An enlightened battle commander will take advantage of the suspicions and rivalries of his or her disparate forces and use them to achieve a deftness of combined effect upon the foe.
Traps for mere fools
- Greed. The djinn who is under the impression that he serves a master interested only in wealth and acquisition is apt to become an unhappy spirit, and his job performance will suffer as a result. The higher purposes to which the acquisitive impulse is dedicated must be communicated clearly, and an appearance of liberality when generosity can be afforded will go a long way to harmonize the motivations of your servant.
- Menial drudgery. Tempting though it is to employ a djinn as a super-earthmover, an unsleeping jailer, or a tireless construction worker, tasking your aerial minion to excess is a recipe for rebellion in the long run. Allow your djinn to express his refined artistic sensibilities by working as a supernaturally gifted artisan, for instance, or reward it for special servies rendered as a trusted harem master, and you may be surprised by the evident increase in loyalty by a dedicated slave.
- Ifreet. These djinn of the underworld are if anything more of a headache to tame and frequently less safe of an investment in time owing to their fractiousness. Go over every legal agreement you contract with these with extra attention to ways it can go horribly wrong for you as master.
- Cultural insensitivity.
- Flaming scimitars.
Precious and needful
- Flaming scimitars.
- Winged steeds.
- Arabic-English dictionary.
- Airsickness remedies.
- How to battle flying serpents
- How to deal with heroes and superheroes
- How to defend against magic swords and other weapons
- How to flee your pursuers
- How to lie to someone's face
- How to move an immovable object
- How to issue an ultimatum
- How to escape from shackles
- How to write a ransom note
- How to swear a mighty oath
- How to break up with someone
- How to interest young people in evil
- How to rule men's minds through sex
- How to conceal weapons
- How to betray your master
- How to control earthquake faults
- How to rewrite history
- How to cause a flood
- How to battle flying serpents
- How to be an evil consort
- How to keep a giant spider
- How to raise a brood of vipers
- How to recruit and retain henchmen
- Image credit IMG_0790 by Amnysphere
- Image credit Djinn 3 - Ifrit by TheoJunior
- Image credit #462 Genie by Mikael Miettinen
Created by: . Last Modification: Sunday 11 of September, 2011 05:56:01 EDT by .