God of Shifting Fortunes
The tale goes thusly: an Arabi nobleman coveted a massive ruby guarded by a powerful Efreet, and promised freedom to any of his serfs who was able to retrieve it for him. Many tried, but none returned alive. Shalaad, a clever young fieldworker who wished to free his family from the nobleman’s tyrannical rule, heard of the nobleman’s offer and devised a plan to win his freedom. He set out across the desert to find the Efreet’s lair, and on his journey met a series of calamitous and almost comical misfortunes, losing his supplies, his camel, his clothes, and three fingers off of one hand. After a year and a day of travel he arrived at the cave of the Efreet, barely clinging to life. The Efreet, amused by this frail and bedraggled young boy who dared challenge a god, offered Shalaad a wager: one roll of the dice. If Shalaad won, he could take any of the Efreet’s possessions for himself. If the Efreet won, he would claim Shalaad’s soul, to torment eternally for his amusement.
Shalaad knew the Efreet was playing with loaded dice. However, what the Efreet failed to realize was that Shalaad’s year and a day of bad fortune had been an intentional ploy by the young boy to build up a massive reserve of good luck. He rolled the dice and they fell the one way in a million they needed to to give Shalaad victory. The Efreet raged but was bound by his word, and told Shalaad to take the ruby and go before he changed his mind. Shalaad, however, had outwitted the Efreet even further. He took the Efreet’s godly powers, and imprisoned the fallen god within the ruby.
Triumphant, Shalaad returned to his master’s estate to give him the ruby and demand the release of his family. However, the nobleman refused, stating that the deal had been for Shalaad’s freedom and no one else’s. Enraged by the nobleman’s greed, Shalaad placed a curse on him, and all of his good fortune turned to bad. His estate fell to ruination, his line died out, and all of his serfs escaped in the ensuing chaos. Since then, Shalaad has been worshiped in secret by many of the serfs of Arabi. He is seen as a god of poetic justice, who lifts up the weak and casts down the mighty and proud with a roll of his cosmic dice.