The Stratagem of Haash Toroth
When Shawar had switched alliances and joined Shirkuh, he was finally about to take back the city of Cairo from Amalric's crusaders. The city was under his control but the victory was empty. The garrison commander had fled or remained in hidding. Until he could confront the man to claim victory, Shirkuh could not rest and continued scouring the city for his opponent. His men had come to him one night with news that he had been discovered locked away in a tower. Shirkuh demanded to know why the man he not been brought before him and was told the man could not be moved. Outraged Shirkuh stormed into the tower and discovered a grotesquely twisted sight that was the garrison commander. When he demanded to know who had done this to him, the man motioned to a tiny cube that sat nearby.
The man told him a story about an old god called Haash-Toroth who had created a vessel that contained peace. Haash-Toroth had built a great city while his brothers fought with each other and invited peace to his palace as his honored guest showering it with praises and adorations and holding a feast to celebrate his honored guest. At the end of the festivities Haash-Toroth presented Peace with a gift called the Stratagem. A Pandoric he had fashioned for Peace to reside in whenever it visited his kingdom, Peace was delighted and climbed inside the Pandoric, but when it tried to leave found it was trapped. In time the Acharit HaYamim had come and Haash-Toroth left his palace to join his brothers in the great war.
The old Gods were lost from memory and stories the Stratagem persisted. Wherever the Stratagem dwelled, wars followed and cities fell. The Pandoric moved from kingdom to kingdom over the centuries with the promise of bringing Peace to the one how could solve the Stratagem and set it free. Each attempt at solving the riddle left only ruin to mark its passing.
The garrison commander gave Shirkuh a warning, Haash-Toroth's Stratagem would have no master. He should leave it and Cairo behind and let the sands take this place. He had been given the same warning by the previous ruler of this city when he discovered him, twisted and broken in this same room after his crusaders had claimed the city. He claimed the city and the Stratagem in his arrogance but heeded his warnings. Only when Shirkuh was at the gates of Cairo did the commander finally attempt to solve the Stratagem.
Shirkuh listened to the man and took pity on him giving him the peace he desired when he unsheathed his sword. The city had been claimed and presented to his lord Nur ad Din Zengi but Shirkuh withheld the Stratagem from him keeping it secret. He had thought about the garrison commanders story and warnings knowing a grain of truth to every tale. The Pandorics history was of eternal conquest. It needed to be kept safe where it would not tempt anyone. He thought about entrusting it to his nephew Saladin for safekeeping. A young and virtuous man who preferred books to ambitions.