The Twilight of the Known Worlds
Sneaky Engineer, Loves think machines, Hates the Inquisition
Razak Ma’Haifa was born the third son of a minor branch of the Ma’Haifa family, a part of the House Al-Malik. His branch of the family had lost all of their own land in an ancient dispute. As a result, Razak grew up on Istakhr living in the homes of his extended family. At a young age he became fascinated with the technological marvels to be found in the lavish houses of his better-off Ma’Haifa cousins. These artifacts would become something of an escape for Razak from the torment of his extended family members. Being slight in built and forgettable in presence, he found it easy to sneak into the all parts of his hosts’ home, where all sorts of strange and magnificent bits of tech had been sequestered. Razak would study and tinker with these contraptions, gradually learning how they functioned.
Razak’s burgeoning interest in technology was noticed by a recurring visitor to the house: Garum, a Fellow of the Supreme Order of Engineers. As Razak matured, Garum spoke to him and his parents about the possibility of Razak going to the Engineers Academy on Leagueheim. Although it would mean renouncing his nobility, Razak’s lack of prospects at home meant his parents did not resist the idea too strongly. He was after all the third son, and the Ma’Haifas have a long history of association with the Order.
At the Academy, Razak excelled. Garum was a recurring influence, taking a personal interest in the development of the young noble. Razak became fast friends with another young Engineer Apprentice, known as Adrien Goss. It was Adrien who first introduced Razak to think machines, starting the obsession of a lifetime.
Following graduation from the Academy, Razak embarked as an engineer on a small trading starship Sober Counsel. While on the ship he befriended the pilot Luka and Alonius Dulcinea, the Muster Private acting as the ship’s gunner. During this time, Razak learned that his friend Adrien had been the subject of an investigation undertaken by the Inquisition. Found guilty of making heretical alterations to his body, Adrien had his cybernetic implants forcibly removed, killing him in the process. This kindled in Razak’s heart a deep hatred for the Church in general, and the Inquisition in particular.
After finishing service on the ship, Razak returned to Leagueheim to talk to some more senior Engineers about achieving a deeper understanding of technology. Around this time Garum approached Razak about running a small business for him. Garum would supply a steady stream of artifacts for Razak to repair and sell on to worthy customers. Not being much of a salesman – and in need of a degree of protection – Razak hooked up with his old friends from the Sober Counsel, Alonius and Luka. The work soon pivoted to salvage and reclamation. It quickly became apparent that the crew would need a better hook-up for selling these items onwards. To that end, they brought in Marquessa Yasmin Al-Jabar of House Al-Malik. The partners toured Istakhr and the surrounding planets. Alonius would find the salvage, Razak would fix it up, Yasmin would set up the sales and Luka would fly the ship. In this way, the fledgling enterprise became a modest success, turning a tidy profit.