David Ian Ye Director/ Honorable Playsmith/Troupe Founder David Ian founded ye very competent King’s Court Players some three or four years hence, its maiden production Ye Pilgrimm’s Progress or Pilgrim as it became more commonly known; an original storytelling (despite claims of other hacks) of dreams and journey told in allegory. This year he embarks upon a bold new script to try before your eyes and ears before taking it to the king’s royal court as an entertainment: Esther, the Hebrew Queen. Other plays from the forge of David’s playsmithing include God's Mouthpiece: Jonah; The Fall and Rise of Job; The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance; The Triumph of Joseph Part I; Tragedy of a Soothsayerand a farce favorite Six Players, Sixteen Deaths, No Waiting.
Judith Phillips Ye Director's Assistant (Katie Eick) Mistress Philips returns to the King's Court Players as Ye Honorable Director’s Assistant for Esther, the Hebrew Queen after a year of assisting the directing of the Children of the Chapel at the Blackfriars Theatre in London, whose performances include the revival of John Lyly's Campaspe (first played before the Crown), Lyly's Sapho and Phao, and their ambitious but successful rendition of John Marston's Malcontent. Judith may be recognized from her famous and youthful acting career with Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, where she debuted as the first female Juliet. Judith has previously played the role of The Muse in The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance for the King's Court Players and was Director’s Assistant to mister Ian (our honorable playsmith) for the Player's premier of Pilgrim , the play which was to receive much attention during the infamous authorship battle of 1676 with that Bunyan hack. She finds the camaraderie and creativity of the King's Court Players refreshing from the intensity of London theatres and enjoys the transculturation of the open road.
Jack “Black” Youngblood Ye Skilled Stage Manager Jack joined the backstage crew some two years hence and donned the “backstage black” for which is now a part of his handle. While there are whispers of his pre-troupe history being in the company, if not outright hob-nobbing with, those of a piratical disposition, we in the troupe have never asked where he got those “prop weapons” or the realistic “stage blood” stained upon them all. We are of a mind that some trade secrets are best left unexplored. Jack has been a bulwark-strong supplying and supporting all shows of the company, and often doubling as “bouncer” for our more actively enthusiastic and raucous patrons. Perhaps you will see him in action tonight in that capacity (we can only watch and hope).
Rosie Tidwell (Rachel Ost) Rosie’s talent was discovered while she was serving as a barmaid at the Purple Peacock Inn. She accepted the invitation to join the ranks of the King’s Court Players nigh on a year, and has never looked back from leaving her laying down of wine and spirits. Her stage credits include Pilgrim (Interpretor and Seductress of Vanity Fair); The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance (Serving Wench – a favorite role of the groundlings made specifically for her); Tragedy of a Soothsayer (Alekto – a Fury); The Fall and Rise of Job (Daughter of Job). Rosie brings all her wit and wisdom to the production of Esther, the Hebrew Queen in her portrayal of the title role (Esther).
Silas Dawn (Isaac Galloway) Silas draws upon a quite colorful past which brought him to the King’s Court Players a year and a half ago. Included are some stage roles while playing for some other theatrical nonny-sot that include Richard III (Richard III); Julius Caesar (Marc Antony); Much Ado About Nothing (Benedict). Proper roles that he has played with King’s Court Players include the title role in Tragedy of a Soothsayer (Soothsayer); The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance (Sir Gallant Knavery) The Triumph of Joseph Part I (Levi) Jonah: God’s Mouthpiece (Sailor 1); and was featured as a “Dead Body” in the farce Six Players, Sixteen Deaths, No Waiting. He adds his special interpretation to King Xerxes in Esther, the Hebrew Queen.
Rupert Brass (Adam Karnes) Rupert hath been with ye Players for nigh on a year, straight from ye rival troupe, ye Queen's Puppets, wherein he dids't pace the boards for a goodly ten years, and in the guise of many a persona. Rupert left his native Wales as a stripling, roving his way to the great city by means of his wit and earning his bread by the telling of tales. In London, he labored as a stage-boy for many a year, until he first graced an audience as the Apothecary of Romeo and Juliet. Some two years past, when engaged in a duel with a rival actor of ye King's Court Players, Rupert discovered that said actor was in fact his brother, Duncan, whom he had not seen since a small lad. Rupert dids't promptly abandon ye Puppets for ye Players. Rupert performed with ye Players in most recent of Pilgrim showings, in which he dids't play the title role. He hath also performed in Jonah: God's Mouthpiece (Jonah), The Rise and Fall of Job (Sovereign God); The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance (Friar Misgiving); The Triumph of Joseph Part I (Jacob), and in Tragedy of a Soothsayer (a Rival Poet). Rupert adds Esther, the Hebrew Queen to his experience portraying Prologue and Mordecai.
Duncan Brass (Za'chary Westbrook) Duncan has the distinction of being one the few surviving original Company members of King’s Court Players having been with the Company three years participating in the maiden run of Pilgrim and playing multiple parts in that show. After a brief hiatus he returned in triumph playing Satan in The Fall and Rise of Job, and was next seen on stage as Thomas Rogue in The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance, and was scandalously accused of being seen in much the same role off-stage that ended in a duel with a certain noble not to be mentioned in these pages (the curious may inquire within). Duncan lent his talent with the second release of Pilgrim (again playing multiple parts) and in consequence of yet another dueling injury, he was cast only as Prologue in The Triumph of Joseph Part I. This role won him two commissions with the private troupe of a certain noble woman as a Narrator. Upon returning once again to the Company, he was cast with no small irony as Trial in Tragedy of a Soothsayer. His being cast as Haman in Esther, the Hebrew Queen was originally coupled with the Prologue, which was Requested of him by his Brother, Rupert, and was willingly given.
Elenore Fitzroy (Elizabeth Harrington) Elenore joined the troupe about a year and a half ago for the purpose of promoting herself and her compositions in the theatric field. It is her ambition to rewrite the plays of Shakespeare in a superior fashion and thus earn wealth and prestige when they surpass the bard in popularity. Elenore’s stage performing credits include The Triumph of Joseph Part I (Potiphar's Wife); The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance (Wit – a Fool); Jonah: God’s Mouthpiece (Sturm – a Phoenician); Tragedy of a Soothsayer(Tisipone -- a Fury); The Fall and Rise of Job (Elihu the Buzite). She pulls double duty in Esther, the Hebrew Queen playing Shether, Advisor to the King and Zeresh, Haman's wife.
Marion Langley (Holly Abbe) Marion’s most unforgettable role,though she remembers it not, was playing Job’s Wife in The Fall and Rise of Job which must be seen to be described (bookings available for this show). Other productions involving Marion’s inspired amnesiac interpretations include Jonah: God’s Mouthpiece (Desert Wanderer); The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance (Minstrel); The Triumph of Joseph Part I (Midianite Merchant-Slaver) ; Tragedy of a Soothsayer (Truth); and for Esther, the Hebrew Queen, Marion lends her talents to portray Memucan, Advisor to King Xerxes
The Former Lady Constance Bates (Krista Zelmer) joined the King's Court Players but a mere seven months ago after leaving her husband (played in real life by the Lord Clarence Bates) in pursuit of a more carefree and frivolous lifestyle (Huzzah!). She performed as Prudence Sound in The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance; Circumstance in Tragedy of a Soothsayer; Leah in The Triumph of Joseph Part I and Eliphaz the Temanite in The Fall and Rise of Job before joining the cast of Esther, the Hebrew Queen as Hegai.
Elinor Frideswyd (Lanae Gehring) Born to the less than faithful wife of an English gentleman, Elinor Frideswyd was cast out upon the hour of her birth and sent to live with a wandering clan of Romany folk (more frequently referred to as gypsies). No stranger to the stage, Elinor spent much of her childhood acting in small performances put on by her nomadic family. Before joining the Kings Court Players, Elinor and her relatives were incarcerated for several months in a French prison for a pick pocketing scandal involving several nuns. Elinor took her case before a local magistrate and was released with the agreement that she will never return to France. She recently began learning to read; a skill that she feels will be extremely useful in learning lines for her next performance. She prides her self on her ability to cook over an open campfire and ‘make things disappear.’ Carshena, Advisor to King Xerxes in Esther, the Hebrew Queen is her first role working with the Kings Court Players.
Jean Florence (Daniel Matthews) Born in Orleans, France, Jean left his family and friends and traveled far and wide which eventually led him to England, where he met Ye Kings Court Players two years ago. Even though he had no prior experience, nor could he speak a lick of the Queen’s English he was welcomed by the Players who were in need of an extra and comic relief anyway, and so they kept the brooding, quirky “Frenchie” until this day. Still the only English he has managed to master are those in the roles he has played in The Rise and Fall of Job (Zophar the Naamathite); The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance (Anon – a servant) Jonah: Gods Mouthpiece (A Desert Wanderer – Jean’s favorite) Tragedy of a Soothsayer (A Poet), as well as Brem, the oft-drunk servant and Teresh, the would-be assassin in Esther, the Hebrew Queen
Caroline Fielding (Erica Martin) Caroline was thrust into the King's Court Players nigh on 6 months past when she was plucked from the audience to play the fury Megaera in Tragedy of a Soothsayer after arguing heatedly with the door keeper of the theatre. The player who had the role of Megaera previous to that night was vomiting violently and the very competent director of the troupe saw Caroline's argument and threw her upon the stage. Since that night, Caroline left her home in London after continuous refusals of arranged marriages by her father to incompetent knaves, and decided to continue traveling with the troupe. The role as Trest in Esther the Hebrew Queen was invented for her after one night of indulging in too much wine, resulting in a horrid display of dancing, shouting and reveling “ne’er since seen ‘pon these shores” (director’s words).
Adell Osgoode (Anna Whittaker) Adell joined the troupe along with her parents, who then promptly went absent after a mighty row concerning parts, lead parts and who could play them better. As it turned out they went and joined another troupe (of lesser prestige and skill) but, through a quirk of the contract and enforced vigorously with our combat props, we still retained the rights to Adell. Since then we have enjoyed her company and contributions to the troupe in the productions of Fall and Rise of Job (Bildad the Shuhite); Jonah: God’s Mouthpiece (Ship’s Captain); The Triumph of Joseph Part I (Nile Boatsman); Tragedy of a Soothsayer (Balance); The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance (Constance Young). We’ve entrusted limited access to our combat props to Adell to facilitate her role in Esther the Hebrew Queen as Teresh, would-be assassin.
Julian Evers (Jessica Earl) The youngest member of the troupe, Julian joined the troupe when she was twelve years old following the tragic death of her parents. She is everyone in the troupe’s adopted daughter or youngest sister and is much loved and cherished by all. Her theatrical credits include The Fall and Rise of Job (Daughter of Job); The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance (Lady Sour'd Humour); The Triumph of Joseph Part I (Servant to Potiphar’s Wife), and Tragedy of a Soothsayer (Wisdom). She plays Shaashgaz and attendants to both Esther and Zeresh in Esther, the Hebrew Queen.
Gwyneth Dashberry (Julie Sena) Gwyneth has been with the cast for nigh on and has also contributed behind the scenes in productions by tending to ye player’s hair and making up. Sometimes this tending occurs onstage as well to the vexing of ye honorable director. Her performance credits include Jonah: God’s Mouthpiece (King of Nineveh); The Fall and Rise of Job (Dust and Ashes, a Prologue); The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance (Alehouse Keeper & Twit – a foolish fool); The Triumph of Joseph Part I (Judah). Gwyneth adds Esther, the Hebrew Queen to her credits, playing the parts of Maid to Esther and Servant in the House of Haman.
Tabitha Inglis (Sheila Nichols) Tabitha has been with the troop for three years and joined the troop at seventeen years after the tragic death of both her parents in a fire and some unfortunate matchmaking by her less than kind aunt which drove her away from home life and into the traveling Kings’s Court Players. Initially, she was drafted into the ranks for her skills at sewing and mending costumes, but eventually the troupe drew her out to perform as well. She has brought her now veteran experience to the Players in Jonah: God’s Mouthpiece (Fool – the voice of God); The Fall and Rise of Job (Daughter of Job); The Revelers: A Comedy of Romance (Sirrah – a comic servant); The Triumph of Joseph Part I (Benjamin) and Tragedy of a Soothsayer (Consequence). She lends her talents to Esther, the Hebrew Queen in the parts of Maid to Esther, and as Official to King Xerxes.
Ye Play Esther, the Hebrew Queen Scene by Scene
Act I Scene i Time: The Twelfth Year of the Reign of King Xerxes (May he live forever) Setting: A hall in the citadel of Susa, the winter capital of Persia Characters Appearing: Trest, Brem, Carshena, Shether, Memucan, Xerxes
The setting is in the fertile crescent of the orient west, in the ancient empire of Persia and Media some three or four centuries before the birth of our Christ. We open the play with Trest and Brem, two hearty revelers who are enjoying six months of celebration, and from whom we learn that in the midst of these festive times, the king sent for his queen to make an appearance before him, this she utterly declined.
Hot upon the heels of this information enters the king, enraged at the refusal of his queen and turning to his advisors as to a course of action. Whereupon it is suggested that a new queen be found among all the beautiful young women of the realm, and the offending queen be banished. The king expresses his grief for losing his beautiful royal counterpart, but cannot abide her haughtiness and pride, and so undertakes to conscript all the available women to select a new queen.
Act I Sc ii Time: A year later Setting: An apartment of the harem in the citadel, Characters Appearing: Esther, Hegai, Maids 1,2,3
Here we are introduced to Esther, a young Jewish girl who has been selected along with a multitude of other hopefuls to be groomed, pampered, beautified, and trained to be the perfect queenly candidate. She and her kin are living in captivity from their homeland in Israel, and she offers a prayer of supplication for her people for forgiveness and restoration. We learn that Hegai, who is in charge of the mass conscription of beauty, has taken a special liking to Esther and their friendship has grown deep and tender over the course of the months of preparation. Hegai has yet to learn of Esther’s heritage, a secret that has been jealously kept by Esther upon instruction of her paternal uncle Mordecai, who adopted her as an orphan and raised her as his own.
Mordecai, separated from his charge for a year has been haunting the palace gate to gather what news he may of his ward. Learning of this, Esther pleads with Hegai to take her to Mordecai so that she may meet with him on the eve of the king’s final selection; Hegai cannot refuse her dear friend and they go off to search for Mordecai.
Act I Scene iii Time: Later that day Setting: A hall in the citadel of Susa Characters Appearing: Mordecai, Teresh, Bigthana, Esther, Hegai,
True to the rumors, Mordecai is indeed skulking about the palace gate, trying to divine anything concerning his ward Esther who is kept in secure apartments within the palace walls. He conceals himself upon the coming of two guards in order to overhear their words and possibly catch news of the palace within, and to his horror overhears of an assassination plot upon the very person of the king by his own chamberlains!
Hot upon the heels of this news appears Esther and Hegai who find Mordecai most distressed and troubled. He relates the plans to kill the king to Esther and charges her to reveal this plot to the king when she is reviewed for selection on the morrow. Esther and Mordecai part on a distressed note and danger abounds in the royal court.
Act I Scene iv Time: The next day Setting: The inner court of King Xerxes, Characters Appearing: Shaashgaz, Women of Persia, Esther, Xerxes, Haman, Teresh, Bigthana,
The great and glorious day has finally arrived, and King Xerxes is preparing to select a queen from all the young maids of the empire. We are first privy to the final instructions given the maids before they approach the royal crown, and then the display is begun. Esther, dressed and adorned according to her counselor of beauty Hegai indeed catches the king’s eye and gains access to him. In the course of the ensuing “courtship”, Esther seizes the initiative and warns the king of the plot against his life. The chamberlains are discovered, apprehended, and executed, the kingdom has a new queen, and all is right within the borders of Persia once again.
Act I Scene v Time: A month later Setting: A hall in the citadel of Susa, Characters Appearing: Trest, Brem, Mordecai, Carshena, Shether, Memucan, Haman
A month later and Mordecai is still reveling in his adopted niece as the newly crowned queen, and we see Trest and Brem at the height of their drunken celebrations, toasting the king, the queen, the dead assassins, and just about anything else that comes to their tipsy minds. We also hear of an official named Haman who has been raised above all other courtiers in rank, and all in the nation must kneel at his name, and rise in his presence.
As it so happens, this Haman is a descendent of an enemy of the Jewish people, and so Mordecai refuses to pay homage to Haman when he appears in person. Heated words are exchanged between the two, Mordecai swearing to see Haman fall from the height of his glory, and Haman swearing to destroy all Jews in Persia to punish Mordecai for his “brackish tongue”. Trest and Brem slink away in the aftermath of this storm of wit and wills.
Act I Scene vi Time: That same day Setting: A chamber in the citadel of Susa Characters Appearing: Haman, Servant 1, Servant 2 Xerxes, Carshena, Shether, Memucan
Fresh on the heels of his spat with Mordecai, Haman plans the demise of all the Jews by mass genocide upon a single day. He randomly picks the day of destruction using a Persian lot drawing method called “the pur”. At this time enters King Xerxes desiring to spend the evening with Haman; Haman uses the opportunity to describe to the king that this intricate bit of business must be dealt with before he can enjoy the king’s table. The king approves Haman’s proposal to kill the Jews into unchangeable law in order to get dinner under way, and so Haman now has his plot and revenge set.
Act II Scene i Time: The next day Setting: Queen Esther’s private chamber, Characters Appearing: Esther, Hegai, Maids 1,2,3 Hathatch
All is well in the private chamber of now Queen Esther, who is anticipating the joy of bringing in her patron uncle Mordecai into the palace proper to live in the apartments there. Her messenger, however, brings news that Mordecai is so strangely dressed that he is not allowed entrance, and Esther sends for Mordecai to brought to her personally straight away. Enter Mordecai in sackcloth and ashes, in full display of extreme remorse and grief, and bearing a copy of the edict to destroy the Jews on the appointed day. This news shatters the reverie of Queen Esther, and the burden of saving her people falls upon her. The edict, sealed with the king’s signet cannot be undone, the law is irrevocable, and to make matters worse, the queen cannot enter the king’s presence and make supplication unless she is summoned by the king – to enter without summons invites a sentence of death, excepting that the king raises his scepter in an act of mercy and grace. Esther bids Mordecai to instruct all their people to fast for their plight and pray for guidance as she must work out some way to avoid the complete destruction of Abraham’s race.
Act II Scene ii Time: That same day Setting: King Xerxes’ court Characters Appearing: King Xerxes, Haman, Carshena, Shether, Memucan, Official, a scribe, Esther
As the scene begins, we see King Xerxes is in a foul mood, having to root out some corrupt official and pronounce his death. It is to this fit of fury that Esther must make her trespass into the king’s deadly presence, and he raises his scepter to her after being moved to compassion upon hearing her plea to be heard. The king offers Esther half his lands for her to personally rule as a boon, which makes Esther pause, but she continues in her plan to invite the king and Haman to a special banquet of her preparation. This pleases the king and Haman greatly, and the king retires for the day, affording Haman to have a brief private interview with Esther before retiring himself.
Act II Scene iii Time: That night Setting: The house of Haman, Characters Appearing: Zeresh, Servants 3,4,5 Haman
We open with Zeresh, Haman’s wife, awaiting her husband’s return home from a very late evening. She muses upon age, raising family, and comparing playing the wife to nobility in an empty house to earlier, simpler, poorer but possibly happier times. After Zeresh shares a rare unguarded moment with her servants, the master of the house Haman comes home rather unsteady in his bearing from a good night’s feasting and drinking at the queen’s table. He relates the queen’s good graces and that over the course of the meal, Esther did invite the king and Haman to yet another banquet the following night.
Zeresh plies from him the fashionable adornments of the queen, which Haman describes in minute detail, and then suddenly rails at the memory of his argument with Mordecai a day earlier and savors the coming day of destruction. Zeresh, piqued that this Jew was not put in his place, bids her husband to wake the king even at this late hour and demand the death of Mordecai to be swift and immediate for his insolence. Not only is he to be publicly executed, Zeresh tells Haman, but also from a gibbet seventy feet high as a fitting display and monument to Haman’s position. Haman clears his head enough to appreciate the his wife’s scheme, then goes off to set the plan in motion. Zeresh sits back and ponders how else she might use her husband to her own ends.
Act II Scene iv Time: Later that night Setting: A hall in the citadel of Susa, Characters Appearing: Xerxes, Trest, Brem, Haman, Carshena, Shether, Memucan
That same hour we find King Xerxes pacing about the dark halls of the palace – he cannot sleep, his mind wound into an unsolvable knot, and the domestic help is troubled with him. Mostly because they can’t locate him to give him the light he is bellowing for in order to see the hallways. Into this maze of hallways appears Haman, also lost in the darkness, and looking for the king to demand the death of Mordecai.
Meanwhile the king, having finally found a light and his advisors, is going over the chronicles of the court activity, and discovers that it was Mordecai who in fact uncovered the assassination plot that Esther conveyed to the king, and since that time nothing had been done to honor this worthy subject. At this exact moment Haman enters the king’s presence, and the king asks Haman what he would do for one that the king has found favor. Haman, only able to imagine that the king is wishing to dote more favor upon Haman, and is asking him to name the honor himself, advises the king to richly robe the honored person, set them upon the king’s own horse, and have an exalted member of court declare to the general population the esteem of the one so honored. The king approves of this method, and instructs Haman to do exactly as described to Mordecai, and that Haman himself is to act as the herald to shout out Mordecai’s honor to the public.
Haman is utterly speechless, his plan to have Mordecai killed dashed to the winds, and now he must play the town crier to Mordecai’s glory to all the capital in his own private shame. He makes what graceful exit he can muster and retires in mute humiliation. The king, suddenly is now quite at peace in his mind, his evening vexation is lifted, and he retires for the evening.
Act II Scene v Time: The next night Setting: The house of Haman Characters Appearing: Zeresh, Servants 3,4,5 Haman
The next night we find Haman’s wife Zeresh again waiting for her husband to come home late at night. She describes a scene she saw that day of someone being paraded about the city, mounted upon a noble steed dressed in royal finery, and some herald pronouncing the king’s favor upon him. She muses it was most likely her husband so honored, and comments how even high honor from a king can become commonplace after a time. Enter Haman flushed with rage and shame, having spent the day announcing the glory of his enemy Mordecai. The couple argue for a time concerning the stewardship of high office and the fickleness of living off kingly favors. Zeresh entreats Haman to bide his time and forego any further designs against the now favored Mordecai, and wait until the day of destruction for all Jews to sew up his revenge. She then reminds him of his own favor, being invited to the queen’s banquet a second time. This second invitation had nearly slipped the mind of Haman, so fixed was he upon his duty of shame for the day, and he hurries off to the queen’s hall, and Zeresh ponders their possibly precarious position.
Act II Scene vi Time: Later that night Setting: The queen’s banquet hall in the citadel of Susa Characters Appearing: Hegai, Trest, Brem, Esther, Xerxes, Haman, Maids 1,2,3, Shether, Memucan, Mordecai, Carshena, a scribe
Esther hosts a second banquet for the king and Haman, then brings out the best vintage of wine for their enjoyment. The king, highly pleased, asks Esther what boon she would wish and Esther asks the king to review a simple play she prepared for their entertainment. Hegai and Esther’s maids put on a dumb show which depicts a villain stabbing a king’s wife, the king paying the villain, and the wife is mourned once the king realizes what he has done. While the king and Haman are puzzling the story they’ve just seen, Esther reveals that this is the turn of events about to happen through the pride and schemes of Haman, whose plot of revenge against the Jews will reach even to the king as his queen cannot be exempt from the edict of destruction. The king becomes enflamed with fury that Haman’s plot should kill his now very favored queen and Mordecai, and departs the banquet hall in a rage.
Haman uses the opportunity of being alone with Esther to plead with her to lift her indictment upon him. Despite Esther’s refusal, Haman becomes more insistent, seizing upon her in his desperation to implore her favor. Esther struggles to be free of Haman and in the midst of this contest the king reenters and assumes Haman is making illicit advances upon his queen and calls for his sword. The two fight, and Haman is grievously injured. It is brought to the king’s attention that Haman had designs to hang Mordecai on a seventy foot scaffold, and so the king orders that fate for Haman. Esther pleads once more for her people, and Mordecai is summoned to apply his wisdom to the situation. Mordecai issues another edict allowing the Jews to defend themselves against any who would attack them, and it is generally agreed that not many will take up the sword against the well organized and supported Jewish communities. Haman is executed and his property and title is all transferred to Mordecai. The king praises his queen, and Esther declares this day to be remembered by her people in feasting and celebration for their deliverance, and all is well within the borders of the Empire of Persia once again.