Rupert Donaldson - leading expert on gemology from the Washington Historical Society, who is also a journalist
for the Society of Rare Stones and Their History, needs a diversion, a change of life. Fresh rumors of the Tashi Beryl being brought into the light
of day after centuries of legend being the only evidence of its existence, provides the jolt to motivate Rupert to seek out his old friend James Hathaway.
The legend of beryl and alabaster tells of a prince, represented by the beryl and its hidden message, is met by the alabaster queen,
and together, they can reveal the ancient treasures of the Mughal dynasty of India. The treasure consists of the best of the best gemstones the kingdom
garnered, and one grandfather hid in the Himalayan foothills, protected by the faithful Swazi follows. Skeptics doubted the legend was true, but jewel
thieves kept a watchful eye just in case. Now the rumors of the Tashi Beryl actually being found is dangerous to anyone holding it.
James Hathaway - a genius problem solver with a knack for constructing in depth genealogies, especially of those
being deliberately secretive about their lineage. This Englishman lives in South London and senses that his friend Rupert will soon be heading his way
when James hears the rumor of the Tashi Beryl being unearthed. Together, these two sleuths are hired by one Joomla Matumba to trace the Mughal genealogy
and locate the last of the lineage in hopes of leading him to the beryl and its secrets.
Joomla Matumba - a South African collector of gemstones with a hidden agenda is diverted from his mission when he
stubbles across the person with the Tashi Beryl. The stone is on its way to Princess Anetha Rajani, the last of the Mughal royal bloodline, when she and
her faithful companion Sampson Troup are found murdered in a small village called Dwarka, west of New delhi. Joomla bets on James Hathaway's skills to
trace the Mughal line to ferret out some other relative that may have taken the beryl and committed the murders. He doesn't tell Rupert and James about
Maxwell Schneider, a clever jewel thief that has been seen lurking in the region. Before the trail gets cold, Joomla hires the best detective he know of
that can deep a secret - James Hathaway. He picks up Rupert as well in the deal.
Singh Rajani Troup - a boy of curious origin is the son of Sampson Troup, the one found murdered in his store with
the Princess Rajani. His mother is a mysterious outcast that left father and the princess to be living out there days in near poverty in Dwarka. The boys
grandfather showed Singh the message within the Beryl when he was a lad, which he has kept a secret. The boys knowledge is key to the legend and the
unraveling of the murder of his father and his aunt Anetha. He is driven to find in real mother and attracts the attention of those that follow to see if
he will lead them to the treasure.
Singh partners with a very unlikely person, Maxwell Schneider, as both find it necessary to survive. The boy has connections that
he calls on, the Farankats. They are a clever lot of gypsies that know more than Singh could have possibly imagines and may be his best bet to stay alive.
Li Bai-huang - an Asian beauty, driven by a haunted past, has become an influencial person in the Chinese government
as the curator of historical artifacts in Xi'an, China, the end of the old Silk Road that has been a conduit for many stories and wealth from the ancient
world that trails back to India and points further west. Bai-huang was an orphan girl whose mother left her a story written on a tattered page that was
a poem about an Alabaster Queen, obsessed with the color white. Bai-huang gained strength in the mystical power of the color white. Her ambitions become
actions from the light of full moon as she strived to conquer her demons and those that would oppose her.
She has a fleet of small planes that comb the Silk Road for treasures, but she didn't expect to find such lucrative possibilities
as when her men transported an odd Englishman into India. He paid in diamonds - a big mistake. Jessie Morgan and his friend Max Schieder are no longer
hidden in the shadows but are out in the open running for their lives.
Max Schneider - a cunning thief and very superstitious German expiate that makes a living stealing things of value,
but only to the point not to disturb the Dark Lords, as he calls them. He has been in and out of so many heists of diamonds and rare gemstones he has
become well known by Joomla Matumba. When Max surfaces in India in the very place Joomla was focused on finding Max's old partner Jessie Morgan, Joomla
realizes that there is more going on than the mission Joomla was focused on. The threads in the fabric are getting ornate.
Max gets his hands on the Tashi Beryl and inherits its curse. Max only want to make a quick buck and run, but he is soon quagmired
in the intrigue surrounding the murder of a Mughal princess. No matter where he runs, the curse follows him.
Jessie Morgan - is an Englishman that bungles what his does, but somehow is the luckiest person alive to stay
alive considering all the messes he gets himself into. He is not the central figure in the story, but is never far away from what the central theme
is. He provides the stumbling blocks for everyone else to fall over. This is good, because it keeps him one step in front of the storm.
Jessie and Max were working alone on their own projects when fate throws them back together. Alone they don't do so well.
together, well that's really something.
Shanna Saraswat - ever story needs a love interest and Shanna is very luring. She is the daughter of one Subash
Saraswat, and old friend of James Hathaways, and lives in New Delhi. Rupert is absolutely smitten with her. Rupert and James stay at the Saraswat
home while investigating the Rajani murders.
Shanna is a medical student and a clever assessor of men. She senses she is having an effect on Rupert, and rather enjoys it.
The two of them find that they work together well and assist James and Subash in all the side adventures that lead up to the solving of the crime.
This student gets a strong lesson in the humanities as the story unfolds.
Subash Saraswat - is a longtime associate of James Hathaway in researching ancient people. The Rajani line
is one of James' favorite. When the last of the linage is threatened, James drags Rupert off on the adventure of a lifetime and the first stop in
to see James' old friend Subash.
Subash is a historian that works at the old Red Fort in New Delhi. The library there is full of references that lead to the
Swazi people and verify the old legends. This knowledge can be dangerous as we see in the story. Subash is the Indian connection that fits all the