Should you happen, on your journey through the desert, to find an oasis that is not merely a pool but a ring, it is important that you do not drink from it; nor should you step in its water, or inside the border it describes. Such places are sacred and dangerous. They are the rings of the caliphae.
These people come from a time before memory, inasmuch as they abide by human time at all. Those they favor stumble drunk from paradise, centuries gone; those they hate never stumble out at all.
They are not winged. But their tiny carpets fly.