Arslān brandishing the sword Ruknabad. Perched on his shoulder is the hawk ⇒Azrael —From the cover of Arslan War-Chronicles, Vol.8, The Masked Brigade, pub. Kadokawa Shoten (cover art and iIllustrations: Yoshitaka Amano).
Ruknabad drawn by manga artist Chisato Nakamura.
(from the back cover of Vol. 13 of the comics, pub. Kadokawa Shoten ).
↑ Ms. Nakamura has a gallery of her manga-artwork at her website.
§ Further on the Derivation of the Name:The name Ruknābād is taken from a famous stream that runs through the city of Sīrāz, sung of in works written by Rumi (1207-1273); and also occuring in the poem Shirazi-Turk *1(gazal #3) in the Divan of Hafiz (1320-89). Ruknabad is sometimes also called simply ruknā, a root-word meaning "refined gold", taken from a certain reknowned alchemist. Thus it is an apt name for the treasure sword about which it is sung "Out of shards of the Sun 'twas forged"*2 Note further that Arslān is a Turkic name meaning "lion", a creature of golden color, and that the prince is wont to wearing a golden helmet (A. S. Book 1, Ch. 1, VI)
*1 A .doc version of Shirazi-Turk in side-by-side translation is available from the page Persain Word-Processing: Templates. That one is a "straight translation". There is also a mystical interpretation by Iraj Bashiri.
The "Turk of Shiraz" sung of in the poem is an exemplar of male beauty. This is clear from the mention of Zulaykha (Suleika), a woman infatuated by the handsome Yusuf (Joseph). Also, the saqi is a young male cup-bearer who oft became the object of their employer's sexual appetite. *2 The minstrel character, Gīv is the one who does the usual singing:
“ When o 'er the barren plains of Māzandarān
Kai Khusrau's banners wave,
Flee the fiendish forces of Zahhak, Serpent-King,
Frightened like sheep at the strike of spring-lightning.
The treasure-sword Ruknābād that sunders steel,
Out of shards of the Sun 'twas forged.
His steed Rakhshna has wings unseen,
A mount that befits the Jahān-gīr, world-seizer.
Upon high-heaven two suns there cannot be,
On this earth the Shah is but one!
Peerless the hero Kai Khusrau,
Who now takes up the sword, heir to mandate divine ? ”
(—The Abridged Geste of Kai Khosrau )