The Seal was an urn made of gold that stood three feet (ninety centimeters) tall. It was ornately decorated and capped with a silver talisman that was inscribed with "Jafar al-Samal" and completely sealed with lead. Inside the urn were four gen, one representing each of the four elements, Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.
The Seal protected itself and its owner as if they were under a continuous protection from genies spell—no genie could damage the urn or harm its owner. While Jafar lived and the Seal was in his possession, it gave all ethnic Zakharans the power to summon and command genies. The Seal was attuned to its creator, and after his death it no longer empowered the entire population, but it still conferred great powers on its owner.
If the person in possession of the Seal was not a sha'ir, they where granted the abilities of a sha'ir with power equivalent to the level of mastery they had achieved in their chosen profession up to that point. If a sha'ir came to possess the urn, he or she became a much more powerful sha'ir, allowing the casting of higher level spells.
The owner of the Seal could command three services from a limited number of genies, provided he or she delivered the command persuasively. The limit was related to the wisdom of the individual, with wiser people able to summon and command more genies. The services demanded could be anything except granting wishes.
The Seal also granted the owner one element-related power from each of the four elements.
This relic was not actually cursed, but because of its nature it attracted dangerous attention from many directions. First, all genies became instantly aware whenever any power of the Seal was invoked (that is, any power other than the protection from genies effect or the use of sha'ir abilities granted by the Seal). They did not know where the urn was, but that did not stop them from searching for it so they could steal it away from its owner and hide it again. In addition, any genie that was successfully commanded to perform a service immediately hated their taskmaster and would work to bring misfortune and misery down upon them indirectly.
Sha'irs coveted this relic and greatly feared anyone who possessed its power. Therefore, any sha'ir that heard the Seal was out of hiding was very likely to be an enemy of the current owner.
Jafar al-Samal was the first person to successfully deal with gen and became the first sha'ir. The lords of the dao, djinn, efreet, and the marids became jealous of his growing power and sent armies to invade Zakhara. To defend himself and his people, he created the Seal which granted all Zakharans control over the genies. This ushered in a golden age of peace and prosperity for the people of Zakhara (at least as far as genies were concerned), but this only lasted until his death. His students fought over the relic and their gen rebelled against the greedy young sha'irs, stole the urn, hid it somewhere on Toril, and set guardians and slayers to protect it.