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Abu Hassan Ibn Hadad al-Sarabi was a figure in the days of the Old Empire.

Aliases[ | ]

Abu Hassan Ibn Hadad al-Sarabi was also known as "First of the Magi", or "High Mage".

Lore[ | ]

Diary in Al-Akia[1][ | ]

The desk is covered with scrolls: notes, diagrams, endless calculations and obscure formulae. One fragment catches your eye:

"We have modified the engines again. The readings show the output to be stable within the parameters we specified– as safe as one can reasonably expect, given the circumstances. The last obstacle has finally been removed. There’s no reason to delay any longer."

"Iulianus will go first. He shows no fear of what's to come. Like his brethren, he thinks he will be filled with divine essence, become a great warrior. His ambitions, subject to the same limit as his feeble imagination, go no further. We have chosen well."

"We attempted to power up the wards today. I feared the worst after the initial failure, but they are holding. Tissue swelling and bone loss were expected factors. Not a single ward has collapsed. Yet.

"The bindings give us absolute control over the subjects. Their marvelous abilities, which to the commoner will make them seem as gods, are completely in our control, and their physical forms subject to our will. If the worst comes to pass we may destroy them entirely. Without this tightest of reins I would never have agreed to bring these beings to our plane, no matter the alternative."

"Now that the ritual is complete, I must confess that the deepest part of me had not believed it possible until this moment. Only a few years ago we were as blind as mole rats, ignorant of the different planes, of the higher life forms, of so many possibilities. Today, we bound the very gods to our plane and our will, acting not as their servants but as their masters. Without a doubt, this is the hour of our greatest triumph!"

"The knowledge is overwhelming, the power unspeakable. Every day I – First of the Magi, wisest amongst my brothers – learn more from our gods than what I had gleaned from decades of study. I am forced to reconsider my opinion of the Qantari. So far, every word they’ve told us has been the truth.

"The barbarians have been foolish in their generosity. They have shared their knowledge without restraint, showed us the key to communicating with their gods. They needed our cooperation to bring them here, but to gain it they bartered away everything."

"I noticed the first change, subtle yet alarming, today. The one we call Xenorath – a fitting name, resembling the coughing sound it made to name itself – has developed a fondness for swimming. The ocean reminds him of the endless void of his native plane.

"Today he spent hours underwater in the darkness. He described a hideous creature he discovered on the sea bottom, though if he had gone that deep the pressure should have crushed its human form like a bug. The bastard did something to his fleshly vessel, altered it somehow, without anyone noticing. If he is able to make changes to his own form, what else he can do? What else can *they* do? Have we been too arrogant in our belief that we can control them? We shall find out tomorrow."

Much of the scroll is damaged so you can only make out the ending:

"I am not ashamed to say that I have wept this last hour, wept with despair. How could I have been so blind? The Qantari lied. Their scraping and servile manner, the painted faces, filed teeth and savage rituals were all a ruse, and the worst humiliation of all is that we still don't understand everything that happened. No matter... There are three gods yet on our side. The humanity has bled from them day by day like water through a sieve, until soon I think we will not recognize them as men at all. No matter. I will not quibble over their looks now that everything we have is at stake. The die is cast.

If this humble manuscript survives the holocaust that is to come, and any on two legs chances to read it, I can only assume that we have won."

From Meru's library[ | ]

An entire section is dedicated to the last First of the Magi: his biography, various attempts to understand and decipher his work, stories of his exploits written more than a century after his death, and three different accounts of his last battle.

In the most fanciful account the First of the Magi faced demons who took on human form, pretending to be his brothers, but the great and wise magus saw through their lies. Unleashing a fiery sword of heaven, he battled them for many days and nights that were as bright as day, until he was engulfed in heavenly fire that burned him and the shapeshifting demons alike.

References[ | ]