Art by Christopher Shy
Izhim wafi adb'Azrael ur-Baal
circa 4800 BCE
Izhim wafi adb'Azrael ur-Baal is a 5th generation Assamite of the Warrior caste, a Babylonian sorcerer, first of the antitribu, and an ardent follower of the Road of Blood. Furthermore, he was a Seraph of the Black Hand and the mightiest of the shakari.
Izhim was born the seventh son of a Babylonian sorcerer-king-prince over a fertile province in a time when empires had neither names nor boundaries. The monsters of that era still walked openly among men; the boy-prince was groomed for divinity from an early age by the Old Ones and kept alive well beyond any mortal span by nightly infusions of godhead. Riches and finery of every sort imaginable, tutelage in the mundane and mystical disciplines, sovereignty over a people who venerated him as heir to an inviolate power – all these things and more contributed to the fulfillment of Izhim Thrice-Beloved's every earthly desire. Without warning, barbarian hordes came from the north one night. Brutal and bloodthirsty, they swept over the plains like a merciless scourge, leaving only ashes to mark their passage. Thrust into sudden eternity by his masters in the desperate hope that some part of their legacy might survive, Izhim heeded his father and fled into the night, the flames of his former paradise lighting the way.
Izhim has since lived the lives of an Akkadian prophet, a Sufi poet, a Coptic blood-god, a Persian demonologist, and a hundred others. Ultimately ceasing his worldly wanderings, he returned to his homeland, where he rejoined his distant brethren for a time at the black citadel of Alamut until the exodus of the Unfettered. He rode with the greatest of their companies to the forgotten city of Chorazin during the last Baali War and was taken captive by the infernalists. Rather than kill him, the Baali used Izhim and his potent vitae as a conduit to unleash the first Blood Curse upon the Assamites, filling their Warriors with a ravening hunger for vampiric vitae. Izhim was freed in 1242 CE by his childe Enkara, whom he consigned to Namtaru in order to take his place within the damned city. Now calling himself Thrice-Damned, he left and did not rejoin his Clan.
Izhim ur-Baal ("Izhim abd'Azrael" to all but a select few) presided over the Black Hand as shakari and First Seraph from the Shadowlands reflection of Enoch. He rarely voiced an outright opinion, as he preferred to keep his own counsel; when he does speak, however, even mad Elimelech and boisterous Jalan-Aajav stop in mid-sentence to hear his words. Izhim had ordered contingents of the Hand to action without consent or dispensation from the other Seraphim. This practice is fast proving cause for division, ranging from general distrust to overt preparations for civil war by his one-time protege Djuhah. His motivations in this matter and others remained a mystery – common accusations range from simple lust for power to subversive agendas to otherworldly alliances forged in his youth.
|“||There comes a time, Ventrue, when the game plays the players.||”|
|— Izhim ur-Baal during the Treaty of Tyre, addressing Hardestadt|
Following the razing of Enoch, Seraph Izhim ur-Baal regards himself as inheritor of the Del'Roh's mantle. Circumstances detained him elsewhere in the Underworld while Enoch fell; given advance warning, he would have taken part in the final struggle. Now he presides over the remnant of the Manus Nigrum from the crater that once held Enoch. Massive storms sweep through the Underworld and have ever since a few hours after Enoch's destruction. Only a particularly strong few vampires can survive. Izhim ur-Baal is one of them.
The cult's members no longer respond with blind obedience to orders from above, so he works directly through the Black Hand, as well as through his secret ties. Like Djuhah, Izhim now operates Black Hand packs of his own, with the same fears striking Sabbat observers. Djuhah and Izhim accuse each other of plotting civil war; only their fellow Manus Nigrum believers recognize the struggle as one for control of the cult as well as of the Black Hand.
|Izhim ur-Baal, Seraph of the Black Hand|
|Clan: Assamite antitribu|
|Embrace: circa 4800 BCE|
|Apparent Age: Mid-40s|
|Physical: Strength 6, Dexterity 7, Stamina 6|
|Social: Charisma 5, Manipulation 6, Appearance 2|
|Mental: Perception 7, Intelligence 7, Wits 8|
|Talents: Alertness 7, Athletics 5, Brawl 4, Dodge 5, Expression 4, Instruction 3, Intimidation 3, Intuition 5, Leadership 4, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 4|
|Skills: Archery 3, Disguise 4, Etiquette 5, Firearms 3, Meditation 6, Melee 5, Performance (Acting) 4, Research 5, Stealth 6, Survival 3|
|Knowledges: Academics (Mathematics) 4, Alchemy 4, Black Hand Lore 5, Camarilla Lore 4, Clan Knowledge (Assamite) 5, Enigmas 6, Investigation 6, Linguistics 8, Medicine 3, Occult 6, Sabbat Lore 5|
|Disciplines: Auspex 2, Celerity 5, Dominate 2, Fortitude 4, Obfuscate 7, Obtenebration 2, Potence 3, Presence 2, Quietus 7, Thaumaturgy 4, Thaumaturgical Countermagic 1|
|Thaumaturgical Paths: Path of Blood 4, Path of Father's Vengeance 3, Path of Mars 3, Spirit Manipulation 3|
|Backgrounds: Allies 8, Black Hand Membership 5, Resources 5, Retainers 5, Sabbat Status 6|
|Virtues: Conviction 3, Self-Control 4, Courage 4|
|Morality: Path of Blood 3|