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Abdul Alhazred

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Alhazred

Abdul Alhazred is a mysterious, and dangerous man, and the former Grand Vizier of the Isle of the Crown[1], and the Land of the Green Isles. He is a master thief, wizard, and a magician[2], and a political dignitary. The mad Arab was once the minion of the evil wizard Mordack[3], whom he had befriended, and is a brother of the Society of the Black Cloak. He owned a black cloak that signified his membership in the Society. The mad Arab Abdul Alhazred is also known for penning the Necronomicon, an evil magic book greatly feared in Daventry.[4] He was in league with Shadrack ("Shade").[5]

Background

He came to the islands from a far away land, having learned of the kingdom from a copy of the Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles. The book was why he came to the islands.

He immediately began impressing King Caliphim and Queen Allaria with his knowledge and persuaded the king and queen, who were in desperate need of an heir to the throne and were already nearing middle age, to let him handle the day-to-day duties of the kingdom while they took care of their new daughter. Caliphim also put trust him thinking him he would make a good son and husband for his beloved daughter. He became the Vizier and was put in charge of the day-to-day running of the kingdom, allowing him to fulfill his and Shadrack's scheme to take over and destroy the lands.

Alhazred, saw in Cassima his key to ruling the Green Isles, also took a liking to her. During this time, he used his genie Shamir Shamazel to steal each of the isle's Sacred Treasures, and then had the genie create rumors that each island was involved in the others' thefts. Thus distrust and hostility spread throughout the land, until it became too dangerous to travel. Once he had made travel between the islands dangerous, he forced the closure of the ferry service, and had it put into drydock.

At some point, his master, the wizard Mordack, came to the Green Isles upon his Roc as a friend of the Vizier Alhazred, and was introduced to Princess Cassima, expressing his wishes to marry her. When she refused, Mordack, with Alhazred's help, kidnapped her and returned to his island castle. She was not to be seen for months afterward. This devastated King Caliphim and Queen Allaria, and according to the words of Alhazred, they became ill and died (though he had in fact murdered them), shortly before Cassima returned to the Green Isles after being rescued by King Graham of Daventry.

Alhazred made plans to marry Cassima (and then murder her like he had done with her parents), but Alexander was able to stop the wedding. He discovered that the wedding was a ruse since the bride was actually Shamir transformed. Alexander took Shamir under his control and pursued Abdul to the peak of the tower where they had a fight. When all seemed lost, Cassima stabbed Abdul by behind. Alexander smashed the vizier over the head with the ceremonial sword. The vizier slumped unconscious to the floor. Two guards dashed into the room, preparing to drag the bloody, unconscious, former vizier away. Abdul came back to his senses, and was escorted to the dungeons he would grace for a very long time.[6] A doctor was sent to attend to his wounds. It is unknown what happened to Abdul Alhazred after that.

Personality

Among Abdul's personal effects are a pair of ivory dice, a game of chance, suggesting that Abdul Alhazred is a bit of a gambler. This fits into this nature as a master thief, and manipulative dignitary.

The horrible Vizier was employed by Cassima's father.[7]

Abdul is left-handed.

Behind the scenes

H.P. Lovecraft

The mad Arab Abdul Alhazred and his book the Necronomicon were derived from H.P. Lovecraft stories. Abdul Alhazred is not a real Arabic name. The suffix -ul and the prefix Al- both mean the same thing, and using both would be considered redundant. There are many theories as to his name. One possible translation is that the name is derived from the Arabic for "Servant of the Great Lord". Another possibility is that Lovecraft, who read Arabian Nights, based it off of Swedish authors whose names were Latinized as Alhazen, but altered it to look and sound like the word "hazard".

In HP Lovecraft's stories Abdul's history is described as such;

a mad poet of Sanaá, in Yemen, who is said to have flourished during the period of the Ommiade caliphs, circa 700 A.D. He visited the ruins of Babylon and the subterranean secret of Memphis and spent ten years alone in the great southern desert of Arabia—the Roba El Khaliyeh or "Empty Space" of the ancients—and "Dahna" or "Crimson" desert of the modern Arabs, which is held to be inhabited by protective evil spirits and monsters of death. Of this desert many strange and unbelievable marvels are told by those who pretend to have penetrated it. In his last years Alhazred dwelt in Damascus.

In 730, while still living in Damascus, Alhazred supposedly wrote a book of ultimate evil in Arabic, al-Azif, which would later become known as the Necronomicon. Those who have dealings with this book usually come to an unpleasant end, and Alhazred was no exception. Again according to Lovecraft's "History":

Of his final death or disappearance (738 A.D.) many terrible and conflicting things are told. He is said by Ebn Khallikan (12th cent. biographer) to have been seized by an invisible monster in broad daylight and devoured horribly before a large number of fright-frozen witnesses. Of his madness many things are told. He claimed to have seen the fabulous Irem, or City of Pillars, and to have found beneath the ruins of a certain nameless desert town the shocking annals and secrets of a race older than mankind. He was only an indifferent Moslem, worshipping unknown entities whom he called Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu.

This mysterious disappearance leaves room for him appearing in King's Quest universe through the concept of withdrawal, assuming he wasn't killed by the 'invisible monster'. The invisible monster itself could potentially be a dramatic description of the process of withdrawal used by the mad wizard (or perhaps the genie itself). This is of course assuming that all elements of H.P. Lovecraft's works are also part of the KQ history. On the other hand it might be that Abdul was an original inhabitant of the world, born and raised, and never had to withdraw in the first place, before (early earth which people withdrew to), and survived his encounter, and lived into the time of King Graham. Although his book would later be brought back by others to that time.

In King's Quest

Abdul Alhazred was first mentioned in the King's Quest Companion years before the release of King's Quest 6, where it is mentioned that he is the author of a magic book that is greatly feared in Daventry as a source of evil. While Alexander mentions his knowledge of the author of the Necronomicon, he never acknowledges this fact when he later learns the identity of the Vizier, Abdul Alhazred. He is first mentioned, as the Vizier, in KQ5. Although his identity is not given. In the game he is a friend of Mordack suggesting they are equals. The Companion adds that he is Mordack's minion and thus is his underling.

In KQ6 the plan to take over the Green Isles is his plot alone, with Shadrack offering friendly advice to a comrade on how to do it. The King's Quest companion takes it further suggesting that the plan was both Alhazred and Shadrack's plan together, to ultimately destroy the kingdom. In KQ6 it appears that Mordack, Shadrack and Abdul are peers and equals. The Companion suggests that Shadrack and Abdul are associates and equals.

He is confirmed to be a wizard in the The Official Book of King's Quest and a magician in The KQ Companion. In KQ6 he seemed to be more of a political dignitary relying on manipulation than relying on overt forms of magic (with only one known exception). According to the King's Quest Companion, mystic "sigils" embroidered into his turban indicate he is a magician of some sort. He is known to have used the magical spell phrase, "Ali Zebu" (said to be 'black magic') to open a door he had enchanted into the castle treasury. He was witnessed alone casting the spell to open the door.[8] However, there are several cases in the game where he is shown, described, or implied as relying on the genie's magic instead (I.E. spying on Alexander in various forms, stealing treasures around the island making it look like other islands did it, and casting razzle dazzle spells on the castle guards and Alexander). However, at least Jollo, several of the guard dogs[9], and probably others know that that Alhazred's servant is a genie (so capable of magic), but they don't connect him to the enchanted door. In the companion Alexander wonders what reason Abdul Alhazred had for keeping Alexander on the island, because if he was truly the magician he wished to seem, he could have magically sent Alexander back to his home himself.[10]

However, when he lost Shamir, he relied on his sword skills to defend himself. However, this is not indicative that he lacked magical skills as there are different forms of magic, some require a magic wand, with others hand gestures will do, some require spell components to cast, others require magical words, others require having access to a magical tome. Its possible that Abdul Alhazred did not have access to resources needed for whatever brand of magic he normally wields, or perhaps he does not have knowledge of offensive/defensive magic, but only limited knowledge of certain enchantments.

A section of Ali's Bookshop mentions three oddly-titled guidebooks, that seem to allude to Abdul Alhazred's plan. these include, Why Good Princesses Like Bad Wizards, How to Become King with Little or No Rupies Down, and Finding the Right Girl with the Right Dowry. This would be the only case where the game may nod to the idea that Abdul Alhazred is a wizard. However, one of the books could just as easily be a joke at the expense of Mordack.

Abdul's personality and appearance is similar to the magician thieves, the Forty Thieves seen in the Endless Desert of Serenia.

References

  1. KQC, 4th Edition, pg 242
  2. KQC, 4th Edition, pg 242, 244
  3. KQC, Third Edition, pg 306
  4. King's Quest Companion, pg
  5. KQC3E, pg 308
  6. King's Quest Companion, 3rd Edition, pg 311
  7. Cassima (KQ5):"
  8. Guard dogs: "Speaking' of the vizier; what do ya reckon he's keepin' in that magical room of his? It's not a magic ROOM, it's just the door he's enchanted somehow. I say he's still got the royal treasury in there--along with whatever else he's so eager to protect. Not even the court treasurer is allowed in there, anymore. I heard him in the hall the other day. He was speakin' to that door--black magic, is what I say! I heard him say 'Ali,' but then Bay came up and started yapping at me."
  9. "Watch it, do you want to be dazzled."
  10. KQC, 4th Edition, 244

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