Anwar al-Jaboor


Anwar al-Jaboor Anwar or Anwar al-Jaboor ibn Daoud ibn Ali al-Fabia, to give his full name was born 22 years ago in Jaboor. His parents died of the plague soon after and he was brought up in the home of his uncle Hasan. When he was young, his uncle used to tell him tales of how a jinn visited the sleeping child and blessed him, to make up for the loss of his parents. That his why, his uncle said, he was so fair of face as a child. His early years were full of fun. He spent much of his days playing in the walled garden, watching his uncle's horses or with friends in Jaboor's busy market place. Occasionally he would wander to the harbour to see boats unload their cargo and marvel at the strange people there.

Life became harder as Anwar got older. His uncle became distracted and colder towards him and by the time Anwar was eight he hardly talked to his nephew. The horses in the stable became fewer and Anwar had less time to play with his friends, instead he had to work in the stables and his uncle's olive groves.

After a few years of this hard and unfulfilling work Anwar began to hear voices in his head. At first he ignored them but they become louder and more persuasive with time. The voice said that he spoke for Al-Kalim, quoting passages from the Nahmeh to him, "Those that travel to the well of wisdom will never thirst", "Truth is light a candle in the darkness". These and similar passages eventually gave him the courage to ask his uncle if he could join the clerics of Al-Kalim in their temple in Jaboor. His uncle didn't hesitate to agree and a few days after his eleventh birthday Anwar entered the hushed halls of the temple.

He studied for seven years in temple. He learned his letters and the Nahmeh by heart. His dextrous fingers led him to take up tapestry and needlework and his banners and tapestries decorated the temple. He was popular with the other followers, his respectful and diplomatic nature made him many friends. His time in the temple was a happy one until the death of Muhammed Al-Ruwalah one of his closest friends.

Muhammed was always getting into trouble, both inside and outside the temple. While returning from a trip to the market Muhammed saw a fine golden clasp lying in the dust of the street. He bent to pick it up. As he did so a pale hand gripped his shoulder.
"That is mine thief. Give it back or I will have your skin." Growled a figure in a pale robe that covered his figure from head to foot. Foolishly he clutched the broach even tighter and said "Al-Kalim tells that 'Good things come to the needy.' This will feed the poor of the city for many weeks."
The figure muttered "Fool" and drew a long curved blade. The silver metal sliced through Muhammed's neck sending his head bouncing in the dust. Horrified onlookers shrunk back to the shadow of shop fronts and awnings while the pale robed man picked up the broach and walked away.

When Anwar heard about this he raged at the head of his order, Babrak but he refused to do anything about it. To Anwar's eyes and ears it seemed that Babrak was hiding something. Dispirited by this he decided to leave the order and seek the man who killed his friend. Taking little but the clothes he wore and a battered copy of the Nahmeh he set out to find the killer and avenge his friend's death.

He tracked the killer down to the wealthiest part of Jaboor. Blinded by anger he committed a number of petty offences against the killer attempting to draw him into a fight. He spent many nights in the cells of Jaboor's jail after being caught but his friend's killer refused to duel with him. Then one night he managed to reach the man's room and found the same clasp that Muhammed had been killed over. Grabbing it he turned to escape but found his way blocked by the man in the pale robe. Anwar tried to rush past but his assailant flicked out with his blade catching Anwar across the face. Anwar tumbled blindly through the window and out into the street, dropping the clasp as he fell. Scrambling to his feet he ran out of town, blood running from his gashed face. It was only when he stopped on the outskirts of the town that he realised that the blade had destroyed his right eye. Knowing himself to be a marked man and a failure he left Jaboor altogether and wandered into the desert to die.

His spirit was strong, or Al-Kalim had still some purpose for Anwar Al-Jaboor because he didn't die. Instead a nomadic tribe of shapeshifters found him, just as his water had run out and he lay dying in the pitiful shade of a dune.
They took him in and time healed his wounds, but not his anger. He still strives after knowledge. Who was the man in the pale robe? What was so important about the broach? How can he gain revenge for his eye and Muhammed's life? Why did the reclusive metamorphs help him? How can he repay them?

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