Sahar-Hanibaal was born in the years of Carthage’s slow and painful decline, the youngest son of a humble family with far too many mouths to feed as it stood. Fortunately, in those days, there were solutions to such difficulties: the wealthy and powerful were always at pains to keep a healthy offering to the gods at hand, and were becoming more and more loath to offer up their own children when another’s offspring would suffice just as well. With his sleek black hair, huge dark eyes, dimpled cheeks, and quick, clever hands, he fetched a handsome price on the auction block. In this new house, he was never hungry or cold. He was kept well-fed and well-dressed, in preparation for the day when his throat would be cut over the sacrificial bowl. That day never came. He grew from well-fattened childhood into gawky adolescence and slender young adulthood, going the temple for more than instruction in the proper methods of worship, the songs of praise, and the means of sacrifice. Even so, it was there, in Tanit’s house among the temples, that he met his fate. What the goddess’ philosopher-childe saw him as he knelt singing the words of her glory, he still does not entirely understand and likely never will. Still, when Tanitbaal-Sahar laid eyes upon him, it was then that he became not a sacrifice in waiting, but a sacrifice in truth. His adopted parents were first astonished, and then greatly pleased, when such a high-born lord of the city requested the use of him for a companion and, within days, he was ensconced in the modest household of his new patron, serving as his scribe and assistant. Far-traveled, intellectually questing, and troublesomely unorthodox, Tanitbaal-Sahar was deep in the throes of creation, writing not only a series of travelogues but also laying out the fundamental tenets of what would become the Via Desideratio. Sahar-Hanibaal became the first whetstone against which he honed the knife of his doctrine. His elders, with his grandsire Moloch among them, vehemently disagreed with Tanitbaal-Sahar and his philosophies, and when Tanitbaal-Sahar persisted, punishment fell on the head of Sahar-Hanibaal. When Sahar-Hanibaal awoke in the house of Tanit, the taste of his sire’s blood still clung to his tongue. The night of his painful death and unplanned Embrace was the last he ever saw his sire.
Tanitbaal-Sahar fled Carthage, taking nothing with him but the bare necessities of survival and his most current writings. He ran to Rome and took shelter there under the protection of its Prince, out of Moloch’s reach. Sahar-Hanibaal spent the first surreal and disorienting nights of his unlife under the care of his grandsire, Tanit, who chose to stand between him and the wrath of Moloch. Beneath the aegis of Tanit’s protection, he learned the first lessons of what he had become at her knee, the truth that had hidden beneath shadows and praise-songs, and came at last to understand the purpose his life — rootless, waiting — had lacked. When Tanit left Carthage for Tyre, Sahar-Hanibaal followed to repay the debt he owed his grandsire for sparing his existence. He served as her left hand for centuries, mastering the arts of warfare to enforce her primacy as eldest when Carthage fell. War followed with the Followers of Set, the Assamites, and his own kin. When Azaneal assumed the title of Shaitan, Tanit received Azaneal’s ambassadors at her hidden court, listened to what they had to say, and quietly prepared to abandon Tyre as she had abandoned Carthage before it. Tanit fell into torpor due to an ambush, leaving the reins of leadership in the hands of her grandchilde. Sahar-Hanibaal took them up and has not relinquished them since. He rallied the survivors of Azaneal’s first attack cast aside the ages-old prohibition in the Via Hyron against the practice of blood sorcery. After a century of treachery and bloodshed, Chorazin fell and Azaneal fell with it. Sahar-Hanibaal sang Tyre’s Well of Sacrifice to sleep, and sought sanctuary in the court of a fellow scholar in the far north with what remained of his own people. In the far north, among their reclusive cousins of the Old Clan Tzimisce, the Molochim found peace and safety for the first time in centuries. It could not, of course, last. Sahar-Hanibaal had chosen a duty for himself; Azaneal might be gone, but the idiot spawn of Nergal would keep trying their luck until one of them broke the world. There were more than enough untenanted, untended Wells lying in forgotten corners of the world, and the Children of the Outer Dark, forever restless, were growing even more so. The Order of Moloch came forth from the mountain fastness of their allies to hunt their infernalist kinsmen again and found that, while the world changed, some things never did. The Well of Carthage may be nothing more than rubble, but something stirs there and casts the smoke of burning innocents into the night sky again after thousands of years. The ancient city of the First Tribe, lost for even longer, has been found by forces inimical to the Molochim mission, the Maw of the Sleepers alive and gestating darkness greater than even Nergal in its depths. The choice to ally with the Tal’Mahe’Ra, made in cold deliberation and in full knowledge of the price of failure, has thankfully thus far proven a fruitful one, even if the cost of attaining it was painfully, personally high. The world may yet have a future, and Sahar-Hanibaal some hope of seeing it come to pass.
In the early 21st century, members of the Order of Moloch found the fabled Maw of the Sleepers, the original Well of Sacrifice, in the ruins of the city of the First Tribe. Thought destroyed many thousands of years ago, the well was instead pulsating with dark power. Something was inside, was immeasurably evil, and was gestating. Only a single Molochite escaped to warn the Order, and she had gone insane and quickly succumbed to the Beast, forcing the Order to destroy her. That the Maw of the Sleepers still existed was terrifying and the ramifications beyond dire. Sahar-Hannibaal decided the Order lacked the power to defend the world from such a threat and something drastic had to be done.
Joining the Tal'Mahe'RaEdit
The leader of the Order of Moloch willingly revealed and surrendered himself to the Tal'Mahe'Ra. Sahar-Hannibal demanded to be brought before the Seraphim of the sect, and readily accepted being staked and thaumaturgically bound by the shakari. After numerous interrogations, he was brought before the masters of the True Black Hand. He revealed to them that the Maw of the Sleepers was active again, building up dark power similar in nature to those of Knossos and Chorazin. He begged the Tal'Mahe'Ra to investigate and promised to cast his own Order behind them. The following debate was vicious, involving numerous qadi and rawis. It ended when Izhim ur-Baal interviewed Sahar-Hannibaal in private and returned to support the Order of Moloch joining the True Black Hand.
The Tal'Mahe'Ra's conditions were severe. Sahar-Hannibaal was blood bonded to the Del'Roh and given numerous thaumaturgical safeguards that eternally bind him to Izhim ur-Baal. He now lives in Enoch in the Underworld as an advisor to the Del'Roh and a Dominion of the True Black Hand. In actuality he is a highly valued prisoner, watched at all times and able to explore only some of the city. His unlife is entirely dependant on the trust of the Del'Roh and Izhim ur-Baal. Many members of the sect, most notably the Seraph Phaedyme, would prefer to destroy him with prejudice.
Canvas of the Great Dark MotherEdit
While reading a novel, Sahar-Hannibaal discovered three pages glued into the binding. The text on the pages was written in Nabataean, but the words themselves were in no language he had ever encountered. The only clue was the sigil of the Bahari at the bottom. Many nights of research led to no results, and at one point Hannibaal simply spoke the text aloud phonetically. Shortly thereafter he collapsed into torpor for three days.
When he awoke it was clear that the text was some sort of Bahari scripture and a spell for initiates. This was bizarre, as the Bahari cult is mostly an oral tradition. The vast libraries of the Tal'Mahe'Ra held only one other similar document. With permission, Sahar-Hannibaal prepared to read aloud both documents in a warded room. A number of rawis would observe, along with Bahari members of the sect. By the time he finished, incredible magics were called, wrapping Hannibaal in thorn-bearing vines, and burning numerous decorative scars into his undead flesh. The Dominion of the Order of Moloch was now covered in the symbols of Lilith. Sahar-Hannibaal had become unliving proof of the Bahari faith.
Dominion of the Order of Moloch
Embrace: 195 B.C.E.
Apparent Age: Early 20s
Physical: Strength 6, Dexterity 6, Stamina 8
Social: Charisma 7, Manipulation 6, Appearance 6
Mental: Intelligence 8, Perception 8, Wits 7
Talents: Alertness 5, Awareness 6 (external psychic influences), Brawl 6 (fighting dirty), Empathy 6, Expression 6, Intimidation 4, Leadership 5, Subterfuge 5
Skills: Craft 5 (musical instruments), Etiquette 6 (diplomacy), Melee 6, Performance 6 (music)
Knowledges: Academics 6, Computer 2, Investigation 5, Medicine 6, Occult 6 (infernalism and infernalists), Politics 5, Science 6 (astronomy; mathematics)
Disciplines: Auspex 6, Daimoinon 7, Celerity 3, Fortitude 5, Obfuscate 6, Presence 3, Thaumaturgy 7 (Music of the Spheres 5, Spirit Manipulation 5, Whispers of the Heavens 4)
Backgrounds: Allies 8 (the Order of Moloch in its entirety), Generation 5, Herd 3, Resources 3, Retainers 6 (bound spirits), Black Hand Membership 3, Title 3 (Dominion of the Order of Moloch)
Virtues: Conviction 5, Courage 5, Instinct 2
Morality: Path of the Hive 9