Talaq was part of the Nabataean people and lived during the Roman conquest under Trajan. In the last battle before the Nabateans yielded to Rome, Talaq distinguished himself by killing a dozen warriors single-handedly. This impressed a nearby Assamite, who decided to Embrace the human and took him to Alamut for further training.
While Talaq quickly made a name for himself, he was still bitter over the defeat of his people against the Romans. Against the wishes of the Eldest, he turned against the Roman Empire and its eastern successor, the Byzantine Empire, in numerous daring raids. During the Third Crusade, Talaq crossed ways with the Nosferatu Alexius, who managed to defeat him. Enraged, Talaq searched for the Nosferatu and allied himself with its childe, Khalid al-Rashid, who searched for Alexius out of his own interests. While the two had to part ways without success, they remained in subtle contact.
His defeat through Alexius' hands let Talaq reconsider his unlife. He traveled into Jordania, searching for remnants of the Nabateans. He found a single tribe, the Naba, who were comprised mostly from Nabatean stock. After eliminating those racial elements who were not of Nabatean blood, Talaq revealed himself to his people, proclaiming himself a god of their ancestors who had come to lead them back to glory. He then led the tribe to the city of Petra, which they reclaimed as their headquarters. From that moment on, Talaq led a dangerous triple life. Posing as an Assamite loyal to Alamut, he reassembled his people, and continued his vendetta against Rome and the Setites Talaq believed to be guilty of the conquest of his homeland. This led him to back the Turkish invasion of Egypt in 1260, where the Mamluks made Egypt their satellite state and the Setites were on the run.
Talaq believed that it was necessary to break the hold of vampirism over him and searched for ways to counter the curse. His search led him to a Jewish magician, Maimonides, thanks to his contacts with Khalid. In 1515, the mage and the vampire came to an agreement. Maimonides would lift the curse from Talaq and grant him longevity and Talaq would use his influence to force Suleiman the Magnificent to do two things: erect a wall around the Old Quarter of Jerusalem and pledge himself to protect the city. While Talaq was suspicious of the deal, since he stood to gain much more than Maimonides, he agreed. Maimonides ritual, however, delivered him not only from vampirism, but allowed him to retain some of its benefits.
Talaq then feigned his death to Alamut, pretending to have been destroyed in battle between the Mamluks and the Ottomans. Continuing to guide his people, Talaq made sure that Petra's location remained a secret. In 1812, the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhard, explored the region around Petra and was killed by a Nabatean patrol. This rekindled interest in the location, and soon Talaq was forced to sacrifice 300 of his best warriors to make the Ottoman authorities believe that the tribe responsible for Burckhard's murder was wiped out. His former Clan, however, investigated and found that Talaq was not only alive, but had been transformed back into a mortal. This began a long period of conflict between the Assamites and Talaq, which was soon added by the Setites, who had learned of Talaq's existence through the interrogation of a captured Assamite.
Knowing that he had to take drastic measure, Talaq posed as the Hashemite Hussein Ibn Ali, killing the original in 1878. Working to ensure Arabic independence during World War I, Talaq led a rebellion alongside his sons. When Transjordan achieved independence in 1946, Assamites killed its leader, hoping to force Talaq out of hiding so that they could finish him off. Talaq took the place of Talal, one of the sons of the deceased king, and made himself ruler over Jordan. Stepping down after Talal's son was appointed his successor in 1952, Talaq again retreated into obscurity, until he was contacted again by Maimonides, who had withstood the rigors of time through the same spells that had allowed Talaq his long life. Maimonides commanded Talaq to allow Israel take the West Bank of the Jordan or he would withdraw his spells from him. In order to convince King Hussein to allow an Israeli victory, Talaq revealed himself to his descendant. While Talaq is still content with the state of things, Jordan has spiralled into poverty and Hussein searches for a way to defeat his seemingly immortal ancestor.
On Reverting to MortalityEdit
On the matter of reversing the curse of vampirism, numerous books cite that it is nigh impossible, even for mortal magic. Restoring mortality can lead to thematic problems as well. A number of possible ways to reverse the Embrace is given in The Red Sign, with the eponymous Rite of the Red Sign being the first way to actually break the curse, achieved over the course of the story in a union between Cainite blood mages, Tradition willworkers, and Technocratic Scientists. The only source that gives a viable possibility of breaking Caine's curse is in the Vampire Storytellers Handbook Revised, which gives it a minimum Sphere rating of Prime 6, Entropy 4, Matter 4, and Life 4, and describes the spell as highly vulgar and Paradox inducing, as well as growing in difficulty for the time the vampire has remained dead and the generation of the vampire, and later on state that his occult knowledge would need to be at least 6 to reverse the Embrace. Since Talaq was Embraced around 160 (the date of the Roman capture of Petra) and restored to life in 1515 (a timeframe that spans over a thousand years), Maimonides has to be a mighty mage indeed to accomplish such a feat.
- ↑ In Blood Treachery, the authors state that to make it possible, the character has to roll more successes than God himself. Further, "the idea of a mage snapping his fingers and turning a vampire into a normal human being completely undermines the horror of the World of Darkness. From a storytelling perspective, it is a Bad Idea. From a game mechanics perspective, it's more trouble than it's worth." (page 81)