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See also: Unnamed (disambiguation)

The Unnamed, also called al-Aswad, was the first person to ever swear allegiance to the Outer Darkness, sacrificing his True Name in the process. He is the Aswadim of the Sphere of Entropy and the master of the Tenth Seat.

This character only features in the first edition The Book of Madness and in the worst possible scenario of Ascension, which features the Descension of the world and his inevitable victory.


He is believed to be the first Nephandus and the first that descended to the Qlippoth of Entropy so all the other Aswadim took their names from him. He is known in human lore as the "black man" who presided satanic ceremonies and witches' sabbats. It is said he carries a book with the names of all the individuals who consigned their souls to the Devil. He maintains close ties with all the Labyrinths and the activities of all the Gilledians. Occasionally he walks the world as Adsinistratus and great disasters follow him.

Hell on Earth

Main article: Ascension (book)#Chapter Six: Hell on Earth

The Unnamed has been known among mankind for a long time. He was the Black Man feared in medieval Europe. He was al-Aswad in the Age of Devil-Kings. He was Utnapishtim in Sumerian mythology, the man chosen to survive the Great Flood and earn the gift of immortality. All of these things are true and yet only scratch at the surface.

The Unnamed was the first human to have been contacted by the forces of Outer Darkness, chosen for neither his power nor his knowledge, but for his wisdom, patience, and strategic mind. In what could be described as the first bargain between a creature of flesh and existences of spirit, they promised to exalt him above every other creature in existence in exchange for his aid in the actualization of their existences in Creation. To seal this covenant, the man sacrificed his True Name, blackening his skin in the process like burned wood. This act frightened the aspects of the One, the Pure Ones, who sought to imitate the act by bonding with mortal souls, creating the first Awakened in the process.

The Unnamed began his slow campaign of bringing his master's victory. Knowing that mankind had the potential to drive themselves to the darkness, he acted rarely, only to gift a promising Awakened with his power, forming other Aswadim until he had five companions. Together, they planned the downfall of the world. The Unnamed urged caution, only to show mankind the way to ruin the world, not lead them. Seeing himself as a father who helped his children, humanity, to achieve their full destructive potential. Watching the rise of empires and their eventual decline, the first Nephandi were created by following in the footsteps of the Aswadim. Unknowing to them, the pact that made them into what they were was bound to the Unnamed, as he was the only creature to have ever truly communicated with Those Beyond. He acted as their caretaker, managing those who would swear themselves to the Darkness, dispensing rewards as he saw fit.

As the Consensus stifled, the Unnamed found that it became more and more difficult for him to access the Tapestry, as he was too intertwined with the Outer Darkness. To ensure the continuation of his plan, he gave twenty Nephandi his knowledge in 313 BCE before he departed into the Void, resting and amassing his power while watching Creation from the outside.

He saw the squabbling among his fellow slaves to the Void, how they allowed themselves to be confined with Names and Identities when that which they served could never be named. He also saw the struggle between early mages and scientists, who could not see that Magic was Science and vice versa. He witnessed the advent of the first Marauders and feared that these beings would disrupt his plans, but he saw that the fragments of the One would never unite against him, trapped in their own petty disagreements as they were.

The Unnamed watched without interfering until the Nephandi tried to summon him in 1944 CE. Feeling that they had forgotten their way, he blocked all their powers, leading to their sound defeat while he feasted upon the souls of Awakened that died during the war. Strengthened, he made his way back into existence. He summoned his own throne into Horizon's capital Concordia, which appeared as the Tenth Seat. The Traditions began to argue about the significance of this events, paralyzing them to the greater threat. While the Unnamed risked exposure with this act, as his symbol was engraved upon it, he believed that no one, not even archmages, would be able to see beyond their politicking and see the true threat. In the end, the arrogance and self-congratulatory worldviews of the Tradition proved to be their undoing. Taking the Fors Collegis Mercuris, he acted as the voice behind the Rogue Council, goading the Traditions to continue to fight the Ascension War against the Technocracy and distracting them from his own plans.

When the Reckoning happened, however, it was without any of the Unnamed's doing. Hubris had paved the way for him and it was time to finish the game. His forces claimed Horizon and he used the Nodes of the realm to channel his tainted Resonance into the world, while calling every Awakened to face him at Horizon. As expected, he annihilated most of his challengers and used their souls to power his own spell to force the Avatar Storm through the Gauntlet, killing most of the world Awakened immediately and empowering his most loyal Nephandi. Faced with a small cabal of mages that had managed to recover the Greater Parma Magica (and with the help of Senex, who managed to wound him seriously), the Unnamed was forced to flee – maybe for the first time in his entire existence.

As the Avatar Storm howled through reality, the Gauntlet fell apart, leaving humanity open and vulnerable. The Unnamed now went on his masterstroke, using the tainted Quintessence harvested from the Storm and Horizon to kill the Alder Bole, the World Tree, banning any Oracles from ever entering the Tellurian. In a last desperate try, the Order of Hermes sought to retake Mus, while the Unnamed and his companions slaughtered the remaining Oracles and Archmages.

With nearly all (if not indeed all) resistance eliminated, the Unnamed summoned his Masters into the Tellurian, completing the Descent of existence and unleashing unimaginable horrors upon the world. The Unnamed himself took up his throne at the blasted ruins of what was Mesopotamia to rule the ruin of Creation.


He is described as a tall gaunt man entering the middle age with black skin and Egyptian features. He can take other forms like a black jackal, a cat with depthless eyes, an albino vulture, and a shifting form that strikes viewers mad, frenzied, or insane.


He is described as someone distant and eternal, as he is there since the beginning to make the world ready for the coming of its true masters. Al-Aswad is someone to which some mortals can get his attention, but he never will trust anyone, even if sometimes they believe he does.


Unspoken, the promise dies stillborn. This is what they have chosen. This is the fate they have invited us to forge for them. This is the path to peace and unity
  —  The Unnamed in the opening of Hell on Earth[1]

I am the one who came before and shall follow after. I am your father and your destroyer, architect of your destiny. I am him who is come in glory to crush the thrones of the Earth beneath my tread. You have known me by many names, O my children, but you know not the slightest part of my power. Submit to me and know the bounty of my love. Defy me and suffer the agonies of my boundless wrath. It is for you to decide, but choose quickly. The Final Hour is nigh.
  —  Last message of the Unnamed under the guise of the Rogue Council

Character Sheet

Before Descension

At Descension



  1. MTAs: Ascension, p. 167