Thank you all for yesterday’s comments on I is for Incubi (and Succubi). I continue the A-Z today with;
J is for Jinn
Jinn are spirits primarily from the Middle East, though due to trade and commerce, some have spread to the western world.
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Like humans, Jinn can appear as either gender, and unlike a lot of prenatural entities, can be benevolent, malevolent or neutral; their disposition depending on both circumstance and who they’re controlled by. Though, like many spirits, they are generally regarded as untrustworthy, and prone to corruption and trickery.
Originally possessing freewill, most Jinn were later bound to objects, such as oil lanterns, by powerful sorcerers. It then depends on the will of the sorcerer as the weather the Jinn acts for good or evil.
Jinn are spirits of great power, able to transcend both the astral plane and human world; though their abilities are limited to reversing the effects of death – unlike Necromancers, Liches and other undead.
Bound Jinn are forced to do their master’s will, until they’re either released or their master dies. Upon death of their master, the Jinn remains in the object it was bound to, until another prenatural being finds it and becomes their new owner.
Unbound Jinn are free to act upon their own will, and their actions depend on the individual Jinn’s nature; much like humans.
As Jinn exist both within the astral plane and the human world, they are extremely difficult to vanquish, and Reverard weapons have little effect on them. A malevolent usually has to be bound by a benevolent sorcerer; normally with the help of good Jinn.
The following is an Ancile Scholar’s account of an encounter with a Jinni.
Narrated and Transcribed by: Phillip Beecham, London Unit Scholar, June 13th, 2010.
Recently we’ve had a number of items shipped to us from our colleagues in the field; situated in the Middle East.
Amongst the artefacts, I found a very strange and alluring oil lamp. Remembering what I’d read of Middle Eastern prenatural entities, I was cautious that it was a bound Jinn.
Taking down my notes on the spirits, I preformed the ritual to summon the spirit. Though I’m human, I was hopeful it would work, as I have a little prenatural blood from my ancestors.
My attention to detail was rewarded when a plume of red smoke materialized from the lamp, and shimmered into the form of a beautiful woman. Blue skinned, with Arabian features, black hair and red eyes, she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
She looked around herself, taking in her new surroundings, as comprehension dawned on her.
“Greetings, new master. I am Ahlam, servant of this lamp. What is it you desire?”
“Master? Me? No, that’s not right. I know I did the ritual, but I don’t want to be your master?”
“Why not? I am here to serve. Do you not find me to your liking? Perhaps you’d prefer something different?”
Before my very eyes she transformed into a buxom blonde with big blue eyes; the very image of the girl I’d loved in university. Had she read my mind?
“Stop that. Change back. It’s not your form that bothers me. I don’t want to be anyone’s master.”
“Why not? I could offer you anything you want. Riches?” on the ground at my feet pots of gold and jewels appeared. “Power? Knowledge? Fame? Anything you desire can be yours.”
“I only seek understanding of your kind. Let me do a deal with you. Tell me everything you know about the Jinn and then I will perform the ritual to free you from the lamp.”
Fear and uncertainty flashed across Ahlam’s face. “What would you do with the knowledge I share?”
“Nothing more than record it. I come from an Order who study beings of your kind; being with extra ordinary powers. We simply wish to know more about the world we live in.”
Ahlam scrutinised me closely, I could feel her gaze penetrating my soul. I realised I’m made a grave mistake.
“You lie to me. Your Order seeks to hurt those with power like mine.”
“No! … Well, yes but it’s not what you think. We only vanquish those who would harm others or the world we live in. Did you have police in your former master’s time?”
“I know what you speak of, though in my former master’s time they went by a different name.”
“My Order is like that … we police those with power that choose to misuse their gifts. What you could tell me would really help with that.”
Once more Ahlam scrutinised me closely, then a smile spread over her lips. “What you say is true. You only wish to harm those that do wrong.” Her smile faded and her eyes became sad. “But afterwards, what becomes of me? I only exist to serve. Without a master, who will I serve?”
“You can be your own master. You can do whatever you like; whatever makes you happy.”
“And what if the thing that makes me happy is bad?”
“Then I’m afraid I’d be forced to bind you.”
“How would you accomplish that without another of the Jinn? I have seen your heart; you do not have the power of my former master.”
“You’re right, but I would find a way to stop you. Though I don’t believe you’re evil. I think you’re good, and served your master faithfully.”
“Though you are no sorcerer, you appear to be a great seer. You know the nature of me. I purpose a different deal. I will tell you all I know of the Jinn, and in return, you transform me into a human.”
“What? You want to give up your power and immortality.” I was shocked. Though I wouldn’t wish for that kind of power myself, I could not imagine having it and then relinquishing it.
“Yes, I have been bound to this lamp, and service, for many thousands of years. I have seen and experienced so much, but never the emotions of a human existence. That is what I wish to experience now; joy, love, sadness, anger, regret. All the things that make your kind so wonderful and superior to mine.”
Ahlam’s reasoning made perfect sense, and was the exact reason I’d turned down her earlier offer of power, wealth and fame. In my experience of studying and documenting the prenatural, with that kind of power came a loss of humanity.
“Alright, you have yourself a deal.”
For the next few weeks Ahlam and I worked tirelessly compiling all the knowledge she had on the Jinn. When she was finished I has hundreds of pages for our records – this would help our colleagues in the Middle East no ends.
Finally it was time for me to fulfill my end of the bargain, and it was with sadness that I prepared the ritual to transform Ahlam into a human. In my time working with her, I’d come to know what she was a charming, intelligent, beautiful, delightful woman. I would greatly miss her company. But I knew it was the right thing to do, and someone with a soul as bright as Ahlam’s deserved freedom in the world; freedom to live.
The ritual was gruelling, and used all my knowledge of the prenatural. Afterwards, I was left feeling weak and drained; like I was coming down with the flu.
But the sight before me made it all worthwhile, as it was a sight more beautiful than the one that’d first appeared from the lamp.
Ahlam was now human, with inky eyes, dark hair and bronzed skin. Her figure was toned and slender, with just a hint of her femininity around her breasts. Her dark eyes were completely alive with human life and wonder.
“So many new sensations,” she gasped. Her voice had changed slightly, lost its prenatural edge, though it was still delightful to hear.
“I feel emptiness inside me, as though I am lacking enough filling. What is that?”
“You could be hungry. Would you like me to make you something to eat?”
“I think I would like that very much.”
I led Ahlam through to the H.Q canteen, and poured her a glass of orange juice. She put the drink to her lips and sipped delicately; her eyes filling with wonder.
“It’s so cold, and sweet, and delicious,” she said in a rush of excitement. “Give me more.”
I poured Ahlam another glass of juice, and set about cooking her plate of bacon and scrambled eggs.
When she sat down to eat, again her eyes filled with amazement.
“The meat is succulent, salty but not bitter. And the eggs are so light and fluffy; they complement the bacon perfectly.”
I laughed with delight that someone could be so astonished by a simple plate of bacon and eggs.
“Now I think it’s time we find you some more suitable clothes.” I said, referring to the Bedlah she’d been wearing since she appeared from the lamp. “We’ve only got combat gear here at the barracks, but we can go shopping and find something more to your taste.”
Ahlam’s eyes filled with tears, and she rose up from the table. Crossing the room, she came to stand beside me, then stood up on her tip toes, and pressed her soft lips to my cheek.
“Thank you, Phillip,” she said, then in a whisper added, “Ah, my first time feeling the human emotion of happiness.”
I knew then that preforming the ritual and giving Ahlam a human life had been the right thing to do.
Check back tomorrow for K is for Kitsunes, and if you're interested please check out my personal blog's entry J is for Jean Grey.