Template:PostPan Post 20 introduces a backstory for the cavern city introduced in HFO Post ?. Ubar is founded by Shinzallar, one of the most powerful apprentices to the former NeSorcerer Magistarr. With the supposed demise of Magistarr and the destruction of Atlantis, he and the other survivors must stabilise the Earth's magic. He creates the Pillars of Iram in his city, Ubar, and uses a Great Centrifuge for power. He summons djinni, who agree to grant him wishes before leaving the NeSiverse, and yet he cannot create a new ultranexus to grant his city the fabled status that was once held by Atlantis. His obsession makes him a poor and unloved ruler with his primary apprentice being more loved and respected for his healing arts. In the end the Boy heals Shinzallar of his obsession, making him a caring and loved ruler for the remainder of his life.
Circa 10,000 B.C.
In a parched desert, nomadic Bedouins are drowning in the fiercest sandstorm in memory. These simple folk are not aware of Atlantis's cataclysmic fall, but they are affected just the same, for the force of that great city's destruction is affecting weather and seismic patterns all over the Earth, including the begetting of this ferocious sandstorm.
One tribe of Bedouins in particular is struggling, unable to escape the storm or to find shelter. Their homes are torn asunder, their bodies tossed around, and it seems that hope for them is lost.
A vortex opens in the sandstorm, funneling the flying grit away and creating an eye in the midst of the torrential sands. The awed Bedouins see a figure floating down from the sky. He has a pointed black beard, beady dark eyes, gold hoop-earrings, and a jeweled turban. His robe is a dark violet that almost appears black, covered in golden and silver mystical sigils. Rings adorn his fingers, and bracelets his arms.
Bedouin #1: The gods themselves have saved us!
Bedouin #2: Praise to the gods!
The Bedouins bow down, grateful beyond measure, as Shinzallar alights upon the sand. He frowns in contemplation.
Shinzallar: This worship could be useful. Hear me, peasants! I am Shinzallar, a supreme sorcerer of Atlantis, come to bring civilization to your primitive wastes.
Shinzallar's words are half-truths. He was until recently the Prime NeSorcerer Magistarr's strongest apprentice, before he and his fellow 11 apprentices escaped that city's destruction. Cast to the four winds and the seven seas, they obey their master's last dictum: guide the new paradigm of magic, now that the Atlantean ultranexus is fractured into many shards.
Bedouin #1: All hail holy Shinzallar and his most edifying words!
Other Bedouins: All hail holy Shinzallar!
Shinzallar's lips curve into a smile.
Under his direction, and no small amount of magical effort - his innate potential enables him to enact many impressive feats despite the current wild state of magic - a great city is constructed. Growth flowers into an oasis as wells bubble up from far beneath the earth, called by spellwork. The Bedouins are taught the arts of 'civilization' by their ruler, who declares himself divine sultan.
Bedouins: Long live Ubar! Long live Shinzallar!
Shinzallar finds magically adept pupils among his people - a population which grows daily, as Bedouins flock to the protective shelter of his great city - and doles out the mystical secrets he knows. He treats them more as his personal slaves and ritual assistants rather than true pupils, yet in his way he continues the tradition of magic, for his apprentices do learn much.
Shinzallar: You! Boy! That rune is misaligned!
The lad, one of his apprentices, winces as Shinzallar reprimands him, and smudges out the misdrawn line for correction. They are embarking on the sultan's greatest ritual yet: the attempted creation of a new ultranexus, so that Ubar may truly become the new Atlantis.
Boy: Apologies, great lord. It is corrected.
Shinzallar: About time. Now then, all of you, chant the words exactly as I have taught you - mind your rhythm and cadence!
Powerful energies coalesce and ripple around them as Shinzallar stands at the middle of it, wrestling with the wild magic of the Earth. But it's not just the new wildness of terran magic that resists him - there is some other force that denies him, and with a terrible lashback of power, an explosion booms in the heart of Shinzallar's sanctum. Several of his apprentices die instantly, but the sultan is more concerned about the burning out of several of his talismans, which he wears as jewelries.
Shinzallar: What could have gone wrong? What force resists me?
Boy: Great lord... several of us are dead. More are wounded.
Shinzallar: Silence! Weighty matters occupy my mind.
The boy considers human life to be a weightier matter than any mystic ritual, but knows his master does not agree. He tends to his fellows himself, and sets on the path to becoming one of the greatest magical healers in Ubar's history.
Shinzallar: The Towered Circle of Hedrons, that must be it. The Twelve and One Pillars of the WriterGod's temple - they still exist! Lost in a plothole, or scattered across the cosmos, I know not - but their very continued existence prevents the formation of a new ultranexus. I must create my own Towers, and a Great Centrifuge to power them - these shall be the Pillars of Iram and Ubar!
He orders slave crews to construct great obelisks, which he has his apprentices carve and etch with sigils and runes of great power. Meanwhile, he creates a construct, a henge of great complexity, to be his Mystic Centrifuge.
Boy: Great lord? The Pillars are complete. Etched and erected.
The sorcerous sultan is unaware that the populace of Ubar has increasingly grown dissatisfied with their uncaring and aloof ruler, and in fact his healing-minded apprentice is far more popular, as he constantly spends his free time honing his abilities by tending the sick and wounded, free of charge.
Shinzallar: Activate the Centrifuge!
Crews of slaves pull massive levers, as the henge shudders into life, discharging glowing energies. A vortex of magic whips around the center of the henge. The centrifugal forces within it are so great, that reality itself tears within the henge's center, revealing another, adjacent reality beneath - thus creating a portal!
Brilliant fire and light billows within the henge, and Shinzallar's eyes shine as he sees his scheme come to fruition.
Shinzallar: Excellent! Keep those levers cocked, lads!
Around him, the crews of slaves are struggling to keep the gigantic levers from snapping back into OFF position, the shuddering forces generated by the henge trying to settle into calmness again.
Shinzallar: Come forth, O spirits! I lay claim to thee and thy cosmic chaos!
Spirits do indeed come forth, humanoids. They are taller than men, at 7 feet, and have sharp talons for fingernails and toenails. Their black gristly hair is in topknots, and their skin is colored in a rainbow of various shades: red, blue, yellow, green, lavender, white, and black. They are naked but androgynous. Rich jewelry clads their forms.
Chaotic Spirit: We have heard thy call, mortal, and are glad to enter another world, one in which our creations and patternings will be sustained, rather than ripple away instantly back into the chaotic cauldron that is our cosmos.
Shinzallar: Ah, but you shall create and pattern according to my commands, funneling those chaotic energies towards my cause. See! You are imprisoned with my henge, and cannot exit but that I consent.
Chaotic Spirit: We will not submit to chains forever. You may bind us, but only for three patternings each. Then we loose our chains and return to our burning home.
Thus, djinni come to the earthly realm, each bound to a talisman, each granting its master three wishes, and three wishes only. Shinzallar spends the rest of his life summoning djinn after djinn, burning through each one's wishes to energize spells of phenomenal power, all in the effort to stabilize a new ultranexus.
It is centuries later now, and Shinzallar is aging. He had mastered the immortality rituals before Atlantis's fall, but with the fracturing of the Atlantean ultranexus and the subsequent wildering of the ley lines, his immortality is 'merely' abnormally long life.
Shinzallar: Curse the faithless djinni. A hundred thousand djinni, thrice a hundred thousand wishes, and still I cannot create an ultranexus. But I must! I must, I must, I must be the NeSorcerer. I am the NeSorcerer, for who else could it be? None else of Magistarr's pupils were as great or crafty as I, it must be me!
Boy: Great lord, come away. The Pillars of Iram are a great nexus of power. Through your efforts, you have helped to stabilize magic upon the Earth, so that it reliably answers to our spells, even if not as powerfully as they did in the stories you tell us of your ancestral home.
The 'boy' is an old man now as well, yet has maintained a youthful vigor and freshness of expression throughout his life. He is Ubar's greatest healer and most beloved figure, and long ago ascended to the position of Shinzallar's grand vizier, and has spent the last several centuries effectively ruling in his master's place, as the sorcerous sultan descended more and more into his mad obsession.
Shinzallar: Leave me be, boy! Unless you bring me another faithless djinn, and save me the trouble of hobbling to the henge.
The 'boy' sighs. He can put this off no longer.
Boy: I'm sorry, great lord. But you need healing.
Shinzallar: What? How dare you put your hands on me--
The 'boy' channels soothing magicks over the sultan, who lapses into a slumber. Shinzallar sleeps for fourteen days and fourteen nights, and awakes a different person. No longer obsessed, he becomes kinder and less capricious.
Shinzallar rules for 99 more years before at last succumbing to old age, and is beloved by the time of his death, and the 'boy' takes his place as the new sultan of Ubar, the Atlantis of the Sands...