This is one of the articles that was submitted to the contest. It was written by Makadamia
About one of the oldest conflicts in the world of Tibia.
Djinns, mythical creatures of fairy tales, legends and cartoons (such as Walt Disney’s Aladdin) and fantasy (for example Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher), are also found in Tibia, and although they are a forgotten race, they have played a key role in the history of the game and, more importantly, the world of Tibia.
Knightmare, the content designer who created Ankrahmun is famous for writing stories full of mysteries, riddles, references from culture, literature and art, or easter eggs. Therefore, when approaching the places he created years later, it’s worth looking for information both inside and outside the game.
Let’s start the story of one of the oldest conflicts in the world of Tibia and the deep hatred between the green and blue djinns, which still persists to this day.
What exactly are Djinns? Looking in the sources, let us forget for a moment about the fairy tales or fantasy world and move to the ancient Arabian beliefs. There for the first time presented the characters of evil spirits formed from pure fire, demons called djinns ((arab. جن). In Islam, we can distinguish 3 categories of intelligent beings: angels, humans and djinns. And like humans, djinns are good and evil. The evil ones include the Efreet, who, in old belief, were the souls of men who died suddenly and were not buried (hence the Efreet are identified with the world of the undead), and the Marid, powerful and cruel demons, the highest in the hierarchy of their race, though in many translations of the Tales of the Thousand and One Nights, the words “Efreet” and “Marid” are used interchangeably.
In the world of Tibia, jinn are described as follows:
Their magical abilities are also highlighted:
„Being highly magical creatures, they are masters of illusion and transformation.”
KHA’LABAL OR TIBIAN EDEN
Have you ever wondered why on one island there are two very different lands, separated by the Kha’zeel mountains? On the left is the thriving and vibrant jungle called Tiquanda, on the right is the empty and barren space covered with dry and hot sand, scarce vegetation and few life forms – Kha’labal.
It may be hard to imagine now, but long ago Kha’labal, like Tiquanda was a fertile and green land. It was a paradise filled with green forests and countless springs of fresh water created and given by the gods to the humans. A land that provided the perfect environment for a new, young and vulnerable race to thrive. The humans built there the first city called Ankahmun and settled the land of Kha’labal almost completely. Their bliss, however, did not last forever. They soon learned the meaning of evil, under constant attack from hordes of Orcs coming from the southwest coast and an undead army attacking from the north, sent from Drefia – city of Necromancers, the source of most corruption.
The probable appearance of the Kha’labal gardens at that time.
The gods gave the humans Daraman, a great and wise prophet who would help the humans find their destiny, and Banor, the first human with superhuman abilities, who would teach the humans to fight on the battlefield. Soon the humans defeated the evil that attacked them and proved that the land belonged to them. However, djinns remained, menacing demons who inhabited the rocky mountains of Kha’zeel. Unwilling to accept the presence of humans, they effectively eliminated their enemies using advanced magic and Scimitars. The land of Kha’zeel was shrouded in shadow and fear could be seen in human’s eyes. When the situation seemed dire, Daraman came to the rescue. Against the painful tortures inflicted by djinns, the prophet’s wisdom and courage managed to intrigue and bring Gabel, the djinn king, to the path of peace.
Daraman, a prophet with a noble heart and exceptional wisdom kidnapped from the desert while meditating by human bloodthirsty djinns, against all odds did not submit to even the most cruel torture.
“I am an old man and I have but little to lose, mylord. But your race has much to gain, for it lives in darkness.”
Hearing these words, intrigued by the prophet’s heroism, the king decided to leave him alive, and the more time they spent talking together, the deeper their relationship became. Eventually Gabel decided to open his heart and soul to Daraman, and the prophet, seeing how much pain and sorrow had plagued the king for centuries, wept. His tears turned into blue crystals. Legends say that as soon as one of the tears hit the ground, springs of pure, fresh water gushed forth from the earth (this theme is presented in the Blue Djinn Quest).
Gabel, faced with such a deep connection to humans, formed an interracial alliance.
Gabel, leader of the Marid. Pixel Art graphic designed by Makadamia.
A STORY OF GREAT CONFLICT
Unfortunately some of the djinns did not look favourably on the direction their king was taking. Malor, a general known for his cruelty, had been plotting against Gabel for a long time, gaining more and more allies. What had been planned for a long time – an uprising – soon happened. The attack on the king was extremely well planned, but it failed. Gabel, with the help of his friend Fa’hradin, managed to escape in time to avoid death. This move started an open conflict between the two djinn factions. A deep schism arose. The green djinns stood against the blue djinns. Brothers fought with brothers. Families were brought into conflict. The fighting seemed to go on forever, and though they would sooner bring the whole race down, no one wanted to give up.
The inevitable happened. Seeing that the civil war was causing nothing but more and more deaths, Malor decided to challenge Gabel to a personal duel. The king, seeking an end to the bloody conflict, accepted the challenge. They came face to face in the paradisiacal gardens of Kha’labal, and with them their armies. The usurper Malor, who united the green djinn faction, and the old king Gabel, backed by the blue djinn faction. The world had never seen such a large gathering of this race before.
Gabel moved on his opponent. Malor, who had no intention of fighting honorably, waited a long time for this moment. Soon, the ground around them parted, and thousands of undead, sent into battle by Drefian necromancers, emerged from the depths of the earth to provide support for the Efreet. To the usurper’s surprise, the Marid began to flee towards the city of Ankrahmun, where… they were expected! The king, having foreseen the obvious plot, could count on the support of the people. What was about to happen could no longer be stopped. Hordes of undead rushed mindlessly at the walls of Ankrahmun, disappearing under the arrows of the human’s archers. Though Malor’s army wreaked havoc, the Marid and humans were well prepared. Baa’leal, general of the Efreet army, seeing that they were unable to breach the city walls, selected the most powerful wizards among the green djinns and commanded them to unleash a devastating firestorm to raze the majestic city of Ankrahmun once and for all. The magical flames destroyed everything in their path, transforming the fertile green soil into a barren wasteland. The Marid, who had mastered the art of magic to perfection, were able to divert the deadly flames, but they were unable to stop the disaster. The fire consumed not only the enemy army but also countless human lives, and nothing was left of the gardens of Kha’labal.
Thus the great battle of djinns was won by the allied armies of the Marid and humans. However, no one triumphed seeing how much damage this conflict had caused.
The few Efreet who survived fled, fearing the vengeance of the Marid. Some hid in dangerous and inaccessible places, surrounding themselves with other demonic creatures and the undead, while others took refuge in the fortress of Mal’ouquah high in the mountains of Kha’zeel.
The king’s revenge.
Gabel abandoned his pursuit of the usurpers. His vengeance turned to Drefia, a city of undead that had supported the Efreet in a great battle. The most powerful mages among the Marid performed a terrifying ritual. The ground beneath Drefia began to move like a vortex, and the cursed city was soon engulfed and disappeared completely covered in sand. None of Drefia’s inhabitants ever came to the surface again, though rumor has it that deep beneath the ground, the city, intact, still shelters creatures who commune with death.
Trickery in the name of peace.
Djinn’s lamp. Pixel Art graphic designed by Makadamia.
The battle was won, but the civil war still continued, and the conflict between the green and blue factions did not cease. Gabel, who desired peace, acceded to the idea of Fa’hradin, an old friend who had once saved his life – and in Malor’s chamber in Mal’oquah’s fortress, they changed his lamp into the cursed one. The usurper had no chance. Captured to the lamp, he was trapped inside. This success gave the king hope for the longed-for peace. Gabel immediately contacted the Efreet informing them that their leader was henceforth his prisoner, but the green djinns’ hatred for the blue was too strong to give up. So it was a time of stagnation when both factions planned to wait until their ranks were replenished and their armies ready for the next battle.
The King’s carelessness.
Gabel decided to hide the lamp with the imprisoned djinn somewhere away from Ashta’daramai thinking it would be safer there. Unfortunately, he could not foresee that many years later the Orcs would build their fortress on the lands where the lamp rested. They soon found a cursed lamp, and the Orc’s King recklessly released the dangerous Efreet. Since then, the djinn has roamed the world freely, nurturing in his heart an even greater hatred for his blue brothers.
The conflict between the Efreet and the Marid, which began in ancient times, continues to this day. It affects not only djinns, but also humans, including us, the players. At the very beginning of our adventure in the world of Tibia we are forced to choose one of the two factions, deciding which djinn we will trade with (Green/Blue Djinn Quest). As we learn from Melchior – once we make our decision we cannot change it in the future.
The tasks given to us by djinns of each faction are about helping in a further conspiracy against our enemies. Malor and Gabel (depending on which side you choose) ask us to retrieve from the king of the Orcs the cursed lamp that has imprisoned the usurper for centuries and repeat the already known trick of swapping lamps so that the leader of the enemy faction is imprisoned in it for eternity.
Analyzing both quests, which are very similar to each other, we can pay attention to several themes used in them:
- the first thing that strikes the eye is the decidedly different approach of the interlocutors (djinns from the various factions) to us, the players. The Marid seem to be more friendly to us, while the Efreet emphasize their distrust and willingness to kill us, restrained only by the code of honor,
- the Efreet use the stolen Tears of Daraman to forge their deadly weapons,
- Alesar born as Marid has decided to go over to Malor’s side, and explains his decision as follows:
17:33 Alesar: What do you want, Makadamia?
17:33 Makadamia : Marid
17:33 Alesar: Those among my brothers and sisters who still do not see the truth call themselves the Marid. I used to be one of them, but I left them when the truth dawned upon me. …
17:33 Alesar: Now I follow Malor, although I would never fight against my kind.
17:34 Makadamia : Efreet
17:34 Alesar: The efreet are those djinns who never fell for Daraman’s insidious propaganda. I wish I would have been as smart from the start. …
17:34 Alesar: But errors can be corrected!
17:35 Makadamia : Gabel
17:35 Alesar: Gabel is a kind-hearted, honest djinn. I would hate to see him die just because he believes in Daraman’s lies. …
17:35 Alesar: After all, I believed them myself.
17:35 Makadamia : Malor
17:35 Alesar: Malor is overambitious and unnecessarily cruel, but he is the only djinn who could unite our race, so I follow him. …
17:35 Alesar: The truth is I despise him, but that is of no importance as long as you humans will be exterminated.
- looking at both Alesar’s trade offerings and Nah’Bob’s offerings, one can see that Efreet trades in weaponry and armor which is dark and demonic in appearance. The predominant hue is cold blue and black, and the words to describe the equipment are: “dark”, “dreaded”, “black”, “skull”, “vampire”. This emphasizes the green djinns’ connection to the world of the undead.
The Marid, on the other hand, buy weapons and armor identified more with the human race and royalty – the Crown Set and equipment described by the adjectives “noble”, “royal”, “glorious”, “angelic”, “thaian” is associated with something noble and at the same time human,
- the Marid spy is the NPC Rata’Mari, which is an interesting reference to Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida McLeod), a Dutch dancer convicted of spying for Germany during World War I.
YALAHAR MAGICIAN QUARTER
Do you have to beware of djinns only when wandering alone in the desert of Kha’labal? Unfortunately, not. This race, though slowly but steadily increasing in numbers, has also settled near the city of Yalahar. As highly magical creatures, they continue to improve their skills, learning newer and newer ways to take over the world. They occupy two fortresses in the magician quarter, which are heavily guarded against enemies and can only be accessed by friends, or rather… players tolerated by djinns 😉
A BATTLE WE CAN EXPERIENCE
Until now, we could read about the great conflict between djinns in the chronicles, and the details were revealed to us by djinns themselves or the inhabitants of Ankrahmun.
With the Winter Update 2018 and the introduction of the Haunted Nexus Tomb (client version 12.0), we can notice Marid’s decaying corpse on the right from the rope spot. It leads to the great battlefield between the Efreet and the Marid. Cipsoft introduced a new mechanic in Tibia, which allows monsters to attack not only players, but also other monsters.
Interestingly, in the middle of this area, surrounded by a green crystal, there is a small shining lamp called „Ancient Oil Lamp”. No information about this mysterious lamp can be found on any of the fansites.
Here the question arises: is it just a possibility to complete the bestiary entries, or maybe an element of continuation of the plot related to the Djinn War, which will be developed in the future?
Time will tell.
You have just learned a great deal about the history of the world of Tibia and the story of one of the greatest conflicts that still haunts Tibia players to this day. As I write this, however, one thing has been on my mind.
Why is the greatest chef in Tibia djinn? Could it be that the soup made by Orcs from an old shoe does not satisfy the more demanding palates?
Jean Pierre’s character was introduced to the game in the Summer Update 2009 (client version 8.50). And although during the Blue Djinn Quest we meet Bo’Ques, who is also a cook, I decided not to connect these two characters. I looked for the answer outside the game.
I found a popular German quote: “Chef is wie Genie – kannste nicht lernen!” or in translation “Chef is like a genius, you can’t just learn that” and considering that the word “genie” meaning genius in German, identically written in English means – how else – djinn, it’s not hard to find some connection here! 😉
It’s also worth mentioning that in the ‘90s Chef Jean Pierre was a popular chef who not only ran restaurants, but also TV shows or his own cooking school in the USA. Who knows, maybe it was him that our NPC inherited his name?
The image of the Chef djinn is so popular in pop culture that it became a logo for a British company, which is an intermediary in ordering meals from many different restaurants.
The Kha’labal Chronicles I-IV
The Djinn Wars I-VII
The Chronicles of Daraman I-VI
Legends of the Kha’labal III, IV