The second of three character sketches of the player-characters.
Lord Hibbukal of Khanjar’a
Exalt-Surgeon. Younger brother of Duke Sendric.
Hibbukal is a frighteningly brilliant man who tends to arrogance. He sees the incestuous decadence that afflicts Melnibonéan society and believes that the empire can only be saved by a near-death experience. Only an ex-sanguination, perhaps brought on by a barbarian invasion, can wake Melniboné from itd deathbed and inspire the renewal it needs. He believes that his destiny lies in going abroad, advising some human king and fomenting and aiding an uprising.
Born with a voracious intellect, Hibbukal studied medicine and surgery as well as sorcery. In his twenties, he fell under an extended illness. His body wasted and many expected that he would die.
His father Duke Arandur had been secretly grooming Hibbukal to be the next Duke, but after two years of illness, shifted his favour to Hibbukal’s brother Sendric. Meanwhile, Hibbukal came to suspect that he was host to a demonic parasite, but needed supernatural aid to heal himself. The family summoned a Chaos demon (“it had five arms and a face that was almost all mouth and all teeth – opened up to be almost the whole size of its face, like a predatory fish”), but the demon refused to help one so weak. Thus spurned, Hibbukal secretly researched demons of Law. He learned that house Jifar’a was the custodian of a forbidden tome of Law sorcery, The Book Of The Inverted Eye. He entreated his brother Sendric to steal it for him.
Thus was Hibbukal able to summon the Law demon Sul to save his own life. Dorban of Ashotep’a was blamed for the theft. To prevent his execution, Dorban’s sister Melia gave herself into slavery to Jifar’a. Dorban is now free but wracked with guilt and helpless to free his sister. If Sendric’s and Hibbukal’s involvement with demons of Law became known, both their lives would be in peril. Hibbukal still has the book.
Hibbukal has 3 children, Badoura, Hyabara and Calorm, but his heart belongs to the middle one. Hyabara is possessed of a strange compassion, such as that held by humans.
She’s a mess. With her allowance, she occasionally buys child slaves and then sells them for a fraction of the price to humans that tell her they will release them in their home ports. She throws tantrums and threatens to destroy our household artifacts if we split up slave families. I even caught her helping a disfavored slave that I punished – and by punished, I mean in the slightest way – with building a kiln out of very large bricks I’d imported the year before. Her interactions with her younger brother and older sister are much the same – they often “gang up” on her, although I put my foot down on the whole nonsense when my son was taking my biology specimens (2 panes of glass separated by pegs and containing a frog or whatever dissected and carefully labelled) from my laboratory and leaving them in her bed. “Those aren’t toys, and as unusual as we all find her repulsion at scientific learning, that is her own room and her bed. Not to mention you could have damaged them.”
Father: Arandur (insane)
Children: Hyabara, (Badoura, Calorm)
Hibbukal’s wife Gomira (originally of Damriat’a) is a shrinking violet.
His youngest brother Pajric was forced into a duel and killed by Radric of Hekhem’a.
As a surgeon, Hibbukal once treated emperor Sadric.
Type: Object Demon of Law
Appearance: a small sliver of wood that leaves black marks like an ink quill. Telltale: the sliver always marks, though it is never dipped in ink.
Abilities: Sul’s various abilities aid Hibbukal in performing surgery and healing patients. They all confer to the sorcerer except where otherwise stated.
Perception (a body’s inner secrets (target:patient only)). Vitality (confers to patient). Hold. Command (Parasites). Protection (Disease/Rot).
Desire: To heal maladies. Need: For Hibbukal to learn obscured information.
Hibbukal is having tea with uncle Mirzomar. Hyabara bursts into Hibbukal’s rooms yelling “hide me!” She has just beaten Kulkar of Ashotep’a (a middle son) with his own whip, in reaction to seeing him abuse a slave.