Ali al-Mualim Ahl Shawahin
|Aliases|| Sir Oberon Sexton |
Hasim Ibn La'Ahad
Kenneth "Ken" Neeson
|Nicknames|| The Apex Predator |
The Penultimate Predator
The First Birdman
|Base of Operations||Unknown|
|Relatives||Several deceased wives and children, deceased parents|
|Religion|| None; formerly |
|Hair Color|| Black
|Unusual Features||Copious scars and tattoos|
|Place of Birth||Sarum, England|
|Date of Birth||1164|
From Nothing, Comes an Immortal
The man who would be best known as Al-Mualim, leader of the would be world-cleansing order called Leviathan, was born an Englishman: Richard Ichabod Blood in 1164. His early life would be best summarized as inauspicious, as he was the son of a farmer and his mother died giving birth to his stillborn brother. Richard's life changed dramatically in 1189 with the onset of the Third Crusade. Richard happily volunteered for, in his own words "a change in scenery," but quickly became convinced of the theological importance of retaking the Holy Land under the guidance of Raphaël Dumas. However, it was not long before that newfound conviction was challenged by, and fell to, a member of the Hashashin. The Hashashin spared Richard, leaving Richard wtih the ablity to track him down. Rather than being stuck down, the leader, Hassan-i Sabbah, asked him why he followed them. Richard replied he wanted to know who these people were, and why one of their own would spare him. After months of learning of their ways, Richard was convinced that their order was the one for him, putting himself at odds with his former mentor, Dumas.
What's In a Name
After being educated in the ways of the the Nizari faith, and the goal of universial unity and peace, Richard was ready to commit himself to the cause. Before being inducted into the order, Richard decided to choose a new name for himself (he was not compelled to do this). Over the course of a week, Richard and the Hassan-i Sabbah narrowed it down to Hashim (meaning "crusher, breaker" in Arabic. This was the nickname of a great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad. He acquired this nickname because of his practice of crumbling bread and giving it to pilgrims, which Richard chose for its religious significance and because it possessed "an idea of sharing, of equity" a proto-socialist vibe), and Hasim (meaning "decisive" in Arabic, derived from حسم (hasama) meaning "to sever, to finish, to decide"). Richard thought Hasim to be too harsh, to the point that it implied cruelty to him, but Hassan-i Sabbah felt it echoed his leadership. After careful deliberation, Richard elected to defer to his mentor, and chose the name Hasim. Additionally, to test his devotion to the Hashashin, Hassan-i Sabbah also proposed that Richard forgo his family name, and commit himself to the order by taking the name Ibn La'Ahad (meaning "son of no one"), thus, Richard Ichabod Blood was now known as Hasim Ibn La'Ahad.
In 1191, near the ened of the Third Crusade, Richard/Hasim, learned of a mystical element that was said to be capable of healing, even to the point of resurrecting the dead. Dumas also got word of this and sought that power as well, claiming it to be overflowing power from Jesus' resurrection of Lazarus.
Rebranding the Order
The Hunt for a Successor
Another Bird of Prey
"You know how to fight ten men. We can teach you how to engage an army. You know how to disappear. We can teach you to become truly invisible. You fear your own power. You fear your rage, the drive to do great or terrible things. We can show you how to harness your rage without letting it control you."
The Will to Act
"Those who share my purpose become allies. Those who do not become casualties." - The Falcon
"Nothing's ever that cut and dry. Not even war." - The Owl
"Because you still have hope that this war will end with your honour intact." - The Falcon
"I do." - The Owl
"Stand in the ashes of a billion dead souls and ask the ghosts if honour matters. The silence is your answer." - The Falcon
"Nothing matters to the dead. Honor is for the living: it's what lives on for us when we die." - The Owl
The Owl Returns to His Nest
"Where will you stand, if not by your equals? By those foolish masses who will never understand you and will always despise you?"
Warrior vs Soldier
"You've always thought pretending not to fear death made you strong. It makes you weak. How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death?!" - al-Mualim
"War changes you. It makes you stronger, more ferocious... and stranger. It blurs the line between animal and man; it can turn even the finest moral exemplar into a predator in the night; watching; learning; hunting; Each time I enter the pit, I emerge reborn. Put the devil on the other side, and I will show up: evolved, adapted, and prepared for nothing short of total victory."
Had they met when Richard was Will's age, they would have assumed they were looking in a mirror. In addition to noteworthy similarity in their facial features, the two are remarkably alike in their mentality and personal philosophies. In fact, Will remarked that the similarities were "haunting." Richard is a profoundly introspective individual, and wise beyond his years, even after eight centuries. Richard wanted to do more with his life than be a farmer like his father: he wanted to leave his mark on the world and to change it for the better. At first be believed that the way to do it was to fight under the banner of God, but over tme Richard evolved and became more concerned with global peace and prosperity. One of the central beliefs Richard holds that puts him at odds with virtually any hero, is his mantra: "Only through conflict do we evolve." Richard values the role of conflict in crafting exemplary individuals so much he has little qualms about magnifying global strife in order to cull the weak and leave only the fit. One key issue with his philosophy that Will noted was that Richard has not thought extensively on what to do once he's achieved his utopic vision, as it would stand to reason that there would be no conflict and therefore no evolution, seemingly implying that Richard believes perfection is possible for some.
"Your compassion is a weakness your enemies do not share."
"And your apathy is a weakness all of my enemies do."
It did not take long into Will's time with Öksökö for Richard to take an interst in him. While they shared many similarities, al-Mualim quickly gauged Will's differences, most specifically Will's compassion and rage, which he deduced were related. al-Mualim's mentorship proved invaluble to Will, both as a person, and as Knight Owl. It was primarily al-Mualim who educated Will on how to use his rage in more productive ways, and generally embrace it without being controlled by it.
Powers and Abilities
Richard has lived for several centuries thanks to his use of Lazarus Pits which he has used numerous times over centuries replenishing his aged, injured, or even dead body. As a side effect to numerous exposures to the pits his strength, speed, stamina, agility, and durability has been enhanced. While Richard benefits from Lazarus much like Raphaël Dumas, al-Mualim has utilized the Pits to far greater effect than Dumas, largely due to Dumas' predilection for actions other than training and honing his superhuman abilities.
Through the use of the Lazarus Pit, he acquired a greatly extended lifespan, allowing him to live a near immortal life for over eight hundred years. However, he can still be killed and physically wounded. He cannot succumb to any medical diseases, nor does he age conventionally, but he still requires food, water, and oxygen to survive.
Repeated exposure to Lazarus enabled al-Mualim to push his body past normal human limits, making him stronger than the finest Olympic athlete. He has consistently demonstrated the ablity to sustain lifts of over one thousand pounds. his strength also extends to his legs, enabling him to leap twenty feet out in a single bound and ten feet into the air without a running start. He can snap steel handcuffs and chains, throw a sword with enough force to impale a human to a wall, and is capable of breaking through wooden walls and steel doors with a single strike.
Richard can move at speeds equal to that of the absolute finest human athlete, capable of running at a sustained forty miles-per-hour.
Richard's body eliminates the excessive build-up of fatigue-producing chemicals in his muscles, granting him exceptional endurance and lung capacity. He can exert himself at peak capacity for hours without any rest and before showing any signs of fatigue.
His agility is greater than that of an Olympic gold medalist. He can coordinate his body with balance, flexibility, and dexterity unheard of for any human.
His bones and muscles are denser and harder and so are amplified to the highest human potential, making him very durable. He is durable enough to the point that when stabbed and shot repeatedly, he displayed little discomfort.
Richard's healing speed and efficiency is at the highest limits of human potential, which means he can heal faster than most humans. The white blood cells and in his body are efficient enough to fight off any microbe, foreign body, and other pathogens from his body, keeping him healthy and immune from all infections, diseases, disorders, etc. He furthermore cannot become intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or impurities in the air, and is thus immune to terrestrial diseases.
Richard's five natural senses have been enhanced. He can see, hear, smell, feel, and taste things imperceptible to humans. This allows him to see further, hear with amazing clarity, detect specific persons, objects, substances with his smell, etc.
Richard's reflexes are beyond human potential, which allows him to dodge rapid gunfire in close range. His auto-reflexes allow him to easily dodge gunfire and respond quickly to fast pace combat. He was even able to catch bullets fired at point blank range. People are subdued by him before they can even align their weapons on him. His immense reflexes can also be used to attack and counter instead of just defensive purposes, allowing him to punish attacks with devastating counters when fighting extraordinary quick opponents.
Peerless Close-Quarter Combatant
Richard is likely the single greatest fighter in ME-1, at least in terms of formal knowledge and practical experience.
While continued exposure to Lazarus has granted al-Mualim superhuman abilities, he has become dependent on it to not only maintain said abilities, but also his ability to live at all. If he does not regularly bath in the chemicals of the Lazarus Pit (at least once a day for hours at a time), he grows significantly weaker. If he were to go one day without bathing in a Pit, he loses the vast majority of his abilities. By day two he begins to show signs of rapid aging. As a test of willpower and discipline, al-Mualim frequently "fasts" from Lazarus.
- "Fighting Weight" Image made by Phil Cho.
- Personality to be based on The Ancient One and Kaecilius from Doctor Strange, Raʾs al-Ġūl, and Knight Owl himself.
- The Germanic first or given name Richard derives from German, French, and English "ric" (ruler, leader, king) and "hard" (strong, brave), and it therefore means "powerful leader"
- The name Ichabod is a Hebrew name, meaning "No glory, the glory has departed."
- "al-Mualim" literally means "The Teacher" in Arabic.
- The alias "Oberon Sexton," was actually used by the Joker in the comics.
- However he was not knighted as Richard's Oberon Sexton was.
- Knight Owl marks the thirteenth attempt to overthrow Richard as leader of Leviathan.
- This is a reference to my first Earth on the wiki.