The Accuser. The Adversary. The Devil. Satan. Samael. Lucifer. Angra Mainyu. Iblis.
He has many names, and is perhaps one of the most infamous people on Earth, to the point of becoming a symbol of evil in many religions. He was not always such a universally reviled person, however.
As a djinn and thus a shapeshifter, Iblis’s appearance has varied over time. In modern times, he usually takes the form of either a white tiger or a tall, gaunt Arab man with silver hair.
In addition to the standard powers of the djinn, Iblis has dabbled in magic and has some level of competency in all the seven disciplines. He’s especially adept at destructive spells, as well as mental magic and illusion.
Iblis’s extended life comes from a constant supply of peaches of life, which have kept him young for many millennia.
The story of Iblis’s life dates back a whopping two hundred millennia, to the very foundation of the Kingdom of Mu. Together with his sister, Lilith1, and their two friends, Adam1 and Eve1, he discovered the island of Eden1 and helped to found the first-ever human civilization there – the Kingdom of Mu, which survived for thousands of years right up until Eden sank beneath the sea.
Iblis is a djinn, a creature of smoke and fire that merely mimics the human form, but he was in love with Eve. He took her rejection poorly and fled the country along with an entire crop of the peaches of life which grew in Eden. Lilith, who had been similarly rejected by Adam, left as well.
They then disappeared from the history books for twenty or thirty millennia. Exactly what Iblis and Lilith were up to during this time is known only to Iblis, but from what little info is known, it seems that they roamed all across the Eurasian continent. Historians speculate that some of the stories of ghuls from that era may have been Iblis or Lilith, but there is no conclusive proof that either of them ever consumed human flesh.
Some Norse myths also hint at that period. It is known that Iblis routinely stole the peaches of life from Yggdrasil, as that was the only place outside of Eden that they could be found. Tending the tree and harvesting its fruit every century was left to the goddess Iðunn. There is a story of how Iðunn was once kidnapped by a giant named Thjazi. Most magic historians agree that this giant was in fact Iblis.
But eventually, they found their way back to Eden with several children, including a son, Asmodai, and began to spread chaos. They were branded as criminals, with a price upon their heads, but those many thousands of years were in their favour – Iblis had dabbled in magic a little, which when multiplied over the immense time span meant he was at least an equal to any of Mu’s mages. In addition, Mu’s ongoing war at the time against the mainland Pillar of Heaven alliance meant that many of their strongest forces were not even on Eden to deal with Iblis.
Iblis did not directly cause the downfall of Mu with his actions, but some historians suggest that Mu might have been able to win their war and transplant their civilization to the continent if it had not been for Iblis. As it was, when Eden sank almost entirely beneath the sea around 10,000 BCE, that was essentially the end of Mu as a kingdom. The two trees of life on the island died at this time.
After the fall of Mu, Iblis and his family once more disappeared from history for several thousand years, eventually coming back to prominence on the Arabian Peninsula during the rise of Sumer, around 3000 BCE. However, not long after that, Iblis was betrayed by Lilith and sealed into a bottle.
By the time he was released, Yggdrasil had also fallen, and Lilith, cut off from a supply of the peaches, had died from old age. However, with the help of his son, Asmodai, he discovered a new tree of life hidden in a tiny Himalayan valley2, and built a mansion nearby so that he could continue to get a constant supply of the fruits.
From then until his death sometime in the twenty-first century CE, Iblis has continued to spread chaos whenever he was not confined to a bottle – something that has happened with quite some frequency. His specific misdeeds are too numerous to list; suffice to say that nearly every civilization has at least one or two tales of him, though they don’t always call him by a familiar name.
Eventually this valley would come to be known as Shangri-la, and the Rainbow Temple would be built there. However, Iblis discovered it long before that, though the phoenix was still there before him. ↩