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    The Sud Graufult: The Scrolls of Al-Yasin
    Posted on Sun, October 07, 2001 by Toran
    Taras writes "At one time the Bakluni painter Al-Yasin was among the most reknowned and acclaimed artists in the south of Aerdy. He was famed for his landscapes and his renditions of religious scenes, many of which still awe viewers hundreds of years after his death. Later in his life, the painter underwent a change, becoming more eccentric and withdrawing from the world, until he finally disappeared, leaving behind five scrolls, which may have recorded the final journey of this visionary painter.

    Author: Taras Guarhoth

    The Scrolls of Al-Yasin

    by Taras Guarhoth (
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Several hundred years ago, when Aerdy was still strong and ruled all the way to the Fals Gap, the painter known as Al-Yasin came to the Sud Graufult from the lands far to the north and west. He came from the lands of the Bakluni, but rarely offered even hints about his past, or his journey into the south of Aerdy. What is known is that he converted to the faith of Pholtus, and followed a very strict version of it's teachings fanatically in his daily life.

    Among the followers of the Imperial Pholtine churches, Al-Yasin was considered to be too strict and too Orthodox. He even refused to allow himself to be seen in public, going about in full, hooded robes, with a veil covering his face and gloves over his hands at all times, even in the hottest of weather, based on an obscure passage in the Book of Arnd. Despite this, he was tolerated in polite society because he was a brilliant painter, and his works grace cathedrals and the homes of nobles from Pontylver to Irongate even today.

    As he aged, he retreated from society to an isolated tower in the Glorioles, refusing to let anyone but his servants inside to speak to him. He continued to paint, though, and some of these paintings from his isolation do show up among the galleries of the nobility, although not as frequently as his earlier paintings. His works became darker, with hints of corruption and evil. Most of the works from this period of his life have disappeared completely, though, stolen from the homes of scholars and nobles, and never resurfacing.

    It is widely believed that his isolation and strict religious beliefs drove Al-Yasin mad, and he probabily threw himself from a mountaintop, although his body was never found. The truth of his fate is unknown. All that was found was his final work, a set of five painted scrolls in his studio at the top of his tower.

    After the presumed death of Al-Yasin, the five scrolls were sold, each to a different collector, noble, or scholar, and ended up scattered across the Sud Graufult. Over the intervening years, they have dropped from public view, being passed along in trades, and rarely remaining in one place for long. It is believed that all five of the scrolls are still to be found somewhere in the Sud Graufult, but their exact locations aren't known.

    The five scrolls each contain six different paintings upon them, which when taken together seem to detail the journey of a heavily robed figure through the mountains to a remote valley, and from there through some ancient ruin and into a set of caves and tunnels, descending far beneath the face of the Oerth. The last scroll ends with the figure entering some kind of dark underground temple, with an omnious idol and a glowing portal between it's legs. Each of the scrolls is signed below the final illustration with Al-Yasin's name in the curving script of the Bakluni.

    The First Scroll of Al-Yasin

    The first scroll in the series, this depicts the start of the journey. The first picture depicts the inside of Al-Yasin's tower, with the robed figure prostate before an altar of Pholtus known to have been well used by the eccentric painter. The figure then leaves the tower and crosses several vallies and peaks within the Glorioles. This scroll is the most highly sought after of the five, for it depicts stunning vistas of the Glorioles, and some of the mountains and vallies can be pinpointed on a map easily.

    The Second Scroll of Al-Yasin

    Beginning in an unknown valley, this scroll shows the robed figure coming upon a ruined structure and searching for a chamber that has it's floor covered in runes and glyphs, which the figure copies down. He then climbs out of the valley and makes his way up the peak of a mountain looming above the ruins.

    The Third Scroll of Al-Yasin

    This scroll starts out with the figure atop a mountain peak, carving unknown runes into a set of stone tablets. The figure then descends into a forested valley and makes his way to a pool of water, from which he is chased by indistinct and unseen creatures through the woods to the mouth of a cavern, which he enters in the final painting on this scroll.

    The Fourth Scroll of Al-Yasin

    Picking up the journey in the caverns, this scroll's illustrations show the robed figure, still carrying the tablets in his backpack, making his way through natural caverns dripping with water and ichor deeper into the groud. The final picture shows the figure descending an ancient stairway spiraling deeper into unknown and murky depths.

    The Fifth Scroll of Al-Yasin

    The last scroll known to be in the series, the first five pictures on it depict a journey through catacombs carved by inhuman hands, the walls covered in strange hieroglyphics and pictures, and bizarre half-seen statues in niches. The final painting shows a shadowy temple, with a large statue at one end of it depicting what looks like some unknown fiendish entity. The previously mentioned glowing portal can be seen between it's legs. In all six, the robed figure clutches a pack containing the tablets from the Third Scroll.

    The Sixth Scroll of Al-Yasin?

    Despite the fact that a sixth scroll has never been found, it has been theorized that a sixth scroll was created, and disappeared with Al-Yasin, or was intended to be created. The only evidence for this is that the first picture on the first scroll depicts the start of the journey, but the sixth picture on the fifth scroll does not depict the end of the journey. Collectors of Al-Yasin's work would surely pay good money for the sixth scroll, if it did exist, as would scholars who wish to study it, believing that the journey depicted is a real one.

    Note: CthulhuHawk, Sud Graufult"
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    The Curious Character of Al-Yasin (Score: 1)
    by MTG ( on Mon, October 08, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Reading this post reminds me of when I first read about House Toshna.

    The memory is pleasant.

    The term Cthuluhawk is not as transparent as it may seem to people familiar with the stories of H.P. Lovecraft, yet a post like this one illuminates the meaning of the term like flame flickering behind stained glass.


    From the heavy and layered robes that he wears, I suspect that the artist hides something physical - a mark of the spirt, which Arnd discerned so long ago.

    I imagine that Al-Yasin's paintings are cherished by the princes because of their striking realism, yet a stern mind judges his style as obsessive; there's always something not quite right about the details that he sees and chooses to render.

    His hands are gloved. Why? What festering secret have we been denied?

    I have learned the truth of Al-Yasin, and I will shar


    Here the scrolls ends in an unsettling ink stain.

    Re: The Curious Character of Al-Yasin (Score: 1)
    by Taras on Mon, October 08, 2001
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    The true fate of Al-Yasin, and the secrets of what drove him to behave as he did will be revealed in time. But I will offer this:

    From the writings of Rainer Fritz-Hannar, formerly a sage of Pontylver until he ran afoul of the Imperial Orthodox Church and found himself tried, convicted, and exectued for heresy and blasphemy.

    ...from following the works of Al-Yasin, it is easy to trace his descent into madness. The first of his paintings show the beauty in the world, although they offer hints about what may lay beneath that beauty. These are among the easiest of his works to find, for most of them were murals painted to glorify Pholtus and his cathedrals.

    The middle period of his works begin to show more of the hints of a darker truth behind things. A sharp eye can sometimes discern indistinct forms amid the shadows, meanacingly moving about the more mundane figures in the pictures. These paintings are harder to view, as many belong in private collections among the nobility.

    The last set of the Bakluni's works are among the hardest to find, for many have simply vanished. Those few I have been able to see have been uniformily disturbing, although there is often no reason for them to have such an effect. From even the few that I have seen, it is almost painfully obvious the painter had been driven mad, and was having delusional visions.

    Or so I hope...


    Re: The Sud Graufult: The Scrolls of Al-Yasin (Score: 1)
    by Man-of-the-Cranes ( on Mon, April 08, 2002
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    Another excellent and original piece in the Sud Graufult series. Taras promises us that we will learn more of the fate of our doomed artist, and I for one hope that we do.

    Man of the Cranes

    Re: The Sud Graufult: The Scrolls of Al-Yasin (Score: 1)
    by Argon on Mon, November 10, 2003
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    I can't believe I didn't notice this before. I really enjoyed the story behind Al-Yasin. Now I will look for your article's more often.

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