Who is Ishmael?
So, I’ve been asked this on occasion. “Who is this Ishmael? Was he some super-smart guy? Was he some inventor or a charismatic leader?”
Here’s the quick and dirty on Ishmael:
Ishmael was the only son of a somewhat delusional vagabond, and self-identifying “prophet” who called himself Semaj. Semaj spent his final days wandering from town to town warning about the impending apocalypse. Sure enough, it did happen. Ishmael picked up where his father left off.
He spent a number of years before the second dark age preparing for what Semaj called “the annihilation of knowledge.” He researched brilliant people, he discovered their last known locations, and he downloaded as much information as he could. He created a digital “Library of Alexandria” that he called the Treasure Trove.
After the fall, he set out on a mission to do two things. One mission was to save as many of the brilliant minds he could and create a University of some kind to speed about a recovery. The second mission continued his father’s prophetic preaching about God, whom Semaj called “The Supreme Rational”.
It took much longer than Ishmael anticipated. In the meantime, a nihilistic cult emerged named The Cult of Ultros. They hunted down many of the people Ishmael sought to rescue. In the end, Ishmael only saved about fifty people. However, this was enough.
Most of the people he rescued had already saved their most important works and added them to Ishmael’s library. They gathered in the Pacific Northwest (exact location not known) and founded City-State. During that time, Ultros rose to power and turned its followers into death-worshiping barbarians. Eventually, Ishmael and Ultros clashed starting a war.
Ishmael won that war, Ultros was killed, and his followers were scattered. Or so it was believed. But some of the followers of Ultros survived. But Ishmael died believing he had destroyed his enemies. In the war, only three of the fifty people he saved had survived, these men and women were known as The Builders, survived.
Some other items:
· It was only after Ishmael had passed away that the remnants of Ultros were able to infiltrate and corrupt City-State.
· Ishmael is revered as a messianic-type figure. Some even grant him a quasi-deity status. Most people believe he was just a man (in traditional human form).
· In our works, the curse “Ishmael’s pain!” is often uttered. It is slightly taboo like the “F word” or using the Lord’s name in vain.
· Ishmael created the layered construction of City-State, including the technology that sinks the city into the ground as new layers are built. However, he would have never anticipated seven layers and one hundred million people living within City-State. At this point in time, Ishmael would have anticipated that people left City-State and created new nations.
· During the war with Ultros, Ishmael piloted an MWS (mobile weapons system) similar to “Gears” in the video game Xenogears. Or if you’re unfamiliar with Squaresoft’s best game ever, think of Gundam Wing. Google it.
Ishmael was (and still is) a powerful force in City-State.