Ilahn was born on the island of Meridian, the second son of the isle's Minsiter. A power-hungry young man, he was intensely jealous of his older brother Turos, and hated him for his lack of ambition. Why would fate grant the birthright to such a one? Many times during their growing years the two brothers found themselves at odds with one another, usually because of Ilahn's desires.
One such situation was an affair of the heart. Both Ilahn and Turos desired the love and attention of the fair maiden Ideria. Ilahn was spurned, and Ideria married Turos. From that day forward, any semblance of brotherly love Ilahn had for his older sibling was washed away in a torrent of hate and jealousy.
When their father died, Turos was installed as Minister of Meridian while Ilahn went away and married the daughter of the Minister of Cadador. When both his father-in-law and his wife subsequently died, Ilahn was proclaimed Minister of Cadador. Though Cadador was a much larger and influential island on the planet Demetria, Ilahn would never be satisfied until he had taken Meridian away from his brother.
Minister of Cadador
Each island and village on the planet Demetria contributes to the world trade economy in differing ways. Most provide goods either unavailable to others, or at a such a high level of craftsmanship that their wares are highly sought after above all others. Akasia, a village on the planet's surface, was known for its dye and dyed cloth, which they produced by leeching acidic toxins from th surrounding soil. Meridian was the leading producer of airships. Cadador, however was not a producer of goods as much as a leader in trade and commerce because of their large population.
Once Minister of Cadador, Ilahn molded the island into a controlling force. He built the island's militia into the largest army and sky navy on the planet, and used it to introduce veiled threats on the other cities of Demetria. In about a decade, Ilahn became the undisputed ruler of worldwide commerce, and few retained the resolve to challenge his authority. In fact, only Meridian stood outside his indirect control, its ship-building community still too vital to the world economy for Ilahn to attempt a direct takeover.
Years later, when Turos's daughter Sephie was in her mid teenage years, Ilahn came to Meridian for an official state visit. Ostensibly, Ilahn wished to clear the hated and mistrust between the two brothers, and kind-hearted Turos allowed for the opportunity. A trade bargain was struck between the two brothers, and a celebration was thrown in honor of the reconciliation and the new agreement.
That night, while sharing drinks on the balcony of Turos's estate, a mystical bird appeared to the two brothers. This creature, an aspect of Solusandra
, granted the two of them Sigils of power. Both men were brought to their knees during the transference, but Ilahn quickly recovered. No so for Turos, because Ilahn had been secretly poisoning his brother, in the hopes of one day soon being able to take over Meridian as Regent and controlling the island through Sephie. As Turos lay dying, Sephie (who had already lost her mother) rushed to her father's side and cradled him as he drew his last breath. At the instant of his death, the Sigil on her father transferred itself to Sephie, and became a permanent on prominent seal on her forehead. Ilahn, whose Sigil had attached itself to his throat, hurried to conceal his new mark, and thereby not draw attention to himself.
Ilahn convinced the city council of Meridian that Turos had been attacked and killed by an assassin, and that they should be on their guard. In sorrow, Sephie and the other Meridianites retired to their beds for the night. Ilahn then hires an assassin to attack his young niece in her bed. Ilahn, who has now already experimented some with his Sigil's power, believes Sephie will survive the ordeal, allowing him to learn of her power. If she does not survive, then the last obstacle in controlling Meridian will be forever gone.
Later that night, the assassin makes his attempt, but Sephie protects herself unconsciously with the Sigil, and the attacker is slain. Using the attack as an excuse, Ilahn has Turos's mansion set aflame, rousing the city in alarm. Ilahn comes and convinces Sephie and the city council that she is no longer safe on Meridian. As her only living blood relative, he claim the right to be her guardian and takes her with him when he returns to Cadador.
Ilahn leaves Jon Takarty as interim Minister until such time it is safe for Sephie to return and claim the title. Unknown to all, as Ilahn is leaving Meridian, his navy is approaching and setting up to invade and conquer the island once and for all. Ilahn decides he can better deal with Sephie on his own island.
The city council, led by Jon Takarty, makes their way under Meridian through a secret network of passages build for just such an occasion. Joined by as many citizens as can get away from the invaders, they board airships hidden in a secret cave in the lower recesses of Meridian and escape into the night, in search of a new home. Ilahn proclaims himself Regent of Meridian, leaving Sephie as Minister in exile.
Over the ensuing days, Ilahn demonstrates his power to Sephie, at one point using it to disintegrate her hairbrush as a form of threat. Once he was gone, Sephie used her own powers to reform the hairbrush, showing that her powers were based in healing and repair rather than destruction. Sephie soon flees the ultra-conservative and controlling society, stealing an airship and making her escape. She is quickly discovered by Ilahn's navy and attacked. Thinking her a common thief until too late, Sephie is knocked from her ship and plummets thousands of feet to the planet surface. When Ilahn hears the report, he believes Sephie dead, and so begins to further his plans for the domination of Meridian and then Demetria.
Consorting with goddesses and gods
Before Sephie disappears, Ilahn is confronted by the Muse of Giatan, an old seeress who speaks to Ilahn in cryptic riddles. The Muse seems to constantly pit Ilahn against Sephie and set him down the path of world dominance. The few times the Muse appears to Sephie, she seem to take her side as well, so her real design remains unclear for some time.
Soon after Sephie's fall, the newcomer Reesha Teramu
presents herself to Ilahn in a venture to become his protégé and eventual consort. Not interested at first, Ilahn eventually sees the benefits of the relationship Reesha is offering, and takes her under his wing. Reesha is just as power hungry as Ilahn, but she lacks the ruthlessness of her new mentor, an attribute which Ilahn begins to hone.
Ilahn then learns from the Akasian city council that Sephie is not dead, and that she is in their care. Ilahn travels personally to Akasia to retrieve her, but by the time he arrives Sephie has escaped into the surrounding forest. At first, Maraya, Minister of Akasia tries to hide her escape from Ilahn, and then attempt to hold him prisoner for a ransom from Cadador. In his fury, Ilahn uses his powers to nearly completely destroy the surface village, forcing its citizens to flee and rebuild their community elsewhere.
Upon returning to Cadador, Ilahn sets his forces to search for Sephie, then goes about his business of consolidating his hold on Demetria. The Muse reappears and and introduces Ilahn to a new ally, Rho Rhustane. Rhustane is in reality Rhorf
of the First, and has been assigned by Ingra
to watch over and learn about the Sigil-bearer. Rhustane offers to initiate talks between Cadador and his own home of Elysia, as well as training in his new powers. In return, Ilahn requests to see the home of Rhustane's people, a proposition Rhustane at first says is not possible, but is soon goaded into by Ilahn.
Ilahn and Reesha are whisked to House Sinister in Elysia, and Rhustane reveals himself to be the godlike being known as Rhorf. Upon entering the god's dwelling place, he is immediately met with fear and suspicion because another Sigil-bearer was responsible for the demise of one of their kind, something thought impossible until that day. While visiting a monument to Altwaal, Ilahn is attacked and speared in the back by one of the First. Ilahn's wound was mortal and he should have died, but he learned he could use the force of his will to heal himself. He also immediately discovers that he can siphon the life force of nearby First, and subsequently begins to drain all of those nearby, nearly losing control of the flow of energy. Declaring he will not become a slave of the power, he masters the energy flow and releases the stricken gods.
Ilahn forces Rhustane to return himself and Reesha to Cadador, and demands the cowed god's allegiance. Rhustane is warned not to betray the Minister, and is reminded that Ilahn will one day return to Elysia and make it his own after he has complete dominance of Demetria. In fear, Rhustane complies and is sent to Meridian to consolidate the Cadadorian control over the island. (Rhorf has also been commanded by Ingra to remain close and keep an eye on the powerful Sigil-bearer. Rhustane offers Ilahn a share of his own godly power, but he refuses. Reesha, however, accepts the gift, and is changed by Rhustane into a lighting wielding demi-goddess.
Leaving Reesha in charge of Cadador, Ilahn begins to journey about the planet, strengthening his hold over trade. He enforces his embargo against the island of Torbel. Torbel is a massive and mostly artificial island that produces pods for the islands of Demetria. These pods are filled with the ore which allows the world's islands to float above the surface. Ilahn has been angered because he believes the Torbelites have broken their trade agreement with Cadador by not offering the latest in ore pod technology.
Though Torbel produces the ore pods, they must buy the levitating mineral from the surface mining communities just like every other island in the sky. This precious ore (if added to the island artificially to allow for more mass to be added to the island) loses it's levitating ability over time, and must be replaced with new, fresh ore. Since Ilahn has placed an embargo on Torbel, they have been unable to purchase new ore for many months, and their island has begun to slowly fall.
Torbel, at first unwilling to bow to Ilahn's demands for ore pod technology, now relents and attempts to reconcile with the mad Cadadorian Minister. Ilahn, now drunk with his power and dreams of world dominance, refuses their plea and decides to make an example of the island. He declares *"Torbel will fall."*
Battle with Sephie
As Torbel begins to fall, Sephie and her Pirates of the Wind arrives attempt to evacuate the island. Sephie, using her Sigil powers strives to repair the island and renew its failing ore, but is unsuccessful. She then tries to keep the island aloft for as long as she can, giving the evacuees more time. Ultimately she is exhausted, and she and the massive island fall from the sky, killing thousands.
Sephie is restored by the Muse of Giatan (who appears to her as an energy being), and she begins to heal as many survivors of Torbel as possible. This done, she takes Rho Rhustane's huge cannon-armed ship and proceeds to liberate Meridian from Ilahn's control.
Ilahn and Reesha follow, and Sephie is finally confronted by her uncle. A great battle ensues, and Ilahn believes he has the upper hand but he is mistaken. In the ruins of her father's house, the two unleash destructive forces against one another. Sephie, who had always before been unwilling to take a life, now realizes that she must defend herself with like force. Though Ilahn has more experience using his powers in an offensive manner, Sephie has been honed and hardened by her months on the run with her pirates.
When Ilahn and Sephie touch directly, they begin to share life experiences through a sort of sympathetic telepathy, but Sephie rejects it and forces Ilahn's power back upon itself. To everyone looking on, it appears that Sephie disintegrates her uncle, but in reality he teleports himself away at the last moment, knowing he could not win the battle. For reasons all her own, Sephie does not tell her friends and crew otherwise, leaving them all to believe that she has killed her uncle. Reesha goes into hiding upon the apparent death of Ilahn, and begins to scheme how to regain and keep control of Cadador and enact revenge on Sephie and her Pirates of the Wind.
Reesha infiltrates back into Cadadorian society as Sephie asserts her claim as Minister of Cadador (being Ilahn's only living blood relative). Reesha begins working behind the scenes to take the reins of authority away from the teenager.
Ilahn, who is not dead, reveals himself to Reesha and makes her privy to his plans. Something has happened to Ilahn during his absence. He has shed decades of age, and his missing eye has been restored. He begins secretly working with Reesha to strengthen his ability to teleport, and under the prodding of the Muse of Giatan learns he can travel anywhere he can picture in his mind's eye. The Muse also teleports Ilahn into the middle of the sky, forcing him to learn to fly like Sephie (though he never gains her level of proficiency).
His teleportation skills growing, Ilahn travels the world again to warn the various island's Ministers against recognizing Sephie as a Minister or giving her aide in the future. Returning to Cadador, Ilahn puts his next scheme into mostion. Along with his major-domo, Ilahn forges a will that states he left the Minister-ship of Cadador to his consort Reesha. Ilahn's schemes have now moved beyond dominance of Meridian, to absolute control of Demetria and the worlds beyond. To this end he plans to install Reesha as his puppet minister. At Sephie's installation ceremony, Reesha confronts the council with the fake will, and they proclaim it to be authentic. Reesha Teramu is installed as Minster instead of Sephie.
Ilahn continues to work behind the scenes. Now that Cadador is firmly back under his control via Reesha Teramu, he turns his attention to getting his revenge on Sephie. Once he has taken care of her, he intends to fully conquer all of Demetria, then move on to make Elysia his next conquest in order to dominate the remainder of the galaxy. There seems no end to what and who Ilahn is willing to sacrifice in order to destroy Sephie.
Ilahn begins working on perfecting his budding power of teleportation. Prodded on by the Muse of Giatan, he pushes himself further and further until he is successful in taking himself to other worlds. Accomplishing this, Ilahn approaches other Sigil-bearers and enlists their aide against Sephie (by lying about her true nature).
Sephie and her Pirates of the Wind reach the quiet city of Nescoan in her sunship. Sephie sheds her usual dress and demeanor to better present herself to the Minister of Nescoan. The island prides itself on its etiquette and excellence. Nearly the entire city is a place of peace, with even the "bad" part of town being far better than most of Demetria's other larger cities. Sephie discovers that Ilahn and the Minister of Nescoan have conspired against her. The negotiations nearly deteriorate into violence before Sephie can withdrawn in failure.
After Sephie completes a mission to the lost city of Sheristan, Ilahn and his co-opted Sigil-bearers from other worlds track her down and launch a furious attack. Since they have been tricked into believing Sephie is evil, and because they are born warriors on their own worlds, these new enemies attack with great ferocity. Their combined attacks are nearly more than Sephie can take, but she handles herself well by remembering the life of Samandahl Rey. Ilahn also grows angry when they seem to nearly kill her, a pleasure he wanted reserved only for himself.
Sephie is saved by the very same sympathetic telepathy she had shared with her uncle and Samandahl Rey. When she makes contact with Lord Birrema of Courabo, she learns that she is able to siphon off their sigil power in much the same way Ilahn was able to drain the First. She also learns his ability to make a sword, shield, and armor of light from the connection. In turn, Birrema learns of Sephie's true nature and the lies of Ilahn. He helps Sephie to her feet, and she quickly dispatches the remaining Sigil-bearers, leaving her free to confront Ilahn.
Sephie closes on Ilahn, and begins to drain Ilahn of his power. Believing the strength of his will is greater than her own, Ilahn presses into the connection, but is soon overwhelmed by Sephie greater resolve. She drains him of nearly every erg of power remaining to him, and rises stronger than ever before, dressed in armor of light.
With the little tiny bit of power remaining to him, Ilahn teleports himself away in an effort to rebuild his power. Sephie then tells her friends and crew that her time on Demetria is done, and that she knows her destiny. Sephie flies away from sight, into what fate has for her.
Note on CrossGen Comics
Meridian was one of the few CrossGen comics titles to come fully to a close before the company went bankrupt and ceased publishing. The Negation War title ceased printing before the storyline could be completed, so Ilahn's role in the conflict remains unknown.