© Vladimir Markovic 11 November 2001


Thesaloniki, 19th August 2001

Dear Artemios,

I hesitated a little bit before introducing anyone to the most peculiar discovery I made recently, since most of my rationalist educated colleague historians are keen of proclaiming a charlatan anyone who would dare to enter elements of irrationalism and mysticism into the strictly positivistic science of ours. But since you are my brother and a priest, and since I have this feeling of unrest similar somewhat to that of a pregnant woman feeling the child dancing in her womb, I decided to share this with you.

            In his memories and official records, vizier Nizam Al Mulk, the governor of the Iranian province of Luristan, gives accounts about arresting Hasan-I-Sabah, a dangerous heretic and subversive missionary who was taken captive in the year 458 after Hejira, or 1080 after the Christís birth. However, the closest cooperative and fellow missionary of Hasanís, Tahir Suhrabi, managed to escape the vizierís seymens that night. In a reward given to the seymen commanders, vizier describes Suhrabi as a smallish, black-bearded man with eyes of a different color that always look mildly smiling; the amazement that he managed to escape the capture came from the fact that he had one leg shorter than another, and the honorable servant of Allah Nizam Al Mulk ascribes this to certain witchcraft skills these Ismailite sectarians had: some of them reportedly could put some Dead Sea salt on their eyelashes and turn invisible.

            Most likely it was Suhrabi who helped Hasan-I-Sabah to release himself from the imprisonment prior to a certain death sentence. Soon afterwards, Hasan gathered his followers and managed to take over the unconquerable mountain fortress of Alamut - the Eagleís Nest. Legend transmitted to Europe by Marco Polo as well as crusaders has it that he built there the incredible gardens filled with heavenly pleasures and first of these were heavenly women Ė hurias; the bravest of his soldiers were secretly brought into these gardens and into the embrace of delightful hurias and told they were allowed a short visit to Heaven, just for a preview of the future pleasures if they die like soldiers of Allah. And on the Earth, they were being fed by massive doses of hashish before getting into fights, being turned that way into cruellest murderers world has seen by that time: hashish-users or hashishins, assasins. At one moment, Hasan ĖI-Sabah had under his command more than ten thousand of loyal assasins, ready to die for him any time.      


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