When a world lives too long and drifts from The Way, only one person can terminate the Iteration without scattering corrupted fragments that threaten other worlds.
For most of the history of the Abidan, there was no Ozriel. They eliminated worlds the old-fashioned way, and most of their manpower was spent defending Iterations from chaos-corrupted fragments. Ozriel reduced the threat of corruption to such a degree that the Abidan could spread their manpower to an unprecedented degree. Where once it took hundreds of Abidan to protect and maintain a single Iteration, now that same team could supervise an entire Sector of ten or more worlds.
However, the entire system of the current Abidan now hinges on one man.
Where most Judges are rule-abiding and structured by nature, Ozriel is not so rigid. He often challenges Abidan laws and traditions, trying to change and improve the policies of their organization. He might have succeeded by now if he were willing to relinquish control and cooperate with others. But, traditionally, he has never been much of a team player. When others don't agree with him, he tends to do exactly what he wants anyway.
As the one individual in existence with a world-erasing superweapon, he's used to getting his way.
And now he's missing.
Ozriel stood in his polished black armor, the Mantle of Ozriel streaming behind him like a boiling cape of shadow, and the white hair running down his back. His face cold and distant and grim.
In person, he had more of a sense of humor than any other Abidan, but he always wore an expression like a man bracing himself for terrible news.
Ozriel was accomplished and skilled enough to fulfill the duties of every Judge but Suriel. He has no ability as a Phoenix. He has made it a point to befriend both the previous Suriel and this one, holding their talents in high esteem.
His coming brought about an era of explosive growth for the Abidan. His predictive abilities rivaled that of Makiel, The Judge of Fate. His skills far exceed that of the Spider such that when he went into hiding Telariel could not find him despite his best attempts and full exertion. He was irreplaceable and the cornerstone around which the Abidan inadvertently found themselves growing. Ozriel is well-known as the most powerful Judge since the first generation of the Abidan Court, and possibly of all time.
Ozriel was born on Cradle as a boy named Ozmanthus, named after a flower on Cradle. At a young age he found out about a secret land called Arelius, in which he spent hours every day studying, along with his training. Presumably around seven years old, he found out, as a Jade, that most of his friends of the same age group were Coppers. This did not disturb him, however, because he just wanted to find Arelius. He designed his Path around weapon creation, and became a talented Soulsmith. His soulsmithing laboratory was located in the Labyrinth. Some time after this, he thought, 'why be inefficient'? and modified his path to one of absolute destruction. At some point in time, he gave himself a last name, Arelius, after the land he wanted to find. He switched his weapon to a broom, to be unique and different from other people. Soon, in front of a team of scholars (presumably studying Icons) he manifested the Broom Icon. He was highly disturbed after three of the scholars killed themselves within the week. He realized that, by isolating more people, the world would praise him. He created the Arelius clan some time after. He left a black marble filled with a void vortex to his clan, in the hopes that his successor would use the marble to ascend.
After ascending, the Abidan took a test on him to see which Judges he was compatible with. He turned out to be compatible with six of the seven Judges, all but the Phoenix, Suriel. After tampering with The Way he was tried by the court. Makiel the Hound wanted him executed, but the other six judges decided to give him a special position in the Judges, designated The Reaper, along with giving him a new name, Ozriel. After sensing chaos in Iteration 216: Limit, Ozriel took a hiding spot, and sat there for ages. He hoped his successors would ascend from Cradle and become as strong as he was, but his second hope never came. Some of his descendants did ascend, but did not gain any alerting power. Around 35 years before the story began (but see note on his age) he decided to reincarnate himself into a baby from the Arelius clan. In order to take human form again, he had to leave behind (in storage) a good portion of his power and ability. He also cloaked his true form.
Contestants had to be no older than 35 years old to participate in Uncrowned King Tournament, in books 7-8. So Ozriel reincarnated would be only about 29 or 30 when the series begins.
Spoiler bk 10
- Spoiler spoiler
- Excerpt from Reaper (Spoiler!):
- “My full name is Ozmanthus Tiberian Mereithan Arelius. Always hated it. Such a mouthful. My mother called me Eithan.” He looked from one face to another. “My power was restricted, but I was still. . .me.”