Ibis, the Fount of Knowledge
Ibis was a lesser Stygian god, deeply opposed to Set. The priests of Ibis were driven from Stygia ages ago by the snake-worshippers of Set. Ibis was a god of knowledge, learning and magic. Priests of Ibis were scholars, sages, physicians and diviners. Ibis was not generous with his knowledge, but neither was he covetous of it. For those who worked long and hard at research and science, he was a faithful source of information. His worshippers claimed that Ibis was omniscient. It is said that Ibis maintained a set of three great books in which all the knowledge of the universe was recorded. These books were locked away at the heart of a great crypt somewhere in Stygia. Ibis seldom sent his physical avatar into the world, but might do so to further his own interests in seeking new knowledge or magic, or to oppose Set. Ibis could manifest as a sudden burst of inspiration or through dreams and visions.
The priests of Ibis sometimes allied with the priests of Mitra against their common enemy, the snake-worshipping cult of Set. The wizard-priest Kalanthes who led Ibis’ cult as its high priest and led its war against Set was sometimes referred to as “the last priest of Ibis.” Always a powerful enemy to the worshippers of Set, Kalanthes had a long history that spanned the lands of Hyboria. An old man by the time of King Conan, he commanded a powerful will and magic that arguably rivaled any other soul on the continent. There were many rumors and folktales about the high priest, some spanning back many years, which tell of his faith’s war with the dark serpent-god. The very hand of Ibis, Kalanthes had battled the darkness for a very long time.
Kalanthes had crossed paths with the adventuring Conan several times. Their lives were at stake almost every time, but fate saw it to spare them repeatedly. Even the most horrid and powerful of Set’s agents were unable to successfully take the high priest of Ibis from this world—a feat that only a few could ever boast. The command of his faith and the gifts it bestowed was dazzling and mysterious, when he chose to use them. The high priest of Ibis would like to think himself a normal Nemedian man, but he knew the nature of destiny all too well to ignore its call.
Kalanthes had made many allies, and counted a number of them as close friends. It seemed that, like his old friend and comrade King Conan, he had pulled back from the front lines of the war against Set in his later years. There were fewer stories of his magics, and the influence of the serpent-god on the world of men had not waned. Yet, there have been sightings of a man fitting a similar description around the beaches of the island of Tortage—an island that few would call a place of peaceful retirement. It is as if he was waiting for someone…