The Thin Executioner

Timeline by Coleman Wylie

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The Journey Begins

After being publicly humiliated by his father, a very respected man because he is the town executioner (a position equal to nobility), Jebel Rum decides to undertake a perilous quest in order to petition a god, Sabbah Eid for inhuman powers. He takes with him a slave, Tel Hesani, to be sacrificed, as is custom. Jebel leaves his world of security behind in order to risk it all on a journey a land filled with lawlessness and savagery.

This event is Jebel's call to adventure that will change his life forever. When he starts this journey he is fiercely arrogant and prideful, which was normal in his homeland, but elsewhere he may not be able to be that way.

The picture shows a man who is about to journey into lands unknown with no civilization. This corresponds to Jebel's quest, which will have him traveling to very uncivilized places.

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Jebel is forced into becoming a slave for two men who betrayed him. Jebel is starved, left to face the cold, and forced to do acts that he is strongly against. Completely subject to the cruelty of other men, the tables have turned for Jebel.

This event is a major point in Jebel's journey, a point that completely changes his views and beliefs. Once proud and arrogant, he now feels what it's like to be a slave; his outlook on life takes a significant change.

The picture shows a man chained because he is subject to the cruelties of others. Jebel is forced to face this injustice and he will never be able to think of a slave the same way again.

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After breaking free from slavery, Jebel and Tel Hesani are reunited. Jebel has since changed, and he begins to think of Tel Hesani as a friend, rather than as a slave beneath him. Their journey has begun to change Jebel, and it has allowed him to finally view Tel Hesani as a companion.

This point marks a major development for Jebel. His views and morals have begun to change as a result of the many perils in his quest. It is a very serious change compared to the boy who first started the journey.

The picture shows two hands shaking, which is a sign of mutual respect. Jebel and Tel Hesani have finally achieved this respect with one another, which is a large milestone in Jebel's development.

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Among Savages

Jebel and Tel Hesani may have escaped slavery, but they are now confronted with a larger threat. Taken in by Qasr Bint, a savage who justifies killing through religion, the duo is forced to travel with Bint and his entourage of vicious disciples. They witness Bint and his followers brutally murder innocent villagers, but luckily, the heretics attack a village that manages to defeat them. Jebel and Tel Hesani manage to escape.

This is the duo's first experience of savagery in the form of cold-blooded murderers. These vicious people have a large part in shaping Jebel's views on killing.

The photo shows an illustration of the child savages from "Lord of the Flies", where boys became savages. This relates to the people Jebel was forced to travel with, vicious savages with no regard for life.

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The Transformation

Jebel and Tel Hesani finally arrive at the mountain to petition the god for inhuman powers. However, they are confronted by an old enemy Qasr Bint, who fatally wounds Tel Hesani before dying. As Tel lays dying, Sabbah Eid commands Jebel to sacrifice him, however, Jebel can't bring himself to do it. Tel Hesani dies, and Sabbah Eid grants Jebel the powers he wanted. The custom of sacrifice is a sham, and Sabbah Eid only grants powers to those who are good, rather than those evil enough to sacrifice someone else.

This is the climax of the book, Jebel's development has come full circle, and he is unable to kill Tel Hesani even though earlier in the story he hated and despised him. Jebel is now a new person with extraordinary powers to boot.

The symbol in the picture is the symbol of transformation in alchemy. It corresponds to Jebel's transformation from a proud and arrogant boy to a caring and good man.

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Returning Home

Jebel returns home with his new powers to replace his father as the town executioner. He wins the position after a series of contests, but once he's the executioner, he finds himself unable to kill mercilessly. He finds a loophole, which allows him to keep his position yet also keep criminals from being killed. The people in his town hate him for it, but Jebel manages to stop this injustice.

Jebel comes to his home with his new powers and morals and effectively stops the injustice of mercilessly killing all criminals present in his culture. Because of this most of the people in his society hate him (save for a select few) but Jebel has been able to put his powers to use for the greater good.

The picture shows an executioner's axe, and Jebel, for the duration of the book, covets the position of town executioner, which is a morally grey job. Fortunately, Jebel manages to turn the profession of being execution into a means for the great good.