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Image of Firim
Title The Mad Scribe,[1][2]
the Devout,[3]
the Fallible,[4]
the Exile[5][6][7]
Gender Male
Race Broker (Humanoid)
Reaction Alliance Horde
Affiliation(s) Independent
Former affiliation(s) Enlightened, Cartel Al
Location Zereth Mortis
Status Active
Companion(s) Barnaby, Polly (vombata mounts), Kbato (automa servant)

Firim (formerly Al'firim) is an eccentric broker encountered in Zereth Mortis. He was originally a member of Cartel Al and led an expedition to search for the Sepulcher of the First Ones, a mission that ended with his disappearance and the other brokers labeling him a madman and heretic.

In reality, his expedition succeeded in reaching Zereth Mortis, the land of the First Ones, but once there Firim was turned into a pariah again: his colleagues renamed themselves the Enlightened and declared him an apostate for wanting to continue to study the mysteries of the First Ones instead of simply revering them, eventually leading them to banish him from their town of Haven.[8] Firim himself, who now lives in Exile's Hollow, is of the opinion that the Enlightened are dogmatic[9] and too small-minded to appreciate his self-proclaimed genius.[8]

Firim plays a central role in the Zereth Mortis campaign.


In search of the Sepulcher[]

After Cartel Al outbid Cartel Ta on leading an expedition to search for the Sepulcher of the First Ones[10] and found a clue to its location, seemingly a piece of writing from the First Ones, Al'firim—who had earned a reputation for translation and codebreaking—began deciphering it. Despite his self-proclaimed genius, he almost faltered due to the difficulty of the task. According to him, it felt like an eternity passed before he had the first inkling of what the glyphs represented. His cartel brought in helpers and apprentices to assist him, none of which lasted for long, and later told him to stop as they had found another broker to take up the work. Al'firim refused, since he knew that their planned replacement was an old female rival of his whom he had vowed would never "usurp" his position again. As he continued his work, he eventually reached a realization that was so startling that it caused reality itself to seem to "melt away" and which Al'firim himself described as "the most wondrous revelation of my storied career" and "the greatest discovery of our time". However, he also admitted that he was still only just starting to understand the language of the First Ones.[4] The fact that he decoded any of the glyphs at all was more progress than other brokers had made in ages of study. However, as the expedition's search for the Sepulcher continued from afterlife to afterlife, each dispatch they sent back became less and less coherent. In Tazavesh, the brokers began to talk of Al'firim as "the Mad Scribe".[2]

Al'firim embarked on journeys throughout the Shadowlands and sought out scholars and explorers, but found few who shared his interest in the "great mysteries". At one point he joined a trade expedition to Bastion, where he met a kyrian aspirant willing to bring him to the Eonian Archives. However, one of the Ascended was alerted of this, and Al'firim's expedition was escorted out of the realm and warned never to return.

Ages later, he secured an invitation to Maldraxxus' Theater of Pain. While his companions enjoyed the sport in the arena, Al'firim traveled alone across the wasteland to the Sepulcher of Knowledge and sought outs its most ancient history texts. When he asked the tower's guarding liches if there were any older tomes, they replied that those were reserved for the Primus and told him to leave immediately.

A thousand truths[]

In Oribos, he finally found someone who shared his curiosity: the attendant Overseer Kah-Sher. Kah-Sher enjoyed sharing what he knew with Al'firim, but the broker found little of value in what he said. When Kah-Sher mentioned that he'd had a similar conversation with Al'firim's old rival, the broker decided that the conversation was pointless and left.[11] On his way out, he ran into the soul of an insectoid mortal named Irik-tu, who explained that the mortal plane was populated by countless worlds of varied beings who, unlike those in the Shadowlands, did not trade in anima—a concept that seemed strange and foreign to Al'firim. The broker asked Irik-tu what he knew of the origin of the mortal plane, but to his disappointment, the soul replied with a creation myth that Al'firim dismissed as nothing more than a superstitious fable.[12]

However, one thing Irik-tu said stuck in Al'firim's mind: the soul spoke of "a thousand truths". The broker eventually realized that the key to interpreting the First Ones' writing lay in setting aside his preconceptions and seeing a greater reality beyond them. He suddenly saw the pattern not as one truth, but as layer of intersecting truths. He concluded that each of the cosmic forces could be ruled by a pantheon of powerful beings, just like the Eternal Ones ruling over the force of Death; that the mortal plane (which was believed by brokers to simply be a "distant corner of reality" created by the First Ones to supply the Shadowlands with souls and anima) could be "the very nexus of existence" where several different forces hold sway; and that if the different forces compete with one another to claim it, they might be driven by the unconscious knowledge of another outside force that seeks it as well. Al'firim concluded his last report to his cartel by stating that he refused to abandon the search for the Sepulcher until he was proven right and "all truths" were revealed to him.[3]

Eventually, many cycles passed without any more contact from Al'firim's expedition, and it was widely believed that he, like others before him, had gone mad from his study of the First Ones' fractals. The rest of Cartel Al ascribed his disappearance to his "troubled condition"[2] and dismissed his reports as the writings of a lunatic, heretic, and criminal. They appointed Al'firim's rival as his replacement in the search for the Sepulcher and assigned operatives in Oribos to the task of tracking down the "criminal" and those who decided to join his "doomed expedition".[1] As Ta'lora of Cartel Ta delved into the First Ones' mysteries for himself, however, he started doubting this version of events and suggested that Al'firim had in fact succeeded in finding the Sepulcher and that he simply couldn't yet return because of the sheer amount of knowledge that had been revealed to him.[2]

Firim in exile[]

This was indeed the case: the fractals had aligned and Al'firim and his expedition found the way to Zereth Mortis, the realm of the First Ones. According to the broker himself, no one else but him could have come up with the incredibly complex portal formulae required to succeed. Upon arrival, some expedition members tried to plunder the land's mysteries but were killed by the First Ones' servants. The survivors heeded Al'firim's warnings and founded the village of Haven from which they could begin their work.[13]

As the Al delved deeper into the land's mysteries, they began to regard the knowledge they gleaned as sacred. They decided they couldn't send word of their discoveries back to their cartel and allow outsiders to plunder and disrupt the realm. They destroyed their portals and Al'firim blotted out his own translocation equations from his mind, thereby willingly stranding themselves in the realm. They named themselves Enlightened and renounced their cartel prefixes, with Al'firim from then on being known simply as "Firim". However, a schism soon appeared in the ranks:[14] Firim was still determined to reach the Sepulcher, but the others claimed that it was too sacred and began sabotaging his research when he wasn't looking. Their feud stretched on until the Enlightened declared Firim a heretic and apostate and banished him from Haven. He moved to Exile's Hollow, determined that he'd outpace his former colleagues in exile.[8]

Although access to the Sepulcher remained elusive, Firim learned much by observing Zereth Mortis' caretakers, the automa. He realized that they were responsible for helping to forge new afterlives, and that they and everything in the Shadowlands was part of the First Ones' grand pattern.[15] However, despite his linguistic skills, he found it a challenge to understand their language, the Cypher of the First Ones, which he realized was the key to understanding the First Ones' creations.[16] One day when he was studying the rarest type of automa, an oracle, he heard (or rather felt) its voice. He realized that the oracles spoke in both one truth and a thousand at the same time, which led to more realizations: that the minds of the First Ones themselves must be even more complex, that all of the lesser cosmic beings were limited by nature as the First Ones had given each of their "children" only a portion of their gifts, and that this was why the cosmic forces were in constant conflict. At this insight, Firim fell unconscious as, in his own words, he had "once again transcended into a new plane of thought".[17]

For a long time, Firim considered his earlier realization about the six cosmic forces pointing toward a seventh unknown one to simply be a contradiction he had to solve. However, as the oracle's song continued to reverberate in him, he reached another insight: that the number of forces was both six and seven ("The six were one, and the seventh the other"), and that "Both were, yet only one could be". It was not a variable to solve, but a solution awaiting its opportunity. He concluded that "the song" must not be allowed to end, but wondered who would continue to sing it if the First Ones did not.[18]

Eternity's End[]

Strangers in a Strange Land

Firim, Barnaby, and Polly on the Path of Inception.

Firim was gathering data at the Path of Inception with his vombata Barnaby and Polly when two outsiders arrived to Zereth Mortis: Pelagos and a Maw Walker.[19] He agreed to help guide them to Haven, where they could reconnect with the allies they'd left behind in Oribos, if they helped him by obtaining an automa hand[20] and using it to retrieve a mysterious primordial core from the Genesis Vestibule.[21] Once they'd done so, he guided them to Haven, which was under attack from the Jailer's Mawsworn forces. Despite the differences between him and the Enlightened, Firim didn't want to see Haven destroyed and—before leaving—told the Maw Walker to help protect the place.[22]

Security Measures end

Firim, Pelagos, and the oracle in Exile's Hollow.

The Maw Walker later opened a portal connection between Zereth Mortis and Oribos, allowing Cartel Xy to start sending assassins after Firim in the hopes of getting their hands on his research.[23] Firim was able to fend off most of the attackers with hidden traps around Exile's Hollow.[24] Meanwhile, Pelagos and the Maw Walker found an unconscious oracle and—after not getting any help from the Enlightened[25]—went looking for Firim, who insisted that they should be the ones helping him since they'd led the assassins right to him.[26] While the Maw Walker took out some of the Xy assassins[23] and reset Firim's traps,[24] Pelagos brought the oracle from Haven. Her presence activated the core the Maw Walker had obtained for Firim earlier, causing it to awaken into a tiny automa. The automa was attracted to the Cypher Console, a device Firim kept in his cave but which he'd never gotten to work, before suddenly running out of the hollow[27] and leading the broker and Maw Walker on a trip to several similar consoles around Zereth Mortis, revealing more of the cyphers' meaning to them in the process.[28] The automa then returned to the console in Exile's Hollow, helped the Maw Walker use it, and revealed its name: Pocopoc. Firim reflected on the fact that the automa seemed to have chosen the Maw Walker to be the one to unlock Zereth Mortis' secrets, and stated that he'd be watching the hero closely.[29]


Zereth Mortis Campaign[]

Into the Unknown
  1. N [60] Strangers in a Strange Land Activequest
  2. N [60] Long Lost Firim AvailablequestActivequest
  3. N [60] Give Me A Hand AvailablequestActivequest
  4. N [60] A Mutual Exchange and N [60] For Research Purposes AvailablequestActivequest
  5. N [60] The Road to Haven AvailablequestActivequest
Forming an Understanding
  1. N [60] Finding Firim Activequest
  2. N [60] Security Measures and N [60] Unseen Agents AvailablequestActivequest
  3. N [60] Now You May Speak AvailablequestActivequest
  4. N [60] Surveying Cyphers AvailablequestActivequest
  5. N [60] Cyphers of the First Ones AvailablequestActivequest
Cypher of the First Ones & Cypher Console



Into the Unknown
Main article: Strangers in a Strange Land#Notes
Main article: Long Lost Firim#Notes
Main article: Give Me A Hand#Notes
Main article: A Mutual Exchange#Notes
Main article: The Road to Haven#Notes
Forming an Understanding
Main article: Finding Firim#Notes
Main article: Security Measures#Notes
Main article: Now You May Speak#Notes
Main article: Surveying Cyphers#Notes
Main article: Cyphers of the First Ones (quest)#Notes


  • Are we worthy of such knowledge?
  • Do you see the patterns? The fractals?
  • I will glean their secrets!
  • I'm so close to understanding... Oh. Hello.
  • The wonders of Zereth Mortis are endless.
  • What do you seek?
  • You're interrupting my research!
  • Leave me to my thoughts.
  • The glories of the First Ones will be revealed.
  • The mysteries of this land await.
  • There is always more to learn.
  • Will I ever truly know everything?
  • You can never research too much.
  • Zereth Mortis holds much to discover.


Genesis Vestibule
What a strange creature you are.
Genesis Vestibule after N [60] Give Me A Hand
This is just an unfortunate setback.
Exile's Hollow
Can't you see I'm doing something? Begone.
Exile's Hollow after N [60] Finding Firim
My research is too brilliant for both the Enlightened and the cartels to resist.
It seems I must rely on you to help me protect it.
During N [60] Now You May Speak
You bring change, and with it, knowledge.
After N [60] Materials of Creation
Gossip Can I use your Forge-Tap?
Firim says: Any resources you harvest will help in our efforts.
After N [60 Daily] Trappings of Success
Gossip Do you have a spare Containment Trap?
Firim says: I am glad to see you continuing this line of research.



  • The Enlightened Elder Zoor blames Firim for the Mawsworn attack on Haven, believing that the Exile's study of forbidden knowledge caused the Enlightened to lose the First Ones' favor.[30]
  • His generic name is Exiled Enlightened.

Patch changes[]

See also[]


External links[]

Firim Exiled Enlightened