Tabib al-Bahr

There are a lot of creatures at A Book of Creatures that are vicious, predatory, or even cruel if they’re self-aware enough. All of them would be terrifying if they were real. Some of them are terrifying anyway.

This is the first on I’ve seen that’s broken my heart.

Here we have a creature of total kindness, compassion and mercy toward humanity. A creature that has the power to transform itself into f@#king Leviathan, and it uses that power only to aid and heal those who once held it prisoner.

And what happens? Upon capturing another one of these wondrous creatures, the very same people who benefited from this aid and healing “sacrifice” it for its gemstone.

Maybe we deserve the other monsters.

A Book of Creatures

Variations: Doctor of the Sea, Sea Doctor


The mysterious Tabib al-Bahr, the “Doctor of the Sea”, is found in the writings of the alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan. Its appearance is not very clear; we know that it is a fish with a yellow gemstone in its forehead, and that it is also human in shape. This marine animal, despite its considerable magical powers, is very caring and altruistic. It derives its name from the gemstone in its head, which can heal any ailment; it attends to other sea creatures by rubbing its head twice or thrice on their injuries, healing them instantly. Perhaps because of this self-sacrificing nature, the tabibs also do not resist capture by humans, instead waiting patiently for the right time to escape.

The gemstone of a tabib al-bahr is of great value to alchemy. If the creature is slaughtered and its stone taken out of its…

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