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Fanfic: Antiphony
“Another firsthand lesson, Princess. Never allow another to have power over you.”

One night, Mozenrath approaches Princess Jasmine in her dreams with an offer: figure out his flawless plan in thirty days, and he calls it off. Fail, and she watches as Agrabah burns. With little choice she agrees, and so begins one of the most popular and best-written Aladdin fics, Antiphony by Cantare. It deals with some of the darker themes of the show, such as power, control, and how strong The Power of Love really is, and delves quite a bit into Mozenrath’s backstory.

Several other fics are part of the universe: Shards, which details some of Antiphony’s events from the perspective of Agrabah’s heroes; Sunset, a short prequel exploring a bit of Aladdin’s history before he met Jasmine; The Scent of Absence, a one-shot from Mozenrath’s perspective that picks up right after Chapter 27 of Antiphony; and Circum, a series of one-shots about Mozenrath’s life that weren’t visited in the story. Cantare has also planned to write a sequel, titled Height of Faith, though it has made no appearance as of yet.

Antiphony contains examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: The side-story Shards gives the perspectives of Aladdin and his friends during the main story, though it’s a lot shorter since the last two-thirds of Antiphony take place in the Mirror of Fiereve and the Land of Black Sand, respectively.
    • Circum is mostly from Mozenrath’s point of view, though a few chapters offer Xerxes’s and Raniye’s take on things.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Mirage and her firecats infiltrating and assaulting the Land of Black Sand not once, but thrice. Mozenrath notes that he really should improve his security.
    • It’s implied that Mirage tried to do the same to Agrabah, but the wards Mozenrath put up kept her away.
  • And I Must Scream: What happens to those whose souls were used to make the gauntlet.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Mirror of Fiereve. It was made by a sand witch, after all.
  • Attempted Rape: What Raeven tries to do to Jasmine.
    • Jasmine’s Mind Rape includes a nightmare of Mozenrath trying to do this, too.
  • Badass Boast: "It is painfully obvious that you are unaware of who I am. I am the Lord of the Black Sand, and I bend to no one's will."
  • Baleful Polymorph: Destane accidently ends up turning Xerxes into the eel-thing he is today instead of killing him.
    • Mozenrath gets temporarily turned into a gargoyle during a chapter in Circum.
  • Batman Gambit: Mozenrath told Jasmine that she had thirty days to figure out his unstoppable plan, knowing she would eventually seek out the Mirror of Fiereze to better understand his mind, and that that would cause her to fall in love with him. From that point, he’d just have to work to get her forgiveness and trust, and presto—curse lifted. It went swimmingly except for one thing: he forgot to take his own feelings into account.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Played with; Jasmine muses that while sleep doesn’t make Mozenrath look soft or vulnerable, it makes him oddly beautiful.
  • Berserk Button: DON’T compare Mozenrath to Destane. Just don’t.
  • Best Served Cold: Mozenrath apprenticed under and served Destane for ten years for a shot at revenge.
  • Big Bad: Mirage.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jasmine fails to save the fifteen hundred sacrificed souls and has to choose between Mozenrath and her kingdom; she picks the latter, knowing she can’t be with the former so long as he remains evil. On the other hand, Mozenrath’s curse is broken, Mirage is driven away, and Jasmine is carrying Mozenrath’s kid, who is hinted to be a Messianic Archetype and what will ultimately lead him to redemption.
  • Break the Cutie: Laila. The suffering the girl goes through drives her insane and eventually turns her into an Empty Shell.
    • Morathai. At age six, his entire family except one sister is killed, his kingdom is destroyed and his mentor pulls a Heroic Sacrifice in the span of one day. Then he ends up living on the streets, has his kindness rewarded with betrayal, and is captured by slavers. Guess who ends up buying him?
    • Jasmine. Mozenrath’s false warnings push her to a Heroic BSOD trying to figure out his plan, to the point she starts alienating and lying to her friends in case Mozenrath has a way of watching what she’s doing. She then ends up losing her memories of Aladdin while delving into the Mirror of Fiereve, watching her father nearly die of poison, and finally is brutally Mind Raped by Mirage for a week. And yet despite all this, she keeps going.
    • Xerxes and Raniye, too.
  • Broken Bird: Mozenrath is a Rare Male Example. The differences between him as a child and him as an adult are astounding.
    • Fara from Sunsets; her family disowns her after she tries to marry for love, forcing her to live on the streets and eventually become a prostitute to survive.
  • Bungled Suicide: Laila tries hanging herself, only for Mozenrath to hear the sound of her falling chair, run in, and heal her.
  • Call Back:
    • “I have to say, power looks very cute on you, Princess.”
    • Morathai using his magic to steal pears, which Mozenrath did in his debut episode.
    • “Princesses should be seen, not heard!”
  • Chekhov's Gun: The lyaliv leaves Mozenrath and Xerxes collect end up saving the latter’s life when Destane tries to kill him.
    • They also turn Mozenrath back from a gargoyle in Circum.
    • The ritual Mozenrath keeps failing to perform as a child is finally used successfully against Destane in their showdown.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Laila’s Empathy is what allows Mozenrath to summon his mother to fight Destane.
  • The Chosen One: What Mozenrath was supposed to be, before he fell. Though his sister hints not all hope is lost for him yet.
    • His kid will apparently be this, too.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Circum reveals Xerxes as one; he holds off a polymorphed, berserk Mozenrath while unarmed and manages to change him back into his regular form. Though that last part was accidental.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Saleen tries to fight Mozenrath. It ends about as well as you’d expect.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Destane, though he also tends to be…
    • Genre Blind: Really? Take on the kid whose entire life you destroyed as an apprentice and not even bother worrying that he might turn on you someday? Really?
  • Darker and Edgier: Definitely.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Jasmine suspects that Mozenrath’s pet eel is named after his friend Xerxes. She’s wrong. The eel is Xerxes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Xerxes is one, which is partially why he and Mozenrath become friends so quickly.
  • Doomed Hometown: Helios is Mozenrath's.
  • Downer Ending: Shards ends with the heroes failing to find Jasmine.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: She uses a type of drug rather than alcohol, but this is pretty much how Raniye deals with all the shit that happens to her.
  • Dual Wielding: How Jasmine prefers to fight.
  • The Empath: Laila’s one. And as such, she can also channel spirits. Usually, it’s regarded as a useful ability, but for a girl in her situation, it’s…
    • Blessed with Suck: Having to feel the amount of pain Mozenrath, Xerxes, and Raniye are in, along with the depths of Destane’s depravity, for six years, ended up driving her insane.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: The destruction of the gauntlet ends up giving Jasmine her own magical powers, albeit weak ones.
  • Enemy Mine: Mozenrath and Jasmine temporarily team up to take down Saleen.
    • Mozenrath protecting Agrabah at Jasmine’s request. Just because he has feelings for her doesn’t mean he’s on her side, after all.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: It’s implied that, when he was younger, Mozenrath was desperately trying to summon his mother just so he could talk to her again.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mozenrath looks somewhere between disturbed, disgusted, and angry when he finds out that Raeven drugged Jasmine to get her in his bed. Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you later learn his Childhood Friend Raniye was raped by Destane for years, so of course he’d have a problem with it.
    • A lot of the stuff Destane does disgusts the young Mozenrath, though this trope is eventually subverted since Mozenrath grows immune to it.
  • Evil Is Petty: Everything Destane does comes down to pettiness, ambition, or for his own amusement.
  • Eviler than Thou: Mozenrath proves to be the greater evil against Saleen and Mirage.
  • Exact Words: Aladdin and Genie come to interrogate Mozenrath about Jasmine’s disappearance. He gets around Genie’s mind-reading by stating that he “didn’t kidnap her”, not that he didn’t “HAVE” her.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Xerxes calmly going to dinner after he outlives his usefulness, knowing full well that Destane will kill him. He doesn’t break face once, not even while Mozenrath is arguing for his life.
    • Earlier, in Circum, he takes the sight of gargoyle!Mozenrath bearing down on him rather calmly.
  • Fallen Princess: Raniye and Laila.
    • Fara from the sidestory Sunset is this, too.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Destane. Hey, Mozenrath had to pick it up from somewhere, right?
  • For Want of a Nail: Mozenrath’s mother shows him a vision where he was either purchased by Thanon or left Destane to find Thanon himself. His childhood is much happier, he stops Jafar’s plot before it begins, and he hooks up with Jasmine, all while leaving Destane without a zombie army.
  • Fragile Flower: Laila spends her entire introduction scene sobbing endlessly. Probably because she’s The Empath and can feel Destane’s sadism.
  • Freudian Excuse: Subverted with Mozenrath; he does have one, and it’s genuinely horrifying, but the author makes it clear that it doesn’t excuse his actions.
    • Invoked and then defied by Destane; he mocks Jasmine, asking how she can judge him when for all she knows he has a really tragic backstory like Mozenrath, right before turning around and admitting he only does evil For the Lulz.
  • Gallows Humor: How Xerxes deals with things.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Jasmine gets bit by it when watching Saleen flirt with Mozenrath, then promptly wonders what the hell is wrong with her. It’s because of the aphrodisiac Raeven slipped her.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Mozenrath; while he’s not at Destane’s level of depraved, he’s still rather low on the moral spectrum.
  • Healing Hands: Since he was raised in a temple dedicated to healing, Mozenrath can do this.
  • Heroic BSOD: In Shards, Eden has one when Jasmine goes with Mozenrath, believing that if she hadn’t agreed to keep her activities a secret nothing bad would have happened. Aladdin yelling at her really doesn’t help.
  • Heroic RROD: Aladdin working ceaselessly to locate Jasmine after she disappears in Shards until he collapses.
    • Mozenrath also has a tendency to work himself to exhaustion, particularly when magic or revenge involved.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Destane is ultimately killed by Mozenrath casting a spell that inflicts all the pain the four children suffered under his hands back onto him.
  • Honor Before Reason: Xerxes has a slight tendency to act like this, demanding a duel to the death from the guys who killed his parents despite being sorely outnumbered and getting mad at Mozenrath when the latter interferes.
  • Human Sacrifice: How Mozenrath protects Agrabah for fifteen days.
    Mozenrath: One hundred lives per day.
    • It’s also how he defeats Destane—by sacrificing Raniye and Laila.
  • Hypocrite: Saleen accuses Jasmine of sleeping around with every man she meets when Mozenrath shows up to help her…despite hitting on Mozenrath moments ago.
  • I Gave My Word: Mozenrath has a tendency to stick to his promises. Which is why, of course, he tries to avoid making them via carefully-worded phrases or impressive question-dodging.
  • Identity Amnesia: Xerxes has this currently, having been transmogrified into an eel.
  • It's All My Fault: How Eden feels about Jasmine vanishing.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mozenrath has a very tarnished one, although it’s hidden beneath layers of snark, paranoia, power-lust, and Social Darwinism, and only ever manifests towards his Morality Pets.
  • Lack of Empathy: Destane, definitely.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: What the Mirror of Fiereve does; in exchange for seeing the life of someone else, it takes away some of your most treasured memories.
  • Last of His Kind: Mozenrath’s the last remaining Hellinthian; everyone else was killed by Destane. Or so he thinks.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Apparently having sex just once is enough to get Jasmine pregnant, against all odds. Way to go, Moze.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Although he doesn’t meet her, the epilogue reveals that Mozenrath’s sister Elana is still alive.
  • Love Makes You Crazy / Love Makes You Evil: Raeven doesn’t deal with rejection well.
    • Not that she was entirely sane before, but the same applies to Saleen. Or maybe she was just being a bitch. It’s kinda hard to tell.
  • Love Martyr: Aladdin, for his First Love Fara. It got so far that he gave up a jewel-encrusted bracelet that would have fed him for a year just to see her.
  • Love Redeems: Averted. Mozenrath’s not going to change just because he loves Jasmine.
  • Loved I Not Honour More: Jasmine’s going to put her duty to Agrabah before Mozenrath every time, at least until he does a Heel Face Turn.
  • Magic Mirror: The Mirror of Fiereve, obviously.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Mirage is behind Destane’s rise to power and the one who helped him make the gauntlet. This also makes her
  • Meaningful Name: In-universe, Morathai’s meant ‘keeper of His power’. When he changed his name to Mozenrath, it became ‘keeper of power’ instead.
  • Mind Rape: What Mirage does to Jasmine. It’s really horrifying.
  • Mood-Swinger: When he was younger, Mozenrath tended to flip between cruelly critical, secretly concerned, and Properly Paranoid at amazing speeds.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter 22 ends with Mozenrath and Jasmine working out some of their differences and having a Sleep Cute moment. Chapter 23 starts with Jasmine being Mind Raped by Mirage, which is so startling some readers may wonder if they accidently skipped a chapter.
  • Morality Pets: Xerxes, Raniye, and even Laila to an extent were all this for Mozenrath when he was younger. Jasmine sort-of becomes his current one—he’s still not above manipulating her, but he tends to be softer to her than he is to anyone else and is more willing to help her out or do her favors.
    • Kick the Morality Pets: As noted, he has and will use Jasmine for his own gain, and he’s done the same to the other three as well.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Morathai steals a starving man some fruit using his magic. When the guards try to find out who did it, the beggar sells Morathai out in an instant.
  • Oh, Crap: Destane's glorious reaction when he realizes Mozenrath has him beat.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite frequently belittling her and saying that the weak don’t deserve to live, Mozenrath still steps in and saves Laila from the hellhounds that chase her when she tries to escape.
    • He gives Jasmine a potion that gets the aphrodisiac out of her system after saving her from Saleen for no reason other than he could.
  • Power at a Price: One of the two overarching themes of the story.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Invoked and then averted; Mozenrath points out that, as the controller of the dreamscape he visits her in, it would be very easy for him to strip Jasmine naked or force her into more humiliating outfits, but he doesn’t.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The gauntlet, and it’s less of a “forsaken child” than it is "thousands of forsaken souls".
  • Pyrrhic Victory: So, Mozenrath, you’ve killed Destane, avenged your people, and won a super-powerful gauntlet in the process. Too bad you had to kill your girlfriend to do it. Oh, and that gauntlet? It’s going to literally eat your arm before siphoning off your life force. Enjoy your victory.
  • Riches to Rags: What happened to Mozenrath and the other children.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Mirror of Fiereve forces Jasmine to give up either her memories of Aladdin or her memories of Mozenrath before she can leave. She chooses to remember Mozenrath, because otherwise the whole journey would have been pointless.
    • Xerxes’s, Laila’s, and Raniye’s parents were all presented with this option by Destane: give me your children, give me a monthly sacrifice, and get out of my way, or I’ll burn your kingdoms to the ground.
  • Scars Are Forever: Which is why Mozenrath wears a lot of heavy clothing despite living in a desert.
  • Second Love: Mozenrath is Jasmine’s, obviously. She’s his, too.
    • Jasmine is also Aladdin’s, as revealed by Sunset.
  • Sex Slave: Raniye is forced into being Destane’s.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Being worshipped as a goddess has apparently gone to Saleen’s head. Mozenrath shows her how wrong she is.
  • The Social Darwinist: Interestingly played with; a lot of what Mozenrath says supports the idea that he’s this, but then he goes out of his way to save or help his weaker Morality Pets without getting anything in return.
  • Spoiled Brat: When she was younger, Jasmine.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jafar was spying Jasmine when she was as young as eleven.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Jasmine even acknowledges that she and Mozenrath can’t be together while he’s on his current path. Doesn’t change how she feels about him, though.
    • Mozenrath and Raniye, in his backstory. He’s rapidly becoming a worse person, and she’s Destane’s Sex Slave. It eventually causes them to break up.
    • Aladdin and Fara, mainly because of how broken the latter is.
  • Start of Darkness: Being sold into slavery to the man who murdered his parents and ruined his life is what sets Morathai down the path that turns him into the dark sorcerer Mozenrath.
  • Stealth Mentor: It’s hinted that Mozenrath is trying to help Jasmine be a better ruler by challenging her and giving lectures on power. Why he would do such a thing is unknown.
  • Stepford Smiler: Xerxes, big time.
  • Team Mom: Raniye is this for the other children.
  • That Man Is Dead: Morathai taking the name Mozenrath symbolizes this.
  • Tragic Villain: Mozenrath.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Raeven for Jasmine. Trying to rape her doesn’t help.
    • Mozenrath and Raniye.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Mozenrath, again. Jasmine even gushes a little about what a cute little boy he was before remembering what he’s going to grow up into.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: It’s implied that killing Destane didn’t make Mozenrath feel better.
  • Villainous BSOD: Mozenrath sort-of has one after he kills Destane; having no other goals in life, losing the last of his friends, getting chewed out by his dead mother, and finding out His Days Are Numbered takes a pretty heavy toll on him. He gets over it relatively quickly, though.
  • Villainous Crush: Jasmine suspects that Mozenrath has one on her.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Mozenrath thinks of himself as one, though it becomes painfully obvious that, near the end of his apprenticeship, he was starting to slide down the slippery slope into a Knight Templar.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Combined with Calling the Old Man Out; Jasmine gives the sultan a well-deserved tongue-lashing for his childishness, incompetence, and disinterest in the affairs of the kingdom.
    • In Shards, when Aladdin finds out that Eden had been keeping secrets for Jasmine that may or may not have led to her supposed kidnapping, he gives her one so harsh the poor girl is nearly in tears by the end of it.
    • Mozenrath’s mom scolds him for pursuing “empty vengeance” at the cost of his humanity.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Xerxes has some shades of this, though he’s capable of being realistic when needed.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Raniye takes all of Destane’s abuse, Laila’s insanity, and Mozenrath’s mood swings with a stiff upper lip, never letting on how much she’s hurting in turn.
    • Jasmine develops into this as well, running herself into the ground trying to figure out what Mozenrath is planning but keeping a cool outward appearance.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Mozenrath.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In Shards, Aladdin and the others theorize that the sultan’s poisoning was an attempt to get them away from the palace so whoever was behind it could kidnap Jasmine, or that it was a warning for her to hand over the Mirror of Fiereve. Sound plans, but not this time.
    • Jasmine comes up with plan after plan that Mozenrath might try; all of them are solid, but none of them are what he's intending.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Upon learning that Xerxes’s parents were dead, Destane immediately tries to kill him, listing this as the reason.

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