“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 Lovereally 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.
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.
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.
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 keepsgoing.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 morehumiliatingoutfits, but he doesn’t.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.