By the Sixth Doctor's reckoning Astrolabus the Star-Taker, also known as "the Thief of Time", was an infamous Time Lord. Although originally a great pioneer, he stole The Book of the Old Time, for which crime he was banished from Gallifrey and subsequently pursued through all of Time and Space by the Lord of Life, Voyager. However, he instead claimed to be the immortal astrologer of King Ptolemy I of Alexandria, and that the charts he guarded from Voyager were a legacy of occult lore that was rightfully his.
At any rate, becoming legend on a dozen worlds and going by a variety of names, Astrolabus stole treasures and trinkets from many worlds, being later named as a pirate and a thief by the Doctor. However, Voyager eventually caught up to him with the Doctor's help and seemingly killed him by flaying him alive.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
Astrolabus claimed to have been "a real Time Lord", a pioneer among his people. He told the Sixth Doctor that it was him who had "charted the first meridians of Time". (COMIC: Voyager) Another account showed that the Great Houses' first explorers sent into the Spiral Politic to chart out its meridians were the Mappers, a caste who were the first successful products of the then-newly-built looms. (PROSE: Going Once, Going Twice) Astrolabus jeered that logic was "a new toy", often refusing to abide by it, and boasted that it was he who had released Gallifrey from "the chains of the present". (COMIC: Voyager)
Theft and exile[edit | edit source]
However, the charter and pioneer soon became a thief. After stealing The Book of the Old Time, he was banished from Gallifrey, leaving with his TARDIS. He became a pirate and plunderer, stealing treasures from a dozen world, and took on a variety of names, including Zorro, Robin Hood and Santa Claus. He claimed that the things he took from various planets were merely just payment for "his genius". (COMIC: Voyager)
The royal astrologer of Alexandria?[edit | edit source]
Astrolabus told the Sixth Doctor a completely different story of his life leading up to their encounter, which the Doctor decried as half delusion, and half self-aggrandising fabrication. Astrolabus was offended at the suggestion that he was mad, but later recanted, coming to accept the Doctor's history which painted him as a Time Lord.
According to this tale, then, Astrolabus had originally been the royal astrologer of King Ptolemy I of Alexandria. He was tasked with creating a flame for the very first lighthouse which would "burn a thousand years", which the astrologer achieved by "taking fire from the Sun and stars" and imprisoning it within the lighthouse. However, after some time of peace, the astrologer predicted a conjunction of stars which could foretell the doom of Alexandria.
On the day the astrologer had predicted, "skyships" descended from the sky; the city had become a crossroads in Time. The Visitors brought great knowledge of Time and Space to Ptolemy's court, but in exchange, demanded they surrender the ancient charts in the astrologer's keeping, which recorded millennia's worth of occult lore and sorcery passed down from generation to generation. After the Egyptians reluctantly surrendered the charts, the Visitors set forth forth towards "the abyss of Time and Tide".
Some time later, however, a great catastrophe struck the city, which fell, an apocalypse heralded by the coming of Voyager, an omen of death. In the confusion, the astrologer seized control of one of the downed "skyships" and attempted to use it to track down the Visitors and get back the charts. However, due to an electro-magnetic storm, the ship was downed at the edge of the universe, where the astrologer found a deserted lighthouse. He rekindled its flame with his own soul, thus keeping his oath to Ptomely, and then attempted to track down the charts. (COMIC: Voyager)
At the edge of the world[edit | edit source]
Both the story of the Time Lord Astrolabus and of the Alexandrian astrologers rejoined at this point: having lost his charts to a ship which had crashed into an ice-bank at the edge of the universe, Astrolabus took up residence in a lighthouse nearby, using its light to lure alien ships from all over Time and Space which crashed into the stormy sea. He tracked down the sailing ship containing the stolen charts and took possession of them once again.
However, he was, thereupon, confronted with the Sixth Doctor, who had been having visions of Voyager in his dreams. After attempting to shake off the Doctor in vain, Astrolabus told him his Alexandrian life-story, only for the Doctor to recognise him as a Time Lord. Astrolabus forced him out of the lighthouse, really his TARDIS, and used a lever to make it shed its disguise as a lighthouse and turn into a rocket. He took flight just as Voyager and his Death-ship arrived behind him; as he went, the Doctor saw the rocket exploded, but couldn't be sure whether it had been Voyager's doing and Astrolabus's death, or one last trick from the overdramatic Astrolabus. (COMIC: Voyager)
Further schemes[edit | edit source]
As Professor Astro Labus, he set himself up as president of the Zyglot trust, while as the swami Astral Arbus, he employed Akkers to capture Zyglots. When the Sixth Doctor and Frobisher caught up with him, he pulled the Whifferdill with him into his cabinet. (COMIC: Polly the Glot)
Death[edit | edit source]
Astrolabus had the stolen star charts tattooed onto his body. The Doctor tracked him down and captured him. Voyager then retrieved the charts by removing Astrolabus' skin, leaving him to die. As the Doctor left, Astrolabus called out, "How can you know how long I've been writing your life? What will you do now that I'm gone?" (COMIC: Once Upon a-Time Lord)
Legacy[edit | edit source]
Auteur, a rogue Godfather of Faction Paradox who had been left skinless by an encounter with "Life itself," claimed to have been the Mapper who'd charted the first meridian of Time. However, the official word on the subject of Auteur in the Eleven-Day Empire was that he was one of Grandfather Paradox's early recruits, and Intrepid believed that he had made up his more picturesque history in an effort to make himself more important. He added that Auteur appeared to be the only person who believed this fabrication. (PROSE: Going Once, Going Twice)