James Burton was a fakir and old friend that Nimrod contacted in the sixth book to help resolve the homeostasis crisis. Nimrod believed that someone was corrupting the scales of the Tuchemeter and looked towards him for help.
Prior to his residency in the mountains, he was a butler to Mr. Rakshasas. He was very close to him and gained much of his knowledge which he later used to test the twins.
Meeting the twinsEdit
Nimrod and the twins approached him at his residency at the top of the Atlas Mountains. To their surprise, he gave up his prior vow of silence quickly in order to speak to them. In order to test the twins, he used a series of three riddles to test them to see if they were really friends of Mr. Rakshasas. They both passed. However, to John's disappointment, he was not able to answer any of them (with the exception of the last one which was an accident)
Later, he shows John his visions of the future. Despite his warnings, John believes in them and strays from the rest of the group.
However, it is revealed, as Nimrod was beginning to suspect, that Burton was actually being possessed by Jirjis Ibn Rajmus himself, the very person they fighting against. He used to be Mr. Rakshasas's butler, but had a vision and became a holy man, or Fakir. Mr. Burton almost died because of Jirjis, but was saved in Shamba-La by the monks.
With his powers, he is able to show a person's true reflection as well as the future by conjuring convex and concave ink blots. In addition, he is able to withstand pain and live for very long periods without food or water. Indeed, prior to the twins arrival he was in a trance without any sort of outside communication.