Egypt - A book regarding...

Oh I don't know... a place steeped in mysticism. A country that is, at this point in time, probably the most interesting it could ever be to the Ars Magic setting! Consider:

One of the most significant countries to the founding of the Order, based on the history of Bonisagus.
Links to the (Mercere?) theory that the Order is a reincarnation of a previous (Egyptian) order. A cycle that is due to repeat itself.
Significant story/material potential regarding the Hermetics within Egypt and other "Hedge Wizards".

The country's population (as the most populous country in the middle east) and population density make for some interesting sagas.
The country is a massive mix of cultures. At this point in time, it is an even split between Coptic Christian Egyptians and Muslim Christian Egyptians but significant pockets of Armenians and Jews. So up until the 5th Crusade (see below), this current period of history has significantly more tolerance in Egypt.
During the Ayyubid dynasty a long line of Coptic personalities appeared, among them clergy, laymen of high- ranking positions in the State, individuals with artistic and literary talents, physicians and architects. Really? Talented "physicians and architects?" - Perhaps the order within Egypt has had to.. twist some rules about their conduct with the nobility (ala Jerbiton style) to survive in a muslim-ruled land?

It is near the end of the Ayubbid period. The current sultan is due to die defending Damietta against the 5th Crusade (1219).

I was .. well, not so shocked to realise Egypt wouldn't even be included in the Levant Tribunal book (should that ever come out). But with all the reference to other Wizards all around the world, I felt that it would be a very interesting place to have some cannon material about.

So much material draws on knowlege/history from Egypt (Amazons, OoH, Soqatrans even have some history about it), not to mention that an entire division of the church (Ethiopians, Armenians, Syriacs, Copts all view the Alexandrian pope as the first amongst equals. Similar vein to Constaniople and the Greeks. In fact, the Oriental Orthodox Church would outnumber the Eastern Orthodox one at this time - depending on how much of Russia is now Christian by this point)

Thoughts? Criticisms?


Sam W.
PS Lets get 50 of us and finance this project? ;p

I would very much like to see it written !

My current saga has a metaplot around the foundation of what you could call the Order of Toth during the time of the pharaohs

I agree is a setting with a lot of potential !
Our group has set its campaign in Egypt, Alexandria to be more precise. Our campaign started in 1141 and is now in 1169. There is a lot of action at that time, with some invasions by Syrians and by the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
We also used an idea from the Levant Tribunal book and had the Haruni House join the Order of Hermes.
The influx of Muslim sorcerers brought a split of the Levant Tribunal in two, with a new Tribunal formed from Egypt and Mesopotamia called the Tribunal of the Crescent.
It's a lot of fun and it is quite exotic, with some old magical treasures thrown in and old Gods awakening.

I was a bit disappointed with Levant Tribunal's handling of Egypt, Jordan and the surrounding area, but considering Niall's background "Blood and Sand"'s focus on the counter-crusades isn't terribly surprising. It remains one of my favourite 4th edition books though...

Softcover even - a smaller book as we are dealing with one country (or more if you include libya/ethiopia/sudan)- or a significantly expanded section under a future Blood and Sand.

I'm not blind to the aspect that like any other product, demand must be semi-secured first, so this is a completely blunt attempt to generate it.

Therefore , i vote for Mythic China. :stuck_out_tongue:
A far more interesting setting , than some boggy farmland where they make scrolls out of papyrus.

Permission to hurt you? :stuck_out_tongue:

A boggy farmland!!! A Boggy Farmland?!?!?!?!

Hmm... quick interesting fact. I think, Egypt would be the most populated country at the time no? Assuming we only look at countries from the map in ArM5 core book?

Regardless - Damietta, the target of the 5th Crusade, is the Arab-Chinese port to satisfy your Asian Fever :stuck_out_tongue: Look! More reasons!

China itself would be too far away - but the silk road might be cool. Not as a geographical/magical tribunal book, but as an adventure/campaign (with some information for extra events - grey box style).

China's a tough one. Almost impossible to do on the current model.

I'd like an Egypt book, particularly if it was set in the distant past. I've been thinking a lot about Egypt, or Rome, or the Napoleonic Carribean as settings.

Curious: why Timothy?

It's too damn big. It's the size of the whole of Europe, it's vastly richer, and the culture is more work to introduce.

It'd pretty much be a whole new game.

Are they even Hermetic? Or is it a collection of thousands of hedge mages?
Do they have Parma? How do you tackle (with sensitivity) the Divine question there?

Mythic Japan will be an acceptable substitute then.
It's just a few small islands after all.

Do the line authors have Egypt Lore of at least 03 , a score in Artes Liberales of 04 or better ,
and any of the relevant languages at 05 , so that there is no loss of Quality in the final text?

Well... if we take a look at who took part in RoP:D and was the sole author of the previous Blood & Sand Levant Tribunal: ... index.html

I'd say there are some 5s and maybe even a 6 depending on his age-ability limits floating around out there :slight_smile:

Sam W.

I think a book devoted to Mythic Mahgreb (N. Africa) would definitely be welcome. Berbers, Ethiopes, Egyptians... What's not to love? A Chapter about ancient (egyptian) magic. Mythic Alexandria. A chapter devoted the Fantistical Lands and Creatures beyond the burning Sun to the South....

If the Ayyubids were covered in a book it would be interesting to touch on Makuria and the Zagwe Kingdom later, perhaps along with other peripheral regions. Little is known about Makuria around 1220 which not only leaves lots of room open for the authors but they get to speculate why there was so little (recored?) contact during this period. I don’t know much about the Zagwe dynasty personally but an Axumite magical tradition, with Stelae marked regiones and vis sources, would be very cool.

I have done some prelim stuff on Mali, but haven't really pushed the boat out on it. It was just a "keep in my pocket in case I need it" thing. There's a good vein of information there, though.

We have already tried to do it, and the sheer scale makes it impossible. Europe, you see, only gets to be called a continent because the people who came up with the name happen to live there. If we were as rational about our continents as we are about planets, Europe, as a whole, would be chopped from the list.

Now, imagine, say, a piece of Europe that in the fullness of Ars Time gets it own book. Scotland, say. Think of how utterly tiny Scotland is.

Now, imagine something thirty times that size, with a hundred times as many ethnic groups, with thousands more local legends. With literally hundred more cities and castles. With ten million gods, at least a hundred of which are more popular than God, to quopte John Lennon.

We did give it a go, a long time ago. The other two authors dropped out, but my rough drafts are still out there somewhere, on the Hermes Portal hosting page.

The other problem with Chinese magic is you can do it historically accurately, or you can do it Hong Kong cinema style. If you are doing it traditionally, then most schools are mystery cults where if you break the vows of the cult you lose your powers and we've seen how popular that is. Sure, there is one variety of Diamond Vehicle Buddhism where that dpesn't happen and you become a dark jedi...but generally proper Chinese magic, on a spell by spell basis, you learn via a contract with a god, and they can pullyour powers whenever they like. And don't even get started on some of the gnostic sects...if you catch a cold you can't do magic anymore until it clears up, so wounds don't just give you negatives on rolls, they cut your arts. There is no secular magical tradition comparablw to the OoH: Confuscious said magicians were liars and one of his most famous students toured the countryside, Harry Houdinin style, proving they were fakes.

And if you try to get aroudn this with Hong Kong Cinema...well, Heaven help you, and just make sure your Christian magi are done like in Hong Kong cinema too, out of fairness sake. 8)

Also, of course, you face problems if you try to tie it to Mythic Europe. Are all these Chinese guys going to Hell? Why not? Criamon and his people are going to Hell, and they are basically Greco-Buddhists. Criamon is clearly a bodhisatva.

But then again, so's Jesus.

Mali would be quite cool, not only in and of itself but such a book would presumably cover its rise to power. I would say West Africa is more reasonable for a game focused on Europe than Ethiopia and Sudan but now that Soqotra is in play perhaps not. :smiley:

The Almohads would make for an interesting book, and it could be paired with Hermetic colonization which would be right up my alley.

As for China, I think it would be easier to handle a book on Mesoamerica and that's saying something! Although now that I've mentioned it I realize don't know much about 13th century Mesoamerican culture, I'll have to fix that over the holidays.

I think that a book about Egypt, (or Alexandria) would be great. Don't get me wrong, the Tribunal books are great and it was nessessary that they be done first however they were required to cover large regions and so some detail (and possibly atmosphere) was lost. A set of books about specific settings would be helpful. You could go into much greater detail about interesting people, local politics and places.

Other books that could be considered for greater detail;

Rome (or Venice)

I know a lot of these were covered in the larger Tribunal books but there is much more interesting stuff that could be included.