Holy Sahirs?

Has anyone ever come up with rules for a Solomonic version of Holy Magic?

I've not played one myself, but have given the matter considerable thought. (At one time I considered penning a series of articles for SubRosa that would examine Hedge Magicians aligned to the Divine, Infernal, and Faerie realms respectively).

At first, I was concerned that the lack of access to 'Holy Magic' Parameters hamstrung the tradition and that Solomonic Naranj didn't dovetail well with Methods & Powers. Ultimately, however, I had to revise my opinions somewhat in light of two simple facts: First, sahirs benefit disproportionately from being able to use Dominion Auras (improved casting totals for Summoning naranjs carry over to other spells via Summoning Strength). Second, due to the amount of Vis sahirs use up, the ability to substitute Fatigue for Vis when casting spells can be very powerful.

I still haven't quite decided upon how the restrictions placed on Holy Magic would apply to Solomonic magic, however, but at its worst a -15 Penalty, and having to reinvent a few spells would seem about as damaging as they would to a Hermetic Magus. Perhaps less since, if penetration's not an issue, a sahir can deliberately summon a weak jinn and allow the inflated SS to absorb the penalty.

Well, for one thing that I'd been thinking of, performing the Arts through a mundane skill seems like it would be a valid Method for most. It's only the arcane words and gestures that need to be replaced with decades of theological study or the expenditure of Confidence.

Another thing is that many Holy Sahirs wouldn't use Sihr at all; while Divine-realm Sihr already exists, a genuine Holy Sahir might make their summoning naranjs with Invocation+Adjuration, which can summon anything (though it's harder to set up at first). Kabbalists could theoretically use Merkavah to get angels to cast spells through instead (though they'd be forbidden to use Astrology, and Alchemy through a mundane skill would also be unlawful), but this is a gimmick combo and the number of Kabbalists who can do this can be counted on one hand.

I wonder if using Meditation (or Holy Music, or Gematria if you're one of the aforementioned mad Kabbalists) as one's Holy Method would allow Meditation skill to replace the Art's mundane skill in one's total? Just from a glance, it looks a bit broken, but I'm not sure.

Finally, Zoroastrian holy sahirs almost certainly have a Tradition, and the mobed-sahirs completely deserve the title of "Princes of Magic." Invocation and Adjuration are Favored Abilities for the tradition, and Mazdeans have access to the Knowledge of True Names virtue. All of this is before we get into the Holy Mysteries. (Of course, Gifted sahirs of mobed blood are probably as rare as the above Kabbalists.)

IIRC we discussed this when developing the book and reasoned Holy Methods would most probably substitute for Sihr but that the various other Solomonic Arts might be appropriate. Sure you could have a version of Sihr or (Spirit) Summoning aligned to the Divine (perhaps the true "lost art" of Solomon himself, debased over time to the version aligned with other Realms) but this would be rare in practice.

So mobeds would know Invocation / Adjuration (or equivalent) to generate a Summoning Total etc whcih could then be used to power the Niranj's of other Arts. The plan was originally to have mobeds be capable of both Divine aligned and Magic aligned magic but the resources needed to flesh this out fully was prohibitive and it was felt this could challenge the Hermetic glass ceiling, even if in folklore etc it made a lot of sense. So mobeds ended up Holy Magic only with hedge abilities and are still complex.

Erik may have a further comment.



poof! Did someone call? :slight_smile:

One of the things going on with sahirs was the idea that they weren't as concerned about the four realms as Hermetic magi, because so much of the lore is about jinn and jinn can be magical, faerie, or infernal. So it shouldn't matter as much which realm they are associated with, as far as working their Solomonic magic goes. We did several sample concept characters who are alluded to in the naranj descriptions, and one of them is named Magos al-Laqis al-Abyad al-Sakhr, mentioned on pages 49-50 under "The wind is my armor...", as well as others. I envisioned that character being a Mythic Companion with True Faith, Guardian Angel, Solomonic Alchemy, and Solomonic Physic, and initiating Invocation and Adjuration. He can summon the angel with a miraculous Invocation/Adjuration effect from within a sacred temple, and then works his magic on the battlefield, using the angel's generally higher Penetration Total. So he doesn't really need Holy Magic, though of course it would be nice... :slight_smile:

My solution is to create a Major Solomonic Virtue called Mazdean Magic, which simply allows a mobed to treat his magic as divine for the purposes of realm interactions, with the same restrictions of Holy Magic that it fails when used for sinful purposes, is Incomprehensible when taught to others outside the Mazdean tradition, and attracts the attention of infernal forces. The mobed could use holy invocations for words and gestures, since all that is necessary is to speak in a loud voice with obvious gestures. Ranges, Durations, and Targets are meaningless with Solomonic magic, but he could certainly use Long-Term Fatigue levels as vis in his Ritual naranjs.

As far as using Meditation in place of other Abilities when casting naranjs, my instinct is no. Certainly you can replace the activation cost of other Holy Methods like Invocation, but that benefit shouldn't extend to Solomonic magic, I would say.

Huh. I was under the impression that there was nothing (except the maga's own fear of God's disapproval) keeping Hermetic Holy Magi from using Magic Theory and Hermetic-based spells. Guess not.

Thanks, that works. For myself, I'll generalize it to Holy Magic (Solomonic), since Christian and Jewish (Kabbalist) angelists are also possible (Muslims have no reason to seek this out), though the only Tradition that teach it are the mobed-sahirs (everyone else would need to either quest for the Virtue or for a mystagogue).

And point of order: Magos al-Sakhr doesn't need to initiate into Invocation and Adjuration, they're Favored. :slight_smile: