How does the islamic Criamon Mystagogue look like?


I´m planning to introduce an islamic Criamon-Magus as an NPC in my Saga. He should be able to serve as a Mystagogue for a Criamon PC and lead him on the Path of Walking Backwards (HoH:MC, pp. 70 - 73).

Here are my questions:

  1. As far as I can see, there are no 5th Edition rules for islamic Members of the Order of Hermes, all I can see are rules for the Order of Suleiman, is that true?

  2. I´m asking for your opinion: Do you think such a NPC should have an special islamic way of casting spells? Or is it sufficient, if he embodies the changes, that the Path of Walking Backwards already caused at him? A third possibility could be to give him Holy Magic (RoP:TD, pp. 66 - 69). What would you do?

  3. Do you have good suggestions for some Virtues and Flaws of the Mystagogue (additional to these he gains on the Path of Walking Backwards)?

Thanks for your help,


  1. No special rules are really required for Muslim magi unless they make use of Holy Magic or something similarly non-Hermetic.

  2. If the character in question uses Holy Magic, I'd use the rules in RoP:TD. Otherwise, the only thing I can see changing is perhaps taking the 'Exotic Casting' virtue and having the character cast spells in Classical Arabic.

  3. Well, a character can be 'Pious' without wielding Divine power so there's that. Improving Presence is always a good use of V&F for a mystagogue too and since the Path of Walking Backward makes extensive use of Enigmatic Wisdom, taking Affinity/Puissant for that ability might eb a good idea.

The Order of Hermes makes no claim to the faith of its members.

When the Order was founded, many of the original members were pagan. A few were Christian. Fast-forward to the 13th century and you have the whole range of religions represented within the Order. I'm sure this creates conflicts between individual magi, but the Order as a whole is technically above such discussion.

The mystagogue's method of casting spells probably comes from his parens or his lineage. If his lineage included an Arabic magus from a non-Hermetic line who joined the Order, that magus' casting style may have influenced the mystagogue's casting style. Or it may not have. In short, physical location and origin is less important than lineage in this case. Thankfully we've seen enough generations of magi come and go that lineage can contain pretty much whatever you want.
So casting in Arabic rather than Latin is possible, but it is equally possible that the magus in question casts magic in Latin or Greek. Beyond that the magical style will probably be familiar - Hermetic magi tend to teach Hermetic magic, after all.

As for virtues and flaws... anything, really. He's going to look a lot like any other Criamon magus, except swarthier, with arabic features and an accent. Virtues and flaws are typically so much more than just location. If he's exceptionally pious, then ... pious. But not every muslim is a pious, devout muslim, just like not every catholic is a pious, devout catholic. Social Handicap might be appropriate if he lives in an area where islamic people are rare, but if he's a muslim magus living in an islamic covenant in the levant then there's nothing really remarkable about him except that he's a Criamon mystagogue. So v/f is going to be much more defined by who he is as a person rather than who he is as a religious subtype.

If he grew up in an islamic covenant, chances are very high he'll have the virtue Educated.

This is true in general. But House Criamon does make claims about the world that, if the character believes those claims, are incompatible with most mainstream faiths. Which isn't to say that a Criamon couldn't be a muslim culturally, but he would have some very odd beliefs compared to mainstream Islam (although he can always keep quiet about that when discussing his faith with those outside the House).

Unless, of course, he is just not a very good Criamon and does not believe in the literal truth of the Criamon teachings. Which is a fine option too.

Thank you for your answers, they were helpful.

I was irritated by the last post only:

The NPC up for debate doesn´t have to be a typical Moslem par excellence, but obviously I understood the chapter about house Criamon in HoH:MC a little bit different to Richard. At least "The path of walking backwards" seems to be directly influenced by Sufism. The first Mystagogue of this path, Abkypris, was a sufi and on p. 70 you can find the following passage: "Members of the path are the Criamon magi most likely to be religious. [...] There are many interpretations among them for the existence of the universe, although Islam, Origenism [...], and Manichaeanism [...] are popular."

So, I think it should be not too extraordinary to find an islamic Criamon on the Path of walking backwards.


It is directly influenced by Sufism, and by Helleno-Buddhism. I'd agree with Richard to the point of saying some of the things the Sufis believe are not held to be true by most Muslims, Christians or Jews.

I believe there are also, a few Criamon in southern Iberia who are Muslims, and at least one Jerbiton is written as fascinated by Islam. As to him looking different to other magi, well, maybe, but House Tremere has a lot of Arabs and Africans in it, and I assume that House Jerbiton does too.

Also, there's some question as to where Criamon was from. He was from Sicily, and to me it looks like he has a sort of ersatz Egyptian name. (Christ-Amun). During that period, parts of Sicily were under Muslim rule, so you could argue...

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O.K., I accept (and it is enough for my plot to work), but let me tell you one question. If it is true, that "Members of the path [of walking backwards] are the Criamon magi most likely to be religious", who follows this path? Only some of this few islamic Criamon Magi in southern Iberia? Tolerant and open-minded christian and jewish Magi? Who else?

What I want to know, too: How does the other Criamon look upon their brethren on the path of walking backwards?


In your game, whoever you want.

In the vanilla game, House Criamon's only got enough members for a clutch to be a dozen people, plus ghosts. Have whoever you like.

The Path is respected, but the Criamons aren't really judgemental, or the Prima's patrer would have been kicked out years ago for his views on the necessity of getting everyone drunk at once.

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"A dozen" is the average, if you divide the total number of Criamons (94) by the number of clutches (7) (o.k., at least approximately).

Allright, then. In my opinion, "a dozen people" is more than nothing. The path of walking backwards is a new path, so maybe he is a little bit smaller. Now I do as I please and decide that he has 10 Magi. I think, that the influence of islamic philosophy on this path is the reason for quite a few islamic Magi (let´s say 4 of them). Then we have some Magi with the influence of Origenes. I´m not planning a saga with a focus on all-encompassing church history, so I decide to have 2 Criamon on the path of walking backwards, that are christian orthodox and originally from eastern europe (with influence from Origenes). As far as I know, Manichaeanism as religion doesn´t exist in Europe at 1220 A.D. anymore, but some of Manis ideas were picked up by the cathars in southern france. So I decide to have one more Criamon magus on the path of walking backwards, that is a cathar. The last three Criamon on my path of walking backwards are nonbelievers ("most likely" doesn´t mean that they all have to be religious), they think (like the most other Criamon): "Worship is fruitless" (HoH:MC, p. 48).

O.K.: Once upon a time Abdkypris met about ten Magi at a meeting in the Cave of Twisting Shadows, they were interested in his views and at last went to form clutches to study "the path of walking backwards". If all 10 of them would form only one clutch (+ at least "one [...] member(s) from other paths", HoH:MC, p. 44), it would make a big and important covenant. Not brave enough for this I decide: The orthodox and 2 nonbelievers went east and formed a clutch somewhere there. The others formed a clutch in southern Iberia (the home of the most of them). Maybe the last nonbeliever and 2 islamic Magi are young guys and therefore wanderers. They roam the Iberia Tribunal. That means, that 3 islamic influenced and one cathar influenced Criamon Magus form a covenant in southern Iberia where they study the path of walking backwards. Another Criamon Magus on a different path is their housemate.

Is there anything in this scenery, that´s inconsistent with released 5th edition material?

One last question: The first ordeal, you have to pass on the path of walking backwards, is to become pious. The description of the "Pious"-Flaw states: "You are a fervent follower of your religion" (RAW, p. 58). Does the cosmology of house criamon counts as a religion in this case? This uncertainty is one reason for my comprehension problems.

Thank you for your patience.


It's a set of moral guidelines combined with a set of metaphysical beliefs. I'd certainly count it as a religion, and I think the intention is that you're Pious for the particularly variant found in the Path of Walking Backwards.

Yes. Criamon are Pious for their belief system.