Muslim Magi "covenant"

Hey all,

I'm beginning to plan a long adventure where my characters will be exploring a recently ruined Muslim Magi (non-Order) covenant in Iberia.

I'm wondering if anything has been written elsewhere about the organization of the Muslim Magi, and how they house themselves. Do they even form "covenants" per se?

Just curious if anyone knows of other sources out there.

Thanks for any help.


There are rules for sufis and Zahids in the Divine book but therse are two takes on Muslim divine magic.

There is the Fourth edition book Blood and Sand along with Nial's extensive on line autor's notes. This material gives you magical muslims to use although you'd have to convert them from fourth edition and some of the material is drawn from the fourth edition hedge magic book.

I'm sure that if you sifted through the sands of the internet with suficient dilligence you could find a text called Ars Arabica. This is fan made take on muslim magicians for thrid edition. I think that you would be wiser to create or adapt something from the fifth edition realms books than to dig this up, but I never did look at it too carefully, and I haven't seen it for years, so it could be more interesting than I remember.

If you want to use a third edition source then you could use Mythic Europe (can download quickly) it has superficial information on many areas of europe, but the nice thing it has is a short description of each city, some with mythical elements involved and a time of when each muslim city was conquered by christians.

The best one to use might be Badajoz, according to the book taken in 1212 "Badajoz has long been a stronghold of Muslim sorcerers, but even they can not hold off the Castilian knights who recruit magicians of their own. In the final days of the city's siege, the sky turns dark and booming voices are heard shouting back and forth within the city's Tower of the Djinn. At the climax of a two day battle, the Tower of the Djinn explodes, killing many soldiers and all Muslim sorcerers inside. The explosion scatters magical devices, and Magic may serach for relics in the town. Searchers are spurred on by tales of the Wand of Al-Murharmet, a powerful artifact said to give its wielder the power of flight, and many advantages when dealing with djinn. Rumors of significant finds can bring Magi from the southern Hermetic Tribunals, and some pitched battles may be fought in the streets of Badajoz, between Magi of different Covenants."

Other cities like cordoba are listed as having huge libraries fought over by different covenants helping the crusaders, and the city of Valencia has according to the book, so many bound djinn that they are a ready made work force that cultivate the fields of the city requiring no food, pay or supervision.

Apologies to Atlas if they object to me quoting.

If I remember correctly there was a supplement called "South of the Sun" that delt with Africa, and some Muslim influences, including Djinni etc. Don't remember if it was any good :wink:

The 3rd edition of Iberia has this to say about Arab sorcerers:

With the assistance of djinn, Arab sorcerers are able to fashion magnificent items of power, know for their beauty as well as mystical attributes. Only the sorderers with the most powerful wills can control these proud and fierce creatures. Once controlled, these djinn make powerful servents, able to fashion items with a skill beyond human comperhension, and able to work tirelessly at speeds outstripping the fastest human.

It also indicates that the Dominion frustrates Arab sorcers and their servants in much the same way it plagues the Magi of Hermes.

The nobility of the Arabs, however, understand the importance of their sorcerers and the danger posed should the sorcerers grow angry with the Dominion's continued existence. The Arab nobility took it upon themselves to conquer Iberian cities and throw down their icons of the Church, turning altar decorations into lamps for mosques. Arab leaders also patronize sorcerers, setting up libraries and laboratories for them to study.

Ironically, to utilize their powers, Moslem sorcerers in Iberia also have to contend with some followers of Islam. If sorcerers profess to follow Mohammed they are in the paradoxical position of practicing an art considered heretical by Arab orthodoxy. If sorcerers do not subscribe to the Moslem religion, they are subject to the restrictives laws that kept Christian influence under control.

Thus the history of Moslem sorcerers can be used to imangine what sort of "covenants" they might create. They are likely to be Djinn built, and wonderfully beautiful. They are likely to be away from the Dominion and any strong Mosques. It also seems likely they many sorcerers find themselves employed by their nobels, with a small covenant worth of books and items, perhaps with no other mages nearby except an apprentice.

Hope this helps.

Part of the benefits of patronage by nobles and access to large libraries, along with a more limited style of magic as hedge wizards, is that there is less need for experimentation, and other lab work. Study of magic can be done in a dominion aura without penalty as long as it is book reading. A sorcerer need only go out to a magic aura in the wilderness outside the city for casting of rituals and to gather vis. Sorcerers would tend to congregate in cities and share their libraries more, regardless of who their patron is, due to the strong muslim influence of intellectual debate of the sufis. Muslim cities would be the strongholds of the sorcerers rather than a lonely covenant in the woods, and the cities rulers would be patrons who could supply soldiers. So instead of a covenant, a muslim magical community is more likely to be a collection of sorcerers and their apprentices in a large city. Some of those sorcerers rivals to each other by personal preferences some because patrons fight, but all ready to bend together against outside threat to their community and masters.

3ed edition, as we all know was heavily biased in favour of infernal plots and the South of the Sun supplement was no exception, being more based around sub saharan africa, not the arabs, and had a large city ruled by diabolists as a central point, but generally bad.

Also mentioning the arab lands was the 3ed Italy book which had an order of hedge mages escaping Italy into Tunis area and becoming demon worshippers ready to attack the order. It also had a covenant of hermetic mages based in the ruins of Carthage investigating the magic of that ancient people.

If it's any help, revised rules for the sahirs (Middle Eastern sorcerers) will be finding their way to SHR just as soon as I've heard back from my test-readers...

Oh, I'd like to see that!

As Atlas has refused to make many of the arab related products from 4th or 5th edition available as pdf, I haven't had any oportunity of seeing how they work.

Once again Atlas, please let me pay you for more pdf's. Please!

Ah... yes. This makes a lot of sense, and clicked it all into place for me. Thanks a bunch.

I may not have been clear enough, but I was wondering would the Arab sorcerors bind themselves together in independent covenants, or work alone for their patrons. If the former, what would a non-order muslim "covenant" be like? I'm debating whether the structure the characters encounter would be the former residence of a few mages or one powerful mage.

I really like the "djinn-built" palace mentioned in an earlier post.

Thanks for all the replies.


Excellent. (and I guess I should stop saying "muslim sorcerors" or "arab sorcerors". "Iberian Sahirs" perhaps?

Please keep me informed when you've posted.

All the best,

Well, he's not quite a sahir but it's the closest I can get using official canon:

Salih al-Kamil, "Master of Storms" ... kamil.html



Well, Iberian sahirs seems to now refer to the branch of the tradition absorbed into Ex Misc in 925 AD as per HoH:Societas, so it's probably the term you're after.

Niall's ArM5 sahirs, in case you missed them: ... ahirs.html



Don't overlook Parma when creating arabic covenants!

In the background Europe was full of jealous magi after each others secrets and murder and theft were rampant after the fall of Rome. Trianoma's great gift was to convince magi (who were usually hostile) that she meant them no harm and it was the parma that afforded them the security to work together.

Arabian magi do not have the advantage of parma, could be that this would weaken, significantly, their desire to meet each other for fear of murder of theft of their secrets.

On the other hand, large cities, powerful patrons and excellent libraries are also likely to bring magi together in non hostile circumstances. So maybe they do mix better than rowdy Europeans.

Something to bear in mind maybe.

True, but note that in HoH:S, Jerbiton's group, "The League of Iconophiles" consisted of those Gently gifted magi (or those wealthy enough to interact through servants) who escaped religious purges of the remaining Gifted magi and sought out only Gently Gifted apprentices - what's to stop a tradition or lineage of Arabic magi from being predominantly Gently Gifted or wealthy enough to interact with society in a similar way given this precedent and the suggested closer association of sahir with mundane patrons and nobility?

And who's to say that non-Hermetic sahir need to be Gifted?

Summoners can be Mythic Companions - no Gift, not even Magical Air unless you choose to take it as a flaw... No Gift, no need for Parma to offset. Now there's just that small matter of no universal MR from a non-Divine, non-Infernal source...

Invisibility to Magic (HOH:TL Mercere section) anyone?



Well, the Gift is rare enough...The Gentle gift even more so...Not enough to form the basis for a 'large' group...unless you are talking about having very few of these type of magi...
This of course would also provide the OoH a source of apprentices...'Large' numbers of Gifted, Blatant Gifted people, that won't be claimed by the local mages...

Interesting point, but the Jerbiton leagues and Arabic magi did/would rely on a number of Gently Gifted magi and a probably greater number of wealthy magi that could interact via servants - parts of the culture make this more possible in perhaps the Levant.

I've always wondered why their aren't canonical examples of Islamic Jerbiton magi - I think they'd fit the current concept of the House quite well (apart from not being Christian)...



Please don't let this derail the current debate...

Since I first wrote this post, I have decided that non-hermetic sahirs in my Iberian saga do not work well with each other, and don't have an "order" per se. There are some that work together toward common goals, but jealousy and backstabbing are more common than in the OoH, due to the lack of Parma.

That being said, the players never actually took the bait and never explored that "covenant" that I was working on, so screw 'em!! No mystical arabic secrets for you!! :wink:

Actually, that's probably a pretty accurate picture in Iberia in 1220 CE.

A master and apprentice travelling pair of non-Hermetic sahir would make a good Story. Simialrly, there's nothing to stop you making a covenant of Ex Misc Hermetic Sahir with a few Criamon of the Path of Walking Backwards, a Sufi Mystic or two and a couple of Jerbiton Mozarab hangers on as an interesting recurring ally or opponent to a Saga, particularly if the covenant is set in Granada or a similar part of Southern Iberia.

With the fall of the Caliphate of Cordoba, the second taifa period and the success of the Reconquista gaining momentum after the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, it's hard to envisage any sort of united group of Sahirs in late Medieval Iberia. Most would likely be opportunistic "evil vizier" types or travelling mercenaries/wanderers without a great deal of knowledge - perhaps only Sihr and a few other Supernatural Abilities. Impressive as court magicians but not on par with a Hermetic magus.

However, in the early days, before the formation of the Caliphate in the early 900s (and prior to some sahir joining Ex Miscellanea), there would be room for a parallel Order. After the Hermetic Sahir join, the Order of Suleiman would likely be pushed back to the Maghreb and Northern Africa / the Levant although there were still likely interactions in southern Iberia and perhaps even a few interactions amongst the magi of Urbs Rubra, one of the few covenants from the original Tribunal of the East.

In 1220, most interaction between non-Hermetic Sahir and Hermetic magi would be in the Levant, where perhaps there is a chance for the intial hostilities to be transformed similar to that in Iberia 300 years ago. he possibility of a second group of Sahir (long out of contact with their Andalusian Ex Miscellanea brethren) joining the Order as a second tradition within Ex Miscellanea would make an interesting Story arc IMO. Perhaps the Hermetic Sahir are at the forefront of Hermetic colonisation of the Levant and as aggressive as their "Frankish" sodales of the Order of Hermes or perhaps they welcome the chance to "return home" and rediscover the secrets of their tradition like Seekers with Mercurian focus.