Not-Tribunal of Egypt Tribunal

Soo its 1224 and Heru goes to Egypt, which means adventure ahoy!

At this point in time there are no Hermetic magi officially in the area, and so its not a Tribunal, which means no monitoring. Also at this point the Crusade ended and so the city of Damietta is back in Egyptian hands.

Heru doesn't plan on making this his home base but the region does give him some potentials that he can't really do elsewhere - namely, he can basically use his presence to create whatever he wants. Which is why I am thinking he might decide instead of there being just one covenant site he develops three - one in Siwa, one in Ikhimdi, an the third in Adulis. The Siwa one is for desert trade between Egypt and Africa. The Ikhmindi one is for access to the Nile and all its important sites. The Adulis one is for the future, the potential of greater access to the Red Sea. I figure that considering how long it has been since he has become a magi I bet there are enough recent apprentices turned magi that he could populate all three, all he needs is anywhere between 12 to 15 magi.

Besides me needing to find the various story seeds that lead him to finding and then claiming all three sites I have one more idea I really, really, want to do - I want him to use his magic to basically create the Suez Canal. A bigger, grander, more ornate version. Considering his virtues and his stats him using a Creo Terram spell to create the canal should totally be possible. Especially since at max its +4 to +5 size, with plenty of space in between. Even more him having canal building spells would probably be something he might find useful in the future anyway.

I have one more thought, if he finds a place to build a fourth covenant he can create the Egyptian Tribunal which could be voted on in the Grand Tribunal of 1228. (Which, as a related note, I am going to really need to think deeply on what antics he gets up to at said Grand Tribunal, espeically due to all the stuff he has been doing the last almost three decades since becoming a magi. But that is another conversation, hehe) Where the fourth site should be I do not know.

Anyway, I gotta ask, any thoughts or ideas or fun potential twists and turns and plot seeds that could occur over the year? Any logical reasons that he should not do what he is thinking to do. Any ideas on maybe him going even farther? hehe

He could discover previous attempts at such a canal, e.g. to get him motivated,

and discover some supernatural barrier to such a tunnel (Maybe the Sprirts of the Nile, the Red Sea and the Mediterranian have had a falling out?) that he can overcome?


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@rgd20 ooh yeah, that looks nice. I did see something about a canal to Cairo but I dismissed it due to it seeming side point but after looking further, yeah it works. Also I like the fact that he would be using something already existing. Which means he could basically find a way to hide what he did in a way that seems more mundane. (Like how he used Creo Terram magic to rebuild Constantiniple while making it seemed to be a divine act, hehe.)

If I go this way then I really think Cairo would be the site of the fourth covenant. Which is something that could work due to it being a trade area and open to Christians and such.

The idea of there being something that either pushes it forward or tries to block it that he has to overcome is a good idea, a perfect story seed.

Also, hmm, I see a Roman canal called the River of Trajan. I wonder how that looks too. Did it follow this particular path as well.

according to a hermetic pact when the hermetic Sahir joined the order, it is forbidden to form a covenant in Africa before 1225. I would also expectthe Order of Seuleman to have some vested interest in Egypt. No rules about scouting locations in 1224 though. If you want to make it a tribunal in 1228 you need:

  1. three covenants in the area (established between 1225 and 1228)
  2. a recognized tribunal to use one of the three issues they bring to the Grand Tribunal to petition for the new Tribunal to be included, and
  3. a majority of votes cast in its favor.

consider that depending on how you read the background situation, both the Levant and Rome Tribunals may wish to lay claim to the territory. Iberia may wish to expand into Africa, but that would be more the western end of the continent.

Hmm, interesting stuff @silveroak . For example, I did not know about, or at least consciously remember since there is little doubt I read about it, the whole prohibition on a covenant in Africa in 1225. If you ignore him doing stuff in Egypt, cause you know 'Egypt is special, lol' then the fact he goes to Africa in 1226 is almost too perfect. hehe

On Egypt being its own tribunal or that of another, the fact is in 4th edition was part of Levant, which I might still have my character push for it to be in. Though I have to think more about it, on whether being its own thing or it being with Levant makes more logical sense. One thing is for sure its definitely not going to be in this Grand Tribunal, its too close for any true politicking to occur.

I have to add the idea of Egypt or Africa being a part of Rome or Iberia or even Thebes makes no sense to me. I could see it being part of Levant, that works, but not the continental tribunals.


I wonder if the whole Black vs Red thing could be brought into this a bit. I know I will make it so that at least the Black is gonna be Magic bound as that is the realm I care about.

As an aside in Transforming Mythic Europe, love that book, in the Island of the Magician chapter, love that chapter, no, LOVE, that chapter, there is a spell called Canals that Accomodate Seagoing Vessels (CrTe 20) that could be expanded to by +3 Size Modifiers to cover the length of the canal (well and some) and if I add +1 Complexity modifier I could make a CrTe 40 ritual that basically creates a really epic canal for 8 vis. Totally worth it. hehe

So basically I have to decide do I have him build a canal. If so, from where, that is do I make it like our version (Mediterranean to Red Sea) or an ancient version (Cairo to Red Sea). And if so should he have a covenant site say at Cairo or the area where Port Said is currently. And if I do any of that what interesting stories could lead to it. Because I kind of want it to either be his idea but that he is 'pushed' into it or something happens that makes this the perfect result.

Both the Black and the Red are Magic Realm - impersonal forces of fertility and sterility contending over Africa. I love this part, as it's a reminder to magi that the Magic realm isn't all nice - in fact, it's largely alien to humanity, where the other 3 realms are all about mortal interaction.


The non emotional totally impersonal nature of Magic is one of the things I love about it. Magic, unlike the other three powers, has no morality, it is, it just is. Not Good, not Bad, just is. (I would completely, completely, be fine with an Ars Magica came without Faerie or Divine or Infernal, just Magic. But that is a side note.)

There being this very massive impersonal force dueling with another impersonal force is intriguing to both me and probably Heru too, hehe.

So out of the three potential covenant sites in the book the only one I don't immediately see an easy story seed to focus on is the Siwa Oasis one. I mean the one on the Nile can be 'accidentaly' found while traveling the Nile. The one in the Red Sea can easily be found the moment there is a trip down the Red Sea. But Siwa is in the middle of the nowhere. Which means for it to be found something would need to draw the attention of the magi to there being something there. But I don't truly see anything in the book that pops out as 'ooh, that is why the magi go there'. Any thoughts?

My thinking at this point is that he will discover Ikhmindi while traveling the Nile. He will discover Adulis while traveling the Red Sea, which will also lead to him thinking the potential of a Suez Canal act of magic. ( I wanted to go the Canal of the Pharaohs idea but with the current political situation it kind of makes sense to just go the modern version, even if one ignores that with magic a single magitude times distances by 10 and so there is little mechanical harm in said increase.) A part of me thinks that Venice might like this, which is amusing as historically Venice tired to make a canal but it failed.

Still thinking and still interesting in feedback. :slight_smile:

I think there are really two ways to find Siwa. The first one is by accident. Siwa lies on one of the caravan routes connecting Egypt with the western parts of north Africa, (modern day Libya) so if you arrive to Egypt on foot from Iberia it would be obvious to stop in Siwa. The second way to find Siwa is to go looking for it. The place used to be home to an oracle of Ammon (Amun/Amun-Re) and it is famously the place where Alexander the great was declared pharaoh of Egypt which means that the place is famous in the west, because of its fame among the ancient Greeks. There could even be a somewhat considerable tourism to the place. It is totally possible that a well read character could know about the Siwa oasis based on its fame in antiquity.

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So, while looking through my 4e Levant book (because I just realized that unlike 5e Egypt was considered in Levant in the 4e book) I noticed that there is a covenant called the True Cross in Damietta. I also see it noted that it is described in Mythic Seas, which I have the ability to read as well. Now, I know, officially, it doesn't exist in 5e but you know what I'm gonna ignore that, hehe, and have it still be there in 5e. Said covenant will have been formed in 1219 and so it is five years old now. It managed to whether the whole fall of the Crusaders and the return of Egyptian authority. I think it being there works for me and so I am going to use it.

Though it does beg the question what sort of landscape and culture is the city of 1224 as compared to the way the book describes it. I looked up Damietta on wikipedia and and all it says is 'Muslims reclaimed it from the Latins" and that's it. I figure it still a port location, for all that security is upgraded, and so outsiders and travelers are still relatively common and welcome.

The other option I could go with is that due to the presence of magi the city didn't fall, it still remains in Latin hands. Hmm. Not sure which is 'better' for both the campaign and local history.

Either way I think Heru will offer to cast his high powered Aegis over the covenant maybe formally known as the True Cross (they might have changed the name after the whole reveal its not really in Muslim hands or something), whcih I could see being accepted because a) one member is Bonisagus and no doubt knows of Heru and b) the other member is a Tremere who probably received word about Heru's actions in Translyvania. Also allying with Heru means easier access to covenfolk (he moves his people around as needed) and resources and, oh, lets not forget, the use of the portal network.

I like this, mostly because the 'oh look a magical oasis with everything right in front of us' seems a little out there. hehe But it being known to scholars, and Heru is that, and also it being something he would want to investigate makes perfect sense. (Also, he doesn't come to the region from Iberia he comes by boat from Tripoli in Levant as that is the closest portal port.)

My next question is more a matter of timing and such. So he basically has a year to do his Egyptian travels. I was thinking two months in the Nile Delta, 6 months collectively in the Nile River and Red sea (so down the whole Nile all the way to Eithopia and then a side trip to the Red Sea and upward back to the Delta), and then 3 months to and then at Siwa. Using magic to maybe speed up travel between the boring bits does this sort of timeframe make sense as far as exploring and seeing the sights and stuff?

My end goal is that Heru and company will have an Adventure in the Nile Delta, an adventure somewhere in the Egyptian Nile, then another one in the Nubian Nile, a fourth in the Eithopian Nile, then one in the Red Sea, and finally one in Siwa. Nubia one might have two, one around Ikhimdi and the other somewhere downward, maybe in Alodia. The Red Sea one would probably be based around Adulis.

I am debating on whether I want the Tomb of Cleopatra to be something he finds. If so I totally could see him shrugging off the gold and jewels and riches as pointless (which when magic can make gold it really is) while giggling madly at the various inscriptions and stored scrolls and stuff.

When I say adventure I don't mean they have to be Epic things, they could be the equivalent of "help my son is missing can you find him" to 'the elephant came to Heru and asked to solve a problem" and he spends two days on it and the issue is solved". They are just stuff he does as he travels. (I love Story Seeds, hehe)

Also I am assuming that Heru and his companions, while somewhat out of place, aren't going to be the only foreign travelers and such. Now, that said, I do have every expectation that as he travels he will be occasionally attacked by bandits who think he is easy pray, which when the spells fly and Asterias lets his bull features appear up will prove that to be anything but true. hehe

I think that in Egypt at least you can safely assume that you will regularly run into some form of tourist. Egypt is and almost always has been famous for the amount, scale and impressiveness of its monuments. Also there will probably be treasure hunters after the "lost gold", many of those could pose as tourists too.

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@Euphemism thanks for the information, I very much appreciate it.

So, after a couple of days and many wikipedia searches and also paper bookmarks in the Nile book I finished writing Heru's travels through Egypt. He visited Egypt, Nubia, and Eithopia. He built covenants in Siwa, Adulis, Ikmindi, and Pelusium and got them populated with three to five magi from all of his other covenants, former apprentices and such, who needed new homes.

On Pelusium I decided still existed as a city, since its up in the air from what I could tell on when it actually disappeared, and so I figured its sandy ruins but the locals are trying. Portals between the sites, contacts made with good and bad magic users, plus some lords and governors and kings, and its all good to go. (Oh, and he saw the Ark of the Covenant in the one city but decided to leave it be for NOW, hehe, plot seed anyone, lol.)

While doing this I did realize there were some things that in game could change things very much for Egypt. For example, a ritual Creo Aquam spell could conjure a stone well (with terram requisite) that has a permanent water source. While such things in Europe is like 'okay, whatever, you have water, congratulations' in the deserts of Egypt and such it could be super change worthy. I got around it by basically not having Heru a need to cast such spells, but it was an intriguing thought.

I also realized that I am playing, and this I have ZERO need to change, that while Aegis is only semi-Hermetic and so most parameters can't be changed size of boundary is not one of them. Which means to me given study a mage, like Heru, could add +1 or +2 or more Size to increase the area from 100 paces (stupid use of pace, should be feet or meters) to ten or hundred times that. Serf's Parma I know, but this I won't be changing. (I also believe the Aegis doesn't need to Penetrate, it works because it works!)

One other nifty area I have to think on is the teleport magics and such. The seven leagues spell intrigues me because you have to know where you are going, as in see it, which is interesting as Imaginem (the sense category) is Heru's weakest ability, has a deficiency and everything, so I am not sure on the mechanical details of that.

But yeah the Nile region is finished and now Heru is taking a year in his covenant before heading back out, to Africa and Between Sand and Sea. hehe

But yeah, thanks for the comments in both this and my other threads, I appreciate it!

I don't want to create a thread for this comment so I will just post it here. :slight_smile:

So I am working on the Africa section and I always start with the maps, because it will lead me to the idea of how and where I want things to be. In Africa I knew I wanted inland, the coast is great and all but considering all the various port locations he has access to its not as essential.

So yeah, looking at the map I was like "the area by the Ahaggar Mountains look good" and then I look at the section and guess what, there is a sidebar called "An Atakor Covenant?"

I love this. I mean there is much I have to work out, like how does Heru ally or subjugate the local tribes, but seriously I love stuff like this!

Also I am totally giggling because Horus is a concept for the Black and Heru is another version of the name. The Magus Heru, without realizing it, basically declared himself for the Black! hehe