The Cradle and the Crescent - now in PDF

The PDF of this is just now available over at e23:

At less than 10c/page for 192 pages, it's some of the best Ars Magica value money can buy... :slight_smile:



And am I right in thinking that it's a jolly good read?

Complement to Land of blood and sand (levant tribunal) since it covers the Arabian peninsula and the lands of the fertile crescent. Sahirs galore if you fancy that, so it can be useful for Iberian sagas as well.

It's a great book! :smiley:

I can't say I've used it much in my saga recently, but it's a fun read and the rules for Jinn, Sahirs etc. are quite solid.

I'll be adding to the notes regarding "converting" Blood & Sand for use in ArM5 based on the implications of various changes and additions from TCatC over at my blog. I'll get to the usefulness of TCatC for Iberian non-Hermetic sahir at a later date, but I also plan to discuss some additional ideas about Andalusian magi in general which might be relevant for Iberian Sagas.

So far the first few chapters are covered but the "Hermetic Culture" chapter needs more explanation and discussion given the OoS has now been defined in ArM5 canon.



The next story I run will involve mobeds and TCatC is fantastic in scope.

I did wish they spent a bit more time getting closer to the Levant, since I bought the old Levant book and it is completely lacking in any of the information I wanted to see and it basically does not cover or touch anything at all that interests me.

Dear Ars Magica.... please issue a Levant book, what you have been doing in 5th Edition is beautiful and smart and interesting... gods I want more of the Tribunal books than flavor pieces.

What do you need to know? Maybe we can check if it is in the CatC book instead :slight_smile:


Hah! :slight_smile:

Well I have used CatC with great zeal over the last couple of months anticipating my chance to run the story, but the last story I ran we went just a bit east of the city of Anatolia up a river and into the mountains to find the Sibil Lamia. Oddly most of this region is a no-book land between Theban Tribunal book and the CatC book. I still had a terrific time researching it myself and coming up with stuff.

Our characters actually cause the jyhad invasion of Armenia by the more fanatical faction of the Sultanate of Rum by about 6 months earlier than real history, :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

But as I researched for the next story there is just a lot missing for the Antioch region, the Egyptian and Sinai region, Damascus just seems flat and featureless as does Tarsus and the entire region directly east. I look forward to the 5th edition teams future work with the Levant Tribunal book to maybe give the Levant what it needs to be more playable.

I sorta did what I did with the first story and simply did my own research, but there are HUGE questions of how the Levant politics works, what kind of magi are there, where do "our" magi live and where do Order of Solomon and the Arabic magi have power. The Levant has massive questions about it that Blood and Sand seem to miss for the sake of a generic square maps of covenants, covenants that are useless to read about.

Sorry I sound like such a jerk I just... ugh the Blood and Sand just does not click with me. I can't focus on it, read it, or study it without getting distracted. :blush: :laughing:

Anyhow, anything interesting you have done with the politics of the Order in the Tarsus Damascus region I would love to hear it. If are magi are going through there do they need to ask permission? Will they suffer horrible for being Greek? We have a Bedouin who is a ex Misc who will be helpful, but we also have a shark toothed Flambeau mass-murderer :laughing: With the release of Transylvania that books shows the importance of invitation and letting them know you are coming. Normandy seems to be just a walk through no problem place, while Theben Tribunal is so free and open they already have terms for foreign magi unregistered wandering through their Tribunal made up for them to call you after you leave. ((love Theban best ever Tribunal))

So the Levant... hmmm a lot to ponder

On weeks i'll have physically this book like birthday gift. To be no really subtle telling the wishes works!

I don't have the Cradle and the Crescent yet, but I wondered whether there was any useful information on Islamic education in there? It baffles me, for instance, that Islamic characters aren't allowed Master in Artibus when the Al-Azhar university in Cairo has been teaching courses easily on a par with Paris etc since 975 CE. I know close to nothing of Baghdad institutions, but it wouldn't surprise me if they, too, had a university-level facility.

Makarion, I have had Cradle/Crescent for quite a while now and I can honestly say you will be won over by the treatment of the societies there. I think there is quite a bit of smart and useful research done to give a complete picture of how Islamic societies function. Even more amazing is how Crd/Crst presents the regions as not being a hegemony of "the great Islam". Instead each region has history and mixes of beliefs and culture and social structures, as well as a mythological history unique to each region.

It is well worth the read.

And Xavi, I should add, I was being to tough on Blood and Sand the Levant Tribunal book. It is useful and I have found a number of good things to help me along, but that number was woefully low.... :laughing:

In my defense, back in the days of ArM4, supplements had a much lower word count, so I couldn't fit that much into B&S. I'm looking forward to seeing what Jarkman does to update and expand on it.

No offense taken, don't worry. :slight_smile: I'll agree that CatC is a much better crafted book.

In answer to Portiantor and in support of Niall:

Blood and Sand is only 127 pages compared to 148 for most ArM5 books. TCaTC is 1.5x as long as Blood & Sand. Almost half of B&S is history and cultural info which is still very relevant to any Levant Saga set in 13th century regardless of edition (or system) - I comment on this in my notes. It covered both the JInn and sahir for the first time and dealt with ArM4 Mythic Islam. It also had 15 pages of covenants. This does not leave much room for anything else and the style of Tribunal books was quite different back then eg SoI etc. I still think its a fantastic start.

Much of the cut material was excellent and can be found on Niall's website: or as PDF supplements via e23.

As to TCatC, we had to cut back its cope early to not include Egypt/Sinai (both are now outside the ArM5 Levant Tribunal BTW), the rest of Anatolia, much of the Silk Road, India (Hind).

Any or none of these may reappear at some stage... but I couldn't tell you even if I wanted to. NDA and all that.

Now as to Antioch, well I may just have some ideas in my notes somewhere... and I think I'll gradually be able to answer some of your questions about how to make the Levant work in 5th edition. Stay tuned.



PS glad to hear you're using mobeds. I really like the concept ever since Alex's early Hermes Portal articles - his TCatC chapter always seems like the missing 4th "Houses of God" chapter of RoP:tD that makes it whole.I've always wanted to write up the Guernicus Zoroastrian holy magus used in the Methods & Powers section of that book as a character...