‘Arraf – the Cunning Folk of the Mythic Levant

An ‘arraf is the Mythic Middle Eastern variant of a Cunning-Folk, itself a variant of the Learned Magician presented in Hedge Magic: Revised Edition, Chapter 5. Unlike their Mythic European counterparts, ‘arrafs are not aligned with the Faerie Realm and practice a form of folk magic aligned to the Magic Realm that draws its practices mainly from degenerated Solomonic arts, Zoroastrian magic and local folk divination practices.

Superficially similar to the baal shem, who instead draw their power from the Divine Realm, ‘arrafs create small charms that often incorporate incomplete Qu’ranic verses and other magical symbols. Many ‘arrafs are semi-illiterate however, copying the symbols without understanding their full meaning. Instead of relying on texts, they rely on oral teaching and their prodigial memories.

Required Virtues: Art of Memory, Herbalism
Required Flaws: Ability Block (Academic), No Text Casting
Arts and Abilities: all Learned Magician Arts, Mythic Herbalism and Premonitions.
Common Virtues: Lesser Geomancy*, Divination (geomancy), Puissant Art, Second Sight
Common Flaws: Incompatible Hedge Arts, Weak Verbal Charms, Visions

*Lesser Geomancy is a new Minor Supernatural Virtue detailed in Between Sand and Sea, pages 110-112 as part of the section on Geomancy. Some exceptional ‘arraf may have the Major Supernatural version of this hedge magic.

Unlike other Cunning Folk, an ‘arraf does not possess the Entreat the Powers Virtue and Warping causes them to suffer a different reaction than Learned Magicians. Like the Mythic Alchemists, an ‘arraf becomes more insane as their Warping Score increases – when the character reaches a Warping Score of 3, he gains a Minor Personality Flaw to reflect their eccentricity. When the character reaches a Warping score of 6 or more he gains a Major Personality Flaw that represents their loss of mental balance. If the character reaches a Warping score of 10 he has become utterly mad and the player no longer has control over the character.

Insane ‘arraf are sometimes referred to as majnun (Arabic: “madmen”) and believed to be possessed by malevolent jinn – whether this is true or merely superstition is unclear.

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