Saluqi and Dogs in Islam

Dog, Saluki

The following stat block was cut from The Cradle and the Crescent for space reasons. The remaining insert on page 104 details the place of saluqi in Bedouin culture.

Dog, Saluqi (“Saluki”)

Characteristics: Cun 0, Per +2, Pre +1, Com 0, Str -4, Sta +3, Dex +1, Qik +4
Size: -2
Confidence Score: 0
Virtues and Flaws: Enduring Constitution, Improved Characteristics x2, Long-Winded, Sharp Ears; Reckless
Qualities: Domesticated, Grapple, Imposing Appearance x2, Keen Eyesight, Pack Animal, Pursuit Predator
Personality Traits: Loyal +2
Reputations: Noble 2 (Bedouin)
Combat:
Bite: Init +4, Attack +8, Defense +9, Damage -3
Dodge: Init +4, Attack n/a, Defense +8, Damage n/a
Grapple: Init +4, Attack +4, Defense +8, Damage special (see ArM5, page 174)
Soak: +3
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0/0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-3), -3 (4-6), -5 (7-9), Incapacitated (10-12), Dead (13+)
Abilities: Athletics 3 (distance running), Awareness 3 (keeping watch), Brawl 3 (bite), Hunt 4 (track by sight)
Natural Weapons: The weapon statistics for a saluqi’s bite are Init 0, Atk +3, Def +1, Dam +1.

Appearance: with a long narrow head, drop ears and a long curved tail, the saluqi is an elegant and graceful hound, considered noble compared to other dogs. They vary in color, ranging from white, cream, fawn and red to tan with black highlights and their fur is either smooth like a greyhound or “feathered” with fur on its ears, tail and backs of its legs.

Additional Notes on Arabian and other Hounds:

Saluqi are sighthounds similar to greyhounds, used by the Bedouin as coursers to hunt hares and foxes or used as bird-dogs to bring down gazelle once the creatures have been blinded by their master’s favorite hawk. Prized for their beauty and hunting-skill, the saluqi are considered “clean” or al hurr (Arabic “the noble one”) in Islam and, unlike other hounds, are allowed to sleep in their master’s tent. Exceptional individual saluqi are even sometimes immortalized with poetry after their passing.

Some of the best saluqi possess the Puissant: Hunt and Ferocity (protect master) Virtues and may have additional Abilities or Qualities depending on their breeding and training. Magical saluqi may be created as Companion characters using the rules in Chapter 5: Magic Animals of Realms of Power: Magic although not all exceptional saluqi are necessarily Beasts of Virtue or posses a Might Score.

Some lesser Faerie jinn take the form of saluqi and may be bound to Bedouin sahir using the khuddam bond (see The Cradle and the Crescent, page 41). These hounds may have unique powers in addition to the usual powers common to lesser Faerie jinn.

Azawakh: superficially similar in appearance and characteristics to the smooth saluqi, this Tuareg hound accompanies its nomad masters through the deep desert. Although they can be trained, these sighthounds are not fully domesticated: lose the Domesticated Quality and Imposing Appearance Qualities, add Survival 4 (desert) and decrease Presence to -1. These dogs are used more as protectors than hunters, although they are swift enough to chase down gazelle. They have remarkable constitution and heat tolerance, reflected by the addition of the Tireless Quality (add 2 Fatigue levels), the Lesser Immunity: Heat and Rapid Convalesence Minor Virtues, but they are emotionally very dependent on the affection of their masters as reflected by the Oversensitive (lack of affection) Minor Flaw.

Sloughi: this North African breed is similar in appearance to the wilder azawakh but is found mainly in the western lands north of the desert.Use the saluqi statistics above but drop Imposing Appearance and decrease Presence to -1.Like the azawakh, the sloughi crave affection in return for their loyalty and also possess the Oversensitive (lack of affection) Minor Flaw.

Dog (Kalb)

Despite the Prophet’s admonishment to treat all animals with respect, the dog or kalb is considered an unclean animal in Islam and occupies a far different cultural role than in Mythic Europe. Most Mythic Middle Eastern dog breeds other than the noble saluqi are more jackal-like rather than the larger version given in the Book of Mundane Beasts or the Character Guides for the various hunting hounds presented in Lords of Men. Some European hounds can be found in the Levant, imported by the Frankish invaders and sometimes used by Syrian nobles in their hunts.

Statistics for jackals will be appearing in an upcoming ArM5 supplement and cannot therefore be detailed here. In the meantime, to represent these scavengers and similar canids use the base statistics for a Wolf from The Book of Beasts (or RoP:M, page 144) with the following modifications:

  • decrease Size to -2
  • change characteristics to: Cun +0, Com -4, Str -3, Sta +2, Dex +3, Qik +3
  • drop Ferocity Virtue and the Compulsion and Infamous Flaws
  • drop Aggressive, Hardy, Pack Animal/Pack Leader, Thick Fur and Vocal Qualities
  • add Fast Runner and Tireless Qualities
  • change Personality Trait to Friendly +3 and Reputation to Scavenger (local) 4
  • decrease to Brawl 3 (teeth) and change to Survival 3 (winter)
  • adjust Combat, Soak, Fatigue Levels and Wound Penalties accordingly

A lowly tribe of dark Faerie jinn known as the Hinn invariably take the form of black dogs similar to jackals above, but other lesser evil jinn also commonly assume the form of black, yellow or red dogs of varying sizes and breeds. The sighting of a white dog however usually indicates a pious Muslim jinn in animal shape and is considered a good omen.

Suggestions for powers for magical hounds may be found in the descriptions of Faerie Hounds (see Realms of Power: Faerie, page 88-89), the character guide for Magical Hounds (see Realms of Power: Magic, page 31) or the statistics for the Two-Headed Hound (Realms of Power: the Infernal, page 73).

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