Tag Archives: Jinn

Threads of Suleiman – Sahir links

Suleiman the Magnificent

I’ve always been meaning to collate some of the threads written in response to The Cradle and the Crescent, particularly relating to the sahir and jinn. This recent post on the Atlas Games forums prompted me to revisit this idea.

I’ve created a short list of relevant threads in the Order of Suleiman section.

I’ll try and keep this updated over time as a reference.

To Ride the Whirlwind…

I’ve added a short article to the Mythic Arabia section, an idea that didn’t make the final cut of The Cradle and the Crescent. It’s based on an image of a Bedouin warrior riding into battle atop a whirlwind, a style of cavalry appropriate in theme for the area.

Follow the link for details of an example of a Magic Saddle used to ride jinn.

On the Origin of The Jinn

Lamp (Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve been doing some housekeeping and have activated the page containing the Jinn as Characters article I wrote for the first incarnation of Sub Rosa back in 2007 over here.  This article and the research I did for it not only formed the kernel for my later dedicated Jinn chapter in The Cradle and the Crescent, but was also seemingly responsible for the “tap on the shoulder” from Niall Christie that started me writing for ArM5… but that’s perhaps a story for another time.

Back in the day, I had little other than the ArM4 resources Niall had written and RoP: the Divine (the original tainted by partial ArM4 legacy plagiarization edition), RoP: the Infernal and HoH: Societates so the mechanics are somewhat off.  I was trying to extrapolate from Erik Dahl’s Holy Companion / Nephelim and Cult of Heroes Mythic Companion creation rules and twist them  towards Faerie – time has shown I was way off what Timothy and the others who worked on RoP: Faerie would deliver, but at the time it seemed as good a guess as any.

I think there’s still some good ideas in here – in particular there are some concepts on elemental nature like the Close Elemental Ties Flaw and the idea of Jinn Mysteries that for some reason I never translated into the official product. I’d like to particularly explore the latter at some stage.

Mesopotamian Monsters

I’ve just found this article by Robert Lebling (author of Legends of the Fire Spirits) over at the online magazine Saudi Aramco World, from which I’d used some of the articles on Arab falconry when writing The Cradle and the Crescent. Some of the jinn related concepts are found in the main book and I feel I’ve covered them fairly well already but there’s some additional material of interest on vampires and werewolves.

I don’t think we covered either the ekimmu or utukku – both are vampiric creatures that work well as non-Jinn Faerie creatures. The distinction of being “non-Jinn” is important as one of the main mechanical distinctions of “Jinn vs non-Jinn” in ArM5 now is that “Jinn” can be affected by Sihr (the most common Summoning Art used by sahir), whereas “non-Jinn” are unaffected by Sihr (but can be affected by different summoning magics depending on whether they are incorporeal spirits, elemental creatures or animals).

These Mesopotamian monsters might therefore make good nemeses for Middle Eastern wizards that control jinn – these vampires are unaffected by the summoning magic and bargaining mechanic of most common sahirs ie. those who use Sihr. I’ve detailed a similar “non-Jinn” creature sourced from Lebling’s work, the wolf spirit ‘udhurut, that would also be an interesting opponent for a sahir dominated Saga as many Arabian jinn fear wolves.

To me, the ekimmu sound as if they are physical humanoids, whereas the utukku are more spirit like from Lebling’s description – I suspect they could be easily modeled using the “Vampire Bestiary” rules that I’ve just read in the well-worth reading Transylvanian Tribunal sourcebook:  Against the Dark, pages 117-122.

In the final part of the vampire section Lebling also mentions a possible Turkish vampire, the izcacus :

Some vampire lore may also have entered Eastern Europe through the Turks. In Hungary, for example, the belief in vampires is said to date back to accounts from the 12th century that cite a demon called izcacus, or blood drinker. This word’s origin dates back before the Hungarians’ arrival in Europe from Central Asia in 895. Turkic culture expert Wilhelm Radloff says the word has its roots in ancient Turkish, which the Hungarians encountered during the late eighth century in regions between Asia and Europe. Migrating Turkic tribes may have acquired vampire lore from settled populations in western and Central Asia that had been influenced by the Assyrians and their successors.

I’d not come across the concept before – it would be interesting to develop the concept for the Levant or other Sagas set in the Silk Road and Beyond…

Oh, I also think the comic style art by June Brigman is interesting, but admit its not very Ars Magica in style – much more d20 Modern in feel.

Return to the Sands – Revisiting the Levant Tribunal in ArM5

Blood & SandI’ve just added some material here under the likely-to-be-ever-growing Mythic Levant section. It’s a collection of ArM5 conversion notes and additional material for Niall Christie’s ArM4 supplement Blood and Sand: the Levant Tribunal, which is one of my favourite Ars books of all time.

With the advent of The Cradle and the Crescent, there now exist updated rules for sahir, the Jinn  and other Middle Eastern concepts that need addressing.

I hereby beg forgiveness from Niall for “getting out the red pen” and striking though much of his creation in my attempt to update this “classic”!