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Ideas on African Mages? (M:tSC / M20 game set in 1460 CE in Ethiopia)

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  • Ideas on African Mages? (M:tSC / M20 game set in 1460 CE in Ethiopia)

    Hello there. I'm writing a (brief) setting for Mage: the Sorcerer's Crusade. Player characters will be in Ethiopia in 1460.

    In addition to the usual M:tSC groups I want to include some new African socities, ideologies, groups, etc... I would like to include some other mages beyond the Ngoma and the Madzimbabwe.

    I have quite a stack of books to peruse (I have almost all the White Wolf / Onyx Path books ever published), but page and chapter references are always welcome.

    So far so good:
    I'm building a group of Ethiopian mages, called the Disciples of Solomon, developed around the figure called "debtera", a type of church official in the Ethiopian Coptic Church and in Beta Israel Judaism, said to have some magical abilities. I will post them here as soon as they are ready for play. Currently, I guess they finally joined the Celestial Chorus. Or maybe not. I'm not sure yet.

    I'm also thinking about developing the extremely short information on Songhai mages, in the Sorcerer's Crusade Companion.

    Any ideas you would like to share with me?

  • #2
    The Babalawo - Yoruban Mystery Priests/Diviners who are willinging possessed by the Orisha. Fully Dreamspeakers by modern times.

    Ecstatic Sufis seeking jedbah in the Maghreb.

    As "ancient traditions continued to exist in secret despite having been utterly wiped out far earlier in reality" is a thing in the World of Darkness - obviously practitioners are Egyptian Heku are going to be a thing.

    Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow


    • #3
      Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
      Ecstatic Sufis seeking jedbah in the Maghreb.
      Thanks for your suggestions! What does jedbah mean?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Alqamar Alaswad View Post

        Thanks for your suggestions! What does jedbah mean?

        Also called jazbah or majzoobiyat - it's the state of religious ecstasy and spiritual awareness sought by Sufi mystics.

        Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow


        • #5
          Thanks for your quick reply.

          Some details:
          The mages in Ethiopia 1460 (the setting needs a better name, this is just a placeholder) are going to be split, broadly speaking, in three groups, according to their religion: Christians, Muslims and Outsiders (Jews and Pagans).

          Currently, Jews are being actively discriminated and even persecuted by the Empire, and most of them have migrated to the north-western provinces and the Kingdom of Semien, in more-or-less open rebellion against the Emperor. Pagans, on the other hand, are thought to have been completely destroyed and their presence in the country is barely testimonial, despite the influence of pagan traditions in daily life.

          The lot of Muslims is slightly better, but not much more. Being the religion of Ethiopia's south-eastern neighbors, Islam is seen by many as a dangerous, foreign set of beliefs. The feeling of being trapped between the Mamluks and the sultanates in the Horn of Africa felt by many members of the Ethiopian nobility and clergy does not help.

          Christians, on the other hand, are very powerful, in the court, in the cities and in the rural world. Christians from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (or Coptic Ethiopian Orthodox Church), that is. Roman and Greek Orthodox Christians are unknown in the country until the arrival of the Europeans.

          The Order of Reason will be present in the game. There will also be some Traditionalists and some Disparates, being members of groups that rejected the invitation to the Great Convocation, that never heard about it or that simply haven't reached an agreement yet about what to do.


          • #6
            Yesterday, one of my players asked me: Why Ethiopia and not another country?

            And I said: Because in 1460 Ethiopia is at the end of its Golden Age. It is a period full of interesting opportunities. It is also a very interesting place for a Sorcerer's Crusade game, as a crossroad between Asia, Africa and Europe (dispate its location in the Horn of Africa). I have also thought about setting a game in the Ottoman Empire, but I think I'm going to keep that for Victorian Age: Mage.