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  • #31
    That would work well, though it does change much of their role in the story. It pushes them away from the subtlest of Mages, general lovers of Unity, etc, and more towards being a heavily Islamic mage faction. I think its a good change as they often felt like a plot device to me, but it dramatically changes their role in the Traditions.

    They wouldn't be one of the driving forces of the founding. I'm not sure they'd even want to join the Traditions. If they do it is mostly because of the threat of the [Gabrielites], and even though the Batini could see the distinction between the [Gabrielites] and the Church, that doesn't mean their relationship with the latter is good. I'm not even sure how much they'd be against the Order of Reason if the [Gabrielites] weren't part of it. The Order didn't have a strong anti-religious bent until much later (conveniently right around the time it kicked the Gabrielites out).



    Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
      That would work well, though it does change much of their role in the story. It pushes them away from the subtlest of Mages, general lovers of Unity, etc, and more towards being a heavily Islamic mage faction. I think its a good change as they often felt like a plot device to me, but it dramatically changes their role in the Traditions.

      They wouldn't be one of the driving forces of the founding. I'm not sure they'd even want to join the Traditions. If they do it is mostly because of the threat of the [Gabrielites], and even though the Batini could see the distinction between the [Gabrielites] and the Church, that doesn't mean their relationship with the latter is good. I'm not even sure how much they'd be against the Order of Reason if the [Gabrielites] weren't part of it. The Order didn't have a strong anti-religious bent until much later (conveniently right around the time it kicked the Gabrielites out).
      Well, Islam itself is a religion that "preaches unity", more or less... Im gonna be very direct here. Islam literally says that there will be world peace once everybody is a muslim (but since there are different sects of islam, like Sunni and Shia, this means that everybody must be of THEIR sect of islam).

      This is NOT, in any way, very far away from the idea of Unity from the fictional Batini from MtA. This idea of "Unity" is basically imprinted in Islam itself.

      And here is why I suggested that there should be a group that would be basically the "islamic Gabrielites", because this idea of Unity on Islam is what goes behind the idea of "Jihad", which is literally "Holy War".

      The idea of Jihad is one of the core concepts of islam; without Jihad, there is no Islam.

      It's like wanting to be a Christian without believing that Christ is God; if you dont believe that, you're not a Christian. I myself, for example, Im an atheist, but I admire the figure of Christ. But since I dont believe that Jesus is divine, Im just a fan, not a follower.

      Likewise, to be a muslim you must adhere to the precets of Jihad.

      But here were is the problem: islamic scholars identify 2 types of "Jihad": internal Jihad and external Jihad.

      External Jihad CAN apply to "conversion by the sword", if interpreted literally, but it could also be seen as "evangelization".

      However, many scholars consider the "internal Jihad" to be even more important, and that's a concept that implies a sort of internal spiritual search.

      This "internal Jihad" is probably where the Al I Batin would stand at (in a very very short version of islamic theology and in a very didatic way to convey the overall meaning to you), so that THIS is their view towards "Unity".

      And hence why I think it NECESSARY to have a "hardline" faction os islamic Mages who instead adhere to the more literal interpretation of Jihad as meaning "kill anyone that doesnt 100% agree with you", which the Batini view as a completely abhorrent and ignorant view of Islam.

      While those changes would indeed turn the Batini into a secret islamic cult rather than the weird(er) Celestial Chorus from the middle east that never officially just simply fused with the rest of the Celestial Chorus *because of reasons*, into a firmly islamic cult, it does not truly change anything else above them. They still seek unity (as does islam in the form of "internal Jihad", which would be an individual spiritual search to get connected with Allah), while still being acceptive of non muslims - historically, in medieval periods islam was far more tolerant than christianism, and for periods of time, muslim scholars would drink from fountains of knowledge coming from christians, jews and even pagans. That changed over the period of islamic decline up towards what we have today where wahabists (sunni) and shias preach some of the most intolerant doctrines of all time, althought there are still some other currents that advocate the same principles of the past (the Sufists for example favor "internal Jihad" far more than "external one", so that would be a good philosophical stance to base the Batini upon).

      And in the part of the Batini being subtle, the word "Batin" refers to "hidden" or "occult" (knowledge). That is, it's knowledge that isnt readily avaiable, that one must dedicate himself in order to obtain. I'd count that as being the "subtle ones"; they are the guardians of the secret exoteric knowledge on the middle east. For being secret, they MUST be subtle.

      So, I would say that the Batini could be the Sufis of Islam - or be connected to it, or influence over it, or perhaps the Batini are the "secret masters" of Sufism. And still having the ideology of "Unity" and still be open to anyone that share in their view of unity and still being the subtle ones.

      But again, there should also be the "islamic gabrielites"

      By the way, the archangel Gabriel is even more important to Islam than to christianism itself, since he is the one that brought the revelation to Mohamed. Therefore, the Cabal of the Pure Thought claiming to work on behalf of Gabriel would be totally Haram (sinful) to a group of islamic mages zealots, and I can see those declaring war against both the Kafirs (infidels) of the Order of Reason as to the pagans in the Traditions.

      But the Batini could perfectly way join the traditions, particularly because I can see them getting in conflict with the zealots (even more than anything else, since it were that islamic zealotry that ultimately cause the end of the islamic golden age and their subsequent decline)

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      • #33
        In real life, islam entered a steady decline between the 14th century up the 17th century. And the reason was due to simple cultural changes. As in before, the islamic scholars translated Plato, Socrates and many other greek, egyptian, roman, Indian and persian texts into arab and improved upon such knowledge, the Caliphs began to literally hunt down knowledge outside of the Quran. It got to the point that, over the 3 centuries of conquest in India, the muslims burned to the ground the largest library of the entire Hindu world. When they asked the Caliph what to do with the library and the tomes in it, he said "Is this knowledge present in the Quran? If it is, we dont need, burn it. If it is not in the Quran, it's Haram (sinful), burn it".

        Fundamentalism caused the massive decline of the islamic world, and this is why Im being so emphatic in having a group of islamic zealots (which could be the Taftani repurposed to that end), playing a role similar but different to that of the Gabrielites, and those zealots would 100% become enemies of the more enlightned and tolerant Ahl I Batin.

        This, curiously, would once again make the Batini look similar to the Celestial Chorus (in their relation with the Gabrielites)

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        • #34
          I don't think that an extremist muslim faction should follow the pattern of the [Gabrielites]. The way I pictured it, the divide between the [Gabrielites] and the Chorus/Church is not one between fundamentalists and moderates. The [Gabrielites] were not fundamentalist, they were monomaniacal. They let their fight against the 'enemies of Christianity' eclipse their actual practice of Christianity. That's why they fanned the flames of the Reformation. They were so focused on their crusade that they would throw the entire Christian world into chaos to keep pursuing it.

          This divide isn't meant to separate Christianity from its worst excesses (though there is some historical precedent for that too) but to play into the [Gabrielites] eventual fate. In the end they jettisonined their religion but not their mission. Their legacy in the OoR/Technocracy is monster and heretic hunting and not faith.

          An extremist Muslim faction that keeps to its faith would be an altogether different entity. That's good, we don't want to retread the same ground. It does lead to false dichotomy though.

          It would certainly make sense that if there is a faction of Muslim mages focused more on the mysticism of Islam there might also be one plenty who focused on the legal and fundamental side. However, I don't think it is a natural inevitability that the fundamentalists become extremists. That leaves out much of the very real inbetween area that players may want to explore.

          I think the solution, if we use the idea of an extremist faction, is that many of the fundamentalists were pushed into Batini (or the Chorus I suppose) as the extremist faction grew in influence. The Batini may have started out as a Sufist organization but that my not be where they are anymore.

          I don't think the Taftani make sense as the extremists. Though they may be primarily muslim in religion I don't think they make sense as an actual Islamic practice.


          Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
            I don't think that an extremist muslim faction should follow the pattern of the [Gabrielites]. The way I pictured it, the divide between the [Gabrielites] and the Chorus/Church is not one between fundamentalists and moderates. The [Gabrielites] were not fundamentalist, they were monomaniacal. They let their fight against the 'enemies of Christianity' eclipse their actual practice of Christianity. That's why they fanned the flames of the Reformation. They were so focused on their crusade that they would throw the entire Christian world into chaos to keep pursuing it.

            This divide isn't meant to separate Christianity from its worst excesses (though there is some historical precedent for that too) but to play into the [Gabrielites] eventual fate. In the end they jettisonined their religion but not their mission. Their legacy in the OoR/Technocracy is monster and heretic hunting and not faith.

            An extremist Muslim faction that keeps to its faith would be an altogether different entity. That's good, we don't want to retread the same ground. It does lead to false dichotomy though.

            It would certainly make sense that if there is a faction of Muslim mages focused more on the mysticism of Islam there might also be one plenty who focused on the legal and fundamental side. However, I don't think it is a natural inevitability that the fundamentalists become extremists. That leaves out much of the very real inbetween area that players may want to explore.

            I think the solution, if we use the idea of an extremist faction, is that many of the fundamentalists were pushed into Batini (or the Chorus I suppose) as the extremist faction grew in influence. The Batini may have started out as a Sufist organization but that my not be where they are anymore.

            I don't think the Taftani make sense as the extremists. Though they may be primarily muslim in religion I don't think they make sense as an actual Islamic practice.
            Yeah, I didnt mean for the [Janissaries] to be just like Gabrielites, just to have a similarity. To begin with, this guys would be enemies of the OoR and of the Technocracy and remain muslims until today, unlike the Gabrielites "apostates" who would later on commit the worst sin of all - apostasy, abandoning their God.

            So, they are to have similar origins, but very different fates.

            About the "Taftani", I only suggested those because the name already exists, and as they are they neither make any sense nor do they hold any purpose (but much of the same could be said about the rest of the Crafts, so there is that). This way they would cease to just be yet another Craft placed there just to be exotic and look cool (which I call the "VtM Bloodlines Disease", lucky Werewolf players that didnt catch that) and they would rather become an organic part of the setting.

            But sure, those "new Taftani" would basically just share the name with the old ones

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            • #36
              I think the Taftani make sense in the broad strokes. A group of Indopersian sorcerers with ties to a specific genre of folklore works quite well for Mage, and expands the Middle East beyond just Islam. Where they need work is in the details. How did they form? What organization di they have? Are they an organization or just a style of Mage common to the region (like the Verbena would have been if they didn't have to band together)? Why didn't they join the Traditions or the Technocracy?

              One possibility that occurs to me is that the reason they didn't join the Traditions is that they joined the Order of Reason. Their most likely origins are probably as a syncretic faction based on the mix of Roman, Persian, and Indian knowledge and folklore. Perhaps they did join, with some of them later leaving as the Order became the Technocracy and focused on more naturalistic elements. Those that left the Technocracy became the Taftani, while those that stayed had a major hand in forming the Electrodyne Engineers.



              Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                I think the Taftani make sense in the broad strokes. A group of Indopersian sorcerers with ties to a specific genre of folklore works quite well for Mage, and expands the Middle East beyond just Islam. Where they need work is in the details. How did they form? What organization di they have? Are they an organization or just a style of Mage common to the region (like the Verbena would have been if they didn't have to band together)? Why didn't they join the Traditions or the Technocracy?

                One possibility that occurs to me is that the reason they didn't join the Traditions is that they joined the Order of Reason. Their most likely origins are probably as a syncretic faction based on the mix of Roman, Persian, and Indian knowledge and folklore. Perhaps they did join, with some of them later leaving as the Order became the Technocracy and focused on more naturalistic elements. Those that left the Technocracy became the Taftani, while those that stayed had a major hand in forming the Electrodyne Engineers.
                I really liked that

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