*** Notes *** The information herein should not be assumed to be official resource to the lands of Araby. I have tried to make it compatible with the background presented in the Warhammer RPG rule book, as well as with what information I could find from the current official background of the region. The main differences may be found in the presented timeline in this text as compared to the timeline presented in the WFB: Undead Army list. As far as I am concerned, this is the information I will use in my own campaigns, and if others find it helpful it will be most gratifying. ---Sigurd Garshol .
Araby "(...) It is a huge empire composed of many theocratic Caliphates, ruled over by the Sultan of All Araby.
Arabyan society is dominated by a religious fundamentalism and is not so technically advanced as that of the Old World. Around 1,000 years ago (in the year 1500, by Old World reckoning), Sultan Daryus-e Qabir launched a series of religious wars against the Old World, without any lasting successes. Legends dating from that time has coloured Old World attitudes to inhabitants of Araby, although there is a fair amount of trade between the two areas. "Araby is a hot, dry place, where water is scarce and few areas are really fertile. Much of the land is desert or shrubland, requiring careful irrigation to provide crops." --- The World Guide.
The Sultan of All Araby claims the whole Arabyan peninsula as belonging to the Empire of Araby. This claim is hardly a realistic claim. Most of the land is covered by hot deserts and dry shrubland. The population lies largely in the coastal cities or the towns and villages surrounding them. The main feature of the region is the Great Desert of Araby, a vast sea of sand taking up most of the interior of the peninsula. The desert is bordered by dry shrublands from the north-east to the south-west. In the north-west lies the Alzim mountains, a jagged line of rock clawing at the skies. Only on the highest peaks of this mountain-range can snow be found, though few travellers brave the perils of the perils of the mountains far enough to reach it. From these mountains flow the only true river of Araby, the Chewan-el Alzim, Son of Alzim. Rain falls in the mountains, making the lands to the west the most fertile of all Araby. Here are even dense jungles covering the area, known as the Land of Assassins. West again, across the Shark Straits lie the fabled Sorcerers' Islands, where legend has it that the mighty Sorcerer Kings once ruled the whole of Araby and the lands beyond. Nothing remains of them except ruins of cities destroyed by some unfathomable cataclysm. The coast winds south along the Arabyan Sea before swinging sharply east to the Gulf of Medes. The inner reaches of the gulf marks the end of the Arabyan peninsula, but the gulf is in effect Arabyan territory. The Arabyan outposts along the coast are the gateways to the wealth of the Southlands, and the Arabyan jealously defend what they consider theirs. North of the Gulf of Medes lies more dry shrubland and savannahs, inhabited only by nomadic tribes. Further north lies the Great Ocean. Marking the border between Araby and the Badlands, the vast delta of the Mortis river feeds a swamp stretching deep into lands to the east. Those lands are known as the Lands of the Dead.
The cities of Araby are also the capitols of the individual caliphates. They are all centres of trade for their region, and the major trading routes pass through them.
Bel Aliad was the first capitol of the Arabyan empire. Here the first Sultan of All Araby sat on the Azure throne. Here was brought plunder from the great eastern kingdoms, a tribute to the Sultans' might. Great temples were erected in honour of the great Arabyan gods. During the Undeath Wars, siege was laid to Bel-Aliad for four years before treachery opened the gates to the Undead hordes. Today, nearly two and a half millennia later, Bel-Aliad is a ghost-city. Its palaces and temples crumbling and sand filling its streets. Sometimes adventurers travel to the city in search of the legendary treasures that are said to still be hidden beneath the city. Most return empty-handed, though sometimes not at all. The city's banner was silver tower against a black background.
The crusader city of Lumino is a testimony to the Religious Wars against the Old World. Carried by the momentum of their victories over the Arabyan armies in the Old World, crusaders landed on the Arabyan coast to bring the wars to Araby. On Pirate's Rock the crusaders built a great fortress, Lumino Keep. By the time the Arabyan armies rallied to face them, the crusaders had a firm foothold on the Arabyan coast, and could not be ousted other than at great cost. After several inconclusive battles, the Sultan made peace with the invaders, allowing them to stay as long as they kept peace on their land, did not attack Araby and paid tribute to the Azure Throne. In time, Lumino grew to be the greatest centre of foreign presence in Araby. Merchant companies of the Old World established their offices in Lumino, and over the years a city grew up around the walls of the mighty Lumino keep. Today Lumino is still held by the Knights of the Golden Star, a knight-hood dedicated to Myrmidia. The Grand Master is the master of the keep, and thus the city. The knight-hood are largely the descendants of the original crusaders, but many Knights of the Golden Star come from the Old World to do service in Lumino Keep. The city's population is largely Arabyan, but there are more Old Worlders here than in any other city in Araby. The city seems to be a hybrid of Old Worlder and Arabyan architecture, with typically one of the box-like Arabyan houses likely to be found next to an inn in Reiklander style. The banner of Lumino and the Order is a seven-pointed star in gold against a white field.
Al-Haikk is called "the City of Thieves", though more due to the prowess of their thieves than the level corruption of among the general populace. It is said that an Al-Haikk thief can steal the eyes out of your sockets, and you will not notice it until next week. That being said, the laws of the city are harsher here than in any other city, and nowhere in the known world is the watch more diligent and incorruptible. Only the best of thieves survive in this city. Al-Haikk is the major port of trade between the Old World and Araby, even more so than Lumino. Here the goods move on the Arabyans' terms. Many of the nobles and more affluent citizens worship Alluminas on par with the Arabyan gods. The city's banner is a white hourglass against a red field.
Copher has always been fiercely independent. Its rulers rarely yield graciously to orders from the Sultan. Many of the city's trading privileges date back to the Mad Sultan Tupar, and these are defended with a force of arms if necessary. The city produces the finest spices native to Araby, but does not have many other specialities. The city is somewhat more liberal than other Arabyan cities, and though it does not have any established universities on par with the greater Old Worlder cities, it is nonetheless considered a place of learning. Scholars flock to Copher to sit in on informal gatherings, and most noble houses openly have a wizard or soothsayer in their retinue. The Copher banner is a white crescent and star against a green field.
Situated at the foot of the northern end of the Alzims, Martek derives its wealth from the iron and silver ore in the mountains. These tunnels stretch for countless miles, opening into vast caverns and if stories are to be believed, systems of tunnels more ancient than man. Taking advantage of some of these caverns and dried-out underground rivers, the merchants of Martek can move their caravans under the great Alzim mountains to the upper echelons of Chewan-el Alzim. Though safer than travelling above ground, sometimes such caravans disappear, possibly losing themselves in the dark maze of tunnels under the mountains. From the mountains, thousands of small streams feed water to Fazoth-Ar, the lake the city is built around. Fazoth-Ar is the largest lake in all of Araby, not only due to it being almost a mile and a half across, but it is said to be virtually bottomless. The deeper down one gets, the wider the lake becomes. It is customary for newly wed couples to cast a golden trinket into the lake for luck. Whispered rumours tell of more sinister rites and sacrifices made to appease the dark gods of Fazoth-Ar. The city of Martek is nearly always shrouded in the shadows of the great Alzim mountains. Only at dawn and dusk does sunlight fall on the city, for a brief time bathing it in a red light. The city is famed for it's many festivals and celebrations, as though its citizens try to forget the grip of shadow that lies over the city. Even so, the place is much cooler and more comfortable to live in than any other Arabyan city. The banner of Martek is a golden mountain against a dark blue field.
The capitol of Araby, Lashiek lies at the mouth of the Chewan-el Alzim. Surrounded by jungle, Lashiek is able to maintain a great navy, ensuring that the Sultans word is law on the Arabyan seas. Caravans from the south and north converge on Lashiek to bring to the Sultan wares and merchandise from far-away lands. The most impressive feature of the great white-walled city is the palace of the Sultan, a testimony to the might and power of the Arabyan Empire. The huge central dome atop the palace is more than a hundred feet across, and said to be covered with inch-thick plates of pure gold. The walls are covered with abstract friezes and sculptures representing the glorious history of Araby. The palace grounds make up half the size of actual city. Not even the temples can compete with the splendour of the palace. The banner of Lashiek is an azure crescent against a white field.
The Caliph of Daban is the Guardian of the Southern Gate. Daban is a mighty fortress city at the southernmost tip of the Arabyan peninsula, guarding the trading routes on the Gulf of Medes. The Sultan may rule Araby, but the Caliph is the master of the Gulf of Medes. Many of the conflicts within Araby derive from the struggle between the Sultan and the Caliph of Daban. The city itself lies along the shore of a small bay, the inlet protected by two massive fortresses, the Twin Towers. The Caliph's palace is second only to the Palace of the Sultan, it's azure-blue dome visible from a considerable distance. The banner of Daban are three black swords against an azure field.
Timeline of Araby
The timeline uses the Imperial Calendar, for ease of reference. The Arabyan calendar sets their year 1 to be the year the first Sultan was crowned, the year -547 compared to the Imperial Calendar.
The First Settlers (-3000 to -2750)
The Golden Age of the Elves sees the establishment of trading colonies along the coast of Araby. The trading posts draw human settlers from the Arabyan nomad tribes.
The Rise of the Kingdoms
(-2750 to -2000) Human settlement begin in earnest. The trading posts of the Elves swell to towns. The Elves take it upon them to guide the growing Arabyan kingdoms in their ascension. Old enmities are buried as the nations grow. The Arabyans mount their first expeditions to the lands east of the peninsula, discovering a fertile land rich with water and precious metals.
The Great Era (-2000 to -1600)
The coasts of the Arabyan peninsula are firmly settled, new kingdoms rising in the lands to the east. The wars with the Dwarfs draw much of the Elves' attention away from Araby, leaving little presence in the western lands and none in the east. The first Priest Kings take their place. Claiming to speak the word of the gods, their position is not challenged. The first Tomb Cities are built in honour of the King Priests, who grow to be worshipped as gods themselves.
The Dark Millennia (-1600 to -600)
New incursions of Dark Elves ravage Ulthuan. The Elf/Dwarf wars are put to an end as the Elves withdraw from their colonies to repel the invaders. The eastern kingdoms have become the most powerful of the Arabyan nations, Foremost of these Nerhaka, the great city on the Mortis river. The Priest Kings' greed and lust for power spark the first wars between them. A madness seem to grip many of the Priest Kings and their followers, especially in the eastern kingdoms, a desire to conquer death and become immortalised through great mausoleums. The preparation for the afterlife becomes the most important task for the Priest Kings. The Tomb Cities grow as each ruler does his best to outdo his predecessors. Thousands of slaves and warriors are entombed with their King Priest at his death, along with the treasures he has accumulated in his reign. Some go beyond the erection of magnificent tombs in their thirst for immortality. Dabbling in the dark arts of magic they search for the means of escaping death altogether and live forever. Some succeed, after a fashion. This age sees the rise of the first Undead. It is said that the first Necromancers, Liches and Vampires emerged in this dark age. Some of these are so great in power that they practice their dark arts openly, and their peoples worship them as gods, pledging their souls to serve them in the hope of attaining immortality themselves.
The Wizard Wars (-1367)
On the great island west of the Arabyan peninsula, Arabyan wizards built a great city dedicated to the advancement of the magical arts. A greater centre of learning has not been seen since in the lands of Man. For some unknown reason, internal conflicts escalate to open war between the wizards. The island is shattered, and the surviving wizards scatter throughout Araby. The archipelago created by the cataclysm is named the Sorcerers' Islands.
The Fall of the Kingdoms (-600 to -550)
The Warrior Prophet Bel-Shaiat emerges in Copher. Speaking against the crimes committed by the Priest Kings against Bez-Moshar, he rallies the Arabyans in the west to depose their rulers. Then follows the Great Crusade against the eastern kingdoms. The crusade lasts for fifty years, the armies of the west driven by fanatic devotion to long-neglected gods, the armies of the east backed by dark magicks. The wars are put to an end at the Battle of Bhagar, where the united armies of the eastern kingdoms are routed. With the defeat of their armies, the peoples of the east abandon their cities. Some take up their ancient way of life and become nomads. Others wander to the Tomb Cities to serve their dark masters. A shadow falls over the land, as it dries out and dies.
The rise of Araby (-550 to -400)
At his death, Bel-Shaiat leaves a united Araby. His foremost commander, Daran-e Farat, is acknowledged as Sultan of All Araby. The region sees an intense period of rebuilding as the neglect of a millennium is rectified. The city Bel-Aliad becomes the capitol of the Arabyan Empire, and seat of the Azure Throne.
The Undeath Wars (-400 to -395)
Without warning hordes of Undead swarm in from the east, laying siege to Bel-Aliad. The siege lasts four years. The city falls to treason and is overrun. Meanwhile the Undead armies flow into Araby, burning and pillaging. With the fall of Bel-Aliad Arabyan Caliphates unite in desperation. The wars are ended at the battle at Al-Haikk with the defeat of the Undead Lords.
The Dynasties (-400 to 1500)
The Azure Throne is reclaimed from the ruins of Bel-Aliad and the capitol is moved to Lashiek, with the Caliph Motar-e Hasih as the new Sultan. The period is largely peaceful, but much has been changed. The Caliphates have won greater freedom from the Sultan, and the priesthood cults have fortified their position of power. Arabyan expansion is effectively halted, as the rulers scheme and manoeuvre between themselves. Assassination becomes the favoured tool of force rather than armies and war. Occasionally the Undead stir in the east, but they do not find the Arabyans unprepared again. In the battles against their ancient enemies, even the Arabyans set aside their differences for a while.
The Plague (1010)
A caravan passing through the Lands of the Dead from the Southlands bring with them the Black Plague. Millions die. The plague is brought on to the Old World by sea-going traders. The plague is blamed on the Sultan having abandoned the Arabyan gods. The Golham dynasty ends at an assassins blade. The Religious Wars (1500 to 1540) The Sultan Daryus-e Quabir ascends the throne as the third Sultan of the Quabir Dynasty, greatly influenced by the cult of Azyat. At the advice of his Viziers, he declares holy war against the Old World, to bring the infidels under the light of the Arabyan gods. Large parts of Estalia, Tilea and the Border Princes fall to the Arabyan armies. Internal politics cause many of the Caliphs to recall their armies from the Old World. The Old World crusaders drive the Arabyan invaders back, and for some time mount campaigns against Araby itself.
The Qaran dynasty (1540 to today)
The end of the Religious Wars sees the rise of the Qaran dynasty. The Qaran Sultans adopt a more neutral policy than their predecessors, taking a less active role in politics. This ensures the Qaran dynasty's survival for close to a millennia. Careful political manoeuvring ensures a much needed political stability. The Qaran Sultans establishes peace with the Old World nations and encourages scientific and magical research. They even employ wizards to develop new methods of defeating Undead.
Araby today. The Sultan Hahmed Shas-a Qaran sits on the Azure Throne in Lashiek. Arabyan traders ply the oceans, bringing goods from the Southlands to the Old World, returning with wares from the north. Araby is still a power in the world. Politics The current Sultan of All Araby, Hahmed Shas-a Qaran, sits uneasily on the Azure Throne. He is in theory the absolute ruler of Araby. However, he does not have near as much power as one would assume. The individual Caliphates are to a great degree autonomous, having their own laws and largely making their own decisions. Although the Caliphs cannot openly oppose the Sultan, they are allowed to refuse him aid. A Sultan without support from his subjects rarely need fear rebellion, but it is unlikely that he will survive for very long. Unpopular Sultans throughout the history of Araby often meet their end at an assassin's blade.
The Sultan Qaran is young and considered both weak and inexperienced. The Viziers are the advisors of the Sultan and the Caliphs. They have the power to take make ad-hoc decisions in their master's absence, but still answer to him. Viziers who make mistakes and get caught at it have a tendency to have their careers cut short in more than one way. A rank below the Caliphs are the Sharifs. The Sharifs are nobles or dignitaries appointed by their Caliphs to rule the smaller cities and villages in their place. They are responsible for the day-to-day business of the city, town or village in question, and the local watch and common courts are under their authority.
The group with the most influence are the many priesthood cults. The Arabyans are very religious, and consider their priests to speak on behalf of the gods themselves. It is an unwise ruler who would go against the advise of the priests. That being said, the various cults frequently have conflicting interests, resulting in short feuds among and even within the various cults.
The relations between the nations of the Old World and Araby are as good as can be expected between one-time enemies. The wealth derived from trade is more than enough to overcome the still living animosity between the two regions. Araby is blessed with few foreign enemies. To the north-east occasional raids by Goblinoid tribes probe at the borders, but the greatest threat comes from the Tomb Cities. Every so often an army of Undead cross the sands to wreak havoc in the lands of the living.
The People The Arabyans are uniformly darker of skin than Tileans and Estalians, though they are generally of a the same height as a citizen of the Empire. The men favour beards and loose-fitting clothes that are comfortable in the heat. A brightly coloured vest and turban are common, though in the north-western part of Araby the fez, a tall flat-topped cone of red felt, is more common. In public, women wear long dresses and a shawl that covers the hair, and will often have a veil to cover their face. In the south the people are more conservative, women wearing even heavier clothing and thicker veils in the heat.
The Arabyans are a deeply religious people. One aspect of their religion involves predestination: any thing that is done or happens does so because it was destiny. The difficult thing is to know what one's destiny actually is. As a result, most Arabyans are quite content to leave things as they are. Outside the settled areas of Araby, tribes of nomads wander the hot deserts from watering hole to watering hole. These tribes resemble trading-caravans, but contain whole families. The nomads are fiercely independent of their city-dwelling brothers.
Economy Trade is the lifeblood of Araby. Arabyan merchant-men sail as far north as the great sea-ports of Marienburg and Erengrad, and as far east as the lands of Nippon and Cathay. Caravans make their way through the dangerous deserts and beyond. Most of the Arabyans trade originates in the Southlands, though. The Elves are very protective of their trade-routes, but the Arabyans have little competition in the Southlands, the area knowing little in the ways of civilisation and being easily exploited by ruthless traders.
The basic coin of Araby is the dinar, a gold coin equal in value with the gold crowns of the Empire. The Arabyans also make use of smaller monetary units, the brass one-centime coins and silver ten-centime coins. A dinar is worth 100 centimes.
Slavery is a vital part of the Arabyan economy. Without slave labour it would be impossible to produce crops, the roads would fall into disrepair and the economy would collapse. The slaves are a mixed lot, mostly black-skinned Southlanders captured by slavers or captives taken in tribal conflicts and sold. Many are Arabyans themselves, impoverished peasants, criminals and prisoners of war.
Tax-collecting is done by the Sharifs on behalf of the Caliphs. Taxation in Araby is less complicated than in the Old World. Every free man must pay a tenth of his estate in taxes. The priesthoods, nobles and traders are excepted. Merchants who sell their goods in a town or city must pay a toll of one hundredth of the value of their merchandise. Of course, when it comes to estimating the value of such, the excisemen are free to use their own discretion, and they are paid a percentage of what they bring in. The Caliphs take their share of the taxes, and the Sharifs make do with what is left. It is not unheard of that taxes are collected more than once a year if the Sharif sees the need for it.
The Clerics are the most wide-spread of the magic-users. Wizards are even more distrusted in Araby than in the Old World. Wizards that wish to operate openly are wise to seek the patronage of one of the major temples. Of the various schools of magic, only Necromancy is officially proscribed. For attack and defence, Arabyan magic-users favour spells involving the elements of Air and Fire. Other spells that are favourites among the Arabyans are Illusions and Divination spells. The practise of Necromancy is forbidden under penalty of death in Araby. Even so, the study of Necromancy is sanctioned by the Sultan for the intent of protection against the Undead Hordes. Through necessity, Arabyan magic-users have the most extensive knowledge of Necromancy, short of the most powerful Necromancers and Liches themselves.
The Military Every Caliphate has its own standing army, as does the Sultan. The Sultan can call the Caliphates to arms, and the Caliphs are supposed to send their armies to fight in the Sultan's name, though the Caliphs have been known to ignore their Sultan's call. The army is responsible for keeping the peace in Araby. More often than not this involves fighting skirmishes with the armies of other Caliphs over trade-rights or water. Sometimes soldiers are called out to put down the many bands of robbers and brigands that plague the border-regions of the Caliphates.
A typical soldier's trappings would include a light mail shirt, a shield, a spear and a scimitar. Archers typically use short bows since they are less heavy and easier to carry than a normal bow. Cavalry ride unarmoured horses and wear light armour. Normal weaponry is a long spear used as a lance, a scimitar and a short bow. The main concentration of troops are in the cities and towns, and any response to an intrusion relies on the army being able to move quickly. A Caliph will normally have at least 500 footmen and 250 horsemen under his command, though he would be able to raise at least 2000 footmen and 250 horsemen if necessary. When fighting against the Undead, an army is likely to be accompanied by Clerics of Moshar to counter the dark magics of the Undead commanders.
Travel in Araby is not something one does lightly. All the major cities are connected by roads, and there is a great amount of ships trafficking the coast. Travel does have it's dangers. The roads are dangerous in themselves. When they don't fade beneath thick dunes of sand or wind along sheer mountainsides, it is likely that a band of robbers will be waiting in ambush at the next bend or a sudden sandstorm will bury you alive. Travellers should know the wisdom of moving in numbers, and firsthand experience of the area traversed is very helpful. Sailing is more comfortable, but there are still hazards, with pirates, storms and treacherous reefs. The most common modes of transportation would be to book a passage on a sea-going vessel or join a caravan. Caravans move slowly, but most are large and well guarded enough to dissuade any attackers. Merchant caravans often attract a strange lot.
Entertainers, mercenaries, adventurers and wizards.
With so many travellers, an journey with a caravan can be an adventure in itself. Demi-Humans in Araby Elves are generally respected in Araby. Elven traders have brought goods too and fro Araby for milennia. All the coastal cities has had permanent Elven communities for more than a thousand years. Sea Elves are regarded as clever and honest merchants, traits considered non-existent among their Arabyan counterparts. An "Elf's Bargain' is an Arabyan saying for an honest trade where you can't be sure who got the short end of the stick. Halflings Dwarfs are rare in Araby. There are no permanent Dwarven communities in the region, and few dwarfs travel there. Most Arabyans have heard of Dwarfs, much less seen one. More adventurous Halflings may travel to Araby to discover some new ways of cooking, though few stay for long as they find the heat to be bad.
An Arabyan city is full of impressive temples and beautiful shrines where the people can caome to say their prayers and hear the words of their gods. In addition to the Great Gods there are the patron deities of any city or town. Many ancient heroes are also worshipped as the aspects of the Great Gods themselves. The worship of the Chaos Gods are not proscribed in the lands of Araby, mainly because the threat of Chaos is to distant for anyone to be truly aware of it. However, those who worship the Dark Gods are normally wise enough to do so in secret. In effect, the worship of only a few gods have been proscribed throughout the history of Araby. The reason for this is often more the result of inter-cult scheming rather than because their Cults posed a threat to Araby. This has not happened since the end of the Religious Wars against the Old World.
Bez-Moshar: Great God of Death Moshar is the most powerful of the Arabyan gods. Most likely he is an aspect of Mórr. In Araby however, he has a greater sphere of influence. Firstly, he is the Great God of Death. All souls travel to his domain for the afterlife. He is the guardian of all dead. He is also the God of War, worshipped by soldiers and called upon for blessings before a battle. As the God of the Blade in Darkness, he is worshipped by Assassins and thieves alike. Alignment: Neutral to Evil.
Bez-Ghedan: Great God of the Desert Ghedan is the Giver and Taker of Life in the harsh Arabyan deserts. His sphere of influence are the dry, hot deserts of Araby. By his will springs run with life-giving water or dry up to spell certain death for the denizens of the sands. His fury fuels the monstrous sand-storms that from time to time rage across the deserts. Ghedan is the most ancient of all Arabyan gods. Among the nomad tribes he is worshipped as a greater god than Moshar. Alignment: Neutral.
Bezan-Anan: Great God of the Sea Anan is a fairly young god, first appearing when the Arabyans settled in their coastal cities and took their first voyages into the World Sea. Anan is worshipped by all who travel the open seas, fishermen, pirates and sailors. Alignment: Neutral.
Bez-Dhuram: Great God of Justice The third of the most ancient Arabyan gods, next to Moshar and Ghedan. Arabyan justice is often harsh and cruel seen through Old Worlder eyes. A thief is often punished with the loss of a hand, a murderer with death by impaling. Dhuram's is justice by the letter of the law more than the spirit. Dhuram is also worshipped as the God of Trade and the God of Learning. As the latter, Dhuram encourages learning what has already been discovered rather than breaking new ground. Alignment: Lawful.
Azyat: The Snake God The Cult of Azyat gained considerable influence with the Sultan and the major Caliphs in the period before the Religious Wars. Successful manoeuvring and scheming brought many of their followers to positions of power and influence. Their assassins and spies undermined the power of the more established cults, and in a short time they had an unprecedented hold on the Azure Throne. At their advice, the Sultan Quabir launched his religious wars against the Old World, claiming the region in the name of Moshar and Azyat. Despite many early victories, the wars dragged out and the Arabyan advance through the Old World stagnated. At this time the Cult of Azyat made a crucial error. Believing their hold on the Sultan and Caliphs to be safe, they moved their main temple to a secret location in the newly conquered Border Princes. Thus they would have a foothold in the newly conquered lands and effectively direct control of the armies. But in their absence the other cults united against them. Their hold on most of the Caliphs were broken. A large part of the invading armies were called back, and the cult cut off from Araby. The cult was effectively shattered and the worship of Azyat was outlawed in Araby. But still a remnant remains of the old cult, working in secret to restore Azyat to his rightful place of power. And somewhere in the Border princes lie the Temple of Azyat, with the treasures of the Cult of Azyat, once the most powerful force in Araby. Alignment: Evil to Chaotic.
The camels of Araby are the same as those of our world. They are almost never seen outside Araby. Though most think of camels as domesticated, there are packs of wild camels running free in the less settled areas. These tend to keep to the shrub-lands where there is some moisture and ready supplies of food. An average camel is 8 feet tall, with one or two humps on the back. A camel can carry a load equal to its Strength x 300 in encumbrance points, and is capable of surviving for long periods at a time without food or water. Camels are subject to fear of fire, sudden loud noises and fantastic monsters. Camels are notoriously stubborn and cannot be ridden by anyone who does not have the skill Ride Camel.
M WS BS S T W I
6 3 3 0 3 4 7 20
A Dx Ld In Cl WP F
l 0 - 10 10 10 18 –
There are two different breeds of lions in Araby, the grey mountain lions of the Alzim mountains and the lions of the south-eastern savannahs. The lions are large cats, standing four to five feet tall at the shoulders and often reaching eight feet in length. The males and females are of similar build and shape, though the males are recognised by their large manes of long hair. The mountain lions are of a very similar breed with the grey steppe lions of the Badlands. The mountain lions are normally found in packs of one male and one to three females, and are quite adept hunters in the rocky terain of the mountains. The savannah lions are found in larger packs of sometimes eight females to the male. Male lions charging from cover are a fearsome sight, and thus cause fear. Lions attack with one bite and two claws. For some reason, nomads consider lions to be lucky, and it brings bad luck to kill one. Were-lions are rare to the point of being legend.
M WS BS S T W I
7 41 0 5 4 7 30
A Dx Ld In Cl WP F
l 3 - 10 14 43 43 –
The elephant is not native to the region, but have been imported from the Southland savannahs. Domesticated elephants can be found in almost any coastal area. Elephants are large creatures, often more than ten feet tall at the shoulders. An elephant can carry great burdens equal to its Strength x 300 in encumbrance points. Wounded elephants are subject to frenzy and while frenzied cause fear.
M WS BS S T W I
6 33 0 6 6 35 20
A Dx Ld In Cl WP F
l 2 - 10 14 14 43 –
The vultures are the most common carrion birds of Araby. With their bald heads and sharp beaks, a vulture is an ugly sight. They have dark brown to black feathers, with a ring of white feathers at the base of their neck. Vultures fly high above the sands in search of carrion. The sight of a dying animal can draw vultures from several miles around. Vultures rarely attack their prey, prefering to wait until they perish on their own in the cruel Arabyan desert heat. The sight of vultures circling low above the ground is a sure sign that something or someone has died or is dying. Vultures fly as swoopers.
M WS BS S T W I
2 25 0 1 2 3 30
A Dx Ld In Cl WP F
l 1 - 2 6 2 2 –
oats are scattered about the entire world, always in the most secluded areas. The Zoats in Araby keep to hidden springs in the mountains or secret oasis's in the parts of the desert where men seldom come. The few superstitious nomads who know of them believe them to be powerful genies, demons or gods. These Zoats are often leathery brown and grey, allowing them to almost blend with their surroundings. Except for the differences of their surroundings and their coloring, these zoats are identical to those of the Old World. See page 248 of the rule-book for more detailed information.
Genies are the Arabyan's word for any seemingly magical spirit. In more technical terms, genies are elemental spirits, often summoned and bound into various items or containers. The most common bound genies will perform a set number of tasks within their power on behalf of the one who releases them, thus giving birth to the stories of genies granting wishes to those who control them. In a few cases a genie that has not been adequately bound will attempt to destroy whomever releases it, or simply disappear. Being elemental spirits, genies have little concept of the world themselves. They are capable of communication, and can seem both exceedingly wise and naively ignorant. Of course, not all genies are elemental spirits, but demons bound by some demonologist of old. Demonic genies are often more powerful and have a greater understanding of the corporeal world, but are more often than not hostile to whomever releases them. Even so, they should be sufficiently bound as not to attack. Demons are more often bound to items to enhance its magical powers rather than bound as servants. Unlike elemental spirits, demonic genies can be bound to perform continuous service, meaning that it will serve for a period of time rather than a set number of tasks. On the matter of a genie granting 'wishes', a GM should bear in mind the phrasing of the wish and what the genie would sense to be expected. An example could be of the fisherman Hassan, as told in the tome "Arabyan Tales".
'Know that Hassan was a fisherman from Alettan, the village outside Tedash of the Wasam Caliphate. Hassan was faithful in his devotion to Hasman, the God who favours the fishermen, and he cast out his nets only three times a day, as is the custom of the followers of Hasman. 'On this fated day, said to be the same day that the Caliph hunted a two-headed grey lion, Hassan cast out his nets the first time, but caught nought. '"A sad thing this is," Hassan said, "but Hasman willing, I will catch my nets full this second time." But the nets came up empty again, much to Hassan's despair. '"It cannot be that Hasman will abandon met thus. If I cannot bring home a catch, my family will starve and I must sell my daughters!" With these words and a prayer to Hasman, Hassan cast out his nets again. But for the third time there were not a fish in the nets. 'Said Hassan: "Surely this is a way for Hasman to test my faith. Such is the will of the Gods." With a sad heart Hassan turned his boat home, for he would not cast out his nets again that day. 'Upon reaching the shore, he searched his nets for damage, and came across a small glass bottle that had become entangled in the nets. Examining it, he removed the seal and uncorked it. With that appeared a mighty Genie, a fiery, misty apparition fifty feet tall with a crown of lightning at its brow. Hassan fell to his knees, numbed with fear. 'Said the Genie, its voice a rumble of thunder: "What is thy wish, my Master?" 'Hassan gaped. "What are you?" he stuttered. '"I was bound to this bottle by the Wizard She-tan ibn Abhar ten thousand moons past. I must obey your command, though you are not one of the power," replied the Marid, for that was what it was. "What is thy wish?" it repeated. '"Great Genie, I am but a poor fisherman. Today I have caught no fish, and my family will starve tonight. I would wish I was a wealthy man, as to support my family and feed my children." 'The Marid seemed puzzled, but bowed deeply. "It is done." The genie faded to nothing, and in its place was a number of great iron bound chests. With a prayer of thanks to Hasman, Hassam rushed to open the chests. They were filled to the brim with fish.'
Djinn are strong with the elemental powers of Air. They normally seem to be made of smoke, and are slightly luminescent, but rarely appear larger than an Ogre. Djinn can make powerful illusions and affect the winds. Though the weakest of the genies in regard to physical power, Djinn are valued for their ability to travel swiftly and transport light items. A Djinn causes fear in creatures less than five feet tall, and is immune to non-magical attacks. It can use spell-effects in the domain of Air and Illusion. Use the profile below for a fairly low-powered Djinn.
M WS BS S T W I
12 25 25 3 3 17 100
A Dx Ld In Cl WP F
l 1 89 89 89 89 89 89
Djann are elemental spirits chiefly based on Earth. They normally appear like animated statues, or like too large versions of ordinary animals, with the ability to speak. A Djann can be a frightening apparition, causing fear in creatures less than ten feet tall. It is also immune to non-magical weapons. Djann are physically strong, though slower than their counterparts, and are capable of moving great burdens. Spell-effects in the domain of Earth and weaker Illusion spells should cover the powers of a run-of the mill Djann. A Djann will be able to use one of these effects every turn if it is a weak Djann, as per the profile, or once each round for the most powerful.
M WS BS S T W I
6 41 25 5 6 23 30
A Dx Ld In Cl WP F
l 3 89 89 89 89 89 89
Shaitan most often take the appearance of aquatic or amphibious animals, though as Djann, they are much larger than what would be normal. Some also take the shape of humanoids, standing ten feet tall or more, their bodies made completely of living water. A Shaitan's strength lies in its powers over water, though they are easily as strong with illusions as the Djinn. Shaitan cause fear in creatures less than ten feet tall, and are immune to non-magical attacks. Shaitan are known for their strong abilities in healing.
M WS BS S T W I
6 41 33 5 5 29 60
A Dx Ld In Cl WP F
l 3 89 89 89 89 89 89
Elemental spirits of Fire, these appear as fiery, terrifying humanoids often twenty feet tall. Ifreet are the Genies most focused on destruction, and are greatly feared. Ifreet cause fear and terror in creatures less than ten feet tall, and are immune to non-magical weapons. The Ifreet are capable of using fire-based spells, though they are very weak in other areas. Ifreet were the most used Genies in the Wizard Wars, used mainly to destroy enemy Genies.
M WS BS S T W I
8 59 25 5 4 23 70
A Dx Ld In Cl WP F
5 89 89 89 89 89 89
The most powerful of all the Genies, Marid are exceptionally rare. They are elemental spirits created by all the elements, combining the abilities of all the lesser Genies. As such they may appear in almost any form, from towering giants to animals. A Marid in all its splendour causes fear and terror in all living creatures.
M WS BS S T W I
9 79 79 7 7 59 100
Dx Ld In Cl WP F
10 89 89 89 89 89 89