Arabi, A Thousand Glittering Stars In The Maw Of The Desert

Quick Start


Survive, Retrieve, Rebuild, Ascend.

The Arabi are a unique nation in that, unlike the other nations vying for control of the Holy Land, the Desert People are all Survivors hoping simply to come off better than when they started. Whether you are a Baghdadian vying for power to rebuild your city, or a Bedouin noble looking to act as a Guide to the treasure-rich wastes of the Desert, there is plenty of option for roleplay based on the simplicity of “refusing-to-die-in-the-desert”.

Of course, the Desert is also a major piece of the Arabi character. With one of the World's largest deserts on your doorstep, full of lost treasure, forgotten cities, shambling dead and mysterious monsters, there is plenty of opportunity to delve into the mysteries of the Desert.

Who to Play

The Arabi are a tough and superstitious people; below are some archetypes for the kinds of characters one might see in play from this nation.

* A proud Baghdad Guard General, desperate to rebuild his people's former glories.

* A Bedouin priest, combining the ways of the desert with the vision of the Koran.

* A student of Invocation, caught between responsibility and unlimited cosmic power.

* A Vizier, hungry for political power and attempting to usurp his Sultan's court.

* A hardened adventurer, out for invigorating exploration, relic-hunting and monster-baiting.


  • Survivors of Baghdad, Bedouin, and other natives of Arabi are followers of Islam, and members of the Islamic States faction.
  • Arabi characters start with a +1 bonus to either their Stealth or Survival skill. This means that the first rank of the chosen skill comes free - if you wish to have the skill at a higher rank, it simply costs one point cheaper.
  • Arabi characters have access to Invocation, as well as Hedge Magic and Witchcraft.

In More Detail

Respect the Desert. Death itself. Father to Destruction. Mother to Mystery. The Sun's Burning Realm. The Moon's Chilling Shadow. The Desert is the reason we Bedouin keep moving, why the people of Baghdad live in squalour: To enter the desert prepared is a life-ending trial, unprepared is the most miserable of deaths. Ghosts, Djinn, Ifritii, Madmen, Hermits, Walking Corpses, Sphinxii, Giant Scorpions, Walking Statues, Time-Lost Soldiers, Mantycora. Respect the Desert.

Dasim ibn Khaled, Greatest Sheikh of the Bani Khalid Bedouin

The Arabian Desert is the backwater of the Muslim Nations; a dangerous world sparingly populated with nomads, war-torn cities, the spirit of adventure, and the deadly mysteries of the endless desert. Generally, the Arabs are either city dwellers or desert nomads, both subcultures hardy survivors in this hyper-arid wasteland. Although many smaller cities and peoples exist, the cities and nomads are exemplified by Baghdad and the Bedhouin, respectively.
Although always outsiders in meetings of import between the powers of the world, Arabs command the powerful resource of knowing the Desert, an important factor for any side wishing to survive the Crusade.


The seventh century saw the introduction of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. The Islamic prophet Muhammad established a new unified political polity in the Arabian peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Arab power well beyond the Arabian peninsula in the form of a vast Muslim Arab Empire with an area of influence that stretched from northwest India, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, southern Italy, and the Iberian Peninsula, to the Pyrenees.

Muhammad began preaching Islam at Mecca before migrating to Medina, from where he united the tribes of Arabia into a singular Arab Muslim religious polity. With Muhammad's death in 632, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. Umar ibn al-Khattab, a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated Abu Bakr, who was Muhammad's intimate friend and collaborator. Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph. This choice was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, had been designated his successor. Abu Bakr's immediate task was to avenge a recent defeat by Byzantine (or Eastern Roman Empire) forces, although he first had to put down a rebellion by Arab tribes in an episode known as the Ridda wars, or “Wars of Apostasy”.

His death in 634 resulted in the succession of Umar as the caliph, followed by Uthman ibn al-Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib. These four are known as al-khulafā' ar-rāshidūn (“Rightly Guided Caliphs”). Under them, the territory under Muslim rule expanded deeply into Persian and Byzantine territories.

At the beginning of the Second Crusade, Baghdad is recovering from it's occupancy by the Soofi Sekljuuk, it's walls and suburbs a war-occupied mess. It is no longer the powerful shining dream city it used to be, and it's survivors live in much the same condition as the Bedouin Nomads out in the desert.


The Tenets of Islam are practiced in Arabia. Although they are not as spiritual as the Seljuk, the Arabs are far more superstitious and prone to mysticism in their religious practices. The people of the Cities believe that their past rulers are equal to Saints, and wait for the days they will descend out from the Sun on Golden Rugs and rebuild the ruins with but a click of their fingers. Many Arabs incorporate the myths and rumours of the desert into their Religous practice; swearing on Djinn, cursing Ifritii, and parying their children never see the Manticore.

The Bedouin are slightly different in their practice. Although more down to Earth and pragmatic than the Cities' flights of fancy, the Bedouin regularly pray to Djinn, Ifritii and even their own ancestors to protect them from the desert. In this way, the Bedouin worship two Gods; Allah, and The Desert.


Nabih Ibn-Rauf, Sultan of Baghdad and his Vizier, Zuhair

As reperations continue in war-torn Baghdad, there are rumours that Sultan Nabih, the popular, greying and well-loved Sultan of Baghdad is not, in-fact, the stable power people thought he was. Gregarious, forgetful, and prone to bouts of lunacy, many see his days of rule to soon be over. Some believe his Grand Vizier, Zuhair to be a good candidate, his command of administration, both of the flesh and spiritual planes, famous about the suffering city.

Lord Mohammed Al-Tazim

Some say the scholarly Al-Tazim is a strange man, clad all in black and lit only by the candle in his library of parchment. Some say he receives letters from far away, nestled amongst the mountains. Some say the paper is lotus leaves and the smell is jasmine. some say when Mohammed receives a letter, an enemy of Baghdad within Baghdad's walls dies. Some say Al-Tazim is a drug-fiend. Some say he has a tattoo of an avenging Djinn on his shoulder. Some say he walks oddly because of the daggers concealed in his silk belt. Some should keep quiet.

Dasim ibn Khaled, Greatest Sheikh of the Bani Khalid Bedouin

Survivor, Warrior, Negotiator, Hero. Dasim has not survived his 65 years, most of them as Patriarch of the leading clan of the Bani Khalid Tribe (largest tribe of Bedouin nomads), without his own share of heartbreak, fraternal hatred, family bloodshed, redemption and fights to the death. Every day, his choices decide wether the Bani Khalid survive another night in the desert or become yet another myth on the wind. He has not betrayed his people once. Rumours say that he earned his patriarchy (meant for another family entirely) after either resisting a Sphinx's cannibalistic advices or surviving fighting the Manticore. Either way, he proudly displays the feline claw marks upon his head, arms and torso as victory marks.

The Holy Land

As Arabi is a series of unconnected Cities and wandering Nomads, there is not one unified front or presence of Arabi in the Holy Land. However, their presence is not without precedence either.

Baghdadian representatives journey to join the fight for the Holy Land as a way to secure reperation money for their ruined city. Some fight alongside the Seljuk armies, terrified and united in Faith, while others oppose the Turks for ruinning their City.

Many Bedouin offer their services as Scouts, Navigators and Guides when it comes to the Desert, as none know it better than they. Some even make a handsome profit offering their services as Tomb-Robbers and Relic-Hunters, delving into The Desert for unknown and mysterious treasures that no other would dare hunt.


The centre of the destructive desert nations, Baghdad is a crippled survivor city under the tenuous yet benevolent rule of An-Nasir. Barely standing after the occupation of the Seljuuk, Baghdad is no longer the Golden Shining City of the 1001 Arabian Nights, but instead is a hub of out-of-place nobles, recently homeless, traders and peddlers, adventurers, curious nomads and threatening visitors. The colossal city's streets lie ragged with rubble and the dead, as does the faith of the city-dwellers, tested by the ravages of the Turks. In these trying times, it is not unheard of calling to the Djinn, Ifritii, or even more mysterious spirits of the desert for help…

The Bedouin

Although there are many, many Nomad tribes in the Arabian desert, the Bedouin people are not only the most famous, but also the largest, hardiest, and most respected. A society based on familial justice, the motto of the Bedouin is “I and my brothers against my cousins, I and my brothers and my cousins against the world.” - hierarchy is the most important factor the people of the desert, with actions against the order of things unforgivable, even by link of blood. Disputes are settled, interests are pursued, and justice and order are maintained by means of this organizational framework (often by the famoed , according to an ethic of self-help and collective responsibility. However, while the law is dealt swiftly and justly throughout their society, it does not stop split families, even entire tribes, uniting against a common enemy. Due to the ingrained connection of kinship and honour, as well as the fearful respect of The Desert, Faith and Spirituality are both important to the People of The Desert. Religion and Mysticism are third in importance in the life of the Bedouin, after Family and Survival.

The Actors

Muntasir, Sailor of Renown

Muntasir is one of Allah's blessed winners. As tall as a tree, with a voice like thunder shouting, when Muntasir does something, at sea or on land, the world knows about it. He strode the desert barefoot with only a scrap of paper, a handful of olives and a Gibbon named Heba. He returned with a Ruby as big as your head, two Golden Elephants, a Sphinx who had fallen in love with him, and a beautiful dancing girl who spoke only in birdsong wearing the same ankle bracelet the monkey had been wearing. They say he invented “Time” as we know it when he lost a bet with a Djinn Princess. What a guy.

Maisa, Daughter of Jackals

When a Bedouin family were lost in sandstorm, no-one noticed, it happened every day. When the skeletons of everyone but a newborn girl were recovered, again, no-one cared. Sixteen years later, when a strange, wild-eyed girl surrounded by Jackals, clad only in a tattered prayer-mat tried to gain entry to Jerusalem, claiming in gutteral Greek that she had an important message, they laughed. When she strode past the guards, preoccupied with pain of a dozen, hungry Jackals, they all went silent.

Askari, Lost General

All the people of Baghdad know where they were the day Askari returned. 35 years ago, a platoon of Baghdad's soldiers entered the desert to protect a scholar attempting to extract a jewel from a City lost to sands before History began. No-one saw them again. Then came Askari, gibbering and screaming, not a day older than when he left. He kept repeating a word “Seven”, until his voice was rough and redden so that he could shriek no more, and his eyes were so bloodshot and maddened he could barely see. They keep him below the palace now, secrets to be learnt. This is not the city he left, back when it shone Gold.

arabs.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/17 18:29 by innokenti
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