V20 Dark Ages: Road of Heaven

Vampire: The Masquerade

Is this thing on?

Hi everyone. David A Hill Jr here. It’s been a while since I’ve chatted V20 Dark Ages with all of you. Since we last spoke, I moved to the other side of the planet. It turns out, that’s actually pretty difficult to do. I’ve also had a lot of stuff going on with Hunter: The Vigil, and I’ve been catching up on Trinity/Aeon, Idigam Chronicle, W20 Umbra, REDACTED, and Too REDACTED REDACTED: The REDACTED REDACTED.

I’ve brought on a few new writers, and we’re hunkering down in the next few weeks to knock this baby out of the park. Some drafts are in editing. Some are getting revisions. I’m very excited for it.

So here’s Road of Heaven, written by the wonderful Anna Kreider who helped me with the outstanding Vampire chapter of Dark Ages: Darkening Sky. This is a great example of the updated Roads. We wanted to give a little more meat to each, offering options and ideas as part of their writeups.

Road of Heaven

Many Kindred feel the mark of Caine as a curse and rail against fate and the injustice. However, others cling to the belief that divine purpose guides the hand of fate and that even great evil can serve a greater purpose. Kindred who walk the Road of Heaven devote themselves to understanding that purpose through subservience to a higher power.

Known as the Faithful, most Kindred on the Road of Heaven cling to the faiths that they held in mortal life. Outwardly, the Road of Heaven appears as the most fragmented and chaotic of roads; medieval Europe teems with religions, and it is not uncommon for older Cainites to retain faiths that no longer have mortal adherents. Differences between Faithful tend to be entrenched, with different Paths often representing distinct religious traditions.

These differing religious traditions inform how Kindred on the Road of Heaven make sense of their Embrace. Christian Cainites liken themselves to Job, seeing themselves as subjects of a cosmic test of character. Muslim Cainites see the Embrace as a call to destroy the servants of Shaitan. Jewish Kindred find the Embrace an invigorating call to scholarship, a new avenue for insight into the nature of God. Druidic Kindred reason that serving the Great Balance requires light as well as dark. And a servant of the old Roman Gods believes that she had somehow offended one of the gods and must strive to regain that god’s favor.

However they practice their faith, every Kindred on the Road of Heaven believes in the existence of a higher power and its dominion over all things, that the mark of Caine is part of a divine plan, and only through submission to divine will can the Beast be contained.

Sobriequet: Faithful

Ethics: The Road of Heaven is a bit different from other Roads; there is no base Road; rather adherents of the Road agree to a core set of beliefs:

The existence of a higher power and its dominion over all things

Kindred existence as part of a divine plan

The Embrace is a call to direct service of the divine

Serving divine will over individual will

Following divine law and rejecting evil is the only way to shackle the Beast

Each Faithful must choose their own Path, which determines more specific ethics and morality that they adhere to.

Organization: The organization of the Faithful breaks down largely along the lines of Path and faith traditions. Many Faithful prefer to gather for worship in communities of like faith, particularly followers of the Abrahamic faiths. Jewish Kindred place great importance on forming and maintaining communities of faith and tend to limit unnecessary contact with Kindred of other faiths. Muslim and Christian Kindred also tend to form large local congregations of faith, although the Christian communities tend to be rather more fragmented as disagreements over doctrine and appropriate practice cause frequent rifts among some congregations.

Some Kindred, however, often those of pagan traditions feel their faith is best practiced in secret, in sacred groves and caves, out in nature where faith is between oneself and the spirits of nature. A few even prefer to gather with groups of Kindred of mixed faith, discussing and debating the merits and flaws of the different faiths.

Aura: Holiness. The Faithful receive bonuses whenever they are in situations where being seen as holy would lend them social advantage.

Virtues: Conscience and Self-Control

Paths: The Path of Christ, Derech Chaim – the Path of Life, the Path of the Prophet, the Path of Guiding Spirits, the Path of Watchful Gods

The Abrahamic religions – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – are nominally the most similar in their approaches to using the Road of Heaven to master the Beast. However, despite a core common set of ethics and common commitment to the monotheistic worship of the God of Abraham, each faith chooses to emphasize very different practices in their daily worship practices.

Medieval Christians are very focused on maintaining sexual purity and spreading the Gospel of Christ through proselytizing. Medieval Islam is focused on care for the weak and vulnerable and commitment to practicing humility and piety. And medieval Judaism is commited to maintaining and protecting communities of Jewish faithful, submitting to God as interpreted by rabbinical authority, and maintaining ritual purity. As such, the Paths for each faith are very different.

The Path of Christ (Christianity)

           Minimum wrongdoing                                    Rationale

10       Failing to denounce corruption and sin          All that evil needs to triumph is the inaction of the righteous

9         Acting out of pride, avarice, lust, or other sinful impulse      The road to the Beast is paved in sin

8         Bearing false witness                                      a lying tongue is hateful in the eyes of the Lord

7         Causing harm to a pious person                     God protects the innocent

6         Feeding from an innocent without permission           Corruption of the innocent is a grave sin

5         Blasphemy or heresy in word or act              Blasphemy is a sin against God

4         Murder of innocents                                       Thou shalt not kill, sayeth the Lord

3         Worshiping false idols                                    Thou shalt not have any other god before me

2         Aiding demons or supernatural evil                It is the duty of the righteous to smite the wicked

1         Failing to spread the Gospel of Christ           It is the duty of all Christians to spread the good news of our Lord

Derech Chaim – the Path of Life (Judaism)

           Minimum Wrongdoing                                   Rationale

10       Failing to maintain a state of ritual purity     And ye shall be holy men unto me

9         Unnecessary contact with non-Jews             for the protection of Jewish communities

8         Failing to find a rabbinical authority to make rulings for you, and obey those rulings.         In whatever place there is a profanation of God’s name, they do not show respect to their rabbi

7         Failing to obey the laws and customs of the local Jewish community          The spiritual needs of the individual can only be met through community

6         Failing to maintain a connection to a local Jewish community          Jews cannot exist in isolation

5         Drinking impermissible blood                        For the life of the flesh is in the blood

4         Worshipping idols                                          Hear, O Israel, God is One.

3         Committing sexual violence                            It is worse to wrong a fellow person than it is to wrong God

2         Murder                                                           Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed

1         Endangering the Jewish community               You shall not stand by the blood of your fellow

The Path of the Prophet (Islam)

           Minimum wrongdoing                                    rationale

10       Failing to honor your elders                           say not to them a word of contempt but address them in terms of honor

9         Failing to care for the defenseless                  all power is a gift from God

8         Being dishonest or unfair in your dealings with others          Give full measure for measure and weigh with a balance that is straight

7         Breaking a promise                                         for every covenant will be inquired into on the Day of Reckoning

6         Boastfulness or arrogance                              Successful are those who humble themselves in prayers

5         Feeding from a non-Muslim                           He hath forbidden that which has been immolated to any other god

4         Killing unjustly                                              Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – for unjust cause

3         Acknowledging any god but Allah (and Muhammad is His Prophet)           Take not with Allah another object of worship

2         Breaking the unity of Islam                            You Muslims are the best nation brought out for Mankind

1         Failing to submit to the will of Allah as revealed through his Prophet and revelation           God alone possesses all power and glory

Other Paths

The Path of the Eightfold Wheel takes its name from Druidic paganism and its focus on honoring the gods and spirits of nature through devotion to nature and the spirits, serving balance in all things, and a rotating calendar of astronomically based festivals. Many Kindred who walk this path are of the Druidic faith, though many shamanistic pagan traditions would have Kindred on this path as well.

The Path of Watchful gods is less practiced than it used to be. Its adherents mainly consist of followers of the old Greek and Roman faiths, though there are practitioners of more modern pagan traditions that walk this Path as well. Kindred on this Path devote themselves to serving the gods through making regular sacrifices, honoring and protecting that which the gods deem sacred, and adhering to strict codes of honor.

Path of the Eightfold Wheel

           Minimum wrongdoing                                    Rationale

10       Failing to spend time alone in the silence of nature   It is through nature that the gods are revealed to us

9         Betraying a secret                                           The Druids teach us that we must be blind where secrets are concerned

8         Failing to care for the sick and the weak        One cannot be strong without concern for others

7         Letting pride come before justice                   One must be strong toward the strong and weak toward the strengthless

6         Failing to honor the spirits of nature              The spirits aid and guide us

5         Failing to honor the gods                                The gods created the world that sustains us

4         Breaking a promise                                         A promise is a sacred bond

3         Acting to upset the balance of nature             For the righteous must seek balance in all things

2         Failure to conduct yourself with honor          The gods honor those who live with honor

1         Failure to seek self knowledge                        Never permit self-deception to obscure knowledge of the self

Path of the Ancestors

           Minimum wrongdoing                                    Rationale

10       Failing to make regular sacrifices                    Regular sacrifices give the gods strength

9         Lying                                                               Do not dishonor yourself in the eyes of the gods with false truths

8         Offending the gods or spirits with violence    Do not disrespect the spirits with violence, for they are quick to take offense and their memory is long

7         Failing to act honorably                                  The gods reward honor and punish dishonor

6         Stealing from offerings or sacrifices                Give the gods the first fruits of your labor and do not grudge them their portion

5         Not honoring priests                                       Priests are the servants of order and balance favored by the gods

4         Killing a sacred animal                                    Honor that which the gods have decreed sacred

3         Defiling sacred places                                     Defiling a temple is like cursing the gods themselves

2         Damaging the image of the gods                      One should strive always to honor the gods in thought and deed

1         Reviling a god or the gods                               The gods are the source of all life and goodness

  30 comments for “V20 Dark Ages: Road of Heaven

  1. Yossarian
    May 21, 2014 at 2:38 am

    This is brilliant. I love the idea of Heaven being exclusively paths, with the base Road more of a commonality between faithful. It’s difficult to express how much more interesting this is than the old version, and I really liked the old version.

    Exploring different cultures and religions in the Dark Ages is one of the most interesting aspects of this book, and this preview absolutely hits the nail on the head.

    Wow. I’m so excited to see more of V20 DA.

  2. Brian Goubeaux
    May 21, 2014 at 2:59 am

    The Road of Heaven reminds me of the Lancea Sanctum of Requiem, though more Holy than Unholy, as the Sanctified believe themselves to be given their M.O.

  3. Mark
    May 21, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Wow, this is a fantastic approach. Great work – looking forward to seeing more along these lines!

  4. Jens Thorup Jensen
    May 21, 2014 at 6:46 am

    It look good, but I think the individual wrong doings might need a second look. The lowest (worst) transgressions should be those, that it is hardest to commit either because they will show up less often in an average session or because breaking them is always an concious defiance of ones path. Take the Path of Christianity for instance I would switch the transgressions around like this:

    10 Failing to spread the Gospel of Christ (Not breaking this requires constant actions on behalf of the character. Not to mention that everybody will grow tired of his constant preaching. This shouldn’t be a level 1 transgression.)
    9 Failing to denounce corruption and sin
    8 Acting out of pride, avarice, lust, or other sinful impulse
    7 Bearing false witness
    6 Causing harm to a pious person
    5 Feeding from an innocent without permission
    4 Blasphemy or heresy in word or act
    3 Murder of innocents
    2 Aiding demons or supernatural evil
    1 Worshiping false idols (This should be worse than aiding a demon. Your worship should be to God only.)

    In general though I think the paths needs serious consideration. Every path should be a contraining on the characters actions as the path of humanity. In almost every campaign I’ve played, the players with humanity seems to transgress against their path most often. This is because of the broad scope of the wrongdoings. Somehow this need to be balanced out.

    The absolutely worst path in this regard is the Road of Kings, since it pretty much allows every action in the pursuit of power and wealth… things that most player characters is aiming for in one way or the other.

    • Lunavoco
      May 22, 2014 at 10:09 am

      I agree with Jens and his reasons for reordering of christianity’s sins.

      Taking his words and rebuilding them:
      The lowest (worst) transgressions should be a conscious defiance of ones path. Breaching a level 1 sin should be a pivotal event that can redefine a character, not one that can come up casually during every session. “Failing to spread the Gospel of Christ” sounds like “missing an opportunity to street preach.” There’s plenty of room here for this to be merely a problem of word choice.

      I also recognize the difficulty with representing something many people take so seriously/personally. Views on this topic have shifted greatly through the years too. At worst, this is a fantastic framework that someone who feels led to can take < 5 minutes to customize it to their liking. I like it very much.

      As a player who came onboard with nWoD I'm excited to see a V20 Dark Ages book. For me, it's feels like a great way to connect with what all the veterans have been talking about for years. V20 and V20 DA offers a good entry point since the weight of oWoD's many works was a barrier to entry for me.

    • Lunavoco
      May 22, 2014 at 10:09 am

      I agree with Jens and his reasons for reordering christianity’s sins.

      Taking his words and rebuilding them:
      The lowest (worst) transgressions should be a conscious defiance of ones path. Breaching a level 1 sin should be a pivotal event that can redefine a character, not one that can come up casually during every session. “Failing to spread the Gospel of Christ” sounds like “missing an opportunity to street preach.” There’s plenty of room here for this to be merely a problem of word choice.

      I also recognize the difficulty with representing something many people take so seriously/personally. Views on this topic have shifted greatly through the years too. At worst, this is a fantastic framework that someone who feels led to can take < 5 minutes to customize it to their liking. I like it very much.

      As a player who came onboard with nWoD I'm excited to see a V20 Dark Ages book. For me, it's feels like a great way to connect with what all the veterans have been talking about for years. V20 and V20 DA offers a good entry point since the weight of oWoD's many works was a barrier to entry for me.

  5. Tammi
    May 21, 2014 at 7:10 am

    This looks good. What I have been trying to find out is there a kickstarter for the revised DA20? Or it this something you are just doing?

    • machineiv
      May 21, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      There will be, once we’re ready.

  6. rafael
    May 21, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I tought that the eightfold wheel path would be buddhism inspired!

    Didnt knew that druidism shared that same symbol, cool.

  7. May 21, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Given that in Judaism, contact with blood makes one ritually impure, it seems like it would be impossible for any Kindred on Derekh Chaim to maintain it for more than a handful of nights. Unless, of course, they’ve modified the purity laws to make accommodations for their condition. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a problem, but I thought I’d point it out.

    Also, I’d recommend changing the spelling to Derekh Chaim to indicate the difference in Hebrew letters (kaf at the end of derekh, and chet at the beginning of chaim). But that’s a nitpick.

  8. May 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Wow, how many paths. Although I appreciate very much the effort to ample the vision and not restricting to Europe and to christianity, so many paths feel a little exaggerated. Wouldn’t it be better to have one path and some sins referencing the concrete religion as in the form “Commit acts considered sinful on your religion”?

  9. Mu
    May 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    It is an interesting idea, but in the way we are losing the old paths (Divinity, Retribution, Penitence and Tears). Maybe the older approach (use the common ethics and describe generic sins, like “heretic acts” or “skipping feeding restrictions”).

    I celebrate to see what a pagan Road of Heaven would look like (since we are told that the road predates christianism).

    The thing I don’t like is some kind of wrongdoings that I find very difficult to apply. I. e.: “Failing to spread the Gospel of Christ”. When do I make a player roll for this. Does his character needs to make a new christian each day, must he achieve to convert every pagan he encounters, or does he never have to roll for this. It reminds me the one from the Road of the Serpent: “Failing to uphold Set’s memory and worship him”, I never knew when to roll for this.

    And for other roads, I would suggest that each road should be difficult to follow in its way. DA:V roads of Sin and Beast were extremely easy to follow, unless you had a high score.

    Another suggestion: tell how Diablerie is considered in each path (maybe in the Diablerie section).

    • Mu
      May 22, 2014 at 3:09 am

      Reading it again, and comparing to DA:V version, I miss the idea of salvation. Old description insisted in the idea that the point of the through the salvation is more difficult to attain in a cainite state, it is not closed to them. I never liked the idea of religion as a vampire morality until this, because the notion of divine plan to vampires gave the impression that cainites are not cursed but they are God’s chosen.

      I understand that this is difficult when pagan paths are included, but for these you can find some things similar to salvation: reconciliation with nature for the druids and winning back the gods favor for other pagan beliefs.

  10. Unsilent Majority
    May 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    “and I’ve been catching up on Trinity/Aeon, Idigam Chronicle, W20 Umbra, REDACTED, and Too REDACTED REDACTED: The REDACTED REDACTED.”

    If one of those “REDACTED” is something for Hunter the Vigil, I will shit myself.

    Mortal Remains was awesome and I want more.

  11. Unsilent Majority
    May 21, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Edit: And I’m also very excited for this as well, David.

    Keep up the great work!

  12. JezMiller
    May 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Good to see you back! DA20 is at the top of my Onyx Path “Want” list, and I’ve been eager for more news.

    This is superb. *Finally*, the non-Christian variants of the Road are more than a few throw-away sentences in the opening paragraph. I’m getting quite excited from what I’m seeing of DA20 – it seems to be enriching and enhancing the setting rather than just consolidating and streamlining existing material.

    The only thing that’s missing is a Cainite Heresy/Path of Divinity variant. I appreciate that you’re already trying to fit a quart into a pint pot, so maybe it will have to be sacrificed, but the Heresy is a significant part of the existing setting, so addressing it in the core book makes sense.

    • machineiv
      May 21, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Let’s see what we can do there. Maybe we can’t in the core book. But if the core book does well, maybe we can give it some much-needed attention elsewhere.

  13. tau neutrino
    May 23, 2014 at 9:29 am

    “Medieval Christians are very focused on maintaining sexual purity and spreading the Gospel of Christ through proselytizing. Medieval Islam is focused on care for the weak and vulnerable and commitment to practicing humility and piety.” That sounds like medieval Islam here is more Christian than medieval Christianity, which is composed of compassionless nags. Even the druidic Eightfold Path has “Not helping the sick and weak” as a sin. The keys for salvation in medieval Christianity were faith and good works. There were a lot more religious orders dedicated to helping those same sick and weak than to evangelism. In fact, Christians in Byzantium invented the modern form of the hospital.

    • JezMiller
      May 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      That’s a good point. And one aspect of the way the medieval Christian Church cared for the sick is particularly relevant to the setting. Show me a church dedicated to St. Giles and I’ll show you a likely haven for Nosferastu. As corrupt, worldly and wealthy as the Church was, it did provide alms and aid to the poor, sick and needy.

      I can see where you’re coming from with this. I can’t help contrasting Saladin, whose generosity towards the poor seems to have left his treasurers in a perpetual state of nervous exhaustion, with Richard the Lionheart, who bled England white to pay for his wars and Crusade and ransom. The present Hierarchy of the Christian variant would be a perfect fit for certain character concepts – such as an Embraced Albigensian Crusader, for example. But although spreading the gospel and sexual purity were certainly important to influential figures like Francis of Assisi (alleged inspiration for the Lupetti de Gubbio), Francis was also a noted friend of the poor. There needs to be a tweak to allow for compassion, not just conversion, in the Christian path.

  14. Zakariya Ali Sher
    May 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I really like this revision of the Road of Heaven, especially as it covers almost all of the major faiths of the Dark Ages (including some which are long gone by this point, like the Druids and Greco-Roman pagans, though undoubtedly there would still be a few vampires around following those faiths in the WoD). Its especially interesting that all the major variants on the Road of Heaven follow similar tenets, simply placing different empheses on them in their hierarchy of sins, though the pagan faiths are a bit more divergent.

    As a Muslim myself, I’m interested in the Path of the Prophet. The idea that Muslim Cainites seek to protect the weak and fight the forces of Shaitan is actually quite in keeping with medieval Islam. The Islamic conquests were arguably about establishing an Islamic government for the good of all mankind, not converting people. This is why areas like al-Andalous and India remained mostly non-Muslim, despite being ruled by Muslim kings for centuries. Within the context of the WoD, this view might actually be correct. There really are vampires and other monsters lurking in the night.

    I also like how the rationales capture the dramatic poetry of the Pickthall translations of the Qur’an. Very good job. I’d like to point out that shirk (that is to say, polytheism, idolatry or turning away from the worship of God) is about the worst sin imaginable in Islam. Obviously that only applies to fellow Muslims.

    I’m also interested in the fact that the pagan variants seem to have multiple names. Is it the Path of Guiding Spirits or the Path of the Eightfold Wheel? Or are the both names for the same Path? Anyway, its interesting to finally see pagan variants, since they’ve been hinted at since DA: Vampire (indeed, one of the NPCs in the Road of Heaven book was the Krivê of Lithuania), but never fully developed or fleshed out. No specifically Mesopotamian, Egyptian or Persian Paths (especially considering there should be some pagan Assamites, many Setites and perhaps even some True Brujah or Children of Osiris out there), but these two are broad enough to cover things beyond just Druids or Greco-Roman, so that’s good.

    • May 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      AFAIK, most andalousian were muslims before the Reconquista. It wasn’t a too big majority, as many christians (but arabs in culture) and jews lived with them.

      But you are right that the hispanic muslims were not forcefully converted, but as a free decision, which was a much better situation than the rest of Europe.

    • tau neutrino
      May 26, 2014 at 10:23 am

      You’re not seriously saying that the Muslim conquest of Spain was done for the benefit of the Spaniards are you? IIRC, one of the DA books (Iberia by Night?) addressed this, pointing out that the Muslim conquerors had to let Christians remain to run the government because of a lack of Muslim manpower. It even called the idea of Spain as a multicultural paradise a fairy tail. As it was, Christians and Jews had to accept second-class citizen status as dhimmis and pay higher taxes, so conversion wasn’t totally free choice. And that was during the tolerant periods. When the Almohads took over in 1148, the choice was convert or die. As WW also said, the Hindus in India fared worse being considered pagans and never eligible for dhimmi status. That’s why the northern part of India, where the Muslim sultan’s had their power, became Muslim majority Pakistan and later Bangladesh.

      About turning away from worship of god, that would imply not killing an apostate Muslim would be a level 2 sin, even a fake convert like Maimonides.

      • Zakariya Ali Sher
        May 27, 2014 at 1:15 am

        > You’re not seriously saying that the Muslim conquest of Spain was done
        > for the benefit of the Spaniards are you?

        Coming from someone who got their panties in a knot over a post that called Columbus a murderer, I find this sort of forced outrage amusing. But yes, in the context of early Islam, it was more about establishing a proper world order than converting people.

        > IIRC, one of the DA books (Iberia by Night?) addressed this, pointing
        > out that the Muslim conquerors had to let Christians remain to run the
        > government because of a lack of Muslim manpower.

        Again, because Muslims weren’t the majority in many areas. The same holds true in India, or Greece and the Balkans under the Ottomans. In some areas, like Java and Mali, conversions came later. In other areas, Muslims never were the majority, and relied on non-Muslim experts to help maintain order. This isn’t so different from any other empire, from the Assyrians and Hittites onward.

        > It even called the idea of Spain as a multicultural paradise a fairy tail.

        Depends on how you want to define multicultural. The fact is that Sephardic Jews and Mozárabes did exist and at times thrived under Moorish rule. No, it wasn’t a paradise, but it wasn’t the oppression that you Islamophobes want to define it as either. Jews in particular had it much better than they did in most of Christian Europe.

        You might want to ask yourself why we don’t see long established religious minorities in most of Europe, while they continued to exist in the Middle East into the modern era. Where are the Odinists or Greek pagans? Heck, where are the Muslim communities? With a few exceptions like the Tatars in Poland, you don’t have old Muslim communities left in Europe. And yet, in Egypt you have Copts, in Iraq you have Assyrians and Mandaeans, in Iran you still have Zoroastrians, not to mention Assyrians, Armenians and Jews. Why is it that in the Islamic world we still have so many religious minorities compared to Europe?

        > As it was, Christians and Jews had to accept second-class citizen
        > status as dhimmis and pay higher taxes,

        The fact that you are so hung up on the term dhimmi suggests that you are yet another Islamophobe with an agenda to push. Yes, I know its become trendy for pseudo-intellectuals to go around bashing Islam, Arabs and anything even remotely connected to the Middle East. Ever since 9-11 its become a rare, socially acceptable form of prejudice in the West, and there are people who have made quite a bit of money off bashing Muslims. Instead of wasting money on some expensive toilet paper by Pamella Geller or Robert Spencer, you’d be better off reading something academic. Something that explains that culture, history and religion are complex phenomena. But then, it seems that might go over your head.

        > so conversion wasn’t totally free choice.

        The role of taxes wasn’t entirely to induce conversion. Indeed, later on the Ottomans were so depended on tax revenues from non-Muslims that they actively discouraged conversion.

        > And that was during the tolerant periods. When the Almohads took over
        > in 1148, the choice was convert or die.

        You know, the irony is that I was going to mention the Almohads, but figured it wasn’t all that pertinent to the conversation. What should we make about the Spanish Inquisition then, or later pogroms?

        > As WW also said, the Hindus in India fared worse being considered
        > pagans and never eligible for dhimmi status.

        Again, Muslims were never the majority in India. Do you really believe we were just trying to convert or kill all Hindus or something? Mughal India never would have existed without alliances with some of the Rajput kingdoms, and Akbar even married a Rajput princess, so things are nowhere near as simplistic as you seem to believe. Indeed, Sikhism was born out of the contact between Islam and Hinduism.

        > That’s why the northern part of India, where the Muslim sultan’s had
        > their power,

        Prior to the rise of Islam, northern India actually included a substantial Buddhist population, and part of the reason for the decline of Buddhism during the Islamic conquest was because Buddhist institutions weren’t as strongly involved in the daily lives of the people. Furthermore, there were Muslim states in southern India too. Ever heard of Tippu Sultan of Mysore? The Bahmani Sultanate and the Qutb Shahis of Golconda spring to mind too. Indeed, after the collapse of the Mughal Empire, the Brits allowed Hyderabad to continue on as a princely state, and the Nizam actually wanted to join Pakistan during partition in 1947.

        > became Muslim majority Pakistan and later Bangladesh.

        Again, not entirely true. There were Hindu minorities in both Pakistan and Bangladesh (and a sizable Muslim minority in India too). Partition was loosely based upon religious lines, with Muslim majority provinces (often with little in common with one another beyond religion; hence East Pakistan splitting away to form Bangladesh) forming Pakistan. To further confuse matters, both Panjab and Bengal were split in half, while Kashmir were overwhelmingly Muslim but had a Hindu ruler and thus stayed in India against the will of the majority of its population. Also, the ensuing population exchanges and ethno-religious violence dramatically altered the populations of India, Pakistan and Bangaldesh.

        > About turning away from worship of god, that would imply not killing
        > an apostate Muslim would be a level 2 sin, even a fake convert like
        > Maimonides.

        Again, another stupid Islamophobic comment. By your logic, then would it also be a sin for a Christian to not kill a heretic or idolator? Incidentally, that still happens in the modern world. There was just a news story from Jordan about a Christian man killing his daughter for converting to Islam.

        • richt
          May 27, 2014 at 7:46 am

          Please continue this conversation without the labeling and insults.

          • Zakariya Ali Sher
            May 28, 2014 at 8:21 am

            Actually, I’d just as soon not continue the conversation at all, since it has nothing to do with the game whatsoever.

        • Mu
          May 28, 2014 at 3:00 pm

          Sorry for continuing the off-topic, but I wanted to express some of the things that I, as native Andalusian, have studied about the subject. I thing the truth is somewhere in the middle.

          * I find naive the assumption that the Moorish only wanted a better government for the Hispanian people. As any army in the world an in the history, they wanted power and what they made was to conquer.

          * But it is important to say that the Hispanians didn’t fight back much, and in some cities they even opened the doors to the invaders. The reason for these is that in Iberia the power was held by the Visigoths, another foreign invading people, and the majority of the populations, hispano-romans, held no love for them. This explains how the Moorish could conquest such a big country in only seven years.

          * It is not true that the majority remained Christian, most of the local population converted to Islam becoming Muladí (hispano-romans of origin, muslim of religion).

          * In Al-Andalus coexisted a mix of ethnics and religions: muladí coexisted with muslims of berber and arab asecendants and with mozárabes (christians) and sephardies (jews). Each of these groups could develop its particular cultural features (i.e. the mozárabe architecture).

          * The level of tolerance in Al-Andalus is not acceptable by modern standard: the said taxes, the fact that only the “people of the book” (muslims, jews and christians), were allowed, etc. But in that time that was very advanced.

          * People (even Spanish people) often think of the Reconquista as something similar to a crusade, with christians and mulims warring for the religion. This was a very long process, 8 centuries, and in that long time christians kingdoms were born, split or merged, as well as the Al-Andalus structure changed a lot of times. The muslim kingdoms warred with each others, as did the christians one. An islamic kingdom could be tributary to a christian one, and viceversa, or they could be allies against other kingdom (or simply allies).

          * There were also eras of intolerance, as the mentioned Alomohad era.

          * The good people of White Wolf and Dark Ages made an outstanding work, but you can’t take the game books as historical sources. These people are game designers making a huge effort to learn and represent the story inside a game, but they are not historian. So each fact you see in a game book should be double checked for its veracity, and a game book should not be cited as backup for an historical argument.

  15. Zakariya Ali Sher
    May 25, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Also, for what its worth, the Road of the Prophet would be Tariq al-Nabi (or Tariq an-Nabi) in Arabic.

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