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 Post subject: The Tsehafi Taezaz
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:51 pm
Posts: 87
So here is the Ethiopian Order I had been working on. Could probably make some more changes. I need to still decide on Friends and Foe stuff as well as skills and powers. Though I'm not all that well versed in mechanics to come up with Order powers. Still let me know what you think.

The Tsehafi Taezaz of Solomon

Other Names: Scribes of Solomon

Area of Origin: Ethiopia

The Tsehafi Taezaz of Solomon are a group of warrior scholars. As Witch Hunters they see it as their duty to protect the Ethiopian empire from the forces of the Adversary. The Tsehafi Taezaz keep careful records of the force that come from the Heart of Darkness. When they intrude into the borders of the Ethiopian empire the Tsehafi Taezaz identify them and send them back to the dark pit screaming.

History and Homeland

The Tsehafi Taezaz trace their lineage back to the days of Solomon. When the Queen of Sheba returned from her visit in Solomon’s kingdom she brought back more than a Jewish heir to the Ethiopian kingdom. Scholars wise in the ways of the Adversary returned with her in order to help protect the kingdom and to fend off attacks from the minions of darkness. The Tsehafi Taezaz take their name from the imperial court position bearing the same name. In the imperial court the Tsehafi Taezaz was the official scribe of the emperor, a man who was always two steps behind the emperor so that he could write down all the orders of the emperor and make sure they were issued and followed. In the early days the Tsehafi Taezaz served a similar function, writing down the wisdom of the emperor Menelik I.

During the 4th century the group was forced underground. Emperor Ezana declared Christianity as the official religion of the land and forced the Jewish citizens of his empire to convert to Christianity. This effort was part of a ploy on the part of the forces of the Adversary. While the emperor was young and being schooled in the ways he was also being slowly influenced by his mentors to take a more negative and drastic stance towards the Jewish citizens of the empire, and by extension the Tsehafi Taezaz, whom were viewed as a threat to their influence.

As the Tsehafi Taezaz went into hiding the Jewish citizens of the state revolted, opting to form their own country. This split caused a schism in the group. Some members of the Tsehafi Taezaz felt it was their duty to remain a part of the empire and do what they could to protect the royal family, even if it meant putting aside their Jewish heritage and converting to Christianity. Others felt that their Jewish heritage and their links to king Solomon were just as important as their duty to protect the royal family and the Ethiopian kingdom. During the revolt many members of the Tsehafi Taezaz sided with the new Jewish kingdom of Beta Israel, later to be renamed the kingdom of Gondar.

The corruption of the royal family in Ethiopia continued despite the best efforts of the Tsehafi Taezaz that remained behind. In the year 960 Tsehafi Taezaz agents placed in the court of Queen Judith convinced her to invade the Ethiopian kingdom. The invasion took the capital city of Axum and destroyed it. The Debro Damo monastery was then razed and all heirs to the imperial line were killed, thus ending the corruption that had taken root in the heart of the Ethiopian empire.

The two halves of the Tsehafi Taezaz would remain at odds with each other until 1270, when the Solomon dynasty was restored. Both groups opted to work together but remained independent
. With a shared goal of keeping the Adversaries forces out of the region, the two groups would watch over both kingdoms to assure that there was a repeat of the old dynasty. The two did not become one again until 1627 when Susenyos I annexed the Jewish kingdom.

Traits and Tactics

The Tsehafi Taezaz view themselves as a group of warrior scholars, learned men and women who are also prepared to fight. As such they opt to gather as much information as possible before making a final decision. Once they are satisfied that they have either researched or gathered enough information they commit wholeheartedly to the solution they arrive at. The Tsehafi Taezaz also seek out other scholars in order to exchange information and observations.

The group has two major divisions. Scholars who make it their life’s work to understand the dangers posed by the Adversary and warriors who make it their life’s work to put to death the minions of darkness. While most will be trained in the rudimentary basics of both facets of the Order, most end up specializing in one field or the other.

Leadership is divided into two spheres. The group itself is lead by a council of rabbis, who see to the day to day functions of the Order and its long term goals. As such membership on the leadership council requires not only to be of Jewish decent, but also a practicing member of the Ethiopian Jewish faith. The second area of leadership and influence is reserved for Christian Ethiopians of Jewish heritage, those that had originally left the Order when it split. These Christians see to the political aspects of the Order. They work to gain influence within the Ethiopian empire, often times gaining noble titles or military rank that can then be used to help the Tsehafi Taezaz achieve its goals.

Recruitment

The Tsehafi Taezaz recruits from all segments of society. While Jewish heritage is a requirement for finding a position of leadership with in the Order, it is not a requirement for membership. The Order prefers to recruit from the ranks of scholars and soldiers when possible, both being necessary for its overall goals. However the Order will also keep an eye out for promising individuals who, with the proper training and discipline, can be molded into a fine scholar or warrior.

Religion

The Tsehafi Taezaz observes both Jewish and Christian practices and beliefs. The Orders leadership tend to place a heavier emphasis on the organizations Jewish heritage, thus they tend to apply more focus to Jewish holidays and celebrations than they do the Christian ones. Still both Jewish and Christians are welcome within the Order, though there is still a bit of left over tension from centuries of being divided.

The Current Day

The Tsehafi Taezaz have recently started exploring the world around them. Emperor Iyasu I has made several diplomatic overtures to the kingdoms of the West. As such diplomats from the Ethiopian empire can be found in many courts within Europe. The Tsehafi Taezaz has taken this opportunity to gather more information about the Adversary, exchanging information with the Orders in Europe. This cultural exchange is proving to be very useful and because of it the Tsehafi Taezaz have put serious consideration into signing the Accord.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tsehafi Taezaz
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:51 pm
Posts: 87
I'm also pondering a Forbidden Society to play of of this group. Maybe making them the cause of the split and corruption of the Ethiopian empire.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tsehafi Taezaz
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:12 pm 
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Very cool! Nice addition with plenty of potential. Really glad you put the time in on this one.

Recommendations for background skills:
Athletics 1, Scholarship (Research) 1 (or Mysticism 1), plus one more (not melee, though)

I'm trying to get a better sense of these guys as warrior scholars. Are the sort of cloistered monks? Do they haunt universities? Do they maintain/protect repositories of knowledge? Is their research confined to the HoD or are they more generalists? Are they more Lightbringer (SCIENCE!) or Ashen Cross (FAITH!) on the spectrum. That's one aspect I think needs to be fleshed out in your write up. Maybe something more akin to the Watchers from Buffy? If that's the case, is there a militant arm and a scholarly arm? Sorry but scholar/soldier can be broadly applied to a lot of orders. What separates them in this regard? Just one thing. Go!

Is your idea for a forbidden society a corrupted splinter group that is still bitter about the invasion and sack of Axum? Because I think that would be very cool.

What are you thinking of for powers, in vague terms? I'm happy to help with the mechanics.

Oh, and how do you pronounce the name?

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: The Tsehafi Taezaz
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:51 pm
Posts: 87
It should be prounced ts'äḥafē tə’əzaz.

Quote:
I'm trying to get a better sense of these guys as warrior scholars. Are the sort of cloistered monks? Do they haunt universities? Do they maintain/protect repositories of knowledge? Is their research confined to the HoD or are they more generalists? Are they more Lightbringer (SCIENCE!) or Ashen Cross (FAITH!) on the spectrum. That's one aspect I think needs to be fleshed out in your write up. Maybe something more akin to the Watchers from Buffy? If that's the case, is there a militant arm and a scholarly arm? Sorry but scholar/soldier can be broadly applied to a lot of orders. What separates them in this regard? Just one thing. Go!


I'm still trying to get a general feel for how I want them to be warrior scholars. At this early stage in the design of the group I maybe imagine it closer to how it worked in Buffy with the Watcher/Slayer split. As such I think right now I'm envisioning a militant arm and a scholarly arm. Though I must admit my knowledge of how the Watcher/Slayer thing worked out in Buffy is small, being as how I didn't watch much the show. I'm going to give it some thought though and see if there is another example of what I have in mind.

Though idea's on how to flesh them out and making them separate from the other Orders is always appreciated.

Quote:
Is your idea for a forbidden society a corrupted splinter group that is still bitter about the invasion and sack of Axum? Because I think that would be very cool.


Well the only concrete idea I've had on them is the name Night Terrors. Or something along that theme. Maybe Night Shadows. Hmmmm

A splinter group based on the invasion and sack of Axum does sound cool. But I had also considered making them the source of the original split in the first place. When I wrote the part about the Emperor Enza embracing Christianity and forcing conversion and leaving it to a vague "forces of the Adversary" as kind of weak. It's sufficient for a rough draft and first impressions but part of me wants to actually kinda name what happened, or name who whispered.

And in that regard I'm thinking a Forbidden Society that perhaps developed under their noses would work. I think what I would like to see develop in that regard would be the eventual discover of the group, which would then prompt the invasion of Queen Judith with the sole purpose of trying to eradicate the group (hence why all the heirs were killed). From my research Judith's destruction of Axum was pretty thorough and it could appear that the group was successfully destroyed, though in reality that isn't the case.

But my idea for it hasn't moved further than that. I will likely do a bit more research into how Christianity came to Ethiopia and see if I can connect it that way.

Quote:
What are you thinking of for powers, in vague terms? I'm happy to help with the mechanics.


No clue actually. Sadly I haven't actually had the chance to play the game so my knowledge of the mechanics is somewhat weak at the moment. I think I'm gonna go over and reread the Orders in the main book and see if anything stands out.

Theme wise though I'm either leaning towards something that helps them identify the forces of darkness or something that helps them fight it directly. But I think I need to see what the other Orders do again before I nail something down. Though thoughts on it would be welcomed.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tsehafi Taezaz
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:48 am 
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Location: Dallas, TX
Dace wrote:
It should be prounced ts'äḥafē tə’əzaz.


That...doesn't help. Phonics, please. Something tay-ayz-ahz?

Quote:
I'm still trying to get a general feel for how I want them to be warrior scholars. At this early stage in the design of the group I maybe imagine it closer to how it worked in Buffy with the Watcher/Slayer split. As such I think right now I'm envisioning a militant arm and a scholarly arm. Though I must admit my knowledge of how the Watcher/Slayer thing worked out in Buffy is small, being as how I didn't watch much the show. I'm going to give it some thought though and see if there is another example of what I have in mind.


Going back over the existing Orders, I'm going to recommend against a strict division between scholars and soldiers. For one thing, that doubles up on one of the Falcons of God's schticks (The Eloquence and the Sword). I kinda like the idea of a bunch of academics who can just as easily go into fight mode. Maybe being able to call upon their faith to reinforce themselves. More of "My body is a Temple" sort of thing than true martial prowess. So the focus is on fitness of soul and body.

Quote:
Well the only concrete idea I've had on them is the name Night Terrors. Or something along that theme. Maybe Night Shadows. Hmmmm

A splinter group based on the invasion and sack of Axum does sound cool. But I had also considered making them the source of the original split in the first place. When I wrote the part about the Emperor Enza embracing Christianity and forcing conversion and leaving it to a vague "forces of the Adversary" as kind of weak. It's sufficient for a rough draft and first impressions but part of me wants to actually kinda name what happened, or name who whispered.

And in that regard I'm thinking a Forbidden Society that perhaps developed under their noses would work. I think what I would like to see develop in that regard would be the eventual discover of the group, which would then prompt the invasion of Queen Judith with the sole purpose of trying to eradicate the group (hence why all the heirs were killed). From my research Judith's destruction of Axum was pretty thorough and it could appear that the group was successfully destroyed, though in reality that isn't the case.


My thinking went along these lines: after the sack of Axum and the sundering of the corrupted royal line, the two groups reconciled. But naturally, there would be some that were just too embittered by the split and the lengths the other group went to. This faction refused to be part of the larger group, and spun out on their own. Their anger at this perceived betrayal made them prime targets for the Adversary's minions, you fed that emotion and corrupted the group. This society now views everything that has come since that day as illegitimate and works not only to undermine the work of their former Order, but to reinstall the "rightful" line of kings. Naturally, the king they want to restore to the throne is a big nasty evil thing. Perhaps a lich of considerable power. The King in exile.

That seems pretty limited, so I'd probably expand on that mission considerably before I started work on them.

Quote:
But my idea for it hasn't moved further than that. I will likely do a bit more research into how Christianity came to Ethiopia and see if I can connect it that way.


Good idea.

Quote:
Quote:
What are you thinking of for powers, in vague terms? I'm happy to help with the mechanics.


Theme wise though I'm either leaning towards something that helps them identify the forces of darkness or something that helps them fight it directly. But I think I need to see what the other Orders do again before I nail something down. Though thoughts on it would be welcomed.


Rough thoughts after a night's sleep, a slug of coffee, and a chance to review the other Orders:

Slightly revised Background skill list:
Athleticism 1, Mysticism (Myth & Lore) 1, Scholarship (Theology) 1

Some ideas for Background Powers
Once per day, may meditate for 10 minutes to increase Discipline or Fortitude Defense by 1 until the following sunrise.

Once per scene, may add their True Faith to any one Physical or Spiritual roll.

When researching a supernatural enemy, they may learn an extra Power or Weakness for every two successes on their Scholarship roll.

+1d bonus to Power of Faith (Quick Magical action) attempts


Never played the game, eh? In that case, double kudos! Great opening volley into the world of Witch Hunter.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: The Tsehafi Taezaz
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:42 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:48 pm
Posts: 212
Very entertaining read. The Christian and Jewish nations and tribes of East Africa are fertile ground for alternate history.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tsehafi Taezaz
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:45 am 
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Location: Dallas, TX
Hey Dace! Have you made any headway on this?

Tom

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a blog dedicated to swashbuckling, fantasy and horror gaming

Witch Hunter: The Invisible World Unofficial Home on Google+


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 Post subject: Re: The Tsehafi Taezaz
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:51 pm
Posts: 87
Sadly no :(. I've spent the past few months consumed with my thesis. Though I'm hoping when winter break hits I can sit down and consider some of my ideas again. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Tsehafi Taezaz
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:51 pm
Posts: 87
I've been thinking this over some but one of the things I've wondered as of late is if having both a Jewish and Christian element is a bit much. I kinda like both, as there is no Order that attempts to combine the two but then again I sometimes wonder if that's cheesy.


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