Thursday, March 19, 2015

*OP Rage Across Egypt (Werewolf: The Apocalypse)

Chris Howard (Author), Matthew McFarland (Author), Ron Spencer (Illustrator)

Perhaps one of the most interesting setting books for Werewolf: the Apocalypse, this book ventures into Egypt, the ancient homeland of the Silent Striders. After a wonderful piece of fiction telling the tale of Nepthys, kin to the Silent Striders who fell into vampirism and the punishment she recieved, this book starts out with a nice introduction to the themes and mood of the setting, complete with a lexicon of Garou specific words for Egypt, the Middle East and Africa. The next chapter covers the history of Egypt from the Garou's point of view (with input on the Mokole and Bastet), starting from Set and Osiris' war in ancient Egypt to the coming of Islam to the British, French and Turksih occupations to the modern era. Theres even a nice little timeline of Egypt's history with dates, and a chronology of rulers (the various Egyptian Dynasties, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, Arab Caliphates, etc).

In the subsequent chapter we get a look at major elements in Egypt's culture, politics, geography and environment including a look at Islam, political parties, indigenous wildlife, minorities like the Copts, ancient ruins, cities like Cairo and Alexandria and places such as Lake Nasser or the Sinai. More importantly, there is an examination of the supernatural side of Egypt, including a look at the Tuat, Egypt's unique cultural spin on the Umbra, which includes four Umbral Towers (one for each element and direction, spiritually marking the boundaries of Egypt's borders) and the Twelve Hours of the Night (twelve Umbral Domains from Egypt's mythology). There is also a look at major Garou and Wyrm Caerns in Egypt. The next chaper goes onto to cover major NPCs for each Tribe, including Cairene Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers, the Silver Fangs of House Wise Heart, Bedouin Uktena, Red Talons in the Western Desert, Sufic Stargazers, British Fianna and, of course, the Silent Striders.

The fourth chapter looks at major storyteller devices in Egypt, such as Jackal Fever, the Eaters of the Dead, the Egyptian Umbra, Sutekh's Curse and a secret Rite developed by the Children of Gaia that allows the Silent Striders to briefly return to Egypt. Theres also an examination of the Ahadi, an alliance of African Fera which includes Egypt in it's territory, and a look at the native Shifters of Egypt (Mokole, Bastet, etc), as well as some information for games set in ancient Egypt. Following this is a chapter on various antagonists in Egypt, such as the vampiric Followers of Set, Endron Oil (a subsidiary of Pentex), the Black Spiral Dancers, the Ratkin of Suez and even a few horrors unique to Egypt. This book does a wonderful job covering Egypt (and the Middle East in general), especially with the metaplot of the Striders trying to retake their homeland from the Leeches. Not only that, but your players can get in on everything from Jackal Fever and the fall of House Wise Heart to the sealing of the Ahadi. A great resource, and it fits in well with other Mummy and "Year of the Scarab" products in representing Egypt and the Middle East.

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