The last of the five playable Guilds in Mummy: the Curse are the Tef-Aabhi. This guild prides itself in being the youngest of the Guilds, having been created by assembling the greatest of the other Guilds for the purpose of achieving new ways to further Iremite civilization.
They were the next iteration of the Nameless Empire’s evolution, and the Tef-Aabhi hold on to that distinction with more than a little bit of pride. This pride isn’t born out of nothing however, as the Tef-Aabhi are the ones who worked on a grand and impressive scale.
They were the ones who worked on massive edifices and planned entire neighborhoods. They were the ones who created higher mathematics and the necessary means of creating plans for major projects. They understood an elevated the occult to the realm of sacred geometry.
In essence, they were responsible for the biggest, grandest and most impressive works of the Nameless Empire. Whereas the other Guilds established the necessary elementary foundations, they were the ones who used these to forge a future.
Given their focus on greater achievements, the Tef-Aabhi are a very strong meritocracy. Who you were didn’t matter as much as what you could do. These were the innovators of their society, and this mindset serves them well with regards to adapting to society in any age.
Despite their pomp and pride, the Tef-Aabhi are consummate planners, and are surprisingly conservative with regards to their methods. Less unusual is the fact that they all tend to be perfectionists. In their eyes, anything that is worth doing should be able to stand the test of time. Ephemeral and fleeting works of art are pretty but never impressive compared to the constructions that outlast even their own civilizations.
The Tef-Aabhi’s favored vessel are Effigies, which make perfect sense for a Guild of planners and forward thinkers. In essence an effigy is many things, a model, an experiment, and in magical theory, a sympathetic connection to the greater item. All of these come together for the Tef-Aabhi who are able to use the symbolism inherent in Effigies to target, and empower their magics.
The Tef-Aabhi come off as the “young turks” faction common in the WoD splats, but thankfully they manage to redeem themselves in a manner that works for me better than the Free council does in Mage: the Awakening. Sure they may be cocky, but their veneration for older methods and the foresight necessary to make plans and models to test their creations before going full bore into a project is the kind of thinking that you tend to not see in Mages (because, you know, Hubris.)
I suppose part of my understanding of the Tef-Aabhi is the fact that the use of effigies in funerary rites is also present in my own culture. The Chinese burn paper effigies symbolizing anything from mansions to cars and money to give their dead the said items when they reach the afterlife.
I suspect playing Mage (both versions) for years has given me a rudimentary understanding of the theory behind Sympathetic Magic as well so that certainly helps.
Overall I like the Tef-Aabhi. They’re futurists of a sort, but ones well grounded in established practice and careful planning. They remind me of the mature members of the Free Council, the ones who’ve moved past the posturing and pissing contests of the youth and are dedicated to forging a future for themselves and those that follow them.