I don’t often talk about my motivations in terms of media. Last year, I learned of an excellent “action-adventure” drama, Ertugrul, (very) loosely based around history. It takes place 1280CE, and revolves around the Muslim (Turkish) Kayi tribe, their struggles and conflicts with Crusaders, Mongols, and traitors. I highly recommend watching it, as it plays from the perspective of Muslims as the heroes. *Very* cool!
Deli Demir (pictured above) is one of those characters. He’s your typical blacksmith: strong, stoic, but also a family man (cares greatly for his daughter). As an NPC, he would be your generic blacksmith.
Except for one difference: he’s highly motivated by his faith. He talks about how his faith motivates him, how he forges weapons and armour to help the Muslims succeed in battles and defend themselves. He’s a powerful, unforgettable character.
And that’s the secret ingredient I alluded to in issue #4: it’s not just the plot, it’s making iconic Muslims charactersm shaped and motivated by their faith (and vocal about it) that really create that Islamic environment. And that’s something I hope to add more of in my games going forward.