(Created by: Ni Ke Hsin <email@example.com>)
The Greatest of these is Love
Sophia has been the angel of love since the beginning of time. She is almost as old as Yves, and some say she is as old. But she didn't begin as an Archangel. In the beginning, she performed her labours as a Cherub under the guidance of Yves. Some say that if she'd been given more scope, the Fall wouldn't have happened. If you ask her, she'll merely shrug modestly. "It's too late to change things now."
She was elevated to Archangel status on the creation of Eve. Humans were becoming more important to God, and no one wanted another Lilith fiasco. She barely noticed her elevation, though she was releaved to have more angels at her service. Building and maintaining love in a fallen world is hard work.
Only once has she suffered Dominic's inquisition, and that under the instigation of Uriel. An early gnostic sect of Christianity declared her identical with the Holy Spirit, and therefore a part of the Holy Trinity. When questioned about it, Sophia merely stated, "It isn't causing them any harm to hold these beliefs. Why should we make trouble for them?" This enraged Uriel, for whom doctrinal purity was as important as any other kind. But even the penetrating mind of Dominic could find no fault in anything she'd done, and so her name was completely cleared. Sophia's response to the acquittal: "That's nice. When did you say this happened?"
Sophia is the most maternal of all the angels. In the political struggles of the angels, she seeks to bring about reconciliation, forgiveness, understanding. She is calm, observant, an excellent listener, but she is also stern and unflinching. She is deeply wounded whenever one in her service suffers, even if they brought that suffering on themselves.
Oddly enough, her worst foe is not Andrealphus. She sees a place for lust in the context of certain types of love. Her arch-foe is Malphas, because she hates all divisiveness. She can tolerate any of the Demon Princes except Malphas, Baal, and Saminga, and is even cordial towards Lilith.
Sophia is, of all the archangels, the most involved in the day to day works of humans. However, she rarely accepts credit for what she does. Many of the Archangels forget that she is among the oldest of their kind. Sophia, is of course, the Greek word for Wisdom. It may not be entirely coincidence that she has always been called by that name.
The angels of Sophia are charged with fostering and protecting love among humans and celestials. They may not take action which will weaken friendships, family bonds, or any other love. Even if the love is clearly pernicious, an angel of Sophia must find a way to protect the lover without damaging the love.
The seraphim can discern the loves of any person whom they are in contact.
When a cherub is attuned to a person, she can automatically become attuned (if she wishes) with anything that person loves, though this attunement cannot exceed her limit.
To protect love or friendship, an Ofanim may move an extra 2x Agility in yards in Corporeal form, and an extra 2x Perception in yards in Celestial form.
Despite the fact that the Elohim's objectivity is at odds with the inherent subjectivity of love, Sophia has many Elohim in her choir. They miss out on the passionate side of love, but the unifying aspect appeals to their rationality. The Elohim may cause any two people who love each other to set aside selfish desires in order to work better together.
Malakim in the service of Sophia take vows of love very seriously. When a Malakite punishes a betrayed or false promise of love, he does not disrupt the symphony.
Kyriotates can possess twice their forces among hosts who love each other. This can be family members, dog and master, lovers, teacher and pupil, etc.
Mercurians in Sophia's service can discern any impediments to love that a person is feeling towards the people in her life (jealosy, insecurity, rivalry, etc.) Mercurians are charged with resolving these difficulties at least once a day.
Not surprisingly, Sophia has no enemies among celestials. Even Michael, who has no patience for her conciliatory moods, understands that many of his greatest warriors are motivated from love of one kind or another. He and Sophia will never be friends, but there is a mutual respect.
Allies: Blandine, Christopher, Eli, Novalis
Associates: Gabriel, Jordi, Yves
Sophia regards her word as covering all aspects of love. This includes erotic love. She is not embarrassed by sexual desire or union, so long as it is unifying rather than divisive. In other words, as long as sex is love-making, she has no problems with it. About auto-eroticism, she has no opinion at all.
Some of the other angels do, however. Most conventional religions have pretty narrowly defined avenues of sexual expression. Didn't God himself wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah for homosexuality?
No, Sophia replies. The citizens of those cities tried to force their way into Lot's house with the intention of raping his guests, who happened to be Malakim in the service of Dominic. Not wise. The cities were destroyed because they were evil -- Infernal Tethers to the demesne of Andrealphus.
Sophia understands that there is more to the Symphony than love. But that isn't where she offers guidance. She condones loving activities and disapproves of hateful ones. If you want guidance on following rules, she'll direct you to Dominic.
Blandine: "How many dreams are dreams of love? Without Sophia much of the Marches would be desert."
Christopher: "Whenever I get in a jam, I think, what would Sophia do."
David: "I didn't like her at first. Too yielding. Too soft. It took me a century or two to realise that there was a constancy in her more enduring than granite. Strike a marble statue with a hammer, and it'll crack. If there's something that can break Sophia's love for someone, I haven't seen it."
Dominic: "She forgives far too readily, but she doesn't stand in my way when I'm doing my work. I've looked into her: she's doing nothing wrong."
Eli: "We go way, way back. Maybe I'll look her up again."
Gabriel: "She has a feel for the heat of passion. I find her tiresome at times, but I'll always respect her."
Janus: "I don't know, but she's seems to tie people down too much. Do we really need to be burdened down with a lot of emotional baggage in order to get things done?"
Jean: "We're two different sides of the equation. She handles the emotional end. I handle the technological. She provides the motivation, I provide the energy. I don't understand her ways, but they seem to work." Jordi: "She feels towards humans like I feel towards animals. When she talks about the humans she loves, I can almost like them. In addition, she works hard to encourage humans to respect animals for what they are. If nothing else about her won my respect, that does."
Laurence: "I can't imagine trying to run this city without her working to keep tempers down. I don't want to imagine it. She doesn't like me. I understand why. But she always forgives me. We need her."
Marc: "I've got nothing against her or her word. Really. But as an archangel? Come on. We don't need more love. We need better contracts."
Michael: "She's always trying to limit me, and I don't like it. If it weren't for my war, all her nice pretty notions would be deflowered pretty harshly. Without her work, the war wouldn't be worth fighting. I can accept that. But she needs to accept that my work is needed too. And get the hell out of the way."
Novalis: "She's like my role model. If you've got anything bad to say about her, don't say it around me."
Yves: <Nodding sagely> "Ah, Sweet Sophia..."
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