Confessionals, the Pure of Heart

By: Kingsley Lintz (

[There's been some discussion that the reason Malakim don't Fall -- is because they're already there. Therefore, this gives the potential for the darkest Choir to go...Bright.]

I paced madly back and forth across the room. I knew my eyes were burning with frustration, and I was beginning to twitch a bit. Alright, okay, the others had a POINT...if we just ran over and kicked down the door, she'd be dead before we got to the demons, and Val'd be hurting with the dissonance for that...but if we didn't do SOMETHING soon, I could feel a note going sour in me just for sitting on our duffs this long.

That's when the door opened. I know because it interruped my train of thought when it almost smacked into my nose, and when my thoughts get going, they're hard to knock aside. I opened my mouth to swear at the idiot room service klutz who didn't see our sign, but it turned into a gape. The woman across the door from me was no room service. She was...beautiful. I've seen Andre's Lilim, and they're cute, but not beautiful. Beauty's still on our side. I couldn't describe her more than that; it just hit me that THIS is what a force of good is all about.

She stepped half over the threshold and kissed my forehead. I swear. Then she smiled and said, "It's all right, friend," and left.

I just went back into the room and sat down, feeling...good. I've

NEVER been that relaxed. Not even hurtling through a canyon at 150.

The `Bonakim', or Bright Malakim, are virtually unheard of; the rare interactions with them have left powerful impressions on those they've touched, but such contact has usually been brief - the prevailing, mistaken, opinion among those few who know enough to FORM an opinion is that they must be some unique creature of Yves.

Forgiving and kind, the Bonakim give the Seraphim a definite run for `most holy'. They're the freest of the Choirs...or Bands, for that matter...and represent God's Mercy.

Resonance: The Bonakim Resonance can forgive someone for an action or happening, clearing both the subject's mind and the Symphony of all guilt for their check digit in hours. The check digit also determines the import of what they can forgive.

1- Can alleviate feelings of guilt over something entirely beyond the subject's control. (eg. "If I'd only been there, this never would have happened.")

2- Can alleviate feelings of guilt over something under the subject's control, but necessary in the subject's view. (eg. "You don't understand..I HAD to do it." "Actually, I DO understand...and it's alright.")

3- May forgive Superior Dissonance (eg. an Angel of War may retreat, and one of Dominic may overlook heresy.)

4- Temporarily remove the effects of all non-Celestial Discord. They will still be visible on the subject's Celestial form, but will appear...muted.

5- May forgive Choir/Band Dissonance (eg. a Seraphim may lie for the duration, or a Cherub may betray a devotion.); or forgive a mortal for something they did wrong but have repented for.

6- Temporarily remove the effects of all Discord, including Celestial, and also remove it's visible appearance on the subject's Celestial form; or forgive a mortal before those he has wronged, in such a way that they, too, will forgive him. All must be present.

Dissonance: Speaking of which...

If a Bonakim fails in his Resonance roll, and the subject then commits the action anyway, the Bonakim gains Dissonance as well. Their Dissonance may NEVER be converted into Discord; instead, when they fail in a Dissonance roll, all of their current Dissonance converts immediately to an Oath, of which the first two are always the Malakim Oaths. When the Bonakim has four such chains enwrapping his soul, his Celestial Form darkens and he becomes a Malakim again - the Oaths do NOT take effect until that time, however, except to act as Celestial Discord whenever the Bonakim would regenerate Essence.

Manner and Appearance:

The Bonakim are graceful and beautiful, in all forms. Their Celestial forms are of a gentle glow in humanoid form, with gossamer wings shimmering faintly behind them. Their human forms usually have Charisma, but dress with a simple taste.

Several of the other Choirs distrust them; all Servitors of Judgment consider them dangerous, whatever they are, while Seraphim claim to find them inherently dishonest. (Mercurian quips that Seraphim are jealous are met with cold stares.)

The Bonakim don't see themselves so much as instruments, as they do repairmen, fixing the dents, tuning the strings, and tightening the skins of those who truly make the Symphony happen.

And, just incidentally, they call themselves the Kapharim. {At least, I think that's right; I did enough research to get it as a term for `atonement', translating more literally to `covering over', but I can make no serious claims to knowing the language.}

Game Mechanics:

Their Resonance roll is Will based, minus the subject's current total Dissonance.

They can use their Resonance in two ways; ahead of time, or after the fact. Granting their forgiveness ahead of time is stronger, allowing the subject to perform actions they normally couldn't without qualms, but, of course, requires knowing more or less what and when you're going to be doing something. Granting forgiveness after the fact will temporarily alleviate the effects, at least internally, of what has been done, but for a more permanent removal further steps will have to be taken. As they say, it's easier to get forgiveness than permission...but permission keeps you out of more trouble in the long run. The psychological impacts are usually more firmly alleviated by later forgiveness, especially in mortals, however.

Note that removed effects return at the end of the duration; avoided ones are completely avoided. (eg. a Seraph of Michael has retreated from battle and attained a point of Dissonance; the Bonakim can forgive that for a few hours if need be, but it'll come back. If, going into an overwhelming battle, the Bonakim calms the Seraph and forgives him then, the Dissonance will never even be attained. In the story example above, the Ofanite simply won't gain Dissonance while his team spends the next few hours planning...)

It's also worth keeping in mind that to most Bonakim, becoming a Malakim again is an absolutely terrifying prospect. They will be EXTREMELY unlikely to ever again risk Forgiving a person who has gained them Dissonance once.

If they have failed to forgive Discord and that Discord comes up and is not successfully resisted (whether their resistance fails, or they just go with it) within the duration (5 or 6 hours) of the Bonakim's failed roll, the Bonakim also gains Dissonance. This combined with Discord's effect on their Resonance makes them particularly reluctant to Forgive those who have it, though they -DO NOT- have the automatic disdain for Angels with Discord that most have.

**Special** - Bonakim may purchase, for 3 points per Level with a maximum of Level/3, a type of Charisma that applies across the board, including all Vessels and their Celestial Form. On the down side, it also functions as an Aura Discord of equal level, though not, of course, being considered `discord' for social purposes.

Superior Attunements (at least, theoretically; most of the Superiors don't know these are even possible either...)

Blandine: Blandine's Pure of Heart, by their nature, -cannot- be within Beleth's realm. Any Dream they enter is automatically, barring Intervention, transported to Blandine's side of the Marches, and will remain there so long as the Bonakim stays. Unfortunately, they're very easy to find; others may add the Bonakim's Ethereal Forces to any attempts to spot them.

David: Can use their Resonance to Forgive the misunderstandings within a group of people for a number of hours equal to the check digit of their roll. This is essentially the opposite of Imbroglio, and the two invoked together will cancel out.

Dominic: Wouldn't touch them with a ten foot Inquisitor.

Eli: Eli's Bonakim have -no- Dissonance mechanics, being unbeholden to the actions of others.

Gabriel: With purifying Flame, may burn out one Discord (of any Level, but only one Discord per use) from a subject; this costs both the Bonakim and the subject all of their Essence (meaning both must be `full' - and this applies to the 23-Force Angel of Munchkins just as much as any 4-Force Reliever with Discord), followed by a Will roll minus the Level of the Discord. If the roll succeeds, the Discord is gone; if it fails, the subject loses one Force, of the same type as the targeted Discord. (If the subject wishes, they may resist with their own Will roll from the beginning, but obviously, only -before- the Bonakim has made the attempt; if the resistance roll is successful, the Bonakim can't infuse them with the Flame.) This power can only be used when both are in Celestial form.

Janus: Has none, which may be telling...

Jean: For 1 Essence, they can create an odd device (that looks like the PKE detector from _Ghostbusters_); lasting for 1 minute per Ethereal Force, it can scan a human and determine whether their soul is currently balanced towards Heaven or Hell. The scanning takes about a minute as well.

Jordi: Jordi's Bonakim have the odd attunement towards domesticated animals, of any species. They're easily the most urban of his Servitors, and usually spend more time Forgiving dogs their devotion to their Masters than they do Forgiving humans or Angels anything.

Laurence: Doesn't believe in them, and would consider any rumors about `Bright Malakim' to be a personal insult.

Marc: The Bonakim of Marc can spot automatically those toiling involuntarily under the yoke of another..and this includes Geases. They may break ordinary contracts by spending 1 Essence (with all dramatic effects - signatures vanish, photocopies halfway around the world fade to blank paper, etc), and may even break Geases, whether invoked or not, by spending Essence equal to the Geas Level and then making their Resonance roll. Self-imposed Geases (such as those of a Free Lilim, or otherwise taken upon oneself rather than imposed) simply cannot be broken, however.

Michael: Have a special feel for the horrors of War, gaining a +2 to their Check Digit on any attempt to forgive something done in the heat of battle. (Obviously, this doesn't apply to granting Permission; "I think I'm going to get over-excited and bite his ear off" doesn't cut it.) With a Check Digit of 7 or 8, they may permanently Forgive Dissonance gained in this way.

Novalis: Novalis may actually BE one of these, and not the Cherub she's usually considered. (Wouldn't David be just tickled?) Her Bonakim do NOT subtract the Level of a Discord they're Forgiving from their roll, and can, after the fact, -permanently- remove any harmful internal effects (Dissonance, guilt) engendered in pure self defence (even after the fact!), provided a full confession is made to them within one day per Ethereal Force possessed by the Bonakim. However, with that one exception, they CANNOT Forgive violence and the direct results thereof.

Yves: If a confession is made to a Bonakim of Yves, they will know whether it is truly sincere or not; if it is, their Resonance roll can be counted as an automatic success with a check digit equal to their Celestial Forces.

[Just for the final note - somewhere in the back of my head are bubbling the Hamadhim, the Covetors, as Malakim who have managed to break free of their Vows and join the dark side of the maybe I'll get the chance to finish that thought up and propose them as well...]

(Back to New Choirs and Bands)