(Created by Alex Yeager)
Stropharial: I have a question, Master.
Yves: And you seek my understanding.
S: I have been studying the record of Mastema.
Y: I can appreciate your confusion. He holds a unique position among the angelic host.
S: It would seem that his Word is...incompatible with our Goals.
Y: And yet he is honored in Dominic's sight, and valued by the Hosts.
S: How can one who causes the righteous to suffer-
Y: Not only the righteous. Many evil men, from kings to slaves, have also felt his power.
S: But why the righteous? Look at the example of Moses...
Y: Yes. A fine example of his worth, and one that many of the Host doubted at first.
S: Did he truly try to kill Moses?
Y: He caused Moses to be attacked, with the intent to kill him. The difference is subtle, but vital. I have often wondered why the Biblical record leaves out the entire story, except for that oblique reference in Exodus...
S: But, because of his power supposedly manifested at the hands of the pharoah's sorcerers, the events were put into motion that led to the slaughter of thousands of innocent Egyptians!
Y: And because he strengthened the pharaoh's resolve against Moses, the slaughter of the Egyptian firstborn could have been avoided?
S: All those people...not all of them were evil...
Y: No, they were not. But Moses had a Destiny unlike any that had been seen before him, and Mastema's assistance provided the proper impetus to cause his Destiny - and the Destinies of so many of his people - to be achieved.
S: But why is Injustice necessary?
Y: Why should Laurence use hammer, anvil and fire to forge his swords? Because certain Destinies must be forged from adversity. We cannot allow the Fallen to create tests that are beyond a human's ability to overcome; nor can we neglect their potential by lack of encouragement on our part. Mastema has executed his Word since the Fall with judicious restraint and with few failures, and his respect amongst the Angelic is as great as the hatred and fear he causes in the Infernal.
S: I confess I still do not fully understand...and I do not envy his burden.
Y: Mastema has felt the squirming insides of many a demon, many a Fate...I do not envy him that. But he has also touched the greatest Destinies that humanity has known. That...that is something that even Archangels cherish.
Mastema is a Cherub, an angel who predates the Fall. At the conclusion of the First War, Mastema pleaded with the Higher Powers that there could be a need for demons to be used, and Mastema was granted the Song of Possession (there is speculation that he may have been one of the original wielders of this Song) and the Forces necessary to possess a sizable percentage of the newly Fallen. (Tradition states that he was given power over one tenth of the Demonic Host.) Due to his success at defending his Word and the explosion of demons, many of relatively weak power, he today can possess and manipulate a much larger percentage of the Infernal.
He is very powerful (probably in the 30-40 Forces range), but not an Archangel; a loner, his nature is to remain in the field, performing tasks at the request of Dominic and, on occasion, Yves. (Yves and Mastema are very close, which is odd from a personality standpoint, less so from his history of destiny encouragement. Novalis and Eli find his methodology distasteful; most others are neutral to supportive.)
On the Infernal side, he is universally hated, with servitors across the board having borne the brunt of his machinations. In particular, Kronos will personally intervene if any of his servitors report evidence of Mastema's interference.
Mastema can directly possess a human or celestial to fulfill a task, or will use his Songs of Targeting (see below) to direct a certain demon to interfere with a life. He will ultimately be protective of a human with a bright Destiny (and is developing towards its fulfillment). For Fated humans, or those actively working with Infernals, he will still attune to them in order to strengthen their resolve and abilities, and simply remove the attunement (yes, is Will IS that high) when the desired fall from power has been achieved. He is absolutely convinced in the appropriateness of his means, and the only thing that has changed in the intervening years is the strengthening of his contempt and cold disregard for the Infernal and Fated it is his job to manipulate. (Think Jesuit dominatrix with no safewords for the Fated/Fallen.)
Typical plot hook: A group of PCs have been assigned to Mastema for a mission. Their job is to support the friends and family of a person who is being manipulated by Mastema in order to remove him from some position of influence (CEO, scoutmaster, etc.) The PCs will watch the elder angel systematically destroy every good and helpful thing in the target's life, with behaviors in the target's life becoming increasingly extreme (abuse, drug use, lawbreaking, etc.) without any repercussions due to Mastema's "protection". As the target's support system falls away (with the requisite consolation and intervention from the PCs), there should be some questions raised about the justification of Mastema's actions. The "successful" completion on the adventure should leave the PCs a bit reflective on the methodology sometimes employed by Heaven.
Random Overview of Abilities - Mastema has the Song of Possession at autosuccess levels for most beings a PC group would generally encounter. Other Songs include the Shields set, the Charm set, Targeting set (see below), Ethereal Light, and Celestial Harmony. He has the Cherubim, Ofanim, Elohim and Malakim of Dominic attunements, as well as Incarnate Law and Heavenly Judgment. On the Destiny side, he has Divine Destiny, Divine Logic (useful for justifying his actions) and the Cherubim attunement. He also has Zadkiel's Succor attunement (and others as plots may require/GM's discretion).
Corporal: Can cause a person engaged in a physical attack within Es yds. (whether random or not) to refocus their attentions on the target for min. equal to the check digit rolled.
Ethereal: Can create a "false positive" in a resonance used on the target for Es hrs. Replace the check digit of the resonance roll with the song's check digit and defined result (Note that this is NOT reactive; this "programs" a target for a SPECIFIC result if a SPECIFIC choir/band resonance is attempted. Use GM discretion for enhanced resonance effects, especially if known ahead of time which enhancement will be faced.)
Celestial: Nullifies a celestial barrier for a single effect (would prevent a single-ability protective relic from working, or allow a single effect to pass through Celestial Shields) The check digit signifies the success in dropping the protection (6+ = completely nullified), with the target vulnerable to that effect for Es hrs. Disturbance (for all): check digit
Suggestions/comments are, as always, encouraged/appreciated. Alex Yeager YeagerAW@Maritz.com MIB 0230/FoL/INWO Local 23
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