by Casca <firstname.lastname@example.org>
7 each Corporeal, Ethereal, Celestial
All attunements of Stone, Master of Valor (through David's alliance with Michael; the Word of Masada serves War as well as Stone)
Whatever you want. Zuriel is the next best thing to an Archangel, and so should wipe the floor with any PCs who go up against him. Skills and songs having to do with combat will most likely be maxed out. He uses the Celestial Song of Motion/6 to teleport to Masada, should the need arise for him to defend his Tether.
(Yes, I know Zuriel blows the power curve all to Hell. This is intentional; he's had Earth duty for over two thousand years. He is a badass, as befits his word; two Master-level distinctions should help drive that point home. If played properly, he will annihilate any PC group that goes up against him. He's not meant to be a direct adversary; play him like a scaled-down David.)
"The world outnumbers us 2.5 billion to one. We may not win, but we'll put up a fight they'll not soon forget."
Zuriel is a rarity among Wordbound: a Seneschal who has managed to expand his Word to encompass more than just the Tether he guards. He was originally assigned by David to aid the Jews' fight for independence from Syria during the Hasmonean Revolt (167-142 BC). To this end, he encouraged the leader of the rebellion, Jonathan, to build the mountain fortress of Masada. Zuriel was instrumental in its design, and brought all of his attunements to bear during its construction. His goal was to create a defensive masterpiece, a fortress that could hold out under an assault from overwhelming odds. The resultant design was impressive enough to draw the attention of David himself, and Zuriel became the permanent caretaker of Masada. In 63 BC the Romans conquered Judea, and King Herod reinforced the fortress in 40 BC.
In 66 AD, a band of Jewish zealots called the Sicarii (dagger-men) started a revolt in Judea and seized Herod's fortresses to hold out against the Roman armies. One of these fortresses was Masada, and it was at this time that it was put to its truest test: besieged by an entire Roman legion, its defenders numbered a few hundred. The Romans could not take Masada by force; they had to resort to starving the defenders out. The defenders held out for seven years. They committed suicide rather than starve or surrender the fortress. It was this act of final defiance, holding out against impossible odds for so long a time, that turned Masada into a Tether of Stone. Zuriel was its first Seneschal.
The spirit of Masada lives on in Israel. Recruits within the Israeli army regularly go there to swear an oath that "Masada will not fall again." It is this spirit of defiance, remembered and respected, that has swelled Zuriel's power. He is no longer simply the Angel of Masada; his word encompasses any defensive struggle against odds so overwhelming as to be impossible. He fought alongside Davy Crockett at the Alamo; he was there at the Battle of Rourke's Drift in South Africa. He doesn't care which side he fights on, as long it furthers his Word and the cause of Heaven; his job is to be a soldier, not a politician.
David has his eye on Zuriel, who has shown considerable savvy in expanding the scope of his Word beyond a simple Tether. He has the potential to make Archangel within the next thousand years.
This attunement is a refinement of the Malakim of Stone attunement. It is an act of heroic sacrifice, staying behind to guard a bridge or cover a retreat so that others may escape, leaving the angel to fight off the enemy forces singlehandedly. When activated, the Servitor of Masada becomes rooted to the spot; he cannot be moved or knocked off his feet, regardless of how many enemies mob him. When used in a strategic area, it becomes virtually impassable. There are only three ways to circumvent a place defended by a Warrior's Stand: go around it (such as NC: Wings or Celestial form), destroy the area in which the Stand is active, or slay the Servitor. The effects of this attunement lasts until death: either the angel triumphs against impossible odds, or is slain by his enemies. Angels who die in this manner do not suffer Trauma, as the use of this attunement furthers the Word of Masada.
Allied: David, Michael, Laurence
As one might expect, Zuriel is on good terms with the war faction. His word appeals to all three: David for defense, Michael for bloody conflict, and Laurence for the heroics inherent in Warrior's Stand. As such, the Word of Masada is more ecumenical than most, accepting Servitors from the Archangels of Stone, War, and the Sword.
Associated: Blandine, Yves
Zuriel's association with Destiny is not unexpected; many lost cause' battles have led, even in defeat, to a greater good being achieved. His tie to Blandine is a bit more unusual, since it hinges on the spiritual meaning of his Word, rather than literal. Still, lost causes have a romantic appeal to them, and the gallant imagery of doomed, stoic patriotism in the face of certain death has inspired a good many dreams.
Hostile: Marc, Novalis
Zuriel considers Marc a sellout who is more concerned with commercialism than winning the war; Novalis he simply disagrees with.
[Zur, being the kind of guy he is, intended these to be purely physical. But note that the Rites don't -require- physical conflict, just a struggle against overwhelming odds. (Ironically, Mercurians of War serving Masada gain essence by preventing a fight, if the odds are stacked against their negotiations being successful.)
Remember how I said he'd make Archangel within a thousand years?
In order for that to happen, he needs to realize that other forms of conflict
are just as important as warfare. When he does, his Word will encompass
all Lost Causes Fought Nobly, and that'll put him in AA range. --Casca,
commenting on the last Rite of Zuriel's]
(Back to Angels)
(Back to Angels By Superior)