I've made up my mind--don't confuse me with facts.
Whenever someone spouts off on a subject they don't understand; whenever someone refuses to listen to facts that contradict their beliefs; whenever someone makes an important decision solely on the basis of their prejudices, Ascetus smiles.
Ascetus has held her position since the Middle Ages, when the seat was unexpectedly vacated. Her suggestion of a set of trials-by-ordeal for witches (which would incidentally kill the innocent) amused Lucifer enough to promote the then-servant of Malphas to her current status.
Since then, she has experienced several ups and downs in her career, mostly following the cycles of history; periods of enlightenment tend to be followed by periods of superstition. Fortunately, fighting ignorance takes effort, and left to its own devices humanity will take the path of least resistance. In recent years television and the Internet have been very, very good to her...
Ascetus is a Balseraph, who prefers the form of a tall, somewhat haughty matron (think of Margaret Dumont in the Marx Brothers movies). She is not the most pleasant company, due to her tendency to take and hold a strong position. (Very few realize that she chooses her position to manipulate others; frequently she takes a position similar to that of her target, but opposite to her own, and acts so annoying that her target changes his mind just to spite her.)
She is somewhat flexible with her servitors due to a basic contradiction: she needs to promote ignorance, but ignorant servitors are seldom worth it. Therefore, exceptions are made. Her approach has carried over from her days serving Malphas; she prefers her servants to work through words, although manipulating others into action has its points.
Ignorance does not promote a specific position; it is served by strong but inflexible and context-ignorant positions, and can be served by either or both sides of an issue. Ascetus she favors any idea or view that is not supported by some degree of serious thought, comparison to the real world, or personal experience. Strong opinions by themselves ("I like Macs better than PCs") are not her domain, but strong opinions that lead to actions, preferably independently of the thought process, are ("Anyone who disagrees with me is clearly a fool, so I will verbally abuse any PC user I encounter.")
It is dissonant for a servitor of Ascetus to correct any belief that goes against the facts, or to promote education or enlightenment.
Balseraphs of Ascetus are the ultimate spreaders of disinformation. If they are caught in a contradiction when using their Resonance, they may make another Resonance roll to convince the target that the source of the contradictory information is wrong. ("Are you going to believe that census data that comes from the liars in Washington, or an honest American like me?")
Ascetus' Djinn may inflate the views of those to whom they are attuned, changing a mild dislike into a raging prejudice or a mild suspicion into a firmly-held belief, for a number of hours equal to their Ethereal Forces.
The Calabim of Ignorance have a unique Rite: they gain 1 Essence for destroying an important and unique piece of information (the only copy of an important scientific breakthrough, the one piece of physical evidence which would mean an automatic acquittal/conviction in a murder trial...).
A Lilim of Ascetus may use her Resonance to determine a target's self-delusions. On a successful roll, she may add her Check Digit to the next roll that would reinforce those delusions (e.g., Seduction vs. someone who thinks he's God's gift to women).
A Shedim of Ignorance may add his Ethereal Forces to his Will when forcing their victim to do something that is in line with their beliefs but exceeds the level of action they would usually take (for example, when driving a passive racist to burn a church).
Ascetus' Impudites may add their Ethereal Forces towards their Charm when convincing someone that they are of like mind, and their Celestial Forces when stealing Essence from someone who's already convinced they're of like mind.
While active, this power prevents anyone from changing their mind despite evidence to the contrary. Only blatant contradiction can penetrate this effect ("Angels don't exist" when one is in Celestial form right in front of them), and even then it takes a Will roll before they believe the evidence over their own preconceptions.
This power has a range in yards equal to the user's Celestial Forces, and lasts for 3 minutes for each Essence spent to activate it.
The demon can cause a target to forget a specific piece of information. This requires a Contest of Will vs. the target's Perception; the demon may spend Essence to add to his will. The check digit determines the type of information that can be erased:
|Check Digit||Information Lost|
|1||Something minor in short-term memory (a name or phone number just heard)|
|2||Something major in short-term memory (the just-heard time and place of a meeting)|
|3||Something minor in medium/long-term memory (the phone number at work; your spouse's middle name)|
|4||Something major in medium/long-term memory (the exit to get to your parents' house; the password to your AOL account)|
|5||Something minor in long-term memory (the name of your first-grade teacher)|
|6||Something major in long-term memory (your wedding anniversary; the Pythagorean Theorem)|
Information lost in this way will be "on the tip of your tongue" or misremembered in such a way as to be useless. The target can be reminded of it, but must make a Will roll; the information is not retained until a successful roll is made.
At a touch, the demon can distinguish between views the subject holds which are backed by serious thought or facts, and those which are knee-jerk reactions.
This rank gives the ability to sense any superstitions a subject has, as well as any information they are proud of not knowing ("I'll be in my grave before I learn to use a computer!").
The Captain can spend one Essence and touch a target to cause them to perceive events in a way consistent with their world-view. (For example, the black activist hears the white traffic cop using racial slurs, whether he is or not, while the racist cop hears the black motorist giving him attitude, whether he is or not.) This affects the target's actual senses, and lasts while the target is within a number of yards of the demon equal to its Celestial Forces.
Ascetus doesn't personally get along very well with anyone but Malphas, whose Word compliments hers nicely. However, many demons are helped by Ignorance, so they attempt to maintain cordial relations.
Allied: Malphas, Nybbas
Associated: Beleth, Kobal, Valefor
Hostile: Asmodeus, Baal, Kronos, Vapula (sometimes; see below)
Chance of Invocation: 2
Clarifications of Ascetus' relationship with other Princes:
Andrealphus is currently unhappy with her because of her opposition to AIDS prevention and safe-sex information. He believes that superstitious dread of AIDS has a chilling effect on the lust.
Baal is mostly opposed to her as a spillover of her friendship with Malphas, although Ignorance serves his goals.
Malphas is by far her closest ally, due to the close relationship of their Words. They frequently coordinate activities on Earth, with Ascetus laying the groundwork and Malphas fanning the flames.
Nybbas: As mentioned above, the Internet and television have been very good to Ascetus, and Ignorance has helped fuel the spread of the electronic Media in exchange. She is somewhat wary of him personally, however; she tries to avoid too deep a reliance on his services.
Saminga has decided that he is somewhat positive towards Ascetus because Andrealphus doesn't like her (and her fight against safe-sex information only helps him).
Vapula has an on/off relationship with her. While her Word would probably be best-served by reducing humanity to a bunch of savages crouching around a fire, she's been forced to accept that technology is here to stay. She's been trying to change perspective and promote a view of technology that lacks wisdom, rather than a straight Luddite view, but it's not easy.
Archangels: If the GM is using them, the Archdean and Beth are both *bitter* enemies to Ascetus! Ascetus feels that several of the more hardline Archangels, such as David, Laurence, and Dominic, are doing as much to serve her Word as she is.
NOTE: Ascetus was created before I saw the writeup on Astaroth on the Web page. We've used different interpretations of what "Ignorance" means; you can use either one you prefer. Ascetus could also be worked without too much trouble into the demon of Prejudice, although she probably wouldn't be a Princess then but a highly-placed servitor of Malphas.
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