by Kingsley Lintz <email@example.com>
This was inspired by the Boss Smiley from Sandman, "World's End", but ended up well modified (extrapolated, actually, since you only see a bit of him there anyway...) for the In Nomine universe in general, so he should be usable in any campaign that wants him...(I did have the one focused around that Senator in mind a bit - if you want a surprise factor for the campaign, you're welcome to use this one..<gryn>) In any case, mostly for fun, I'd like to introduce you all to...
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" --Edmund Burke
The world is all a give and take. Just be sure you take back anything you have to give away.
The first note regarding Politics is that it is by no means a Demonic invention. Politics is human, and while both Heaven and Hell certainly try to influence it, neither has ever had absolute control...the closest there's been has been the vast political influence of the Pope (though I leave which side he's on to the decision of the individual campaign. <gryn>)
Boss Smiley, however, is out to change that, and that's why he's a Demon Prince. A Habbalite, he believes that if humanity keeps voting in oppressive governments, then they obviously deserve what they get. It's the perfect system for a Punisher; if the criminals choose their own punishment without knowing, the punishment will always fit the crime.
The Boss appears as a human male in a suit, with a large, perfectly spherical head and an overlarge "smiley-face" expression. He had been a Servitor of Kobal, watching over a small section of Shal-Mari...he gave his souls an empty sense of power, letting them buy votes for Essence. None of it was even counted, of course, but people liked to go pull the levers anyway. Kobal found this amusing enough that he mentioned it once to Lucifer...who almost immediately assigned Boss Smiley to work on humanity. After he engineered Reaganomics and influenced Congress to authorize the unlimited funding of something ephermerally termed "Star Wars Research" - a project Vapula had been pushing for for years with no success - Lucifer awarded Smiley with his own Princedom in Hell. Boss Smiley sits in a silver city with gigantic, shroud-wrapped `angelic' figures, behind huge golden gates, the floor constantly covered over by a coating of silvery white smog. The souls of his realm are locked in small rooms where they will not disturb his Serenity and contemplation; they may give up an Essence point to make a vote on whatever poll is passing through that day; those who don't receive electric shocks. Smiley uses the polls to gather some kind of opinions on how people feel about things, and shares them freely with Nybbas...sometimes they yield useful information about the deeper psyche of humanity, though more often they reveal how the ancient Incas might have felt about Watermelon vs. Motor Oil flavored bubblegum.
Perhaps the single most important note I can make about Boss Smiley is that, unlike other Habbalah, he doesn't believe he serves God. He firmly believes he *IS* God.
It is Dissonant for a Servitor of Politics to not take a stand on an issue. Any issue, even if they've never heard about it before. This goes beyond merely having an opinion; they must put forth their opinion and defend it as though the fate of the world rests upon the toppings for today's pizza. Being overruled is all right, of course, though probably annoying.
A Balseraph of Politics may use his Resonance Perceptively to determine what a person WANTS to hear. He can then add his Ethereal Forces to a subsequent roll to convince them of it. They gain no Dissonance if these lies contradict, of course - this is a question of telling a person their own Symphony, not the Balseraph's. (They are, however, still subject to being trapped in what they believe themselves.)
The Stalkers of Politics are nasty, assigned as bodyguards, servants, lovers, etc. of politicians who -aren't- cooperating. They may act as a focus, adding their Celestial Forces to the check digit of any OTHER Demon attempting to use Resonance or an Attunement on a subject the Djinn is Attuned to. If the Djinn is also Attuned to the demon, the Djinn may invoke his Resonance at the same time to directly channel the other's action through themselves. (This primarily has the effect of allowing the Djinn, who presumably is closer, to act for range modifiers...allowing, for example, the Djinn to channel a Servitor of Lust's "Kiss of Death" Attunement while the Djinn is the one having sex with the target..) This can be risky, however; if the Djinn successfully invokes his Resonance with a check digit of 1, he attracts their Resonance but cannot channel it, and is therefore directly affected as the victim instead. Note also that if channeling a Calabite's destruction and the Calabite is resisted, they will get a +2 to their target number if they choose the Djinn for their next try.
Boss Smiley gives his Calabim the subtle ability to focus their Resonance against a group...if they succeed, the gathering will quickly break up as people hurry off to other things, even in the middle of a sentence, their Freedom of Assembly violated. Those who were part of the group targeted will avoid each other a number of minutes equal to the Check Digit. The Resonance is resisted usually by the highest Will in the group, but if there is a clear focus, it falls to them instead, regardless of what their Will is. The Calabite's target number is at -1 for every full ten people targeted, though breaking up an important part of a group can work just as well on the rest. (Note that some circumstances may warrant a bonus to the effective Will of the resistance...such as a squad of riot police who'll be torn to pieces by the mob if they break phalanx.)
The Habbalah of Politics are given an Attunement similar in mechanics to the Calabim; they may use their Resonance to inflict an emotion on a large group, again at -1 per ten people, and again resisted by either the highest Will or the clear focus. If the Habbalite IS the clear Focus, then the highest Will is reduced by the demon's Celestial Forces for purposes of resisting. They're renowned as Hell's greatest orators.
Lilim choosing to serve Politics may add their highest Forces to their Resonance or any seduction attempt focused against a politician, or their lowest Forces for the same against anyone just `involved' (bodyguards, spouses, family, etc.)
The Corruptors of Politics, though possibly redundant, subtract their Celestial Forces from their victim's Will in any attempt they make to guide how their host votes. They may also avoid Dissonance through working to corrupt bills (passing crippling amendments, etc.) or people around them, as well as just making their direct subject do things.
An Impudite of Politics can invoke both Charm and Essence Draim simultaneously, rather than consecutively, doing both in one roll, using the same check digit, through touch (usually a kiss or a handshake). They may also hold -extra- (as in, more than nine) Essence for up to a minute or until their next usage of this Attunement [whichever comes first]. They excel in local politics or as front men.
Demons of this Rank can judge at a glance what general social group a person falls into, with likely insight into their income level, political party, and `social caste'.
A Demon granted this Distinction can, on first touching a subject, determine their position on one subject for every Ethereal Force the Captain has. It will not work on the same target again until their next `meeting' (running into each other again at the same party doesn't count; at another party a week later does, though `meetings' become harder to establish over time.) By `position', this means basically `pro/con', so a Captain of the Polls with 3 Ethereal Forces can determine that the person they just shook hands with is pro-gun control, anti-nukes, and ambivalent on animal rights, but not what their favorite color is.
Boss Smiley's Barons can instantly and automatically cite any statistic for any subject. There's usually at least one source out there to support any position. (To some people, this can be as convincing as Divine Logic. Others know how much statistics reallly mean.)
Allied: Kobal, Nybbas, Vapula
Neutral: All others
'Couple of comments;
Calabim can be really annoying, used well; people can't plot against you if they can't even get together, though breaking up a conference call will get the -2 Check Digit for having to operate through the phone.
The Shedim advantage would be useless in influencing even a local election, unless it was -really- tight...but can be devastating when one gets into a Committee, or in a similar small but powerful group where one vote can make a difference. Their ability to corrupt the things around them makes them a lot harder to track down, which can be vital in the high-profile roles they're often called upon to occupy...the Angels KNOW there are Shedim of Politics floating around Congress, but they're harder to find when you can't just watch for a declining Senator.
If one doesn't mind building up a definite slow-rolling-thunder effect in the Symphony, an Impudite can Charm a room full of important people in a matter of minutes, using the Essence from one to boost the roll for the next...
And note that the "cast the deciding vote" Rite can be pretty hard to set up; it's not just a matter of casting A vote. You have to be voting last, and first there has to be a tie.
And yes, Boss Smiley and Malphas could probably work pretty well together, if they didn't hate each other...but they work in contradictory ways. Boss Smiley relies on building coalitions, while Malphas tears them down. Boss Smiley HATES Malphas.
"ZZ No Mail - dpo (leave)" <firstname.lastname@example.org> suggests:
One comment: given the Lilim resonance for bargaining, I imagine that in Boss Smiley's hierarchy and Word, the Lilim would more likely be the powerbrokers and back-room manipulators than what is given here. The ability to trade political favours, backed by the knowledge that next time you _will_ have the other guy's vote (no matter the issue) is probably going to make the Lilim of Boss Smiley extremely valuable and highly prized if they operate well.
(Back to Demon Princes)