I've been having so much fun recently serving Peril that I thought that I'd post up my version of Mephistopheles for perusal. Its not an ego trip, I know that many of you will have better such write ups, but it works for me :) I just thought that I might be able to milk you all for some better ideas...
Note that this write up does not allow for Faustian Redemption. If you want to go for that but still use this, then you'd just need to tinker with the history as I've writen it. I just sat down reading the funky Dictionary of Angels one day and thought that this seemed appropriate. (Especially as I was about to run No Dinero from H&H.)
Please see the comments at the end also.
Prince of Peril
The world is fraught with danger, one wrong step can send you tumbling into the Abyss.
Mephistopheles was once a valued servant of Zadkiel. He had been assigned to earth to protect humanity from the depredations of demons in the years following the Casting Out of the Grigori. Whereas his vigour and enthusiasm in fighting the Host's enemies was exemplary, his interaction with humanity was less so. The more that Mephistopheles dealt with humans the more he found them to be treacherous, despicable little beings, not worthy of God's adoration. The thought that God's special creations were flawed was greatly disturbing... As time passed he began to have serious doubts as to whether or not fighting his fallen kin in efforts to save mankind was the best course of action. He also wondered if the Word of Safety to which he aspired was perhaps not at all suited to a seraph. It was in such a jaded state that Mephistopheles one day encountered Belial wreaking havoc in the mortal world. Belial recognised the seeds of doubt within Mephistopheles and decided that he would be a valuable addition to hell (and an even better servant). Belial claimed that as a seraph in pursuit of the truth, should Mephistopheles not at least listen to the arguments of the other side? What if for example, he had only come to believe what God told him was the truth? Thus, Belial arranged for Mephistopheles to speak with Lucifer so that he might understand the demons' viewpoint a little more clearly, and the wayward angel, ignoring all that he had ever believed in and aspired to, set about his path of damnation. Lucifer's oratory was too strong for him. He questioned his existence, he questioned truth, and he questioned God. With that, he fell. Lucifer seemed to pay an interest in the fledgling demon and stayed well informed of his activities enquiring of Belial occasionally how his new servitor fared. Belial replied that although Mephistopheles was quite original and inventive, he was very disappointing as his destructive endeavours left rather too much to chance. Belial was thus keen to trade him on, and he did so to Lucifer himself who proceeded to charge Mephistopheles with acquiring the soul of a particularly arrogant sorcerer whom the dark prince desired. When Mephistopheles succeeded with a distinction, he craved a boon from Lucifer, a Word that was opposite to the one that he had originally sought to aspire to; Safety. Lucifer not only gave him the Word of Peril, but crowned him a prince also...
Mephistopheles is something of a rarity in Hell. Although he has no real friends or allies, there are likewise no princes actively hostile toward him. This is perhaps because most other princes see Mephistopheles' Word as working at least somehow in harmony with theirs. Even Saminga (although, like Belial, he does feel that Mephistopheles leaves too much to chance).
He does however, have one enemy; Asmodeus. The Djinn of the Game openly dislikes and distrusts Mephistopheles. Perhaps he feels that one who embodies danger is to be viewed as especially dangerous himself. Or perhaps it is the fact that Mephistopheles is virtually ignored (or 'overlooked' as Asmodeus puts it) by the other princes that is of concern. He seems to be content to take a back seat away from the machinations of his peers, and this naturally leads Asmodeus to believe that he is up to something. Asmodeus has planted several spies within Mephistopheles' camp to bring forth condemning evidence as quickly as possible. So far, none has been forthcoming, and several of these servants have since learnt the true meaning of danger.
Mephistopheles is a balseraph. When he appears in a mortal form he takes pains to ensure that he is not viewed as threatening, which is of course to instil a false sense of security (he has appeared as a monk, a jester, and a black spaniel for example).
He and his servitors dwell in an inaccessible icy wilderness in Stygia. It is always darkest night in his realm with a dim suffusion of moonlight cast by an absent moon.
Raging blizzards obscure vision, hiding bottomless ravines and chasms. Avalanches are an ever present threat, and precarious rope bridges are often the only way forward.
At the summit of treacherous mountains lies the castle of the Prince of Peril. Inside, are even greater hazards than presented by the surrounding terrain. All manner of ingenious traps and pitfalls lie in wait for the souls of the damned who in life jeopardised others with recklessness or callous disregard. Some of the more insidious of these traps are rumoured to deposit intruders/undesirables into particularly lethal situations in other domains...
It is dissonant for servants of Mephistopheles to help a human in danger. Pretending to help is fine, so long as the outcome is not affected positively.
Balseraphs serving peril are adept at convincing people that something that is downright dangerous is in fact perfectly safe. They may add their celestial forces to any attempt at using their resonance to promote this.
Djinn of peril are considered to have a check digit of 6 on a resonance roll when the object of their attunement actually *is* in danger.
These demons may apply their resonance on a timed fuse, so that their destruction is basically an accident waiting to happen. Such examples include fraying lift cables, loosening rivets on construction sites, rotting the rungs on ladders etc. The timer has a maximum setting equal to 7 minus the check digit in minutes, +1 per essence spent. Note that many calabites are too impatient to use their resonance in this way. They want to destroy and they want to now!!!
These exploiters of insecurity are able to impose their resonance more resolutely upon victims who are in emotional danger, e.g. A spurned lover, somebody on the verge of a nervous breakdown, etc. Subtract the demon's celestial forces from their victim's will roll.
Lilim serving peril can elect to up the stakes with their resonance. After completing a victims wish, she can offer *double or quits*. If the victim agrees then she flips a coin. Victim's call. If he wins he owes the lilim nothing. She has permanently lost out on the deal, gains a note of dissonance, and may not bother the victim again in any way with regard to that favour, although the dissonance, as usual, can be erased if she later successfully geases that victim with another favour. If the lilim wins however, then she is owed an extra favour at the same level as the one due her, and when she eventually calls in these favours (which are cumulative as usual) the victim gets no will roll to resist!
Shedites use their hosts to endanger themselves, and/or others, with their evil acts being cleverly staged to look like the direst of accidents. Consequently, to the befuddled host the disasters occurring at his hands simply seem to be unavoidable bad luck. The hosts get no bonuses to their perception rolls for the duration of the shedite's stay.
Peril's impudites are adrenaline junkies. They love danger and more importantly they love people in danger! The rush of essence that comes from such a person is like nectar to these demons. They have no need to charm any such person before tapping them for essence, and generate no dissonance if the victim dies in the accident. Sure,it's a waste, but fate is harsh. These fellows are often found in roles as the longest standing members of dangerous sports clubs.
911 is a joke
At the cost of one essence, all phones within a radius equal to the total forces of the demon in yards fail to work when dialling 911 or any such emergency number for a duration in minutes equal to the demon's celestial forces. The radius of effect can be increased by spending extra essence, multiplying total forces by essence spent. Whether or not this affects relevant artifacts or abilities such as the cherubim of lightning's servitor attunement is GM's discretion. Give any caller one d666 roll (regardless of how many times he tries to call) with a 111 not only connecting but no doubt bringing an ofanite of Zadkiel, and a 666 could well put you through to an operator who happens to be a very suggestive lilim...
The Negative Principle
When this attunement is invoked, the demon causes 'bad luck' to temporarily strike a victim. The demon spends from 1 to 6 points of essence and makes a Will roll. The victim then also makes a Will roll (celestials add their celestial forces). If this roll fails, then the check digit is added to the demon's ethereal forces and this is the duration in rounds of the attunement. During this time, the victim subtracts from all rolls the number of essence that the demon has spent. If the victim's roll was successful, then the demon is unable to try again against that victim for a number of days equal to the successful check. If the check digit is a 6 however, then cosmic law has also rebounded upon the demon, and he himself suffers the attunement for that many rounds!
Knight of Accidents
The demon is able to turn potentially hazardous situations into definite ones with a glance. The truck parked on a slope with its handbrake on and engine running suddenly starts careering off towards the school crossing... The pan of oil left on a low light suddenly flares up... 'Gee, isn't the ice a little too thin for skating this year..?'.
Captain of Catastrophes
With a glance, the demon is able to disable alarm systems, smoke detectors and the like. This disablement lasts for a number of minutes equal to the demon's corporeal forces.
Baron of Reckless Endangerment
Barons serving Mephistopheles are able to make people oblivious to danger. Depending on the victim's personality, this might be defined as blissful ignorance, or sheer pig-headedness; the ' nothing'll happen to me' approach. With a successful will roll, the victim must then make a perception roll (celestials may add their celestial forces) in order to see through the demon's ruse or they will not recognise the situation for what it is. For example, the demon might just offer you a smoke when you happen to be filling the car with gas, or he might convince you that the double diamond slopes are good for ski-ing on even though you've only had one lesson. If the victim becomes damaged by the incident he'll 'snap out of it' instantly. By then however, it may just be somewhat too late...
Allied: No one
Associated: Baal, Belial, Kronos, Kobal
Hostile: No one
Place at least one mortal life in danger
Place a mortal soul at risk (+2 essence)
CHANCE OF INVOCATION: 3
+1 A child's cheap imported toy
+2 An empty fire extinguisher
+3 A tourist in the bad part of town
+4 A building with faulty wiring
+5 A workplace that blatantly ignores safety regulations
+6 A mortal willing to make a pact with Hell.
Now; the points that I'm still not all too sure work that well are the Lilim resonance, and the Negative Principle attunement. I also thought originally of the bal's having some form of limited danger sense or making that another servitor attunement, but couldn't figure the best way to do it.
-- Jules - Still Skating on Thin Ice firstname.lastname@example.org
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