Disclaimer: Nothing I write is ever canon, unless it makes its way in that general direction through sheer coincidence and a good deal of luck. I do not own Heaven and Hell, so what I write may be further inconsistant with what is out there then what I would like. I've been so busy writing fiction, I just haven't gotten to the hobby shop. I also do not use any additional Superiors in my campaign as a general rule, although a servitor of Fleurity has shown up. The originals are complicated enough without adding to the mess.
Before I can ever start in on the politics of the Demon Princes and their respective organizations, I have to talk about the role of the Lilim. They aren't just prized for their ability to stand around and look good, although that may be a part of it. No one anywhere is better at mediation, contract negotiations, or finding the flaws in a deal better then a Lilim. Whether it's coming to the table to settle some dispute between Princes or dealing with an internal squabble, no one else can sit down, look at the Needs of both parties, and come to a conclusion on what would be a fair set of concessions for both sides. Their inclinations toward Free Will tend to make the most even handed of all deals, and their tendancies toward freedom make them often neutral negotiators. More then anyone else, the Lilim have kept the peace between the Princes for millenia, holding the politics to a game of tensions and terrorist acts instead of all out conflict. Even in Heaven, they can out- negotiate the best of Marc's or Michael's Mercurians, using their natural advantage to sense what is Needed instead of what people want.
There are problems, of course. Lilim are very very rare. And worse, they tend to work on contract instead of being loyal servitors, so they can't be trusted to make deals that don't help themselves or their next employer, slating in a little bit that gets them a new attunement or some other new toy. Those are far better to use as Earth agents then in a position of authority. Truely Frees under no contract, Bound servitors or Lilim on extended contract are the most covetted of all, bringing in the bonus of loyalty, neutrality, and long term obligations.
The following is a little blurb on each of the Princs, a little on internal politics and external politics.
Usually called by his servitors: Master (all levels), Lord (higher levels)
Home Base: Shal-Mari
Ever heard of sleeping to the top? Well, now it's literal. The ugly and homely will stay on the bottom of the pile, out of sight and out of mind like they should be. The beautiful, the wonderful, the sensuous, now those are the ones that Andrealphus wants as the royalty in his hierarchy.
Advancement is simple. If one can catch the eye of the Prince in such a way that he stands up and takes notice, then one can work their way up the organization to a pinnacle of power. This may mean pulling off greater and greater debaucheries, for the Prince is very busy and does not have the time for the small things. Even in this, one may be tempted to do away with the pretty little thing who is holding onto that covetted Captainacy, with a little poison or maybe a small shove out the window, but be careful not to chip a nail. Always remember there is the Lust for Vengence and the Lust for Power as well as sex.
Sleeping with Angels is the quickest way to draw the Prince's attention to the positive, he sees bringing Angels down to the level of the Demons as a positive advancement for everyone invovled. The problem is that the Angels may not be so interested, and may be on to you.
In recent years, Nybbas has done more to promote the concept that beauty is the ultimate measuring stick for humans through the proliferation of the Media. They have been sharing servitors, among other things, bolstering each other's Words and watching them bloom in the new technological age.
Andre will also give the time of day to Valefor. Not only are beautiful thieves and assassins dashing and interesting, bringing romance to an otherwise ugly subject, Valefor has got to be the only Calabite in existance who can dress halfway decently.
Andre has little patience for Baal or Haagenti, neither understanding the need for asthetics or the chance to stop and be beautiful. Baal destroys everything in his path, and Haagenti just consumes it with absolutely no sense of style whatsoever.
Andre reserves his special hate for Saminga, whom he considers a vile, horrible, disgusting little man who should never have been allowed to come to Princehood.
[Usually called by his servitors: Master, Lord, my Prince]
Home Base: Hades
The Inquisition is more then just a Game, and only the strong are powerful enough to carry it out. Asmodeus runs a true meritocracy. Those who work hardest, bring in the most Renegades, exact the most Law upon the unlawful will catch Asmodeus's eye, and he will give them more power, more responsibility, and more personal servitors. But beware those of the Game who have thoughts of going Renegade themselves, for the hard hand of the Inquisition will come upon them far worse then any other servitor. This is a convenient out for the small servitor who sees their move, since if their direct report can be seen to be having traitorous tendancies, they might be a Knight soon after all.
The internal politicing of the servitors which goes on as a matter of course is closely monitored. While the Game is certainly encouraged among the servitors, and a certain amount of skullduggery goes on behind the scenes, loyalty to the Game itself is demanded over all else.
As for Allies, Asmodeus has the greatest respect for Kronos. Dark Fates are what drives souls to Hell, and causes Angels to Fall. Those fates are earned, and must be rewarded with eternity in the Pit. Furthermore, he has the highest respect for Baal, and his efforts at not only working to win the War directly, but keeping his servants under careful control.
As for the others, he is wary of each and every one of them. Many he sees as weak, others, he sees as not contributing much to the War itself. He casts a certain eye over Valefor, for if a Demon Prince really has good Bright, so to speak, this problem must be taken care. He is concerned about the fight between Janus and Valefor being nothing more then a friendly rivalry, something that shouldn't be tolerated in the face of the War.
[Usually referred to by his servants: Sir]
Home Base: Gehenna
A man of honor and of warfare, Baal does not tolerate weakness within his ranks. His hierarchy is held in a rigid grasp, and as General of the Armies, he lets no weak or infirm stay alive for long.
Advancement in the realm of the War is through honorable combat, duels to the death between equals or betters to show who is the bravest, most cunning, most worthy to live to the next battles. Those of the highest ranks are the singular most powerful soldiers in Hell's ranks, holding their underlings in careful check, and weeding out those who they feel are unfit for duty. Those who seem to be working against the War, or against Baal himself, are summarily slain as traitors to the cause. Imagine Naziism, 1936, but with more guns. Paranoia runs rampant, every other servitor may be looking for your position, or even your boots. Every servitor of the War looks out for themselves, and only themselves.
Baal is not directly allied with anyone, seeing himself as the strongest of the Generals, and a Prince to be reckoned with. He does respect Asmodeus, who equally works to keep the servitors of Hell in line, and does so with remarkable efficiency. As for Belial and Vapula, they contribute the weapons which are the machinery of Baal's never ending war, their usefulness he keeps for his own purposes. Saminga he tolerates, as wherever Baal is with his armies, the bodies of the dead pile up behind.
Many of the others Baal sees as weak, existing only because Lucifer tolerates them, and not much more. The "pacifists" do not readily engage in the War, instead they play games with it. Baal reserves a certain special kind of hate for Malphas, because seperating the armies will make them weak, and inevitably fall. He has no patience for Faction's little political games, or attempts to break apart the demonic hoardes to they cannot fight together as a cohesive unit.
Usually called by her servitors: Master (all levels)
Home Base: The Marches
Fear is what keeps the servitors of Nightmares in line. Fear of what peers will do to each other, fear of plans coming out in the night during sleep, fear of Beleth's watchful eyes of reproach.
Beleth runs her organization with a generally ordered hierarchy, no better or worse then any others. It is more then a guideline, those who hold high ranks are there because they have fought their way up there, and have been careful not to annoy their Demon Princess. Servitors climb through service, and through the untimely demise of their direct superiors. It is neither harder nor easier then any other organization to climb when working with Beleth. It simply takes one who can stomach the nightmares, and has the twisted imagination to deal them out themselves.
Beleth keeps to the Marches, and makes no permenant allies. She is openly hostile with most of the other Demon Princes, uninterested in their petty games of tight lipped warfare, and few have enough vested interest to spend time trying to get through to her. Other then Kronos and Asmodeus, who are austere and practical enough to recognize a good tool, and Malphas who knows she spreads his word, few of the Princes include her in their plans, and would prefer to steer clear of her altogether.
Usually referred to by his servants: Master (all servants)
Home Base: Sheol
You have to be a real hardass to make it in Belial's organization, and that is putting it mildly. All those who can be burned are fuel, and that includes your peers, your friends, your superiors, and you enemies. It's destruction, and destruction only. Those who have actually managed to climb in Belial's organization and hold their positions are because they are the toughest, meanest, nastiest beings in all of creation, and they have no respect for anyone else. Not ones to be sneaky backstabbing bastards, advancement often comes in a dual and murder in cold blood.
To catch the eye of Belial, one has to be especially into the eternal flame of destruction. To really climb, one must be ready to burn in a big way. Riots follow those of the highest ranks of Belial, and cities burn to the ground. There is no pity for the weak, or the victims.
Belial has no direct allies, he sees himself too strong for that sort of support. He sees worth in Vapula's weapons of destruction, and Baal's prowress at leaving burning wastes behind the movement of the armies of Hell. He gives them the time of day, he needs them to equip his minions with the newest and most interesting toys, so they can burn.
He has special disdain for the Princes of Shal-Mari. Weaklings, the lot of them, too interested in keeping the humans around as playthings and not interested enough in destruction.
Usually referred to by his servants: Master (lower levels), Boss (upper levels)
Home Base: Shal-Mari
Nothing is more callous, more crude, more of a bully then a servant of Haagenti. The entire organization is a loose hierarchy of backstabbing, murdering, and all out consuming. No one can really seem to climb really high in the ranks and stay there for a long time. After all, you might draw the eye of the Prince, and he might be very hungry.
The lower ranks are quite stable, though, filled with chefs and cooks and fast food resturant owners who delight in making fatty foods high in cholestorol. They let those with ambition go ahead and start to make the climb, which invariably means feeding the Prince. But after a while, you know, CHOMP.
Haagenti is allied with his adopted brother, Kobal. Between the two of them, with Haagenti covering the sight gags and Kobal specializing in more cerebral humor, the two of them are very successful at harrassing mankind.
Haagenti also works with Nybbas's people for those all important fast food commercial which inundate human existance, and Saminga, because good food has to come from somewhere, and to make food something has to bite it. Literally.
As for the others, he's somewhat ambivalent. He has no real fondness for Belial, who keeps charring the steaks, or Valefor, who has an uncanny habit of walking off with the condoments. A man without his ketchup cannot be fully called a man.
Like his 'brother,' Haagenti reviles Asmodeus. He hates bullies, or those who deem to push him around. He won't stand for it, and he'd happily help out being a pain by assisting in the pranking, and maybe dining on a servitor or two.
Usually referred to by his servants: Lord (lower levels), Boss (upper levels)
Home Base: Shal-Mari
Much to many of his loyal servants' dismay, Kobal has a funny habit of pointing at a random Imp, and saying, "You are now the Duke of Office Supplies. Where is my pencil?" And now they are saddled with a new Duke, with all of his demands. The randomness gets trying after a while, even for such an easy going group.
In Kobal's organization, only the rankings through Baron are really valid, anything else is seen as the Prince's private playgrounds for satirizing the other Prince's rigid hierarchies. The servants climb the ranks by a combination of hard work, dedicated service, and pulling off really wild pranks. The crazier the stunt, the more likely the Prince will be amused, and the more likely he'll be amused enough to do something about it. The ranking system is fairly relaxed, there are no strict rules or codes of conduct when dealing with others in the organization. Servitors work with those who they need to, and working on a particularly big joke in pairs or a small group is not uncommon. The atmosphere is relaxed, easy going, and enjoyable, although it's hard to tell if the Prince himself takes any of it particularly seriously.
As the main intellectuals of Shal-Mari, the upper echelons, mainly Barons, run most of the administrative side of the City, controlling interests, running the casinos and theaters, settling squabbles, and cleaning up after a servitor who had a particularly funny bit and it got him splattered. They alone keep the Quad Princes of Shal-Mari in continuous allied check.
Kobal's main ally is his 'brother,' Haagenti, whom he brought up from an Imp to a Prince in record time. Haagenti may have been Kobal's private joke for Hell, saddling the place down with a baffoon and a fool, secretly satirizing the seriousenss given by some of the Old Guard. He also gets along well with Saminga, because, well, death is sometimes funny. He has long established relationship with Malphas, since jokes tend to single a person or a group out, making one side feel badly while the other laughs at the joke.
As for the others of Shal-Mari, he's neutral. They're there, they make customers, the customers come into the casinos and the theaters. They do their thing.
Kobal believes that both of the Balseraphs, Baal and Kronos, take themselves way too seriously to be anyone he'd want to hang around. As for Asmodeus, he has a certain kind of 'respect' for the Djinn. As the target of an endless series of pranks, lampooning, satirizing, and jokes, he has made a point of making Asmodeus's life as miserable as he can. The guy just simply takes all the fun out of being a demon, with his police and guards and all that.
Usually referred to by his servants: Master (all levels)
Home Base: The Archive
Those who are fated to do so will rise to the top of Kronos's organization. Not to say that the servants to give fate a little push every once in a while, maybe with the applications of a little poison or a good knife in the back. But realistically, one rises in Kronos's eyes with hard work and dedicated, loyal service. Nothing less will be tolerated. If one works hard enough and does a good enough job, one will gain those distinctions.
The organization is held in strict hierarchy. Knights report to Captains, and so on and so forth. It is often required that one replaces one's direct superior to climb the ladder to the top of the organization. The most powerful will be raised to greatness, the failures will be destroyed, often by the Prince himself. Those who are unloyal will be crushed.
Kronos is allied with no prince, as the most powerful of all of Hell's Princes needs to allies. He works with Asmodeus, helping to pick out those who are necessary for Hell's machinery, and has respect for the work of the old Djinn. As well, he respects Baal's quest for winning the War and bringing all to their ultimate Fates, and Beleth, whose inspiration of fears may keep those from reaching their destinies, and may ultimately push those to the other side. Lately, he has been working with Nybbas, whose cameras can bring one to greatness or cause one to plummet to the depths of debauchery faster then any other device.
Many of the others he sees as weak and not helping the cause, especially the Quad of Shal-Mari. He has special disdain for Kobal, who he sees as not taking the roll of Hell in it's place in Creation seriously, and he despises the mockery. As well, Kronos casts a disparaging eye on Valefor, since there is something wrong with the Prince, and he may be one who may be a threat to Hell itself.
Usually called by servants: Mother, Lilith, the Lady
Home Base: Shal-Mari
Made up of 100% Lilim and a rather tiny organization of Frees who can 'do whatever they want,' they're about as loose as one can get. Lilith hands out no distinctions, gives out no special attunements, and dispenses of no particular compensation to those few who continue to live in the Guildhouse and serve the Mother only. Servants come and go as they please, and must find their own way. There is little fighting other then sisterly rivalries, and all information is exchanged via geas.
Outside, Lilith deals directly with pretty much all of the other Demon Princes on good terms. Everyone, one way or another, owes her a favor, if they like it or not. As part of the Quad who lives in Shal-Mari, she has a particular interest in keeping that area as stable as possible.
She tends to have a special interest in Andrealphus and Valefor. Andre, because he's the Prince of Lust and an all around fun guy, and treats her Lilim especially well. Her work with Valefor is of a different tone, since his Word symbolizes a special kind of Freedom, even if it is a Freedom for objects to move from one person's possession to another. Also, Lilith's special arrangements with Valefor have something to do with his particular duality.
Lilith has the distinction of being the only Demon Prince who regularly traffics and does business with the Archangels.
Usually called by his servants: Master (lower), Lord (higher)
Home Base: Stygia
An imp one day, a Baron the next, depending on the whims of the Master and if you happen to have fallen in with the "In" crowd. Are you cool? Are you with it? Do you have favor this week? Then you're in luck, the Master likes you best! Of course, the Master likes everyone best, and he loves to tell you so.
The peaceful mediator, the calming influence on Hell's eternal struggles, Malphas always takes sides in every fight. The struggle for recognition means working hard, and hoping the Master likes what you do. He'll listen to the least of his servitors, giving everyone the time of day. To climb the ladder in Malphas's employ means knowing how to play everyone off each other to your best advantage. It's a careful dance, but the most cunning of his servants have found themselves in strong positions after years of work. Outright murder is often frowned upon, unless it's taken care of discretely with a minimum of mess. We wouldn't want people getting upset, would we?
Nybbas has caught his eye, even if the recognition isn't returned. The Media is a marvelous tool to demonstrate hate, and divide the humans along their carefully conforming stereotype. In his own quiet way, he promotes Nybbas's growth, and finds little opposition. Through the television, his word quietly spreads, piggy backed on the more obvious target. He also encourages his servants to support Beleth, not because it is returned, but because Fear spreads Hate, and Hate factionalizes the humans along their boundaries.
Malphas has entrenched himself with allies in the Shal-Mari quad as well, a stronghold for him which attaches himself to a form of strength and a large group in which to manipulate. He works closely with Kobal, whose pranks cause dissent and anger among the targets and merriment among those who profit from the jokes. His servants are also present when a servitor of Andrealphus breaks up another household or ruins another family with their sexual practices.
Malphas cares little for Baal, for he encourages armies to work together as a cohesive unit, or Haagenti, for gluttony is a solitary act.
Saminga brings his ire. His lack of subtility, his stupidity, his ability to alienate everyone around him gives Malphas nothing but fits. But this doesn't mean Malphas isn't polite, or isn't friendly, he's just busy supporting Saminga's other enemies in a back room.
Usually called by his servants: Master (lowest levels), Boss (higher levels)
Home Base: Perdition
Nybbas runs a very laid back, easy going organization, which allows those over different distinctions to fraternize and work with each other. He emphasises group projects, and ranking while a project is being completed. This is, a Captain as a producer may command Knights as directors, actors, etc. who command a camera crew. Internally, promotion comes from the effective completion of products with the least amount of loss of life in servants and the maximum ratings. Competition is high for choice positions, but it is largely friendly backstabbing. Promotion of the Spice Girls is going to do better then a few fliers and running a Radio Shack.
Nybbas, who became Prince in 1883, hasn't held a Principality long enough to start gaining really highly ranked servitors. Many of his more experienced servants are older then he himself is. His highest ranking is currently Baron, although several are vying for a first covetted Duke position.
The funny thing about Nybbas is that he is the only Prince right now who literally has Lilim waiting in line to work for him. Everyone wants to be a star, and they are almost guarenteed Earth service in a really cushy fun area, but he only has so many slots. Several of the younger ones are being turned away in exchange for elder.
Externally, Nybbas works most closely with Andrealphus. Lust sells movies, music, and magazines like hot dogs. Porn gets money, and money means bigger and bigger productions. Nybbas is also works well with Kobal, since comedy also sells, and this puts him on good footing with the lords of Shal-Mari. He's on good footing with Kronos as well, since the media has led more to their tragic fates then almost any other device on a mass scale.
Nybbas has a special relationship with his old master, Vapula. Luckily, unlike some servants who become Princes, the relationship is very good. The Media has led to many interesting technical and completely frivolous advancements in Technology, which in turn is used to push more Media. The evil cycle keeps them both expanding continuously.
Nybbas does not get along well with Baal. Sloth-like soldiers who are glued to their Monday Night Football and ER do not a War make. Nor does he get along with Saminga, since dead people do not go to the movies, in general.
Nybbas has not been a Prince long enough to make any long lasting firm enemies.
Usually called by his servants: Master (all levels)
Home Base: Abaddon
Death is the manner that one advances in Abaddon. It's a back stabbing, dark, plotting, nasty organization, where demons cling to their tenuous positions with all claws. The concept of honor is lost in the need to gain more power over others.
The power is held in a firm unshakable grasp from Saminga himself on down. The Dukes control the Earls, the Earls take abuse from above and control the Marquis, all the way down. Not that there isn't continuous plotting behind the scenes of the lowers to dispose their betters. Saminga himself will casually destroy a servant whom he believes is the least bit insolent. The whole place is held in the grips of blood, fear, and trechery.
Saminga has a long history of turning off the various Demon Princes to his cause, notably Andrealphus, who considers him vile and disgusting. His practices, his lack of foresight and subtlty, his lack of sheer intelligence has not made him many friends. Luckily no one really wants Abaddon very much.
As for Allies, he considers himself allied with Baal, since he what is present when Baal leaves the battle field for even more honorable combat, putting on puppet shows with the corpses. He also considers himself allied with Kobal, who gives him the time of day, and is passingly amused with his antics.
Saminga is also found in Belial's passing, feasting off of the victims of the all consuming fire, and with Haagenti, who supplies the corpses in the pursuit of more and more food to feed his endless gluttonous appetites.
Usually called by his servants: Lord (all levels)
Home base: Stygia
Okay, his he Janus or is he Memorex? His servitors know, but they're tight lipped, and have better things to do then discuss it with you. Oh, and is this your wallet?
The organization is fast, loose, and volitile. Climbing the ranks is based largely on personal achievement. A pickpocket isn't going to get anywhere, but hey, is this the Mona Lisa? Respect for the rankings is also loose and fast, nothing stops a Baron from taking a partner from the ranks of the unclassified if the newbie is young, hot, and looks ready to rumble. It's a framework to work in, a good way to acknowledge who is more experienced, who is faster, and who would be a good person to mentor up with. A Celesital gains respect on their merits, nothing more, nothing less. Are you a loser who can kill but makes noise whenever you walk across a roof? You better find a new Superior to work for.
Valefor's relations are as fast and loose as his lifestyle. He pretty much associates with the non-combats who can be some fun, and give his servants some toys to get their jobs done quicker. A special nod to Nybbas's folks, who have gone a long way to romaticising the thief in modern media. It certainly goes far in making his job easier, and one to Vapula, who makes such interesting toys for that all important second story work.
Valefor has pretty good relations with the Quad of Shal-Mari, getting the city open to easy traversal for his servants to get what they need, and get a little practice on the side, except for Haagenti, who doesn't like his meal taken right from underneath his nose. He has special respect for Andre's people, and does a little servant trading on the side. Nothing beats a beautiful, yet deadly assassin for sheer impact.
Valefor runs aground with the old guard of Kronos and Asmodeus. He MIGHT actually be an Archangel, and that would be bad for Hell in general, and that rivalry he's supposed to have? There's just not enough blood being spilt.
As for Valefor's servants, no one can be in Heaven and Hell at once, so no one can conclusively SAY that there are angels regularly trafficing through Hell. Ask one of the servitors of Theft, and you'll get a light bit of laughter, a comment about your choice of clothing, and a missing wristwatch.
Usually called by his servants: Master (lower levels), Doctor (Higher levels)
Home base: Tartarus
The mad scientist runs his organization like he runs his experients. There seems to be a reason to it originally, but it seems to fall apart in the end with a bit of a bang. Much of the actual administration falls into the hands of senior scientists, who order their "graduate students" and techs around like so many automatons. The problem comes when Dr. Vapula himself decides to take the helm and makes a few artistic changes to the group. After some infighting and a hatful of deaths, things go pretty much back to the way they were.
Oddly, the lower on the totem pole one is, the more likely one is likely to gain Earth duty after one is seven forces or greater. Vapula thinks of these as "test field engineers", totally expendable, but the ones that return have a great deal of value. Many of the servitors start to improve on the devices early, if they aren't killed by them during trials, just to show their worth and be promoted out of such grunge work. The higher one is, the more one is likely to command legions of demons to carry out experimentation, and the less likely one is going to be seen on the Earth any time soon. For once, it is LESS desireable to have earth duty then to be denied - denial may mean one is just too useful to Dr. Vapula to end up a blood mess plastered on wall. On the other hand, one must be careful. Denial may also mean one is slated to be the next in the experimentation tanks.
Vapula is too self absorbed to be really allied with any one Prince, although he has a fatherly association with his prime protege, Nybbas. On the other hand, he's too self absorbed to make real enemies, either, and the other Princes find just too much value to his devices to make cases against him. Saminga he considers slow and not worth his time. But, Saminga isn't slow or stupid enough to not have his uses.
- Em, Demon of Playing IN Backwards
"Do you know the true name of God? Have a churro."
- The Malkavian Sarah, in a contemplative mood
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