Peter wrote: "He gives you three chances to choose the best option. Which do you prefer?"
(OH DEAR. SUDDENLY ALL BECOMES CLEAR. I THINK PERHAPS A FEW HELPFUL POINTERS ON RECRUITMENT MIGHT BE IN ORDER, MY DEAR, LEST SOME OF SAMINGA'S SERVITORS BECOME... OVERENTHUSIASTIC. 'You got it, dread lord!' )
_Recruitment and Training of Mortals_ (or 'You just can't get the staff these days')
My congratulations, I understand that you have been given permission to seek out a mortal ally to obey your commands, perform your errands, devote their time to serving your best interests and ultimately to give their life, love and possessions at the merest crook of your little finger. In short, you have been permitted to recruit a servant. You will already be aware of the uses of mortal aides in the corporeal world. Their actions are silent, they are not bound by dissonance in the manner of our bands and as corporeal creatures they have an innate understanding of their own realm. They exist to be used. They exist to do our bidding. Their only freedom is the freedom to choose a side.
Any mortal can be a useful pawn. They can be taught relevant skills at a later stage, but it is worth catching them young if this is your intention. Visit their dreams, offering glimpses of hells glories and also its torments, and haunt their families. Mortals will serve you for one of several reasons, so you will need to briefly study your mortal to work out the best approach. The most usual are:
a) those who serve through fear
Recruitment is by cowing the mortal into submission. Make it clear to them that you are an all-powerful and immortal being whose wrath is to be feared. Hint in glowingly vague detail of the scourges you apply to those who cross you. Make it clear that by serving, their enemies will become your enemies -- with the stick, do not forget the carrot. The underpinning of your message is 'The only safety for you and yours lies in doing my bidding absolutely and without question.' Describe the fires and torments of hell in enthusiastic detail, with lavish portraits of what awaits the damned, which they most certainly are. Then add, as an afterthought, that naturally the punishments are lessened for those who have shown willing to serve in life. Let them grovel at your feet and _beg_ to be allowed to serve you. Punish them frequently once they are in your service, to show them that you still care and have not forgotten.
b) those who serve through love
Seduction and charm are time-honoured recruitment methods and work as well now as they ever did. Tell them that you are an all-powerful and immortal being whose heart has been touched by their winning personality and sexual athleticism. Smother their moral qualms with sensuality. Answer their ethical queries with kisses. Steal their souls with silver, and tell them lies about the world which is to come, and that you will be there with them eternally (this is technically not a lie, of course). Show them how they can make you happy; by obeying you in all things...
c) those who serve through power-lust
This is another traditional lure by which mortals are brought into the service of hell. Show them that you are an all-powerful and immortal being with powers beyond their wildest imaginings, and explain how some small fraction of that power and benificence may be theirs. The price? At the beginning it is nothing. Some small and undemanding detail which is richly rewarded. Allow them to hear of soldiers, or even the undead, without being specific and let their imaginations get to work. If the mortal is aging then speak to them about death and what lies after, the power that awaits a valuable servant in hell.
d) those who serve through disbelief, boredom or apathy
Less a product of the modern age than any think, always there have been some who through over-indulgent parenting, a dissolute nature or desire to shock, have become bored with what the corporeal world has to offer and seek their thrills in playing the greatest Game of all. More modern servants of this ilk will answer the question 'Why did you choose to serve hell?' with a shrug and a 'why not?' or 'because it was there!' Present yourself as an enigmatic but all-powerful immortal being who has access to knowledge which they can only dream of, and can offer excitement and adventure of a nature unknown to the rank and file mortal. Tell them that hell is largely a product of myth, an outdated illusion which has cast you and yours in a bad light. Make it clear that you are thoroughly supernatural and if they turn down your offer then it is likely that they will never get the chance again, will never know what might have happened... If still they waver, scorn them for their fear and dare them to show some courage and take some risks.
e) those who serve through necessity
Some there are who serve through careful balancing of the alternatives, perhaps in return for a favour for some friend or family member. These are willing pawns to the sacrifice. Remind them frequently of the necessity that brought them to your service, and after they have entered it, remind them that serving hell is a one-way journey.
f) those who serve out of a true desire to do evil and forward the purposes of hell.
These are the truest of true self-deceivers, and should one approach you, be as the shy fawn to the hunter. Let them stalk, and plead and beg for but a moment of your time before you skittishly smile, make some small comment which confirms their suspicions, and then find some excuse to leave. When you tire of the game, make as impressive an entrance as you are able, with all the spectacle one would expect from an all-powerful and immortal being in the service of the lightbringer. There are some in this category who have already dabbled in sorcery and will know more about the true nature of hell than you are expecting -- these may offer deals. Consider offering a brief argument and allowing yourself to be 'tricked' into the deal. As soon as any mortal has done any work for hell, you are in a position to inform them that they are now irrevocably damned, deal or no deal, so if they wish to have an easier time in the afterlife, they had better learn quickly who is the servant and who is the master.
True Dogma to tell your new servant:
1. Hell can be quite nasty for the rank-and-file damned, but it is a true meritocracy where Rank Hath It's Privileges. The privileges are of course reserved for loyal and faithful servants...
2. Power is not always shackled by responsibility.
Less True Dogma to tell your new servant:
1. I was once where you are now. (Hah! As if!)
2. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
3. You're already irrevocably damned so why not make life easier on yourself?
I have taken the liberty of repeating one mantra -- that of telling your servant frequently that they are irrevocably damned. Why is this so necessary? I have seen and heard of servants who repented of their deeds even on their death-bed and whose souls were stolen away from our grip by the host even before their bodies cooled. When this happens, the Game does investigate the incompetent demon who let a sure hellbound soul escape their grip. The rest can be filled in by your imagination. Do not let it happen to you!
_Recruiting Soldiers and Undead_
Never offer your servant a choice about which powers they will most generously be granted. Let them cry gratitude for every scrap of knowledge which you are willing to give them, true or otherwise. If, through years of faithful service, you are sufficiently impressed as to forwards their name as a potential soldier or undead servant, then let them be duly grateful for this also. More powerful servants of this type have many uses, but are generally considered slightly less disposable. If you want disposable servants, bear this in mind.
Undeath is sought by many, but attained by few. The fear of death runs strong in mortals, and with good reason. Their fear brings them towards the pit, and should be encouraged. An undead servitor is stronger, tougher and more powerful than a normal mortal and can be freely used for tasks which require such skills -- however it is not uncommon for them to develop and even more acute fear of death than they might have had before. In many ways, it is easier to lure a mortal into your service via the corporeal song of entropy, which also ensures that hell retains their soul for eternity and gives you the leeway to continue to remind them of the death from old age which surely awaits if they should ever consider leaving your side. An undead is capable of being more independent, but frankly I hardly feel that it is worth the effort. When hinting at such possibilities, be sure to give away as little of the specifics as possible. Mortals work best when they are kept in the dark.
jo, Impudite of the Game, Fashion Police, Archfiend-in-Training
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