By James Walker (


This is my campaign setting as it stood before at the start of the game. As the player character Malakim made a few minor changes to the city, such as starting a war, being responsible for a the creation of a new Demon Prince, blowing up a brothel, bombing a funeral & burning down a TV station with a the news crew trapped inside, I’ll only mention changes in passing.

PS: He was under orders to start the war — 6th Trumpet and all that. The rest was his own idea.



The central Diabolical Tether in Canberra is a Tether of Malphas which the local celestials believe can move. In fact, the Tether covers the fault lines that criss-cross Canberra and can manifest anywhere in the city where sufficient divisiveness exists. Permanent features include the High & Family Courts, and this where the local demons go when they wish to speak to the Seneschal. The Tether possesses the ability to teleport people & objects around within its borders and gets a great deal of pleasure out of teleporting an annoying intruder —sans clothing & equipment — into a occupied bed when someone else is about to walk into the bedroom. The Tethers weight limit has never been tested, but it would have no difficulty moving a petrol truck if that was necessary for its protection. Should an angel drive a truck or plant a bomb in the Tether, the Tether would probably teleport the problem into a school. The Tether draws power from the fault lines; w! henever the Tether is successfully damaged there is an earthquake somewhere along the eastern seaboard, of a power level equivalent to the damage suffered. The Tether also appears to have access to all of Malphas’ servitor attunements. The Tether isn’t actually sentient, although the demons (including the Seneschal) believe that it is; instead, the Seneschal is schizophrenic and is making decisions for the Tether without knowing it. The Seneschal is a Balseraph of Malphas called Scholas. He maintains a role as a QC Alfred Scholars, and enjoys wreaking havoc with the Australian legal system & the crisis of the week: Mabo, the environment, States’ Rights — anything that could divide Australians. He is the only celestial in Canberra who has the Oathtaking attunement, but will happily accept bribes to use it. He has a large number of servants, including lawyers, politicians & policemen.

The nature of the Tether of Factions has prevented the formation of other Infernal Tethers; however the local servitor of Lust, a Calabite called Lash, is working on one. To prevent the destruction of his potential Tether he has borrowed an item from a Tether of Lust in Melbourne — the State Parliament’s ceremonial mace (lost at a brothel in Little Lonsdale street — the brothel became the tether). As a symbol of the power of Lust over politics, the mace (now a powerful if misunderstood relic) is sufficient to protect his site. The site of the potential tether is a brothel in Narrabundah (near New Parliament house & all of the Embassies) where Lash collects compromising video footage of the Powers that Be. He has also been providing arms & other equipment to loony groups in the hope that they can spread the crisis in the Balkans to Australia — he doesn’t appear to have considered what this will do to his Tether. He is aware of what disturbanc! e will do to the Tether and will attempt to destroy any celestial who creates disturbance detectable from Narrabundah no matter who they are. He has acquired a number of animal vessels and NC: Tongue/4 for use in orgies and will happily use them in the resulting fight. He also possesses a pair of Bondage cuffs that are a form of Body Bag — any celestial who goes celestial while wearing the cuffs must make a will roll or leave the vessel behind! Unless they can remove the cuffs before Lash gets to the vessel, Lash will be able to steal the vessel for his own use. Vessels return to their original owner if the owner of the cuffs is knocked into trauma. Lash normally leaves one of his vessels in the cuffs so as to be able to avoid Trauma. If Lash is knocked into Trauma any stolen Vessels will return to their previous owners.

Another influential demon is the Impudite of Technology called Erg. He maintains a role as a CSIRO scientist where he works to ensure that the local scientist do not ‘waste’ their efforts on safety standards when there are more important things to research. He is fully aware of the damage that accidents do to the reputation of Technology & is determined to make sure that humans do not die no matter how dangerous the equipment they use. He uses the Songs of the Symphony to detect accidents before they happen and heads them off. A local demon can earn a beta-test device in return for preventing a catastrophe. Of course, Erg is only saving lives in the short term — the long term goal is to get people used to sub-standard tech. He is still the nicest NPC demon in Canberra.

The nastiest is the Shedim of Fate known as Beastmaster, or more often just ‘Beast’. A servitor of Hatiphas, he is busily corrupting the local pagans & New agers and turning them — and anyone else he gets his ectoplasm on — into evil sorcerers. Magicians who are too lame to become Sorcerers are given the Intolerance (Disturbance) Discord. He has a set of Discord bracers which inflict this Discord. Intolerance (whatever) is an Ethereal discord which causes mind hits of damage equal to the level of the Discord every time they are forced to witness what they are Intolerant of. This can cause more Discord, which will normally be another level of the same Intolerance. Intolerance is added to the characters perception checks to detect what they are Intolerant of — if they could not normally detect the trigger ie mundanes & zombies with an Intolerance (Disturbance) then a check is made against the level of the Discord. Although disturbing, most mag! icians believe the ability to ‘detect magic’ well worth a little discomfort and will pay for the privilege of participating in the ritual to gain the Discord that will eventually drive them completely mad. (The ritual is just some hocus-pocus, followed by the magician donning the bracelets & being wasted by the Ethereal Song of Entropy).

The last of the locals is an unhappy Habbalah of Dark Humor called Kharos. Kharos has had all of her plans fail; the Piranha she put in the Dickson swimming pool died, the Headmaster she had publicly flogged by his students is spending his compo on the Gold Coast while getting the Federal politicians to sing, in parliament, ‘all we need is love’ increased their popularity and brought a death threat from Scholas. Any Lilim (or Elohite) will be able to detect a Need to have her confidence in being an angel restored. A Lilim detecting a high level Need will find that Kharos Needs to be the parent of a Malakim! Kharos will happily owe a Geas for introduction to a Malakim who will consider having a half-demon child. (Not as unlikely as it seems, Malakim can’t Fall, and Kharos will [truthfully] say that the reason she wants a Malakim child is that no one will be able to deny the child’s angelic nature). Should a Malakim be so foolish as to agree, Kharos will s! ummon Lilith, who (being in on the plot) will happily help the couple create the child & then Lilith will teleport herself, Kharos & the child back to Hell to present the child to Lucifer. {Don’t laugh, in the campaign this happened. Kharos was made a Demon Princess for providing Hell with Malakim, and as the "Archangel of Retribution" has created over a thousand malakim who now serve Hell as spies & warriors. They aren’t Fallen, and so are unharmed by the Light of Heaven, so they can raid any Tether or even Heaven itself. The only rites they have are Ethereal rites — Set became a Marquis of Retribution — and their compulsory oaths are: ‘slay any who deny the angelic nature of the Habbalah’ and ‘obey any order from your ancestors prefaced "for the greater glory of God"’. Kharos operates from The Holy Wars in Gehenna]. Kharos can make life difficult in other ways as the only way into or out of her house is ! through the windows, as she has knocked out crucial supporting timbers — the only thing holding the house up is the doors. Knocking won’t achieve anything, but if you kick the door in then the house will collapse, causing both damage & disturbance. She also keeps a packet of condoms on her at all times — a special set, which shrink when damp.

The only other demon in Canberra was a player character, a Free Lilim seeking redemption called Topaz who is maintaining a role as the daughter of the Canadian High Commissioner. She had been here for several months beforehand, and so is available if people feel the need to do a deal. She is occasionally visited by Fiorinda, a shallow young Free Lilim who, well…a quote from when they met is called for:

Topaz’ Player: "I shoot back to the Embassy for a quick change of clothes & to find out what Daddy is doing"

GM: "Cool. When you enter your room you find a young Lilim here, trying on one of your necklaces. You recognise her as a new Lilim by the name of Fiorinda. She turns, smiles, and says ‘This is beautiful! After the Game has caught you, can I have it?’."

Negotiate with Topaz, it’s safer.

The local demons believe that there is another demon in the city — a Djinn of the Game called Tag. In fact, no such demon exists. Canberra is far too insignificant to concern the Game so a Balseraph wanders through every few months and persuades the locals that Tag is spying on them.


At game start Heaven has abandoned Canberra as too insignificant to recapture: the PC’s where given the task of retaking it while they work out whether Topaz can be redeemed. There are two Divine Tethers in the region.

The only one active is a Tether of Jordi based on the Aestivation Caves south-west of the city. The Seneschal, a kyriotate called Artos only leaves the caves to guide the Bogong moths away from the city lights. The Tether has no supernatural defences, but is well defended by animals — the local feral pigs understand the importance of the Tether and will fight to the death to protect it. The more powerful pigs have are 6 Force Soldiers and reinforce their powerful bodies with Songs. At game start Jordi put a bounty on any demons found in Canberra, giving a Level 1 animal vessel for every demon knocked into Trauma. Soul killing a local demon will probably earn a Choir Attunement. This tether is available as a base for any angel who serves one of Jordi’s allies or turns up with a demon’s hide.

The other Tether is inactive — a Tether of Flowers which is centred on the Botanic gardens but which expands to include the foreshores of Lake Burley Griffin during Floriade. If reopened it can diminish the effects of the Tether of Factions; of course the Infernal Tether will resist the reopening making the task that much more difficult.


Real world, there are two Pagan groups in Canberra; given the intelligence of most of their members I assumed that most of them would have headed for safer cities once they realised that the city was controlled by demons. One group has a web-page; hopefully Paul May will connect their site to this one. It is a Wiccan group, I believe; the other is (apparently) a more Nordic organisation.

Of more interest for role playing is the local Aboriginal tribes. There were three; the Ngunnawal (from the Wiradjirri tribal group) plus the Walgulu & Ngarigo (from the Ngarigu tribal group). The Ngunnawal held what is know northern Canberra, the Ngarigo held the south while the Walgulu where to the North-West, holding what is now the city of Queanbeyan. (The borders of Queanbeyan & Canberra connect; the boundary is the edge of the A.C.T.). The Walgulu & Ngarigo are extinct; however many of their sacred sites, burial sites etc still exist and can be found — if you know what to look for. The three tribes were in continual contact (which could be either trade or warfare) and seem to have shared a large number of beliefs — THIS IS UNUSUAL! (talking about ‘Aboriginal culture’ is ridiculous — each of the thousands of tribal groups scattered across this continent had its own culture. Anyone talking about ‘Aboriginal culture’ is eith! er pushing a political view or an ignoramus trying to be Politically Correct. — End of Diatribe. One thing that is common, particularly on the Eastern Seaboard, is the refusal of the tribes to allow their rituals or customs to be revealed to members of the opposite gender — the tribes had two separate cultures within the same tribe. This makes having two vessels useful to Celestials trying to understand a tribe.)

Three major corroboree sites exist within the borders of Canberra, all in North Canberra. One is on the border between the lands of the Ngunnawal & the Walgulu. Although nothing remains of it, the park on the site has been named Corroboree Park; the Corroboree Park Hall has frequently been used as a site for role playing Freeforms —with many a strange tale resulting. (Trust me, you don’t want to know. You would be justified in treating the place as an Ethereal tether.) The other two are on the edge of what is now Lake Burley Griffin; the Australian National University was built on the site of the one in Ngunnawal land (due East of the Botanical Gardens) while the other is now Black Mountain Peninsula (South West of the Gardens). The area between them served as a battleground during wars.

The local Aborigines were petrified of ghosts. The local belief was that ghosts could not track you across water; some ghosts could not cross water at all. This is important when choosing an anchor for an Aboriginal ghost. A burial site will always be near water so that the burial party could flee to safety as soon as possible. The Wiradjirri & Ngarigo are monotheistic, with a secondary pantheon of totem spirits. (Note that Baiame is Gods’ name in only one Aboriginal language. The local names for God were Daramalan, Daramulan & Tharamulan). The totem spirits were associated with both the local area & with bloodlines within the tribes. You could not marry someone of the same totem affiliation. The totems gave (limited) support to those affiliated with them. Judging by what I have learned of Aboriginal magic, the best way to reflect this in In Nomine is as follows:

Each Totem teaches a special Rite. This Rite serves as a worship rite if the possessor of the rite is focusing on a specific (future) task. The rite funnels essence to the totem. When the possessor of the Rite actually performs the task, if he successfully makes his roll for a Focused effort, the rite sends back half the essence(round down) from the spirit, adding it to the target number. (Thus, the rite is effectively a reliquary with an essence cost). The extra essence will not make a disturbance, as it is part of the focused effort. The rite will not funnel essence back if the precision/meditation roll was failed — the local spirits are not dumb enough to help you attract attention. Also, each totems’ rite only functions for a single skill, and they will never be modern skills. Kangaroo taught running, Kookaburra taught Emote, Emu taught long distance running (2nd or later rounds of pursuit). Other valid skills would be hunting, move silently & s! inging. On the upside, these were taught to all members of the bloodline, so should be useable by mundanes.


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Angel of Information Dissemination