By: firstname.lastname@example.org (Redneck Gaijin)
Of the elder Seraphim who had once sat by the hundreds in the Council Spires and voted in the Seraphim Council, only seven could be found.
Of the thirteen Archangels who had also sat and voted in that Council, only Eli, Yves, Gabriel, Novalis and Marc remained. Novalis and Marc could no longer be considered Archangels, and Gabriel retained her rank more through courtesy than through actual power.
To this number, four new Superiors had been added; Lucifer, the Redeemed Seraph Archangel of Light; Lilith, the First Woman, the Demon Princess of Freedom; Nybbas, formerly the Demon Prince of the Media, now claiming to be an Impudite Archangel of Communications; and Andrealphus, whose only tenuous claim to respectability was his claim of the title 'Archangel of Lust.'
Still, though the room was the meeting room of the Mr. Gatti's on the Drag, and though there were only fourteen angels (or eleven angels and three 'neo-angels') instead of the hundreds, it was still a meeting of the Seraphim Council, and as such there were protocols to meet.
Fourteen chairs lined two of the restraunt's long tables; behind each chair stood a Celestial in human form, looking at each other uncomfortably.
The reason for the discomfort lay in the fifteenth chair, at the head of the table.
In the making of the world, when even the oldest of those present were young and blissfully naiive, Lucifer had been elected the first head of the Seraphim Council. After the First Fall, the place of Chairman, or President, or Speaker (the exact Word has no English equivalent) was left vacant by Michael, as a reminder of both the loss Heaven had suffered and the reasons for their struggle through the ages.
Now, standing by the head of the table, Lucifer, the being who by ancient right still held the office of Speaker, eyed that chair with a quiet, calculating expression. The thirteen other Celestials watched him warily, waiting with bated breath to see what would happen.
"Eli," Lucifer said, softly, not looking at the Mercurian sitting at the far end of the tables.
Eli jerked up in surprise. This was the first meeting of anything like the Seraphim Council he'd attended in over a century. Now, as before, he sat in the position of least importance on the Council, a frivolous Mercurian among Heaven's most holy. "Bwah?"
Lucifer drew the chair out at the head of the table, then moved to stand at the chair beside the place of honor. "I don't deserve the honor anymore, Eli. I believe the place is yours."
"Exqueeze me?" Eli blinked. "I'm a Mercurian, not a Seraph."
"True enough," Lucifer nodded. "However, you are the greatest among us. You alone kept the true faith through the end days and persevered even after the Battle. Of all of us here, you have done the most to earn the position."
"I concur with the Lightbringer," Elchior, one of the elder Seraphim, nodded. "Eli has earned the position."
"I agree as well," said Amadiel. "I propose we put it to a vote. Does any speak against Eli's investiture as... ah...." Amadiel flustered. "I forget, what is the mortal word?"
"Speaker will do," Yves smiled.
"Thank you, Eldest," Amadiel smiled. "Does any speak against Eli's investitutre as Speaker for the Seraphim Council?"
"I DO!!" Eli gasped. "I'm no good for the job, I'm lazy, I'm irresponsible, I'm a total nut - ask anybody who knows me!! I'm a slacker, a flake, totally disconnected with reality, living in the realm of rainbows and happy little pixies!! I'm completely un-right for the job!"
"Your objection is noted, Eli," Amadiel nodded. "Does any other speak against Eli - besides Eli?"
Andrealphus leaned forward, smiling his self-assured, self-absorbed smile. "I -was- going to, just on principle," he chuckled, "but any job Eli wants out of so badly should be perfect for him."
"Your... opinion... is noted, Andrealphus," Amadiel nodded. "Are there any others who object to Eli's investiture?"
None of the others spoke.
Amadiel looked around, nodded, and said to Eli, "Archangel Eli, Mercurian of Creation, the Seraphim Council has named you its Speaker. Do you accept the position?"
Every eye, even Gabriel's glowering stare, turn towards Eli. Sighing, he muttered, "Do I have a choice?" He moved along the table behind the others, mumbling an apology to a couple of Seraphim as he missed his balance and bumped into them, finally making his way to the head of the table. Lucifer stood to his left; Yves stood at his right, smiling with a trifle more amusement than inscrutability could account for.
"Ah... you... may be seated?" Eli said timidly, looking around the table.
The other Celestials quickly took their seats, leaving Eli to follow suit a moment later. He shifted in the chair uncomfortably; it wasn't any different than any of the restraunt's other chairs, but its position made it a lot more uncomfortable by far. Eli's Corporeal vessel stood inches taller than most of the other angels here, but he had the distinct feeling of being the youngest Reliever caught staring out from the parapet of Blandine's Tower.
The twenty-six eyes staring up at him weren't helping his stomach.
Lucifer smiled wryly as he commented, "I think perhaps this is a historic moment. For the first time in its history, a Mercurian sits at the head of the Seraphim Council." His smile broadened as he said, "Perhaps we should rename it the Mercurians Council."
"Lord, oh my Creator," Eli sighed, leaning forward to hold his head in his hands, "please deliver this cup from my lips."
"You'll do well," Yves smiled.
"Somehow I'm not reassured," Eli sighed. "Okay, if I'm in charge, my first order of business is to have someone go get the waitress. If we're going to discuss strategy, I want something to occupy my taste buds -and- my mind."
The world is creation, the application of will against entropy, constantly reshaping itself into a new and more beautiful thing.
Eli is not, in any sense of the word, a happy camper.
He's gone in the space of a few weeks from being a clueless, irresponsible, half-Remnant suffering from self-inflicted amnesia to the responsible, upstanding de facto leader of the New Heaven. As a career move, he ranks it right up there with Assistant Technician's Mate Third Class, Garbage Collector, or Mafia Snitch.
Still, his inner sense of right and wrong refuses to let him ditch responsibility again. Before Armageddeon, he was supporting his aspect of God's Plan the best way he could - by going in among the humans and encouraging them, inspiring them, and thoroughly immersing himself into their society. Now, in order to carry out his part of the Plan, he had to become a model Archangel, or as close as he could manage, and then he had to use his Mercurian talent for interpersonal politics to hold the uneasy coalition of angels and Renegade demons together.
Eli's giving his remaining Servitors a *lot* more to do. His instruction to them all is no longer, 'Do what thou wilt, but be cool,' but, 'Do what I ask, then do what thou wilt, but do no evil.' His Servitors are now New Heaven's hardest working party animals, encouraging humanity to keep dreaming, keep imagining, keep -creating-... and so often, so very often, they're busy creating themselves, rearming New Heaven with talismans and reliquiaries, finding new ways to restore civilization and its benefits to the people, and seeking new ways to help Heaven and Earth recover from the horrors of the Last Battle.
(Stats included only as they differ from the IN Rulebook.)
Balseraphs of Eli may, by using one Essence for every five minutes of use, create a glamour of light, a holographic image of sorts, in which they can display anything which they themselves have thought of - or believe they have thought of.
Whereas Cherubim of Creation may tell -who- created an object, a Djinn of Creation may tell what purpose the object's creator had in mind for it, if any. This attunement is virtually useless on mass-produced items, but possibly very useful for hand-crafted items, especially relics.
Like Eli's Malakim, Calabim of Creation are creative fighters; their destructive Resonance is turned towards the most creative way to injure their opponent. On any successful attack roll with a check digit of 5 or 6 (excepting Diabolic Interventions), they may make a Resonance roll to make a Critical Strike, adding the successful Check Digit to Damage dealt -above- the initial hit! However, Eli's Calabim are unique among his Servitors - they are subject to Dissonance, if they use their innate Resonance to destroy anything which is totally unique.
HABBALIM - Share Attunements with Eli's Elohim.
May add their Etherial Forces to any attempt to Geas a victim into an act of creation.
IMPUDITES - Share Attunements with Eli's Mercurians.
Eli -still- doesn't offer Distinctions, even now. (This hasn't changed from the IN Rulebook, but it bears emphasizing.)
Eli wants to be best buds with everyone; after all, it'd only be one step past that to having everyone 'best buds' with him. Still, the people he has to work with sometimes drive him to distraction; Lucifer keeps deferring to his judgement, always changing his stance to suit Eli's will; Yves just plays the Silent Supporter; Andrealphus has no interest in patching the old rivalry between the two Superiors; Gabriel isn't on speaking terms with him; Nybbas is so eager to play nice it's frightening; and Lilith is, well, just -Lilith.- Still, Eli manages to act as the glue holding New Heaven together, sometimes with an uncertain hand, occasionally with a reluctantly clenched fist.
Eli may be summoned by any Servant of New Heaven, but for those not directly his Servitors he may have only a moment to consult with them. His Servitors may get a slightly longer hearing, but he'll still be a bit distracted and hurried... with the weight of all Heaven's hopes on his shoulders, he's a very busy Archangels...
+3 Invoker is a Servitor of Creation
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