By: firstname.lastname@example.org (Redneck Gaijin)
Business goes on in the capitol of the Lone Star State, even when the nation that state had been a part of lay in ashes.
Austin's Metro buses were running again, now that oil trucks and trains were making their way in from the refineries in Houston. Still, the fuel was no longer cheap - in fact it was rationed - and so, despite the rate hike to $1.50 for a one-way trip, the buses were seeing more passengers than they'd ever had before the Apocalypse.
As Walter McNeely, a middle-management drone working in the still-intact Temple Inland building on Congress Street, stepped off the bus, a Mexican family, husband, wife, and three children all with heavy packs on their backs, walked up to him. "Sir, do you have the bus fare? My family has been walking here from Laredo... my daughter is sick from the water at the lake at San Antonio..." The youngest daughter looked sick indeed; her face looked blotched and reddened, speckled with hideous black spots. She looked at McNeely with half-glazed eyes, only dimly aware of the affluent man in front of her.
McNeely walked quickly away, ignoring the pleas of the refugees, not quite trotting across Congress Street to get away from them. As he reached the sidewalk just in front of the boarded-up doors (the glass had shattered in the earthquake), he heard the Mexican-accented voices thanking someone very profusely. He turned around to see a middle-aged woman, grey streaking long golden hair, wearing sunglasses, a worn-out pink sweatshirt and torn blue jeans, handing the father several US greenbacks while the mother cried with joy. The daughter's face had mysteriously cleared up, and the child smiled happily at the strange woman, eyes clear and shining in the reddish light of the dust-filled Texas skies.
As McNeely watched, the woman walked across the street, directly towards him, looking straight at him with the same expression his mother used when he'd disappointed her somehow. When she got close enough to speak without shouting, she said, "It would have taken you nothing but a few dollars to help them, you know."
"Why should I want to help them?" McNeely grumbled back defensively. "Times are hard all over, we need to look out for our own."
"Your own, as you put it, is all humanity," the woman answered softly, a faint note of sadness undercutting her melodic voice. "For all you know, that little girl could, in time, have the key to saving this world from our folly."
"Oh, lemme go, you damn liberal," McNeely grumbled. "You're wasting my time. Get a job and learn about who 'our own' really is..." He turned his back on the woman, growling, "Wait until you've seen a bit of real life before you-"
The woman grabbed McNeely's arm and spun him around effortlessly. As he swayed for balance, she reached up and pulled her sunglasses down; behind him, where her eyes should have been, there were two glowing knots of incarnadine crystal, surrounded by dried blood.
"I've seen a lot of real life," the angel growled. "What have -you- seen, mister? I've seen the pits of Hell itself. I've been tortured in ways so horrible your human mind couldn't comprehend. I've seen people that might have been saints condemned to final destruction in the charnel pits of Abaddon paraded past me as my soul was slowly, slowly ripped apart, piece by tiny piece."
She shoved McNeely back, placing her sunglasses back over her eyes. "And if I can still find pity in my heart for the people who did that to me, then by the Almighty you can find a little for those who have done nothing to you. Good day, sir, and I hope your conscience rests easy." With that, she marched up Congress, body trembling with barely suppressed rage, long legs striding briskly up the hill towards the Capitol.
McNeely was late to work that morning...
CORPOREAL FORCES - 6 (Str 15, Agi 9)
ETHEREAL FORCES - 5 (Int 12, Pre 8)
CELESTIAL FORCES - 5 (Will 12, Perception 8)
Vessel: Human/2 (middle-aged Caucasian woman) (+2 Charisma (motherly))Songs: All/6
Discord: Angry/2, Vestigium/2 (crystal eyes)
Attunements: Seraph of Flowers, Cherub of Flowers, Ofanite of Flowers, Elohite of Flowers, Malakim of Flowers, Mercurian of Flowers, Cherub of Light, Ofanite of Light, Nothing but Flowers, I Will Fear No Evil
Distinctions: Master of Comforters (and all lesser of Light)
Special Rite: Sleep alone in a garden, park or other verdant location, from sunset to sunrise.
The world is a garden; we must work to replant what the despoilers have uprooted, bringing peace and healing to the world.
Novalis is no longer an Archangel, quite; her soul still bears the hideous wounds of her brief captivity in Abaddon, her Word is in disarray, and most of her former Servitors are dead, captive or in Limbo. Her heart has been tortured almost to the breaking point...
... but in spite of all she's been through, she hasn't given up.
Novalis has been concentrating her efforts on the one peaceful (mostly), stable (generally) place on Earth - Texas. (Funny place, the post-Apocalyse world...) There's just so much to do right there, refugees to help, sick and wounded to heal, and hardened hearts to break down and open up to their fellow beings.
Novalis still has a few Servitors, to whom she can still grant Choir (and Band, now) Attunements and her old 'Nothing but Flowers' attunement. She can no longer grant Distinctions or Rites. She also may not be Summoned, as her reduced power renders her unable to appear instantly where summoned. She's slowed in other ways as well; where once she was energetic, sunny and cheerful, now she is quiet, deliberate, and occasionally very, VERY angry.
Her ordeals have left their mark in more than one way. The scars left by the horrors she witnessed in Hell express themselves in the hard gemstones which manifest in her Vessels instead of eyes. The grief she felt, and still feels, at being so helpless to assist the dead souls condemned universally to Hell have left her with a quiet fury at those who cannot be troubled to reach out to those in need.
(Stats listed where they are changed from those in the IN Rulebook.)
*NOTE: All of Novalis' Servitors serve Lucifer before her. As such, they have his Choir or Band Attunements first, his Basic Rites, the ability to Summon him, and access to his Servitor Attunements and Distinctions.
*NOTE: All Servitors of Flowers are Servitors of Light first. Characters who choose to serve Novalis must buy her Choir or Band Attunement as they would the Choir or Band Attunement of another Choir or Band under the same Superior. Servitors of Novalis must buy their own Choir/Band's Attunement before buying any others.
Since Lucifer doesn't accept Balseraphs, neither does Novalis.
Again, since Lucifer does not accept Djinn without Redeeming them into Cherubim, Novalis has no Djinn Servitors.
Calabim of Flowers destroy using the power of plant life; they may accelerate the growth of seeds or plant life around an object to be demolished, ripping it apart in seconds. *USING THIS ATTUNEMENT TO KILL ANYTHING WILL GET THE USER KICKED OUT OF NOVALIS' SERVICE.*
Habbalah of Flowers, in a Bright twist on their innate Resonance, can sense which emotion would heal their victim and unleash it upon them. If the Victom resists with a Will roll, these Habbalah 'bliss out,' their reality distorted by the positive emotion, for a number of hours equal to the original check digit of the Resonance roll.
Lilim of Novalis gain Essence for Geasing a victim into helping someone in need -personally.- (Donating money to a charity doesn't count - any gift or action must be -personal,- face to face interaction on the behalf of the unfortunate.)
An Impudite of Flowers may steal Essence from a plant of 5 or more Forces - usually large trees, but also colonies of kudzu, berry tangles, and other large colonies of plant life.
as per the IN book. This is Novalis' only remaining Servitor Attunement.
Since she is no longer an Archangel, Novalis' opinions and prejudices have little weight in the Seraphim Council or in the greater efforts of New Heaven. However, she does have her preferences among the Superiors of New Heaven. Although she is extremely friendly to most of them, she is reluctant to open her heart to Andrealphus, who is more of a pillager than planter in her eyes, and to Nybbas, who is less interested in healing and bringing peace to Mankind than in getting his messages out to them.
ALLIED: Lucifer, Eli
ASSOCIATED: Yves, Lilith, Gabriel
CONVERSE RELATIONS (how the others feel about Novalis)
ALLIED: Lucifer, Eli
ASSOCIATED: Nybbas, Yves
HOSTILE: Gabriel, Andrealphus
Kris Overstreet, will write for food... | Do not taunt Happy Fun Belial. http://www.txdirect.net/users/redneck | *
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