[DARK VICTORY] Kobal, Archangel of Laughter (Deceased)

By redneck@txdirect.net (Redneck Gaijin) ()


In the days before the Fall, when God was just beginning to reveal His plans to His creation, there was Kobal.

Kobal, in his beginnings, was a small and fairly nondescript Mercurian who, for some reason, didn't quite seem to get on with the rest of the angels. He wasn't annoying, or brash, or otherwise unpleasant to be around... he just wasn't all that interesting. He seldom spoke when the Creation was discussed, and when he did speak nobody listened to his quiet, unassuming voice.

One day, God saw Kobal and said, "Kobal, why do you not work on your portion of Creation?"

"My Lord," Kobal whispered, "I do not know what my portion is."

"You are Laughter," God replied. "Go forth, child, and bring to My children the gift of humor."

Kobal would have blinked at God if God had been facing him. "Why?"

"I can't tell you," God said. "It would spoil the joke."

With that, God's presence turned away from Kobal, and the young Angel set to work figuring out what Laughter was.

During the Fall, the advent of Man, the long history of the War, from Babylon to Vaudeville, Kobal brooded over this cryptic exchange, contemplating every possible reason for what God had said and done.

As time went on, pieces began to fall into place, one by one, usually when something that Kobal had engineered turned completely away from what he'd intended. (Oedipus Rex, the Cantebury Tales, A Lytle Jest on Robyn Hoode, the map to Prester John's kingdom Marco Polo bought, all these are examples of where Kobal's influence totally backfired.)

In the 20th Century AD, Kobal felt incredibly close to a breakthrough. He began to resent any interruption of his thought, even to serve his new Word of Dark Humor, and to the other Celestials on both sides of the War he began to seem disconnected, preoccupied, and unusually quiet.

Finally, on the day of the Last Battle itself, as the forces of Hell stormed the Eternal City, Kobal and Haagenti stood together in the Groves, Kobal distractedly leading their combined forces while Haagenti devoured everything in his path. As Kobal ordered his forces on against the disorganized Servitors of Animals, Flowers, Protection, and others, his mind raced faster and faster, trying to resolve this, ALL of this, with how everything had begun for him, with that one talk with God.

And Then Kobal Got It.

In one sudden, blinding flash of insight, the inherent absurdity, the great chaotic Cosmic Joke, shone through Kobal's mind and soul. Every last nuance of the Joke lay explained to Kobal, from the great slapsticks down to the -real- reason why the chicken crossed the road.

In four breaths, all of the following occurred, in rapid succession:

Kobal Redeemed, spontaneously, fledging into a brilliant and beautiful Mercurian, with a friendly smile and a twinkle in his eyes both innocent and knowing, the very embodiment of a perfect human laughing for the joy of laughter.

Kobal shared a glimpse, just a glimpse, of the Cosmic Joke to every last one of his Servitors, at once. A great many also spontaneously Redeemed, at the worst possible time, and were hewn down by the demons surrounding them. Others simply fell into confusion and disarray, not able to comprehend the whole of the Joke, and remained Demonic but fundamentally changed.

Haagenti reared up, his maw stretching wider than ever before, and swallowed the Archangel Kobal whole, not even chewing.

The few surviving servants of Kobal, confused and leaderless, fled all fronts of the Great Battle and went into hiding, trying to figure out what exactly had happened. They were neither Outcast nor Renegade nor Orphaned, but their Rites and Attunements and Distinctions had subtly changed to reflect something many of them couldn't understand.

They no longer served Dark Humor, but all forms of Laughter.

They no longer served Hell, but Heaven no longer existed.

Hunted by stray refugee Angels and Saminga's liquidation squads, they are the most wanted Celestials by both sides of the War... dead or alive.


Servitors of Laughter cannot go a day without making someone laugh, by whatever means, dark or light.


Each Band/Choir (for those who Redeem and survive) has a peculiar Rite, as before. However, the bonus for 'laughing in their face' is gone.

BALSERAPH - as in the rulebook

SERAPH - Kobal's Seraphim would, theoretically, gain Essence from inducing laughter by retelling a humorous anecdote or story. They gain +2 Essence (and take no Dissonance) if they made up the story.

DJINN & CHERUB - These Servitors of Laughter gain Essence from playing their Attuned as a straight man. By causing a scene, cracking wise, or playing off their Attuned to some humorous result, they recover Essence.

CALABITE - as per the book

OFANITE - Ofanim of Laughter gain Essence from chases, the more silly or improbable the more Essence is involved. Smashing through a fruit stand is only worth one Essence; driving a compact car through the corridors of a hotel with police vehicles in hot pursuit is worth as much as three.

ELOHITE - Elohim of Laughter gain Essence by using logic to demonstrate the inherent absurdity of the world.

HABBALITE - as in the book

LILIM - Kobal's surviving Lilim can now gain Essence by successfully daring a human to do anything which causes others to laugh.

SHEDIM & KYRIOTATES - These Servitors of Laughter gain Essence from guiding their hosts into doing silly things. Kyriotates are limited to bright expressions of silliness, while Shedim are limited to darker expressions.

MERCURIANS & IMPUDIRES - The Friends of Man who serve Laughter gain Essence through practical jokes. However, any joke which ends in the death or destruction of a human gains -no- Essence.


(*Of course, these only apply to characters who had equal distinctions before.)


Kobal's Knights can lighten the darkest hour of a person's life by showing them the humor in their situation.


Kobal's Captains can use any straight line, no matter how grave or serious, to create a hilarious joke.


as per the book


* Make someone laugh just before they die (must not have caused that death)

* Make a majority of the PCs (and GM) laugh at something done IC

* Make 30 or more people laugh at once

INVOCATION: Impossible (Kobal is gone, ceased to be, an ex-parrot.)

NOTE: Despite the death of its main champion, Laughter is a more powerful Word than ever in the times after Armageddeon- not because there's more of it, but because it is so rare that every instance of laughter becomes that much more potent.

Of the warring sides, only Haagenti has taken it upon himself to preserve any of Laughter's Servants... he believes laughter aids digestion, and, according to him, "Besides, they aren't very filling snacks anyway."

The few surviving servants of Kobal, confused and leaderless, fled all fronts of the Great Battle and went into hiding, trying to figure out what exactly had happened. They were neither Outcast nor Renegade nor Orphaned, but their Rites and Attunements and Distinctions had subtly changed to reflect something many of them couldn't understand.

Surely all of his remaining servitors must be demons? They were demons when he got eaten, and if any redeemed they'd have been redeemed by other archangels. And he isn't around to either create new angels or have other angels pledge to him...

All true, at least as far as PCs should be concerned.

However, it is -remotely- possible that a handful of those who got the whole of the Cosmic Joke managed to escape.... definitely not as PCs, but as a possible NPC a GM can build an adventure around.

If you are GMing your own Dark Victory campaign, here are some fast and loose rules for Servitors of Laughter.

(1) Servitors of Laughter are created as if their Superior was still around, i. e. no bonus CPs or Discords. The only difference is that Kobal cannot be Summoned.

(2) Players should not be allowed to create Angelic Servitors of Laughter. These should be reserved for NPCs, which can be anything from half-mad Remnants to very powerful Masters of Hysteria.

(3) Servitors of Laughter are WANTED. Very wanted. Hell wants them exterminated. The remaining refugee Angels who haven't linked up with New Heaven want them exterminated. New Heaven wants them brought alive to Austin or the Lighthouse for questioning and study. Even some Renegades and Outcasts would sell the Kobalites out at the drop of a hat to save their own skins or find a new home in New Heaven or Hell. Servitors of Laughter should be very, very paranoid about everyone.

(4) Servitors of Laughter no longer have Hearts- they all shattered when Kobal Redeemed. Limbo is not a funny place to be in, but -maybe- a Servitor dropped in will come out Redeemed themselves... or gibberingly mad... or both... but no sensible Kobalite wants to find out.


Kris Overstreet, web pages beyond belief http://www.txdirect.net/users/redneck - Redneck Gaijin Online http://www.jurai.net/~redneck/wlp/ - White Lightning Productions http://www.jurai.net/~redneck/dvpbem/ - In Nomine: Dark Victory PBEM http://www.jurai.net/~redneck/milkmaid/ - The Magnificent Milkmaid


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