[It had to happen... So I might as well be the one to write it up. I'm taking it mostly seriously, rather than mostly humorously. The general GURPS In Nomine rules would also work, methink. (Other Archangels, Demon Princes, etc. are in other pages...)]
Panting, Tony leaned against the smooth stone wall. The gate was just a few yards away, but the Impudite needed to catch his breath. He felt another explosion of Essence behind him and winced, then staggered onwards. With a glance over his shoulder, he could see the three Malakim who'd ambushed him and his fellow demons. They didn't look fresh and clean anymore as they advanced out of the night, but they were walking, and Tony's fellows weren't. The demon ran, throwing himself through the gate just yards away from his hunters.
The trio of Malakim paused at the break in the wall, muttering and snarling at him. He clambered to his feet and flipped a finger at them -- then backed away as one, in a red-haired vessel, started for him.
There was a quick, subtle melody in the Symphony, and Tony felt a Presence at his back. Hands touched his shoulders and a pair of white-feathered wings folded loosely around him. He smirked at the Malakim as the angel halted in confusion.
"This is a sanctuary. This demon is under my protection," murmured a low, sweet voice.
The red-haired Malakite spat on the ground. "Dominic will hear about this!" he said.
"Dominic knows," came the calm reply.
The angels growled, but backed away, nodding their heads in grudging gestures of respect. The white wings unfurled, and the Presence moved to Tony's side. He turned his head to look at her. "Hey, thanks, babe!"
The winged celestial smiled graciously, her beauty un-marred by the tiny Lilim horns on her forehead. "I offer safety from those who hunt you, while you are within these walls. Do you accept?"
"You bet, babe." Tony felt the Geas settling around him. Well, it was worth it, to keep those Malakim from getting him. He sidled a little closer to the celestial and reached for her -- one kiss, and he'd burn off that Geas the easy way, and maybe get a little Essence into the bargain...
He never saw her wing move, but felt the impact over half his body, and an instant later he was hanging upside-down in midair, just in front of the gate. The Malakim were looking interested.
The white-winged celestial stalked towards Tony. "You are unharmed," she pointed out coldly. "But if you attempt to abuse my hospitality further, you will be outside these walls, and your safety will be your own concern."
Tony groaned. He should have known better -- the ArchDean of IOU wasn't the kind of Lilim you could push around...
A Weird to Darkly Illuminated IOU can exist in the universe of In Nomine, with a few changes...
In the world of In Nomine, Illuminati University will be physically identical to the description in the book (less the Botany Building tree-house and other "Silly" features) -- a fairly large campus within or near a city, with a friendly stone wall around it (the gates that allow driving onto campus, to get to buildings and dorms, have never been seen shut -- but they are in working order.) It may or may not still be called Illuminati University officially, though it will likely retain "IOU" as a nickname (perhaps based on a gaming book...).
PCs of both the Light and Dark are aware that the University is considered "Neutral Territory." On the grounds, demons, angels, undead, outcasts, renegades, children of Grigori and mundanes all mingle in peace and harmony. Or at least wary tolerance, with minimal political backstabbing. This is strictly enforced by various celestials (mostly angelic in nature), who will descend upon anyone violating the peace, and toss them outside the walls -- where the violator will no longer be under the protection of the University's Mistress...
There is a known Tether to Heaven from the University Library, and it is suspected that at least one other exists somewhere on the campus grounds. There are no known Hell-Tethers at IOU. Most angelic servitors at the University are tending to the Tether(s), and have Roles such as Student, Teacher, Management or Staff.
Known to some celestials, the ArchDean of Illuminati University is a bright Lilim, and very likely a free one, owing no future favors to anyone. Servitors of Yves, naturally, know more.
The ArchDean (her name is still unknown...) was created by Lilith (as all Lilim are), and somehow wound up preferring the bright side of Freedom. She traded a huge Geas to her ambiguous mother in return for the promise that Lilith would never trade this Lilim's Geases to demons or Demon Princes. Then the ArchDean-to-be went to work for Yves. (The exact story of how she earned that position is not widely known; Yves tends to smile, say, "She was very dedicated," and ignore all other questions.) Over the centuries, her favors were called in, and she managed to avoid going into endless debt for various new abilities. Eventually, she petitioned the Council of Seraphim for a Word, with Yves' blessings. (Some say the Word was Education; others look thoughtful and say it was Knowledge. Some might think Secrets...)
After receiving her Word, the ArchDean took an extended leave of absence and founded the University, with herself in the Role of its President. (Yves' comment: "She always was a dedicated child.") She declared the campus grounds to be a "safe zone," where any celestials can take refuge if they wish, so long as they do no harm to anyone else on those grounds. (Shedim, who usually gain dissonance if they don't corrupt their hosts, have a hard time complying with this.) Anyone who tries to cause trouble will suffer the consequences: being tossed out, or worse if the troublemaker resists.
Of course, Dominic is absolutely livid about this situation. If he could gain enough support, the University and its celestial patron would be wiped off the face of the Earth. Unfortunately, he can't get that support. After all, the ArchDean is a Lilim, and she's been gathering favors from mortals and celestials alike since she was created -- and unlike most Lilim, the ArchDean hordes her favors. Yves, Novalis, and Jean have all expressed support for the University-as-sanctuary. Various others have admitted (with varying degrees of sheepishness) that they kind of, well, owe the ArchDean one...or two...or a few....
Asmodeus is in a similar situation, hating as he does all "traitor" demons (Lilim included); he'd have more support than Dominic (Media and Gluttony are both offended by universities in general, since they encourage things like reading books over watching TV, and the cafeterias do not encourage Gluttony), but Lilith herself seems vaguely pleased with how her bright child has risen in the world, and nobody who wants Lilim Servitors will risk ticking off Lilith.
One of the less-known things about the ArchDean is that she's not just a bright Lilim: she's a Lilim Archangel -- probably the only one in existence. Her Word is Knowledge ("...And the Truth shall set you Free") [or Learning/Education, for GMs who want Yves to retain full control over the Knowledge word, or Secrets...]. Her status very likely resulted from Divine Intervention, possibly when she was given her Word. (This is the major reason that Dominic allows himself to ignore her; he lost face when he went after Michael, and if God wants a Lilim Archangel... He still keeps a close eye on her, though, just waiting for her to Trip or Fall.)
In celestial form, the ArchDean manifests as a stunningly beautiful female human, with white hair, white-feathered wings, and emerald green Lilim horns; her skin-color ranges all over the spectrum according to her whim, but is often in the human skin-tones. Her corporeal form is within human-norms (white-blond, usually), though she's been known to wander around with a long-term Numinous Corpus of Wings and Horns when the mundanes can't see.
The ArchDean is still a deal-maker, second only to the Mercurian Archangels in political wrangling, but her concern with "Freedom through Education" in the Corporeal realm means that her political power is somewhat less than that of Novalis' -- and it takes all the ArchDean's cunning to keep it even that high. (Or so she says.)
One of the ArchDean's pet projects seems to be the rehabilitation of renegades and outcasts -- she offers them safety from those who would destroy them, and they Owe her for it. Less overtly-stern a taskmistress than other Archangels, she often woos those lost celestials into her service. (The Campus Security of the In Nomine IOU is at least a quarter-angel...) For the most part, their duties are light: serve at the University Tether to Heaven, keep the celestial peace, and teach a class now and then if they have any appropriate skills. Some are dispatched off-campus, usually to purchase rare antique books or serve as teachers in areas where illiteracy and ignorance encourage intolerance, poverty, violence and selfishness. Occasionally they run errands that entail rescuing a celestial (usually bright, but sometimes dark...) and delivering him or her to the sanctuary of campus. Sometimes they just deliver messages, or do people favors. (That last gets the servitors of the ArchDean called "apprentice Lilim" from time to time.)
Some celestials in the ArchDean's service are still outcasts or renegades, playing "the Lilim game" of a favor for a favor. They are rarely placed in positions of importance, often partnered with a loyal servitor, and always Geased to uphold the University rules (or at least the non-mundane ones, regarding keeping the peace and doing no harm to others). Some may be spies, but obnoxious ones are usually found to be violating their Geased agreement, which generates them great gobs of dissonance until they leave or are thrown out.
All servitors gain dissonance if they destroy knowledge. They never burn books, though they can certainly hide them away in the University Library. Paper-shredders are the darkest work of Vapula, to the Servitors of Knowledge.
Furthermore, dissonance is acquired if a servitor votes other than Libertarian. (Or for some other candidate/party that enhances personal freedoms. Democrats and Repulicans are right out most of the time.)
The Servitors of Knowledge are dedicated to protecting, acquiring and disseminating information. When on the campus grounds and protecting the sanctuary of IOU, all Servitors of Knowledge may use Essence "silently;" other on-campus Servitors of Knowledge (and the ArchDean) will sense that usage, but visitors detect no disturbance in the Symphony. This may be due to the noise of the campus Tether(s) drowning out lesser noises until an angel learns to "listen around it" -- knowledge that the ArchDean provides when she takes a Servitor into her service.
A Seraph of Knowledge can use his resonance to look at any written work, from newspaper to textbook, and determine whether the information in it is true or not. This includes the ability to tell if a written computer program will run or not. They can also spot BS in a student paper -- automatically.
A Cherub of Knowledge may use his resonance to attune himself to a building that contains knowledge, such as a bookstore, library or museum. While so attuned, he will know how to find any piece of knowledge (or art) within that building -- and if anything is stolen from it, he can find that, too! (Bought or legitimately checked out doesn't count -- until a book is overdue...) Cherubim make great librarians, faster than any card-index.
If confronted with a non-functioning device that would otherwise produce motion (a boat, car, skateboard, space-shuttle, etc.), an Ofanite of Knowledge can make a Perception roll to determine if what's wrong with it, and what needs to be fixed that will make it run. With the expenditure of 1 Essence, they can also tell how to fine-tune something to get more power (and hence, more speed) out of it... Their temporary skill in repairing or fine-tuning a device is equal to the check-digit of their resonance roll; after the device is repaired, fine-tuned or further broken, the skill fades away, likely unnoticed. (A 111 roll is likely to produce a Perpetual Motion Machine.)
Ofanim are usually found in Roles like Shuttlebus Driver, on-campus...
If he can see or touch a piece of artwork, book or other creation of someone's emotions and thoughts, an Elohite of the ArchDean can use his resonance to determine the emotional state of the creator, at the general time of creation. E.g., "The artist was angry when she painted this," or "the author was fairly content while writing this book, though there were some financial troubles." If the Elohite has access to several of the same creator's works, he may spend 1 Essence to determine, with a Perception roll, either the usual emotional state of the creator and/or, for another 1 Essence, the person's current emotional state (as if he were invoking his Elohite resonance directly). If the author or artist is dead, the Elohite will know whether he is reincarnated, dispersed, or in Heaven or Hell. With a high check-digit, details such as reincarnated as who, or in which level/Principality of the celestial realm, will be revealed.
Attempting to invoke this Attunement with a series of books "ghost-written" by various authors will give the Elohite a splitting headache for a number of hours equal to the successful check-digit, and a renewed respect for Kyriotates...
The ArchDean's Malakim can expend 1 Essence when they pick up a weapon, and have a vision of who last used it, and for what. Also, like her Ofanim, they can make a Perception roll and discover if the weapon is damaged, and how to fix it.
She has few Malakim, since they rarely Trip (and survive, at least), and therefore cannot be gathered up. Nearly all of the Malakim in her services were either created by her or assigned to her (she's gotten a few of Eli's Malakim in her service this way, via political dealings with their former "temporary" masters).
Though there are few (if any) bright Lilim in the ArchDean's service, they do have some benefits -- if a subject resists a Knowledge-Lilim's Geas, she can request a lesser favor immediately. The subject gets another Will roll (at same minus, if the Lilim was polite; guilt is useful), and if he grants this lesser favor, the Lilim will not gain dissonance -- though she no longer has a Geas on him. Bright Lilim will gain dissonance if they order their Geased subject to insert false data into something that will be believed: textbooks, newspapers other than the Weekly World News or National Enquirer, computer databases, etc.
Apparently as a side effect of their realignment, bright Lilim of Knowledge using their resonance tend to pick up on "needs of information" more often than before -- what skill or data the subject most needs to know. (Needs to know, not wants to know; keep this distinction in mind for the Lilim of Knowledge. Sometimes, a bright Lilim may even pick up on needs that the subject didn't know he had.)
Whenever a Kyriotate of Knowledge is using a mundane skill, its hosts will remember a dream of using that skill as if it were their own -- this doesn't gift the host with the skill automatically, but counts as teaching (the GM determines when Time Use is sufficient to gain a level of a skill). A Kyriotate may also communicate with its hosts (this is remembered as a dream by the host) and choose to let a (suddenly wide-awake, though calm) host control its own body; while "riding" passively, the Kyriotate is virtually undetectable as a celestial. (Any songs, resonances or attumements that can detect celestials have a target number of 3 to detect a passive Kyriotate of Knowledge. A 666 for a demon may do the trick as well, of course.)
Friendly and compassionate, Mercurians of Knowledge gain the Lilim-like ability to look at someone and, with a Perception roll, tell what that person needs most -- again, what is needed, not merely wanted. (They don't get to Geas the subject as well, of course.)
Some Mercurians are rumored to masquerade as Lilim, working "undercover" in demon-territory. Their celestial forms would still reveal them, but they can find needs, do favors, and Fast-Talk return favors if necessary to prove their "Band."
This Gift allows the celestial to make a Perception roll to determine if the subject believes strongly (or wishes to believe fully) in something that is not true. The influence of the delusion revealed depends on the check digit -- the higher the number, the more powerful the delusion perceived. The GM decides which delusion has the most effect on the behavior of the individual in question. Examples: "He really does love me; I can change him." "They're my kids, I have a right to hit them." "Everyone knows [ethnic group A] are inferior to [ethnic group B]." "I'll never get out of this slum." "She doesn't really love me." "You put the commas outside the quotes when you write."
Above and beyond this discovery, a successful "Know-Truth" will give a general bonus, equal to the check digit, for any "social skills" applied to the person during that conversation. (Such as Detect Lies, Emote, Fast-Talk, Lying, Savoir-Faire or Seduction.) This represents the celestial understanding what delusions are affecting the subject's behavior, and using those prejudices to influence him.
(If the GM decides a subject has no delusions of a certain level (say, 6), and that check-digit is rolled, she should say, "Nothing as strong as that, but there's a couple of level 5s, which are..." Or, for a really self-aware person, "You rolled a 6. There are a number of level 1 delusions, but this is basically one stable person!")
With this Attunement, a Servitor of Knowledge may spend 1 Essence and try a Perception vs. Will contest to correct any one mis-understanding or false knowledge within another. If the angel wins, the subject will realize that he had believed (or tried desperately to believe) something untrue, and will base future behavior on the Truth of that matter. As with Yves' Divine Logic Attunement (p. 134), Demon Princes are tougher nuts to crack than this Attunement can manage. If a servitor can find a mere demon (with equal or fewer Forces than the servitor possesses), he can try this Attunement on them, though. (Occasionally a demon will actually go Renegade from this, though it's rather rare; demons have high Wills.)
Since her free Lilim nature dislikes terms such as "Vassal of," the ArchDean simply renamed all her distinctions. (As with all Distinctions, they can be listed as simply [mumble] of Knowledge.)
With a Perception roll, any servitor with this distinction can function as a Seraph, telling truth from lies. For 2 Essence, she can force someone to speak the truth as he knows it to be for a number of minutes equal to the check digit. Balseraphs resist with Will vs. the Student of Truth's Perception (and may suffer their "contradictory tale" dissonance if they try and fail; Balseraphs hate Students of Truth).
With 1 Essence and a Perception roll, the celestial may touch a willing celestial or any human and temporarily gain any skills they possess, equal to the number of the check digit, for a number of hours equal to the check digit, at a level no higher than the lower of the skill or the check digit. The GM tells which skills the subject possesses, and at what levels, and the celestial picks the most useful (assuming he didn't get them all). Songs and Attunements are off-limits.
A celestial may expend Essence to designate boundaries on Earth; he will be aware of anything within those boundaries that requires his personal attention, so long as he is present within those same boundaries. If he concentrates, he can eavesdrop on events deliberately. He will also be Aware if he is in Heaven and there is a Heaven-Tether within his chosen location. The area of Awareness is equal to Essence-spent squared, in meters [yards, for us Americans]. This lasts for a period of time equal to the check digit in weeks; it can be renewed with another roll if the angel has sufficient Essence to pour back into it.
(It would appear that the ArchDean is Aware of everything that happens at IOU...)
The ArchDean returns most of Dominic's hostility, muttering darkly about holy racists, but instructs her servitors to help the Servitors of Judgment as much as they can without endangering the University or her Word; it keeps him in metaphorical debt to her, if not actual Geased debt. Laurence isn't much happy with her either, though she keeps him supplied with tidbits of information gleaned from sanctuary-seeking demons, and tells her servitors to help his whenever they can -- again, earning grudging metaphoric debts. Michael doesn't trust her, but it would gall him to aid Dominic in persecuting anyone.
The ArchDean is on excellent terms with Yves, her former Superior; the IOU Library Tether goes to an out-of-the-way corner of Yves' own Library. Due to the ArchDean's success at making the University a sanctuary (and her redemption of various renegades and outcasts), she and Novalis are on friendly terms. As for Eli -- the ArchDean has met him, keeps a room open in the Alumni Center for him, and says, "He's doing what he Needs to be doing. I checked."
For various reasons, the ArchDean has a soft spot -- not always appreciated by the recipients -- for David (any student who's pulled an all-nighter on a paper knows the strength gained by enduring terrible labors), Gabriel (the near-outcast Archangel arouses great sympathy from the ArchLilim; Islam guarded many great works when other cultures were burning them), Janus (for the sheer bemusement value of the Ofanite), Jean (some favors may have been done there for the IOU computer networks) and Marc (why, he and his servants are almost Lilim!).
Servitors of Knowledge [Learning/Education] are expected to keep those "soft spots" in mind -- but more for the reasons behind them than as general "Allied groups." (Gabriel's servitors are to be aided; getting Marc's servitors into metaphoric debt is highly recommended, but must be done with good feelings and integrity; David's servitors should be helped in anything that's not too violent; etc.)
Getting a Superior in the ArchDean's debt bigtime (GM's option) is highly approved of, and likely to get a Servitor Attunement or Distinction.
Allied: Yves, Novalis.
Associated: Eli, Jean -- & Dominic & Laurence's servitors, if they're not interfering.
Neutral: Everybody else
Hostile: Dominic & Laurence, though rarely to refusal of aid. Michael is Hostile to her.
[Since there are a lot of "easy" rites here (at least if you're on-campus and have the time), GMs may want to eliminate at least one, or have PCs choose 3, or make one a "special" rite, to be awarded to faithful servitors.]
Chance of Invocation: 0 off-campus; 3 on-campus. Anyone can make an appointment to see her, several weeks in advance, but it had better be important... (And Something May Come Up, at the GM's whim.)
+1 Homework that earned at least a B
+2 A used textbook in decent condition
+3 In an classroom
+4 A Master's degree
+5 An unpublished Ph.D thesis
+6 A Nobel Medal
Calypso shuffled her corporeal feet a little in the thick carpet, trying not to not look at the celestial she'd so recently served... Guilt is subjective, she told herself, questing for the right, logical, objective outlook upon the Symphony. What I am asking for is the optimal thing to do. She cannot deny my nature.
The ArchDean chuckled slightly and sighed. "I really must be careful not to find this too ironically amusing, you know. Kobal would be far too pleased. From Outcast to Habbalite to Renegade, to Elohite again -- and you want to return to Blandine's service."
"I was created by her, Lady," Calypso said quietly. "I would be more effective in the Marches, protecting dreamers. The Library is calming, but objectively, I am not as well suited to it as I am to dreams."
"And she's agreed to have you back?"
"She has, my Lady." Calypso did not feel at all guilty about knowing that -- an old friend had dropped by and mentioned it, just an Earthly month ago.
With another sigh, the Lilim Archangel stood. "Well, then, I won't keep you waiting." She walked around the desk and placed her hands upon Calypso's shoulders. There was a ringing note in the Symphony as the Archangel said, "I release you from my service, Elohite Calypso. But not from the debt of existence that you owe me."
Calypso stiffened, eyes wide, as she felt the Geasa wrapping around her. For a moment, she forgot to have her vessel breathe. But... I thought...
Her former superior released her. "Go back to your mistress, Calypso. You know where the Tether is. Tell Blandine that I'll endeavor to arrange your repayments so that they do not interfere with the duties she assigns you."
The Elohite nodded, then turned and made her shaky way out of the office. She slumped against the elevator wall as it bore her out of the ArchLilim's clock-tower. I had thought she'd negotiate a mild favor with Blandine -- to retune a Renegade to the true Symphony is an equal task for Them. But I could never have Redeemed myself... She walked to the Tether in a daze. Even the brief task of reverting to her androgynous celestial self and ascending to Yves' Library did not rouse her/him/it from contemplating what had happened.
It was easier, in Heaven, to see what had been done. Calypso briefly closed his/her/its wide eyes. Nine Earthly years. At any time, she could call me back to serve... Until I have served, in whatever portions of time she desires, for nine years. Calypso opened those eyes again and began looking for a guide. Heaven had changed since the Elohite's Fall and Redemption, and it would not be entirely easy to find Blandine's Tower without help. With luck, Blandine would not be too upset about the Geasa. And, Calypso reflected, this did give a certain perspective on the psychology of Lilim themselves. When looked at the right way, it was even... interesting.
All Archangels want their Word to be important in the Symphony, believing that their individual Words have great tactical importance in the struggle between Heaven and Hell. The ArchDean is no different, but she has a few strikes against her in her efforts to use her Word to best effect. Firstly, "Knowledge" [or Education/Learning/Secrets, etc.] is not what you'd call a "Power Word," like War or Sword. Though she's pointed out that it includes Espionage (she debriefs all of her rehabilitated Renegades, personally and very thoroughly), few of the "War Party" take her contributions seriously.
Even an Archangel can get annoyed by that. It's said that the "gripe sessions" between her and Novalis are an education to any celestial who happens to overhear them.
But now one comes to the second, and greater, problem the ArchDean faces. She's a Lilim. A bright Lilim, true, but nevertheless, she was created by a Demon Princess, and served the side of Hell for some unknown period of time. In the minds of the other Archangels, there's always a chance that Lucifer might be able to offer her enough power that she'd make a Deal, as happened with Lilith.
This mistrust shapes much of the ArchDean's visible actions. Despite the awesome, subtle power of Knowledge (just ask the Elohim how knowing more than one "side" of a matter changes them), the Archangel of Knowledge is regarded as "weak" in the politics of Heaven, along with Novalis, Jordi and Eli [and others yet unnamed]. The ArchLilim encourages this perception. "Weak" problems are left alone, to be dealt with if they become an actual problem. "Weak" Archangels are ignored by the "big guns." "Weak" allies can be bossed around and put in the front lines, and so they are useful, and occasionally get a little help. "Weak" threats might be tempted by the other side, looking for a turncoat.
The ArchDean is hardly as "weak" as she seems, and she's working on getting stronger.
Alone among the Archangels, the ArchDean seeks out the Children of the Grigori, and covertly offers them training -- never (what, never?) revealing the celestial nature of that help. Her servitors do some of this training -- but only those who have the most to lose if they don't keep their mouths shut about what they guess of their students. Do the students themselves know what they are, and what their teachers are? Maybe. Of all the celestials in Heaven, a redeemed Lilim might be able to gain a wary tolerance from the Children of the exiled Grigori.
While other celestials know that there are Children of Grigori on-campus, they think this is merely "bad luck." Various Servitors of Knowledge espouse theories that the Children are drawn to the force of the University's Tether, and speculate that other Tethers attract Grigori-kin as well -- just not as obviously.
Why does she help Grigori? To keep tabs on them? To subtly guide them towards Light? To recruit them? Out of some sense of "kinship"? To form a third Power in the war...? For someone whose word is Knowledge, the ArchDean is very good at keeping this secret.
Also alone among Archangels, she'll give up a newly-Redeemed celestial to its old Heavenly creator, and that creator often won't owe her anything. The freshly scrubbed angel, on the other hand...
Any Redeemed celestial who leaves the ArchDean's service gets stuck with no less than 9 Geasa, all at level 6 (interestingly enough, this includes any who would go Outcast on her again, as well as those who suffer a full Fall). The ArchDean says that it's to make sure they can be found and helped if they Trip again. Most other Archangels say it's probably just habit -- it's a Lilim's nature to collect debts, and since the debt is only on a servitor, it's nothing to get seriously annoyed about.
Again, as a solitary exception, the ArchDean will remove Discord from servitors not her own -- for a price: a year of service, sometime in the future (a Geas/6, which may be broken down into up to 6 lesser Geasa). Some servitors think that's worth it, to keep Discord from getting them in trouble with their real Superiors. After all, we're all on the same side, right?
Well, some might argue the point. After all, what other Archangel would allow demons to run around on her campus? What other Archangel reportedly said to the Prince of Lust, "Hey, Andre! Did you make it to that party at Sigma Epsilon Chi?" (This is just a rumor -- she actually said that to a sister-Lilim... of Lust.) It's certain that the spin she's put on Knowledge is meant to encourage individual Freedom, the Word of her dark mother, even if it is a Freedom that tends to stop where other people's freedom starts.
The ArchDean says that the sanctuary-status only helps her and her servitors eavesdrop shamelessly on what the Other Side plans. True, they try to feed false information, but this is taken into account; Seraphim make good spies. Cherubim can attune themselves to a demon and find demonic safe-houses. (And sometimes do. The University is really the safest place in the area, for a demon...) Malakim and Cherubim have been known to ask a few questions of demons evicted for disturbing the Sanctuary's peace -- and, unusually, the Malakim are persuaded to let the dark celestials survive in some cases... Elohim of Knowledge go on and on about the purity of the true Symphony, and how easy it would be for a demon to know it again; sometimes their objectivity can make even a demon reconsider his path. Kyriotates in pigeon, squirrel and cat bodies beg food from students, and follow demons around. Of course, for various reasons, her servitors will spy on any non-Knowledge celestials on-campus. Or on Soldiers, of course. Or even on random humans who seem to be doing something interesting. Some of her Mercurians have a fondness for trenchcoats.
Still, there's those rescue missions that her servitors go on -- bailing demons out of their messes? Her servitors don't like to talk about some of those missions, and there are probably more of them than anyone knows about. Maybe it's just to get more people, on both sides, Owing her a favor, so she can get information or help from them later.
Newly Redeemed servitors do light Tether-work; more trusted ones go on angelic rescue missions; the most trusted go on darker missions (Why does she want this book titled Necromonicon? Everyone knows that the published versions are fake. Though this one does seem to be bound with something other than paper...). And just maybe, those who are loyal beyond doubt (and Geased beyond breaking) are sent undercover...
The blackest rumors, squelched ruthlessly when noticed, say that she can take a willing angel... and Drop him. Retune him to Darkness and let him "escape" to a Demon Prince -- and later, call him back via a Geas and find out what he's learned. And realign him back to Light again, of course; a Superior wouldn't let one of hers stay a demon...
So GMs can assume that the ArchLilim is, indeed, building a powerbase below her "sweet, innocent schoolmarm" facade. One could assume that she's working towards a Destiny of some kind, aiding the Light with her power, rather than finding a Fate of betrayal. One could also wonder if her goals are as simple as that, though...
Remember that Lilim are created to be free, to rise and fall as their cunning and deal-making deserve. That many of them bind themselves to a Prince is a "fatal flaw" -- they have a celestial credit card, and the interest never seems high enough not to charge whatever they want to it. After all, they're immortal, they'll get free eventually, right?
The ArchDean mildly detests her lesser sisters' inability to get out of debt, while longing to bring them to the path that she walks, where self-freedom does not mean subjugation of others. In her mind, everyone should have the maximum amount of freedom possible, while armed with the knowledge to use that freedom wisely, rather than wasting it. Enlightened self-interest, she believes, can lead a being to the most self-sacrificing actions. Perhaps she's right -- it is no easy task for a Lilim to purge herself of selfishness, yet somehow, she managed that all by herself.
But notice that to a Lilim, "Redemption" is just exchanging one Superior for another -- binding oneself to an Archangel instead of a Demon Prince. At least in Hell, a Lilim could dream of answering to no one! Maybe the Princes wouldn't like a free Lilim running around, but "Mom" would prevent them from victimizing one. In Heaven, you don't get the dangerous, delightful option of cutting loose. Archangels can be even more jealous of their dominion than Princes.
Humans have similar options -- eternal slavery to the Demon Princes, or a lighter servitude in Heaven. (At least, as far as anyone knows. There are souls that ascend higher, and it's unknown what they do or don't do there.) Heaven's obviously the better deal for them, but couldn't there be some way to free them from this dichotomy? To break the hold the war between Dark and Light has on the Earth, and give humanity back its options, plus a few others?
This is rankest heresy by many of the old-timer's lights, and they would be most upset to hear an Archangel was thinking in those paths. What the ArchLilim considers is no less than exposing celestials as real (considered to be a Bad Thing for many reasons; the applicable one here being that if an angel tells a mortal to do something, the mortal often does, and there goes Free Will, which will get God POed no end). That she wants to add options (voluntary reincarnation, or a celestial plane that runs via consensual anarchy) would only compound the horror -- to go against God's Plan for mortal souls to ascend to Heaven? How shocking! She wants to add a third side to the struggle! And if she managed -- who would join her? The Children of Grigori? Lilith herself? Other Demon Princes? Other Archangels?
A goal that might not be possible, but surely, in that ArchLilim
mind of hers, the thought has come up... An exhilarating dream, neither
bright nor dark, but full of moire' patterns of gray.
The Lilim knelt in front of the Princess, palest green hair tumbling over one shoulder. "You have summoned me, Mother, and I come. What would you have me do?"
Lilith smiled faintly. "The Catholic Church, in Italy. It displeases me, ruling all with an iron hand. Get rid of it."
Her Daughter looked thoughtful. "That will take a while, as mortals reckon time. What is the alotted span, my Mother?"
The enigmatic Lilith gave the tinest of shrugs. "A few of their decades, if necessary. It will buy your freedom from all debt to me, if you can manage it in less than a century."
The pale-haired Lilim felt the last Geasa tingling, sending beautiful fire through her celestial veins as she assimilated the Instructions. She stood, glowing with Purpose. "It shall be done, to the glory of your Word, my Mother!" With a final bow, she tilted her head back and vanished from the darkness of Hell.
In the bright halls of Yves' Library, the Lilim bowed her head before the Archangel of Destiny. "In Italy, there are scholars and visionaries with great Destinies, sir. May I go there? Please?"
The ArchDean was created a few thousand years ago, and served Lilith and those her Geasa were given to -- but never bound herself to a Demon Prince. Sometime around the time Gabriel was set to sparking Islam, the ArchDean-to-be contacted Yves, and began working for him -- in and around the requirements of her own Geasa.
The third (and final) burning of the Library at Alexandria was a fatal blow to the last holder of the word of Knowledge -- much to the amusement of Kobal. Having taken chance comments of "Knowledge is Power" and "...the Truth shall set you free" to heart, the bright Lilim began seeking out ways to promote Knowledge again. She succeeded both in staking a claim to that Word and fufilling her final Geas to Lilith in the same accomplishment -- the Renaissance, where she guided many intellectuals to their Destinys and began breaking the hold of the Church at the same time. (Who did pose for the Mona Lisa, anyway?)
She achieved her status as Archangel around the time that public education became popular in the United States of America, and started working on her University.
The GURPS Illuminati University book can be used as a source of basic ideas fairly easily, with some changes.
The College of Temporal Happenstance, Ultimate Lies and Historical Undertakings (C.T.H.U.L.H.U.) no longer exists, alas.
The College of Metaphysics is a College of Philosophy, overtly. Covertly, it's where Children of Grigori and other not-so-mundane "normals" are taught.
The College of Obscure and Unhealthy Professions (COUP) is only a nickname for the buildings that house the Law School and College of Health Professions; the nickname arises from rumors that things like intelligence analysis are also taught there, and it's certain that "overspill" from the Theater department winds up here (Emote 101, anyone?). Nobody takes it really seriously, though.
The College of Weird and Unnatural Sciences and Engineering (WUSE) is merely "SSE," the School of Sciences and Engineering. Natural Sciences (biology, botany, geology, etc.) are taught here, but the school really shines in its high-tech classes. (There is a running, fairly good-natured, debate between the ArchDean and Archangel Jean, regarding how much to teach the students here; it tends to work out to a thorough grounding in existing technology, and carefully-monitored research by purely human groups. There are some fairly serious "Ethical Implications of Technology" classes required in this field of study -- not just token "tree-hugger, tech is bad" classes, but serious discussions of the ramification of new inventions and their impact on the world. You find a lot of Elohim in this area...)
The School of Conservative Arts (SCA) may actually keep its name, to the amusement of the Society of Creative Anachronism. This is the Business School. There is probably at least one Servitor of Trade here.
The School of Performing and Creative Arts (SPCA) will likely drop to just School of Arts, though having it remain the same would be a source of amusement to students (it would officially be listed as PCA, I suspect). The teachers for voice and musical instruments are among the best in the world... Graduations at IOU are usually accompanied by live music from these teachers and their best students, and less formal displays of skill are not uncommon. (A prized item on-campus is a recording of a certain Seraph-Balseraph faceoff -- two paces, with violins. Rumors that the Balseraph was later redeemed are neither confirmed nor denied.)
The School of Social Anti-Sciences (SSAS) will turn back into the College of Liberal Arts, alas. It would be one of the most "mundane" of the colleges, save for the tendency of the Children of the Grigori to show up as Liberal Arts majors when they apply. (Many seem to wind up in the College of Philosophy after a few semesters.) There is also a series of religious classes here, every semester. These range from more philosophical orientation, to "Compare and Contrast the King James' Bible with C. S. Lewis' _The Chronicals of Narnia_, Tolkien's work, and Heinlein's _Stranger in a Strange Land_."
Bimbiras and Kajones, the staple secretaries in a Silly GURPS Illuminati University, are rarely found on the grounds of an In Nomine IOU. Some still act a bit ditzy, but that is now usually a cover to put others off-guard. Would you believe that the sweet-faced, soft-voiced, scatter-witted bleached-blond with the tan and impeccable make-up was actually a Malakite? Perhaps not, but it's a bad idea to try to force your way into the elevator to the ArchDean's office.
Cats are still present -- and well-tended by the Kyriotates who use them as hosts. Cat abuse on the In Nomine campus may well be dealt with by the cats themselves -- Numinous Corpus Songs of Claws and Fangs, anyone?
CIA Gulls are what the students call the sea-gulls that hang around (assuming that the University is set in a location where such can show up); after all, they seem to be watching everyone, right? They'll even peer in windows. They are another favorate Kyriotate host.
Dryads... Rumors of green-skinned humanoids in the Avant Gardens and Botany department can probably be traced to Servitors of Novalis, but the standard Lilim celestial form will also fit that description... Maybe the dryads are just SPCA majors in green body-paint, rehearsing _A Midsummer Night's Dream_.
Zombie Gerbils are unlikely to exist, unless the GM can think of a reason why a Servitor of Saminga would be allowed to create/bring them on campus.
IRS Agents will always exist, alas! Surprisingly, they are rarely referred to as "Infernal Revenue Service Agents" -- unless it's true. The position of Celestial In Black (CIB) is more-often filled by teams of Judgement or the Game.
Meeps... Very very doubtful...
Pigeons, Campus -- these mingle more freely with "townie" pigeons, but seem to have learned that they're healthier, cleaner, and better-fed when they stay on campus as hosts for Kyrios.
Any loose Rabbits and Rats are generally Kyriotate hosts -- though it's said that the IOU Steam Tunnels are patrolled by overly-large rats ("Rodents of Unusual Size"?) who can be very aggressive towards non-humans. The Steam Tunnels do connect all or nearly all of the buildings on campus. Perhaps the Steam Tunnels are the exclusive shortcuts of IOU personnel?
Squirrels do indeed follow people around, watching, and at least one person is reported to have been "mugged" by a group of a dozen or two, dropping from the tree above to swarm all over a startled visitor. Reports that they carried away something shiny were denied by the victim.
Artic Furred Turtles probably don't exist, though the temptation to put something utterly unexplicable and silly on-campus is hard to resist. Perhaps they're somebody's idea of a joke? A contribution to the spy and counter-spy forces by Kobal?
Not until the expanded rules for humans (and possibly the Children of the Grigori!) come out, I fear. Assume that Deans are likely to be celestial or Soldiers. Or Grigori-kin...
The Library is run by a Cherub Dean of Awareness; it is also a Tether to Yves' Library. (The ArchDean maintains only a very small, spartan (relatively speaking) Cathedral in Heaven, and she is rarely there.) It's not clear who the Seneschal is -- either the Cherub in question, or one of Yves' own Servitors. Students are advised that letting their books get overdue is a good way to get a visit from an assistant librarian, who will assess fines and collect books personally. Attempting to smuggle books out of the Library unofficially, or deface them, is an really quick way to get kicked out of the Library!
The Museum is also likely to be run by a Cherub, or at least a Dean of Awareness. There is a "service hallway" that connects the Museum and Library underground (they are across campus, but a nearly straight shot via this "secret passage"), but it's supposed to be off-limits to all but staff or faculty. Exhibits at the IOU Museum vary from the nearly-mundane to the exceedingly baroque. Finding the Sanguine Painting (p. IN197) hanging in a corner somewhere wouldn't faze anyone familiar with the Museum's habits. And even it would have a little white card with Creator, Date of Creation (probably both "Unknown") and some tidbit of information suitable for incorporation into a research paper.
The Main Building's Clock Tower is still the location of the ArchDean's personal office (and it still, by some trick, looks bigger on the inside), accessible via a long, somewhat creaky spiral staircase or an elevator. Her office is also a Tether to her own small Cathedral (primarily a duplicate of the Main Building and Clock Tower, only bigger); who the Seneschal here is is even more mysterious than the Library's! Perhaps the Tower Seneschal is always in celestial form, or has a cat vessel -- the ArchDean usually has a cat or three in residence in her office. (Nobody's been known to become allergic to those cats, strangely or not-so-strangely. They don't shed on the ice-gray carpet, either, though only a dedicated cat-lover will notice this unnatural detail.) Attempts to get into the Tower via non-mundane means (Songs, celestially, etc.) fail mysteriously unless the ArchDean wanted to talk to that person anyway.
The Performing Arts Center, while losing the "Madame Salome's," is still a popular place at IOU; among other reasons, for the Music Department's efforts in that direction.
Dorms may retain their GURPS IOU names -- de Sade, Torquemada, Faustus, Louis the XIVth, Jackson Hall (aka "Jackson's Hole," a party-dorm), Butler (another party-dorm), Pearcy, Murphy Hall, and the freshman housing of Monty Hall. (Or, at IOU, "freshthing" -- to be politically correct towards those who are not human, have no standard gender, or both...)
The Borgia Center is the popular name for the main on-campus dining hall. Haagenti is not amused. Any target of any Attunement of Gluttony to encourage food-consumption at the Borgia Center will have a bonus to Will and his Check Digit equal to the his Corporeal Forces. (The more corporeal the victim, the more he knows how awful cafeteria food can taste!) Attempts to use the Devour Attunement on cafeteria food are at a penalty equal to the demon's Corporeal Forces...
(Fortunately, pushcarts are fairly common on-campus, and serve edible food. It is entirely possible that the Borgia Center is nothing more than a mysterious and elaborate insult to Haagenti!)
Pyramid Mall is probably a Tether to Marc -- though with all the advertising that goes on at malls, Nybbas or Haagenti (buy, buy, buy! Mmmmm!) might have a foot-hold there ("foot, mmmm!"), if the GM wishes.
[others: in progress]
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 22:53:34 -0600
From: a little fish in a big pond <email@example.com>
Btw, you mentioned that the "IOU" nickname would probably stay, perhaps based on a gaming book, but there's an even better reason for the moniker...
IOU *usually* stands for "I Owe You". With an archdean Lillim? A university called Illuminati University with such a leader at its helm is practically begging for the nickname...
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 01:31:13
From: John Terry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ummm - Speaking of your Web page, and speaking of <fnord> -
Your article 'IOU in In Nomine' is VERY cool. Although I don't recall if you mentioned it or not, if the College of Zen Surrealism still exists (a point it has itself debated) in the 'IN' version of IOU, it would seem to be a good place for Eli to hang out, perhaps teaching a class or two as a visitng professor to the unsuspecting group! Even if he did manifest some unusual power - "Abracadabra" for instance - no one would pay much mind in that context. "Transubstantiation" is also handy at budget-minded beer bashes.
The Zen aspect is probably not 100% compatible with Eli's outlook, if anything really is. Partying at Jackson Hall and crashing at the Alumni Center may be Zen enough.....
John Terry email@example.com
"Imagination is more important than Intelligence." - Einstein
"History never repeats itself, but it DOES rhyme." - Twain
This is John, who had the Archdean send out a bill for half a million for the broken nuke reactor about a month ago to one of his players.
Welcome! [To the In Nomine mailing list. --arcangel]
Since this is a game about Heaven and Hell, it is only appropriate that we waft from high discussions about the nature of angels, to experiencing the "flames" from hell :-) And yes, you get to suffer the Purgatory of rules lawyers doing bean counting such as medieval theologians never considered!
Now about the Archdean! Which Choir reflects her most? Like I said before, I thought Malakim from her fashion choices, but I might reconsider and say Lilim (or...dare I say...Lilith?!? I know, that's classified!)
There you go! The Archdean's real name is Lilith, and the Bimbras are actually her Lilim in training! Talk about a rough intro to life!! I don't even want to think about who "Fred" is...
So the Reality Stabilizers are really Requilaries which constantly cast Celestial Shield at an ungodly (opps) level. WUSE is a front for Vapula, Malphas works the various Colleges, Kobal gets his due, the place IS a nightmare; Belial, well IOU/Fire get it?
The place could be a Fifth Coloumn strategic thrust to train the future
Illuminati of the world to accept chaos and greed, leaving the Angels working
much harder to "convert" the brainwashed leaders to come...
Suddenly, this place isn't so much fun anymore.
Needless to say Haagenti is left out in the cold (EAT at the Borgia Cafeteria???) So there is some humor left.
Well, let me know what you think about this rumination. BTW, I saw and liked the IOU spells in Pyramid #23.
[This got continued... --arcangel]
>>>Now about the Archdean! Which Choir reflects her
most? Like I said
>>>before, I thought Malakim from her fashion choices, but I might
>>>reconsider and say Lilim (or...dare I say...Lilith?!? I know, that's
>><grin> She certainly doesn't seem very Malakim to me... (Though a
>>"tripped" Malakim is an interesting notion...)
>Sure, why not? Particularly if her Word is MONEY, and her Superior
>(which doesn't jib with the image at all) would be Marc. Suppose she cut
Even better, as a Lilim, she could be "free", clear of both sides, with the whole favor thing owed from some high ranking Archs and Princes, but with her solid power base from the Children of the Grigori, and the weird fringe cults at work in the Marches (the gods there are not really happy with the accomodations. No one has a good view, the hot lava is tepid at best, and there is no newspaper thing to drop off the news...)
Fred as a servitor of Asmodeous, presently being bought off with virgin sacrifices (and if you don't think that is costing a pretty penny <snicker>)
I know this is cliche, but I was taking a shower, thinking about your conversion for the Archdean and IOU when the idea hit me. As I have been obvious about, I haven't liked the Archdean as the Patron saint of Knowledge, particularly when Yves seems to wrap up that title nicely.
But what defines IOU and the very existance of the Archdean? It is a subpart of knowledge, and is very definative of Her as a truant from the Other Side.
The Archdean is the Archangel of SECRETS! From Her very name, to her blackmail files, to how, despite all evidence to the contrary, IOU turns a profit, every shred of evidence marks Her as The One who Knows! This still allows very few changes to the write up you made. I just thought it made sense.
[This makes sense to me, too... I often like it better than my idea! But I'm not going to change all the work I've already done yet. <grin> I'll leave that as an exercise for the student. --arcangel]
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 1997 21:08:32 EST
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (john c dye)
Subject: Re: IOU in In Nomine
>>Almost better. Archdean as a Grigori. That way she's a real
>>Then she can wander around gathering her "children", and thus explaining
>>the "atmosphere" of the Campus.
>Ooooooo, that's a good one. Write it up?
Well, along the same lines that you did. Even the Grigori must have
had an Archangel of some type. Of course, there would be no tether to H
or H, but how about one to the Marches? With the backing of a bunch of
spirits, to help her with essence and rites, that should solidify her power
The area of the campus might be on an ancient burial mound (what is buried there is not specified, but every sushi bar on campus has somehow been mysteriously destroyed within a week, with the few proprioters who live screaming every time they see a tentacled mollusk...) This location helps blur all but the greatest essence discharges _on campus_! Say a -10 for anyone not in THE TOWN or IOU to detect the change in the Symphony. What God and Lucifer do or think is Their own business.
As a Grigori, she has been barred from the Cool Places in Heaven and the Hot Spots of Hell, (though that is not definative). What do you do if you have a few millenium of immortality with nothing to do? First enjoy your self for a few centuries (no doubt leading to Her taste in garments...). Now She either wants back upstairs, or has Her own agenda. I see the latter. Because of the nature of IOU, (we are reverse engineering here) she is seeking the Children of the Grigori. Why? Well, maybe She had a few children (just think of the joy of not having stretch marks.), or if She was in male mode, a LOT of children. No doubt the various persecutions against the Children did not sit well with her. IOU may be the way to avoid the former, while also protecting mundania from THEM!
This is too big an operation for Her alone. Therefore, the Scholars of the Grigori have been formed; Children who have reached favor in Her eyes, and been given The Treatment (otherwise known as the Song of Corporeal Shielding). In addition, she probably has a few other Grigori around for help. I vote for George (though the first letter in his name may indicate a Higher Purpose!). He seems to be the only other reasonably omnicient being around.
I believe that the attunements could be geographically limited, perhaps reflecting The Treatment and other oddness. One of the things missing from the write up on Grigori is what their resonence is. I think their resonence as a watcher should be some sensory power, lending to the Archdean's foreknowledge, so She can foreplay with what happens. Maybe not.
Attunements: 360 degree vision (a definate survival skill on campus)
I just looked through IOU Nomine and about the only thing I can say (besides, "Oh, whoa, this is cool") is that if I ever use it, dissonance for voting other than Libertarian is going straight out the window.
[Ya runs yer games, ya edits to fit. Suits me fine! --arcangel]
Since my IOU would be set in Canada, it'd be the equivalent of disenfranchising
any servitors of the ArchDean - if there is a LP of Canada, then it's just
slightly less of a joke than the Rhino Party, and the only party going
these days that actually promotes *personal* freedom is the NDP. Don't
ask about the NDP. :-)
So, the dissonance that I *will* be using is one that's tied to the ArchDean's Word: supporting any person or system that hurts education. Less political, more gameable, and it makes it possible for IOU to move outside the borders of the U.S. without stripping freedoms from servitors.
That, and I'm thinking of Parhas, Demon Prince of Privatization, for whom this dissonance, suitably *edited* to appease the demonic ideal of selfishness, is more suited: "Dissonance whenever the demon votes anything *but* an agenda that hurts people who depend on government programs to live. (This doesn't count if the government program is bad and being replaced by a private solution that's good!) Voting Republican seems to do the trick these days, but in a pinch, try Libertarian. 'They still give a damn about people,' Parhas's been heard to say, 'but give me a few years and we can fix that....'"
(And somewhere, the Demon Prince of Barely-Concealed Propaganda racks
up a point of Essence.
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