The Gabriel Hounds:

By Tom Timberlake (


IN LORE, the Gabriel Hounds, known also as the Gabriel Ratchets or Rackets, were the hunting hounds of Heaven, that made an unholy noise when on the hunt. I personally believe this to be a Christianized version of the Celtic Wild Hunt. they were later explained away as wild geese honking while flying overhead at night, when the sound, so familiar by daylight, took on an eerie, otherworldly quality.

IN THE GAME: the Gabriel Hounds, despite the name, are the "departed" souls of Soldiers who served Jordi in life. caught at the very moment of their death, these Soldiers have qualified for Heavenly Reward, but not for Sainthood. this additional, voluntary term of service is their chance to earn an upgrade. unlike the Undead, whose souls are destroyed when slain, the Hounds will continue their Ascent to Heaven and beyond the sure knowledge of the First Heaven's Angels, except possibly for Yves, who is saying. this guaranteed Ascent is one of the perks of working for Heaven. Note: their souls do come undone if they are made to Fall--Jordi's Blessing doesn't follow them to Hell. upon accepting Jordi's offer, the soul of the dead Soldier is Blessed by Jordi,causing it to be reformed into a canine form appropriate to the character of the Soldier--a peerless tracker may find him/herself a bloodhound, a fighter par excellence may become a Doberman or a Rottweiler, etc... the Hound will continue to wear this form until they have attained Sainthood, are slain, or have served a term of years equal to their human lifespan.

the Hounds exists simultaneously on both the Corporeal and Celestial Planes, so fleeing by going Celestial is useless. this does mean they can be hit from both planes simultaneously, however. {the Demon whose Word is Game-Balance made me write that--tom}

they have a vicious bite that does either Celestial or Corporeal damage, depending on the state of existence of their target. they may NOT follow their target to Heaven or Hell, since the Celestial Forces that are the trademark of the Soldier, have been effectively "leashed" to the Corp. and Eth. Planes. this bite does +2 damage, either corporeally or ethereally, with appropriate fighting skill, if possessed during their human lifespan, also being added. very few get this, since few humans learn to attack by biting and clawing, but it will be a Soldier of Jordi, if any.

they have one special Song, though it actually works like a Perception-based Resonance: once given the Corporeal scent of a target to track, unless the target goes Celestial, they can track it wherever it leads, like a Cherub's Attunement, even if the trail leads to the Ethereal Marches. like Perception-based Resonances, their Song makes no disturbance of the Symphony, unless they spend Essence to boost their chances of successfully using this Song. Hounds do have the habit, treat as a mental Discord/Habit, of "sounding off" once they make actual visual contact with their target. targets with the appropriate Songs, Attunements, Resonances, or Distinctions may attempt to hide themselves--treat this as a standard Opposed roll, with the higher CD prevailing.

the Hounds may hide their passing from sight, by shifting their _visible_ form to the Ethereal Plane, though this masking does not work on the eyes of those possessing Celestial Forces, who can see "beyond sight". this masking trick does not change their dual-planar existence, nor does it prevent them from being heard. if they are trying to sneak, they must also be careful not to run into things--their bodies still possess substance, even if it isn't visible. knocking over trash cans, or whatever else gets in their way, can spoil an otherwise perfect stalk, giving their target time to try to get away, to escape.

the Hounds give Jordi leverage to use in Heavenly politics, since a pack of Shetland-pony sized canines that can track like a Cherub without suffering dissonance when they attack the subject of their Song tends to be a well-regarded commodity/service that Jordi isn't above taking advantage of. this also gives Jordi's Soldiers something to look forward to after Death and lends them a distinctive flavor from any other Superior's Soldiers.

Character group seed: one of Jordi's Servitors as a handler/agent--the "dogs" don't really need a trainer/handler, but Jordi sends one of his own along to run interference for them and keep them from being used in ways he doesn't approve of. 1 angel of Jordi, 2-4 Hounds, and at least one angel of the Superior the Hounds are on loan to. the missions the group is given will depend on who is borrowing the Hounds--Novalis may want to use them to track down a toxic-waste dumper, while Dominic has been known to negotiate for their use in tracking down Outcasts who don't want to be found. Eli has even borrowed them from time to time to locate one of his toys, when they get out of hand, since the Hounds' Song works equally well on objects as on people, subject to there being an actual physical scent to start from, though once they have the scent, they actually seem to be tracking their target's Essence-tial being. the Hounds are one reason the other Archangels don't completely "write-off" Jordi as unnecessary and irrelevant.


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