by "Kirt A. Dankmyer -- aka Loki" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here is my version of the Grigori. I welcome any comments and critique....
It was raining.
Fredrico didn't like the way the man had been standing there, watching him from across the street, waiting. The man was wearing round mirrorshades, so you couldn't see his eyes, but Fredrico was sure he was watching him. He hadn't so much as flinched when the storm broke out. Just kept his face pointed at the window to Fredrico's shop.
Fredrico decided to ignore him while he locked up for the night. He pulled down the cage, cursing his wife for not giving him his umbrella this morning. He pulled out the padlock that went on the chains.
And nearly jumped out of his skin, when a voice behind him spoke: "If I could make a suggestion."
Fredrico whipped around. The guy had snuck up on him. "What the hell...?!"
"No," said the man. "Not yet. If I may make a suggestion, if you put the padlock on that particular link of chain, it will be relatively easy to pop off with the aid of a crowbar. But if you put it here..." He pointed to a link a couple of links down from the one Fredrico was going to use. "I think you'll find that any potential thief will have a lot less leverage."
Fredrico looked at the chain. His anger dissolved in a moment when he came to the realization that the stranger was right. He turned to thank him, but he was gone.
Outcasts one and all, shunned and heavily Discordant, there are still some Grigori left on Earth. The most human of the Choirs, and able to breed with mortals, the Grigori were -- and are -- charged with watching the activities of Man and occasionally giving Man a nudge here and here.
Grigori have a resonance for fine detail. They can glean all sorts of information from a scene at a glance. Before there were detectives, the Grigori were the next best thing to Scotland Yard, and even to this day no human or other Choir of angels can match them.
Nothing, no tiny detail, is beneath a Watcher's notice. They all have photographic memoires, and they never forget anything that they've ever seen. Anything that's ever happened to them is preserved forever in their memory. Not only will a Grigori notice that you dropped mustard on your shoe while eating a hot dog for lunch, he'll be able to sketch the outline of the stain for you a century later. Given their current status, their long memories are more of a curse than a blessing. Many Grigori have stopped yearning for a return to Heaven, and yearn for something simpler... forgetfulness.
This fine eye for detail also gives the Grigori an intuitive insight into any activity a human or Celestial might be undertaking. Nobody, not even a Seraph, is perfect, and the Grigori can make suggestions to improve anyone's performance, no matter how trivial those suggestions may be. Many people (and quite a few Celestials) find this pretty annoying, but over the long term, the Grigori are some of the best teachers in the Symphony, even for things that they themselves can't do very well. (This gives whole new meaning to an old maxim: "Those that can, do. Those who can't, teach.")
The fact that this part of their resonance can be applied to any activity is part of what tripped up the Grigori in the first place. A Watcher can suggest how to improve one's painting technique, or one's lovemaking technique, or one's torturing technique. It doesn't matter. And considering how nearly human the Grigori are, it's only a short step from *suggestion* to *demonstration*. (Admit it, if a big, muscular angel was watching you in bed and giving you good, helpful tips on making love, wouldn't you invite him to join in?)
Intimacy with humans generates dissonance in a Watcher. Their job is to watch and to suggest, not to get involved. Entering into a relationship with a human that goes beyond a teacher-pupil relationship or something purely professional generates a note of dissonance. For every week beyond the first that the relationship continues, the angel earns a note of dissonance. Particularly intimate acts -- like sex with a human -- earn a note of dissonance every time they are performed. Violence committed for a personal end or out of emotional desire (rather than as part of one's job, say) is very intimate in its own way, and therefore dissonant. The Grigori understand humans best of all, and because of this, to remain divine they must look and not touch.
It is rumored in some demonic circles that the negative reaction to the sins of the Grigori was so large not so much because their acts were forbidden, but because the Watchers's love of humanity had become so great and so *personal* that the Grigori turned their backs on their lovers from other Choirs. Servitors of Malphas lick their lips and note that there's no fury like a Seraph scorned.
In their celestial forms, Grigori look like gigantic (ten feet tall and up) hemaphroditic humans, with no wings and no clothing. Their gigantic eyes and tiny voice as soft as a lover's whisper in the dark. Their eyes radiate with love. Humans who see a Watcher in Celestial form are typically rooted to the spot in awe.
Because they all date from before the Flood, all Grigori have a gigantic Vessel, a big, beautiful giant with soft eyes and a soft voice. All surviving Grigori also have a smaller, human-sized Vessel, though many of these Vessels are over six feet in height. Their smaller Vessels are typically quiet, understated, and mournful. Modern Watchers favor dark, inconspicious clothing and sunglasses, so that it isn't obvious who they're watching.
Grigori have spent the centuries watching and waiting, aloof, trying not to gain too much Dissonance, helping people out here and there. This is easier than one might think, since because the Grigori are the most human of the Choirs, they can slip into a depression just as easily as they can fall in love. When their human lovers died (some were killed by angels, some by demons, and many died in childbirth), most of the Grigori that survive today slipped into a depression that they have yet to lift themselves out of. This, more than anything else, has hampered their return to grace, but it has also prevented their fall. They watch, and wait for the end of time.
Musically, the Grigori consider themselves to be the rests between the notes, the Silence that defines the rest of the Symphony. Many of them have not said a word in centuries, partly out of respect for the role they were created for, and partly because they no longer find any joy in the world.
The Grigori resonance is for detail. A Watcher adds his Celestial Forces to any Perception-based skill.
With a successful resonance roll, a Watcher can divine all sorts of things from the little details of a scene. The check digit determines how much the angel can figure out (see below). Note that any deductions that the GM hands to the Grigori does not have to be *true*, just *likely* -- another problem that has lead many Grigori to error.
Also, by watching an activity and making a resonance roll, a Grigori can confer a bonus on the activity in question, assuming the person takes the advice and the Watcher chooses to give it. This only works on activities someone else is doing, although the Watcher can improve the skill of others in joint activities that he is participating in. The size of the bonus also depends on the check digit (see below). If the Grigori possesses the skill in question (if any), at any level, the bonus is *doubled*.
Any human who sees a Grigori in Celestial form must make a Will roll or stand dumbstuck in awe for at least a number of minutes equal to the Check Digit of the failed roll plus the Celestial Forces of the Watcher in question, assuming no one interferes with them. This is especially useful if the Watcher wants to give a long piece of advice, as they'll have the undivided attention of the human in question. The human can be shook out of it, however, and certainly a physical attack will snap them out of it.
All Grigori have at least one Vessel that goes beyond a Vessel/6, a Vessel/7 or a Vessel/8 or even a Vessel/9. Anything beyond a Vessel/6 isn't just tough -- it's gigantic. Such Vessels must be at least one-half again bigger than than the largest average Vessel of that type. (A human rarely gets above six feet tall, so a human Vessel/7 is at least nine feet tall.) The only way to make Vessels that strong is to make them BIG. After the Flood, the Archangels forbid such Vessels. (So did the Demon Princes -- such Vessels are not exactly inconspicuous.)
All surviving Grigori also have a smaller, more inconspicuous Vessel, of course. But having that gigantic Vessel ensures that in times of dire emergency, the Watcher can escape with his hide intact. Note that certain Discords are even more noticable on a gigantic body...
1...You pick up on a small, possibly inconsequential detail that someone else might have missed, like an off-color shoelace on an otherwise new pair of shoes. Skill bonus of +1
2...You pick up a couple of small details, like the one above. Skill bonus of +1
3...You pick up on several small details, like the one above, and you have some idea what one of them might mean (GM's choice). For example, the off-color shoelace might mean that the person stole the shoes in question, and doesn't have proper shoelaces for them. Skill bonus of +1
4...You can sense all of the above, plus you can get some general impression of what the little details are likely to mean. For example, the off-color shoelace combined with a small trickle of sweat and a twitching face muscle might indicate. A Grigori facing a Celestial might be able to piece together that one of the people in the scene is a Celestial or a Soldier. Such insights are often more intuitve than deductive. Skill bonus of +2
5...You can sense all of the above, plus you notice anything that is incompletely hidden, no matter how small the indicator is. Not only do you think the sweating man might be a Celestial, but that odor coming from his car makes you think he's got a body in the trunk. Skill bonus of +2
6...You can sense all of the above, plus you can deduce an awful lot about what came before. You may, for example, guess that the sweating man just stuffed the body in the trunk a few minutes ago. If you're facing someone who's a Celestial, if there are any indicators at all, you'll notice them and probably be able to make a good guess which Side they're on. The way that guy is sweating, he can't be a Malakim -- maybe he's a demon. Remember, however, that even these deductions can be wrong, though at least part of the deduction will be right. Regardless, you take in *all* the little details, including the tiny spots of blood on the man's coat... Skill bonus of +3
An Outcast may lose all his Rites, but he doesn't lose any attunements. With that in mind, below are the Grigori attunements for the different Superiors. A couple of Superiors are excluded. Laurence wasn't a Superior when the Grigori were around, for example. One might think there are still some Watchers of Purity around, but they were destroyed in Uriel's own purges. Trade wasn't a very important word during that time. And so on.
Blandine. Grigori of Blandine watch the dreams of humans and warn them of mistakes they might be making. They gain no dissonance for intimate contact with humans -- as long as it happens in the Marches. Blandine's Grigori were some of the last to be cast out, when they finally gave into the urge to be with their loved ones in the Corporeal realm.
David. David's Grigori were charged with managing the teaching of humans performed by the other Choirs. When using their resonance to help instruct another Celestial, consider the Check Digit to be 6 every time. (One should still roll in case of Divine Intervention.)
Dominic. Dominic's Grigori were masters at detecting crimes. The player of a Watcher of Judgement can *choose*, after rolling, which of the three dice rolled is to be considered the check digit.
Eli. Before they were all cast out, Eli's Grigori were the makers of Talismans. Their resonance is the same as a Mercurian of Eli, except that it only takes them a *week* for every level of skill the talisman is imbued with. Surprisingly, Eli's Grigori fell only slightly before Blandine's -- they were having sex with their Celestial lovers reugularly to relieve their frustrations.
Gabriel. Gabriel's Grigori could recognize those who are cruel because they are careless. The line can between apathy and cruelty can be thin if one starts to neglect one's duties. If any Grigori of Gabriel still exist, they surely congregate where beauraucracy can be found.
Janus. Grigori of Janus are considered to have rolled a 6 for their Check Digit when helping someone escape from some form of physical restraint. One should still roll in case of Divine Intervention. Also, if they have the Passage attunement, they may add their Celestial Forces to their Agility whenever they are freeing someone else.
Jean. Technology wasn't always associated with Lightning, and the resonance of Jean's wayward Grigori servitors reflects this, though there are modern applications. Grigori of Lightning can sense magnetic fields, and for an Essence they can reverse or nullify a magnetic field for a round, or generate one surrounding themselves. (In modern times, this is useful for bulk erasing floppies.) Among other things, this allows them to notice deposits of conductive metal, and work that into their deductions.
Jordi. Jordi's Grigori were attuned to mythical creatures that had made it onto Earth, from Unicorns to Yeti. Especially those who were ape-like in shape -- if there is a Watcher of Animals left, he is perhaps a Sasquatch.
Litheroy. A Grigori of Litheroy never makes a mistake in one of the deductions that arise from his resonance. If signs would lead him to make an error, he doesn't deduce anything at all.
Michael. Michael's Grigori were some of his best tacticians. A Grigori of War may add the Check Digit of his resonance roll to his Tactics skill whenever looking at a particular situation. Additionally, if the angel fails his Tactics roll, it is considered to have succeeded with a Check Digit of 1.
Novalis. If a Grigori of Novalis hid behind or within plants, he could not be spotted without a Perception roll minus the angel's Corporeal Forces. If the Grigori also had the "Nothing But Flowers" attunment, the roll to detect him would be Perception minus the total of his Corporeal and Celestial forces! It is suspected by many that if any Grigori survive to this day, they once worked for Novalis or Yves (see below).
Yves. The Grigori of Yves were assigned to watch not just humanity, but the Celestials that were supposed to help them. Because of this, a Watcher of Destiny can tell at a glance if a body contains a Celestial or human soul. In the case of a Kyriotate or a Shedim, the Watcher notices *both* souls. This ability greatly helped in avoiding Celestial hit-squads.
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