A long time ago, I said I'd do it, and this is most of the work. I might do writeups of Lucas and the First One (I suggest having Lucas be 11-Force and the First One being 8 Force, because you don't really want your PCs blowing them away in an instant, right?), but no promises shall be made.
Here it is, anyway. I hope it blurs your moral lines and adds grey to your personal Symphony.
OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER NOTICE.
Nothing within these pages should be interpreted as being in any way creative. The characters, situations, and events portrayed below were all either based on real people, or on the works of other people. The author reserves the right to complain at length to anyone who gives him any credit for this work.
A long, long time ago, Kronos set out to pervert the spirit of the most potentially powerful men and women through offering them the very power which might have made them great. He gave them the ability to summon demons and spirits, to create circles of protection, to extract the Essence from others, even to banish possessing spirits from the Corporeal Realm, and so ensure their Fall. And thus was Sorcery created. And for a long time, ignorant of the consequences of what they were doing, mortals walked the Paths of Power, all the while bringing themselves and the world to their ultimate Fate.
Now, however, something seems to be going wrong. The number of Sorcerors at large in the Corporeal Realm appears to be greater than ever before, but the number reaching the Gates of Hades diminishes with each passing year. Sorcerous knowledge is coming from sources uncontrolled by Hatiphas or her human or diabolical minions. And demons of Sorcery are starting to disappear in mysterious circumstances. Whispers among the Sorcerous community speak of the Dozen extending their grasp in order to bring Hell itself under their control, and though demons scoffed at the idea at first, some of them are beginning to wonder how much of the lies they have bandied about are true.
The Order of the Seal.
The Order of the Seal is a secretive and paranoid organisation. While this is typical of all cabals of Sorcerors, the Order has more reason than most, and carries it much farther. The Order of the Seal was founded in order to secure humanity's independence from demonic forces. To this end, it seeks to teach knowledge of Sorcery, which it considers to be a human invention, so that it may be used as a weapon against demons. The Order has infiltrated a number of cabals, though never overtly, and has prepared files on their activities. Cabals which serve Demons directly are always destroyed at some stage or another. Others are weaned away from demons by receiving Sorcerous knowledge through channels controlled by the Order, thus lessening their dependency on Demons for their lore. So far, the security of the Order has not been compromised, and traitors have a tendency to disappear before they can betray any secrets. Most members of the Order are naturally wary of Internal Security, but it seems to be fair enough so far, though no one is quite sure how it manages to keep an eye on all its scattered members.
Make this up yourself. Make up the numbers yourself. Must I do everything for you? And while you're at it, make up how old they are.
What I will say is that there is a High Council (make up your own name if you have a better one), and the members of this High Council do not reveal their identities to other members. Allegedly, there are thirteen members, and they are apparently immortal. Naturally, it is speculated that they are the Dozen, or that one of the Dozen is among their number at any rate. These rumours are officially denied by the Council. One of the members is charged with control over Internal Security, and is said to have authority to arrest even another member of the Council, even the First One him/herself, on his/her own authority, and no one has the right to gainsay his/her judgement.
The Order has no objection to the use of Sorcery for one's own ends. However, any use of Sorcery or Magics (Songs) which endangers the safety of the Order or innocent life is strictly prohibited. For that reason, the use of the Focus ability Sacrifice may not be used on humans, or so frequently on animals that the suspicion of mundanes is aroused.
Promotion of the worship of Lucifer or any of his demons is also forbidden. For these reasons, any text which includes such incantations is censored, if not destroyed. An analysis of the various rituals used for Sorcerous skills shows that there is no greater effectiveness from different styles, other than the degree of concentration they promote. It is the Will which is the path to power, not the Word.
Finally, congress of any kind with demons which is not sanctioned by the Order is grounds for immediate trial. If found guilty of treason, the punishment is execution.
Obviously, these are only the most serious matters, but I'm not being paid to write a 100 page sourcebook, so I'll leave the basic constitution up to the GMs concerned.
It is indeed the case that the head of Internal Security has absolute jurisdiction over all members of the Order. There is good reason for this. As a Malakite, he is eminently suited to the task. He uses his resonance to monitor the rest of the Council at frequent intervals, and also to monitor the scattered members of the Order through their dreams. He is ruthless in his desire to keep the Order as pure as human frailty (and inevitable Sorcerous selfishness) will allow, and so far he seems to be succeeding. He dreams of the day that the Order will have wrested Sorcery into its own hands, and entirely out of Kronos', but in the meantime, it is still a powerful weapon against demonkind. His angelic nature is known to all the members of the High Council, and if any of them disagree with his aims in private, they have not made that fact known in public.
Of course, Lucas, as he prefers to call himself, could not have founded the Order on his own, especially as his theoretical knowledge of Sorcerous skills is not augmented by any ability to use it. The reason he keeps his position is because of the support of the First One. The First One is just that, the first Sorceror Lucas recruited in his personal crusade. There are, however, good reasons that the First One is the head of the order rather than Lucas. For one thing, Lucas makes the other members of the Council uneasy. He is far too obviously fanatical, violent, and basically inhuman for them to like him very much. The First One, however, has motives they understand, even if they don't necessarily agree with them.
Possible plot twists and things to consider.
Somewhat ironically, there are demons within the Order, and Lucas and the Council know about them. Over the course of the Order's existence, Lucas has found it hard to keep watch over all the people within the Order. So he did the obvious; he recruited Outcast Angels and Renegade Demons to the cause. Maybe now these Renegades are no longer working for hell, and are honourably helping the Order, they no longer count as evil, or at least aren't as evil as the evil they fight routinely. Or maybe Lucas is burning with Dissonance and Discord. You decide. The obvious consequences should PC Order members find out about demonic involvement are left as an exercise to the GM.
The Order looks cool if you have the right perspective, but realistically, it contains Sorcerors. And Sorcerors are egotistical and selfish almost by definition. So there's bound to be politics and blatant abuses of power, even if we ignore such hackneyed ideas as traitors and infiltration. Just how bad is this problem? Is it relatively harmonious, or are the various members of the Council all but on the edge of knifing one another? And given that you have one secret order, what's to stop there being 10 or twenty more secret sub-orders? The purity of their hearts?
How strong is the Order? Does it number in the hundreds with 10 or so Celestials involved? Or is it significantly smaller? Also, how effective is it? Does it have access to Advanced Sorcery? Can the Celestials involved teach Songs to Sorcerors/each other? (One certainly hopes so, otherwise Sorcerors in general are just being stupid.) How kick-ass are the Celestials, and how effectively can they monitor the Order? Does it have stocks of artifacts? Does it stay on the defensive, or does it make an active effort to go out and hunt demons?
The issue of what Kronos knows about the Order is, one might think,
somewhat important. Does Kronos even know it exists? Does Kronos permit
it to continue to exist because:
a) he isn't sure how big the problem is and wants to wait until he does,
b) he doesn't quite have the resources to wipe it out, and doesn't want to just push it further underground (this assumes that the Order is genuinely strong, and really is a threat to his plans),
c) he knows all about the Order and thinks (in)correctly that it serves his purposes,
d) some combination of the above or
e) none of the above: something else entirely?
The question of whether Kronos can, as he claims, click his fingers and remove Sorcery from existence is also somewhat important.
Does the Order do odd-jobs for Angelic Superiors? Or if you're really into Darkness and Backwardness, Demon Princes? Laurence and Dominic obviously wouldn't do such a thing, and Beleth is probably pissed off by the idea of _humans_ interfering with HER Marches. But how about the others? Michael, Baal, Janus/Valefor, Lilith, Blandine? Do its patrons know what it actually is? And don't forget hostile reactions.
What about the Ethereal Gods? Surely they have some opinion on the matter.
Is Lucas right? Probably your players shouldn't get to know this, but you should.
Kevin Walsh, Balseraph of Nitpicking, Demon of Off-Topic Trivia.
-- "as for their relations with others, that is a long story, but it can be expressed shortly and clearly by saying that of all people we know the Spartans are most conspicuous for believing that what they like doing is honourable and what suits their interests is just."
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