By William J. Keith


Just an odd idea I had which seemed to have a few hints of interestingness lying about it: what if you could get an Attunement from a set of multiple Superiors?

Suppose that two (or more) Archangels have certain harmonics in common within their Words. Suppose then that one or more of them wants to craft a Servitor Attunement to express those harmonics. Perhaps it might be easier for two of them to work together, harmonizing an angel's Heart with their shared overtones, than to carve out a small portion of their own Word to use. Or from another point of view: if you take Beth's (non-canon!) view that Choir Attunements arise from the interaction of an angel's Heart and the Archangel's Word, perhaps if two Archangels simultaneously work together to attune the angel's Heart to both their Words, the shared tones would dominate the Attunement.

Naturally only Archangels could do this. Demon Princes could never work together this closely. Servitors chosen to receive such an Attunement would probably be receiving it with very specific assignments in mind; they will also surely have a history of supporting the Words of both Archangels (and in particular the shared harmonics) successfully. One "canon" version of an Overtone might be the investment of the Seneschal of Notre Dame.

So, this thought in mind, I began pondering possibilities. You know, fun Crunchy Bits[tm] for players to drool over. Feel free to make up some more and post them, I like to pick through Bits[tm] too. :^)

Divine Right (Laurence and Michael)

When in the presence of a group of intelligent beings not actively hostile to each other but not acknowledging a common leader, the angel can spend 1 Essence per being and will be acknowledged as a common authority for (angel's Celestial Forces) minutes. Demons can automatically resist; humans may choose to resist with their Will. Any levels of Status are a bonus to the human's roll. (So the angel should not expect to take command of a fractious group of stubborn Security Council members, for example!)

Laurence expects that any angel using this ability will do so with discretion, after careful weighing of the effects of superseding human free will like this. (They can still be insubordinate -- but they will see "obvious" authority.) Michael demands that an angel be able to back it up with deeds: taking control of a situation when someone else would have been a better choice (more skilled, better ideas) is useless selfishness.

Earth Blessing (David and Novalis)

The angel spends its Corporeal Forces in Essence. The surrounding (angel's Corporeal Forces)x10 yards of earth, regardless of how barren or stony, softens and becomes lushly fertile soil, capable of yielding any crop that can survive the weather in the region. The nutrients are real; the soil will last as long as it is not carted away, salted, used up, or otherwise damaged.

This was a more common Attunement back when agriculture was being taught to humanity. These days, it is hard for an angel to find favor with both Archangels. Novalis regrets David's "abandonment" of their shared tie to the Earth, a characterization that David would take quiet exception to; he thinks humanity has generally progressed beyond the need for such "ham-fisted" support.

Athena's Birth (Gabriel and Jean)

There are really two stages (or more, admittedly) to having a great idea: one is the original inspiration, and another is its development into a workable plan. With this Attunement, a Will roll on the part of the angel grants both to a human in their line of sight facing a difficult problem -- but only if the human could understand the result. (GM's call, but any idea should not rely on technology more than 10 years away, or philosophical concepts not in at least theoretical existence.) The angel has no control over the result; the Attunement uses the human's own knowledge to address his problem. Applying it to a selfish person can produce very bad results....

Oddly enough, this Attunement is still given out with about the same regularity as it used to be (which is to say, rarely); Gabriel and Jean seem to be in the right place and frame of mind when it needs to be provided. Jean has learned to accept this, though not necessarily to rely on it. Gabriel consistently appears calmer and more lucid for a short while after exercising this portion of her nature.

(Just remember to call it "Thought's Fledging" around Laurence and Khalid.)

Gold is Dross (Marc and Janus)

On the surface, it seems as strange as the persistent friendship between these two spirits. This Attunement allows an angel, expending Essence, to imbue some discrete object with an aura of wealthlessness: no one who sees it will consider it to be worth money, or to be of any value in terms of wealth. This does not prevent them from seeing it as useful, pretty, or having other value, but no one can offer or receive money for the object for hours equal to the angel's Celestial Forces unless they pass a Will roll at a penalty equal to the Essence spent. Currency itself is seen as virtually worthless.

This Attunement is given with some regularity. Angels of Trade use it to try to get people to see past hoarding items for status and greed, and see the true worth of something. Angels of the Wind find it useful to dampen the enthusiasm of pursuit -- or of a rival thief motivated by gain. It can also help them convince someone to give up material goods tying them down -- pretty much like what the angels of Trade do, actually.

Kyriotate of the Quintessence (David, Janus, Gabriel, Oannes, and Eli)

The angel obtains a Vessel that permanently ties up one to five of its Forces. With a Precision roll, the Kyriotate can cause their Vessel to alter its substance into any natural material the angel knows of. All forms are humanoid, within the reach of Eli's Kyriotate Attunement. Living forms require oxygen, as does a Vessel of fire. Vessels of stone, ice, metal, etc. do not -- but cannot move, either, save for very slow uses of Eli's version of the Song of Form(and are no more immune to damage than the material they mimic).

Only four angels ever received this Attunement. One died by Oannes' side. All had distinguished themselves notably in the Kyriotate search for understanding the Symphony's viewpoints, achieving some notable insight. They all agreed that this Attunement spurred their work excitingly in the same line. Other Kyriotates looked up to them admiringly, frequently treating them as if they had obtained an additional level of Distinction.

Cherub of the Utter Shield (Khalid and Zadkiel)

This Cherub Attunement is reserved for those Guardians who believe wholeheartedly in the divine place of humanity at the center of the Symphony, and are willing to risk annihilation to save the lives of their charges. The effect is quite simple: any damage done to a human to which the Cherub is Attuned which would have been fatal... is taken by the Cherub as Soul Hits.

It's more popular than you might think.


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