And I Feel Fine - Part 10: Open War

By Earl Wajenberg (


"But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." -- Revelation 12:12

Lucifer has had a Bad Day. The worst day since the Fall, in fact. He has just discovered that Armageddon is on track, with himself still safely cast as the losing bad guy.

There's a yawning chasm where two thirds of Abaddon used to be, and Belial's old Principality of Sheol has fallen into it, forming a Lake of Fire, just visible as a red spark at the bottom. Lucifer knows from a quick glance that the Lake is the final boundary of reality -- nothing that goes into it continues to exist in any way. All the ruins of the Lower Hells have already gone into it.

Only a handful of the double-damned got out of the Lower Hells; he's just lost his private Essence base, along with almost everything else he had in the Lower Hells, and the Enemy has revealed itself to be immortal.

Lucifer is frantic with rage and fear. His celestial form, a gigantic scarlet balseraph with seven heads, rampages through the skies over Rome, tossing off Songs of madness and physical violence, seeding the streets below with havoc and causing many to become Symphonically aware.

Meanwhile, in a human vessel, he confronts the Four Horsemen and Kronos in Therrian's offices. He berates Baal for incompetent generalship, Saminga for failing to defend his own Principality, Mammon for being generally useless. Therrian, the only human present, keeps a terrified silence, but notes with amazement that the Princes are not submissive -- Baal argues back with cold dignity, Saminga snarls, even Mammon sulks. "How art thou fallen, O Lucifer," Therrian reflects, "in the eyes of your own servants."

The Lucifer turns on Therrian: "You! Putting you forth was my first mistake! With you, I set the prophecies in motion against myself! *Now* what good are you?"

Therrian: "I am good to do your will on Earth, my Father, as before. If you want more of me, then give me what you know I seek -- a Princedom, to reign in Hell as well as on the Earth, like Lilith."

Lucifer : "You'll have *what* I choose, *when* I choose, greedly little monkey." (To Kronos): "And what of you, grand Prince of Fate? Why did you not foresee any of this, Hell's prophet? What of MY Fate?!"

Kronos (with chill calm): "You know full well that all my foreseeing is only of possibility. Nor did you ever suffer me or anyone else to investigate you."

Lucifer: "What ARE you?! If you are indeed part of God's Spirit, I will rend you myself, to cause some pain to Him. Answer!"

Kronos: "I am no one, not a soul. You found me a torn web of Forces, still echoing with the Symphony, and took me, at first, for a shattered seraph or balseraph. Then you decided I was an Aspect, like Yves. Like him, I am a swirl of Forces from God's own heart, but I was never fashioned into an ego, a soul, a self. I say "I" and "me" and they are lies, fictions, in my mouth. I was your last chance, Lucifer; God gave me to you to see what you would make of me. He gave me to you weak and wounded, to allay your pride and fear, but with the Symphony still within me. You could have made me your ambassador to Heaven, your mediator, and ultimately the guide to your Redemption. But you chose to make me your tool for seeking the worst possibilities, and that I am, the Prince of Fate, including your Fate."

Lucifer growls, turns away, and stabs at the air with a forefinger. By the time he completes the gesture, Kobal has appeared, startled, taking the jab in his sternum. "You jackanapes! It was you persuaded me to make Hell a realm of pain and destruction. Now look at the annihilation it leads to! If we had made of Hell a rival paradise, could the Lower Hells have been made to lead to *that*?! Go, fool, and help Nybbas with the propaganda. I would shred you all, but that I need every slave now. Go!" He gestures and all the Princes vanish. In the next moment, he himself is gone, leaving Therrian to listen to the distant screams and sirens.

The War is no longer a secret. Huge numbers of people have become Symphonically aware from sheer exposure to Disturbance. More than half of the (remaining) world population has seen a giant locust or watched someone get Raptured. EVERYONE can see that all the children and a third of the adults are gone.

Anticipating this, Heaven lifts the ban on secrecy. The day after the Rapture, a number of, er, street-preachers with Numinous Corpus Wings appear flying over cities all over the world and announce that the End Is Near, that Therrian is the Antichrist, and it's time to repent. (Several are shot down.) This just stirs the pot on the media hullaballoo following the Rapture. Lots of demons give up on secrecy without waiting to be told they can.

Since the early days of the Tribulation, the world has been a patchwork of "UN recovery zones" (Beast-held territories) and resistance territories, where it isn't howling wilderness and ruin. Some of the resistance territories are held by various nationalists who want their old sovereignties back; others are just held by people who don't like Therrian's ways.

Since the resistance territories tended to lose more people in the Rapture, they now shrink, in the face of less-depleted foes. But Hell's forces have taken a monstrous blow to their morale, propaganda or not, and there are even uprisings in Therrian's territories. So borders don't shift as much as mere changes of numbers would indicate.

*Some* of the resistance areas become openly held by Heaven -- but only where angels and saints can convince the local authorities to ally. Other areas, particularly in Asia, turn to Ethereals, who now walk the Earth openly. Still others want to remain independent, though few of these resistance areas are openly hostile to Heaven and many are very cooperative.

The whole situation vaguely resembles the paritioning of the world during World War II, between the poles of the Axis and the Allies. Vaguely.

Roleplaying seed: Superheroes

There's always been a "danger" of In Nomine turning into a superheroes game. Now it can happen safely. All it takes is for the battles to be out in the open more. Spandex optional.

Roleplaying seed: Superspies

Of course, the old covert mode is still quite useful. And, while it was nigh-impossible for angels and demons to infiltrate each other's home turf on the Celestial Plane, it's easy to do it on the Corporeal -- and, for the first time, they actually have significant Corporeal territories, with boundaries and check points and supply lines. Lots of World War spy plots can be recycled for Celestials and Soldiers.

Roleplaying seed: No Atheists in These Fox Holes

Now Heaven and Hell actually have physical battle lines on Earth. War zone adventures are now possible, though they will not be much like adventures set in World War II, since the combatants span such a wide range of races and powers. There are four tactical situations:

Roleplaying seed: Celestial Diplomacy

Not all anti-Therrian enclaves are pro-Heaven. Heaven will want to do something about that. PCs can be sent to negotiate. Of course, they'll be hoping to convince the enclave leadership that "Yes indeed, we *are* the Forces of Good, and you want to work for us." They may have to settle for alliance or neutrality. Or failure.

This is especially true if the leadership of the enclave is heavily influenced by Ethereals, or just plain replaced by Ethereals. It's a lot easier to believe in the supernatural now, after all, and this has given a huge boost to many pagan pantheons and other Ethereal groups. Pre-Rapture, many anti-Therrian groups were nationalists; now, old ethnic pantheons are coming back, or actually re-forming.


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EDG <>
In Nomine Collection Curator