And I Feel Fine - Part 11: The Mark of the Beast
Three days after the Rapture, Therrian goes on global TV and radio, and
announces to the world (or the part of the world that still has media)
that yes, he IS the Antichrist, the Beast of Revelation. He's working
for Satan, to drag the whole world to Hell. But this is a good thing.
They'll like Hell much better than Heaven. The main points of his
speech become the nuclei for the multiple propaganda campaigns of
various Princes, all circulated by Nybbas. These points include:
- Hell is for freedom, against the tyranny of God and the Archangels.
- Hell is for progress, God being just the earliest and hence most
primitive state of spiritual evolution. (Vapula.)
- Hell is for fun, pleasure, ecstasy even, while Heaven is a
widely-known wet blanket. (Andrealphus, Furfur, Flerity, Haagenti, and
Rex "son" of Nybbas and Demon of Cool.)
- Hell is for prosperity, for increasing your wealth, not foregoing it
or giving it away. (Mammon.)
- Hell could hardly do worse than Heaven, which has let the human race
bumble through natural and social evils for millenia. (Kobal.)
- If you lot were going to Heaven, you'd be gone by now, so wisest to
make the best of the inevitable. (Malphas, Kronos.)
- Yes, there's pain in Hell, but only for the foolish who get in the
way of the Grand Plan. (Asmodeus.)
Of course, these Princes have been saying things like this all along,
but now they are saying them at press conferences, in rock videos, in
magazine articles, on web pages, and in "educational" programs. By the
end of the month, every unRaptured journalist in the world knows the
names of all the major Princes and main Bands of demons.
Of course, they also know the names of all the Archangels and the main
choirs of angels. The world has never seen so much, or such
high-quality, televangelism, and certainly not with such neat special
Roleplaying seed: Media Wars
Angels of Lightning and demons of Technology can be kept busy trying to
jam each other's transmissions, hack each other's nets, smash each
other's presses, blow up each other's studios, and foil each other's
attacks. Almost all other celestials have the opportunity to attack or
defend human and celestial servitors of Revelation and Media, and put
pressure on the poor mundane journalists in the middle.
"Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns
like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority
of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants
worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. ... He
ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by
the sword and yet lived. ... He also forced everyone, small and great,
rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on
his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark,
which is the name of the beast or the number of his name."
-- Revelation 13:11-17.
In Therrian's territories, Kronos assumes more and more power. He is
known both as Demon Prince and in his role as Therrian's spiritual
advisor, Simon Airies, and the identity of the two is not public
knowledge. As Simon Airies, he is presumed to advise Therrian, as
advertized, but what he is seen doing is running Therrian's propaganda
machine. This brings him into contact Nybbas a lot, which unsettles the
Media Prince and his servitors.
It also brings him into frequent contact with Kobal, who is livid.
Kronos long ago replaced Kobal as the Prince in charge of luring humans
to their Fates. Now, Lucifer has reduced Kobal to Nybbas's assistant,
and Nybbas is scarcely more than Kronos's assistant. Kobal takes long
and considered thought, and starts to work on ... Saminga.
Kobal starts with some mild jabs, "praising" Saminga for being a "good
team player," being supporting cast for Therrian, who is simply Kronos'
tool. Then he begins pointing out the contempt that Kronos openly
expresses for Saminga and suggests that Kronos is plotting with the
other three Horsemen to do dirt to Saminga, now that he is at a
disadvantage, with that new gaping hole in his Principality. Finally,
he suggests that Saminga's Principality got trashed because Kronos
arranged with Baal to direct the heat of battle that way. So Saminga
conceives a grudge against Kronos. And Kobal points out that Kronos's
main mission, now, is promoting Therrian.
It comes to a head during a news conference, on global TV. Therrian is
addressing the camera. The other three Horsemen and Kronos are sitting
in the background. Therrian mentions new Vapu-tech medical services, to
be available only to hellsworn. This, for some reason, is the last
straw for Saminga. He rises, ranting about Therrian seeking to cut off
his labor supply, pulls a sword from within his black robe, and
decapitates Therrian on the spot.
Moments later, Lucifer is there, in his natural form of scarlet,
seven-headed balseraph, but clearly visible to mortal eyes and cameras.
His tail lashes Saminga's skeletal vessel into a pile of bones as his
heads bend down and breathe blood-red fire on Therrian's corpse.
In an elegant apartment in Paris, Kobal watches all this, roaring with
laughter. He doesn't even stop laughing when another instance of
Lucifer's balseraph form appears, seizes his vessel in its coils, and
squeezes. "This is your doing, Mockery! I read the whole thing plainly
in that idiot Shedite's ethereal forces! What are you about?"
"Greetings, Lightbringer! Do you like my gift to you?"
"Have I not arranged for you to resurrect Therrian before the world?
Have you not shown that you and he are greater than Death?" Kobal tears
his eyes away from the Devil's 42-fold gaze to glance and the screen,
where Therrian is starting to stir. He splutters with laughter, then
controls himself long enough to ask, "Have I not arranged for the
crucial boost to your Cult of Therrian?" On the screen, Therrian
groans, feeling his neck. "Ooh, great theater! Nybbas must be having
"I see," Lucifer says coldly. "And spot on schedule. You force us one
verse further down the script of prophecy."
"About three verses, I think, in chapter 13, yes. You didn't just use
Song of Healing, did you? Surely the occasion demands something more
"His body is now a vessel. He's an Infernal Saint now." On the screen,
Lucifer's seven heads seize Saminga's bones and begin to crunch them
up. "Yes, you move us ahead to the next step. Did I tell you to?"
"No. Think of it as a puzzle. On the one hand, it's a step forward;
why should you object? On the other, it shows you still haven't broken
the prophecy's momentum. Better get cracking!"
"I shall break and crack many things," Lucifer answers, and his coils
"You fulfill my every expectation," Kobal wheezes.
Lucifer soon gives Therrian six more vessels, for a grand total of
seven. All are level 6. Three are identical to his original form. A
fourth is fine-tuned by Andrealphus to be incredibly handsome. A fifth
is a gorgeous female vessel. The sixth and seventh are nondescript male
and female vessels, allowing Therrian to go about unrecognized.
Lucifer considers stripping Saminga of his Principality. Instead, he
binds Saminga to Therrian with a massive geas.
Kobal appears to go unpunished (other than by the death of a vessel),
but acts nervous and irritable.
Kronos declares the founding of Therrianity as the state religion of the
(soon to be) worldwide Therrianic Empire, now consisting of all the
erstwhile "recovery zones." All places of worship are to be made over
for the new religion. The central symbols of the new cult are an
upright human figure with arms outstretched (vaguely crosslike), a
cluster of seven stylized lion heads, and Therrian himself.
Asmodeus orders that all hellsworn receive a bar-code tattoo on the
right hand or forehead, as per prophecy, and Mammon is soon using them
as credit and debit cards for hellsworn. (Of COURSE there's a "666"
encoded in it.) Only hellsworn can buy and sell. People in Therrianic
territory who are not hellsworn have to get by on barter with hellsworn
and each other. Most hellsworn soon acquire an entourage or staff of
Roleplaying seed: Spin Doctoring
What do angelic PCs say to the mortals around them who are impressed by
the on-camera appearance of Satan in person, the resurrection of
Therrian, and the subsequent new religion.
Roleplaying seed: Old Time Religion
Even in Therrianic territory, many people do not take kindly to old
churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues being turned into Therrianic
shrines. Heavenly PCs, especially servants of Khalid, can certainly get
Roleplaying seed: Missionary Stew
Kronos sends Therrianic missionaries out to spread the new "faith" in
unconquered areas, as one way of assimilating them. Sometimes they
travel alone, sometimes they travel with diplomatic or military
expeditions. Even the solitary ones have weapons, Songs, or both to
defend themselves, this hardly being a pacifist creed. Send the PCs
after any of them.
"A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone
worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead
or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has
been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be
tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of
-- Revelation 14:9-10
Roleplaying seed: Dermabrasion
A hellsworn converts. Now, what about that tattoo? If he has it
removed, can he be back in the Book of Life? Or is he eternally sunk?
An angel of Destiny might be able to say. What if someone wants him to
keep it on for a while, to run an undercover mission? And what if he
dies while on that mission? Is he Saved(tm)? Suppose he has it removed
and replaced with an exact copy? Does it still count?
Back to the INC Mainpage.
Back to the Adventures page.
In Nomine Collection Curator