And I Feel Fine - Part 14: Plagues, Frogs, and Videotape

By Earl Wajenberg (


By now, the world population -- what's left of it -- is divided about evenly into Heaven's faction and Hell's, consciously and deliberately. They occupy various territories all over the globe, intermixed with a lot of howling wilderness. Heaven's biggest territory is the Holy Lands, centered on Jerusalem, and including all of the ancient Fertile Crescent areas and the northern half of the Nile valley. Hell's biggest territory is Mediterranean basin, centered on Rome.

In between, the wastes and no-soul's-lands are stalked by opposing forces equipped with every conceivable mixture of supernatural powers and ultratech. Aircraft, giant locusts, dragons, chimerae, various Ethereal grotesques, and just plain angels and demons whirl through the skies, attacking and counter-attacking.

Roleplaying seed: Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang...

How much surreal warfare do your PCs want? Give them that much. Although the centers of power around Rome and Jerusalem should remain relatively stable, PCs can be involved in as much military/political drama as they like, anywhere else. They can be at the final seige of Ulaan Baator, the taking of Chicago, the conquest of Australia, among the troops when Joan of Arc marches into Paris to re-take the Notre Dame Tether. They can stand on the smoking ruins of Iceland and watch the Vapulan (or Jeanite) space station come crashing down into the Atlantic. Whatever.

Just salt in plenty of fast-forward skips, to keep them and yourself from going numb.

Things rumble along this way for over three years. As time wears, there is less and less Earth to fight over, or on. One military note: Hell's forces manage to re-take part of the Fertile Crescent and destroy the Tether of Babel, where the chimerae broke through. They then set up a command center there.

About two years after the Rapture, the Metatron issues an interesting invitation: Novalis and Jordi are called to Upper Heaven (or, since they are already and always standing before the Throne there, they are invited to limit themselves to Upper Heaven). All their Wordbound angels are invited to ascend. This is to protect them from what's coming next, which will involve mass extinctions. Non-Wordbound angels of these two may also ascend.

Roleplaying seed: Honorable Discharge

PCs of Animals and Flowers now get to decide if they want to sit on the sidelines or continue serving in the War. One would expect a PC to stay and fight, but there is roleplaying potential in acting out the decision-making, or you could take the opportunity to roll up a new character. Also, NPC friends of the PCs might want help deciding their next move.

Heaven proceeds to pound Therrian's territories, and the Earth in general, with a series of seven plagues. See Revelation 16, and compare to the Plagues of Egypt in Exodus.

First, Jean releases a series of plagues. The first causes disabling boils all through Therrianic territories (immunizations being spread just as fast in Heaven's territories).

Next, Jean releases a transgenically modified version of the Red Tide organism, causing all the oceans to turn blood red and exterminating *all* ocean life.

The next rev, plague three, invades the river systems. (You see why Jordi and Novalis were withdrawn.)

Fourth and fifth, Janus and Oannes treat Therrian's territories, first, to droughts and no ozone layer, then, to months of total overcast, carefully timed to screw up agriculture.

Sixth, David makes an earthquake that causes the Euphrates river to dry up, allowing Heaven's troops to re-take Babylon.

Roleplaying seed: Plague Duty

Is it getting hard to tell the angels from the demons without a score card? Is Jean acting a lot like Vapula? Are Janus and Oannes acting like low-temperature versions of Belial? Yeah, yeah, the targets of all this are demons and hellsworn, but...

If the PCs are feeling queasy about this, they'll feel even queasier if they're invited or ordered to take part. Someone has to spread the germs; Jean can't do it all in person. (Ditto the innoculations in God's Countries) Janus and Oannes will make starring cameo appearances in their distasters, but they'll need all their angels to do all the fiddly bits of weather-work. Here's a chance for PCs to get angsty, or to tear loose and smite.

Roleplaying seed: The Apocalypso

The War is happening everywhere, but far from the monotheistic lands, Ethereals play a more prominent part. Shiva is dancing in the Kali Yuga, in an avatar of a horse-headed giant. Do PCs want to join with him and Heaven's other Ethereal allies on their front of the War? Here's a chance to vary the special effects.

"Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. [...] Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. -- Revelation 16:13-16

The bits about frog shapes is visionary symbolism, but after David re-takes Babylon, Lucifer resolves on a major assault on the Holy Lands. He has Baal rally the hell-troops for this. (Baal is Frog One.)

Therrian pulls on his big geas-hook into Saminga, and resurrects a carefully chosed corps of damned military leaders, as Anti-Saints (generally dubbed "the Hellrisen"). While he's at it, he steps up zombie production. (Saminga is Frog Two.)

Kronos, meanwhile, keeps the home fires burning with a propaganda blitz, engineered by Kobal. Kobal is galled at being Kronos's minion, but at least he gets to see Nybbas reduced to *his* minion in the process. (Kobal is Frog Three.)

"Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army." -- Revelation 19:19

In a massive assault, Therrian invades the Holy Lands from the north and, by sea, from the west. He re-takes Jerusalem, and captures and executes the Two Witnesses, Maitreya and the Hidden Imam, who were in Jerusalem when it fell.

Publicly, the Lords of Hell give out that they beat the 1,260-day deadline, and that the prophecy is broken. Privately, they are unsure about their chronology. So, rationally enough, they were going to cremate the bodies and have Nybbas censor the whole topic into oblivion.

Except that, the moment the Two were slain, Litheroy, Archangel of Revelation, shows up with his own private news team, and encloses himself, the team and its cameras, and the bodies within an Archangel-sized Song of Shields, on a blistered battlefield outside Jerusalem. Of course, Alaemon, Prince of Secrets, shows up moments thereafter, with his own minions, and mayhem ensues.

Roleplaying seed: Witness Protection

PCs can take part in the three-day skirmish that goes on around Litheroy & Co. as they guard the bodies of the Two Witnesses. They need not be servitors of Revelations or Secrets; allies of either are certainly welcome.

They may very well be angels of Lightning or demons of the Media. These need not even be on the battlefield; the angels are just trying to punch Litheroy's feed through to the mortal audience, while the demons try to jam it.

And, of course, Media will NOT admit that Heaven is sending a signal they want to jam. Instead, they will pretend it is their propaganda-coup celebration of Therrian's victory over the Two.

As long as the signal is not getting jammed (and it usually won't be), Media demons can try distraction -- say, by covering the skirmish itself, or by trying to cook up a fake pair of dead Witnesses (corpses are easy to come by), who *won't* inconveniently rise from the dead.

Need I say that, in the end, the Witnesses resurrect and ascend, adding to the demoralization of the Antichrist's followers?


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EDG <>
In Nomine Collection Curator