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