And I Feel Fine - Part 3: The First Horseman

By Earl Wajenberg (


"Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals." -- Revelation 5:1-5

Roleplaying seed: Conversion Experiences

It rapidly becomes obvious to everyone in Heaven that Christianity is true. But *how* true? And what *kind* of Christianity? The returnees from the Upper Heavens include plenty of humans and angels who used to be of other faiths, but none of them have useful information on these questions. What, then, should angels do concerning their human Soldiers and servants? Almost everyone on Earth is having a rough time, right now. Theological debate doesn't attract a lot of interest. But looking for spiritual strength is another matter. Look for it *where*?

"And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority." -- Revelation 13:1-2

Even Lucifer is taken in, at least briefly, by Michael's ruse. He decides the time is right to move one of his pawns forward on the world's chessboard. This is an extraordinary man, a Soldier of Lucifer who started with seven Forces, and to whom Lucifer has added three more for a total of ten: The Soldier, one Cezar Therrian, was given the Forces and Resonances of a Balseraph, a Lilim, and an Impudite. All these resonances are very useful in his career as a UN diplomat.

The UN is in ruins. The UN building in New York City is simply gone, along with most of the rest of New York, and a large chunk of its bureaucracy is dead, in various catastrophes around the world. This includes the Secretary General.

Therrian moves from diplomatic background to foreground with supernal speed and becomes the new UN Secretary General, saving the UN from oblivion and re-convening the Security Council in Rome, which is relatively untouched, just beyond the general disaster area that is the eastern Mediterranean. He declares that world-wide disaster relief has to be the UN's sole concern and publically begs for the help of the member nations. Privately, he pulls in geases. He begins laying the foundations for his future empire.

Therrian is, of course, the Antichrist. Lucifer has read Revelation, too, and he knows full well that the Antichrist only comes into play in the End Times. And he wasn't going to start the End Times when it looked like he could lose. But now, with Michael apparently out of the way, it looks like the crucial prophecies cannot be fulfilled for Heaven.

Even so, Lucifer is being cautious. Therrian is under orders to found his empire slowly. It isn't like there's a hurry. Heaven looks like it is in disarray, Michael looks gone, and Therrian has plenty of personal time, already being over 170 years old, thanks to his command of various Songs.

"I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." -- Revelation 6:1-2

Lucifer's caution is wise. That's why it can't be allowed to continue. Gabriel was always the spark of divine inspiration. Of course, *divine* inspiration is not a good thing for Hell. From her place by the Throne, she fans the flame of Therrian's ambition.

There is an elegant office in the Vatican. Here, the turmoil of the aching world does not show. This office has been put at the disposal of the UN Secretary General, while he reorganizes that world body. He writes on a laptop, placed on a baroque desk two hundred times older than it is. Suddenly, there is another man in the room, in severe formal dress, looking young, fair, and human, though he is none of those things.

Lucifer: "My son, what are you doing? That order you are composing is the founding of a world empire, no matter how you couch it in terms of humble service to suffering humanity."

Therrian (concealing the dread he always feels at these meetings, and the additional shock of realizing -- again -- how closely he is watched): "My Father, is this not your plan for us?"

Lucifer: "Yes, but not yet. We must verify the reports from the battlefield."

Therrian: "Have you not personally interrogated Belial's own surviving captains? (All of them spirits more intelligent than their late master.) Father, the world is ripe. With every day we wait, the nations recover another step from Gabriel's death-throes. They become that much harder to subdue."

The debate goes back and forth, but in the end the Tempter is tempted. He decides that, even if all his old foes are not dead, some must be, and the rest must be much weakened. Then best to strike quickly. He agrees to Therrian's plan.

The next morning, Therrian announces the creation of myriads of "recovery zones" in the world's remaining population centers. There, food, shelter, and medical care will be supplied to all who come. And there, UN troops and other armed forces under UN control will maintain order. All in a spirit of humanitarian aid.

At his side, in the background as he makes the announcement, stands a bald, hatchet-faced figure in dark, vaguely clerical garb. It is Kronos, in the Role of Therrian's "spiritual advisor."

Roleplaying seed: The Beast at His Best

Angelic PCs *know* who Therrian is, and what he's doing. What do they do about it? Do they tell their human servants and friends? Start organizing resistance? So far, there is no Archangelic direction, and *so* *far*, Therrian is doing little but good in the world. How do they react to human street-theologians denouncing Therrian as the Antichrist? (This is bound to happen, without any celestial assistance at all. It has happened many times before with far less provocation. They just happen to be right this time.)

Angels who decide to cooperate with the UN recovery effort, for the time being, may be discomfitted to find themselves working along side demons. Angels who decide to resist immediately will be looked at askance by perfectly benign humans who wonder what their problem with Therrian is.

Roleplaying seed: Flower Arrangements

What are angels of Flowers to do, come Armageddon? It becomes more important than ever that they foster peace, so long as it is between those who do not serve Therrian. But, along with the angels of Protection, many of them are put to work healing. Angels of Flowers and Protections are likely to find themselves sent to one of the many disaster areas, in hastily arranged medical Roles, trying to help the hurting while they are still taking cram courses in the Song of Healing and mundane medical skills.

Roleplaying seed: Deserting

At almost any time during the Tribulation, PCs of either side can be engaged in helping mortals defect from one side to the other. For politicians, diplomats, spies, and soldiers, these will be for-real defections into or out of Therrian's rule. For more ordinary folk, it may be a matter of sneaking into or out of the "recovery zones," acquiring or losing a paper trail. These adventures can, of course, happen with or without celestials or Soldiers involved.


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EDG <>
In Nomine Collection Curator