Something's rotten in the state of Iceland.
Sheila P. (Petroskiv, if you must know), a young, extremely charismatic woman has recently won over the hearts and minds of the near-arctic country. She's not a singer, actress, or preacher... just a beautiful girl and a wonderful public speaker who seems to have the nation's full attention. Recently, she was given her own talk show, where she discusses a staggeringly eclectic number of topic with a wide-ranging selection of guests, from politicians to ecologists. Sheila's poster graces the wall of most every teenager in Iceland, and a record deal is in the works (hey, anyone can sound good with enough production).
In other words, yet another typical media sensation - here today, gone in six months. But this one is peculiar....
Firstly, her appeal is strangely...focused. Her following outside of Iceland is virtually nil, yet her fan base within Iceland is *huge*. And fanatic. And damn near all-encompassing. In fact, last week the governing house voted (by a 3:2 ratio) to make March 18th "Sheila Day". Even in Iceland, the permanent creation of a day of observation for a pop sensation is a bit unusual.
Secondly, one of the 'quirky', 'fun' things that everyone loves about her is how she encourages people to worship her. Literally. She laughs about it, and doesn't seem to mean it too seriously... but there are specific things that she encourages people to do. Repeat a certain self affirmation while gazing into a picture of her face. Watch her show and then watch the rerun (from last season) which airs one hour later, without leaving the room. And people are doing them, exactly as told... if it might make them feel better, why not, right?
Ethereals rarely overstep their bounds quite so brazenly, but when it happens, someone has to slap them back into place. This is where the PCs come in. They are told to verify her nature, discover how she got such a good Role, and then destroy her power base and dispose of her vessel (or soul-kill her, for darker games). Insert the usual disclaimers and such here... now get down there and go to work.
Simple. (Yeah, right.)
Sheila P. is 100% human, 100% mortal...which explains her Role quite well. She's also a natural 6-Force human (heavy on the Ethereal Forces), a schizophrenic, and a lucid dreamer who's managed to spawn off an Ethereal...well, her.
Back in the day, Sheila was young and insane. She was well on her way to ending up in an institution or perhaps dead... until her potent dreamscape control and schismed consciousness created a replica of herself, imbued with as much "self" as she could give it, in a dream. The two of them began talking every night, and it actually proved to be wonderful therapy; the intervention of her dream self helped her turn her life around and begin to relate to the world better. The replica became a dream fragment, able to stick around even while she was gone... and then (with the aid of her steady flow of Essence) a full-fledged Ethereal.
Hanging out in the Far Marches, "Sheila" naturally ran across the Norse pantheon. Through them, she learned of the War, worship rites, Songs, and much else... and she had a brainstorm. Entreating the aid of Sa'ga (Nordic Patron Goddess of Iceland / Odin's drinking partner), she had little trouble convincing Sheila to go along with it - after all, who doesn't want to be famous? Just to be safe, and practical, they decided to limit it to Iceland for now, and see about spreading worldwide later.
Sa'ga has thrown all of her (meager) remaining power into this gambit, giving Sheila an Ethereal Connection and teaching her a few Songs, namely Ethereal Attraction, Ethereal Empathy, Ethereal Nimbus, Ethereal Opening, Ethereal Sensation, and the Songs of Dreams. Using these, and her natural Charisma, Sheila has managed to convince most of Iceland to outright worship her.
And the Essence, of course, goes to "Sheila".
Who shares with Sa'ga.
Who now has the full attention of the Norse pantheon. Who are waiting to see what's going to happen next before committing to the plan.
And what does happen next?
Why, the PCs arrive, of course.
By the way, while a little trip to the Far Marches will soon seem in order - to wipe up this little 'dream fragment gone wrong' - PCs may find that Sheila has a mighty powerful control over her own dreamscape, and is willing to stay in it indefinitely to protect her alter ego. Combine those two with Sa'ga (who has everything to lose if this fails), and you have one heck of a nightmare on your hands.
And even if you win, where's that Essence going to now? Better stop that flow quick if you don't want "Sheila" recreating herself through sheer belief.
Oh yeah, and if you're an angel, better make sure Sheila doesn't fall apart and go insane because of the loss of her Ethereal twin. She really is a nice girl, not much of a manipulator, with a bright Destiny, you know. Do the right thing.
And don't forget that recreating Sheila as a Soldier would be a major coup. Losing her as a Soldier to the Other Side would be a major loss.
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