The Cells of Notre Dame, Part the Second

By Beth McCoy


Now, everyone here's read the bit about the Cells of Notre Dame, right? How the Hellsworn imprisoned there have counselors who work on them, trying to get them to permet their Infernal Force to be stripped? Well, sometimes it happens.

A lot of those, who only had the potential for 6 Forces anyway, wind up as 5-Force "mundanes." (See the CPG.) After depositing in a Memory Pearl (see LiberR) any memories that Heaven deems unsuitable for them to have, they can either leaven Notre Dame or (and this is encouraged, if they've made a complete conversion (which is, natch, what many of the counselors hope to do)) stick around the place, or some other Tether, and function as "mundane," aware support staff.*

[*That's a horrible, convoluted sentence but I'm tired so it's going to stay that way.]

But there's a small percentage of Hellsworn who either were 6 Forces naturally, or who had a 7th potential Force. Some of those even had that 7th Force manifested, which really makes Archangels want to bang their heads into a wall, because they (along with the natural 6-Forcers) are still Soldiers. But (after getting rid of those pesky memories, yay Memory Pearls!) with enough Malakim and Elohim and Mercurians around, a real conversion can be spotted. Heck, some Soldiers nee Hell get pretty mad at how they were treated by demons! Some of them really want to strike back! (Michael loves these guys, of course. David's been known to approve as well. Think about the average Calabite's treatment of any Soldier under its command. Gabriel sometimes shows up, giggles, and hands out a Smite attunement, which is generally taken as approval of the "redeemed" Soldier.)

Now, that's all well and good, and can be an interesting background for a Soldier (as PC or NPC). Considering how long some people take to convert, you could have a mortal whose last experience with the world was horse- and-buggy... And wouldn't that freak out some celestials?

(Especially if you rule that the Soldier spent a good chunk of time training, and are using GURPS IN and GURPS Special Ops. Whazza matter, never seen a 200-point mortal before? )

And then there's the small percent of the small percent of conversions** who are soooooooooooooo PO'ed at Hell now, that they want to hit Hell where it hurts. They want to keep their Infernal Force, and fight Hell, and die, and keep fighting Hell.

[** Who are a small percent of captured Hellsworn, who are a small percent of Hellsworn, who are a small percent of humanity...]

The theory, you see, is that these lunatic fringe Hellsworn Soldiers of God (just thinking that makes Laurence twitch a feather) will train themselves up (especially in ethereal combat, and celestial combat as well if such can be managed), eventually die (some like lethal injection, some walk into known Hell Tethers and go postal***), and be dragged to Hell by the weight of their Infernal Force returning to sender.

[***In questionable taste, yes. OTOH, fanatics are fanatics, and anyone who's actually playing IN to think about stuff like this might want to squint at the concept.]

Once in Hell, the Hellsworn Soldier of God hopes to blend into the rest of the damned souls, evade notice as much as possible, and foment human rebellion. (As an aid to this, their characteristics are generally boosted by the 3 pre-Force points max. So even if stripped down a Force or two, they're still a little more competant than the average damned of the same Force-total.)

Now, a yet smaller percentage of these don't get to the "foment rebellion among the damned" stage, since they've somehow hit their destinies and the Angels of Final Judgment aren't keen on letting blessed souls go into Hell. This can result in an ex-Hellsworn sulking around Heaven for a while, but hey, this is what Saints are for, right?

And a lot of them just get squished, probably, when a demon doesn't like their attitude.

And some may get herded into the Lower Hells, as part of Lucifer's 10% off the top of the soul-allocation system.

And some give up and sell out (or try to; did we mention that they aren't taught anything that is considered 'sensitive'? Baal's well-aware of the "training camp" dream-sims that are Blandine's one concession to the War Party of Heaven.). And some give up and try to blend in with the rest of the damned and eke out a damned existance.

But how many survive, with their obsession intact within them, and are hiding out right now in the caverns of Stygia and the alleys of Shal-Mari? How many in the halls of Tartarus and the sets of Perdition? How many skulk in Gehenna, spreading the notion that humans outnumber demons? How many whisper in Hades, asking whether the hand that holds the lash, or the hand that files the paperwork is more powerful? How many drift about in Beleth's Tower, coming together in groups for a moment to give a demon a look as of a cluster of rats with bloodied fangs -- before scattering...?

Mmm, there's a thought to make a demon sleep well at night.

Even Demon Princes sometimes want to bang their heads against a wall at the thought that, among everything else important that they have to deal with, the little fleas might swarm up and try to disrupt things.

But there're so many of the little damned monkeys. You can't squish all of them... And the rumors that some have Heavenly McGuffins, Songs or relics designed to tap into the Light of Heaven or other nasty, demon-hurting things... Can't trust any of 'em.

And if there are any Hellsworn God-boys left in Hell, they take the hostility of the Princes toward humanity and twist it to their own ends. A little here, a little there. Maybe they're just waiting for Armageddon.

Maybe not.


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