Superior Victory: Vapula (Steampunk)

By Jonathan Walton


Lord Protector of the Lower Hells
Exalted Prince of Technology

The world is a flawed reflection of God. He, in turn, has charged us with the great purpose of studying Creation and then improving upon it, until it attains true perfection and divinity. As we were made in the image of God, so must we remake the world in our own.

Vapula claims to have once been an Elohite of Knowledge, included among the scores of Raphaelites who assisted Jean's remaining servitors in the Halls of Progress, following the untimely death of the Archangel of Lightning.

According to the Technologist's own account, Vapula grew dissatisfied with restricting the development of science on the Corporeal plane and left, taking with him plans stolen from Jean's archive of future technologies.

The Elohite then Fell shortly thereafter. Just how or why, Vapula hasn't quite explained, but he seems to imply that objectivity just didn't suit him. Some point out that the mishandling of information from the Halls could have led to dissonance. Others argue that Raphael's conditions, which were much more lax than Jean's, are what allowed Vapula to get away scott free.

In any event, it is known that Vapula showed up in the Lower Hells with the design for a steam engine. Impressing Lucifer, the Habbalite became the Demon of Engines and quickly rose to become an independent power in Hell, something almost unheard of. In fact, so fast did Vapula's power and significance increase, as his designs and devices began to be smuggled to earth, that the Lightbringer, mere centuries later, was almost forced to promote the Habbalite to Prince of Technology and give Vapula his own domain in Tartarus. However, the Technologist's star had not yet reached its apex.

In the decades that followed, Vapula's science flourished, free from significant opposition, since the remains of Lightning's organization couldn't compete with Hell's newest power. Additionally, though his Word now encompassed a much wider spectrum, Vapula continued to retain a fondness for Engines. The new technologies that received the most fervent support from the Prince were almost always mechanical instead of electrical, perhaps an effort of Vapula's to destroy Jean's legacy once and for all. Still, this self-restriction did not hamper the Prince of Technology's almost-overnight ascension to become the most powerful being in the Symphony, even (arguably) surpassing Lucifer himself. Everyone waited in expectation for the Lightbringer to put the young upstart in his place, but Lucifer did nothing. In fact, after decades of increasing his power base, even Vapula himself was surprised at the First Balseraph's inaction and silence, so the Habbalite Prince decided to pay the Dark Lord a visit.

Lucifer wasn't home. In fact, from the look of things in the Lower Hells, the Lightbringer had been out for a long time, perhaps even as much as a century. My, what a coincidence! What could the reigning Prince do but temporarily take over the Lightbringer's domain, protecting it from outside incursions until the Dark Lord's return? To do otherwise would not befit Vapula's own code of conduct or his honor as a gentleman, and the Technologist would rather be Force-stripped than disappoint Lucifer.

Certainly, Vapula has nothing but the Lightbringer's best interests in mind, declaring himself Lord Protector of the Lower Hells and setting up shop in the deepest, most secluded nethers of the Celestial plane. After all, it's not as if Vapula has enemies...


Tattered Fragments of the Past

Puzzlingly enough, there is no record in the Library of there ever being an Elohite named "Vapula." Nor is there anyone who remembers a Celestial that in any way resembles the current Prince of Technology. You'd think too that Raphael would recall if one of her former servitors became a Demon Prince.

Additionally, Jean's collection of information about steam engines, which Vapula claims to have stolen right before his Fall, is complete and always seems to have been that way.

There are further holes in the Technologist's account of his own past.

First, the Halls of Progress did fall into serious disarray after Jean's death, but, even in the first few chaotic decades (when Raphael tried a hand at taking over Jean's responsibilities), there is no way that a non-authorized angel would have been allowed anywhere near the Archive of Future Technologies. 99% of Lightning's servitors never gain clearance to step foot in that building and a squad of Jean's best Malakim guard the entrance, screening workers for the smallest inkling of dishonor. Valefor could have stolen the plans, possibly, but Vapula? It seems unlikely.

So how did Vapula do it, showing up at Lucifer's doorstep with the design for a steam engine, much like Valefor did with the unwritten book of Nostradamus? If the Technologist never, in fact, worked in the Halls of Progress, just how did he manage to get secrets of future SCIENCE! to wave in front of the Lightbringer's face? And why does Vapula claim so emphatically to have once been an Elohite of Knowledge?

Ask Moe. He'll laugh.



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