The Voices, the Echoes
It's late at night, the house is dark and your wife's asleep. You're hard at work on the computer, maybe writing something for a project you've been working on, maybe surfing the 'Net.
And then you hear a sound.
It's not like any natural sound in the house -- say you're frightened, frightened enough to check on your spouse and the baby asleep in her crib. Say you move through the house, switching on every light in every room, making sure that all the windows and doors are securely locked and fastened, and that your home, like your life, is a great secure fastness. Say you begin to silently pray while clutching the baseball bat you've picked up from a closet near your room.
Say you check the house and all is well -- there was no sound after all, or maybe it was a cat. Or a mouse somewhere under the floor. Or the wind.
So you go back to your computer, switching off the lights as you go along, the baseball bat dead weight in your hand as you try to pretend you weren't frightened out of your wits. Say there was a sound like that -- would it have changed your life? Probably not; but for a few moments you remembered God, you remembered your fundamental vulnerability, and you doubted some of the assumptions you made about your life.
That's what encountering the Kolari is like.
The Kolari are a lost Choir -- the last of the Kolari is believed to have died along with the Archangel Metatron, who was itself a Kolariah. There are those who say that the Kolari made up Metatron's entire Host; that may be true, since no one has mentioned meeting or encountering any angels of the Voice since Metatron's death. There are those who say that the Kolari are still around -- and that may be true. No one knows where to find them, although rumors abound that the Kolari are circulating on Earth or in the Far Marches, and certainly the Tsayadim speak of a place where they walk through living whispers.
That, after all, is what the celestial form of the Kolari look like. Kyriotates and Menunim are fairly difficult for the mortal eye to comprehend; the Kolari simply don't register on sight. In Heaven, it's possible to tell where a Kolariah is -- but no one is able to describe exactly how that is possible. Light doesn't bounce off the Kolari (something that irritated the Archangel Lucifer no end). They can't be seen, only addressed -- and when they address you, you know in your heart that it's you they're speaking to. No one else speaks quite like the Kolari.
What follows is pure speculation: as stated earlier, no one has seen or heard a Kolariah since before the Fall.
The Kolari resonate with sound. In or out of their celestial forms, they are able to communicate with others, and to hear what is being spoken. Believed to be echoes of God's voice, singing the Symphony into being, the Kolari are also in tune with the fundamental questions of human nature. On a successful resonance roll, they are able to determine a person's beliefs about himself and his place in the world; they are also able to learn what would make a person doubt. Doubt is a good thing for the Kolari: only by doubting is one able to establish the soundness of his beliefs. Far more subtle than the Elohim or the Seraphim, the Kolari work on levels of human consciousness that modern psychology has only begun to explore.
Kolari Check Digit Results
1 - You are able to gauge a person's self-esteem.
2 - You can do that, and are able to learn his general level of angst.
3 - You can do that, and are able to overhear a person's "self-talk" what he's saying to himself, in his head, right at this moment.
4 - You can do that, and are able to determine the key points of the self-talk, not just for the moment, but over the past 24 hours.
5 - You can do that, and are able to determine the moral questions the person faces.
6 - You can do that, and are able to determine what answers the person would like to receive, and how much he wants to believe in them.
It is dissonant for a Kolariah to allow a human they encounter to live an unexamined life. Through the use of their resonance, Metatron's attunements, and whatever Songs they have in their repertoire, they are expected to force a human into questioning his beliefs. This has earned them the ire of Blandine's Menunim and even a number of Elohim. The Ofanim, who love to shake things up, have nothing but appreciation for the work the Kolari do.
Manner and Appearance
If any Kolari are left in the world, they don't appear in Heaven, for reasons that no one has yet learned. They leave no bodies or forms that can be discerned by the eye how exactly does one target or aim at a cloud of sound? If any exist, they are on the two other planes, continuing Metatron's work.
The Far Marches are the best place to try seeking the Kolari. Certainly they must miss Heaven; they aren't Outcasts, after all. Also, being attuned to sound, they must know a great many Songs generally unavailable to the celestial population.
On Earth, Kolari not in vessels are not discernable by the human eye. They are, however, discernable by the human ear, and by those of most mammals. Dogs, cats, bats, and other mammals with ears attuned to ultrasonics (and with high enough Perceptions) will be able to discern a Kolariah passing in celestial form. Humans with high Perceptions will also feel oddly disconcerted; a passing Kolariah will put them on the edge, trying to find the source of that odd sound just out of hearing range. Just like you, alone at night, working on your computer.
The Kolari are not a very good Choir for PCs (although they'll certainly want to try). As NPCs, they can be a great way for GMs to add depth to a game. That angst-ridden Malakite who begins to hear whispers from out of nowhere, asking questions about his place in the world, may be the subject of a Kolariah's resonance.
Also, as a lost Choir, the Kolari are excellent MacGuffins for adventures. Celestials may be tasked to seek them out in the Far Marches, thus interacting with the Tsayadim and whatever ethereal spirits the GM wants to bring into the game.
And then, of course, there is the question of the Fallen Kolari. Are there any? Since Metatron was slain before the Fall (it's commonly believed that the Kolari perished along with their patron Archangel), no one can claim to have seen a Fallen Kolariah. Who knows? Perhaps one day, one may yet appear at the Gates of Hell, anxious to be let in before his fellows find him...
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