Corporeal Forces: 2
Ethereal Forces: 3
Celestial Forces: 4
Vessel: Human Male/2
Songs: Charm(Celestial/3), Tongues(Celestial/3)
Skills: Fast-Talk/4, Detect Lies/3, Emote/4, Savoir-Faire/2, Ranged Weapon (pistol)/2, Dodge/3, Knowledge(Psychology)/3, Knowledge(Accounting)/2, Knowledge(The Game)/2, Knowledge(Hell)/3, Driving/1, Lockpicking/1
Attunements: Seraph of Judgement
Discord: Fear/3 (Falling)
Zedekiah is a bit unusual for one of Dominic's Servitors. He doesn't walk around like a humorless IRS agent wannabe all day. He doesn't immediately cry "Heresy!" upon discovering that an angel actually dares to have even a bit of a social life, or says 'Great, here comes another hyena' as a form of greeting, or greets the arrival of Judgement servitor by waving a beer mug in one hand and going "Whazzuuuuuup!". (Indeed, in the last instance he left the half-drunk Servitor of Wind who'd tried that on him sitting there surprised as Hell when 'Zed' grabbed him by the shoulders and went "Whazzuuuup!" right back at him, with a genuine smile on his face.) So why is Zed such an outgoing type of guy, when he works for a Superior notorious for his lack of humor and rigorous expectations?
Because compared to his old job, his new boss and new organization are pure Heaven.
Zedekiah was fledged over 700 years ago... as Aranthaxus, a Balseraph of the Game. He had a successful if not overwhelmingly distinguished career in Asmodeus' service, rigorously hunting down and targeting his fellow demons for execution. His particular specialty was counter-intelligence and undercover work. He made a specialty of infiltrating other groups of demons by pretending to be a servitor of another Prince entirely, and gaining their trust while they told him everything (well, "everything" by demonic standards, at least)... in his day, he'd posed as Servitors of Kobal, Valefor, and Mammon, among others. And then after he'd gathered the evidence necessary to hang another bunch of demons as traitors, Asmodeus would pull him out, send in the Calabim, and give him his next assignment. Backstabbing, report-altering, double-dealing... you name it, he'd done it. He'd even done a tour of Earth duty, scouting out angels who were likely Falling candidates and helping give them that last little push. Aranthaxus was playing the Game exactly as it was supposed to be played.
Then they assigned him to infiltrate Alaemon's Conspiracy... who, naturally enough, found out his secrets and blackmailed him with them. Before long, Aranthaxus was having to lie to both sides, and then all sides, just to keep his skin intact from hour to hour, until his personal vision of reality simply couldn't keep consistent with all the new twists and turns of the actual ongoing situation. Failing resonance rolls added up, the dissonance built up, and the Discord showed up, until his only hope of survival was to go Renegade. And as an experienced Gamester, he was fortunate enough and knowledgable to make it.
But after spending several very miserable and paranoid years on Earth, starting at every shadow and jumping at every loud noise, Aranthaxus had finally had enough. He was sick of lying, sick of being afraid, sick of having to betray and deceive everyone he talked to just to keep breathing from minute to minute. Survival was worthless without something to survive for, and more than he'd wanted anything else in his entire life he Just Wanted It All To Stop. So when he walked straight into a tether of Dominic and introduced himself as a Renegade Balseraph of the Game, the only thing he was hoping for was that they would kill him quickly.
And in all the millennia he'd been alive, Dominic didn't think he'd ever seen a demon who was happier about being Redeemed, even though a couple of his Ethereal Forces had to be burned away in the process. (Zedekiah was quite messed-up when he first approached Dominic...)
Wanting to leave his old life as far behind him as it could possibly be managed, Aranthaxus took a new name -- Zedekiah. meaning "The justice of the Lord", which he credits as why he was Redeemed rather than destroyed. After all, his old boss would have just...
While Dominic could sense the Truth at this newest angel's vast relief to finally be out of the clutches of Hell, that didn't mean that he would cut him any slack. Zedekiah served the typical probationary and observation period required of Redeemed in Dominic's service, working diligently at the various routine tasks he was assigned in Heaven and rigorously following the ideals of Judgement and avoiding every opportunity to backslide... even if he did have problems with that irreverent streak. After a slightly longer than average period of probation (due to that Discord), in due time Zedekiah was invested with his Servitor Attunement and inducted into Dominic's service as a full-fledged angel...
... and then Dominic had to figure out where to assign him. Triad duty was right out -- he simply couldn't project the 'stern, humorless, diligent' image that Triads are supposed to keep up in their dealings. Assignment to a Game-triad was most definitely out. Keeping him in Heaven was a possibility, but a servant with his experience in both the corporeal realm and significant familiarity with the ways of demons would be wasted on routine administration.
And then Dominic thought of your PCs' party, and how they could possibly use someone experienced and yet unconventional to keep an eye on their activities as a regular observer...
As mentioned above, Zedekiah is the antithesis of 'uptight'. He'll laugh, he'll joke, he'll kick back and put his feet on the furniture, he'll be sympathetic to a friend's problems. Part of this is simply out of relief that he finally can do this -- the rigorous behavior required by his old supervisors in the Game would make the most uptight supervisor in Judgement look like the Archangel of the Wind. At long last, 'Zed' is finally in a place where he can relax, unwind, and say what's on his mind without having it to be a lie or an infiltration tactic. After centuries of having to continually 'live' either the 'Gestapo officer' role of a Gamester or the various undercover roles of his assignments, he's where he can finally be himself. And he's reveling in it.
But there is another reason...
Deep-down inside, Zedekiah is scared. You don't shake that many centuries of Balseraphic propaganda that easily, not even when you once helped to write it. Zedekiah can't quite shake the last vestiges of the gnawing fear that the Game wasn't lying, and that Heaven really is as repressive as Hell in its own way. Zedekiah's horror at the thought of his old life, and of ever having to go back to it, had become a full-blown Ethereal Discord during his Renegade years and even his Redemption hadn't purged him of it entirely. Every time he pushes the boundaries of convention (although not genuine misbehavior), every time he acts against the stereotype of 'stern, humorless Judgement', and every time he fails to get more than the most mild censure for it, that failure to have the Fist of God crashing down on him is what reassures him that he's not really working for the "Heavenly Asmodeus". Zedekiah cuts up because he's allowed to cut up, because it's how he reminds himself anew every day that he's no longer working for the Superior that would kill him for a single wrong remark.
However, despite the fact that Zed is genuinely friendly and outgoing, that doesn't mean that he's in any way lax in his duties. As we mentioned before, Zed is terrified at the thought that he might ever become a demon again -- and that terror extends to the thought that any other angel might ever Fall. Zedekiah knows what it's like to live down there, what kind of pure Hell it is, and he'd quite cheerfully die rather than ever have to go back to the Bad Place.
And he applies that to other angels as well. Dominic's own "It is more merciful to kill an angel than to allow him to Fall" philosophy is something that Zedekiah believes with all his heart and soul. He's a lot less uptight about the minor 'heresies' that aren't really Heresies that too many young Judgement servitors get all a-flutter over -- back when he was Aranthaxus, he had seen at least two angels who had let excessive fear of Judgement's servitors push them into Falling rather than into going and getting help before it was too late. But he still is constantly on the lookout for signs of genuine trouble in any other angel. Which he will, of course, report at the first opportunity. In triplicate.
So while Zed doesn't act like the stereotypical Judgement servitor, he still cares about Judgement's mission at least as fervently as the Angel of the Inquisition does. It's just that he knows that sometimes it helps angels Fall if you make them too paranoid about facing Judgement.
Zedekiah's Discord is something I came up with myself. Basically, it's there to provide motivation as to why he is the way he is. When it actually comes up in play is when Zedekiah has to face any situation where he will earn dissonance if he doesn't back off (Zedekiah is terrified at the thought of carrying any dissonance, because he knows where it leads), interact with demons in any extended setting (which freaks him out because that would be an opportunity for them to try and lure him back to the Dark Side -- and another reason why he's absolutely unfit for Game-triad duty even if his identity were totally obscured), or any other similar situation. Please note that the Zedekiah's Discord is about the possibility of his Falling again, not of any other angel's. He still worries greatly about other angels, but when it comes to their concerns he can at least mostly keep his fear at a rational level.
Yes, it's a bit of a stretch, admitted -- he's only Fearful of things that most angels avoid on a regular basis anyway. But in his case, it is compulsive, so I figured it was still worth 2 points/level of discord, as strong temptations to earn Dissonance do occur fairly if not very often.
(Zedekiah is a balanced starting character.)
Back to the INC Mainpage.
Back to the Angels page.
Send mail to the Curator