Mercurian Archangel of Cities
"Cities are the future of mankind. We must remake them in the image of the Eternal City, or Hell will triumph before the first shot of Armageddon is fired."
Jeri (Jeri usually appears as a woman, though she sometimes uses a male identity, Jericho) is a very old angel, but only has been an Archangel for a century. She was created by David during the Stone Age, and sent down to live among the humans to encourage them to band together in larger groups and to build ritual ties among them. After millenia of such activity, she then was assigned to assist the Angel of Agriculture in promoting that word among the humans, which she did with great skill. As villages began to develop, she began to concieve a great vision, and in conjunction with other Servitors of Stone and with Servitors of Creation, she inspired the building of the first city. This experiment proved quite a success, and soon she was rewarded with the word of Cities.
For millenia, she has nurtured the growth of cities and struggled with the seemingly infinite problems inherent in compacting humans into limited space, from disease to riots to supply problems. While she was fairly successful, until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, cities, while important, remained home to only a very small percentage of the population of mankind. While those cities became the focus of much celestial activity, due to their usually being home to many of the leaders and innovators of humanity and the levers of temporal power, the Word of Cities itself gained little power in comparison to the many things which cities made possible.
But in the eighteenth century, then increasingly in the nineteenth century, cities began to explode in size in Europe, and Jeri began to petition David and the Seraphim Council for greater amounts of help in coping with the exploding problems of such cities, which were dragging many cities and people down the road to hell. At the same time, the churches were unable to match the growth of cities with a corresponding growth of their own, and many slipped into irreligion or worse because of this. Unfortunately, David doesn't respond well to swiftly changing conditions, and the Seraphim Council is not the fastest deliberators on Earth.
The council finally did react in the 1870s, asking Dominic to appoint an investigatory committee to examine the living conditions of the cities. It took ten years to study and make its report, and the results were, simply put, appalling. It took weeks to present all the findings, and many of the Council members looked quite ill by the end of it. Dominic's suggested solution was to destroy the worst of the cities as a sign to the rest. Instead, the council decided to appoint an Archangel of Cities to undertake the task of making these cities more like the Heavenly City in which the angels dwell.
Jeri has achieved some great results in this century, though she still struggles to get her motley band of servitors, many given to her by other Archangels to help her get things underway, into shape and working effectively. She's been aided by the massive amounts of power given her Word in this century by the growth of cities all over the globe. It's generally expected she'll become a very major player by the end of the 21st century, and likely earlier.
Personality and Outlook:
Jeri is friendly, but rushed, because she tends to be a rather 'hands-on' Archangel. Indeed, the way she races about leads some to wonder if she should have been an Ofanite instead of a Mercurian. Every hour of her day is tightly scheduled, as she zips from project to project, city to city, trying to singlehandedly save the world. She has a tendency to ignore summons, but instead calls servitors and makes appointments with them. Wise people accept the time she suggests, as she may not be able to pencil you in again for weeks or months... Servitors working on projects where she anticipates her help will be needed, or in which she takes an especial interest, are issued special 'pagers', which greatly increase their invocation chances.
Jeri usually operates by setting general policy directives for each city, then appointing either a single angel as a city manager when her servitors in a city are few, or a board of seven celestials (one from each Choir), when the city is large, to work out the specific policy directives and priorities for that city and issue directives to the other celestials in her service. If the city possesses a Word-Bound celestial of that city (Angel of Houston, Angel of Paris, etc), that celestial acts as 'chairman' of the 'City Council'. Typically, a city possesses a Word-Bound patron if it is either a national capital, has great historical/ social/ political/ whatever significance or has 1 million or more people. Some cities possess such Angels based on past glories now lost.
Jeri is a consumate politician, very skilled at wheedling the other Archangels and their servitors into assisting her projects, a talent honed by centuries of having duties much greater than her resources. She tends to be a peace-maker, trying to settle conflicts by finding a mutually acceptable solution.
Jeri has two major problems. First of all, she tries to do too much. She still hasn't really adjusted to having a large enough staff to let them take care of the minor work. As a result, she may miss rioting in one city because she's too busy trying to influence Cleveland's city council to change its zoning regulations so that the working class can get better housing without factories being built next door. This also leads to her meddling in projects, which can drive her servitors insane at times.
Secondly, Jeri can be a bit too much of a booster of cities at times. While she does her best to make them clean and tidy, she must bear some of the responsibility for urban sprawl and the transformation of natural settings into concrete and glass. She lacks appreciation of the rural viewpoint or the beauties of nature (unless properly tamed in a park). She's eco-friendly...but the needs of the city still come first. Recycling makes a tidy home, nicer to live in, and saves resources...so you can have a bigger city.
Jeri's job is to make cities fit to live in and to beautify them, so they become a reflection of the shining Eternal City of Heaven. Her word-bound servitors are most commonly either bound to a location (such as the Angel of Houston) or to an aspect of better cities (such as the Angel of Sanitation).
Cleansing of Cities
This aspect of Jeri's Word is the never ending struggle to keep cities from drowning in their own garbage, both literal and symbolic. Jeri promotes civic hygiene--well-maintained housing, good sanitation, water purification, public medical services, recycling, etc. She also promotes the removal of human garbage--pushers, pimps, slumlords, irresponsible developers, mobsters, and so on. Angels assigned to these duties are usually either in politics and activism (to promote civic hygiene) or in police forces (to promote removal of human garbage). A lot of this work is done in conjunction with angels serving Michael, Jean, David, Dominic, and Laurence.
Growth of Cities
Second in importance is promoting the growth of cities, ideally in a rational, planned, and hygenic manner. While these angels have been quite successful in promoting growth, they haven't always done a very good job of keeping that growth under control. Control of city planning commissions and zoning boards is key. Marc's angels are of great assistance in this task.
Beautification of Cities
Third in importance is the transformation of cities into beautiful places. Whether one believes this has been successful depends in part on one's sense of aesthetics. Jeri finds skyscrapers to be lovely. Many celestials do not. Excessive city growth has hampered this work.
Part of this duty is the preservation of historical landmarks, especially the most beautiful buildings of the past.
Almost all of the Angels of Creation in service to Jeri are to be found pursuing this duty.
Jeri was once part of the war party, along with her mentor, David. Once she encouraged cities to be strong and martial. Over the centuries, however, she has seen what violence and war do to cities, and a diet of city sackings and street riots have broken her of approving of the involvement of cities in warfare when there are other options. While she is not so much the pacifist as Novalis, she tends to oppose outright full-scale warfare, for fear of the devastations of the cities. She's best seen in this regard as a moderate, throwing her support back and forth in different situations.
Two areas cause most of her political conflicts with other Archangels. Firstly, Jordi hates her because of the ways in which the growth of cities has damaged the wilderness homes of animals. She's tried a variety of appeasement measures, from zoos to supporting the wildlife that has found a home in the city (rats, pigeons, pets), but her continued commitment to the growth of cities (rational, planned, clean, beautiful, but still growth) means he will likely never like her. Secondly, Jeri has a tendency to butt into other people's areas of authority. This can, at times, cause conflict with almost anyone because of her tendency to assume that anything whatsoever that happens in a city rightfully belongs to her Word. This often results in wasteful overlapping with other servitor groups and conflicts when her city councils try to order around Angels resident in their city of authority who serve someone else.
She is most closely allied to Marc, as Trade and Cities mutually support each other, and the growth of her word usually promotes his and vice versa. She does her best to remain friendly with Jean, as Cities need technology, and maintains good relations with Eli, with whom she has sometimes collaborated on beautification projects, Novalis, who cooperates with her in the creation of parks and civic festivals, and David, who she long served and whose projects she still does much to further.
Associated: Jean, Eli, Novalis, David
Servitors, by Choir:
Seraphim: Jeri's Seraphim know what goes on behind the false fronts of the city. They can look at any building and determine the true use to which it is being put. Many work as private investigators and cops with the Malakim, as they are well suited to discover criminal activities out of public sight. The rest are usually involved as building inspectors, lawyers, or judges.
Cherubim: Jeri's Cherubim watch over people and places important to the flourishing of cities. They ensure reforming politicians aren't assassinated, that city parks don't fill up with rapes, muggings, and drug use, and that urban youths with high destinies don't sink to their fate instead. They also track the worst criminals until the Malakim can deal with them. Jeri's Cherubim who attune to a building or location (such as a park) can sense abstract threats to the building or location's well being as well as immediate ones (such as a developer who has decided to tear the building down, but hasn't yet taken action to do so).
Ofanim: The movement of supplies and information is vital to the functioning of cities. It is the duty of Jeri's Ofanites to keep the arteries of the city flowing smoothly. They often work as truckers, sysops, messenger boys, delivery men, and journalists [typically remote correspondents]. They know how to get what you need and get it where you need it to go. On a successful perception check, they can add their check digit to any skill use that involves finding desired goods or information and transporting them. (such desired goods must be fairly generic substances--you can use it to find where to get fluted tumblers, but not 'Bob's stolen fluted tumblers'.) Such goods must be at least semi-public knowledge (you can't find a hidden cache of Renoirs in a man's basement, unless he's put out feelers in the city's underground to sell them).
Elohim: Jeri's Elohim have their fingers on the heartbeat of the city. They can extend their resonance to attempt to assess the mood of an entire city, or a subregion of that city, to see how it might respond to various actions. This makes them especially valuable advisors to Angels attempting urban improvements. They often take roles in advisory positions to city government or developers.
Malakim: It is the duty of Jeri's Malakim to take out the human garbage of the city. They do so with a gusto. Most work as security men, police, and private investigators in their mortal roles, which enable them to take action against mortals without causing massive dissonance. At the same time, Jeri usually expects them to capture, rather than killing, when dealing with humans. So long as they don't harm innocents, they can generally tear up the neighborhood to root out the human garbage without sustaining dissonance. (For example, they can burn down a still usable warehouse in order to wipe out the crack house which has been set up inside it, as long as no innocents will burn).
Kyriotates: The Mercurians may be Friends of Man, but a dog is a man's Best Friend. Jeri's Kyriotates most commonly use animal vessels, becoming pets to people, in which roles they either comfort or spy. Many people can only really open up to their pets, while even the most paranoid of criminals rarely believes his pet cat will tell the cops where the drug deal is going down. Jeri's Kyriotates can possess domesticated or urbanized animals (a city pigeon is urbanized, the polar bear at the zoo is not) for a number of days equal to their check digit times their corporeal forces.
Mercurians: Jeri's Mercurians are consumate politicians and managers, able to tell at a glance how people fit into the life of the city and whether they benefit or harm it. On a successful resonance check, they can tell how people relate to the city as a whole, and whether they do so in a beneficial or harmful manner. Those who benefit the city, they will guide and aid. Those who harm it get reported to the Malakim to be thrown out with the trash.
Bright Lilim: Jeri has only a handful of Bright Lilim, though she'd like more. They make great city planners and neighborhood activists. Bright Lilim can use their resonance to determine what an entire neighborhood needs. If they meet that need, they can attempt to geas someone who has benefited from the need being met, but who selfishly chose not to help meet it.
It is dissonant for a servitor of Jeri to cause a city to become dirtier, more dangerous, uglier, or smaller. This dissonance can be removed by carrying out a corresponding improvement of the city conditions. They also gain dissonance from causing damage to cities, unless that damage is necessary to an improvement. (For example, a bunch of rundown row houses need to be levelled in order to put a park on the site, a condemned building which needs to be torn down so it doesn't pose a hazard to people, and so on)
By expending one ore more essence and making a will roll, you can bring down the wrath of the city authorities upon someone. They will harrass the target for a number of days equal to the check digit times the amount of essence spent. If the person is breaking no laws and have a clean record, they can get out of it okay if they avoid doing anything stupid, but illegal immigrants, criminals, Soldiers of Hell, celestials who lack a role, and any one else is likely to be in trouble. If nothing else, it keeps the target pinned down and busy fending off the authorities.
The angel can look at any building or location in the city and know its history with the expenditure of one essence and a perception roll. The higher the check digit, the more precise the information.
Heartbeat of the City
By spending one essence, you can make a perception roll and know what is taking place in the city which is most in need of Angelic intervention. This may not necessarily guarantee you can make it there in time...
Red Light, Green Light
By spending one essence, the angel can make a will roll and bend the traffic light system to his will. He will get only green lights for ten minutes times his celestial forces + check digit. Alternately, he can make someone else's driving difficult as they hit all red lights. This use allows them to make a will roll to resist, however.
Citizen of the City
By spending one essence, you can instantly blend into any social ocassion, political rally, etc., involving twenty or more people. People won't know who you are, but you'll fit, and they'll feel like they should remember you. This includes producing an invitation to get you in. If you choose to spend more essence, you'll have a point of Charisma per point for a number of hours equal to your Ethereal Forces.
Officer of the City
By spending essence, you generate a role for yourself as a member of some aspect of the government of a city. The role has a level equal to the amount of essence spent and lasts for a number of days equal to your total Forces.
Councilman of the City
You are exceptionally skillful at motivating city governments to do what you want, from renewing your license quickly to preventing the destruction of historical landmarks. A successful Perception roll lets you add your check digit to any skill roll intended to persuade government officials and politicians (at the city level) to take the course you propose.
Basic Rites: Spend a morning or afternoon picking up garbage Collect and deliver three large trash bags to a recycling center Organize a neighborhood watch Shut down a criminal organization (1 to 3 essence depending on the size of it) Restore and beautify a building: +3 essence Spend 8 hours working on a construction site (or demolishing a condemned building) in some capacity
Chance of Invocation: 2
+1: Inside a city of 1 million or more people
+2: At the Town Hall/Civic Center/Etc
+3: During a civic festival or public ceremony of some kind
+3: At a recycling plant/water purification facility
+4: Inside a city of 7 million or more people
+5: Right before, during, or after a city council meeting
+7: Inside a city of 15 million or more people
+8: Given a 'Pager' by Jeri
+10: Standing at the geographic center of the largest city in the world.
The Sewers of Paris
Most archangels would be fairly humiliated to have a sewer as a Tether. Jeri, however, is proud of this Tether, as it symbolizes her commitment to keeping cities clean and habitable. It was one of her very first tethers, opening up within weeks of her being granted her word. A portion of the sewer network doesn't show up on maps, but if you know where to turn, you can walk or even sail a boat into the twisting passages which eventually empty out into the sewer system of Jeri's 'Cathedral' in heaven.
It is watched over by Maximillian, Cherub Councilman of the City, a 15 force Angel, who like Jeri, once served David. Maximillian has a mild cleanliness obsession, which many people assume to be discord, which seems strange in a castellan. It's actually simply the logical result of being attuned to a sewer. Maximillian is assisted by several Kyriotates who control a pack of monkeys and two crocodiles in defending the Tether. (The monkeys are from the gangs of feral monkeys currently harrassing Paris. I kid you not, RL Paris is being harassed by former pet monkeys turned loose when they grew up and got aggressive...)
People who come to work off dissonance will usually be assigned either to take over guard duties, to do maintenance on the sewer, or to perform operatic music to amuse Maximillian, who enjoys operas greatly, but rarely gets to go see them.
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