The world is clouded in shadows and darkness. Let there be light once
It was a strange sensation when Armageddon had come and gone. All the legends on both sides had been interpreted to mean that there would be one clear victor in the cataclysmic war. Either Heaven or Hell would triumph, and whichever side won would dominate the world henceforth. It was...creepy to scholars of the War on both side when it turned out that neither side had apparently won. The Archangels and Demon Princes had simply...annihilated each other.
To Serendipity, Mercurian Friend of Sleepers, it had been a terror-fraught time, and it had come with so little warning! She had been on assignment in the corporeal realm, guarding the dreams of a child who had been tortured by a particularly sadistic Habbalite of Nightmares. The Habbalite did not know that a Mercurian of Blandine's had been assigned to her "plaything", but she had been just about to find out -- the hard way -- when a massive Disturbance had rocked the Symphony. Turning from the boy who she was guarding (in the role of a babysitter), she looked into the night sky and witnessed the skies turning red and weeping fire. In this case, the fire generated from the explosion of nuclear missiles. Ignoring her role, she grabbed the sleeping child and bolted for the nearest Tether of Dreams in her car.
The scene that greeted her was chaos. Demons of Nightmares in corporeal form were already storming the Tether! The back-country hill was already aflame and the Cherub Seneschal was soul-dead near the loci of the Tether. Leaving the child in the car, Serendipity carved a direct path to the locus of the Tether, using a reliquary with the Song of Thunder that she had planned to unleash upon a certain unsuspecting Habbalite this evening. The surprise attack from behind startled the demons, and gave the beleaguered defenders of the Tether a chance to regroup. That brief distraction enabled a Seraph Master of the Realms of Night to lead a new charge and sweep the foes from the Tether. Not waiting for congratulations, Serendipity ordered a Cherub to watch her assigned child, still sleeping peacefully in the back seat of the car, and dived through the Tether loci.
The trip was...strange. The pure light of the loci was distorted, wavering between light and dark and shot through with flame. Arriving in the Marches, Serendipity gaped as she beheld the flaming wreckage of both Towers. Ethereals and Tsayadim had taken the field, harassing the massed forces of Dreams and Nightmares, all allegiances gone now. Shoving her way through the crowd, taking up the flaming sword of a stunned Ofanite, she witnessed a sight she thought she would never see.
In the middle of a cleared space, ringed by angels and demons, Serendipity witnessed a sight she thought she'd never really see. Blandine, Cherub Archangel of Dreams, lay on the ground, a spike riven through her blasted chest. The great Lady was in her celestial form, a majestic white wolf with flaring wings and golden eyes, eyes now clouded in pain and dim shadows. Looming over her in all her hideous, warped glory, was Beleth, the Djinn Princess of Nightmares. The strangest thing was that Beleth's face wore a look of mingled triumph and regret. Serendipity wasted no time for thought of what she was doing. Her grief turned to anger and she charged the Princess with only her borrowed sword. The surprised Beleth, weakened from the battle, turned to swat this insect, but at the last second, Serendipity turned her charge into a flying leap and blew all her Essence in an Invocation. Not stopping to wait for help, Serendipity blasphemed Beleth in the worst terms she could use ("failed, useless would-be Cherub" being one of the more polite terms). Her wild slashes did little to actually injure Beleth, but her words infuriated the Princess and distracted her for a key moment. In that moment, there was a burst of radiance, then Superior-level Songs of Thunder and Acid blasted Beleth from her feet.
Turning, everyone saw Khalid and Christopher, fresh from respective battles with Magog and Mammon. The two Archangels ambushed the weakened Beleth (aided by a well-timed sword-thrust into Beleth's eye by Serendipity), and soul-killed her. The angels of Dreams, taking the initative, stormed the demoralized demons of Nightmares, driving them all the way into the Far Marches and then slaughtering them without mercy. There were few survivors. Although Christopher departed to Heaven proper, Khalid remained for a time to aid in the onslaught. When it was done, Serendipity was a heroine, acclaimed by the angels of Dreams as the leader who had stood against the Princess of Nightmares.
Unfortunately, it was not enough to win the day. By the time the Marches were cleansed of Nightmares and the backdoor to Hell was held by Heaven, Heaven itself was in flames. In the absence of their Archangel, the angels of Dreams turned to Serendipity for leadership, even the Masters of the Realms of Night. Serendipity left a strong guard around Hell's back door and then led the rest on a charge back into Heaven. She was in time to aid in the retaking of the besieged Halls of Progress, and to witness Jean's triumph over the cyborg troops of Vapula in a searing storm of lightning bolts. The Archangel of Lightning had nearly cleansed the field when Vapula launched a renewed assualt that drove the angels of Dreams back towards the Marches. Serendipity did not see the outcome, but later heard from survivors that Jean destroyed Vapula, but was so weakened that a swarm of Technology Servitors bore him down and held him until Furfur had time to kill him.
Weakened and in disarray from the onslaught, the armies of Dreams regrouped in the Halls of Creation, taking in angels from other Words who fled when their Archangels fell. No one much questioned that Serendipity was in charge, leaving the relatively young Mercurian bewildered and dazed. She held her position -- and Eli's Halls -- until the end. When it was over, when silence reigned in Heaven far more than any Word of the Symphony ever had, Serendipity led her forces out into the flaming wreckage of Heaven. It was horrible. Angels and demons lay strewn everywhere in twisted heaps amidst the ruin of machinery both Divine and Infernal. The greatest devastation lay near the molten crater that had been the Volcano. There Gabriel and Belial had fought for full control of the Word of Fire, and both had ultimately lost, destroyed in the explosion that had leveled the Volcano. The Council Spires lay shattered, and it was a painful thing for many of his angels to see the Archangel of Judgment, fallen on the very steps of the Celestial Tribunal as he personally held it against an onslaught of Baal's warriors and Asmodeus's Gamesters. The only small consolation lay in the fact that the Demon Prince of the Game lay in a slumped corpse not far from Dominic's cloaked body, the Sword of Heavenly Judgment rammed straight through his black heart, nailing him to the floor.
As Serendipity led the angels through the remains of Heaven, they encountered bands of demons, who were mercilessly slain as a matter of course. The bewildered Mercurian looked for any Archangel who could possibly take command, but found only their corpses. Marc, having aided Christopher in the fight against Mammon, had met his end at Furfur's hands, like Jean. Furfur in turn had been laid low by Zadkiel in the battle that had leveled the Citadel of Protection. Litheroy had taken the battle with Alaemon all the way to the Monastery of Masks in Stygia and back to the lake of his Abbey, the two Superiors battling with all the intensity of Belial and Gabriel themselves, while Novalis's Glade laid charred by the forces of Saminga's armies. It was said by some of the survivors of Flowers that as Saminga gloated over the death of Novalis, the Grigori Archangel of Death, whom some called Sariel, had returned and dragged the Shedite Prince to Abaddon and an unknown fate. Neither had returned. Some claimed to have seen a Grigori calling herself Harmony, Archangel of Song, traveling towards Yves's Library, but her fate was also unknown. Michael and David lay in their burned Groves, fallen in the two-on-two battle with Lucifer and Baal, though not before they had slain their foes as well. The only one who could be found was a dying Janus, slumped against a burned tree in the Groves. He had strangled Valefor and related the news of Laurence's death in the assault on Hell, between the conquest of Hades and the storming of Gehenna. He claimed that Haagentil had devoured the corpse, but Laurence had managed to impale the Prince of Gluttony as he was being eaten. He also related that a strange blackness had flowed from Haagenti's corpse at his death, followed by a feeling of lethargy that had slowed him down long enough for a concerted ambush by Valefor, Lilith, and Kobal to severely damage him, although he'd had the satisfaction of seeing Valefor dead before he'd fled. He could offer no hope for the immediate future, however. With that, he perished.
A distraught Serendipity looked around her at the ruin of Heaven and screamed her despair, her loss, and her confusion. As she lowered her tear-streaked face, seeing only the loss of all hope in the universe, a beam of white light descended from the Higher Heavens. A quiet, gentle Voice sounded through the air about the gathered angels then. "Ah, My Daughter, do not fear. The world as you have known it has fallen, in fire and in blood. But now comes the time for rebuilding, for a new hope. The Darkness has been driven back, its leaders dead. My wayward Son has fallen in his illimitable pride and vainglory. You who have seen My Children through the Darkness shall now take up the burden of Light, to drive back the shadows. Thus it is that one of the least shall become one of the greatest. Friend of Man, Mercurian of Dreams, do you accept this burden?" When the awestruck Mercurian nodded, the light became blindingly brilliant about her, forcing her to her knees. When it had ended, when the State Change had been worked, the voice said softly "Then rise, Serendipity, Archangel of Light, for you are the Lightbringer to a new creation now. The others shall come in time, new Bright Lords, and those who would be the new Dark Lords. Go in peace, My Daughter." With that, the Light from above was gone, but the Light from the Mercurian Archangel shone as brightly as a star.
It is dissonant for Servitors of Light to take any action which would cause a human to lose faith in themselves or in the divine. They are required to perform at least one act that will contribute substanially to the rebuilding of the three planes and one act which will positively inspire another every 24 hours or suffer dissonance until they make up the backlog, at which point the dissonance disappears.
Serendipity has not had time to bother with an elaborate appearance as of yet. She still appears as she did in her last vessel: a thin teenage Black girl with long black hair, light-brown eyes, clad in simple blue jeans, sandals, a glitter-spangled black top that reads "Angel", with wings and golden halo included. The only difference from a standard Mercurian is the aura of white radiance that surrounds her at all times in her celestial form.
Serendipity is a rookie at the art of leading anything, and it shows. As a Mercurian Friend of Sleepers, she was content to be middle management at best, still taking orders from Blandine. Forced into a leadership role, the perky, outgoing Mercurian has had to rapidly adapt to life as a Superior and she has a bad tendency to try to take everyone's burdens on herself. Her Servitors claim that she micromanages a lot, but fortunately, she's so busy that she can rarely afford to stay for too long. As Heaven's first new Archangel, she's been trying to clean things up, take inventory of the dead, bury the dead Archangels (Jean's former Servitors placed the corpses of the Superiors in stasis prior to the completion of a beautiful crystal tomb by Eli's former Servitors), hold the backdoor to Hell in the Marches (prior to a blitzkrieg into the shattered Hell), and deal with isolated pockets of demons still in Heaven. She is struggling to grasp her new role, and, with the deaths of Novalis, Khalid, Christopher, Blandine, Yves, and Zadkiel, has worked to incorporate some of the aspects of their Words into hers and to lead by example. She associates Light with hope, peace, inspiration, faith, and joy, but has yet to really associate it with herself yet. When people refer to her as Archangel, she still looks around, expecting to see one of the original Archangels answer.
Serendipity has organized those angels who will follow her into a fairly tight hierarchy. She has yet to create Distinctions higher than Master and has no idea how to Word-bind anyone, so she hasn't bothered. All of her angels answer to a superior, who ultimately answers to her, and she holds monthly inspections of all of her angels. She's taken over Eli's old Halls of Creation (one of the only intact structures left in Heaven) as a temporary base while she gets things sorted out. She likes the irony of the Halls of Creation being used as a base for a new creation. She hopes to create her own Cathedral (something along the lines of a park with a crystal tower or pantheistic church in it, she's not sure yet) as soon as can figure out how one creates a Cathedral. In the meantime, she has her Servitors going out to comfort the remnants of humanity and to get things organized on Earth. As a Mercurian, she places a high value on humans, even more than on trying to help get Heaven on its' feet again (or so some Seraphim have been heard to mumble). She seems unaware that some of her Seraphim still feel uncomfortable with the idea of a mere Mercurian holding the powerful Word of Light, believing that Word to be the province of the Most Holy alone.
Seraphim: Seraphim of Light can sense the Truth of a person's emotions and convinctions. They use this power to determine how strongly a person is committed to a certain position and to frame arguments that can break a person out of erroneous thinking.
Cherubim: Cherubim of Light inspire love and hope in a person when they attune to them. This feeling lasts for as long as the Cherub remains attuned to the person.
Ofanim: Ofanim of Light can take any positive emotion in a person's heart and acclerate it to the point where it becomes a dominant force in a person's life for a number of hours equal to Ofanite's Will.
Elohim: Elohim of Light can sense the strongest negative emotion in a person and take it on themselves in a reverse of the Habbalite Band-resonance for a number of hours equal to the Elohite's perceptions. The Elohite cannot take emotions from more than one person at a time.
Malakim: Malakim of Light can refract the ambient light about them, cloaking them in invisibility for a number of moments equal to the number of their Will. It muffles sound to a degree as well, making these Virtues dangerous stalkers of the remaining demons. Against a foe whom their resonance has tagged as dishonorable, the Malakite gets a +2 bonus to all attacks. The other aspect of their attunement is the use of the Celestial Song of Light without expending Essence.
Kyriotates: Kyriotates of Light have access to their host's memories and can sense their host's worst fears and sins as well. Most of these Kyriotates have Healing Light and try to work through their host's problems.
Mercurians: As once the Mercurians of Flowers could, Mercurians of Light bring inspiration and joy where they go. Unlike Novalis's Mercurians, Serendipity's Intercessionists need not be in celestial form to do it. These angels of Light can use the Ethereal Song of Light without expending Essence.
Bright Lilim: The few Bright Lilim of Light have the ability to bring sudden flashes of inspriation and hope when they successfully call in a Geas on a person.
Point of View: The Servitor can temporarily redefine reality for a person, forcing them to see a sequence of events through another person's perspective. The sequence of events can only be accessed for a period of 24 hours from the time it is invoked.
Healing Light: Based on the old Healing Dream attunement Blandine had once given her, Serendipity created this attunement. Healing Light enables an angel to see a person in terms of spiritual light and darkness and to correct diagnose all of the mental/emotional/spiritual difficulties this one person is having at this one period of their life. Once diagnosed, the angel gets a bonus to the use of any Song or skill that helps to alleviate the problem.
Rebirth of Hope: This attunement enables an angel of Light to reinvoke a person's sense of awe and wonder for a period of hours equal to the angel's Will. During this time, hopeless zeal and wonder will flare brightly within the person, inspiring them to new heights.
Shield of Faith: This attunement creates a mental barrier within a target that lasts for a number of hours equal to the angel's Will. During this time, no amount of cynicism, hard reality, or failure will dampen a person's enthusaism and passion.
Arrows of Light: The new Lightbringer has only designed one offensive Servitor attunement so far. Arrows of Light works somewhat like the Celestial Song of Light, but the arrows of light explode on contact with the target, shedding smaller bursts of deadly light against any Diabolical or Hellsworn in the immediate vicinity. These arrows also unerringly track a target.
Vassal of the Glow: Vassals of the Glow can sense the ambient light about them at all times, visible and non-visible. They can see in all colors of the spectrum (including infra-red and x-ray), and they are all given mid-level reliquaries with various Songs attached to them (whatever Serendipity can scrounge up and get to work again).
Friend of Brilliance: Friends of Brilliance can pick up on the strongest emotions, positive or negative, in the immediate vicinity (a number of yards equal to the angel's Perception roll.)
Master of Radiance: Masters of Radiance gain +3 to any roll involving Charisma or Will. They also gain +2 to any attempt to inspire positive emotions in any other person, and they can use any Song of Harmony or Light without expending Essence.
Too soon to determine.
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