Joktan, Promotor Fidei, Habbalite of the Game

By William J. Keith


He was one of the original Fallen. It's sometimes wondered: what went through the minds of those first broken Elohim when they saw that they had become something new, to be called demons?

Not that he believes he is a demon, of course.

Before the Fall, he was called Mnason, "diligent seeker." Working under the supervision of Dominic, his purpose was to examine the nooks and crannies of the law, trying to find those sticky points where confusion might gain a toehold, and either bring a solution to Dominic for judgment, or bring the problem itself before him for resolution. He was fertile soil for the Lightbringer's rebel philosophy, and with a will raised his sword against his fellows on the terrible Day.

"Why did they not understand? The Lightbringer had questioned God. One must question before one can be answered. They willfully blinded themselves, wrapping themselves in their faith. Foolish. Faith untested shatters at the lightest blow. It was therefore necessary that we take up arms, and strike the very blow, in order that our comrades might question, and be answered, and emerge with their faith the stronger."

- Joktan, "The Crisis of Faith"

In the darkness of the exile that followed, some of the first Fallen dared to question the Lightbringer's wisdom, claiming that he had led them into defeat. Taking a new name, Joktan was one of the most vociferous in defending the justice of their cause, and in exterminating those who became violent. Lucifer did not forget. Though a Princedom was for the moment not available -- Asmodeus was the representative of Dominic's angels that was to lead the Game -- Joktan took a place with Mammon as one of Asmodeus' most honored (and diligent) servants. There he was carefully watched, as a prime example of what these unusual, deluded demons would do. Joktan provided example that the Habbalah could be a valuable asset to Hell. Indeed, Joktan's statement, "The Crisis of Faith," (one of the oldest written works in Hell, predated only by Lucifer's Testament) is still taken by many Habbalah as the model of their beliefs and philosophies.

"I looked about me and saw weaklings. Some were disgusted with their new forms. The Calabim were particularly horrified. The Shedim were bothered least. But we, the Habbalah, were unchanged. We still wore the simple bipedal forms that we always had. In this we awoke to the truth. We were not Fallen, we were not what were being called demons. Just as we had sought to follow the greater interest into the very Pit, so we were called to do God's work amidst the rebels. We were His chosen angels, retaining our old distinguishing ability and given the marks of the new race so that we might project His divine Will among them and from them. Only one thing was missing. To complete our work, our pristine angelic perfection had to be cloaked away under the hideous looks of the new race; His final test, to see whether we accepted our new task. With the brand and the knife and the lash, we showed Him our faith."

- Joktan, "The Crisis of Faith"

As befits one of the original Habbalah, Joktan's delusions are not restricted to the basic belief that he is an angel. Joktan believes that, in fact, like Uriel's purity keeps Malakim from Falling (oh, bother CDaU. Joktan believes it), only Joktan's continued existence keeps Elohim from Falling. This delusion is subtly reinforced by his title. For writing "The Crisis of Faith," and extraordinary efforts that set some patterns which are followed still today in Hell's government of the Habbalah, Lucifer gave Joktan a Word: "The Loyal Opposition."

For centuries, Joktan has exemplified and promoted his Word with skill and fervor. Though the Word had been sought by Factions, Joktan was able to smooth relations as much as one can with Factioneers, displaying the same knack for running a system within Hell's bizarre collection of tempers and temperaments as he had in the early days. Today several even report to him, helping him carry out his work.

This work consists of roughly three major parts, though indeed Joktan considers his "work" to include all of Hell. First, Joktan works to enshrine the notion of the Loyal Opposition in human systems, in such forms as the adversarial legal system, the muckraking newspaper, and the gadfly protester. Where there is not opposition, he will create it, stirring up as much unrest as he can. He often uses demons of Factions for this purpose. Second, Joktan is a major part of Hell's internal propaganda machine, especially when dealing with Habbalah. He is well-known, and Habbalah having their own doubts may come to see him (usually for a comfortable, enlightening interview, followed by exruciating investigation by the Game). Lastly, Joktan performs the duties of a Word-bound demon of the Game, primarily keeping an eye on fellow Gamesters.

When the Catholic Church instituted a formal position whose duties were to seek out and raise every possible objection to the canonization of someone for sainthood, Joktan promptly took credit, also taking the name of the position as an additional title: "Promotor Fidei," Promoter of the Faith. This gained the notice of Uriel and later Laurence. Fortunately for Joktan, perhaps, he hasn't made it onto Laurence's "hit list" yet, nor the professional attentions of the Order of the Eternal Sword, primarily because they don't believe his claim. His primary enemy in Heaven is actually Mihr, Dominic's Angel of Mercy, who sees in Joktan's position a demonic mockery of her own.

"Why do we bother testing humanity, angels, demons, ourselves? Does God not know of what mettle we are? Of course He does. We are His hands, His eyes, His tools in this world. He will bring all things to light and judge them there, and he will do so by whatever means He desires, including us. This is His perfect justice, expressed in our kind more perfectly than in any other being, muddled human, lower angel, broken demon. Therefore do not restrain yourselves in any way from seeking the rhythm which is uniquely yours, for to do so is to attempt to thwart His will in the Universe, and you will be scourged, and His object will be completed regardless when imperfection is exposed, in you.

"Then, beware, for while we know our divine mandate, we take on faith no article but this: that imperfection must be excised."

- Joktan, "The Crisis of Faith"

Today, you will find Joktan whispering in the ear of the loyal lieutenant, or putting doubt in the mind of the zealous crusader. He ensures that there will always be someone ready to test the mettle of a new idea. He sees to it that, no matter how impossible it may seem for someone rational to accept a horror or a malfeasance, there is always someone willing to support and defend it -- philosohpically, or in literal legal terms. The nickname for the Promotor Fidei, after all, has even made its way into popular culture.

It is better known as "The Devil's Advocate."


Back to the INC Mainpage.
Back to the Demons page.

Send mail to the Curator