Are you sure...?

By Mike Bruner


Calabite of Factions
Baron of Inner Torment
Demon of Scepticism

Corporeal Forces: 3
Strength: 5
Agility: 7
Ethereal Forces: 6
Intelligence: 12
Precision: 12
Celestial Forces: 5
Will: 9
Perception: 11

Skills: Artistry/4, Biology/2, Chemistry/2, Computer Operation/1, Detect Lies/6, Dodge/3, Driving/1, Emote/5, Engineering/1, Fast-Talk/6, Fighting/3, various Knowledge skills/2, Language(English)/4, Lying/6, Ranged Weapon(pistol)/1, Savoir-Faire/3

Songs: Charm (Ethereal/4, Celestial/5), Deception (Ethereal/6, others/4), Entropy (Ethereal/3, Celestial/3), Form (Celestial/3), Healing (All/2), Nemesis (All/4), NC: Tongue/6, Opening (Ethereal/3, Celestial/5), Revulsion (Ethereal/3), Self (Corporeal/4, Ethereal/2), Truth (Corporeal/4, Ethereal/2)

Attunements: Calabim of Factions, Balseraph of Factions, Impudite of Factions, Habbalah of Factions, Calabim of Secrets, Imbroglio, Polarize, Rant of Scorn (Kobal), Subliminal (Nybbas)

Resources: Role/5 (Thomas Warner, journalist and professional "debunker", Status 5), Vessel/2

Discord: Doubtful (Ethereal/3) - Subject must make a Will roll penalized by Discord level to avoid disbelieving something told or shown to him by another. Unlike Paranoia, the subject will tend to imagine "more plausible" explanations as opposed to fanciful ones when disbelieving and need not assume the target is actually lying (although with demons that IS a fairly plausible bet).

Demon of Scepticism: Wregan can implant doubts in someone's mind as to the truth of one of their beliefs with a successful Will roll (with the check digit determining the level of disillusionment the person will feel). Targets resist with Will; the strength of the targets belief in the particular person/idea and any proof Wregan may offer will affect the roll accordingly (i.e. asking someone to doubt the fidelity of their spouse of 20 years might be at a very high bonus to resist, but showing a doctored photo of the spouse being intimate with another could reduce or even eliminate the bonus entirely). Truly powerful beliefs, such as an angel's loyalty to God, may not be affected at all without some form of persuasion offered, and even then tend to be at strong penalties. Note that Wregan cannot implant a new belief with this power like Balseraphs, only destroy a held one, and a target can eventually regain belief normally (i.e. if a person acts in trustworthy fashion, the target can once again regain trust in that person after sufficient evidence for it).

This power may also be utilized in combat as a standard Will power. If the target fails to resist, he must hesitate for a turn reconsidering his actions.

Suggested Word-Forces: 12

bRites: Standard Factions, Prevent someone from achieving destiny (Kronos), Destroy the only evidence of a crime (Alaemon), Be a guest on a daytime talk show (Nybbas, but only +1 Essence), Cause an individual to lose faith in a closely held belief, Disprove an offered opinion (Word)

Wregan is one of those demons who's been around an awfully long time; many old-time demons joke he was pooh-poohing Cassandra's prophetic cries in Troy (Wregan maintains he was actually questioning the logic of bringing a large wooden horse made by enemies into the gates). Most of his history in Malphas's service was mixed due to his Calabite Discord; while it made him great at spotting the holes in plans, it tended to get him in trouble with senior demons who did not like having their designs questioned by their inferiors. However, his luck underwent a dramatic shift approximately 150 years ago. While serving out yet another punishment detail as door keeper in Malphas's realm, his traditionally boring duties were enlivened by the appearance of a dark imposing figure in a burst of fire and brimstone accompanied by a chorus of damned screams, who casually walked upon the immediately bowed backs of all the lesser demons and damned souls present (all of whom chanted "Hail, Lucifer, He Who Will Be New God to all Creation" in the most ancient dialects of Helltongue that chill all men's souls to hear) to the front desk, where he politely identified himself as Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness, Father of Lies, etc., etc., to see Malphas. Wregan leaned over and asked for some proof of this, noting "Hey, you can never be sure!" in response to the raised eyebrow he received in reply. An amused Lucifer promptly "proved his identity" by granting the Word of Scepticism to the demon.

Upon his elevation to the Wordbound, Wregan's fortunes began to change dramatically for the better. Given the rise in his value, Malphas had no choice but to start favoring him more to protect this resource in his service. In addition, as Wregan learned to master his abilities, he became greatly valued for his use in covering up the activities of the War, for who better to protect the secret of the existence of demons and their plans than one who can convince mortals that there has to be a more "realistic" reason behind what they saw? Demons being demons, virtually everybody who is anybody in the Infernal Realms has had need of him at some time or another, leading to his collecting a substantial number of Songs, Attunements, and similar in payment. Of considerable more alarm to the Host is his convincing angels to Fall/Jump as a hobby ("Not like it's a HARD position to poke holes in"), at which he is disturbing successful. Indeed, Khalid is becoming outright alarmed at the existence of one who he sees as potentially the ultimate negation of his Word, and along with Dominic has been quietly pushing for more militant action against him for some time now. Wregan also has his enemies in Hell as well, particularly Malphas, who has become more and more irritated as Wregan gains the attention and favor of so many of Hell's other Princes. With all they keep gifting Wregan with, he's had to struggle to keep up in order to maintain Wregan's allegiance; worse, he's proven valuable enough that if he did leave Malphas would probably have to make it a friendly break in order to keep the possibility of still employing him on occasion. A few assassination attempts have already been made, but Wregan's eye for subtle problems in things and the assistance of others who owe him favors look to make it virtually impossible to kill the bastard, all of which gives Malphas a grating headache which he would be pleased if someone removed.

As for Wregan himself, it would seem like he has many options open to him. Certainly several Princes have offered to take him on in more permanent fashion; Alaemon and Nybbas, in particular, see great value in one who can eliminate the value of a witness or destroy inconvenient beliefs to make way for your own, and Kronos could always use someone who destroys faith. But there's always the problem that a new employer would also inevitably show suspicion and then turn on him as well. Or perhaps go it on his own? His Word is certainly strong and and growing stronger in this world where doubting all you are told and know is held up as a great virtue; heck, his current Role actually lets him make a living doing nothing else but that, and when before was such a thing possible? Still, Scepticism is a Word which will inevitably reach its limits; maybe he could evolve his Word to one more suitable to a Princedom such as Nihilism, Disbelief, or Doubt, but all of the new choices he's considered have potential defects in their meanings. *sigh* There may appear to be many possible paths, but each of them has so many loose flagstones to trip on. Still, once one breaks down the beliefs that block your path, there's much room to rise in; after all, did not Lucifer start his rise to power by asking the right questions?...


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