Dealing With The Redeemed

By Moe Lane


Author's Note: PS: oh, yeah, this is coming from a Trader. One of the things that I have to make clear. I figure that Marc's got some blessed good psychologists on staff. :)

It is important to remember that there will be distinct differences in personality between those angels that have never experienced the horrors of Falling and those that have. Despite our best efforts, the latter still often bear deep psychological scars: rather than condemn out of hand, we of Heaven must learn to recognize these lingering symptoms of mental illness, the better to help their unfortunate holders to finally heal.

As a general note, there is a definite tendency for demons to overcompensate for their former Diabolic attitudes and mannerisms. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it should be considered ... especially as it may not always be a positive step towards psychological well being. This overcompensation is often masking deep-seated insecurities and fears: neither have any place in Heaven.

Below is a short list of statistically-common personality traits, first by Choir, then by former Word. The reader is cautioned to not treat this material as anything but the most general guidelines: every angel is an unique individual, with unique traits and problems.

Seraph: Most former Balseraphim tend towards a severe hatred of Lying: this will, of course, include activities that most humans do not consider lying at all. They will also, as a rule, dislike holding Roles, as the necessary mild deception (even by inference) necessary to hold one sets off warning bells in their heads. Those without this condition are often not at ease with other Seraphim: the Choir does not look kindly on those who can hear a lie without wincing. This second type does make a good diplomatic representative, however, especially when the need is for calmness in the face of mendacity.

Cherub: Former Djinn are renowned for their savage defenses of not only their attuned, but anyone or anything that is associated with that attuned. They are even more prone towards destroying threats than their new brothers and sisters: take this into account when assigning a duty to one. Also be prepared for what seems to be an excessive display of emotions: former Djinn revel in actually caring, and being able to express such caring.

Ofanite: Former Calabim show the widest range of common personality quirks. They tend to be fairly evenly divided into two groups: those who take excessive care to not damage anything, and those that most emphatically do not. The first type will be humiliated if they accidentally crush a blade of grass; the second will think nothing of finishing off a wounded demon by dropping him into a tree shredder. Both of these conditions should be worked on whenever possible.

Elohite: For the most part, former Habbalah tend towards the absolute, unyielding supression of any emotion from their thinking and actions (rather than merely preventing emotions from affecting their decisions). Oddly enough, they often still retain whatever tendencies towards carnality that they might have had before their Redemption (although they will discard truly outre or immoral forms of alternate sexuality). This can cause tensions in a group setting until the new Power can come to a new equilibrium.

One trait that many Redeemed Elohim share is reluctance to commit to violence: they are so careful of their new nature that they subconsciously hesitate before acting on impulses that might be evocative of the Habbalite mindset.

Lilim: Bright Lilim are stereotypically bright-eyed, happy, happy, happy and generous to a fault. This is fairly accurate, but take care to watch for indications that the Gifter is beginning to burn out: depression is surprisingly common in this Choir. The reader is also cautioned to remember that most new Bright Lilim have a tendency to 'imprint' (to use the human term) on anyone that shows them special consideration. Taking undue advantage of this is morally reprehensible, and our colleagues in the Divine Inquisition are perfectly justified in their loathing of the practice.

Kyriotates: Former Shedim have an undeserved reputation for being cowardly: it's not their personal courage that's being tested, but their confidence that they can protect their hosts. Those serving Archangels that can provide them with vessels are some of Heaven's staunchest fighters: the rest will eventually learn better habits, if given proper encouragement.

One thing that most former Shedim do have a legitimate problem with, however, is in dealing with minor acts of evil. They usually have encountered - in fact, they usually have committed - such heinous acts of depravity that it takes them time to recognize the essential wrongness of, say, a purse-snatching.

Mercurians: The primary problem that most former Impudites will encounter is overextending themselves: they will be constantly short on Essence until they learn to husband their resources. Of all the Redeemed, this Choir is usually most regretful of their former crimes: it is not unknown for a former Impudite to spend all of his or her free time attempting to make resitution towards every former victim availible. Redeemed Mercurians also tend towards being oversolicitious towards evildoers - especially humans. Never assign one to guard over prisoners.

Andrealphus: When dealing with former Servitors of Lust, always remember that until their Redemption, they were permitted only one method of expressing most emotional states. 'Emotionally starved' does not begin to cover the result: for that matter, neither does 'multiple rape victim'. Left on his or her own, most of Andrealphus' former servants will either completely repress any display of affection, or else express such feelings at every opportunity. Neither tendency is particularly healthy, and should be firmly but kindly addressed.

Even after these conditions have been worked through, it should be noted that former Servitors of Lust will tend to a certain casualness towards consensual romantic and/or sexual relationships (whether their own, or those of others). Their immediate superiors are counseled to ignore this, in moderation: it is more important to remember that it is inadvisable to put these angels in close proximity in sexual predators, unless the intent is to have said predators messily dispatched forthwith.

Asmodeus: Despite Judgement's own policies, former Gamesters should not normally be initially assigned to Dominic. Asmodeus' service is highly conducive to paranoia: Redemption helps suppress this condition, but does not remove it. The difficulty here is that such angels are at first pathologically incapable of admitting that they are suffering: the Prince of the Game teaches his Servitors all too well that weakness is a fatal disease. Dominic is quite experienced in handling this problem, of course, but a short term of service first in Novalis' or Yves' service will make his task easier.

Even after they learn to trust, former Gamesters will tend towards privacy (the concept seems to act almost as a drug to them). Their negative reactions to even the most innocuous attempts at humor at their expense seems odd, but is perfectly natural, given the cruelty of their former master. However, they do make utterly reliable Servitors, once their respect has been earned.

Baal: Oddly, ex-Servitors of the War usually show little trouble in adjusting to their new state. There is a certain tendency towards guilt, but both War and Flowers have shown great skill in counteracting this (admittedly, via drastically different methods).

However, their habits in the field can be problematic. Former Servitors of the War tend towards either strict bloodthirstiness, or else stricter pacifism. It has been determined that the easiest way to deal with this is to make sure that the former Servitor of the War is assigned somewhere where his or her tendencies are not a liability - and to keep a constant eye on him or her even then. Thankfully, they show a laudable tendency to follow orders, and an even more laudable hatred of traitors.

Beleth: It is fortunate that angels do not dream, for otherwise these angels would go mad in short order. It can be years before a former Servitor of Nightmares will voluntarily leave Heaven: Beleth apparently takes the time to convince each of her servants that she obsessively plans to personally soul-kill each and every Renegade from her service. It is imperative that these angels be allowed to face and transcend their fears at their own pace.

Unfortunately, these fears never quite go away: former Servitors of Nightmares will often overcompensate, but each of them will retain their fear until either they or Beleth are dead. As a result, most will find any prospect of hastening the latter to be an almost overwhelming temptation. Of course, this is balanced by the fact that they are excellent at foiling the plans of Beleth's mere Servitors, provided that their impulse to humiliate their former colleagues is kept firmly in check.

Belial: With the (hopefully temporary) absence of the Archangel of Creation, the assignment of former Servitors of Infernal Fire has become slightly more difficult. His willingness to allow them to work out their sudden artistic tendencies should be an example to anyone handling these angels. While said inclinations never fully go away, most former Servitors of Belial will soon be able to control their creativity to a more acceptable level.

Their continuing relationship with Divine Fire (and all former Servitors of Infernal Fire will loudly - and if necessary, violently - insist on the adjectives) can be complex. Gabriel incorporates those willing to burn the Cruel, and has her own methods to handle them; the others are invariably better suited as artists and artificers anyway.

Haagenti: These angels are often difficult cases to handle, at first: their former Prince has conditioned them to think of themselves as not particularly important resources to be consumed and discarded. Once the shock of Redemption has faded, they show a tendency to run wild. However, Stone and the Sword are excellent places for counteracting this; indeed, former Servitors of Gluttony take to discipline (once they discover that it is intelligent, reasoning discipline) with a convert's zeal.

Indeed, a former Servitor of Gluttony should always have access to angels serving David or Laurence, even on the corporeal plane (and despite any nominal conflicts in Words). Servitors of these two Archangels are the best advisors to former Gluttons when it comes to how to rein in the latter's ubiquitous tendency to treat action - any action - as a solution to any problem. Still, when properly handled, the vigor of these new angels is a potent resource indeed.

Kobal: Patience is not only a virtue when dealing with an ex-Joker: it's a stark necessity. So is avoiding loud noises, sudden movements and unexplained laughter in their presence. This may sound nonsensical, but the hardest problem that these new angels face is to accept that they are not, in point of fact, the punch line for a particularly vicious Joke. Once they learn that, then they are well on the road to recovery.

Some field workers have shown concern that most former Servitors of Dark Humor seem incapable of laughter, or anything remotely resembling a sense of humor. This is unfortunate, but simply must be accepted. The condition seems to fade after a few centuries, at any rate.

Kronos: Always watch former Servitors of Fate: not because they are untrustworthy, but because they have the highest rate of suicide among the newly Redeemed. The Prince of Fate casts a long shadow over the souls of his former Servitors, and for some the shadow cannot be dispelled by any amount of light.

Those that survive their Redemption - and integration into the Host - require special handling. A former Servitor of Fate on the corporeal plane will ignore any danger, any risk, provided that he or she has a legitimate opportunity to eviscerate their former colleagues. This may not seem to be an issue to some angels, but should still be kept in mind at all times.

Lilith: Actual Servitors of Freedom are rare, and those that seek Redemption are rarer (in both cases, due to the unceasing activity of the Game). Thus, each individual must be treated as just that: an individual. The only common factor is the sheer number of Geas present in any demon serving Freedom: Lilith's vaunted taste for her Word begins and ends with Lilith. Indeed, it is suggested that these Geas be removed as part of the Redemption process, no matter the potential risk to the demon. Failing that, any former Servitor of Lilith's should be kept in Heaven indefinitely.

If it becomes necessary to ignore this practical advice, then the new angel should at least be protected with the maximum amount of defenses available. It may not eliminate the former Servitor's perfectly understandable paranoia, but it will provide valuable positive reinforcement that he or she is Truly valued now.

Malphas: The belief that former Servitors of Factions are almost impossible to integrate successfully into Heaven is a gross exaggeration: with proper preparation, they are actually easy to treat. The difficulty here is that, for once, Novalis' organization is not suitable for counseling. Malphas takes great care in presenting himself as the best friend of all his Servitors: newly Redeemed angels that once served him see through that lie, but cannot yet determine that Novalis actually means it. Jean is a much better choice: his calm, cool acceptance is actually more soothing, in this specific case, than Novalis' open arms. As long as those angels counseling former Servitors of Factions remember this fact, and take care to reinforce the positive aspects of working together, their charges will acclimate themselves without too much difficulty.

However, these angels will not be really suited for long-term work on the corporeal plane until a considerable amount of time has passed. Short missions are fine; longer missions are acceptable, as long as the new angel's anonymity is assured. But each former Servitor of Malphas is certain that if they spend too much time on Earth, he will eventually come for the new angel and somehow convince him or her that they wish to change sides again. There is no real evidence to support this, but the Prince of Factions serves as a potent personification for his former Servitors' self-doubt and insecurity. Constant rotation of duty is called for - or at least long-term assignment to a Tether.

Nybbas: Former pawns of the Media remain extroverts after their Redemption, and it's usually to hide their abject fear at being in Heaven. These angels know how much they were despised by the Host, back when they were insane, and are quietly terrified that the slightest slip will result in their immediate death or exile. This usually translates into a deference that can border on bootlicking: aside from the aesthetic issue, such behavior is too much like their old methodology to be tolerated. Counselors must take care to build up the new angel's self-esteem, usually by breaking down the old, flawed version first. Most of the War Faction is quite good at doing both, although those going through Stone's boot camp should be carefully overseen.

Thankfully, once an ex-Servitor of the Media has worked out his or her new outlook on life, the usual temptations of the corporeal plane are usually not an issue. To use the current corporeal slang term, they've 'been there, done that, gotten the T-shirt'. Aside from a retained tendency to pay attention to popular culture (something which can actually be very useful), most former Servitors of Nybbas tend to blend in without notice.

Saminga: When a former Servitor of Death rejects his or her Prince, it is usually extreme. Pacifism is a universal tendency, to the point where actual catatonia is a real danger. The acknowledged expert in dealing with this problem is Novalis: all counselors dealing with former Servitors of Saminga should seek her direction in dealing with these cases.

Surprisingly, many former Servitors of Death do not remain pacifists (those that do usually stay with Flowers). They will remain respectful of life (making Animals a popular choice for these angels), but will often take great joy in using their training in killing against the forces of Hell. Those dealing with former Servitors of Saminga should just ignore their often mordant sense of humor: it seems to be a mild defense mechanism, and has no real effect on their duties. Those continuing to worry should note that these angels invariably keep a garden or pets, when feasible: they may sound slightly contemptuous of life, but it is not backed up by their actions.

Valefor: Former Servitors of Theft slip easily into the service of the Wind: perhaps too easily, but Janus has a proven track record in keeping these angels in check. Those that reject the Wind as their new home usually are not particularly difficult to counsel, although care should be taken to keep calm and cool when dealing with them. Ex-Magpies are easily frightened by sudden mood swings in those that they perceive to be their immediate superiors: it reminds them of the frighteningly violent and mercurial nature of their former Prince.

Vapula: Until recently, integrating these angels was difficult: Jean has a completely different attitude towards the scientific method, Eli is unavailable and Gabriel ... does not always see it when they look prone to fall into madness again. Luckily, the recent return of Khalid to full integration with the Host has had the happy coincidental effect of providing these new angels with a Superior that emphasizes objectivity while admitting the need to perceive the Divine. Like their - twisted - former master, Redeemed Servitors of Technology are mystics, every one (although the actual form of such mysticism is unique in each case), making Faith a surprisingly good fit.

Thankfully, they are usually fairly safe while on the corporeal plane. While their usual connection with technology is often restrained to the most effective way to blow it up (something they take to with great enthusiasm), the Prince of Technology almost never attempts to make any kind of personal contact with them. Of course, their former colleagues seldom show the same professional courtesy: this has led to the peculiar condition that Servitors of Lightning is usually happier to see ex-Technologists serving other Archangels than they are seeing ex-Technologists serving Jean. The former type can be counted on to provide instant backup (and bring their new coworkers along), while the latter are more likely to suggest bizarre (yet workable) ways to combat the threat. Granted, the former type may also pursue a bizarre, and highly pyrotechnic, solution, but they will at least not insist on using Jean's valuable resources to do so.


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