Falls the Inquisitor

by Casca <bertishg@db.erau.edu>

For a while now, something has been bothering me about Dominic. Not somuch his methods or his morality -- they've been discussed at length -- but two very minor things: his name and his cloak.

I mean, WHY does a Seraph need a cloak? Why should Dom cultivate the dark, looming visage of a Spanish Inquisitor? And then there's the name; 'Dominic' sounds so...foreboding. I was pondering that when it hit me.

Transpose the vowels in his name. Dominic --> Dimonic. Demonic!The reason he wears the cloak is because HE'S A BALSERAPH!

Consider this: Heaven, just after the trial of Michael. Dom is -seething- about God's intervention. He resents the fact that he's been overruled, and can't understand why God would pardon such an obviously guilty Archangel. Dom begins to develop doubts about the Plan...in fact, begins to doubt the motives of God. Dom becomes convinced that if God was wrong about Michael, then He could be wrong about a great many more things. He begins seeing his views as superior to God's, and the Word of Judgement takes on sinister aspects. Dominic Falls...but doesn't realize it. By convincing himself of the rightness of his actions, he unwittingly uses the Balseraph attunement upon himself.

What happens when an Archangel Falls? Surely it merits the attention of Lucifer himself, who would certainly savor the irony of the situation. Lucifer grants to Dominic the Balseraph of Fate attunement, allowing him to maintain his Seraphic abilities.

So...we have a Fallen Archangel who doesn't realize he's Fallen. Who's going to call him on it? Those who question the Word of Judgement surely meet with...intensive investigation. Such remarks are dismissed by the majority of Heaven, who sympathize with the speaker but consider such accusations to be beyond the realm of absurd. And so the lie continues...


This explains many of Dominic's actions. Why did he persecute Gabriel? Because, deep down, he knew her to be a threat -- punishment falls under her purview. By bringing her competence into question, he would be safe from her. Why not persecute Yves? Yves might learn the truth if Dom let him get too close. Why work so closely with Asmodeus? Because, deep down, they're on the same side....

So maybe Dominic DOES drive angels to Fall through his Inquisition. He keeps Heaven divided into camps, and dicourages those who show initiative and inventiveness by punishing them when they don't adhere to the party line. And down in Hell, Lucifer is laughing his ass off.

As long as he's very, very careful -- and he will be, because he believes himself to be an angel and acts accordingly -- it shouldn't show up. The only clue as to his true nature would be if his wings were batlike instead of feathered in his celestial form, which is why he wears the robe.

And give him a few minutes alone with Laurence and David and I'm -sure- he could convince them that their fears were ill-founded.... ;)

Yeah, I know it's a stretch to imagine a fallen AA still working in Heaven. But it's a neat idea, and I handwave it by saying it's a special case that got the attention of the Prince of Lies himself, and that's what keeps the charade going. Sure, God could see right through it...IF He still involves Himself with the angels any more.

Thoughts? Comments? Rotten Fruit?

-- Casca (bertishg@db.erau.edu)

"All great truths begin as blasphemies."

**Flaming Feather**

Others have comments, all right...

From: Kingsley Lintz <lintking@stout.entertain.com>

>>The reason he wears the cloak is because HE'S A BALSERAPH!

Heh..I still prefer the idea that it's because he's Kobal, but...

> Dominic's Malakim have the ability to hear discord like a wailing scream.

That (and the Ofanite comment a bit on) assumes that Angelic Resonances can work against the Archangel/Demon Prince who assigns them... There being no particular reason to believe either way, I don't see that it's unlikely they at least could have the option of setting themselves up as an exception.

> Gabriel's Elohim can sense those who delight in inflicting psychological or emotianal pain in others. Perhaps that would be a tip off.

If he does, it might, but who'd listen? Gabriel, as has been pointed out numerous times in the "Dominic's A Cool Guy" thread, IS completely off her rocker AND has known motives against Dominic...if one of HER Servitors came in and said, "He's just nasty and mean," do you see all the Archangels going wide-eyed and gasping, "Gosh! We never noticed that! We'll persecute him immediately for this!"

Suffice to say, I sure don't.

> Seraphim of Lawrence can tell whether a foe is ultimately on the side of good or evil. While this requires the seraph to make a foe of Dominic, it stand to reason of Dom gets all broody, Lawrence might send someone to "check him out."

Laurence is Dominic's staunchest ally.

From this point, I'd have to say your three examples as to Why He'd Be Found Out are a STRONG case for why it's perfectly plausible he's a Balseraph...the three people who might have uncovered it are 1) himself, 2) driven out by him, and 3) made a close ally.

> I think you are confused about which angel is insane. That's Gabriel, not Dominic.

Nah..this view of Dominic isn't the least bit insane. This one gives more basis to some of his `wilder' actions than any other presented, really...(I'd also point out that a Balseraph doesn't HAVE to lie constantly...though I would be inclined to suggest that, in fact, he DOESN'T have his Seraphic Resonance back. Who's checking up on DOMINIC, after all?) The only serious problem he's likely to run into is Michael...who dislikes him enough and is vain enough and, well, a Seraph enough, that he very well might - which could be why Dominic tried to throw him out. (I like the idea, actually, that Michael and Yves DO know...but a public trial would throw Heaven into such absolute chaos that it's probably what Lucifer had in mind when he put/kept Dominic there in the first place...so for now, they try to minimize the damage and come up with a plan...)

> Add me to the list of people who thinks Dominic gets a bad rap. I feel that these days it is "Cool" to bash authority figures. I find that sad.

Having dropped out of the Dominic Is/Isn't Cool argument a while ago on the grounds that it's not going to go anywhere (the only reasonable answer is, "He's however he is in a particular GM's campaign"; it's been well proven he can be quite reasonably done both ways - and I personally use both, concurrently), I just want to emphasize my response on this is as to the adventure-seed possibility of him being a Balseraph, which is intriguing on a very different light.

{Now, I'm unlikely to use it in an adventure, though I like the idea of having some rumors going around to the effect...dark mutterings among those not quite Fallen but listening to the other side, gradually gaining strength among the resentful...Relievers casting suspicious glances upon Dominic's Triads...finally bursting when an Outcast spits back to one, "Who are YOU to Judge me, Demon-servant?"}

Dominic as Balseraph (Demon Prince of Deception? Corruption? The Inquisition, perhaps?) Choir Attunement comments/addendums;

Seraph: The Seraphim of Dominic Resonance does not, of course, work on Dominic, and their Resonance when invoked under Judgment's Name is subtly twisted to reveal the Truth as they, the Seraph, -want- to see it. Note that in all cases, it is still true...but Dominic's subtle corruption of his servants has colored their Resonance to reflect their own minds, rather than their subject's. (Eg. if they get a 3, rather than getting why the subject thinks they lied, you get why YOU think they lied...)

Cherubim: No modifications, of course; giving his Cherubim the same thing Djinn get (not having to care if their subject gets harmed) strikes me as a perfectly demonic thing to do as it stands...with the note that, yes, it still only applies to those Attuned in Dominic's name.

Ofanim: Again, it obviously doesn't work on Dominic himself, otherwise no change. (With the comment that, according to the Malakim resonance, the Ofanim one only works on humans, anyway...be nice if it mentioned that under the Ofanim, if that's the case - I'm thinking the difference may be more that Ofanim detect Discord while Malakim pick up Dissonance..)

Elohim: Only the emphasis that their Resonance is SPECIFIED, in the rules, to not care whether the guilt is justified or not...only if they feel it. Dominic, of course, feels no guilt at all for what he's doing.

Malakim: Again, it doesn't work on Dominic. The further note being that, yes, he does encourage the slaughter of Malakim over their Falling - this suggests that, perhaps, it really IS true that Malakim simply DON'T Fall, and he therefor works to see that they are instead attacked by their own kind at the faintest excuse...the other option is that he instigated this in hopes that, as it has worked in several other cases, if he came down really hard, he could push a few into running to the other side. It hasn't fallen out that way yet, and he can't put on the heat too much without risking Laurence, who could indeed be a serious risk to his cover, so...

Kyriotates: Again, no comment needed; their hosts don't even have to be under Judgment. If they have any Discord at all, the Kyrio gets to treat them as badly as a Shedim does...get 'em used to it.

Mercurians: Are, strangely enough, a little more difficult to seriously corrupt than most...even Fallen Mercurians still love humanity. But showing them how bad humans can be (the addition to their natural Resonance that, whenever they use it, they find out not only the happy, useful bits they want to know, but are also shown the humans MOST deviant behavior...) may be a start. And, again, encouraging them a bit towards their Dissonance by giving them his usual exception and LETTING them spill the blood of `the guilty'...which, with that hitch in their Resonance, could be almost anyone, for who among us is wholly innocent?

As to his Servitor Attunements, I'll just point out that when it comes down to it, neither of them is that big a deal, from his point of view. Okay, let them know human law - it's cute, keeps them out of trouble down there, and it specifically says that Dominic has `little interest in the laws of mankind'. As to "Heavenly Judgment"...oh, it LOOKS nasty, but big deal? You whup on their Vessel big time, but since when does Dominic care about Vessels? It's only really useful against Outcasts (who many demons enjoy beating up on) and Renegades (when he's cooperating with Asmodeus..)

Need I go into the uselessness of his Distinctions? Great - maybe you can force a Reliever or a human to confess. Those aren't what Dominic's really here for. If it can be used to put a weak willed Angel under his jurisdiction, great, but I don't think he worries much about his Friends and Vassals. The Masters of Law? Hah. Hang out in New York and just try, for ten minutes, being automatically aware of every jaywalker, litterbug, hubcap thief, and con game in 30 yards. Bleah. If anything, Dominic gives this distinction to Angels who are doing TOO good a job...it keeps them distracted going after those petty human injustices he doesn't care about.

Oh, and I'll make the small comment that you only ever see Dominic when HE feels like showing up. Not when you summon him. This eliminates any risk of some Servitor calling on him when he's, say, checking in with HIS Superior...

**Flaming Feather**

From: Casca <bertishg@db.erau.edu>

Heck, I suppose you could make it into an adventure by making it a more recent occurrence. Dom hasn't been seen in Heaven lately and his catherdral is turning away all visitors. Official word from his servitors is that Dom is on an extended trip to earth, and no he can't be contacted as he's traveling incognito. He's personally investigating this disturbing increase in angels Falling, and he's quite busy, so please go away.

Of course, angels -have- been falling at an increased rate. Dom's new and 'improved' inquisition has seen to that. The PCs are called in to investigate by a Superior -- most likely Michael, though Gabriel, Yves or Eli can also work -- because the AA feels that a recently condemned servitor didn't deserve such judgement, being such a model angel and all. PCs investigate, find out that such outstanding angels -are- being targeted...and, well, mayhem ensues.

**Flaming Feather**

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