By: Elizabeth "Archangel Beth" McCoy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
First, buy GURPS Fantasy (aka GURPS Yrth, if you ask me...). It's a pretty "dry" setting by many people's standards (yeah, well, mine too), but In Nomine can probably spice it up some, wouldn't you think?
For those who don't know about Yrth: it's a very medevael [sp!] setting, with magic, crusades, a powerful Church, monarchies, etc. It has the Christian Church (a bit modified to deal with working mages...) and people who worship Allah. And Sauhud. We won't go there -- it's silly. (But fun.)
This might be best done using the GURPS In Nomine rules, or some hybrid version... I, however, would declare that Yrth magic, for whatever reason, does *not* make noise, and depends on bodily fatigue, rather than Essence. And fatigue recovers faster than Essence...
On the plus side, celestials are probably highly magic-resistant, as befits critters who have (usually) super-human Wills. And their resonances/Songs/Attunements will probably work even in no-mana areas.
Put the PCs in the middle of a cross-celestial confrontation, if possible. We want both angels and demons in this...
Have Something Go Wrong (or did it?). There's a lot of Symphonic noise, with them at ground zero, a lot of swirling air, special effects, etc. And when it clears, they're in the middle of a very unfamiliar place.
(Alternatively, have the PCs' Superiors send them to "the site of an odd disturbance" -- and when the smoke clears...)
Summoned(?) by a circle of mages who *thought* they were going to get standard Yrth/GURPS demons. Will the pentagram arond them hold them inside? Will it only hold *demons* inside? Are these necromancers / dark elves, or are they closer to the side of the angels? (Hey, what *would* Jordi's lot think of the Dark Elves' opinion of humans? Hmmm...)
In the middle of a mortal battle, where somebody's mage got a most amusing critical failure...
In the middle of woods, with no one around for miles...
In the middle of a village of people, who don't speak the languages they know...
In the middle of a *city*! Tredroy, Megalos City, Geb'al-Din, etc.
It's quiet. Too quiet... The only Symphonic "disturbance" they can hear is the usual hum of human activity, and their own. Their Rites still work, but sluggishly, taking extra time or leaving them physically fatigued afterwards. The daily ration of Essence comes slowly, requiring careful meditation to catch. Their Superiors are not answering the phone. And they can't seem to do more than go celestial -- Heaven and Hell just don't seem to be around!
(On an appropriate Intervention, or a CD of 6 or something, perhaps they wind up in some kind of "proto-celestial realm," which starts responding to their desires... Or demons might find some place that's pretty Hellish -- but doesn't correspond to *their* old stomping grounds! Probably looks like a cross between Saminga and Baal's principalities, with bigger demons (of no discernable Band) lording it over little demon (ditto) and raiding other demons...)
If any of the PCs are Word-bound, at least *their* special Rites will work (assuming they can do them; with no computers, some of Lightning's people will not be in good shape, for instance)...
Well, the Mages' Guild of Yrth will probably go, "Oh, look what the Banestorm dragged in. More people from that Earth place," and try to snag them up for debriefing and mindwipe of nastybad tech skills. Knowing celestials and PCs, this will likely be a *bad* mistake, and give the PCs a decidedly negative first impression of the locals.
Angels will probably want to contact the Church. In general, the Church (especially in Megalos) does not want to be contacted by angels. They're doing just fine, thank you (and these weirdos are probably just mages with delusions anyway), and the higher levels (riddled with corruption in some cities and areas) are *not* going to want a bunch of know-it-all angels telling them how they're wrong.
The Church of Yrth will probably not want to hear from demons, either. They know what demons are -- demons are to be exorcised, or killed off, or something along those lines. This may get newcomer PC demons an express ticket to the Yrth equivalent of Hell, but they're likely to bounce back quickly.
They can try contacting the Islamic Faithful, but will likely meet with roughly the same response -- when magic is common, it's hard to persuade someone that you really *are* a celestial, and not a mage committing heresy. (Having a mortal accuse a Servitor of Judgment of being heretical could be entertaining...)
And then there's all these non-humans around... How *does* a Seraph of Destiny deal with the existance of mortals or semi-mortals like Orcs, Reptile Men, and unaging Elves? And what do they think of celestials?
And we won't even talk about Sahud, no we won't... (Plug: GURPS Fantasy Adventures 1: Sahudese Fire Drill. Yes, it's silly, but they generally have reasons... And look who *really* wins in the end...) Servitors of Kobal might like the place, though. At first.
On the surface, the PCs seem to be the only celestials in this Yrth realm. A sort of War in miniature, as they politic amongst themselves (your PCs don't politic? Yeah, right) and battle (or ally) with the Other Side celestials who arrived with them.
Slowly, their Rites start working again, sort of -- perhaps some of them are starting to get *extra* Essence occasionaly, and slowly, well, *adopting* the Word of their Superior? (If they wern't already Wordbound.)
Demons will probably jump up and down for joy, seeing this as a promotion to Prince and Yrth as a grand new playground...
Angels get to struggle between temptation (c'mon, a Word, Archangel status, a chance to try their wings....), duty to the humans (uh, mortals, no, wait, elves...uh, non celestials?) here, and (if they're smart) the sinking feeling that Something Is Wrong Here.
GMs can pick and choose... Here are some theories...
#1: This is some kind of Ethereal trap -- they're stuck in the Marches, and a pantheon of Ethereal gods are using this model as an Essence- source. As the entrapped PCs (and their opposite numbers -- if, indeed, those opposite numbers *are* celestials!) gain in power, they draw even *more* power into their pocket universe, which the Ethereals can feed off of. Perhaps these Ethereals hope to create a "heaven" and "hell" to rival the existing ones, based off of the wills and strength of the captured PCs?
#2: The PCs side-slipped (accidentially, or via demonic plans) into an alternate universe that was supposed to be kept pure -- another Grand Experiment by the Ineffable One. Oh, well, this experiment's been contaminated.
#3: Similar to #2, except the contamination was *deliberate* (and the whole thing might not have been run by the angelic Top Boss), to see what would happen if celestials who'd endured the War found themselves in charge of it -- or of Peace.
#4: They're in the Marches all right, but it's some kind of test run by Blandine or Beleth (depending on GM's whim and party composition) to see if they can make a "pocket universe" to dump prisoners into -- perhaps somebody's found a way to trap celestials that's easier than taking them out in celestial combat. Eventually, the PCs might get rescued or informed that they don't have to be guinea pigs anymore.
#5: The PCs are testing Vapula's Celestial-Neural Dreamgame Machine, and are about to be plunged into CthulhuPunk in a few more subjective weeks.
#6: The PCs found an alternate universe, and real soon, their bosses are going to be showing up -- and the PCs are going to have to decide if they want to fight for their fledgling harmonizing with their Superior's Words, or if they want to relax and let that attunement fade away. Perhaps they'd like to help some of their opposite numbers polish off the (more experienced, and more dangerous) Superior who normally holds that Word? Perhaps demonic PCs want to help their "good angelic buddies" Fall, so they can keep their Word without a struggle...
#7: some blend of the above, mixed in with player theories...
*That* is up to the GM... Perhaps they can be rescued, or perhaps they'll get Banished by a native... Maybe they can find some way into the Marches and slip into their home territories... Maybe the experiment will break down. Maybe they'll get the right sort of Intervention and find a chink to escape.
Or perhaps they won't escape at all! (Hey, if the players are having fun...) In that case, the GM will probably want to take care that they don't hit Superior status quickly -- but make them work to learn how to:
(Back when, the Host went for quality -- 9-Force angels -- while the Horde went for quantity -- 7-Force demons. Will the local angels feel the same way, or will they try to churn out an army of Relievers? Will the local demons try to recruit local talent (Yrth / GURPS demons), crank out the Imps and Gremlins, or take a page from the angels and work on *quality* demons? Will any Lilim in the group figure out how to create *more* Lilim??)
[Or, of course, you could always do all the work required to fit the existing Superiors into their traditional spots, and decide that Yrth is really just an Earth where Uriel never went on his Purification Crusade...]
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Elizabeth McCoy <email@example.com>
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