By: Peter Frederick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
NOTE - the views expressed by characters in this adventure are not necessarily those of the author, especially those of Demons.
This adventure starts with the Characters hearing a vast disturbance in the Symphony with in their City. Those who investigate will find a community medical facility on fire and half demolished by some sort of explosion. The scene should be a fairly confronting one; dead and dying, injured survivors and stunned bystanders. Depending on how long the Characters take getting to the site there will be emergency services and media present. If the Characters do anything that gives a clue to their Celestial identity then as they leave the scene they will be approached by a tall athletic stranger who will ask them if they could assist him in stopping further incidents of this type. If the Characters can not get to the site, but later try to investigate they will cross paths with the same stranger.
The Stranger is the Rahmiel, the Angel of Mercy, a major Servitor of Dominic, see http://www.sjgames.com/articles and look in the Rogues Gallery. He will tell them that a "manhunt" is soon to be organised by a number of Archangels against a wayward Servitor of Gabrial. The Angel in question is a Malakite who has "stumbled," but the Angel of Mercy feels sure that he has been led into error through his desire to do God's Work and would like the Characters to try to find the wayward Angel and bring him in before someone seeks a more permanent solution.
Rahmiel can tell the Characters that the Angel they seek is Horatio, a Malakite of Fire, who has been Gabrial's Scourge of Mass Murderers for many centuries. He will counsel the characters against a direct physical confrontation with Horatio as he is in the ranks of Gabrial's most potent Malakim.
The adventure should continue with the Characters trailing Horatio from one site of devastation to another. Given the size of the disturbances he makes to the Symphony it is not hard to see why certain Archangels (and Demon Princes) will want him stopped, nor is he that hard to follow. Horatio's targets vary, but not his tactics. He will hit a couple of prisons, seeking those convicted and confined by Mortal justice, and giving the opportunity for massive jail breaks. He might also go after the heads of some major companies and possibly some scientists. Good corporate targets for Horatio are tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, especially where those companies knowingly marketed products they knew would cause deaths. However, the majority of his targets will be doctors and medical facilities.
Recently (by Celestial time) Horatio was wandering the edges of Gabrial's precinct of Heaven when he met another Celestial wandering the edges of Blandine's realm. The other Celestial said his name was Merq and he worked for Blandine, soothing the dreams of those whose lives had been disturbed by the same mass murderers that Horatio hunted. Despite their other differences this close parallel of vocations prompted Horatio to strike up a friendship with Merq and they met to reminisce about evil doers who had met their proper reward.
Knowing that his friend wanted no more than to punish those who truly deserved it and learning that Gabrial had for some reason chosen not to send Horatio to the Corporeal Plane for some time, Merq made a suggestion to Horatio. Merq could show Horatio how to visit the Corporeal plane via a portal in Baleth's area of the Marches. In addition, Merq knew how to gain strength from the pain suffered by the mass murderer's victims and could share that strength with Horatio to increase his ability to wreak vengeance on the unrighteous.
Horatio accepted and, in thanks to his new friend, asked who his first target should be. Merq had no doubt, those who had caused the most suffering and the greatest slaughter of innocence were the Abortionists. Horatio was not immediately convinced, but after hearing Merq tell of the horrors suffered by those whose lives had been touched by these Murderers he agreed and left to remove this plague from the Corporeal Plane.
There are two basic ways to catch up with Horatio; you can follow him across the landscape until he meets something that slows him down enough to let you catch up or you can stake out something he might hit til he does. If the Characters try to predict where Horatio might strike they will find that he seems to be operating relatively near to their City and that he is hitting more doctors and medical facilities than anything else. Some investigation will find that the medical facilities and people Horatio is devastating are involved in abortion.
While pursuing Horatio, the Characters might also have to deal with the aftermath of his actions. Coming on the scene of one of his visitations there are likely to be injured and dying to aid, Celestials (Divine and Diabolic) might be drawn by the disturbance and as the trail lengthens there could be other Celestials seeking Horatio for their own reasons or on orders of their Superiors. You might want to have the Characters encounter someone (Mortal or Celestial) who has witnessed one of Horatio's visitations so they know what sort of power he is throwing around. This should be a clue that something particularly odd is afoot.
How the Characters are going to deal with Horatio, when they catch him, is up to them. I would suggest that direct confrontation is likely to be a failure, if they need further prompting away from this option remind them they were asked to do this by the Angel of Mercy. The resolution that springs to my mind is to get Horatio to use his resonance on himself. This should show him that in his rampage he has slain a number of innocent persons and should be sufficient revelation to get him to surrender.
A surrendered Horatio pretty much brings the plot to an end, but hearing Horatio's story the Characters may decide to try to track down the mysterious Merq. This will require a trip through Baleth's Marches, accessible via the Portal Horatio used to get to the Corporeal Plane, to the edge of Belial's dominion. Horatio will be able to guide the Characters because of the flow of essence between himself and Merq. Depending on the temperament of your players you can then have a violent resolution with a number of Servitors of Belial and Merq, to make up for lack of action earlier in the adventure, or a more verbal facedown with an unrepentant Merq.
If successful the Characters will have stopped an out of control Celestial from doing harm while he was trying to do good. They will have the thanks of the Angel of Mercy and probably to a lesser extent the thanks of Gabrial and Horatio. They may have come to the attention of other Archangels as well, in either a positive or negative light.
The Portal to the Ethereal Marches is somewhere near the Characters' City and may or may not be that easy to close. Gabrial will be looking to have someone else deal with Horatio's usual "Clients" for at least a while.
I will post separately stats for Horatio and Merq, but to outline them briefly:
Horatio is a veteran Malakite of Fire and has long been Gabrial's chosen punisher of Mass Murderers. He should be about 15 Forces, with all the bells and whistles.
Merq is a major Servitor of Belial, a Lil, and the Demon of Righteous Anger. It is her vocation to fan the emotions of the righteous, especially warriors, until they fall from grace. She has one Rite that needs to be mentioned. For one Essence kill an innocent while consumed by Righteous Anger. This is the "strength of the victims" that she allowed Horatio access to.
The one hang up your Players may find in this plot is "How did Merq deceive Horatio about her Demonic nature in the First Place?" Well, Horatio was waiting to be deceived. He wanted to act more than he was concerned as to whether he acted correctly. Also they met not on the Celestial Plane, but in the Marches, which are the Ethereal Plane, where sometimes things are not what they appear to be.
All Credit and Full Apologies to Mike Baron and Steve Rude for the inspiration from their creation Nexus that formed a large part of this piece. Angel of Mercy is by Leathal Weapon. All Flaws and Inconsistencies are my own work.
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