(NB. This is intended to turn into quite a political scenario, with angels and agents of vying superiors trying to influence the seraphim council)
The two main movers and shakers are Elaine and Ochas (who is a friend of hers), Elohite of Judgement. Ochas has a role in TV and has undertaken to encourage some of his acquaintances to help out. Elaine's goal is to promote chastity and celibacy as being trendy to young people, and Ochas wants to find ways to prevent angels from making themselves vulnerable to the temptations of lust. He has spent a lot of time compiling evidence for his superior on how dangerous lust is to angels. When he gives this to Dominic, the reaction is immediate -- the archangel of judgement decides that the misdemeanor of corporeal sex for angels must get bumped right up the severity list! Suddenly it becomes an actual punishable offence for angels of creation to perform their rite...
Their main opponent on the demonic side (after Andre has stopped laughing and decided that this needs to be nipped in the bud) is Zinnia, Demon of Sex on Film.
1.; The celibacy crusade. Celibacy must be seen as a valid lifestyle choice, and to appeal to the young she needs to make it seem the trendy thing to do. Angels must rustle up some media celebrities who can 'come out' about being celibate. Famous models must give huge exclusives about how they have never cheated on their husbands/ wives, or never had sex before marriage. People must write catchy songs about the joys of abstinance and platonic friendships. Ochas knows a few angels of creation (although 'friends' might be the wrong word), and is not above engaging in a little subtle blackmail to persuade them that judgement might be prepared to turn a blind eye if they were to show willing with this. He also will contact local angels of trade to help out with financing some of these plans.
2. Another spearhead for the campaign is to create a really popular TV show which stars some characters who are celibate, either through being in the priesthood or just deciding that they hadn't met the right person yet. They scored a great success with 'Father Ted' but are considering trying to follow up with a 'Friends' style show based around some young, trendy priests. This was actually the idea of one of the mercurians of creation (in service to flowers) who had been thinking about it anyway but is using the chastity crusade as an excuse to try to get some funding and support from 'heavenly sources.' He isn't totally averse to the idea of the casting couch, but will get into trouble if Ochas & Elaine find that part out.
3. Family Planning. What Elaine would really like to do is make it more difficult to obtain contraceptives or abortions if you are not already married. (this is the part which Novalis and Janus will object to (Eli probably should but since he can't be bothered to show up it is difficult to say)). She is considering trying to push this on political fronts and has some support from angels of Stone who are willing to work with high profile pressure groups. They like pressure groups anyway, and it doesn't matter to them if the proposed legislation is successful as long as people stand up for what they believe in and join forces with other like-minded mortals. So of course, there may be other Stone angels supporting opposite-minded groups. They'll get together in private and agree that the result is almost entirely unimportant.
4. Slay lust demons. The malakim of the sword are especially keen on this part. (This is where Andre begins to take things personally -- up to this point he doesn't care. He is confident that lust is so much a part of human nature that no silly publicity campaign can have much of an impact). Malakim of fire may be drafted in to 'help.' The angels will also be attacking lust tethers by trying to push a morality campaign through local politics (and hopefully get brothels raided, or even closed down)
5. Disease. Elaine has considered the possibility of inducing some outbreaks of STDs to generate more publicity for the notion that celibacy is good for you but has rejected the idea as:
However, Ochas feels that there is a sense in which the 'punishment' fits the 'crime' as long as the diseases are not terminal. He does not (quite) feel that the punishment for lust should be death, and agrees that _for mortals_ sex isn't so much a crime as a necessary part of human reproduction and a physical manifestation of the first commandment in the bible. (Be fruitful & multiply). He has been doing some investigations into how difficult this might be, and other angels may spot this, but not realise that he decided against it. (Especially if there actually is an outbreak of herpes or some demons of technology decide this would be a great time to try out their new virus).
6. Following Ochas' report on the corruption of the corporeal world by lust and the necessity for action, corporeal sex for angels gets regraded by Dominic to be a more serious offence under the heresies 'Opening oneself to the temptations of Lust' and 'setting a poor example to the sons of man.' This is widely regarded to be another dig at Eli, who still doesn't show up to argue the point. Punishments which used to be limited to the equivalent of a warning now become public indictments; lists of offenders are circulated to heaven (especially to Laurence) and those found guilty are required to attend confession and remedial seminars on resisting demonic wiles and the joys of an 'angelic' lifestyle. In the worst cases, (or in the cases of the most hardline inquisitors) angels are recalled to heaven and have their vessels taken away to remove them from temptation.
(Once Andre really begins to find this an irritant he will make some efforts, with Nybbas' help, to sabotage the crusade. A personal success for them would be if one of his demons seduces Elaine herself and is caught on camera doing so.)
Blandine takes no part in the whole affair. She is concerned that Eli is being persecuted and instructs her angels to support angels of creation by allowing them to carry out their rites in the Marches.
Eli is unavailable for comment. If anyone locates him or summons him, he tells his angels to chill because it'll all blow over -- 'You know, a period of celibacy can add variety; it'll give you a chance to polish up your needlework, and I thought that TV show was pretty cool.' A victory for him would be if one of his angels could seduce Zinnia and persuade her that sex doesn't have to be cold and loveless, or persuade Ochas that it needn't be a highway to hell (for angels of creation, at least).
David doesn't like it when demons corrupt priests. He doesn't really care what the form of revenge is, and doesn't trust Laurence to get things right. He would rather see mortals doing something about it themselves and sends his angels to sit on the sidelines, watch carefully, and drum up support for censorship groups and the moral majority. He also fails to understand why angels would sleep with each other anyway unless they served creation, it is a weakness for them to become addicted to any mortal habit.
Gabriel proves incapable of understanding why anyone would want to curtail human passions. She ignores Laurence's schemes but instructs her angels to burn the servants of lust from the face of the earth. Saner angels of fire instruct their underlings to try to avoid being picked up by the inquisition whilst they are doing this.
Janus is all for it. The more extreme the better. At least it will make people think. Maybe it'll make some angels think too. 'And had you considered spreading some diseases?'
Jean agrees that really there is no overwhelmingly objective reason for angels to be sleeping with each other but supports his own angels if they seem to be taking a responsible attitude about it and are aware of possible dangers from lust. He supports Laurence on the grounds that it may not have a great effect, but is also unlikely to be detrimental to society.
Jordi doesn't care. Animals are not subject to lust, but only to instinct. He does flex some political muscle in support of Eli, but doesn't seem to be in much of a hurry about it.
Marc agrees in principle with Laurence and hopes that it will all pass over quickly. He is trying to encourage the more warlike superiors to seek to influence the mortal world through more subtle ways than fighting so supports that side of things as a kind of positive reinforcement.
Michael resists this, not because he really cares about the issue, but because Dominic seems to be keen on it and he suspects that if he carries on this way, there won't be that many angels _left_ on earth. On the other hand, he is quite into the idea of attacking Andrealphas' minions and offers backup to Elaine to help with the fun demon-bashing bits.
Novalis thinks that people should be free to choose a sex-free lifestyle without pressure from society if that's what they want, and that this is a nice opportunity to show humanity that love can take many forms. However, she is becoming concerned that what began as a pro-celibacy movement might turn into an anti-sex drive.
Yves doesn't get involved, and says simply that both sides of the argument have merit and that he supports repression of demonic activity. Everyone thinks this means he agrees with them.
After the celibacy crusade has scored a few triumphs, it is inevitable that the seraphim council will vote that Dominic should return to judging the sex issue less harshly. Witnesses will be found who can testify that there are instances in which it has been necessary to keep up a role, been good for angelic morale, or has helped to get close enough to a demon to convince it to redeem or give up useful information. (there are undoubtedly other arguments as well, but these are the ones which will convince the hardliners). If the angels have done a good spin-doctoring job on celibacy then applications to the priesthood will also rise over the next few years.
Vessel/2 (Human female)
Role 3, Status 3 -- Dr. Elaine Dennings, marriage councillor
Charm (Cor/3, Cel/2)
Shields (Eth/3, Cel/2)
Detect Lie/2 Large Weapon (Sword)/4 Dodge/2
Fast Talk/2 Emote/3 Drive/1
Seduction/2 Tactics/3 Fighting/1
Elohite of the Sword, Mercurian of the Sword, Friend of the Sword, Hunt, Angel of Chastity
Persuade a mortal who is considering having an extra-marital affair not to do so, or persuade one who is having an affair to stop (1 essence)
Freedom from Fleshly Desire
For the cost of 2 essence, the user may grant a recipient a protection from the base urges of lust for 24 hours. It's like a strong dose of bromides and additionally gives the recipient protection from Andre's Dark Desire attunement equivalent to that of an ethereal song of shields.
Elaine is a very quiet angel, even for an elohite, which disguises a personality that tends to extremes. Once dedicated to an ideal, she devotes herself to it unconditionally and unquestioningly and finds it difficult to do anything by half measures. She was once a Habbalite of Lust but lost her dark faith after being routed and slain by some malakim of the sword during the middle ages, who impressed her by the purity of their conviction. After some period of intensive internal questioning she decided abruptly to seek the angels out and challenge them to a test of wills. She should have won, would have won, except that at the last moment she faltered, unwilling to break them utterly, and fled. Laurence extended an invitation to her to try her might again (through emissaries) and set her 7 quests. At the end of this period, she begged for redemption and was not refused.
She now pursues her fight against her old master with the intense zeal of the converted, and promotes chastity (celibacy outside marriage, and fidelity within it) as part of church teachings and as a means to curb mankind's wilder excesses, and to promote an honorable attitude towards sex. She has up until now preferred quiet, subtle ways to promote her word, but realises that she hasn't the skills to organise a large media-based campaign, so has recruited allies to help out on several fronts.
She dresses soberly and emotes an air of calm and reason, even in combat. She is very adept at guilt-tripping people, and using her natural talent at fast talking to convince them that sometimes things that they want aren't good for them. She also has a fearful temper which sometimes forces her to call off a conversation and go for a walk to calm down again. Other elohim respect her ability to ignore her own intense feelings, but also find the fact that she is so intense to be oddly disturbing.
Role: Level/2 Status/2 (Charles McKay, TV researcher (junior legal correspondant))
Area Knowledge(local)/2 Computer/1 Detect Lie/1
Small Weapon(knife)/2 Dodge/2 Move Silently/2
Savoir Faire/1 Law/2
Elohite of Judgement
Ochas' main job on earth has been to use his journalist contacts to gather information on mortals and celestials about whom judgement has an interest, and also to compile news clippings about particularly interesting cases. He has been unlucky enough to have seen a few cases in which angels fell or came perilously close to falling through either the wiles of lust demons or having acquired the lust discord, and has since started a private collection of clippings about sex scandals to present to Dominic as a proof that lust's work on earth is getting out of hand. As long as this didn't interfere with his other work, it was acceptable, but finally he has found a word-bound ally in Elaine who has a mission that made it reasonable for him to present his evidence! When he was doing triad work, any subject who had been engaging in sex had a very difficult time of it as he still finds this faintly heretical in most cases.
He strives very hard to be the very model of an elohite of judgement but this is his pet crusade and he finds it increasingly difficult to argue that any other business might be more important. In his view, it is very clear that if angels simply eschewed sex then lust would never hook them. He fails to understand the attraction on a very basic level. Therefore, objectively, any measure that can encourage this is justified. He is less concerned about the mortals but feels that more chastity would not do them any harm either. Dominic is also asking him to report on Elaine regularly as she is considered to be susceptible & not yet having abandoned all of her demonic ways. (But if she falls, Ochas will probably follow her).
His vessel is young, chubby and tends to be dishevelled, and his talent with Savoir Faire often surprises people. He is generally quite outspoken in mortal company unless he absolutely needs to be polite, feeling that subtle words are often wasted, and besides which TV researchers are expected to have strong opinions about things. Mortals who know him find him to be quite entertaining and surprisingly good company, although he occasionally comes out with very accurate, pointed comments. With angels he shifts back into his native 'mode,' a more distant and calculating demeanor, which is a very noticeable difference. He takes any opportunity to lecture fellow angels about the spiritual dangers of corporeal intercourse.
Enough strings are pulled for the new chaste soap opera to become the next big thing. It amazes many people by attracting soaring viewing figures. Nybbas is one of them. Even Andrealphas is distracted from his own preferred diversions when reports come in of proposed public demonstrations in favour of Victorian family values and banning of contraceptives to unmarried women. It doesn't take him long to put two and two together and he drags Zinnia out of her darkroom, 'Sort this out in that adorable little way you have. I have more important things to do.'
Zinnia, her protege Soviel and her media acquaintance Erol (an impudite) will be leading the media assaults on the pro-lust campaigns. Despite what anyone might have heard about lust demons, they are all very hard-headed businesslike schemers who take the 'no holds barred' approach in both work and play. Zinnia and Soviel even spend unusually little time in sex-based activities themselves, preferring to pursue their own hobbies (film making and business, respectively) which is one of the reasons they originally hit it off.
Erol begins by searching out the next season's schedules and beginning some investigations into the soap opera to find out where the money is coming from and where the support lies. Concentrating on the media angle, he can get any scandals which Zinna can stagemanage into every newspaper and TV report in the country, but not on a regular basis unless the scandals involve important people or are particularly good. He can also try to get some soldiers, servants or charmed friends into the filming as 'extras' or 'assistant script writers.' Scripts can be altered on the way between the script-writers meeting and actual scene filming.
Zinnia and Soviel get working on their advertising blitz for a new chain of lingerie shops which is intended to raise a lot of publicity, make it very obvious to their master that they are being busy, and wear lots of black lacy underwear. They will get their models to do wild publicity demos and pay celebrities to wear their gear to nightclubs.
Can the angels resist the underwear queen?!
Although several of the archangels put a high priority on some concerted attacks on lust demons, opinions differ on how best to smoke them out. After all, although every brothel and seedy strip joint is a tool of lust, they don't all contain demons. Some angels take the wasps's nest approach (kick the nest hard until some wasps come out, and then take them out until there are none left) and will want to harass their nearest known lust tether, and then track, tail and ambush any demons they can locate which seem to be attached to it. Others who may have demonic acquaintances will try to get information out of them, especially if their princes don't favour Andrealphas, or if the demon seems ambitious.
Of course, there is always the old tried and tested method of total overkill. The combination of exposes of establishments which aren't quite legal with assaults from SWAT teams (there are always angels who have this kind of role) will have much of the same effect. Financially minded angels simply buy up land and buildings and have brothels converted to some purpose which is less susceptible to lust such as an abattoir or a charity shop. Even if it had no demons in it, they can still report that they have been doing their bit for the cause.
Due to the sudden surge in demand (which is partly caused by Laurence mentioning to his Malakim that he _really_ wants to see as many lust demons extinguished as possible), sightings of lusties get more and more aggressively followed up, as if they were rare birds. Even fairly powerful demons keep their heads down, because it is being rumoured (untruly) that Laurence has taught every single angel on this crusade how to summon him and will turn up personally to take them out.
In addition, more over-enthusiasm leads to quite a few mortal deaths.
(NB. Most lust demons aren't hard-done-by tortured souls who are forced into pimping by their evil master (although he is pretty evil -- emphasis on 'pretty') but callous beings who rejoice in nothing more than deafening humanity to its own spiritual nature and any pretence at higher-minded exploits by reducing them to the level of animals -- which is one of the reasons Jordi is fairly neutral to Andre's efforts. They also have a tendency to treat mortals and other demons as their personal sex toys. Not all lust tethers are hardcore fetish clubs or exotic brothels. Lust flourishes just as well in tame middle class settings, although the demons do seem to like humiliating mortals.
a) Latterly's: A seedy pick-up joint. It's a run down little club which has a reputation as a good place to go if you are looking for a one night stand. The lilim owner is quite lazy but gets by on simply introducing people to other people who are looking for sex, and slipping aphrodisiacs into the beer or making judicious use of songs of attraction. They do have special orgy nights, which would probably be very unimpressive to anyone who really was into the hardcore sex scene, but are quite effective.
b) Bob's house. You'd never know it from the outside, because this looks like an innocent little semi in a quiet residential area, but Bob's house is a tether to the infernal regions. Bob himself has never quite been the same since a shedite of lust decided that he looked interesting, and after it finally got bored and left, his antics got so much worse that the house became an actual tether. His basic trick is to hire prostitutes and then drug them. They wake up in his cellar with the other women, chained to a pipe, as (unpaid) sex slaves. He does just about feed them. The seneschal is a balseraph, in the form of one of the women. Under its influence some of them eventually are freed but beg to remain as his slaves anyway, turning the place into a very bizarre kind of commune.
c) St Mary Magdalene's Childrens' Home: A children's home which is notoriously riddled with sexual abuse & activity, both between staff members and children, and between the children themselves (once they reach puberty). Past 'inmates' keep in close contact with each other to ensure a conspiracy of silence and compliance, and some of them hold public office. )
Deciding that there may be no way to fight back quietly and allowing for the fact that many lust demons don't care for fighting anyway, Zinnia has decided to play to her strengths. Obviously, if this TV show is such a big deal, then it is necessary for the actors to be involved in sex scandals. She also uses Erol's influence to promote her own protege with a very high profile launch of a new chain of lingerie shops. The advertising campaign starts off quite mildly, but progresses to beautifully made but more and more risque posters and adverts (they start with nice girls wearing white bras and move on eventually to glimpses of fetish gear and a sense of 'danger' (which is the product line name)) which are deliberately designed to draw public attention into debates about freedom of speech and expression. Casual use of all kinds of subliminal techniques by some of Nybbas' more enthusiastic experts ensures that everyone is talking about it.
Lust demons are also amazingly good at using mortal allies against angels and most will happily send children, battered wives, biker gangs or whatever they have handy to take the flak in their stead.
Demons must be encouraged to pull out all the stops now in trying to either seduce angels personally, or ensure that angels who are still bothering with sex get caught on film and blackmailed. Once something has become a formal heresy, it also becomes great blackmail material. All of Andre's knights have slept with at least one angel and many with more, so there is no shortage of witnesses.
In order to send back some definite messages, individual angels may also be kidnapped, drugged, have their wills worn down by songs of charm and then maneuvered into humiliating sex situations, which of course get captured on camera and sent to known tethers in unmarked envelopes. If any can be tortured or seduced into falling then that is even better. There is a reason that Lust is one of the strongest demonic words and it isn't because they look good in mud baths...
Individual demons who have an axe to grind with Lust (or even ambitious lust demons who are looking to remove rivals) may offer information to angelic contacts.
(Despite all this celestial activity, the mortal world appears less affected than most would hope. This probably could have been predicted. Celestials over-estimate the effect of the latest 'big trend' on a mortal world which is a bit tired of trends now.)
After a particularly over-enthusiastic angelic raid which hurt a lot of mortals, an impudite turns up at a Tether to Novalis with some of its charmed mortal contingent in tow. It is pouty but obviously scared and asks for refuge, promising to behave whilst it is there. It doesn't seem to want to redeem. The mortals look pretty sulky as well (Flower Tethers aren't usually the sorts of places that lust groupies hang out). Laurence is going to be ticked if the Seneschal lets them stay and he finds out... Once Novalis figures out how much violence is going on under the banner of this crusade, she will start to throw a bit more weight around politically, and nag Jordi into doing likewise (and there really aren't many people who can nag him into doing anything!)
Eventually, Andrealphas may offer to call a truce (in fact, he is being quite hard-hit, but angels might not realise quite how badly) and seek mediators or messengers to send a very bland and rather snide message to the seraphim council which no-one takes seriously, but does seem to indicate an acknowledgment that some backing off from religious figures is on the cards. By this time, pressure on the hardliners from Eli's supporters is likely to be great enough that this is enough of an excuse for them to cave in and gravely accept the note as a victory... of sorts.
Numinous Corpus (Acid/4)
Charm (Cor/2, Cel/5)
Artistry/5 Seduction/4 Emote/3
Dodge/3 Small Weapon (knife)/2
Savoir Faire/2 Computer Use/2 Fast Talk/1
Balseraph of Lust, Balseraph of Media, Knight of Lust, Captain of Lust, Dark Desire, Subliminal, Demon of Sex on Film
Spend 3 hours watching hard porn, either on video or in magazines (1 essence)
It was as if I was there!
The user may infuse 2 essence into either a photograph or a video involving sex; the first viewer to successfully make a perception check when viewing it will _feel_ what the film director intends the subjects of the film to feel (its not unlike a remote version of the captain of lust attunement). It isn't an emotion so much as a physical sensation.
Zinnia doesn't believe in heaven. It doesn't really believe in hell either. It believes in its camera, and it believes in sex. It was quite a philosophical demon, on a mission to prove or disprove its own existence via increasingly vivid thrills and sensations, or by putting other people through such to see how they responded. Then it discovered photography in the 18th century. It was responsible for the first photographs of sex in Shal-Mari (although the mortals managed that one on their own on earth) which pleased its master and brought it to Lucifer's attention also. It asked for the word of sex in photographs and didn't really understand the nuances of the word it was assigned... until the invention of the moving picture. Since then it has barely stopped to rest; many of the pornography demons used to report to it, covering all the hard porn angles -- the films used to have to contain actual sex, but since a clever assassination of the demon of pornography, Zinnia has usurped a lot of 'glamour' work as well and is currently pushing to be in charge of anything which involves naked flesh and films. It is also in favour with Nybbas, due to some very hard working assignments with his own demons.
Zinnia is a demon who has currently bitten off more than it can chew. Pornography is a very powerful word and Sex on Film is being rather stretched to cover it. It is vulnerable and a lot of other demons would like to see it fail. It also finds that the political pressure is turning it off sex (which is bad for a lust demon) and spends more time on the glamour side of its word, secluded in a darkroom and doing what it fondly thinks of as 'artistic things.' However, it _is_ genuinely talented behind the lens.
It is fascinated by lenses, mirrors and cameras and will try to persuade anyone who is remotely photogenic to model for it. It pampers its models and 'stars,' using its infernal abilities to 'teach' them to get off on having a camera pointed at them, and then drops them like stones when it has finished with them. People it touches often become voyeurs, peeping toms or need to be filmed before they can perform. It is soft spoken and intensely passionate about its work -- far moreso than about any of its associates, 'friends' or servants.
(Perhaps its creative streak could be fostered to lead it from the pit, but a word bound demon has a _lot_ to lose)
Str: 6 Int: 4 Per: 6
Agil: 6 Pre: 4 WP: 10
Vessel/2 (Human female)
Role (Level 3, status 3: Helen Sovereign, businesswoman)
Healing (Cor/2, Cel/2) Motion (Cel/2)
Seduction/3 Fighting/2 Dodge/3
Emote/3 Drive/1 Fast Talk/2
Lilim of Lust, Dark Desire
Sexy Black Knickers of Ass-kicking
A pair of black lacy woman's knickers. They give a seduction bonus of +3, a fighting bonus of +3 and Corporeal Motion/5 (someone was playing too much Tomb Raider).
Soviel has only recently encountered the adversary and received her word. It wasn't precisely what she was hoping for, but as Zinnia (and Lucifer) told her, she does look great in scanty black lace -- so it isn't a complete loss. She has a wide circle of adoring mortal acquaintances and partners and additionally has a good income from a little business she set up which sells racy underwear to housewives through catalogues and 'Ann Summers' style parties, which always get very memorable when the demon herself turns up to host them. She also has an almost unlimited supply of underwear and sex aids which are seduction talismans. (Maybe Andre thinks she looks good in black lace as well). Her next big plan, at Zinnia's persuasion, is to sponsor the opening of a new chain of racy underwear stores which are just clean enough to get high street locations, rather than languishing in seedy back-alleys. She had a brief fling with the balseraph and is still a little infatuated and irritated with it for having manipulated her so effectively. But that won't last forever. Black lacy underwear is going places!
She is very unkeen on fighting (that's what mortals are for, isn't it?) but can be quite dangerous even when armed only with her knickers of ass-kicking. Anyone who has a fondness for black lace is a potential soldier, and angels should get used to opponents who seem to be wearing inordinate amounts of the stuff.
She is (of course) drop dead gorgeous but dresses in a very severe businesslike style, as if daring people to take off her glasses and let down her hair. She does wear black lacy stockings though which may be a bit of a giveaway, and is actually at least as fascinated by the prospect of a good business venture as of anything more lust-like. She tends to play her cards straight and offer reasonable sounding deals -- and has no real qualms about selling out any other demons if she gets the opportunity.