[This is so uncanon (or at least canon doubt and uncertainty) that it will be fuzzy on your screen!]
Campaign Seed: The Third Avatar
In Yves' Library, there is a cuniform tablet, documenting the ravings of an ancient human prophet. As is usual for prophecies, the text rambles vaguely and with great melodrama. Roughly translated, it starts, "And at the coming of the one who will be the third avatar, a great house will be divided," goes on with a list of events (in prophet-ese), and ends with, "And the third avatar shall choose."
Most humans, these days, would look upon the prophecy as unmitigated drivel, and cliche'ed, too. However, when Raphael stumbled across it in the Library, prophecy was still something interesting. She read it, decided that several of the predictions had already been fulfilled (the Fall, various other events), and happened to mention it to her fellow Archangel, Jean.
The pair of Elohim -- the Archangel of Knowledge and the Archangel whose Word encompassed inspiration -- spent a pleasant lazy summer afternoon dissecting the prophecy. They arrived at the conclusion that the Symphony might indeed spawn off self-aware aspects. These aspects, they decided, would have to have been created directly from the Symphony. They would probably be indestructable, with Forces interwoven with the Symphony such that to destroy the avatar would necessitate destroying that part of the Symphony itself. After a lengthy debate (as to whether God was an avatar Itself, a part of the Symphony that was self-aware without being separate, or an entity whose Word _was_, effectively, "the Symphony"), Jean wondered aloud if Yves might be the first Avatar.
Raphael said, "Very interesting question. I'll ask him."
And, when she did, Yves said, "Yes."
Raphael quickly came to the conclusion that the logical second Avatar would be Kronos, Yves' opposite number. Yves confirmed that to her, too, and added that he thought Kronos himself might be unaware of what he was, actually believing himself to be a Balseraph.
Raphael then went off and wrote a treatise on the nature of the Symphony, Avatars, and free will, with a little discourse on prophecy thrown in. ("Those who know the future are doomed to repeat it," is the heading of that chapter.) Most of her musings with Jean are included, either as support for the theory or as speculations on the logical conclusions of the avatar premise. One of these is speculations is on whether the third avatar should be used as a Symphonic tie-breaker between Fate and Destiny, or whether that avatar should form the nucleus of a third side in the War. (Elohim like tough questions like that.)
In the last section of the manuscript, she mentions that she believes she can determine the identity of the Third Avatar.
Any search for the sequal to Raphael's "Avatars, the Symphony, and God" turns up an extensive tactical summary of the battle with Legion -- troop movements, tactics, and a list of the dead. The "Third Avatar" paper died, unwritten, with Raphael. Jean forgot all about such "youthful diversions" as he shouldered many of Raphael's responsibilities. The tablet and her first treatise were buried in the Library, and have not come to light for centuries.
Except now they have. Nearing the end of the millennium, the Library seems to be trying to tell somebody something. Someone (like a player character, say) has gotten three different translations of this prophecy (all roughly identical, in various languages) shoved into its hands while looking for something else. Anyone deliberately seeking information on the topic gets it almost instantly. (Including the treatise and the Legion-history with the list of the dead.)
And if you play with that "the Third Avatar shall choose" line, you may come to the conclusion that this doesn't necessarily mean "choose between the second and first avatars," but simply "_CHOOSE_." Which might well imply that while Yves is a manifestation of the Symphony's Bright Destiny, and Kronos of its Dark Fate, the hypothetical Third Avatar would be Free Will manifest. (Raphael hinted at this in her document.)
There is one Symphony-created individual who seems to embody Free Will, if not entirely in a good way. The Princess of Freedom. Lilith.
[As a side note, if you assume the Grigori were created to sire children, and that their mortal descendants are more likely to have 6 Forces, and add in the concept of Lilith as an Avatar herself... Maybe God wanted humanity to be the deciding factor in the War, and not just the prize. The first time the PCs find a fully mortal 7-Force human, maybe they'll think of this...]
[As another side-note, yes, Lilith was created before Kronos, and therefore should be *second* avatar. But that doesn't sound as cool, and it wasn't realized till 3rd, etc.]
What would Yves say to this idea? "An interesting theory. Have you read these philosophical works?"
What about Jean? "Interesting. I remember that discussion. And the Word of Freedom has developed several positive connotations in recent history. I wonder what her Force-configuration looks like..."
The Seraphim Council, of course, would have a grand cow. Expect the Inquisition. [If angelic PCs have not yet told the Council in full somehow, nearly all Superiors except for Laurence will insist that the Council _not_ be informed -- because of the Princes' probable reactions, and Lucifer's... They know that putting this before the Council openly will cause massive security leaks.]
Cows would also be in evidence among the Princes. (Some of the more paranoid ones might want to destroy anything with that much implicit power. Others would seek to control it.)
Second-guessing Lucifer is never a good idea. If the theory is true, then maybe he knew long ago, and that's why he offered her the Word of Freedom in the first place -- he realized that it was hers already, and figured he might as well get the credit. If he didn't know, then he might resume courting her intensely, as he did after the Fall. If her diffident alliance with Hell were strengthened, would Heaven's cause suffer even more than it already has?
And Lilith herself? She won't believe a word of it -- even (or especially) if it's presented with the concept that maybe the Best Thing For The Symphony would be to have a third side to the War. She'll praise it as "A good try. Very tempting. And Heaven wouldn't even have to protect me as a defector if I simply went Renegade. Sorry, you're a few millenia too late to catch me with that trick. But it's really quite inspired." She'll also point out that Adam and Eve were created "from scratch," same as her.
Of course, she's the one who exercised her Free Will and _left_...
Different Superiors will have different takes on the concept. Most do want more information -- the theory, though wild, would have great impact upon the War. Though they do have their different spins...
Blandine: She is human, or was, once. Perhaps she has a dreamscape, still -- it has been hidden from me since her crowning as Princess. Perhaps there would be clues there. [Note, oh clever PC, that the Dream Walking attunement says the user must have met the dreamer before, and said dreamer must be in Blandine's realm.]
Christopher: You know, Lilith never _had_ a childhood. Hm. No wonder she treats her Daughters like chattel. Oh, right, find out more about this avatar stuff. [Christopher might also report this to the Seraphim Council.]
David: A third side? What a horrible concept. The point of the War is to draw humanity to Heaven's side, not make it a side of its own. Still, we'd better find out about it. Much as I hate to say it, we probably can't afford to let Lilith join whole-heartedly with Kronos if this theory is true.
Dominic: A third side to the War is rankest heresy, as is the concept that the Eden experiment was intended more to create Lilith as avatar than to settle the matter of free will with Lucifer. However. I cannot see the Truth of this proposal with my resonance, even as I cannot comprehend the Truth of the nature of God. More information is required.
Eli: Hey, I've been trying to tell her to leave for centuries! That she's too classy for that joint. She just doesn't believe I'd protect her if she tried. Hm. I guess I haven't brought up that topic for a while.
Gabriel: Of course I knew she was the third avatar! I've known it for... [long pause, then a dreamy expression] It's the spark hidden beneath the ash that will ignite everything again. It smoulders until it can burn.
Janus: This changes everything! Find out more! Tell her if you find her before I do! Get her to _go_ for it! Oh, but don't get geased.
Jean: If I were not so busy, I would open communications with her immediately. Unfortunately, it's not clear where my priorities must lie, yet. Much as I would like to continue Raphael's work in that area, I require more information before I can commit myself to the process of seducing Lilith away from Hell. [pause] Yes, if it were an optimal means of influence, I would mean that word in that way. [pause] What are you waiting for? Find out whether it's likely she's an avatar, and present a report on it. If you get any evidence on the objective use of a third side, be sure to mention that, too. Oh -- and play nice with her girls. We can't afford to antagonize her.
Jordi: If it's true, and Lilith is the avatar of Free Will, then she has been entangled in Hell's nets. She no longer listens to her true inner nature. Call her, call her back to the wild and away from the politics she has embraced.
Laurence: I expect that this whole third avatar thing is mere speculation, but if there's any truth to it, I'll have to take that into account when planning strategies. Find me some proof, one way or the other.
Litheroy: Find out the Truth, of course! [Litheroy would also present this in Council.]
Marc: If she wants to leave, I'd certainly assist her there. I've been mentioning I would for, oh, a very long time now. She says she doesn't want to go into that kind of debt.
Michael: Another complication, and all sparked by something in Yves' Library. It's likely just some wild goose chase, but if Raphael believed that there was a Third Avatar, we need to know who it is -- or was. Raphael's sacrifice saved my life.
Novalis: I told them and told them that it wasn't a good idea to be so unforgiving and rude to her. This avatar thing doesn't surprise me at all. I'd shelter her, if she left Hell -- avatar or not!
Yves: A pity Raphael never wrote the second work. I wonder if Lilith ever saw the first treatise?
And then there are the Princes... If someone's been talking too freely, or the Seraphim Council has been informed, they'll find out this Third Avatar theory and have their own takes on what to do with the data.
Alaemon: Find out the truth and make sure no one else does. _No one._ _Ever._
Andrealphus: Mmmm, I'll ask her myself. Still, play nice with her girls -- it wouldn't do to make her walk off in a snit. Oh, and if there are angels sniffing around her, well, you know what I give Distinctions for.
Asmodeus: I have told Lucifer for centuries upon centuries that Lilith is unpredictable and a potential threat to Hell with her whims and petty indulgences. Far better she were chained in Hades, producing Lilim for the Princes. Find proof that she is this third avatar, that she is considering going Renegade to make a third side. Then, finally, she will be mine.
Baal: That is information which is tactically vital, especially if there's a chance she might leave Hell's side. Make sure no one convinces her to do that, and report back about this avatar thing.
Beleth: There might be clues in her dreamscape, but I have been unable to find it since Lucifer made her a Princess. Still, she is human. She likely sleeps. It would only be a matter of finding where...
Belial: This idea came from some prophecy, huh? That's got Gabriel's hot little hands all over it. Find out if it's true, and then break the prophecy -- we'll find out if avatars burn...
Fleurity: What a wild trip. Yeah, find out more. I can sell it to someone.
Furfur: To control the third avatar? Now that would be power -- if this isn't some angel-hoax.
Haagenti: Mmmm, Princess... Need proof, though.
Kobal: Now wouldn't that be a joke and a half? Find out the truth, then convince the angels of the opposite.
Kronos: Interesting. Find out more. Especially as regards this "indestructable" aspect of the theory. But don't drive her into Yves' control.
Malphas: A third side? What an _interesting_ notion. Now, because you're one of my favored Servitors, I want you to encourage this. But make sure you don't push her into _joining_ the angels.
Mammon: Information on that would be worth its weight in gold...
Nybbas: Oooooo, can you imagine the _ratings_? Get the truth! Get it on film! Get going!
Saminga: Avatars cannot die? Ha. Impossible. She is only a human. This is not important, but if there are angels around, you can kill them.
Valefor: Whoa, there's a concept. Find out the truth, find out what she's going to do. Steal proof. Give Lilith this necklace if you see her, too, okay? She gave me a hand a while ago.
Vapula: This Avatar concept is very fascinating. Perhaps extensive study and experimentation on an avatar would provide more information as to how to control the Symphony. Hm. Her Daughters are made in her image, partake of her nature... Get all the information you can, and pick up a few Lilim while you're at it.
Lilith: What unmitigated drivel. I've read better prophecies in the Weekly World News. Don't let any hint of this get out to the other Princes, or they'll be crawling around hoping to pick me off -- and if these angels keep coming around, the other Princes will start to wonder why! Get rid of the featherbrained nuisances. But play nice with anyone who's playing nice with my girls.
As an alternate way of finding out, demonic PCs may find themselves speaking to Lucifer himself... The cryptic comment is likely to go something like: "There's some suggestion that Lilith is an avatar of the Symphony. Poke into that, would you? Find out what she thinks. Oh, and watch out for angels."
It would be up to the PCs to decide whether to tell there Princes, and up to the GM to decide if the angels have discovered the prophecy yet...
Getting to Lilith: This is one of the tricky bits. Mere Servitors (especially angels) don't _really_ want to bother a Princess. And they probably don't want to be geased, either -- but that's not likely to be avoided. Since Lilith herself isn't going to be very helpful, they'll have to find some way to get at the proof (which may not exist). This may mean they do a lot of favors to get information out of Lilith's older, more powerful Daughters. This may mean that they do favors for Lilith herself (who will be happy to get services, even if the provoking factor is this wad of utter bunk). Finding her dreamscape, if it even exists, will probably drag them all over the Far Marches -- or, for Servitors of Dreams or Nightmares, into Lilith's bedroom...?
And if they _do_ find proof, somehow, that she's an avatar... how do they convince _her_? Should they? And what do they convince her to _do_ about it?
--firstname.lastname@example.org // email@example.com In Nomine Line Editor GURPS, Roleplayers, In Nomine stuff; Art: http://www.io.com/~arcangel/
Hart, Joanna <Joanna.Hart@nectech.co.uk> writes -
Robert Addy <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: But what if, instead of Lilith being the third avatar, she has the *potential* to be the third avatar?
Or _had_ the potential ;) Maybe when the prophecy was made she really was intended to be the mythical third avatar but she blew it and chose 'freedom' instead. So maybe the actual avatar is mankind in general or some specific descendent of Adam & Eve in particular, and Lilith met with her fate to become an evolutionary dead-end, together with all her offspring! She has all the power associated with a DP but the one thing she really can't do is go back and make that choice again...
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