This article originally appeared in Pyramid #23
Once there was a magazine.
No, that's not right.
Okay, once there was a game that wasn't done yet, and a magazine. The magazine said, "Hey, game - how about I run some promotional material for you, so that when you're done people will already have some cool parts of you in their hands and heads." And the game thought this was a good idea, except it kept changing, and no matter how the magazine tried to keep up, the game kept changing until finally the magazine decided to stop printing parts of the game until it decided what it was going to be like.
In Nomine, finally, is at the printer. To the patient readers of Pyramid, here are some sample characters for use in your game. Frig was written by Steve Jackson, Anael was written by Matthew Grau and the remaining characters were written by Derek Pearcy.
Shedite Servitor of War
Corporeal Forces - 4 Strength 11 Agility 5
Ethereal Forces - 2 Intelligence 2 Precision 6
Celestial Forces - 3 Will 8 Perception 4
Skills: Acrobatics/2, Dodge/6, Driving/6 (cycle), Driving/2 (car), Fighting/3 (brawling and stomping), Engineering/3, Ranged Weapon/4 (pistol), Small Weapon/4 (chain), Small Weapon/3 (knife), Swimming/1, Throwing/1
Attunements: Shedite of War
Mynofrigith - Frig for short - is a Shedite who specializes in cycle gangs. His job is to make sure that his dark lord Baal has a supply of highly mobile soldiers on hand, ready and willing to break heads.
He's not smart. Not to put too fine a point on it, Frig is stupid. But he doesn't need brains to do his job. He has a very high Strength and good fighting skills, so his hosts become combat monsters. And he loves his work.
Frig moves back and forth, possessing members of various gangs, usually staying only a day or two with any host. He guides the gangs, not by intelligence or charisma, but by possessing the leader or a husky challenger, telling the gang what they're going to do, and beating any opposition to a pulp.
As a Shedite of Baal, he adds his Corporeal Forces to his Will when he urges a host to physical violence. So it's pretty easy for Frig to convince a host to brawl. Typically, he degrades his victims by pushing them toward more and more helpless targets. Most bikers, even outlaws, have a sense of personal honor. With Frig in the driver's seat, though, women and children become fair game.
If someone annoys him, by disputing his "suggestions" for the gang's targets, Frig will possess that person, drive him into one brawl after another until the rest of the gang is sick of him and the law is after him . . . drive the victim as low as he can . . . and then move into the body of another gang member, kill the first host in a fair fight, and collect a couple of Essence for his trouble, as a Rite of Baal.
For variety's sake, sometimes Frig plays unofficial "recruiter" for the gang. He'll possess some poor weak-willed fool and show him, a step at a time, just how much fun it is to be a Hell-raising biker. Soon he'll be riding with the club and breaking heads, and eventually he'll work down to those of his former loved ones. Once the victim is thoroughly brutalized and degraded, Frig will leave him . . . but more often than not the new biker stays with the club, having nothing left to go back to.
Like any demon of Baal, Frig generates dissonance when he backs down from a fight . . . so he just doesn't. On the rare occasions when he finds himself on the losing end, he stays with his host to the bitter end. After all, it's not his body.
Mynofrigith was one of the first demons we created - he features in a lot of little vignettes. Even as demons go, Frig is not a nice person. As described here, he's a legal starting character. He's a combat creature, and all his points went into skills except for one in Horns. And, unless he's very drunk or very angry, Frig grows horns to impress the chicks rather than to fight.
Malakite Servitor of Creation, in Service to Gabriel
Corporeal Forces - 4 Strength 9 Agility 7
Ethereal Forces - 2 Intelligence 4 Precision 4
Celestial Forces - 3 Will 7 Perception 5
Vessel: Human/2 (Charisma +3)
Skills: Detect Lies/2, Dodge/1, Fighting/2 (martial arts), Move Silently/2, Seduction/2
Songs: Attraction (Ethereal/3), Charm (Celestial/2), Claws/2, Form (Corporeal/2), Wings/1
Attunements: Malakite of Creation, Malakite of Fire, Special Rite - Kill a Demon with Fire (from Gabriel)
To put it simply, Anael - Ana to her friends - is a femme fatale. Her corporeal vessel is that of a perfectly formed brunette with an affectation for fetish clothing and a desire to reveal as much flesh as possible. Not only is she a superb specimen of femininity, she also knows how best to accentuate her beauty through dress, walk, and expression. Of course, this wet dream of a body only acts as clothing for her true nature - that of a Malakite. Like all Malakim, she loves her work, right down to the INRI tattoo on her vessel's left shoulder.
To meet Ana is an experience. Many men have called her an angel, though few know how right they were. Her smile is warming, her voice sultry, and her mannerisms exciting. She enjoys flowery language, although she is entirely communicative. As Tommy Sprocket once put it, "She's the kind of girl who would make a Bishop kick out a stained glass window." Not as all-too-serious as other Malakim, Ana enjoys the pleasures of God's Creation.
Originally a servitor of Eli, Ana was an advocate of healthy sexuality. Her life was driven by an urge to stamp out perversion and to once again present sex as it once was - an act of beauty. Since the disappearance of Eli, her missions on Earth have taken on a different bent in the service of Gabriel.
Utilizing her natural talents and knowledge, Gabriel has repositioned Anael where she will better serve. She has joined the B&D/S&M community as a dominatrix. There, she is able to better root out and punish those who delight in true cruelty masked as subcultural alternative sexuality. While not as happy in her current role as she once was, Ana does her absolute best to serve both her new mistress and the Symphony. As a result, her personality has sometimes taken on a sinister tone in recent times.
Ana is on excellent terms with Gabriel. In typical Malakim style, she has attacked her newly assigned duties with fervor and has performed flawlessly. Consequently, she has been gifted with Attunements and Rites from Gabriel, although these could be easily stripped from her should she falter in her devotion. After all, she's a product of Creation and not Fire.
In combat, she is virtually a demoness. She attacks without respite or mercy, rending and burning the flesh of those who have brought punishment upon themselves. Anael particularly hates the servitors of Andrealphus, who create and propagate perversion. More so than any other, she will not suffer this evil to live.
Ana is a friend of Nicole from "A Bright Dream." They initially met due to their shared allegiance and have worked together on different occasions since then, but have become real friends "outside of work." Their personalities work well together for some reason, even though their choices of dress and lifestyle often make them look like polar opposites. Ana often steals a bit of personal time to go dancing with the Mercurian, when duties permit.
Although she is completely loyal to Gabriel and her duty, Anael hopes that one day Eli will undo what he has done to himself and once again take his rightful place among the Archangels in Heaven. She was created for a specific duty, and although she has adapted well, Ana would like to once again serve only Creation and finish what she started.
As constructed, Anael would make a good starting character without her special Rite, or a decidedly interesting encounter for PCs of either side.
Calabite Captain of Death
Corporeal Forces - 4 Strength 10 Agility 6
Ethereal Forces - 3 Intelligence 7 Precision 5
Celestial Forces - 4 Will 5 Perception 11
Skills: Dodge/6, Driving/5 (car), Fighting/3 (brawling and stomping), Engineering/5, Ranged Weapon/4 (pistol), Throwing/4, Tracking/4
Songs: Acid/3, Feet/5, Projection (Celestial/4), Thunder/4
Artifacts: Body Bag/3 (containing a vessel, Human/2), Stealthy Shoes/3
Attunements: Calabim of Death, Captain of the Infernal Legion, Soundtrack, Vampiric Kiss
Last seen swallowing blood-tainted lasagna in "A Dark Dream" (see Pyramid #22 or In Nomine), there really is a lot more to Charlie than meets the eye, as Marcus surmised. Of course, he'll probably never find out how Marcus played him - but then again, Marcus will probably never find out that Charlie was only being nice to him because that's what Saminga ordered Charlie to do.
While he enjoys being the strong-and-silent type, there's a lot more to him than the average celestial might imagine. Charlie has been on the Earth for centuries, but even though he's satisfied to do his duty, he's starting to feel unappreciated by his Superior. His most recent job is just another in a long line of similar projects; Saminga assigns him to play "buddy" to a lesser celestial whom the Prince of Death is still breaking in, and he spends all his time pulling the young demon's fat out of the fire. Unfortunately, Charlie's a demon of his word, honorable to a fault. This has kept him from making any big political waves, but it's also kept him from rising too quickly. He's seen plenty of his contemporaries skyrocket to high levels of power, only to be taken out by the extraordinarily potent demons who inhabit those levels. (Saminga promotes this kind of behavior among his Servitors, since he himself rose to power very quickly - as long as it doesn't threaten his station. One of Charlie's personal theories is that Saminga is fearful of those who rise to power slowly, consolidating as they go, because overall they're harder to knock down.)
Saminga might not be too happy about the Soundtrack attunement Charlie acquired from Nybbas, in return for busting one of the Prince of the Media's more influential Servitors out of a horrendous scrape. While he's been careful to use his incredible Perception as a screen for his Soundtrack ability, sooner or later someone's going to catch on - if Nybbas doesn't tell Saminga first, just to jerk the Prince of Death's chain.
Charlie is much more powerful than the average beginning player character, designed more as a high-powered antagonist for angels or a mid-level superior to some starting demon PCs.
Ofanite Servitor of the Sword
Corporeal Forces - 2 Strength 3 Agility 5
Ethereal Forces - 4 Intelligence 6 Precision 10
Celestial Forces - 3 Will 4 Perception 8
Skills: Dodge/4, Large Weapon/4 (sword), Tracking/6
Artifacts: Holy Sword/6
Attunements: Ofanite of the Sword, Hunt
Philippe is the epitome of a Servitor of Laurence. He's gallant, noble, honorable and relentless in his hunting of Diabolicals. However, he's one of those celestials who's had a hard time coming to grips with the way the world's changed over the most recent handful of centuries. Struck down by Islamic warriors in the 1300s, he spent almost 700 years in Heaven between an exceptionally long period in Trauma (see In Nomine, p. 67) and several uninspiring (and interminable) tasks in the Eternal City, his Superior's cathedral and the capital of Heaven.
In the 1930s, he was finally stirred enough by corporeal events to petition Laurence for a transfer back to Earth. A few years ago, Philippe got his wish.
He's proven himself to be a competent angel and an exceptional tracker, but he's having a hard time adjusting to a world where it's not considered appropriate to wear armor on a day-to-day basis. No one doubts Philippe's dedication to his work, regardless of how he dresses - but his archaic mannerisms do annoy some people, particularly Mercurians.
Philippe's assignments have taken him all across the globe. Laurence sends him to help out a local group of angels, and watches him rid another town of demons. It's a job he's taken to. Cautious, and unwilling to suffer Trauma again any time in the near future, he's still plowed through a couple of demon coteries. His current crusade has been to track down a trio of demons he tangoed with several months back. His Hunt attunement lets him track anyone he fights with - forever, if need be. He's successfully taken out two of them, a Habbalite and a Djinn; now there's just a Lilim left, a Servitor of Nybbas. Unfortunately for Philippe, the Lilim has a Role, granted by virtue of Nybbas' Band attunement, which keeps her in the social spotlight. He'll have to take care not to arouse any undue attention as he tromps through the city, sword in hand, stalking the daytime soap opera star he insists is a demon in disguise.
It's also unfortunate for Philippe that his target is the same seductress whom Charlie (see p. 48) saved from disaster. Since her two buddies have mysteriously disappeared recently, it's likely she's clicked to what's up - and called her knight in darkly-glowing armor for otherworldly protection.
Philippe's Holy Sword is a relic, imbued with the Celestial Song of Light. It also has a Power of +5 and an Accuracy of +1. He wrested it from a Servitor of Michael whom he defeated in honorable combat. This point is generally lost on Michael's other servants, who would be hard pressed to aid Philippe even if their lives depended on it. For someone who's only recently returned to the War, he's been quick to earn a reputation, and not always a good one.
Without his sword, Philippe is a balanced starting PC, designed for dogged tracking rather than a stand-up slugfest. Even with the sword, he's a fair match for a starting-level demon optimized for combat - and someone as formidable as Charlie might still chew him up. The sword itself is a remarkable relic, worth 18 points for its Song alone, plus 12 for its combat bonuses - 30 points in all!
Article publication date: February 1, 1997
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