Liber Servitorum Designer's Notes

Designer's Notes: Liber Servitorum

by Elizabeth McCoy

The Liber Servitorum was nowhere as easy a compilation-and-edit job as the Liber Castellorum. Among other reasons, instead of only a dozen authors, I had potentially two or three dozen, since we threw the doors open to have a contest! (I wound up with 27 authors in the book.) Also, I quickly discovered that some types of characters were more popular than others. Perhaps due to my initial warnings, Servitors of Creation were light on the ground, and I only got two Bright Lilim (and no Lilim of the Sword or Judgment!).

Habbalah, however, were plentiful, and I had nearly half-a-dozen of them in Stygia alone! It was hard to choose, and Genevieve Cogman's Idalah was one runner up to Ishmah (p. 62 of the Liber Servitorum) -- you see, evil doesn't have to be huge. It can be as simple and close-to-home as your own office . . .


Habbalite of Factions

Liber Servitorum Designer's Notes "Well, I wouldn't treat a dog the way she treats you, Mary." The blonde woman twitched her head, making her short-cut hair bounce. "I call it downright unreasonable."

The dark-haired woman at the desk sniffed into her hanky. "It wouldn't matter so much if she weren't so vicious about it. I'm not some kind of moron."

"Of course you aren't." The blonde woman patted her on the shoulder encouragingly, and the glint of pure contempt in her eyes was gone before anyone could see it. "You don't deserve to have her looking down on you like that. And I know the others feel just the same way about it."

"You think so?" Mary looked up. "You think it's worth telling her where to get off?"

"I'm sure of it." The other smiled, and reached out with her mind, and pushed, feeling the confidence flood into Mary. "You just need to stand up to her, just once, in public, and tell her what you think of her behavior. It'll work. I've seen it before."

Indeed I have, she thought, and I've seen the entire office come apart because of it, and all it proves is what weaklings you all are.

Corporeal Forces - 2 Strength 4 Agility 4
Ethereal Forces - 4 Intelligence 8 Precision 8
Celestial Forces - 3 Will 7 Perception 5

Vessel: Human/2 (blonde female in 30s), Charisma +1
Role: "Ida Lathen," Office Temp/3, Status/2
Skills: Computer Operation/3, Detect Lies/2, Driving/1, Fast-Talk/2, Knowledge/2 (Office Bureaucracy), Ranged Weapon/2 (Revolver)
Songs: Tongues (Corporeal/3)
Attunements: Habbalite of Factions, Imbroglio

Idalah is a young Servitor of Factions whose particular expertise is destroying harmony among office-workers and clerical staff. Her vessel is female, blonde, mid-twenties and unremarkable, dressed to fit in with whatever firm she is currently working for. When assigned as a temporary assistant to some office, she spends the first week identifying those people in the office who are most important as peacemakers, organizers, and experts. She then sets about isolating them from the rest of the office, arranging arguments and exacerbating quarrels, and generally throwing the place into turmoil.

This does not necessarily mean that the quality of work from the office will suffer -- at least, not immediately. Idalah is a very efficient typist, and up-to-date with office procedures and computer usage. She often finds herself propping the office up while everyone else neglects their work to feud with their coworkers and develop their grudges -- thus confirming her opinion of humanity. Of course, when she leaves, the office then falls apart . . .

Idalah is definitely not combat-oriented, and does her best work when never suspected. She has on several occasions been hired into offices where known Soldiers of God worked, with particular instructions to cause them as much trouble as possible. She has also caused trouble in businesses owned by angelic roles, or their servants. However, if an angel enters the office or discovers her identity, her tactics -- short of direct orders to the contrary -- are to develop a sudden illness and let another temp take over the office work. She has a healthy sense of self-preservation.

Idalah is not, as yet, particularly ambitious, and is happy to keep working on low-risk jobs while she strengthens her techniques and builds up a good reputation in the eyes of her superiors. Of course, they steal most of her credit, but she reasons that eventually someone will have to notice what a good job she's doing. Lately she has begun growing interested in the scope open to computer sysops and network moderators, and is considering making overtures to Servitors of Vapula.


In the middle of playtest, it was discovered that the Word-bound, almost uniformly, didn't have enough space to actually shine -- especially if they had a lot of skills and Songs! One page can be a very tight fit, if your character has any history, and we discovered that one thing a Word-bound needed to have was history. Finally, it was decided to cut all Word-bound from the book, and save them in the hopes of some future book dedicated to immediate superiors and contenders for Superior-hood -- or ones who almost made it, such as Marou, the true mistress of Hani Basyah (Liber Servitorum, p. 105) who nearly held the Word of Seduction, but wasn't quite skilled enough for Lucifer to agree.

One minor Word-bound who was cut was near and dear to my heart -- but really, the following didn't half describe all the history and quirkiness that would have made her come alive . . . (And look at all those blessed skills!!)


Malakite of Creation

Angel of Sculpting

"Inside that block of marble, that board of wood, there's something beautiful. It's the same with souls -- you see a demon, but I see the unrealized angel inside. You see a punk human headed for Hell, but I can see a Saint. You just have to show them the glory inside, and they'll shape themselves."

Corporeal Forces - 4 Strength 8 Agility 8
Ethereal Forces - 6 Intelligence 12 Precision 12
Celestial Forces - 5 Will 10 Perception 10

Vessels: Human Male/1, Charisma +3; Human Female/4, Charisma +3.
Skills: Acrobatics/1, Artistry (Carving/1, Drawing/1, Painting/1, Sculpting/6), Detect Lies/1, Dodge/3, Driving/3, Emote/1, Escape/1, Fighting/4, Knowledge/3 (Psychology), Languages (English/1, French/3*, German/1, Japanese/1, Spanish/1), Large Weapon/2 (Sword), Move Silently/1, Savoir-Faire/1, Singing/2, Small Weapon/1 (Knife), Ranged Weapon (Pistol/1, Sling/1), Seduction/1, Throwing/1.
Songs: Form (All/3), Healing (All/2), Motion (All/3), Shields (Ethereal/2, Celestial/3), Tongues (All/1), Wings/3.
Attunements: Ofanite of Creation, Elohite of Creation, Malakite of Creation, Mercurian of Creation, Abracadabra, Transubstantiation.
Malakite Oaths: (i) never suffer evil to live by her choice; (ii) never surrender or allow herself to be captured by Lucifer's armies; (iii) never make a snap judgment about someone; (iv) never hurt an innocent.
Special Ability: Kathriel can mold anything, with the power of her will and a bit of Essence. A cubic yard (or less) of something light and easily sculpted is 1 Essence; hard materials, such as marble, require 4 per cubic yard; diamond would take 6. An Artistry (Sculpting) roll is required to determine how aesthetic (or useful) the result is.
Special Rite: Spend 3 hours creating sculpture.

Kathriel is one of Eli's few "unattached" Servitors. Instead of being in service to anyone, Kath takes her orders from Eli -- when he chooses to give any. The rest of the time, she's either riding with some of her Choirmates of the Wind, or avoiding everyone, dodging Judgment triads who want to ask her questions about her Archangel. Kathriel doesn't understand her occasional enigmatic orders, or know why her boss is AWOL, but she figures that if Eli wanted Judgment to know what he was up to, he'd have told Dominic himself. So, since Seraphim of Judgment are very perceptive, she doesn't want to talk to them at all. (Admittedly, it's always difficult for even a Seraph to get information about a Superior who doesn't want that to happen, but Kath doesn't like taking chances.)

When Eli was still in Heaven, Kath was one of his "Redemption Squad" -- angels who had the talent and training to find demons who held the potential for good, and then manipulate them into seeking redemption. There, she learned the tricks of sculpting souls until they could realize they wanted to be redeemed.

Though Kath was comparatively young to hold such power, Eli used his then-considerable influence to get her the Word of Sculpting, shortly before he left Heaven. She does her best to use it wisely and well.

Kathriel's third oath means she never assumes "demon = evil." With a complete reading of someone's honor (check digit 6), she'll act -- but that's enough information that it's not a snap judgment. She'd rather take the time to get Infernals redeemed (or humans saved) instead of just killing them. However, this does not mean she's adverse to terrifying those who deserve it; it takes her a little while, but she can entomb someone in earth or stone, and then discuss how much she'd like to carve them -- unless they do as she's asking. And if they're really irredeemable . . . she'll kill them. Malakim are like that.

Kath travels all over, dodging Judgment or on Eli's enigmatic orders. She'll recruit help when she needs it, lend Good a hand or try to foil demonic plots -- a powerful enemy or ally, but she doesn't stick around long. She's got her own missions.


It wasn't easy to choose -- there are a lot of good submissions which weren't used, and I've still got them all. I hope that the first book is popular enough for a sequel someday, because with all these random angels and demons on my hard-drive, there's no telling what mischief they'll get up to . . .

Article publication date: July 9, 1999

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