Yes, it's that time. It's been about two weeks, so it's time for another one of 'Em's Wacky Writeups'. I need my own segment. My own show, even!
This is a topic that I've been tossing back and forth with quite a few people, online and offline. It was bothering me that there was no real genesis for celestials put forth in the sourcebook, and while it was bothering me, a player actually started asking about it. I had to cook up an answer, and that was that.
So after some thought, here is my answer. I'll start with demons first, because the method is simpler. I'm expecting all kinds of 'it's not canon' and 'it's not that way in the book' and 'no, I don't like that', and that's cool. This is just how it's laying out for my game, since the subject has come up in a number of forms.
.... thanks to ArchAngel Beth to listening to me ramble endlessly about this stuff. Why anyone would want to hear about Shedim mating practices is beyond me. :)
It is stated (the rulebook, I believe) that there are many more demons then angels down in hell, most of which are never seen. So where did they all come from? According to the fun pamphlet we're given when we walk out of GM school, it says that only 1/3rd of the host Fell originally, and of those, not many of the original Fallen are left. Yet now they outnumber angels by a wide margin. Where did they come from?
The general assumption is that they started as imps or 3/4 force Celestials, which is fine. But the question stands, where did those 3/4 force celestials come from? I'm not a big believer in spontanious generation in any form.
- Copulation methods
Seeing that fornication is original sin, the simplest ways to fill out the ranks of ones demonic servitors are to allow them to do it themselves with some checks in place. Hell does, after all, run on the free enterprise/free will system, to a point.... which is your free will ends when you run into someone bigger then you are who has more free will then you do. It's time to allow love, and lust, bloom in Hell. Only like bands can mate with like bands, so no weird Shedim/Impudite crosses, unless they come out of Vapula's laboritories.
Of the seven major bands of demons, six have controlled mating/breeding habits, generally run by the bureacracies of each of the major Demon Princes. Young demons would be born of few forces (1-2), which is contributed from essense gathered from each of the parents. Demons do not require pregnancy, and may be able to generate a child after initial copulation. This also does not require that the parents care for their offspring, or show any overtly parently additudes in their general direction.
Also, a born demon does not necessarily belong to any demon prince, although either a parent will swear it in, or the child will do so at the earliest opportunity.
Copulation, birthing from eggs. (Celtic knots. :) )
Copulation. (I still say the entire concept of Djinnporn freaks me out.)
Copulation, "God's method". :)
Budding. Shedim need only one parent, and my spontaniously grow a child at any point when they have the essense to do so.
Copulation. Alot, if they work for Andrealphus, and not always with any results.
- Breeding methods
A fully grown Demon without any additional essense or forces is one of 7 forces. The ability for demons to produce their own offspring allows a Superior to control a mass of self-replicating troups which are not only expendable, but allow for a little darwin to take over, breeding out the weak and allowing the strongest to survive to serve.
The entire system of allowing 'permission' to breed is controlled through a subset of the bureacracy of any of the demon princes involved. It is assumed the Princes themselves would not be involved, handing this off to a lower set of servitors, unless the breeding involved was those of very high distinction and/or Word bound celestials, or those of other high status.
Large systems for raising/training (huge military schools for Baal, paranoia-like complexes for Asmodeus, god knows WHAT for Andre) would be in place to churn out huge amounts of ready and apt troops. Even Vapula, doing the Brave New World thing, growing his Habbalah and Impudite slaves in giant vats, tuning them especially for his needs.
- Large empires
Allowing demons to breed allows for the Princes to build the enormous loyal staff which is required to run the principalities of Hell, without the worry of replacements from Fallen Angels. Asmodeus can get his million or so servitors to serve at the desks of Hades, enormous vats of Shedim boil in Abaddon, creating loyal servants for Saminga from the stripped essense of the human souls, Baal gets an eternal battle on Gehenna without worrying about replacing troups. The strongest, smartest survive, and eventually become assigned to more earthbound, interesting duties.
Lilim are a different story then any of the other demonic bands, because they are born directly from Lilith herself, and only from Lilith. As of such, they become the smallest of any of the major bands, and possibly the smallest of any of the bands in Hell, period.
Since Lilith is, according to the interpretation of your choice of the Alphabet of Ben Sira, a human (to a point), she goes through the motions of 'birthing' a child, one at a time.
Every Lilim is born with 9 forces, just like an angel.
The question then, is if Lilith is required to bear a child to full term, who is the father who provides the other end of the bargin, so to speak? Since Lilith is known for making bargins with the highest bidder, the father is the one who catches the fancy at the time. These include:
* Demon Princes
* High Level Word-Bound Celestials "With Promise".
To have a child with Lilith would mean a few things. It could mean that the Celestial in question has an 'early claim' via Geas onto the child in question. The second is that the child may exhibit a few of the traits of the parent. (Sudden image of a Lilim feeling the need to go out hang around with a bunch of almost Dead Babylonian Gods because 'It just feels right to have this bloody sacrifice, you know?')
Ah yes. And best of all, plot hooks. For PCs and NPCs alike.
- The Nursery
To facilitate the raising of young Lilim, I propose an addition onto the Guildhall called 'The Nursery', a set of rooms added on where the youngest are raised until they are deemed ready to get shoved out into the streets of Shal-Mari with the rest of the kids. This would be run by elder Lilim looking to pick up some quick and easy Geases they can call in alot later, Impudites and Djinn looking for work, etc.
** I still like the teddy bear baby Djinn and the Baby Balseraph ideas, which are not mine. :) A baby lilim can try out proto-geases and make little happy bonds for life, which are more plot hooks. Hey, Lilith has to have her Allied status with other superiors for some reason. For living teddy bear stories, I gesture my hand in the general direction of the Sandman: The Book of Dreams and encourage people to 'go for it'.
Clearly, from the pure rarity of Lilim, their intrinsic worth goes up. Their natural forces are more then those of the average demon, and they possess a quality which cannot be duplicated in any other demon. A demon prince may only have a handful at any one time (some more then others), working under a contract. As such, it makes it even more desireable to attain and hold a bound Lilim, so that there is no contract negotiations, nor is there reason for concern that the Lilim will wander off and work for the competition for a time.
Having an early hook from 'fathering' a Lilim does make things easier to keep one, even to bind one at an early age, which does make going through the pain with Lilith, in the long run, worth the Geases you know have to pay back.
Angels are different. There are no huge Seraph hatcheries, no giant lines of Impudites being grown in tubes. It's heaven, after all, and the gift of life is a rare and precious one.
- Either from Superior themselves forming out of the Symphony
So where do little Angels come from? Well, there are two methods. One of which is that the Superior realizes the need for a new servitor of some sort, and forms it himself out of 9 forces gathered from the Symphony. The young angel is handed over to loyal servants to raise in the proper manner as one of that ArchAngel should be.
- Superior grants forces
Or... and this is where the question from my player came from. What if an angel, or two angels, or a big group of angels wishes to raise a child themselves? There are a few steps to follow:
1. Petition an ArchAngel for the forces needed, or the additional essense required.
2. Get together and have a big blowout.
3. The child would be loyal to the ArchAngel who donated the forces, much like if the Archangel had created the child in the first place. If a servant of Yves and a servant of Eli get together, and the forces are donated from Yves, then the child is going to be a bookworm, not a free spirit.
Note that only one angel is required for the generation of a new Celestial, and it is not constrained to two. If ten Celestials in a Novalis Commune decide they really want to have a new young one to bring up and teach and love, then they can do so in sort of an enormous love fest. Which probably gets a bit messy.
Further note that the specific choir of the child is not dependant on the parents, but on the Superior who donated the forces in the first place. Although, the Superior is likely to have the choir of the newly created Celestial of the primary parent.
- Pregnancy vs. Spontanious birth
So here's the big question, are Angels born or sprung from the head of some mighty being, like Athena from Zeus? Well, the answer is, "It depends."
I would see that, the earthy types, like the servants of Novalis, Eli and Jordi, and maybe even others like Michael, would really appreciate the entire process of pregnancy and childbirth. It really allows the angels to get in touch with the human experience in a big way (and does wonders for one's role, or at least the role of the one to be born.)
But others, it is a mating, an a flash of light, and a new Celestial ala Q. I would say it is up to the Celestial, and the Superior, in question.
None of this is canon, and all of it springs (births, even) from somewhere in my imagination. I doubt that it is all consistant, and of course, I'm welcoming comments. I'm just hoping it answers a little bit of 'where did my PC come from.'
- Em, Demon of Playing IN Backwards, Balseraph of the Game.
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