Unorthodox enemies

By Neel Krishnaswami (neelk@MIT.EDU)

**Flaming Feather**

In Nomine is a great game, but one of the things that bugs me about the game is that the oppositions between the Archangels and Demon Princes are rather predictable. I mean, Michael and Baal, Blandine and Beleth, Yves and Kronos, Asmodeus and Dominic, and Gabriel and Belial are kind of predictable enmities.

Sometimes you want that Servitor of Dreams to run into someone other than yet another of Beleth's servitors. So I thought about it some, and tried to come up with some less likely pairings.

Enough blather, though. It's ordered by archangel, with a list of who the Archangel dislikes and why. If there's enough demand, I'll do a similar list for the Demon Princes.

Blandine Enemies: Kronos, Vapula

Kronos is one Blandine's most persistent enemies. Blandine is the Archangel most concerned with hope, and Kronos works relentlessly to pervert and destroy hope. As a result, Blandine and Kronos's celestial agents clash frequently.

Vapula is an enemy for similar reasons. He offers false hopes to mankind, and on top of that twists the dreams of scientists and engineers to inspire the creation of devices that add to mankind's suffering. Blandine hates Vapula with a passion.

David: Enemies: Baal, Asmodeus

David is most enraged by the corruption of unity and order. Asmodeus and Baal both are among the most hierarchical of the Demon Princes, and David finds Asmodeus's bureaucracies and Baal's strict chains of command to be targets most deserving of the tender attention of his Malakim.

Baal relishes the challenge David presents to him, and spends a great deal of time sending his demons to do battle with David's angels. Asmodeus, on the other hand, regards David as a waste of his time, and spends a great deal of effort passing information about Baal's demons to David's agents, to keep both of them busy.

Dominic Enemies: Lilith, Malphas

Dominic does not spend all his time rooting out corruption in the Host. A great deal of his time is spent trying to promote justice and fairness on Earth, and as a result he runs into constant opposition from both Lilith and Malphas.

As a general rule, Malphas's demons work to corrupt the structures of law, and Lilith's servants work to overthrow them. Either way, the weak and the powerless lose out, and Dominic's angels work to preserve the structures that protect them from the caprice of the mighty.

Eli Enemies: Haagenti, Saminga

Eli isn't always completely on top of things, but he knows what he doesn't like. Haagenti's selfish Gluttony would hide true Creation from public view, and the the final dissolution Saminga seeks is utterly opposed to

Nonetheless, battles between the angels of Creation and the demons of Gluttony and Death don't tend to get quite as vicious as some of the other rivalries. None of the principals are very organized or coherent as angels and demons go...

Gabriel Enemies: Nybbas, Beleth

Gabriel carries the spark of divine inspiration within her, and is therefore opposed to any demon who seeks to extinguish human striving. Nybbas, who seeks to turn humans into passive observers accepting every word the television and Internet bring them, clashes often with angels of Gabriel, who seek to fan the spark of inspiration.

Beleth tries to cow mankind into terrified submission to her whims. This angers her even more than Nybbas's activity does, and she has given standing orders to her angels to show the demons of Nightmares what fear really is.

Janus Enemies: Asmodeus, Malphas

The Archangel of Wind represents change and possibility. He naturally opposes the arbitrary rules imposed on mankind by the Prince of the Game, and fights to save mankind from the subtle and devious encroachments of pointless regulations and needless bureaucracy.

Nonetheless, the angels of Wind are not out to erode the bonds of love and trust that ties mankind together. A Hobbesian war of all against all is as predictable and awful as any totalitarian government, and Janus's servitors work to prevent that from coming into being.

Jordi Enemies: Vapula, Belial

Jordi, Archangel of Animals, has as his special duty the preservation of the the natural world. Jordi specially targets Vapula's dark Satanic mills for destruction, because they pollute and corrupt the natural world without even offering any benefits to anyone. Vapula regards Jordi as a serious threat and his demons have learned that they can sometimes avoid the blame for a screw-up by blaming Jordi.

Though nature is red in tooth and claw, there is rarely any pointless violence. Belial's activities cause destruction and death without feeding any other parts of nature. Belial for his parts doesn't harbor any special hatred for Jordi, but the generalized hatred his demons display is more than enough.

Jean Enemies: Nybbas, Malphas

Jean is not into instant gratification; in his view, whatever is worth having is worth working for. Happily, it turns out that Nybbas's cameras, satellite networks, and cable lines are all wonderfully vulnerable to the high-tech, low-subtlety corrections that the angels of Lightning are famous for.

Jean likes civilization. He likes the fact that millions of people come together to build vast networks and organizations that produce things that raise the standard of living far above what could be achieved alone. (In this, he has a staunch ally in Marc.) He doesn't like are efforts to tear it all down, efforts that leave mankind at the mercy of any hostile force. He doesn't like Malphas. And what does Lightning do to people it doesn't like..?

Laurence Enemies: Baal

More than Michael, Laurence is the natural enemy of the Demon Prince of the War. Laurence is the commander of the Host, and has a natural interest in foiling the plans of the leader of the Infernal legions. Their enmity is made worse by their similarity -- both are noted for the rigidity of their discipline and the strict hierarchy among of their servitors.

Marc Enemies: Nybbas, Valefor

For trade to occur, there must be honesty and trust between the principals. Nybbas and Valefor work directly to undermine the basis on which mutually- beneficial dealing can occur.

Thanks to Nybbas's work, Hollywood contracts are proverbial for their vicious time-bombs and hidden clauses. It is well-known that anyone who accepts a percentage of net profit will never a dime, and Marc's angels work hard to prevent this sort of rot from infecting the rest of the business world.

Still worse are the activities of the demons of Theft. The demons of Theft work to tear down any idea of property beyond the word "Mine!" Effective commerce requires that *everyone's* property rights be respected. His angels find Valefor's efforts to confuse charity and theft especially odious.

Michael: Enemies: Lucifer(!), Beleth

Lucifer has never forgotten the angel who cast him from Heaven into the Pit. It is known that any demon who kills one of Michael's angels receives the special attention of the Prince of Darkness. Given the danger of dealing with the Father of Lies, it's questionable whether this is a good thing for the demon in question, but there are always demons willing to go for the brass ring.

Michael, patron of heroes, harbors a special dislike for the Demon Princess who specializes in wearing down individuals. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, all the virtues are courage in the moment of decision, and this is exactly the bravery that Beleth makes the greatest effort to destroy. Michael's angels are often out of their depth in the Marches, but they do not hesitate in confronting Nightmares and defending humanity from them.

Novalis: Enemies: Andrealphus, Saminga

The Archangel of Flowers understands desire and beauty. This is why Novalis expends so much effort on Andrealphus. Convinced that the Demon Prince of Lust is one of the most redeemable of the Demon Princes, she spends a great deal of effort in dealing with his plans. Her mercy for Andrealphus does not extend to sanctioning or tolerating his works; Novalis's angels work to demonstrate the superiority of honest affection to the demons of Lust.

Saminga, to the extent that he notices the Archangels, hates Novalis for the regeneration and new growth she represents. Novalis, though she is slow to anger and understanding of the role of death in nature, has announced that it is time to prune back the Prince of Death, and her angels challenge Death through bringing new life into the world.

Yves: Enemies: Asmodeus, Kobal

An evil that dresses in black, shouts its defiance, and twirls its mustachio is ultimately not very dangerous. It is not dangerous because it is obvious, and obvious evil holds little attraction for anyone past adolescence. Danger lies in the quiet evils: the bureaucrats who keep the trains running on time, though they be carrying people to the death camps. This is the evil Asmodeus inflicts on humanity, the evil of Eichmann, the evil of the apparatchiks.

There is a Jesuit saying that doubt is ultimately good for faith, because doubt is what drives men to think up proofs. Yves appreciates the truth of this aphorism, and the gentle patience his angels display towards hesitance and questioning has led many to God. What disturbs the Archangel of Destiny most about the Demon Prince of Dark Humor is that he doesn't care. The laughter of Kobal is the laughter that mocks, and does not care about the question, let alone the answers.

---- Neel Krishnaswami

**Flaming Feather**

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