Untitled (March 8, 2001)

By Moe Lane (moelane_1999@yahoo.com)


It all seems so simple, in the beginning: cruel, but simple. The word on the street is that Servitors of Factions are planning to spice up this year's Purim by ostentatiously assassinating some of the most vocal opponents to the nation of Israel. The idea, of course, is to suggest that more extreme Jewish groups are attempting to recreate the meat of the Book of Esther in the modern era. Ought to be good for a laugh (and maybe even a war), especially as those not wanting either to happen now have to play impromptu bodyguards to a whole bunch of people, some of whom are not very nice. That'll tie up the Servitors of Faith and Stone.

Then, just as the entire things getting into high gear, comes the news that it all might be a trick: what Hell is really going to do is wait until Heaven's committed its forces, then crash a jetliner into Notre Dame. _That'll_ get the Servitors of the Sword sitting up and taking notice, let me tell you - especially since his Holiness was thinking of being in Paris that day.

No, wait, there's another ploy going on. Somebody's infiltrated an Indian chemical refinery, and now his fingers are on the switches that will turn the entire Ganges River toxic. The Hindu ethereals are screaming bloody murder, and gee, aren't there a lot of Servitors of War flitting around, steadfastly not saying a word and glaring at anyone who looks at them? Odd how Michael isn't saying a word about his troops helping out, too. Or Jordi, for that matter.

Hold on! Everyone drop everything! It's all a ruse! What's really going to happen is that an annual convention of the most influential West Coast neopagans is going to suddenly realize that their drinking water is absolutely drenched with LSD and PCP! Now _Novalis_ is screaming bloody murder, especially since it's going to take place in the middle of her favorite San Francisco Tether.

Do you get the picture? All of a sudden, just about every major religion is going to have something bad happen to them, all at the same time - and in a method guaranteed to piss off royally at least one Archangel. There's already been a shouting match in the Council about resources. Normally, Marc would be doing his best to keep the peace, but right now he's kind of busy trying to find all the pipe bombs secreted throughout Wall Street. Heck, even Jean's showing the strain (of course, that might be from the seven hundred new 'fry everything electronic' viruses that got uploaded into the Internet last weekend). Dominic's scribbling notes so fast that it would take a nuclear explosion to get his attention.

So, which crisis is real?

Actually, none of them.

OK, the pipe bombs and the viruses are real. But as for the rest, Kobal's just bored. He knows that the Other Side will figure it all out, eventually, but so what? This didn't cost him much in the way of resources (after all, it just has to look like all of this is about to happen) - and in the meantime, a lot of entities are saying unkind things that they'll regret later. Not that everybody will actually apologize for saying them, of course. From Kobal's point of view, the less actual damage that this stunt causes, the better, as he wants the various and sundry Archangels to feel like idiots for overreacting. True, they'll want to kill him afterwards: but then, they want to kill him now. The Prince of Dark Humor knows that this scheme may cost him in the long run, but he really couldn't resist.

Perceptive GMs will wonder what the PC's roles will be in all this.

They're along for the ride, baby; there isn't much that they can do to solve this problem. Run them ragged trying to solve one 'crisis' after another, and let them get more and more worried when they can't uncover any nefarious schemes. Every so often, let them find a pipe bomb or something, otherwise they'll twig to this too fast. When they look sufficiently frightened (or you start getting bored), trot out the videotape of Kobal pointing and laughing. It'll be good for their humility.

Fair warning, though: running this may not be good for _your_ health...


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