St. Perfectus

By Moe Lane


There's a little problem.

You see, once upon a time there was a Saint Perfectus: he lived, he got martyred and he achieved his Destiny. The blessed soul ended up working for Laurence: first as an assistant, then as an actual Saint. He wasn't the best Saint in Heaven, but he was a strong, steady worker and a real asset. Unfortunately, his latest mission on Earth ended in his disappearance. Now, Hell would crow like mad if they had managed to soul-kill (or worse, corrupt) a Saint, and corporeal death would simply have sent him back to Heaven, so there's a reasonable chance that he's still alive. Possibly in considerable pain, but still alive.

So far, not a particularly unusual problem - but there's a wrinkle. You see, the Saint's original martyrdom was at the hands of, well, Moors. Perfectus wasn't too happy to find out that Islam was a divine religion, and was even less happy when a couple of his executioners eventually ended up in Heaven themselves. Words were exchanged, at extremely high volumes.

Now, all of this took place over a thousand years ago, and Perfectus has long since gotten over his not-really-justified outrage. Still, it does look a bit awkward that someone once known for his loud condemnation of certain policies has apparently disappeared just as the adherents of those policies are finally being fully reintegrated into Heavenly society. It looks bad, aside from everything else. Time to find out what happened.

Guess who gets to investigate things?

Now, both Khalid and Laurence want this handled properly, so they've even sent over a couple of specialists to help: Daniel, Malakite Friend of the Lord's Troops, and Caedwalla, Saint of Faith. Daniel is one of Laurence's specialists on Saints - in fact, he's a minor Catholic saint himself, thanks to the bloody end to one of his Roles (Donan, killed mysteriously as part of the Celtic Church's expansion). Caedwalla simply knows Perfectus personally. Between the two of them, they should be easily able to assist the PCs' search.

They will, actually. That's when the trouble starts.

You see, no matter what their respective Archangels may personally think, not everyone in either Faith or the Sword is especially happy to give each other the kiss of peace. There were a few ... incidents ... on the corporeal plane, over the last thousand years (kept well-hidden, of course), and a couple of diehards on both sides aren't ready to give up their grudge match quite yet. Ironically, neither group of holdouts had anything to do with Perfectus' disappearance: the Saint simply had the bad fortune to get hit by a car and is now in a coma in a convenient hospital. If anyone had thought to ask Blandine, she could have had him located in a day, but, well, nobody did.

At any rate, both cabals are paying close attention to the situation. The holdout Laurencians would like nothing better than to pin the blame on their opposite numbers (a sentiment fully reciprocated) - or failing that, just get a few good licks in. Like many incidents, the actual facts are immaterial: what's important is that there's an excuse to fight. The PCs are going to have a lot of unexplained hindrances on their way to Perfectus' hospital bed.

However, it should really be noted that the vast majority of both Faith and the Sword's Servitors are not involved in this grudge match. We're talking about, at most, twenty or so angels on either side that aren't ready to move on and forget the past. There's also a certain reluctance to use violence on the PCs themselves, or their helpers: the two cabals are quite glumly aware that both Archangels will not find this behavior acceptable (to put it mildly). Frankly, both groups are really, really stuck here: they know that they're committed to a futile and deeply stupid course of action, but they've sniped at each other for so long that they can't figure out how to stop. Hopefully, with enough clues, the PCs can work out what's going on and unravel this Gordian knot peacefully.

Of course, if they're sufficiently powerful, they may just decide to emulate Alexander and do what he did with knots. You never know, with PCs. Heck, they might decide to take over both groups and set up a professional wrestling federation. You just never know.


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