Minor Choir of Judgment: The Ishim

By Moe Lane


(The Emphatic, The Doppelgangers)

The poor guy was thoroughly maudlin by now: drunk, too. Hard to blame him - not that I would. "Nobody understands what I'm going through," he muttered, his eyes staring into his glass as if the answer to his problems was inscribed on the bottom.

I cleared my throat as I refilled both of our glasses. "Oh, I wouldn't say that."

His gaze wavered, then picked the me in the middle. "Really?" I smiled, carefully keeping the bitter tears from showing.

"Trust me on this one."

This minor Choir of Dominic's exemplifies the human cliche about not Judging a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. They strive to understand their charges by becoming them, in a sense: they are able to experience a subject's emotions, fears and desires as if they had come from the angel. This makes them easily the most merciful of the Dominicans, as they can uniquely feel the seductive strength of a human's particular inner demons. It makes blind condemnation difficult.


The Ishim's (singular 'Ishite') resonance is for sympathy, in the sense of 'being able to share another's emotions or desires'. With a successful resonance roll, an Ishite can commune with their charge's mind: this can range from low-grade empathy to true telepathy. In all cases, the act of communion will also result in the angel exhibiting whatever emotional state the subject is currently expressing.


The Ishim are often called "anti-Habbalah", as they are receivers of emotional stimuli (instead of transmitters). Indeed, it is dissonant for them to force their current emotional state onto a human. This applies to both supernatural and mundane methods: the Choir are very careful to avoid losing their tempers, or even displaying a bad mood.

Manner and Appearance

The Ishim have no set preferences for their corporeal seeming: they are listeners, first and foremost, and are only concerned with appearance when it would benefit/interfere with that all-important task. They are good listeners - which means that they have a reputation for not talking much. On the other hand, most of Heaven agrees that the Ishim have the most beautiful eyes of all the Host: beautiful, warm and almost hypnotic.

In their celestial forms, Ishim appear as indistinct, winged humanoids: however, their eyes are even more beautiful and their wings are twinned, sweeping rainbows. Needless to say, Ishim try to stay on fairly good terms with everyone: the closest thing that they have to a group enmity is their polite inability to quite understand the Elohim.

Aside from the Choir's dissonance conditions, an Ishite's major worry is that he might someday lose track of himself in his quest to understand others. While this is not dissonant, in and of itself, it can lead to dissonance: more than one Ishite has suddenly realized just too late that he or she is actually projecting an emotion on a charge, not reflecting it. If this detachment remains untreated, it can eventually lead to madness... and a Fall into a state where the ego itself is rejected utterly, resulting in the minor Band of Maragalim - and a new career in the Game as the ultimate infiltrator.

Game Mechanics

Essentially, a successful Perception roll allows an Ishite to attune his mind and emotions to match that of his target: this will result in a varying amount of access. Note that the difference between 's u b vocalized' and 'surface' thoughts is fairly arbitrary: generally, the former are mostly either 'silent narratives' and/or recognizable speech/text, while the latter can also include other types of sensory input. Duration is for CD hours.

Resonance Check Digit Table

  1. The angel has a general idea of the emotional state of the subject (happy, sad, bored, lonely, etc.).
  2. As above, plus the ability to access the s u b vocalized thoughts of the subject.
  3. The angel is able to determine which emotional state is currently of dominant importance in the target's psyche.
  4. As for CD 3, plus the ability to read the surface thoughts of the subject; this will include memories, provided that they are associated with said surface thoughts.
  5. The angel is able to track the most active s u b conscious emotional state of the target, and how it is affecting his or her behavior.
  6. As for CD 5; the angel is also able to access any of the target's memories with a successful Intelligence roll (one attempt per minute). Deliberately blocked memories must first be detected (roll versus Perception -3).

Ishim in the Host

Ishim are mostly assigned by the Inquisition to Triads that have regular contact with Soldiers of God, Saints or any individuals deemed by Heaven as requiring a less than rigorous touch (Ishim universally embrace the ethos of Judgement's Merciful Faction, which can lead to some interesting 'discussions'). While their abilities are evocative of elements from the Elohite, Malakite and Mercurian resonance, they are not as powerful as any of them - but it can be often better than nothing. However, they are not too common, as Dominic must create Ishim fully-fledged.

Dominic very much prefers that this Choir not serve other Archangels, but will sometimes let one seek service with Yves or Laurence. Invariably, those few that Redeem from Maragalim will be assigned to one of the above three Archangels.

Ishite of Judgement (restricted): When encountering a dissonant or Discordant celestial, an Ishite of Judgement will always know the emotional state that was most prominent in the acquisition of that unfortunate condition.

Ishite of Destiny (restricted): Ishim serving Yves add half their Ethereal Forces (rounded down) to all reaction rolls.

Ishite of the Sword (restricted): There are few Ishim serving the Sword; Laurence just doesn't need them much. He usually gives those that he does have a variant of the Elohite of the Sword Attunement. This will allow them to detect the emotional state of an area, but not telepathic abilities.


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