Designer's Notes: In Nomine Superiors: Lilith

by Elizabeth McCoy

Lilith has been many things to many people. Her possible origins include the wind-demon lilitu, the Sumerian demoness Lillake, Hebrew layil ("night"), the Greek Lamia (the Libyan queen deserted by Zeus) as well as the man-eating Lamiae -- who also insisted on being on top before they devoured their human victims . . .

It is, therefore, no wonder that the Lilith of In Nomine is an ever-changing creature, as hard to pin down to the page as her Word of Freedom suggests. She's the Bad Girl, the Seductress, the Femme Fatale -- and the only Princess in Hell who'd rather let even her enemies live, so long as they owe her. As a Divinely created human, she's potentially the ultimate stage of the species, with the power of a Superior. As a Princess of Hell, she's potentially the ultimate fate of humanity. Contradiction and contrariness define her nature, and ultimately, only the GM can decide whether Lilith is evil, ambiguous, or trapped by the follies of her youth.

As a sorceress and enigmatic being, Lilith can be used to ensnare mundane characters -- she can teach wonders to would-be magicians, and is more likely to require payment in this world than the next. And what modern mortal would think the concept of Freedom is evil?

As a Princess of Hell and human, Lilith can be petty. Slight her, thwart her, and she will find a way to work through agents and have her revenge. Homes repossessed, reputations ruined, jobs lost . . . Even better if the subject has to come crawling to some agent of hers and sink deep in debt just to survive.

As a wild woman and tragic figure, she can be the unlikely damsel in distress. Hints of empathy may show, along with suggestions of grief and regret. To rescue someone thought lost is an epic campaign. To rescue someone with the powers of a Superior, even more so. But pray that those are not crocodile tears.

Here are some ideas for adventures or entire campaigns; players should not consider them canon, but Game Masters have the Freedom to do whatever they wish . . .

Hung Upon the Double-Cross

Zerahiah, Seraph of Destiny, was placed on trial and found guilty of consorting with the Princess of Freedom. While he had meant to attempt to redeem her (as more than a few angels have tried), he had instead been ensnared in corporeality, forgetting his purpose and allegiances. Still, he had not become dissonant by nature or Word, and so his sentence was light -- to remain in Heaven two centuries, his Role and Earthly duties passed on to another.

Unfortunately, not two decades after his sentencing, Zerahiah has gone missing. His Heart is clouded, as Hearts often are in the presence of Superiors, but Yves says (in rare bluntness for that enigmatic soul) that Zerahiah is not in Lilith's immediate vicinity. Indeed, Yves is willing to tell would-be rescuers roughly where the wayward Seraph is!

And when they arrive at the nearly-forgotten mansion, can they persuade the Seraph to leave his apparent harem, whom he insists he's counseling to redemption? He's not dissonant -- at the moment -- but the motley batch of (attractive) Renegades he's preaching to don't look very redeemable. Still, even a Judge intent on sending Zerahiah back to his Heart the fast and Traumatic way can't afford to leave true redemption candidates behind unjustly.

Naturally, this is when the demons show up (the Game, the War, or Lust's Peine Forte et Dure (Superiors 2: Pleasures of the Flesh, p. 30)), gloating about the haul the Princess sold them.

Children of the Light

(This adventure seed does not draw upon actual canon in In Nomine Superiors: Lilith -- but it does extrapolate from certain aspects.)

The First Fallen's concubine has had a relationship with the Lightbringer that has lasted from the shores of the sea to at least the opening of Hell's gates. It's said that Lucifer first came to her as Seraph and Archangel . . . And perhaps it is true, for how else could a lineage of sorceresses, so clearly important to a Princess, remain free of the machinations of other Princes? (And why only women? Are the boys strangled at birth? Is parthenogenesis involved? Or is this simply a mystery of the Symphony?)

Not that PCs will know of that, until they come into the custody of a girl, mostly amnesiac after the (purely mundane) car wreck that has claimed the lives of her mother and aunt -- the only ones who might have known her other relatives or family friends, where she came from, or where they were going in such a hurry. Odd, that they weren't carrying any identification. Odder, though, that the young teenager already has seven Forces and command of Celestial Songs.

When Soldiers of God (or Hell, or both) come seeking her, it indicates something is up, of course. Now it will be up to the PCs to trace her scattered memories to her home, family, and coven, and hope that they're doing the right thing. Of course, if they don't return the child to her family, her so-many-times Great-Grandmother will move Heaven, Earth, and Hell to get her back -- and even mundane investigators won't be spared knowledge of the War.

The Night Demon

It is a peril, when one holds a Word, that the Word will be twisted by humanity. And if one's power-base requires the production of a special breed of demon, one cannot afford to seem weakened.

At least, that's the obvious reason why a selection of player characters have been charged, bribed, or geased to acquire as many children as they can, below the age of a year and a half -- and not warded by the names of Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof -- and deliver them to the Princess at the dark of the moon, presumably so that their Forces may be recycled into Lilim.

Of course, it's also an unwise idea to leave witnesses to one's period of weakness. Perhaps competency and vows of secrecy will suffice. Perhaps more desperate payments will be required.

The B-Team

Lilith has a project in mind.

She has a team in mind for it.

The player characters are not that team.

However, the player characters are in position -- if they're clever -- to get the chosen team members in debt to them. (Whether or not hooks are involved depend on if there are Lilim PCs.) And that is their job. Do the right favors, bail out the targets, frame them so they can be bailed out, if necessary, and hand them over to the Princess. With a bow on top, if possible.

Of course, it's going to be interesting to acquire a Calabite of Fire, three Habbalah, an Impudite of Technology, a Renegade Balseraph of the Game with the Merciful Discord, and an Outcast Malakite of Flowers. They do have to be delivered alive, if not conscious.

Crossed, and Double-Hung?

Agents of the PCs' Prince(s) have received word that certain rogue elements (read: Renegades of their service) are in the player characters' territory. According to their informant -- a Lilim claiming to be discharging a Geas, and indeed a Geas did go "poof" afterward -- this lot of Renegades will be gathered together in a certain place at a certain time, ready for capture. Happy coincidence, the Renegades hardly outnumber the local demons at all! And most of them are 7 Forces, the size of new fledges. Easy glory, or at least easy clean-up before other Princes notice a group of organized Renegades.

And, indeed, there is a meeting of demons in the abandoned shell of a bankrupt store.

There's also a geased angel of Creation, frantically trying to convince the rogue demons about the glories of Heaven before they decide that they can get back into some Prince's good graces with a Divine sacrifice.

And then there's the Fire and Judgment angels, each independently tipped off via anonymous phone calls.

Finding a collection of ethereal spirits in the middle of a cage in the rafters -- about to be tipped open by a crude timer involving melting ice cubes -- might be overkill. Then again, it might not be.

And if it's a team of 16-Force Lilim who wind up rescuing everyone from the winners, one can be sure that the Geas-hook return was worth the investment.

Article publication date: October 28, 2005

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