Founders of the 7 Infernal Bands

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Sigil_of_Lucifer.svgAccording to Heaven, there were no demons before The Fall. If true, that means that each Band began somewhere. In some cases there is canonical guidance, in others we are left to our own devices, and in a few there are even some competing signals.

By teasing out these hints and differences, we can get an idea of what some of the earliest factions of hell might have been. Whether this is used as deep background, an alternate setting for games set near the dawn of time, or as a way to pick out new “hidden” powers seeking to emerge I leave as an exercise to the GMs in the audience. Continue reading

“The Duchess” Bonoham

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Sigil of Belial - GoetiaSome years back, an audacious sorcerer attempted to commune with Bonoham, the Duchess of Phosphor. Intrigued by someone with the power and temerity to reach out to her, she opened a hellmouth and extended a portion of her undying felfire into the mortal realms. However, his rituals and her attunement interacted in an unexpected way causing the portal to snap shut and severing a portion of her forces from her.

Rather than dissipating, the forces took on a life of their own, immolating the sorcerer on the spot and possessing what remained of his ruined flesh. When the Duchess re-established the hellmouth, her forces had already fled – no longer wishing to be reunited with their infernal whole. Continue reading

Duchies of Hell: Belial Revisited

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Sigil of Belial - GoetiaWhile I was working on the Duchies of Valefor, I realized that I had misread what was written between the lines regarding Belial’s upper court. I saw the absence of Dukes and nobles and said, “here is a gap that must be filled.” However, Belial is one of only two Princes that has no noble NPCs, no information on his Higher Distinctions, and no declaration that he rejects them.

Proud as I am of my initial investigation into the Duchies of Belial, giving the Prince a typical (if incendiary) court did him a great disservice. Continue reading

Tim Curry & How to Play a Djinn of Nightmares

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Sigil of Beleth - GoetiaIf you grew up in the ’80’s, then there’s a good chance you saw Legend – a movie typically remembered for its two male leads.

  • Tom Cruise prancing about in a scale mail leotard &
  • Tim Curry as the demon, Darkness

Cruise’s character is of little interest to an In Nomine game (even as a fantasy protagonist, he falls rather flat), but Curry’s does a wonderful job embodying a demon of nightmares and regrets who is alternately obsessive and contemptuous. In short, the very model of a Djinn of Nightmares. Continue reading

Numinous Corpus: Apparatus

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Prosthetic Left Hand from the London Science Museum

Themes linking the mechanical and the divine go back to at least the Greek classics.

Givens how Vapula pursues his word, and the increasing progress that humans have made towards integrating the mechanical into themselves and their world, the Prince of Technology would almost certainly be researching ways for his demons to do the same.

Of course, just because Vapula has been the one to push this research doesn’t mean that he’s the only one to use these songs. Continue reading

On the Gender of Archangels

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Most celestials are genderless beings of metaphysical energy, who may have bodies of all available sexes.

– GURPs: In Nomine

GURPs: In Nomine was one of the last “core books” to be produced, and the first to officially introduce concepts from of Moriah’s essay “Homocelestiality” into the canon.

Sadly, its approach to celestial gender is not well reflected among the prime exemplars of the celestials: the Superiors. The fog of war grows thicker still when you consider that Steve Jackson Games was using the generic ‘he’ through the entire length of In Nomine‘s publishing run. While this choice was in line with editorial standards of the 1980s and 1990s, it is a singularly poor choice for differentiating between genderqueer, gender fluid, polygender, agender, male, and female entities.

Continue reading