Before the rebellion in heaven neither Michael nor Baal had any association with War, and in truth there was barely any war to be associated with.
Part of what makes Michael a particularly exceptional Archangel is that he was able to change his word without being torn apart in the process. Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that he expanded his word to encompass that of his former friend (much like a lesser angel can have their word expended to cover related concepts as they grow more powerful), but there had been no precedent for this kind of a change.
What follows are my thoughts regarding the Choir Attunements for both of these Archangels from before the fall.
Michael, Archangel of Might (non-canon)
Michael was the first Archangel created after Yves came into being. However, he did not become the Archangel of War until after Lucifer declared his Rebellion. Prior to that expansion of his Word, he was the Archangel of Might. It was in this role that he crafted the other Archangels for Yves to name, and assisted them as they played their role in Creation.
When Michael was given his new assignment, he quickly adapted several of Baal’s Attunements for the newly coined Angels of War – but at that time many still used the Attunements of Might outlined below.
Baal, Archangel of Valor
Prior to falling Baal was the Archangel of Valor. He and Michael were practically inseparable, each attempting to prove the superiority of his word and calling to the other. Ultimately, though, Michael did not truly see the value of Baal’s focus on conflict until after the Fall.
In Nomine does not define what Michael’s word was before he gained War. I chose Might because of how well it fits his personality.
|Superior||Michael, Archangel of Might||Baal, Archangel of Valor|
|Seraphim||Stronger than any other angels, the Seraphim of Might could spend 1 Essence before any Strength based roll to add their Celestial Forces to a successful Check Digit.||The Seraphim of Valor can see through the lies and uncertainty that cause fear. They cannot be frightened or intimidated.|
|Cherubim||[restricted] Michael’s early Cherubim could share their strength with the subjects of their attunement, spending their own Essence to enhance the other’s rolls.||Same as Cherub of War (In Nomine 130)|
|Ofanim||The Wheels of Might were masters of collision. While moving at speed they gained Resistance equal to their Corporeal Forces.||Same as Ofanite of War (In Nomine 130)|
|Elohim||Same as Elohite of War (In Nomine 131)||Same as Elohite of The Sword (In Nomine 127)|
|Malakim||It is unclear if any of Michael’s servitors took the Malakite oaths before the Archangel of War. If they did, then use Seraphim of War (In Nomine 130)||Baal had no Malakim – However, if Baal did have any Virtues he would have given them the attunement Michael ultimately chose. Use Malakite of War (In Nomine 131)|
|Kyriotate||When attempting to possess a host, Michael’s early Dominations could only be resisted by an intervetion.||Same as Kyriotate of War (In Nomine 131)|
|Mercurian||Same as Mercurian of War (In Nomine 131)||Same as Impudite of The War (In Nomine 163)|
|Grigori||Michael’s Grigori should be defined by his foe. If Baal did not fall, I have no clue what Michael’s Grigori would be like.||Baal had no Grigori – However, if he did, they probably would have had the same attunement as the Elohim of War (In Nomine 131)|
|Bright Lilim||Same as Bright Lilim of War (Superiors I 105)||Same as Lilim of The War (In Nomine 163)|
Michael and Baal are nothing if not consistent. Their distinctions remain the same (though the names of Baal’s distinctions would have a more heavenly bent
Servitors of Valor: Where are they now?
Almost all the servitors of Valor followed Baal into rebellion and fell along with him. Those still allied with heaven either joined Michael or Uriel, or else were forced to swear the Malakite Oaths. When Uriel was recalled to the higher heavens, the Valorous in his care joined Lawrence, Khalid, or the Tsayadim.
What if Baal never fell?
Baal’s fall is central to the story of In Nomine. If he had not fallen, someone else would have had to lead the armies of the rebellion. Michael is the next most likely choice, but if you’re just going to have the two of them swap roles, there’s not really much point in making the change (as they’re pretty much mirrors of each other anyway).
The next most likely candidates in my mind would be Asmodeus or Camael. The first choice would have treated the War like just another game, while the second would would be a wild and emotional leader, throwing wave after wave of the fallen against heaven until it became clear that victory was impossible… at which point he’d start into a grand sulk.
Baal the Ethereal
It is entirely possible that Baal was always an Ethereal – and I do intend to investigate this idea more in a future post. However, whether he was or not, he certainly spent a good deal of time pretending to be an Ethereal, and even went so far as to join one of the pre-christian pantheons.
I like to think that he prepared his ethereal bolt-hole in advance. Rather than falling to Hell like the other rebels, he retreated to his safe haven in the Marches once it became clear that Lucifer’s side would not win the initial engagement. Once Lilith opened the first tethers to Hell, Baal strode in like a conquering hero, completely untouched by the madness and infighting between the initial denizens of the nether realm.
Bryan Gustafson said:
so how would you change the mechanics if Ophis was the leader of the war? would you define him as the most powerful tool of Asmodeus or Camael, or is it possible for him to take baal’s position for himself? the entry in IPG only gives the name and i’ve already read other mythology books on him.