One of the things I love about In Nomine is that there is no reliable narrator. Every book has doubt baked right into its pages and GMs are granted free license to make as many sweeping changes as they like.
This makes it very easy to hand wave away inconsistencies as just being different options that a game master can chose to employ.
However, it can be a lot of fun to try and reconcile the differences as we can see by looking at The Light of Heaven.
The Light of Heaven in Canon
The Liber Castellorum goes to great lengths to describe how the Light of Heaven will destroy any demon that enters celestial form, even if it only “shines” on them through the earthly side of a tether (full mechanics on Liber Castellorum p. 51).
This would seem to make it impossible for a Demon to enter Heaven, yet this is directly contradicted by Revelations III: Heaven and Hell, which point blank states that demons can enter heaven, and while there are many consequences – destruction of the celestial body are not among them (Revelations III p. 60).
So what’s really going on?
Well this is the great thing about In Nomine. It’s up to the GM. Maybe heaven does just automatically destroy demons (in which case the Rebellion must have been short indeed). Maybe it does automatically expel them. Perhaps it even does both, expelling the weak of will while destroying those it cannot just push out – or maybe it’s all hogwash. After all the demons fought a battle in heaven once before, presumably they could again.
The “Light of Heaven” as Paramilitary Group
Personally, I happen to be a fan of taking elements from all the provided source material and wrapping it together into a new whole (in which none of the core manuals are completely correct).
What if instead of being a direct manifestation of heavenly power the “light of heaven” discussed in Liber Castellorum is actually a bunch of angels who have an attunement that allows them to remain invisible to those with celestial sight, but only so long as they remain inside heaven or within a tether connected to heaven.
Suddenly we have our answer. Demons believe that their celestial form will be torn apart whenever they try to enter heaven because that’s what always happens. But it’s not a feature of heaven itself, it’s a secret group of rather obsessive angels that is actually getting in their way.
Should a demon actually enter heaven, it would follow the rules from Revelations III, not the rules from Liber Castellorum.
Who are the Light of Heaven?
There are four main possibilities that occur to me.
- A special unit of Seraphim and Malakim of the Sword. By Lawrence’s command they are stationed at the top of every known tether, regardless of which superior it is dedicated to. If you chose this option, you should vastly increase the tension between Lawrence and the other superiors, as he’s basically telling them that he doesn’t trust them to keep heaven clean of invaders.
- A covert unit of Ofanim who serve Michael. Rather than being posted at each tether, they are able to get to each tether at breakneck speeds. Under this variation, Michael and Dominic are probably even more at odds since Michael is clearly acting beyond his jurisdiction. Judgement only tolerates the activity because it keeps heaven “clean.” Of course Lawrence would have to be kept completely in the dark or he’d wan’t to replace Michael’s team with the one I outlined in option 1.
- A group of Tsayadim who are still loyal to Uriel. They are obsessed with keeping heaven pure, and will remain invisible at all times in order to make sure they are never detected. Perhaps a group of Elohim or Kyriotates. The Etherial Player’s Guide does not specify what the Powers and Dominations of Purity could do, only that they’re never found among the Tsayadim of the Marches. If these angels are ever caught, they would have to face Judgement. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that Dominic would find against them. After all the exile of purity is “self imposed” (at least within some versions of the setting).
- An entirely unique choir, the Ohr. The Ohrot were created by Lucifer on the first day and are now dedicated to keeping him and his followers out of heaven. In this variation each superior has their own set of Ohr to monitor their tethers to earth. It is the least antagonistic variation on the theme, although it does mean that certain tethers might actually be “friendlier” to a Demon in celestial form than others, and the demons would have realized this by now.
One of the consequences of this approach is that secret tethers would become a more valuable commodity – especially for Archangels who do occasionally have reasons to interact cordially with Demons.
Regardless of which superior the “Light of Heaven” is associated with, they cannot patrol a tether that they do not know about. Only in the 4th scenario, where the light of heaven is directly tied to each individual Superior, would these secret tethers be protected (and even then, only if the Superior wanted them to be).
Secret tethers would be very common under the Scenario 1. In order to be thorough, Lawrence would also be obvious – and that means that any archangel who has business that they don’t want The Sword to know about would find a way to conduct their heavenly transit in secret.
In celestial form the Ohr appear as great floating moats of light easily confused with Heaven’s natural radiance.
Resonance: The resonance of the Ohr is to destroy the darkness. The mechanics would match the description of the Light of Heaven from Liber Castellorum (p. 51). They can all also generate a light by means of will alone.
Dissonance: It is dissonant for one of the Ohrot to be beyond the direct contact of heaven. They can function within heaven itself or within a Divine Tether, but gain a note of dissonance the moment they leave and another for every ten minutes they are away.
Ohr as PC: Unless your game is centered on a specific tether, an Ohr would not make a particularly good choice for a PC – if for no other reason than that they cannot easily go traveling.
Fallen Ohr: There is no hellish equivalent to the Ohr. Too much of their power is channeled directly from Heaven. Instead, when one of the Ohr falls it become a lowly Gremlin.
Blandine – Anyone sleeping within the light of one of these Ohr may re-roll any skill roll which would move them into the realm of nightmare.
Christopher – These Ohr can create a light that is visible only to children. They mostly use this to guide a lost child to safety, or to hold the fear of the dark at bay.
David – The Light of Stone can transform themselves into gems. While in this form they cannot use their songs or resonance, but neither do they suffer dissonance for being removed from a tether.
Dominic – The Light of Judgement can use it’s resonance on any celestial with three or more ranks of Discord.
Eli – The Light of Creation are very powerful and very rare. Lucifer personally crafted each of them for Eli before the fall. Every one of these Ohr knows the Song of Creation which they can surrender to become an angel of another choir.
Gabriel – These Ohr can do Corporeal damage as well as Celestial damage.
Janus – The wind and the light do not get along well. The only benefit these Ohr gain is that they do not generate dissonance for staying in place.
Jean – Jean’s Ohr have the same attunement as his Ofanim but do not require a conductor.
Jordi – Jordi’s Ohr can mask the tracks of any animal hiding within its light.
Khalid – The Light of Faith can identify anyone who has reached their Destiny. It is rumored that they are the cause of saintly halos.
Lawrence – While in celestial form, these Ohr can do Celestial damage to a demon that is still inside a vessel.
Lithroy – The celestial X-ray machines. These Ohr can see inside of anything within their light.
Marc – Marc’s Ohr can tell the net worth of anyone bathed in their light.
Metatron – Metatron’s Ohr have all joined other superiors.
Michael – Michael’s Ohr only suffer one point of dissonance per hour instead of one for every 10 minutes.
Novalis – Plants bathed in the light of Novalis’ Ohr grow faster and stronger than any others (though it still takes quite some time).
Oannes – Oannes’ Ohr have all joined other superiors (Mostly Jean, Jordi, and Novales).
Raphael – Raphael’s Ohr have all joined other superiors (Mostly Yves and Lithroy).
Uriel – Uriel no longer has any Ohr. Those who remained in heaven joined other superiors (mostly Dominic, Lawrence, Gabriel, and Zadkiel). Those who left heaven are now Gremlins or worse.
Yves – Those bathed in the light of Yves’ Ohr can ignore all distractions while studying.
Zadkiel – The Light of Zadkiel may make a contested will roll with any demon to force it out of a tether (or Heaven).
Death – No one quite knows what ever came of the Light of Death.