Recently one of my friends issued an open challenge to take this article from The Onion and turn it into a role-playing scenario. I see several different ways it could be used as an In Nomine adventure seed, but this is the one that I like the most:
Mr. Waldrip has lived his entire life in a forthright and god fearing manner. Sure, he has his occasional lapses: a tendency to drink or to lash out at those in his family, but nothing that goes beyond what’s permitted to a husband and father in the Good Book. It would legitimately shock him to learn that he is a Soldier of Hell, or that his skeptical drinking buddy Steven is really a Demon of Fate.
In fact, by his own moral standards, the worst thing Terry Waldrip has done in the past few years has been to sneak some company office supplies home with him in full knowledge that he wont really be returning them – or maybe it was the drunk driving that almost killed him, but since he went to heaven he’s pretty sure he’s been absolved of any wrongdoing that might have been associated with that event.
- 6+ Forces Split fairly evenly
- Symphonic Awareness
- Angry, Proud, Jealous
- No Songs
Mrs. Waldrip believes in her husband. She believes that he can be better and do better and berates herself for not believing in him. But sometimes, sometimes she can’t take it and just needs to escape with friends or family for a couple of days.
When she first saw the angel it renewed her faith – in herself, in her god, and in her husband. But seeing it in captivity, or shown off like a creature from the zoo saddens and outrages her. Feelings that she is profoundly ashamed of since the appearance of the angel should have strengthened her connection with her husband, not strained it even further.
- 5 Forces
- Fear (Disappointing Terry) & Fear (Upsetting Terry)
- No Songs
- May already be a subject of interest for Servitors of Gabriel
Demi & Garner Waldrip
Demi and Garner are the Waldrip children. Demi is a 12 year old tomboy, while Garner is a shy 9 year old who hasn’t really let anyone learn what his hobbies are (not even Demi). Neither is really allowed to see the Angel.
Steven is a Balersaph of Kronos. He has the ability to resonate like a Malakite, which makes it very easy for him to understand and manipulate people’s moral codes. For the past few decades he’s been looking for a way to steal an angel from heaven. Terry was his first success – or he would have been a success if he hadn’t grabbed one of the Seraphim.
Now Steven can’t even approach his prize without outing himself to Terry as an agent of Hell. What’s worse, he’s now under a clock. No doubt Heaven is marshaling its forces in response to Terry’s ill advised editorial, and even if they aren’t it’s only a matter of time before Servitors of The War move in to steal his prize out from under his nose.
It should be noted that in order to have the Malkakite resonance, Steven must also have the Malakite dissonance condition. This means he has a binding vow to suffer no evil to live when it is his choice. Of course, as a demon he interprets “evil” to mean anyone who obstructs his own plans. His other vows are to never retreat from a fight, to never betray Kronos, and to never reveal himself unnecessarily.
- Balseraph of Kronos
- 8 or 9 Forces (Mostly Celestial)
- Role 4/3 (some kind of low level professional)
- No Distinctions
- Pretends to be an Atheist, or at least an Agnostic.
The Angel Arzani
Contrary to what Terry believes, Arzani is not a Seraph. Ze’s an Elohite of Marc who realized that Terry was being manipulated and so told a little white lie to buy some time. It was an astute move, but one which may backfire if ze can’t get zirs own fear and outrage under control.
- Elohite of Marc
- 9 Forces (Mostly Ethereal)
- No Role or Vessel
- Minimal Skills (Emote, Detect Lies, and maybe 1 or 2 more)
- Only knows Celestial Songs (Generally those good for calming or welcoming)
Why Can’t Arzani Leave?
Arzani faces two major problems in fleeing zir captor. The first is that Terry’s house was built by an old sorcerer. If one were to peel away the drywall they would find the studs and cross-beams littered with wards and sigils designed to bind Celestials (feel free to have these sigils interfere with the songs and resonance of any Angel or Demon that barges in without first doing some research).
The other is that Arzani has no Celestial heart and no Corporeal Vessel. Ze was never supposed to leave heaven in the first place. This means that zir ability to interact with the mortal realm is limited, and that ze can only return if ze finds his way to a heavenly Tether. Unfortunately, since Arzani was not on assignment to the region, ze has no idea where those tethers are located. It also means that Marc cannot use locate Arzani by means of zir Angelic Heart.
- The Waldrip House has a Permanent Ward (Corporeal Player’s Guide p.41)
Moving Heaven and Hell
Heaven’s priority is freeing Arzani. Even if dealing with Terry wasn’t the secondary concern, there is some disagreement in heaven as to how he should be dealt with. Some want to study him, some want to redeem him, and want to see him hurt. If there are PC angels in the area, they will probably be given the task of rescuing Arzani. Otherwise the rescue will be mounted by Marc and Lawrence, with Dominic and Jean potentially sending “observers” to secure Terry (and Janus sending someone to sneak him away).
Hell’s priorities are pretty much the other way around. While they would be happy to claim Arzani, (especially if the Celestial does fall), they’re really more interested in Mr. Waldrip. If Hell could find a way to kidnap angels en masse, they could potentially fight the last battle on turf of their choosing. Given the military implications of this discovery, there will likely be at least one “recovery team” from Baal. Steven Nabataean will approach any PC Infernals about forming a second, and if you really want to make things hectic, Nybbas could be forming a third in an attempt to make Terry Waldrip famous (and make Angels into a laughing stock).
Returning to Heaven
Terry is convinced that he is bound for heaven. So long as he doesn’t commit murder or do anything “really sinful” without seeking confession afterwards, he considers himself to be in the clear. Unfortunately for him, in kidnapping an angel he fulfilled his Dark Fate. If there’s one place he is not going, it’s heaven.
Arzani is much less sure about zir fate. Ze can feel the dissonance growing every time ze wants to punish Terry – and so ze stifles the impulses… for now.
If the angels do rescue Arzani, ze will likely become a regular at one of the local angelic tethers – where ze will be working off zir dissonance until ze is ready to return to heaven and stand before Judgement.
From Arzani to Anarzhan
If the party takes too long to act Arzani will fall. Terry and Hazel will have an altercation that leaves at least one dead. Arzani will never be heard from again but the rogue Habbalite Anarzhan may make an occasional appearance from time to time.