Tags

, , , ,

Murillo's Saint Raphael

Saint Raphael the Archangel by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

“The world knows its answer. Admitting it would mean no more questions.”

In many ways Raphael was both the lightest and darkest of all angels to survive the war. Like Metatron (and perhaps Yves) she was privy to the mind of God. While she frequently wore the guise of childlike wonder and encourages such among her servitors, at her core Raphael was cold, secretive, and mendacious. Rather than advising and tutoring the agents of heaven, she served as their tactician and spymistress.

Raphael lied and prevaricated more than any other Archangel. She employed blackmail, arranged assassinations, and even engineered the fall of angels with an icy and inexorable logic that still ultimately led to the benefit of heaven. On more than one occasion she absented herself from heaven shortly before being detained for formal inquisition only to turn herself just in time for the interrogation to prove irrelevant.

While this has strained her relationship with Dominic, the pair still work well together. Raphael may not provide him (or anyone else) with a straight answer – but they always seem to find their own way to it more easily when she is around. Jean is the only superior she is known to speak plainly with and Yves seems to have no problem following her riddles and responding in kind.

For a long time no one understood why she encouraged her Servitors towards inquiry rather than sharing her knowledge directly. In retrospect, many Angels suspect she foresaw her own demise and used her time in heaven to train her replacements in the skills they would need to carry on in her absence.

Design Notes

Much as with Metatron and Enoch, it would be understandable for game masters to want to make Raphaelites NPC only. However, up until her death she played a fairly active role in Heaven’s affairs, so I’ve aimed for powers roughly in line with what is offered by the other superiors.

In angel lore Raphael is typically an angel of healing, but In Nomine has filled that role with Novalis. I’ve given her out-of-game legacy a couple of subtle nods, but it is not central to her design.

Dissonance

An Angel of Knowledge should know the consequences of their actions and take responsibility for them. It is dissonant for an Angel of Knowledge to deny their involvement in an act or situation.

Choir Attunements

Seraphim – Raphael’s Seraphim know the truth, they do not need to perceive it. Such an angel may use their Intelligence in place of their Perception.

Cherub(restricted) – These Cherubs are more connected to ideas than they are to objects. They still suffer dissonance if something they are attuned to is destroyed, but they can spend a point of Essence to immediately gain a new attunement to an intellectual echo or legacy if this happens (e.g. a professor’s research notes or prized pupil).

Ofanim – Raphael’s Ofanite servitors instinctively know their way around any archive, library, lab or database. Improve the TN of investigation or secondary research rolls this Angel makes by their Celestial Forces.

Elohim(partially restricted) – Whenever one of the Elohim of Knowledge is asked a question, they can tell how their answer will be received. Those with the Elohite Resonance can use it in conjunction with this ability in order to elicit a specific reaction (within reason).

Malakim – The Virtues of Knowledge are never, ever surprised. These Angels may spend a point of Essence to take an action before combat begins.

Kyriotates(restricted) – Rafael’s Thrones are among heaven’s best eavesdroppers. In addition to the ability to possess a host, they can also “bug” one. This requires only one Force (though a Will roll is still required when bugging an unwilling or unaware target). The Kyriotate will share all the target’s senses but will be unable to influence their actions.

Mercurians – The Friends of Man who serve Raphael can tell what a mortal most needs, much like the Daughters of Lilith. They cannot impose a Geas for meeting that need (but there are plenty of other ways they can trade on such knowledge).

Grigori – Raphael never abandoned her Watchers. Indeed it was their report that alerted the Angels of Knowledge to the danger presented by Legion. Any Grigori who serves Raphael can recognize her agents (both legitimate and illicit) and can always get word to her, no matter the circumstances.*

It is entirely possible that her Grigori can still contact her. Even though Raphael is dead, she is still theoretically capable of action through the past. Such is the power of omniscience.

Bright Lilim – The Archangel of Knowledge was actually one of the Superiors most likely to accept Lilim into her ranks (not all of them Bright). With a successful Perception roll these Celestials can spot owned and owed geases.

Servitor Attunements

Anatomy of Ages – Healing is the one area where Raphael is not reticent to share her knowledge. Any Essence spent on a curative skill or song may instead be treated as three points of Essence.

Borrowed Eyes – Angels who have the Borrowed Eyes attunement can spend Essence while in the presence of someone with damaged senses in order to perceive through those senses for a number of hours equal to the essence spent.

Redact – This angel may spend Essence whenever they share information in order to blank out the memory of that information. The essence must be spent immediately, but the redaction can be postponed if the listener has a need to know. Any memories directly relevant to the information will fail and transcripts and recordings will be unintelligible for anyone whose Ethereal Forces are less than the Essence spent. However, people can still remember their reactions to the information and can learn it again through other sources. Using this ability to avoid responsibility for an act will cause dissonance.

Distinctions

Vassal of Knowledge – An angel of any distinction under Raphael will have perfect recall. They do not need to roll Intelligence to remember anything that they have read or experienced first hand.

notes

Certain knowledge may be inherently dissonant. Using Master of the Mind of God to “Remember” Lucifer’s personal reasons for rebelling would be one of the shortest possible routes to hell.

Friend of Lore – Raphael’s Friends have learned what not to say or think for the benefit of the Symphony. They cannot be compelled to speak by any means (assume success on all relevant Will checks) nor can the subject of their silence be taken from their minds.

Master of the Mind of God – Only Raphael’s most trusted Servitors are elevated to to the rank of Master. Like Raphael herself these angels have the potential to remembering anything, even things they have never learned or experienced and which they have no business knowing. To activate this ability the angel must spend three Essence and succeed on an Intelligence roll. Information that would be hard or impossible to come by can have a higher than normal CD and/or Essence requirement.

Relations

Allied: Jean, Yves
Associated: Dominic, Michael
Enemies: Uriel

Rites

Yves has several rites that deal with knowledge rather than chance or destiny. I would use those.

Invocation

notes

Raphael will never appear after her death. However, successful invocation may still allow a conversation of sorts (see the Easter Egg conversation in the Doctor Who episode “Blink“).

Chance of Invocation: 2
Chance after Death: -4

Invocation Modifiers

+1 A palimpsest or cypher
+2 Acing an examination
+3 A national census
+4 A functional scriptorium
+5 Intelligence headquarters
+6 The Library of Alexandria, Tower of Babbel, or equivalent

Advertisements