Catholic catechism indicates that the Deadly Sins are opposed by the Heavenly Virtues. In the world of In Nomine, that means the Malakim. If you chose to implement this philosophy in your game, a large portion of the opposition to each Prince of Sin will be coordinated by one of the Virtues.
I say a large portion because Demon Princes are Superiors. No matter how competent Wordbound Servitors are, they cannot successfully oppose the Lords of Hell by themselves. Even so, introducing such dedicated opponents will afford your players more opportunities for guidance and coordination (if angelic) or a less invulnerable antagonist (if demonic).
The “Virtue of” Test
In order to determine which Superior a Wordbound Malakite will follow I begin by constructing the following sentence:
- [Servitor’s Word] is a virtue of [Superior’s Word]
If the sentence makes sense, that Superior will be one of the top candidates for the Wordbound Virtue’s service. If none fit, I move on to a second construction:
- [Servitor’s Word] is a virtue of [Superior]
If I still can’t find a fit I will consider changing the angel to another choir. However, if that’s not an option I will use my best judgment.
These virtues were identified as the cornerstones to a virtuous life centuries before Catholic philosophers started adopting and extolling them. They should be old and powerful even if Lawrence is not actively using them against the Princes of Hell.
Prudence – Since prudence is concerned with discerning good from evil, I consider Prudence to be a Virtue of Yves.
Justice – Justice is a virtue of Judgment. It is probably the perfect “virtue of” example. There is truly nothing else that makes sense in that sentence.
Temperance – This is a tricky one. Temperance is a virtue of metal, making both Stone and The Sword good choices. It is also one of the core traits associated with Cassiel (whom I am in the process of styling as the Archangel of Tears). Any of these three would work, but I lean toward The Sword.
Courage – Also a bit tough. Courage is a virtue of both Faith and War. I would probably tend towards making him a Servitor of Michael, but one who maintained open communications with Khalid even as that Archangel entered his self-imposed exile.
By a quirk of circumstance none of the Theological Virtues ended up as Malakim within the In Nomine universe.
Faith – Khalid is the Archangel of Faith. According to In Nomine canon he is an Elohite (though perhaps he took the Malakim Vows after pulling himself back from the Fall).
Hope – Emmanuel, Angel of Hope, has been identified as the first of the Menunim. If you intend to do away with that choir in your game then by all means make Hope a virtue of Dreams.
Love – There is exactly one word that In Nomine has explicitly stated that nobody in heaven holds, and that word is Love. Not even “Light” carries the same burden (although I think it’s a safe bet that the Seraphim Council would think twice before letting anyone take up Lucifer’s old mantle).
The seven virtues outlined above informed Catholic thought on a virtuous life, but did not define it. Certain aspects of these virtues were emphasized over others in order to better oppose the Deadly Sins.
Chastity – Which most certainly was a Virtue of the Sword for a time was set opposite Lust.
Temperance – This Malakite stands opposite Gluttony.
Charity – Originally a Virtue of Faith but with some strong modern ties to Trade. He opposes Mammon and always has.
Diligence – Probably a Dominion (Kyriotate) of Protection rather than a Malakite of anything. Still, there’s no reason why she couldn’t have stood along side the Virtues in opposing Sloth.
Patience – A Virtue of Stone, Flowers, or Destiny. Since she opposes Wrath, I tend towards putting her in Novalis’ camp.
Kindness – A Virtue of Faith. Sure it’s faith in others rather than faith in the divine, but that’s still the providence of Khalid. He opposes Envy.
Humility – Humility is a Virtue of Judgement, and perhaps one of his most self-reflective servitors. He combats Pride. Dominic likely played a role in getting him to displace Courage.
In Service to Faith and the Sword
While Khalid was limiting his blessings to Muslims, many of these Virtues wanted nothing to do with him. Now that he has taken a more equitable view, Malakim from every corner of Heaven have been begun to coordinate with him.
However, the Malakim in this list also play a special role in The War if they are responsible for coordinating actions against the Princes of Sin. As such they are expected to liaise and coordinate with Lawrence. Each of them holds one of The Sword’s Command-level Distinctions (even if Lawrence does not get along with their Superior).
But What About…
Innumerable virtues did not make this list. If you’re wondering how I would treat one of your favorites, feel free to ask in the comments below.