If you’ve ever taken a close look at Jordi’s Choirs Attunements, you’ll have noticed something was missing. There’s no choir to represent bears, or goats, or horses, or moles, &c. For an Archangel dedicated animals, it’s a rather large and glaring gap in his jurisdiction and representation.
The easy fix is to say that predators are represented by Malakim and any other unspecified animal by Cherubim. But why go for an easy fix when a complex one will do?
My first thought was to associate the seven choirs with different branches of the phylogenetic tree. But after I actually looked at the tree and reminded myself how messy real biological classification is, I thought better of that approach.
Perhaps somewhere there is an Ofanite of the Phylogenetic Tree, but it does not represent a good model for assigning the choirs.
Creatures of the Fifth Day
Since scientific categories are a bad fit. I turned next to the Bible. In Nomine is inspired by the Abrahamic tradition, so it seems as good a place to look as any – and there actually is a pretty good sorting of creatures in the Book of Genesis:
- Sheretzim, literally things that swarm, but generally fish, and flying insects
- Tanninim, “sea monsters” such as whales and crocodiles
- Oph, birds and other large winged animals
- Chayyah, the beasts of the earth
- Behemah, livestock and large herbivores
- Remes, things which creep (mostly rodents, lizards, worms and snakes)
Lucky us. Seven categories of creature, and personally I think they align rather well with the seven choirs. They don’t even require all that much deviation from the core In Nomine System.
How to match angelic Choirs with the creatures from Genesis:
- Seraphim with Tanninim
- Cherubim with Behemah
- Ofanim with Oph
- Elohim with Remes
- Malakim with Chayyah
- Kyriotates with Sheretzim
- Mercurians with Man
While there are still animals that don’t fit cleanly into any of these categories, the gaps are much smaller than they were with sea creatures, cats, birds, lizards, dogs, insects and monkeys.
Why is Jordi a Kyriotate?
Since Jordi is a Kyriotate, it means that he can possess several vessels at once. However, this does not tell us anything about him (at least not in the way that Gabriel being an Ofanim tells us that she needs to move from place to place to keep the grief and madness from consuming her).
Personally, I look to which animals Jordi delegated to his own choir. Whether you use the book (insects) or my variation (sheretzim), the implication is that Jordi associates “animals” with “tiny things that swarm.” And in all fairness, compared to an Archangel, the creatures of the earth probably are tiny things that swarm, but it does betray a rather condescending outlook.
With this as a starting point, it’s rather clear why Jordi took exception to Man being placed above angels (they’re only creatures). In fact, the real question is why didn’t Jordi join the rebellion. While you may have to find your own answer, the one that fits for me is that Jordi is amoral. As far as Jordi is concerned, wrong only means out of synch with his understanding of the Symphony, it does not mean that something must be righted.
If you adopt this viewpoint, Jordi isn’t anti-human, he just can’t comprehend them and doesn’t want to.
What about Ariel?
According to In Nomine canon, Ariel is the Angel of Birds. Birds are associated with the Ofanim. Naturally it would seem to follow that Ariel is an Ofanite.
Like Jordi, he’s a Kyriotate.
Now we could have a whole Word populated with assholes who consider the creatures they are set over to be beneath them, but I don’t like that approach. I suspect Ariel was made into an Kyriotate so that he could control more than one creature at a time (since it seems rather limiting for the Angel of all Birds to be limited to a single mallard or dove). I handle that obstacle in another way. Rather than allowing Wordbound angels to ignore the choir associations, I have given Jordi an additional Servitor Attunement. One that he normally reserves for Angels who have gained either a Word or a Distinction.
Soul of the Wild – This angel may split their forces like a Kyriotate to possess multiple hosts or vessels so long as every host or vessel is of their choirs’ associated species.
My Ariel is an Ofanite, but since he has Soul of the Wild he is frequently mistaken for a Kyriotate.
Demons and Animals
When In Nomine came out animals were considered to be amoral actors driven mostly by instinct. Not having the choice between a Destiny and Fate, they were admitted into heaven without condition. Recent research questions that assuption. It has been demonstrated that some animals take pleasure from cruelty (the dolphin springs to mind) and others will ostracize members their community who do not adhere to social norms and courtesies.
As such I do have the occasional animal go to hell instead of heaven. However, I do not have a seperate “demon of beasts.” In my mind the determining factor is how an animal behaves relative to it’s own species and ecosystem, not whether or not it is a hazard to humanity.