Dumah is one of the Symphony’s great enigmas. He is silence in a cosmos defined by harmony and discord. He is an embodiment of truths (or of lies) yet never speaks. He hosts and consults with angels and demons alike. In Nomine canon provides no insights into this Celestial so everything that follows is my own creation.
Like all Seraphim and Balseraphs, Dumah appears like a majestic serpent wreathed in wings – but there is a stillness about him, as if the Symphony were far away. The louder someone tries to speak, the softer their voice comes out. Resonance does not work in his presence unless he allows it. Songs and attunements also tend to fail. Yet even amid this stillness, his calm silence speaks more eloquently than most people’s words.
Regardless of whatever else he may be, Dumah can also be considered a lesser Superior.
The Mansions of Silence
Like the Angels of Final Judgement who guards the gates to hell, Dumah is powerful enough to make even the Princes of Hell think twice before engaging in an open conflict. It is perhaps for this reason and this reason alone that he was able to lay claim to the Mansions of Silence – a great sprawling manor built by the Princess of Oblivion before her destruction at the hands of Haagenti.
The Mansions of Silence are very unsettling to anyone visiting them for the first time. Many of the hallways are completely devoid of sound. Not even resonance or song works within them.
There are five major wings to the Mansions
- The Hostel, an embassy to heaven and a safe haven for Renegades
- The Barracks, where Dumah’s infernal servitors reside
- The Ossuary, a place from which few Celestials return
- The Still, where Dumah harvests essence from condemned souls
- The Tower, where Dumah himself lives
Dumah has very few servitors of his own. However, there are a handful of angels and several legions of demons from other Superiors who are in service to him. Almost all of them are there to learn some of Dumah’s secrets. When all of existence is a Symphony, few truly feel comfortable in Silence.
However, those who are dedicated enough may take Dumah’s dissonance condition and gain his Rites. Those who remain loyal might also some day acquire his Servitor Attunements or Distinctions.
- It is dissonant for a Servitor of Silence to vocalize in any way (this includes the use of Songs).
- Silence a crying baby
- Spend an hour immersed in complete silence
- Spend 24 hours without hearing a single voice
- Add Corporeal Forces to Move Silently
- Add Ethereal Forces to Tracking
- Add Celestial Forces to Emote
- Knight Taciturn / Vassal of Quiescence – Able to understand and communicate in all forms of sign language and semaphore.
- Captain Quietus / Friend of Stillness – Add Celestial Forces to one’s Role for the purposes of suppressing a disturbance in the symphony.
Dumah has named no Barons nor elevated any Masters, but the generally accepted wisdom among those in his service is that this is the point at which he will impart the secret of his immunity to resonance and attunements. More likely he will reveal the secret of using Songs without making a sound.
The Story of Silence
There is no Canon for Dumah, which means that he could have any backstory you desire. The following are my five favorites:
Seraph of Knowledge
After Raphael’s death and the hands of Makatiel, Jean and Yves gathered most of her senior lieutenants together to divvy up her stored knowledge and settle her affairs. This was both a burden and an honor for those who served Knowledge best – but for some it was a heavier burden than others.
Unfortunately for Dumah, he was saddled with one of the most terrible burdens of all – a truth that if spoken aloud would shake the very foundations of Heaven. For the first time ever he found himself torn between his loyalty to the silver city and his seraphic connection with The Truth.
The only way Dumah could keep faith with both heaven and the truth was to forswear speech altogether. Such behavior was deemed highly suspicious and Dominic tried to compel Raphael’s lieutenant to stand before the Seraphim Council and give an account of himself, but Yves managed to influence the Council first. Instead of questioning Dumah, they granted him Silence.
Unable to compel Dumah to betray his new word, Dominic instead had the new Angel of Silence assigned to his service. Thus, while Dumah remained a Servitor of Knowledge he found himself standing in wordless judgment over Heaven itself.
Rather than see his love of the silver city tarnish, he fled to the only place where Dominic would be loathe to follow. He fled into Hell – where he still keeps heaven’s secrets as the Angel of Silence.
Balseraph of Secrets
It is entirely possible that the secret truth Dumah discovered was too much for him, and keeping it gradually increased his discord until all he could hear was the twisted whispering of Secrets. Dumah’s unique nature may have made this conversion difficult to detect, but it would explain why he no longer returns to Heaven.
As a Balseraph of Secrets, Dumah nominally serves Alaemon – though the later would be hard pressed to compel his “servitor.” Given his origins, Dumah may actually know more than his Superior. This version of Dumah is also more willing to share his knowledge, though the patience to learn from one who does not speak is not a hallmark of the infernal.
In addition to maintaining the Mansions of Silence, Dumah serves as one of Alaemon’s war commanders.
Seraph of Death
In this variation, Dumah is one of Death’s most trusted servitors. While the other agents of Death spend their days observing and ease the passing of mortals and their dreams, Dumah is tasked with overseeing the end of The Symphony itself.
It is a terrible Destiny. One which Dumah may still be trying to comes to terms with.
It also gives an explanation of why he is unwelcome in Heaven. Not only is his Superior in exile, but the end of all things is rarely a source of comfort to those who peddle eternity.
Balseraph of Oblivion
What I wrote previously about acquiring the Mansions of Silence after Mariel’s death is a lie. They were actually a gift given by the Princess of Oblivion given in exchange for Dumah’s loyalty.
No record of this betrayal exists, and Dumah’s Word ensures that none shall ever hear or speak of it.
As with the previous variation, Dumah represents the end of all existence, though he may also be quietly testing his disciples to see which would be worthy of questing into the belly of Haagenti to rescue Mariel from the brink of herself.
Remnant of Metatron
Just as Angels forget their heavenly nature when they lose their last Celestial Force and wander the world in the guise of simple mortals, so too did Metatron forget his connection to God when he was defeated by Lucifer.
Yet even in defeat Metatron was more powerful than any common angel. Without his own name he adopted that of “Dumah” and fled from the painful memories evoked by the silver city.
Even in hell Dumah keeps his distance from the other Superiors, as those whom he knew as archangels (Lucifer, Andrealphus, Baal, and Beleth) can still fill him with anguish and dread. Thankfully, they do not yet know of this weakness or they would gladly use it to torment their one time foe.
- The only reason why Dumah is allowed to keep The Hostel is because it is filled with Asmodean spies.
- Beleth knows why Dumah does not speak but will not share the knowledge.
- The Ossuary is not a place, but rather Princess Mariel’s heart. Those who survive it seek Haagenti’s Oblivion.
- Dumah did not lose his voice, Valefor stole it.