In Lilith‘s section of Liber Castellorum, there’s a comment how her children are likely looking for new tethers among the former socialist republics since the fall of the USSR. But if you look at the map of official tethers, you’ll see that communist nations have very few tethers of any superior.
The Heresy of Godless Communism posits that this due to a third power, strong as Heaven or Hell, that prevents either of the great powers from interfering in countries that have embraced state communism. Like all Liber Neglecta’s heresies, it represents a rather significant break from the canonical In Nomine setting.
Godless Communism (Ethereal Superior)
Godless Communism is the most powerful ethereal entity to emerge since Uriel‘s Purity Crusades. It would be deemed a Greater God if not for the fact that it rejects all Images (including divinity) as illusions meant to distract mankind from solving their problems.
Somehow this ideology combined with Communism’s explosive growth allowed the meme to tap into the Almighty Element.
Unlike most Ethereal Spirits, Godless Communism cannot take an ethereal form. It is too singular for what is inherently a collective entity. Instead, Godless Communism exists as a massive ethereal realm of order, industry, and solidarity. Within its own realm, communism works as intended. Everyone contributes equally, all needs are met, and there is still leisure time for each individual to pursue their own interest.
In the corporeal realm that has not worked out quite so well. However, Godless Communism still cannot take on Corporeal Form itself. Instead, it works through lesser spirits (see below), and the occasional possession of a paragon of the cause.
Lesser Spirits of Godless Communism
The agents of Godless Communism may be Ethereal Spirits, but because their Superior has Almighty Element, they are able to assume Celestial Form, use Celestial Songs, and engage in Celestial Combat just like an Angel or Demon. Unlike their superior, many do adopt an Image if necessary, often of an idealized human well suited to some type of labor.
Socialist Atheist Goetia
In order to get you started, I’ve compiled a short list of the kinds of spirits an Angel or Demon might encounter in a region dominated by Godless Communism.
All spirits of Godless Communism include at least one Element of Society (usually nation, commune, union, or soviet).
The first antagonists an Angel or Demon is likely to find after crossing the Iron Curtain is a Soviet. These entities embody the identity and ideals of the local worker’s council and empower its members.
Much like the Kyriotates, these entities can spread themselves out across multiple individuals. In fact, they can do so much more thoroughly than the Dominations of Heaven. Each Force a Soviet possesses can be disbursed, granting +1 Attribute (of the relevant Force) to 8 different people belonging to the same soviet council.
Most Soviets begin completely disbursed across anywhere from 60 to 150 people, and only start drawing themselves back into an Ethereal entity when necessary to repel Demons, Gods, or Angels.
Soviets are typically Elemental Spirits of Society, though some may incorporate elements of Life or Struggle.
Another spirit that exists in communist territories is the Stakhanovite. These spirits of exceptional skill and productivity are born from and enhance exceptional humans. Normally they stay focused on their area of specialty, but if an Angel or Demon starts muscling into their region, they may step up to join the local Soviet.
These spirits prefer to pick abilities that allow them to increase the skill or productivity of one person or brigade (though the benefits of that productivity are shared with all).
Stakhanovites typically include Elements of Life, Structure, or Technology.
All spirits of Godless Communism are equal, but some are more equal than others. Commissars are the agents of the Principles. Their objective is to educate and to discipline, but they are not above destroying intransigent counterrevolutionary spirits (including Angels and Demons).
Most Commissars can detect how well someone has adhered to communist ideals – but also what has led them to stray from those ideals. While some are of the “kill them now and reeducate the rest” camp, many will actually try to solve the problem on the ground that is causing the doubt before resorting to violence.
Should a party of Celestials outsmart, defeat, or befriend the first Soviets they encounter – a Commissar will most likely be assigned to lead the opposition against them. Unless you are specifically playing through the overthrow of the USSR, this Commissar should be powerful or wily enough to present a genuine obstacle to the party and will be able to call upon enough support to be a recurring antagonist.
Commissars typically incorporate Emotional or Informational elements.
Should a divine entity manage to pierce deeper into a Communist state, they may encounter a Principle. These tend to be similar to Seraphim, defining and re-inforcing the truths of Godless Communism. Weaker Principles (or ones still being tested) may be in service to a Commissar, but most of the time they are the ones calling the shots.
Principles are the equivalent of other pantheon’s Gods. They are all typically Elemental spirits of Society, Technology, or Structures, but some have been known to combine with other elements as fit their own particular Principle.