The Vapula Ascendant setting is based upon “The Machine” variation proposed for Vapula in Superiors 4.
Hell may once have existed as Dante imagined it, but no longer. With the rise of the machine and power of the internet revealed, hell is fast becoming a nightmare ripped from the mind of William Gibson.
Autonomous vehicles fly from principality to principality, driven by computers, and powered by bits of soul stolen from demons in order to pay for their cybernetic enhancements. Neuro-interface ports allow demons and the damned to access a nearly bottomless array of skills, songs, porn and bile. The internal data systems controlling this information are only imperfectly connected, resulting in a robust online spy trade between the principalities (and some other infernal factions which the technology has empowered).
Vapula, as the originator of all this technology, is the primary target of such online crime, but also the principle beneficiary of his technology’s pervasiveness (it’s hard to keep secrets from a demon who has been granted access to your mind in exchange for streaming videos and a suped up Wikipedia).
The Trinity of CyberHell
Together the three of them form the new Trinity and the rest of hell owes them at least nominal fealty.
The Second Circle
Immediately beneath the new Trinity is the second circle of superiors. These are the ones who have either adapted best to the new paradigm, or who are considered essential to perpetuating it. The second circle includes Ba’al, Beleth, and Nybbas.
Valefor has also found a place of some prominence given his servitors ability to get in and out of data systems undetected, but his authority rests almost entirely outside the official chain of command.
As Vapula’s devices have spread throughout hell, so has his bias against Calabim. Not only are “the glitch” (as they are now known) unable to reliably use technology on their own behalf, but their very presence tends to make other’s technology misfire.
As such, they are mostly barred from any position of rank or import and have formed something of an underclass in hell.
Belial, Haagenti, and Valefor have therefore become the defacto leaders of the disaffected. Furfur, on the other hand, backs the new order – there’s no way he’s taking Hardcore acoustic. This has earned him the unfortunate nickname “Prince of Sellouts,” at least among the woke Calabim.
While Calabim have diminished by the Vapula’s ascendancy, Shedim have been shown the way to one of their long time goals. By possessing a distributed system, the Shedite can split their consciousness almost as well as a Kyriotate. This can be considered a upgrade on Vapula’s Shedite attunement, other Shedim must spend 10 CP to learn it.
How it works:
- Every host beyond the distributed system must have at least one cybernetic enhancement
- At least one Force must be left in the distributed system for each other host
However, if the distributed system goes down the demon will be immediately ejected from every host except the largest, and even that one will gain a bonus roll to resist the demon.
Rather than work up a whole list of cybernetic enhancements – assume that every song known to Vapula is available as a cybernetic device that may require the sacrifice of a limb or organ in order to install. This may reduce the scope of the song. For example, a cybernetic arm with Might will can only boost damage on attacks made with that arm. Be sure to adjust the CP cost of the artifact for both limitations in scope and for permanent sacrifices required for installation.
You may recently have heard of studies made to determine whether or not the universe is actually just a giant simulation. Whether or not Vapula is behind them, he watches the studies with great interest. If humanity as a whole begins to accept the idea, Vapula would be able to take advantage of his vast processors to seize control of the simulation – essentially placing him in charge of the Symphony and all within it.
The Role of Lightning
With Hell pushing the advance of technology so vociferously – something must be prefenting it’s wholesale spread into the mortal world. That something is Jean. While the Elohite may still occasionally attempt to slip a beneficial advance into the mortal world, most of his efforts are in the realm of regulation: trying to keep infernal techonology suppressed until humans have at least developed a cultural and legislative framework that will keep it from taking over everything.