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Samael-SigilEvery so often I make a goof.

In this case, it was the introduction of Samael into a system that already had a Sammael.

If someone else had generated a duplicate like this, I would have considered it a continuity error until a better explanation had been provided.

I will offer two. First, and explanation of how the error occurred – and second an explanation of how the apparent redundancy could be resolved.

What Happened?

While I was preparing to write my 2nd article on Belial’s Duchies, I decided to look through The Dictionary of Demons to see which “real world” demons were associated with Fire.

Samael topped the list: powerful, well known, and with an interesting suite of purported powers and responsibilities from poisoning to the instruction of jurisprudence. Naturally, I conducted a search of the site to see if “Samael” already existed; and with that spelling it did not.

At around the same time I was looking up the Qliphoth on Wikipedia – and again Samael appeared. This time as one of the possible lords of Golachab: The Burning Bodies.

The fit seemed perfect.

However, web searches only look for exact matches. Samael does not show up anywhere in the canon materials – but Sammael is listed in the Infernal Player’s Guide as one of the more notable Calabim, and as The Demon of Poison.

This association also makes sense, as “Samael” or “Sammael” are sometimes translated as “The Poison of God.” When I first built the court pages, I had speculated that this word would put Sammael in the court of Saminga. This was also in error. In the entry on the Songs of Poison, the Liber Canticorum reveals that while Sammael may have served other masters in the past – the demon now serves Fleurity, Demon Prince of Drugs.

A Tale of Two Sam(m)aels

The easiest solution is to remove the Samael I introduced from the setting. It was my error, and the Duchy of Golachab does not actually appear in any official In Nomine materials.

And that solution may very well be the best for your game (especially if you have never introduced Duke Samael to your players).

It’s not the solution I’m embracing.

I would instead suggest that the Calabite Sammael is the “child” of the Djinn Samael, created with the blessing of Saminga and to serve that lord (at least until Fleurity’s elevation). While Samael settled into the role of burning bodies – Sammael was free to roam the earth, expanding both Samael’s fame and the Word of Poison.

The delightful thing about this approach is that it opens up two more questions:

  1. Who was the Calabite who contributed more Forces than either Samael or Saminga? (In demon lore, Samael consorted with Lilith, perhaps some hapless Calabite was so in debt to her that they needed to sacrifice some Forces to get clear).
  2. Does this mean that Samil (another common variation on the name) actually respresent a second child? And if so, what is that child up to?

What do you think?

CN: rape, incest, & murder