Imagine if the world was nothing but horror and betrayal; if creatures from your darkest dreams could make their way freely into the margins of the world; if angels were so cold an alien that they could not dispel the shadows, just throw them into stark relief.
This is the Nightmare Sympony. It can exist as either an independent setting or as an ethereal domain. For simplicity sake, I will focus on primarily on the variation where the Nightmare Symphony is a greedy domain so deep withing Beleth’s Marches and so steeped in her personal symphony that it may as well be an extension of her own imagination.
Rather than writing up two separate versions of the Nightmare Symphony, I will be focusing on the Ethereal Domain, that is a Symphony within the Symphony. The Nightmare Symphony is essentialy cut off from the rest of the Symphony, trapped, as it is, within one of Beleth’s own bad dreams. However it does have it’s own heaven, hell, corporeal realm, and ethereal marches, so it’s always possible that a dreamer could cross over or a temporary tether could be formed.
However, this is a rare enough occurance that Asmodeus has been known to use the Nightmare Symphony as an oubliette for infernals too dangerous to roam hell freely. As such, the Nightmare Symphony tends to have a high number of destructive and Renegade demons who do not answer to any of the local authorities.
It should also be noted that the Nightmare “Heaven” is a cold and uncaring place overseen by Elders, who are typically “archangels” who have been formed from infernal forces and never redeemed. Beleth’s servitors sometimes refer to them as Schrodinger’s because it is unclear if they would actually be Angels, Demons, or so much ethereal mist should they ever actually manage to escape the Domain.
If a “True Symphony” angel passes into the Nightmare Symphony, they will be faced with a dilemma. They can either cling to the truths they brought from the outside, effectively declaring their personal symphony more valid than the one which surrounds them, which is what demons do – or they can accept the Nightmare Symphony as The Truth, retain their heavenly alignment, and become creatures of nightmare.
The Elder Angels of the Nightmare Symphony
For now I’ll just be giving an overview, but since these are the “good guys” it should give you an idea of just how rough the nightmare symphony is.
- Elder Aeneth, Nightmare Cherub of Blood
- Elder Ahnoel, Nightmare Eloha of Brilliance
- Elder Asgodel, Nightmare Mercurian of Ritual
- Elder Berirael, Nightmare Cherub of The Wild
- Elder Dewelia, Nightmare Seraph of Distraction
- Elder Faust, Nightmare Lilin of Debt
- Elder Fumarole, Lust Malak of Eruption
- Elder Haddu, Displaced Ofanite of Storms
- Elder Hamuel, Nightmare Kyriotate of Oversight
- Elder Kadmon, Nightmare Eloha of The Plan
- Elder Louis, Nightmare Malak of Sterilization
- Elder Rafiel, Nightmare Eloha of The Cruicible
- Elder Taw, Grigori of Dust
These elders were designed so that a GM could port over the abilities of existing superior(s) – but I may do some more thorough write ups in the future.
Feel free to raid the list of Former Demon Princes for ideas. Also, within the Nightmare Symphony, there may well be some Ethereals of Fear or Dread that have taken on the roles of Superiors.