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Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 12:32 AM Nick Cimitiere knew it was going to be one of those nights when the pillar of fire appeared right in the middle of Lantern Hill Cemetery. He was on his usual nightly patrol, keeping up tabs with the local shades and making sure no hideous abominations were clawing their way back from the dark corners of the universe. So far, all had seemed pretty quiet - there'd been a tide of new souls from recent passings, young enough that they hadn't quite come to terms with their deaths. Nick knew they would need help in time, but that right now, they just needed to be left alone to cope with everything. Last thing he wanted to do was pry. That, of course, had been when the giant column of flame appeared right in the middle of the graveyard, after which anything would've been subtle. He raised his arm, partially for protection and partially to shade out the immense radiance of the conflagration - and as it passed, he could see a figure at the heart of it. Soon, the flame died, drawn back in towards the figure, leaving a man in an immaculate suit standing on ground that hadn't even been charred. "I apologize for the theatrics," said the figure, "but there are... obligations." "There's always a nice peal of trumpets instead," said Nick. "I mean, I'm not smelling brimstone, so excuse me for making assumptions, but..." The man cleared his throat. "Ah, yes. That part." He rose a foot off the ground, arms spread wide. "Fear not, child of Adam. I am Eremiel, of the Lord, and I come with good tidings." Angels. They weren't usually in Nick's wheelhouse. Yes, he was good friends with Heyzel, and knew Azrael rather well - including one initially awkward dinner party - but the other operations of Heaven weren't exactly something he got involved with. "I'm... honored," he said. "Really, really surprised --" It was very hard not to use swear words in front of an angel, but Nick was making every effort possible. " -- but honored. What good tidings are we talking about?" "There is a duty to be performed," said Eremiel as he reached into his jacket. "You have been chosen to fulfill an office of Heaven. Three others still of the flesh will join you in your duties, to fulfill the functions of the station and ensure the operations of the divine plan. Come and take your token of office." Nick stepped forward, tentatively, as if he was somewhat afraid whatever Eremiel would press into his hand might bite. "So," he asked, "what are we talking about here? Am I going to be helping Azrael fill out names in his book? Because --" Then Eremiel placed the object in his hand - a key. A large one, the type of baroque model used to lock gigantic gates. The look of it - the feel of it - was strange, as if it was made of both worn ivory and polished obsidian at the same time, depending on where you kept your eyes and fingers. The teeth on the key were numerous, tiny, and looked sharp enough to cut bone. And the thing glowed under Nick's death sense - bright black, a contradiction that was the only way to describe it. Lifting it closer, he could see tiny writing running up and down the stem in a script he didn't read, but could instantly understand. A dozen names, one after the other - Sheol. Gehenna. Tartarus. Purgatory... A bit of Scripture - from the back of the book - suddenly clicked into his mind. He knew what this was the key to, a place he didn't want to open. "Oh no," he said. "Oh no, no, no..."
Gabriel, Wander, Comrade Frost, and Nick Cimitiere get invited up to Heaven to serve as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. What could possibly go wrong? First post for the thread will likely be along the lines of Nick - each member of the quartet is visited by an angel, who makes the great pronunciation and hands over the regalia of office. For Gabriel, it'll be a crown and bow; for Wander, a sword; and for Comrade Frost, a pair of scales. I had to take liberties with Nick, as Death isn't described with any real regalia except for "and Hell followed with him." In-game, each bit of regalia doesn't really boost powers - but since we've each effectively been upgraded to somewhere below god tier, it will represent a chance for two free Extra Efforts over the course of the thread, should you need them.
I am planning a character that is to be a nephilim, the offspring of a human and an angel. Mythologically, Heaven has a hate-on for nephilim; part of the moral justification of Noah's Flood was to wipe out the last of them. I want to keep that animosity a part of the character. On the other hand, we do have an actual angel rattling around somewhere and more than a few characters (and players) who have positive interactions with the denizens of Fluffy Cloud Land. So I'm looking for a way to integrate these ideas. I still want to keep the antagonism, but the killy-killy-smite part clearly won't work.