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The Tzevaot - The Heavenly Host, the Abrahamic Pantheon

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  • #16
    I was giving Lilith Fecundity and Dominance as well - but RAW those are both “creative” Virtues... giving her Rapacity or Submission (HAH!) are both obviously wrong though! Might be the best call just to ignore that rule. Or give her Rapacity and Fecundity and assume she’s almost always at the Fecundity end of the scale.


    Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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    • #17
      Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
      I was giving Lilith Fecundity and Dominance as well - but RAW those are both “creative” Virtues... giving her Rapacity or Submission (HAH!) are both obviously wrong though! Might be the best call just to ignore that rule. Or give her Rapacity and Fecundity and assume she’s almost always at the Fecundity end of the scale.
      Or you can give her a pantheon virtue, after all she wasn’t always a Titan


      .

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      • #18
        The Pantheon Virtues are, spoilers, not exactly suitable for Lilith - neither Righteousness and Obedience really fits her.

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        • #19
          Radio silence has been because life's been real busy for me.

          Birthrights

          Creatures

          Golem (3)
          The Golem of Prague is merely the most famous, but the power of Kabbalah and the will of God can animate quite a few clay men and women. Golems are not, generally, particularly intelligent, and they tend to be rather literal in their interpretation of anything told to them. They are unable to speak and are generally shapeless humanoids rather than particularly human-looking, though this is not always true - it depends on the sculptor. They are nearly indestructible when going about their duties, but their weakness is well known: the word. Inscribed on every golem, typically on the forehead, is the Hebrew word אמת, “truth.” By erasing the aleph, this becomes מת, “death,” and the golem is left lifeless.

          Primary Pool; 9 dice (Manual labor, standing guard, directly obeying simple instructions)
          Secondary: 7 dice (Fighting, making things)
          Desperation: 5 dice
          Health: 3
          Defense: 3
          Soft Armor: 3
          Initiative: 6
          Qualities: Unstoppable, Heavily Armored, Invulnerability (Small Arms, Except to the Carved Word), Vulnerability (Called Shots to the Carved Word), Imperfect Disguise


          Re’em (2)
          The re’em is also known to some as an aurochs, the great parent of all cattle, and to others as a unicorn. However, the actual beast is closer to cow than to horse - though it is neither, quite. Cows don’t get that big, usually. The first of the re’em was as large as a mountain, and its mere droppings were large enough to dam a river. To survive the Flood, Noah had to strap the re’em by its horns to the Ark, for it could not fit inside. King David once mistook a sleeping re’em for a hillside and climbed it, and he could only get down after he prayed to be saved and the Most High sent a lion, which made the respectful re’em kneel before the king of beasts.

          Primary Pool: 6 dice (Travelling, feats of strength and size)
          Secondary: 4 dice (Fighting, eating vast amounts)
          Desperation: 3 dice
          Health: 2
          Defense: 2
          Initiative: 5
          Qualities: Stand Tall, Sure Footed, Unstoppable

          Shamir (5)
          The Shamir is the most blessed worm in all of existence. It is a tiny creature, but has great power, for no substance can stand against - it can cut diamond and iron as easily as stone and earth. King Solomon called upon the Shamir to carve the blocks that were used to build the Great Temple of Jerusalem, for the Most High decreed that such blocks must not be carved with iron or steel, the metals used in war. The Most High personally created the Shamir on the eve of the sixth day, one of ten wonders of the world made at the final hours of the Creation. The worm is no bigger than a barley-corn, and lives within a swaddling of wool inside a lead box, for any other material will burst at its touch. Unfortunately, the Shamir was lost after the creation of the First Temple, but occasionally it will turn up, helping great builders in the name of the Most High, before it is inevitably lost once more. Legend has it that the worm’s home in these times is with Asmodeus, who is said to have given it to Solomon.

          Primary Pool: 11 dice (Breaking objects, dissolving things, digging)
          Secondary: 9 (Hiding, engraving, precisely shaping physical goods)
          Desperation: 6
          Health: 2
          Defense: 4
          Initiative: 9
          Qualities: Subterranean Movement, Total Pacifist (The Shamir will never directly harm a living being)
          Knacks: Penetrator (Objects Only), World Shaking


          Guides

          Guardian Angel (2)
          Some say every person has a guardian angel, a being that serves as a watcher, guard and carrier of prayers. Certainly, a few variants of Judaism believe this, as do many variants of Christianity, and the Quran references ‘al-mu’aqqibat’, those who follow another, angels that ward against evil jinn. However, most guardian angels are of little consequence - they are weak, unable to do more than note, record and ward off minor evil spirits. Some Scions, however, are accorded a greater importance, and thus receive more helpful guardian angels. They tend to be quite well informed about rituals of protection against evil, and often willing to help - though having a shoulder angel isn’t always appreciated, as they tend to be rather strict moralizers.

          Asset Skills: Occult, Persuasion
          Stunt: Touched By An Angel (Variable successes): Bless a single allied target. The next attempt by a demon or evil spirit to harm or influence them suffers Complication equal to (successes spent).

          Kerubiel, the Flames Which Dance Around the Throne of God (4)
          Kerubiel, Ruler of the Cherubim, is a terrifying presence, a massive being of fire and burning coals, covered in thousands of fiery eyes. He is the greatest of the Cherubim, whose face is made of fire, his eyes spark constantly with light, and his strikes have the power of thunderbolts. His every word is fire, and he has countless wings, from his head to his feet. Fortunately for everyone, he rarely leaves Heaven, for his steps bring earthquake and storms. Still, his wisdom is great, and with a carefully worded prayer, he can be contacted by Scions of the Tzevaot. Sometimes, he will take it on himself to mentor them, often loaning them a protective Cherub or two.

          Asset Skills: Close Combat, Survival
          Stunt: Steps Like Thunder (Variable successes): Cause everyone within Close range that has Stamina less than or equal to (successes spent) to become prone.
          Purview: Fire
          Legendary Title: The Flames Which Dance Around the Throne of God
          Last edited by MorsRattus; 11-13-2018, 12:28 AM.

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          • #20
            Followers

            Cherub (4)
            The Cherubim are protector angels, originally set to be the guardians of the Tree of Life in Eden. They have two sets of wings and four faces - a lion, an ox, a human and an eagle. They have cloven-hoofed feet, but the hooves are of brass. While later Christian art associated them with the Renaissance putto, they are no weak infants or plump children. The Cherubim are among the most common angels, serving as the throne-bearers of the Lord, the symbols inscribed upon the Ark of the Covenant and upon the Temple, and, according to the great sage Maimonides, were actually the idea of the laws of nature. (That they are also terrifying angelic warriors is simply how things are.)

            Description: Angelic Warrior
            Archetype: Heavy, Consultant
            Tags: Defensive, Archetype, Savage, Knack (Terror of the Guilty)

            Maccabees (3)
            The Maqabim, more commonly known as the Maccabees, were a band of Jewish warriors who rebelled against the Seleucids of Persia and Macedonia when they conquered Judea. They were distinctly more aggressive than most other Jewish sects, and ruled over the land of Judea for almost 150 years. The true Maqabim, however, were Yehudah ha-Makabi and his four brothers, who led the revolt. These men, the sons of the priest Mattathias, have been enshrined in Jewish legend, in the Books of the Maccabees and the story of Hannukah. Where the people of the Most High are oppressed, the Maccabees appear again and again, to fight those who would harm them, and while the Chosen Hero Judah does not necessarily lead them, his spirit is always with them. (They do, however, sometimes go rather overboard in their viciousness against their foes.)

            Description: A band of holy rebels.
            Archetype: Heavy
            Tags: Group, Unruly, Tough

            Refaim and Anakim (3)
            The Refaim and Anakim are the names of tribes of Semitic giants, the last descendants of the original Nephilim. Their divine blood is weak now, and most of their tribes have long since been wiped out, as many were enemies to the ancient Israelites, such as Goliath or Og, the King of Bashan. While the Nephilim could reach truly terrifying heights, the Refaim and Anakim tend to be no more than 15 feet tall, and are significantly less savage and warlike, though they often do suffer from a strong hunger for lots of food. Nowadays, some groups of Refaim and Anakim end up working either for the Scions of their ancient Canaanite gods or those that serve the Most High, reasoning that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. They tend to gather in small groups rather than large tribes, for there just aren’t that many of them left, and tend to be in touch with the giants of other pantheons, who often pity them.

            Description: A group of helpful giants.
            Archetype: Entourage
            Tags: Group, Access (Societies of giants), Terrible (Size)


            Relics

            Seal of Solomon (1)
            This may not be the actual ring worn by the legendary King Solomon, but the angels apparently have produced quite a few of these. By invocation and command of the sacred names of the Most High, they have found, even the wild and untamed power of the Shedim can be called on for justice. As with King Solomon’s original, this ring binds these terrible demons to service and obedience to the Lord...mostly. The wisdom of Solomon may be needed to know when best to call on such dangerous creatures.

            Purview: Chaos
            Motif: Good can be brought forth even from evil.
            Enhancement: Enhancement 2 when commanding or intimidating demons. (Not other types of titanspawn - just the ones that’d be considered demons.)
            Flaws: The shedim are creatures of chaos and wicked nature, and even when used for good purposes, they are not trustworthy. Whenever this relic’s Enhancement or Purview is called on, add 1 to the Tension Pool.

            The Ass’ Jawbone (4)
            While it appears to be a mere piece of bone with a simple cord wrapped around one end to make it easier to hold, the Ass’ Jawbone is one of the most iconic weapons of the Tzevaot short of the Fiery Swords. It was wielded, long ago, by the Hero Samson. Armed with the jawbone of an ass, and nothing more, he slew an entire Philistine army. However, with the power of Samson has come his Nazirite oath. Those who wield the Jawbone of the Ass must be careful to maintain their vows, or they, like Samson, will be undone.

            Purviews: Epic Strength, Epic Stamina
            Motif: There is nothing more terrible than the fury of the righteous.
            Tags: Lethal, Melee, Piercing, Messy
            Enhancement: Enhancement 1 in melee, Enhancement 2 when wielded alone and outnumbered.
            Flaws: All Difficulties to use the Ass’ Jawbone for any purpose increase by 1 in any scene while the wielder has violated the Nazirite Vow of Samson. A Samsonian Nazirite must not consume wine, wine vinegar, grapes or raisins, must not cut the hair upon their head or allow it to be cut, and must avoid contact with corpses whenever possible, even those of family. After any scene with contact with a corpse, they must be ritually purified via immersion in water. Likewise, the wielder must be ritually purified after violating the Vow in any way to remove the penalty.

            Fiery Sword (5)
            The Fiery Swords are very limited in number, and primarily wielded by the greatest of the angels and those that guard the gates of Eden. Very rarely, however, a Scion’s mission will be deemed so important that they are given one of these terrifying weapons. Weaker Scions are barely able to use these potent tools, certainly not to their fullest extent. In the hands of their most famous wielders, the Fiery Swords are able to stop any force and destroy any foe, after all.

            Purviews: Fire, War
            Motif: The wrath of God scourges the wicked and shields the weak.
            Tags: Lethal, Melee, Versatile, Aggravated, Loud, Messy, Unconcealable
            Enhancement: Enhancement 1 in melee, Enhancement 2 when wielded against the Titans and Titanspawn of the Tzevaot, Enhancemant 1 when intimidating others, General Enhancement 1
            Knack: The Scion may learn Visage Great and Terrible as a War Boon.
            Flaws: Once per arc, the Archangel that gave the sword requires a favor via the Paying Tribute Condition. Each time the sword is used to harm anyone that the Tzevaot would not consider evil, it causes an equivalent attack to its user.

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            • #21
              That’s a brilliant way to use the Seal of Solomon! I’m jealous because it works a lot better than my Order based idea, and I don’t want to rip you off!


              Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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              • #22
                It's basically reflective of my entire take on demons: by and large, most of them are...not a huge deal. They're problems, they're nuisances, but for a lot of history, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have treated these evil spirits as being essentially non-problems in the large scale, and certainly nowhere near the equal and opposite to goodness. That's a Gnostic thing, and its reappearance in modern (and especially modern American) Christianity is...weird, to me. Like, really weird.

                Which is why Lucifer and Asmodeus are Titans, not Primordials - they're the best evil's got, and Lucifer in particular is essentially an extremely large-scale deception rather than a more normal thing in this presentation. While the angels are aggressive in pursuit of Titanomachy, they are also entirely expecting to win it. For them it's a foregone conclusion, because their enemies are less than they are, and even they are part of the Creation, and therefore subject to God's law. (This is why I also have no plans for a demonic pantheon - they simply aren't on that level.)

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                • #23
                  Yeah, i’m going for a similarly dismissive attitude toward demons in my Mal’akhim chapter. They’re more concerned with human unrighteousness, and upholding their end of covenants with the faithful by protecting them from pagan caprice.

                  My second chapter explores the later Christian mythology around the Fallen, treating them as their own splintered pantheon rather than Shedim Titans, so readers can pick which cosmology they want to lean into at their own table.

                  So for example, Lucifer isn’t in chapter 1 at all because he’s not part of the traditional Abrahamic tradition, but he gets a writeup as a divine parent/patron in chapter 2. Lilith and Asmodai are Titans in my first chapter, as part of the Judaic tradition, but are instead full pantheon members in chapter 2 because of their more prominent alternate role in later demonology.


                  I LOVE your solution to all the cosmological conflict the Fallen bring to the table by tying it to Lucifer being a Titan of Deception, so those Manichean elements and War in Heaven that don’t make sense with the rest of the cosmology can always be explained as Lucifer’s lies!


                  Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                  • #24
                    Relationships
                    For the most part, the Malachim attempt to present a united front, and the fact that they all agree on obedience and submission to the Most High certainly helps. However, there are a few noted points of discord. Samael ha-Satan is difficult for the more militantly pure archangels to deal with, such as Michael, Uriel and Raphael, while Sandalphon and Metatron’s human origins make them closer to each other than any other angels. The Metatron and Raziel, in their realm of divine mystery, also often conflict with the more revelatory angels such as Gabriel, Jophiel and Raguel. Zadkiel, the only angel especially interested in offering mercy to most Titans among his fellows, has a hard road.


                    Other Pantheons
                    The Malachim have relatively few allies, for two main reasons. First, they are intensely aggressive in pursuit Titanomachy, and second, they are monotheist chauvinists. These two things combine to leave them with few friends. They are closest to the Orishas, Yazatas and Deva, though each presents their own tensions.

                    The Orishas are the most dovish pantheon, and the fervor and zeal with which most of the Malachim pursue war on those they name Demons, Shedim or Evil is often rather offputting, and the history shared by their believers can often be troubling. Zadkiel deals with them most easily.

                    The Yazatas are close allies...but so are the Deva. The Yazatas form the closest ally in terms of philosophy and theology, but they are often angry at the weight the Host offer to the words of the Deva. The Deva, meanwhile, agree on many important moral issues and are not wholly incompatible theologically, but are intractable on certain philosophical points...to say nothing of the friction between the Hinduisms and Islam in India and Pakistan.

                    The other pantheons tend to be standoffish and formal at best. While no one can deny the temporal power of the Abrahamic faiths, no one really wants to be the next to catch their eye and be declared evil for breaking some unspoken rule. They also are usually seen as distressingly arrogant and condescending towards any pantheon that is not compatible with monotheism.


                    Greatest Weakness
                    Rigidity is and has always been the great weakness of the Malachim. They love structure, authority and rules, and that means that they respond quickly and as one in a crisis. However, they have never really been good at handling the unexpected, and those that break their rules are in for a lot of trouble even when it’s for good reason. Their rigidity has also created problems for them in dealing with their mortal followers, who have developed into a number of different and often conflicting religions and even sects within religions, all based on interpreting the various rules they have, at various points in time, laid down. While the Host tend to view each set of rules as necessarily imperfect to deal with imperfect humans, their lack of flexibility surely hasn’t helped the conflicts, and they have no clear idea of how to actually make their worshippers stop arguing with each other all the time.


                    Pantheon Path of the Malachim
                    Asset Skills: Culture, Leadership
                    Malachim Virtues: Righteousness vs Obedience

                    While most of the Malachim would never admit that what is right and what is permitted by the Most High could be different, most of their Scions quickly realize that they are expected to obey orders, which can easily go against what they believe is right. Even the angels strain against each other sometimes, following their own understanding of what is right or the orders of their superiors. The Most High rarely clarifies or explains, and His orders are usually filtered through the Archangels in any case. The angels always say that what is right is obvious, that good is something you must always do. Every Scion and even every angel must, therefore, find the right balance of what is right and what they are told to do.

                    Signature Purview: Shekhinah, the Presence of the Lord
                    For the Malachim, all power ultimately derives from the Lord, the King of Kings. The power of Scions may be granted by angels, but the power of angels is granted by the Most High. There is no power without the will of the Most High, no glory that does not ultimately belong to the Unspoken Name. And so, their greatest miracles channel the divine grace and presence of the Most High. Such miracles are almost always benevolent ones - the granting of life to the inanimate, the healing of disease or injury, the provision of food or the command of shining light. However, divine wrath is no less a part of the Most High, and the Shekhinah is also able to curse the wicked or call forth plagues. However, this is typically done by the same methods - calling forth life to plague foes, the control of light to blind, terrify or leave them, and similar miracles.

                    Innate Power: More than anything else, the grace of the Most High is with the Scions of the Malachim when they are being compassionate towards the weak and the poor. When they are working to heal, protect, help or otherwise show divine kindness and compassion towards such mortals, you may imbue a point of Legend rather than spending to invoke your Legendary Title as a Feat of Scale.

                    Motif: Recitations of psalms, writing of sacred numbers and phrases and use of holy names of the Most High tap into the power of the Lord for miracles


                    You may have noticed a few things:
                    1. Name change. I changed the name to Malachim for the next draft and you can see that change here.
                    2. No description of the Abrahamic faiths yet - still working on that because I haven't gotten one that I'm happy with.
                    3. No Boons. I have names for them but figuring out the mechanics has been tough. (Be Not Afraid and Transubstantiation are the names and concepts I'm working with but their mechanical expression is tricky.)

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                    • #25
                      Is King Solomon a Scion?

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
                        Is King Solomon a Scion?
                        Can’t imagine why the guy YHWH tapped to build his Temple and had the power to bind Shedim to his will wouldn’t be.

                        As the ring came from Michael, that’s whose Chosen i’d make him.


                        Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                        • #27

                          The Mark of Cain (5)
                          The Mark of Cain is powerful - very powerful. Its bearer may not be harmed, lest divine vengeance be visited sevenfold on whoever does so. But it is not a blessing. The Mark of Cain is a punishment, reserved only for those that the Most High has directly and personally judged. Its most famous bearer, perhaps its only one, was Cain, the first murderer, and he bore it for the slaying of his brother, Abel. All who look on a bearer of the Mark know what they did, know the terrible sin they committed - and know, too, what the penalty is to harm. To bear the Mark of Cain brings great protection, but no bearer has ever been happy about it, for YHWH is a harsh judge. There is no way to be free of the Mark, save to truly and fully repent and make penance for one's sins - and for the Unspoken Name to accept this repentance as complete. Even death cannot free a soul that bears the Mark of Cain otherwise. Typically, the Mark takes the form of a Hebrew letter on the forehead - one of the four letters of the Tetragrammaton. It cannot be concealed by any means.

                          Purviews: Order, Death
                          Motif: The blood of the innocent is on your hands. Repent, sinner!
                          Enhancement: Enhancement 3 to intimidate people in ways related to your sin.
                          Knack: Sevenfold Vengeance. Whenever anyone causes an Injury Condition to the bearer of the Mark of Cain, they receive an equivalent Condition. If they are a PC, they may spend 1 Legend to negate this. If they are an NPC, the ST may spend Tension to reduce the severity of the Condition by 1 step per Tension spent. The bearer may spend Momentum, 1 for 1, to counter spent Tension. If the bearer is slain, the killer loses all Legend and will be slain themselves within one month unless they spend Legend equal to the bearer's Legend score to counteract this before that time. Anyone who sees the bearer instinctively knows the sin they were given the Mark for and the penalty of this knack.
                          Flaws: If, at any time, the bearer of the Mark of Cain harms another person for any reason but to protect someone, they lose 1 Legend point. If the bearer kills another person for any reason, they lose all Legend points.
                          Once per arc, the bearer of the Mark of Cain must demonstrate their devotion to repentance, gaining the Paying Tribute condition.


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