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Sabaoth [Tourchbearers, Project O-X, II]

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  • Sabaoth [Tourchbearers, Project O-X, II]

    Burning Serpents

    [a burning symbol of infinity made out of snake who bites its own tail]

    "Only heaven can be trusted"

    Men were not made equal.

    Sure, equality sounds look a good idea- everyone has common traits, everyone has the same potential, everyone could achieve the same greatness. Eventually, if everyone are equal, than everyone would also see each other as equal- that means no more wars, no more meaningless crimes and thoughtless violence. Hurting another is like hurting yourself: we are all made equal, by the hands of a generous God.

    Yes, it sounds like a good idea.. too bad it is not the case.

    People are different from each other- some more than the others. It may be with something small- like eye color or some personality quirk. It may be something big, like one being a pervert who kills little children for his sick pleasure. And what is the first thing people do when they hear about such perverts? They condemn them, saying "we are not like them. They are not like us". And it is not only in the big things- every time someone does something one doesn't like, every time he acts in a way one could not accept, the immediate reaction is separating yourself from him- drawing the line between "you" and "the rest". You are normal, decent human being, and everyone who is not like you could not be trusted. People- all of them- can't be trusted.

    You can only trust the heavens.

    Heaven is just. Heaven is objective. Heaven decides the difference between good and wrong- and best of all, heaven is the only one. There are no different ways or paths or roads in heaven: either you do heaven's will- and then you are just- or not. If you do, then your actions must serve God and the Hosts, which means you are destined for greatness. If you don't then you are an enemy and should be slaughtered. As simple as that. It may sound harsh, but think about it from heaven's point of view- so much effort was invested in you, from your birth up to this day, allowing you to recognize your true calling and place in the world- and you just throw it away! And in the name of what? Equality? That must be a joke. We should be proud to serve our maker, we should look at the heavens and follow their path. It may sound scary- but heaven doesn't give someone a role she can not fulfill. Some are meant to be artists, some are meant to be scholars, or businessmen or judges. Each has a different fate assigned by the Hosts, and from that change a struggle rise, and from that struggle heaven's glory shines bright. We were shattered into different nations for a reason, 1000 cultures which would fight each other until the very end of time upon the same earth and under the same sky. Sure, it may sound scary- but don't worry. You don't have to fight. Not all of use were destined to be warriors and killers.

    But some are.

    Those who heard about the Sabaoth usually know them as no more than a mercenary company- killers for hire, an elite force of soldiers trained since their childhood in the arts of war. Those rumors are right- but they don't cover the whole truth. The Armies of God are not mercenaries- unless you count Heaven as their patron. Instead, they are more of a cult- small, strongly tied brotherhood of warriors who know each other since their childhood. According to the stories, they were originally a small military order in the service of the Crusade. Zealot among zealots, they followed the Lord's will and fought against Muslims, pagans and any other kind of heretics which stood against the glory of their faith. That path eventually led them to fight other kinds of terrors- beings who were so different from humanity that no sane men would call them "human" anymore.

    And that path has also lead them to greatness.

    According to the legends, during a night darker than any other, the group was attacked by a terrible being- a mountain of rotten corpses and stolen life. While the monster has radiated fear and dread, the warriors of the order fought strongly- yet, one by one, they fell before the being until only three of them were left. They could have escaped- yet they did not. Instead, they called upon God's might and challenged the thing, preferring to die with the Lord's light upon their face than live in the shame of of the devil's victory. They prayed for Heaven and stormed their enemy.

    And Heaven has answered.

    A burning light has showed in the sky- an angel, a burning seraph in the service of the Lord. The shining entity has breathed its flaming venom, and the monster screamed with pain. It tried to escape, yet the three didn't gave up- and with their swords burning in the angel's fire, they defeated the being and sent it to the world of the dead.

    After the battle, the three has collapsed before the angel, not sure what they should do now- and than the being spoke. It told them they did well to serve the heaven, and that as a gift he was there to give them the blessing of God. "Eat my flesh" it told them "Drink my blood- for I am of the Authority, and so are you". The three did as he asked, and its fire burned them from the inside, giving them power to fight the darkness of the world.

    Since those days, their legacy carries on- Every child born to the Burning Serpents carries that ancient gift of fire and divinity, although other people may join their ranks- an act once done through the Ritual of Burning Flames and now done through the Seraph Enhancement Pod- a combination of divine knowledge and advanced technology. They carry the angel's blood in the veins and see God's radiance in their dreams. While they do serve as mercenaries from time to time- as their Hierarchs demand- they don't forget their greater calling: that they are heaven, and they are just- and those who don't serve the heaven must work for hell.

    Of course, some serve hell more knowingly that the others.

    Theurges who force angels to their will. Alchemists who try to escape God's will. Deviants who steal souls from the heavens out of pure madness. Beings who were formed from stolen lives and dead flesh. Each of those beings defy's God's laws and judgement, each of those deliberately abandons moral and the conventional path in favor of their own personal glory. They seek to make themselves as god, trapping His divine blood in small bottles and creating heresies and blasphemies. Those people represent exactly what the Armies of God fight against- people who put themselves above the heavens, and think themselves as equal to God. More than God.

    Equality is a lie.

    Trust the word of God.

    Status:
    0- you have either just finished your training or have been through the alchemical process of the Seraph Enhancement Pod. You may buy dots in the Haravoth Endowment. You also have an Honorary Rank of 1 in relation to qashmalim.
    000- you have proved yourself loyal to Heaven's goal and served its will, and your training represent it, making sure you'll always be able to hold a weapon. You get the Ambidextrous merit for free, and you Rank rise to 2.
    00000- you are destined for greatness, and marked as a future Heirarch. Outsider beings find it difficult to enter your body, as it burns with Heaven's might. Get the Difficult to Ride merit for free, and your Rank rise to 3.

    Endowment: Haravoth (0-00000)
    No army can fight without swords- and the warriors of heaven has access to weapons no other soldier can hold. Haravoth is a 1-5 merit, which requires the hunter to hold a weapon. Only items which were made to be weapon could be used by the Endowment (that is, knives and guns are ok, but baseball clubs and umbrellas do not). By expanding a Willpower point and rolling [Haravoth] + [Stamina], the hunter may invoke the Divine Fire in her blood and cloak her weapon with the mantle of the Seraph, allowing it to cause Aggravated Damage when attacking with it instead of the regular up until its dot rating. The effect is terminated once the weapon deals all of the extra damage and would require to be reactivated. Dramatic Failure would cause a Bashing Damage, while Exceptional Success would double the amount of Aggravated Damage which could be dealt. Such weapons could attack normally beings in the Twilight, and they would cause Pandorans to awake from their Dormancy. In an addition, that Endowment has a special effect upon prometheans and other Pyros powered beings and items- for every damage dealt to such being using the Endowment would also drain one Pyros from the target. The hunter may use that stolen Fire to heal Lethal Damage, replenish Willpower points or even temporary enhance themselves, rising a certain Attribute by one. After all, eventually the soldier himself is the best weapon available to him.


    My Homebrew Signature

    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    I like. Was the angel a Qashmal, because they usually help Prometheans - or at least steer them - so why would this one help destroy one? Is it the one and only time a Qashmal has deviated from its Mission, or was it this Promethean that was the special case? Was it some other sort of angel, like an Empyreal hungry for the faith of the Sabaoth? Neat.

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    • #3
      Say a Promethean takes a wrong turn, for whatever incomprehensible and ineffable purpose the Principle has in mind for them. Say that a member of the Throng would be motivated to pursue a different Refinement in response to the death that drives them closer to the Magnum Opus, or that the death of the Promethean (who will come back to life) was a necessary Milestone on the Pilgrimage? Even more so than the God-Machine, the Principle is utterly impossible to understand (The Demon STG specifically calls out the missions of qashmallim as basically incomprehensible and nonsensical to angels) and it would be wise to not judge its actions until you've seen the whole picture.

      That being said, the line "Of the Authority" worries me a bit. Doesn't sound entirely Divine Fire-like.

      *****

      I really like the idea of this Conspiracy, but I'm not sure Haravoth is enough of a kick. Sure, access to Transhuman Potential is cool, but I'm reasonably certain Alchemists can do that already, and the base "apply holy fire to weapons" thing is basically the St. Michael Benediction except for the fact that it wakes up Pandorans.


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      • #4
        yes, that meeting was not the regular "qashmalic manifestation" you may expect. Yes, Arcanist is right and things are a bit complicated. New information would be added in the (hopefully) near future, although it may rise more questions than answer existing ones.

        And about Haravoth- well, lately I felt that most of my Endowments are a bit "too big" than the usual, so I've decided to try to tone it down. I've thought about perhaps adding them some "enrgokinetic" influence to add it a little kick- alchemically created angels in mortal flesh who serve as the army of God and weild fire, lightning and ice as weapons is not out of theme, I believe.


        My Homebrew Signature

        "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

        I now blog in here

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        • #5
          At any rate, there ought to be groups that have an essentially one trick endowment, but that trick be supernatural.

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