Bethanel Archangel Of Cities
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Bethanel, Archangel Of Cities
The world is scattered and disorganized . . . cities are the solution.
The Archangel of Cities is as old as human civilization, but younger than many of his peers. Bethanel started out as a Servitor of David, back when Jericho was new. A Mercurian, he was responsible for teaching the first city-planners. After centuries of distinguished service, he was granted a Word, and became the Angel of Cities.
From Mohenjo-Daro to Ur to Rome, Bethanel attended the rise of urban civilization. Many Archangels disagreed over whether it serves Heaven's purpose or Hell's to encourage humans to cluster together and build on such a large scale. They still do. Shortly after Bethanel was given his Word, Lucifer appointed someone to be his nemesis; Izrann, the Demon of Cities. Izrann has done much to corrupt cities and turn them into concentrations of poverty, crime and pollution, but Bethanel works steadfastly to make the good outweigh the bad.
Bethanel loves cities, the civic mentality, the hustle and bustle of urban life, the concentration of arts and sciences, the wealth and prosperity of a well-run community. He can't imagine why anyone would want to live isolated from other people, or scattered in tribes that must scrabble in the dirt for sustenance, or confine themselves to tiny, insignificant villages that will never be more than a single note in the Symphony. Agrarian society, in Bethanel's view, exists to support cities, which are the apex of human civilization. Everything important happens in cities. Everything worthwhile comes from urban civilization.
With the dawn of the Industrial Age, cities became more important than ever. Dozens of cities contained populations greater than that of entire continents back when Bethanel began. Looking after just one major city was a job that could occupy an angel full-time; overseeing them all was spreading the Angel of Cities too thinly. But his Word had grown in power also, and in the19th century, the Seraphim Council recognized Bethanel as a full Archangel.
Since then, he has continued to espouse the benefits of urban life, while trying to undo the damage Izrann has done. To Bethanel, all cities are good, and as many people as possible should be encouraged to settle down in them. He isn't trying to pave the earth (he does recognize, in an abstract way, that the world needs non-urban areas as well), but he doesn't really care about any part of the world that isn't in a city.
Every major city has its own angel looking after it in Bethanel's name. He would like to have the "manpower" to put a host of angels in every urban community, but there just aren't that many angels in Heaven, and as a new Archangel, he doesn't get a large share of the new ones that are created. In every city that he has been able to put a servitor, he has petitioned the Seraphim Council for that Servitor to be granted a Word, the word being the name of the city itself. The Council has been divided over the legitimacy of investing individual cities with the power of a Word, and so far, only twelve such "City Angels" have been granted Words. Those cities are New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Rome, Jerusalem, London, Cairo, Athens, Paris, St. Petersburg, Beijing, and Hong Kong. Bethanel is lobbying hard for the angels he has stationed in other major cities, such as Chicago, Moscow, Washington, Tokyo and Mexico City, to be given Words also.
The vast majority of Bethanel's servitors are permanent residents of a city chosen by him, charged with overseeing a particular aspect of that population center. Only a few (such as the PCs) are made "free agents" who may travel from one city to the next on various errands. Promotion within the ranks of the Archangel of Cities can be rapid, but future advancements will depend largely on how well Bethanel is able to acquit himself in Heavenly politics.
It is dissonant for an Angel of Cities to spend more than 24 hours outside any city limits. If a "stranded" angel makes it to a city within 24 hours after gaining dissonance, it will fade, but remaining out in the countryside for more than 48 hours will require the dissonance to be worked off in some other way. It is also dissonant for his Servitors to do anything that contributes to urban decay, or diminishes the quality of city life, such as littering or committing acts of vandalism. (Causing collateral damage during a fight isn't dissonant if it was necessary and/or unavoidable, but reckless disregard for one's surroundings while carrying out angelic duties is. Bethanel frowns on car chases.)
Angels of Bethanel are specially attuned to one particular city (though their choir attunements will work in any city.) They get a free Knowledge/6 for the city they have been assigned to. The exception is the few servitors Bethanel assigns as "wandering" city angels; they gain a Knowledge skill equal to their Ethereal Forces applicable to any city they enter . . . but only if they are in that city on business for Bethanel, and only so long as they are actually in the city.
Seraphim of Cities know at a glance whether anyone they look at is a resident of the city they're in or a visitor, and if they are a resident, how long they have lived there.
Cherubim of Cities must always choose their city as one of the things to which they are attuned. While so attuned, they are automatically successful when making a Resonance roll for something or someone else within the city (a d666 roll is still necessary, for purposes of the check digit and checking for a 111 or 666.) They will also know immediately if one of the objects of their attunement enters or leaves the city.
Ofanim of Cities never get lost within their city. When invoking their Resonance for area knowledge, they automatically add their Ethereal Forces to the target number, in addition to the check digit of a successful roll. They get this bonus even if the resonance roll fails!
Bethanel's Elohim are experts at reading the mood of a crowd. They can apply their resonance to any group of people, and sense how the mob as a whole will react to events.
In combat, Malakim of Cities receive the ultimate "home turf advantage". When fighting in their city, Bethanel's Malakim add their Corporeal Forces to the check digit of all Dodge rolls.
Lilim of Cities receive 12 extra character points which must be spent on as high a level as possible of a "caring" Role; this will be Role/6 unless its Status is 5+. Appropriate Roles range from prostitutes to doctors and nurses. If its Status is 3 or less, leftover points may go toward skills to support that Role.
Bethanel's Kyriotates may inhabit city fixtures; mailboxes, fire hydrants, even streets and buildings. They have no control over the constructs they inhabit- a Kyriotate-possessed street lamp does not become mobile, and a Kyriotate inhabiting a building can't take over the building's lights and elevators (unless he has appropriate Songs to allow this). But the Kyriotate can remain in such inanimate objects as long as he likes, able to sense everything going on around him, while remaining virtually undetectable to other Celestials.
Bethanel's Mercurians can apply their resonance to not only read a person's background, but obtain detailed personal information of a statistical nature as well. Add the following information to the usual Mercurian Check Digit Results Chart:
1. You know the subject's home address
2. You know the subject's address and phone number
3. You know the subject's home and business address and phone numbers
4. That, and you know the subject's Social Security Number
5. You know the subject's bank account locations and numbers
6. You can acquire any alphanumeric information about the subject, up to and including ATM PINs
This handy attunement guarantees an Angel of Cities will never be stopped at an intersection. The light is always green as they reach it . . . unless for some reason the angel wants it to be red. It also works for crosswalks and elevators.
The angel has a convenient free sparking spot, wherever he wants to park his car (or truck, or motorcycle, or trailer)! It will appear as if by magic, not be noticed even if it shouldn't be there (such as in a "No Parking" zone), and will disappear when the angel drives away.
Vassal of Cities
The Vassal can produce a city permit for just about anything within reason. This includes concealed weapons permits, handicapped parking permits, and professional licenses.
Friend of Citizens
The angel has an instinctive familiarity with all cities. A Friend not only has Area Knowledge/6 with any city he enters, but he receives a bonus equal to his Celestial Forces on any reaction rolls from city officials (including police officers).
Master of Civilization
The angel is practically immune to local laws. He will never be stopped for speeding, jaywalking, disorderly conduct, public nudity, or any other violation of local ordinances. There are two important caveats; first, this applies only to local laws (so the angel still can't get away with murder or tax evasion). Secondly, doing anything criminal without good reason is potentially dissonant, so this is not a privilege to be abused.
While respected for the work he does, many of his fellow Archangels doubt that encouraging cities is, in the long run, a good thing. Jordi in particular feels that the last refuges of wildlife are being destroyed for the sake of mankind's ravenous cities, and Novalis would rather see more trees planted. Bethanel has undertaken a potentially risky course by allying himself with some of Heaven's other underdogs. He has made overtures to Gabriel, to which he has received a lukewarm reaction. In order to build political capital with Khalid, Archangel of Faith, he has agreed to place Mecca at the top of his "wish list" for cities to be made Words. This has earned him considerable enmity from Laurence.
Allied: David, Khalid, Marc
Associated: Gabriel, Jean, Yves
- Spend half an hour picking up litter or cleaning graffiti off of walls
- Engage in some form of construction for two hours (putting up a new building, laying asphalt, digging for a new sewer line)
Chance of Invocation: 3
+1 A street map
+2 A visitor information center or tour bus
+3 A new construction site
+4 A civic center or town hall
+5 A city with a population of more than one million
+6 A nation's capital
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