Devils

"Follow me, and I will give you your heart's desire. Worship me, and I will make you a god."


God's first and most perfect creations, the Heralds carried the Lord's standard, bringing His light to illuminate all of Creation. These greatest of all angels were the leaders and princes of the Celestials, shining examples of all that was glorious and right in the eyes of God.

First and foremost, the duty of the First House was to convey the will of heaven to the House of the Host, instructing them as to their evolving role in the creation of the cosmos. The Devils bore this enormous responsibility with pride, making their presence known among their peers only when absolutely necessary, but the freedom to alter the course of the cosmos at their discretion became a source of hubris that contributed to the Fall.

When the Grand Design finally culminated in the birth of humanity, the Celestials were surprised at the Creator's commandment to remain invisible and allow mankind to discover its potential without help. Their dissatisfaction found its voice in the greatest of their number, Lucifer the Morningstar. In the end, nearly half of the heralds chose to side with the Morningstar, a greater percentage of defections than any other Celestial House.

Now cursed as Devils, these rebels became the generals, leaders and heroes of the rebellion. Armed with awesome powers of leadership and inspiration, the Devils set out to lead humanity to a new age, and to encourage mortals to renounce the Creator. But as the war raged on, the Devils grew distant from the humans they had once loved. From heroes and protectors, the Devils became demagogues and dictators, manipulating human pawns with honeyed words and poisoned lies.

Filled with pride and defiance, the Devils refused to believe in the possibility of failure — until heaven prevailed, and the demons were imprisoned in the darkness of the Abyss. With Lucifer missing, the other demons turned upon their former leaders in anger. To defend themselves —- and to mask their own doubt — the Devils used their powers of Charisma and deception to turn the other demons upon each other.

But now the barriers around hell are broken, and many Devils have crawled back into the world of mortals. For those Devils still dedicated to Hell, now is the time for humanity to be reminded of past glories and to bend knee in service to demonkind. Fallen Devils who seek redemption have a new opportunity — to save humanity from the evils that threaten to destroy it, to forge a new utopia for mortal and celestial alike and perhaps to prove that Lucifer's crusade was ultimately just.

Factions

Devils are intensely political creatures, puppetmasters who live to control and manipulate others. They form the upper echelons of several of the major factions, leading other demons just as they once did in Heaven.

Unsurprisingly, most Devils are Luciferians, still loyal to the vision of the first greatest rebel. They still follow the dream of casting the Creator down from His throne and leading humans to a glorious future.

After the Luciferians, many Devils find themselves drawn to the Faustians. While once the Heralds craved the love and respect of humanity, these Devils have decided that mortal worship and Faith is just as sweet a prize. With the power of humanity behind them, the Faustians strive to build an empire on Earth, with the Devils first among equals.

The mystery of Lucifer's disappearance wears heavier on Devils than on other demons —- he was the greatest amongst them, and his disappearance threw the Devils into doubt and misery. For this reason, many Devils become Cryptics, desperate to learn the truth about the Fall, their mentor, and the true cause of their damnation.

The Heralds truly loved humanity, and some Devils still feel an echo of that love. These Devils are a minority in their House, and they are attracted to the Reconciler faction. If they can rebuild Eden, they reason, they may be able to earn God's forgiveness —- and more importantly, the forgiveness and love of humanity.

Few Devils belong to the Ravener faction. To accept the failure of the war and embrace destruction would be to admit that Lucifer's rebellion was an error, and most Devils are too proud and arrogant to accept this. But some few Devils have succumb to doubt and regret, and they want nothing more than to destroy the world that serves as a reminder of their foolishness and failure.

Prelude

Devils are social creatures, charmers and deceivers, and they are attracted on Earth to mortals who share that aptitude and have lost their souls in the pursuit of power and influence. A tendency to use other people as tools, control those around her and cultivate followers and hangers-on will also attract the attention of a Devil. Good examples of such people are politicians, executives, musicians, actors, and charismatic preachers.

Whether they are the shining knights of Heaven or the black paladins of Hell, Devils have always been heroes —- exemplars of courage fighting against overwhelming odds. Within the tainted soul of a Devil remains a core of heroism and nobility, no matter how twisted, and they respond to mortals who possess those qualities. A Devil might possess a decorated cop who has lost his soul to corruption or callous violence, a mother who shields her children from her abusive husband with body and soul or a once-idealistic politician crushed by the weight of scandal and double-dealings.

Faith

Devils are master manipulators, able to assess a mortal's desires and weaknesses in a glance, or direct a crowd of followers with just a twitch of a finger. One might think that Devils would find it easy to gather Faith from mortals —- and it's true that Devils often have more success in gaining Faith than other demons. The process of gaining Faith from mortals is never effortless, though, and even the great deceivers of Hell must work for their precious spiritual energy.

The term "cult of personality" describes a Devil's entourage of thralls perfectly. The formation of a cult of worshippers is usually a high priority for Devils, and they make use of their most plentiful resource — mortal followers. A Devil's cult can resemble a pyramid selling scheme, in which each new worshipper seeks out and recruits new members who are easy marks for the Devil's charisma. Soon the Devil is surrounded by devotees, worshipping him as a god — the status he has lusted after since the Fall.

Character Creation

Unsurprisingly, Devils tend to emphasize their Social Attributes, especially Manipulation and Charisma. Many Devils also have strong Physical Attributes, due to their position as war leaders and paladins. Mental Attributes aren't as important to Devils, although many have high Wits ratings, as effective lying requires a talent for thinking on your feet.

No ability is as useful to a Devil as Subterfuge, and almost all members of this House have high ratings in this Talent. Many Devils have strong combat and physical Abilities, reflecting their role as commanders and heroes in bygone times —- Athletics, Brawl, and Melee are popular choices.

Starting Torment: 4

House Lore:

Lore of the Celestials
Lore of Flame
Lore of Radiance

Weaknesses

The memory of their former nobility is something every Devil struggles to forget but never can. Devils know that they were once perfect princes of Heaven, but no matter how they try to pretend otherwise, their current existence is a hollow mockery of that perfection. The timeless imprisonment in Hell also filled Devils with doubt, regret and shame —- emotions they can never express. Wracked by these feelings, Devils are drawn to acts of foolish bravery and quixotic courage.

Stereotypes

Scourges: The demons of healing and disease are much respected by the Devils. Scourges can heal the worthy or infect the insolent —- giving Devils extra tools for manipulation.

Malefactors: Devils tend to look down on the artisans and inventors of Hell. Malefactors are also manipulators of mortals, working at a remove through their cursed artifacts, and Devils resent this incursion into their area of expertise.

Fiends: The first stars were Heralds, directed by the angels that became Fiends. Devils and Fiends have a long history of working together. Devils rely on Fiends to provide wisdom, detect flaws in battle plans and supply new insights into human weaknesses.

Defilers: While Devils resent Malefactors for manipulating humans, they have far fewer issues with the Defilers. Working together, a Devil and Defiler can target every human weakness. Occasionally rivals, the two Houses are usually allies.

Devourers: As onetime leaders in the War, Devils respected Devourers for their might in combat, but now most Devils see Devourers as violent and unpredictable relics.

Slayers: Devils have always looked down upon Slayers, the last and least of the angels created by God. Devils see themselves as princes, while Slayers are nothing more than undertakers and carrion crows.