Some of the most fun things I ever did on the old In Nomine email lists was to hurt people’s heads by taking details about the game world to their logical conclusions. I feel no shame in this. It was good for them!
Mercurian of Lightning
Corporeal Forces: 3 Strength: 4 Agility: 8
Ethereal Forces: 6 Intelligence: 12 Precision: 12
Celestial Forces: 5 Will: 10 Perception: 6
Vessel: male/3, +1 Charisma
Skills: Artistry/3 (Writing), Computer Programming/1, Chemistry/1, Emote/6, Fast-Talk/6, Knowledge (Archeology/1, Conspiracy Theory/3, Logic/3, New Age UFOlogy/3, Occultism/3, Pseudoscience/3), Language (Ancient Egyptian/1, French/1, Greek/1, Latin/1, Portuguese/1, Russian/1, Spanish/1), Lying/6, Savior-Faire/1
Songs: Healing (Corporeal/3), Motion (Celestial/3), Tongues (Ethereal/3)
Attunements: Mercurian of Lightning, Seraph of Light, Generator, Friend of the Illuminated
Rikbah is regrettably necessary.
The problem is this: basic Darwinistic evolutionary theory is both sound, and essentially correct. But in the In Nomine universe it isn’t strictly True, now is it? Maybe it would be True in a universe where the Creator was one of those Newtonian Clockmakers, with servants to match — but that’s not the In Nomine universe. The In Nomine universe is the one where supernatural creatures — including Jean, the Archangel of Lightning himself, although he rarely refers to himself that way — have been generally mucking about with Earth’s natural development since the start. Sure, Heaven has done nothing too outrageous, except for the Eden Experiment thing. And the Lilith thing. And the entire Grigori thing. The whole War, really. The Purity Crusade, too, when you think about it; can’t say that ethereals aren’t a natural development of having humans around.
OK, so it’s been outrageous.
Still, Darwinism works, even in that universe, as long as nobody looks too closely at it, which people have been doing lately. Link that up with both reliable record keeping techniques and universal literacy, and you get the potential for unfortunate revelations. Unfortunate revelations tend to get in the way of Lightning’s core mission of keeping humanity from doing anything really stupid with their tools; therefore, it behooves Jean to set up a countermeasure like Rikbah.
Like any good Jeanite tool (Jeanites do not consider the word ‘tool’ to be an insult), Rikbah serves several purposes at once. His major purpose is to come up with and popularize internally-consistent and imaginative, yet ultimately non-provable and highly improbable, explanations for anomalies in the historical, archeological, and scientific record. Needless to say, these explanations will be just as far from the actual truth as they are from the scientific paradigm favored by Lightning; there’d be precious little point, otherwise.
The idea is to leave orthodox thinkers with no viable alternative to the current scientific consensus, and guide unorthodox thinkers into channels that are unlikely to affect the War. Besides, there’s nothing like pseudoscience to attract a Vapulan, and every Servitor of Lightning knows this. Granted, all of this is harsh or even cynical in a certain light — but Jean’s organization is not known for sentimentality and is known for practicality, so that particular observation would not be deemed to be especially persuasive anyway.
Needless to say, Rikbah is both well-trained and well-motivated (he still has his job, after all). Perhaps a touch too well-motivated, really; his Choir keeps him from being actually harsh towards humanity, but Servitors of Lightning tend not to be that impressed with human intelligence, and this particular Mercurian is no exception. He sees nothing unusual or noteworthy about the fact that his job is essentially to get people to believe in lies; after all, most angels have more or less the same duty. He merely has the pleasure of having it all spelled out for him. Jean would no doubt relieve him of his present duties if this current low regard for humanity becomes more obvious (and thus, more of a warning sign), which probably means that Rikbah is safe from Falling any time soon — but he’s not as unlikely a prospect as some.
This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games. In Nomine is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by SJ Games. This material is used here in accordance with the SJ Games online policy.