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« Crossbreeds in Poughkeepsie | Main | Supernatural Activities in Poughkeepsie, Part Ib »

May 16, 2005



they have been known to react badly to the sudden loss of their dissonance condition.

Why is it always the Novalines who suddenly get wonky when their dissonance condition is no longer enforced or has been somehow gotten around?

Isn't there ever a Servitor of Stone who throws the first punch then suddenly sits down asking himself, "My God, what have I done? I'm Stone. We don't. Do. This." Servitors of Divine Fire who luxuriously, selfishly, stop one of their never-ending missions of retribution?

Or Seraphim who come to an unnatural fondness for Symphonic silence - preferring nothing to the screeching of lies they hear around humans? Cherubim who discover the taboo freedom to walk away from something? Elohim who "experiment" with emotions and don't realize the problem with that until they've Tripped or Fallen?


Hey, good point: Can you Fall or Redeem in Poughkeepsie?


Anyway... I don't see why Flowers's dissonance conditions should be seen as so restrictive to Servitors of Flowers that they get singled out for "flipping out and killing people" :) when they're suddenly free of them.


On the other hand, the reaction to loss of dissonance condition effects could make for some very interesting gaming for anyone. If an Archangel or Demon Prince were curious to know if a Servitor was not, tempermentally, a good fit for his or her organization anymore, a trip to Poughkeepsie might clear that right up. If they start breaking dissonance condition within the first 48 hours, there's your hint that this Servitor would be better off if reassigned/reduced to component Forces.

Moe Lane

"Why is it always the Novalines who suddenly get wonky when their dissonance condition is no longer enforced or has been somehow gotten around?"

Because in any given circumstances, the Novaline response to stuff tends to be written last, and late at night? :)

Seriously, this are damn good points that you're making. I'll write up something that takes them into account - assuming that you wouldn't rather, yourself.



As I understand it, when they fledge, celestials are hardwired to need to act a certain way, just like humans are hardwired to need to eat. We're corporeal and have corporeal drives; they're celestial and have celestial drives. If they ignore them, they get painful dissonance, just like we'd get hunger pains. And just like we'll eventually die without food, they'll "die" if they act against their nature. (That is, the angel/demon that they were is gone and they find themselves as a new demon/angel.)

Going to Poughkeepsie for them is like one of us suddenly not needing to eat, and not suffering any consequences for not eating. Most of us, I think, would keep eating anyway. We like food. It tastes good and brings us comfort. It's a social activity, often.

What would it be like to stop eating? Would you feel less than human, cut off from the meal-taking rituals of everyone else? Or superior, better than human, existing on a higher plane? Maybe you'd just skip meals sometimes, if time was short. Would it bother you that you could do that? Or not? What if someone noticed that you don't eat? Do you think there would be a stigma or a trip to the hospital?

So you've got these celestials who suddenly don't have to metaphysically eat. The part of the universe that punishes them for acting against their natures has gone away. Now, there's a moral dimension to celestial drives that's just missing from eating, so that complicates the analogy a bit. There's some core identity stuff going on there. To be a Seraph is to embrace Truth. If you're telling a lie, you're not being Seraphic, regardless of whether or not you're taking dissonance for it. Most Seraphim are going to keep cleaving to the Truth because that's just who and what they are.

But some are going to skip meals, as it were. What temptation is needed for that? How badly does someone have to tick off an Impudite before she backhands that precious little Essence factory? Her whole demonic being is tuned to carefully farm humans as a resource; she's not going to start beating on them just because she can (well, not without Prior Issues).

And who resists the temptation more poorly when the Dissonance Stick is gone? It's not like celestials don't break their dissonance conditions elsewhere. It happens. But you won't have the telltale little dissonance notes hanging around to tell everyone that you've sinned. Betcha there's all kinds of snitchin' going on in Poughkeepsie.

...Boy howdy, I'm rambling now. Bullet point time:

  • Any celestial visiting Poughkeepsie might, if they are the right sort of celestial, be tempted to break their dissonance conditions.
  • I suspect a pretty even distribution over Choirs, Bands, and Superiors for this tendency. Maybe a higher rate for some of the most notorious and/or conflicting conditions - more because they're just not accumulating the dissonance they would be getting usually, rather than taking advantage of a reprieve. (Was that Mercurians of Divine Fire?)
  • This would be a pretty cool issue to role-play about, either as a strict character development arc, or as an intrigue arc (where hiding one's deviant behavior is as or more important than the behavior itself).
  • Flowers sticks out because human RPGers in an action-oriented game get a lot more frustrated with a lack of "necessary violence" than actual Servitors of Flowers would. Compare with, say, the inability to retreat, which most players weren't planning on doing anyway.

A. Beth

Michaelites might develop positively *wicked* (if not evil) tendencies to cut and run, in order to set up ambushes later, or otherwise harass a physically-stronger enemy.

Laurencians with a little more pragmatism than is good for them could do quite a lot of rule-bending -- okay, the Boss didn't quite order *this*, but he'll be pleased with the result, right?

Jeanites are probably forbidden from going into Poughkeepsie without a personal interview from the Boss, who can predict what they'll do. Super-Elohite-Resonance! Because, really, Jean doesn't want them accessing the Top Secret Ultra-Tech Plans and building death rays that work on perfectly normal physics. Poughkeepsie does *not* need to be reduced to Gray NanoGoo.

I think it's quite accurate that Novalines get the "OMG" kinds of reactions because of the violence issue -- both because the concept of Necessary Violence Only is sometimes tricky, and because a lot of GMs (and some Rev Cycle stuff) focus on the PEACE aspects and not the Necessary Violence Permitted aspects. (Something that makes me want every person who writes Novalis-type-stuff to read Genevieve Cogman's Malakite-of-War+Mercurian-of-Novalis fic. Because.) Of course, canny Novalines probably encourage the *perception* that they never do violence. So that when the necessary violence is done, it is unexpected. (And may well be ruthless.)

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