Angels and Demons

Father Nathan's penetrating gaze leaves Doc with a feeling that all his thoughts are echoing off every wall of the circular chamber.

After a moment, he stands and paces towards the fireplace, his back turned to the group.

"Thirty-six years ago, I was still a young scholar in Avignon. This was before the Pope sided with the king of France, before the schism between east and west. But I was not interested in the greed and corruption of politics. I was, and still am, a student of the heavens."

He grabs a wooden box off the mantle. Inside are two spy glasses with pearl handles.

"A learned man and glassmaker gave me these. If you hold these two lenses at the right distance apart, distant things become large. What better way to examine the eternal dance of the angels.

"On a dark day, those thirty-six years ago, my colleagues and I witnessed an evil omen. The Morning Star, the Arch-angel himself, returned to the kingdom of heaven. There he waged war with the angels, and did battle with the Son of God outside the Kingdom of Heaven. His shadow marred the Sun, but he was defeated. He fell from heaven once again.

"It was a great omen, a sign that Satan was gaining in power and would soon be able to make war on Heaven. Eight years after, he tried again. We watched in horror as stood his ground outside the Gates, and was again rejected. It was then that we realized, if he could not stand at the Gates of Eternity, his war would be made here on Earth. And that time is now.

"For these past three decades I have watched the heavens carefully. I have seen things no mortal can imagine. Firey arrows shooting across the sky. Great beasts of fire lumbering towards the sun, only to disappear forever. I have seen the beginning skirmishes of the great war, the war to end all wars. But now I fear it has truly begun.

"Three nights ago, another star appeared. It was so bright, it could be seen in the day, through my larger lenses, of course. It moved swiftly across the sky, faster than any I've seen yet. It stayed its steady course, disappearing over the horizon only to return from the east in a few hours. Until yesterday. Another star appeared, moving swiftly towards the first. It was smaller and dimmer, but faster. As they approached, great flashes of light burst between them. After but a few minutes, the smaller one disappeared in a brilliant flash, and the first remained.

"Then today, some of the monks began seeing a dragon roaming the skies. I thought them mad at first, but only briefly. Then the flash. The same flash of light that had destroyed the small star had happened in the sky just above us, this time accompanied by a sound so loud it shattered nearly every window on the east side of the tower. The light was so hot it melted the snow off the rooftops and flooded our troughs. We saw Bridgeton burning. We saw the dragon lighting the fire and circling our mountains.

"Then you arrive. You, whose thoughts and speech are so... different, whose clothing and dress are not of our world, and whose identity and purpose must remain secret. And now you ask me-"

He stops and turns around. He's flooded with emotions, fear mostly, but shame, too. Greed and lust and the shame of it, and the fear of biblical reprisal. The world as he knows it is already destroyed, and he is deeply frightened by it, though his cold exterior reveals nothing. "You ask me to reveal my singular sin," he says, his eyes burning cold.

Doc alone is not taken by surprise. He could see it coming, if only moments away. Father Nathan continues. "I know that you come from the sky, and I know your purpose."

Doc smells ozone as Nathan's gaze locks into his. The world swirls. Doc's fingers go limp, dropping the chalice. Nathan's mind enters his, and speaks in all the languages the two men know. "Be you a Devil, you shall not have my soul. Be you an Angel, you shall not make your judgment upon me!"


ERR said...

Father Nathan uses Read Thoughts. Doc Will save 8 roll + 2 will + 3 Wis = 13 vs. DC10 + 4 Wis + 1 Power + 5 Character = DC20. Doc fails, XP+2
Language Barrier
Doc Bluff check 16 roll + 4 cha + 5 bluff + 4 read emot = 29 vs. Nathan Sense Motive + 4 Roll + 10 sense motive + 4 wis + 10 circumstance = 28, Doc wins XP+28

Charismatic Initiative: Father Nathan 18, Doc 11

Father Nathan Mindlinks Doc, 4 Roll + 3 wis+ 2 will = 9 vs. DC10 + 4 wis + 5 level + 1 power - 2 culture = DC18, Doc fails. XP+2

Doc said...

What's a -2 culture?


ERR said...

You speak English and are an American from the 22nd century. He’s from 11th century France. That difference creates a cultural barrier that makes it easier for you to resist his mindlink, but it’s not much since it’s a deeper link than just surface thought. The rate would be higher the more vast the difference; Like -5 if he was from the Orient of this time or something, or -10 if he’s a humanoid alien, or -20 if he’s some kind of fish monster from Pollux Beta.

ERR said...

You can still perform physical actions during a mindlink, although he'll get a bonus to defense or reflex since he knows what you're thinking. You can also try to break the link.

ERR said...

Also, the link goes both ways.

Doc said...

Boy, you do know how to put me in a pickle.

Alright, if the mind link goes both ways then I should get a bonus to my attempt to Suggest Emotion 1 (-2 chi) of calm, as I am already in his head. (I'm guessing)

"I am NOT a devil or interested in anyone's soul, NOR am I an angel here to pass judgement. I am here to bring about a good thing for all Christendom, and if you have sinned before, don't compound it now by turning me away." (all of this can be said with the mindlink I assume)