In Nomine Superiors: Lilith by Mors Rattus
LilithOriginal SA post Superiors: Lilith
Lilith is, we recall, the Princess of Freedom. The Human Princess of Freedom. She does not have permanent servants and has no Principality. Any demon can offer to work for her in exchange for her Rites...as long as they also accept her dissonance condition. Any Lilim can choose to take this and a pile of Geases to Lilith instead of serving a Prince.
Lilith still has no attunements, but she does have a few Distintions she will hand out to those that please her exceptionally deeply.
Knights Errant can look into someone's eyes and tell how strongly they desire power over others, and what they'd do to get it. Lilim can treat this as a Need to fulfill, if they wish, but Lilith doesn't approve of slavery. She does approve of leading these people on, though, and then setting them up to fall.
Captains of the Third Choice can, whenever they are in a situation that appears to be no-win no matter what choice is made, make a Perception+Celestial Forces check. If they succeed and there's any better course of action they've missed, the Symphony reveals it, with the CD determining how much better the option is or how many new paths are revealed, GM's choice. If the situation is truly entirely constrained, you at least know roughly what price each choice will cost you, barring celestial intervention.
Barons of Freedom do not exist, but if they did, they might be able to trade Geases in the same manner Lilith can, allowing them to Geas someone and then hand the debt over to other people. However, it is unlikely Lilith will ever grant this power.
Lilith can teach the Songs of Correspondence, Deception, Freedom, Fruition, Pestilence and War. She can also hand Geases out to people if she feels like it.
1. Meditate for 2 hours at the Berlin Wall.
2. For 3 Essence, walk the Freedom Trail in Boston.
3. For 3 Essence, free any being from bondage, physical or celestial.
4. For 4 Essence, lead a revolution to the headquarters of a despot.
Lilith was not the first human woman - humans evolved. But she was the original 15-Force woman, and she is unique, with all complexity of a human and all the power of a Wordbound immortal. Her place in Hell is secured by the Lilim and her work. She made the first Tethers to Hell - only a human could do it. She is the only Wordbound human, and no one has any idea how that happened. Some say that Lilith is the embodiment of what humans could one day become. Some fear this, others hope for it. Her history is written entirely in character, as a note.
Lilith was created for Eden. She was made to be Adam's equal, mate and helper. As it turns out, ADam didn't want an equal, but an almost-equal, to serve and entertain him as animals could not. Liltih had a problem with this, but she was made second, after humanity - God wouldn't force Adam to treat her respectfully, as that would break his free will. So, instead, Lilith chose to leave. Adam asked the angels to fetch her back, but she refused to come, so God instead made Eve to be his mate. Lilith was bitter for a time, but found other things to do. Eventually, Lucifer sought her out and told her of the inequalities in Heaven, how other angels were favored, much as Adam was favored over Lilith. She liked what he said, and even if it were not true, she could tell a conflict was coming that would destroy any neutrals. She expected the Purity Crusade long before it happened. In a choice between God and rebels exercising free will, Lilith sympathized with the rebels. And, she admits, she was also appreciative of being courted by the Morning Star. She was offered power and safety, and a Word. She decided that Lucifer needed her far more than God or Adam ever had.
Now, Lilith enjoys watching the Lilim walk among humanity and bind them, as Adam sought to enslave her. After all, unlike Adam, they grant equal value in return - favors for favors, not enslavement. That's Lilith's side of the story.
Lilith is calm, beautiful and mysterious. While most Princes serve their Word in the most destructive, cruel and literal way, Lilith's is as broad as any Archangel's. She's as likely to praise a freedom fighter as an insane anarchist...or vice versa. Hell would prefer she emphasize the anarchy of the strong over the weak, and she often does, but she was also pelased at the fall of the Berlin Wall, the coming of the Renaissance and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. She especially likes the consensual anarchy of the Internet. Nybbas and Vapula claim this is their influence, but the tolerance and curiosity Jean shows towards Lilith may also have something to do with it. Despite her lack of cruelty, however, she is exceptionally selfish. Her long life has honed her will and self-preservation instinct into a desire for self-sufficiency that overpowers all of her other emotions. Living around the Princes has only intensfied her basic self-centeredness, and her assurance that no one else will look out for her.
Lilith's inherent selfishness in refusing to serve in the Eden experiment is strange and somewhat offensive to many angels, who willingly serve the Symphony. Her alliance with Lucifer by choice only confirms their opinion that she is evil by Heaven's standards. Lilith sees herself as just practical, but the angels see her as a mercenary, selling her favors to the highest bidder for dark power. Only the most optimistic point out that, as Adam's first mate, Lilith should have the same capacity for selfishness and selflessness inherent to all humans, and that despite her bad choices, she might still choose otherwise in the future. This entire argument, however, is considered a theoretical exercise - no one really expects Lucifer to break his side of the deal.
Like the Lilim, Lilith tends to find the aura of slavery in hell rather depressing, so she lives in several places on Earth, too. Her favorite is Switzerland. She often appears as a wealthy woman of undefined nobility, traveling the world in luxury, with ties to nothing and no one. She has also shown up as a fanatic radical calling for the overthrow of law. Occasionally, she attends sci fi conventions, to bask in the worship of Libertarianism and the anarchy of the Web. She can play guitar quite well and understands computers more than most Superiors of her age.
Physically, Lilith has never taken on a male form. Some believe she only has one body, in fact, which she alters with Songs. That'd raise interesting questions about what'd happen if she were killed on Earth. She has manifested as non-human before, though. She's always beautiful, no matter what she is, though - every possible ethnicity, animals, even catgirls. Yes, canonically, Lilith has been a catgirl. She is also never crude or clumsy if she can at all avoid it, and she prides herself on her manners. She smiles well even when angry, and while she might use power or even scream in rage, she is never shrill. Celestially and ethereally, she routinely manifests the tokens of every Geas owed her as a gown of stars, to show her power.
Lilith's top priority is always remaining as free as possible. She doesn't especially care for power over others, though she realizes she does need some to survive. She's indifferent to just about anything that doesn't affect her directly. She takes interest in human affairs for the sake of her Word, promoting individual freedoms and discouraging any rules or restrictions imposed by anyone but the individual. Humans, however, seem to prefer to be ruled. She feels bad about that. There are many rumors about Lilith, which she encourages for her own entertainment. They keep people guessing. One of the more plausible rumors is that she has a Tether to the Far Marches, while others are about who she's fucking. Lucifer's always on top of the list. Lilith has many secrets and never confirms her rumors. While she doesn't like politics, she does take interest in information she can use later, and she's tenacious about getting the full story, possibly to stave off her boredom.
As the Lilim can, Lilith can look on someone and tell their Needs. She can even do it Superiors, though it's harder. She also uses spies, informants and other mundane methods to learn what people need or want. Then, if she can get it, she'll offer a bargain.
Lilith views her Word broadly, emphasizing personal freedom - the freedom to succeed or fail. She isn't sadistic, but she isn't kind, either. If you can't make it on your own, too fuckin' bad. However, she doesn't believe anarchy includes the right to enslave others just because there's no rules. A murderer can kill, as far as she cares, but a slaver is a problem. She's tolerant of freely chosen associations, so long as you can leave when you want. She might at one point have believed that choosing to conceive and bear a child implied choosing to raise it to self-sufficiency as well, but then again, maybe not. Her own Daughters are made as adults, either way.
Lilith has no desire for Heaven to win, as she feels that her freedom and existence would be lost if they did. However, she doesn't really care if Hell wins, except in that it might let her promote Freedom more. Stalemate suits her fine - the War is needed for her Lilim to have value, after all, and without hte War, she might become superfluous, and thus vulnerable. It's not known if Lilith initially embraced only the Hellish aspects of Freedom or all of them from the start. It's true that the broader she interprets, the more connected to the Word she gets - and the more power. Power is always to be desired, after all. Besides, why should she be restricted in her interpretation?
Next time: Lilith and the Lilim
Freedom to ChooseOriginal SA post Superiors: Lilith - Freedom to Choose
It is a solid fact that there's no such thing as a naive Lilim. From the moment of their creation, they have an innate knack for deal-making and seduction. This is because of how they're made. See, sometimes, Lilith requests Forces as payment. She incorporates these Forces into herself until they absorb her nature, and then she removes nine of them and uses them to create a Lilim. Newborn Lilim receive at least one Ethereal Force bearing her nature, and that is the root of the Lilim love of Freedom, cunning and bitter selfishness. It is unknown if Lilith had the ability to do this before she joined Lucifer, or if she can make anything else. She has only ever been known to make demonic Lilim, and they can't do the same thing - it is unknown if that's deliberate or because they aren't human like Lilith.
Celestials who learn of this aspect of the Lilim believe that it is why they can be so cooperative among themselves and so varied in personality, drawing on the original donor of the Forces used. That some Daughters seek Redemption may come from use of ethereal or angelic Forces in their creation. Lilith mainly stays out of their business unless they are treated unfairly...and that's not out of altruism. She's less likely to intervene to those Lilim sworn to a Prince, but sometimes still does. The reason is threefold. First, she can't let her Daughters be treated as property or slaves due to her Word. Second, the Lilim are a large part of her power, and every time a Free Lilim dies, she loses several GEases. She does not appreciate that. Third, because her Daughters share her essential nature, an offense against them is in some way an offense against her, making people think that, perhaps, they can push Lilith around. However, no one knows where she'll draw the line on any given day. This keeps the Free Lilim from ignoring authority too much, and also keeps the Game from naming them all Renegades.
Lilith has few Tethers of her own, as she has neither a Principality of any real size nor the desire to bind Seneschals indefinitely. She does have a few Seneschals, but never binds them as Wordbound to the location. Her Tethers tend to be transient - the sites of revolutions, executions of kings and other monuments to political instability. Once the politics make the link to Freedom ironic, Lilith loses interest and stops maintaining the Tether. Some of these abandoned Tethers linger on, while others are destroyed by neglect or celestial action, and some are even sold to Princes who can use them, like Malphas. Still, for as long as a Tether to Freedom has a Seneschal, it can be used to work off dissonance for anyone - even angels. Currently, Lilith has a Tether to a small building in Palo Alto, where anarchistic programs were developed and are still in use. She also has TEthers at the remains of the Berlin Wall, at Concord Green, at a statue of the rebel slave Zumbi in Brazil and the statue of Armed Freedom at the Capitol Building in DC, which she keeps for the irony. Her Tethers are usually endpointed in the Guildhall of Free Lilim, the closest thing to a Principality Lilith holds.
The Berlin Wall Tether was formed when the first blow was struck to open new border crossings. One of Lilith's most trusted Daughters, Tahapenes, was there watching. When she sensed the forming Tether, she called Lilith and the Tether was stabilized immediately. She was given position as Seneschal if she wanted it, and she took the job. She still believes Lilith was present that day and the call was unneeded, but she never mentions this. Over the next two years, the Wall was almnost totally destroyed, so now it's hard to say where the Tether locus actually is. Most believe it's at Potsdamer Platz, but some say that any part of the Wall or where it once was can be used. Tahapenes works as a pair of tour guides, as she has both male and female Vessels, focusing on the remains of hte Wall. She does what she can to keep alive its memory and what its destruction symbolized, and while she wasn't the only force behind the marking of its old course, she did approve. Even now, the Berlin Wall is one of the most powerful Tethers to Freedom, and she plans to keep it that way.
Lilith attempts to avoid politics when she can, but she doesn't consider dealmaking or information brokerage as politics, even to Archangels. Others may not see it that way, but none of the Princes are willing to push her too far - she's too useful and holds too many debts and secrets.
Superior Opinions posted:
Andrealphus: Charming, stylish, heartbreakingly beautiful, and wonderful in bed. No morality, no affection, simply the trading of body for Need. I have many of her Daughters in my service. A reliable ally, and so stylish.
Think of him as a perfect example of freedom - do what thou wilt. He refuses to acknowledge any bindings other than the ones forced on him by position or power - or Geases, of course. It's hardly surprising that we get on so well.
Asmodeus: She is flighty, too devoted to herself and not enough to Hell. If she did not provide useful services and demons for the cause, she would be just another Renegade. As it is, I must police her "free" children carefully, since she cares not what they do.
To hime, I owe nothing. He's a slave at heart, knowing nothing of real freedom. I'm amazed he found the spirit to rebel against Heaven in the first place.
Baal: Though uninterested in the front lines and undisciplined, she produces devious support personnel. It is better to have her working with us than complicating matters as a true free agant.
Baal always keeps his word. He doesn't do much business with me, though...and when the War is over, who will need Lilith?
Beleth: She has sense enough to fear me. That is enough. If she has something to offer, I shall consider it.
Living out there on the edge of the Marches, she makes her own way. She can frighten me - but then, I suppose that's her point. I've had plans, lately, for her. There are things she wants that I can get her. And she'll owe big . All's fair...
Belial: Hey, she's got her uses, done a few favors for me. But she's not really hot stuff, know what I mean? All talk, no fire.
Sure, he's as scary as any uncontrolled disaster. But he's no rocket scientist. It doesn't take much to get something from him. I'll make a deal here and there, though he's reneged once or twice and I had rake him 'cross the coals. He won't soon cross me again - if he knows what's good for him.
Haagenti: I wanted a ham sandwich, and she gave me one! With a whole pig! It was great!
He's hungry enough to have plenty of Needs. However, he's developing, and growing more intelligent - I'm not sure how many of the other Princes have realized that yet. Potential, oh, definitely.
Kobal: She's got a sense of humor, sure, but she rarely tells you what's so funny. I think she's laughing inside more than she ever lets on. Gotta admit, the joke was on Heaven the day they let her get away!
He's always been a free thinker, willing to flit from idea to idea, and I value that. He's not bound by reality; no plan seems too outrageous for him. He also knows how to repay his debts, good or bad. Another admirable quality.
Kronos: Lilith is a perfect example of how Fate attracts all things, all beings. Even the purest expriment was contaminated from the first.
Kronos...[bites her lower lip throughtfully and distractingly] I have my theories about what he really is. [smiles even more distractingly] No. No, I don't intend to share.
Malphas: Anarchy feeds into factions - she should realize this and cooperate with me. I could do much if she were less stubborn...
I am very well aware of the games Malphas plays. However, he cannot break the bonds of a Geas, so I'll play along with him ; I know who my allies are.
Nybbas: Definitely star quality, her and her Daughters! We don't even have a PR problem here - everybody likes freedom! Hates anybody but her sitting in the director's chair, though; a real prima donna. Still, nothing controls the audience better than beautiful freedom.
Someday, he's going to turn around and understand how much he Needs his audience. Then he's going to see who's been watching him since he got his Word. And just maybe he'll realize that his glasses don't stop me. 'Til then...at least it keeps some of the girls gainfully employed. He pays me well for them.
Saminga: Freedom is insignificant in the face of Death. All die, all come to me.
He negotiates with real energy, but that's the only fun thing about him. And too often, the threat of Death is used to steal freedom.
Valefor: Goes where she wants to go, does what she wants to do, gets what she wants to have. Enjoys stirring up trouble. I can appreciate that. And she understands that getting locked up in one place is just no fun - I like her, and I'm ging to see if she wants this necklace I picked up...
A likeable rogue, but an enigma. I love his freedom. His Needs are a heavy burden - no, I'm not saying what they are! Nevertheless, what Valefor wants, Valefor gets. A Prince after one's own heart, and anything else he can pry loose.
Vapula: An interesting control in one of the first experiments. She's a real progressive, embracing technology and what it brings.
We used to get on quite well, he and I. I think he's been getting even more obsessed lately, if that's possible, but he can at least maintain a decent professional relationship, which is more than I can say for some.
Blandine: She is a Princess, what more need be said? It is a pity that such a noble Word is twisted to infernal use. But oh, she can be tempting.
I know what she Needs, but I can give it to her. Her Needs scream at me. Maybe that's why she isolates herself in the Marches.
David: Lilith offers "the easy way out." Unfortunately there's no such thing. That means she couldn't give you a good deal if she wanted to. She always cheats you. It's what she does. It's what her Word means . She's a demon and must be destroyed.
Old as stone, slow as stone, thick as stone. He refuses to believe that I have any honor whatsoever. So I never, ever try to start a fight with him.
Domonic: She is evil and must be destoryed. Her seductions and Geases have lured angels to Trip and Fall. She is dangerous .
Rules, rules, rules - bah. I know he's got a special place in his dungeons for me. He can't accept that I was never within his jurisdiction to begin with.
Eli: A real lady, but don't promise her the moon unless you want to deliver! Loads of fun at parties. [pause] Ah, don't mention you heard that from me.
He's a Mercurian, so I can relax around him, some. He's such a goof these days. Loads of fun at parties. I don't trust him one little bit.
Gabriel: She is a Princess of Hell. She is alone. Not cruel, not kind; her sins are omissions, her mercies a lack of malice. Freedo menslaved to darkness, enslaving light - how does she reconcile the division in her nature?
It's dangerous to try to fulfill a lunatic's Needs - her urge to punish cruelty makes dealing with her worse than walking through a minefield. As likely to flame someone as not, too. God drove her insane, another cruelty to His name, and her so-called prophecies are visions of madness. Yet her ravings can be...unsettlingly relevant .
Janus: She's certainly one for stirring things up! I sure wish she were on our side - there's a lot of things we could do together to shake up the status quo!
An exciting racing partner, but not one to cultivate. I wouldn't like to do without Valefor's good will. Still, the Wind has its own needs for Freedom.
Jean: She must have had her reasons to choose as she did. If only she could be understood , perhaps... But she keeps her own counsel, and I have higher-priority things to do than psychoanalyze her. Still, she's certainly not a neo-Luddite - unlikes some of the people around here .
An intellectual chessmaster, and yet elemental; I love wild thunderstorms. His "hands off humanity" policy is something the other Angel Princes could learn from.
Jordi: The only Freedom for humanity is that of the wilds, but she embraces technology to enhance her Word. She is obviously corrupt, and must be viewed with deep suspicion.
I could like him, if I didn't always see his Need for humanity to be grubbing in the dirt like any other animal. I've done that. Never again.
Laurence: She chose to walk away from God. She cloaks herself in the ideology of liberation, but never forget that she represents the consequences of free will exercised selfishly - the freedom to choose Hell over Heaven.
Heh. How charming to know the General of the Host is younger than I. What I'd give for the key to unlock the chains around his virtue... But he's best avoided; much too dangerous. If you get any Geases on his Servitors, though...call me.
Marc: If only she weren't so selfish , what we could... Well, of course I've dealt with her from time to time. She's amenable to an honest exchange, though you definitely have to watch the fine print around her. I think we both enjoy the challenge, really.
I could almost trust him, because he deals as sharp as I do. It's his Word, and my life. But he's never offered me quite enough ...
Michael: Sometimes she has information. And she knows better than to lie about its value. But she should never be trusted. Not even by the Princes. She'd rather be on her own side.
He understands about mercenaries and free agants, and I know here I stand when I'm dealing with him. I'm not stupid enough to try to face him in battle or meet him down dark alleys.
Novalis: I feel sorry for her. If she even thought about changing her mind, she'd get lynched by both sides. She must be very lonely. I just don't see why no one considers a little forgiveness - honey is sweeter than vinegar. And she has excellent taste in clothing.
Honestly, she makes my teeth hurt. Cloying, saccharine, always remembering she made that lovely garden I walked out of... But better the honeysuckle than the poison ivy; I don't antagonize her.
Yves: It remains to be seen if Fate has truly claimed Lilith - her story is not over. Freedom brings hope, and hipe leads to destiny.
I remember when he named me. And I remember when he walked away, and Lucifer explained free will to us. Yves is trucky, but I'll deal with him; the knowledge he commands is tempting.
Humanity: Complex, of course. "Half of them are below average," as the saying goes. I'd be quite opposed to their extermination.
Soldiers of God: Fools, typically, who don't know what they're really giving their lives for. Still, it's their choice, though they'll only find out what their lives bought after it's too late.
Soldiers of Hell: Also mostly fools, of the power-hungry sort. They make good tools, and the few glorious, self-sufficient ones are worth knowing.
Sorcerers: A pitifully deluded bunch, these days. I remember when ethereals and demons trembled at the very thought of a summoning, but now, sorcerers are rarely better than the power-blinded Hellsworn.
Ethereals: I could have told them that they'd be crushed between the millstones of Heaven and Hell, but none asked me. It's nice to be the superior partner in deals with them, though I do try not to rub it in.
When Lilith was made, Lucifer was the most interesting of the beings she met. When he later sought her out, he found her lonely, suspicious and angry. He nourished her bitterness and her sympathy for the imprisoned dmeons, and he used a mix of lies, threats, truth and promsies to seduce her to the cause of Hell. Also, sex. She has never quite forgotten what it was like to be at the center of his attention, wanted and needed, and she loved Lucifer as much as she has ever loved anyone. Even now, when hse knows he lied to her, she refuses to believe it was all lies. That would hurt her, after all. Lilith respects Lucifer's power, but she fears his words far more. Maybe he could take her crown and cast her down to be a mere human, maybe he could destroy her - but that would be better than him telling her he never felt anything for her. For his part, Lucifer has never done anything to make her believe he is only using her or was only using her. Hek nows well what that might do.
Lilith's much more straightforward on God: He is a sadistic and arbitrary manipulator. She is quick to point out the patriarchal and authoritiarian influences in divien religions, and equally quick to ask why God would make angels with such painful dissonance as the Cherubim and Elohim, who seem to her to be made to be on the edge of Falling. And, of course, she still has the grudge: God made her choose between caged comfort and free suffering - and she knew nothing of the outside world until it was too late to go back.
So, variations. Lilith is still technically a human, and that makes her more complex than any celestial could ever be. Also, she doesn't ever cause Disturbance. However, she is immortal, and that's affected her. She has plans and grudges that last across centuries. There's three basic ways to view Lilith, and even canonically, many celestials hold any of the three views. The first is the Malicious Lilith. She was, from the first, disobedient and selfish. She hates humanity and justifies it with imagined insults. She jumped at the offer of power and enjoys subjugating others. Her humanity is a mere technicality and her Word is an ironic joke. The Enigma Lilith had reasons, still does, and some are even logical. Eden was an experiment with a sample of three, an experiment in which God made humans to be lab rats. And if Lucifer came to you in person, could you stand against him? Would you tell him no? Still, she hasn't run away, either, and the legends of Lilith killing infants are true. The Trapped Lilith is selfish, sure, but she feels Heaven let her down. She owes favors of her own that trap her to Lucifer, and none know the conditions that got her her Word. Already, she lives mostly on Earth, speaks to Marc and Eli and Jean, and she saves her DAughters when she can. If she were convinced that Heaven wasn't mindless conformity, that she would not be killed...well, maybe she might plan her own escape?
Lilith The Mere Human is crippled - she lacks many of the innate powers of other Superiors. She may be unable to make any type of celestial but Lilim, use any resonance at all or manifest more vessels than her own body. Maybe she even needs the Song of Projection to enter Hell. That would make her much weaker. Or you can go the other way - maybe Lilith is indeed gray and can make angels as well as dmeons. Heaven would of course want to rescue them and cover it up, unless it would make the Princes angry enough to force her to flee.
That would be hte Renegade Princess Lilith. Of all the Princes, Lilith is often seen as most likely to go Renegade, both by angels and demons. She loves Freedom and all its aspects. If Lucifer ever ceased to protect her, the Princes would destroy her unless she ran. She remains selfish, but she also takes her Word very broadly, and she's willing to change her behavior to get help. It's not selflessness, though, it's pragmatism. She might seek sanctuary with the Grigori, if she could find them, or make a deal with Marc for protection. She might hide in the Marches with the crippled pantheons, shelter herself with Eli or even perhaps submit to Jean's psychoanalysis. If Lilith thought Lucifer was going to lift her protections, she would plot to escape with as much power as possible. Even if she had to flee unespectedly, she'd bring what power she could in the form of Renegades, Outcasts and Free Lilim into a rebel power structure. That might make joining forces with Heaven a bit tricky. Still, Michael would at least see the value in it and would enjoy keeping Dominic off their backs.
Strictly speaking, humans can't Redeem as demons do - they can seek salvation instead. Their forms and abilities do not change to show if they are blessed or damned. That makes even a repentant Lilith awkward for Heaven. They might assume she would be burned by the Light of Heaven if she were still sympathetic to Hell, how would you tell if she was backsliding? And she hadh er attitudes forged in Hell. She's used to being uncaring, using power for vengeance over petty slights, testing others for her amusement. It'd be a fulltime job to get her attnetion and give her a more personal reason to care what others thing. Getting to Heaven, after all, requires caring.
Next time: The Guildhall
Freedom Isn't FreeOriginal SA post Superiors: Lilith - Freedom Isn't Free
The Guildhall of Free Lilim is in Shal-Mari, made to be a central location for Lilim and Princely representatives to meet and make deals. The central room is always full of booths, each with the representative of a Prince or major Wordbound hunting for free Lilim to hire. It's even more full of Lilim of all ages, hunting for work or a deal that'll set them up for a century or two. A few agents also circulate in search of Lilim with specific abilities for some plan or information their mistresses would be interested in. The Guildhall's staff of damned souls hurry about to keep the place clean and deliver messages. It's never quiet.
Off from the main room is the bar, with semi-private and discreet booths for more serious deals and rented rooms for true privacy. They're not cheap, though. Stairs and elevators had up or down, as the basements hold most of the Tether endpoints of Freedom. The middle floors hold offices and small apartments that Lilim can rent, as well as the barracks of the Guildhall staff. On the top floor is Lilith's office, where her secretary can be found to make deals, or more rarely, Lilith herself. The secretary is always a powerful Lilim, authorized to make bargains herself, and you need something only Lilith can provide, she'll make notes and do preliminary negotiations, then forward it to Lilith by the end of the day. The hall to this office is always full of a line of waiting demons. While in theory it's first come, first served, the more potent will generally bully or bribe their way to the front. The rest of the top floor is Lilith's suite, overlooking Shal-Mari. Few demons ever see these quarters, and while the security is discreet, it is also quite unpleasant. Lilith rarely spends time in the Guildhall, however - she prefers Earth.
Those that serve Lilith directly always do so for a reason - either they're working off a Geas or working ofr a promised reward. From time to time, Lilith will trade a Lilim's Geas to a Superior in exchange for the service of one of their servants for an equal length of time. Sometimes the Superior picks the 'volunteer,' sometimes Lilith does. While Lucifer could easily assign her servants, even Wordbound, this has so far never happened. Lilith is frugal in her requests, preferring to be self-sufficient, and she likes her temps to rely on themselves when in trouble. Quick and efficient work, however, may put her in a good enough mood to make more and better bargains with you. It is possible to enter long-term arrangements roughly equivalent to permanent service, but these are always arranged so either side can walk away after a certain period, renewable as circumstances allow. Some Outcasts and Renegades seek these contracts in exchange for some amount of protection. Lilith's help is covert and plausibly deniable, should Asmodeus or Dominic stop by. Now and then, she will openly purchase demons from a Prince, but she insists they're free to leave when their contracts are up...though somehow, these desperate souls always renew those contracts.
Lilith has no organization. Those who bargain with her obey for the duration. While Lilith likes to collect information, she has neither the time nor inclination to read endless reports. It would be boring. Thus, she does have to have minions to go through the information and file more pertinent reports. She keeps as few of these as she can - a good secretary, usually. Most reports go through two to four layers - her ears on the street hear gossip, go to a Guildhall employee who filters out the redundant bits and sends it on to a specialist monitor. From there, it gets sent to Lilith on earth, to be triaged for importance and put on her desk. Really hot data goes straight to a secretary or Lilith herself. Orders come down similar chains of not-quite-command.
Naturally, temps don't get to be part of the data flow unless it won't matter that they won't be around long. They're more likely to be messengers, collectors of raw data or disposable minions, except when special expertise is needed and no Free Lilim is available with it. Even longterm employees are expected to keep their records in order so they can turn them over to a replacement when they leave. Training the replacement is optional but approved of. (Most Freedom training is via mentorship.) There are also some isolated cells, often human, such as detective agencies or security teams who know little about other gorups. They are often mundane and utterly unaware of anything except that one of their clients is obscenely rich.
Lilith hires people to promote choice and freedom over rules and slavery, usually, plus some spying. Her temps are often told to remove tyrants, protect birth control and abortion clinics, lobby against certain laws using any means available, engineer jailbreaks and promote communications and transport technology. They also fight against big business and governments, help Theft and Lust, and offer favors to all sorts of clients, usually in ways to promote anarchy or individual freedom. If Lilith is very annoyed, she may escalate any of these - assassinate pro-lifers, kidnap CEOs, assist terrorists...that sort of thing. For Lilim, there's also the job of collecting Geases on specific people or those in certain areas, then invoke them at Lilith's direction. Information gathering is usually on other celestials - currently, most often Beleth, Kronos and Eli - and reports of strange events. It's rare for any one person to get more than snippets of information, and some even have the task of gathering false information or things Lilith knows or things that don't exist. It keeps any one hireling from knowing too much. Oddly, Lilith seems to have little interest in investigating Valefor, for whatever reason.
In Hell, Freedom mostly spies, collects and processes information. Lilith doesn't like politics, but she knows she has to be kept up to date on them. She pays some Essence to many demons, demonlings and damned souls to just keep their ears open and report gossip. The best paid are those who can eavesdrop on important demons, but even a lowly demonling can eventually save up enough credit to buy a Force, if they report well enough. Theoretically, Lilith might also employ retrieval and transport, but rarely directly. Most of the time that's political and she wants deniability. Others might be direct but cover to avoid thieves and hostility. Of course, if she finds out about exploited Lilim and decides to get involved, she might send a team to get revenge. These jobs tend to be intermittent and case by case. She also pays a much smaller group, largely of Lilim, to maintain the Guildhall, collect dues, deliver rent and keep the peace. The non-Lilim are all cleaning staff, bouncers and Tether guards. The smallest group are Lilith's secretaries, known as the Secretarial Pool despite a modern push by the younger Lilim to be called executive assistants. No matter what they're called, though, being part of the Secretarial Pool is quite the status symbol.
Those assigned to work in the Marches tend to spy on dreams, run messages out to the Far Marches, seek out artifacts of power or, more rarely, serve as ambassadors to certain Domains. Since Beleth doesn't really like anyone else poking around, this can be rather tricky, and Blandine's angels are no better.
On Earth, besides everything previously discussed, some hires work as bodyguards, messegners or thugs, transporters or people doing a job someone else asked Lilith for. Sometimes a group will be gathered to solve some problem for Lilith or someone else, and they're rarely told more than the bare minimum needed to ensure they solve the problem rather than shooting nearby people. Lilith is always hiring spies and data collection agents, though, as well as demons working with organized crime or law enforcement to track people or do certain things. She also hires people to staff her estates, look out for Disturbance and keep the places clean or serve as her personal secretaries as she travels.
Most of Freedom's work is unusual, especially the jobs that are about Lilith fulfilling a pact with someone else. The work has four basic flavors, though. Working with folks you don't know the allegiances of, secretly working with angels, openly working with angels, and the really, really weird jobs, like finding a lost cat in LA or shelving unfiled books for no clear reason. Lilith also hires folks to get information from Renegades or defectors, and she's the most likely to give a Renegade a choice - put the information in a Memory Pearl and move on, or refuse and die.
Lilith's primary stock in trade for temps is Songs, vessels, relics, Rites and Geases. Lilim especially like to learn the Celestial Song of Charm or the Celestial Song of Affinity. Essence is also a common payment. Lilith will remove dissonance or Discord, too, which makes her tempting to Outcasts. She has learned to access many Songs and Rites learned from ethereals, and she will happily trade them for Geases to be invoked when she needs it. IF you're lucky, she'll have a job for you first, rather than a Geas, and you can get paid when it's done. Either way, those serving her may choose to take her basic Rites and dissonance - but it's an all or nothing package. Lilith won't force you either way, but you don't get to change your mind after. Some try to find out what Lilith wants and do it without negotiating first. If you're really lucky, you'll be right and she'll be in a good enough mood to reward it freely. If you aren't lucky, you fucked up someone else's job or she wasn't impressed enough for more than a brief thank you. Still, if you're really useful, she might even sponsor you for a Word...though that'd take a lot of effort and decades of loyal service.
Lilith prefers Balseraphs for jobs that need people to be convinced of things, though she rarely uses them to interact with angels or collect information. Djinn are used as guards, bodyguards and muscle when you don't want too much violence or sadism, and they also get given research and info gathering jobs. Calabim are short term bouncers and the go-to for any job needing lots of destruction. Habbalah get assigned jobs that need subtlety and nastiness in any combination, and also for interrogation or manufacturing blackmail. Lilim, when not staff or secretaries, are mostly used for jobs involving Geases, learning about Needs or blackmail. They are the Band Lilith trusts most, though less so for those bound to a Prince. Shedim are used for plausible deniability or to steal information from a mortal mind. Sometimes they are instructed to remain subtle, even if it'd be dissonant, and Lilith will generally cure any dissonance that causes. Impudites are used to make friends or get blackmail, and also when another job needs someone who can easily give Essence to the rest of the team.
Strictly speaking, Lilim do not serve Lilith even when Free, though they usually have her Rites and dissonance, and they do share her nature. In many ways, they can't help but serve Freedom...but they also do damage to it, because despite what they claim, Geases are often very unfair. For the Lilim, life is all about value. Your value. You know you're currency, for yourself and Lilith. The more valuable you are, the less likely you'll be sent on a suicide mission. The more your Geases are worth to others. The closer you are to true freedom. But if you lose too many Geases too quickly...well, you're not very valuable to Lilith any more, are you? Better to make some bargains to keep your vlaue up. Like any sister, you want to do as you please, but you need to balance that against what others might do to you. The Game is always waiting for you to relax the wrong way so they can haul you in. All that stands between you and having to bind yourself to a Prince is Lilith's goodwill and, to a lesser extent, the goodwill of the Sisterhood of Lilim.
Next time: Life as Lilim
Born FreeOriginal SA post Superiors: Lilith - Born Free
Lilim gossip. It's a fact of life. They keep track of each other, and they talk about their work a lot, even their plans and threats they've seen around. That means Lilim tend to be quite well-informed about the Sisterhood and any threats concerning it. It's not uncommon to know the names of dozens or hundreds of Lilim they've never met personally. Gossi[ is also how they communicate status and punishment. You brea the unwritten rules, you will be known by every Lilim. If you've done well and Lilith lieks you, you'll be respected. Likewise, how bosses treat Lilim is going to be open knowledge among the Sisterhood, even if the details of the work are not. Even the Bound Lilim gossip amongst their sisters, when they can.
Therea are two main ways for a Lilim to get a job - check at the Guildhall, or talk to random people. The first is preferable - it's less work - but you have to go to Hell for it, and few Seneschals are about to let you use a Tether for free. Andrealphus is considered one of the best Princes to temp for, and many Lilim get their first vessel from him. And, because we can't do this without mentioning it, also they lose their virginity to him. Asmodeus dislikes the Frees, but he will use them. Still, he's creepy and unpredictable in his payments, and he tracks you. Baal doesn't like the Frees but uses them for deniability. He pays poorly and is said tosometimes stiff you. Beleth has little use for the Free Lilim. Belial likes the more destructive ones, but isn't generous unless you really want some explosives. Haagenti likes temps and is popular, but he's leery on handing out attunements as rewards, especially because he knows so many Lilim want his attunement. Kobal liks Lilim who have a fresh take on things, but it can be quite dangerous. Kronos is creepy, but attractive to bookish Lilims or those who enjoy crushing others. Lilith, of course, is both the best employer and most frustrating - oyu get status, but not the powers other Princes can offer. Malphas is quite personable as a boss, but he's a Shedite and working for him is usually bad for your reputation. Nybbas is a popular boss - he loves hte Frees and he's fun to work for. Saminga is not - he's no good at figuring out how to get Frees to want to work for him, so they charge him highly and even then rarely do much for him. Valefor's in the top three bosses, especially if you like stealing. He keeps his word, but you have to be careful with his demons. Vapula is tempting for the clever Lilim, and his attunement is wonderful, as well.
Not all jobs are short-term, and indeed most Princes prefer longterm contracts, to better expose freelancers to their organizations. Lilim like them for stability and planning. Typically, they start at six months and top out around ten years, with five years being the typical. The Geas involved is usually a low-level one about abiding by the terms of the contract, but some prefer each year sworn individually. Lilim in longterm contracts are more likely to be treated as fellow servants by other demons of the Prince they work for, at least for the duration. The Prince will also want to keep you alive to get hte most of the investment.
The final bargain any Free ever makes is binding - the only major choice they'll ever make again. Once you're bound, you're bound, unless you go Renegade. So you'd better sell yourself high, because this is all you will ever be worth, and the Sisterhood remembers. Still, there are times when a Prince may expect a Free to bind to them. It usually takes a few decades or centuries of longterm contracting. It's proof of competence, dedication, enjoying hte job and often a lack of support network outside the work. When all your major hooks are on demons of the Media, after all, you're pretty much entrenched. Princes are rarely subtle about these offers - they start with pointed remarks about settling down, and then suggestions that if you don't want to, this is your last contract.
Sensible demons of other Words don't go out of their way to harass frees too much. Sure, they get hassled, but unless there's a grudge, it usually doesn't go overboard. Free Lilim don't have much power to steal and aren't usually going to stick around long enough to be worth blackmailing, so the only real benefit is short-term dominance. Plus, if you fuck up, they're a time bomb, waiting for a chance to get even. Lilim hold grudges. Besides, being friendly is usually more rewarding - the Frees know how weak they are and try to avoid making enemies. Only the youngest or most bitter start off hostile. The rest try to be charming and polite, like Lilith.
The stereotype is that Lilim have sedx all the time, and it is an easy hook, but it's not totally true. From time to time, especially between Lilim, you sometimes get more serious relationships. They tend not to last long, for fear of Geas-required ocnflict. What they find romantic, instead, is exchanged Geases: for one night, do not betray me.
Trust is hard in Hell, so Lilim are often brought in as mediators to use their Geases to guarantee trust. You make your agreement and allow a Lilim to geas each side into meeting their half of it, on the simplest level. Of course, a Lilim gets real reputation for being able to actually mediate and reach a mutually acceptable agreement, with proper wording to ensure neither side can back out. The best mediators are called in to handle disputes between hostile factions ready for a period of peace, to make sure both sides feel equally shafted and equally smug. Of course, they never work free. Typically, they will require an hour-Geas on the principals, 10% of any corporeal financial transaction or some other percentage of the bargain. The harder the deal is to make, the higher the price. Some take payment in servants. Much as the Lilim mediate deals, so does Lilith arrange alliances and pacts between Princes. Few demons ever realize how vital these mediations are to the functioning of Hell.
From the outside, it can seem that Lilim in the Sisterhood trust and like each other, an oasis of cooperation in Hell's selfishness. And there are even some Lilim who think family should come second (the self always comes first) and will go to some danger to help a sister. But the truth is it's all enlightened self-interest. They help their sisters because their sisters will help them. Because of the Geas webs and gossip, they know who can be trusted and who can't. It's not altruism - it just looks that way, and the look of it is the main thing keeping the Free safe form random demons. They have no Princely protection, but they cooperate. So wise demons don't cross the Sisterhood. And that's why Lilim get along so well.
Free Lilim have a reputation for honesty. There's also an unspoken rule about not talking about your work, especialyl with your employer's enemies, unless you get seriously mistreated. Lilim can break their word and even lie about geases, but they rarely do. First, they tend to not like lying about payment, even to humans, as it can reduce the hook's obligation and the trget is more likely to resist. Second, it devalues Lilim as a group and tarnishes their reputation. No Daughter wants to be made less valuable, either by their own actions or those of an idiot sister. Newborns are quickly indoctrinated in this way, and any Lilim who ruin the reputation in a large way becomes a target for her sisters, possibly even for death. Nearly every Lilim has skirted the line at least once for some reason, but no smart Lilim makes a habit of it, even when dealing with humans. It's not dissonant - it's just heavily frowned on.
As a rule, Frees tend to fear the Game more than average. They're more vulnerable, after all, and they know that Lilith won't always bail them out and the Sisterhood has little leverage with Asmodeus. Plus, Frees don't do well in captivity, thanks to Lilith's dissonance conditions. Naturally, no Lilim will willingly show how much they're scared of the Game and may even go to near suicidal lengths to count coup on Gamesters. But the fear always colors it. Many will make bad bargains unofficially when the Game comes calling. They'll even keep lists of Renegades to throw at the Game instead of themselves, or offer up sex in exchange for freedom in the hopes of the Game buying into the stereotypes of Lilim being obsessed with sex and money. After all, no one expects treachery from a brainless bimbo.
Bright Lilim are mostly covered in the Infernal Player's Guide. They lose their green skin and horns, instead gaining an aura and wings of colors suitable to their personality and ARchangel. They retain their resonance, however. The two most famous are Ephesus, the first Lilim to Redeem, and Shiza, the first Free Lilim to Redeem. Shiza later died in battle against Legion. Since there are so few Bright Lilim, each is generally treated case by case. A Bright Lilim of the Sword is likely to be trusted less than one of Flowers, for example, and each Word will be treated differently. (Animals-Lilim, for example, are assumed to have gone insane.) A few Redeemed Lilim get disowned and shunned, while Lilith ignores others. Among angels, it's said that Lilith has even smiled on some of her Bright Daughters, and he's she's even rarely helped a few, though for a price. There are, however, no known Free Bright Lilim - all Brights serve an Archange, and most Lilim consider they made poor bargains there, so they have a certain amount of scorn. It's also dangerous to know a Bright - the Game will happily use it against you, or against the Bright. Maybe it won't work, but it keeps the Lilim edgy.
There are exceptions, of course. Lilim of Trade seem hardly changed, and Marc understands their need to be valued, though their payment is most likely to be in corporeal wealth and personal guard-Cherub. Still, the Sisterhood is likely to assume they got a good deal. They might even be useful, to sic Malakim on your enemies! The most notable exception to all this is Mira, Bright Lilim of Dreams. During the Revelations cycle, her master Malphas made her into a Remnant before she could fulfill his final Geas. Lilith charged quite a light price for helping, perhaps due to the abuse, and she and Blandine worked together to use Mira's final Ethereal Force to make a newborn Bright Lilim with only dim memories of her original life and role in the Revelations plot.
Next time: Geases
FreebirdOriginal SA post Superiors: Lilith - Freebird
There's some important terms that Lilim use in talking about Geases technically. An ACtive Geas is a favor invoked and compelled. Birth-Geases are the nine level 3 Geases a Free owes to Lilith for being made. A Favor is anything - an unofficial favor, a hook, an actual Geas. A Geas is the supernatural binding itself. Geas-conflict is when two or more Active Geases require mutually incompabible resolutions. You're going to get dissonance no matter what, unless you get real creative. A Geas-token is the celestial manifestation of a favor owed - either a hook or a Geas, resembling a miniature Heart bearing the imeage of the victim when it was taken. The beare can choose not to manifest it if they like. An Inactive Geas is one that is not yet invoked. To invoke a Geas is to give a command which makes the howk or owed Geas active. A Hook, or Geas-hook, is what a Lilim has after fulfilling a Need but before they try to invoke the Geas and give the victim a chance to resist. They are potential Geases, visible only to Superiors who are actively looking. A Need is the desire or actual need a Lilim sees via resonance. An Official Favor is a self-Geas or a Geas placed on a willing subject. A Promsie is a synonym for Favor. An Official Promise is a self-geas. A Restricted Geas is a packadge deal of a Geas on someone else and a self-Geas that restricts how it can be used. Self-Geas refers to those Geases a Lilim places on herself, of course. A Specified Geas is one with terms known and agreed on, usually invoked immediately, and most Self-Geases are specified. Unofficials are favors with no hook or Geas attached but which are expected to be repaid.
Barring special attunements, a Lilim must sense a Need and fulfill it to get a Geas-hook, and the only way to avoid such a hook is to refuse the favor they offer. A Geas-hook does not appear celestially except tp a Superior specifically looking for them. If Lilith used hooks, then it's likely they'd be invisible to anyone but God or Lucifer. Only Lilith can trade the Geases she holds. Her Daughters can pledge unspecified favors or self-geas themselves, or geas the willing, or attempt to invoke a hook, but they can't directly trade a favor to anyone else but Lilith, and that's not usually worth her effort. Anyone consciously able to spend Essence may promise a favor toa Lilim of any type, and then she need only concentrate to manifest a Geas in the form of that favor. Once a Geas is invoked and active, only the invoker or the soul-death of hte invoker can cancel or remove it. Or an Intervention, of course.
You can use the Celestial Song of Affinity to track someone you have a Geas on, as a note. Useful! Geases appear as Discord in celestial form, generally as some form of shackle, charm or bracelet with size representing its power. Only Superiors can tell the difference between an inert and active Geas. If the target of a Geas is soul-killed, the Geas vanishes utterly. Human souls that die retain Geases, but good luck collecting on a blessed soul. The damned and dreamshades are easier, though not always very useful. Undead created by ritual retain favors, but Zombis made with Saminga's attunement do not, as they have no soul bound into them. Humans that reincarnate are believed to lose all Geases and hooks. There is no verifiable instance of a Geas token or hook showing up on a reincarnated soul, but there's always rumors.
Lilim cannot Geas themselves for an indefinite duration, so you have to take it on trust that they'll re-pledge each year, or just honor restrictive clauses without an actual Geas. This is relatively safe, however. There is also a loophole: if you're on good terms wit hteh Lilim, you can ask for a specified restricted Geas that says, essentially, 'I will not invoke this Geas according to the restrictions, because I do not wish to betray you.' For as long as the Lilim doesn't want to betray you, the self-Geas will remind her, and she will become dissonant to not renew the self-Geas each year. Any Geas containing terms that rely on the Lilim's lack of malice can be indefinite in this fashion until and unless the Lilim changes their mind.
And then some real boring adventure hooks.
Next: GM's Guide, Corporeal Player's Guide, Liber Canticorum, Superiors: Eli or Revelations 1: Night Music?