Session #31: The Book of Truth
Note: Liz came dressed as Star for this session.
"I dodge 10 points of coffee." - Maxwell
"I'm gonna Fall, so I'm gonna have some lemon sorbet." - Star
"I am a meat popsicle." - Maxwell
"Is up really down here?" - Maxwell
"There is only one path to Enlightenment, and it leads somewhere icky." – Dana
In the Glade, Blitzen and Leah have settled into some pretty hard core arguing, leaving Maxwell watching and hoping for excitement. It’s becoming clear that they aren’t going to stop until either someone agrees, Leah converts to Islam, or likely both, so it’s going to be a long wait. Luckily, Maxwell sees a bright light and a horrendously loud noise from over yonder beyond this stand of trees. When he gets over there, he sees Dana, Dylan, Daimon, Dedan, Regulus, Joel, two dead crispy demons in a sta nd off with Raphael. [See previous log.] Maxwell and Dana debrief each other on what they know, as people wander over to a convenient duck pond in the Glade to get rid of the demonic makeup job. Daimon even abracadabra’s up some ivory soap, because it floats. [And there is some discussion on the purity of the soap and if Uriel would have used it.]
Star has been given orders from Michael, along with a transmitter – find Raphael, tell him to get back here, and report. So Star is now trudging up to Raphael’s Cathedral up on the hillside overlooking the now rather ruined Eternal City. She pushes t he heavy double doors open, and they swing with a creak. The Cathedral is like the inside of a gothic church, with one path to follow, up to the altar. There are no window, and the ceiling towers above. In nooks are candles, flickering in the darkness. The floor between the pews is strewn with dead flowers. [See prev. NPC Log for description.] Star walks up between the pews to the altar, and sees that there is no wall beyond, but a long dark passage. On the altar is a book.
Star picks the book up, and notices that it has something written in a strange language on the cover, and along the edge there are seven seals – three of which have already been broken. The seals have Hebrew letters on them: aleph, beth, gimel, daleth , etc. The book is bound in some sort of strange leather. She tries to peek in the book and not crack the seals, but the seals hold the book fast, and she can only see the white of page margins. She sings the Corporeal Song of Tongues on the book, and the words on the cover resolve themselves into "THE BOOK OF TRUTH." Star, now really curious, pops the next seal in line, and finds she can now open the book far enough to see what is written inside. It looks like names. Nothing but pages and pages of names. She starts to wonder if she’s done something bad or wrong, so she grabs some candle wax and presses it onto the broken seals and pulls out the I-Ching. After all, Eli gave her these coins, maybe it will fix the book….
A voice comes from behind her, down the passage. "What are you doing?"
Star turns to look, and she sees the figure of what could be Raphael, except for the expensive three piece suit and the leathery wings. Figuring that Star is doing her job, she offers to follow him back down to wherever he is going – apparently back d own the hallway. The hallway opens up to a large, comfortable, personal library with hundreds of books, soft chairs, and a table covered with mugs. Kobal [as he clearly is, especially in the light], gives Star a little bikini and a disguise for her wing s, and mentions he needs a new secretary, as his old one rudely went ahead and redeemed on him. He makes an offhand comment about the absolute irony of having an angel with the peace aura wandering around Hell. Star says she’ll do this for him if he p romises that he’ll talk to Michael. He grins and says, "Eventually," and Star hands him the little communicator device to talk to Michael. This disappears into a pocket.
At the duck pond in the Glade, all the angels look up as a horn sounds, and it rattles them to the very basic core of their being. Suddenly the attunement to Star starts pinging danger. Max gets up and finds an Ofanite of Flowers, and in earshot of e veryone else, demands to be taken in her direction – the Cathedral of Enlightenment. The Ofanite grabs him and carries him, somewhat slower then Blitzen would. When the Ofanite drops him off at the scary cathedral place, it announces that it’s rushing o ff to tell Laurence so that Maxwell doesn’t have to be scared. Maxwell doesn’t even think about this. He just goes in through the open doors, on the crushed flowers, past the book with the mess of candle wax, and down the hallway. The hallway doesn’t c hange, it still opens up to the library. Max’s attunement is pinging off in a direction loosely defined as "thataway", and it’s through the wall. So he finds the only opening, a normal doorway, and passes through. He goes around the corner, a nd finds himself stopped by five demons – three impudites, a djinn, and a balseraph – in suits and really garish ties, drinking coffee…
Dana, Dylan, and Daimon follow Max to the Cathedral somewhat slower. Because the path is one way, it’s easy to follow him. Dana stops and asks Daimon if he really, really wants to follow her down into Hell, since after all they were just there, and n one of them are really popular down there right now. Daimon hesitates, but he agrees to follow.
Maxwell tries to get the demons to move along, via Soulpiercer, but this isn’t going to happen. The Djinn attacks him. One of the Impudim teleports away, another goes invisible, and another attempt to toss his coffee on Max, which fails. The Balsera ph tries to get Max to put down his sword, which fails. The invisible Impudite tossing his coffee, which scalds Max a bit, attacks him from behind. Max hits the invisible Impudite with a backhand attack as he continues to face the Djinn.
The three D’s opt for vessels, and go down the hallway into the library. They see the open door and the sounds of combat. Well, at least Maxwell is easy to follow. As they turn the corner, the invisible Impudite is leaving splatters and trails of gr een ichor on the walls and on the floor. They come into the hallway just as Maxwell spins, and impales the invisible Impudite fully on his sword. The Impudite rematerializes, coughs, sputters, and begins to dissolve into component forces.
A distinct alarm is going off, and there’s a friendly "bing" down the hall as an elevator arrives. Demons in gleaming black body armor wielding big ugly guns start to form in the hallway, the business end of their weapons pointed at the ange ls. One extremely garishly dressed, but rather large, Impudite and another smaller Impudite in a black suit with bright red hair, accompanies the guards. And once Maxwell handed over Soulpiercer, the large Impudite introduced himself as Erlithan (and th is guy here is Jack, don’t mind him…) and if they will just follow him down to his office, please…
Dylan has no problem recognizing Jack, who tries to apologize for handing him over to Andrealphus to be brainwashed into serving Lust, but hey, that’s not going to stand between two friends, right? Right?
Kobal had mentioned that he was here to "see the talking head", so he had opened a door in space-time and walked out, Star in tow, to the head CEO tower of Perdition, 42nd floor. The room is a huge, plush, soft affair where the wa lls are covered with flat paneled TV screens showing every conceivable channel in Hell. Star settles on a sofa, and something is bothering her. Something is really bothering her. She starts to remember things she’s been told:
Star ergs, and Kobal grins. He thanks her for releasing the Four Horsemen, and considering the gates of Hell have long since closed, the world will be more interesting covered with undead. Star ergs more. He describes to her the dark bitter irony o f the situation. Star is getting less happy. Kobal assures her that the Media will want a full interview, and then offers her a Coke, which tastes suspiciously like Tab Cola. Star asks who opened the other three seals, and Kobal mentions offhand that D aimon broke them. At the same time, the door opens to much pomp and circumstance, and Star gets her first close up look at Nybbas, who has with him his two imps which carry objects. One carries a sign which flashes "Applause" in bright neon, a nd the other one carries a laugh track box. And now things get down to business. Not too long after, the Media crews arrive to get ready to interview Star. The world has to know who has been bringing about Armageddon!
Everyone settles in Erlithan’s very plush, comfortable office to discuss matters in their primary vessels. Erlithan, in an amazing show of good will, runs down the entire state of politics in Hell at the moment, the fact that Shal-Mari is closed off to the rest of Hell, the lack of soul trade, and the fallout from a certain fiasco from the Ampitheater in Hades. He’s spoken to a certain Balseraph, see, and he knows what is going on. The angels claim they are tracking Kobal who has made off with one of their number, and is down here in Hell. Erlithan cannot believe it, as they’ve been looking for their Prince for ten years. But, Max assures him, they know where he is. The problem is that now, things are different, and Erlithan is merely waiting to become the next Prince – once the first Prince is dead. So, Erlithan consents. They have his Mediator and his friend, he will not deny them help. Soulpiercer is returned, wrapped in a sheath that keeps it from being a glaring holy artifact. They are given ids, papers, suits, disguises, keys to a car, and even Jack as a guide. Although it’s difficult to tell if the last bit was a joke or not.
Star gets interviewed about what it is like to be the sole being to single handedly start Armageddon? And is she getting anything out of this? And what will we be all wearing as The Morning After fashions? I hear nuclear fallout will be in this yea r. This is a painful, yet brief process, but there’s no doubting it – Star is quickly going to become a household name in Hell. After it is all over, Star begs Kobal to go back to Heaven and talk to Michael – at least as Raphael, at least as a little mo re pleasant. He says soon, and that he is waiting, but never for what. Just that he is waiting. And it’s good to look like just a normal Impudite right now.
The streets of Shal-Mari are thronged with refugees, but Max pushes the car right through it. The conversation between Jack and Dana takes a turn for the seriously goofy. There is a deep and meaningful conversation about the public transportation sy stem in Hell. They get to the Gate, and they get waved through one of the only portals that are still openable without too much hassle, as their ID has them all as insanely highly ranked demons. They drive through Perdition, which is equally thronged, a nd park right in front of the main building. The main lobby is like the lobby from Brazil. The elevators talk. And take them to the 42nd floor, around a few corners, and to the front of an embedded coffeeshop.
"Is this a Starbucks? These things are everywhere," Dylan says.
So the angels (and Jack) go into the coffee shop, and look down at a lounging ex-Demon Prince and a sad bikini wearing Star. Jack can’t seem to close his mouth, and his eyeballs are popping out of his head. There is a following conversation in the c offee house, which includes all of Maxwell’s essence being removed from his body. At one point Maxwell points out that Erlithan is, well, looking for his old boss to kill him, and Kobal merely smiles. They get Star, and leave. The car is where they lef t it, so they drive to a secluded spot, and leaving Jack the keys, the angels ascend to their hearts. Star is starting to worry that no one is ever going to like her again.
Star notices that Midian’s heart is shattered. He is dead. She feels even wimpier. So, she corners Daimon, who doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry to get rid of the suit, and demands to know about the other three seals. He acts very cagey about it, and says something about "It being what Eli wanted." This satisfies no one, but Star finally lets it drop. Those that appeared in the Halls of Creation head toward the meeting spot, which is outside the Seraphim Council halls.
Max, upon wandering through the Halls, notes that there are Stonies swarming everyplace. It turns out that they are flocking to serve Laurence. Max sees this as a definite good thing. And he waits at the spot.
Star hangs behind and tries to summon Novalis. While she gets a twinge of… something, it’s unsuccessful. She hurries to catch up to the rest of the group.
They group goes up to the upper deck in the Seraphim Council, and it’s chaos on the floor. Not all the Archangels have assembled, but that hasn’t stopped people from screaming at each other. Dana spots Joel and Regulus, and goes down to talk to them . There is, of course, more talk of Regulus’s formulated and well presented 12-Step Programs for eliminating Corruption, and luckily Joel is there to objectively squash them all. Dana is comforted to listen to the two other servitors of Judgment, who ar e completely married to Judgment body and soul, bicker good naturedly about procedure. Then she returns.
On the upper decks, Star cuddles up to Maxwell, and asks if he will be her boyfriend. Max, figuring this is an easier way to keep an eye on her, consents.