domingo, 7 de diciembre de 2008

Facciones II: Crípticos

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Spending uncounted ages imprisoned in a lightless, soundless, sensationless void is a pretty harsh punishment, but it does provide one thing.

It provides a lot of time to think.

After the initial shock of defeat --- after the horror and agony of Hell --- even after the despair of untold eventless eons --- some fallen have taken a step back and reconsidered their initial assumptions. Some have contemplated, taken stock and tried to puzzle out what went so disastrously wrong.

These inquisitive Elohim have reached some startling conclusions.

First and foremost, God's perspective is either omniscient or so removed and all-pervasive as to be nearly omniscient --- especially when compared to such limited beings as humans and even angels. If a lowly light like Ahrimal could see trouble brewing, God surely foresaw it ages before that.

Secondly, God is either perfect or (again) close enough to make no odds. Therefore, the angels He created must have been either a perfet model of His desires, or as close to that model as reality could tolerate. While it's possible that the gross stuff of the material world was too weak to support perfect servants, it is unthinkable that God would allow that imperfection to take the form of disobedience... unless rebellion was not an imperfection.

Thirdly, Lucifer --- as the first among angels and the closest to God in power --- must, by virtue of his power and position, be closer to God's ideal than any other. The observed fact that he was the first and best of the rebels is the clinching argument that the rebellion --- with the consequent corruption of reality and ghastly punishment of men and Elohim --- was actually the enactment of God's plan, rather than a deviation from it.

Now that they are freed from their durance, these Cryptics have taken their logical premises and used them as the foundation for new questions.

If God knew about the rebellion, surely He knew about the demons' eventual escape from the abyss. What, then, is His new plan for His unwitting servants?

Since Lucifer was not imprisoned and he answers no summons, what was the Morningstar's fate? Personal destruction for his role as leader? Some other torment, possibly even worse than Hell? Or --- most likely --- did he escape punishment because he was privy to God's plan all along?

Finally, and most importantly --- if the fallen have been God's pawns all this time, is there any way to escape that fate in the future?

Or should they even try?


The Cryptics aren't terribly fond of the Raveners --- what's to like? --- but they see the Raveners' mad, thoughtless flailing as ultimately meaningless. Like ants on a kicked-over hill, they mill about wildly but accomplish nothing.

The Reconcilers are too idealistic, but at least they're asking question instead of trumpeting specious answers. No, the factions that really bother the Cryptics are the Luciferians and the Faustians.

Both groups have the same problems. They talk and they don't listen. They make proud declarations, which mostly reveal the gaps in their logic. They've got their eyes and minds shut, and they pity anyone who lacks their sense of blind misled mission.


Many Malefactors find their way to the questioner clique. It's a natural fir for their steady, methodical tendencies. making up perhaps the most pragmatic House of all, angels of the House of the Fundament seem unusually able to examine their fundamental assumptions without castigating themselves for error. One can almost see them shrug and hear them mutter, "It didn't work. What will?"

A more fervently inquisitive House is that of the Slayers. While they may ask the same questions as the Malefactors, they have a wounding personal stake in the answers. In the war they were made to bring the atrocity of death upon their beloved humanity, and the guilt and sorrow they still feel demands answers.


Ahrimal, the lowly Fate who first foresaw the Age of Wrath, has emerged as one of the most strident and influential of the Cryptics. His position among the fallen is a strange one, though. Famous (or infamous) as one of the architects of revolution, the lowest angel to be named a prince by Lucifer, he is now one of the most insistent questioners. He sits athwart many stresses within demonic society: created rank vs. merited authority in the rebellion; loyalty vs. autonomy; hope vs. despair. Admired, respected or merely despised, mentioning his name is generally a good way to start passionate debate among the fallen.

Gipontel, a Fundamental and onetime Archangel, represents a more accessible faction of the Inquisition. A self-appointed coalition-builder, he encourages Cryptics to make truces with other factions and even ally with them in order to observe, understand and maybe even learn. If their contributions foster a more open and inquisitive attitude in others, is that such a bad thing?


Access to information --- demonic, scientific, human historic, mythological or "other" --- is an over-arching Cryptic urge. Any particular datum could hold a vital clue.

More immediately, the Cryptics have established their primary stronghold in Atlanta, Georgia, and they are rapidly beefing up ancillary safe houses in Dallas, Chicago, and Washington, DC in the United States. Basically, they're aiming to get a tough cadre in place at every major airline hub. They're expanding similarly in Europe, starting from Heathrow in London. Smaller cadres have been assigned to Tokyo, Beijing and Rio de Janeiro.

The point of having strong defensive positions near large airports is that it preserves their mobility --- and their ability to monitor the travels of other fallen. Theri immediate goal is to create an inventory of every fallen who walks the Earth. Learning of the Earthbound has made finding those demons a priority as well.

These master lists --- the Scelestinomicon (Book of the Rebels) for fallen, and the Crucianomicon (Book of the Tormented) for Earthbound --- are meant initiallty to form the nucleus of an information network for all fallen. As the Cryptic faction grows, use of them may become more defined --- or less open.

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