Akim: Archangel of Pride
"The world is proud -- eyes bright, looking skyward, reaching beyond its reach."
The Word of Pride has never been considered a lucky one for Angels. It smacks of selfishness and the very things the Angels would fight against. Indeed, it is said by younger Angels that Lucifer's own word was Pride, so long ago. (It was not, Lucifer having been Archangel of Light, but the rumor persists.) Several angels with this Word have fallen, but it is also such a powerful one that it cannot be left alone too far. A Seraph, a Mercurian, and a Cherub have all fallen. The one who has held the Word by far the longest is Akim, whose Elohite objectivity has -- to date -- allowed him to further the word of Pride without succumbing to its hubris.
Akim has been an Archangel for less than a thousand years, though he held the Word of Pride for millennia before as one of Michael's Servitors. With the rise of the British Empire, with France's glories, with the Holy Roman Empire and Byzantium, all of which did their greatest works under the strength of Pride, Akim raised to the levels of the Archangels. Rome had almost done this for him, but Rome's fall was as due to Pride as anything else. It is a lesson he has learned well -- the Pride of a single Empire and her Citizens strengthens his Word, but to favor one over all is to lead to eventual catastrophe. Only in a wide range of proud people and countries can Pride flourish without succumbing.
Akim's Servitors seek out those with low self-esteem, working to raise their self-worth. To take pride in who they are and what they do. They are by nature independent, not generally working with others but also not working against them -- believing the lowering of another's pride is not a way to increase your own, after all. They come together and work with great esprit de corps. Achievement is the fuel for true Pride, and so Servitors of Pride work to give humanity achievements, and to teach them pride in what they have accomplished. Of course, being so proud themselves, and taking such great Pride in their Master, Akim's Servitors can occasionally be insufferable to be around.
Akim's human vessel, male or female, always looks good, with brunette hair that's well cared for. Akim also uses the vessel of an eagle or a great cat when discretion is called for. He obviously takes great pride in his appearance.
Angels of Akim take dissonance whenever their actions (or inactions) work to damage the self-esteem of others. They also take dissonance when humiliated. False humility is not a problem with Servitors of Pride.
(Servitors of Kobal love Servitors of Akim. That affection is not returned.)
Akim's Servitors are attuned to the ebb and flow of Pride. Both honest pride in accomplishments rightfully earned, and false pride that rings hollow reverberate in the Symphony, which Akim's Servitors can hear.
Seraphim of Akim can look a man in the eye and know precisely how responsible he was for a given achievement, and how proud he should be in it as a result. Their judgment is exact, and brooks no argument. Any lack of pride or inflated pride the person feels can then be worked on as the Seraph feels fit.
Cherubim of Akim, as a part of their resonance, attune not only to a person but to the physical works or symbols which that person takes pride in. Thus, he can always learn what condition those works are in, and when they are in grave danger or destroyed, he learns it as well.
Always achievement oriented as well as driven to speed, Ofanim of Akim have perfect recall when it comes to remembering what routes they have taken, both with their resonance and without it. As a result, these angels are never lost, and can make perfect maps of their routes. Maps which naturally, being the fastest possible routes between two points, represent a source of great Pride for them. (Though a saner... or 'less adventurous...' Angel might balk at following an Ofanite trail.)
The always-objective Elohim of Akim can look into peoples' eyes and, with their resonance, know the balance of their self-esteem, and the things that both increase and reduce it. If their pride has taken a mortal blow because of something they have done -- or *believe* they have done -- these Angels will know it, and will further know if the event actually warrants such belief.
Beings of Honor understand pride innately, and none are more honorable than Malakim. Malakim of Akim automatically sense craven attacks and have a chance to block them. One cannot effectively ambush Malakim of Akim and hope to succeed. Only by standing before them proudly can one effectively fight them. (Whereupon they will generally pound you into red paste. Catch twenty two.)
When taking hosts among a group of teammates or otherwise among a group of people who have a reason for close affiliation, Kyriotates of Akim may possess up to twice their total Forces. Obviously by possessing a group, the Kyriotate can coordinate their activities better, giving them more to be proud about.
The group in question has to be one where all the members could reasonably expect to know each other's names. So, an Army Platoon is an appropriate group. An Army Brigade is not. Sports teams, street gangs, local chapters of organizations... all of these are appropriate.
Akim's Mercurians are masters at counseling and helping those with self doubt or shame to find pride in themselves. In using their resonance, Mercurians of Akim can determine the web of relationships between a person's shame and pride, self worth and self doubt, and now the person sees himself in relation to others in terms of personal worth. With a second successful resonance, a Mercurian can predict activities and projects which the person could do that would raise their pride in themselves, if they can be convinced to try them.
Eyes of Ice
In a dueling situation (most single combat will do), the angel may lock eyes with his opponent and make a second attack in a round, at a cost of 1 essence -- this one Celestial. The Servitor gets a +3 to this attack. If successful, the attack does no Celestial damage, but the opponent is stunned for a number of rounds according to the check digit:
Any defense the opponent has to Celestial combat applies to Eyes of Ice as well. Eyes of Ice will work on beings incapable of Celestial Combat (such as humans or Celestials in a Corporeal Vessel) but cannot be used against beings with no Celestial Forces.
With this attunement and three essence, the Angel can cause a group to notice an appropriate achievement of a specific person, and objectively rate or criticize it. For example, if an art show is taking place, the Angel could cause the press and critics at the show to take note of an overlooked work or a work by an overlooked artist, and render the appropriate acclaim to it. At a meeting of sportswriters, the Angel could cause them to focus on the baseball player with the excellent average at getting on-base, but without the home run numbers to put him on the front page of the sports section.
This Attunement may bias the targets into giving true, official notice of an appropriate person, but the judgment they make on that person's achievement will be their true opinions of the work, without being slanted by the Angel. A mediocre work will get a lot of attention *as* a mediocre work, for example. However, an overlooked masterpiece or an unsung hero will -- perhaps finally -- get the respect and admiration deserved.
Pride is a slippery thing. Almost everyone will agree that it is good to take pride in one's work, one's heritage, one's achievements... however, the road from self-esteem to self-centeredness is short, and many feel Pride is dangerous. Akim's Elohite nature helps him to get on with most of the major Superiors, but he has had to develop tactics to deal with those who are hostile to him. Eli and Akim understand their individual natures very well indeed.
Akim gets on very well with Michael, his former Superior. Laurence also appreciates Akim (esprit de corps is second nature to a Malakite). Yves seems to regard Pride as a route to Destiny or Fate depending on its application, and therefore works with Akim to promote the former. Novalis is also dedicated to the gentle raising of self-esteem, and Akim appreciates her approach.
Which is not to say Akim does not have detractors. David is suspicious of Pride as a way of dividing people into factions instead of joining together with them, and Akim feels the Archangel of Stone's way leads to the individual being subsumed into the group. Jordi feels humanity is already too proud -- some racial humility (or humiliation) might do them some good. Akim objectively understands the purpose of the Inquisition, but has also seen it applied to reflect Dominic's personal biases too often, and those biases are often designed to cut down the self-esteem of others. (Akim has not forgotten his own Interrogation when he was Servitor of Michael during Michael's trial.) And while Akim was a vocal supporter of Gabriel's during her trial, Gabriel's servitors dislike the airs Akim's Servitors put on, and Akim and Gabriel are clearly hostile to one another. Akim also feels her self-imposed exile reeks of hubris and the dark side of Pride -- for there was another who once said that it was better to Rule in Hell than Serve in Heaven....
Vassal of Dignity
With a word or two (and a cost of one essence), the Angel can remind a broken or humiliated person of their heritage or other source of personal pride, and return them to a state of dignity in travail.
Friend of the Family
With this distinction, the Angel can strengthen ties between an appropriate group of people (defined under the Kyriotate attunement above). With a successful Will roll and two essence spent, the Angel can smooth relations and calm intergroup bickering for a number of days equal to the Check Digit. This attunement does not work on Celestials.
Master of the Elite
With this attunement, an Angel automatically succeeds at any Will or other roll where the angel's pride or self-esteem could be under attack. Attacks designed to humiliate or break the spirit of the Angel will fail.
CHANCE OF INVOCATION: 2