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In Nomine - The Burning Feather


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Some Days in the Life

Official In Nomine Site

Eve: The Archangel of Woman

Eve: Her Creation and History

Hawwah: The Nurturers
The Children of Eve

Dark Hawwah: The Smotherers
The Fallen Children of Eve

DARK HAWWAH
The Smotherers
(Dark Hawwah, Smotherers, Users)

"I should just tell them. I should just get it over with."

She looked at her man disdainfully. Getting uppity, was he? Well, she could fix that.

"So. You want them to laugh at you? To mock you? To tear you down?"

He winced, and inwardly she smiled. She could taste his fear.

"Now. You're going to do exactly what I tell you. And we'll fix everything up just right. Aren't we?"

He nodded, and she put an arm around him. Oh yes, they'd fix everything up right.

Hawwah aren't disposed to Falling. Indeed, one could say they're essentially subordinate -- Selfless by nature and inclination. So Falling would be very rare and unusual for them.

But they aren't Malakim. They can Fall. And they do Fall. It's fair to say that more Hawwah Fall than Lilim Redeem, in fact. However, very few of them survive for very long. Those that do are the Dark Hawwah -- the Smotherers. The users.

Dark Hawwah take on 'project people' the same way their bright sisters do. However, where Hawwah see their associates as partners who they support, helping lift them up, Dark Hawwah see their associates as little better than codependent slaves, manipulated in achieving the Smotherer's goals for them. In exchange, they earn their name, smothering their dependent with 'care' that borders on abuse, making them addicted to the Dark Hawwah's opinions and moods. Dark Hawwah are pimps, using their dependents as whores and menials to achieve their lifestyles.

There are few Dark Hawwah -- in part because Hawwah aren't plentiful, in part because Hawwah aren't disposed to Falling, and in part because Lilith, the Princess of Freedom, hates Hawwah, bright or dark. She finds them to be a threat to her existence, and actively works to eliminate any who Fall before they receive a new Superior to protect them. She is very open about her antipathy, and has many methods to ensure that only the very luckiest or craftiest of Dark Hawwah survive Hell -- not the least of which is a standing offer. If any Superior gives a Dark Hawwah to Lilith for 'recycling,' she will disassemble the Dark Hawwah and reassemble its Forces into a Lilim for them, plus give them a second Lilim, at roughly half the usual cost for a single Lilim. That, plus the general desire to keep Lilith happy, makes a surviving Dark Hawwah in Hell very rare indeed.

RESONANCE

As with Lilim who redeem, a Dark Hawwah's resonance remains unchanged. They have the ability to see a target's goals and fears. The Hawwah may then add the check digit of her resonance roll to any skill roll to influence the target to a certain course of action (Emote, Fast Talk, Seduction or the like). Though it works the same way as their Heavenly sisters, Dark Hawwah tend to use it in almost opposite ways, exploiting the fears of their lap dogs and holding out the carrot of their own goals to manipulate them into pursuing the Smotherer's own goals instead. Dark Hawwah see the entire universe as owing them the most comfortable existence possible, and they are very good at goading, taunting, promising and manipulating their 'friends' into giving that existence to them.

DISSONANCE

Once again, Dark Hawwah have the same dissonance as they did in Heaven. However, if taking direct action to further their goals for a partner is dissonant to a bright Hawwah because it defeats the purpose of nurturing that partner, then a Dark Hawwah takes dissonance because they can't stand actually doing for themselves instead of forcing or tricking someone else to do the dirty work for them.

MANNER AND APPEARANCE:

When a Hawwah Falls, the light blue glow and nimbus of light around her head are torn away from her violently, leaving what looks like a human female who resembles her most common vessel in appearance, but for mottled blue and black skin, assymmetrical and alien in appearance, though not necessarily unattractive. She also has what looks like a dark blue to black fringe of light on her shoulders, which extend behind her like a cloak or jagged wings of dark shadows -- remnants of the light she once wore. And around her head is a blood red scar, jagged, all around from her forehead to under her hair -- the visible sign of the halo ripped away from her forever.

In a physical sense, Dark Hawwah prefer seductive vessels, but tend to stay in the background, letting their dependents speak for them. They are spiteful and vain, but willing to withstand degredation so long as it means they get what they want in the end. They are well known for being icily selfish, even for demons. After all, they know what it is to selflessly serve, and they have had their innocence and service rewarded with pain, and fear, and horror. And their nimbus of light has been torn away from them forevermore. Oh yes, they're going to get theirs now. You'll see.

Dark Hawwah are still quiet, always willing to let their dependents do the talking for them where they can. They tend to appear almost shy, letting others assume they're weak and helpless -- if it becomes necessary to use force, they're capable enough (and more than capable enough of pushing a Dependent into fighting and dying for them.) They are cool, able to affect concern and seductiveness one minute, cold anger the next, and casual disregard in the third. Their moods are always unpredictable, the better to keep their dependents off-balance.

Note that Dark Hawwah are as capable of taking other Demons (and occasionally Angels) as their dependents just like anyone else, and often will in the name of reaching their Goals.

Dark Hawwah see themselves as keyboardists, making small motions that produce sometimes intensely loud music, but with some disconnection to the themes.

GAME MECHANICS

Dark Hawwah use the same mechanics as Hawwah to use their Resonance, both in determining information and in applying their insight (and their Resonance Roll's check digit) to skills used to convince their targets to follow the Dark Hawwah's path to her goals. Normally, Dark Hawwah exploit the fears of their dependents to keep them frightened and controllable, while holding out their goals as inspiration to force behavior.

Dark Hawwah Resonance Roll Check Digit Table
  1. You can sense an immediate goal of the target (completed within a day) or the most recent minor fear of the target.
  2. You sense both the immediate goal and most recent minor fear of the target.
  3. You sense the target's achievable short term goals and related fears, as well as the above.
  4. You understand the above, plus the web of the target's major goals and how they relate to their overall fears.
  5. You understand all the goals and fears of the target, and their relative importance to one another.
  6. You understand the above, plus the reaction the target would have to any new goal you choose.

Note that only the most recent Resonance Roll's check digit can be applied to the Dark Hawwah's skill rolls, and the target may choose to resist the Dark Hawwah's wiles as normal.

Quest for Decadence: A Resonance Example

Candida, Dark Hawwah of Lust, wants a Jacuzzi put into her house. She has struck up a friendship with a local banker, and takes him out to lunch. While there, she Resonates, succeeding and getting a 5 on the Check Digit. She understands all his goals and fears, especially his goal to make a mint day trading and his fear of being caught shuffling the books. She considers, and decides to play on his fears, using her Lying skill to hint that she's good friends with a Treasury Department inspector. Her skill is 9, plus her Resonance Roll's CD of 5, giving her a total of 14. The GM decides that the subtlety of the lie and her intended objective (getting him to butter her up with an expensive gift) means a -4 to the target number, or 10. She rolls a 7, with a Check Digit of 4. She's able to convince her 'friend' that she could be very dangerous unless she's kept happy...

DARK HAWWAH AS SERVITORS

Dark Hawwah are extremely rare and therefore quite valuable, as their skills aren't really replicated elsewhere. However, Lilith's antipathy to the Band usually means that Dark Hawwah don't get a chance to exploit their value among the Princes. Often, they desperately agree to serve any Prince who won't sell her to Lilith. Once in a Prince's service, they are extremely meek and obedient with him. They might like to try working their wiles on the Prince, but in practical terms such a course is suicide -- the moment a Prince decides two Lilim at a discount is a better value than one live Dark Hawwah, the Smotherer is dead and knows it.

Dark Hawwah are generally used to push their Prince's agendas forward, taking his Goals as hers in hopes to curry favor. Once she has entrenched herself with a dependent or three, her Prince generally doesn't mind if she indulges herself as well, so long as she isn't caught.

Word-Bound Dark Hawwah

There has been only one Dark Hawwah Word-bound -- Munia, the Kobalite Demon of Insulting Your Husband in Public. She died, horribly, on a trip to Shal Mari. No Lilim nor Lilith herself can be shown to be responsible. Honestly.

SUPERIOR ATTUNEMENTS AND ATTITUDES

Andrealphus: The Prince of Lust is torn. He likes Dark Hawwah and finds them to be perfectly useful in coming between a husband and wife (and choking love off in the process, in the name of base lust), but his strong association with Lilith and her Lilim makes it hard to shield too many of them. He is as likely to give a Dark Hawwah to Lilith as keep her himself -- but those he does keep may tell with a touch just what sexual fantasies a person has and how fulfilled they are.

Alaemon (Restricted): There are Dark Hawwah of Secrets. In fact, if they can find Alaemon or his Servitors to ask for asylum, he is an excellent Superior for them -- while he doesn't do anything to protect them from Lilith if they're caught, it's very easy to disappear in Alaemon's organization. The Smotherers of Alaemon bury Secrets once they're found, having the ability to add their Celestial Forces to any Resonance modification of skills when pursuing a goal of keeping something secret or making something new into a secret thing.

Asmodeus (Restricted): Possibly the best strategy for a Dark Hawwah is to throw her lot in with the Game the moment she Falls. Asmodeus accepts Dark Hawwah as he does any other Fallen Angel, and Lilith is on shaky enough ground with the Game to make too many waves. This, of course, assumes that becoming a Gamester isn't worse for the Fallen Hawwah than death. Dark Hawwah receive Roles as campaign managers, agents, handlers, editors and other "powers behind the public face." Also, Asmodeus's Lilim and Dark Hawwah can recognize each other for what they are -- and officially have no antipathy for one another.

Baal: Baal is rather unlikely to either attract or ask for Dark Hawwah who Fall. If he should have a Dark Hawwah in his service, he would mold her into an intelligent, if defensive warrior. She would be able to add her Ethereal Forces to any attempt to Dodge.

Beleth (Restricted): Beleth makes no bones about coveting Dark Hawwah, who can sense a different kind of fear than her Demons. A Dark Hawwah becomes a living Nightmare for her dependents, slowly molding them into a mass of neurosis and paranoia. In the name of attracting Dark Hawwah to her service, Beleth grants her Knight of Restlessness Distinction to any Dark Hawwah who enters her service.

Dark Hawwah and Pachadim

If Hawwah of Dreams and the Menunim get along well, concentrating on different aspects of dreams, then Dark Hawwah and the Pachadim are the reverse. Like Dark Hawwah, Pachadim strive to ingratiate themselves into a person's life, slowly driving them insane with fear, and often living for a mortal's entire lifetime with them, torturing them with daily life.

The major differences between the Bands are again focus and intent. Dark Hawwah exploit fears to force dependents to give them a better life -- perfect, horrific users, smothering attention and insinuating horror until their human is a perfect per. Pachadim, on the other hand, live with their humans and drive them further and further into dysfunctional horror -- they don't care for their own comfort or pleasure, only the pain and terror of their "friends."

Pachadim bitterly resent both the Celestial beauty of the Dark Hawwah and the attention Beleth gives to them. To their mind, the Frighteners are far better demons of Nightmares, yet Beleth gives her Dark Hawwah Distinctions and gifts for serving. It disgusts and horrifies the Pachadim, whose seething resentment spills over into their dealings.

Dark Hawwah, on the other hand, have nothing but contempt for the Pachadim. More than one particularly sadistic Smotherer has used the fears and ambitions of a Pachadim against it, taking a sick pleasure in taking the Frighteners and molding them into (often Dissonant) lap dogs for their pleasure. It can be a dangerous game, as the Pachadim are more than capable of turning the tables on the Users. However, a Pachadim caught tormenting one of the so-rare Dark Hawwah of Nightmares learns terror indeed at the hands of their Dark Mistress.

Belial: Belial has yet to have any Dark Hawwah in his service, and isn't very likely to start. Dark Hawwah want stable situations, which bores Belial. Besides, Lilith isn't usually all that forthcoming with Lilim, so a two-for-one deal is very appealing.

Fleurity (Restricted): Fleurity has yet to secure the services of a Dark Hawwah, but is ready for when one comes along. He will grant a Smotherer the ability to add her Ethereal Forces to any Resonance use intended to promote the dependent's drug use or abuse.

Furfur: Dark Hawwah aren't Hardcore. Furfur hasn't gotten his hands on one yet, but when he does and when he's finished with her, he intends to cash her in with Lilith. Not just for the Lilim, naturally -- Furfur wants to stay on Lilith's good side, and encourage her to harder core decisions.

Haagenti: Though he enjoys sautéing Bright Hawwah, Haagenti has yet to eat a Dark Hawwah. He wouldn't mind making up for that, but doesn't really expect it to happen. If he were to receive one in service, Haagenti would give her the ability to, with a Perception Roll, sense what a target is most hungry for. The target may resist with a Will roll.

Kobal (Restricted): The Prince of Dark Humor enjoys Dark Hawwah. They're a punchline to some joke, depending on who you talk to. It's known that he's had at least one Dark Hawwah in his Service -- and actually sponsored her for the only known Word a Dark Hawwah has held. Kobal granted her, and would grant any other Dark Hawwah, the ability to sense how afraid the target is of looking absurd and what would cause him to feel that way.

Kronos (Restricted): Few of the Smotherers are interested in serving Fate. While many Hawwah serve Destiny, the act of falling, and the supreme selfishness that accompanies it, makes it highly unlikely a Dark Hawwah would serve Fate. Kronos doesn't mind -- their very Fall has proven their embracing of Fate. If he did take a Dark Hawwah on, she would have the ability to see (after using Fated Future and her Resonance) how a target's goals relate to his Destiny and Fate.

Lilith: You're joking, right? Lilith has no time for Dark Hawwah, save for destroying them and using their Forces to make Lilim -- the ultimate rejection of the Children of Eve, and ascendancy of the Daughters of Lilith.

Lilith's Stepdaughter

There is a legend, whispered in Shal Mari and among the demons, of one exception to Lilith's hatred of Dark Hawwah. According to the story, a Hawwah grew discontent in Heaven. She grew to resent her lot and the expectations other had for her, and ultimately became disobedient. Her Superior (some say Khalid, others say Yves or Eve, though it seems out of character) Outcast her, and she walked alone on Earth.

Finally, she realized that she had no desire to return to Heaven and to Heaven's rules, and attempted what could only be considered suicide. She invoked Lilith, promising her a Geas/6 in payment to speak to her. And Lilith heard and came, astounded.

"I cannot stand this existence," she said. "I do not wish to serve Heaven or man. I do not wish to bond myself to a Prince for protection. Kill me if you wish. I cannot stop you. But give me Freedom, Princess. Of one kind or another."

And some say Lilith killed her. And some say Lilith tore her apart, remaking her Forces into a Lilim. And some say Lilith refused, leaving her. But the rest whisper that somewhere, in Hell or on Earth, walks the only Free Hawwah, carrying a mark of protection from Lilith. Perhaps she serves Freedom, or perhaps she facilitates for Lilith's deals. Maybe she's an assistant, or maybe she doesn't work for Lilith at all.

No one can say what happened to her, but just think -- no matter how Lilith feels about Eve, to have one of Eve's Children walk away, and choose -- choose -- Lilith and Freedom says something more about both Lilith's and Eve's choices, so long ago. Enough, perhaps, for Lilith to have a single Stepdaughter.

Malphas: If the Prince of Factions managed to get a Dark Hawwah (and didn't choose to turn her in), she would be able to divide her dependents from their other friends and family. At a cost of one Essence and a Will roll, the Smotherers of Factions can make a person she's touching resent anyone except the Dark Hawwah. The victim can resist with a Will roll. If the Dark Hawwah wins, the victim will be spiteful and hurtful to everyone but the Hawwah for CD hours. At the end of that time, they will return to normal, but the Dark Hawwah would likely be able to build on the foundation from there. If the victim wins the Will contest, they are immune to both the Dark Hawwah's attunement and her Resonance for CD days.

Mammon: The Prince of Greed covets Dark Hawwah, and is believed to both have one (hidden away, no doubt) and have traded one to Lilith. He would grant his Smotherers the ability to instantly know the fastest way (legal or not) for their dependents to achieve their financial goals. (On a Check Digit of 6 on their Resonance Roll, the Dark Hawwah can see the necessary steps for their dependent to meet any financial goal, whether it is theirs or not.)

Nybbas: The Prince of Media wants stars, not supporting extras. He would make a Dark Hawwah a ton of promises, then negotiate with Lilith to actually film the disassembly and reassembly process, then give the new Lilim a pilot for a reality based show.

Saminga (Restricted): Saminga has yet to have a Dark Hawwah, though he's not as unlikely as some. If he ever does have one ask for service and protection, he would grant her the ability to add her Celestial Forces to any Resonance use with an eventual goal of either murder or suicide.

Valefor (Restricted): Valefor can be a very difficult Superior, though his dominant nature attracts Dark Hawwah to his service. Dark Hawwah tend to prefer to use a dependent until he's used up, which can be difficult when one needs to move on within three days. Perhaps to compensate for this, Valefor's Smotherers can use their resonance through distant means of communication (letters, telephone calls, electronic mail), both to determine the goals and fears of their partner and to modify their skill rolls in manipulating their dependent.

Vapula: The Dark Hawwah are excellent at... helping scientists develop new technologies or seeding technologies along Vapula's desired paths. They are also excellent at stealing the technologies that others develop. He grants his Smotherers the ability to inflame a scientific passion -- allowing scientists to increase applicable skill rolls (Science knowledges, Chemistry or what have you) by the Dark Hawwah's Ethereal Forces when they work on a project the Dark Hawwah supports.

The material presented here is intended for use with the In Nomine system by Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

In Nomine is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games, and the flaming feather and In Nomine logo artwork are copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by Steve Jackson Games. This material is used in accordance with the SJ Games Online Policy.

Also part of the Eve Suite of Articles

Eve: Her Creation and History Eve: The Archangel of Woman Hawwah: The Nurturers
The Children of Eve