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In Nomine - The Burning Feather

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Some Days in the Life

Official In Nomine Site

"Does it have to be goodbye?"

Anna looked at Jack, startled. "What?"

"Does it have to be goodbye? Can't we try something else?"

"Something else?" Anna was surprised, and annoyed. She was always the sentimental one. Not Jack. She expected Jack to practically jump for joy when she brought up leaving him. "Isn't it too late for that?"

"Is it?" Jack leaned back, rubbing his temples. "Maybe it is. I don't know. I could just swear that I heard a voice in my head saying 'you don't want to lose this,' and I realized I didn't. I didn't want to lose this. I don't want to lose you, Anna. Not now. Not ever."

"Did the voice in your hand tell you that, too?" Anna said, trying to sound sarcastic. She didn't want to. It sounded so right to her. But it wasn't right. They couldn't have any kind of life together...

"Laugh if you want. But smell. Do you smell that?"

Anna took a deep sniff. "I... yes. Lilacs."

"Lilacs, like when we went out in the boat in New Hampshire. Remember? We played touch football with the guys and watched the buds opening on the spring flowers, but there were lilacs in bloom. You taught me how to recognize them. Remember?"

"I remember." Her voice was very quiet.

"Look at those squirrels over there. They're chattering like they're arguing, but they're staying together. In that yard, the dog and the cat are practically sleeping against each other. They're enemies, right? But they worked it out. Life means being able to work things out. Making life together means working the problems out. Not separating and dying. Don't you see that, Anna?"

Anna closed her eyes. "I want to believe you," she half-whispered. "I want to make a life with you, Jack. But it's so hard to believe you mean it. That you want to connect -- really connect..."

Jack closed his own eyes, then opened them again. "Let's get married. Let's set a date and send out invitations."

Anna's eyes snapped open. "What?

I mean it, Anna. Let's get married. Let's commit. Let's connect. Be with me. Grow with me. Live with me. Not just together, but your life and mine intertwined."

Anna slowly looked at Jack. "Like lilac branches?"

"Like lilac roots in the soil. Like the plants blending together into the bushes."

Anna bit her lip. "I don't know."

"Can we talk about it?"

Anna thought for a long moment. "Yes," she said. "Yes we can."

Nearby, the squirrel looked satisfied, darting back up its tree, forgotten. The second squirrel darted along the ground, the two moving as one. The dog and the cat in Richard and Maria's yard were really sleeping now, but were used to trusting each other. Too often they were each other, just like their humans were. The branches of the lilac bush slowly lifted away from the couple. The scent had done its work. The squirrels had done their work. The Song had done its work. They were talking, and were at peace, and saying the things they kept hidden away in their hearts, letting them grow and live. She had heard the love crying out between them. Sometimes the road to Heaven was clear.

Jaakkina felt almost sinfully content with herself. To reward herself, she let herself flow into the infinite grasses of the Commons, letting herself stretch and rustle and reach up into the sunlight. She laughed with delight -- the unheard laughter of the grasses, and heard the answering laughter of the turf around her. Grass was so happy in spring. So full of life and hope.

Which is not to say she wasn't busy. The high squirrel could see a dog on a broken leash running down a street, straight for traffic. Which meant trouble and pain for the family chasing after, calling him. Jaakkina let go of the lower squirrel, reaching for the dog, to take it into her soft thoughts and lead it safely away....

Kyriotate Friend of the Gardeners (and Vassal of Animals)

Corporeal Forces
Ethereal Forces
Celestial Forces

Servants: Richard Walters (normal human)/3; Maria Walters (normal human)/3.

Songs: Tongues (Ethereal/4); Shields (Corporeal/3); Motion (Celestial/6); Healing (Corporeal/3); Form (Corporeal/1).

Skills: Acrobatics/3; Dodge/3; Escape/3; Fast Talk/3, Knowledge (Zoology/6, Botany/6, Ecology/6, Biochemestry/6)

Attunements: Kyriotate of Flowers; Ofanite of Flowers; Kyriotate of Animals, Vassal of Flowers, Friend of the Gardeners, Vassal of Animals

Jaakkina is a mature Kyriotate, having fledged from a Reliever in Novalis's service back during the Age of Heroes in Ancient Greece. Over the intervening centuries, she has grown like the plants she has always protected and nurtured. Though Kyriotates have no innate sexuality or gender, Jaakkina clearly identified herself with the female -- the bringer of new life, the raiser of the living, the guardian of the cycle. She learned her duties well, forever performing them while keeping the bright song and thoughts of Flowers in her heart.

Novalis was pleased with her bright Kyriotate -- after all, Jaakkina lived the philosophies Novalis preached. She would have cheerfully used Jaakkina as a most willing and effective Servitor forever, had not Yves intervened. "This one has a bright Destiny," he said to the Mercurian Archangel. "She must be tempered, and we must see what quality is brought out in that temperance."

Jaakkina was therefore put into the Service of Novalis's ally, Jordi. Still a Servitor of Flowers, Jaakkina moved into the alien world of Animals, serving and learning from the Kyriotate Archangel -- one so different from Jaakkina herself. She learned the web of animal relationships -- the fighting dominance and submission of the predators, the swift territorialism of the prey. She learned to embrace animal life where she found it, but just as importantly she learned to let it go -- to let predators eat prey, to let hunters hunt, to let the sick die and pass on to the next generation their nutrients, feeding the plants which fed the animals which fed other animals....

Five hundred years with Jordi left a very strongly "seasoned" Kyriotate in Novalis's service. Jaakkina was moved back into Novalis's service, but found herself placed among humans more and more -- more than she ever had either for Novalis or for Jordi. She took humans as hosts and learned human ways and drives and desires, working to sow the seeds of peace without interrupting the course of life as it flowed. Her current assignment, as the most powerful of Novalis's Servitors in a city which has a good Flowers presence (thanks to the Tether to Flowers along one of the gates to Boston Commons), is more of the same. To spread of herself throughout the city, to learn the ways of people, animals and plants and how they interact with one another.

Jaakkina has also found herself working with Harudha, the Elohite Angel of the Ecosystem, more and more. Harudha's demands have been increasing, which seems unusual to Jaakkina, especially given Jaakkina's own position of importance in Novalis's organization. Still, Novalis has made it clear to Jaakkina that she is to provide all assistance to Harudha, and Jaakkina obeys as a good Servitor should.

What Jaakkina doesn't know is Novalis, Jordi and Yves are testing her for suitability for the powerful Word of Life. As Saminga's power has risen, the need to counterbalance Death with Life has grown. Yves saw the potential in the young Jaakkina, and carefully enlightened Jordi and Novalis. The three now see her as a strongly viable candidate, but as she's hardly the only candidate, they are continuing to test her. Harudha -- itself an Angel whose Word would be conducive to expanding to Life -- has not been told of Jaakkina's candidacy for the Word of Life. Harudha's instructions are to test and use the Friend of the Gardeners as a resource, and the Master of Peace has worked very hard to reinforce such things.

Jaakkina takes delight in her world and in her bond to it. Life itself thrills her, and she enjoys interacting with it, learning all sides and facets of this most fascinating of concepts. In her current assignment, she has cultivated two servants -- a married couple named Richard and Maria Walters. The Walters family knows Jaakkina is a beneficent power and are happy to help her with anything she needs to do. Jaakkina truly likes the pair and has built up a friendship among them beyond simple bonds of service. When not following a solo mission or working with Harudha, Jaakkina acts as a central "authority" for Novalis in Boston and the Northeast, often possessing a small bird or rat to follow and observe other Servitors of Flowers as they discharge their duties. She passes on instructions and occasionally recruits other Angels of Flowers (or of other Superiors if not enough Novalites are available) to pursue her own projects in promoting peace and life, and resisting Hell.

Jaakkina is a powerful angel, but not overwhelming in a corporeal sense. She often forms a backdrop to scenes rather than directly influencing them. She is the centerpiece of a potential campaign to have her Sponsored for the Word of Life -- a Word which easily could catapult her to Archangel's Status.

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.