Civilian Name: Aaron Harshvardhan, PhD.
Meaning: 'Enlightened one who increases joy'. Ah, how amusing he finds that.
Demonic Identity: Lord of Dark Humor. Formerly known as Paraqlitos, Angel of the Sorrows of Death. Kobal holds dominion over the laughter you know shouldn't exist but that you can't hold back. Because it's all hilarious...to someone.
Place in the Spheres:
A psychotherapist in London, specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy (with a sub-specialization in irrational belief systems). His place of residence (and his office, as well) are just south of Trafalgar Square. He is a member of the UKCP, the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy.
Age: Apparent age: late thirties/early forties. Real age: over 5,000, as he was born in Angelic year 81.
Birthdate/Astrology: December 29th. Capricorn, with the moon in Sagittarius and a Virgo ascendant. Others see him as disciplined, patient, practical and reserved - a gracious host and a caring therapist with a dry and understated wit. The real Kobal remains quite a bit like his pre-Fallen status, philosophical and calm. He remains honest with himself about where he is in life and what he's up to. He handles his business in meticulous and reasonable ways, and will make sure things are done...even if it means occasionally beating a dead horse or angel.
Persuasiveness. Hidden meanings and mysteries. A challenge. Everything else is essentially boring to him. If you don't have to search for it, solve it, or figure it out, what's the point to it? He enjoys putting things together without the directions. He likes gadgets, intricate computer games and strong black coffee. And anything involving psychology, of course - higher functioning mammals like humans are so interesting. He adores Phad Thai. 5-star spicy. 6 or 7, if the cook will cooperate. If the cook won't cooperate, he'll stare at them until they cry, then he'll take the spice away and add it himself. He likes solitude, which he uses to ponder Plato or possibly even Descartes, whom he has decided was a raving, drunken, lonely fool with far too much time on his hands for a mortal. And quiet? Oh, yes. Keep it down. Humans are so bloody noisy in everything they do, and he'd like nothing better than to retire to the country somewhere and never see another human again. But he likes starving much less than he likes noise, so he stays where the snacking's good right now. He doesn't keep neighbors for very long...the more noise they make, the faster they vanish. So the closest home to his west has been vacant for some time, now. He's thinking of purchasing that building, since it's in his territory. Then maybe he could just choose his own tenants.
Lost causes, wasted energy and false bravado. People should get right to the heart of things, unless there's absolutely no other way to do it. Gossip offends him; it's another waste, but of words and breath rather than resources. He'll listen to it, but not engage in it. He knows there's a grain of truth that starts every rumor, and from there any manner of things may be discerned. Flamboyance annoys him, as does any show of fawning, brown-nosing or other purposely ingratiating behavior. All the silly little social things that people - humans, angels, the Creeping Dark - tend to engage in just leave him cold. He's very good at them, since he does need to walk in these same circles, but he doesn't have to like it. Noise...no noise. Shh. Life is so very terribly noisy.
Reading - mystery novels, so he can make notes when the killer is successful. Plus, it soothes his busy mind.
Research - he keeps his skills in research sharp whenever he can, because he knows he can find things that everyone else has overlooked. If the devil's in the details, then this guy has a pitchfork. He knows it's the details that kill you, and he intends to live a long, long time. Aaron/Kobal has an extensive collection of books and all the latest in computer software. Other than that, he doesn't collect anything because the fewer material things he owns, the easier it is to pack and vanish in the night. Things could go wrong at some point, and why settle down when nothing is permanent?
Spying - he's a natural spy. Carry a clipboard and look official, and you can go anywhere. Also, flashing his doctor's creds gets him around. He's trying to pare down who could be who, and find the whereabouts and identities of any angels as well as keeping tabs on the other Lords and Maidens.
Behavioral science - humans have done one thing right in their meanderings and scribblings. They've made a whole area of study out of and written endlessly about their own behavior because they just love themselves so much. They've done most of the work for him over time. He's been staring at them for millennia, but it's even more fun to watch them pick themselves apart so he doesn't have to.
Not the resurrection of the Creeping Dark. Not really. He's not interested in becoming an avatar for anything. He just wants to see how it all turns out. It'll be fascinating to see how the whole struggle plays out, the little tragedies and triumphs. The panic of the mortals when they final realize they're in the middle of a battle too large and old for their comprehension is something he wants to see. Maybe the angels are all together again and maybe he'll recognize his own kin when the time comes. He would like to be able to stand in the middle of them and tell them where they went wrong. He might be able to: he did, after all, listen and watch during a good portion of the original Holy War. Also, he would like to see his 'original' daughter again, as he lost her somewhere in the cycle of the years. Failing that, he would like a more...modern relative to Fall. Which leads us to:
His great-great-great...well, many greats. His daughter, born during the Holy War prior to his Fall, had one child, and that child was born human. All down the millennia, he's kept an eye on his family, and he's got his eye on one particular member - a young woman by the name of Grace Chenaie. She's currently working on her MA in counseling at Regent's College in Regent's Park. He really does love irony. He loved irony in the form of his aunt Ymlael, and he loves it figuratively as well. She looks nothing like him, of course, as he's chosen his form and she has not. Her hair is the color of his original sphere, a soft dove-thistle color (#D8BFD8), and her eyes are bittersweet-chocolate brown; she's a slender, pale girl who looks as if a strong wind might blow her over. She's a very committed and sensible girl, and reminds him of his daughter in the way that she approaches things - with a forthright charm. She's not a member of the Order of Seawalkers, and she is not known to the Nephilim community at large. But if someone were to be paying attention...they could find out about her. He would like to cultivate her to see if she's capable of claiming her birthright. Then he won't be quite so lonely. Sadly, he knows that the Nephil can be awakened, but he does not realize it shortens their lifespans. Once he realizes that, well, and this is a big well, since there's no telling if he'll ever get to help her awaken, he may be desperate enough to help her soul-suck. I'm leaving plenty of this open for plot abuse.
The Dark Lord now known as Kobal began life in Angelic year 81 as Paraqlitos, the angel of the Sorrows of Death. Mom was Maroth, angel of Bitterness and sister to Ymlael, angel of Irony, making Para a cousin to Duriel and Duma. Maroth fell in love with a young mortal man who was part of a nomadic tribe that often passed by one of the closer little outpost keeps. She was stationed there as part of a tour of duty, and after a few years she wandered away to get all nomadic with him, and their boy Para was born under the stars roughly a year later. Para was obviously not like the other children, and had trouble understanding why he and his mother were so different. She never took any pains to explain what an angel was, and she spent most of her time keeping her wings hidden away. She chose to try and blend in with the humans for her own reasons, and as a result Para was raised as mortal.
The summer that Para was nine, a troop of demons caught on to the pattern of the tribe's wanderings, and much of the tribe became tasty morsels. Para's father was killed trying to mount a defense; Maroth took their son and fled, knowing the demons may have been drawn there by the presence of an angel. The rout was nearly complete, the tribe nearly devastated when an angelic patrol arrived and drove the demons off. All Para understood was that these strangers with halos like his didn't arrive soon enough to keep his world from coming apart. In a child's mind, a seed of resentment began to grow.
The patrol took Maroth and Para back to the Keep, and Para had trouble fitting in there just as he had in his tribe, but for the opposite reason. At the Keep he looked right but thought and acted differently; he was used to a mortal life and mortal ideals. His family - especially his auntie Yms, a very bright spot in his life - tried to help him acclimate, but he had trouble considering himself an angel. Being so much older than his cousins (he was 14 when Duma was born), he didn't spend much time with them. He learned to do all the normal things after awhile - like the care and use of wings, and getting the hang of the social structure, and figuring his place in the scheme of things. He never quite lost the feeling of being mortal. He was often in a hurry to do things, because being mortal meant never having enough time. His mother recovered from the loss of his father and immersed herself in Keep life again, never revealing why she had left in the first place; maybe she simply didn't want anything to do with the war. But the war came to collect her again and again regardless.
Para did well in school and made friends, and was mentored off to his very own aunt Yms at the age of twelve. He received quite a bit of counseling in the first year or so after coming to the Keep, and he wanted to make counseling his vocation. He studied very hard, and was a bright, cheerful boy despite his beginnings and his sphere. He strove to reach out to others in order to better understand the way they thought - and to understand himself better as well. He moved with equal ease between the mortals and angels in the Keep, memorizing names, listening to the timbre of their voices, and making himself a recognizable face.
When he was 16, he was called up to train for his first tour of duty. He proved very capable, and was involved in regular patrols almost immediately. He made it to Corporal during the two years of his first tour and became an expert scout who was not interested in climbing the ranks. He saw plenty of combat, and it didn't bother him. He was able to talk most of his comrades out of being afraid, and kept morale from bottoming out by putting a flair in everything he did - mainly making fools of demons before clubbing them into oblivion. He would get plenty of them with his sling before they got too close, anyway (see weapon in the Infernal section).
As he grew to an adult and excelled at putting others at ease, he became a full time assistant counselor, and found himself listening, more often than not, to the children of those lost to the war. He could empathize with them without bringing his own issues to the table, and for that he was highly praised. He counseled others for years, stepping in wherever he was needed, all hours of the day or night. He was content with himself and his lot in life until Maroth was killed in battle. She had been surrounded with other troops, one of so many, cut down in the middle of a group that came back largely unscathed otherwise.
He listened to the explanations, how an attack from above had caught them by surprise, how it had turned out to be a victory when the demons involved were decimated. But Para could not help the small voice inside that told him that, yet again, it was a failure on the part of other angels to keep anyone he valued safe.He couldn't place any blame, he was a reasonable adult who understood the mechanics of a patrol and the odds of casualties that went with it. But. There was always a small voice saying but they failed you again.
Then Behemiel came along.
She often helped the few, close-lying villages with troubles with their herds, and tended to the pets that lived in the Keep. She was one of the Keep's resident veterinarians. Her brother Jehiel was assigned to his office for mentoring, and they became accustomed to seeing each other as she accompanied her brother out of an interest in what he did.
Para and Behemiel grew to be friends, and then more over a period of several months. Para was hesitant, since they were in the middle of a war that seemed as if it would never end, and his waking life was assisting others who had lost loved ones. It seemed like such folly to allow anyone else close to his heart when lives were so short and nothing seemed to last. The war only took things away, it never gave back, and his whole life had been loss and damage control. How could he possibly entertain the idea of love in such a world? Still, she was so much like him, serious and dedicated but with a unique sense of fun and appreciation for life and the joy in it. Such shining green eyes and dark hair and a way of making him leave his difficult days behind. The small, everyday joys bouyed them along, and they were married. Nearly a year and a half later, another small joy came along in the form of a daughter: Terafniel, the angel of prey. Despite the oddness of her sphere they reveled in her.
Two years later, Behemiel was called up for duty again as a day guard on the towers, and it was a ranking officer of the day guard who knocked on the door of their quarters with the news that there had been an accident.
Maybe she had been distracted; maybe she'd had some medical condition that no one was aware of until now. For whatever reason, his beloved had been unable to use her wings to keep herself from plummeting from a fatal height. Her wings had been useless, and so had the other troops on the towers. No one had been close enough to save her...or maybe they would not. He couldn't help the traitorous voice that suggested such things. So many losses in the same life, to the same cause...all preventable. All so preventable.
Out of a fear of what might happen to her if she stayed in his life, Para gave Terafniel up for adoption. He was too grief stricken, too overwhelmed, to handle the day to day raising of a tiny angel who didn't understand what had happened. He needed time to recover, and he couldn't do that staring at that hopeful little face every day. She should have been his final comfort, but all he could see when he looked at her was loss. She would eventually be taken from him as well, Fate would see to it, and he could never bear to feel that loss, above all others. He went into near seclusion for a year, doing odd jobs about the Keep, trying to stay useful but be left alone. He recovered in fractions, finally able to speak to others about his former job, then finally able to do it again. He immersed himself in helping others as if it was all there was left to him - and most likely, it was.
He was called up for another tour in early 121, and went willingly, having put so much of his past away. He thought he could handle it. But when he became part of a patrol near the same area where he'd been made fatherless as a boy, and they were overrun by demons, he found himself panicking. When had the angels NOT let him down? He had always been the one to give to others, starting with his father, then his time, then his mother and wife and daughter. He was captured and questioned for days of sleepless terror, at the end of which he realized how pointless it was to hold on to ideals he had never fully embraced. He Fell. Paraqlitos sloughed away and took the name of Kobal.
He was released to wander back to the Keep with a mission: keep his new identity hidden from the angels and their foolish, weak ways, and gain long overdue vengeance by removing one of those who personified his past suffering: a high ranking soldier.
He spent a bit of time convincing everyone he was all right and that he had become lost while trying to get back. His injuries had slowed him and caused him to get turned around, that's all. No, there was nothing wrong with his aura. There were few if any suspicions; Para was one of the most comforting and insightful members of the Keep, one they always turned to and could count on. Once he was back in his routine, he began realizing how foolish and weak and simpering the angels were as a people. They spoke of each other as if they mattered, but they allowed friends and family to continue being slaughtered like sheep. They were a hollow people who thought themselves above others.
He spent very little time choosing his target. After listening and watching and waiting, there was one in the military who took pains to remove himself from others. He quartered alone and was left alone even though his troops revered him. He had spoken to Para only once, and only after being strongly encouraged to by his superiors after a particularly difficult battle in which he'd lost a double handful of his troops. Scores of others had been injured, including his favorite. He had said so little but shouted volumes to the rooftops with his choice of words. I begin and end with that one. I have seen it. And it had nothing to do with lust or physical interests, this fatalistic pronouncement about his second in command. Still, by closing himself off, he left himself so open.
Narcoriel, a Captain of the Tower Guard.
Narcoriel kept the same patterns, having grown lax over the years because his second was always watching his back. Never quite careless, but less vigilant than he should have been. Para's face was welcome everywhere, and he was so familiar on the Towers that no one paid him any attention that night. A knock at the door of the Captain's quarters, a request to speak to him about his second and her state of mind. The almost absurd look of worry on that sharp, angular face. He never saw the knife coming.
Kobol took his first soul then and there, an angel's soul that hummed angrily in his grip. He tucked it away and vanished into the dark, still above suspicion. He left the Keep shortly after that, knowing he could not hide forever. There were larger congregations of mortals far from there that he could blend into. Whole cities, where no one would notice soul after soul vanishing into the dark. He never realized that his actions provided a seed of impetus for the later formation of the Habbalah.
But first, he found and decimated the remnants of the nomadic tribe his father had belonged to - in his new form (see voile in the Infernal section). He would be the last of that line.
He's set up life after life since, keeping up with the world as it changed and checking in with Hell's Parliament as necessary. Each era has presented a new opportunity to gain a foothold in a better source of souls, and has given him new discoveries to enjoy. Mortals gather knowledge and pass it on before flaring away to silence, brief little candles in the dark. Some he snuffed himself over time, some he followed, but he always blended in. He assumed identities and lived them for average mortal lifespans, then moved on to others, keeping his locales spaced far apart. He knew when the angels gathered in larger than average groups and would try to infiltrate to make sure he could still recognize some of them, at least. Up until seven years ago, and for the last fifty years prior - until things began heating up in London - he worked as a therapist in India's larger cities. Once he felt the changes coming, and heard the rumors, he collected his souls and wiped that identity away. But he did keep the form. He's grown fond of the form.
In his current practice, he keeps his fees quite low (but not suspiciously so) in order to attract the maximum number of self absorbed idiots. If he decides they're just too dumb to take on as accidental apprentices, he's already got their addresses and he'll just eat their souls when they're on the way home from work a week later. If they're suggestible, and of moderate intelligence, then they may be eligible for a few errands.
He finds this new reemergence of the angels amusing...of course. Because it's just going to be another giant mess like it was the last several times it happened. Head's up to those of you who were ever prominent in the military in HW times: he'll know you. And he will try and get his hands on you first, because you've always been a bunch of failures who have let him down. He knows something about everyone; he was, after all, head therapist in the Keep, and everyone had some tragedy or embarrassment to get over. If he finds out who you are (or were), oh, he's got you. He got to hear everything before he Fell. He could have brought the whole damn place down himself if he'd wanted to.
*Summary for general amusement if you're still here: born Angelic year 81, father killed/taken to the Keep in 90, apprenticed to auntie Yms at age 12 in 93, first tour of duty in 97, mom killed in 107, marriage/kid in 116, loses wife in 119, Falls 121. Approximately 5,000 years of soul-munching, mortal-stalking angel-chasing fun commences that is open for more plot abuse; settles in India sometime in the 1950's, moves to London in 1992, and currently feeds pigeons, feeds pigeons, feeds pigeons.
Starting with (rather than later summarizing) the basics to set the tone: magnetic, intimidating to others on a subconscious level, mildly arrogant and deeply thoughtful. He's the big, quiet one of the group. He's generally taciturn, unless he feels he can truly add something to a conversation. When he does finally add something, you usually won't forget it. He can be dignified, affable and courteous, all while plotting your demise...or worse. That little smile on his face isn't polite amusement. It's him imagining his hands around your throat, and wondering how far he can push you before you crack. This, kids, is a button-pusher of the highest degree. He's not a prankster; he just finds existence amusing on the whole - a cosmic joke. Everything is funny to him in small, bitter ways.
He'll smile (close-lipped) and laugh occasionally (and even then only a very soft and cultured chuckle), but the joke's on you, retard. You have to watch his eyes carefully to see what he's up to; they're often cold regardless of the expression on his face. That may be all the warning anyone gets that they've fallen under the umbrella of his clinical interest. He's a quiet terrorist. He likes to hit and...well, not run; stand around and watch is more like it. That's the one thing that will probably 'out' him to the angels eventually. He isn't completely devoid or incapable of sympathy for the people he may harm or even destroy; but it's all business with him. He's fairly ambivalent about little things like killing, or destruction, or stealing souls. If you're in the game, you're subject to the rules and you knew it when you came in. If you're mortal, well, you should have figured out the rules by now and you're nothing but a bunch of silly little cattle. Tasty little cattle.
He will allow people to talk their way out of a situation. He likes balance, and even odds, and he often won't go up against someone who may not be a challenge for him. Even another Dark Lord or Maiden invading his turf can get away if they're willing to talk a very good game. So if you can persuade him with a decent, logical reason as to why he shouldn't do you bodily harm, he'll at least listen. State your case up front, though, or get out. He's probably got the time, but he won't give it to you if you're going to beat around the bush. Desperation doesn't hold any water with him either, so forget it. I'm talking serious rational oratory regarding why you should keep your life, soul, left foot, whatever. He appreciates and respects cool headedness. The truth is, he'll only let you go if he's already determined you're not someone he really wants. Otherwise, talk yourself blue and lose your head anyway. The only other way to get away from him is to bore him. If you make things too easy...if there's no challenge...he might let you go. It depends on what mood he's in.
If he's in just the right mood, another Dark Lord or Maiden on his territory will be willing to turn their own powers on themselves just to get away.
He has a natural affinity for gauging the moods of others, and will purposely adjust his own reactions to seem to empathize. He's done this his whole life, and he's had a long damn time to perfect it. As a result, he is welcome in many circles and seems to have a lot of 'friends'. However, not one of these friends has ever been invited to his home or knows a single solid thing about him. Yet he's digested their lives without them knowing it. They've been fully investigated, and scratched off a mental list of victims. Between his size and his silence, people expect him to be dumb, and it comes back to bite them in the ass later. He likes to keep humans close by, as he looks down on them as if they were domestic animals, but at the same time he's impressed with their inherent cleverness and emotional instability. He pays close attention to a limited number of them at a time, usually as patients, and won't touch them or send them to destruction. He needs them to keep track of how best to approach humans of certain eras and cultures so that he never has to guess.
Manipulation comes easily to him. He's had a long time to find everyone's hot buttons, all depending on what culture or locale he's in. He can tell people what they want to hear without weakening his own position; they just feel he understands them, like no one else does or ever will. So his patients don't need to worry about their souls (because you can't lose patients and stay successful), but they do find themselves doing odd things that they don't remember later. Defacing churches, destroying angelic monuments in cemeteries, choosing certain areas of the city to suddenly pound the daylights out of the closest man/woman/child, whatever it takes to create desecrated space. And when they get out of jail, they're referred back to their trusted therapist for assistance in controlling their...anger.
He will invite other Dark Lords and Maidens onto his territory, for tea, but only the ones who were human and converted. He likes to wait until they give things away, because they will; anyone who was ever human, no matter how long ago, will talk about themselves and others because they just can't help it. He can't tolerate other Fallen, and the Hellborn are only good for being fooled into taking each other out or starting trouble that will help him behind the scenes in some way.
He won't call it by its proper name, but he's lonely. He doesn't want love, or even camaraderie; he wants a connection somewhere, someone to share his triumphs, someone he could trust to make sure a thing is done and done correctly. Someone who's of the same mind and doesn't need to talk constantly or follow him around. He has yet to meet a person, male or female, that he can tolerate long enough, so things look a little grim in this area. His forbidding exterior tends to lower his chances, too. If you can get past the intimidation and pass the basic paranoia test, he'll probably treat you affably so long as you're quiet. He does so like his quiet.
He gives off an aura of being untouchable, but somehow it's ringed with a tang of wanting to be touched. So mortals are drawn to him and then can't figure out what to do with him, and they run away again. If he lets them.
Kobal often checks in with himself and his own motivations; this means psychoanalyzing himself nearly as often as he mind-melts others. If he starts slipping somewhere, he needs to know it and know why before it becomes a hole in his basic facade. He's a very controlled individual, and doesn't say things he doesn't mean. There are no blow ups, no outbursts, no slips of the tongue. If there are, it'll only look like that - he'll be using emotion just to set someone up or get something else to happen. The only times he'll do or say something he didn't mean to are when he's caught completely off guard. And good luck with that - he's seen everything that emotive creatures have to offer. But there's still that little voice that tells him someone is going to fail him again, like always, and it is his greatest weakness - needing someone not to fail him.
The visible face he shows to the mortals is different than the one that he shows in Hell's Parliament, but his behavior is not. Kobal is always just...himself. He does not expend the energy to change his personality to fit a situation or group of company. Certain members of Hell's Parliament appreciate and respect this in certain ways, but they would chew glass and sprout a halo before admitting it. He is very steady and consistent, and can be counted on for that if nothing else. No one ever knows what he'll do to or with them, but they at least know where they stand. He can never completely hide that.
Mortals are stupid. Angels are stupid. Lords of Hell are stupid. You're all stupid. And that comes from a weariness with the reindeer games of the like kinds, not solely from a feeling of superiority.
Kobal's current form, which he's kept for roughly the last fifty years, is that of an Eastern Indian man in his late thirties or early forties. He stands 6'3", carries himself with a very straight and formal bearing, and tends to dress in suits even when not seeing patients. His skin is dark, and his black hair is shoulder length and spiral-curled. His eyes are large, long-lashed and very dark beneath medium eyebrows that seem to always be arched in a polite I'm listening attitude. His pupils are in a diamond shape, but of course you can't see them due to the darkness of his eye color. When he's either using his powers or completely loses his temper, the outer rims of his irises turn a bright, glowing orange. His nose is straight and a little broad; his upper lip is slender and would seem cruel if not for a generous lower lip to accompany it. His chin is fairly square, and lately he's been dabbling with growing a 'soul patch' just to see if it makes him seem 'hipper' or more approachable. The shape of his face is squarish and has a noble cast to it, and the overall package is formal but approachable.
He's of medium build, meaning not heavy or slender but in good shape, his shoulders are broad, and he's got the kind of hands that hint at something more than just a desk job. His fingers are long and slender but the shape and size and roughness of his hands indicate he's good with them. And you can read anything you like into that. He's a fairly sexy bastard with a wide, very white and straight-toothed grin that makes the ladies melt. Too bad the grin only comes out once every thousand years or so. His voice is a carefully modulated bass; he doesn't even remember the last time he raised it. His accent is that of a well-bred, high-class Londonite. He picked that up within five minutes of landing there.
His original, HW form was that of a pale, large-eyed and slender figure without shoulder-length and straight dark hair that looked like the rest of his family as far as facial features go. Para's voile was a robe as simple and open as his original heart was in the dove-thistle color of his original sphere. It covered him loosely to his wrists and ankles, over a tunic and pants in an off-white eggshell color. He had a low-slung belt made of a heavy, silk-like material the same color as his robe, and the loose ends hung down the center to his knees. His clothes seemed a little too big for him the way his responsibilities did.
Stealth: He wasn't there a moment ago. Really. And he hasn't been listening to everything you said. Shh.
Body language: He's not psychic, but people occasionally think so, the way he reads them. Mortals give themselves away all the time with the little things they do, the folding of arms and twitching of toes. Even the Hellborn have their unconscious ways of blowing their cover.
Persuasion: He can talk people into doing almost anything. Stealing, lying, eating earwax, laughing at American sitcoms, putting a gun to their own heads, anything...after which they probably need a therapist to help them figure out why they behave the way they do. And then things can start all over again.
Patience: As either Aaron or Kobal, this guy can wait. He can hold his figurative breath for as long as it takes to get something done. He's been holding it for five thousand years already.
Observation: He will remember everything he's heard and seen. With a memory like that, he doesn't lose anything, but he can make sure others do.
Color: Wet ashes, #8B7B8B. A darker shade of gray than the one he started life with; more dismal and worn.
Symbol: http://symbols.com/encyclopedia/10/1011.html The same one he's always had. In the French hobo or gypsy sign system, the three parallel diagonal slashes mean we have already been here. This one rings true because Para's father was a nomadic tribesman, and, everyone at some time has felt the sorrows of death - his original sphere. It works for Kobal in a snarky way if you think of it as been there, done that.
Voile: His true form now is the same pale angelic face he always wore during his days in the Keep, but drawn and even paler. His wings look desperately fragile, what remains of them - the framework of bones looks as if made of smoky quartz, and light filters through it, diffused by innumerable cracks and chips. All that's left of the 'meat' of his wings are strips of hanging, shredded gray that drift even without a breeze. His exterior seems as bleak and awful as the heart of any angel who loses their own soul and takes that of another angel. He absorbs visible light in his true form, and it's hard to look at him with mortal eyes or in the standard visible part of the spectrum - people see only shadows that never quite materialize. Of course, the other LoH's can see him just fine. His voile is just a corruption of the original, darker and hanging in shreds that look as if they shouldn't be able to stay in place. He looks sad and torn, and he is - but that also makes him very dangerous. In his darkest heart of hearts, he has nothing much to lose.
Weapon: A giant rubber chicken.
No? Fine. It's actually a staff sling, also known as a fustibalus (http://www.slinging.org/23.html). It's a sling on a staff! It can hurl anything! It was best used from the towers or walls of the Keep, and it's best used from the roofs of buildings in London now. It's no good for close-range stuff, which works fine since Kobal prefers not to get that close if a fight is necessary. It gives him a chance to fling damn near anything from a distance - napalm, poop, lemonade, anything. He's tall and well built, so it's no trouble for him. His staff is about 6 feet long and painted a stark matte black, with his symbol painted at the top in red. In a spiral pattern down the length of the staff he's painted the names, in red angelic script, of his angelic family. The name at the bottom of the staff is Narcoriel's. He's left a little room for more angels. The pouch is black leather. His preferred projectiles are clay jars that he's loaded with his own signature mixture of motor oil, petrol, and gunpowder (all those goddamn pigeons nearby, all that guano? Plenty of potassium nitrate. Of course, there are easier ways to get it, so he's not really using the pigeons). Stuff the jar, light the top, and FOOSH, lovely flaming cocktail of doom. His aim's pretty accurate, as he's been doing this since the Holy War. His second favorite is the jar that looks like it's going to kill you as it's descending from above, but turns out to be a harmless light show. He'll usually begin with the harmless ones, and when folks become complacent, he sets them on fire. He saves the jars with pitch in them for the real hardcases, because the stuff won't come off. No one ever remembers to stop, drop and roll.
Henshin: Nope. No sparkly, whirly panty-shots for this boy.
Teleportation: Cabs are inconvenient. He can teleport roughly two city blocks at a time, and can levitate and/or fly as necessary.
Levitation: Sometimes he just hovers several feet off the ground somewhere after dark and waits for some drunk moron to come by. Good, good times.
Voice: People may not want to listen, but they can't help themselves. That calm, soothing voice just sort of wanders around in their heads until things make sense in ways they'd never imagined before. Like hypnosis, but just not as refreshing. Coupled with his natural affinity for persuasion, he is really a troublesome figure. He can also impersonate anyone's voice, which is handy for calling people and getting them to be certain places at certain times.
All Kobal has to do is flick a finger on the direction of his intended victim for this one. The target immediately feels the pain of laughing too hard and too long - that gut wrenching, back-breaking, oxygen-deprived ache. This is the simplest of his attacks, and generally used when he just wants someone distracted or wants them to go away. All anyone has to do to stop it is get out of his sight. It also ends the minute he stops looking at the person. Pretty minor, no damage, no lasting effects. He can do this any time, to anyone.
Grin and Bear It:
For this one, Kobal needs to shake hands and concentrate - genuine palm to palm handshaking, not that silly little finger-grabbing thing. The victim becomes incapable of expressing any kind of pain or acting to avoid it. They're numb and incapable of realizing mortal danger. Shoot them, and they won't realize it. Point a gun at them a second time, and they'll shrug. Blood can be pouring into their eyes and they won't care; kill their children in front of them and they won't even tear up; nail them to a cross and they'll complain that you didn't line the nails up straight. They just no longer care about much. And that way, he can do anything to you he wants, and there will be no screaming, running, or dialing for help. He'll often use this one just before hauling off with someone's soul. It only lasts ten minutes tops, and only then for the weakest people. It'll only work on one person at a time, because he's got to use a bit of concentration to keep them held down. Really tough cookies can shake him off much sooner, especially if they're angry when he pulls this on them. It can be deflected completely if someone has a well developed bullshit radar, and doesn't really trust easily to begin with. They won't even realize they've avoided something nasty.
Violation of Expectations:
Kobal will have one of his minions hover (in their gray misty-orb form) over the head of the person he wants to hear things from. The victim begins making outrageous proclamations. The problem is, they'll contain at least a kernel of embarrassing truth. They won't be able to stop telling everyone and anyone...everything. Suddenly Orfiel is telling everyone about a dream she had the other night where she grew a penis and went around petting it and sticking it into everything that wasn't running away or on fire. There was a cooked turkey involved, and Suriel was in a Speedo. She has no idea why she's telling everyone within earshot, but she can't shut up about the events in the dream or the fact that she really enjoyed it and was disappointed while still groggily awakening to find she had not actually sprouted a nice phallus. If anyone laughs, then the next confession will happen, and so on. It'll stop when the person runs off in mortified horror. Which never takes long. He can use this on several people at once, then sit back and enjoy the weirdness. If the person's companions are nice and supportive and don't laugh, the attack is over.
Kobal prefers to keep his souls as solids, and carries them around like marbles...except for that one, first soul. That one he wears on a chain around his neck. Anyway, he usually takes them by getting a bit more intimate than he would for any other reason - by running the backs of his fingers from the person's sternum to their navel. He wraps the soul in his fingers this way, spins it into a solid orb, and pockets it.
He currently has a successful practice in London, near Trafalgar Square, just south of Nelson's Column. He's been in London for just over seven years, and managed to get away with claiming the Square, a small park nearby, and the cemetery adjoining it. Of course he's well and truly hated for it by many of the Hellborn and converted. His office is the lower level of a two story structure, and he occupies the second floor. The home is modest but very comfortable: frame construction, brick veneer on the front, and a back deck for watching the sun rise. It's quiet. And he can watch and listen to...everything. He does, of course, hold a seat in Hell's Parliament. As a Holy War Fallen and an Elohim, he engenders annoyance in the lower ranks with his existence alone. He manages things with light touches - just a push here, a suggestion there, and things take care of themselves, usually when the push and suggestion tear each other's heads off just outside Parliament. He respects Lord Chancellor Batsran for his fairness, stays the hell out of his way and has been careful to remain just under the radar for the most part.
Mourning Doves: Kobal's minions are something you can find in droves in and around Trafalgar Square: pigeons. They watch and listen and get close when he can't. They're simple minded fodder, and a few of them used to be human before he took their souls. He refers to them as mourning doves, and each that belongs to him is mostly grey and carries his symbol hidden somewhere among the patterns of their feathers. When he's tired of birds in the house or on the deck, they hover as soft gray-glowing, blurry spheres of light in the shadows. No - they don't poop. Sidenote: it won't be illegal to feed pigeons in Trafalgar Square until late 2003, so there are still thousands of the buggers in residence during MD.
Yes, and mainly during the same times that angels got together in larger groups, so...to be detailed later. He's traveled the majority of the globe in his time, and has stayed out of everyone's way unless he couldn't resist watching the angels get their freak on.
"It's...it's good of you to see me on such short notice."
The young man seemed to be quailing as he sat in the powder blue, overstuffed chair. The therapist across from him seemed to be sitting in shadow although the lighting was even across the room. Such a lovely office, so open, with floor to ceiling windows looking out on an eastern-facing deck. There was just a nice stretch of lawn and trees beyond that, and of course no one could see him with the blinds angled the way they were. Calm, and quiet, and -
"It's no trouble," Dr. Harshvardhan replied. "Why don't we begin with the incident that brought you here?"
The young man with the mouse-brown hair and startled blue eyes - Paul - looked from the floor to the doctor and back in quick succession. "I'm really very responsible," he murmured, then cleared his throat and spoke more clearly. "I've just been under a bit of stress lately, too many deadlines, that's all. I think it's that I haven't gotten enough sleep. I mean, I've never done anything like this before, and it just seems so rude of me. I can't understand why I don't remember doing it."
Dr. Harshvardhan nodded gently.
Paul waited a moment, then added, "I didn't have any reason to be cutting through the Square, it's a little out of my way. I thought I should, though, day before yesterday. I remember ducking into the florist's, but not much after that. When I came around again, I was in a little cemetery - the one you've got out here." He glanced up again, and for an instant, it seemed as if there was some glint of humor in the doctor's eyes, but when he looked harder, it was nothing more than a solicitous concern.
"When I woke up again, I was standing in front of a headstone, holding an arrangement that said 'employee of the year'. Right? Except the stone I was standing in front of, that poor guy had been dead since 1989. I put it down anyway, because..." He paused, his confusion plain on his face. "I was supposed to. I don't know why, but I was supposed to. I checked my pockets, and I had the receipt from the florist's. That just doesn't make any sense. Nothing like that's ever happened to me before."
"Stress is cumulative," Dr. Harshvardhan said. "How is the overall quality of the sleep you've been getting during the average night?"
"Something keeps waking me up every few hours," Paul said, fidgeting with the sleeve of his shirt. "I'm...not sure what." Dreams of something with wings made of glass and orange-rimmed eyes, like a demon or what have you, but he sure as hell wasn't going to talk about that. That was crazy talk. And he wasn't crazy. He didn't have time to be crazy.
"And you've had a full physical within the last year?"
Paul nodded. "Sure, no problems. I haven't even had a cold in years. No blackouts, and I don't even drink...well, an occasional pint with friends on the weekend. No big deal. I feel okay, too."
"Has anything life changing or disturbing occurred within the last three years?"
Paul paused. "Well, I did change jobs, and the new job is a bit more stressful, but I've become accustomed to it now. Everything seems to be going great, no one in the family is ill, and my girl puts up with my nonsense. Everything's been...well, normal. And then this happened, and your hours are so reasonable..."
This wouldn't do at all. He was very suggestible, but he was also too stable. He'd make a particularly good snack after maybe another 'errand', but he was not good material for a proper bout of desecration. Still, he might provide amusement.
"I'm not losing it, am I?" Paul said.
"No, not a bit," the kind and patient doctor intoned. "I would like to see you once a week for at least a month, though, as I'm certain we can get to the bottom of this. I would like you to begin keeping a journal of your thoughts over the next week, and please make sure to detail anything out of the ordinary that happens. For your own peace of mind."
And he smiled.
Name: It's me, Sky!
Experience: Haha, whut?