Names, a Guide:

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Names, a Guide: Empty Names, a Guide:

Post by MagicRob on Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:24 pm

Names are particularly potent to Fallen. Like most abstract or celestial beings, their Name was their original boundary into Creation. Part of what made(makes) humans so unique is their ability to exist outside of their name. They have, basically, limitless potential because they weren't restricted by proper Names. This is also why some of the cosmology of the World of Darkness refers to Mages as 'Name Breakers', or where Mummy: Revised get their naming arts, or where Changeling has their Naming magics. Names are very powerful, and the more abstract you as a being are (likely the more directly powerful you are), the more powerful your name is to you.

In Demon: The Fallen, we primary concern ourselves with three names- Your mortal name, your Celestial name, and your True Name.

At one point in creation, all Angels were on the same side, and they lived in harmony for eons. They were theoretically familiar with each other's True Names, but there wasn't any need to evoke the powers contained there because God hadn't really granted them free will. Sometime after the fall (at least to the Creole cosmology, cus it makes more sense this way), the Angelic forces obscured their True Names and adopted Celestial names. The Fallen's true names changed in response to Lucifer's call for free will, and the backlash of the Heavenly Host. Celestial names were powerful, but they couldn't be used to directly unmake you. Your True Name became a guarded secret, one of the last great gifts given to you by God.

In Demon: The Fallen, each name is unique, and each name is able to do different things. Your mortal name is just that: your mortal persona. It's 99% likely that this name was taken from your mortal host, and it's about as easy to change as any other human name. You fill out some paperwork, whamo. This name has little to no power over you (we can't say NO power over you, as in the hands of a skilled sorcerer even such a weak name can be used against you).

Your Celestial name is more like your angelic nickname. It often has a piece of your True Name within it, but it has limited power over you. You can be invoked this way, for communication. And it does open the door to specific Lores to be used against you, or action taken against you or your thralls. When another player tells you their Celestial name, you are allowed an Intelligence+Legacy roll to see what you remember of them (See the post regarding recognizing Fallen). Celestial names are tied to Houses, Legions and possibly even current Factions if you've been out for awhile. These can't really be changed, but they power is limited as well.

True Names are, without a doubt, the most terrible weapon that can be used against your Fallen. With your True Name, another demonic force could literally enslave you to their will (similar to a blood bond, except, ya know, anywhere). Even humans can literally own you for the rest of their life with such a potent tool. Your True Name is something of a misnomer, it very rarely takes the form of an actual name. Sometimes fragments of songs, or mathematical equations are scattered into your True Name. Everything that you were originally created to do (and then twisted in the curse) is represented in your True Name. Also remember that in D:tF, PCs are among the smallest of the Demons. Because True Names are so powerful, Demons often like to figure out each others so they can either command each other, or eat them (see my post on True Death). Finding out another's True Name is detailed in the core book on page 255. But, here's a minor recap (it bears to mention that ANYTHING with a soul can attempt to piece together a true name, including humans. Just sayin).

Here are some examples of what you can do to try and piece together a true name.
* Looking through occult texts to find the names of demons and matching them to your subject by how they act (Intelligence + Occult). Just finding the right books for this sort of thing can be a story of itself. Very rare, these books.

* Investigating a crime scene, looking for the subtle touches that betray the criminal's personality. (Perception + Investigation).

* Interrogating the demon's followers, finding out how they address him/her in their blasphemous rituals (Manipulation + Intimidation)

* Ransacking a demon's sanctum, finding her personal belongings and seeing what they say about her (Perception + Empathy).

* Observing a demon's handiwork. Every time a demon performs and Invocation, she leaves an imprint on the fabric of reality, similar to a psychic fingerprint (Perception + Occult).

The difficulty of these rolls is always high, typically 8 or 9. You generally only get one check per item/scene/area. Most PC level demons require 10 successes to figure out.

Once a True Name is learned, you can research a summoning or binding ritual. This is detailed on page 256, and I don't expect to come up for awhile. It also stands mentioning that Demons still in Hell remember their True Name in their entirety, and it's not unheard of for them to give their True Name to their loyal servants outside of the Pit to summon them into a vessel. Of course, this is risky, as once armed with their True Name they can make a slave of them (or a meal). Still... stranger things have happened.

**Staff ruling- Each item can only be used once. 1 time per Apoc form (until the target raises their faith), per Lore, etc.

“If you could be either God’s worst enemy or nothing, which would you choose?”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

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