In Nomine in China

A collection of essays posted during March 2008. My thanks to Rob Kelk for collecting them and building this gallery.



Ba Yin – The Eight Sounds
“You’ve probably seen the standard classification, which is based on Western musical forms. China has its own way of classifying musical sounds: the Ba Yin, or Eight Sounds, based on the Eight Trigrams and associated to Confucian ritual music. What sound would a Chinese musician be reminded of as he got to know a typical angel of a given Choir?”
Elemental Words in China
“To celestials who have been working in China for a long time, Novalis is a “core” elemental Archangel, while Janus is not, and David’s Word is a form of Earth.”
“What humans are really capable of understanding not only ties the world to Heaven and Hell, it in large part defines them, and thus the boundaries of that knowledge are a crucial front in the War.”



Superiors’ Words in China
“... bear in mind that subtle inflections not easily transmissible in this character set can change meanings, sometimes drastically.”
Summer, 2008
“Even the Firemen were briefly unable to keep up with the Archangel when she was apparently operating near her full faculties. Her Servitors across the world were organized and operations undertaken that, to this day, are not fully pieced together even to Heaven, despite extensive interviews with Gabrielites assigned missions during the time.”
The Many Chinas
“Outsiders (and that includes angels of Trade from the other side of the globe with more fervent political views) that push for speeding up change are often blithely reminded of the last time China tried a drastic modernization program. That was a little project the locals called the Great Leap Forward.”
Awase, Archangel of Metal (Secret, Transient, Inconvenient Feature)
“However, there is just enough validity to the points raised that a permanent Archangel of Metal would be a touchy proposition. So a curious solution was proposed.”


The Silk Wars
“... silk technology remains one of the few technological applications that was delayed compared to its expected dissemination schedule in Lightning’s plans.”
Riding the Tiger: the Media in China
“His Word is State-Owned Media, after all, not State-Controlled Media. You can’t control the Media – it’s bigger than you.”
General Tso
“Hsiang still loves fortune cookies. Just the whole concept. Genius. Who cares if they were Japanese to start with. They’re Chinese food now, buddy.”
All the Tea in China
“We speak of a man steeped in a culture, a plot that brews, or an infusion of cash into a liquid market. While it’s not quite as universally central to human worldviews as, say, fire or war, its effects on human history are not to be underestimated, and the Angel of Tea is an old and powerful angel indeed.”

“Normal” Celestials

Ma Lei, Midwife
“The existence of this blasphemy against the Word of Creation is something that infuriates Molledet, as it does most Creationers and the Archangel himself, and since the first moment the People’s Republic instituted it, she has been helping women break it.”
Shun, Renegade (Tolerated) Habbalite of Factions
“The Habbalite’s delusion of independence spurs his activities, and as long as he is fomenting tensions Malphas is quite willing to ask the Game to let him work.”


Guan Yu and the Celestial Bureaucracy
“Like most pantheons, the Chinese would never fully recover – Buddhism and Daoism, divine religions, had been draining Essence for some time, and were much more firmly established now. New ethereals simply did not have the merit of the old.”
Sun Wukong
“You know the one about not making deals with Hell? Lesson the second. Heaven’s aren’t any easier.”
The Insidious Dr. Fang
“He appears to regard the concept of “Essence” as a misunderstanding of the true nature of the cosmos, and will not give power to anyone who has not bought in to the same worldview he has.”


Directorate of Special Purposes
“Calling it The People’s Secret Subdirectorate for the Theoretical Study and Practical Application of Feng Shui to Corporeal Territorial Integrity would be more accurate, but would attract too much attention, that’s all.”
The Bodhisattva Vow
“Since every human in the Lower Heavens knows that in the Higher Heavens there is peace, understanding, and purity of existence, the ability to delay this gratification to serve one’s fellows is deeply honored.”


The Underground City of Beijing
“Oddly enough, though, locals aren’t let in. I emphasize: tourists yes, locals no. The Army doesn’t want to risk having one of the permanent residents of the tunnels recognize someone.”
“Being in the middle of a desert a long way from an ocean makes a place very inhospitable to settlement. By humans, at any rate.”
The Grave of Genghis Khan
“Temujin seems to have been at least vaguely aware of such matters, for his burial arrangements appear to have been designed for the express purpose of denying either Heaven or Hell a foothold on his tomb.”


“In In Nomine, this is exactly the case; acupuncture is a skill similar to Alchemy or Enchantment, employing principles similar to geomancy on a medical level to channel a patient’s Essence.”
The Clays of China
“Not all, but more than a few, of the terra cotta warriors that protect this tomb are not quite so... inanimate... as one might think.”
“The Kyriotate-Shedite martial art... well. Any martial art in which “Fast-Draw (Additional Hands)” is a core technique doesn’t get studied by more than a few specialists.”
“... in the In Nomine universe, a collection of lovely calligraphic artworks can really set a room’s mood.”
“But it’s not even a real ritual. Oh, really? Are you going to tell the Sorcerer-alchemist that? No? Well, then, he believes it is. And, funny thing, when you get right down to it, Sorcery is about imposing your thoughts on the Universe, just like demonic resonances, making what you want to be true, true.”
Transparent Mirrors of the Western Han
“A number of supposedly mundane mirrors might be lost or forgotten mirrors of this type, awaiting light from an unusual source ...”
The I Ching
“The Book of Changes records the patterns of events, more than any one man can know. But by establishing which part of the pattern is most relevant to him, and by disciplined study of the collected wisdom of his elders discoursing on the forces at play when such a pattern is extant, he may be able to act wisely within the framework in which he finds himself.”

Adventure Seeds

In Sum: Strategical Priorities in China
“What are each of the major players’ general goals in China? Which is to say, what kind of adventures can players have there?”

The material presented here is the creation of William Keith, and is intended for use with the In Nomine and GURPS systems from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

HTML markup by Rob Kelk.