The following presents the city of Dallas, Texas, for use as an In Nomine setting. Although at times I will refer to "the Metroplex" (meaning the entire Dallas/Fort Worth area), most of the information below refers only to Dallas (and its surrounding communities), and only peripherally to Fort Worth.
At one time, this setting was being developed for use with a face-to-face In Nomine game, "Points of View". Now, it is is being developed for GBT2, an online In Nomine game hosted at Dreamlyrics.
|Mundane Facts||Celestials & Humans||The War|
Dallas itself has a population of almost 1.2 million people. The DFW Metroplex has a total population of about 4 million. Dallas is approximately 35% white, 25% black, and 36% Hispanic. The surrounding (generally more affluent) communities tend to be whiter.
Dallas is the 2nd largest city in Texas (Houston is the largest), and the 7th largest city in the U.S. The DFW Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. Dallas was originally a farming town. While there is little oil actually in the Metroplex area, Dallas became a major economic center as a result of the East Texas oil fields. Today, Dallas is primarily a business center, with the largest concentration of high-tech companies outside of "Silicon Valley" in California. The "Telecom Corridor" running through Dallas and Richardson includes some of the largest electronics and telecommunications firms in the world.
While a major city and probably the most cosmopolitan in Texas, Dallas has long suffered by comparison with other large cities, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. It's been passed over for the Olympics, lost a bid for Boeing to Chicago, and its professional sports teams have sucked for years. Generally treated as a poor Southern relation among America's major metropolises, Dallas has never achieved "world class" status.
It is roughly estimated that there are approximately 60 celestials in the Metroplex area (probably about 20 in Dallas itself); as in most places, about 1/3 are angels and the rest are demons. The number of human minions is high in Dallas, to make up for the relatively low celestial ratio. There are probably about 2 Soldiers for every celestial in Dallas, and probably 2-3 "mundane" servants for every Soldier. Thus, the total number of "aware" participants in the War in DFW may be over 500, or slightly more than 1 per 8000 mundanes.
As with mortals, Dallas is regarded by celestials as a city of some importance, but not a crucial location. It is not on the front lines of the War, and thus it is rarely visited by Superiors and has few Word-bound inhabitants. Its primary importance is the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, which as a major transportation hub is carefully watched by both sides.
The most important influence, or lack thereof, in Dallas is the fact that there are no major Tethers, only a small number of minor ones. Many Tethers have come and gone in Dallas throughout its history, but none have yet proven stable and persistent, and none have become powerful enough to exert a major influence on the area. Thus, the balance of power in Dallas is maintained mostly through the day-to-day efforts of individual Servitors. This makes the War in Dallas intense but low-key. There is no "treaty" between angels and demons as there is in Austin; in fact, there is very little communication between the two sides at all. Fighting is vicious and relentless, but what keeps it from becoming all-out war is the fact that both sides have mandated that disturbance be minimized in the city. Heaven and Hell both greatly desire a major Tether that will secure a power base for them, and disturbance makes Tethers less likely to form. Thus, Asmodeus and Dominic are both even more intolerant of disturbances (and open celestial interventions) in Dallas than they are elsewhere, and both have several minions permanently stationed here to keep celestials in line. So while angels and demons (and their Soldiers) will take any opportunity they can get to strike at the other side, they must do so "quietly."
Dallas is dominated by the militant factions on both sides. The most powerful Princes in Dallas are Malphas and Asmodeus, while Nybbas and Vapula both have minor presences. On Heaven's side, the dominant Archangels are David and Laurence, with Michael and Jean also playing a significant role. Marc and Dominic both have a presence here as well. Superiors other than those above have no major interests in Dallas and have at most a couple of Servitors in the area.
Blandine has a single Servitor in Dallas, but the rest of her work is done by Dream Soldiers and the occasional Saint. She doesn't regard Dallas as a very important front, though of course she will not neglect any place that has dreamers.
David is the most influential Archangel in Dallas, as he holds the only divine Tether. He has several angels in Dallas and Fort Worth, besides the Tether staff, and a large number of Soldiers and other mortals, mostly in civic organizations, but a few in local gangs or law enforcement. David agrees entirely with Dominic's view of disturbance in the city, and his Servitors will cooperate with any Servitors of Judgment seeking to track down noisy celestials. Angels of Stone in Dallas have learned to become very effective without making a disturbance, and because of their Essence conservation, actually have a very large store of Reliquaries available for emergencies.
Dominic maintains a permanent Triad in the Metroplex, whose primary purpose, in addition to their normal duties, is to enforce his edict against making a disturbance. Their secondary goals are to track down Malphas' Tether, and of course oppose the Game at every opportunity. The Triad is "permanent" in the sense that it is always present, but the actual Servitors get rotated from time to time. The Triad is supported by a couple of Soldiers and some mortal agents.
For the most part, Dominic's Servitors are businesslike and interfere as little as possible with the affairs of other angels in the city. (Since most are militants who cooperate with Judgment, they have little trouble.) Of course the Michaelites are a different matter, but Servitors of Judgment and War in Dallas try to coexist simply by having as little contact as possible; the Dominicans are satisfied with an occasional brief conversation that allows them to make sure no one is dissonant, or making a disturbance.
Eli has no known Servitors in Dallas, "in service to" someone else or otherwise. He used to frequent Deep Ellum during the Blues period, but hasn't been seen in the city in quite some time.
Gabriel has one permanent Servitor in the Metroplex, a Malakite Friend of Fire who's taken it upon himself to punish all the cruelty in Dallas. He's always busy. He avoids making huge disturbances, but is a frequent troublemaker from Judgment's point of view because he considers smiting demons and punishing the cruel to be more important than keeping things quiet. Dominic's Triad is always trying to track him down and lecture and/or discipline him, usually without success. Other Servitors of Gabriel come through the Metroplex fairly frequently; the overworked Malakite will offer them any help he can if they're willing to help him.
Wind Servitors often come through DFW Airport, and several "road warriors" make frequent stops in Dallas. There is a Soldier of the Wind who owns a small ranch not far from the airport which Janus' angels can use as a safe haven while in the area.
A lot of telecom companies make their homes in Dallas. While Jean has many more Servitors at his Tether in Houston, he has several in Dallas, mostly at one of the local universities. He's also known to have some mortal agents in many of the big technology companies such as Texas Instruments, Lockheed, Nokia, etc.
Dallas holds no appeal for Jordi, but quite a few of his Servitors inhabit the surrounding Texas countryside. He's had the occasional Soldier checking on conditions at one of Dallas' zoos, but maintains no permanent presence in the city.
Along with David, Laurence is one of the dominant Archangels in Dallas. He has at least half a dozen angels in the Metroplex, including one Word-bound Master of the Armies of God, and about that many Soldiers. He also expects to be kept informed of all Soldiers of God in Dallas, and his Servitors sometimes treat any such Soldier as a "reservist" in Laurence's service, to be called up as needed, regardless of which angels they usually work for.
Laurence's Servitors are mostly involved with Catholic organizations, of course, but his Master of the Armies of God is one of his rare high-ranking Protestants, and several of his Soldiers are Southern Baptists. Most mortal servants of the Sword in Dallas are involved in law enforcement or one of the city's many churches.
Marc has three angels in the Metroplex, two of whom work at DFW Airport. (The third is an Ofanite limousine driver, available for emergency shuttle service.) They are assisted by a Soldier of Trade who lives in Dallas, and several mundane servants and a Reliever or two. Marc's Servitors try to stay out of politics in the city and don't associate much with the other angels (especially since David's are hostile to them). However, as monitors at the airport they are often the first to know about new celestials entering or leaving the Metroplex, and through Laurence or Dominic's Servitors they will make sure the rest of the Host in the city knows about it. They also have the ability to smuggle people or items in and out past security. Thus, other angels occasionally need their help, which they will usually provide.
Marc's Servitors know the Asmodean who also works at DFW. For the most part they avoid each other; there is an unspoken agreement not to bring the open hostilities of the city into the airport. However, they are not friendly -- the situation is not at all like Austin -- and neither would hesitate to screw with the other if they saw an opportunity to do so without causing a major escalation.
Michael has a couple of experienced angels in the Metroplex, but Soldiers make up the bulk of his forces in Dallas. They are each assigned to their own personal missions, but are usually available as extra firepower when one of David or Laurence's Servitors need them. Michael has told his Servitors not to antagonize the Dominicans and to avoid making disturbances, unless absolutely necessary for their mission, in which case he will take the flack for it.
Servitors of Flowers aren't welcome in Dallas, but Novalis isn't willing to cede the area entirely to the militant faction. She usually has a single angel somewhere in the area, but they get rotated in and out on different assignments. She doesn't try to keep her Servitor secret, but on the other hand, the current angel of Flowers assigned to Dallas isn't likely to announce himself either, so the other angels usually don't know (or care) about Novalis' activities in the area.
Yves has noted that Dallas remains in a precarious balance, and has confirmed what most suspect, that whomever gets a strong, stable Tether in the area will probably tilt the city in their favor. He keeps a couple of experienced Servitors in the area (an Elohite and a Mercurian), available for consultation by other senior angels. Additionally, there are sometimes other angels of Destiny assigned to individual cases in the city.
Dallas has a lot of strip bars and "gentleman's clubs," as well as an active street life. It's not the kinkiest or most exciting place in the South, but there's enough to keep a couple of demons of Lust active. They mostly indulge their own fancies and avoid other demons; they're not among Andrealphus' favored Servitors, and he only expects them to keep his Word active in the city and not miss any chance opportunities for a Tether.
One of the dominant Princes in the city, Asmodeus has a Tether here, and agents throughout the government and judicial systems. Dallas' corrupt and acrimonious politics owe nearly as much to the Game as they do to Factions.
The fact that agents of the Game are so prominent in Dallas, and that they crack down so hard on disturbances, intimidates other demons. However, Gamesters in the Metroplex try not to be too intimidating, because Asmodeus really wants a strong infernal Tether here, even if it's not his, and to this end other diabolicals must be given (reasonably) free rein to create favorable conditions. Furthermore, the presence of so many Malphans requires that Asmodeans go to extra lengths to foster cooperation.
That said, they are servants of the Game, and thus always looking for ways to advance themselves at another diabolical's expense. So they maintain civil, but rarely friendly, relations with other demons.
The two most prominent Servitors of the Game are Thane, who has a Role as Deputy Chief in the Dallas Police Department, and Asmodeus' agent at DFW Airport, who has the job of speaking to angels on the rare occasions when it is necessary. The Seneschal of the Dallas INS Office is well known, but rarely has much interaction with other celestials.
Baal hasn't assigned any permanent Servitors to Dallas, the better to deploy his forces in more important areas where David, Laurence, and Michael haven't focused so much attention. He believes Laurence has overcommitted Heaven's resources in Dallas; time will tell whether or not he's right.
However, he demands regular reports on Dallas from other diabolicals (usually collected through the Game), and occasionally sends a demon into the Metroplex to stir up a little trouble (quietly) and test the angels' reactions. He also has several very proficient Soldiers of Hell stationed here, and the Hellforce (Corporeal Player's Guide, p. 112) is known to be active in Dallas. It is these human minions that Baal or Asmodeus often call on when they need something killed or blown up without making a disturbance.
Beleth finds Dallas uninteresting. Any demon of Nightmares in the Metroplex is probably someone Beleth doesn't care about.
Belial has no active presence in the Metroplex, as the other Princes try to keep him out. However, he does have a fairly strong Tether in nearby Waco, and from there his demons sometimes ride into town to party and annoy the Game. In fact, Belial's Waco Tether is currently the strongest infernal Tether in North Texas, which means Baal relies on him for support in the area, which means that the other Princes are required to put up with demons of Fire occasionally strutting around in Dallas (though they will not put up with disturbances).
Dallas is a restaurant town, and Dallasites are big eaters, and Texas is Haagenti's kind of place in general. Thus, several Servitors of Gluttony have been attracted to the city. They keep a low profile, and try to get along with the other demons and avoid attracting the attention of angels.
Kobal thinks Dallas is boring. Expatriate Californians wearing ten-gallon hats and cowboy boots in a town with no cowboy legacy to speak of are barely worth a titter. He sometimes sends failed comics here just to annoy Baal and Asmodeus, but pays little attention to the city otherwise.
Because Yves is taking an interest in Dallas, so is Kronos. He has assigned counterparts to Yves' advisors, who give advice to the Asmodeans on how best to gain the upper hand for Hell. As a hobby, they've also been trying to ruin the city's economy; it's hard to say how much effect they've really had.
Lilith once had a small Tether in Deep Ellum, but it didn't last long. However, a lot of celestials pass through here, making it a good place to cut deals and collect Geases. Free Lilim can sometimes be found hanging around the airports, or arranging rendezvouses downtown.
Malphas, with his hidden Tether, is one of the dominant Superiors in Dallas. His Servitors love the city -- they have practically free rein there, as long as they don't make a disturbance.
Dallas is full of factionalism. Racial tensions are endemic, the city council doesn't get along with the mayor and the chief of police is constantly under attack, which brings up more racial issues, the Dallas Independent School District is a perpetual disaster, corruption in local elections is frequent, big business is constantly arranging for multimillion-dollar boondoggles at taxpayers' expense, and the list goes on and on. Of course demons of Factions aren't responsible for all of it; they just make sure the pot is constantly boiling.
Like their primary foes, the angels of Stone, Servitors of Factions in Dallas have learned to accomplish a lot with minimal Essence expenditures. They rely on attunements and resonances rather than Songs, and they work subtly so as not to make themselves targets. Despite their skill and their dominance, demons of Factions are the most frequent casualties in the War in Dallas -- while they know better than to give any Davidians an excuse to attack, angels of the Sword and War like to nail a Malphan when they can.
Nybbas has a Tether at Southfork Ranch, and Dallas has a lot of film, animation, and computer game studios, so there are always several demons of the Media in the city. However, they regard it as a second-class assignment, and all of them are looking for ways to earn a transfer to New York or Los Angeles or some other more glamorous city. Dallas is purgatory for upwardly-mobile Servitors of the Media. They all like to get together and whine (and steal ideas from each other) at one of the area's many fine restaurants.
The fact that the area's primary newspaper is a Tether to Stone makes them even more miserable, especially since Nybbas has ordered them to undermine it. Destroying the connection between Heaven and the Dallas Morning News is Media's primary goal in Dallas, but so far they haven't been successful, despite many infiltrations.
Saminga briefly became interested in Dallas when he thought Kennedy's assassination might give him a Tether, but that effort was futile. The demons involved in that campaign in 1963 displeased the Prince of Death, so he ordered them to stay in Dallas until they got him a Tether. They've been here ever since. Unable to do much other than cause traffic accidents and incite the occasional murder, and surrounded by enemies, they are a bored and dispirited lot. Having to cope with Malphans out to screw them and Asmodeans ready to jump on them if they make a disturbance, and militant angels who just want them dead, they've gotten very good at survival and retribution. The Samingans have become an often-overlooked force in the city, quite capable of singling out a single celestial and "removing" him when they get irritated enough, without leaving enough clues behind for the other celestials to pin the blame on them.
Some of Valefor's smuggling operations go through DFW, and he's rumored to have a chop-shop in the city that sometimes chops more than cars. There are no prominent demons of Theft in Dallas, but there are usually a couple around lurking in the shadows.
With all of its tech companies and defense contractors, Vapula has some interest in Dallas/Fort Worth, and has sent a few demons to work at local companies just to make sure Jean isn't getting away with turning the Metroplex into a Lightning research haven. Houston and Austin are much more interesting to demons of Technology, however, so being assigned to Dallas is generally considered a sign of a career going downhill.
|Divine||Infernal||Former Tethers||Other important places|
|Dallas Morning News||Southfork Ranch||Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport|
|Dallas INS Office||The JFK Assassination|
|Tether to Factions|
There are four known Tethers in Dallas: three diabolical and one angelic. All of them are weak (<10 Forces), but the angelic one is the strongest, which makes the field more or less even.
The TV show "Dallas" made the city more famous than it had been since the JFK assassination. From 1978 to 1991, the night-time soap opera presented a cheesy paen to greed and lust located in a Media version of Dallas that bore little resemblance to the real city.
The Southfork Ranch, home of the fictional Ewing family, where much of the show was filmed, became a Tether to the Media sometime in the 80s. However, after the TV show was cancelled and began fading into late-night reruns, the Tether waned. Thanks to Southfork's persistence as a tourist attraction and conference center, it has not disappeared completely, but Nybbas has never been very interested in last year's news, so it receives little attention from the Prince nowadays.
Southfork is located in Parker, Texas, about 20 miles north of downtown Dallas.
Asmodeus' Tether in Dallas wasn't created by a famous or noteworthy event. Decades of inept bureaucracy and petty malice at this particular bureau of the Immigration and Naturalization Service eventually resulted in a tiny gateway opening to Hades, which an astute Servitor noticed and brought to the attention of Asmodeus. As a reward, he became the Seneschal and has been ensuring that the Dallas INS office regularly loses applications, separates families, and deports the wrong people. Meanwhile, he has skillfully cultivated relationships with other agencies in North Texas. Thus, while this Tether isn't very powerful, it gives Asmodeus easy access to federal agents, which makes him one of the most influential Superiors in Dallas.
It is known that Malphas has a Tether in Dallas. What's not known is where it is. Most celestials think it's a mobile Tether, so small and unstable that it shifts regularly. Some believe that Malphas just has such a pervasive influence in Dallas that he constantly garners small, weak Tethers that are replaced as fast as they fade. A few think Malphas has actually managed to maintain a secret Tether undiscovered by other celestials, but this seems unlikely, especially with Asmodeans in the area.
There are several known Malphans in Dallas, and it is assumed that one of them is probably the Seneschal of Malphas' Tether. However, thus far Servitors of Factions have done a good job of keeping everyone on both sides guessing.
In the 1920s, the Klu Klux Klan was very popular in Dallas. Many clergy, government and law enforcement officers, including the Sheriff, Chief, and the Commissioner of Police, were members. When the Dallas Morning News began a campaign against the KKK, they suffered threats and a loss of business that almost shut them down. Nonetheless, the newspaper continued editorializing against the Klan and writing scathing criticisms of public officials affiliated with them. Eventually, the Klan's power faded and the DMN's exposes of the organization were considered a high point in American journalism. This triumph of determined newspapermen rallying their fellow citizens against a social malignancy formed a Tether to Stone at the newspaper's main office.
In the decades since then, the Dallas Morning News has lost much of its edge and is now just another major media outlet, but despite attempts by Servitors of the Media to erode the Tether, it has persisted. Since it's the only angelic Tether in Dallas, David maintains stronger defenses than a Tether of its size would normally warrant, and all Servitors of the Sword and War in the city have orders to respond to any call for help from its Seneschal.
This is a Weak-Average Tether, with 4 Forces and a capacity of 20 Forces, and an essence flow of 1/5 minutes. It has no unusual Features.
The physical locus is the old headquarters on Young Street, in Ferris Plaza. Besides the Seneschal, there are usually 2-3 other angels of Stone on the premises (all of them veterans with at least 10 Forces -- because of its relative importance, David does not assign new Servitors to this Tether), and 1-2 relievers. There are also several mortals who work for the paper and are also minions of the Seneschal.
Many other Tethers have formed in Dallas in the past, but most fade after a few years at most. During World War II, Janus had a Tether at Love Field when it was a major aviation center. Mammon has had occasional Tethers to Greed form, particularly during the oil boom, but none lasted. Deep Ellum, originally a freedman's community, was briefly a Tether to Freedom when crime and vice began taking over, but Lilith didn't appoint a Seneschal in time (a frequent problem of hers), and the Tether faded.
Asmodeus and Malphas have probably had the most frequent Tethers. Both have had several before the present ones formed, as a result of the city's frequent political infighting and racial tension. For this reason, these two Princes have the longest history in Dallas.
Malphas is frequently blamed for the lack of strong Tethers in Dallas. Several times a sudden flare-up in celestial hostilities has resulted in disturbances just when some other Prince or Archangel seemed about to gain a Tether. Servitors of Factions are never directly involved, of course, but they are always conveniently on the periphery.
The second busiest airport in the world, DFW receives thousands of flights a day. A major transportation hub in the U.S., it's a frequent destination and/or stopping point for traveling celestials.
Marc has his agents at the airport, and keeps tabs on anything that happens there. This is known to the infernals, so they particularly avoid making a disturbance in the airport, especially in the wake of 9/11 (Marc is rumored to have an entire flight of Malakim on emergency alert, ready to descend on DFW within seconds). Asmodeus also has a Servitor assigned to DFW, trying to record any sightings of individuals involved with the War.
DFW is the closest thing Dallas has to a "neutral ground." On the rare occasions when angels and demons want to talk, they will usually arrange to meet at the airport. Marc's agent expects to be informed of any such meetings, as does Asmodeus' (though this doesn't always happen). If they aren't informed, any untoward incidents that occur will bring severe repercussions on the guilty parties.
Not just a place but an event, with several famous places associated with it. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. His assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was killed shortly thereafter by Jack Ruby. This spawned four decades of conspiracy theories. Arguably the most famous event ever to happen in Dallas, there was a very strong Tether to Hell moving about the area for several weeks thereafter, while Servitors of Factions, the Game, the Media, and even Nightmares, Secrets, and Death vied to stabilize its locus and claim it for their own. Intense warfare broke out in the celestial community. Many demons and a few angels went to Trauma, and the Tether stabilized briefly, only to be disrupted by disturbance, several times.
Eventually, the proto-Tether faded. There is no Tether today associated with the JFK assassination. Most demons blame the angels, assuming they somehow managed to foil the infernal Tether (they were certainly trying). However, a few point the blame at Malphas, who already had a Tether at the time and might have found it more amusing to encourage other Princes to fight over a new one while ultimately denying it to everyone.
Here are some of the important NPCs (and PCs) in Dallas.
Note: Players may read the background information for these NPCs, since it is generally common knowledge to celestials in Dallas (though not all celestials know all of these NPCs). However, you are on your honor not to read the character sheets, or act on any information gained from them!
|Angels & Soldiers of God||Demons & Soldiers of Hell|
|Dominic's Triad of Judgment||Thane, Captain of the Game|
|Terriel, Seneschal of the Dallas Morning News||Gorjan, Shedite of the Game|
|Paulinus, Angel of Christian Rock||Lareglium, Seneschal of the Dallas INS Office|
|Martus, Ofanite of War||Servitors of Factions|
|Serena, Vassal of Dreams||Delilah, Lilim of Technology|
|Mark Cheddwin, Dream Soldier|
|Iahmel, Friend of Fire|
|Andy Twill, Soldier of the Wind|