Othniel, Angel of Time
Elohite Servitor of Destiny

Stats: Take an Elohite of Destiny and max it out. Othniel has all possible attunements and distinctions of Destiny, and every song that is not infernal and lost or secret.

Othniel and its servitors can be used as celestial "Time Lords" to move modern PCs into historical or futuristic settings, or to play tricks on the PCs with temporal effects.

Long ago, Othniel was offered Archangel status by the Seraphim Council, but declined it. It is enormously old, having been created at the Beginning, shortly after Yves, Michael, Lucifer, and the other primal angels. It got its Word very early, too. It has always been a loyal servitor of Yves, and one reason it declined Archangel status was to avoid Word-friction with its boss. Another, deeper, reason was that it knew being an Archangel would throw it into much more contact with the Host in general and the Seraphim Council in particular – and serving its Word requires a lot of descretion, not to say secrecy.

As Archangel of Destiny, Yves knows ALL the POSSIBLE futures. As Angel of Time, Othniel knows SOME of the ACTUAL future, and is the patron of time-travel. In addition to the wide range of songs mentioned above, Othniel has – Othniel invented – various Songs of Time-Travel. These he teaches to some of his servitors, mostly old and powerful ophanim.

Introduce time-travel and you immediately have decisions to make, chiefly about maleability of history and handling paradoxes. Othniel is designed for a system in which history is rigid and cannot be changed. (Does this mean Othniel is designed for a system without free will? An interesting philosophical question. Othniel and I would say no.)

If history is rigid, you get what GURPS Time Travel calls, I believe, "Observer Effect" and what our campaign (and the book Time Riders, which I wrote for Iron Crown) calls "timelock." Timelock is the bad luck that happens to you if you try to do something that would change the past. Try to shoot your own infant self, and your gun will jam, or the Time Patrol will catch you, or you'll off the twin brother you never knew you had, or some such event.

It is part of Othniel's job to protect the Host from timelock. This, plus more conventional security reasons, is why he works secretly so much of the time. Anyone he moves back through time – either going on a mission into the past or returning from a mission into the future – works in treble secrecy, not only from the mortals and the infernals, as is usual, but from most of the rest of the Host as well. Othniel is the reverse of a public figure, and most of the Host do not know it exists.

Othniel has no single opposite number in the ranks of Kronos, but the Demon Prince makes occasional use of time-travel. He has developed his own versions of time-travel Songs and seems to project his agents through time himself, rather than teaching any of them these Songs.

Songs of Othniel

Each song comes in Celestial, Ethereal, and Corporeal versions, usable only in their respective realms.

Presto – cost 2, disturbance 2. Lets the target character operate at three times normal speed for a number of minutes equal to the singer's Celestial Forces.

Largo – cost 2, disturbance 2. Makes the target character operate at one third normal speed for a number of minutes equal to the singer's Celestial Forces.

Fermata – cost 3, disturbance 3. Throws the target into stasis for a number of hours equal to the singer's Celestial Forces. Target may be a character or, in the Corporeal version of the Song, a region with a volume, in cubic yards, equal to the singer's Corporeal Forces.

Da Capo – cost 4, disturbance 4. Makes objects in the target region age backwards for a number of minutes equal to the singer's Celestial Forces. The region has a volume, in cubic yards, equal to the singer's Corporeal Forces. If things move in and out of the region during the Song, the Song tends to seek out substitutes if the originals are not available. Light and air are no problem, but a pebble, for instance, might substitute for a bullet. If bystanders interfere in the reversal process, it may back up to a state other than the original one. Characters caught in the effect may try to resist with a Will roll.

Processional – cost 3, disturbance 10. Being immortal, most angels can move into the future by the simple process of waiting, and even for Othniel this is the preferred mode. But when it won't do, Processional moves the singer, plus as much cargo as they can personally carry, to a specified point in the future. If the specification is vague, the singer is moved a minimum distance or to wherever the GM finds amusing.

Because this Song is so "loud" in terms of disturbance, Othniel and its servitors prefer to use it in Heaven, then descend to the Corporeal realm, rather than make noise on Earth. The Marches are the second choice.

Recessional – cost 5, disturbance 20. The true song of time-travel, it works just like Processional, but casts the singer and cargo backward in time.

Anticipation – cost 1, disturbance 1. Gives the singer just enough precognition to dodge a coming blow or bullet. (Cf. "Passive defense" in GURPS Celtic Myth.) The effect lasts for a number of minutes equal to the Celestial Forces of the singer.

Foreknowledge – cost 1, disturbance 0. Lets the singer "just happen" to be prepared for otherwise unforeseeable developments, a number of times equal to the check digit, over a number of hours equal to the Singer's Celestial Forces. Examples: You need to pick a lock, and "fortunately" happened to bring the tools with you. You need to know the name of Alister Crowley's mistress and "happen" to have read that information yesterday. (Note that the Song starts taking effect before it is sung....) In effect, it lets the player write minor additions to the otherwise-unspecified back-story.

Retrospection – cost 1, disturbance 0. Gives the singer a few seconds of clairvoyant vision of past activities of the object or in the place where the Song is sung. The Song tends to pick out moments of high drama, spiritual crisis, violence, and Essence expenditure, and tends to show the most recent one unless you deliberately "aim" further back. (So it might require several performances to extract the whole history of a place or object.)


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