One manga (Japanese serial-art story) that I've liked for a long time is Ah! Megamisama (alternately translated into English as Oh My Goddess! or Ah! My Goddess), a story about the mortal college student Keiichi Morisato, his Celestial girlfriend Belldandy, and how they face life's problems together. More recently, I've been introduced to the In Nomine roleplaying game. Putting the two together was a natural next step, so here are some game statistics for the three main Celestials in the story. (Keiichi is a Soldier of God; his statistics are easy to create off-the-cuff if necessary.) They're as close as possible to Ah! Megamisama canon without seriously bending the default In Nomine setting - this means that they've been given Superiors and Choirs that they don't have in the source material and have lost their pseudo-Kyriotate ability to split into multiple miniature versions of themselves, in order to be able to be added to a canon game more easily.
I've assumed that my audience is familiar with Ah! Megamisama (especially for these characters' personalities, which are only hinted at here), In Nomine, Superiors 3: Hope and Prophecy, Eli, Archangel of Creation, and, optionally, certain other In Nomine rulebooks.
Needless to say, none of these Celestials are suitable as beginning player characters; they're all Word-bound.
|Corporeal Forces - 4||Strength 7||Agility 9|
|Ethereal Forces - 4||Intelligence 8||Precision 9|
|Celestial Forces - 6||Will 12||Perception 12|
Suggested Word Forces: 15
Vessel: Human Female/6, Charisma +3
Role: "Belldandy Wishbringer," helpmeet/3
Servant: "Holy Bell," Reliever (Class 3, Level 6, Will 4)
Skills: Detect Lies/6, Knowledge/5 (cooking), Medicine/6, Singing/6, Swimming/3
Songs: Dreams (Corporeal/3), Entropy (Corporeal/3), Harmony (Corporeal/6, Ethereal/6, Celestial/1), Healing (All/6, virtuoso), Light (Corporeal/1), Motion (Celestial/2), Projection (Ethereal/2), Shields (Corporeal/2, Ethereal/4, Celestial/1), Symphony (Celestial/1 - Liber Canticorum, p. 57, or Liber Reliquarum, p. 32), Thunder/3, Tongues (All/2), Wings/6
Attunements: Mercurian of Faith, Mercurian of Fire, Mercurian of Flowers, Mercurian of Lightning, Mercurian of War, Divine Destiny, Friend of Beasts, Grace of God (Eli, Archangel of Creation, p. 4), Healing Dream, Master of the Armies of God, That Which Moves Mountains, Vassal of Faith, Angel of The Present
("Mercurian of Revelation" might be added to Belldandy's Attunements at the GM's discretion - see Feast of Blades, p. 29, or Superiors: Litheroy, p. 4.)
"Angel of The Present" allows Belldandy to add her Celestial Forces to the Check Digit of any action that will preserve the timestream, to travel through mirrors (which show the present) in the same way that the Ofanim of Flowers attunement allows movement through plants, and, by spending 1 Essence, to treat a mirror as a Tether in order to ascend to or descend from Heaven. As a Rite, she can regain Essence by drinking tea while meditating on the eternal now.
Almost everybody likes Belldandy, including most Archangels and some Demon Princes (no matter what they think of her Superior), and Khalid has sufficient faith in Belldandy to allow her to accept gifts from any Archangel.
Belldandy's servant reliever, Holy Bell, is good with wind-based attacks and defences and is almost as good a singer as her mistress.
Belldandy, her boyfriend, and her sisters live in a Buddhist temple and keep it maintained properly; this counts as "guarding a place of faith" for Belldandy's regaining of Essence by Rite. (Khalid also has enough faith in Belldandy to allow her to tacitly support a "discovered" religion - see Superiors 3, p. 83, for how unusual this is.)
Belldandy's Discord came about because she's allowed a few humans to learn of her Celestial nature (and thus of the existance of Heaven) for various reasons. In one case, this revelation was required by The Almighty; hence her inability to simply "work off" the Dissonance. Belldandy supports her sister Skuld's Dissonance Condition whenever it becomes necessary.
In one respect, Belldandy's honour could put a Malakite to shame: She always keeps her promises, no matter how lightly given.
|Corporeal Forces - 3||Strength 7||Agility 5|
|Ethereal Forces - 3||Intelligence 8||Precision 4|
|Celestial Forces - 4||Will 9||Perception 7|
Suggested Word Forces: 12
Vessel: Human Female/6, Sex Appeal +3
Role: "Urd Wishbringer," sister/1
Servant: "World of Elegance," Reliever (Class 3, Level 6, Will 4)
Skills: Alchemy/5 (Corporeal Player's Guide, p. 28), Computer Operation/5, Medicine/5, Seduction/1, Singing/5, Swimming/3
(GMs without access to the Corporeal Player's Guide should replace Urd's Alchemy skill with "Chemistry/5" and "Knowledge (alchemy/5)".)
Songs: Attraction (Ethereal/1), Entropy (Corporeal/3), Healing (Corporeal/2, Ethereal/3, Celestial/2), Motion (Corporeal/2, Celestial/1), Shields (Ethereal/4), Thunder/5, Tongues (Corporeal/2), Wings/5
Artifacts:a collection of Flying Brooms of varying speeds and personalities (including Stringfellow, a living artifact believed to be the fastest Flying Broom in existance)
Attunements: Bright Lilim of Creation, Elohim of Creation, Abracadabra, Transubstantiation, Uncommon Sense (Eli, Archangel of Creation/cite>, p. 5), Angel of The Past
Discord: Vulnerable/1, Slothful/1
"Angel of The Past" allows Urd to add her Celestial Forces to the Check Digit of any action that will preserve the timestream, to travel through televisions (which usually show images of the past) in the same way that the Ofanim of Flowers attunement allows movement through plants, and, by spending 1 Essence, to treat a television set as a Tether in order to ascend to or descend from Heaven. As a Rite, she can regain Essence by drinking sake while looking back on her life.
Urd's servant reliever, World of Elegance, is good with fire-based attacks and defences and is almost as good a singer as her mistress. She has mismatched wings (one wing's feathers are white, the other's are black); this shows that she's also one of the Redeemed.
Urd's Discord is part of her nature; Eli doesn't seem to mind it. Her Vulnerability is to hearing enka (a Japanese style of music vaugely similar to North American and English "crooning"); she falls asleep when hearing it rather than taking damage.
Her Role is a result of of her actions during her time on Earth; she didn't start out with it.
Urd doesn't much care about the Law of Heaven forbidding revelation of the War to mortals, but in deference to her half-sister Belldandy, Urd does not reveal her Celestial nature while on Earth. She doesn't get along well with her half-sister Skuld, but when push comes to shove, all three sisters stand together.
|Corporeal Forces - 3||Strength 4||Agility 8|
|Ethereal Forces - 4||Intelligence 10||Precision 6|
|Celestial Forces - 3||Will 7||Perception 5|
Suggested Word Forces: 3
Vessel: Young Human Female/6, Charisma +2
Role: "Skuld Wishbringer," sister/1
Servants: "Noble Scarlet," Reliever (Class 3, Level 6, Will 4); "Banpei," Soldier (Class 5, Level 3, Will 4); "Sigel," Soldier (Class 5, Level 1, Will 6)
Skills: Computer Operation/6, Electronics/6, Engineering/6, Large Weapon/4 (warhammer), Singing/5, Swimming/2
Songs: Entropy (Corporeal/3), Healing (Celestial/1), Tongues (Corporeal/2), Wings/3
Attunements: Malakim of Lightning, Mercurian of Lightning, Vassal of Lightning, Angel of The Future
Oaths: Never suffer an evil to live when it's her choice; Never surrender in a fight, nor allow herself to be captured by the armies of Lucifer; Protect the future of humanity; Support her sisters' happiness as she best understands how.
"Angel of The Future" allows Skuld to add her Celestial Forces to the Check Digit of any action that will preserve the timestream, to make any of her Lightning-based creations that include futuristic technology permanent by spending 2 Essence per creation, to travel through water (which is fluid, like the future) in the same way that the Ofanim of Flowers attunement allows movement through plants, and, by spending 1 Essence, to treat a pool of water as a Tether in order to ascend to or descend from Heaven. (She can choose to merely soak in a bath, rather than using the water as a portal.) As a Rite, she can regain Essence by eating ice cream while working toward a future goal.
Skuld's servant reliever, Noble Scarlet, is good with water-based attacks and defences, and is almost as good a singer as her mistress.
Skuld very rarely uses her Songs, preferring technological solutions to problems. She built Banpei (a fully-intelligent robot with a vaugely-humanoid form) to resolve some of her family's longstanding problems related to Diabolical interference, and Sigel (a fully-intelligent robot in the form of a cute barely-teenaged girl) so that Banpei wouldn't be lonely. In game terms, they are Soldiers and Skuld's servants, although she rarely treats them as such.
Skuld adores her older sister Belldandy. She doesn't get along as well with her half-sister Urd, but when push comes to shove, all three sisters stand together.
Skuld's oath "Support her sisters' happiness as she best understands how" has led to some misunderstandings. When she first arrived on Earth, she was convinced that Belldandy would be happier in Heaven than on Earth, and tried to end the romance between Belldandy and her boyfriend so she could return with a clear conscience; upon realizing that Belldandy was happiest with Keiichi, Skuld stopped trying to drive them apart (and started looking for ways to make him, and by extension Belldandy, happier). Skuld is convinced that Urd would be happier if she'd just get up and do something more often, not realizing Urd's Discord, which leads to some of the friction between the two. (Skuld's oath to "never surrender in a fight" leads to more of that friction, because she treats arguments as fights. Sometimes Skuld has to be told to stop arguing, which she is allowed to treat as an order to disengage if it comes from someone she respects.)
Her Role is a result of of her actions during her time on Earth; she didn't start out with it. It first appeared as "little sister," but Skuld's efforts to not be seen as a child changed that over time.
These writeups are based on the ongoing manga by Kosuke Fujishima and the direct-to-video anime based on that manga, both translated into English under the title Oh My Goddess!, and the theatrical movie translated into English under the title Ah! My Goddess. Very little in this page applies to the recent Oh My Goddess! novel written by Urd's Japanese voice actress, or the broadcast-television remakes of the anime translated into English under the titles Adventures of the Mini-Goddess and Ah! My Goddess. (The novel is not canon, and those anime usually depict Belldandy as a near-total idiot. The TV series are obviously part of some dark plot by demons of Media; however, Adventures of the Mini-Goddess protrays Urd spot-on.)
It has been established in Ah! Megamisama that these rather diverse sisters are all daughters of the same Celestial, who has been strongly hinted to be The Almighty (the One whom Yves is said to have the ear of). The other parent or parents of Belldandy and Skuld has not been revealed; Urd's mother is Hild, an honourable and ethical Demon Princess who always keeps her bargains, and who grew to dislike her mate for reasons of her own. (Obviously "Hild" is a pseudonym of Lilith's, hence Urd's Choir.) Since normal angels, even if Word-bound, cannot serve The Almighty directly in the canonical In Nomine setting, they have taken service with the Superiors that suit their personalities best. As for why they have the same names as the Ethereals known as the Norns, filtered through the Japanese phoneme set ... well, that's still a mystery.
Every version of the Ah! Megamisama story begins with Belldandy showing up in front of Keiichi to grant him a wish, and him wishing that she'd stay with him forever. This is a decidedly-unusual way to begin an In Nomine campaign - it violates the basic rule that mortals learn as little as possible about Celestials - but The Almighty set up the situation, so it's obviously all right. (Besides, this particular rule is bent whenever a Soldier is recruited.) Just assume Keiichi got a major Divine Intervention when Belldandy showed up; he gets enough trivial Infernal Interventions later in the ongoing story to balance it out.
At least one non-canonical account suggests that the temple where Belldandy, Keiichi, Urd, and Skuld live is a Tether of some sort. If this is true in your campaign, then the sisters are its Caretakers, not its Seneschals.
Other Celestials in this setting include Mallar (a.k.a. "Maller", "Mara" or "Marla", an Impudite of Dark Humor with some as-yet-unrevealed connection to the sisters), Peorth (a Mercurian of Creation who's fixated on the "love" part of her Superior's Word), and Velsper (the less said about Velsper, the better the surprise for the readers). Other important humans in the setting include Keiichi's family: Keima (father, a glassblower), Takano (mother), and Megumi (sister); Chihiro Fujimi (a mechanic, and Keiichi and Belldandy's employer once they graduate); and Keiichi's friends from the university motor club: Toraichi Tamiya, Aoyama Ootaki, and Sora Hasegawa.
There's nothing saying this is the only way to define the megami of Ah! Megamisama in In Nomine terms, or necessarily even the best way to do so.
A good case can be made for Belldandy being an Archangel instead of simply Word-bound. She would be Allied with Novalis and Yves (and Khalid and Novalis would be Allied with her), Associated with Blandine (and Blandine and Marc Associated with her), and Hostile to nobody (and nobody Hostile to her). As for the other side, Belldandy would get along relatively well with Lilith, would not care for the machinations of Andrealphus or Baal, and would detest how Kobal, Kronos, and Malphas routinely act. If Magog is in your campaign, Belldandy would consider him to be her worst enemy. She'd be in the "peace faction", and thus would have few Malakim Servitors (but more than Novalis does). For simplicity's sake, Belldandy's Word would be Time. Words related to Time are few, but would include Past (Urd), Present, and Future (Skuld); other possibly-appropriate Words are already in the domains of other Superiors.
It would be equally valid to define Belldandy, Urd, and Skuld as Ethereals of the August Prosperity Collective if you own a copy of the Ethereal Player's Guide and don't mind breaking canon by having Ethereals spending most of their time on Earth. These Ethereals would be similar in personalities and abilities to the Celestials described above, but the game mechanics would be somewhat different.
Robert M. Schroeck, co-author of the "Ethereals" chapter of Liber Servitorum, has suggested another option near the end of his Ethereal Spirits for In Nomine page: that the classical Norns foresaw the Purity Crusade coming and got out of the way before the Tsayadim showed up, and are seriously considering adapting their natures to take advantage of the Essence unknowingly offered by thousands of mortals who are more familiar with Ah! Megamisama than the Eddas. This take on the Sisters could support a long adventure or a short campaign in the Marches, as the PCs either help or hinder the Norns in their search for what they need for their plan. If their plan succeeds, they might end up as beings notably similiar to the oned described above ...
The material presented here is the creation of Rob Kelk. It is based on the intellectual property of Kosuke Fujishima, and is intended for use with the In Nomine system from Steve Jackson Games. The images on this page are the intellectual property of Kosuke Fujishima, and are used under national copyright laws and international copyright treaties which permit quoting of limited selections of works in other works. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Mr. Fujishima or Steve Jackson Games.
In Nomine is a trademark of Steve Jackson Games; no challenge to this or any other trademark is intended by its inclusion here.