Over Taxed?

It's "That Time Of Year", at least here in the States, and I do believe there's an actual law somewhere affirming that any humorist HAS to take a stab at the IRS right around now. There really are -so- many options, many of them even gaming related...but so many have been DONE before as well. But for all the standard cracks about the Infernal Revenue Service, I've rarely seen it actually DONE...even in systems just made for it, like, of course, In Nomine...

So here, as a special service, for the torment of the PCs, I present Ardibehist, the Demon of the IRS, followed by Butator, Angel of Taxes...

Ardibehist, Djinn Servitor of Factions, Demon of the IRS
(Currently going by "D.B.")

Corporeal Forces: 1  (Strength 2	Agility 2)
Ethereal Forces:  6  (Intelligence 12	Precision 12)
Celestial Forces: 5  (Will 10		Perception 10)

Vessels: Geeky Auditor/1 (Role: Auditor 4/6) -3 Charisma    [4 Body Hits]
	 Big Guy/4 (Role: Bruiser 2/6) -2 Charisma	    [10 Body Hits]
	 Babe Acnt./1 (Role: Accountant 4/6) +3 Charisma    [4 Body Hits]

Skills: Computer Operation/2, Detect Lies/2, Emote/2, Fast-Talk/3,
	Fighting/3, Knowledge (Tax Law)/5, Pistol/4

Songs:	Entropy (Ethereal/5),
	Form (Corporeal/4, Ethereal/3, Celestial/3)
	Harmony (Corporeal/6, Ethereal/2)
	Healing (Corporeal/6)
	Tongues, Backwards (Corporeal/6, Ethereal/4)
	Numinous Corpus (Horns/5, Tail/5, Tongue/6)

Attunements: Djinn of Factions, Imbroglio, Polarize, Knight of
    Deception, Captain of the Broken Promise

Artifacts: Body Bag/4, Form 1040e

The common misperception is that taxes are, "of course," in Valefor's domain. The truth is, Valefor's highest ranked demon on the matter is Claire, the Demon of Tax Evasion...no, once hell really got into the swing of the tax thing, Malphas took it over almost exclusively. After all, what single topic can break apart couples, friendships, and partners faster and more violently than finances?

Way, way back, Ardebehist was the Angel of April, a happy-go-lucky Cherub of Novalis, his major concern in life the bringing of May Flowers.

He's come a long way since then. He was a relatively minor Demon in Factions' ranks, and like most of Malphas's servitors, more concerned with putting down the other guy than in building himself up...and being a rare Djinn who neglected his Corporeal Forces, he got beat up a lot by other demons. But while he turned up in Trauma regularly, his mind was so sharp, and he took such obvious delight in making people really -squirm-, that Malphas stuck by him. (Alright, Malphas actually did it just to make some of the people around him wonder, but..)

It worked out nicely. Taxation has been around for a long time, and people hated it so much on its own that it never really occurred to Hell to organize that...until Ardibehist, on his own initiative, managed to get the IRS put in place. At first, he got a lot of skeptical looks at this, with many other demons pointing out that if it was better organized, people might start to NOT mind.

D.B. had other plans for it, though, and quickly put in place mechanisms to ensure that the workers in the IRS would be, on balance, overzealous sadists who'd had sand kicked in their faces one time too many. It's worked out well enough to get him Captained, and as such, he's somewhat removed from the front lines of the War, able to focus on the day-to-day nastiness that gives demons such a bad name.

His main Vessel is of just such an auditor..a geeky twerp with a nasal voice and inch-thick glasses, he'll focus in on the subject of an inquiry and examine every last detail of their expenses for the last ten years, to the penny...in triplicate.

His Big Guy Vessel is kind of a stand-by; it's a 7 foot tall musclebound bruiser - great for intimidation value, but with his Corporeal Forces, all bluff even as a Level 4 Vessel. This is the one he keeps in the Body Bag; one trick he DOES enjoy is to annoy someone into actually `killing' him in the Geek vessel; then he crawls out of the Bag and calls the cops to report `hearing a disturbance', having the hapless human charged with murder...

The Babe Accountant Vessel, "Debbie", is kind of a hobby, utilized most around December and January to toy with those people who actually start working on their taxes early. D.B.'ll try seducing married men or otherwise using the Vessel's buxom body to sow dissent in the lives of his patrons...and, of course, pass out copies of the 1040e (q.v.)

His most used Songs are Ethereal Entropy, and his versions of Tongues sung backwards. (See below) He uses these and his Attunements to warp his victim's minds, whether in an audit or a consultation, increasing their fear of the entire process and leaving them at wit's end. Polarize he particularly enjoys employing when dealing with a partnership (business or marital), to set the partners at odds and, hopefully, get them to hand over the dirt on each other...

His most prized object is the Form 1040e. The "e", of course, is for "evil". The Form 1040e looks like a perfectly normal tax form...but it actually has a low level warped version of Imbroglio imprinted on to it, such that whatever is done with it, the numbers will -never- add up. A successful Perception roll with a check digit of 4 or more will realize that the instructions and columns have subtle illogics built into them, but short of that, it will seem as though it OUGHT to, until the victim is pulling their hair out and ready, D.B. hopes, to kill, just out of frustration... He actually has a number of these forms. Note that if someone gives up and just sends it in the way they have it, it'll set off every alarm bell the IRS has and virtually guarantee an intensive audit...these are usually overseen by D.B. himself. (He watches for them, if only so he can get his forms back and pass it on to someone else.)

Along with his Word, he has a couple of Rites he can perform. An intensive Audit lasting at least 4 hours; successfully ruining someone he's Attuned to financially; and instigating an Audit on another Celestial (requires the subject having a Role of at least Level 2) are each worth an Essence to him. Also, he can apply his Resonance to a person's -finances-, rather than the person specifically, allowing him to use it to help track down transactions made by a particular person. (With a successful Resonance roll in this manner, he can, say, skim the stock exchange and know what they're invested in, or go into a store they've visited and recognize what they bought. It won't actually lead him to the store, however.) ALSO note that acting in his role as Auditor, he can use any of his Numinous Corpus without any Disturbance...horns, a barbed tail, and a forked tongue, after all, are perfectly within the Role of an IRS Auditor.

The Song of Tongues, sung backwards, has a kind of "babble" effect...the Corporeal version will keep the subject from comprehending spoken language, while the Ethereal version fills their mind with incoherent voices, making it difficult to concentrate. Either lasts a number of minutes equal to the check digit plus any Essence spent.

{The best way to put him in a game, obviously, is to spring an audit on one of the PC's roles. He makes a wonderful distraction, and if they realize he's demonic and go after him, he works with a Calabite of Beleth; Ezrael, the Demon of Audits.}

Butator, Seraphim Servitor of Stone, Angel of Taxes

Corporeal Forces 4  (Strength 8 	Agility 8)
Ethereal Forces 5   (Intelligence 11	Precision 9)
Celestial Forces 5  (Will 8		Perception 12)

Vessel: Human/3 (Role: Auditor 4/6) +2 Charisma 	[56 Body Hits]

Skills: Computer Operation/3, Fighting/2, Knowledge (Tax Code)/5,
    Knowledge (Finance)/4, Sword/4, Singing/3

Songs:	Light (Corporeal/4, Ethereal/3, Celestial/5)
	Tongues (Corporeal/3, Ethereal/4, Celestial/3)
	Numinous Corpus (Wings/5)

Attunements: Seraph of Stone, Elohim of Stone, Deep Gaze,
	Master of the Granite Hand, Vassal of Trade,
	Friend of the Shareholders, Seraph of Lightning,
	Vassal of Lightning

Artifacts: Flaming Sword/5

An equally common misperception is that, "of course," taxes were a demonic invention in the first place. Fact is, not only were they not demonic...this isn't even one humans did to themselves. In truth, they were originally instigated by one Butator, a Servitor of David. He had this grand vision of human communities pooling their resources for the common good.

Suffice to say, that was a LONG time ago. The last few thousand years, he's been frantically trying to repair the damage, though he's still certain the actual concept is sound.

Butator is one of the old school angels. He still carries around his Flaming Sword, and for all his time on Earth, he resolutely carries an understanding of human culture that's at least 500 years out of date at any time. But while he quite deliberately doesn't keep up with all the fads that are going to pass within a century, don't think he's a dupe...the odds on -anyone- putting something over on him are virtually nil. It's worth noting that while maintaining his basic service under David, his particular Word has put him in close contact with Trade and Lightning as well...and he's impressed both Marc and Jean enough to be granted Distinctions, in addition to his Master of the Granite Hand from David.

And all this, while overseeing a Word that's been more thoroughly hijacked by demons than almost any other. Suffice to say, Butator is -sharp-, and if he thinks he's not getting proper respect from another Angel, he'll cheerfully put them in Trauma and file a report with their Superior. (If Novalis knows one of her Servitors was dealing with him and sees them turn up by their Heart, she's likely to just revive them and give them a new Vessel with a soft sigh, and send them back with a pat on the head.)

His primary mission, as far as he's concerned, is to root out the demons working in the tax system and kill them. On the side, he goes after humans who corrupt what he's convinced should be a beautiful process...this includes both those who evade paying taxes and lobbyists who push for more and less rational loopholes in the law.

His Vessel is simply of a human; androgynous, managing to give the impression of being whichever gender the beholder might expect more. He doesn't -USE- his Songs or Attunements too much anymore, though he's been known to use Deep Gaze to see what someone has locked in a safe, and wows people with his ability to figure large numbers in his head. He does use his Resonance often and well, though; the last time someone successfully lied to him was back in 76. (No, not '76. Just 76.)

{Again, the best way to include Butator in a game is to have him audit a PC...angelic or demonic. He tends to insist that if an Angel is going to have a Role, they're obliged to support the system just like anyone else. Have you ever -been- through an Audit by a Seraph?}

 <--  -->

j n m ( m n j )
"The world is ending, and they want us to contribute?"
-- Saint Raven on doomsayers' panhandling.