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Old 03-10-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
Michael Cule
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Default The Demon/Angel of Angst

One of my regular players wrote to me this morning asking for ideas for the powers of the Demon and/or Angel of Angst. Why? I have no idea: it's not as if we have an IN NOMINE game going at the moment.

Thinking about it though, I can see the appeal of being the Demon of Angst, especially Teenaged Angst. And I've even got a ritual for him/her "Gain Essence whenever you persuade somebody they don't need to talk to anyone about their troubles because 'nobody understands'."

But I'm not at all sure that I can see a reason for there to be an Angel of Angst.

What Bands/Choirs would these hypothetical Names be part of? Any other special abilities?
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
Flyndaran
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Default Re: The Demon/Angel of Angst

The wikipedia page for angst has some interesting ideas.
Søren Kierkegaard defined it as fear of failing one's responsibility to God.
That sounds right up IN's alley. Without a little fear of not living up to one's obligation, there isn't much reason to really put in the effort to meet or exceed them.
The worded angel could be trying to push that definition over the whiny teen version.
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:15 AM   #3
ISNorden
 
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Default Re: The Demon/Angel of Angst

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
The wikipedia page for angst has some interesting ideas.
Søren Kierkegaard defined it as fear of failing one's responsibility to God.
That sounds right up IN's alley. Without a little fear of not living up to one's obligation, there isn't much reason to really put in the effort to meet or exceed them.
The worded angel could be trying to push that definition over the whiny teen version.

Hmmm. In a canonical game, I could see the Demon of Angst (teenage-drama style) as a Djinn or Habbalah of Nightmares. The Angel of (Kierkegaardian) Angst is probably a Malakite of Judgment.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:41 AM   #4
Methariel
 
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Default Re: The Demon/Angel of Angst

Since I don't have much time, just a thought:

Wouldn't the angelic Word of Angst, as defined to be some sort of Kierkegaardian fear of responsibility-failure, be very similar - or at least an aspect of - the angelic Word of Fear?

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Old 03-11-2012, 08:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Demon/Angel of Angst

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Originally Posted by Methariel View Post
Since I don't have much time, just a thought:

Wouldn't the angelic Word of Angst, as defined to be some sort of Kierkegaardian fear of responsibility-failure, be very similar - or at least an aspect of - the angelic Word of Fear?

M.
I would think so, yes... which means the Angel of Angst either had to have transferred to a different Superior when Fear Fell (to become Nightmares), or Angst fell alongside his Superior.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Demon/Angel of Angst

There's one here, though she's pretty silly.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:08 AM   #7
Michael Cule
 
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Default Re: The Demon/Angel of Angst

Yes, the Kierkegaard link makes perfect sense.

But I think the Angel of Angst should be a servant of Dreams or Destiny not Judgement. He/She would be trying to help people avoid a pending negative Judgement by inspiring them to feel their failure to live up to their Destiny. I would say the Angel should be an Elohim who has the ability to inspire just one emotion in those he finds lagging in their duties. He would gain Essence by spurring people out of inaction.

The Demon of Angst (and let's not limit it to just teenagers though I'm sure they're a prime target) would probably be a Haballah (though there's a case for an Impudite) and yes, they should definitely be a servant of Nightmares. They get Essence from miring people in self-pity. Calling upon them should probably involve the sacrifice of whatever clothing is currently fashionable among the young to indicate being 'different' or just make you look unattractive. (I am for the record a grumpy 57 year old...)
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Demon/Angel of Angst

Wow, I never thought I would ever be using this stuff...

I would generally agree that Angst (either in the German or the American sense of the word) can't really be much of an Angelic word, with two possible exceptions (see below). I would like to add to the Wikipedia article that Angst according to the existentialists such as Heidegger is not only fear of disappointing God, in fact God is pretty much unimportant for them, but the general anxiety present of any sentient being which is thrown into the universe and realises its state. In fact Angst very much results from realising that there is no God or other higher power watching over you (Heidegger calls this Geworfenheit, the feeling of "being-thrown-into-the-world"). In other words, Angst is the feeling that you get when you realise you are alone, coming from nowhere going nowhere, with only yourself as the judge and jury of your own actions, which are, in the end, meaningless in the universal context. Those last elements are why I think it is difficult to make it an Angelic word: it presupposes that the individual sees no meaning in the world, and is afraid that there may be no higher purpose to things in it (including themselves). Destiny would therefore, I think, be out of the question. Angst, more broadly, suits itself perfectly to Hell, because much like in philosophy, existential fear is most likely to give way to nothingness (i.e. hedonism or relativism).
However, I could imagine that two Angelic words could make use of Angst:

1. Stone: The word of Fear was originally, before the Fall of Beleth, supposed to make people stronger by having them overcome that said fear (at least that is how David likely sees it). Angst can serve the same purpose today. By having people confront and then overcome the feeling of emptiness (note the similarity between Angst and the use of the Habbalite Resonance) by finding meaning in useful actions, Angst can lead humans to defy Hell's principle of selfish emptiness. Arguably, this would tend toward a relatively dark type of David who also believes that tyrannical regimes are useful tools in honing humanity.

2. Fire: fear is also a great way of punishing sinners and making them return to God. But fear of God is one thing. Fear of being alone in the symphony is another. A person who has already accepted the idea that there is nothing in the universe that matters except their own interests is not going to be cowed into true submission by a display of power. Showing them the true upshot and consequences of their actions, being that they will in the end find themselves alone and meaningless (You Will Die. No-One Will Remember You. Nothing You Will Have Done Will Mean Anything) is a pretty good way to get them to follow the course of Heaven (But Consider Our Counter-Proposal...), seeing as Heaven can actually offer a meaning in Life that Hell, and Nihilism, cannot.

In either case, I would consider any angel of Angst potentially endangered, much like the Angel of Teenage Death. It's a nice idea, but it's destructive potential will tend to outweigh it's usefulness to Heaven.

Finally, I could see the word being hijacked by a few Ethereals. As pointed out, it's not very heavenly. But for Hell, despite the many connections, it's probably not productive enough. For Beleth it may not be "wake-up-in-the-night-screaming" enough, for Nybbas (who is really good at inspiring Angst) it may not be "believe-that-my-commercials-hold-the-key-to-your-happiness" enough. But for an Ethereal looking for an easy cash-in, it's just perfect. Everyone's got it, many people lose sleep over it, and you're likely to have half a dozen potential tethers per continent for it. Effectively, the word of Angst feeds off exactly the tension that is created by the Great War: Hell is telling people to be their own master, Heaven is telling them to follow Supreme Guidance, and any human caught between those two ideals is automatically going to have a certain amount of nervous energy to spare. Go Ethereal :)
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