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Old 10-19-2012, 05:16 AM   #1
Methariel
 
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Default The Firstborn's Word...

Hi everybody,

the topic's coming up regularly, and still there doesn't seem to be a satisfying answer in sight. Time and again we wonder: What might Michael's Word have been before he became the Archangel of War?

I don't have any books near me, but is there a definite canon-statement that Michael was Word-bound before he kicked Lucifer's red a** out of Heaven's door? Or is it at least implied somewhere? Is there a canon source that states that he was an Archangel before his fight with Lucifer? And is there a canon source that states that Archangels must be Word-bound?

If not - considering the world of IN, is it plausible that he was Word-bound before? Would it somehow have been necessary for him to have been Word-bound to be able to best Lucifer? Or could he just have been a simple angel who "stood up for what he believed in" (i.e., the Truth) and kicked the Evil Overlord in the teeth? (Which doesn't necessarily contradict that he also kicked him in the rear.)

I'm wondering if just being the First of the Angels might not have been enough to give Michael the punch he needed to punch Lucifer in the face.

(And forgive my pathetic tries at witty word-plays; apparently there's a Shedite of Kobal aiming for the Word of "Embarassing Oneself in the Internet" in my head. ;) Or I shouldn't try such things in a language that is not my native tongue.)

So, what do you think?

M.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Firstborn's Word...

My first thought would be the Word of Striving, which could easily metamorph into War when the necessity for it arose. Even before there was a conflict, Michael was always the sort to test himself, push himself and try to be the first in accomplishment as well as in name; a Word like that would reward that and drive him to encourage others to do the same.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Firstborn's Word...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superiors 1, p107
"From the beginning he engaged in competition with the other angels, for while all served as they were ordered by God, his was the essence of competition and challenge."
So it would appear to have been "Competition" or something close to it, which became more specifically War when war was invented at the Fall.

Last edited by johndallman; 10-19-2012 at 02:45 PM. Reason: quoting
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Firstborn's Word...

Or you could look at it more darkly and put his former word as Hero. Then when he stepped up to Defeat Evil it collided with the new horror of War, and he took it to save the others both from Lucifer and War.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Firstborn's Word...

One thing for consideration would be that Michael's Word was already War.
After all, humans already existed, and so will turmoil and strife amongst them. Creation before the Fall was not perfect after all (consider Lilith), and it certainly wasn't perfect from a human perspective. There was an Archangel of Fear, after all. Why not an Archangel of War? Is war not, in the final instance (at least, as Michael would see it), a method of progress? It makes mankind invent things, grooms courage, makes them resourceful and reminds them of the value of life.

I think it would be worth considering
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Firstborn's Word...

The timeline in the Game Master's Guide specifically says Michael was made Archangel of War after the Fall, so he lacked the Word or the status -- or both -- before then. I don't recall seeing a canon claim about what he was before he beat down Lucifer, but it seems more likely that he was an Archangel already than that the Angel of War beat down the Archangel of Light, given the dramatic power disparity between Superiors and Servitors.

EDIT to add: If I had to make a personal ruling on it for my own game, I'd probably say he was a Wordless Archangel by the virtue of his status as the first angel. Wasn't Yves also without a Word for a while?

EDIT AGAIN to add: Actually, Superiors 1 (p. 114 I think?) has a potentially apocryphal story in which Lucifer referred to Michael pre-Fall as "War," indicating that perhaps he was already the Angel of War but not yet Archangel. If that's the case, it's even more impressive that he bested an Archangel!

Last edited by Jason; 10-20-2012 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:44 PM   #7
Methariel
 
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Default Re: The Firstborn's Word...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
EDIT to add: If I had to make a personal ruling on it for my own game, I'd probably say he was a Wordless Archangel by the virtue of his status as the first angel. Wasn't Yves also without a Word for a while?

EDIT AGAIN to add: Actually, Superiors 1 (p. 114 I think?) has a potentially apocryphal story in which Lucifer referred to Michael pre-Fall as "War," indicating that perhaps he was already the Angel of War but not yet Archangel. If that's the case, it's even more impressive that he bested an Archangel!
I don't know about Yves, but being an Archangel by virtue of being the first angel has something to it. On the other hand, why should he immediately have become - or have been created as - an Archangel just because he was created as the first Angel?

The apocryphal story got me thinking:

We only have the canon statement that Michael was made the "Archangel of War" after defeating Lucifer. That leaves five interpretations possible:

a) Michael was an angel before fighting with Lucifer and afterwards became the Archangel of War, thus gaining in status and a Word.

b) Michael was the Angel of War before fighting Lucifer and afterwards was promoted to be the Archangel of War, thus "only" gaining in status.

c) Michael was a Wordless Archangel, gaining the Word of War after the fight with Lucifer.

d) Michael was an angel with another Word, thus gaining in status and another Word.

e) Michael was an Archangel with another Word, thus receiving a change of the concept he was tied to and made of after fighting Lucifer.

I think Michael was neither a simple angel nor the Angel of War nor the Angel of Another-Word-but-War. The reason is Baal: If I recall the write-up of Baal correctly, the Archangel of Valor always felt belittled by the presence of Michael - at least subconsciously. Michael is the one he always wanted to be better as, despairing at him being older and (apparently) more powerful.

Had Michael "just" been an angel or the Angel of X, the Archangel of Valor probably would have had no reason for his resentment. Thus, options b) and d) have to be ruled out.

Maybe simply being the first angel gave Michael enough status and raw power to be considered superior to Baal (and recognized by him as such), so option a) still stands, although it got very unlikely.

Thus, options c) and e) remain. e) would mean Michael's very being would have been fundamentally changed by gaining another Word. Since celestials are so tightly bound to their Words that they're defined by it as well as they define it, I don't know if that is likely. Instead of changing a Word (let's not discuss if this is possible, please), they broaden the aspect of their current Word until it encompasses new meanings (yes, SPAM, for example). On the other hand, we've heard that Michael always was competitive and challenging. So why was he given the Word of War and not had just broadened the meaning of, e.g., Competition? Did God feel it to be necessary to point out to his angels that from now on the whole of the Symphony was at stake? I don't know.

I think I prefer option c), with Michael being a (badass) Archangel without a Word, competitive, challenging everything and everyone except God and thus fitting to bear the harsh Word of War (yes, that's Yves paraphrased) when it was obvious that from now on Darkness was trying to get its clutches at the Symphony.

But either c) or e) show that the story is apocryphal, because Michael wasn't War before fighting Lucifer. Except...Lucifer already was expecting God's move.

Do you have any thoughts on that?

M.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methariel View Post
...

But either c) or e) show that the story is apocryphal, because Michael wasn't War before fighting Lucifer. Except...Lucifer already was expecting God's move.

Do you have any thoughts on that?

M.
Lucifer was the Archangel of Light. Consider the metaphorical aspects of Light, especially those connected to the Illuminati...
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:44 PM   #9
Methariel
 
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Default Re: The Firstborn's Word...

Quote:
Originally Posted by robkelk View Post
Lucifer was the Archangel of Light. Consider the metaphorical aspects of Light, especially those connected to the Illuminati...
Would you care to elaborate further on that, please? It's 00:45 a.m. over here, I just finished a working day and maybe I got a little bit slow over the last few hours...

M.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methariel View Post
Would you care to elaborate further on that, please? It's 00:45 a.m. over here, I just finished a working day and maybe I got a little bit slow over the last few hours...
Light is often used as a metaphor for knowledge. Illuminati is cognate with "illuminate", literally meaning "light up". Also "enlighten".
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