If dominance is the ultimate form of rulership, then the strong are meant to be the keepers of the weak and must shepherd them by any means necessary. No more than this needs to be said of the children of Asael: they are beautiful, disciplined and powerful. They have no qualms about laying down the law to anyone who dares stand in their way to Redemption.
In the times before the Great Flood, the ‘Asaelim’ were some of the most regal and beautiful of all the Nephal, but in their hearts, they were twisted and corrupt. It is said that their inner demon began to eat away at them after a time, changing their physical appearance, twisting their bodies to imitate their inner selves.
In the few decades just before the great flood, a schism rocked the lineage of Asael. A third of them, led by Asael’s own grandchild, followed mostly by the younger generations of the Estate, broke off to form their own Root. They believed that Redemption had to be attained through a return to the truth of the world and the law they had usurped so many centuries before. In consequence, a return to their former beauty and image was undertaken. Their grotesque shells were abandoned and the practice of their Goety changed as a result.
Asael was furious, and a bloody war ensued that fractured the Estate further. For nearly a generation, Asael led the faithful in an all-out siege of the great mountain fortress where his first grandson and his followers had secluded themselves. On the epic climax of the last and greatest of sieges, the flood struck. The children of Asael watched in horror as their forefather was dragged away in chains. Then rain began to fall, quenching the fires of the battle and rinsing out their blood stained eyes. Still, they stood their ground, stubborn, persistent and faithful to their cause until the waters washed them all away. Well, almost all.
Of the rebels, they firmly believed that their Redemption could only be attained through reconciliation with the powers of above, regardless of the cost. So when the floodwaters rose, they accepted it as divine law and retribution. The entire lineage was wiped out, it is said that they didn’t even try to resist and sank to the bottom of the emerging seas. Soon after the flood, yet another schism rocked the already precarious lineage. Some of whom had survived quickly realized, as did many Nephal, that the old ways were inappropriate. Self glorification could no longer be their goal, there had to be something more, something greater, and there was Redemption. But others resisted; they saw the flood as nothing more than a freak act of nature on a grand scale. They continued their path to self-glorification and individualistic achievement.
These “traditionalists” abandoned themselves to their inner demons and accepted that which they are, fully and without reservation. Many would think that they had simply become akin to the brood of Batraal, and in many ways, they had. But unlike the former, they adhere to no covenant, believe in no greater powers of good or evil, and certainly do not entertain any notion of a greater purpose. Rather, they seem to actively take part in petty internal power struggles and discordant battles, preaching that chaos is the ultimate force of nature and using the flood as an example.
Of these days, few have seen, or even heard of the dwindling “Traditionalist Root”. Some believe them to be lost, possibly even extinct. Nonetheless, rumors of those angelic like demons persist to this day. ‘Asaelim’ do not harbor the ideology that their mortal brethren are equals. Who could possibly be equal to an immortal? They may have mates, slaves, concubines, even lovers and friends, but never equals. Relations with mortals are seen as more of an arrangement than an actual relationship and few mortals are told of the true nature of their lovers until the mating has taken place. With such a penchant towards superiority, one would think that the ‘Asaelim’ would have issues making allies and keeping families. Not true, for they exude an air of self-confidence like few other Nephal do, something that seems to attract mortals and immortals alike to their side. In this world of uncertainties, such a powerful sense of security is often sought by most, both in life and in battle.
The Asaelim rely heavily on an ideology that the powerful are the rightful heirs to the Earth. Their internal structure is very much the same, with the strongest ruling over the weakest, often using a militaristic hierarchy at its core. Challenges are issued in situations when the strength and leadership of head individuals are placed in question. These ritualistic combats are held in special arenas, and are for the eyes of Asael’s children only. Few other Estates have been deemed “worthy” of being spectators. As a matter of fact, it is this same view of elite superiority that has alienated the ‘Asaelim’ from the other Estates, who see them as far too arrogant to be bothered with.
Most ‘Asaelim’ are attractive, graceful and eloquent under human form. Many develop cold, placid personalities, superiority complexes or dominating attitudes. They believe that they truly are great, and often suffer from frailties of overconfidence and the like. They easily become violent when agitated or provoked, lashing out verbally and physically. Something the attentive eye may note is that their shadows never seem to be at the right place, or the right shape, often reflecting their mood and attitudes, only adding to the air of power they exude.
As they grow in Sin, they adopt more and more demonic traits, some beautiful, others darker. However, their post-flood traditionalist brethren are an exception to this; they seem to have developed the appearances of angelic hosts, complete with glowing eyes, feathered wings and halos of flame. These traits manifest when they perform their greater Goety, although some are rumored to be permanent.
Persona concepts are variable amongst the children of Asael, but are always orientated towards individuals of strong character and persistent natures. Criminal and soldier concepts fit the bill well as there are no preferred social classes. A predominant understanding that the meek will inherit nothing and the powerful are meant to lead them to the promised land of milk and honey is the general Estate ideology; any other is frowned upon.
Regardless of their best facade, ‘Asaelim’ know deep down inside that their ancestry is one of corruption, but their unique sense of superiority sets them apart, for better or worse. All Asaelim begin with 4 points of Redemption and 5 points of Sin; this is to reflect that although they are devoted and sworn to the cause of shepherding the weak, they are also flawed in their ideologies. Their “traditional” brethren are the exception, they begin with but 1 point of Redemption, and 8 points of Sin, a reflection of the perversion of their soul and their total lack of belief in anything.
From their first days as young children, ‘Asaelim’ are not coddled. They are sent away from their families, often to lead a military life. Once they have learned the basics of war and combat, their warder will come to train them further. They will drill into their minds that duty, excellence and power are the true weapons of war; this it is not only meant to instill a sense of discipline, but of superiority as well. This, coupled with a master’s weapon training will temper their bodies and minds, something they will need to resist the dark curse that afflicts their Estate. They are suggested not to engage in any close or meaningful relationships, as they might come to odds with them someday. They are not allowed to mingle with mortals during their tutelage, and are instigated physically, mentally and emotionally. Everything about their tutelage reminds the outsider of a Greek Spartan military camp, as it should for they proudly claim to be the founders of the warrior states of ancient Greece.
Older still is one order of the children of Asael, a familia that had gained both repute and notoriety in the times before the flood: the Emim. Referred to in many texts as “the terrors”, they are an ancient order whose purposes and movements remain shrouded. Some whisper they are tied in somehow to the Estate’s “traditional brethren”, but others deny this as mere slander and rumor. What is known with some certainty is that they are immensely powerful, they are widespread and even their own fear them.
The Goety of Asael:
The Children of Asael are truly graced, and no more so than in their metamorphic states. They adopt a body transformation characterized by demonic and angelic attributes, ranging from brimstone eyes and skin color, to wings, hooves, tails, horns, aura and the like. As they age, they progressively adopt the appearance of a fallen seraph, however, they always seem to retain that allure of regal poise common to them. Ancient ‘Asaelim’ eventually come to look like radiant angels or one of Lucifer's minions, in form at least.
Each of those said attributes involve or imply a specific ability, from being able to see in the dark, to flight, to clawed attacks. The effects are variable, and a short list of possibilities is available in the Goety section of Chapter Four, however players are encouraged to work with the gamemaster to modify or create more.
Their metamorphic ability is not the only Goety the children of Asael possess. They are inherently dominant in nature, and this is reflected in the fact that they receive a bonus to all rolls in which they take command of a situation or group of people. This translates into a +1 bonus on all difficulty markers involving all roles of leadership, administration, coercion or interrogation for every dot of minor Virtue.
As the ‘Asaelim’ age, it becomes progressively more difficult for their souls to resist the dark powers that twist their outer shell. Some ancients are, for all intents and purposes, demons, bending to the whims of their inner frailties without any effort of resistance. Such cases give rise to legends of demons in dungeons Lording over orgies of flesh and sacrifices, wrapped in their demonic wings and twisted shadows.
As ‘Asaelim' pass from one generation to the next, they find it more and more difficult to resist the dark desires of their inner selves, and the years of continuous emotional and psychological restraint begin to fail them. Heavily charged emotions and desires become increasingly difficult to control, and they suffer an age penalty modifier on all Will rolls involved in controlling their own emotions and desires.
Another frightening frailty is the possibility of retaining one or more permanent greater Goety traits. Should an ‘Asaelim’ roll a botched roll on their greater Goety, they will adopt the lowest trait of that Goety’s Sin effect, permanently. Should this occur again, the next ascending trait will be adopted, and so on. It is thus conceivable to imagine encountering ancient ‘Asaelim’, bearing glowing red eyes, horns and permanent claws.