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The Ramiel'im.

Mankind has always desired to revisit its past and foretell its future. The children of Ramiel know both, and more. In the days before the flood that washed over the world, the Ben-Ramiel warned their Nephal brethren that their actions would bring them ruin and destruction. At first, they were laughed at, then ignored, and finally shunned for their arrogance. How could such a grand plan, that which was conceived to save the world from itself, lead to utter ruin? The children of Ramiel tried to warn them, and failed.

Many pointed the finger after the flood, demanding to know why the Ben-Ramiel did not warn them of the day of reckoning. They simply answered that warnings cannot be spoken to those who cannot hear over their own screams of self-righteousness. And again, they were shunned.

Now the  children of Ramiel are once again trying to warn their brethren that the last days are soon to be upon them. Again, their pleas are falling on deaf ears. Some say that they are just craving attention and have been wrong many times before, and this is true.

Divination is not an exact Goety, how could it be? Time flows like a precarious river that may swerve at any moment for countless reasons. One can define a general outcome, but there are few who can predict an exact chain of events. Many look at the diviners and say that they just guess, and are lucky at it, that’s all. The children of Ramiel beg to differ and insist that the signs are there for those who are willing to see and hear them.

There are few Ben-Ramiel to this day and there have always been few for they are a reclusive Estate and dislike being around other people. This reclusiveness may exhibit itself as a mild case of shyness when they are young, but reaches frightening levels of madness as they age. This causes distinct issues when relationships with mortal families and other Nephal occur. Ben-Ramiel relations with mortals are short lived, although quite emotional. One such person once described her relationship with her mate as a draught of fear and passion with little or no rhyme or reason. The other Estates find the children of Ramiel to be some of the oddest Nephal alive and many wonder how they have managed to remain an Estate at all. Few like to associate themselves with them for long periods of time, and this suits all concerned just fine seeing as they feel the other Estates never listen to them anyway...

Within the Estate of the children of Ramiel, there exists a secret coven, a mystery within a mystery. They are the “Order of Phineas”, the harbingers of the last days. This small group of carefully selected immortals spend their nights and days working out the machinations of their visions of the final days before the great judgment. As one may well have guessed, they are all mad.

However, there may be some wisdom in their maniacal ranting. Members of the order are characterized by their long flowing hair, ash grey robes and oak walking staves. This internal sect is also somehow related to an equally secretive society called the “Order of Damascus”. Even less is known of this apparently apocalyptic society, which is said to be made up of members of various Estates, each member being a zealous devotee. They are recognized by their ceremonial Damascus dagger, said to be blessed with magical forces.

As infamously secretive and paradoxical as the “Order of Pheneas” may be, they are nonetheless as close to any form of leadership and organization the ben-Ramiel have, in truth, they may appear as fools leading children through the fields and streets of eternity, but there may actually be clarity in their madness.

This is not the only secret the children of Ramiel have. In the first and second centuries AD, there also arose a small but devout Root. The movement began with a group of elders bent on finding a path to redemption. They believed that tracing the source and power of holy relics may well hold the key to touching the face of the almighty, and perchance then he could be asked for forgiveness. With the growing power of monotheism, these pious “seekers” attracted more followers and brethren to their cause. However, the shadow of the mysterious Hand has recently stretched over them, and entire groups of the Root brethren have been hunted down and murdered, leaving the Estate to wonder who these assassins are that can evade their magical scrutiny.

The children of Ramiel are characterized by their long slender bodies and long dexterous fingers. The men of the Estate never develop facial hair and both women and men have been known to cut their hair short. The “Order of Pheneas” however tends to keep their hair long and flowing, perhaps a sign of their affiliation, or possibly even of their status.

The overall paranoia which inhabits the Ben-Ramiel way of life makes it difficult to keep any type of relationship over the years. Those of whom are deemed as friends are cherished, but eventually drift away as the madness creeps deeper. The children of Ramiel are shy by nature and typically introverted. However they know that there is strength in numbers and are thus willing to tolerate other immortals for mutually beneficial purposes. Yet this does not mean that they trust them and many ben-Ramiel will concoct secret plans and methods of escape as a precaution. One can never be too careful of who one trusts.

Social outcasts and eccentric hermits are common amongst the persona concepts. Many are  Consummate readers, having amassed massive libraries of the oddest subjects, including books, tomes and relics of some rarity.

Ben-Ramiel begin the game with 5 points of Redemption, and 4 points of Sin. This reflects the fact that they often see both sides of the coin and even though their visions sometime alienate them from those it would serve the most, they are nonetheless sincere in their endeavours to aid their brethren.

The Tutelage:

Many of Ramiel’s children are naive and innocent of their fate and that which will befall this world before they embark on their tutelage. Only a few are gifted with the sight at a young age; those who are soon find themselves swept away by their Estate’s Root brethren. The shock of their awakening will brutally change their young minds and although the Tutelage that they undergo may seem passive to an outsider, it becomes overwhelming to young ben-Ramiel. The entire experience ends whenever the warder deems the pupil ready. It's hard to tell what exactly the period entails but one thing is known, the young immortal is accompanied by the warder for guiding purposes only. They are encouraged to fend for themselves and ask any question, which is in turn usually answered by another question. The time frame of the tutelage varies from one warder to another and the needs of the pupil in question.

Within that period of time, they are entirely immersed in the practice of their greater Goety as their warder pushes them beyond their psychological limits. This is so they learn to sift through the vast amounts of information their gift will show them. Some break under the strain, while  others go mad. An elder warder once said that if they are to see past the symbolism within the sight, they must sometimes cross the barrier of sanity and enter into madness.

The result is a mixed blessing indeed. If anything, it creates a certain strength in the young initiates, preparing them for the horrors which they will see and the long solitudes that are in store. It also allows for the seeds of madness to be sown, and someday flower. All this leads young initiates to develop an instinctive sense of distrust for the people around them. Indeed, the outsider may well see the tutelage as more detrimental than beneficial, but it is all in preparation.

The road of the children of Ramiel is not an easy one.

The Goety of Ramiel:

Ramiel himself has remained an enigmatic host with many acceptable and some absurd legends surrounding him. In the last years before the great flood, Ramiel was said to have seen a terrible fate to befall all of his children.

He spoke little of it to them and soon fell into a deep slumber that even the flood did not break. He did leave his first and eldest child with one piece of information before he fell silent. Soon after the flood, the same eldest son formed the Order of Damascus but never revealed Ramiel’s last words to anyone.

Like Ramiel, his children are gifted with the Goety of true sight, progressively allowing them to see further into the past and future of the people and general events they concentrate on. It is even said that the elderst of them know how to alter future events before they actually take place by cunningly manipulating the present.

As a minor Goety, they can alter their perception and view of time, allowing them to act accordingly. This does not allow them to manipulate time per say, however, they become so attuned to its ebb and flow that they are instinctively aware of multiple events around them, seeing all events taking place at once. They are thus able to manipulate their initiatives accordingly to increase or decrease their initiative score by 1 per dot of minor Virtue.

Ramiel’s Curse:

The possession of hidden knowledge is said to be the ultimate power over all things. It can also be a most dangerous force. As the children of Ramiel age, whispers begin to fill their minds and thoughts filled with the threads of possibilities surround them. They eventually succumb to madness, and tragically most elders go absolutely Insane and are hunted down before they become fallen and wreak havoc onto the world around them. This task is upheld by an order of elected Estate Magistrates. Thus sane elder Ben-Ramiel are cherished as dearly as the rarest of gems ... as flawed as that gem may be.

Consider the children of Ramiel to accumulate one permanent madness in place of a temporary each time the occasion presents itself (ie; botched roll on a Goety, resisted redemption or sin roll, prolonged torture, etc.). Moreover, as they age, each generation gap increases the difficulty of resisting the effects of the said derangements as well, thus applying the age penalty modifier to resisting said madness.

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