In the early days after the Fall, before the demons had escaped from Hell and before the War had begun in earnest, the Seraphim Council debated long and long about how best to safeguard humanity. They knew mankind was imperfect and needed to be taught selflessness and fear of God, yet some angels felt that humanity could only be spiritually enlightened if Heaven controlled their development, with angels overtly ruling over them. Others pointed out that it was God's decree that humanity should be left alone that provoked Lucifer to rebel in the first place. How could Heaven protect mankind and at the same time, refrain from interfering in the Great Experiment?
Seemingly in answer, God created the Grigori, the Eight Choir. And the Archangels saw that the Grigori were ideally suited to the task at hand, and dispatched them to Earth, to watch over mankind and report to them what they saw.
The Grigori were truly the most "human" of angels. They could blend with humanity, cope with the petty selfishness and daily sins of men without twitching, interact with humans as near-equals, and all the while retain their divinity. The Grigori were the only angels who really understood humans. Even the Mercurians, who loved humans and intuitively understood the intricate web of human relationships, were still removed from mankind, as benevolent teachers keep themselves at once involved and yet detached from their pupils. Even the most benevolent angels know that they are a different order of being than man, holy and celestial and complete unlike mortals. Only the Grigori understood what it was like to be human. Only the Grigori truly appreciated what made humans special, the reason why God had set them above all other creatures, including angels.
The Grigori were also the only angels who really felt comfortable on Earth, and who didn't mind staying there. This ultimately contributed to their downfall.
It made them very, very effective at their jobs. They knew why humans did evil, why humans acted selfishly, and they knew how to teach people better, without taking away from their free will. And when the demons came, as Heaven knew they would, the Grigori could sense the slightest disturbance, and thus fulfilled their second function: they warned other angels when demons were about. The Horde learned to fear the Watchers, for while the gentle Grigori were no warriors, even the most subtle diabolical tampering could result in a sudden visit from a flight of Malakim. The demons could never be sure they were safe.
In 11,600 B.C., it came to the attention of Heaven that the Grigori had become entirely too human; they had taken wives, started families, and some were even succumbing to debauchery, immersing themselves in corporeal pleasures. The Grigori argued, to no avail, that this was just part of mingling with humanity and understanding them. The truth was that they had become corrupted by their long stay on Earth.
Servitors of Uriel and David rounded up the Watchers and brought them before Dominic for judgment. Meanwhile, the Grigori's monstrous offspring, the Nephalim, were hunted (almost) to extinction. It is said that David and Oannes, Archangel of the Waters, generated a great flood in the area of the Tigris and Euphrates that drowned entire civilizations, just to wipe out the numerous Grigori offspring.
Dominic found the Grigori Choir, one and all, guilty of base, selfish, human behavior, disobeying the Heavenly edict against procreating with humans, and being derelict in their duties. (Even the Grigori who hadn't "gone native" had failed to report their sinning brethren to Judgment.) The Seraphim Council voted to punish them with eternal exile; all Grigori Hearts were broken, and all were Outcast. They would spend the rest of their days among the humans they loved, never to see the glories of Heaven again, until Judgment Day.
Why Did the Grigori Fall?
Some say that the Archangels were partly to blame; their Grigori servants seemed so content in their positions on Earth that it never occurred to the Seraphim Council that the Watchers should occasionally be summoned back to Heaven for an audience with their Superiors, and to remind them of their true origins. Most of the Grigori had not visited Heaven for thousands of years.
Others say that Hell is to blame. As long as the Watchers were present, demons were unable to infiltrate human society at a deep level. So they realized that the Grigori themselves would have to be corrupted and removed from the picture. How did the Diabolicals go about tempting the Grigori? With the most beautiful women, with earthly delights, with subtle appeals to their loneliness, perhaps a building, unacknowledged sense of resentment at having been "abandoned" on Earth? Who can say? Andrealphus likes to take credit for planting lust in the hearts of the Watchers, but perhaps it was simply their own weakness.
The most radical theory of all is that God planned it all along. After all, why would He give the Grigori the ability to breed with humans if they weren't supposed to do just that? To this day, the Children of the Grigori are a potent, untapped force for good on Earth, one that some believe will be key to mankind's salvation during Armageddon. There are even theories that all humans with above-average potential -- all those with more than 5 Forces, meaning all Soldiers, sorcerers, and other "special" humans -- have some Grigori blood in them, and thus that the Watchers were God's way of seeding a little bit of divinity among mankind.
No one knows how many Grigori are still alive. Estimates range from 50 to 0, with most on the low side. Any angel who discovers one of the Watchers is required to report it to Judgment, and then stay away; contact with the Eighth Choir is strictly forbidden. Dominic, for his part, tries to keep track of all known Grigori. (This is not easy -- any Grigori who realizes he's been found will quickly "disappear" by taking another guise within human society.) The Grigori are still forbidden to procreate; any found to be doing so are subject to death (as are their children). So long as a Watcher is merely watching, however, Judgment takes no action against him, for they are still serving their sentence.
There are rumors of secret societies with Grigori at the center of vast and ancient conspiratorial networks, gathering information for use in the War, when the final battle comes and the Grigori are recalled to serve Heaven again. There are rumors that the Grigori possess a vast arsenal of secret Songs known only to themselves (the Archangel of Song was, after all, a Grigori). There are rumors that the Grigori still watch over their descendants, and even that they sometimes still sire children, though the danger is great. There are rumors that some Grigori have earned favor with an Archangel and secretly been reinstated in his service. (Dominic would immediately call a trial if such a thing were discovered.) There are rumors that Grigori Archangels are still active on Earth. There are many rumors, but few known facts, where the Grigori are concerned.
All Grigori today are Outcasts; corporeal death means Limbo for them. None are Servitors, and (theoretically) none retain any Choir or Servitor Attunements or Distinctions from their former masters. Unless, of course, there are still Grigori Archangels, and where these Archangels would keep their Servitors' Hearts is unknown. Any Grigori who do exist must be over 10,000 years old, and have survived for millennia remaining undetected by humans, Heaven, and Hell alike. Michael has been known to grumble from time to time that if the Grigori are still around, and have knowledge about their children, that they are great untapped resource for Heaven. But he has not challenged Dominic's edict...yet.
The Watchers are acutely attuned to the Symphony, and hear disturbances that no one else can. If a demon assaults a human in his dreams, a Watcher can hear it. If an angel makes a baby cry, a Watcher can hear it. The lies of a Balseraph, the emotional manipulations of a Habbalite, the seductions of an Impudite...all of these things subtly disturb the Symphony. Most celestials can't hear those sorts of subtle disturbances, amidst all the other celestial noise, but the Grigori can. And the grosser disturbances that any celestial can hear are painfully loud to the Watchers. It is very difficult for even a cautious celestial to operate undetected if there is a Watcher about.
The Grigori also sired the original Children of the Grigori (and their monstrous kin, the Nephalim). It was for the sin of breeding with humans that they were Outcast in the first place. Yet even today, the Choir that is the closest to humanity is the most difficult to distinguish from humanity, for they also make little disturbance of their own.
Originally created to listen for diabolical disturbances and sound the alarm, it is dissonant for a Grigori to not respond to any disturbance he hears. At the very least, he must note when and where he heard it, for future reference, but if he never follows up, the GM should assign a point of dissonance. Usually the Grigori will at least investigate the source, and if they discover that the disturbance is the result of diabolical meddling on Earth, they must act.
Before their fall, the usual action was to call other angels in to deal with the problem. Since this is rarely an option nowadays, a Watcher will settle for calling the police, if it's something the police can do something about. If not, they must find some other way to address the disturbance, whether by helping the victim or taking some action against the perpetrator. Because of their compulsion to act, even Grigori who'd like to stay out of the War altogether often find themselves being drawn into it. Some have retreated into the wilderness, hoping that solitude will grant them the peace of never hearing a Symphonic disturbance.
The Grigori in celestial form look like very large humans, but humans of such pure spirit that they cannot be mistaken for mortals.
The Grigori were also known as the "Giants," as they were exceptionally tall, with large heads and hands (and other organs, or so say some legends...). Of course this was about 15,000 years ago, and nowadays, they can almost blend in with modern humans, but still tend to be quite tall; the original Grigori vessels were never shorter than 6 feet and sometimes taller than 7. When they are occasionally able to procure a new vessel, the Grigori still feel uncomfortable in anything smaller. Unlike the Mercurians, who are always fashionable, the Grigori wear whatever is comfortable and will allow them to blend in with society.
They are gentle giants, and while quite a few Grigori have by necessity learned the arts of war, they dislike violence, and they especially dislike harming humans. Unlike Mercurians, they can be violent, and this has surprised more than one demon. But they much prefer roles as teachers and caretakers. While they tend to be quiet and unassuming, the Grigori also cannot help but enjoy life; their original purpose, after all, was to help humans be the best humans they can be, and that includes enjoying all the best parts of the human experience. This is what got them into trouble, thousands of years ago, and while most of the Watchers are more cautious nowadays, they still tend to be epicures.
The Grigori think of themselves as handmade instruments -- drums, fifes, lyres -- made to be broken out whenever it's time to sing and dance.
Any disturbance is doubled for the purposes of detection by any Grigori within range. Furthermore, mental and spiritual trauma causes disturbances that the Grigori can hear as well. The following events generate Watcher-detectable disturbances (these are the base values; remember to double them per the normal Grigori resonance -- other Choirs might theoretically be able hear these disturbances also, at their base values, with appropriate attunements or Songs):
Because their attunement to disturbances is part of their resonance, dissonance impairs their ability to hear it. Each point of dissonance a Grigori suffers subtracts 1 from his Perception roll to hear disturbances.
|Ethereal Combat: +1 per 4 Mental hits|
The Grigori can hear mental assaults on humans. Ethereal damage inflicted on ethereals or celestials, however, does not create any disturbance, even to the Grigori.
Celestial Combat: +1 per 4 Soul hits or 1 Force
Any damage celestially inflicted on a human creates a disturbance that the Grigori can hear. As with corporeal and ethereal damage, celestial damage inflicted on an ethereal or celestial generates no disturbance.
Use of Will-based Resonance Against a Human: 2
Any time a celestial successfully uses a Will-based resonance against a human -- this includes possession by Kyriotates, and invoking of Geases by Lilim -- it creates a disturbance of 2.
Human Resistance of a Will-based Resonance: 1
When a human successfully resists a Will-based resonance, it generates a 1-point disturbance.
Emotional Trauma: 1
Whenever a celestial causes a human emotional trauma -- whether it's a Calabite intimidating someone, or a Balseraph whose lies have broken a mortal's heart, or just a baby crying because of a Malakite's harsh tone -- it creates a disturbance of 1, perceptible to the sensitive ears of the Grigori.
The Grigori have two additional abilities; strictly speaking, these are not part of their resonance, but part of their celestial nature, just as a Malakite's inability to Fall is part of his nature. Thus, dissonance doesn't affect these abilities.
First, Grigori can interbreed with humans in the normal fashion, without using the Song of Fruition. A Grigori in a male vessel can impregnate a mortal woman; a Grigori in a female vessel can become pregnant by a human male. (Grigori cannot reproduce with other celestials, however, including each other.) Note that Grigori-human couplings don't automatically result in pregnancy, any more than human-human couplings do. The Grigori are never infertile, however. Any children born as the result of such liaisons will be mortal. Most are the (in)famous Children of the Grigori, humans of exceptional stature, but approximately 1 in 3 are born hideously deformed, and if allowed to live, will become one of the horrid Nephalim. Because of this, the Grigori are never indiscriminate about mating with humans.
The second Grigori Choir ability is their humanness; they are so close to humanity that they can almost fool the Symphony itself. When using a Role, a Grigori may add his Celestial Forces to any roll to avoid creating a disturbance (In Nomine, p. 44); this is in addition to his Corporeal Forces. And almost all Grigori have Roles of level 6; they've been on Earth a long time. A Watcher who is careful (and those who are still alive must be, by definition) can spend mortal lifetimes without ever creating a single note of disturbance.
Since all the Grigori are Outcasts who were stripped of all attunements, none possess any of their Archangel's attunements today. (Unless they serve one of the Grigori Archangels -- see Azrael for an example.) Likewise, the Outcasting of the entire Choir from Heaven required every Archangel to sever his connection to the Grigori resonance; thus, no Archangel can grant the Grigori Choir Attunement even to other Servitors. However, the Grigori Choir Attunements are presented below out of interest, for those who want to use them anyway, or for historical games.
Blandine's Grigori were the only celestials who could create their own dreamscapes when they fell asleep. This was optional; a Grigori of Dreams could enter the Marches normally, like any other Servitor of Dreams, but he could also choose to enter his own personal dreamscape. By itself, this ability wasn't particularly useful (though the Grigori enjoyed it, as they were able to sculpt their own dreams to their liking), but in conjunction with other Servitors of Dreams, it allowed them to do such things as create a dreamscape under the Grigori's control to which sleeping mortals could be brought, or to lay traps for Beleth's Servitors . . .
Grigori of Stone were not spared David's wrath when the Choir was found guilty of fraternizing with humans; indeed, David was even more furious at his own Watchers. Few if any survived . . .
David's Grigori were the first architects. They taught humans how to build shelter, and were the earliest practitioners of feng shui. Any structure designed or built by a Grigori of Stone would be guaranteed to be free of structural defects, and would grant one individual within the structure an extra point of Essence at dawn every day. (If more than one person was within the structure at dawn, the recipient would be random, and if no one was there, the Essence would not be "saved up".)
It was with deep disappointment that Dominic sentenced his own Grigori to be Outcast with all the rest, for they had been some of his most useful Servitors; not only for their keen senses, but because they were also his executioners. They were charged with passing Judgment upon mortals guilty of the most terrible crimes. A Grigori of Judgment could injure or kill a mortal without creating a disturbance. (To do so unjustly would of course be dissonant.)
Eli's Grigori were among the first to fall prey to hedonism, something Dominic has not forgotten. Grigori of Creation were natural artists and craftsmen; though they were not as skilled as the most gifted human artisans, there was nothing they couldn't create with at least some skill. They effectively had Artist/1 with every specialty (if they wanted to become more skilled in a particular art, that specialty had to be bought up normally).
Something not commonly known to anyone else was that Eli's Grigori also had complete control over their procreative abilities; any union between a Grigori of Creation and a mortal would result in a pregnancy, or not, as the angel willed it.
Gabriel's Grigori were his only Servitors devoted to healing, rather than hurting. While other angels of Fire punished the cruel, Grigori of Fire had the ability to recognize on sight anyone who had been a victim of cruelty. A successful Perception roll would give the Grigori some idea of the nature of the victim's suffering, with a higher check digit providing more detailed information (a 6 would even identify the culprit). It was their job to tend to these victims, while alerting their fellow Servitors to the existence of someone in need of attention . . .
Forced to wander perpetually, like Janus' other Servitors, Grigori of the Wind were pathfinders and explorers. Whenever faced with a choice of directions to take, they could choose to know either the safest or the fastest route (but not both, though in some cases, the safest route might also be the fastest).
With their understanding of humanity, Jean's Watchers had an intuitive grasp of anything crafted by the hand of man. They could tell at a glance what any man-made object's intended purpose was. With a successful Perception roll, they could also tell if a demon had had a hand in an object's design or construction. (Obviously, if they looked at an object and had no idea what it was for, they knew it had to have been created by a celestial . . . )
Jordi considered humans to be merely talking animals, and so his Grigori were the angels most closely attuned to this most vexing species. A Grigori of Animals in a human vessel created no disturbance in the Symphony, except with Essence expenditures or Songs. Jordi's Watchers could also communicate basic concepts to any human with gestures and simple words -- though the angel might not speak the human's language, the human would always comprehend what the angel was trying to communicate.
Laurence never had any Grigori Servitors, since the Choir was Outcast long before he was created.
With an attunement for human desires that made them Heavenly analogs to the Lilim, Grigori of Trade could tell by looking in a human's eyes what he most desired.
Grigori of War rarely fought themselves, but they provided excellent intelligence to those who did, and were among Michael's best spies. If one of his Watchers perceived a disturbance, they would know exactly who was responsible, if that individual was within sight.
Novalis' Grigori, naturally, were dedicated to peace, even more than most of her Servitors. Anyone wishing to take any kind of hostile action against a Grigori of Flowers, even indirectly, and at any distance, would have to make a Will roll at a penalty equal to the angel's Celestial Forces, or find himself unable to do so.
Grigori of Flowers also had a "green thumb," and could sense intuitively how to care for any plant. Their crops and gardens were always bountiful.
The Watchers of Destiny watched entire generations. With a successful Perception roll, one of Yves' Grigori could "read" an individual's entire family tree, going up or down a number of generations equal to the check digit. On a check digit of 6, a Grigori of Destiny would sometimes "realize" that an individual was destined to have a descendant with an unusually important destiny (and might get some details about the predestined one).