Interlude 2: Loyalty’s Birth

Another bit of floral bordering for the Nobilis game. This one is ENTIRELY spoiler-free (at least relative to the story arc). It’s just a lame attempt to write out the enNoblement of one of the NPCs I’m using in the story. My intent was just write out an enNoblement for anyone, just for the sake of doing it, but unfortunately I picked the Power of Loyalty. What I found out is that Joshua Stark’s martini-dry demeanor does not allow for the sort poetic waxing that most of the enNoblement bits in the rulebooks have.
Oh well. It was still sort of fun.

[For a point of reference, Joshua Stark is ‘played’ in my head by David Anders, lately of Alias fame.]
I was offered Godhood while visiting Los Angeles, something I’ve always considered vaguely ironic for any number of reasons.

My immediate response was to write it off as some sort of joke in poor taste, which I felt (and still feel) was an entirely sane and understandable reaction.
The Being I would later call Master is most certainly not the sort to waste idle time in debate. I was shown a portion of Reality that I had never known or dreamed existed and the the conversation continued once I had realized what was truly at stake.
Even so, I resisted.
“I cannot imagine that you would want someone of my nature for your service,” I said. “I am certainly not the sort of saint one usually sees achieving immortal status.”
“We do not require purity,” it said. Even then I knew instinctively that any appelation of gender in regards to the Perpetual Wanderer would be somehow wrong at a visceral level. “Further, immortality is not one of the gifts We will bestow; that much should be made clear.”
“What sort of… duties does someo– a being… like yourself require?”
“Yours is the Estate of Loyalty.”
I could not help but laugh at that point. I realized later that the only reason I was not destroyed immediately was simply because I was not yet one of my masters servants. “You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m afraid you have the wrong man.”
“We do not make such errors. You are Our choice.”
“Then I can only offer up my utter lack of credentials by way of argument. I am no paragon of loyalty, gracious lord.”
“Again, this is not what We seek.”
“I am afraid I do not understand.”
The being regarded me for long moments (I assume that, here, I also avoided destruction, for my Imperator does not enjoy explaining itself). Finally, it spoke: “Long have We used Servants who embody the Estates We choose to bestow. There is wisdom in such methods, as there is in all things We do; but there is also wisdom to be found along other paths. We choose you at this time, when We require one that knows their Estate as… a Tool: a thing which can be wielded, rather than worn, to best effect. To you, Loyalty will be a sword.”
“Or perhaps a knife,” I murmured, my eyes focused on an indistinct point in the distance.
It moved its head in a way I would later interpret as a dismissive shrug. “As you say. We have need of weapons, for there is more assuredly a War.”
“You realize then, the sort of person you will be bringing to your service?” I asked. At times, honesty is the best policy. It doesn’t happen often, but it is more common than most people realize.
“We know far more of the nature of Our servants than Our servants know of Us,” it said, but my mind was already filling with the possibilities that lay at my feet.
In retrospect, I believe It was warning me. I sometimes wish I had noticed.

— From the thought record of Joshua Stark, Duke of Loyalty


  1. Heh.
    Reminds me of Galactus to Terrax. “I’m tired of choosing rational, feeling, loyal creatures to be my heralds. They always eventually feel compassion toward those I consume, and so turn on me. This time I want someone who’s just in it for the power I can give them. That I can trust. Are you in?”

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