Revelations

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Litheroy
In the last five days, I have had a total of sixteen hours sleep. Which is a roundabout way of saying the school year has begun, and with it we have had our first monumental problems. I'm really tired of looking at my wiring closets at three in the morning. Life is miserable.

It is also worth noting that about seven days ago, Wednesday arrived. She is... well, perfect. Glorious. So, despite the assertions of the last paragraph? Life couldn't be better.

That's not what I'm here to talk to you about. See, I just got published.

Specifically, I was published (once again) over at Steve Jackson Games. And so, on top of my monumental fatigue, my first-week-of-school misery, and my joy at... well, domesticity... I have abject euphoria going for me. The combination should be considered a controlled substance.

Long time readers know that I love In Nomine. I love the game, I love the culture, I love the implications. I love the Symphony metaphor. I love playing with expectations. I love. This. Game.

Well, going back... man, eight years ago, we find that there were opportunities to submit outlines for expanded writeups of the Superiors. (Superiors meaning Archangels and Demon Princes -- the folks in charge of the War between Heaven and Hell.) And a lot of people ran out and did outlines for the major players -- Michael, Gabriel, Baal, Belial, Lilith. People you might have heard of, here or there.

And I? Submitted a proposal for Litheroy, the Archangel of Revelation.

Never heard of him? I didn't think so.

Litheroy was a so-called "minor" Archangel. This meant he didn't appear in the core rules, but instead was released in a supplement later on. He appeared, in fact, in the supplement that came with the In Nomine Gamemaster's Screen, featuring a skirmish in the never ending war between Litheroy and his opposite number (and Fallen former Servitor), Alaemon, the Demon Prince of Secrets. This supplement was ably penned by S. John Ross, and to be honest it was at most a blip on In Nomine's radar.

I loved it. And I loved both Alaemon and Litheroy. I loved them because they felt like such paragons of their Words (in In Nomine, a Word is a concept that a given angel or demon can be bound to, body and soul. In their cases, Alaemon's Word is Secrets, and Litheroy's is Revelation). I loved the dynamic between enemies that used to be so close. And I loved it because both of these Superiors subverted expectations.

Alaemon is an Impudite -- these are the most charming, social and human-like of the demons. But Alaemon's Word is Secrets, and he is paranoid and double-faced, never letting any of himself out where he could be hurt. In other words, one of the demons who most craves human contact and sociability is isolated by his Word and nature. I love that kind of innate conflict. It's so rife for character moments, for conflict, for tasty, tasty roleplaying. For eeeeeevil.

And Litheroy, the Archangel of Revelation, is a Seraph. The Seraphim are the highest order of angels -- the closest to God, and the furthest from Humanity. Their resonance and nature demands nothing but truth, and they have neither the time nor inclination to bend from it.

Only... Litheroy loves and is fascinated by humanity. He doesn't understand humanity. He can't understand humanity. But he yearns to understand humanity -- understand the alien twists and turns and self-deceptions they put themselves through. He believes that if they know the truth, it will set them free and they will find a purity of spirit to go with the great beauty of the human condition.

So. We have a demon who craves contact but fears everyone, opposed by an angel who is far removed from humanity but yearns to understand them. Each are subversions of what someone expects from a celestial of their type.

So. I submitted an outline for Litheroy, back in 1998. And as a lark, I did one for Alaemon too.

Alaemon got bought, and was published in Superiors 4: Rogues to Riches. And, while it's not my most celebrated RPG writing (I've been ENnie nominated for other stuff), it's considered one of my best. And some people say it's one of their favorite bits of In Nomine writing, period.

I don't know about that, but I know it makes me feel good.

Well, flash forward to two summers ago. Steve Jackson Games has created e23, their new online publishing venture. And with that venture comes new life for In Nomine. And hand in hand with that comes new life for Litheroy.

At this stage, I've published quite a bit of stuff in the RPG world. I've published in Star Trek supplements and written Westerns. I've done magazine articles and I've written [REDACTED BECAUSE DUDE, STILL UNDER NDA OVER A YEAR LATER AND WHAT THE HELL?!]

But, given a chance to actually write and publish Litheroy? The very first proposal I sent to the good In Nomine folks?

Oh, Hell yeah.

Writing it was a blast. Playtesting and editing was intense but good. And I am amazingly proud of the results. The "cover" art (sampled above) is by Ramón Pérez, of the fantastic webcomic Butternut Squash. The layout and production values of the PDF are great. And it took a long, long time to appear because....

...well, because that's the publishing game.

Most of all, electronic or not, this is an RPG product by Eric A. Burns. It's based on material done by S. John Ross, Derek Pearcy and others, but it was all put through the filter and crucible of my brain. This isn't a co-author credit, or a "section by" me. This is my damn RPG supplement.

It's significantly longer than was contracted for. I offered the extra verbiage at no extra fee, because I wanted to do this right. And I'm God damned proud of the result. Litheroy was, in his own way, as much fun to write as Alaemon was. It's somehow really cool to get into the mindset of someone so completely guileless. Someone who accepts the world is not as he wants it to be, but doesn't accept that it has to be that way or that it should be that way.

I'm torn. I really, really want people to spend the eight bucks and buy this thing. I want them to read it, and enjoy it. At the same time, I recognize that it's a supplement for In Nomine, and not everyone might be interested. Fortunately, if you go to the catalog page, you'll see a preview that includes a table of contents that maybe will whet your appetite, both for Litheroy and for In Nomine in general.

And one or two of you might buy it because, well... you like me and you want to buy my supplement. I'm utterly okay with that.

I'm a writer. I write. For money.

There's proof, right over there.

Work is Hell. Weds is here. I am published.

Life is good.

31 Comments

Hooray! Congrats and all that.

I'm making art at the moment myself, so life is indeed good.

Stay tuned for http://cthulhuvida.updownstudio.com

*hi5s*

I know some of the reasons it took a long time. *gnaws things in frustration*

Way to go, dude!

Man, I am so far from needing a new game to obsess over that it's not even funny, but oh hell I am tempted, I am tempted.

Ah, publishing! Ah, Wednesday! Ah, the Tim Horton run!

Congrats. Also, thanks for reminding me that I need to get off my ass and put something together for publishing. I just need to get better at long-form writing.

I read about this on the mailing list and wasn't hugely interested, I know about Litheroy but I never had the gamemasters screen and I don't own any of the superior books but I see people commenting about interesting ties to media and lightning so I decide to check it out (after all, anything I can use to make a games plot more horribly convoluted) and then I see the author's name.
Your name Mr. Burns.
So now I'm out 8.95 american.
Damn you, and damn Paypal for taking so long to go through.

Dangit. Now I have to budget in some In Nomine sourcebooks. And I had plans for that money.

Thanks a lot, Burns. You just had to be awesome, didn't you?

Just because I think that read a little strangely: I checked out the preview and had to purchase it when I saw your name.
Not I bought it and consider it a wasted 9 bucks because you wrote it.

"Miaou" says the lynx! In this case, I think that's a combination of "Sorry I've been such a recluse", "How the heck are you?" and "Congrats!" Or maybe it just means I've been staring at HTML and php code too long today and my eyes are crossing.

Huzzah and all that!

Holy crap! GypsyLynx!

Dude! How've you been?!

Well, I can't top that with a me too congratulations post. But, 'grats. Say hi to Al and L'eroy for me.

Man, it is nice to hear that life is good.

And congratulations on being published! I myself just got my first ever rejection letter a few days ago, so I feel like a real author too!

And I think we all know the real reason for the lack of sleep has nothing to do with computer closets. Or does it? ;)

I haven't been hibernating for several years, really I haven't! {blue-eyed innocent look}** I've, um, been hiding in plain sight. Yeah, that's what I've been doing!

{stalls for inspiration} And I can blame it ALL on you! Sorta. Kinda. In a backhanded sort of way. Yes, that's it! Niami DenMother and the Rolling Pin of Doom are all your fault! Give me another day or two to finish making sure all my old AOL pages survived the move to their new home, and are semi-updated, and I'm sure I can come up with a convoluted explanation of why. ;)

**(And yes, I'm fully aware that members of the Pink Iguana Tavern Crew are likely either falling out of their chairs laughing, or cowering under the nearest desk at the thought of me trying that innocent look!}

Eric, you are one of the good Eric's, that's for sure.

You deserve it. Mr. Writer. Who is paid. To Write.

And I think we all know the real reason for the lack of sleep has nothing to do with computer closets. Or does it? ;)

Depressingly?

It was computer closets.

I am literally angry with rage.

Oh good lord, do I remember your patch closet pain. Two years ago, one of our closets flooded, completely all the switches and leaving an entire dorm without internet for about four days. Two of the other supervisors and I put in a twelve hour day to track down spare switches, configure them, open up about three hundred individually bagged cables, and get everything set up and patched. I had nightmares about green cable for a week, and I still refuse to go anywhere near that particular closet.

So yeah, I'm totally with you. Computer closets are eeeeevil.

Wait a minute - the write-up of Alaemon...that was you? Specifically, the quote of Kobal's regarding Alaemon...that was YOU?

So you understand why I had to buy the thing. And then, once I hit Kobal's remark on Litheroy...

Yep, it was you all right. Magnificent bastard. Y'know, I bet you could move a lot of PDFs if you just copied that one quote into this thread.

That was indeed me. ;)

Congrats.

Yeah, I'm generally a lurker....but In Nomine goodness draws me in.

Personally, I find Jean and Vapula fascinating on many, many levels. For one, Jean is an elohim with a very emotional response to humanity, while Vapula is a Habbalah with a very objective approach to life....

And don't get me started on the Dominic/elohim thing.

And oh, I forgot the Mad Science.....yummy yummy mad scienty goodness from the Vaps represent, yo!

Wait wait wait wait, Niami DenMother. THE Niami DenMother, who got me into the most hellish parts of EverQuest, the Tradeskills? Who was the crack dealer via web page of tradeskill recipes that drove me mad, mad I tell you, as I kicked my skills ever higher trying to get them, in the hopes of getting tradeskill trophies (yes plural), putting my uber development points in places to increase tradeskills beyond what they should be able to be?

Wow. Cool.

I totally, utterly, and decidedly need to find my dang printout of the brewing and cooking stuff, circa Al'Kabor server. How am I going to figure out what to cook when the pies stop giving me skill-ups, if I can't find that booklet? Argh.

(36 Litheroy sales in 3 days. Not bad. But can we maintain the momentum of an average of 12 sales per day?! O:> )

This is certainly good to hear, in view of the other sad things going on in the RPG world. Okay, one sad, thing- the death of GoO and the temporary death of the Nobilis line, which this site turned me onto.

Well, the Burns name is enough to make me pay the $8.95, since I've always thought that In Nomine had really great potential when it had a good writer behind it (and conversely, there have been some real stinkers, namely, the Revelations books).

Good luck with this and future projects!

Ok, I've mostly lurked here, but I agree with Mephron on this. If I get to blame you for my (relatively short) EQ addiction, my mind is going to be blown. It'd probably just be easier on us all if you just finally admitted to being Al Gore and inventing the internet. My brain could probably process that easier than the truth.

I am *so* out of the loop.

Moe

PS: As usual, *very* nice work, Mr. Burns. Loved the Dominic / Andrealphus / Kobal quotes

Well, I don't know about whether or not Eric invented the Internet. But near as I can tell, he's the one credited for the first fan MiSTing. So he's certainly responsible for inspiring a large chunk of it.

...wait, is that the same Eric Burns? @-@

I not be knowin' matey. But the scallywags swear over a dark mug of rum that one Eric Alfred Burns be responsible, and curse the lubber who say otherwise.

Many a scurvy lad there might be by that name, but shiver me timbers if that ain't the one and only.

Purchased the supplement the day you posted this (although I've been unable to comment thus far due to some browser weirdness).

I'm one of those folks that names your Alaemon writeup as a personal favorite, so getting to see your take on his opposite number is a delight.

If you were looking for more opportunities to write about Superiors, I could nominate any number of them. I couldn't pay you in cash, of course, but I can offer you the satisfaction of a job well done. That's a lot like money...

I'm a huge In Nomine fan. Do you write alot about it here? From the FAQ it seems to be a large webcomic site, but the intro says lots of other things get posted. Web comics aren't really my thing (yet), how often dose In Nomine make an appearance?

Also, I liked the Litheroy supplement.

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