3.1.5   VIRTUES

Whereas aspects define how a character is able to perform actions and ascertain knowledge, virtues are a measure of the character’s moral make-up. It must be stressed that they are not personality traits. Rather, they are a gage of how strong certain moral paradigms are within the character.

Though they are of immense power and undeterminable age, celestials are much more like children than adults. They are easily distracted, corrupted, and enraptured. The virtues govern their ability to overcome temptation and assess the validity of their decisions.

There are four virtues: justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude. Though each is distinctly different from the others, they often come into conflict in the same situation. It is these conflicts that make up much of the backbone for this game. A character with a great sense of justice may wish to take a certain action for which his high level of prudence would prevent him from doing. These moments of contradiction should be cultivated by the storyteller and cherished by the players, for they exemplify the heart of role-playing

A number of Forces are resisted with these virtues. As a result they must be quantified for proper game play. Whenever possible, though, issues dealing with virtues should be resolved through role-playing and not dice rolling.

Characters begin with a 5 in all four virtues. They are then given 16 points to add to the virtues as they see fit. As with aspects, characters in the choir of Angels (most beginning characters) can not have virtue scores exceeding 13.

A description of each of the four virtues follows. Keep in mind, like so many aspects of life, there are both benefits and drawbacks to having high scores in these virtues.

Justice
This virtue dictates the character’s ability to understand the difference between right and wrong. The innocent should not be harmed, the guilty should be punished for their deeds, and the strong should protect the weak. Justice, however, does not inherently involve delineating between good and evil. For sometimes evil can be righteous and good unfair.

Let us look at an example to illustrate this point.

    The angel Kadal watches from a distance as a small girl crosses the street unaware that she is about to be struck dead by and oncoming truck. Kadal knows that if the child lives, she will one day give birth to an evil leader who will slaughter millions, but the child herself has done no wrong. She is not evil or cruel, merely innocent and blameless. Kadal is uncertain of what to do. Should he save the innocent child or let her die so she can never give birth to her wretched progeny. To save her would be just, but victory for evil. To let her die would be unjust even though good would win the day.

Justice is a notoriously low score for the angels of vengeance as it often conflicts with their divine duty. It is the struggle between duty and justice that often results in a loss of Grace for these celestials.

Prudence
Prudence is the ability to know that rashness is folly. Angels are known for their spur of the moment and often whimsical decisions. This virtue curtails such an instinctive nature. In this respect, it is often helpful when battling passion and resisting temptation. At the same time, too much prudence can be seen as indecision. Some situations demand a quick and untethered mind.

Temperance
Because the children of fire are much like adolescents, their whims and fancies sometimes go too far. They resort to extremes to accomplish their ends, often going too far for the likes of the Almighty. Temperance is the virtue that controls such behavior. It keeps their actions more restrained, their thought more rational. Too much temperance, however, also has a price. Sometimes it causes a child of fire to be unwilling to go to the lengths necessary to bring about a swift and clear solution.

Fortitude
Fortitude represents the shear force of will a child of fire possesses. This is the angel’s ability to withstand pain, both physically and emotionally, and not to be daunted by obstacles en route to their goal. While it plays a vital role in resisting many temptations and demonic ploys, too much fortitude can be the sign of stubbornness and an unyielding nature.


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