Special note: This article was originally written for Steve Jackson Games for the In Nomine rules. It is a description of Heaven in that game. Steve Jackson and company didn't take to the piece, so they graciously paid me a kill fee and let that be that. Just recently, I found this file on an old hard drive and decided that I would format it and publish it for free on my website. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me. Thanks for reading!
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There is a place that is the last, best hope of humanity. This is because it is built of the stuff of pureness and of humanity's highest aspirations, breathed into man by God. It is made of refined light. It is made of purest gold. It is made of the stuff of unformed perfection.
This is the source of all hopes and wishes.
Not much is known about this place because there's no way to describe it that will do it justice. You can talk about how the sun is never too hot, the food is always perfect, but you can't really understand what that means until you're there. And then you realize that everything on Earth is a dull shadow of this place. Which makes Earth that much harder to visit.
It isn't all sweetness and light - in places it is primordial Creation, still on going, and dangerous for all that. But it is Heaven, the reigning house of the Most High.
Technically no one with Infernal Essence can enter Heaven, but nobody there is taking any chances - that's why there are defenses posted in the Marches and beyond. There are many who dwell outside of Heaven who dream of the riches, the treasures - Hell, even the food - that are in the merest of the dwellings in Heaven. It's the ultimate luxury resort, and you gotta have the right stuff to get in.
It is even better than you can know, unless you've been there, in which case you cannot forget its glory. And yet, at least in its closest layer to Earth, Heaven is understandable. It makes some kind of logical sense - otherwise it wouldn't be of any use to the Celestials and human souls that dwell there. Yes it is sprawling, and at times seems infinitely large, but there is space and there are verifiable paths one can take from one place to another. Things stay more or less consistent, if you know what signs to follow. Still, how to get from place to place is not entirely intuitive.
Which means that, even in Heaven, people can get lost. And if that doesn't convince you that the Creator has a sense of humor, nothing will. Getting lost in Heaven is kind of like being lost in a mass hallucination sponsored by Spielberg: things can get pretty hairy, but in the end it's all fun, anyway, right? Unless you get stuck someplace that's particularly unforgiving, most of the places have a way back out. Unless you accidentally find yourself catapulted to a higher level of Heaven, you won't be in danger of discorporation.
In fact, this lowest level of Heaven is really more of an antechamber, a staging area, the Front Office of God. Perhaps that's why so much of it is beautiful but utilitarian, stunningly built but practical in its way. Is there a wasted angle on a snowflake? Is there wasted motion in an eagle's wing? Because of this functionality, many modern angels in the field on Earth have taken to calling this level of Heaven, "The Executive Suites," "The Carpet," or "Upstairs." Other, more classically minded angels call it "Elysium" or simply, "Paradise", to differentiate it from the higher houses of Heaven.
There are four reasons why an angel might find himself in Heaven:
Once there, he may have to go to various parts of Heaven on errands, or on his own business. Knowing how to get around is important, knowing what turns the wheels of Heaven is equally important.
The layer of Heaven that most Celestials visit and dwell in for a time consists of great distances, and unless you know all the tricks for getting around you can find yourself spending a lot of time moving from place to place. As well, Heaven has a much different culture and structure of laws than Earth, which makes things interesting to those angels who've spent most of their time there. Of course, you can always ask for help from a Shepherd, but they're not always around when you need them.
The Road (Land)
The Road, also known as Heaven Highway -1, was an experiment by Jean, aided by David and Michael, and later exploited by Janus and Eli. Before Jean's creation of the Lightrail, Michael was extremely concerned about moving angelic troops through Heaven's Mists. It was something of a logistical nightmare - troops could end up anywhere and there was no specific pattern. Pooling their talents, Jean and David created a kind of Cathedral called The Road, which was modeled after the naturally occurring River in structure - the Road was long but very narrow, with the Mists on both sides. At first the Road was paved with stones but Jean later paved it with state-of-the-art asphalt. Now the Road stands largely unused due to the prevalence of Lightrail travel, but there are still Angels (particularly Ofanim) who really enjoy speeding along ol' HH-1. There are a few Misty Lands that can only be reached by the Road, as well, and the Road is the only land-based approach to the Endless Forest. It is always daylight on the Road, and hot dusty winds are a gift to the Road by Janus, who wanted the whole experience to seem like a trip across the desert, even though sand is at a minimum.
The River (Water)
The tears of God, it is said, formed the River after the Fall, but since it is a freshwater river, there has to be some other explanation. The River is just as old as Heaven, and perhaps older. It stretches from one border of Heaven to another. Angels from various Choirs and who serve a number of different Superiors travel the River and it is common custom for all but the most heavily laden to offer passage to any who need it, free of charge.
The Mists (Air)
Except for those Cathedrals that physically join each other (The Eternal City and Yves' Library, for example), all Cathedrals are separated from each other by the Mists. The Mists are what allows all Cathedrals to have near-infinite space on their interior, but still be a separate and distinct area in Heaven. The Mists are fairly difficult to navigate through - even with a very high Perception many angels get lost - which was the original reason behind the Shepherds. Since Jean's Lightrail system was put into place, however, many prefer that method of travel than flying or walking through the Mists. In the old days, travel by the Road or the River was the safest and quickest way to navigate through the Mists, unless you had a special Celestial means to find your way. Leaving a Cathedral is simply a matter of intention once you leave the confines of a building within it. You simply will yourself to find the Mists and you've departed. The Archangels have learned (at Yves' tutelage) to shape the Mists into flows that direct travelers along certain paths once they get close to a Cathedral. This is why many travelers arrive at the same place time and again, instead of just happening upon the Cathedral by accident.
Pure Light is a powerful, fluid energy source that is easily transmitted from point to point without loss of energy. It is easily stored in Pure Light Crystals. It provides motivating force for a Pure Light Engine. Although it is usually not a weapon, if refracted properly, it can become a demon-spattering blast. Pure Light is freely available throughout Heaven as Heaven is actually made of it. There is a law of conservation of Pure Light, which says that Pure Light is neither created nor destroyed. The sum mass of Heaven has never fluctuated. In addition to the fact that it is an infinite, eternal energy source, the utilization of Pure Light is not subject to the Laws of Thermodynamics. Pure Light is less available on Earth, where it is difficult to make contact with Heaven, but theoretically it could be tapped at a Tether. Still, both Yves and Jean have banned technology that utilizes Pure Light from Earth because of the potential damage it could do to the Symphony.
Angels consume Pure Light as a substitute for sleep and food - as a result there are Pure Light fountains which emit a small amount of the stuff all over Heaven - it's not the same thing as Essence, but the presence of Pure Light in a sunrise on Earth might be one reason why angels regain Essence at sunrise.
The Lightrail (Rail)
The Lightrail system is a series of lens-towers and several Pure Light refractors, which generate the golden beam that pierces the Mists and links virtually all of the Cathedrals together. An angel simply stands in the Lightrail station, visualizes the Lightrail station to which he wishes to travel, and a short moment later (after being translated into Pure Light and back into Celestial matter) arrives at his destination. The commute time is measured in nanoseconds rather than in minutes. Most angels, unless they are simply trying to get away from the crushing masses of Celestials in the more populated areas, use the Lightrail to get where they want to go.
Marchspace exists as a parallel layer of reality to Heaven. You might think of Heaven as a marshmallow floating on top of the hot chocolate of the Marches. The froth formed by the impact of the marshmallow on the hot chocolate is Marchspace, a kind of dimensional pocket that covers the lowest level of Heaven completely. Jean developed the technology to open gateways to M-Space in the late 50's, and has since perfected it, miniaturizing the gateway opening machines so that they can fit in a Pure Light driven aircraft. This allowed Jean to simulate spacecraft by outfitting such an aircraft with navigational sensors and a modicum of minor armament. M-space craft are no employed primarily by the Marchwarders to help them patrol the outer boundaries of Heaven and keep it safe from approaches through the Marches. Jean's Department of War is working on an M-space troop carrier, which would be useful to conduct minor incursions into the Marches, but it is not currently out of prototype yet. All of the Archangels' personal aircraft (those who have them) are now equipped with an M-Space gateway generator to speed their travel through Heaven (moving through M-Space is much faster than flying through the Mists).
Heaven supports both trade of Essence and the exchange of minor items. In Marc's domain, there are some trading chits that are based on Essence, but he hasn't been able to get the idea to catch on as yet throughout all of Heaven. It is against the law of Laurence to charge an angel for access to Pure Light, but everything else can be charged for (although in truth many things are free - the Lightrail for example).
When In Rome....
In Heaven, you don't need to eat, sleep or excrete. You never truly get tired - occasionally after a while you might find yourself a little fatigued, but a dose of Pure Light will absolutely refresh you. Still, some angels sleep for a change of pace and to keep a human perspective - if they do will themselves asleep, they will also have dreams.
In Heaven, people don't eat food to get sustenance - although it is still possible to do so. They eat food for the purpose of tasting the food. The Pure Light within angel's Celestial forms will digest the food completely and provide a sensation of being full for a time. There is no need for a bathroom except perhaps to enjoy the feeling of washing in a shower, although since there are no germs, there is no real reason to shower (one's body rarely smells sour unless you've been around quite a lot of organic matter in which case you'll probably need to shower from time to time).
Recreational drugs, like alcohol, do provide some kind of effect, but only if you're willing to let it happen to you. Otherwise you may easily Will yourself sober, or sober up completely with a dose of Pure Light.
Magic works just as easily as Technology - they're interchangeable in Heaven.
There are a few songs that will only ever be useful in Heaven because they do not play well in the corporeal world. There are only Celestial versions of these Songs as they are not used outside of Heaven.
There is little to no writing paper in Heaven - what little there is has been pressed into books and sits in Yves' Library. As a result, angels have learned to develop nearly photographic memories, and to share those memories via this Song. A number of hours equal to the check digit of the successful roll plus the performer's Perception are instantly transferred into the target angel. The target angel must be in sight and conscious.
Essence Requirement: 1
Degree of Disturbance: N/a since this is in Heaven. This Song causes 2d12 disturbance if it is ever sung on Earth, and it always fails there.
In order to facilitate communication between angels in Heaven, this Song utilizes the Symphony to carry messages back and forth. You may speak to anyone in Heaven whose name you know, the communication is absolutely private. The connection lasts the check digit on a successful roll.
Essence Requirement: 1
Degree of Disturbance: N/a since this is in Heaven. This Song causes 2d12 disturbance if it is ever sung on Earth, and it always fails there.
Cathedrals are areas of Heaven with near-infinite interior space, each keyed to a specific Archangel. The Archangel can, with a Will roll, increase the space and fashion it in a specific way, although intricate changes requires expenditure of Essence over time.
The Empty Cathedrals (those once ruled by Eli, Uriel, and the Fallen Angels) are places only angels of Solitude go - the Shepherds warn angels to stay away from them, as there is no good reason for anyone to be there. The fact that God has not destroyed them means something to the Archangels, but nobody is sure exactly what. It's assumed that all will be set right on Judgment Day.
Each Cathedral listed below is an active, working part of Heaven.
Rising high above everything else in Heaven, the highest of the bottom-most House, the Council Spires is both the home of the Seraphim Council and of Judgment
The Mists cling tightly to the confines of the shining walls of the Spires: they are literally above it all, and their relative position seems to move with the focus of Heaven. For many years, however, it has been closest to the Eternal City - some whisper this is because of the impending escalation of conflict in the War: Armageddon.
From a distance:
The Council Spires are some of the most divinely inspired architecture in Heaven - indeed, these structures do not even deign to touch the heavenly earth within this lowest House. They seem to be made of pure light, although the closer you get, the more you realize they are made out of some kind of purified metallic material, said to be an alloy of pure gold and pure silver.
Arriving at the Spires:
From Earth: You rise up into the Mists and emerge from them briefly to find yourself flying up through pure white light (the giant lens that forms the Eye of Judgment on the underside of the Spires), finally arriving on one of the three Landing Courts. A servitor notes your arrival and takes a statement on why you're there - then reports this information up the chain of command. If you are of the Hosts of Judgment, that is also passed along to the Steward, so that a running tally of all Hosts of Judgment in Heaven is always at Dominic's fingertips. Seraphim always arrive at the Court of Truth, Malakim will always arrive on the Court of Might, and Elohim on the Court of Justice - other Choirs are distributed seemingly randomly.
From the Marches:
The Spires seem to react very aggressively to anything emerging directly from the Marches and moving in-bound to the Cathedral of Judgment without ceasing. The Spires themselves begin to glow red, and alarm chimes sound within it. Swift airships of pure light are dispatched almost immediately, and the inbound entity is given a direct escort to a holding Spire, the Spire of Detachment on the most remote of the Spires and the only one which appears to literally be able to break off from the rest of the Cathedral if need be. Those landing on the Spire of Detachment are thoroughly questioned, swept with all kinds of perceptions and detections, and then and only then allowed to venture forward. The only Celestial exempt from this precaution is Blandine herself, and her retinue, when she deigns to show up to Council meetings. Of course, her Servitors have learned to travel first to the Eternal City and then by Lightrail to the Spires.
From elsewhere in Heaven:
Although most know the vicinity of the Spires, they are not always easily found - indeed, only Seraphim can locate the Spires easily. For this reason the Council has made Servitor Seraphim available to the Archangels who are not Seraphs (who don't wish to use the Lightrail) should they wish to journey to the Spires. Otherwise, it is obscured.
For a Seraph, however, the Spires are immediately found - indeed, they seem to act as a magnet to all Seraphim in Heaven. All they must do is focus their Resonance on locating the Cathedral of Judgment, and they are instantly aware of what direction they need to go.
No matter how one approaches the Spires, they always emerge from the Mists on a course for the Spires, approaching it from the side on a horizontal plane that is parallel with the Truth, Justice, or Might Landings. They will be greeted by Malakim of Judgment who patrol the area on glowing skiff-like craft.
Aside from the Landing Courts, the true business of the Spires is conducted in the Hall of Judgment, which has many corridors and office-like alcoves wherein Servitors of Dominic maintain constant communication with one another. The busiest areas in the Hall are the Debriefing and Briefing chambers, which deal with departing and returning triads of Judgment from Earth. Scribes (those who have perfected their talent with Songs of Memory) are kept constantly busy witnessing reports and communications between servitors, and are kept in a strict rotation so that their extensive minds aren't exhausted and thus fall into imperfect memory. The Archives are also extensive - this is where the Scribes sing their Memories into living crystal, to forever preserve what they know. Each Archive crystal, when tapped lightly, begins to sing the songs recorded in it. They are large and delicate and unwieldy, though, and they must be sung to in a most beatific way or they will not record properly.
Cross the busiest courthouse in the world with LAX, and you begin to understand what the Council Spires are like. Keeping up with Judgment is busy work, and the Council is one of the busiest groups of angels in the House. The airy, windy atmosphere makes the Spires a never-totally-quiet place: there is always the steady moan of the wind outside the walls. The Spires move slowly all the time - as a result, there is a slight sensation of being underway. There are no shadows within the Council Spires: light permeates all. There is a scent of many angels together - a kind of light incense-like smell. There is timelessness here. Hours slip away without any sort of clock to mark them. It is always bright enough to see - there is no day or night.
The most silent of the Spires, this is where angels go to brood over issues of judgment. The closest thing to a 'break room' that the Council Spires possesses, the spire of Reflection is actually quite pleasant. There are courtyards, hanging gardens of plants that live only on air and nothing else, places where one might sit for hours without ever being disturbed. No one breaks the silence here, for all need this place of calm. This spire is located toward the center of the structure, and is actually suspended from all sides by supports which double as bridges - so that the spire itself is held out and away from the rest of the structure.
This is the darkest of the spires - it consists of a single chamber with a huge black basalt wall on one side and a white marble wall on the other. It is a grim place where words of final judgment are heard. No one dares speak here except those who are pronouncing final decisions, for it is said that the Light of God itself listens here and will smite any who speak wrongly. Any words that are spoken here immediately form themselves into letters of perfect speech on the walls. Thus, all judgments are recorded here, and if you look long enough, you can find the judgment from the Fall of Man, the casting out of Lucifer. The judgment of Armageddon, it's said, will be the last thing listed here.
The only place darker than the Spire of Decision, the Spire of Arraignment is the jail of the Council Spires. Here, those who are meant to have judgment passed on them wait for their day in court. It is attended by grim Malakim of Judgment. A cell is already prepared and waits for Lilith and Lucifer, among other demons that earn Dominic's special disfavor - not that he believes he'll get them before Judgment Day, but you never know.
This is the fortress part of the Spires, where the warriors dwell. It is responsible for carrying out judgments made here. It is also responsible for security. Many airships are constantly docked, tethered around the spire.
This is where the Council meets, and is also the domicile of Dominic. It is the largest Spire, the grandest one, and is the central column off of which all the other spires branch.
There are nearly an infinite number of spires dedicated to housing Angels of Judgment. They are assigned bunks on an as-needed basis: Angels of Judgment mustn’t grow attached to any one set of living quarters while they are off-duty - that breeds suspicion. Very little consideration is given to angels of rank - only those who work directly with Dominic have apartments in the Spire of Dominion, and almost nobody wishes to be quartered in the Spire of Execution where the jailers are stationed.
The Host of Judgment is austere, paranoid, quiet, and neurotic for the most part. They don't speak much to each other, and if they do someone is constantly asking, "What did you mean by that?" It is not exactly the most social of places. Only Malakim of Judgment are able to relax and truly relate to each other (being unable to Fall is a definite plus among Angels of Judgment). Instead of eating, they tend to take in Light to help clear their heads and rejuvenate themselves - there are fountains of Pure Light in each domicile for Servitors to partake in. Because they must sing for their profession, very few of the Hosts of Judgment will sing or otherwise "party" - the most exciting activity is going to the Spire of Reflections and contemplating the nature of Judgment or one of its aspects: Truth, Might, Justice, Mercy, Punishment, Vengeance, or some other aspect.
Heavenly Hospitallers watch over the Traumatized of Judgment in the Spire of Reflection - although that part of the Spire is kept cordoned off because frequently those who are suffering Trauma there are also key witnesses to activities on Earth that could conceivably damn others - perhaps even another angel.
Dominic's apartment within the Spire of Dominion is a very brightly lit place. He sleeps (when he does sleep) within a plume of holy, pure Light refracted from the Eye of Judgment itself, thus even in sleep he is purely in touch with his word. The domicile of Dominic is plain and simple, as are the Servitors who attend him directly.
Bencharial is a foreboding, black-cloaked Seraph who is constantly humming the Heavenly Song of Calling, keeping in touch with all of the angels who are responsible for the flow of personnel through the Council Spires. He is administrator, manager, traffic control expert, and clerk-of-court, apparently able to split his attention in hundreds of different directions at once. For this reason, he was made Steward of the Council Spires and serves as Dominic's right hand in Heaven.
A tremendous mountain of fire, it is both the fortress which protects Heaven from invasion and the last bastion of the fight against cruelty on Earth.
From a distance:
Rising up out of the Vapors, this massive volcano appears absolutely natural, as if some massive magma displacement beneath the earth of Heaven thrust it up. But it was fully created in this magnificent form - larger than Kilimanjaro. If it were visible from the rest of Heaven it would dominate the skyline. Its size is not truly understood until you begin to approach it and then the scale alone can stun the senses.
From Earth: Your celestial form becomes bathed in a fiery orange glow as you begin to become molten rock, flowing upwards at incredible speed. You rocket out of the top of the active volcanic Citadel, a cinder out of the fire, finally to light near your Heart.
From the Marches: A dark crimson glow begins to illuminate the shadowy Marches as you find yourself interdicted by nothing but a huge black basalt rock face. Fiery cracks run like lava flows here and provide little light. There are two passes over the Citadel: Lucifer's Bane and The Forge. The Bane is heavily defended and is a military hardpoint manned by Gabriel's Malakim. The Forge is frequently awash with live lava flows of tremendous fury and intense heat. Neither are hospitable entrances.
From elsewhere in Heaven: A glowing circle of fire marks the front gate of the Citadel. An immense archway surrounded by boiling lava flows makes an easy landing place. The heat here is intense but not damaging. As you move through the huge arch, called the Gate of Fire, you are met by Servitors of Gabriel who report to her marshal and handle messages and business. Rarely do non-Servitors move past the Grand Archway into the Citadel itself.
The Grand Archway is the chief place of business for the Host of Fire.
Hearts of Fire are kept in the labyrinthine passages that branch out from the main hall through the Arch. A Servitor is always here - his perfect memory serves as a record of all who pass through the Arch and, if they are on the business of the Host, the nature of their stated mission.
Everywhere you go around the Citadel of Fire it is hot - there are no cool places, even up in the summits where there is a steady bone-drying wind. You can smell the active volcano wherever you go. This is not a place about pleasure; it is about the wrath of God. There are almost no creature comforts, very few places to sit, very few places to hide - except, of course, the shadows that the fires therein create. Everything burns much easier here, of course. That's the way God wants it. There is no time here - it is always one continuous twilight afternoon lit by the fiercest fires in Heaven.
The Fount of Wrath: This boiling hot spring froths with terrible anger and is in a secret chamber beneath the Citadel. It is said that looking long into the Fount and breathing of its vapors can reveal the Enemies of Heaven.
The Seething: A huge steaming underground lake. The fish in the lake are quite leathery and aren't good to eat, but it is said that Gabriel knows how to make poison from their skins and certain glands that punishes only the cruel. Servitors who meet with the Steward's approval might get a few of these fish in recognition.
The Endless Warfield: On the road from Lucifer's Bane, the mini-fortress that guards the Marches, there is a flat hard stone slab which is an ideal skirmishing zone for the Gabrielites set to defend it. Cunning pit traps and other anti-personnel features have been built-in to the battlefield and it seems to travel on for many miles when in reality it is affected by the Vapors and is actually an island of Heavenly reality all its own.
The Aerie: This is the highest point of the Citadel, a black tower that rises up over the landscape and affords a strategic view of the Marches. The Aerie is typically where Gabriel will be found, brooding, should she not be in her Demesne or on Earth. It is so high and the view so good that Blandine's Tower is clearly visible. Whoever is in the Aerie can be the first to see anyone emerging from the Higher Houses.
The Fulcrum Smithy: angel servitors of Gabriel who beat a bitter hatred of the Cruel into the blades with their hammers forge Laurence’s blades here. Marc supplies the metal, the leatherwork for the scabbards by servitors of David (much to Jordi's chagrin) and Jean supplies the technology needed to make diamond-sharp swords for the armies of Heaven. There is never a quiet moment in the Smithy - there is always some ingot of metal being pounded out into some shape of weaponry, or being re-forged and re-made.
This large naturally occurring volcanic spire has a single non-natural accoutrement: a huge iron bell. The bell rings when a tremendous injustice is righted and the Cruel are punished by the power of God.
Ancient dragon-spirits of the Marches have been kept here, their tempers tamed and their existence protected from those in Heaven who would destroy them. These thunder-lizards are winged and carry fire deep in their bellies. They exist to aid in the patrol of the Marches' boundaries, for their eyes can see creatures of all kinds from very far away, and they are ancient and knowledgeable about the secrets of the Far Marches. This is a steaming barely-cooled lava flow, which makes it the perfect nesting ground for them, although no dragons have been born since the Middle Ages.
Housing at the Citadel depends on your rank and is assigned by Gabriel's Steward in Heaven. Angels of Gabriel who are Word-Bound have places closer to the central magma flow, and are thus closer to the cleansing Flame within it. In these rooms it is possible to always hear the screams of those who are tormented by the cruel - wherever the acts of cruelty are being practiced in the world.
The Host of Fire is fairly aesthetic - they are quite mindful of the cruelty that is taking place on Earth and wish to get back to do battle with Evil as soon as possible. Still, there are Traumatized angels coming back from the War who need tender loving care. These angels are babied for a time in the softest warm-water springs with beds of sand as soft as a mother's breast. They are cared for by Hospitallers of Fire who use warmth and mercy to help them recover. Those who do not ever recover are used as warders and watchers, or choose to enter the Living Fire within the volcano and to never return.
Gabriel’s' own domicile is a sparse bare rock cavern that opens into the central vent of the volcano, and has stairs leading directly to the aerie. She has been known to come and go without fanfare or notice - spending a scant few hours here secretly and then returning to Earth to brood. It is thought she somehow merges with the living lava flow and leaves the flow to enter her room - there's no other known way to get into her domicile.
Corporeal Forces: 5 Strength 10 Agility 10
Ethereal Forces: 5 Intelligence 7 Precision 8
Celestial Forces: 6 Will 12 Perception 12
Cherub of Fire, Ofanim of Fire, Dance of the Atoms, Smite, Vassal of Fire, Friend of the Divine Spark, Master of the Light
Form (Corporeal/2, Ethereal/2, Celestial/3); Light (Corporeal/2, Ethereal/3, Celestial/6); Motion (Corporeal/4, Ethereal/5, Celestial/6), Numinous Corpus (Claws/6)
This dark-skinned Islamic-looking angel is the stern taskmaster in charge with running the Citadel of Fire in his Superior's absence. He is in charge of all Gabriel's heavenly operations and of the Host of Fire who dwell in and around the Citadel.
He carries a black iron sword with him wherever he goes, and is more marshal than governor - he spends more time aiding the patrols of the Marches boundaries and upgrading the security of the Citadel. He is a suspicious angel with considerable amounts of experience fighting demons and the other things that come up out of the Marches. He is perhaps the only heavenly angel of Gabriel's that truly doesn't concern himself with Earth. Most of the other Heavenly Host of Gabriel are more focused on the War than they are on heavenly issues.
In addition to all of his other duties, he is the only other being besides perhaps Yves and of course Gabriel herself who knows where Gabriel's Horn is located - a tool vital to the requirements for Armageddon.
A cynosure of activity at Headquarters (the term Marc uses for this level of Heaven), this beautifully kept park is one of the only areas angels actually long to visit during their "off hours" - when they have them. There is a very good reason for that: Marc wants it that way. This is how Marc trades his information and services for the 'coin' of more information, Essence, and other services.
From a distance:
The Mists taper off rather swiftly around Commerce Park. The sky here is blue, just like a day on Earth in the sweetest part of spring, with no rain and no bad weather (Marc sees to it) - and unlike other parts of Heaven, it actually has a day and a night. It appears to be a beautiful lawn extending for all directions as far as the eye can see. Tents, little temporary market stalls, and the like are pitched here during the day. A Lightrail station is the only truly permanent part of the Park and is clearly visible from a distance.
From Earth: A Celestial ascending to Heaven towards Commerce Park will find himself flying through the Mists and materializing in his own tent (there are hundreds of these beautiful multi-colored pavilions) and a bell will ring in the Square and the angel's name will swiftly be entered into the tote-board there.
From the Marches: Anyone coming inbound from the Marches will have to cross over the Eternal City and deal with Laurence's patrols, so no one really takes much notice of you. No one makes it their business to keep track of everyone who comes and goes in Heaven - they have a hard enough time keeping track of the corporeal world.
From elsewhere in Heaven: It's not hard to find Commerce Park - all Shepherds can direct you to it, it's one of the most frequently visited places in all of Heaven. The river flows past and many angels work the docks, greeting others and helping them find the objects of their desired trade. The Road intersects with Commerce Park and many vehicles are manufactured, repaired, and traded here.
Commerce Square (the only place in Heaven where, Marc says, you can get a square deal) is the focus for the trade in Commerce Park. A huge toteboard shows what Angels of Trade are in Heaven and if they're offering something for trade, what it is. This trade board is updated frequently, accompanied by a clanging bell and the sound of sign-tiles flipping and looks rather like a mechanical sign used in train station lobbies on Earth (the board doesn't always update 'to the minute' - Jean is constantly trying to get Marc to upgrade to a faster, digital version, but Marc's feeling is, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it").
Vendors with carts sell heavenly food and drink - usually for a little Essence or with one of the trading chits that Marc issues. Still, there is no one place where angels come and go - Marc recognizes the need for angels of his to travel on their own recognizance. The stalls and booths which make up the marketplace in the Square appear with the first light of the sun and disappear shortly after dark, to be placed by jolly tents that are Heaven's version of nightclubs - glorious celebrations under canvas that are to the greater glory of Heaven and provide respite for the hardworking servitors of Trade and those who join them as guests.
Shepherds move through the crowds making sure everything is on the level - particularly if servitors of Janus are frequenting the grounds.
Of course the truly great bargains and the most interesting shopping is in the private tents of angels of Trade who open for business while they're in Heaven - and angels who know a good bargain know that you must venture out from the Square to really find the special and unique.
The sound of the clanging bell of the toteboard is the most distinctive sound in Commerce Park, but the sounds of vendors hawking their wares is the most commonly heard one. Delicious smells - from food, incense, flowers, and other fragrant sources waft over the crowd, producing a combined effect that puts folks in a mood to shop. The grass is like plush carpet under your feet, the pavilions of silk a delight to the touch, and the thoroughfares between the tents are not even half as crowded as the streets in the Eternal City. Marc makes sure the seemingly random, chaotic pattern of tents on the lawn at the Park is aesthetically pleasing, while providing onlookers with many entertainments (many of them angels of Eli serving Marc) and spectacles at all hours of the day.
The Lion and Bull: This luxurious pavilion has a serious Trade clientele - it is thought of as the place in Commerce Park that is truly "Angels of Trade-only." Still, other angels come here to learn of rumors and try to locate the items they are seeking to purchase - they just have to wangle their way past a Bodhisattva named Max who has keen eyes, a no-nonsense attitude, and who runs the joint.
Amariel's Ancient Wonders: Amariel is the Angel of Antiques, who has quite an extensive collection of artifacts from the history of the world. His chief value, however, is that he has a perfect memory about the history of any item of importance, and is something of a packrat mentality at that. He can provide the shopper with both wisdom and items of antiquity.
Club Elysium: A large tent, it only lights up at night. An Ofanim of Eli in service to Marc owns it. The music that pours from it is cutting-edge modern with any infernal influences filtered out of it. Angels dance until all hours in this place, and it is a favorite hang out between Ofanim and Cherubim who are visiting the Park.
Holy Roads: This tent is always open during the day, displaying the lean Light-impelled craft that are built to take HH-1 with speed and grace. Designed by an Elohim of Janus, a Kyriotate of Jean, and a Seraph of Eli in service to Marc, these unearthly vehicles are individual works of art - and they book. They move, propelled by inducted, focused pure Light, and make almost no noise as they flow along the road. Most of these vehicles sit idle as a silent worshipful creation - not a single one of them could ever exist on Earth. Bodhisattvas come to race in them every so often. The only attachment to Trade they have is that the three angels trade vigorously to get materials to make the vehicles and they have developed an extensive junk pile, in which it is possible to find many very interesting pieces of Heavenly technology.
The Bijou: Every truly good movie that has ever been made plays here in succession, one after another, all day and night. It appears on the outside as an Arabian-style tent, inside it is a cool, air-conditioned movie theatre with free popcorn and soda in convenience stand. Dominic once tried to have it shut down as a blasphemy, but several Traumatized angels have snapped out of their Trauma in the cool darkness there, and Marc wouldn't hear of closing it. Costs 1 Essence and you can stay as long as you want.
The Ticker: In the foyer of Mark's palatial tent (the inside being much larger than the outside) there is a great Ticker. Not only does it show the current market prices of all stocks, futures, bonds and other instruments, it carries up-to-the-minute information about trade. This is Marc's one concession to Jean: the screens here go on for days. The effect is dazzling, completely amazing, and utterly confusing. Only a financial genius could understand or even get more than basic information from this room. The Ticker is open to the public, you just have to know where Marc's tent is - it looks exactly like everyone else's on the outside.
Each angel of Trade receives a tent on the Park grounds - the pavilions vary with the angel: some have spent Essence to make them change color and design on the outside, others have left them dun gray, as they come. To begin with, each tent has only Spartan living accommodations. As time goes on, angels who visit regularly enough spend Essence to make them bigger on the inside than without and slowly begin to add on rooms, decorations, and so forth as they can afford. When an angel of Marc's becomes word-bound, Marc personally grants the angel a tent of glorious representation of that angel's Word. The Angel of Gold has a beautiful golden palace; the Angel of Diamonds lives amongst crystal finery.
The Host of Trade is a merry band after hours - they work hard, they party even harder. They are quite an earthy group of Celestials, being the most likely (besides angels of Novalis) to have wine and song at their gatherings. There are very few Hospitallers of Trade. Unfortunately, Marc has proven dreadfully inefficient at reviving his Traumatized servitors, and has taken to Outsourcing them into the care of those who are better at it (Laurence, Novalis, Yves, and even Gabriel seems to do better than Marc). Those who don't get outsourced spend their days wandering Commerce Park in a daze while others keep a respectful distance - the closest thing to homeless in Heaven.
Marc lives in an ordinary dull grey tent - at least, that's what it looks like on the outside. Inside the tent is the foyer called The Ticker (see above) and beyond that a nearly endless series of corridors, rooms, and galleries. Marc lives in a simulated penthouse at the top of a simulated skyscraper, in the lap of luxury. His closest advisors live in lower floors in the tower.
Aglow in the light of trade, tall, stoic, blonde Lumieral can be found in The Ticker. She has not left The Ticker in quite some time. She keeps watch on all heavenly trade, and keeps Marc informed about those returning to Earth and what goes on in Commerce Park. She has become very good friends with Jean and those in Jean's organization, making suggestions as to how the Ticker can be improved and learning to access and cross-reference all the information that comes through the room. In many ways she's more informed about the minutiae of trade on Earth than Marc is - Marc's not a detail guy, he's more of a macro-manager. She was originally a servitor under the Angel of Statistics, and has a numeric bent.
This is every holy city that has ever been built, only no war has ever marred its walls, burnt its buildings. No terror has ever graced its streets. The very breath of God settles down just outside its gates, and the holy Light of Heaven forms a bridge to the upper Houses of the Holy. It is ancient, and modern all it once. It stands at the center of this part of Heaven, it is the focus of all Heavenly activity, sooner or later all angels visit its spiritual confines. In addition, it is the headquarters of the War, and in the Palace of the Sword atop Temple Rock, Laurence rules the city and commands the War.
From a distance:
Nestled at the intersection of the Road (HH-1) and the River, at the center of things, unmovable and always easy to find, the Eternal City rises up out of the Mists proud and beautiful, as if it were cast in pure gold. Of course it is not - it is actually made of humble stone, but the light of Heaven tints it in beautiful colors no matter where one looks.
From Earth: Angels coming to the City from Earth always arrive at Earthgate - they literally step out of the Mists before Earthgate, and are instantly admitted (after being checked in by a servitor of the Sword.). Once the gates to Earth were pearlescent and glowing, they have however been made more silver through erosion as they have been touched for good luck by angels passing through them and in wonderment by the masses of human souls who pour through, awaiting ascension to the higher Heavens. Welcome Street is the street the gate opens up to, and the street dead ends into the Circle of All Worldly Belief, where the temples of all religions are perched, with Servitors of Yves sorting mortal souls and directing them to the appropriate Temple while they wait to be lifted up. Further on up the hill, visible from Earthgate, is the Palace of the Sword on the right hand of the Eternal Nave, the House to which all Catholic souls are directed, and the left hand of the Halls of Worship, where all the world's religions meet in tense concord.
From the Marches:
Those who arrive directly from the Marches are forced to enter through the dark, heavily defended Marchgate - that is if they somehow pass the Citadel of Fire without being challenged. The Marchgate is staffed by some of Laurence's heavy hitters at all times. It is a black basalt slab with dark iron gates, and there are many excellent defensible positions through which death can be visited on any who try to attack via this gate. A Seraph is always on duty to question those who come through this gate. Any angelic messenger who comes to the City knows it's not wise to arrive via the Marches - it will just delay things. Better to visit Commerce Park and take the Lightrail to the City. Marchgate is on the more shadowy, mysterious, Eastern side of the City near the Houses of Oriental religions, and it takes about an hour on foot to walk to the Circle from there.
From elsewhere in Heaven: Most angels already in Heaven arrive in the city by Lightgate, the Lightrail station. It is a high vaulted replica of Grand Central Station (some servitor of Eli must've had a hand in that decision) and is literally the busiest place in Heaven, busier than Commerce Square or the Landing Courts of the Council Spires. Lightgate is actually not very far from Earthgate - they are no more than 15 degrees apart in the circle that is the wall of the City. Light Street carries the angelic visitor to the Palace of the Sword's beautiful Western facade and the great crystal Sword of the Holy sculpture which appears to be resting deep in the stone of the hill the Palace is on, casting prismatic colors everywhere as it splits the Light of Heaven into rainbows. Virtually no one realizes how deadly those rainbows would be to demons standing there - but they would literally untie their Forces immediately like a child's string-game collapsing.
Bodhisattvas from the Groves Lightrail Station commute in regularly to visit the Palace of the Sword or the Halls of Worship.
The central staging area for the Eternal City is really two areas: the courtyard of the Palace of the Sword, and the Circle of All Worldly Belief.
The courtyard sees angels practicing, training with swords and other weapons. Higher-placed servitors of Laurence move through, noting progress and giving pointers. The Officer of the Watch keeps note of those who pass under the gates of the Palace, the Officer of the Day receives squads of Angels coming in and leaving, providing them with their first debriefing upon return and their last word as they leave. The Marshal sets the training schedule for the angels in the Courtyard and elsewhere, in classes in the Palace.
Down the hill, in the Circle of Worldly Belief, angels of Laurence help to keep order among believers, turning them over to angels of Yves for ascension. The Great Tower of God, just off of the Circle and adjacent to the Halls of Worship, is the focus of all this activity - that's where the newly arrived souls of mortals ascend via a pillar of Pure Light.
Although there is no dust in Heaven, there sure is a lot of clutter in the Eternal City. That's because the souls of the newly dead cling to objects that they loved in life, and must actually put them down and leave them behind in Essence before ascending to the higher Heaven. As a result, the streets are packed with shrines where objects are left behind, or just casually tossed aside. These objects are as varied as a cosmic garage sale - they eventually dissolve into pure Essence and flow back into the Symphony, but before that happens, they are considered a spiritual eyesore. Laurence would ideally like to have the place cleaned up, but Marc's beautification project fees were way too expensive for his tastes. He occasionally has servitors of the Sword go out and clear a path, and the bustling mass of dead humanity does help keep at least the path from Earthgate to the Tower clear, but there's little anyone can do to stop this problem. Furthermore, the wind is constantly carrying beautiful smells from other parts of Heaven: Incense from the Council Spires, food smells from Commerce Park, flower-scents from the Glade - even cool breezes from the Marches. At night there are a thousands pinpoints of light as crystals which absorb Light all day and come aglow when it gets dark, casting iridescent shadows everywhere. The air in the City can get quite hot during the day - the Light from the tower does tend to heat things up a bit. All of this contributes to making the Eternal City seem very curiously like Jerusalem - the hot dry air, the ancient buildings, and the rush of thronging people. There's a very good reason for that - the Eternal City's other name is Jerusalem - a Perfect Jerusalem, untainted by war and conflict. Because of its proximity to Commerce Park, there is a kind of day and night here - except the hours are longer.
Everywhere you look there are holy structures, Houses built to house bodhisattvas and saints and angels of various world religions. Some are ancient and abandoned, some busy and thriving. Furthermore, many offices important to the War are also here. As well, the very mystical and curious nature of the Eternal City means that there are places in the labyrinth of city streets where you might get lost and stumble upon a wonder or a miracle.
There are some mortals who come to Heaven rather beaten and bruised, heart-hurt, or otherwise damaged. Those who need it are taken by Shepherds to the Fountain of Surcease, a beautiful crystal-blue spring-fed fountain that is found in the Court of True Healing, a little garden just off Holy Spirit Way. The humans who drink and bathe in this fountain find their hearts, minds, and spirits restored completely, all the pain that they carried in life lifted away. This is a transformative, joyous practice. Still, because the transformation causes a lot of awful-sounding screams and horrible contortions as the pain is lifted, the Shepherds only allow one soul in the fountain at a time, and it is custom that they may stay until they wish to leave. Angels with Trauma are prevented from using this Fountain - it will in fact increase one's Trauma as it actually causes one to become connected with one's former life on Earth as part of the healing.
The House of St. Jude (Hospitallers): Those angels who have come to the service of Yves through various means, to heal those who are undergoing Trauma after service on Earth, come first to the House of St. Jude to be trained in the exacting discipline of healing Trauma. When they are finally certified and become Hospitallers, they travel all over Heaven helping others. The crystal cross they carry with them marks their position as Hospitaller, opening doors and clearing paths so that they may perform their duty. Yves' unspoken power rests on them like a mantle.
The House of Mohammed: Although Mohammed is frequently busy elsewhere, the Prophet's presence and influence is felt in this house where Islamic faithful and angels gather. There are always foods from the Middle East available here and wonderful figs from the fig trees in the garden. All day long they read heavenly copies of the Koran from the original Angelic language in which Gabriel recited it to Mohammed. Several of Gabriel's servitors visit here often and maintain contact with the bodhisattvas of Islam who are active both in Heaven and on Earth.
The House of Buddha: Although the pro-Christian slant on Heaven of late has left this House out of the spotlight of the Eternal City, it has just as many visitors as the others. It is surprising to find the 'saints' here - they are shop keepers and janitors and librarians as well as famous wise men and women. There are no luxurious confines here - everything is stark, simple, quiet. The members of the House feast on Pure Light when they feel the need, but no one wants to return to the hungers of the flesh. They meditate in beautiful rock gardens, sitting zazen and radiating utter calm.
The House of the Oath: Those mortal souls who are absolutely certain they wish to remain in this, the lowest part of Heaven and aid the War against Hell must travel to this house where a Elohim of Michael waits to indoctrinate them and take their oaths as a bodhisattva: to not pass into the Highest Heaven until all of the rest of the mortal souls do as well, or until Judgment Day, whichever comes first. Those who do so swear have a brief meeting with Laurence and are assigned to an area that best suits their talents.
The House of the Four Winds: This Native House appears to be some kind of lodge on the outside, and within it is actually a night sky on the beautiful rolling plains. Those native people who in life came to worship God by other names (Father Sky, Mother Earth, the Great Spirit) are welcome here, and many angels of Jordi and of Novalis frequent this House.
The Halls of Worship: This is like a United Nations of Religion. Just about every human sect or church is represented within these walls, including all the shades and flavors of Protestantism, and every last Quaker/Shaker/Puritan-based tradition. The saints and bodhisattvas from the world's religions hold quiet and sometimes tense debate in the conference rooms and auditoriums herein. Lately, all have noticed a distinct preference for the Christian traditions and there have been many closed-door conversations among the non-Christian faction.
The Tower of God: This simple stone tower rises up to the highest point in the City. Its broad base is built into its bedrock. A great lens, made perfect by Jean, focuses a column of Pure Light that extends to the highest height, piercing the veil into the Upper Houses. It is through this tower that the mortal souls who pass through the Earthgate make their way to their eternal reward with God. The Light which pours down through the lens is defense enough - its power is too intense for even Angels to bear without immediately rising to the upper parts of Heaven.
The Gates of the City: Besides Lightgate, Earthgate, and Marchgate, there are four others: Sorrowgate (through which Lucifer was ejected from Heaven), Rivergate (which leads to the docks), Roadgate (which leads to Heaven Highway-1), and Triumphgate (through which the newest angels come from the Breath of God, and it is said a tremendous celebratory parade will be launched after the War is won). Each gate has Shepherds watching all who come through.
The Breath of God: Not actually within the Eternal City, the Breath of God is a tornado-like phenomenon that occasionally manifests outside the City. This is the only known way for an angel to travel from the higher Heavens to the lowest level of Heaven. Occasionally new angels will emerge from the Breath of God in a kind of birth Trauma, who by instinct make their way to Triumphgate, where they are welcomed with open arms by angels of Yves and of Laurence, to be named and assigned a Choir.
On the other side of the Halls of Worship is the Palace of Shepherds, run by a Cherubim Master of the Sword named Nunekiel, who keeps watch over all those who seek to aid others in Heaven. The Shepherds' chief duty is to make sure order is maintained in Heaven, although they are also combination Park Rangers and Tour Guides as well. They carry Crooks that allow them to identify any Celestial they can see, their Superior and Choir, and whether they have any Discord. These Crooks have a power to send a quarrelsome Angel directly to a Waiting Chamber in the Palace of the Sword, where Malakim keep watch until the angels can be questioned and dealt with. They may also send any Celestial they touch directly to Lightgate, where other Shepherds (contacted with the Song of Calling, no doubt) will help the angel on his way.
The warrior angels who patrol the outer boundaries of Heaven and who keep watch on the Tethers to Earth have their armory and barracks here. Laurence himself keeps close tabs on this wing of his angels. The hall is closest to the roof of the Palace, and the Lightcraft that they employ to fly from place to place are frequently seen winging out over the city. No one impedes his or her path.
The War Room: Into this room funnels all of the gathered information about the War that Laurence and his angels and those who report to him collect. Instead of a map, a kind of holographic globe circles here, constantly updating itself with information. Servitors using the globe can deselect certain classes of information to display, say, only the soldiers on the globe, or just divine Tethers and known infernal Tethers. The information here is as current as it can be, and Servitors of Jean are always nearby to help input data and maintain the globe.
Herein, even though some may be missing or outcast, there is a chair for each Archangel and a round table. A beautiful gold throne reminds all of the one who was cast from Heaven - Lucifer, and his presence in the world. A beacon of pure crystal refracts Light into the chamber, so that (it is thought) God's presence may manifest should He wish. Laurence uses this room to meet with the Archangels who will have discourse with him, and for mediation purposes. Michael, whenever he visits, patently ignores the chair placed for him and instead leans against the wall, arms crossed, for the duration of any conversation that takes place. A tacit truce is in effect in the room that even Dominic must observe - even Gabriel feels safe visiting this specific room in the Palace of the Sword without fear of being imprisoned or taken for trial.
The Armory: All weapons of Laurence, when not in the hand of Angels, are stored here. Careful inventory is kept. There are also a few powerful relics here. Archive crystals much like the ones in the Council Spires are used to keep track of where the weapons are dispersed.
The rank and file of Laurence lives in barracks in the Palace of the Sword and their Hearts kept here under lock and key, even though they must enter the City by Earthgate. They live a rather Spartan existence, actually meeting in worship every 7 days like those on Earth, and are generally forbidden outside activities. Their days and nights, Laurence commands, should be spent in service to the Sword. Those with Distinctions are offered apartments in the City but are still quite close to the Palace.
The Host of the Sword is generally taciturn - even their Mercurians are not what you'd call party animals. You don't see them celebrating anything; they're much too busy to do so. In general, they keep things quiet, but deep bonds of friendship do form between them. On Earth, where there is less chance Laurence or one of his watchers might see, they're more likely to cut loose. But in Heaven, everything is Pure.
Laurence's Hospitallers are the finest in Heaven, and Laurence believes that this is a major priority and an area that shouldn't be skimped on.
Laurence dwells in Spartan apartments in the palace. His one (private) luxury is the huge gallery he has which houses most of the trophies he earned in past quests. He is never without his sword, which translates to "Final Mercy" in Angelic tongue, but there are a number of weapons in his little museum that have found their way from the hands of mortals on Earth and angels in Heaven and have managed to go unrecorded by any other angel but himself.
Laurence acts as his own Steward in Heaven, but his second in command is Muriel, who is almost as puissant with the blade as Laurence. Muriel assumes command effortlessly whenever Laurence leaves Heaven, because she stays next to him continuously, watching his every move and listening to every conversation he conducts. Laurence is a firm believer in "institutional memory." If Muriel has a differing opinion from Laurence about how Heaven should be run, she hasn't given voice to it yet. Indeed, she often anticipates what Laurence will want and arranges things the way she knows he will like them.
Central to and running like a vast root system beneath Heaven, there is the library of Destiny. Vast and amazing in its scope, and unique in its makeup, it is a strange and wondrous place in and of itself.
Since the Library is located beneath the Eternal City, there's not much to see. Since it's accessible from any repository of knowledge, it's approachable from all of them. The Library itself acts as a sentient guardian to keep undesirables out, or at least confused.
The Main Hall of the Library is the primary staging area of Destiny. Here, many Servitors of Yves go about their duties. The ceiling here is like a night sky filled with stars - each one a Destiny on the verge of being fulfilled, and something a servant of Destiny could help bring about. Servitors of Destiny who are unassigned frequently come here for inspiration about their next case - looking up at a specific 'star', they instantly become flooded with information about that case, and can depart to walk the Library to the nearest repository of information to the subject.
Yves’s Heavenly operation is limited to three sectors: Earthly support (including Hospitaller training), Archiving, and Research. They each have their own offices just off the Main Hall.
The Library is books, of course, but not just books. Elsewhere, supplied by Jean, there are hundreds of computer terminals and microfilm readers, thousands of stored images. Some Archivist angels are assigned to scan and enter the sum total of the Library into a computer format, but that is only 3 percent complete. Still, everything new that comes out in software is added to the data collection. You can wander for hours without ever repeating your steps. The air is always a constant comfortable temperature, the perfect dry stuff that keeps books perfect. The Library itself makes sure all books are returned to the shelves unless they're in possession of an Angel, or are in an Archivist's cubby. Everything seems beautifully preserved and there is an air of antiquity. Food and drink are not allowed in the Stacks, but they are allowed in the Theatre of Destiny, which of course serves popcorn. The smells are of old books - ancient leather. The time passes here lazily, slowly, with no clocks to mark the hours. One can easily fall into a book and come out hours later.
Lost and Found: Every library book which has ever been lost (and not destroyed) is here, stacked neatly. One day, an angel of Destiny will get around to returning them one by one to all the libraries that have ever lost books. Some joke that there are overdue scrolls here from the Library of Alexandria. Still, some angels swear by starting any search for information here - this is where some of the best books are located.
The Children's Wing: This area is soft, gentle, beautiful. It contains every children's book that has been written or drawn or painted. Angels in the shape of lions and teddy bears and marionettes and ballet dancers and cowboys patrol this part of the Library, for this is where most of the children who accidentally find their way to the Library end up. Alternatively, Yves himself will show up to show a bright young child out.
The Vaults: Here are the first drafts of every novel ever written, the sketches for every great masterpiece, the beginning scratching of every musical score. The Vault is about Beginnings. It is about the first stabs at creation. Once a favorite place for Eli to sit and simply absorb the information around him, now it is only visited by those who seek root causes and basic themes to masterworks. It is tightly defended by Malakim of Yves, who refuse to let anyone leave with any of the precious work.
The Shining Corridors: Occasionally Yves allows access to the Shining Corridors, which are more direct routes to specific information repositories, and are clearly marked. Angels can move from place to place much easier this way. When Yves wants his people to get where they are going without worrying about mortal concerns, he gives them a Hall Pass.
Each angel of Yves gets a Nook to put their Heart in, but more importantly, to keep their books safe. Yves doesn't mind if the angels decorate their nooks - especially if they put inspiring quotes or fascinating passages on the walls - these occasionally inspire him. Even those with Distinction get the same quarters. A Nook is a room in the Stacks, away from others and supernaturally quiet.
The angels of Yves aren't known for their parties, but spontaneous celebrations at certain triumphs of Destiny have been known to generate instant ticker-tape-style parades through the Shining Corridors before everyone goes back to business.
Yves takes special care of his Traumatized. He has trained many Hospitallers in his day, and these angels care especially for any of Yves who suffers Trauma. Furthermore, Yves keeps watch on all of his Angels who become Outcast, just in case they may one day come back to the fold.
Yves himself exists everywhere in the Library - nobody has ever seen a place that is his Office, or headquarters. It's like he materializes out of the stacks, whenever he's needed. There are angels who swear that he appears in multiple places at once - Kyriotate-like - and Yves is silent (or rather, too distracted to respond) about the matter.
Yves doesn't need a Heavenly Steward and even if there were one, the Library would probably not respond to his commands.
Shining and silver, across the River from the Eternal City and connected to Yves' Library through the Shining Corridor, it is the place where all new miracles of technology have already been born. The future is the present within its walls.
From a distance: These shining silver buildings are laid out like a corporate campus. They are surrounded by a shimmering silver field of lightning that keeps the unwanted out.
Arriving at the Park: You can visit the security kiosk outside the Halls to gain access. This is usually a Malakim of Jean, although occasionally Elohim have pulled duty as security guard. The guard is cybernetically plugged into the entire Progress Net security system, able to escalate the level of threat response immediately. Jean, micro-manager that he is, refuses to trust antiquated military strategy and the others who protect Heaven from invasion - he wants to be able to feel safe even should the Marchwarders fail to protect the holy precincts from invasion.
From Earth: Angels of Jean materialize in a chamber that looks like a take-off of a Star Trek-style teleporter room. These rooms have perfect crystals that refract the angels from Pure Light into celestial matter and back again. There are Corporeal Interface Rooms (CIRs, in Jean-parlance) all throughout the Halls, and especially near dwelling cubicles where Hearts are kept.
From the Marches: If arriving from Marchspace, Angels of Jean can connect to the Halls through the heavily defended Marches Port. Otherwise, Lightcraft will rise to challenge any creature or person emerging from the Mists directly from the Marches.
From elsewhere in Heaven: There is a defended Lightrail station adjacent to the Halls of Progress (and Jean has his own personal Lightrail terminal within through which to travel his network in Heaven), most visitors arrive via the Lightrail. There are angels of Jean on hand with PDA's to check personnel in, answer questions, and help them find the areas and they are seeking. The merely curious are turned away except during special pre-arranged tours.
The Nexus is the central nerve center of all of Jean's operations. It is a vast clean room, electrically grounded, white with black gridlines and black letters and numbers labeled at each gridsquare coordinate. Gravity is very variable here. Angels flit back and forth, carrying technology, conducting experiments, monitoring machinery, and making reports. ProgNet, Jean's central computer, keeps track of all the technology and angels that enter and leaves the Nexus. The computer also organizes and facilitates communications between Jean and the mass of his servitors, allowing him to micro-manage more efficiently. Here and there cubicles are set up to delineate special laboratory areas and Light-driven trams visit all areas on a regular pattern. Viewed from above, it is a ballet of machines and angels, each one moving with perfect purpose and playing its part. Those angels with sufficient promise get promoted "off the Grid" as it is called - to their own private research areas elsewhere in the Halls.
The air is crackly and dry, filled with static electricity (a constant concern to Jean and his engineers, who spend a lot of time grounding out the area and making sure the angels that work there are properly grounded). It is a constant cool temperature, smelling lightly of lemon. There are no foul smells here - except when a piece of machinery breaks down for some reason. Everything is immaculate for both scientific reasons and because Jean wants it that way. Jean keeps his people on three shifts and expects them to work two out of three, but that is the only time delineation within the walls of Progress. Otherwise, the Cathedral is quiet and time doesn't really exist - it's always bright sunshine outside.
R&D: Research & Development is a technological madhouse. When Eli left, Jean snatched up some of the most creative technological minds in Heaven. They have staked this place out, and rule it for the most part. Although many Earthly managers have no clue about this, Jean very wisely understands that to micro-manage the creation process is to kill it. So, even though it galls him to just relax and let the process flow, Jean does and the R&D department does not fail him. Anyone who doesn't work in R&D is fair game for practical jokes created by the angels who work there. For example, lately they've been researching applications of Pure Light-enhanced holography, and creating reality-enhanced illusions: King Kong's hairy big-ape arm has caught a few angels of Lightning unawares as they wandered in. A Kyriotate of Jean with a sense of humor runs the division, which is good because that is the only thing which keeps Jean from absolutely having a cow over some of the things this unruly bunch pulls (and don't even ask them about the Ofanim of Janus they got to design the latest Light-drive engine: Jean turns purple whenever he thinks about it.). R&D backs up all the other research and design teams - they are also in charge of creating totally new projects and following them until Jean can establish a team for the exploitation of the new technology.
Light Tech Production: This is the center of the Halls of Progress' activities for the most part. Utilizing the scientific properties of Pure Light, Jean has managed to create a nearly perfectly efficient energy source and many energy-miserly engines and power sources. This is the work-a-day part of the Halls of Progress, but it is vitally important.
Vehicular Production: This production line creates aircraft, rivercraft, and roadcraft for Heaven. They have a separate design division, and they work closely with Light Tech.
M-Space Production: This division deals with technology that is used to enter and leave Marchspace, called "M-Space" by Jean's techs. They are researching the application of the M-Space gateway technology to other tasks: like storing energy and matter.
Chained Lightning Computing: The Kyriotates who run this section treat it like an entrepreneurial "company" all its own. It develops software for ProgNet and is creating (through Yves' Library-links to the corporeal world) a Heaven-to-Earth Internet switch.
Electro-Chemical Studies: This old department, which used to be called The School of Alchemy (back when Jean was more into the University concept than the Corporate concept), has roots with David and with Novalis, of all people - as it studies organic and non-organic compounds and their application with electricity and without. The discovery of the Pure Light Crystal was developed in this department. Angels of David and Novalis continue to work with Jean in this section.
Department of the War: This division is mainly responsible for the research and development of accoutrements for the War on Earth. Yves has imposed a strict non-Pure Light Tech ban on Earth, which means angels cannot bring Pure Light Technology to the corporeal plane. Jean created this division to research exactly what could be feasibly brought into the War on Earth in terms of weapons and the like, and the very popular Holy Pistols were one result. The War Department would like to release more tech, but Jean and Yves are both ultra-conservative when it comes to allowing such items to potentially get into the hands of humans.
Angels of Lightning live on the corporate arcology of the Halls of Progress. Jean spared no expense to provide a pleasant, engaging, well-lit living area for his angels when they are off-duty: the productivity numbers back up his human-resources wisdom in this. Angels of Jean live in perhaps the most modern, high-tech, beautifully designed and peaceful quarters in Heaven, with the possible exception of some of Marc's more wealthy servitors. They have 24 hour a day access to ProgNet and are able to tap into Yves' considerable entertainment stores. Still, they are not what you'd call party animals. They are more into the refined, cultural socialization that Yves' servitors engage in - in fact they spend a lot of time socializing with angels of Destiny.
Although Jean is developing a virtual reality Trauma Care program, it is not online yet, and Jean is frankly at a loss as to what to do with one of his Servitors that goes wonky after dying on Earth. Jean usually attempts a few tries at therapy using the treatment theory of the month and only then grudgingly hands the (sometimes further) Traumatized angel over to Yves or Laurence.
Jean lives in the President's Office, a beautiful executive suite where thousands of very thin monitors are plastered to the walls. Here, he interfaces verbally with ProgNet continuously. If he ever has to leave the office for any reason he can transfer 6 of the screens of information to a PDA that he carries, keeping tabs on his most pressing matters. He has arranged to never need rest or sleep and works continuously, all three shifts.
The fact that ProgNet basically shares the same personality and flair for micro-management that Jean holds is perhaps one reason why this angel/software combination is the chosen boss in Jean's absence. ProgNet is at times better informed about the state of Jean's Cathedral than Jean is, and often knows about new discoveries before Jean hears of them. (R&D suspects that they're being bugged, and have been very crafty trying to get around it - just last week, they managed to 'leak' to ProgNet that they had discovered that the fundamental nature of the universe was that it existed as a role-playing game played by people in another dimension. That little scandal cost them a bunch of points with Prog, who later managed to reverse all the personal fountains in their private suites, causing 12 foot arcs of cold water to waken them from a sound sleep.) ProgNet is neither purely an angel nor is he a piece of software - he has managed to attain some kind of quasi-state where he is both. He is the product of a 24-hour coding session by Jean and Yves working in tandem. He is perfectly capable of running the Halls of Progress without Jean for quite some time by himself, although Jean would never let him do that.
Off in the wild parts of Heaven there are three Wilderness Cathedrals: Jordi's Savannah, The Glade of Novalis, and The Groves. They are located in a part of Heaven where the Mists thin out and instead of foggy Mist, there is a single endless forest with trees as far as the eyes can see. It's well-nigh impossible to fly over the trees - they seem to rise up to the roof of Heaven, so everybody generally walks here, unless they're very small and can flit through the trees without smashing into them. Lightdrive aircraft don't do well amongst the tightly packed trees.
All of these three Cathedrals are serviced by only one Lightrail - an underground station in David's area in the Groves.
Note: Arriving directly from the Marches through the Mists to this part of Heaven means you immediately run into a particularly thorny part of the Endless Forest where guardian Servitors await to receive you. You can't reach any of the three areas directly from the Marches without first entering the Forests.
The Glade is like an eternal early spring Sunday lawn party in the middle of the most beautiful garden in the world.
From a distance:
Through the trees, as you approach, you can hear the sound of instruments being played and angels laughing - a musical sound. As you step into the circle of the Glade, you are immediately recognized by one of the servitors of Novalis, called out to by name, and offered the refreshment(s) of your choice.
From Earth: Novalis gives her Servitors parts of the great garden for their own so they arrive in solitude and compose themselves before re-joining the Party.
From elsewhere in Heaven: It's very easy to find the Glade from the Lightrail station in the Groves - just follow the trail of flowers growing out of the living rock underground. Novalis has shaped the Forest to make sure that all who enter from that part of Heaven do so at the Welcoming Garden, where her Servitors are always on duty.
This is the fifth Party - it has been going on since 1967 (the last one died when Kennedy was shot and took a while to come back). The one before that shut down right after the Bomb dropped (even Pearl Harbor didn't put a dint in it, although it was chips and dip there for a bit) and didn't get started again until V-J day.
The Party is loud, raucous, raging nearly out of control. There is a never-ending flow of refreshments of all kinds, from human fare to Pure Light. Humans (bodhisattvas and confused mortals Projecting here) and angels intermingle in this continuing celebration. For some reason, anyone who would have a negative impact on the Party can't seem to find it, no matter how long they search in the Endless Forests. There has never been a servitor of Dominic in attendance, although Novalis invites them frequently (they know by now it's useless to try to find it, although Novalis feels that if one does manage to show up, he might be just OK enough to stay). The Party is about joy - and whatever path you need to get there is OK.
This Party isn't just open to angels of Novalis - indeed, angels that need to show up here, do - they just find it, they go wandering off and eventually end up at Novalis' place, where they find a party that will fill them once again with joy and replenish their will to exist.
Novalis is able to learn quite a lot from the Party, as those who are experiencing true joy after years of fighting in the trenches tend to have extremely loose tongues. Novalis doesn't miss a beat; nothing escapes her notice, not a single word, not a shade of phrasing. She's able to keep it all in her head without writing it down, without even wrinkling her brow. She runs her whole show from the Party, seemingly never lifting a finger to do a lick of work, until people find out she's been working overtime after hours when re-runs of "The Monkees" were on the Flowervision, a large-screen TV that Novalis allowed a few Ofanim of Jean to install after a particularly long night of charades. She’ll do anything to keep the Party rolling. Novalis' Servitors are in constant contact with her. She keeps responding to their requests all night long like a TV producer in a busy newsroom.
There is never a single hard stone or thorn to stick the foot in the Glades' neatly tended grass paths. As long as you keep to the path, you don't have to wear shoes wherever you go. The air is filled with fragrant flowers, and just by rotating slowly, closing your eyes and following your nose, you can find your favorite smell, your favorite floral scent. Just keep walking and eventually you'll be standing in a meadow or arbor or jungle full of your most beloved blossoms. Finding your way back to the center of things is not hard either - just keep your ears out for the Party, which is never hard to find if you're looking for it. If you want to find a place to lie down, sleep, relax, or even make love, you can find it just by keeping your desire clear in your head and walking through the Glade's many paths. As long as you carry peace in your heart, the Glade will provide you with your needs. The air is never too cold - occasionally it gets rather warm but a cool breeze is never far away. Occasionally it rains, a short drenching rain that feeds the root systems of the plants, but then is suddenly over. There are never storms unless someone truly desires them, and then they are more like meteorological light shows than actual storms. Time does not exist here, it is only night when the Party decides that it's time for it to get dark, or if Novalis thinks the flowers need it. Then bioluminescent flowers light up to show you the way along the paths.
The Thorn Labyrinth: This boxwood hedge maze is immense and is a favorite place for Novalis to 'get away from it all' while in Heaven. The more intellectually minded angels enjoy threading its paths, and the more romantically inclined find its nooks and crannies to be a perfect private wooing spot.
The Pool of Peace: This is perhaps the most utilitarian place in the Glade; some say it’s not even in the Glade, but away in the Endless Forests somewhere. Away from the Party, it is a quiet place of simple stone and little decoration. It is a place that Novalis uses to mediate for peace, and to receive Archangel visitors. The pool will reveal scenes to illustrate whatever Novalis talks about, and she frequently uses it to get her point across.
The Memorial Garden: All angels who have Fallen, been Outcast, or have had their Forces disbanded are remembered here. The black roses are the Fallen, the periwinkles are the Outcast, and the white orchids are the Disbanded. By touching each blossom gently, one may receive a vision of the angel who is being remembered. A Servitor of Novalis always guards this place.
Each Servitor of Novalis has a little lawn all to himself, planted with flowers to reflect his personality and status. No one disturbs the Servitors in their personal gardens - it's not a law, just a custom.
The Host of Flowers are the party Queens and Kings of Heaven. With Eli gone, there is no one who can even remotely touch them in the entertainment department. They also have the best success at getting their angels and other angels to snap out of Trauma - often just letting the Traumatized angel walk among the Glade for a while is enough to bring them back to themselves.
Novalis has no domicile of her own - she does sleep, perchance to dream - but usually does so wherever she is in the Glade, just curls up like a cat on the soft turf and sleeps.
Hasheriel, Seraph Master of Peace, Steward of the Glade
It's rumored that Novalis and Hasheriel (called "Hash" by his friends) are lovers, but nobody is rude enough to come out and mention it or ask about it. Hash governs gently when Novalis is away or busy. He is the Green Man to her Mother Goddess, the Oak to her Willow, the Bird-of-Paradise to her Rose - a perfect match. Both share an infinite love for the Glade, although Hash is more into the Party than he is into Flowers. He does love trees, however. His very presence is enough to guard and defend the Glade while Novalis is gone, although she is rarely long away from him.
Here, the Endless Forest becomes huge, ancient oak trees that stretch to the sky. The private elite army of Michael trains and camps at the roots, there is a treehouse village in the branches, and beneath David's Servitors dwell.
From amongst the Endless Forest: You catch the cook-fires of the Michaeline army beneath the trees first, then before you know it you are challenged by warriors who question you and thoroughly examine you before letting you get closer. They escort you to the Watch captain, who will decide what to do with you next.
Michael's Servitors have their hearts in the hollow of a tree, protected by an armed guard at all times. They materialize from Earth inside one of these, and are instantly debriefed by a Watch officer.
Janus' Servitors arrive in the treetops blown upon the wind, lighting near their Hearts that are fixed to help provide light. They are the only Servitors who can fly in the Endless Forest, moving like the wind through the trees.
David's Servitors all have a silent cavern all their own in which to manifest and store there hearts.
From elsewhere in Heaven: Generally people arrive from David's Lightrail station and climb stairs to the foot of the trees. After passing a Michaeline security checkpoint, they can then either ascend to Janus' Wind Village or make their way among the troops at the roots.
David's staging area is the vast stone cavern that exists beneath the Groves. The roots of the trees make their way down and curl in here and there. David's silent legion moves through this area, taking their orders through the vibrations that David creates in the living rock.
Michael's staging area is the Parade Ground beneath the trees, where Michael's command tent is located. Nobody gets in or out of the area of the tent without being challenged. Michael (when he is in Heaven) doesn't have time to see everyone who needs to see him.
In David's caverns, the air is moist and thick and heavy, filled with a mineral tang and the steam from geothermal heat. No time passes in this subterranean world.
At the foot of the oaks in Michael's domain, the earth has been torn up by repeated drills and exercises from Michael's troops. The smell of sweat and exertion (even Angelic exertion) is common here. The days pass long and hard, the nights are short, cold and harsh.
In the branches of the trees, where Janus rules, life seems different. The day passes lazily, the nights are cool but pleasant, and the roof of Heaven is painted with the beautiful artwork of the stars. A breeze blows continuously at all times keeping off some if not all of the heat.
The Abyss of the Past: A deep hole, deeper than any other hole in Heaven, is here. It is supposed to sink straight down into Hell, but no one has been brave or stupid enough to actually find out for sure. For some reason (surely because of the tremendous winds which blow up out of the hole), Janus has asked to supply Servitors to guard this abyss, lest anyone should fall in.
The Cavern of Edible Jewels: This deep cavern is home to some of the strangest foods in Heaven - edible minerals that fetch extremely high prices in Marc's marketplace.
The Roots of the World: It's said that anyone who passes through this twisting network of caves and passages can find their way to Earth, although they almost have to be a Servitor of David or a phenomenal spelunker to even try.
The Course: David uses this underground network of caverns to test his Servitors. It is a grueling physical travail, filled with challenges and tests of strength. Those who do not pass the Course within a certain number of tries are considered lesser Servitors and are not given the choice assignments on Earth. This elitism fuels David's diamond-hard perfectionism.
In Michael's domain:
The Stump: Due to a freak accident by Janus a few years ago, one of the great trees was accidentally felled. Michael's men cleared it out and hollowed out the stump - and then a Cherub of Janus showed up one day and opened a bar in it. The bar is closed when the Cherub is out of town and can't find someone to cover for him. The Michaelines use it as an informal meeting place, but it is one of the roughest dives in Heaven - perhaps only beaten by Eli's Bar (see The Misty Lands, below).
The Hanging Tree: Michael doesn't truck with Discord. He likes to hang his servitors by the neck for several days by this particular tree, which has the effect of seeping the Discord right out of them while simultaneously giving them a terrible headache and reducing them by one Corporeal Force. Such is life among the Michaelines.
Among Janus' domain:
The Tree-Top Café: Janus' Servitors commiserate in this open air cafe, where birds sing and they can recount tales of their glorious adventures. An Ofanim of Novalis supplies the food and drink - which is why it is the closest thing to "fast food" in Heaven.
The Trampoline of Doom: A taunt canvas strung between the trees, this is a favorite place for Janus Servitors to show off and be reckless.
Kite Riding: There is a place among the treetops that is so windy that you can actually string someone out on a kite and the wind will support them. This is a favorite of Bodhisattvas, who frequently wish they could fly.
The Dorm: Janus has thrown together a multiple-story dwelling here for the bodhisattvas, all of whom prefer the view and would rather live in the Groves than in the holy squalor of the Eternal City or renting a tent in Marc's Park.
Each of David's Servitors dwell in cavern complexes shaped like barracks until they prove themselves in the Course, then they are allowed to have their own private quarters. Servitors of Distinction live nearer to David's underground gallery and have softer beds.
The Host of Stone is taciturn and difficult. They don't suffer fools or parties lightly. Needless to say, they don't get along well with Novalis' Servitors, although if they would just learn to lighten up, Novalis is sure they'd find they had a lot in common. They do not deal well with their Traumatized , sending them to Michael to 'fix' (who usually sends them to Novalis, who knows what she's doing).
David dwells in a cold stone grey chamber that is acoustically tuned so he can hear any vibrations in his entire network of caverns. He keeps watch here, never sleeping, constantly aware of his Servitors wherever they are - as long as they are in touch with the Earth.
When you work for Michael, you sleep on the ground under the trees. You have no fixed address. You don't expect creature comforts - you learn to let the discomfort harden you. Michael's Servitors work hard and they also party hard, frequently attending blow-outs at the Stump (and this is the only time when Novalis' Servitors can stand them).
The Host of War takes care of their own - even if it means escorting them directly to another Archangel's Servitor to have them healed from Trauma.
Michael's Tent is the only mostly permanent structure on the floor of the Groves, and it is Tethered to all his Tethers on Earth. He's frequently not there, but when he is there you can occasionally catch a glimpse of the models of fighting ships and paintings of great battles that are constantly on display in a rotating fashion inside the tent.
Janus' Servitors make their home in the branches of the trees, frequently sleeping in boughs during the night. They are like a group of Lost Boys, with Janus as their Peter Pan.
The Host of the Wind is lackadaisical and mostly carefree - and anyway they don't stay around Heaven long enough to settle down into any pattern. Their Traumatized usually wonder Heaven until someone finds them and helps them - Janus is too concerned with his own travels to take notice of one of his fallen number.
Janus has a large tree house that was built at considerable expense that he rarely even visits, let alone stays in overnight.
No regular Steward serves here - Michael and David are in the habit of appointing different Servitors of theirs to serve as Steward each time they leave so that all of their people get a well-rounded experience. Janus is apparently too irresponsible to appoint a Steward.
Except for those Cathedrals that physically join each other (The Eternal City and Yves' Library, for example), all Cathedrals are separated from each other by the Mists. The Mists are what allows all Cathedrals to have near-infinite space on their interior, but still be a separate and distinct area in Heaven. The Mists are fairly difficult to navigate through - even with a very high Perception many angels get lost - which was the original reason behind the Shepherds. Since Jean's Lightrail system was put into place, however, many prefer that method of travel than flying or walking through the Mists. In the old days, travel by the Road or the River was the safest and quickest way to navigate through the Mists, unless you had a special Celestial means to find your way. Leaving a Cathedral is simply a matter of intention once you leave the confines of a building within it - you simply will yourself to find the Mists and you've departed. The Archangels have learned (at Yves' tutelage) to shape the Mists into flows that direct travelers along certain paths once they get close to a Cathedral. This is why many travelers arrive at the same place time and again, instead of just happening upon the Cathedral by accident.
Outside of the mass of Heaven with its Cathedrals are the Misty Lands. These represent places of pure potential that have been affected by human aspirations - they are not created by the Archangels, even if a few of them have visited and reinforced the reality there (several Misty Lands owe their continued existence to Eli spending Essence on them over the years). Below are a few brief descriptions of Misty Lands to be found in Heaven.
A place of quiet meditation within perfect harmony, this beautiful mountaintop monastery is home to a few bodhisattvas and angels of Solitude who continue to seek enlightenment by sitting zazen all day and night. The snow falls, they sit. The rain comes, they sit. No one can stop them from meditating.
Formed perhaps out of the collective dreams of many children, this is an amusement park that is open for free. It is equipped with never-ceasing rollercoasters of every kind: wooden, steel, looping, overhead-track. There is never a line no matter how many attendees the park has. Yves likes this place for some reason and is a frequent visitor.
Off to the side, off of HH-1, there is an old dive of a bar. If you don't know what to watch for, you won't be able to see it as your Lightdriven auto rockets past. The original creator didn't want it to be easy to find. Eli's Bar was created by the Archangel of Creation and if there was a place in Heaven where it was more likely that you would find him, it would be there. Servitors of Eli who aren't serving other Superiors keep in touch by frequenting the bar - many of them have acquired Lightcycles to keep up with travel out to the Bar (many grumble under their breath that the Boss has finally gone out in the deep end). Even if you can't find Eli here, you can find a number of Angels of Creation, all of them willing to help you, for a price.
Ultimately, Heaven is not meant to keep your angels occupied for too long. Remember -it's just the Front Office, not the Last Reward for the angels. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:
Don't let your players buy just anything in Marc's marketplace. Although it says that "anything may be purchased there", keep some concept of the story about you.
Each place in Heaven is distinct and special - treat it that way. Try to encourage roleplay that is concurrent with the Cathedral you're visiting (i.e. very polite for Laurence, gregarious for Novalis, respectful for Yves).
Use Heaven sparingly - the real juice is the War back on Earth. Scenes in Heaven should only serve to improve the storyline on Earth.