Vermillion is a Steve Jackson's In Nomine campaign of demons.
The theme of the game is need, desire. The setting, the city of Montréal in Québec.
The people of Montreal are working to live better lives, to further their own goals, to gain that which they lust after… There are those who would be readily lead around by the nose at the whisper of a chance of obtaining what they seek. While the fawning, grubbing, sycophants predominate, one might yet come across those who would destroy everything they have to keep anyone from having the object of their greed.
The city is a stronghold for several superiors on either side of the war. For the most part these superiors are fairly liberal and as such, the conflicts between angels and demons have been kept to a minimum.
The major words in Montreal are Stone, Creation, Fire, Flowers, Lust, Media and Gluttony. The main vessels of most of the celestial denizens are known among both sides. Furthermore, the city is not exclusive to the servitors of these superiors; there are free agents as well as key field agents from several superiors who
a) see the potential that the city has for their word
b) choose not to limit themselves to cities where their word flourishes already
c) want influence in the city in order to weaken someone else.
Stone: David's strength waxes and wanes with the seasons in Montreal. His word is at its height in the summer and winter months. The summer draws punks and vagrants from around the country and beyond. They band together and they work the streets. In the winter, the punks who stay behind are those who will not back down when faced with
30 degree weather. They are relatively few compared to the fat summer months, but they epitomize Stone. David's hold on the city is a little tenuous compared to others, but he makes sure that his people are well taken care of. His servitors are on the streets of Montreal, either living with them or making sure that they are fed and ready to fight the war. Needless to say, David is probably the most truculent of the superiors represented in the city.
Creation: Eli loves Montreal; its museums, its billions of venues, its multitude of festivals and the simple fact that innovation is not instantaneously synonymous with technology. The few of his Angels who are in the city live quiet existences. They are, for the most part, servitors who did not want to serve under anyone but Eli and thus retired to one of his favourite cities. Eli even still has an active tether in Montreal: a set of tenement buildings that are reserved for artists. Various agents from both sides have tried to have them torn down or turned into high cost condos, but to no avail. The love of the artist that was so carefully ingrained into the city's collective conscience has paid off nicely. Eli's people are not often seen, although their influence is well known. Anywhere that the creative vibrancy of Montreal has received a little nudge, you are likely to find someone who knows a guy who works for a guy who serves Eli. They are surprisingly well connected how else could a city possibly have so many festivals in a single year? Most importantly, they are the only one who can readily produce artefacts of all kinds. It is a bargaining chip that they use with the infernal and the divine.
Flowers: Novalis loves Canada's love of green spaces and its desire for peace. She is disappointed that it doesn't seem to be able to elect officials who reflect that. When it comes to Montreal, she is overjoyed to see how dedicated they all seem to be to peace and flowers, parks, gardens and forests. Montreal makes a joyful noise unto the Novalis with less violence that would be expected for a city its size and with so many different cultures. She also loves the club scene; its verve, the fact that at anytime of any day in Montreal, there are people dancing. Not something that is too common across the country. There is a rumour circulating at the moment that servitors of Flowers might be encouraging the consumption of marijuana and ecstasy in the city. Her servitors if asked laugh and state that Montreal did not need any divine help in accepting weed or E. They did that all by themselves. For the most part, said servitors are selling potted plants, or volunteering with MSF (medecins sans Frontiers) or other such happy, humanitarian/eco friendly activities.
Fire: Gabriel has been fighting a losing battle in Montreal. People had begun to tire of revolutions and the rights of others. Those who had been wronged were being disregarded in favour of money and people were too weary or self-absorbed to be passionate about anything. Happily, recent years have seen a new generation of militants, lovers and idealists slough off the indifference of the past generation. While there are those who are still more concerned with themselves than anyone else, the tide is certainly beginning change in Gabriel's favour. And if the physical sense of the word Fire is not flourishing in Montreal, her word still speaks to the malcontents and the oppressed, the victims and the saviours, the lovers and the furious. Her angels of fire have re-discovered the joy of being involved in student activism and human rights activism among the multitude of other causes that can be championed. There are still the odd few, who spend their time with young trouble men and women whose eyes glow with a feeling that they cannot quite explain when they watch the sensual licking of a tongue of flame, lovingly destroying that which sustains it.
Media: Nybbas has never fully appreciated the distinct cultures found in Montreal. What good is culture? It only takes away from the mind numbing qualities of TV. But even he underestimated his word. In a city where everyone wants their own voice to be heard, what better than television? What is more comforting that being able to watch the news of their people in their own language? Now there are hundreds of radio shows and thousands of newspapers and satellite and the net have only made things better. But the really draw of the city media-wise, is the province's obsession with maintaining the French language within it. This means that ANYTHING will be bolstered as long as it is in French. His demons have worked hard to ensure that even the dredges of French-language television and radio can be readily found. By playing on the fear of hindering freedom of speech as well as a love for a language and its heritage, they galvanised the industry and they hope to keep it cycling high.
Lust: Andrealphus hadn't given Montreal much though for several decades. The city was a little more liberated than some, a little less than others. She had placed some fairly reliable people there and figured that if they didn't make the city any more hostile to lust, she didn't have to pay them too much mind. He was pleased with his choice when the demons he sent proved far more resourceful than expected. With the (relatively unacknowledged) help of servitors of media, they've turned an average city into a city where a high school student and a prostitute shop at the same stores (and where the high school student might give the prostitute a venereal disease). But Andrealphus' servitors live and would die to pleasure him and the Montrealers being no exception, they have been heavily involved in the gay community and with any project that proposed to legalise or decriminalise sexual acts. They've also been quite clever in helping to encourage safe sex campaigns. The longer that people can have comfortable non-lethal sex, the better. Anything for Andre. Look for Nina Simone music to be a part of the theme of Lust.
Gluttony: As a tourist once asked: "Does anyone in Montreal ever cook?" The answer yes, but not often. There are restaurants galore in this city and while Haagenti didn't have anything to do with it, he certainly is taking advantage of it now. What still suprises the servitors of Haagenti is how fit the population has managed to remain despite their efforts. Gluttony is readily indulged, especially when one takes into account the amount of weed smoked in Montreal (does that mean that Haagenti might have to thank Novalis? Nah… that's just a rumor after all) but people still manage to stay active and do not eat the obscene amounts of ingeniously lethal foods (cheese in a can and deep-fried Mars bars anyone?) that their southern neighbors do. The servitors of Haagenti are happy to continue to serve the very best and the very worst of their fare to any who is willing to eat it… Interestingly, one of them has been seen around a certain soup kitchen, getting the homeless used to large quantities of quality food. What they plan on doing with these well fed bums afterwards is anyone's guess right now.
One thing is clear: Montreal is a pretty liberal city when it comes to the big players. These are not superiors who will smite their servitors simply because they didn't report in that day or because they had to make a quick deal with the other side to get a job done (although this is frowned upon at least a little). However angels of Dominic and demons of Asmodeus have been rumoured to be in Montreal at the moment preparing a major take down… separately of course. But so far, this remains hearsay from the cousin of a soldier of a friend of of this guy who knows an angel… but who puts any stock in rumors, right?