In Nomine: Houston


History | Maps & Regions | Tethers
Celestial Politics | Celestial Personalities | Bibliography & Links

History


Houston, even during its early stages has never had much celestial influence, and despite its growth was never determined as being important to the War. Celestials have passed through, and there have been various presences both heavenly and infernal, but it was not until the early 1950 that two celestial powers truly made a claim for the city. Marc and Mammon have had their fingers in Houston since then, although they had trouble keeping their hands on the city during the oil glut and economic downturn of the 1970's and early 80's.

While the two financiers of the celestials were struggling keep their small hold of the city during the recession, another Archangel came into some power due to the nearby National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA). NASA's Johnson Space Center not only had an economic tie to its larger neighbor, but even in the 1960's in many people's eyes the two already were one. "Houston, we have a problem." Jean grew into Houston, spreading his influences throughout the city, seeing where they would take hold. Rice University was an ideal location for the Elohite Archangel, and the servitors of Lightning placed in the city have successfully managed to keep the servants of Vapula at bay.

In the mid 1980's the final celestial controller of Houston managed to artfully craft his way in. Topless bars were becoming popular in the re-growing city, extremely popular. After 5 years, Houston had managed to work its way up to becoming one of the nations havens for Sexually Operated Businesses, and Andrealphus took hold. Lust and Greed argued with each other for a while as to what really ran most S.O.B.'s until the two came to a truce. Now most topless clubs are considered communal property, with the occasional exceptions, and all other S.O.B.'s feed essence directly to the Prince of Lust.

The forces that have gained power in Houston are not dedicated to the War itself, rather they are dedicated to using Houston to further their words. The only conflict in Houston is between Marc and Mammon, and the two contest each other subtly, even imperceptibly, each using bureaucracy as their primary weapon. This is to the displeasure of the war factions of both Heaven and Hell, however none of the war factions have ever been able to maintain a presence in the town.

Despite the seemingly even ranking of power in Houston, even the powers within the city are relatively minor and concentrated on specific areas. Houston remains a relatively celestial-free area, compared to other cities with equal economic, national, or global influence.

For a comprehensive mortal history and time line of Houston go to Historic Houston.



Maps & Regions


Houston Map | Inner-Houston Map
The only way to get around Houston is by automobile. Though Houston does have METRO, its public bus system, a car is simply a necessity in the city. Travel time in Houston varies from region to region, however during peak hours (6:30 - 10:00 AM and 3:30 - 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday) add 20+2d minutes per region. There is also a 1 in 6 chance (6 on 1d) that the route being taken in a region will be under construction, slowed by an accident, or befallen to a natural disaster; if this is the case then the travel time is can be doubled (1-4 on 1d) or tripled (5 or 6 on 1d)!

1. Downtown
Travel Time (in minutes): 10
Though not exactly a tourist draw for Houston, the downtown area is host to most of the energy traders (those who make up the economy of Houston) within the city. Downtown Houston also includes the major courthouses, police stations and military recruiting offices as well as having multiple convention centers (most prominently: the George R. Brown) and a number of the major theaters. The area is laid out like a grid of alternating one-way streets. Travel within downtown is often done by foot, on the sidewalks of the street or the underground walkways that spread from one end of downtown to the other, as parking with the region is expensive ($6.50 to $25.00 per hour).
A recent addition to downtown is Enron Field, the newest sporting field. It is the cities hope that this will promote growth within to downtown. While both Mammon and Marc look at the new construction and estimate it's uses, it is rumored that no superior has profited from it at all (including Nybbas).

2. Memorial & The Heights
Travel Time (in minutes): 20
This region is mostly comprised of housing and parks, most noticeably Memorial Park. The south end of this region also includes important sections of Houston's commerce, including Compaq Center, a small arena where both sporting events and concerts are held.

3. Galleria
Travel Time (in minutes): 30
One of the most travelled and visited regions of Houston, this area is host to it's namesake. The Galleria is Houston's trendiest (and most expensive) indoor shopping centers (it's too good to be called a mall). The region itself includes other shopping areas, eateries, night clubs, and a lot of traffic.

4. Rice & The Medical Center
Travel Time (in minutes): 20
While the Medical Center and Rice University are often thought of as different entities, both the populace and the areas within the entities constantly overlap. Rice University includes the campus itself as well as "the Village", another large and trendy shopping area (although outdoors). The Medical Center is a collection of nearby hospitals and medical research facilities. This region also includes the Astrodome and Astroworld.

5. Montrose
Travel Time (in minutes): 10
Montrose is named after one of the streets that run through the area. This is the home to a number of Houston's struggling artists, college students, and slackers. Montrose holds a vast number of independent coffee shops, restaurants, tattoo parlors, and night-clubs, thriving on those that are their late teens to early thirties and follow the popular sub-cultures. Montrose is also known for it's homosexual population and looked down upon by many Houstonians, however for those in the area (and many in Rice, Bellaire and the Galleria) it's also seen as home to some of the nicest people (...a bit weird, but nice).

6. Northwest Houston
Travel Time (in minutes): 30
Neighborhoods, shopping centers and other daily living makes up this region. It is also home to the offices Compaq, one of the larger companies in Houston.

7. Port of Houston (the Ship Channel)
Travel Time (in minutes): 20
The Port of Houston is the eighth largest port in the world. The port ranks first in the United States in foreign waterborne commerce and second in total tonnage. Though there is not much in the way of housing and development, the Port of Houston is another major source of commerce for the city.

8. Bellaire
Travel Time (in minutes): 15
Bellaire was a suburb of Houston, although as the city expanded Bellaire became surrounded. It has retained the feel of american suburbia even in the midst of the city, however.

9. Northeast Houston
Travel Time (in minutes): 30
Northeast Houston is largely made up of small neighborhoods and industrial complexes.

10. East Houston
Travel Time (in minutes): 25
East Houston comprises some of the Ship Channel, and is primarily made up of warehouses and industrial complexes.

11. Southeast Houston
Travel Time (in minutes): 25
This region is rather underdeveloped. It has some older housing projects as well as some warehouses, but not much else.

12. Pasadena
Travel Time (in minutes): 20
Pasadena could be considered a small town in its own right. Like Bellaire, Houston grew up around it. It is also home to the majority of Houston's major oil refineries.

13. Missouri City & Southwest Houston
Travel Time (in minutes): 30
This area is made up of neighborhoods and small communities.

14. Greenspoint
Travel Time (in minutes): 30
Due to its proximity to the 5th Ward, Greenspoint has been associated with gangs, though in the past few years the streets in the area have been cleaned up. It is home to one of Houston's oldest malls, Greenspoint Mall. The primary cause for traffic in the area is the nearby George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Houston's largest airport.

15. Sugarland
Travel Time (in minutes): 20
Sugarland is a suburb of Houston, like Bellaire.

16. 5th Ward
Travel Time (in minutes): 25
Like Greenspoint, the 5th Ward was once overrun with gangs, however the area has been getting better over the years.



Tethers

Angelic
Citibank
Near the heart of Downtown is an office building owned by Citibank. Not only are transactions between mortals made in this bank, but Houston's most powerful angelic tether is here. Rumors also have it that the Seneschal and Mercurian Master of Finances also maintains a small Essence bank on the corporeal plane that is open to angelic and diabolic forces alike. However, though Valentine (the Mercurian) has been brought to trial for this before this supposed Essence cache has never been discovered. Valentine is most likely Houston's most powerful angel, and though she does try to keep an eye on all the celestial happenings, it is rare that she actively participates in the War outside the role of an advisor.

AA Energy
On the 5th floor of Greenway Plaza 5 (Located on the southernmost portion of the Memorial region) is a small office in which energy trading occurs. Amongst the traders is Deniel, the Seraph of Trade who is Seneschal to the tether and the Angel of Houston Energy Trading. Deniel is one of the most influential angels of Houston, however he tends to focus primarily on maintaining Houston's second most powerful angelic tether and thwarting agents of Mammon who have involved themselves in energy trading than on the celestial goings-on.

23 Research Laboratories
23 Research Laboratories is a small genetics laboratory in the Medical Center. The Elohite Seneschal there, Eddus (You can call him "Ed" if it's any easier for you.) maintains the only angelic tether in Houston that does not belong to Marc. Eddus keeps an eye on the research there and in the surrounding area to help insure that Vapula has not dipped his hand into the pot and to insure that the humans are progressing at a reasonable pace.

Infernal
The Men's Club
Hell's strongest tether is one of the largest and higest priced strip clubs in Houston. What is suprising to most of the diabolicals new to the city is that the strip club is not a tether of Lust. Rather, Mammon owns this particular tether, as well as having a strong hold on the surrounding Galleria area. Houston's most powerful demon resides in this tether. Pfenzi, who goes by the name of Sebastian Burk, is not only Seneschal, but holds the Word of Strip Clubs. He is more interested in insuring the dances are interested in the money than the lust they help foster, however it is rumored that he has received an attunement or two from Andrealphus as well for a job well done. Pfenzi has helped Houston grow into the nation's capitol of sexually orientated businesses. Pfenzi also keeps in contact with Lauren, Demon of Strippers (who is currently in Austin) [See Revelations I: Night Music] to discuss additional ideas to keep the money flowing in. Though the Demon Prince of Lust has a tether in Houston, most Lusties find themselves working under Pfenzi.

Gulfcurrents
There is a small energy trading company located in the north end of the Rice University Village that despite how many people it cheats remains quite popular. This is Mammon's second tether in Houston and is run by Syril a Balseraph of Greed. The liar both encourages greed in corporations and maintains a healthy profit-base for both the serpent and his superior. The Seneschal has been dedicated to removing Marc's presence here but, due to the lack of support from Pfenzi, has barely managed to maintain even footing with the somewhat cooperative angels of Trade in the area. Syril is positive that with additional support and funds from Mammon he can take over Houston. Mammon, however, refuses to let Syril play with his toys.

Eastern Pleasures
A large tether in it's own right, Eastern Pleasures is an all-nude massage parlor frequented by males who have no interest in a massage at all. Andrealphus owns this Northwest Houston tether and has given Mylayyya, a Shedite Captain of Diabolical Delight, the responsibility of Seneschal after the last demon was sent into trauma from a cadre of Malakim seeking to destroy the tether came through. For the past five years Mylayyya has kept Eastern Pleasures stocked with clientele, and has often spoken with Pfenzi and encouraged new types of business for him.



Celestial Politics

The Host

The Host has never had a strong presence in the city, but due to the volume of energy trading within Houston, Marc has become the ranking archangel within Houston. Also, over the years, with the rise of NASA and Rice University in (and near) Houston, the Archangel of Lightening has established a tether as well. Below are the various archangels' opinions of the large city with the small celestial presence.

Blandine
The Archangel of Dreams tends to only focus on Houstonians who enter the Marches and not on the city directly. While there are a few places that offer dreams, to her the city is entrenched too deeply in trade and dreams of money.

Christopher
Christopher keeps an eye on the children of Houston, and though not entirely satisfied with the school system is pleased at the moral values of the number of children living in the bible-belt. He may have a minor presence in Houston, but his servitors (if any) are unknown to the other celestials of Houston.

David
David likes Houston, deep down the inhabitants of the city have a strong pride about where they live and band together in times of crisis. Also, he's kept an eye on the city because of it's geological research. The archangel of Stone is known to have a few servitors in the area at all times, to both keep an eye on diabolicals and help Houstonians grow as a group.

Dominic
Dominic's main agenda in Houston is to determine wether the rumor that has lasted since the mid 1950's is true. Does Valentine keep an Essence bank within the Tether of Trade, and more importantly: does this rumored bank deal with demons? Dominic frequently sends his triads into Houston to both keep an eye on the Master of Finances and other angels in the area. However the triads rotate quickly enough that they're minor inconveniences to the celestial inhabitants of Houston, at best.

Eli
Eli went on walkabout while Houston was still in it's major growth phases. He may or may not have a presence in the city. It is entirely unknown.

Gabriel
Gabriel has had a few servitors in Houston from time to time, but she herself pays little attention to the city.

Janus
Janus almost always has a few agents in Houston, to insure that the city does not stagnate with the current nitpicky archangels who hold the power in Houston. Generally a servitor or two flies in, disrupts the trade for both Marc and Mammon, knocks over a few demons and is on their way.

Jean
Jean has a interest in the scientific growth within Houston and has remained satisfied that Vapula has gained little hold on the city. He insures that there is a presence at Rice University at all times, and trusts Eddus to insure that medical research is not getting too far ahead of its time.

Jordi
Jordi is displeased with the constant battle Houston fights with the swampland that used to be where the city sits. Millions of insects are killed on a yearly basis. Also, due to the large number of strays in the city, many animals are being put to sleep in the prime of their life. Jordi has maintained a small presence within the city with the hopes that the swamp can take its place back.

Khalid
Khalid has little to no presence in Houston. The city is in the bible-belt and the Christian religion is predominant.

Laurence
While the Sword is pleased with the Christian majority in Houston, he is not fond that the War is not being actively fought here. Though he has sent his agents into the city before, they have always received minimal to no help from most other angels. Laurence refuses to give up, however and every year or so new agents are sent down.

Litheroy
The Archangel of Revelation does not maintain any presence in Houston at all. If he did, I'm sure we would know about it.

Marc
Marc is the power in Houston, and he has been pleased with the growth of trade in the area. The only thorn in his side has been the Demon Prince of Greed, however he knows that he must cautiously remove Mammon's hooks from the city, lest he deter trade as well.

Michael
Michael is extremely annoyed that Houston is being governed by the bureaucrats of Heaven and does not actively participate in the War. However he has forced himself to let Laurence handle the problem until his guidance is asked for. This does not stop him from suggesting his servitors to "bust a few hell-heads" when passing through or around the city.

Mihir
The youngest Archangel desires to uphold his Word everywhere, but is unsure of where to begin when it comes to self-contained (celestially) Houston. There are the occasional servitors of his sent through, but most of the progress made in his name is through the people themselves.

Novalis
Novalis is pleased that Houston has no active fighting amongst the celestials, but is worried about the city itself. While not particularly violent, the inhabitants of Houston are passive about peace and do not genuinely encourage it. She has placed some servants in Galveston to watch both cities.

Tamiel
Tamiel keeps an eye on Houston, watching over NASA and the Port of Houston. But, the Archangel of the Deep is more of a Houston standby than an actual presence in Houston. Her agents can be found in Houston, if looked for, but are far more common in Houston's southern neighbor.

Yves
Yves has been disappointed that Houston appears to be a "middle-road" city, with few people reaching for their Destiny. His only comfort is that even fewer people head toward their Fate. Yves tries to keep a servitor or two in the area at all times, but his strength here is minimal.

Zadkiel
The Archangel of Protection has little to no known influence in Houston.

The Horde

Like the Host, the Horde's power in Houston has never been large. In fact, it is now probably the strongest it has ever been. Mammon and Andrealphus have the strongest hold on the city, both through the large number of sexually orientated business, though Mammon has risen above the Prince of Lust by maintaining his word in the city-spanning business of energy trade.

Abatha
The Princess of Madness did not see a large use in the city of Houston until a servant of hers, a Calabite called Pitt, started putting the freeway systems of Houston to use. His use. And now, though her influence in Houston is small, Abatha does have some power in the City.

Alaemon
If Alaemon has any influence or power in Houston, he's kept them quite a secret.

Andrealphus
Andrealphus is the second most powerful diabolic figure in Houston and he's trying to become the first. He and Mammon have worked well together in Houston with minimal overlap and the Prince of Lust is not eager to break the alliance between them, there's too much risk of loosing power in doing so. All things considered, Andrealphus is quite pleased with the direction Houston is heading in and hopes that it spreads out even faster.

Asmodeus
The Prince of the Game might not like the two powers of Houston, but he has to admit that the two have kept their servitors in line in Houston. While mildly annoyed at the silent conflict between the Host and the Horde, Asmodeus has decided that such a conflict is better than something that would attract the attention of Heaven's more powerful archangels. He does keep an eye on Houston at all times, however just in case.

Baal
Baal can't stand the sniveling way the celestial forces in Houston snip and jab at each other while never doing any damage, however he understands that the hold they have on the city is weak and can easily slip. To that end, he only complains and focuses his attention on other cities, doing his best to ignore Houston completely.

Beleth
Beleth had no interest in Houston until Abatha began to gain power there. Now, the Princess of Nightmares feels mildly threatened by her former servitor. She has not made any moves toward Houston yet, however.

Belial
Belial sends his servants through from time to time to light things up and get back out. He has no real hold on the city, however.

Fleurity
Where there are a plethora of night-clubs, strippers, and artists there is a need for drugs, right? Fleurity has a mild amount of power in Houston and has two to three dealers in the city at all times.

Furfur
What minor power Furfur had in Houston was usurped by Abatha and her pet Calabite, Pitt. The newly crowned Prince of Hardcore is pissed about this, but has decided to wait until Abatha gains a little more power before he pulls the rug out from the Princess and reclaims his power base back, with interest.

Haagenti
There are a number of restaurants in Houston that Haagenti's minions frequent, but the Prince of Gluttony does not have a real hunger for the city yet.

Kobal
Servitors of Dark Humor have been known to show up in Houston from time to time for a laugh, but Kobal does not seem to have any real or immediate interest in the city.

Kronos
Kronos has gained a few sorcerers in Houston over the years, however he has been disappointed overall in Houston, as even the sorcerers have only dragged themselves down to their Fate.

Lilith
Houston intrigues this former Human, it has a fierce independence and city pride that she respects. She is delicately and slowly increasing the number of Temptresses in the city, entrusting them to Mammon or Andrealphus, but has no real hold in the city as of yet.

Malphas
Malphas is less concerned about the people of Houston as he is the growing bond between Andrealphus and Mammon, he does not want to hand the Host the city on a platter, so works slowly to insert other, less stable powers, into Houston as he begins to chip at the power structure between Lust and Greed.

Mammon
Mammon loves Houston. While it might not have the neatest toys, there is a lot of money in Houston and it can be acquired in some of the best ways. The only thorn in his side is the Archangel of Trade. However, war is not Mammon's style, so he slowly acquires market by market, hoping that eventually he'll have bought Marc out.

Nybbas
Even despite the new Enron Field Nybbas has not been that interested in Houston. He has his agents show up from time to time to check things out and liven things up, but for the most part the Prince of Media is unimpressed with the city.

Rahab
Rahab has a minor presence in Houston, due to his agents in Galveston.

Saminga
Saminga has one agent in Houston that has brought him a minor amount of power. The Prince of Death is unconcerned with Houston, though he wishes more people would die there - and faster.

Valefor
There have been a few Thieves in town from time to time, but Mammon tends to have all the good items locked too tight in his clutches. The Prince of Theft isn't too concerned with Houston, though. It'll be stolen away from Mammon soon enough.

Vapula
Vapula has seen potential in Houston's many research centers but so far has been thwarted by Jean at every step. The Prince of Technology wants to have a hold in the city, but has yet to make it happen.



Celestial Personalities

Angelic

Ardalphon, Kyriotate of Lightning
Ardalphon is one of the major influences that keeps Vapula at bay. The Domination is all about the city, but can usually be found returning to Rice University. He has taken after the many role-players of Houston and read some of the Knights of the Dinner Table comics. He uses the phrase "Hoody Hoo!" to help other angels identify him.

Verrel, Cherub of Stone
Verrel has been in Houston for about 15 years now and has kept David's presence relatively strong within the city. He maintains the role of a geologist, but has also been known to help organize rallies and events in Houston.

Tallus, Kyriotate of Animals
The Domination of Animals is Jordi's latest attempt to help return Houston to the swampland it was. Though celestials know of his presence, they have a hard time differentiating between him and the swarms of mosquitos, gnats and wood roaches that live in Houston.

Zela, Ofanite of the Deep
Zela zips from the Ship Channel to NASA to Galveston, keeping watch over all three areas. She helps angels (especially the servitors of Jean), when she can, but because of her travels and her nature can not be counted on to lend assistance for more than a day.

Infernal

Pitt, Calabite of Madness
Pitt is one of Abatha's first created servitors--which still leaves him relatively young. He noticed the freeway construction in Houston during its initial development and came in to help with the construction notes, helping to cause a distinct lack of flow when it came to traffic. He often hangs around freeways creating potholes that need to be repaired, giving cars that extra push to crash, and disabling lights near freeway exits. He wants to get the Word of Freeway Gridlock, but figures he has a couple more years of having fun before it'll happen.
Expanded Character Sheet

Zaxl, Shedite of Death, Demon of Air Pollution
Zaxl made a name for himself in the early 1900's by assisting in the development of paper plants and has been furthering his Word ever since. The large population of Houston and the need for cars was just one of the reasons he came. The second reason was Pasadena. Combine the two and it's no wonder that Houston has some of the worst air pollution in the U.S. Zaxl is the reason that Saminga has any name at all in Houston, though to help appease his impatient Prince, the Shedite of Air Pollution will often request the aid from a passing servitor of Belial and create a fire or disaster at one of the many oil processing plants in Pasadena. This happens once or twice a year.

Kadiah, Habbalite of Drugs
Kadiah has been the most influential of Fluerty's servants in Houston in the drug industry. She works alongside the various servants of Mammon and Andrealphus and tends to focus her drug dealing to strippers and prostitutes, as well as their clientele. She is the most reliable of drug-dealers and has been seen wearing 5 pagers and talking on 2 cell phones at once - while driving.

Pimple, Gremlin of Dark Humor
Pimple is a young Gremlin, nowhere near fledging, but was given to Pitt as a "gift" from Kobal. Not even Pimple is sure if there was an alterior motive to his servitude to the Calabite, but is a prankster at heart and has a lot of fun working with the Destroyer.

Rash, Imp of The Game
Rash is one of Asmodeus's spies within Houston. However, he's also known as a connection between diabolicals. He tries to keep an eye on everyone coming into town and fit them with whoever he thinks they'd work best with. He points all demons of Fire to Pasadena and Zaxl.



Bibliography & Links


  • Houston is Houston's official page.

  • Historic Houston includes the most detailed history and time line of Houston available on the Web.

  • Houston Information is a concise list of Houston pages, compiled and hosted at Rice University.


    Credits: Erich Arendall

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