In Nomine Ottawa

Legal Notes: The material presented here is the creation of Rob Kelk with assistance of posters to the In Nomine forum at the Steve Jackson Games Forums, and is intended for use with the In Nomine system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games. This article and all photos within it are copyright © 2008 Rob Kelk; permission is granted to make a copy for personal non-commercial use only. All characters described in this article are fictional, and are not intended to represent or refer to any actual person.

Cultural Note: This is an adaptation of a real-world locale for roleplaying gaming purposes. As such, some details have been altered from reality in order to provide a more enjoyable gaming experience. Descriptions of locations and institutions in this material, while based (sometimes loosely) in real life, do not necessarily reflect the real-world places and bodies with the same names. Do not use this article as a travel guide.

Gaming Note: More so than usual for an In Nomine supplement, this setting deals with mature themes; specifically, it touches on political themes based on real-world politics. Players or Game Masters who do not feel comfortable including politics in their games should not use this setting as presented.


(Since this is intended for a local game, I haven't yet written an overview of the city's layout or politics for this page. The Wikipedia pages for Ottawa and Gatineau are decent starting points for these topics, although a visit to the city would be even better.)

Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the first G8 nation in recent history with repeated balanced budgets, which pleases Marc. The institutions of Ottawa can exert subtle influence on the USA and NATO; certainly they did when the Cold War essentially started in Ottawa in September 1945. Yves and Kronos fight a shadow war near the halls of power (as they do in all federal capitals), keeping this in mind.

The city's institutions aren't all political; there's a large high-tech community nicknamed "Silicon Valley North" in Ottawa, currently in decline as the multinationals move their operations to less-expensive parts of the world. Jean and Vapula are both scaling down operations here as so many of the companies' local operations change focus from centres of innovation to bureaucratic lobbying houses and suppliers of equipment to the government, but neither Superior is completely abandoning the field to his opposite number.

Ottawa and Gatineau, taken together, form the second-largest city on the border between French-speaking Canada and English-speaking Canada (after Montréal). David and Malphas are at odds trying to bring Canada's "two solitudes" closer together or farther apart, respectively, and Ottawa-Gatineau is an important battleground in this struggle.

Active Superiors

Almost all Superiors have at least some interest in Ottawa - it's a federal capital, after all - but some are more active than others.

Malphas and Lilith are currently stronger than David in federal politics, and the two Demon Princes share a stranglehold on local politics with Mammon on the Ottawa side of the river.

Novalis, with Jordi's assistance, keeps the city's Greenbelt (a large zone of agricultural and forested land around the city's older sections) and Gatineau Park (Gatineau's largest recreational park) safe.

Ottawa has a reputation for boredom; when it comes to entertainment, most of the city still rolls up the sidewalks at night. However, Ottawa's folk, jazz, blues, and fringe festivals have all blossomed in recent years, the local "slam" poetry and hip-hop scenes are also growing, and there are small but talented animation and live-action film industries in the city. While Furfur has virtually written off Ottawa (preferring to concentrate on Montréal, just down the road), Eli has been quietly nudging quite a few of his Servitors toward the city.

As mentioned earlier, Yves and Kronos have an interest in the Destinies and Fates of politicians and of Canada, David and Malphas fight over the city's linguistic duality, and Jean and Vapula are both scaling down operations in the area.

And Fleurity and Andrealphus each have a few Servitors in town to promote their respective Words, as they do in all large cities ... but so does Dominic.


Ottawa's known Tethers are all public areas; this can cause problems if somebody needs to Ascend quickly or work off Dissonance.

The Parliamentary Library

The Parliamentary Library

Everyone who takes the Parliament Hill tour hears about the fire of 1916 that destroyed the original Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings, and how quick thinking by Michael MacCormac kept "The Most Beautiful Room in Canada" intact and the books within it safe. Many tourists believe it was the Parliamentary Library's destiny to survive, and thus it has become a permanent Tether to Yves' Library. Recent renovations were undertaken with an eye to preserve the original structure, only strengthening the Tether. Sepharad, the Tether's Mercurian seneschal, has a Role as junior librarian Robyn Shephard.

Sepharad easily thwarted a Belialite's attempt to "complete the job" and destroy both the Library and the Tether in 1952, but was unable to soul-kill the demon. This occasionally worries her.

Seneschal of the Library of Parliament
Mercurian Vassal of Destiny

Corporeal Forces - 3Strength 5Agility 7
Ethereal Forces - 5Intelligence 11Precision 9
Celestial Forces - 5Will 9Perception 11

Suggested Word Forces - 3

Vessel: Human Female/3

Role: "Robyn Shephard," Librarian/3, Status 3

Skills: Area Knowledge/3 (Parliamentary Precinct), Computer Operation/1, Detect Lies/2, Language/3 (French), Move Silently/5, Savoir-Faire/3, Singing/5, Tactics/3

Songs: Affinity (all/2), Harmony (all/4), Motion (Ethereal/1, Celestial/1), Projection (Corporeal/1), Shields (Corporeal/6, Ethereal/6), Tongues (Corporeal/3, Ethereal/3, Celestial/1)

Attunements: Mercurian of Destiny, Seraph of Destiny, Mercurian of the Wind, Divine Destiny, Vassal of Destiny, Seneschal of the Library of Parliament

The Word "Seneschal of the Library of Parliament" grants Sepharad knowledge of where every book in the Library of Parliament is supposed to be, and the Rite "Assist a patron of the Library of Parliament in his research for two hours" (which does not need to be done within the Library). She can grant this Rite to other angels.

Sepharad is the only known Word-Bound Celestial in Ottawa-Gatineau. Her "native" language is English.

The Explorer Collection

The Explorer Rose Collection

While much of the city of Ottawa is rural land, the city may be unique in having two large research farms within its urban area. The Dominion Arboretum, in the heart of the Central Experimental Farm, is a microclimate that is home to a large variety of plants normally found in warmer climates. The Arboretum's associated Ornamental Gardens are a collection of beautiful greenery that are open to the public; the Explorer Rose Collection within the gardens is a Tether to Novalis. Cocarde, the Kyriotate seneschal of the Tether, lives within the roses on display.

(More photos)

Kyriotate of Flowers
Seneschal of the Explorer Rose Collection

Corporeal Forces - 3Strength 4Agility 8
Ethereal Forces - 5Intelligence 8Precision 12
Celestial Forces - 4Will 6Perception 10

Skills: Artistry/2 (flower arranging), Fighting/5, Language (English/3, Latin/1), Singing/2

Songs: Charm (all/3), Harmony (all/3), Shields (all/3), Tongues (Ethereal/4, Celestial/4)

Attunements: Kyriotate of Flowers, Seneschal of the Explorer Rose Collection

"Seneschal of the Explorer Rose Collection" grants Cocarde the Seraph of Flowers and Malakim of Flowers attunements, but only within the Explorer Rose Collection.

Cocarde loves its roses, and loves the people who love its roses. It used to be one of the many Flowerchildren who tended to all roses, but when it noticed the careful tending of the Explorer Rose Collection was forming a Tether to Heaven, it became the collection's attuned Seneschal.

It doesn't mind being tied to one location ... much. Sometimes it asks about the world's other roses, and becomes saddened when it hears how the flower industry has tamed its favourite flower's wild beauty. But then Cocarde remembers that there are still some roses that are still loved, and is content.

Cocarde's "native" language is French.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Enacting the Constitution in 1982 did more to inflame separatist attitudes and activity across the country than any other single act in Canadian history since the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a key part of the Constitution, has been used as justification for insular and separatist actions by so many groups that the actual document signed by the Crown has become a minor Tether to Factions, much to the annoyance of both Lilith and Dominic. The Tether is still new and isn't yet big or important enough for an actual seneschal; its Balseraph caretaker, Achzib, has a Role as Archives clerk Zeb Hatcher.

Balseraph of Factions

Corporeal Forces - 2Strength 3Agility 5
Ethereal Forces - 4Intelligence 7Precision 9
Celestial Forces - 5Will 12Perception 8

Vessel: Human male/4, Charisma +1

Role: "Zeb Hatcher," Archives Clerk/2, Status 2

Skills: Computer Operation/1, Fast-Talk/1, Knowledge/3 (bureaucratic procedures), Language/3 (French), Ranged Weapon/1 (pistol)

Songs: Attraction (Ethereal/3), Charm (Celestial/6)

Attunements: Balseraph of Factions, Polarize

Achzib wants a Word. He doesn't want "Seneschal of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;" that sounds like something a Free Lilim would be given, and Achzib has his standards.

But he's very good at getting people to see different sides of an issue (one side per person), so Malphas has placed him in charge of this new "Tether of Concept" until a proper Seneschal can be chosen for it. If Achzib does well, he'll be given more responsibility in the long-term project of dividing Canada along linguistic lines. If he does poorly, he'll be attuned to the Tether. If he does so poorly that there's a serious risk the Tether will be lost, Malphas will ask Lucifer to Word-bind Achzib to it before it dissolves. Achzib's Superior has explained this to him. In detail. So Achzib soldiers on ...

Zeb Hatcher is a wonderful guy, able to put anyone at ease (just ask him!), so he's been put in charge of the visitors who want to see the actual Constitution. That suits Achzib well enough; he can keep an eye on his charge while playing with the minds of so many of the talking monkeys.

Achzib's "native" language is English.

Dundonald Park

Dundonald Park's historical marker

On September 5, 1945, mere weeks after the end of World War II, Soviet cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko defected from the Soviet embassy in Ottawa with documents that proved the USSR was spying on one of its wartime Allies. This was essentially the opening salvo of the Cold War, defining worldwide politics until 1991. Soviet agents ransacked Gouzenko's Somerset Street apartment the night that he defected while the RCMP watched from Dundonald Park, across the street. The park is now a Tether to the Game; its seneschal is a Shedite who often inhabits random passers-by.

Shedite of the Game
Seneschal of Dundonald Park

Corporeal Forces - 3Strength 6Agility 6
Ethereal Forces - 5Intelligence 11Precision 9
Celestial Forces - 4Will 7Perception 9

Skills: Detect Lies/1, Emote/1, Escape/1, Fast-Talk/3, Fighting/1, Language/1 (Russian), Ranged Weapon/1 (pistol), Small Weapon/1 (knife)

Songs: Charm (all/2), Entropy (all/2), Shields (Celestial/2), Thunder/3, Tongues (Corporeal/1)

Attunements: Shedite of the Game, Insert Coin to Continue, Sense for Betrayal, Seneschal of Dundonald Park

Servant: "Smitty," Human/6

Ir is an unambitious demon, happy to leave the big decisions to Maryan and the other Gamesters up on Parliament Hill. The Shedite enjoys emulating the humans who created its Tether by merely watching what others do, especially if those others do something that breaks the rules of the Game. Ir's favourite host, "Smitty," is a low-Will human derelict that Ir practically owns outright. (Nobody pays attention to a derelict, except for those pesky Flowerchildren and their human pets. Ir thinks there are too many pesky Flowerchildren in town nowadays ...)

Ir's "native" language is English. Unlike most of the other important Celestials in this part of the world, Ir does not speak French. If Ir needs to speak something other than English or Russian, it'll use Corporeal Tongues for fluency. Eventually.

Other Local Places of Note in the War

The Justice Building

The Justice Building

The Justice Building, immediately to the west of Parliament Hill, is not and has never been a Tether. It is, however, a conflict zone between Destiny and Fate because of its current use as offices for over a quarter of the Members of Parliament and their staff.

Lilim of the Game
Knight of Judgment
Bishop of Ottawa-Gatineau

Corporeal Forces - 3Strength 4Agility 8
Ethereal Forces - 4Intelligence 10Precision 6
Celestial Forces - 4Will 7Perception 9

Vessel: Human Female/2, Charisma +1

Role: "Mary-Ann Smyth," Lobbyist/2, Status 2

Skills: Computer Operation/1, Detect Lies/4, Escape/3, Knowledge/5 (bureaucratic processes), Language/3 (French), Move Silently/3, Savoir-Faire/2, Tactics/2

Songs: Attraction (Ethereal/3, Celestial/3), Charm (all/4), Form (Ethereal/2, Celestial/3), Harmony (Ethereal/2), Motion (Corporeal/4, Celestial/2), Shields (Celestial/5)

Attunements: Lilim of the Game, Humanity, Sense for Betrayal, Knight of Judgment, Bishop of Ottawa-Gatineau

Special Rite: Cause delay, frustration, and confusion via legal paperwork

Mercurian Vassal of Destiny

Corporeal Forces - 2Strength 3Agility 5
Ethereal Forces - 4Intelligence 9Precision 7
Celestial Forces - 5Will 8Perception 12

Vessel: Human male/2

Role: "Renauld Gagnon," Lobbyist/2, Status 2

Skills: Computer Operation/1, Language/2 (English), Savoir-Faire/2, Singing/1

Songs: Harmony (all/2), Tongues (all/3)

Attunements: Mercurian of Destiny, Malakim of Destiny, The Akashic Record, Vassal of Destiny

Special Rite: Spend six hours walking a city's streets, witnessing the Symphony unfold


Maryan is the ranking Gamester in Ottawa-Gatineau; Raguel is the city's ranking Servitor of Destiny. Raguel is individually less powerful than Maryan, but he can call upon the only Word-Bound in the city for assistance if necessary. Both Celestials have support staffs of approximately equal strength (not counting the local Seneschals). They have Roles as lobbyists - Raguel for a consortium of educational institutions and foundations, Maryan for a group of pharmaceutical companies - which give them a reason to visit Parliament Hill at all hours.

They know of each other's existance and presence, but for their own reasons do not maneuver directly against each other. They've come to appreciate each other's company - they aren't friends, but each would rather deal with the opponent he or she knows than have to learn the foibles of somebody new. Besides, guiding an entire country to its Fate or Destiny (even a relatively minor one like Canada) is a big job, and only somebody with the same sort of job could possibly understand...

Maryan's "native" language is English; Raguel's is French.

The National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada has a reputation, only partially deserved, for purchasing some very odd artworks and being surprised when its visitors don't like them. A Kobalite Djinn known as "Isaac" can sometimes be bothered to make an effort to strengthen that reputation, using his knowledge of the art community, his skills, and his Songs; when he does, another weird piece goes into the Gallery's collection. (The local Creationers don't seem to mind this; some say it's because a few of those weird pieces were crafted by Isaac.)

Djinn of Dark Humor

Corporeal Forces - 3Strength 6Agility 6
Ethereal Forces - 3Intelligence 6Precision 6
Celestial Forces - 3Will 6Perception 6

Vessel: Human Male/3

Role: "Isaac Beaumarché," Art Critic/2, Status 2

Skills: Artistry (painting/1, sculpture/1), Fighting/1, Knowledge/3 (art world), Language/3 (English), Lying/3, Savoir-Faire/1

Songs: Attraction (Ethereal/4), Charm (Celestial/4), Possession/4

Attunements: Djinn of Dark Humor

When he isn't ruining the reputation of the Gallery or members of its board, "Isaac Beaumarché" critiques art for the French and English media; his reviews have ruined many upcoming artists' careers. (This does bother the local Creationers.)

Isaac's "native" language is French.

(Isaac is a balanced starting character.)


Chelsea, a rural community straddling the edge of Gatineau Park, was one of the first municipalities in North America to ban the ornamental use of pesticides. Just outside Gatineau city limits, it's a quiet place to live. It's also the home base of Kirjath-jearim (known to his neighbours as "Kirk Jason Jerrod"), a Cherub of Flowers who does his best to watch over the neighbouring park; he's quite happy about his adopted home town's environmental stance.

Cherub of Flowers

Corporeal Forces - 4Strength 7Agility 9
Ethereal Forces - 2Intelligence 5Precision 3
Celestial Forces - 3Will 5Perception 7

Vessel: Human Male/1

Role: "Kirk Jason Jerrod," Park Warden/2, Status 2

Skills: Area Knowledge/2 (Gatineau Park), Acrobatics/1, Climbing/1, Language/1 (French), Move Silently/1, Savoir-Faire/1, Singing/1, Survival/1 (forest), Swimming/1, Tracking/2

Songs: Harmony (all/1), Shields (all/1), Tongues (Corporeal/1), Wings/2

Attunements: Cherub of Flowers, Nothing But Flowers

Kirjath-jearim's "native" language is English.

(Kirjath-jearim is a balanced starting character.)

Mood, and Altering the Mood

This description of Ottawa suits a low-power, low-violence game, matching the reality and reputation of the real-world Ottawa-Gatineau. If the GM would prefer a more dynamic game, more Tethers could be added to increase the access to the setting by either or both sides of The War. (However, the locals tend to be fair-weather sports fans, no matter what sport is involved; there are no Tethers at the sports arenas here.) One obvious possibility for a forked Infernal Tether is the spot on Sparks Street near Metcalfe Street where Thomas D'Arcy McGee was shot; this was both the first murder in the country and the only assassination in Canada for over a century, and the man who was hanged for the crime may have been innocent. Tethers to Lightning or Technology could be placed in any of the buildings that housed any of the early high-technology companies of "Silicon Valley North."

(Comments by William Keith, and writer's response.) Tethers generally make good markers of who is powerful in a region. Destiny/Flowers vs. the Game/Factions is a game very heavy on the social influence; none of the Superiors involved leans at all toward militant solutions to problems. If the players are ever jonesing for some action, the Jordites in the Greenbelt might be needed to mix it up with that Belialite who tried to destroy the Parliamentary Library Tether or a Hardcore demon looking to darken the rock scene. And if the Beilalite or Hardcore demon aren't enough of a change of pace, Montréal, Toronto, and New York City are each less than a day away by car...

(Comments by "alduc," and writer's response.) Politics and gaming rarely mix very well, unless the players are very good at keeping their personnal opinions out of the game. If the GM ever decides to include a politics-related plotline in your campaign, the best bet is to make certain there are Archangels and Demons on both side of the issue. Destiny/Fate work in the halls of power and Stone/Factions vie in the "official languages" groups; these are the two major political arenas in the city.