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Fortitudo Dei

St. Gabriel the Archangel, Strength of God, Divine Messenger, One of the Seven who Stand before the Lord, Chief of the Angelic Guards of Paradise, Bringer of the Word of Truth, Angel of the Power of God, Angel of Birth and Mercy, Angel of Death over Kings, Prince of Ice and Thunder, and Maker of Changes.

Gabriel is pretty much my take on the Biblical character, and heavily based off Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, along with the Abrahamic faiths and the literature associated with them, especially angelology.

Back when everything was sunshine and roses in Heaven, Gabriel was very close to Lucifer Morningstar, but ultimately refused to join him in rebelling (which I see as very Murder Mysteries-inspired). He was very withdrawn immediately after Lucifer Fell, grieving in private for his friend.

He loves humans, and spent a lot of time travelling among them. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (I generally assume the other angel was Uriel, but this can vary). He spent a fair amount of time in the Middle East and Egypt, and became good friends with the goddess Bast. This became awkward around the time of Moses, when the Plagues were unleashed on Egypt; Gabriel took the life of Pharaoh's son, and Bast didn't react well. (She eventually forgave him centuries later, but cannot forgive Yahweh.)

Then came the Annunciation. Gabriel was also the angel who showed up at the Resurrection.

He recited the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad, but faltered while reciting a particularly harsh passage; being an angel of mercy, he doubted God's Plan and questioned why He was so harsh towards His people. For questioning God's Plan and misspeaking the Word, Gabriel was cast out of Heaven. At first, reeling from the loss of His Presence and in a great deal of pain, Gabriel holed up in an abandoned, half-ruined Zoroastrian temple for a while. He slowly recovered and tried to go about life as he normally would on Earth, still in pain but with hope that he would be forgiven and allowed to return eventually. While he was in the Arabian desert, Lucifer came to him (this is a retcon of a previous fic, proper fic to come soon; also, this bit can easily be ignored if it doesn't suit the other player), but Gabriel resisted him. After twenty-one days had passed since his exile, Gabriel was allowed to return to Heaven.

He spent a fair amount of time in the Middle-East between his Heavenly duties before moving on to Europe. He went to the New World with the conquistadores and was deeply hurt by his experiences there, and spent quite some time in Heaven following that.

He was a friend of Jane Austen, and very much enjoys her books.

During the World Wars, he tried to keep humanity's faith and hope alive as well as he could - Sandman canon is worked into his backstory a bit here, as with Morpheus' permission, he often used the Dreaming to send dreams of hope.

When Adam Young almost started Armageddon in Good Omens, Gabriel was heartbroken at the thought of losing humanity and the Earth but fully prepared to do his duty. He was very much relieved when it was averted, and while he had been spending more time in Heaven over the past few centuries, he has been spending more time on Earth recently to appreciate what was almost destroyed.

- [info]lt_safe_house verse: Gabriel spent some time at Tadfield Manor. He organised the library there, caught up with old friends, made new ones and adopted the local cats. After spending a few months there with others like Aziraphale, Michael, Belial and Uriel (and several pagan gods and other beings) and helping defeat the first nightmare ever created, he grew increasingly restless and left to continue his travels. There are two splinter verses for that:

1) He left with Michael, his lover.

2) He left with his younger brother, Uriel.

- [info]synechist verse: Dark verse where the world was on the brink of Armageddon, heavily influenced by the show Supernatural. It's sort of dead now, but if anyone from there wants to poke Gabriel, he's still mostly on Earth, wandering amongst the humans and keeping hope and faith alive as best he can.

- Cupcakes verse: Ongoing. Started out as a crack smut thread between Belial and Uriel, sort of spawned plot along the way. Basically, the effects of the cupcakes from this meme resulted in Uriel being introduced to Lust by Belial. Eventually Uriel Fell, and Gabriel did not react well. His confrontation with his Fallen brother led to Lucifer using the cupcakes to make Gabriel listen to him, and plant doubts in his mind.

- Fallen verse: Where Gabriel Fell for vaguely-defined reasons because we wanted a Fallen!Gabriel (aka Gabri) to play with Uri (in Uriel's Fallen-verse).

- Private crack AIM RP: The partners in crime were Michael, Aziraphale, Baraq (who became Barachiel again over the course of the RP) and, later, Sylix. Pure self-indulgent crack RP via AIM and MSN, where our characters were dumped in various universes (Narnia, Arthurian legend, Middle-Earth, the Mayan jungle after being chased by Caribbean pirates, fairytale-land, superheroes, RPG, Resident Evil...) and proceeded to make a mess of things while occasionally being randomly genderbent.

Gabriel likes books, cats, nature and chocolate and long walks on the beach.

How's My Driving?

The Annunciation

 Over two thousand years ago, I was granted the honour of bringing this message to the Blessed Virgin.

I quite like this depiction.
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
And the revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
"Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!"

This entry was crossposted from http://www.dreamwidth.org/12345.html.


OOC: Minor changes

Well, this post has been a long time coming, but much-needed. XD

Back when I was still playing Gabriel regularly, I was a little dissatisfied with some aspects of his character and thought about making changes. Then stuff happened and I've pretty much ended up taking a long hiatus from RP, especially RPing Gabriel, though thankfully it has been punctuated now and then by some fantastic AU RPs with the lovely [personal profile] reigns_in_hell and we've got a couple going on right now. But back when I wasn't getting any - RP, that is - sometimes I considered dropping everything entirely and sometimes I just considered character makeovers to make myself want to write them and to make others want to play with them. And I thought of some things about Gabriel I wanted to change, mostly bad choices on my part as a writer, and decided that there was no better time.

He'll still stay very much the same, mostly. But back at the beginning of 2009 when I created him to play at the Lower Tadfield Safe House RPG, I randomly decided that he hadn't been on Earth for a century just because it would be hilarious. And while it did lead to a lot of hilarity and Michael mocking him him being at a complete loss when it came to pop culture - he had read reports on important stuff like communications and the Internet and such but rarely got any references or in-jokes, daytime television and Disney movies were a whole new world to him and he would be absolutely oblivious to attempts at flirtation - I felt for ages that as the Messenger and as someone who loves humanity so much, it wasn't quite right. It did change the more time he spent here but it was inconsistent.

So minor change #1, probably the biggest change (though I was already trying to move him towards it): Gabriel has spent a lot of time on Earth, from the beginning to now, regularly. He has a lot of duties in Heaven but he pops down here whenever possible, and isn't clueless. As the Messenger and a watcher of humanity he is very familiar with communications - it's his job - and since modern communications involve so much technology, he is somewhat familiar with the capabilities of cellphones, computers and the Internet. He'll probably be utterly horrified if you show him all the steamy Bible fanfiction (*guilty cough*) but he is comfortable with things like e-mail, credit cards, buying/booking things online and Google. He is aware that online porn exists and gives it a wide berth; I imagine any computer he uses has some sort of holy firewall that prevents popups.

He is aware of things like Batman* and iPads and cosplay conventions through some degree of observation and experience, not just reports from other angels on Earth sent to him in Heaven. He would have no idea who Lindsay Lohan is (but might Google her), a very vague idea of who David Bowie is, and be pretty well-versed in, say, General Douglas MacArthur. He's probably still oblivious when it comes to slang but can guess from context rather than being completely lost.

Basically, if you tried something like the "One does not simply ___" meme on him, he'd recognise it as a reference to Boromir's line in the LotR movie and be confused as to why you're referencing it because he has no idea that it's a meme (he might know what a meme is but wouldn't actually know any). He doesn't know for sure what an 'Apple fanboy' is but he can guess since he knows what Apple is. He can recognise basic netspeak but will never use it. He's a lot better at passing for human, though he's terrible at picking a last name for himself. And if he spent a prolonged period of time here for any RP, he'd likely grow to learn all these things.

He'll still speak a little more formally than most people at times, but that's just him.

#2: While rereading some of his threads with Michael (angelofawesome) in LTSH, I saw several things I would have changed or written differently now (I'd originally been thinking that they would hook up after the Dreamstone plot; I'm not quite sure why it got dragged out, although some other characters' situations did affect that). I'd say I hope he'll be a bit less melodramatic but I don't know how successful that'll be. Either way, while a lot of his doubts and fears there are things he would always have, being who he is, I think (and hope) he'll be a lot less scared when it comes to relationships now. If I start anything of the sort with Michael-mun (or anyone else, though that's unlikely unless it's pre-Fall Lucifer like with [personal profile] reigns_in_hell , where he doesn't have these issues) again, he'll still have those fears, but I think that after a much smaller amount of proof and advice and stuff he would be a lot more sensible about it.

#3: The whole thing about him being unable to cook or do anything in the kitchen without an explosion was started by Michael-mun in crack AIM RP and stuck because everyone (myself included) found it hilarious. And while I am nostalgically fond of that and want to keep it, it was sort of impractical to have him unable to boil water without it going FWOOSH, or his sandwiches causing stomachaches. So yes, Gabriel is still completely unable to cook, but he can buy stuff and make decent sandwiches for himself and he can boil water the human way for hot drinks or possibly instant noodles or Easy Mac. He can probably heat up canned soup on the stove about 80% of the time without incident. Anything else is cause for disaster, and woe betide him if he tries boiling water via miracle. The jury's still out on microwave ovens. Basically, if he were to live on Earth by himself for a while, he'd eat like a uni student who can't cook at all or something of the sort.

I think those are all the main changes I wanted to make, I'd considered these at various points last year but never wrote them down. There may be more minor ones - for instance, I might cut down on his tendency to easily blush and he might not be as easily scandalised either, though he's still pretty old-fashioned. And I'm not quite sure why he and I were so opposed to him assuming the female form; even if he found it difficult to travel as a lone woman in the olden days it's way easier now. But yeah, feel free to say hi to Gabriel v2.0!

* Re: Batman... My interpretation of Gabriel is highly influenced by the works of Neil Gaiman, and I've adapted Murder Mysteries very slightly to fit into Gabriel's backstory. He's also very Sandman-friendly, as seen in LTSH, and I've worked it into his canon - he is on good terms with Dream and occasionally uses the Dreaming to pass some sort of message to a human or two in dreams; I imagine he was quite busy during and just after the World Wars too, sending dreams of hope and strength and trying to help with PTSD (he likely wasn't directly involved in each and every dream, but he's Heaven's diplomat and would be discussing options with Dream while lesser angels, probably Healers, worked on the dreams). But Sandman is DC/Vertigo and Justice League characters (J'onn J'onezz, Batman) do show up in it, which would kind of complicate things. So in my canon Gabriel lives in pretty much our world but with the Endless (and Yahweh), but Batman and Superman and the rest are fictional characters. I am perfectly open to RPing with any DC (or Marvel) characters though, or in a world where Sandman is just a comic book series. XD

This entry was crossposted from http://www.dreamwidth.org/12345.html.

OOC: Artwork

Archangel Gabriel in armour by ~Sivaroobini on deviantART
I've wanted to draw him in armour for aaages but was always too lazy, so I finally started this a couple of nights ago and it took me about a night and a half. XD Armour stolen from the Elven armour in the LotR movies ([link]) since I've always preferred the idea of more graceful, pretty armour to the Roman-style armour that they're more often shown in, and his sword is basically Gandalf's sword Glamdring, though I changed the hilt slightly.

He's holding a spear because of iconography; many paintings of the Archangel Gabriel show him holding a spear, a lily, or the symbol of the Theotokos (a round brass mirror with 'X', on it, the first letter of the Greek spelling of Theotokos) and of course with his famous horn. I realised when almost done that I'd completely forgotten about his sword and I was not going to erase the gauntlet that took me ages, so it's off to the side. XP

The weird-looking squiggle at the top is Gabriel's sigil, and that's also the tiny squiggle on his blade. Also, the camera strap got in the picture. <_<


musebysentence prompts

Since it's Easter, I thought I'd celebrate by posting a musebysentence set. :D

musebysentence prompt set #86. Yeah, yeah, I know the first one isn’t one sentence.  I wanted more angst. :P Michael ([profile] angelofawesome) and Uriel ([personal profile] emberlight ) are lovingly borrowed (and my apologies to Michael for #6); Seshat is the Egyptian goddess of books, libraries, mathematics, astronomy and a host of other things, and was called Mistress of the House of Books.

1. Broken
2. Delicious
3. Protect
4. Renew
5. Duty
6. Ab initio (From the beginning)
7. Semper fortis (Always brave)
8. Totus tuus (Totally yours)
9. Scire quod sciendum (Knowledge which is worth having)
10. Dum vita est, spes est (While there is life, there is hope)

PromptsCollapse )

It is the Annunciation.
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
And the revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
"Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!"

Messages between Michael and Gabriel

OOC: Do note that these messages were sent aaages ago, via LJ's private messaging system, and that playing Gabriel was still fairly new and I was still working out bits of his backstory and interaction with Michael and so on.

I found a series of messages that Michael and I had sent to each other, prior to his arrival at Tadfield Manor. Here they are, for archiving purposes.

these are most certainly not love lettersCollapse )

Continued here.



Give us, O God, the vision which can see Your love in the world in spite of human failure.
Give us the faith to trust Your goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness.
Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts.
And show us what each one of us can do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace.

-- Frank Borman, Apollo 8 space mission, 1968

Merry Christmas, everyone, and may this day bring you and your loved ones joy.

Now, I think my brothers are about to have a snowfight and then some hot chocolate (and no, I'm not making it). Time to wrap up and join them.



The Cupcake Meme

Short story: Bubastis, 1400 BC

For [info]_silverfox, who chose the prompt ‘Cat’ on my writing meme. This is a loose prequel to the Triangle prompt fill, where I wrote about the Plagues of Egypt. Since tomorrow (Oct 31st) is, in addition to being Samhain/Halloween, also one of Bast's feast days (although she shares this one with Sekhmet and Ra) I thought this was a fitting time to post this. :D Although please note that the Festival of Bubastis would have taken place in middle April.
Historical/mythological notes: While Bubastis reached its peak during the 22nd Dynasty, the Plagues were believed to have taken place during the reign of Ramses II, of the 19th Dynasty; I rather doubt Gabriel and Bast had talked things out by then, so this takes place sometime during the early 18th dynasty.  Since the entrance hall, festival hall and hypostyle hall of the Temple of Bast were only built during the 22nd Dynasty, most of the celebration here is outdoors. Tanis did indeed have a famous royal wine-producing estate, known as ‘Preserver of Kemet’ (though admittedly I don’t know if it was actually during this time period). Maahes is a leonine Nubian war god who was assimilated into the Egyptian pantheon and considered Bast’s son. And there is actually very little evidence supporting large-scale Hebrew slavery, so I avoid referring to them as a nation of slaves here.
Meme: Cat aka Bubastis, 1400BC
 It should be made very clear that Gabriel was not drunk...Collapse )