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Sarisel was once a member of the House of the Fates, one of the angels responsible for creating patterns between facets of creation. He worked in close tandem with the Wild House inventing ways for plants to spread their seed, since he always considered the clumsy method of sexual reproduction to be laziness on someone’s part. When the rebellion began, many of the angels serving him were surprised to see him join. They had always thought him a Loyalist. Indeed, while being cursed as one of the Neberu, he cried that he never should have joined the rebellion at all. Lucifer didn’t exactly cast him out for his weakness, but the rest of the host treated him as something of a deserter from there on out. Yet, after the Civilization of Ashes fell, he was cast into Hell just like the rest of the demons.
Even today, Sarisel isn’t sure how a small cabal of Chinese wizards managed to summon him, but he isn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Freed from Hell several centuries before Christ was born, Sarisel bound himself to a verdant garden and reaped a harvest of Faith from the wizards and their descendants. His rise to power was much slower than that of the more powerful Earthbound in other civilizations, but Sarisel also did not find himself in danger of extinction with the rise of Christianity. Like an oak from an acorn, the Fiend grew slowly, instructing his followers in the use of plants as divining tools and poisons, waiting for an opportunity. Warsin Asia nearly destroyed him on several occasions, but he managed to weather the storm until the 20th century began, when stories of the West filtered back to him through his small but loyal cult.
Sarisel knew that his chance had come. His followers were wealthy, and they moved all of their holdings — including the garden housing their patron — to San Francisco at his instigation. He was there only a few decades before the Maelstrom blew wide the gates of Hell, and he quickly found and enslaved two of the demons he had known before the Fall. Working with them, he drew on his years of experience with both plants and Faith, and he designed a potent weapon against the new, soulless world.
Sarisel calls his creation the “soul orchid,” and to all appearances, it is simply a beautiful crimson flower. Properly prepared, though, it can be used to create a storm of Faith. Any demon caught in this storm immediately assumes her revelatory form, and any mortal lashed by the rain recognizes the luminous being that stands before him. The Faith generated, however, reverberates back upon Sarisel — such is the plan, at least. Sarisel has not had the chance yet to test the soul orchid, but he is nothing if not patient.
Sarisel’s reliquary is a garden measuring nearly 40 feet on a side, located behind the Chinatown residence of his most prominent thralls. The garden is adorned with various types of exotic plants and trees, but only the soil truly holds the soul of Sarisel. The demon controls every plant in the garden completely, and he can animate and mutate them using the Lore of the Wild at a second’s notice. The only beings allowed to set foot in the garden are sacrifices and thralls; even Sarisel’s enslaved demons are only allowed to hover over the ground.
In China, Sarisel’s cult consisted mostly of older men, descendants of the wizards who summoned him from Hell so long ago. As this order of wizards died out, however, Sarisel took pains to make sure that at least one member of his cult knew the summoning ritual to call him back, should he ever be returned to Hell. Since so many years have gone by without this ritual having been performed (as there has been no need), Sarisel was unsure whether the current holder of the ritual would even be able to make it work.
After the move to America, he changed his strategy somewhat. Rather than teaching the rite to one member in a generation, he chose his most trusted thrall (a man named Chen) and granted him vast arcane knowledge and ageless youth, at the price of what remained of his will. Chen is the legal owner of the property that hides Sarisel’s garden as well as a certain greenhouse in which the soul orchid grows. (Sarisel is afraid to keep the orchid in his garden. Someone might come looking for it, after all, and he does not wish to have all his eggs in one basket.) His cult currently numbers about two dozen mortals, all Chinese or Chinese-American. They range in age, but none are younger than 21.
Sarisel distrusts children, believing that they are capricious and incapable of the patience and discretion that he requires. Of the cultists, a few are thralls. Sarisel prefers to grant knowledge, intelligence and powers of perception rather than physical strength or fortitude; he is well aware that the human body can be tempered and trained to impressive levels without any supernatural tampering. Many of his cultists are accomplished martial artists, and some are low-level Triad members. Sarisel has never chosen to exploit this resource, but if he did, he could probably bring considerable criminal influence to bear.
The cult meets monthly, on the new moon, to worship the “god”. Sarisel presents himself as a god of rainand plants and bestows his favor on young grooms. He disdains female worshippers (although the wizards gave birth to this tradition, not the demon himself) and accepts sacrifices of blood and burnt plants. In addition to the new moon rites, he demands that his thralls visit him on any night that a thunderstorm breaks over his garden; he summons them on such occasions. He has been known to slay any thrall who does not appear in such circumstances. As a result, his thralls rarely leave the San Francisco area.
Sarisel was an angel of some influence before the Fall, responsible among other things for the process of pollination and growing plants from seeds. As a result, he knew the True Names of several members of the House of the Wild and at least one member of the House of the Deeps. The first such demons was Zaliel, a Defiler with an impressive knowledge of the Lore of Storms. The second of Sarisel’s demonic slaves is Lalaroth, a Devourer with whom Sarisel worked before the Fall.
Sarisel, the Gardener of Hell
Physical: Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 2
Social: Charisma 3, Manipulation 4, Appearance 3
Mental: Perception 5, Intelligence 5, Wits 5
Abilities: Alertness 3, Awareness 4, Bureaucracy 3, Expression 3, Finance 4, Intimidation 3, Leadership 4, Medicine 3, Melee 3, Performance 2, Politics 3, Recall 3, Stealth 1, Subterfuge 5
Backgrounds: Cult 2, Eminence 3, Hoard 3, Mastery 2, Thralls 3, Worship 2
Relic Type: Location (25 Faith points)
Urges: Emotion 4, Flesh 2, Thought 3
Apocalyptic Features: Armor, Chameleon Skin,Claws/Teeth, Disperse, Extra Health Levels, Huge Size, Primal Mind, Thorns
Grotesqueries: Abhorrent Sounds, Decaying, Eyes, Glow, Skin, Stench, Unstable, Vestigial Limbs
Lore: Earth 3, Flesh 3, Chaos 5, Violation 4, Spirit 2, Storms 4, Wild 3
Demon: Earthbound, p. 146-147