June 3, 2016
154. BISHOP CORNELIUS
Cornelius A. Grippa
Bishop; Paimon the Demon King of the West; Semi Phoras
Platinum City, USA, Earth (Core Reality); Mid-21st century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Cornelius has no powers himself, but the demon living inside of him, Paimon, is an all-seeing entity that can decipher the meaning of all art, philosophy, science and secret things. He can also reveal thoughts, emotions, secrets, tendencies, strengths and weaknesses in people, giving him deep insights into who they are, and tactical advantages in combat situations. Additionally, he can control physical elements such as water, earth, fire and air. He can also hold dominion over lesser and familiar spirits.
Cornelius also has a ghost orphan living inside of him, which gives him enhanced physical abilities. The bishop wields a magical staff, through which he channels much of his dark powers.
Cornelius A. Grippa was born to humble beginnings in a poor section of Platinum City. His parents were German immigrants, who came to the US as part of an international Catholic Church program. Both his mother and father were very devout, and imparted their beliefs and traditions into Cornelius. In turn, he grew up attending Catholic school from kindergarten, all the way through high school. He then graduated Platinum City University with majors in Philosophy and Religion, and followed that up by obtaining his PhD in Theology from PCU as well.
Though incredibly intelligent and deeply indoctrinated in the Catholic Church, Cornelius never fit in amongst his peers. His obsession with art could be a bit much at times, but that was not the reason. His unwavering mystical beliefs, and studying of the Gnostic gospels, apocryphal gospels, and occult doctrines delved him deeply into Christian mythology. And though it drove a bit of a wedge between him and most of his peers, that, was not the reason either. Cornelius was separate from all of his peers because he was a ghost orphan.
WEIGHT: 186 lbs.
When Cornelius was in the womb, a sonic wraith, by the name of Semi Phoras, was fading rapidly after his previous host was attacked by an, at the time, very young member of The Veil named Disa Philadelphia. The host body was mortally wounded, but Semi was able to escape long enough for him to move into another person. Upon the body’s last breaths, he came across a woman, who was on her way to the hospital to give birth to Cornelius. Semi immediately entered her womb, and phantom-fused with the yet-unborn child. Disa was able to track the ghost orphan as it floated into the car that was speeding toward Lebanon Memorial Hospital. She leaped into the middle of the road, causing Cornelius’s father to hit the brakes. The huntress drew her living-blade and approached the prone vehicle, but when she realized the wraith had inhabited the unborn child and not one of the adults, she was torn. Ultimately, Disa could not commit to the killing of a pregnant woman, and reluctantly left the terrified couple.
Semi Phoras would not be the only spirit to inhabit Cornelius, though. By the time he was fifty years old, Paimon, the Demon King of the West, had also taken a hold of Cornelius, as a cataclysmic spiritual event, known as the Age of the Serpents, was set to come to pass. The process of possession was long and difficult, lasting over ten years, but the demon king was patient, and played his victim perfectly upon the death of his parents. In that great sorrow was when Paimon began wiggling his way into Cornelius’s soul. Over the decade after, he used calculation to manipulate his way to the top of the largest diocese in the world in Platinum City, making him second only to the pope. Cornelius was the overwhelming favorite to take the papacy after the pope’s passing, too, and when that day came, Paimon planned to begin ushering in the end of days.
But as the day arrived, Paimon learned that the other demon kings, Egyn, Amaymon and Oriens – who had also possessed citizens of Platinum City, and who also served as heralds for the Age of Serpents – had been defeated and exorcised back to Hell. He knew his day as Pope would never come if he did not defeat the supreme spiritual warrior, Seraph Solomon, who just happened to be on his way.
Cornelius, Semi Phoras and Paimon also knew they would need an army to defeat Solomon, and so Paimon instructed Semi Phoras to use his influence to call an emergency meeting of all the priests in his region of Platinum City. Within a couple of hours, The Holy Church of St. Peter was filled with hundreds of holy men. Then, before any of them knew what was happening, Paimon used his power to extract sonic-wraith ghost orphans out of the bodies of people all over the city, and called them all to St. Peter’s to inhabit the bodies of the priests. Cornelius now had his army.
Solomon and his two companions, Veil hunters Peter and Valerie Philadelphia, had nearly reached St. Peter’s, when suddenly the holy warrior was summoned by God! Solomon instructed his cohorts to protect his body, as he immediately astral-projected his spirit into the heavens. After a few tense minutes he returned. The sword-wielding siblings asked what had happened. He explained that the Almighty needed him for another mission. Peter and Valerie were incredulous, and demanded to know why he would be called to leave them at such a pivotal time. Solomon told them not to worry, for during the previous few moments while he was away he had already completed the mission; which was to astral project his likeness to the priestess Bajan Emerald and deliver her to salvation. They wondered aloud how it could be that Emerald would be granted salvation, as just two days prior she was on the side of evil, when the three of them battled against her in the King Projects. Solomon assured them that her turn from darkness was truly authentic, and that it was absolutely necessary to have as many spiritual warriors as possible fighting on the side of Heaven, as the Age of Serpents attempted to run its course. God had also warned Solomon that the impending confrontation with Bishop Grippa would be a much greater threat than any they’d faced before.
When they arrived at the cathedral, the sight of hundreds of priests all filled with ghost orphans guarding the demon-possessed bishop floored Peter and Valerie, as they realized that was the great threat the seraph had been warned about. Solomon commanded them to remain steadfast in their duties and to not waver, for it could mean the end of them all. They complied, as they steeled their resolve. Then Paimon screamed a horrifying shriek of evil, and the priests attacked!
Greatly outnumbered, Peter and Valerie had no idea how they were going to survive. The priests had gained a multitude of powers and abilities through the sonic-wraiths that had possessed them – they were fast, strong, and able to unleash blasts of dark spiritual energy from their hands and mouths. The hunters had to use every bit of skill and grit they had just to avoid being slaughtered, let alone land any death knells of their own. And even a blast of holy energy from Solomon’s ring only served to knock the ghost orphans back momentarily, as they all got back to their feet, and brushed themselves off in preparation for the next attack.
Those few moments, however, were exactly what they needed, for Seraph Solomon had bought just enough time for reinforcements to show up – Peter and Valerie turned to see the most skilled and respected Veil hunter of them all, Disa Philadelphia, standing in the doorway of the cathedral. And she wasn’t alone – Charles Smyrna, Reagan Smyrna, Nidia Sardis, Cesar Laodicea, and more than thirty other Veil hunters were standing with her.
Paimon screamed with rage at the sight of the army of holy warriors before him; and the holy warriors could barely believe their eyes as they gazed upon hundreds of ghost-orphan-possessed priests. Disa gave Solomon the nod, letting him know her troops were ready, and the seraph commanded them to advance.
A brutal and bloody fight ensued, as The Veil warriors slashed through the priests with their living-blades, releasing the ghost orphans to Heaven, one after another. The priests did not go without a fight, though. Paimon used his power of mind-reading to discover each Veil members’ tactical weakness, and transferred that knowledge to the sonic wraiths. This greatly changed the balance of the battle and the priests began winning – a number of Veil hunters were slain, as they were forced to fall back!
Once Solomon realized what was happening, he began using his whip to work his way towards Paimon. When the demon-possessed bishop saw the seraph approach, he used his magical staff to unleash his powers over the elements. Water suddenly came bursting through the walls and the floor, blasting the seraph and many of the Veil hunters. The ground shook, and caused many more to topple. Winds also filled the cathedral, and tossed Veil warriors into the walls and furniture. The injuries were piling up for the heroes, and their effectiveness was quickly diminishing. In other words, the heroes were losing… badly.
Cornelius sneered with demented delight, as he watched his horde of sonic wraith ghost orphans overrun his adversaries. Disa and Solomon looked to each other with desperation. If they were going to survive this battle and stop the Age of Serpents from coming to pass, they would have to take drastic measures. With that, the seraph channeled all the spiritual energy he could muster, and unleashed a series of bursts from his ring. The orbs of holy energy rose into the air for a moment, before engulfing each member of the Veil, protecting them from Paimon’s attacks, while working to heal many of the wounds they’d acquired. Within a few moments, the good guys and gals were able to regroup, and tilt the scales of the battle back in their favor. Dozens of sonic wraiths fell by the edge of living-blades, as Solomon continued to focus on getting his hands on the evil bishop.
When the seraph finally reached Cornelius, he immediately began citing the Rites of Exorcism, and a holy aura emanated against the evil aura of the demon. Their energies clashed, causing destruction to the cathedral around them. Then, as the two of them continued to battle, a portal from Hell opened, bringing forth more demons. Solomon increased the output of holy power from his ring, using the energy to dissipate some demons, while he beheading others by striking his whip around their necks and pulling ferociously. The holy warrior’s onslaught was relentless, and eventually the demon king grew weak enough for Solomon to take the next step. He demanded to know the identity of the demon living inside of Cornelius, to which Paimon shouted his own name, giving Solomon the official cue to send him back to the Western gate of Hell.
Suddenly, Disa recognized a familiar spirit – Semi Phoras was emerging from the bishop as well! Realizing fate had brought before her the ghost orphan that she let escape decades ago, Disa did not hesitate this time. As Solomon called for a Veil warrior to assist him, Disa leapt towards the bishop, and impaled him in the heart. She voiced her pleasure to Semi in finally catching him, and then beheaded Cornelius. This caused a surge in spiritual energy, as Semi was sent to Heaven and Paimon was ripped from his last tie in this world and dragged to Hell, closing the portal.
Disa and Solomon turned to see that the other Veil warriors were finishing the last of the sonic wraiths. The scene was devastating – the cathedral was in ruins; there was an ocean of dead priests; many Veil warriors had met their demise, and many others were hurt – but the fact remained that they had won, and in turn stopped the Age of Serpents prophecy from coming to pass. Solomon thanked Disa and the rest of the Veil, and then suggested that they leave quickly before the authorities show up. Disa instructed the others to disappear quietly, and regroup at another Veil facility a few miles away.
As they left, many of the younger hunters remarked on the incredible power they had witnessed – both from Cornelius and from Seraph Solomon. Disa and a few of the other, more experienced hunters, like Peter Philadelphia, Valerie Philadelphia, and Reagan Smyrna stayed behind for a moment to properly honor the fallen hunters and collect their living-blades, as well as say a prayer for the holy men who had been unfairly swept up into the situation that ultimately led to their deaths.
After a few moments of silent contemplation, the sound of sirens in the distance began to ring in the air. But as they turned toward the door to leave, they found none other than the most dangerous ghost orphan of them all standing there – it was Virginia Ice! She greeted them in a condescending manner by slow-clapping to the victory of Solomon and the Veil, but held a look of utter discontent on her face.
The hunters immediately raised their blades and prepared to attack, but before they could engage, she bolted off into the distance.
It would seem that Cornelius’s demise may not be the end of the ordeal after all…