And here in the night, as I feel the inferno
I stare in the dark, thinking "what is eternal?"
The man, or the moment? The act, or the reason?
These thoughts fill my head as I contemplate treason
-Trans-Siberian Orchestra, "What Is Eternal?" (from Beethoven's Last Night)
Every soul has a fate and a destiny, describing the heights to which they can soar and the depths to which they can tumble. Their exact nature is not completely clear: it is never "Assassinate Colonel Mustard with a crowbar in the dining room on August 19, 2017", but it might be something invoking abstract descriptions, like, "Murder a military hero in a dining room." It is known that meeting one's fate will lead one to Hell, and meeting one's destiny will lead one to Heaven. It is fairly rare that someone achieves either.
Fate and destiny are concepts usually associated with humans, although some have argued that celestials have them as well, at least in some form (see below). Destinies and fates may describe a lifetime "outcome", such as "Become an inspirational English teacher", or they may refer to a specific event, such as, "Save a public figure's life." Usually, though, even a fate or destiny centered around a specific event will have a number of precursors: maybe the "Save a public figure's life" person would only be able to do so because they achieved a position in the Secret Service, for instance.
Destinies and fates range from the seemingly insignificant to the world-changing. Almost always, though, achieving either will make a difference in the War.
- Corrupt a great leader
- Start a nationwide monopoly
- Dash the dreams of a young artist
- Murder your family
- Inspire someone to become a great scientist
- Stop a war
- Save a dying artistic tradition
- Recruit thousands of organ donors
While they vary in terms of their impact on the material world, achieving either one's fate or one's destiny is not something that happens by accident.
Neither one manifests under strong coercion, either. Dragging a woman up a clocktower, putting a gun in her hands, and forcibly pushing her finger into the trigger to murder a passing spiritual leader might win one for Hell via the elimination of that leader, but it will not bring the shooter to her Fate. There was no internal change that turned her soul dark; she was just put in the wrong place at the wrong time. This applies (to a proportionally lesser degree) to lesser coercion as well. A supernatural illusion that made her think the spiritual leader had drawn a gun and was aiming it at her would stand a very good chance of voiding the action, although it would be less clear-cut and somewhat dependent on her thoughts. But convincing her over time that the spiritual leader was an evil influence, feeding her hatred for him and her disregard for her own life, and then letting her take matters into her own hands...that would probably be kosher.
Celestials have fates and destinies, but they're quite standardized: an angel's destiny is already achieved just by being an angel, and an angel's fate is to Fall. A demon's fate is already achieved just by being a demon, and a demon's destiny is to Redeem.
Typically, celestial fates and destinies contain (like human fates and destinies) shreds of specificity: e.g., "Become corrupt and lead others to their fates" or "Redeem oneself after committing a great evil, and make things right". This is a slight change to the basic rules: it's possible to read a celestial's fate or destiny, and they won't explicitly read as supernatural, even if they tend to sound a bit grander and more abstract than typical human fates and destinies. E.g., a demon's destiny might sound something like, "Through an old friend's help, make things right again." An angel's fate might be, "Lose faith, and cause a friend to do the same." A Servitor of Destiny might get suspicious, but won't be 100% sure.
Remember that a Role can shield a celestial's identity from such effects. In this case, since Fate/Destiny-reading attunements don't normally involve a roll, just roll a d666 for a check digit to see if it's less than the target's Role level.