The Angels

As Heaven is an ordered place, so too are the Angels grouped into a hierarchy called choirs. The highest of these are the Archangels and their domains extend over more universal concepts, such as Death, Judgement and War. Below the Angels are the Seraphims, Cherubim, and finally the Nephilim. The Seraphim are concerned with the Order of the universe and celestial matters. The Cherabim see to terrestrial things, such as the trees and animals of the Earth. The Nephilim were set to watch man and concerned themselves with his wants and needs. Most Angels are portrayed as powerful men and slightly androgynous features shrouded by a hood, making their gender and even identity indeterminate.

Few Nephilim are recorded, and it is generally believed they are all either fallen or destroyed. According the legend, many of them fell in love with the humans they watched and some even produced children. The other angels considered this a gross heresy against the natural order and purged both the Nephilim and their children. However, few such purges are completely successful and it has been suggested that the spark of the divine remains within humanity. This spark may be the origin of the mythical heroes of old, and perhaps the source of mankind's power over magic. Perhaps it gifted mankind with a resource to resist the temptations of the Pale, something for which the Nephilim may have gladly sacrificed themselves. However, this is all ancient myth, and few in the Aluminat believe it anything more than heresy. Perhaps only the mysterious Eloim (another group of heavenly outcasts) know the truth.

Ismal has its Angels, too. However, they generally only recognize the Archangels, seeing anything else as a minor aspect an an Archangel, if they agree it exists at all. The battle between Aluminat and Ismalic Dogma has divided the Host into two separate orders. As both faiths know the Angels by the same names, some lesser Angels may have been given the names of more famous Archangels to fill in the 'gaps' on each side. However, it is equally possible that duplicate Angels were created or, worse yet, that the Angels were rendered schizophrenic by the Chaos of prosaic faith. As Angels rarely introduce themselves, it is not known how many of the more renowned Angels (detailed below) have fallen prey to dogma and become tarnished.


Archangel of Conquest
In general, Aluminat faith frowns on war, as it brings only Chaos. However, it does bring nations and people together in the long run. Michael is the General of the Heavenly Host, who cast down Lucifer in the ancient days. He only supports 'just war' and sees to it that any 'unjust war' is lost quickly and absolutely. Many Aluminat soldiers therefore point to victory as proof of their moral superiority. The Ismalic 'Mika'il' is also the Archangel of War, but additionally brings thunder and lighting onto the Earth. In both faiths, he is a fearful and powerful being.


Archangel of the Message
When the Heavens wish to communicate with man, it is usually Gabriel who is sent. He is associated with fire, as he brings the flame of truth to all those to whom he appears. His flames are also known to purify or destroy those whose faith is weak. The Ismalic 'Jibra'il' is very much the same. He was responsible for bringing word of the new faith to Ish'Mael.


Archangel of Judgement
Raphael sits at the highest place in all the Heavens, so he can see more than any other being. His judgement is therefore more enlightened than any others, even if it isn't always the fairest. Raphael is also in charge of the Horn of Judgement. He alone will know the time to sound it and call the Angels for a final war in heaven against the dark. 'Israfil' is his Ismalic counterpart.


Archangel of Death
If there is to be true order in the universe, with every life must come to a death. Uriel sees to it that life and death are balanced, as they should be, and tries to ease the transition for the faithful. Uriel himself does not collect the souls of the dead; he has a selection of lesser Angels who perform this service for him. The Ismalic 'Azrael' is a slightly darker figure. He comes to collect the soul of anyone whose place in Heaven or Hell is not clear. He makes a final judgement, not based on the life of the soul, but on the balance of souls in Heaven and Hell at the time. Such an arbitrary system is one of the many reasons to live a faithful life.


Archangel of the Voice
In more heretical texts, Metatron is referred to as 'the voice of God', but he is more properly referred to as 'the voice of order'. He is created with voicing the first clear note that began the creation of the world from Chaos. This note was the first ordered thing in the universe, a clear and precise song that never wavered or changed. It is said that Metatron sings this note constantly, as he has done for millennia, and it is the foundation that supports all that Order has made from Chaos. Metatron's voice is also credited with forming language in the minds of man, in order that they could communicate and bring Order to the new creation. The Ismalic version of Metatron has the same name, but is only known as the bringer of language and not the song that holds the world together.


Archangel of Mercy
This is the Archangel who stayed the hand of Abraham when he was about to sacrifice his son to the heavens. Zadkiel is the Angel charged with granting mercy, but only to those who have earned it. There can be no forgiveness without repentance, and Zadkiel can be just as cruel as he can be merciful. Zadkiel goes by the same name in Ismalic faith and, while he is a little more compassionate, he brings relief only to the faithful.


Archangel of Secrets
True to his name, no one knows if Raziel is Archangel, Seraphim, Cherubim or even Nephilim. He is attributed as all of these and goes by a dozen names in every form of Yehudic, Aluminat and Ismalic faith. It is said that anyone who can discover one of his secrets will be bound by Raziel to keep it for eternity, but will also be gifted with other secrets to keep in his name. Magicians often call Raziel the Angel of Magic for his arcane ways, but the Aluminat Church officially considers such claims heresy.


Seraph of Love, Gatekeeper of Heaven
Love is an important emotion in Aluminat faith, but mainly because it is a powerful emotion that must not be allowed to overrule faith. Camael is also a Guardian Angel and, just as he guards the hearts of men, so too does he guard the Gates of Heaven.

Munkar and Nakeer

Seraph of Death
These are two of the servants of Uriel. They find the bodies of the recently dead and hold up a mirror to their eyes. This shows the person their own soul staring back, before it is drawn out through the mirror and into their just reward.


Seraph of Hope
One of the most gentle of the host, Remiel does what he can to guide the faithful souls of the recently dead to heaven. He is also credited with sending divine vision to the faithful so that they can aid his task on Earth. Remiel is very well respected in Yehudic tradition, where he is known as Jeremiel.


Cherub of Soldiers
This angel led the 365 legions of Lesser Angels in the war against Lucifer. He is not a General, like Michael, but a soldier and warrior. Now the wars are over, he has been set to guard the places man is not meant to know. Needless to say, those who have gone to such places have never returned to tell what they found there, or what Shamsiel might be guarding.


Cherub of Prayer
Salaphiel is one of many, many Cherubim charged with listening to the prayers of the faithful. He and others like him hear all the prayers of man, and decided which ones should be brought before the Seraphim and the Archangels, who might deign to answer them.