World of Darkness: Tenebris Raptis

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PostSubject: Visages    Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:06 am

Chapter Six of Demon: The Fallen provides everything you need to create a functional character, but this section devotes special attention to shaping the demon's true visage, or revelatory form. In many cases, a demon feels more at home in this form than he does in the stolen human flesh he currently inhabits. After all, this flesh is a temporary shell, and a borrowed (or, more accurately, stolen) one at that. The revelatory form, however, offers a small taste of the freedom that all angels once enjoyed, and a more fitting manifestation of the demon's true nature than a human flesh-cloak. The apocalyptic form is more than a war form or a weapon for the fallen; it is a reflection of their goals, their dreams and their nigh-forgotten purpose as agents of Creation.

When creating a character, read over the description of the demon's visage, as determined by the character's primary lore. Also, have a look through the suggestions for incorporating the visage more completely into your character concept (seethe God's Intent section below). Even it you wind up choosing entirely different powers for your demon's revelatory form, this visage still applies to some degree. While one Dagan might cause flowers to spring into bloom and any who look on her to feel stronger (the Aura of Vitality and Affirm abilities) and another might soar invisibly through the night watching over her chosen thralls (Wings and Pass Without Trace), the very fact that both embody the Visage of Awakening means that they shine with life, in whatever ways their players interpret that characteristic. Decide how the character embodies her primary lore and why she chose to specialize in it in the first place. Was it integral to her duties under God? Has she fallen back on a particular lore path because the years have eroded her knowledge of her previous specialty?
God's Intent

The various types of lore that demons now evoke is but a weak cousin to the power they once wielded during the War of Wrath. When God created each of the angels, He did so with a specific purpose in mind. That purpose shows through, if only a little, in a fallen angel's visage. Even those lore paths that grew out of necessity during the war manifested revelatory forms that harked back to an angel's original role in Heaven's plan. Although the Lore of the Forge didn't exist prior to the Fall, those fallen who dedicated themselves to mastering the lore still bore skin like iron and the molten veins of an angel of the deep earth. Whatever the fallen have become, even after countless ages of torment, their appearance still hints at the luminous glory of their origins.

Some suggestions follow for the original purpose for angels who exhibit each of the visages. Consider your character with regard to her purpose as mandated by the Creator (and expressed through her primary lore) when describing the derails of her visage.

It might seem as though a given purpose could arguably fall under a number of different visages. For example, an angel responsible for hope might now be a Slayer with the Namtar Visage (old things die, but new things take their place), an Ishhara Defiler (longing is not far from hope, ideologically) or even a Devil who exhibits the Visage of the Celestials (in God's Word there is always hope). This kind of overlap is deliberate. Although the angels never questioned God on the matter, the assumption was always that two pairs of eyes on a project are better than one. Therefore, if a subject falls under multiple jurisdictions, it prevents any one angel from having the last word on the subject's usage and specific traits.

Adad, the Visage of Storms
The Adad were once Angels of the Deeps,designed by God to watch over rhe boundless oceans and to carry water inland by drawing the life-giving waters up into themselves. Elemental angels, they represented the physical side of the water (which their sisters, the Ishhara, embodied spiritually). As a result, Adad tend to be the most basic and grounded of the Defilers - Yet a grounded nature mixed with the raw fury of the Visage of Storms in no way makes them safe to be around. Angels remember days when most of the world was nor covered by ocean. Even when the waters receded enough to allow humans and animals to walk on land again, much of the world remained submerged (and does to this day). The Adad are proud of this fact. Where God did not trust man, He trusted them. The Adad embody one of the great truths about the nature of the world — they can be deadly and unforgiving at the very same moment that they sustain and create life.

Modern-day Adad remember, if vaguely, that God charged them with the world's destruction once. Some of them wish only for the chance to do so again. An angry Adad is the fury of the hurricane and the tsunami both, but a tormented Adad takes on the appearance of the modern seas — choked with chemicals and smelling of foul pollution. This is the Adad's greatest lament. The mortals, whom they so loved, have now corrupted even the seas.

Anshar, the Visage of the Firmament
The Lore of the Firmament is a poor cousin to the power the Angels of the Firmament once held. They were once the angels that forged the spiritual connections between beings. Predator and prey, mother and son, plant and sunlight; none of these would interact without an Anshar to bridge the gap between them.

The Dagan breathed God's life into the world, but the Anshar made that breath possible. They, truly, were the divine messengers. The Fall saw the end of this power, but the Anshar slowly developed the Lore of the Firmament as their new raison d'etre. Most cultures recognize a connection between all living things. What exactly that connection stems from — an element that makes up all life, a shared soul, the touch of God — isn't always agreed upon, but in many philosophies, everything on Earth is a part of everything else. For the Anshar, this fact isn't idle speculation or philosophy, it is their reason for being. Implicit in that focus on connections was the concept of distance. It was the Anshar who placed the stars as far away from Earth as they did. Some Scourges walking the Earth today note with pride that the light of some of the stars they placed still hasn't reached human eyes. That pride is tinged with longing, however. It might be thousands or millions of years before they gaze on their own handiwork again, if ever.

The Scourges' power and responsibility changed after the war, of course, but they did retain the knowledge of how to create and maintain connections. Lost forever, though, was the ability to create a new and unique relationship between beings. They could (and can) see through their thralls' eyes, yes, but they cannot cause their thralls to draw strength from their very presence. Modern Anshar are wary of growing too close to things of this world, lest they be hurt again, but they can't fly to the stars anymore either. Torment removes them even further from Earth, sapping their life and vitality, making them thinner and dimming their eternal light . An Anshar who succumbs entirely to Torment is likely to fade away, not having rhe strength to connect with any part of the world.

Antu, the Visage of Paths
Reality was once layered, such that any living thing could exist on any number of levels. As the world began to grow more complex, however, and humans began to move through it. God created the Antu to make paths through the innumerable realms of Earth. The Antu were responsible for creating the currents, the jet streams, the game trails and even other methods of traveling from place to place. That meant that they also worked hand in hand with their brothers the Kishar, making sure that time would erode certain pathways that might be used in coming centuries. Most of the Antu worked on the ground among humans and other inhabitants of Paradise, invisibly influencing the growth of a tree or the fall of rhe rock. Some few worked above with the Angels of the Winds, making sure that storms and other weather followed their God-given paths.

The modern age panics many Antu, who see billions of people wandering the world without the first idea where they mean to go. Antu are direct; when they travel, there's a reason, and they arrive at their destination quickly. In times past, they were very efficient angels, and their work ethic has changed little. Cars, airplanes and other modes of transport fascinate them but are also cause for worry. After all, they built pathways into the world — and between worlds — that only angels were meant to tread. The Antu hear stories of mythological figures journeying to the shadow lands, and they wonder where some of their paths might now lead. After all, if the entire world has become warped, they can no longer be sure that the trails they once laid lead to the same destinations. What if the humans, in their current faithless and meandering state, were to find these paths?

High levels of Torment rob these demons of their focus on destination. Instead, they lose their way and pull others into that state of confusion and helplessness as well. Their physical forms begin to fade at the edges, making their boundaries indistinct and blurry. Their voices, likewise, begin to echo, as though emanating from somewhere other than their mouths.

Aruru, the Visage of the Flesh
Once, the Angels of Flesh were the most powerful of the Angels of the Wild, creating the very laws by which life abided. With a touch, an Aruru can stop a mortal's heart or reshape his flesh so that even his mother won't recognize him. While this is impressive, it is nothing compared to the wonders that the Aruru worked in times past, and this makes them bitter. The Lore of the Flesh is all that remains of what the Aruru once were.

Cynics often point out that any human emotion, faith included, can be quantified as an electrochemical pattern in the body. The Aruru don't see this as evidence against God; they, after all, were charged with creating those patterns. Living biology is immensely complex, and it involves so many reactions and variables that God created only a few Aruru, rather than risk too many cooks spoiling the primordial soup. These angels, unlike their more basic cousins, were charged with making sure that life could flourish, even in the immense variety that God had bestowed upon the Earrh. The fact that humans are still discovering new species does these angels proud, as does the fact that many organisms are adapting to environments for which the Aruru never intended them.

Like the Antu, the Aruru are efficient. They might like to experiment, sometimes with their own bodies, but on the whole they keep their revelatory forms simple. Many of them simply idealize their human hosts, making them healthy and physically perfect. They rarely bother with aesthetics, although they do tend to correct any physical asymmetry they find. The new sciences of cloning and genetic tampering horrify most Aruru; God granted powers such as these to the angels for a reason, after all. More progressive (or cynical) demon s simply point out that God never granted the power to fly to humans, yet they do. Even these demons, however, must admit that the power to reshape a life form on so basic a level does not seem to be a wise thing to put into mortal hands.

Bel, the Visage of the Celestials
The Bel were the leaders of the Host, designed by God to be managers, generals and when necessary, disciplinarians. Granted power over Faith itself — the very building block of the universe, in ancient times — the Bel used their authority to direct and command the other angels. Unlike their Nusku brothers, who actually carried and commanded the Fire of Heaven, the Bel used their lore to spread the Word of God, spreading understanding as well as illumination, that everything in the universe might know its place. The Bel were among the angels who rarely took any particular form at all. Like the Shamash, they preferred to travel as light or sound. Being forced to adopt physical bodies as the world grew thin is a phenomenon that all of the Bel deeply resented. Conceptually, some Bel worked with notions such as inspiration and creativity, while their sisters among the Ishhara actually provided inspiration. The Bel made it possible for mankind to get ideas; other angels then supplied the imagery and physical trappings that activated them. Bel were angels of potential and, in many ways, faith.

Like all Devils, Bel were made for leadership, and their visages are always striking, regardless of the details. Almost all Bel glow with inner light — they resemble a "classical" angel in many respects. Whether they do because legends of angels stemmed from memories (or visions) of the Bel or because the Bel choose this form to be better able to influence human thought is an academic question. As a Bel's Torment increases, her effect on those around her changes from awe-inspiring glory to unholy terror. Many Bel find that their physical forms change quite beyond their control, spiraling away from the spiritual purity of light and Faith into the base power of natural weaponry. Therefore, monstrous Bel often exhibit such traits as wicked fangs and claws or an increase in size.

Dagan, the Visage of Awakening
The Angels of Awakening were present for the birth — and, perhaps, conception — of every living thingon Earth before the Fall. They brought the breath of God to the newborn children of all the world's creatures, from the crawling insects to the mightiest leviathans. For a seed to germinate, a Dagan was necessary to give it the essential spark of life. The Angels of the Dawn might have spread God's word, but the Dagan swept across Creation interacting with life directly. As such, they tended to be the most grounded and practical of the Angels of the Second House. The Dagan enjoyed a special working relationship with the Namtar. The Angels of Death broke matter down, and the Dagan reinvigorated it so that nothing ever went to waste.

When the rebellion came, the Dagan who joined with Lucifer were thrilled by the idea of being able to watch over the births of human children without masking their presence. Then God's curse upon the Asharu changed everything. Humans would grow old and die, no matter how much the Dagan guarded them from poison. That alone was enough to drive many of them to the more destructive side of their powers. Worse yet, their special kinship with the House of the Second World was shattered as the Halaku now had to reap the souls of rhe slain, leaving many to view the Dagan as working at cross purposes.

Dagan are beings of life and vitality. Monstrous Dagan are the antithesis of life, foul creatures of disease and decay. They are life left unchecked, health spun out of balance by neglect. While a Dagan's revelatory form is the picture of perfect health, the body begins to fall away as his Torment increases. A Dagan with extremely high Torment might resemble nothing more than a skeleton with a few clumps of flesh clinging to the bones.

Ellil, the Visage of the Winds
While the Dagan traveled throughout all of Creation doing their work, the Ellil were much more specialized. They provided the air that powered the breath of God and worked alongside the Adad creating weather patterns. Like the Kishar and Adad, they were very much angels of the elements, tied to the physical reality that humans could see (or feel, in the case of the Ellil). The Angels of the Winds were among those Celestials most interested in music. By sending their winds through certain structures — such as stones, trees or caves — the Ellil were able to produce natural sound and thereby communicate with the humans without violating God' s ban. It was a good idea, but true to form, humans ignored or misinterpreted it.

Ellil were resjionsible for creating everything from gentle breezes to hurricanes. When the rebellion came, many of the most destructive rebels joined simply to show humanity that they were merely doing their jobs in creating the gales that frightened humans so. The unfortunate result, however, is that the most destructive of the Ellil later fought against the Heavenly Host in the War of Wrath.

Ellil are angels of air, so their visages tend toward lithe and quick forms. Most Ellil have wings, and they use their power over winds to execute some truly dazzling aerial displays. And yet, for all that, they remember the days when they took the form of the air itself, rather than riding its currents. Ellil are restless demons at the best of times, but high levels of Torment madden them. The winds that constantly surround their apocalyptic forms begin to reek — the term "ill wind" best defines them. Some Ellil tend toward base physical modifications as Torment rises; quills and fangs are common. Some grow subtler but begin to poison the air around them.

Ereshkigal, the Visage of the Realms
The Halaku changed greatly in the wake of Heaven's curse, but none so much as the Ereshkigal. These demons bear the least resemblance to their once - angelic forms of any of the fallen, simply because they created a new purpose for themselves — as well as a new lore path — after the Fall. The Angels of the Second World were once charged with killing off species that had either failed in their purpose (many of the Zaltu's early experiments provided work for the Ereshkigal) or had simply outlived their role in the ecosystem. Only humans remained untouched, as they did not die. Then, with one horribl e proclamation from Michael, everything changed. Reapers who sided with God found themselves collecting the souls of man, and the Ereshkigal, who had heretofore stalked dying beasts throughout Creation, tried to find ways to hide them. The Angels of the Realms were, in their way, responsible lor preserving what little remained of the "layered reality" after the Fall and the War of Wrath, for they created the spirit worlds where dead souls could hide from their reaping angels. To this day, no one is sure if it was an act of God or angel that made denizens of one realm incompatible with another, but many of the creatures that the Halaku hid in the spirit worlds die in moments on Earth. The Ereshkigal had only so much time to focus on animals, however, as they were busy trying to show humans how to cross these boundaries. Together with some few of the rogue Antu, they created gateways and paths that led to the newly constructed spirit realms.

The Lore of the Realms is one of many lore paths created out of necessity in the wake of the Fall. As the Ereshkigal built the lands of the dead, they assumed garb that would allow them pass unnoticed between the realms. Over time, humanity knew them as spirit guides, psychopomps and ferrymen. They shed their wings and other angelic trappings, and their visages became quiet and dark, so as not to attract notice. The Ereshkigal of today still exhibit these traits, even when Torment begins to consume them. When the anguish overpowers their souls, however, they grow cold. In the darkness of the lands of the dead, there waits oblivion, and even the oldest Ereshkigal cannot remember why they allowed this spiritual void into the realm they built for their beloved humans — if indeed it was their choice to do so.

Ishhara, the Visage of Longing
The Lammasu understand longing. They were created, after all, to lure humans on to greater and deeper thoughts, but never to reveal themselves directly. That ability to inspire, to entice, to create desire formed the essence of Angels of Longing. And yet, they too yearned to be closer to the humans they were made to love. When the rebellion came, many Ishhara jumped at the chance to show humanity the possibilities open to them, rather than simply tempt them. The problem, of course, was that this didn't satisfy the Ishhara, who were made from the start to be creatures of endless desire. In short, even when they had what they wanted, it wasn't enough.

This kind of eternal want isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course. Yes, it eventually spurred such impulses as greed and gluttony, but it also drove humans on to find better and more efficient methods of study and worship. The Angels of Longing acted as muses, working with their sisters the Mammetum to slowly manipulate humanity's wishes in ways that would improve the race's lot. But human desire, once unleashed, proved a dangerous beast, and the Ishhara themselves. the embodiments of desire, were humbled by how much humans could acquire and still want for more. In particular, the competitive nature of humanity horrified the Ishhara as the War of Wrath went on. Mortals seemed perfectly content to burn anything they couldn't have, rather than take the longer view and work slowly and methodically to achieve their goal. Ishhara, by nature, saw desire as a motivator to alter behavior. Humanity sees it as an excuse to alter the world.

Ishhara are always beautiful, no matter how much Torment they accrue. That beauty, however, changes from a pure, almost chaste beauty to a siren's untouchable glamour as the Defiler allows the Torment of the Abyss to haunt her. A monstrous Ishhar a might be the most beautiful thing a mortal has ever seen, so lovely to look upon that he cannot bear the strength of his own desires. Ironically, this is much the same way the Ishhara feel regarding the world around them.

Kishar, the Visage of the Earth
At first blush, the Angels of the Earth might seem simplistic and brutal. When one considers the sheer amount of responsibility these angels had, however , their true complexity becomes apparent. The Kishar were responsible for the natural topography of the world, including mountains, fjords, volcanoes, sea beds, glaciers and any other earth or rock-based phenomenon. In the process, they pioneered such concepts as patience, diligence, and tenacity. They were entrusted with more power than any other "earth-based' angels, except perhaps the Aruru. They understood that the earth changed slowly, but in changing altered all life in Creation. While the humble Kishar never thought of themselves as doing the most important work, they did admit that only they had the patience and skill to work the literal clay of the world. When the rebellion came, few Kishar joined Lucifer, but those that did formed the juggernauts of his legions. Along with their brethren the Antu, the Kishar knew the Fundament better than any other angels. With their abilities of reshaping rock and earth, they could create tunnels and pathways for the legions, as well as cause tremendous earthquakes and other natural disasters. Each of the strongholds of the Host kept an Angel of the Earth on hand, simply to prevent a rebel Kishar from leveling the place with a nod of his head. The battles between these titans literally shook the earth, as modern-day fault lines and mountain ranges can attest.

The Angels of the Earth resemble golems, huge beings formed of rock. The temperament and function of a Kishar is obvious upon looking at the minerals that compose his apocalyptic form. An angel responsible for creating mountains might be formed gray stone, whereas an angel who did most of his work beneath the earth might be made of coal or even a precious metal. The Kishar's capabilities lean overwhelmingly toward physical enhancements, even when the demon's Torment rises. Whereas a low-Torment Kishar tends toward empowering himself, however, a monstrous Angel of the Earth develops spikes and other natural weaponry, the better to rend and destroy the objects of his malice.

Mammetum, the Visage of Transfiguration
The sea is ever-changing yet always the same. Like all angels before the Fall, the Mammetum could assume whatever form best suited the needs of the moment. But at the same time, they were called upon to embody change and incongruity. Some Angels of Transfiguration worked with literal, physical change, allowing life to grow and develop. Some worked with the Ishhara to create attraction and then to change in order to meet approval. Some Mammetum even worked with the esoteric concepts of metaphor and irony, transforming meaning itself. Supposedly, the angel who pioneered humor was an Angel of Transfiguration.

Change is difficult and often painful, however. Once something changes, it leaves a part of itself behind forever. A man who grows older might gain experience, knowledge and happiness, but the changes distance him from the youth he once was. The Mammetum knew that this evolution was nothing to fear, and they longed to show humanity that change was simply part of God's plan. For the Mammetum, the rebellion was a way to reassure humanity that change did not lead inevitably to death. After the Fall, of course, that assertion was harder to make. While not many will admit it, almost all Mammetum had the thought cross their minds in the dark of the Abyss that maybe they should have left humanity well enough alone. This isn't in their nature, however. Transfiguration isn' t simply changing oneself, it involves changing one's environment to suit one's ever-changing needs. Mammetum are never sedentary, and the sluggish nature of many modern-day humans annoys them to no end.

While it is said that the Angels of Transfiguration never assumed the same form twice before the Fall, the Lore of Transfiguration is all the fallen Defilers have left to remind themselves of their former diversity. Although Mammetum cannot achieve the same degree of fluidity as they could in the past, the Visage of Transfiguration is still a potent, mercurial power. Many Mammetum leave an after-image as they walk in revelatory form, their appearance constantly changing. Monstrous Mammetum lose that fluidity, and although their forms might still change, the change requires effort instead of being intrinsic to the Defiler. High levels of Torment confer the worst curse the Mammetum could conceive: permanence.

Mummu, the Visage of the Forge
Creating tools for man would have violated God's ban on interacting with them, so the Lore of the Forge (and thus the Mummu) didn't exist as such until after the Fall. Some Annunaki, however, attempted to show humanity how the world around them could be turned to their advantage even before the rebellion. They created stones in certain shapes and worked with the Zaltu and the Mammetum to inspire beasts to build homes and use twigs and other tools. It didn't seem to help. They tried to show humanity, secondhand, how their environment was constructed in a specific way, that it could he made more suitable to their needs. On the day that Adam fashioned a sling to kill a bird, the angels who would become the Mummu rejoiced. The fact that he forgot his accomplishment the next day and went back to chasing rabbits cemented the angels' decision to rebel.

Given leave to create and reshape the world as they saw fit during the War of Wrath, the Mummu became the artificers and weapon-smiths of the infernal host. They worked human faith into the tools of war and fashioned cursed treasures to seduce and corrupt the enemy. Since the Mummu were never part of the pre-rebellion hierarchy, they didn't share the same constraints as far as honorable battle and traditional tactics. Their presence in the War of Wrath led Lucifer's forces to a number of memorable victories. Yet for all their trouble, they were cast into the Pit for a million dark eternities with absolutely nothing to do.

Demons who manifest the Visage of the Forge are giants, titans who once reshaped the living rock into their heart's desires. Despite their size, they retain their skill and mechanical finesse, until Torment overtakes them. Their creative impulses spin out of control, sending everything around them into chaos. Still, to them, even this is preferable to the nothingness of the Abyss.

Namtar, the Visage of Death
Once the Namtar used their mastery of death to determine what creatures needed to be excised from the Earth, then simply touched them gently and returned their bodies to the ground. The Angels of Death were created to recycle the material left by the passing of the spirit (whereas the disposition of the spirit itself was left to their brothers, the Nergal). Their powers were not designed to he used on humans, and the curse placed upon rhe Halaku was worse than any the gentle Namtar could have conceived. Their beloved humans would now fall victim to their proverbial scythes — small wonder, then, that some of the Halaku immediately began building realms where the loyalist Nergal couldn't find human souls. As agents of decay and physical death, the Namtar tried to conceive of ways to make death acceptable, if not palatable. From their work during the war came notions such as martyrdom, grieving, funerals and many forms of medicine. Suicide and despair also came about, however, as the Namtar tried to make every human's ultimate fate a little easier.

As the War of Wrath wore on, though, the Namtar slowly began to enjoy their work. Again, they had little truck with the souls of the dead, so to them, humanity became mere matter, worked in the same manner as the Muntinu worked the earth. When the rebel Namtar were cast into the Abyss, many had already changed, the cold glee in ending life paving the way for the Torment to come.

The Visage of Death terrifies any who see it, regardless of the demon's Tormen t score. A Namtar is an embodiment of mortality, but it offers none of the comfort that a Nergal might. As Torment rises, that cold silence of the grave gives way to the chilling howls of the dead. The Namtar himself, however, becomes oddly deaf to those screams, seeing only the crude matter before him.

Nedu, the Visage of Portals
The Angels of Portals were created as a sort of auxiliary to the Ninsun, creating gates for them to travel back and forth across Creation instantly. The Nedu, however, were also responsible for the framework of magic that later became wards and summonings and the processes of thought that invented locks. The concepts of entrances and exits also stemmed from their efforts, as did concepts such as privacy and, unfortunately, theft. Their collaborations with the Annunaki during the war led to locks, doors and the portals between the physical and spirit realms. It was a loyalist Nedu, in fact, who supposedly designed the gates of the Abyss itself.

Few Nedu actually joined the rebellion, as their work kept them far removed from humans. Those who did side with Lucifer were often the ones responsible for creating gateways between the heavens and the earth, so that various angels with responsibilities that took them away from Paradise could visit their cherished humans occasionally. They also created portals for the Angels of the Fundament, transporting them from the surface of the earth to their fiery forges. As a result, the Nedu know earth better than any other angels except perhaps the Antu. Like the Antu and the Ereshkigal, the Nedu fashioned portals between worlds. Fiends who know the Lore of Portals are very likely to have several different versions of a summoning spell ready to be performed by their thralls just in case they are ever sent back to the Abyss.

The Nedu have an odd relationship with light. The Angels of Portals understood that shadows could be easily used as gateways, but the Shamash considered shadows (an ideological extension of light) to be their domain. After the Fall, however, the Nedu wove the shadows into an intricate web of gateways spanning the entire world. The secret of this network of portals was lost after the Nedu were cast into the Pit, though mortal sorcerers and even certain vampires have occasionally stumbled upon it. The newly freed Fiends have had little luck in accessing this web again, for reasons unknown. Many Nedu still appear as shadowy apparitions in their apocalyptic form, harking back to their greatest creation during the war. Monstrous Nedu often appear shrouded entirely is darkness, as though receding into some unseen portal.

Nergal, the Visage of the Spirit
Before the rebellion, the Nergal performed a function similar to their sisters, the Namtar, but instead of recycling matter, they worked in more esoteric circles. Nergal worked with the Dagan and the Ninsun to make sure that all who needed to be awakened could be, and then removed the spiritual detrius left in the wake of change. Their focus changed dramatically, however, when humans became mortal and their souls needed to be ferried on to their final destinations. Loyalist Nergal were given charge of removing the souls to another place, but the rebels, of course, were never told what that place might be. Unable to bear the thought of human souls passing beyond their grasp into an uncertain future, these angels created the Lore of the Spirit. The Nergal became the soul conveyers, comforting humans in their dying moments and allowing their spirits to return by fettering them to those things and people that they loved. No one can say if it was human tenacity that allowed this kind of treatment or if the Nergal's willingness to attach human souls fostered that tenacity. Whatever the case, spiritual death became the Nergal's purview, and therefore, so did curses and supernatural occurances connected with death. The most common, of course, was vampirism. When the Halaku saw what Caine had brought upon himself, their punishment seemed light by comparison.

In the end, though, the Nergal were overwhemled trying to cope with the staggering scope of souls lost each day across the Earth, eventually leading to the creation of the spirit realm. The fact that the Abyss was located close enough to these realms (metaphysically speaking) taht the Angels of the Spirit could hear and interact with those souls was surely no accident. But the Nergal, wanting so desperately to reach out and comfort their charges, over time began to simply wish to silence them.

Now, back on Earth, the Nergal retain much of their power over the souls of dead humans. The Torment their time in the Abyss earned them has altered them, however. While a Nergal who staves off Torment retains his beatific Visage, a monstrous one is an infernal soul collector, come to snatch a human spirit to Hell. Such beings grow in size (if not mass) and loom over their victims like the Grim Reaper of human legend.

Ninsun, the Visage of Patterns
The universe is ordered, even if it took humans thousands of years to notice it (let alone begin to understand that order). The Angels of Patterns were responsible for building that order and making sure that it did not fall apart. They did their job well, in fact, and even during the rebellion, the Ninsun took pride in the fact that they could predict with certainty where the earth and the heavens were going and why. Laws of physics and even basic spiritual truths — the Golden Rule, the Threefold Law — rested in the hands of the Angels of Patterns. The Ninsun built much of the foundation upon which the world was based, not in terms of raw material (which fell to the more elemental angels such as the Kishar) but the rules by which even the basest materials abided.

And then God destroyed that order with a swipe of His hand, and all the work the Ninsun did was knocked askew. Some demons guess that God altered the order so that the rebel Ninsun (and there were quite a few, as many of them agreed with Ahrunal and his dire predictions) could not tip the balance of the War of Wrath. As it happened, Angels of Patterns on both sides of the war retained their abilities to see the future, but not affect it on a broad scale (and certainly not to alter rhe fundamental order of rhe universe). The Ninsun were often deciding factors in the war, but they could no longer manipulate worldwide events to best advantage. The rebels never quite regained their equilibrium before being tossed into Hell.

After escaping, many Ninsun noticed with horror that the grand clockworks of rhe universe keep running, though no one has tended them in aeons. This means that the whole thing could spin out of control at any moment. The various factions, of course, respond to that sentiment in different ways, but the Ninsun, on the whole, aren't ready to see the rest of their work fall to pieces.

The Visage of Patterns is perfectly symmetrical and usually covered in marking and symbols older than language itself. Pattern angels were great proponents of language and writing, and they adopted such symbols onto their revelatory forms. Monstrous Ninsun, strangely, do not lose their symmetry. Instead, they grow cold, alien and distant, as though listening to a far-off invocation.

Ninurtu, the Visage of the Wild
Like the Zaltu, the Angels of the Wild were given the task of creating as many different varieties of life as possible. As any modern botanist might attest, they outdid themselves. The Ninurtu created plants that the animals used for food — and vice versa, as the bodies of the dead served to feed the world's flora. The Angels of the Wild also enjoyed a special relationship with the Shamash; the Angels of Light provided the energy for many of the creations of the Ninurtu.

If not for God's command to love the humans, the Angels of the Wild might have been content to let them wallow in ignorance forever. But the Ninurtu had grandiose dreams of the humans living carefree in their forests, running in their fields, without fear — not because the angels protected them, but because the humans would learn and remember what plants could be touched and eaten. When the rebellion came, the few Ninurtu who joined with Lucifer were those who had protected the nascent humans from death resulting from eating a poisonous or indigestible plant. All through the war the forests were battlegrounds as Ninurtu
changed the flora into combatants and guardians. And then, the rebels found themselves exiled to a dark place with no life, supposedly forever.

Upon returning to Earth, however, the Ninurtu discovered exactly how the humans have treated the angels' creations, clear-cutting forests and poisoning the soil with chemicals. Despite this displeasure, though, not all (or even most) Ninurtu are eco-tenorists. Just as many want to see the world torn down, burning the earth clean so they can grow new life from the ashes, Some Devourers don't wish to see the world destroyed so much as returned to the simple Paradise it once was. That would mean getting rid of most of the humans, of course, but many Ninurtu feel that humanity had its chance.

In apocalyptic form, Ninurtu usually take on the features of the plants they helped to create. Therefore, a Devourer who helped to create oak trees might be huge and sturdy, whereas an angel of ivy might be thin but extremely strong. As Torment builds, however, most Ninurtu grow in size and take on the fury of the planet that their cherished humans are slowly destroying.

Nusku, the Visage of Flame
The angels who were granted authority over fire did not have the same prestige as their cousins among the Bel did. Charged with the creation of sources of light (rather than uses for light itself, which was the province of the Shamash) the Nusku set about igniting the sun and the stars. Lightning was another invention of the Nusku, although authority over using it passed to the Adad. The Nusku, however, had dominion over fire as the embodiment of faith as well. Working with the Bel, they sought to teach humanity how faith could nurture them in times of cold just as fire could. Until the rebellion, of course, the humans weren't able to make that connection. The Angels of Flames took this in stride and continued their duties of providing light and warmth.

Utterly devoted to his cause and his faith, a Nusku constantly runs the risk of burning too hot and dying out. During the War of Wrath, the Nusku joined with the Ellil to create devastating firestorms. The Angels of Flame were and remain uncompromising — a fire either burns or it doesn't. It can be contained, but never diminished without killing it entirely. As such, Nusku tend to be extremely, almost fanatically, devoted to their factions.

An Angel of Flame always burns hot in revelatory form, the flames surrounding her the only constant between different Nusku. As a Nusku's Torment rises, though, the fire begins to die. Strong emotion might cause it to flare up unexpectedly (and even out of the demon's control) but for the most part, monstrous Nusku look like dying embers, smoldering and sullen, but no less dangerous.

Qingu, the Visage of Radiance
The Lore of Radiance didn't exist until after the rebellion, when the Devils who had once been the leaders among the Host refined their powers of authority into a set of evocations. They found the power to inspire those around them, to lead the mortals and the fallen alike, and speak with a voice that carried authority.

The Qingu, in the process, were singled out for much of the hostility from the Host of Heaven. Michael, especially, despised the Angels of Radiance, decrying them as blasphemers for pretending to their former authority.

During the War of Wrath, the Qingu were tacticians and warlords. They were also keepers of records, as their power allowed them to mark and recall friends or foes. When fighting loyalist angel s who could change their shapes, this ability proved invaluable.

Eternity in the Abyss humbled the Qingu, and upon returning to Earth, many of them lost much of the influence (and Eminence) they once held. Yet their visages are still majestic and, of course, radiant. Their inner light is blinding, especially to mortals, but the Qingu are impossible to ignore. Monstrous Qingu sometimes develop features such as tails or horns, but they do not become the same sorts of monsters as the Rabisu. Instead, they become cruel taskmasters, ready to strike down anyone with the temerity to so much as raise eyes to view them.

Shamash, the Visage of Light
The Lore of Light emerged during the war, so the Shamash only appeared after the rebellion, but all angels had some form of relationship with light from the beginnings of the universe. God began the universe with light, after all, and the essential energy is a part of all of His creations. This might be why angels (and fallen angels) are resistant to illusion; they see much more clearly, having learned to perceive light when it was still new. The pre-rebellion Angels of Light were not responsible for the creation of light — that was God's purview — but they developed different ways to use light. They created color and imparted properties like photosynthesis, often in conjunction with other angels.

As one of its most important events, the rebellion involved granting light to the humans. Whether it was literal light in the form of fire or metaphorical light in the form of knowledge, the Shamash were there rejoicing as the first mortals learned how much the angels loved them. Before the war, optical illusions were created as challenges to spur humans on to greater depth of thought and connection (something of which all angels, but most especially the Mammctum and the Arishar, heartily approved). That use of illusions was never a deliberate attempt to harm, but simply an angel's hint that there was a connection between two things or ideas. As the war was joined, however, the Shamash were forced to use their talents to deceive rather than illuminate, something they have regretted ever since.

In the lightless Abyss, the Shamash formed bodies for themselves for the first time. When the opportunity came to escape Hell, the Angels of Light found that they could no longer travel as light does, although their visages still shone brightly. Monstrous Shamash do not darken as their Torment increases, but instead become more apt to what the Angels of Light so loathe, deception. Such angels create whirling, hypnotic images, confusing and terrifying those who look on them.
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World of Darkness: Tenebris Raptis :: The Fallen :: OOC for Demons-
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