Lands of Erdos
The Angels of Cosmos
In mortal minds, angels are symbols of divinity, the messengers of the gods, servants of the Compact of Heaven.
Throughout the multiverse, there are many myths and legends regarding their origin. Few planar scholars have a solid grasp of their true origin. By virtue of the teachings of the Varn and the arrival of the aldanelim-aeonians, Erdosians are amongst those who do in fact know the true origin of angels.
The very first angelic beings were Hazael and Xyphron, cosmic entities birthed by the Creator himself and at least equal in power to the Cosmic Serpents. Since they were considered to be the true (and only) messengers of the Creator, they are often referred to as the “Voice of God,” and thus they have been referred to as Metatron Angels to differentiate them from all others.
Shortly before the Dawn War, Hazael and Xyphron clashed, each interpreting the Creator’s will differently. Hazael wanted to prevent the Dawn War, and allow the Primordials of the Elemental Chaos and the Deities of the Astral Sea to cooperate in stewardship of the then-nascent Material Universe.
Xyphron believed the Dawn War was inevitable, and more to the point it was the means that would destroy both gods and primordials and allow the two brothers to truly rule the Multiverse as was intended (in his view) by the Creator.
The creatures today called angels emerged from the blood spilled when Hazael and Xyphron fought each other. With Xyphron effectively gone, his essence shattered and contained within two cosmic crystals, Hazael was the only remaining Metatron Angel. And all other angels pledged themselves to him.
Despite his efforts, Hazael could not prevent the Dawn War. Then he was forced to make a choice. The primordials were poised to continue their plan of constantly destroying and recreating the Material Universe, while the gods wanted to install permanency. As such, Hazael sided with the gods. And thus, the Compact of Heaven was given shape.
The Compact of Heaven
As was decreed by Hazael, the Angels would serve all gods from now on. Firstly as soldiers on the war against the primordials, and secondly as their servants and messengers. And so it has been since then.
Angels, generally speaking, do not devote their existence to a singular deity. Instead, angels are on rotation, shifting services from one god to the next. A millennium may see a Deva Angel serving a god of the sun, then the millennium after that they may serve a god of justice, and the one after that they might serve a god of tyranny—for angels must serve all gods, regardless of alignment. They serve (almost) unquestioningly and are forbidden to divulge secrets of their former master to their current one.
The Compact of Heaven prohibits angels from fighting each other, regardless of their masters. Thus, when gods wage war on each other, they do so without the angels.
On occasion, some angels might feel increasingly enamored with the ideals of the god they serve, and may choose to forever bind themselves to him or her. On that occasion, they seek permission from Hazael and remove themselves from the Compact of Heaven, instead serving that particular god and no one else, until their or their god’s end.
It is a common belief amongst mortals that angels fall when they turn to evil. This is a misconception. While the overwhelming majority of angels are fundamentally creatures of goodness, there a few of them that are, in fact, evil. And even the most benign angel might be tasked to undertake an act of evil when serving a dark god (though gods generally prefer to use other kinds of servitors for morally questionable acts).
So what is a Fallen Angel? Simply put, it is an angel that violates the Compact of Heaven. Turning against the gods, or violating their divine master’s command is grounds for falling. Most do so out of corruption. A significant number does so simply because they do not wish to serve anyone any longer, wishing to be free to choose their own fate. And there are some who Fall simply because they can’t bring themselves to undertake dark deeds and prefer the Fall than violating their own internal moral compass (which is the reason why gods generally avoid using angels for dirty work).
All Fallen Angels are to one degree or another cursed. But the severity of their punishment depends on the nature of their violation. Angels that rebel against the gods, going against the very ideals of the Compact of Heaven, are the ones most affected, but the ones that do so out of compassion or goodness are less affected, though it is evident to all that Grace has abandoned them.
Types of Angels
The most numerous angels in the Cosmos are Devas, who have the archetypal form of angels and when mortals think of angels, they usually have a Deva in their mind.
Above them in power and station, are the mighty Planetars. Emerald-skinned and imperious, they serve as generals in divine armies.
The Solars are the mightiest of angels that can be found serving a god. Their rotations last notoriously long and few creatures can stand against them in battle.
Archangels, or Galaxars, are angelic beings that rival gods in power. While they too serve the Compact of Heaven, they never directly serve a god and usually cooperate with deities in the context of a shared cosmic ideal. Unlike their lesser brethren, Galaxars are most often neutral. Their exact number is unknown, for Galaxars usually maintain a very low profile. They are believed to be very few in number. The most known of Galaxars are the members of two groups known as the Celestial Hebdomad and the Sephirot.
The Celestial Hebdomad
The Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia are each ruled by a Galaxar. These are:
Barachiel, the messenger. Ruler of Lunia and coordinator of Celestia’s defenses should it be attacked.
Domiel, the Mercy-Bringer. Ruler of Mercuria.
Erathaol, the Seer. Ruler of Venya and patron of seers and prophets.
Pistis Sophia, the Ascetic. Ruler of Solania.
Raziel, the Crusader. Ruler of Mertion and patron of paladins.
Sealtiel, the Defender. Ruler of Jovar, charged with preventing incursions into Chronias and defending against the machinations of fiends. Patron of warden archons.
Zaphkiel, the Watcher. Steward of Chronias and leader of the Hebdomad. Only gods and other Galaxars have seen him without either perishing or being absorbed into the essence of the mountain. Zaphkiel is also a member of the Sephirot.
The Angels of Sephirot
Within Chronias, Hazael himself dwells. Alongside him are his firstborn, the first and mightiest Galaxars given birth during his duel with Xyphron. This group is the Sephirot (or Sephiroth). Each of them is bound to an aspect of cosmic significance known as a Sephira. Some speculate that the Sephirot are the source of all divine power but very little is actually known about them.
Remiel, Protector of Kingship, the Malkuth Sephira. Remiel is in fact a Fallen Galaxar, corrupting the notion of Kingship with Domination. His current whereabouts are unknown, and though Malkuth stands empty, Remiel is still enumerated as a Sephirotic Angel.
Khamael, Protector of Foundation, the Yesod Sephira. Khamael is practically dead. His current existence is the equivalent of a brain-dead mortal kept on life support. He was the First Guardian of Worlds but was nearly destroyed by the being known as Arlzlagabon.
Zaphkiel, Protector of Glory, the Hod Sephira. Zaphkiel also serves as ruler of Chronias and the leader of the Celestial Hebdomad.
Uriel, Protector of Eternity, the Netzach Sephira. Closely associated with Time.
Jazirian, Protector of Beauty, the Tiferet Sephira. Jazirian is the only non-galaxar of the group. Known to be the goddess of the Cuatl, she is in fact the remnant vestige of the original Jazirian, the Cosmic Serpent of Law and Good.
Gabriel, Protector of Severity, the Gevurah Sephira. Gabriel is also known as the Angel of Death.
Raphael, Protector of Kindness, the Chesed Sephira. Raphael is also known as the Angel of Healing.
Samael, Protector of Understanding, the Binah Sephira. Samael is a fallen Galaxar—in fact he is the fallen Galaxar. The lore surrounding him has merged with the lore surrounding the acts of Asmodeus and has produced the myths and legends of Lucifer. While the story of Lucifer can be traced back to Samael, every story regarding Satan can be traced to either Samael or Asmodeus. Samael is usually in Nessus, in the court of Asmodeus but considers the King of Hell his ally, never his master. It is conceivable that his current endgame is to usurp the throne of Asmodeus.
Michael, Protector of Wisdom, the Hokmah Sephira. Michael is the general of all angelic hosts.
Hazael, The Crown, the Keter Sephira. Master and Father of All Angels, the Final Metatron. Hazael is the only one of this group who is not considered the protector of his Sephira but its actual embodiment. Hazael is also one-third of the extremely secretive alliance known as the Cosmic Trinity.
The Da’at, the Lost Sephira. The Da’at was meant to be the Sephira of Knowledge, the spiritual unification of all Sephirot. It was meant to be protected by Xyphron who, like his brother Hazael, was meant to be its embodiment. A few individuals throughout the multiverse have come to suspect that the void created by the Da’at may have created a fatal fundamental error in the fabric of Creation itself.