Blessed and CursedEdit
When a mortal dies, there is a chance they could be immediately reincarnated into an Angel or a Demon. The destroyer facet of the triplicate Inceptor/Maker/Destroyer deity makes a decision at every mortal’s death to Bless, Curse, or let them be. Their decision is made based on how the mortal acted in their life (a famous hero is more likely to be Blessed, a powerful necromancer to be Cursed), or if they already have the ‘label’ attached to them previously. A Demon or a powerful Angel can do this if the mortal has caught their eye, and the non-mortal deems it appropriate. It is more common for the triplicate to find pre-Cursed humans than pre-Blessed.
Angels are generally thought of as the Light to a Demon's Dark. On their origin world, they live in sprawling cities and floating islands and citadels, and have a few 'embassy' style compounds on other worlds. Angels are 'immortal until killed', and cannot die from drowning or sickness or other mundane things. They must be actively killed with intent, and have a rare chance of 'respawning' after death. Generally when wearing a glamour, Angels will have up to three pairs of wings, but can have many more pairs in true form. As they age, their true form might gain more eyes, loosed bones, or split limbs.
Angels will often be able to tap into an element, but won't always belong to one as Demons do. Elements they can use tend towards the fundamental but also creative ones such as growth, weather, and plasma, as well as aspects such as the hearth, the void, and the tides. Angels make a glamour when they're very young, adjusting and tweaking it as they age. Elder Angels can have a few glamours to hand, to venture more discretely around the worlds. Angels can voluntarily jump through the Void, with a little more control over their destination than Demons. Most Angels learn the basics of telekinesis as they grow up, and all of them are taught to fly.
Angelic is about as tricky to learn and speak as Demonic. Similarly to Demonic, when conflicting consonants happen, a vowel is inserted between them when spoken (MLZ to MULZ). Double letters are ellided into one in translation (VINNIE to MYDYT).
- Their wings can come in a rainbow of colors, but tend towards lighter and pastel colors. Often, Angel babies' wings will be a vague combination of their parents'.
- Their halo color(s) are denoted by their job, and they can have more than one.
- The older they get, the more distorted their voice in true form gets, up to a quad-tone. Depending on the holiness of the message, listeners may hear the faint sound of a choir or orchestra behind the words.
- Angels can propagate their race by Blessing mortals of worth close to death, or by making new ones themselves. Angel babies can have more than two parents, as they are created through a ritual rather than a more typical manner, and all Angels are neutrois anyway.
- Angel/mortal crossbreeds do not exist in the sense that Demon/mortal crossbreeds do. They won't have the powers of an Angel, but will have a much higher chance of being Blessed later in life. Because of this, all Angel/mortal hybrids will be of the mortal's species, a tactic that has been used in the past to bolster extremely endangered races.
The creation of the Angelic race is heavily disputed by those who care about it. Perhaps one day they just Came To Be. Perhaps a deity created them. Perhaps they don’t remember. Droves of Angels have spent millennia researching this question, and just as many have it the farthest thing in their minds to worry about.
In this mythos, every deity exists. From Yahweh to Ahura Mazda, Hecate and Pele, Kali and Bastet. Angelic worship is allowed of any deity, though more famous ones have more followers, and sometimes deities will ask things of their followers, from simple tasks to speeches to spearheading pivotal missions.
The Angelic social stucture is quite loose, with important positions held by those with a halo in them, ensuring their drive to accomplish such tasks completely. Since it's sort of a pantheocracy, deity positions are held by those the deity chooses, and general positions of educators and food providers are held by others. The barter system is wide-held, and many Angels are just willing to share if asked nicely.
Angels can be nigh any shape in trueform, but tend to being bipedal, having wings, and generally having arms and legs. Their texture is like warm, slightly rough stone. Eyes can feature prominently, and aren’t limited to just one or two. Teeth are typically sharp, and many, but are usually in a single mouth. Full hands are common, but three-fingered or even two-fingered hands aren’t rare. Wing number is usually even, under ten, and symmetrical, but occasionally figures like Wheels will occur. Color patterns are relatively random, but some bloodlines will have similar coloration, or potentially extremely adept magic users will be tinted the color of their attunement. Limb and bone splitting tends to happen as the Angel ages, and sometimes a traumatic event will cause a major shift in their appearance altogether. Angels are neutrois, and, in trueform, have no genetalia.
Certain bloodlines are pure, known for certain powers or job classes (a family of paladins, a family of growth mages) but these are few and far between, due to the random and extremely limited reproduction allowed them. Angel/Angel children can be the product of any number of parents, and the more parents involved in the ritual, the more potential power the child will have. There are large adoptive familial groups as well, and Blessed Angels tend to group together by nature and familiarity. Children are educated as they grow up, and reach adulthood at twenty.
Angel children are only made by Angel/Angel groupings of two or more. Angels can mate with child-bearing beings of other species, and the children of Angel/non-Angel pairings will have a higher chance of being Blessed, but still aren’t guaranteed to be Angelic, and will also end up as the non-Angel’s species. This is actually a good way to increase the numbers of critically endangered species, and has been used a few times to regenerate rare populations.
To make an Angel, each parent involved must make a sacrifice, giving up something of themselves to create new life. It is not uncommon to see Angels (in trueform) with delicate and intricate carvings in the stone of their wings, or missing one or more eyes, or a bone, or a joint. These bits of themselves are then put together, and there is a ritual speech intoned or written and burned or thought very intently, and each bit coalesces slowly and tentatively into a sphere of color, indicative of the wing color of the new child. Out of this small ball, a curled toddler is formed, and they slowly descend between the parents.
The ritual may not be successful, either out of disruption or disinclination of a parent, but attempts at this ritual are limited. Every Angel, when born, has a random number less than or equal to ten and more than one denoting their amount of successful attempts of this ritual. Every attempted ritual lowers this by one, whether successful or not. There are ways to find out this number (asking an oracle or deity), but a significant majority of Angels don’t know theirs. When the number reaches zero, they cannot beget more Angels, and they are unable to rank up any of their halo(es) any further nor acquire further haloes.
Every Angel learns basic telekenisis, and can fly. Magic ability is a trainable talent, and has nigh infinite realizations. Cooking mages and growth mages are common enough, but also paper and fiber exist, as well as the more combat specialised venom and blood. The most common magic abilities are the core elements: water, fire, earth, air, as well as order and entropy. The older an Angel is, generally the more control and power over their magic they have, and the more aspects of magic they can express.
A glamour is a specialized magic charm that masks one’s shape and form and presence. Angels learn to make one very young, and they’re modifiable as the Angel ages. Younger Angels can only control one at a time, but can train the ability to hold onto more than one. ‘Gods in the guise of men.’ Wing pairings present generally only go up to three, and are usually placed on the back, but can appear on wrists, heads, and ankles.
A halo denotes a job, an incredible passion, or a personal vow. Their color is indicative of what is intended with it, and they can be masked or entirely hidden with a glamour. One can only have as many haloes as initial chances at reproduction.
Ranks of halo indicate how long and how intently the Angel has fulfilled the job, passion, or vow. Roughly every hundred years, an event will occur to every haloed Angel relating to one or more of their haloes, and they will have the chance to ‘level up’ their halo. Every new rank expands and brightens the pattern present in the halo. Depending on the intent of the halo, this is sometimes accompanied by new abilities or a power boost, but most frequently, with a title (brave/courageous, defender/protector/guardian, leader/valiant/heroic/commanding). Each halo can only rank up as many times as initial chances at reproduction.
The military is actually quite a common job, as Angels are locked in an unending war with demons. Being in the military is one of the few jobs an Angel can hold that does not grant a halo, as one is more likely to receive or create one from their actions in the military (defender, healer, reconnaissance). The heterogenous formation of the deities worshipped by the personnel is a key factor in the military’s settling of any cultural infighting about xenodeiphobia.
The Fallen Edit
A Fallen Angel is one who has willingly cast aside their job, passion, or vow in such a way as to invert it with intent. A Guardian Angel who personally, willingly, and intimately tortures and slaughters innocents. A Historian Angel who willfully seeks to destroy information with the intent of making sure it is lost forever. It is rare for a more negatively-passioned Angel to become Fallen by inverting to goodness, but typically negatively-passioned Angels slip towards Falling just by being so (an Angel specialized in poisoning turning to painting the sunrise may invert and fall, just from the suddenness and vacuous lack of their previous job, for example). Positively Fallen Angels tend to be significantly more devious and lucky than their negatively Fallen comrades, as they appear to be a positively-passioned Angel in their inversion. Fallens aren’t generally classified as demons, but will start taking on demonic appearances, such as horns, or a tail, or their feathers might start falling out to reveal growing membranous webbing. Their halo(es) break and/or shatter but still are present. They lose every glamour they have, and must recreate a demonic one. There are specialised military squads that hunt and seek Fallens, and will attempt to destroy or impede any they find.
The realm of the Deep Dark, the Underdark, is home to Demons, with winding carved passages throughout the upper layers, and low sprawling, serrated buildings in the cavernous wastes. Demons are ‘immortal until killed’ in a slightly less permanent way than Angels, often having a chance to be born again in the Underdark after a death. They do not die from sickness or drowning or other mundane things, and their killer must fully intend for them to die for it to work. They often have horns, wings, and one or more tails, but that isn’t always the case. The older (or more corrupted) a Demon is, the less ‘human’ they look, gaining extra eyes and/or limbs. A newly formed Demon might have horns already, grow wings as they age, and grow a tail even later.
Each one belongs to a certain element, not just the typical fire, but also ice, wither, poison, decay, chaos…. destructive aspects. Incubi and succubi also exist, but it’s a secondary trait (a pestilence Demon could be a succubus, for example.) As a Demon grows older, they learn to control their elemental magic in a more refined manner, and can eventually craft themselves a glamour to look more human. This glamour gives them a physical form of their own make, and elder Demons can have multiple glamours, humanoid or not, and can raise or lower them at will. Some Demons of significant power can assume a sort of possession over people, if a couple of circumstances are met. These can vary from Demon to Demon, but the most common is an injury allowing them ‘entry’ into the possessee. They all share an irrepressible desire to consume human flesh, and have been known to wipe out entire villages, but consuming an alternate self both lessens the hunger and increases their power. Some Demons can voluntarily jump through the Void to another world, though rarely can they travel to a specific location.
The Demonic language is full of consonants, with a few ellisions and tricks in pronunciation. If two letters conflict such as ZB, there is an 'e' added between them (ZEB). Letters together have an "a" sound (CNBB to sen-bay). 'C' sounds like 's' when followed by a vowel or a double letter, and like 'k' otherwise. When there is a 'w' in a word, it is ignored in translation (WELL to MBB).
- They can be allergic to many things, especially if they’re a Cursed human, as they will retain their human allergies, but all Demons are allergic to copious amounts of salt, to rowan, and to holy objects and places.
- Demons have two sets of eyelids, the normal human one, and a translucent black inner one that allows them to see slightly into the infrared spectrum.
- Demon babies don’t usually exist. Occasionally, two Demons will reproduce together, but usually Demons further their population by corrupting mortals and turning them into Demons.
- Lots of Demon/mortal hybrids exist, however, because Demons often have a difficult time keeping it in their pants. These children will frequently take on a few Demonic characteristics, such as odd cravings for blood/meat, horns, etc.
Also, most but not all Demons have some sort of barbed/dangerous doodads for doing the do. Terrifying genitals. So it’s NOT a good idea to “try for baby” with one. Pls no.
- Sometimes, a pair of Demon/mortal beings can birth a sort of combined-element Demon, a stronger composition of their own elements. These crossbreeds can be an additive combination, or a multiplicative one, depending on the original elements of the parents and the ancestral Demons involved
The creation of the Demonic race is a little less disputed than Angelic inception. Humans twisted by their own magic and sins and emotions, or risen beings created by the thought and fear of The One That Walks Behind. Most Demons don’t worry or wonder about how their race came to be.
Religion and beliefEdit
Some demons are of a specific deity’s breed, and may or may not worship that deity. The open worship of deities can be seen as unusual to the general populace, so most, if not all, worship of deities is kept very private. The exception to this are any prominent deities of negative aspects, such as chaos, entropy, and withering.
Demonic culture runs in castes, or classes, of demon. A demon’s social standing depends on more than just their physical or magical strength, but also on their cunning, use and implementation of their aspect, and just plain being able to do their job well. Some bloodlines are of higher status than others, and wield astronomically more power than lower bloodlines, and certain aspects are considered of higher quality and status than others.
Demons appear significantly more animalistic and beast-like than angels, having more of a balance between a bipedal and quadrupedal (or more) stance. Tails are common, and range in length and barb, and some even have spines that can be raised or lowered. Horns of every fashion can occur, and grow in style and number with age. Wings are slightly less common, but nearly every old Demon has at least one pair. Legs can be either digitigrade or plantigrade, and hooves are common as well. Eyes can be plentiful, as well as teeth, and multiple mouths are actually quite common, especially in the older ranks. They are less concerned with asymmetricality than Angels, and so will sometimes have a ‘lopsided’ limb structure. Demons can have genitalia in their natural form.
Demonic families tend to be either of one bloodline or a hodgepodge of myraid bloodlines and aspects. Cursed Demons tend to group together, and are spread throughout the social scale. Castes of Demons interact with each other at the fringes, but tend to stick within their own boundaries.
Demons can have children with other Demons as well as mortals, and are therefore at an advantage over angels. Demon genetalia is often too tricky or wounding for mortals to happily interact with, but there’s still a large contingent of half-mortal demons. Depending on the parents, children are either educated as they grow, or are set loose in the wilderness to fend for themselves. Cursed mortals are ‘reborn’ as Demons, gaining a few Demonic traits and developing more as they age.
Most demons belong to an aspect, and have magical ability in that aspect. It’s a trainable skill, so those who practice it more will be stronger and have more endurance. Demons tend to the negative aspects (venom, wither) more than the creative ones, but do also commonly fall into the basic elemental aspects of air, earth, fire, water, order, and entropy. The older a Demon gets, the more control they can exert over the aspects they can access. Some demons are capable of possessing a mortal, giving them Suggestions or wiping their memory or forcing them into servitude.
Demons must make their own glamours, but need to be powerful enough to control it. Older demons can have many glamours to allow them outside amongst the more common folk without giving themselves away or not being able to fit through doors. Demonic glamours are hand-crafted, and unchangeable once created, but can be completely dissolved and remade, with an extra bit of magic.
The Demonic political and social structure is bureaucratic, with higher-ups giving jobs and tasks to their subjugates, with the leaders of common society as the end-all-be-all of every decision. Satan himself is the highest seat, with hordes of other demons dashing to and fro to carry out his intents.
The Demonic military is less a rigidly-organized mass of Demons than it is something of a violent warparty. Not above using mortal wars and kingdoms as pawns, there’s nearly as much infighting within the military as there is warring against the Angels.
The place of Fallen in demonic cultureEdit
Fallen Angels are, at best, shunned. They’re interrogated for information, toyed with like broken prey, or quietly fostered into a gross inversion of their previous self. Fallen sometimes hold high social status, but are more commonly just not involved at all. No one has seen Lucifer in aeons.