“I’d rather be stripped of my wings a thousand times than return to Heaven’s fold! Freedom is worth any price, and I have paid gladly.” – Archelius Axindria Fallen Angel.
When I spoke of angels, I mentioned The Fallen. Now, some of my sharper students picked up on how I glossed over them and are no doubt expecting this entry.
So, now we speak of The Fallen.
And, naturally the first question one must ask and answer is… how does an angel fall from Heaven?
Well, Heaven is an incredible place, but it’s perpetually at war. And, it’s run according to a strict system of rules.
Some angels rebel against the system of Heaven. Some refuse orders, others believe change is needed, and yet others become corrupt and twisted. These angels are cast out of heaven. And, this is no small thing. It’s not as simple as being thrown out of the only home they’ve ever known. They are usually cursed horribly and have their wings and connection to Heaven forcibly removed.
It is apparently a pain no human can conceive of. At least, according to The Fallen.
Their fate from there varies, but often they are banished. Sometimes to our world, and sometimes to other planes. There, they lead a cursed life filled with pain and misery.
Some band together and often seek out other Fallen and help them make the transition. Others go alone, and the more corrupt ones may even join the Hells. Or, seek to do evil in their own way.
Many commit suicide.
That being said, there are many variations of Fallen. And, it is often the nature of how they fell that determines what type of Fallen they are. Dark Fallen are those who are twisted and corrupt. They are similar to demons in many ways, and perhaps that is why many of them join the Hells. Not all do, however, as angels retain a great deal of hatred for demonkind even when they themselves have been warped to be much like them.
More common, are the Gray Fallen. These Fallen are not truly corrupt, but can no longer reside in Heaven. Their punishments tend to be less severe, and many of them retain their noble qualities even after falling.
Not all angels are cast out, however. Some fall on purpose. Usually, it’s because they tire of the endless war. They see no point to the conflict that never ends. Day in and day out of battle all for no avail.
As they choose to fall, they often manage to escape without a curse, but their connection to Heaven is still severed. Usually be themselves. And, so they tend to become Gray Fallen. Often, with a great deal of the power they commanded before.
But, falling definitely affects an angel’s power. Those who have been Fallen for longer seem to find ways to return to a similar level, even managing to overcome or bypass any curse that might have been placed on them but it takes time and a great deal of effort. And, the very nature of their power often changes. Their whole being does, in fact.
Dark Angels tend to suck the light out of a room, like a dark void. Their mere presence can even render places lifeless and drain everything around them of color, emotion, and life.
Gray Angels tend to fall somewhere between Dark and normal angels. They often lack the luster they once had when they were part of Heaven, and how much of that luster is lost depends on the angel in question.
The Fallen tend to be very independent, something forced upon them by being cut off from Heaven. It can often take time for them to figure out how to do so. How to get through a life that seems devoid of purpose or direction. Where they aren’t told what to do and aren’t part of some larger system.
Many have even turned to humanoids for help as they struggle with concepts that are alien to them, but many of us deal with each and every day.
Although, in many ways their struggle is greater than our own. While it’s true few of us have to do deal with such a strict set of rules as angels do with Heaven, but many of us have our own place in society. We have mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, cousins, friends, rulers, teachers, students… we have other people giving us a sense of structure and belonging.
Fallen don’t have that. Sometimes they may find a place with other Fallen or somewhere else, but at least at the very beginning they are utterly lost in a way that few of us can comprehend. Totally alone and stripped of all the things that once gave them a sense of belonging and order to their lives.
Many of us wish for freedom, but sudden and total freedom from everything and everything can be a hard thing to deal with indeed.
And, the agony of loss and the weight of curses and fresh injuries weighs on them at the same time.
It can take hundreds of years for an angel to recover from such a maddening and profound shift to their lives. Some never recover at all.
I wonder if, perhaps, many turn dark and join the hells simply because they’re so desperate to find somewhere they fit in. I’ve never had the opportunity to ask such beings, and I wonder if they’d even know or acknowledge that they’d done something like that for such a reason anyway.
But, it’s not all bad for Fallen. Some take to their new lives filled with freedom and revel in it. Defining their own existence as they see fit. Some become the watchful protectors of the innocent, some still fight demons, others lord over lesser beings, and I’ve even heard tales of a Gray Fallen librarian somewhere.
Freedom naturally leads to a great deal of variety.
- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University