The Harsh Light Of Angels

“Their glorious light washed over the battlefield, and only the greatest of darkness could hold it. And, even then, not for long…” – Hrugtar The Brave after witnessing a battle between Heaven and The Hells.

People certainly seem to love angels, and there’s a lot of reason for that, I suppose. But, they’re far from the fluffy, cuddly things that people often describe them as.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to angels is that they’ve been locked in an endless war with demons since the beginning. Many of them are warriors. Warriors that have seen horrors that would shatter a mortal mind. And, they’ve fought these horrors for endless years.

Angels, like demons, are immortal so an angel may well have seen centuries or even millennia of war. Although, given their endless war a good number of them die all the time.

I heard a man once tell me that angels would never do an evil deed. Obviously, he hasn’t heard of The Fallen. Nor, of the countless atrocities angels have committed either.

War is war, and the battle between Heaven and The Hells is a particularly savage affair.

Angels have slaughtered whole cities because they detected a single demon within them. Tens of thousands of innocents dead to kill but one demon. And, those weren’t even Fallen.

Most angels won't so much as bat an eye at such actions, either. What I spoke of is not an exception among angels, but rather a pattern of behavior.

The lives of mortals mean very little to angels. Some of them treasure all life, but many are brash and uncaring for what they see as insects.

To mindlessly kill, or to take pleasure in the act is unusual among angels, but make no mistake. They’ll kill anyone or anything if they believe it’ll help them in their eternal war. Demons often seek to corrupt humans or deal with them to their advantage, but most angels seem rather disgusted with the idea of dealing with mortals. And, they’ll not spare a thought about killing any number of them to achieve their goals.

Thankfully, demon activity in our world is far lower than it once was and as such, it is extremely rare for angels to attack human settlements anymore. They mostly seem to ignore minor demons as well, but if demonic activity reaches certain levels, they’re likely to send someone to deal with it.

Which isn’t to say that all angels are so brutal and uncaring. Many have watched over mortals and intervened to save innocents or punish the guilty. But, only a few do so. Perhaps it is because they are far too preoccupied with their endless war…

Angels have a hierarchy much like demons, and those with higher positions tend to be considerably more powerful. There are several theories regarding whether they choose to promote powerful angels, or if the act of promotion actually increases their power beyond just those they can command. Perhaps it may even be both?

Regardless, even weak angels are a force to be reckoned with. The weakest angels tend to be more formidable than the weakest of demons, but there are fewer of them.

So, the angels may send just a single low-ranked warrior to eliminate a concentrated area of demonic activity. Which, may involving slaying several hellhounds for example.

A single weak angel could easily destroy a small human army unless they had immense magic and power compared to the current average.

It’s the archangels that tend to destroy whole cities at a time. Even when they’re heavily defended by wizards, priests, soldiers, and centuries of wards. In fact, archangels could probably bring whole kingdoms to their knees.

Once again, I’m thankful they rarely do so anymore. It was not uncommon during The Great War and even before.

But, it would seem that perhaps the gods reached some form of accord with them limiting their brutality.

Archangels have been killed before, but that was during a time filled with great heroes and unstoppable magic. And, as for what a High Angel would do… I have no idea.

While each of The Twelve Hells is a separate faction with its own Demon Lord, the angels are far more unified. They speak of, but a single Heaven ruled over by a council of seven High Angels. High Angels are believed to be roughly equivalent to gods or Demon Lords in power which leads to the interesting question of how Heaven still stands when they are so vastly outnumbered.

There are many theories around this, but verifying any of them is next to impossible. Still, going by what we do know, there are a few that make a great deal of sense.

For starters, The Lords of the Twelve Hells don’t work together particularly well. Oh, they do engage in joint operations at times, but one or both of them almost inevitably betrays the other. They fight with each other almost as much as they do the angels.

Whereas the angels are incredibly unified and rely heavily on teamwork even among their smaller numbers. They also drill and train tirelessly whereas many demons are far less disciplined. Angels are also willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause, while demons often do whatever it takes to save their own skin.

It leads to an interesting conundrum whereby Heaven and The Hells seem almost perfectly matched despite Heaven being so horrifically outnumbered. Quality versus quantity, I suppose.

There have, of course, been times when Heaven as breached one or the other of The Hells and vice versa. But, it seems that each is greatly empowered within their own realm and the other is weakened. As such, dealing any kind of finishing blow seems impossible.

Some believe that it is impossible for there ever to be an end to their endless war. Personally, I hope that’s the case. Angels may be good, but I fear to think what they might do if their attention turned to us. Would they leave us be? Would there be more protectors as some angels choose to be? Or, would they decide we are tainted and seek to rid the world of our existence?

- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University

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