It started when Vapula discovered Word Combat. Corporeal, ethereal, and celestial combat pits the respective Forces of the combatants against each other, but there remains another kind of Force, Word Force. Vapula demonstrated to Baal that Word-to-Word combat was possible, and Baal soon made it a reality.
He lived to regret it.
Word Combat could take place on any of the three planes. (It tended to look very mythic and allegorical, when in progress.) Hell had the jump on Heaven, of course, but Heaven caught up very quickly (thanks to Jean, mostly) and had better teamwork. The ensuing carnage left both sides with most of their Wordbound dead or Word-stripped – including Superiors.
The Word War managed (barely) to stay out of sight of the mundane population, but there was a noticeable effect – cultural change slowed to about one third its previous rate. New political issues became rarer, as did new inventions. Old issues hardly evolved. There were no celestials, behind the scenes, stirring the pot; they were all away licking their wounds.
This empty phase ended with the return of Eli. He showed up, one day, in the meeting chambers of the Seraphim Council, smiling reassuringly, like a doctor visiting a ward-full of patients.
"Eli," Dominic began, summoning both his remaining Word Forces to the fore, "I charge you with abandonning your post. What have you–"
"Very good, Dominic," Eli said. "Well done, good and faithful servant. But the charge does not apply because I have been doing Heaven's work while I was gone. And because you have no authority to charge Me."
Eli then revealed that He, like Yves, was a direct emmanation of the Godhead, and not a Mercurian. The same was true of the reclusive Azrael, Archangel of Death. The fact that the three of Them, taken together, strongly resembled Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, might just have had something to do with the mutual benign neglect between Heaven and the Hindu pantheon.
Eli then presented His battered (and stunned) Archangels with the good news – they were all recalled to the Upper Heavens, after appointing their successors, in accordance with the plan He then outlined.
The result was the Council of the Twenty-Four Elders, consisting of the Council of the Sephiroth, with eleven members, and the Council of Creation, with thirteen members. These new archangels are:
Ketriel, Aeon Archangel of Grace, successor to Yves and Gabriel
- She, like Yves (and, it turns out, Eli and Azrael) is a direct emmanation of God. She is seldom seen, but delivers rare, indisputable messages of divine guidance to the other Archangels. Her angels steer mortals toward their destinies with divinely-guided bodily help and spiritual inspirations.
Chokhmael, Seraph Archangel of Holiness, successor to Khalid
- His angels work to encourage prayer and meditation in mortal private lives. They work much on the Ethereal Plane.
Binael, Cherub Archangel of Worship, successor to Laurence
- Her angels work to make religion a positive factor in mortal social life.
Deuel, Elohite Archangel of Wisdom, successor to Jean, Yves, and
- Its angels promote learning and, better yet, intelligence and, best of all, wisdom.
Hesediah, Ophanite Archangel of Generosity, successor to Novalis and
- His angels work to encourage charitable giving, prosperity, and mercy.
Daniel, Elohite Archangel of Justice, successor to Dominic
- Its angels work to encourage justice on Earth but do not act as a Heavenly Inquisition, though they settle disagreements in Heaven when necessary.
Jophiel, Kyriotate Archangel of Harmony, successor to Uriel
- Its angels work for sanity and moderation, and thus against obsession, addiction, gluttony, and lust.
Netzachiah, Kyriotate Archangel of Hope, successor to Blandine
- Its angels give aid to the desparate and work against the voices of despair, but do not have a special place on the Ethereal Plane; all the Archangels share this duty now.
Hodiel, Malakite Archangel of Courage, successor to Michael and Laurence
(and Uriel, sorta)
- Her angels inspire mortals to heroism and take the lead in smiting demons. She is the current Commander of the Host.
Yesodiah, Cherub Archangel of Faith, successor to David and Khalid
- His angels support of loyalty, trust, and group cohesion; besides religious faith, they work for patriotism, solid marriages, honored contracts, lifelong friendships, stable families.
Shekhinah, Mercurian Archangel of the World, successor to Zadkiel and
- Hers are the guardian angels, who try to protect mortals from catastrophe and, more especially, from diabolicals.
Twelve of the thirteen Archangels of Creation are paired, working in close cooperation, almost like a marriage. ALL of these Archangels are successors to Eli, whoever else they may also inherit from.
Shamshiel and Layliel, Seraphim Archangels of Light and Dark, successors
- Yes, their Words are a deliberate retort to Lucifer's once and (possibly) present Words. Their angels both inspire and punish, and are masters of both illusion and physical energy. Shamshiel inspires researchers and inventors; Layliel inspires artists.
Sahaqiel and Tamiel, Malakim Archangels of Height and Depth, successors
- Before he was War, Michael was still the great achiever among angels. His heirs reflect this. Their angels inspire mortals to explore and excel. In bizarre vessels, they patrol the vast waste places of the world. Closer to home, they guard, lead, and inspire moral efforts.
Arariel and Admael, Cherubim Archangels of Sea and Land, successors to
Janus (or Oannes) and David
- The least stable "marriage" among the Archangels of creation, Arariel promoted change while Admael promotes stability. They're supposed to work out a fruitful dialectic...
Ruachel and Kochavel, Ophanim Archangels of the Air and Heavens,
successors of Janus and Jean
- Ruachel has Janus's old corporeal domain; Kochavel's domain is that of invisible forces and radiation. They govern aviation, spaceflight, and by extention all matters of travel, as well as telecommunications.
Arithiel and Andiel, Bright Lilim Archangels of Fish and Birds,
successors of Jordi
- They protect their sectors of the ecology, as Jordi did, but Arithiel (who governs all aquatic life, not just fishes proper) also promotes renewal and is closely allied with Netzachiah, Archangel of Hope; and Andiel (who governs all things that fly) promotes freedom ("Hi, Mom!") and is allied with Hodiel, Archangel of Courage.
Maktiel and Thuriel, Kyriotate Archangels of Plants and Beasts,
successors of Jordi and Novalis
- Besides being celestial environmentalists, like Jordi, and promoting kindess to animals, they promote health and therefore athletics, medical care, and food-production.
Sabathiel, Mercurian Archangel of Peace, successor of Novalis
- She is, in the first approximation, Novalis without the foliage, and is closely allied with Shekhinah. But she also governs all "holy days," including holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and so on, and many of her rites and attunements focus on these ways of ordering time.
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