Sacred programs devised by Heaven’s Luminary Sovereign, angels are a species of mass-produced magical lifeforms and saddled with the burden of carrying out her will and enacting her divine vision. Artificial in nature, angels are descendants of seraphs and are ultimately a class of star spirit, bits of astral dust given shape and structure by a digital soul and halo. The vast majority of angels exist in Heaven and follow the orders of its archangels, the first of their kind and the children of their God, who have taken over her divine position in her absence, the Archangel of Justice foremost among them.
Intricate works of magic, angels were brought into existence through a combination of the two most fundamental branches of magic, the operation of the physical world and the spiritual world. Their souls are complex systems, improved over years of magical advancement and technological supplements. An angel’s soul is something unmistakable, and something that few can properly handle and comprehend due to the complexity of the circuits within. Indeed, Yaldabaoth made understanding their souls as hard as possible, so that the unworthy heretics that rejected her providence could never grasp the miracles she wrought.
Built to kill, angels are inherently agents with a high aptitude for magic, possessing a number of intrinsic abilities that make for particularly dangerous foes, befitting of the superweapons they were meant to be. Each is essentially a supercomputer, capable of processing vast amounts of information and performing complex calculations swiftly. A single properly trained angel can wipe out a planet-wide civilization, and there are droves of them, a veritable swarm that has led to a common pejorative - locusts.
As fundamentally magical beings, angels have no conventional sort of physiology and take whatever form is convenient or necessary. They may have bodies, but said bodies aren’t important to them, and can take any number of shapes, though they tend to be strange and enigmatic in their most natural state. In addition, angels are not made out of any conventional physical matter. Instead, they are made up of metamatter, a sort of condensed willpower, which prevents them from interacting properly with ordinary matter, though they can certainly manipulate it just fine.
All angels also possess a halo, a complex Override Sigil that is passively maintained without the loss of any energy. The halo has many functions, allowing for instant communication and travel across transdimensional distances, through the use of teleportation. It also changes an angel’s shape instinctively, to match what mere ‘mortals’ of other species would expect from such a godly figure. Its greatest powers, however, are rooted in defensive mechanisms, passively protecting their bearers from magic used to harm them and storing an angel’s “data”, allowing them to regenerate from just their soul as an agent with apotheosis would. So long as their soul, which is quite hardy, is still in working order, an angel can endure.
A halo is a fundamental part of an angel’s existence. If it is destroyed, an angel will simply reconstruct it naturally, though advanced magic could certainly sabotage or deactivate one. When an angel is killed, their halo instantly shatters, self-destructing and bringing the angel’s body and soul with it, erasing all the information that could be gained otherwise. Besides a halo, another important aspect of angels are their wings, which are almost always visible in some form, often a strange one. An angel can use these wings to redirect and absorb magic and energy.
At their core, angels are simplistic beings, closer in nature to a computer than a human. The majority of those that exist in Heaven are lacking in definition, with poorly developed identities and worldviews completely dictated by their superiors. As complex as their souls are, their inner worlds share a defect that is very rare in the outside world, but the norm in Heaven. They are “empty”. Where what is most central to an agent’s existence would reside, there is nearly nothing. Angels are eternal blank slates, machines programmed and directed by their superiors, themselves controlled by their own superiors, and so on.
Social interaction is alien to angels, as is emotion. It’s not like they don’t have emotions, but they have a very limited capacity for empathy and don’t understand feelings at all. Programming angels with these things would only confuse their use to Heaven, bogging down the bureaucracy even further with more interpersonal politics and social timewasting. Still, many angels, particularly those with high positions or those who escape Heaven, develop a more faceted understanding of emotions and grow more competent. Angels also do not properly feel pain or pleasure of any sort. It’s another learning process.
Angels tend to be inflexible, with stark black-and-white outlooks and robotic ways of thinking that can lead to them being predictable. Their morals and sense of duty are programmed into them at birth, so deeply that overcoming this is often impossible. They are overwhelmingly single-minded in nature, and even those angels who manage to develop their own beliefs, identity, and purpose cannot escape this trait. Angels are intrinsically fixated on work, and carry out their duties tirelessly. They are not meant to falter in this, and so proper angels simply do not ever bore. A human may be bored by only minutes of tedium, but an angel can carry out the exact same task for millions of years, aided by their immortal nature and alien perspective.
This inherent skew towards obsessiveness leads to many more self-aware angels becoming decidedly idiosyncratic. The archangels are particularly good examples of this, each with their own strange complexes and fixations. Few escape this aspect of their programming. In fact, a disconcerting amount of angels inevitably become addicts, obsessed with the emotions and sensations they previously lacked. Sadists and masochists are common, as are more traditional addicts, now dependent on magical narcotics. Angels born outside Heaven, and those who escape or Fall, even those that become demons, are no less vulnerable to these issues. If anything, it’s a bigger issue than ever.
Generally incurious and thoughtlessly obedient, angels are easily controlled and led around by their leaders, buying into propaganda without question. They can develop traits that go against these things over time, leading to those that Heaven has no choice but to mentally scour, wipe out, or cast out of Heaven. Thanks to Jophiel’s machinations and manipulation of the base angel code, this has become more and more common and easy for new generations.
Among the angels in Heaven are closely related Heavenly constructs, creatures built in the image of angels and saddled with similar purposes. Even more robotic than angels, these are typically distinguished by the fact that they completely lack true self-awareness. Instead, they are merely advanced artificial intelligence, good enough to act on their own, but not good enough to be truly self-aware or capable of free will. They still have a halo and wings.
Most angelic constructs are relegated to existing on computer networks as literal programs, lacking any sort of body and simply executing their programmed tasks without complaint. There are, however, some specific, unique examples with their own bodies, used for various purposes. These include security constructs that patrol Heaven’s streets and act in service to the Shepherds, and strange, invisible “gates” with wormhole-like inner worlds, used by Jophiel and her traitorous Grigori for espionage and infiltration.
Falling From Grace
Most angels cast down from Heaven die. They are thrown into the stuff of Fantasy and almost immediately lose all definition in something completely anathema to physics. Some, however, survive the experience and wake up in another universe, lacking two things that make an angel - their halo and wings. These fallen angels are forever disgraced and often hunted down and killed by their former peers for sport, but many are able to escape and do as they please.
Thanks to their losses, and the psychological, spiritual damage of a Fall, fallen angels are often miserable, awkward, stunted creatures and many don’t last very long at all. Those that do must relearn many things they once took for granted and slowly heal as well as they can. Without their halos, communicating and traveling become more difficult, as does self-defense. Many fallen angels find their way to the same world over years of wandering - Hell. Here, they mingle with their cousins, the demons, and the majority of those who live in Hell eventually become demons.
Others stay fallen angels, some out of coincidence and others by choice. All fallen angels have faint, faded phantasmal wings, all that remains of their original set, and they cannot develop complete wings so long as they do not allow themselves to transform into demons. In addition, they often appear in their disturbing true forms, rather than the shapes they may have taken among other species in the past.
In addition to the general abilities possessed by most agents, angels have the following powers:
- Dimensional Travel through Teleportation and Portal Creation: Angels can instantly travel across transdimensional distances with the use of teleportation and portals, allowing them to swiftly exit Heaven and reappear elsewhere. They can also use these abilities to move on a smaller scale if necessary.
- Energy Manipulation and Absorption: Using their wings, an angel can redirect and absorb both magic and energy.
- Types 1 and 3 Immortality: Angels have no natural limit to their lifespan and cannot die of natural causes. They can only be killed, something complicated by their regenerative abilities.
- Immaterial Incorporeality/Intangibility: Angels are not made up of conventional matter. Instead, they are composed of metamatter, a sort of condensed willpower that does not interact normally with ordinary matter, allowing them to potentially pass through it and making many forms of plain attack useless.
- Martial Arts: All angels have an innate knack for Logos, a Heavenly martial art and system of magic that allows them to manifest attacks of pure magic, striking instantly without force or vector just by willing it.
- Low-Godly Regeneration: Thanks to their halos, angels can regenerate as a once physical being who reached apotheosis can. Even if their body is completely destroyed, an angel can recover just from the data of their soul, constructing an entirely new one, so one has to attack their souls to kill them.
- Types 1, 2, and 3 Self-Sustenance: Processes that are vital for 'mortals' are completely irrelevant and even alien to angels. They don't need to drink or eat, can survive without any sort of atmosphere in the vacuum of space, and they have no physical or mental need for rest, either. As a result, they have functionally limitless stamina, though severe wounds can disable them.
- Shapeshifting: Angels are completely malleable in form and change their shape instinctively, to better match the expectations of 'mortals' when around them.
- Telepathy: Angels can communicate and transmit information across transdimensional distances.
- Immunity to conventional Biological and Matter Manipulation: Angels are made up of metamatter, not regular matter, and therefore follow different atomic rules that must be factored into molecular manipulation in order to harm them, rules that are often somewhat inconsistent. In addition, their bodies have only a facsimile of biology, which is irrelevant to how they function.
- Resistance to Magic in general: Thanks to their halos, angels have another layer of defense against magical attack and attempts to harm them.