The Angels were once the most powerful of all the Races, both in of themselves and in the land that they controlled. It was said that all the skies and all the mountains belonged to the Angels and, even if this was exaggeration, the truth of the matter was no less impressive. Indeed the Angels ruled such an immense area of land that the mountain range that housed their cities was named after them, the Angels Peaks. These lands, though desolate, were pure and free of the taint represented by DragonLord, Anvar, Mist Devil or Soulless. Crops grew in the lowlands and precious jewels and metals were found all along the slopes of the mountain ranges, allowing the Angels to keep away from the other Races, having no need for the food grown by the Elves or the minerals obtained by the Dwarves.
Beautiful and noble, blessed with everything that they could ever wish for, the Angels were and still are a Race of tall beings, gifted with immense bird like wings emerging from their upper back. Yet these wings only seem to be required if they wish to alter the height at which they fly, for all Angels are gifted so that they will never need to touch the ground except to sleep and die. They can float just off the floor, their feet drifting a few inches from the ground, propelling themselves through the air with their wings. They give off a strange radiance, a glow of the divinity that Aeros gifted them with, a halo of light that matches the colour of their wings.
However all good things must come to an end, times change and when they do it is too often for the worse. The Angels were arrogant and pompous, confident in their power and their kingdom, and this was the way of things for many years until something terrible came to pass. A sickness, a wasting plague, came over the Angels, striking them down from the skies by damaging their wings first, keeping the Angels upon the ground, forcing them to keep together, thus speeding the spread of the plague. The wings of the Angels atrophied and decayed, the feathers falling out in ragged, rotten clumps to litter the ground underfoot, their skin pulling taut and then falling in loose folds from their flesh, the muscles underneath withered away. The final result of this illness was always death, death by suffocation generally when the lungs lacked the muscles to take another breath or by mass bleeding when the eyes fell from the face, blood pouring from the skin of he Angel as his muscles dying tore his very flesh apart, and there was little chance of survival. Even the Fairies, born Healers, were unable to do anything more then numb the terrible pain that afflicted the plague stricken as their muscles dissolved into mush.
Yet all was not yet lost. The Fairies appealed to their Goddess to step in to save the Angels from certain death. Though Lady Javersith is the Goddess of Healing, of Love and of Mercy, She also expends much of her own strength in bolstering the spells of Her children, the Fairies, so is normally unable to aid further. Yet in this She saw that She must, that unless one of the Gods stepped in all the Angels would die in a most terrible manner. Lady Javersith knew that even with all Her power, something that She was no longer able to amass, She would be utterly unable to destroy this plague for it was no normal illness. This dire sickness had to be the work of the one of the three Gods of Death.
Yet Lady Javersith could not confront them Herself for, though one, Shaltar, was Her very Divine Father and the others part of Her Divine Family, their very presence hurt and burned the Mercy Goddess' flesh. Instead Lady Javersith called upon the Angels own creator and Lady Javersith's divine husband, Aeros the Sky Lord, and told Him what She knew, placing the fate of the Angels in the hands of the God of the Winds. Aeros did what He could, as fast as He could, which was exactly what could be expected of the creator of the dying Race. Confronting first Shaltar the AllFather, God of Death in Combat, of Honour and of War, and then Killar the Lord of Murder, God of Death and Slaughter. Neither of the Gods had caused this plague, the very results going against what both Gods stood for, having neither the Honour that Shaltar craved or the pure blood lust that fuelled Killar. Knowing that there was only one God of Death left, the God of Bed Death, of Sickness and Plague, the Corrupter, Aeros the Sky Lord called upon His divine brothers, Hydros and Terra and the three of them stood together to force the Dark God to admit His crime.
Indeed perhaps it should have been obvious from the beginning that such a plot was the work of such a foul being, yet to think so was to presume that the Dark God would have the power and the gall to strike at such a powerful Race protected by an even more powerful God. To believe such a thing was possible was a terrible thought and not one that Aeros, let alone Lady Javersith, would wish to understand or to entertain.
Aeros and His brothers confronted the Corrupter by calling out that Dark God, dragging the foul deity from His hiding place in His realm in one of the Nine Hells. The struggle between the four of them, as the three Gods tried to subdue the ferociously powerful Corrupter broke apart the Great Continent, causing the immense rift that almost splits that landmass in twine. Yet, eventually, they dragged the truth from the Dark Gods lips and cast Him back into the Hell He came from. Now armed with the truth, Aeros could act, could discover the only way to save His Angels.
Since their creation the Angels had been blessed with strength, skill, intelligence, eloquence and wisdom, making them the nigh perfect Race, able to do almost anything that they put their minds to. And this infuriated the Dark God, the Corrupter hating that they were so perfect, so beautiful and so delicately crafted. And so He created the plague to strike them down because of this perfection, because each Angel was the same, rendering them vulnerable to the Corrupter's sickness. Thus Aeros had no choice in what He had to do. He divided the Angels asunder, creating the five Breeds of one Race, each unique and yet each bound together by their heritage. Whilst once the wings of the Angels had shimmered with all the colours of the rainbow, now each Breed was marked by its own colour, almost like a brand, to show what strengths they had and who was their clan.
The First Breed, the Golden Winged Angels, retained the wisdom of their forebears, gifted with the foresight and ability that was required from a leader, from a judge, from a king. They became the nobility of the Angels, the Angels who would decide how and when the Angels would act, following or ignoring the advice of the other Breeds yet gifted with the wisdom required to make such a choice if they must. They took for themselves the greatest of the Angel Cities, Regalis, the City of Kings, the purple stoned paradise of palaces and civilisation.
The Second Breed was different from the First, just as the Breed was different to the other Angels as well. They had been granted the skill and dexterity required from an artisans and sculptors, the imagination required for bards and poets. Living in Faber, the city that would be known in due time as the City of Art, the Second Breed turned it into a place of cold stone perfection, delicate workings and sculptors covering everything, a breathtaking place of incredible beauty that matched the bright sky blue of the Second Breeds wings.
The Grey Winged Angels were granted the intelligence, eloquence, agility of thought and sheer brazen confidence required from a diplomat and trader. They bought and sold the goods of the White Winged and the Blue Winged, trading far across Tal'Vorn, exchanging the jewellery of the Second Breed for weapons and armour from the Dwarves, for everyday goods from the Humans, for beautiful coral toys from the Mermen and delicate, grown wooden items from the Elves. Their city, Zatay, is a place crafted for the comfort of other Races as well as just the Angels, everything bigger and larger in case of Anvar visitors, distinct areas set aside for the other Races and even small Dwarf, Elf and Human populations in selected areas of the city. Truly it deserves it's title as the City of Welcome.
In every society there are those that must work to support others, whose labour the cities and industries are built upon. For the Angels these workers are the Fourth Breed, the White Winged Angels. Granted the perseverance, kindness, good humour, ability, constitution and affinity for the plants and animals of the mountains, the White Winged are the farmers, workers, labourers, scholars, teachers and builders. Their city, Ehovia the City of Toil, is a simple place of cool white stone, a place that is crafted with function foremost in mind over form.
The final breed are the ones that the Golden Winged wish they didn't need to have. They are the Blank Winged Angels, the Fifth Breed, born with the strength, skill, courage, determination, ferocity and sheer bloody-mindedness needed to wage war on Tal'Vorn. A warrior class first and foremost, they form the armies of the Angels, slaying any that they are commanded to, believing that by following the commands of the Golden Winged Angels they are acting for the greater good of all the Angels. Their city, Elis, is dominated by black stone, the largest building being the colossal College of War, one of Tal'Vorn's foremost military academies.
However not all the Angels accept their place. Not all of them wish to be a worker, a diplomat, a soldier, an artisan or a noble. Some wish to be what they want whenever they want, to be free of the strictures placed upon them by their God, Aeros and typically these Angels will turn to the worship of other Gods in an attempt to break free of the structure of the Angelic society. If they are discovered then they will be arrested by a group of Black Winged Angels and brought before a tribunal of Golden Wings. Though trying to break out of your caste is not a crime as such, heresy and dysentery are, to spread malcontent threatens the stability of the Angel society and any that are found doing this are stripped of much of their divinity.
They are forced to walk upon the ground, their wings no longer supporting their weight and often the Fifth Breed guards will strip many of the feathers from the prisoners wings. Their halo dims and fades, their features losing some of the divine beauty that was granted to them by Aeros. And finally they are exiled from all of the Angel Cities, not to return upon pain of death. And in the worst cases, in cases of actually committing some form of treason, these Angels are thrown physically through the Jump Gate to the sixth Angel City, Crimlis on the continent of Ilattaerar, the landmass in the centre of the Great Sea. These Exiles are known simply as the Fallen.
Crimlis is a cold, isolated and forgotten city, the populace only there because they have no choice. Though Ilattaerar is a common enough stop over for ships travelling across the Great Sea, after all not everyone can afford the cost of Jump Gate Travel, it is still relatively uninhabited by comparison to the rest of Tal'Vorn. With only the two cites, Crimlis and the human port of Dar, the landmass is almost empty and thus a perfect place for undesirables of all Races to be shipped. Indeed the place is often used as a final destination for human criminals as well, turning the two cities into twin dens of crime and wickedness.
However these Fallen, these bitter and twisted criminals, do not represent the majority of Angel society. To be an Angel is to be a child of the Sky Lord, one of the most powerful of all Tal'Vorn's Gods. It is to live, should you wish it, in happiness and contentment for all of your days, with your life already chosen by your birth. It is to be a walker in the skies, one with absolute freedom. Yet it is also to be born trapped, bereft of the freedom that would be gifted by your wings simply because of the evil of the Corrupter and the helplessness of an all powerful God.
Flight is freedom, a joyous escape from the petty lives of lesser beings here upon the earth. It is our gift and we revel in it.
We have no interest in your war, DragonLord, no interest because we are unassailable. Let the humans come and we will show them how futile it is to attack a Race born in the skies!
Pregnaus SkyToucher, High Lord of Angels at the time of the Great War, speaking to Drake FrostHeart.
© Joshua Binks (Paladin), Christopher Riley (Carnage), Brad Rumsey (Lithium), Alicia Rumsey (Escapist) and Vanessa Vaughan (Andanin) 2002 -