Author’s Note: Please be aware that this page will likely contain spoilers up to the latest chapter in the main story.
I asked Tenebrael if she would give me some information on angels. She did comply, eventually, but it was the worst thing I had ever read. It was overly long, full of purple prose, and read like stereo instructions. Extremely religious stereo instructions. So I’ve tried my best to distill it into usable knowledge here in my notes. I’m not sure how usable it really is, but since I went through all the trouble of reading it, I thought I would write some of it down to spare me having to look back at the original text.
So! Without further ado!
The Concord of Angels
The First Sphere — The First Sphere is the highest order of angels. This order contains the most ancient beings in all of existence. Typically seen as the leaders, many angels look up to them even more as of late in light of recent problems with the Throne. Unfortunately, the entire order is in relative stagnation because of the Throne’s vacancy. In Tenebrael’s words, talking to any of them is like trying to have a decent conversation with a brick wall.
None of The First Sphere appear humanlike.
Seraphim — Burning beings with six wings. Defenders and caretakers of the Throne. There are few in number, but their power more than makes up for any perceived weakness. A single Seraphim is said to be able to sunder reality, possessing a fraction of the Throne’s true power. The Throne only deploys them in the most dire of circumstances. But they never lose.
However, with the Throne no longer giving tasks to angels, they are said to have ceased all duties, choosing to remain near the Throne as eternal guardians.
The most humalike in appearance, but even then, something is wrong with them. Their proportions are wrong. Their limbs too long and their bodies too bulky.
Cherubim — Four faced beings—one of a man, one of an ox, one of a lion, and one of an eagle—with four wings covering their eyes. They are guides and guards of the Endless Expanse. Once a Principality has collected a soul, it is up to the Cherubim to determine the soul’s fate. Some remain in the Expanse to be processed. Others join with the fallen angels.
They are the members of this order least affected by the Throne’s vacancy. Their job was to interact with souls. They continue to do so today. They will continue to do so for eternity.
Ophanim — Planet-sized wheels covered with an uncountable quantity of eyes. When they move, everything moves. When they stop, everything stops. They have no means of true communication. Once, they turned at the Throne’s whims. Now, they languidly rotate, dominating the sky within the Expanse.
The Second Sphere — The second order of angels. They, as a whole, are not as powerful as those in The First Sphere, but they are far more numerous. Their tasks tend to be administrative in nature, governing and ensuring that everything is running smoothly in all of reality.
Dominions — Dominions rule over alternate Earths. There is only one Dominion per world. They are the ultimate authority in their land, capable of nearly any task required of them. They maintain the authority to recruit lesser angels to assist in their tasks of overseeing their world. All lesser angels must comply.
Virtues — Information specialists and bookkeepers. They maintain all knowledge within the Throne. If an angel needs to know what is going on or otherwise lacks knowledge, they ask a Virtue. Very few Virtues ever leave the Endless Expanse and the presence of the Throne. They can be spotted on occasion out in various worlds if they are unable to gather the requisite information from Authorities or Ophanim. If they are forced out of the Expanse, they generally try to avoid interacting with other angels.
According to Tenebrael’s notes within the information she sent me, they talk funny. There is no elaboration on that.
Authorities — Authorities concern themselves primarily with the upkeep and movements of the cosmos. It is their duty to keep the fabric of reality from fraying and coming undone. They are the janitors, the repairmen, and the maintenance crew.
Another introverted species of angel, apparently. Tenebrael says that, in all her long existence, she has never spoken to a single one.
The Third Sphere — The lowest order of angels. They have the most interaction with humans, Tenebrael aside. The higher orders tend to relegate menial tasks to members of this order. They are by far the most numerous of all angels, reaching pure uncountable levels.
Principalities — Educators and guides. Principalities preside over all mortal affairs with an emphasis on death. It is through Principalities that most humans cast miracles. They speak directly with True Saints. Though, Tenebrael notes that now a days, they really only deal with the collection of souls. There have been no miracles and no True Saints in a very long time.
Archangels — Warriors of the Concord. The primary fighting force, for as much as angels actually need to fight. Their primary duty is in correcting mistakes in the plan. One, sometimes two, will occasionally be assigned to a wayward world to work with the Dominion of the land with the sole goal of restoring order.
Guardians — Also simply called angels, these are the common rabble—Tenebrael’s words. The least powerful but most numerous group of angels. Once upon a time, they would be assigned as Guardian Angels to select humans. Such a thing, like most duties angels are supposed to do, doesn’t happen much anymore. As such, bereft of their original purpose, they tend to be given the worst of the worst tasks by various Principalities and Dominions.
And that is… pretty much it. Ten thousand words condensed down to just under one thousand. Pretty good summary if I do say so myself. And I do. Say so. Myself, that is. Obviously, like all my other notes, I am leaving plenty of room in case I come across more information. Or in case I notice something I missed sometime when I am feeling masochistic enough to reread Tenebrael’s original text.
Like that will ever happen. Ugh.
The Astral Authority
The Astral Authority is some kind of divine police force… except not really? I spoke with Iosefael about them. Between her being distraught about being trapped in a room with no access to the Throne and her being somewhat rushed (my fault), I might not have gotten the best information. Still, I’ll try to compile what I’ve learned here. To be honest, I am expecting to learn far more from my own encounters with them than I learned from Iosefael. But she at least gave me some insight into their organization and structure.
The Astral Authority occupies itself with demons and fallen angels, fighting both relentlessly with waves and waves of expendable minions. Individually, the minions don’t seem that strong. Mere mortals could probably fight a few off if they were coordinated enough. Their numbers are their real problem.
First, the Astral Authority is led by a Seraphim. See the above section on angels for more details on that particular breed of being. Iosefael suspects that, like all other Seraphim, this one is mostly inactive and leaves the actual leading to the Astral Authority themselves.
The Astral Authority is headed by the Cardinal Virtues. There are four of them, supposedly beings almost on par with a Seraphim.
The Cardinal Virtue of Prudence — The Virtue of governing and disciplining oneself by the use of reason. Might be considered the leader of the leaders.
The Cardinal Virtue of Justice — The Virtue which regulates dealing with others. The strongest and most warrior-like of the Cardinal Virtues.
The Cardinal Virtue of Fortitude — The Virtue of patience and perseverance. A bulwark the likes of which cannot be breached.
The Cardinal Virtue of Temperance — The Virtue of moderation of pleasures and appetites. Honestly, I have no idea what this one is supposed to do for the Astral Authority. Iosefael was somewhat incomprehensible at this point.
Beneath the Cardinal Virtues are the lesser virtues. Seven classes of seemingly infinite peons that can be thrown at whatever problem is facing the Astral Authority at the moment. From my experience, I can say that these things are more like robots than real living beings. They seem to ignore anything that isn’t immediately related to demons or angels… unless provoked. That might have something to do with a lack of souls, but I can’t see souls in angels either so maybe I just don’t have enough information about the subjects.
All members of the lesser virtues wear porcelain masks on top of their vastly inhuman forms.
Chastity — The antithesis to Lust. Given the duty of acting as an impenetrable aegis to the other members of the Astral Authority. Their form takes an insectile appearance, looking something like a cross between a spider and an ironclad beetle.
Equanimity — The antithesis to Gluttony. Acts as heavy front-line fighters. These things are huge. The front paw is the size of a small car. And they have paws. They’re large chimera-like creatures with a lion’s body, a scorpion’s tail, and a serpentine neck. Notably, they have no head, just a porcelain mask on the end of the snake neck.
Charity — The antithesis to Greed. Act as a logistics support personnel, opening portals and keeping communications organized. They are small humanoids, roughly the size of teens, but proportioned like babies.
Diligence — The antithesis to Sloth. Act as long range combative support. They take on the appearance of an eastern dragon, long and serpentine but with claws and short stubby arms positioned about their bodies like that of centipedes. They fly about the battlefield, firing golden beams from a long range. Their porcelain mask splits open when they’re ready to fire their beam.
Patience — Antithesis to Wrath. The frontline warrior of the Astral Authority. A life-sized doll crafted from tangled silver filigree wires. They wield spears, somehow swinging them around despite their hands being little more than ball-shaped knobs. These are probably the most common of all the Astral Authority. At least from what I have seen.
Kindness — Antithesis to Envy. Scouts and observers for the Astral Authority. They are, as far as I can tell, entirely noncombative. At least, their form doesn’t seem to be suited for combat. They are bubbling masses of endless eyes, winged with a mask slapped on one side of them. The eyes burst like bubbles every so often, only to reveal dozens more eyes beneath.
Humility — Antithesis to Pride. An elusive member of the Astral Authority. I don’t know their form or their true purpose among the others. Iosefael was both incoherent and ignorant of them.
So far, that’s about all I know about these things. I’ll definitely be updating these notes in the future if more useful information reveals itself!