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The Archangels, Higher Angels, and Lower Angels, are the three distinctive classes that constitute the Angel Hierarchy.

The Hierarchy of Angels

Archangels

Rank

Five Archangel siblings comprise the first order of angels: twin brothers Michael and Gabriel, twin sisters Uriel and Raphael, and Son of Morning, the first born of the majestic Archangels.

Physical Form

Archangels have a human form, magnificent feathered wings, and wear armor when necessary. They use their wings for flight, to communicate with other angels, as forceful weapons, and as impenetrable shields. When their wings are retracted, Archangels appear indistinguishable from humans.

Strength

Archangels are highly skilled warriors endowed with incredible strength far superior to that of both humans and their angel brethren. They have heightened senses and heal quickly, but are not indestructible. They can be killed, but only with Empyrean steel.

Allegiance

The start of the Extermination War caused a great divide in the Archangel family. When Gabriel waged war on humankind, Michael turned against his brother and set out to protect them. Uriel and Raphael proclaimed their neutrality, but with time Uriel joined Gabriel’s side. The Son of Morning perished before the war.

Possession

Unlike his siblings, the Archangel Gabriel has cultivated the power of possession, and can possess both Higher and Lower Angels.

Higher Angels

Rank

Higher Angels are the second order of angels in the hierarchy.

Physical Form

Like Archangels, Higher Angels have a human form, and do not need to posses a human body to exist on Earth. They too utilize their wings for flight, communication, and a myriad of defensive functions.

Strength

Higher Angels wield great physical power, but are not as strong as Archangels. While they are extremely difficult to kill, their contact with Empyrean steel proves fatal, and unlike their Archangel superiors, they can die as a result of excessive angel or human force.

Allegiance

In the time of the Extermination War, the majority of the Higher Angels did not take sides, but lived anonymously until recently when many of them began to side with Gabriel’s army against the humans.

Possession

Higher Angels do not hold the power of possession.

Subtypes

Infiltrators

Infiltrators pose as humans, often in bodies that seem unthreatening.

Neutral Higher Angels

These angels live peaceably among humans—they remain anonymous and don’t take sides.

Warriors

Warriors are generally clad in armor, always ready for battle.

Lower Angels

Rank

Lower Angels, aka “The Possessed, “aka “8-balls,”aka “The Dogs of Heaven,”are the lowest order in the
Angel Hierarchy.

Physical Form

Lower Angels do not have physical forms of their own. To exist on Earth, they must forcibly possess the bodies of humans, seemingly killing off the human hosts’ souls in the process. Their black eyes earned them the moniker “8-balls,” they have black spider-like veins and sharp, blackened, pointy teeth. 8-balls retain one link to their human hosts in the form of a lingering obsession with the specific human lives they took. For example, the 8-ball in the body of a former musician may compulsively carry around the human’s old guitar, aggressively guarding it should someone try to take it from him.

Strength

These blood-thirsty beings are strong and fast, can walk on walls and leap tremendous distances. While they are fierce and agile, they can be killed in the same manner that one kills a person—if you kill the body, you kill the 8-ball.

Allegiance

The Lower Angels were the Archangel Gabriel’s soldiers in the Extermination War that wiped out most of humankind. Today, most 8-balls continue to hate humanity and usually attempt to murder and dismember any human that crosses their path.

Possession

Lower Angels must possess human bodies to obtain their physical form, and they themselves can be remotely possessed by the Archangel Gabriel.

Subtypes

Civilized Possessed

Like humans, Lower Angels display a spectrum of traits— some primal, some more advanced. Civilized Possessed physically present as 8-balls, but they do not spend their days attacking humans, but rather living alongside them. Their wanton rage can most certainly be provoked, but is generally kept at bay.

Evolved 8-balls

A growing contingent of 8-balls have developed adaptations such as wings and increased strength, making them progressively more similar to their superior kind. Occasionally an evolved 8-ball will display an atypical feature such as a pointy tongue, or other bizarre adaptations.

DYAD

Rank

Half human and half Higher Angel, the Dyad exists outside the basic Angel Hierarchy. This rare and mighty being is created when the soul of a Higher Angel, previously cast down into the lower ranks, takes control of the body of a human, possessing them like a lower spirit, but sharing control of the body with the original human soul.

Physical Form

The Dyad has a human form, but because the Higher Angel now inhabits a normal human body, and not an angel’s, it does not have wings. While the angel and human parts generally live in symbiotic harmony, one side is always dominant. When the angel spirit takes over, the Dyad’s human eyes can flash to 8-ball black.

Strength

Deriving a unique brand of power from the dual presence of its angel and human sides, the Dyad is extremely strong and difficult to kill, but is still no match for an Archangel.

Allegiance

Dyad allegiances vary, but Julian harbors a great hatred for his Higher Angel brothers, and Archangels Michael and Gabriel in particular.

Possession

Dyads do not maintain the ability to possess without the aid of the supernatural weapon of the Amphora, and they themselves prove difficult to possess.

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Chapter XI