Author: Araith - currently MIA
Heaven and Hell on Earth...
It has been 20 years since the end of the world. 20 years of hell- and heaven -on Earth. For when it came, when angels and demons came to walk among the race of men once more, something happened that no man had predicted. Men and women became as angels, as shimmering, beautiful beings. They also became as devils. As demons. Well, some did. But ALL who changed became as death. Machines of war. The war between heaven and hell, one fought for reasons long past the ken of even the most ancient, came to Earth, in a most terrible form. And it was to be fought by those who never wanted to fight.
It was over the souls of the moral that the battle was first fought, over the givers, the alturistic, the idealists, the spiritual, those who were so sure of the world they lived in that their very conviction shaped the world around them. The rebels, of every stripe. Spirits surrounded the world, swirling and twisting in incomprehensible combat. To recount the wondrous and fearful things that appeared to do battle, to tell even the most broad and sweeping generalizations of the most important skirmishes of that moments long war, would take years in the telling, and a library as vast as a city to hold it's tales. In seconds, that battle was done, and Earth was scarcely worth fighting over. So it was that only the apathetic remained. Those who were satisfied with the world as it was and saw no reason to fight. They were two thirds of the world, deemed almost worthless. And heaven and hell made avatars of themselves, small manifestations of power in the souls of a few of those who remained. These became the Imbued, demiangels and halfdemons with the everpresent drive to compete with their eternal enemies over the scraps of Earth. The true forces of heaven and hell moved on, to find new battlefields to compete over. And the Imbued fought. The first years were ones of sheer carnage; massacres of unchanged humans who were mere fodder before the flaming swords of both sides.
And yet, mankind survived. Hiding from the Imbued in the ruins of cities and in the furthest reaches of the most barren places of Earth, many hid. Sometimes they even managed to fight back, with holy water, with sacraments, with unholy symbols, and with sulphur and brimstone. They found weapons both in the technology of man, and in the human spirit, driven by desperation to break the physical limits they had placed on themselves. Mystics, soldiers, priests, survivalists, all of these and more fought hopelessly, always losing, always in retreat against their former fellow man. There are even cities where free humans hide, trying to rebuild and plotting against their scourge. Most, however, allied themselves with whichever of the Imbued seemed likeliest to defend them. Paradoxically, this was most often the halfdemons, who would take any who swore to never aid the angelics, those who attached themselves to the demiangels. The demiangels' draconian code of conduct, a result of the pervasive human meme that strict order was the highest state man could achieve, caused many to shy away in fear that they could not hold to such a strict system, and would be killed if they allied themselves to the demiangels and then broke the code. Such has happened, more than a few times.
And something else happened as well. A few of the Imbued have broken the relentless compulsion to collect the souls of mortals, and became fugitives, trusted by none and hunted by all. They were always the weakest, those who were freed, for it was they upon whom the touch was lightest. They wander the Earth, coming to grips with their failing powers, shoring them up with meditation and with the search for a hoped-for, half-imagined third spiritual power that would free mankind from the enslavement it is trapped in. They are called the Fallen, and they may be mankind's last hope.