Basium broke the Compact. He was the archangel of Arawn, Angel of Death. When the Compact was signed, Basium refused to give up direct battle against the demons. He and a small host of other rebel angels disobeyed the gods and continued the fight. They spend their time waging battle across creation and among the vaults of heaven and hell. They can be found anywhere demons exist.
After a decade of effort, the high priests and archmages of the Bannor succeeded in opening a permanent portal to Arawn’s Vault: the Mercurian Gate. Basium’s warrior angels have come to the realm of Arcanearth to oppose Hyborem’s demonic legions, similarly summoned by the Sheaim. Deprived of the absolute power they wielded in the Vaults of the outer planes, the celestials and fiends must obey the rules of creation. Now Basium and Hyborem maneuver for position in a deadly game of chess with mortals as their pawns.
Mercurians care little for the sufferings of mortals caught up in the struggle. Their only concern is destroying demons. They are sometimes confused with demons because of their monomaniacal focus, rough warlike appearance and disregard for collateral damage. Despite this, many mortals of Arcanearth have flocked to serve in the angelic armies, especially the Bannor and the dwarves of Khazad.
40% Mortal: Human (60% Bannor, 18% Elohim, 15% Amurites, 5% Malakim, 1% Hippus (mercenaries), ~1% Other)
30% Angelic Host
8% Angel: Valkyrie
7% Angel: Seraph
6% Mortal: Dwarf (40% Hill, 20% Mountain)
5% Angel: Messengerii
4% Angel: Ophanim
< 1% Herald, Repentant, Angel of Death
60% Lawful Neutral
35% Lawful Good
5% Neutral Good
< 1% Other
Adult mortal population Lvl 1 or higher: 16%
Sorcerer: 5% (Blood of Kylorin, Divine Bloodline)
Other: < 1%
There is a word in the angelic tongue for “love.” Three, in fact. There are many words for “mercy,” for “compassion,” for “tender kindness.” The closest word to any of these is carved upon his left forearm: "prudence.” Like the word he just finished upon his chest, “justice,” this is a prayer written in blood and pain upon now-mortal flesh. “Holiness,” across his cheeks. “Judgment,” upon his brow. “Courage,” down his torso. Each a prayer to gods he turned his back on. Attributes of divine judgment he seeks to cultivate within his soul.
He was about to begin cutting “Wrath” along his right forearm when two young men approached the lord, dwarfed by the Herald that led them. “What… what is he doing?”
“It is a prayer… with every cut, I beg for the strength to finish my task.” He rose, towering over the encampment.
The other man gulped. “But aren’t you… aren’t you a god? To whom do you pray, m’lord?”
Basium turned to face the men. “Why do you disturb me?”
“I am Lars Lort, lord Basium. We wish to join your cause, me an’ Kobe here. A horde of Infernal beasts destroyed our village. Only we two escaped.”
“Then take you a sword—we march on the morn.”
“Well, sir, if we may,” said Kobe, “we two are more than mere sell-swords. See, we’ve a bit of magic between us, that’s how we survived the assault, by hiding invisible like. But we were watching and we learned something. Wait an’ we’ll show you.” Without waiting for prompting, the two young mages began their spell. Basium took a long, slow breath, the rune on his left arm throbbing.
It was the sulfuric smell that first alerted Basium. All his muscles tensed at its arrival before he was able to recognize the presence of his enemy. Curiously, the demon stood motionless in the middle of camp. “Isn’t it great?” Lars exclaimed gleefully. “We watched how the Infernals gated in reinforcements, but we figured out how to put the ward of command around it ourselves. With us around, you can fight fire with fire!”
Basium leapt upon the Hell-beast, wrapping his bare fingers around its neck. Smoke began immediately to hiss from the demon’s skin, and in moments flames began to lick at Basium’s fingers. On each of the fallen angel’s fingers was carved one of the five angelic names for the Most Holy One. The demon writhed in pain, breaking free of the Lorts’s simple warding in the process. He whipped at Basium with his tail, raked his back with obsidian claws, bellowed an unearthly roar, all to no avail—the mighty Mercurian was unshakeable.
The lesser demon was quickly reduced to an almost pitiful writhing and moaning. Finally all that remained was a hellish smell and hissing puddles of black blood.
Basium rose, and stalked towards the two summoners. “You call forth a demon in my own camp? Let me show you what I do with fire—I extinguish it!” Basium roared. Lars felt his brother’s warm blood splatter on his face before he realized that Basium had drawn his huge sword. He never noticed the second swing.
Basium walked back to his mat by the fire-pit. He picked up the ceremonial dagger and began to cut the W into his arm.
Choirs of Angels
These are angels newly born into physical forms. Valkyries intercept the souls of lawful or good mortals slain upon Arcanearth and offer them the chance to rise as angels in the ranks of Basium’s army. Rather than pass on to the afterlife, many of these souls do in fact join the fight and emerge from the Mercurian Gate as angels clothed in earthly flesh. If their physical forms are destroyed upon the battlefields of Arcanearth, their souls are released to the eternal Vaults of heaven. Angels that distinguish themselves in battle or other service to the Mercurians may be promoted to higher Choirs: Valkyries, Seraphim, Messengerii, Ophanim, Heralds, Repentants and finally, Angels of Death.
The Valkyries are exclusively female spirits who roam the astral and physical space above Arcanearth gathering lawful or good souls of the slain. Basium offers each soul the chance to join his angelic host.
The Seraphim are angels of holy fire and radiant energy taking both male and female forms. The oldest Seraphs are angels of Bhall who did not fall with her into the Seven Hells. These angels wandered heaven or creation as lost spirits until the rebellion of Basium. Now many of them have found a home in the angelic host battling Hyborem’s demonic legions upon Arcanearth.
The Messengerii are the couriers of the Mercurians. These angels fly fast and far, delivering messages to allies and field armies. They are often sent to aid isolated outposts or rescue stranded soldiers. The Messengerii are good aligned (neutral) and will sometimes divert from their mission to help imperiled mortals.
The heavy cavalry of the Mercurians. The host of the Ophanim is wreathed in a cloud of darkness shot with purple lightning. Few can stand against them.
Heralds are faceless warrior angels clothed in both ethereal and corporeal armors. Their towering 15 foot forms rally the faithful from across the battlefield. The heralds can sound their mighty horns to imbue mortals with fanatical loyalty, courage, valor and superhuman strength. But mortals so empowered will die within the day, their bodies utterly consumed by the holy fires of heaven. Such souls are always swept up by the Valkyries for service in the Angelic Host.
Repentants are mighty angels still committed to the rebellion, but suffering from their breaking of the Compact and many terrible deeds committed in the crusade against demons. Each day that a Repentant slays mortals, they grow more troubled and weaker in spirit until finally abandoning their fleshly forms and passing back into the spirit realm.
Angel of Death
Angels of Death are the servants of Arawn, sent out upon creation to enforce the law of mortality. A few have sided with Basium and joined the rebellion on Arcanearth. Unlike most of Basium’s angelic choirs, they are still able to pass between the physical and astral realms at will to strike without warning. Mortal inhabitants of populated regions are swept away like ashes before a gale when the Angel of Death unfurls its black wings.
One may not escape the angel of death, nor say to him, “Wait until I put my affairs in order,” or “There is my son, my slave: take him in my stead.” Where the angel of death appears there is no remedy.