Brief: AngElS

For Artists & Writers

The angels represent the opposite of the demons in many ways, but they came from the same initial source. Angels have a shell of hard Yang energy, that encases an interior of shifting, flickering flame which burns a soft dark grey putty – Yin energy, which is the wet fluid, Ichor that they burn [Manna as they call it], and the fire itself, which is flickering and always in motion.

The angels have an egg shape, which is the symbol for the soul in many religions. But that could be a distorted egg that has different extra chambers built onto it. And we can imagine more advanced angels will have more elaborate shells with more modules. So the shells of the angels can be thought of simultaneously as Knights armour, of a sacred incense burner, or of a crucible. In fact, the I think the angels probably call them crucibles, because that works quite nicely as a metaphor for the way angels fuel themselves, and the frame of a fighter jet.

I quite like the idea of having a small little heads down at the bottom. That could possibly have little holes in it where the fire can come up through as well. So they can sort of have burning eyes. It’s quite nice to give them multiple eyes. But I also had the idea of giving them single eyes to make them very sort of staring. Cyclopean. It could be again, that the more complex or the older angels have multiple eyes, but the later models of Seraphim only have one and perhaps the protagonist only has one. (Or none! only sensors..)

The angels themselves are a hybrid of an internal living flame that burns on Ichor that’s actually created by the demons that animates a kind of a robotic shell that’s actually created by Delvers for them. They’re not traditionally looking robotic, they might have a kind of an interesting fluidity to them. That sort of references the demons and that references The early architecture of Cosmpolis. Certainly, later angels will perhaps become more blocky and geometric and less like this. And the earlier angels, particularly the Maggidim and some of the very early orders who were right there at the beginning, would have very biomechanical shells that almost starts to almost directly ape the fluidity of the demons.

And then the more militaristic angels like the Seraphim, like the player Angel, will probably have more geometric forms. Seven is the sacred number of the angels. So seven pointed polygons is a key reference point. Their shells are made of ceramic not metal.
They have to operate a little bit like fighter jets. It’ll be clear in the drawings, but I think the angels will have a kind of a torrent of flame coming out. Normally I imagine them hovering, almost like a Menhir or holding an egg up right would, except the top will be open, the flames will come out.

And then when they go into flight mode, when they have to fly very fast, they could sort of revolve through 90 degrees and then the top actually becomes the main engines. And you can imagine they have other aspects of their mechanical shells that help them become flight fins or wings or additional thrusters or things like that.

Angelic Instruments: Trumpets
The other thing is all of the Angels, you could call it their magical wand or their weapon or main instrument, they play these effectively something similar to brass instruments. In the Book of Revelations, the angels all play something called the Salpinx, which is an ancient Greek trumpet, a long thin trumpet. That’s the standard rifle that the most of them play though some of them would have sort of heavier brass instruments almost like support weaponry. And they always move in sevens, the angels. So 7 to a units and so on.
They Project flaming Ichor out of the trumpets when they want to burn away the demons or cast fire magic. So that’s a very important part. And you can imagine how did they manipulate these trumpets – do they have little mandibles? do they have small limbs to hold the trumpet in place, maybe not, they could possibly just move it around with magic. Maybe the trumpets extend directly they’re integrated into the arm and extend out of it like a Proboscis – that’s entirely possible, or not, it can be a separate object that the angels lose.

There are also some lost legions of angels who sound much more gentle like woodwind they were the more feminine legions who were cast out. So we can think of a gentler form of these brass like instruments.
The lost Legion should probably also have as I mentioned, the older more curvaceous armour.
Cosmopolis tended to be based on 12. And so I quite like the idea of there being 12 divisions of angels Back in the Cosmopolis. And I think we can relate them to the 12 Zodiac science. Of course, in this universe, there’s no there’s no Rams, or Crabs or anything like that. So we have to relate each of these creatures to the new magical ecosystem we’ve created which could be quite fun. But nonetheless, we should probably make each correspond to existing Zodiac signs because I know people get a lot out of zodiacs and that could be a nice connecting point for them.
The star signs that probably would have been exiled from heaven when the authoritarian transformation took over, and heaven they became more Orthodox and more invested in the upgoing tradition, would probably be Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius, Pisces and possibly Capricorn, there may be someone who knows more about Star signs could help inform that one.

So another interesting piece of design work is to is to consider magical creatures who would be the analogues of each of these star signs and think how that might characterise each of these legions of angels. We could also think how these legions could cross reference with the divisions of angels. So if we have Seraphim and Maggidim and so on each of those could also belong to a tribe. Or It could merely be the Seraphim who are divided into the 12. That could work as well.

Some more general words that reflect the angels:

Hot, bright, dry, hard, rough, sharp, brittle, severe, uncompromising, conservative, ordered, geometric, harmonious symmetrical. one-eyed, single visioned, focused, clear, clean.

In their negative aspect, they aren’t always like this. But in this iteration of the world they are becoming more and more militaristic and authoritarian, and close minded and simplistic and fervent.

They are honour-bound, chivalric, bonded in trust with each other.

You can think of the ethos of the shield wall say, in ancient Sparta – that would be a good reference point. Certainly patriarchal but in this iteration of the universe, That’s starting to take on its more negative aspects, but we can think of the more positive aspects of what that word might mean when they had their iteration / incarnation in Cosmopolis.

Some of those positive aspects would mean bringing security and defence against outside invaders. You can think how they may have actually helped to keep Cosmopolis afloat and safe navigated safe from storms, safe from cosmic events, maybe even safe from the voiders.

We can come to that at another point in time that that could be very interesting indeed that the Voiders is where a kind of more of an astral threat that Cosmopolis was having to be defended from by the the life force of the demons in conjunction with the ordered ordering principles of the angels. [Some chaos demons allied with the ordered ones and could live within chaos and build cosmopolis]

Another very good way to think of the angels is as an immune system and then more positive aspects. [and immune systems can go into auto-immune disorder and become overactive] They helped regulate the demonic energy, keep it in keep it from becoming overgrown and cancerous. So they were very much like white blood cells – that was part of their function in the earlier Cosmopolis.

Other words would be: fast, moving formations…

They’ve got a certain arrogance to them, you can sort of think of the the arrogance of a kind of a military parade, perhaps some of the arrogance when birds stand – like how the daoists noticed the crane tended to stand..

You can take a lot of reference from Bushido and summarise for example, the banners they used to have them on their backs, think of streamers / banners as the angel of lightness and potentially adorn themselves with.

On a more practical note, I quite like the idea of the jet of fire almost being like tail. So it kind of quivers almost like how tadpoles tail moves as it burns. And we can imagine when the angels need to move faster they increase the fuel burn in their engines, so the tail of fire starts to flip at a quicker frequency Just like a tadpoles does, which could be a nice reference point.

You can also imagine the angels look very beautiful from a distance. They’re these sort of little dots of light moving in these beautiful patterns. When they perch on boats, they take up a sharpshooter role, but from a distance that would look like potentially very beautiful like little lights on a ship from far away. And of course, from below from anywhere on the ocean, or the or the forests or the mountain. In the earth realm of this world, You would look up and you would see a vast void where the void is left all around heaven, but where Heaven is you see these beautiful patterns of light – and to many of the lower creatures there. It’s kind of an irresistible, beautiful pattern. And they here in those patterns what we refer to as the music of the spheres.

So It’s also worth thinking what angels look like from a vast distance away. You might have some very large angels as well whoa re almost like Atlas, Their job is to just be huge thrusters and keep Heaven atfloat. We could think what they might look like So the heavy lifting aspects of heaven. And it’s sort of a thankless and endless task much like Atlas’. And certainly, it will be interesting to think when the Cosmopolis is reformed and they longer no longer have to do that we’re in task which is sort of reflective of the never ending burden of having to keep yourself away from the material world. [religious repression]

What would happen to them and would they find a much more beautiful reincarnation? And would they be an important part of preserving Cosmopolis.

So within Heaven, There are actually several orders of angels. There are lots and lots, I believe in the Christian scriptures. And there’s some interesting hidden ones in some of the Hebrew Scriptures that are in their Kabbalic traditions.

We don’t copy them directly. But we’ll take certainly reference points. The main angels in the game are the warrior angels that I think we will make the Seraphim who are the bright fire angels, from one of the highest orders. The protagonists can start as one of them, They would have more geometric shapes less sort of curvaceous. And be all focused about having very powerful engines and very powerful flame projectors. Then you have the Maggidim who else are a much older order [or if not an older order, there are much older surviving Maggidim as they aren’t on the frontline] who remember who remember Cosmopolis very clearly.

Thousands and thousands of angels are created constantly. And many of them perish in this never ending war with the demons – and their little shells fall out of the sky, land in the sea and sink all the way to the base of the ocean. So the ocean bed is covered in sort of innumerable little angel shells with an extinguished flame. But then they keep making new ones up in heaven like a factory.

It’s worth thinking the shell of those Seraphim should also be maybe referencing a bullet as well, I mean, usefully, an egg already sort of does, because they actually have fired out of Cannons directly at the demons when they’re coming at Heaven from below. So we think how they would almost fit like in a magazine and be five, one after the other 1234567 maybe and then that would turn into a formation when in flight because the angels are also self propelled. Those cannons perhaps give them a quick boost to get into position more rapidly to combat the demons before they get too close to heaven.

Back to the Maggidim. I have this idea of them almost being a sequence of polygons floating vertically one on top of each other, and looking very weird. Almost unlike a lot of the other angels referencing demons quite strongly, but still being their own thing. And these are heavenly teachers. And they remember back in the early days of Cosmopolis – there was a kind of a constitution to keep Cosmopolis together and stop it from falling apart. And one of the many important rules was that the warrior angels, the Seraphim, Were always meant to have the more feminine arts balanced in their training. So for example, Bushido drew a lot from Chinese daoism, the human the Yang, and they felt that it was important for warriors not just to be brutes with with chopping swords, but also be poets and appreciate poetry, calligraphy, tea ceremonies, so on. And I think that that was perhaps one of the major roles of the Mega Dean in in one of the many roles but an important one was to see complete training of the Seraphim. So they weren’t merely warriors and what complete little beings completely integrated little beings. As heaven became more more authoritarian as Providence took over more power from heaven, one Angel appointed himself above the others and took over more and more power. The Maggidim were exiled, there is still a few of them who are very good at keeping quiet. But they speak in a highly abstracted terms and they still flow through the kindling chambers of the warrior angels, Giving strange little hints that maybe the universe isn’t as simple as the militaristic training that the older Seraphim are giving you.

So they’re a very important angel to develop. In terms of reference points, you think of wisdom, Daoist, sages Yoda, of course, is a simple reference point. Not in terms of looks at all, but very much in terms of his strange sense of humour and silliness. A lot of Zen Buddhism and Daoism often integrates this kind of irreverence into it, which I liked, and I think the magazine could incooporate, we think of Rabbis as well after all that’s a direct reference point, who also often bring a certain sense of humour to their scriptures and so on. And Guardian Angels as well I think, almost evolved out of these angels. So you can think of that aspect of these actors guardian angels to the protagonist.

The Cherubim are not very specifically described in many traditions though many of the angels are depicted as something called a tetramorph. That’s quite interesting. It’s geometric but slightly non three dimensionally making sense of a combination of wings. I like to also think of the angels as being a bit like birds in many respects, they have the, you can imagine how a bird has that lovely egg shaped body effectively with the wings of hugging to the top of it. So you can imagine if you’re holding it so that a bird likes a pigeon is shaped roughly like the way a, an egg would be upright or a Menhir, you can imagine flames coming off the top and then whether that’s head would be that could be roughly where the ancients head would be. It’s just almost as sort of doesn’t have any legs at the bottom, it was more sort of hovering, you know, on its side, which is a beautiful image. And then you can imagine some tetramorph shapes integrating with that. So it becomes actually a kind of an interesting three dimensional object that makes sense, but captures some of that tetramorph iconography.

There’s another angel division that I haven’t elaborated too much, but I think they’re very interesting. They’re called the thrones [or Ophanim]. And they are considered to be almost the most unpicturable of all of all of the angelic divisions, I think they tend to show them as a fiery wheels with thousands of eyes all around, which I think is beautiful. So it’d be great if we can also reference them.

They probably are very strongly associated high up with, with the thrown at the top with Providence, but I think what we interesting with them is they can maybe have some connections both to the demons with theirmany eyes, and maybe also some interesting connections to the void as well. I think these can be some of the most advanced and nonsensical and strange of all of the angels while also being one of the absolute top divisions. So there could be a very interesting connection later on, maybe they will be quite hard to communicate with musically and verbally.

You can also sort of think about the ecosystem in heaven. What kind of creatures would live in it? I’m not too sure. But I think that they could be some quite interesting little sort of micro angels and little mini machineries and drones. Moving around heaven doing the right thing just to animate it a little bit, you can imagine engineer angels assisting, Cherubim with maintenance tasks and so on. The Cherubim are the caretakers. So they also help to kindle the young angels in the kindling chambers, they’re the ones who sort of float through and attend to them and provide the the Ichor to keep them alive, igniting them in the first place to all these kinds of rituals. [they take something of a ‘mother’ role] So I think it’d be interesting to think how they might have maybe many appendages that would have helped them to do those tasks, , think of maybe the Imperial probot from Star Wars or sort of some other kind of service technician oriented kind of missionary type creatures. But of course, again, they more or less have to follow the model of ceramic shell ignited by fire as all the other angels do. [Don’t be totally bound by this, it’s just a guideline – thrones and maggidim could be quite different].

Some of the more senior angels grow their armour and bolt on extra additions in a modular way, they become larger and more elaborate and more resplendent and hang more banners of them and so on. So we can imagine particularly some of the more powerful Warrior angels can become quite large and quite intimidating, particularly in proportion to some of the other smaller younger angels [like the protagonist]. Once they kind of likes a little flying flame fortress [or battlecruiser], After a while themselves are able to deliver quite significant payloads of firepower even on their own, though they do still tend to generally be in command positions.

There will be a certain number of named Archangels, perhaps five or six, or even seven, who will be responsible for different parts of the war, some for Defence, some for Offence, there’ll be a certain very key Archangel who’s responsible for bombing the forests with fire in the Weaver territories, Who will end up becoming splashed with demonic essence and wake up in empathy to realise what he’s doing regarding all the suffering he’s causing with these campaigns. (that’s a storey for another time) but that will be an interesting Angel, almost like a B-52 bomber, a particularly sort of fearsome and large shell, which would be able to deliver a lot of ordinance. Perhaps you could also think of like a kind of very interesting piece of the orchestra with lots and lots of trumpets or an organ, sticking out of it to of cast the fire out.


Other ideas…


Some ideas for Angels’ aesthetics:

Little star constellations

Artillery shells / bombs

Fighter jets

Space invaders

Animated by holy flame, so somehow flame elements encased by Elegant metallic structures

Shields, to look like little shield walls, that defend them from splashes and corruption from beneath – these could also function as masks and look like faces, and maybe only be on during combat

They hold little salpinxes, trumpets, which are flamethrowers for their spells. These could be couched as lances, or maybe proboscises – I have some designs where they protrude through holes in the shield

Engines, that flare fire out of them, brighter when blasting an afterburner, like the engines of a modern fighter jet

Banners and regalia a bit like those little banners the samurai have?

Faces that look generally angry, or maybe sad – a bit like those scary samurai masks on their helmets

Fixed expressions that do not change

Relevant Quotes:


 Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi:

“We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.”

 

“You were born with potential.
You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness.
You were born with wings.
You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.
You have wings.
Learn to use them and fly.”

 

“Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.”

 

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”

 

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames”

 

“Peaceful is the one who’s not concerned with having more or less.
Unbound by name and fame, he is free from sorrow from the world and mostly from himself.”

 

“Don’t you know yet? It is your light that lights the worlds.”

 

“Shine like the universe is yours.”

 

“The lamps are different, but the light is the same.”

 

 


John Milton:

“Where the bright seraphim in burning row
Their loud uplifted angel trumpets blow.”

 

“Innocence, Once Lost, Can Never Be Regained. Darkness, Once Gazed Upon, Can Never Be Lost.”

 

“Never can true reconcilement grow where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep…”

 

 


 Frank Herbert:

“Thou shalt not disfigure the soul.”

“Paradise on my right, Hell on my left and the Angel of Death behind.”



Others:

“We have laboured long to build a heaven, only to find it populated with horrors.”
― Alan Moore, Watchmen

 

 

“Of course you should fight fire with fire. You should fight everything with fire.”
― Unknown

 

 

“We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.”

― Alan W. Watts

 

 

“Blessed are all simple emotions, be they dark or bright!

It is the lurid intermixture of the two that produces the illuminating blaze of the infernal regions.”

 Nathaniel Hawthorne