“And there was war in Heaven. The Fallen, once known as the Witnesses, had been too long among the mortals of Elatreus. Separated from their brethren in the Heavenly Host, their observances of mortalkind led them to a terrible conclusion – that mortals could be ruled, and dominated, and made to worship that which ought not to be worshipped. Shemhazai, chief among the Fallen, was the first to raise his frightful banner and proclaim himself God of the World. The vast arrays of the Heavenly Host came against the Fallen, begging their brothers and sisters to return. But the malice and cruelty of Shemhazai had corrupted them utterly. And there was war in Heaven.”
The Elder Tomes, Chapter One, Verses 25-29
Known by many names, the Fallen were once angelic beings tasked to watch and record humankind’s journey, but became corrupted by a lust for power once they realized how easy it was to manipulate and control their charges.. Most were destroyed or imprisoned during the War in Heaven, but a few managed to escape the battle once they realized their rebellion had failed, and have hidden away in the darkest, most forbidden corners of the world where they can still be found even to this very day..
Once majestic and holy, as they fell they were utterly corrupted, remade into a raw manifestation of pure evil and malice, and where once they sought to rule the world, now they seek only to destroy it utterly. While undeniably insane, their intelligence is beyond human comprehension. Those that chose to flee from the losing war are not easy to find – and once found – almost impossible to defeat. For in their presence, the laws of nature are twisted to their will and to gaze upon them is to be transported into a living nightmare from which few have ever managed to escape and tell the tale..
Attempting to confront or fight one is usually suicidal. Magic spells no longer work properly, and at the Fallens will, may even cause the mage to catch alight and turn into a living torch.. Missile weapons fall short, stopping dead before dropping harmlessly to the ground, or even turning around and flying back to whence they were fired from.. And any that are foolhardy enough to attempt a close range strike typically find their attack was anticipated and either strike thin air, or that they are paralyzed – and then, as if they had become a mere puppet, may attack their companions or even draw a dagger and use it on themselves..
Only the most powerful magical weapons or holy artifacts offer any kind of protection. Examples such as the Angelic the Flame of the Hosts or the Seraph Aegis offer total protection to the bearer, and as a result, they both fear and despise these weapons. However, holy men and those who are free from any fault or blame are invisible (but not inaudible) to them, and they can do nothing to harm them directly (though, if they are made aware of their presence, may cause indirect harm)..
Physically, the Fallen typically take on a humanoid form of indescribable horror – but actually have no fixed form other than a shadowy void of blackness or a flickering core of pure darkness made manifest, able to change size and shape as their mood dictates. While some are entirely solitary, others prefer to be served by cultists who bring them sacrifices of blood and human souls in exchange for instruction in the darkest magics. But their involvement with humanity does not end there, some are able to breed with humans to beget so called “tainted” children, children who are essentially, half demon (as two fallen cannot breed, every one of their number was present during the war in heaven).
Finally, as they fell, each of the Fallen was renamed – a scrambled, hard to pronounce variation of their original Angelic name that is very different from the name they may use when referring to themselves in the presence of mortals, and a name that they keep as a closely guarded secret. For if a holy man or a magician knows their true name, they can attempt to bind them, either to control them or destroy them – and as such, discovering their name is for most the only way anyone could hope to stand against one.. (and even then, it is fraught with danger)..