As one would expect of any fantasy world, the world of The Star-Runner Chronicles has its own delightful assortment of heavenly and hellish beings. On the heavenly plain the gods run the show, and under them are the angels who do their bidding. Down under, the Seven Hells are each ruled by a powerful Hell Lord, and under them toil the dangerous and deadly devils. But who are these beings and what is their true significance? Read on and find out.
Let’s Begin at the Beginning…
The best way to start off a conversation about the celestial beings which inhabit this or any world is with the story of creation. You see, in the very beginning there existed only the pure essences of seven elements: earth, air, water, fire, electricity, light, and darkness (the other four—herb, beast, heart, and spirit—came to be after living things appeared). Those elements floated around, bouncing off of each other and reacting to each other for eons until, one fateful day, all of the elements collided with each other all at once.
That great crash spawned sixteen new beings—two from each element and two more from the energy generated by it. The energy of the crash gave birth to Shogga, the Goddess of Fate and Origia, the Goddess of Creation. The element of earth gave birth to the Earth God Teron and Avarsus, the Lord of Greed. The element of air gave birth to Metora, Goddess of the Four Winds and Smugothd, Lord of Arrogance. Water begat the god Aquius as well as Jeloza, Lord of Envy. From fire were born the goddess Infernia and Vorason, the Lord of Gluttony. From electricity came Joltar, the God of Lightning and Lothairo, Lord of Lust. Light brought forth the goddess Lumina and the Lord of Sloth, Complasa, and Darkness begat the god Umbra and Irata, Lord of Wrath.
Now, at first, the gods and Hell Lords tried their best to get along with their siblings and each other. Of course, in a universe where there only existed seven pure elements and sixteen very young and very powerful beings…well, ultimately their only source of fun was picking with each other. Origia, annoyed with all of the fighting and the constant pranks, finally got fed up with her peers. Instead of kicking everyone’s ass or cursing them all out, however, she called them all together and announced a grand project which would require all of them to pitch in to accomplish: the renovation of the universe. Naturally, Complasa groaned because he didn’t want to do anything but sit on his behind and stare at the empty void, but then Shogga promised she’d show him her boobs if he worked—and threatened that everyone but him would get a peek if he didn’t—and that was more than enough to get him off his rusty-dusty.
And so, under Origia’s leadership, everyone combined their powers and their efforts to re-forge the universe. First came the partitions which separated the universe into three realms: Heaven, where the gods would live; Hell, the domain of the Hell Lords; and Midgard, a neutral realm where both sides would have equal dominion and where, eventually, the Earth would be placed. In each realm they made solid ground to walk upon and followed Origia’s very detailed sketches and instructions in order to create such strange new things as stars, moons, plants, and animals. Sure, they all thought she was cracked when she gave them the plans for living things (especially the ones that needed more than one cell), but they ultimately came around when they saw the final results for the first time.
After all of their hard work, everybody celebrated with a big party and went home to their newly completed realms to rest up a bit. However, in time, each side found that managing their own affairs in both their home realms and in Midgard was a bit…complicated. In order to simplify things, the Hell Lords separated Hell into seven equal portions to lighten their collective load (even though Avarsus thought she should have had a bigger chunk of Hell and to this day Jeloza complains that everyone else got a better piece of the realm than she did). The gods, meanwhile, tried to make things easier by giving some of the new jobs which had emerged through the creation of so many new things to their children…who then complained that their own jobs were way too difficult. Luckily, before everything could go to pot, Origia came through with another brilliant idea.
The Birth of Angels and Devils
With Heaven in turmoil over the division of labor, Origia worked day and night on the plans for a new type of immortal being, born to serve the gods and aid them in their daily work. It is said that the half-drawn plans that she threw away during this time piled up, turned to stone, and became the Misty Mountains…but eventually she came up with something she was fully satisfied with: the angels. Easily forged from the pure essence of a god’s power, angels possess their own will and personalities while also being loyal employees of their respective deities. The very first angels born are the twelve servants of Origia herself, for whom the twelve months of the year are named. The second set were the seven created by Shogga, for whom the days of the week are named. Each god has at least three angels in their service, attending to the smaller matters of their domains and aiding their bosses in the larger ones.
Of course, the birth of the angels did not go unnoticed in Hell—now, the Seven Hells. Jeloza learned of them from her brother, Aquius, and just about had a fit that she didn’t have something like them herself. She complained to Avarsus, who grumbled about it to Lothairo, who mentioned it to Irata while he was making out with her, who blew up at him about it and practically screamed poor Complasa to death over it, who then whined about it over lunch to Vorason, who then told the entire “silly” story to Smugothd. Oh, Smugothd laughed at first, but then that ego if his kicked in and he began to think to himself that a being of his power, stature, and impeccable good looks ought to have a flock of servants to do his bidding as well. Avassus totally agreed with him when he spoke to her about it, and the two of them called a meeting and whipped up a scheme to steal the plans for angels from Heaven. O.K., really, all they had to do was ask and Origia would have gladly shared with them…but they were too dumb to realize it at the time.
The seven Hell Lords decided to make their move while Origia was asleep. They tiptoed their way into her mansion, slipped into her office, raided her files, stole the plans, and tiptoe-ran off snickering at their apparent cleverness. Unfortunately, without Origia there to explain to them what all of her notes and sketches actually meant, they had to piece things together based on what they remembered from working on mortal creatures and their best guesses as to whatever all of that new stuff meant. The result of their efforts was a different type of being entirely, forged from elemental magic and the power of evil (because, you know, everything is better with a dash of evil)—the devils. The devils turned out to be decent servants, but they do have a selfish and treacherous streak which makes them unpredictable and, unsurprisingly, infuriating to work with.
When Origia heard from her daughter Mollan (the Goddess of Fertility, Childbirth, and Carnal Love, who was born of a one night stand between Origia and Lothairo) about the whole thing, first she was angry, but then she laughed her ass off. After all, the thieves got their just deserts.
Angels and Devils: What’s the Difference?
Although the Lords of the Seven Hells are essentially just dark gods, angels and devils are two distinctly different breeds of celestial being. On the surface they may seem similar due to the fact that they are virtually immortal and can come in any shape that their creator desires. Some are humanoid, some are bestial. Some could easily pass for mundane beings while others are too spooky or sparkly to pass for anything but servants of Heaven or Hell.
The main difference between them is that while angels loyally serve the gods who have created them, devils will disobey and betray their masters or mistresses fairly regularly because they are a lot less selfless than angels. If a devil can gain something from disobeying their master or going behind mistress’ back they’ll do it, and to Hells with the consequences. In fact, this is the main reason why the same angels have been around for ages, but new devils are born every few centuries. Devils who get too ambitious for their own good and tick off their bosses generally get the axe.
Another difference is in how angels and devils eat. While angels can sustain themselves on regular food alone, devils must also feed upon the negative emotions of other living things to survive. Fear, sorrow, anger, regret…these feelings are staples of a devil’s diet and they will starve to death without them. There are a few legends of devils who tried to turn their backs on this part of their nature (generally for the sake of either romantic love or great personal pride) and ended up dead for it.
The third difference between angels and devils is that although angels tend to be either good or neutral beings, devils are strictly evil creatures. Some are more evil than others, of course, but they’re all at least 60% evil by default. Also, how they choose to express that evil tends to be an individual choice, with some being all-out brutes and killers while others are liars, cheaters, tempters and thieves. Additionally, each devil seems to have his or her own personal code of conduct, with some having few if any boundaries at all and others actually following a code which verges on honorable. For one’s own safety, if one encounters a devils one should always assume that they’re the unfettered type until they prove otherwise…and even after that, never completely trust them.
Well, thanks for reading. Come back next Sunday when I interview Miss Elliada Amersbey, long-time Head of Housekeeping at Bendis Manor. I’m sure she has some interesting stories to tell…Until then, don’t forget to check out/buy/wishlist The Rebirth and Awakening of Wolfie Star-Runner on Amazon.com (print and Kindle ebook editions available) or createspace.com (print edition only). Also, you can find me on the Twitter at @DanielleVFreman . Hit me up with #SRWBlogSuggestions or #SRCBlogSuggestions if you’ve got an idea for a topic that you’d like to see me write about…or write more about. You know. That works too. ;D