The most enigmatic inhabitants of the Astral Plane are the angels. They do not interact with the mortal plane much, and when they do, the results are usually not pretty. Appearing as androgynous bird-winged figures ranging from human height to 10 feet tall, their faces are always masked with eyeless white masks adorned with symbols of their rank and station; their weapons burn with astral fire.
The angelic hosts are those who chose to swear devotion to Great Mechanism back at the end of the Dawn War. Ever since, they have drawn power from it as they carry out their roles. When they fall in battle, their sparks are reborn into new astral bodies. Only the Fallen are lost forever, replaced by devils that choose to enlist. Some of the Solars have been around since the Dawn War itself--the High Wing-Leader of the First Host is reportedly still on his first body. The Fallen Deva, who were left behind on the Mortal plane have rejoined the ranks of the Hosts since the Cataclysm, bringing that division to an end.
Types of Angels
There are several ranks of angels, each possessing certain powers and capabilities and duties. They are (in descending order of strength):
- Solars. There are only 24 of these in existence and their power is unmatched by any except a demon prince.
- Planetar. The leaders and heavy combat troops of the Hosts. They exist to fight, to die, and to be reborn to fight some more.
- Deva. The elite mobile infantry of the Hosts, as well as the spies, messengers, and scouts.
- Seraphim: Combat healers and spell-casters, these stay at range and support the others.
- Imagineers: The only fully non-combatant angels (although in a pinch they can defend themselves quite well). Researchers, logistics specialists, and crafters. They produce and maintain the weaponry and supply lines of the Hosts.
- Valorites: The line infantry of the Hosts.
Hosts and Legions
There are 16 Legions, divided by role into 4 Hosts. They are as follows, along with their assigned duties. In total, there are 2^12 (4096) angels, 2^8 (256) per legion.
First Host--Headquarters and Logistics
Stationed in the Celestial City itself, they form the last line of defense for the Great Mechanism as well as the command and supply corps for the Hosts.
The legions of the First Host are:
- First Legion: Elite command troops.
- Led by the High Wing-leader himself, with two other solars, 53 planetar, and 200 deva.
- Duties include policing the Astral Plane as well as coordination of other legions.
- Second Legion: Spies and messengers.
- 1 solar, 5 planetar, and 250 deva.
- Duties are to carry commands to the other legions and to be the eyes and ears of the High Wing-leader.
- Third Legion: Research
- 1 solar, 255 others of unknown role. Probably many Imagineers.
- Extremely secretive. Engaged in research into weapons, tactics, enemies, etc. Feared by the common astral denizens.
- Fourth Legion: Logistics
- 1 solar, 255 imagineers
- This legion handles all logistics and supply for the Hosts, including production and maintenance. They employ many devils.
Second Host--Protecting the Outer Boundaries
This is the cream of the crop. They sit on the outer boundaries of Quartus, slaying any threats that enter through the Border Beyond. If they ever interact with mortals, they have absolutely no pity or compromise. Hardened by eternal war, they are the boogeymen of legend for the inhabitants of the planes. The legions are:
- First Legion: Command and Mobile Reserve. 2 Solars, 118 planetar, 116 deva, 20 seraphim.
- Second Legion: The Hammer. 2 solars, 204 planetar, 50 seraphim. Offensively-oriented. Even less sense of collateral damage than usual.
- Third Legion: The Anvil. 1 solar, 155 planetar, 100 seraphim. The defensive counterparts to the Hammer.
- Fourth Legion: The Seeking Eye. 1 solar, 250 deva, 5 seraphim. Scouts, these angels work in small bands instead of phalanxes. Of all the 2nd host, these are the most mortal friendly.
Third Host--Policing the Elemental Planes
These are the lesser-regarded legions, stationed across each of the elemental planes to enforce the will of the Four on the fractious inhabitants and to handle problems involving inter-planar travelers. They're much more mortal-friendly and relaxed than the first or second host. The legions are:
- First Legion: Guardians of Fire. 2 solars, 50 planetar, 180 valorites, 20 seraphim, 4 imagineers. The Fire plane is one of the rougher planes and these angels play the role of bouncer and enforcer quite frequently. Very no-nonsense.
- Second Legion: Guardians of Water. 2 solars, 50 planetar, 100 valorites, 80 deva, 20 seraphim, 4 imagineers. The endless seas of the plane of Water hide many secrets. The second legion is constantly on watch for strange occurrences.
- Third Legion: Guardians of Air. 1 solar, 54 deva, 100 valorites, 100 seraphim. Often used as a R&R haven for those recovering from injuries, this is primarily a medical legion. There are few threats here.
- Fourth Legion: Guardians of Earth. 1 solar, 54 planetar, 180 valorites, 20 seraphim. The most ordered and boring post of all the Legions, the Plane of Earth rarely requires much oversight.
Fourth Host--Reserve and Training
This host is only called to active duty under the most extreme circumstances (the last such occurrence was the Cataclysm War). It consists of the following legions:
- First Legion: Retired Reserve. 6 solars, 250 others. These angels have been wounded so severely that they are unfit for further direct combat on the line. They spend time here recuperating and training the other legions. Injured they may be, but weak they are decidedly not. They split their time between the outskirts of the astral plane and the plane of air.
- Second, Third, and Fourth Legions: Trainees. Newly reborn angels require time to acquaint themselves with their new bodies (especially if they were posthumously promoted). Newly sworn angels (rare as that may be) also require significant training. The numbers and compositions of these legions vary.