"No matter if the enemy has thousands of men, there is fulfillment in simply standing them off and being determined to cut them all down, starting from one end. You will finish the greater part of it."
-Yamamoto Tsunetomo, "Hagakure"
Malakim, the Virtues, are the fifth Choir of angels. The first Malakim were created during the Fall. They were originally angels of other choirs, who were fundamentally transformed by outrage at Lucifer's rebellion. Since then, Superiors have made more along the same pattern. Malakim are (believed to be) unable to Fall, and have no demonic counterpart; Hell often tries to use Djinn or Calabim as replacements. However, Malakim with too much Discord can become Dark Malakim. They are Bad News.
Resonance and DissonanceEdit
The resonance of Malakim is for "honor", in the sense of adherence to one's personal code of behavior. (Selfless adherence to what many would consider an "evil" code counts as honor! Demons only rarely fall into this category, however.) They can instinctively measure another's nobility or baseness of spirit in this regard. Malakim are the warriors of Heaven, and the average demon is justifiably terrified of them: they're pitiless and efficient. While they cannot Fall, they certainly can become dissonant...and Malakim deal harshly with their wayward comrades. Although it depends somewhat on circumstances, a Malakite with Discord is often as good as dead.
Malakim each have their own codes of honor, formalized as a series of oaths. It is dissonant for a Malakite to violate these oaths. All Malakim have at least 4 oaths, two of which are:
- Never suffer an evil to live, if it is my choice. It is dissonant for Malakim to voluntarily let evil live. (Evil is usually defined as a demon or another explicitly pledged to the infernal cause...but it sometimes extends to those simply judged "too far gone".) There are times when it is out of their control: in fact, at any given moment, most of the evil in the world is not immediately within reach of a given Malakite. Moreover, if a Malakite's Superior orders him not to take a certain opportunity to slay an evil (Stone's dissonance conditions are the most prominent example, but others crop up from time to time), then he does not take dissonance for acting in accordance with his orders, as he is not choosing to suffer an evil to live. But, when the opportunity presents itself, they must act. This doesn't mean that they must immediately attack any evil that appears before them: rather, they must slay evil as completely and effectively as possible, which may require patience - in particular, redemption eliminates a demon's evil far more permanently than vessel death. (But Malakim do not waste time.)
- Never submit to Hell. It is dissonant for Malakim to surrender to the forces of Hell, or allow themselves to be captured. They'd rather suffer true death.
- Take on two more oaths. (An oath, once taken, can only be removed by his Archangel - a rare event, and never without substantial repercussions. Note also that a Malakite is incapable of wanting one of her oaths removed, much less asking her Archangel to remove it - no matter how inconvenient it may be, it is a part of her now.)
- Die (physically) in combat with Hell. (Their Superior might not be happy with them wasting a vessel, though, if the fight wasn't otherwise worthwhile.)
- Slay a greater exemplar of the evil the Malakite themself committed.
These require the use of 7 Essence and a Perception roll, per the procedure outlined under dissonance.
While there are certainly Malakim who specialize in other areas -- their resonance is for honor, not bloodshed -- nearly every Malakite is a warrior par excellence. When Heaven needs to bring out the big guns, Malakim are usually sent to wield them.
Their resonance also makes them useful in investigations: at times, a Malakite is a better questioner than a Seraph, at least for judging character.
In celestial form, a Malakite is a black-winged human figure veiled in shadows. (Even in the middle of a radiant Heavenly Cathedral, Malakim are darkened. Perhaps amazingly, they manage to look intimidating rather than silly.) Their oaths manifest as chains.
- All Malakim are mindless celestial Terminators.
- World Weavers Site -- Malakim this link is no longer valid.