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This entry concerns the conflict between Heaven and Hell. "The War" is also the Word of the Demon Prince Baal.

"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth."
-Neils Bohr

The War is the standard term for the struggle between Heaven and Hell. It began with the Fall, a rebellion led by Lucifer, former Archangel of Light.

The FallEdit

The Fall took place in 22,625 BC, shortly after the Eden Experiment. It began when Lucifer slew the Metatron, who had previously conveyed the voice of God to the angels after a disagreement on the nature of free will. Many celestials were slain in the ensuing battle. Michael, Archangel of War, defeated Lucifer in personal combat and cast him down to the Hell that opened up beneath the Heavenly realm.

The Fall created the first Malakim, among them Uriel (previously a Seraph) and David (previously a Cherub). These first Malakim were angels of other Choirs, whose righteous anger and determination to protect Heaven transformed them into honorbound celestial warriors.

It was not until 16,000 BC, when Lilith freed the demons, that they figured out how to leave Hell for the Marches, and then make their way to Earth.

Modern FormEdit

"Your war is arrogance. That makes it evil. That's mine."
-Lucifer, "The Prophecy"

The War is mostly ideological and metaphysical in nature. Strengthening one's own Words and weakening those of the enemy paves the way for an eventual victory. A key contested resource is Essence, basic energy which can be generated for both Heaven and Hell through human activities. The fates and destinies of mortals are also often significant in this struggle.

Right now, Hell seems to be (against all odds) on the winning side. It's starting to look like they might just achieve a total victory when Armageddon comes around. Maybe God would intervene if it came to that ... and maybe He wouldn't. Who's to say?

Despite their good fortunes, Hell faces a desperate struggle. How do you beat God? The dominant strategy is a direct one: oppose everything that smacks of the Divine. Erase every trace of it from existence. Nobody knows where God's power comes from (there are theories), but it seems as though God's primary manifestation is selflessness, as well as Words to which God's Archangels have been attuned. So, it seems logical to strike against those manifestations in an attempt to push God back. Maybe, if demons pour all their strength into destroying these manifestations, Lucifer's power will in the end prove sufficient to establish a new demonic order.

SecrecyEdit

"You don't mind that I lost the wings, do you? I'm trying to keep our profile low."
-The Metatron, Dogma

The War is conducted in secret, on the orders of Superiors from both sides. Celestials can get in trouble for failing to exercise sufficient discretion. The reasons given for these orders are varied. Really, no celestial knows what would happen if humanity as a whole learned about the Symphony. Generally, Superiors aren't at present willing to put that many chips on the table at once. Other concerns include Disturbance, philosophical ideas about humanity and its destiny (or fate), and strategic considerations about the other side's knowledge of one's activities and priorities.

Direct ConflictEdit

"Do not put a premium on killing. (...) Attack first the enemy's strategy, second his alliances, third his army, and lastly his strongholds."
-Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Celestials do not necessarily wage the War directly against each other via combat. While it certainly depends on circumstances, it is wrong to automatically assume that an angel learning about a demon will decide to immediately go out and kill it. This goes double for the average demon discovering an angel: angels are powerful, and demons are typically less likely to risk their own necks. For either side, fighting another celestial is costly and dangerous. It's usually more efficient (and safer) to devote one's energy to corporeal matters. Put another way, most of the time using a celestial to fight another is a bit like using a television remote as a hammer. (With exceptions for those celestials whose specialty is indeed combat.) Quite often, an assassination is answered in kind in a short time-frame, leaving both celestials in Trauma with no real gain to either's objective. Meanwhile, other celestials are stuck with cleaning up the mess.

Similarly, angels rarely whack evil people, and demons rarely deal with saintly figures by shooting them. For one thing, it's high-profile, much like killing another celestial. For another, it might just send another soul (and its Essence generation) to the other side. A typical demon would much rather corrupt a virtuous person and make them a force for disillusionment than kill them and make them a martyr. Even Servitors of Death do not often go on personal killing sprees. A typical angel would rather reform an evil person, producing a touching Chicken Soup for the Soul story sold for $6.95 to hundreds of thousands of impressionable humans. But sometimes, just sometimes, celestials decide to cut the Gordian knot of mortal life with a bullet.

The War in AdvinculaEdit

Advincula's Tether is the main reason the city is on the map in the War. The Tether helps promote Hell through the promotion of Technology, a key infernal Word. The technologies produced in the Park can spread around the world. It also provides a valuable strategic stronghold: a foothold for demons and Soldiers of Hell.

As far as anyone knows, Jean hasn't placed any of his Servitors -- or any Soldiers of God, Saints, or other agents of Heaven -- in Advincula. If they're there, they've been quiet enough that they haven't been noticed yet. More to the point, the research seems strongly and effectively controlled by Vapula, so any Technology Servitors that are there aren't doing much but watch.

See AlsoEdit

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