The High Heavens
The High Heavens are the home of the Angels, beings of light and order diametrically opposed to the demons of the Burning Hells. The heart of the High Heavens is its seat of power, the Silver City, where the Angiris Council, the rulers of the High Heavens dwell. At the heart of the Silver City lies the Crystal Arch, a structure rumored to be the Spine of Anu, the primordial aspect of good that was destroyed at the beginning of creation.
Angels are beings of light and sound and are the embodiment of order. Whilst in reality they have no true physical form, when interacting with other beings, they take the form of cowled humanoids, decked in shining armor and sprouting magnificent, wing-like ribbons of light from their backs. The wings are the closest humans can come to appreciating the true nature of the angels. Being as they are creatures comprised of light and sound, any form they choose to take is purely for the sake of interacting with either the world around them or creatures that cannot fully comprehend their true natures.
Angels are literally birthed from the Crystal Arch, a colossal spire at the heart of the High Heavens, which hums with ethereal music and power. The Crystal Arch is rumored to be the Spine of Anu, the primordial aspect of good from the dawn of time.
As beings of order, angels are opposed to the forces of the Burning Hells and have been fighting them in a near-constant battle known as the Eternal Conflict, a war nearly as old as creation itself.
The Angiris Council
The rulers of the High Heavens are the Angiris Council, a body of some of the mightiest members of the angelic host. Like their opposite numbers, the Prime Evils, each member of the Angiris Council is the embodiment of a force or concept. The Council is comprised of five members, these being:
Tyrael, the Archangel of Justice.
In the countless ages before the Sin War, Tyrael was said to be the most rigid of the Archangels, strictly adhering to laws and order. Tyrael was controlled and meticulous in his duty, at all times fair and just. He carried out his impartial judgement using his great sword, El’druin, the Sword of Justice; a weapon with the potential to cut through any substance in existence with the exception, it is said, of any being with righteous intent.
Since the conclusion of the Sin War, when he intervened and helped forge a treaty with the Burning Hells that spared humanity from annihilation, Tyrael has been seen as something of a renegade. He sees the potential for greatness in humankind, which has at times put him in conflict with the rest of the Council.
Auriel, the Archangel of Hope.
The most lighthearted of the members of the Angiris Council, Auriel believes in the potential for good in all sentient beings. Her unique ability is to to see a path to harmony, even in the midst of hate and discord. To her, beyond each conflict there lies the potential of healing. This does not mean she is a pacifist; Auriel does not shy away from strife and there are many tales of her feats in battle.
Benevolent and patient almost beyond description, Auriel can even put to rest arguments between the likes of the intractable Imperius and his rival Tyrael.
Auriel owns Al’maiesh, the Cord of Hope. The cord is said to be the manifestation of her positive qualities and can heal and grant clarity of thought and emotion to those who she drapes it over. Equally, the cord is a terror to her foes in battle, where Auriel wields it as a whip of righteous fire, searing her enemies into oblivion.
Malthael, the Archangel of Wisdom.
Malthael, known as the silent angel, sees the duality and contrast in all things. He derives his great insight from Chalad’ar, the Chalice of Wisdom. By studying its contents of living light, Malthael can see the web of oneness that connects all things. Malthael is a peerless warrior, so in tune with the nature of combat that he is able to deflect incoming attacks with consummate ease.
It is said since Sanctuary’s creation, Malthael’s outlook has darkened and further, that since the destruction of the Worldstone beneath great Mount Arreat, he has disappeared.
Imperius, the Archangel of Valor.
With unshakeable bravery, Imperius commands the warriors of the High Heavens and is well versed in every aspect of warfare. He is always first into the fray and inspires the angelic host with his valor and strength. In battle, Imperius wields the legendary Solarion, the Spear of Valor. Forged by Imperius himself in the heart of a dying star, this mighty weapon is said to be an extension of his great will and with it, Imperius has slain countless demonic foes.
For all his righteous valor, bravery and courage, Imperius is shackled with the flaw of pride and it is this pride that has thrust Imperius into conflict with Tyrael. It is said since the conclusion of the Sin War, Imperius has become ever more unbending and obstinate, and this has caused disharmony to invade the Angiris Council.
Itherael, the Archangel of Fate.
To the Angels, all things are fated or destined. The inscrutable Itherael has the power to read these fates that are indecipherable even to his fellows. It is said Itherael is capable of predicting the actions of individuals and can even slow time itself.
Itherael possesses Talus’ar, the Scroll of Fate. Although a single scroll, the information contained in the enchanted parchment changes according to Itherael’s needs, drawing on a vast repository of crystals said to be fragments of the Spine of Anu. It is noteworthy, however, that even utilizing Talus’ar, Itherael is unable to determine the fates of the Nephalem because they are not of the natural order of creation.
Generally, angels are rigid and uncompromising in their activities and thinking, striving for order at all costs. Whilst they are ‘good’ (in the sense that they oppose the evil of the Burning Hells), they are often not benevolent and can be overzealous in their pursuit of order. As a rule, angels are strictly disciplined, unbending, aloof and sometimes arrogant and prideful.