Ranks of Divine Beings

Knowledge Level: 
7 - Somewhat obscure, priests and sages tend to know this stuff.

Mortals divide the divine beings into several ranks. Ranks relate to the age and power of a divine being. The lorekeepers of Midgard were one of the first to write down a formal list of ranks, guided by knowledge from those same divine beings. They recognized eight levels of power among the divine beings and called them "ranks", similar to the “ranks” of the deities. The divine beings themselves do not see any reason for this categorization, but they usually accept it as a frame of reference for mortals, for whom it would be impossible to grasp the categorization used by these beings.

The ranks the lorekeepers categorized these beings in were, from most powerful to least powerful: The Arch, Primal, Ancient, Elder, Greater, Lesser, Medial and Minor. Each rank has its own purpose for the deity it is created by. Although most of the ranks can be generalized, some ranks may have other purposes for a certain deity, or some might be subdivided into different tasks.

Archangels and Archdaemons

Archangels and Archdaemons are the first beings of their kind created by the deity. They are immensely ancient, almost as ancient as the deity himself. Their power is seconded only by that of the deity, or by the power of an Archbeing of a higher ranking deity. Some say even catching a glance of an Archbeing will doom a person forever, lost in revelry to the majesty of the aspect of the deity.

The Archbeings are tasked with creation of their kind. They create the minor angels and daemons, which then will grow to power. Although this task suggest that beings associated with destruction, like a Fire Elemental Daemon of Danu, actually create something, this is not necessarily true. Each being is created in a different way, unique for their kind. While a Strigiphinx will indeed be born from an egg hatched by the Archangel of Talor, his opposite, a raging Air Elemental, will be created during a thunderstorm produced by the Archdaemon of Air, a fragment of that storm coming to life instead of dissipating like the rest.

Should an Archbeing ever die it will spell disaster for the deity, as the entire kind of beings will slowly decline and in the end, be destroyed. Slaying an Archbeing, however, is a task only the mightiest of beings will be able to accomplish, like another Archbeing or even a deity. These are, however, far too concerned with their own safety. Thus, so far, this has never happened.

Primals

Primal beings are those beings created at the dawn of time by the deity, just after he created the Archbeings. They are the most direct servants of the deity. They always speak the words of the deity and their deeds are the deeds of the deity. They are seldom seen by mortals, however, although it has happened. On such occasions, they always herald some major event. One example is the appearance of Primals of Ratish, Wana and other deities during the Cultural Revolution in Utgard.

The death of a Primal, although rare, can happen and has happened. It is a deed of great grief to a deity, as new Primals cannot be created. It is also a demonstration of great power, requiring a great army of divine beings. Not even all the armies of mortals on Heimr combined would be able to bring down a single Primal. However, wars between divine beings regularly happen and sometimes this leads to great destruction.

Ancients

Ancient Angels and Daemons are those beings whom have lived long enough and accumulated enough power to come to the attention of the Archbeings. The Ancients serve the Archbeings, guarding them, supporting them and doing whatever the Archbeing deems necessary. Sometimes, during especially large and vicious battles, they even lead the celestial armies, acting as field marshals and directing the Elders below them. This happens rarely, however. They are mostly unconcerned with the fates of mortals.

Ancients are the epitome of power any new divine being can hope to achieve. While some especially ancient Ancients nearly rival the power of the Primals, they will never be able to achieve the same level of power or the same direct connection to the Deity. Mortals can and have sometimes been able to take down an Ancient, either with small groups of extremely powerful individuals, or with large armies of mortals. Ancients will usually try to talk their way out of such situations, should they arise, as the damage done to both sides will be enormous.

Elders

The elder beings are the Generals of the celestial armies. They command the armies of the Deity during times of war. In peace time, they act as judges, judging over the souls of mortals. They decide what soul goes where and who gets rewarded or punished. Apart from that, they seldom interact with mortals, unless the mortals are powerful. Some of the Elders have been known to “guide” groups of relatively powerful mortals, but most of them quickly sever such ties once they reach “Elder” status. This is done because it allows the Elder to be more impartial when judging and also because the duties of and elder usually take all of its time.

Elders have a keen intellect which they use to great effect when leading the Celestial Armies. There are not a lot of mortal generals who can rival their strategic insight and accomplishments. However, as both sides of a celestial war usually have such generals leading them, these wars tend to be bloody and messy. To mortals, they would probably seem very spectacular, as both generals try to outsmart each other, but the wars usually lead to the near-annihilation of both armies. Thus, some of the Elders have specialized in diplomacy, trying to avoid these wars, instead resolving them with talking. This is a far from easy task, as some sides are divided by hatred which is central to their being. For example, Seraphim and Grigori of Ratish wage war on a massive scale, their hatred for each other driving them to great deeds of battle and cunning. A peaceful solution is impossible in such cases.

Greater

The Greater Angels and Daemons are the managers of the Divine Beings. They guide the lesser beings and direct them so that the Deity's plans are followed. Usually, when “large” operations are undertaken in the mortal world, there will be a group of lower ranked beings and a Greater to guide and direct them. This almost seems the same as the Elders, however, the Greaters do not yet have the full strategic knowledge the Elders have. Furthermore, where Elders command, Greaters suggest. While the suggestions of the Greaters are usually followed, they do not necessarily have to be obeyed, unlike the Elders.

Greaters try to remain hidden when guiding the lowered ranked beings, but contact with mortals is sometimes inevitable for them. Therefore, Greaters are seen relatively often, especially compared to the higher ranked beings.

Lesser

The lesser beings are the ones tasked to interact with the mortal leaders. They are the ones advising or influencing kings and queens, lords and ladies, and leaders of large or influential organizations. They are also the ones summoned by the more powerful magicians and priests.

Medial

The Medial beings are some of the most often seen divine beings. They are the ones that interact with the common folk,

Minor

Minors are the first stage of Divine Beings. They are usually quite weak, although this depends mostly on the Deity they serve. Wana's Minor rats are very weak, while a Minor Grigori is already quite powerful. This difference lies in the way these creatures are created. The Minors interact with all the beggars, street sweepers and other lowlife in the mortal world.