Angels are constructs of the God-Machine that live to do its bidding.
The overbearing thread to codifying Angelic entities is their service to the God-Machine. Tightly bound to the will of their Creator, their whole existence revolves around their missions.
The Angelic mind has the potential of grasping concepts like morality, self-interest and ethics, but in the moment of discovering it, the Angel usually Falls. Angels feel no desire to connect to other beings. Even when assigned to complicated multi-role missions, angels perform their parts without collusion or co-operation, directed by the dictates of the God-Machine’s plans. Their individual bearing depends on their programmation, which is imprinted into them in the moment of their construction or reassembly.
Angels are constructed in special Facilities through the use of multiple Infrastructures. In contrast to other creations of the God-Machine (Dalgas, Clockwork Servitors and similar beings), Angels are a valuable commodity to the Machine. If an existing Angel fulfills its purpose, it is usually recycled to construct another Angel or put into stasis to be reactivated later.
Angels can look humanoid (and often do in order to blend into mortal society), but this isn’t necessary. There have been Angels observed who are geometrical shapes, chimeras made out of different animals, and mechanical augmented winged figures. Some do not even possess a physical form, instead operating in Twilight or the Shadow similar to a spirit.
The mission of an Angel is its life. Demons refer to it as “Incarnation”. Human concepts of ethics, emotions and morality do not influence angels. They commit infanticide or inflict torture on an innocent mortal with the same ruthless efficiency they wield to save a city from a catastrophic outbreak of plague. They do both not because they wish to meddle, but because it serves their mission. Like Demons, Angels use Covers. Unlike Demons, their Covers are provided by the God-Machine instead of Pacts, and thus are tailor-made for specific tasks.
Each Angel is equipped to fulfill its mission with maximum efficiency, and thus Angels may display a wide variety of appearances. The more complex the task is, the higher reasoning abilities the Angel possesses. These abilities aid it in fulfilling its mission, but also risk triggering a Fall.
Being essentially tools designed by an intelligent if unknowable creator to fulfill specific functions, angels are far more specialized than other ephemeral entities, like spirits or ghosts. Angels draw their power from Essence, which they gain through their connection to the God-Machine. This Essence is used to fuel Numina (also often referred to as Protocols when used by an Angel), specific powers that each Angel possesses in order to fulfill its mission. To an angel, the use of Numina is the equivalent of a human realizing that if she makes a pulley system she can apply force more efficiently than if she simply tried to move a heavy object by hand. These powers seem to be supernatural for mortals, but Unchained have speculated that they are just a set of “occult” physics that human science has not yet quantified, but which is known to the God-Machine.
Designed to operate within these ancient laws, angels are constructed according to the strange arcane principles known in full only to the God-Machine Itself. To a human perspective, they are “supernatural,” but from the perspective of the God-Machine these laws are all part of the greater working, separated only in function. Angels must operate within these laws, just as mortals do, but make use of different functions and principles. To break them, they need to be equipped with special Incepts, angelic versions of demonic Exploits. Similar to Spirits, Angels possess banes and bans, as well as rank.
Despite being ruthless and efficient, Angels are not unfailing. In their own strange ways, angels may even love one another, their mechanical hearts drawn to each other and the bonds forged by shared struggles. When these developing notions focus on something other than the God-Machine or their mission, the danger of defection rises. Some begin to grow curious about the mortal world, begin to ponder the meaning behind their mission and even develop an affection to a specific mortal or duty. If this goes on for too long, the Angel experiences the Fall and turns into a Demon. If an Angel receives nonsensical orders or are otherwise impeded in their communication with the God-Machine, yet have not turned against it, they become Exiles.
Relation with other SupernaturalsEdit
In general, Angels have limited contact with other supernaturals, except when their own mission demands it. The one exception are the Unchained. Angels and Demons are kin, regardless of how much they dislike this fact. In fact, the contact between Angels and Demons is more often than not the reason for an Angel to Fall, when the Angel decides to neglect its mission in order to deal with the traitors or learn more about the Unchained to re-assimilate them back into the God-Machine (such Angels often become Integrators). The God-Machine maintains entire squads of Hunter Angels that have been created specifically for the purpose of capturing Unchained and bringing them back to the Facilities for recycling.
Some of the Unchained speculate about the connection between Angels and the entities known as Qashmallim. These Demons believe that the Qashmallim were originally Angels that have turned against the God-Machine and dedicated themselves to a new set of Principles. While the Angels of the God-Machine exist to cement Order, the Qashmallim seem to act as agents of change.
- , p.50-63, 83