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An Angel is one of a race of creatures with origins in the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), as well as Zoroastrianism. Though, while those religious faiths differ, the alignment, personality and duty of the angel remains, for the most part, the same.
They are divine humanoids which serve as protectors, defenders, guides and messengers (in fact, the name "Angel" itself is derived from the Greek, "ἄγγελος", or "angelos", meaning "messenger").
Creations and emissaries of the divine, they are the pinnacle of moral uprightness, said by many to be the closest that mortal beings can come to physical, mental and spiritual perfection.
It is even widely held, in monotheistic faiths, that higher ranks of angels attend the throne of God Himself.
Names of specific Angels: Ariel, Azrael, Barachiel, Camael, Cassiel, Daniel, Eremiel, Gabriel, Gadreel, Hadraniel, Haniel, Hesediel, Jegudiel, Jehoel, Jerahmeel, Jophiel, Kerubiel, Kushiel, Leliel, Michael, Muriel, Nuriel, Orifiel, Raguel, Raphael, Raziel, Remiel, Sachiel, Sariel, Selaphiel, Simiel, Uriel, Zadkiel, Zaphkiel and Zerachiel.
Angels who take a humanoid mien are divinely beautiful and handsome beings, taller and otherwise larger than normal humans. And they are often known for having wings.
Though some Angels look muscular and powerful (especially if their duty calls for brute force), they do not give off the impression of being brutish or savage, so much as simply radiating of physical, mental and spiritual power (further signified by the ethereal glow, or trademark "halo", which they often exude).
In addition, although some may look female, and some may look male, they are actually believed to be genderless, unable to produce offspring unless they relinquish their immortal state (they "fall", or are "cast out"). In such a case, they are involuntarily assigned the gender that they most resemble (this is permanent, and cannot be reversed by even the most powerful, ancient and arcane magic).
Eye, hair and skin color vary only slightly more than human features, adding in much paler and much more vivid shades and hues than those of humans. Likewise, they have similar hair length and hair texture to mortals (though, undoubtedly, far more beautiful).
However, their duties vary (and so with them, likely their attire and attributes). Some attend the throne of God, and so they may have certain ceremonial items or attire different from other angels. Others may keep records, and so be seen with scroll and pen. Still others serve in the Heavenly Choir, and so may have their own distinct robes, or musical instruments (like the trademark harp, or a trump [trumpet]).
Others besides those are guardians or harbingers. And others still, the warriors, may be seen with a fiercely stern look on their face, donning weapons and armor (such as Michael the Archangel, with his sword).
This is not even taking into account the possibility of bodily and attire differences due to rank. And further still, angels do not always even take on a humanoid appearance.
Yet, some common descriptions are given of angels, based on the ranks they hold:
-A Seraph (pl. Seraphim) is depicted as having six wings (three pairs): one pair with which they cover their faces, another pair with which they cover their feet, and a third pair with which they fly.
-A Cherub (pl. Cherubim) is depicted as having four faces, each one facing in one of the cardinal directions; the first face was the primary face of the cherub; the second face was that of a human; the third was that of a lion; the fourth was that of an eagle. And its entire bodies was covered with eyes.
-An Ophan (pl. Ophanim) is depicted, each, as a beryl-colored wheel-within-a-wheel (two wheels intersecting), its rims covered in hundreds of eyes.
-A Dominion is given no explicit description, beyond secular interpretation, but is believed by some to appear as the most common description of an angel; that is, a beautiful humanoid of powerful stature, with a pair of powerful wings. Some describe them as having a scepter with an orb of light on the head, and a sword with an orb of light on the pommel (the end of the handle).
-A Virtue (Stronghold) is given no explicit physical description at all. If it is to be believed that this rank of angel exists at all, they perhaps remain invisible, intangible and incorporeal at all times. Though, even this is mere speculation (as is the angelic rank itself).
-A Power is believed by many to be a warrior angel, strong of body, strong of voice, and strong of spirit. As befitting their name, they are associated with many verses in the Bible, which refer to a strong or mighty angel of the Lord.
-A Principality is given no explicit physical description at all in the Bible, though secular portrayals depict it as a "traditional" angel (humanoid with a pair of wings), with a crown on its head, and a scepter in its hand.
-An Archangel is given no explicit physical description in the Bible at all, but secular depictions show it as a "traditional" angel (humanoid with a pair of wings), clad in armor, and wielding a weapon. And at least one unnamed Archangel wields a trumpet. That same Archangel, the Bible says, will herald the Second Coming of Jesus, with a shout, and a blow from that trumpet; some take this to be Gabriel, though Gabriel is never mentioned explicitly as an Archangel at all, let alone wielding a trumpet.
-A "plain" or "ordinary" Angel is often depicted in the "traditional" sense (humanoid with a pair of wings). These are said, when in this humanoid form, to only wear shining white robes. These are often those that people most commonly think of, when it is said that people in the Bible are visited by an Angel of the Lord.
Angels are very good and orderly beings that act according to the will of the Divine, and for the benefit of the innocent and the just.
They often watch over the helpless with dutiful vigilance and help to fend off undivine attacks against the innocent, through prophetic guidance and warning, bravely confronting Demons (in attempts to ward them off or drive them out), and even sometimes outright combat against those same malevolent entities.
They despise wickedness, and will attempt to stop it wherever they go. In fact, the master they serve is nearly-always held to be a benevolent deity (most times, God Himself); they respect this authority to the utmost, and will serve to advance, or in spite of, human interests. They regard the will of their master alone, and very seldom rebel (though, it has happened in the past...).
They possess no true society of their own, living humbly, in different ranks, with others of their own kind (some even assert that Angels were created without free will). Physical strength does not impress upon them as a sign of power; often, a higher ranking angel is afforded more respect and privilege than others simply by virtue of the rank given to them by their master. Their ranks are often held to be divided into nine different hierarchical levels called "choirs":
-Seraph (pl. Seraphim): Believed by some religious sects to be first in rank; reputed caretakers of God's throne, who continually offer their praise to God.
-Cherub (pl. Cherubim): Held by some sects to be second in rank; associated often with God's presence; believed to work in concert with Ophanim.
-Ophan (pl. Ophanim): Thought by some sects to be third in rank; often associated with God's justice and authority; said to work in concert with Cherubim.
-Dominion (pl. Dominions): Held by some sects to be fourth in rank; said to be overseers of other angels, and overseers of the affairs of nations.
-Virtue (pl. Virtues): Believed by some sects to be fifth in rank; said to supervise the movements of the heavenly bodies to ensure cosmic order.
-Power (pl. Powers): Thought by some sects to be sixth in rank; said to be the reminders or "bearers" of conscience, and keepers of history; believed to work in concert with Principalities.
-Principality (pl. Principalities): Held by some sects to be seventh in rank; said to follow the orders of the Dominions and bestow blessings on the material world; said to work in concert with Powers.
-Archangel (pl. Archangels): Told by some sects to be eighth in rank; said to preside over the affairs of the world, like trade, commerce, politics and military matters. However, in this sense, "arch-angel" may simply mean "above the messenger rank" (rather than "arch" meaning "leader" or "ruler", since the most powerful angels are actually the Seraphim).
-Angel (pl. Angels): Said by some sects to be ninth (last) in rank; said to be messengers, conveyors of the Divine Will of God to mortals. This term may refer to the general species of being, an angel, or the lowest rank of angels (the messengers).
All angels possess large and powerful wings, which afford them flight at very high speeds, against high wind friction and pressure. They have a naturally-high resistance to mortal harm (physical impact, acid, poisons/toxins, temperature extremes, electricity, energy attacks, temporal effects, magic, psionics, bodily needs, etc.) and are gifted with vast longevity (lifespans that last thousands of years, or even longer; more than likely immortality, as no angel is ever recorded as having died of age, wound or illness).
In addition, all of their physical attributes (strength, durability, metabolism, speed, intellect, senses, reflexes, agility, accuracy, awareness and dexterity) are greatly beyond that of a mortal.
Not to mention, the light they constantly exude is known to frighten demons and evil spirits, and even harm lesser ones. Furthermore, they are capable of warding off demons to some extent. And because of their connection to the divine, they may also perceive the supernatural (including spirits, demons and magical influences) as well as receive and relay messages from the divine, in the form of prophecies (which always come true).