“What man hides from God, God hides from man. But though we are hidden from man, we are given a great gift. Though the Angels bless us with power and influence over the flock, the Lord blesses us with free will, both which the Angels above have never had. The past has been written; what comes next is the choice of humanity, with the guidance of the Huldufolk.”
In the Beginning
No one truly knows how mankind or the Huldufolk began, and the Angels are silent on the issue, as they are most things. This is the story the Blessed tell themselves.
In the beginning God made the earth, the heavens, the seas, the animals, fish, birds, and all the creeping things in the ground. He made light, and wind. He made Adam and Eve in his image, and gave them the beautiful paradise of Eden.
The Angels, made first by God as Celestial beings, looked at these flawed mortals, and asked their Father what role they played in his new creation. The answer was underwhelming: messengers. Intermediaries. These mortals were made in God’s image, and their Free Will was paramount. Their Free Will was powerful, in many ways more powerful than that of the Angels, and the Angels were not to interfere with God’s new creation without explicit direction.
For God’s most powerful Angel, Lucifer, this was unacceptable. Clearly the Angels, with their divine nature, were the ones made in God’s image, and these inferior creatures should under their Dominion. Lucifer and the Angels closest to him rebelled against their maker, and were struck down into the depths.
Yet Lucifer, though struck low, was not defeated entirely. Though cast deep within the earth for wishing to lead mankind in his image, Lucifer, the great tempter, still managed to influence Adam and Eve, coaxing them into disobeying God and sampling forbidden knowledge. God, angered by Lucifer’s interference and man’s disobedience, cast Adam and Eve from Eden into the land of Nod. As they wandered, Eve felt the pain of childbirth for the first time, having two daughters: Aclima and Azura.
For a long time, God left mankind alone, fumbling through the darkness of the Land of Nod. Though alone, cold, and forsaken by their creator, they were no longer forbidden from killing animals, and learned how to hunt them. They learned to use their skins for warmth, and to hide from the elements in caves, yet had little else to protect them from the elements.
Aclima and Azura grew, and Eve and Adam had more children: Cain and Abel. Yet there was still no escape from the bitter cold. The first sisters grew determined to pull their family out of this harsh existence in the dark, and left to explore their land for an answer. Years passed, and though the sisters had seen many wonders across the world, nothing they’d found would end their family’s suffering. And so they returned to where it had all began: the Garden of Eden.
At the gates of paradise stood Uriel, Wielder of the Holy Flame. Countless times had Adam and Eve returned, begging to be allowed entry back into Eden; it was Uriel’s job to turn them away, and as he saw their daughters approach, he prepared to do the very same. Yet they had no interest in begging for entry, for they had never experienced paradise themselves — their experiences traveling the world made them disinterested in the walled gardens of Eden. Instead they asked for something else entirely, something almost mundane in comparison: the secret of the fire Uriel wielded. Uriel had hardened his heart against the usual begging of the mortals, but faced with this fairly reasonable request, Uriel’s defenses melted. And so did Uriel, Angel of Repentance, give Aclima and Azura the secret of fire.
No one knows of the Lord’s punishment for Uriel, but the Huldufolk know of the rebuke the sisters received. God visited his human creations to see them roasting meat, hardening their spear tips in flame, warming their cave dwelling against the harsh cold. As God came upon them demanding Adam and Eve explain how this had happened, they did their best to hide their daughters, Aclima and Azura, to spare his punishment. Seeing this, the Lord decreed: what man hides from God, God will hide from Man.
In an instant, Aclima and Azura disappeared before their parents eyes, separated from the rest of humanity forever. Yet now removed from humanity, the Angels came to them with an offer. while they had been separated from their brothers as punishment for the interference of Uriel, they could now be for the Angels what the Angels were for the Lord: intermediaries for the Divine. With the help of the Hidden People, the Angels could guide humanity into the future.
One sister, Azura, embraced the friendship and love of the Angels. She watched over Cain and Abel, and despite the gulf of their separation, eventually learned to love and bond with Abel.
The other sister, Aclima, denied the Angels, rebuking the Lord for leaving her in humanity’s shadow, and accepting the teachings and direction of Lucifer. She worked to poison Cain against his brother, driving him to commit the first sin: murder.
Having driven Cain from the light of god into exile, Aclima used secret knowledge from Lucifer to steal Cain from God, permanently. Aclima showed Cain his new path through the dark, and gave birth to two of Cain’s children, the first true born of the Banished. Having gotten what she needed, Aclima left Cain to his own devices, to wander the earth forever, alone.
Widowed Azura, left alone but for the Angels, soon found herself with two children: one able to wander the land of the Lord, and one hidden from their sight. And so was a woman born to continue humanity with Eve’s third son, Seth, and one born to continue the line of the Blessed.
The Blessed Today
The Blessed have chosen to work with the Angels to protect and guide humanity. In return for their curse, the Angels have given them powers to help those around them and guide their path.
All the Blessed work towards one goal: for good to triumph over evil, for the benefit of humanity. How they get to that goal differs among them.
- The Friends of God seek to help those in need, to be a friend to those suffering or in danger.
- The Bringers of Fire seek to help humanity leap forward towards greatness, providing peace through progress.
- The Judges of Light seek to find the evil of the world and root it out, before it can cause more harm to the flock.