Rupert Ausber Merrywhether was an angel. Not the baseball team, or some red beret wearing vigilante, but an actual haloed and winged angel. He governed 2,388 angels who called themselves the Lords of the Heavens of Crystal. Unlike other angels who were so beautiful and magnificent that it was ecstasy just to bask in their glory, Rupert didn’t possess ethereal beauty. He didn’t possess a sardonic wit nor the sage-like understanding of some angels whose very whispers created Arisotles and Platos out of cavemen and savages. Instead, he was strong and loyal.
When the war in Heaven broke out, Rupert Merrywether didn’t face the same type of turmoil the other angels faced. He didn’t puzzle over the righteousness of fratricide, infanticide, or deicide. To him, it wasn’t about that. It was about integrity. It was about doing things you say you are going to do; that simple.
Now don’t be confused about the term war. The battle before the throne wasn’t a mob brawl or bloody melee. There were no camouflaged combatants storming the beaches of Celedon. This war was a civilized war, chivalrous. Angels that possessed similar powers and attributes separated and squared off. Some of these battles had been brewing for centuries. When two people work side by side for along time animosity is bound to build. Some of these angels had been working together for tens of thousands of years. Some since the dawn of time. Familiarity had bred contempt.
The headliner of this cosmic bout was Hera, the morning star, versus St. Michael. Over a half a million angelic ministers had flooded the streets of Celedon to witness the trial of the morning star, the most beloved of angels. Through the entire trial she had stood, head held high, pleading her case before the throne. But when Metatron, the voice of on high, passed the judgment of banishment, she lost all military bearing. She fell into a fetal position before the host of Heaven and squalled like a baby, even though she had never been one.
St. Michael reached for her shoulder to try to comfort her and perhaps restore some order, which was his job to do, but she flipped her cloak of submission from around her, extended her wings, and yelled, “I will not be bullied and pawed. I AM LIGHT!” With that declaration, she did what no other being had ever done; uncovered her head in the sight of the throne and unsheathed her bare blade, the Wind Splitter. That is what started the war.
Many stories have been told and retold about this, but I would like to shed some light on the myth that she wanted to overthrow the throne. She was not in a battle for supremacy. She was on a suicide mission.
In her own words she would rather be destroyed than be separated from the light of her beloved. It had been her job to protect the ministers and archangels and she wanted no other life. She was handed the punishment of banishment, but she was only willing to accept death, if that was even possible.
That battle may have been the most famous fight, but the most destructive, visceral blood bath from the dawn of time was Azreal the patron saint of Assassins versus Rupert Merrywether.
There was no posturing or evil monologuing, just hate, rage, and the flaming swords that burned down the gates of Celedon. Unlike St. Michael’s chivalrous and civilized duel with with Hera, Rupert Merrywether’s battle was a no-holds-barred deathmatch that gave no quarter and wanted none. Rupert believed there was no civilized way to kill a man; that simple.
One third of heaven was destroyed by their swords and the magic that held it together came undone. The battle raged for six days and nights. There was no power before the throne that could satiate their bloodlust. The archangel Hameliel, commander of 2,658 wielders of the Blades of Division were almost laid waste trying to intervene. When the battle looked like it would rage on forever and all of Celedon would be lost, Rupert tried a daring move. Azreal checked with his flaming sword and instead of parrying his blow, Rupert took the blade through his armor and into his own ribcage. With a twist of his body, the simple angel used his own flesh as a lever and wrenched the great sword from the grip of Azreal. At the same time he slashed with his own blade down the helm of the assassin. Rupert carved a groove that went from the assassin’s hair line to his jaw, eviscerating Azreal’s left eye. He spun with all his fury to behead his foe and end it all, when in a comet-like blur the archangel Gabriel snatched Azreal and fled through the melted gates of Heaven.
Legend has it that Azreal fought to get free of Gabriel’s grip and to this day he doesn’t believe that he was rescued. According to Azreal, he had Rupert just where he wanted him.
When the proverbial smoke cleared, Rupert wouldn’t allow his injuries to be healed with magic because he said the battle wasn’t over yet. Those very injuries resulted in his losing the highly coveted position of governor. He was now the mall security cop of angels, a guardian angel.