Who We Want To Be

This introductory scene was originally written for an online roleplay forum. It features the Archangel Tzaphkiel approaching the fallen watcher, Dânêl, hoping that she may appeal to him for aid against a demonic threat growing in London.

The mountainside village was quiet; peaceful as daylight began to fade, a golden wash colouring the sky. The air was cool and dry, the sound of swiftlets clicking their way home carried on the breeze, their call ever more frequent the darker the world became. Mountainsides glowed as if made from amber, a precious stillness that caught all in its grasp, for at least a few moments, stunning to the unprepared eye. Tzaphkiel’s own brimmed with tears as she watched for the first time through this long-forgotten lens of humanity, awestruck and touched by the beauty of the Himalayas.

She had not come to enjoy the setting, but was difficult to not be distracted by it, or the people here – so few, but each with a warmth to rival that of the rising sun, their kindness and optimism something to feel cast against one’s skin and absorb in hope that it might reach through and touch the soul. She understood why anyone would seek to remain here, especially those who sought a path away from darkness or confusion, seeking clarity in simple living, or more specifically, just one – who devoted himself to a self-imposed duty, at the same time gaining much-needed stability away from the chaos of the western world and all of its temptations.

He was needed, however. Tzaphkiel did not want to intrude and would not force him to return with her, but she was here to give him an informed choice, the option to provide aid should he feel compelled to do so. Considering herself better suited to seek out and appeal to their rogue colleague than Barachiel, Tzaphkiel had left the archangel behind in London to organise those already there who looked up to him as their leader. His attitude towards the fallen was never sequestered behind propriety; the fact that Dânêl had remained to help, had done his best to assist their cause in spite of his poorly veiled derision was telling. His friendship with Uriel’s chosen, and the other’s refusal to give up hope for him in spite of the corruption that had taken root within the watcher even more so.

She wanted Dânêl to help them again, hoping that the news of his allies in need, or even her own involvement in their plight might inspire a return.

“Dânêl,” she said quietly as she stood behind his forlorn shape, though she knew that speech was unnecessary. He would have felt her there since her arrival; perhaps even known when she had descended to London let alone as she approached him now, a solitary figure on top of a flattened roof. Wings which she had once known in brilliant gold now presented themselves to her aged, dulled by his fall, coppery and tarnished, but still able to pick up the dwindling sunlight, small flecks of splendour not yet suffocated by the ever-growing dark. Against her better knowledge, they seemed like glimmers of hope.

She felt his weight heavy against her own heart, though. Rather than remain where she was – an authority from Empyrea’s own highest seat at his back – Tzaphkiel instead picked up her skirts and came to sit beside him, sea-green eyes ringed with compassion as she looked upon his face, saw it in most beautiful human sculpture up close, lined and shaped by all he went through. As she reached out to gently lay her delicate, human hand to his shoulder she felt her chest swell, briefly overcome by the manner in which he now endured.

Tzaphkiel smiled, though it held little mirth; an in-between expression which was more something along the lines of a human trying not to crack under emotional pressure than anything reliably indicative of her true feelings. Torn apart, she swallowed it as best she could, choosing instead to remain thankful for the goodness that remained.

“I cannot say it is good to see you like this, brother,” she admitted eventually. “But I am glad to. Perhaps it is selfish of me.”