Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Infernal Lords XV: Xaphan

Oh damn, the war is coming!
Oh damn, you feel you want it!
Oh damn, just bring it on today!

You can’t live without the fire,
It’s the heat that makes you strong,
‘Cause you’re born to live and fight it all the way.
You can’t hide what burns inside you,
It’s the only thing you know.
You’re embracing that, never walk away.

[ Iron – Within Temptation ]
Xaphan by *GothicNarcissusDuke Xaphan, well known as the Infernal Arsonist, is an Upper Demon and the Leader of the Fourth Level. As the former Chief of Archangels (the second-lowest Angelic Choir), he did not have a particularly bright place in Heaven despite his leadership, so he followed Emperor Lucifer in the Great Heavenly War, hoping to gain more power; another reason why he turned against Yahweh was to follow Queen Barbelo, for whom he had a deep attraction even before the War had begun. It was her element, Fire, that inspired him to accomplish his greatest and most infamous deed: right before being casted out of it, he managed to set Heaven afire, preventing the Heavenly Troops from chasing the Fallen Angels in their retreat. Despite becoming a hero in Hell, this cost him his moth wings, which were heavily burnt on that occasion, and now he can fly only for short distances without the help of mechanical devices.
Beside the Great Arson, Duke Xaphan gained his high rank in the Peerage and prestigious role thanks to his ingenious mind and brilliant technical skills. He’s the architect who designed the Imperial Palace of Pandemonium, as well as many devices to make the hostile environment of Hell suitable for permanent settlement (such as the automatic infernal furnaces), many new weapons of the Infernal Army (he invented the gunpowder), and even everyday-life objects like the mechanical wings he uses when he has to fly. He often relies on his fellow Fourth-Level Demon, Count Furcifel, to test his new inventions relying on the latter’s electrical powers. As a Goetic Demon, he can be summoned by Mortals who wish to learn the secrets of metallurgy and architecture.
His magic can rely on the Secondary Element Metal, making him part of Duke Beelzebub’s Order of the Great Fly, but he can also draw from the power of Fire: although he doesn’t master it and can’t create it out of nowhere, he can manipulate a fire already set. This is another reason why he’s part of his beloved Queen’s fellowship, and apparently she doesn’t mind his attentions – rumour has it that he’s the Queen’s Favourite.
A good friend of fellow former Archangels, Marquise Decarabia and Marquise Naamah, he also shares a friendly rivalry with Marquis Leonard due to their opposite approach to shaping the world – Duke Xaphan applying the laws of nature to his technological own use and Marquis Leonard downright bending them with his powers. On the other hand, Duke Xaphan openly hates Count Mammon, for the Satan shares his mastership of Metal and made it to the First Level of Demons despite coming from a lower Choir than his. His much nicer temper, higher rank in the Peerage and important position grant him a much brighter spot at Court nonetheless.

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