The Talmudic Regency
In the absence of the divine presence, the Will requires several administrators to monitor its operation in the universe. This task has fallen upon the Talmudic Regency, an organization of 22 powerful beings who for some reason or another have been granted dominion over a variety of cosmic forces.
Each member of the group, deemed a “regent”, operates as the face of one of the archetypal forces of destiny, which can be associated with one of the 22 major arcana of the Tarot. A regent is responsible for overlooking all tenants of their archetype and responding to perversions and conflicts within that sphere of influence. They are the penultimate authorities in the universe, and the very face of the laws of the heavenly realms. In old days, many of the regents worked directly on the Earth, but nowadays they do their work clandestinely and through a series of avatars and heralds- a policy enacted to prevent the further expansion of Dark Will.
While they are enemies of Hell through and through, their methods do not necessarily adhere to the standards of any one religion- in fact, the Regency has been known to act in direct defiance to many established religious policies in order to accomplish their tasks. They are not beyond completely obliterating the goals, life, and even spirit of even the most pious and well meaning humans if they must. Ultimately, their only real allegiance is to the Will and the preservation of its sovereignty.
The group has a shifting membership. Over the years, several individuals have been granted the title of Regent, while others have been cast out of their ranks for any number of reasons. Currently, the group roster is as follows:
- Ariel, the Angel of the Pilgrimage: Once a low ranking grigore, Ariel’s time on Earth walking alongside mankind has earned him a spot in the Heavens. He is among the most neutral of the Regents, and is one of the most sympathetic to the human experience. He is responsible for the aspects of mortal destiny. His arcana is The Fool.
- Daedalus, the Curious Craft: A mystical spirit said to once inhabit a human form, Daedalus is not to be confused with the Daedalus of Greek legend. He is not the classical inventor, but a form of divine spirit that moves from being to being, granting inspiration. He is responsible for all aspects of inspiration, action, and mortal creation. His arcana is The Magus.
- Dis, the Mourning Woman: A former native of the formless world, Dis gathered power during the age of man by garnering worship in the northern lands of Europe. However, after the descent of the Logos, she was driven into Kadmon, where she spent many years in solitude. However, human interest in her teachings caused her to gain strength over the years, until she was ultimately given the mantle of Regent. She is responsible for the preservation of chastity and is the patron regent of the divine feminine and natural growth. Her arcana is The Priestess.
- Maria Regina, Mater Domino: The Virgin Mary, mother of the Christ child, matron of the Catholic faith. During her rise to sainthood, she gained much power in the spiritual realm and in the world of men. She is said to be the only Regent to have received her mantle directly from God himself. She is responsible for the realm of mortal sovereignty, and lineage. Unlike most of the Regents, she does adhere to a religious philosophy, and tries very much to abide by her faith in regards to her position. Her arcana is The Empress.
- Solomon, The Great Magus: Another ascended human soul, Solomon was the son of King David, and the first man to master the art of Enochian magick. He is also a skilled hermeticist, and a masterful exorcist. His responsibility is a great one- the administration of supernatural forces in the world of man. He is a powerful opponent to the forces of Hell, but also stands as an enemy to earthbound spirits of all forms- ghosts, natives to the formless, and even mortals who dare to familiarize themselves with the esoteric workings of the universe have much to fear from the Magus. His arcana is The Emperor.
- Sadriel, Angel of Scrolls: Once an angel of the choir of cherubim, Sadriel rose to power during the time of the Roman Empire. He replaced Ashteroth, who sided with Hell and took the position of Dispater. Sadriel is an oddly literal angel, preoccupied with his responsibility to mystical tradition. He is the Regent of religion and antiquity, and he oversees the revelation and the obscuring of knowledge simultaneously. He views the Protestant movement with great dismay, and whenever possibly, acts against it through his position. His arcana is The Hierophant.
- Raphael, Vanquisher of Divergence: One of the oldest Regents, Raphael has served since the time of Babel. He spent much time on Earth, and has been an ally of mankind for many years. He is a healer, and a patron of the arts, and is among the last Regents to maintain a material avatar for his purposes. His responsibility is a great one- love. He sees to the gathering of the human spirit in any form, be it through marriage, procreation, or affinity. His arcana is The Lovers.
- Pallas-Athena, The Steel of the Mind Tempered: Not to be confused with the Greek goddess, Pallas-Athena is an angel who is mystically attributed to the concepts of strength and victory. She now serves as a Regent, holding responsibility over the realm of justifiable conflict. Wherever men or spirits are at odds over matters of great importance, Pallas-Athena is watching. She is among the most mysterious and misunderstood Regents in today’s world, as she is obligated by Will to act in ways many others consider blasphemous. There have been many times in which she has intervened on the behalf of one who has commonly been seen as an enemy of Will, only to reveal that it was God had intended all along. Her arcana is The Chariot.
- Butator, the All-Seeing Eye: The angel of calculations, and the only Regent capable of interacting with the Omniscience System. Because of this, he was a natural choice for regency, imposed shortly after the days of Babel. It is said that there is no being more impartial in all creation, and as such, Butator’s insight is valued and sought out by beings all across the universe. His duties as Regent are the most clear and most well outlined- he has responsibility over universal balance, and his influences give him administrative power over the entire Regency. He cares very little for the lives of human beings, considering most of them to be inconsequential in regards to the true nature of the cosmos. His arcana is The Justice.
- Ahriman, a Voiceless Command: Once a face of Iblis, Ahriman is a demon of the Persian deserts who came to understand the Will and changed his ways. He is a powerful Regent, much like Butator in that his domain is large and often relates directly to the interventions of other Regents. He has dominion over natural order, seeing that all things in the material operate as they should. His arcana is The Hermit.
- Parasiel, The Capricious Deed: Once a mere angel of prosperity, Parasiel gained notoriety as an angel of invocations. He was often beckoned forth to Earth by practitioners of Enochian arts. Now, he is a Regent over probability, and he is the Regent who overlooks the seemingly endless tangle of realities that are created as the Will generates an infinite number of outcomes to any one situation. His arcana is The Wheel of Fortune.
- Zeruch, Who Holds Open the Mouth of the Beast: Zeruch is a Regent who holds responsibility over the flow of power. As such, he is a being that even the most ruthless of demons is careful not to disrespect. Like Pallas-Athena, he is a being who sometimes does things that seem to be counterproductive. Those who know him personally have stated he favors men over women, in all regards. His arcana is The Strength.
- Odin, The Profound: Another native to the formless, Odin viewed the face of God when he sacrificed himself unto himself at the base of the Tree of Life. He was rewarded the title of Regent, serving over the realms of paradox. He maintains and enforces cosmic paradox in order to provide the Will with the force it needs to operate. His arcana is The Hanged Man.
- Arawn, Exacter: A native to the formless, Arawn was a psychopomp who gained power in the isles of Brittany during the days of darkness. However, once the church reached the isles, his power dwindled, and he turned to the service of the Will itself. He is the Regent of death. Arawn is intimately aware of the mortality all earthly things share, and he administrates these events with much zeal. Disturbingly enough, he is also aware of his own mortality as a being born of chaos- he knows fully well that he must eventually be cast into Shadow at the end of time, where he will cease to exist. Additionally, he is aware that in siding with the Will, he has avoided this fate, which goes against his nature not only as a god of death but as a Regent, and it is from this very personal paradox that he claims to derive his mighty power. Arawn is greatly feared by men, and even amongst the Regents he is given some distance. He is not a being of evil and malice, however, but his preoccupation with the perpetual cycle of beginnings and endings makes him unpleasant company. He inspires several heralds, many of which attend to the needs of lost souls. As such, he is both a powerful ally and a grim menace to the forces of COGITO. He also enjoys an uneasy alliance with Solomon. His arcana, fittingly enough, is The Death.
- Israfel, Beautiful: An angel of the arts, Israfel is another old Regent from the first days. He is the Regent of culmination, and of enlightenment. He favors the members of the Jewish race, and is constantly at work in the Middle East, where he seeks to use his influence to affect the crisis present in the mother land. A skilled magician and hermeticist, he is also said to be the one who taught the Rabbi Loew how to create the Golem of Prague. His arcana is The Temperance.
- Baphomet, Devil of the Cloth: Baphomet was a demon of hermetic magic who was bound into obligation by a faithful slave during the rule of Ramses II. During this time, he was wielded against the enemies of God’s children like a weapon, and over time he began to not only become intimate with the ways of the wicked, but he learned to despise them. Upon his release, he went into servitude under Solomon, and eventually was given Regency to replace the fallen Gaap. Baphomet serves a strangely specific but significant purpose- he and his heralds exist to tempt the wicked in order to expose them to the forces of Heaven so that they might be purged. He works closely with many other Regents- most prominantly Zehanpuryu’h, Pallas-Athena, Solomon, and on occasion Arawn and Sadriel. Baphomet, despite his rank, is still treated much like a slave by his fellows, because his work causes him to continue generating Dark Will. It is an unusual circumstance- he must not only commit evil acts, but see that more are committed so that those who may yet be saved can bear witness to the darkness they must avoid. He is not strongly opposed to anything in particular. He inspires a great many heralds. but these individuals are kept under close scrutiny. Unlike most heralds, who merely lose their powers if they abuse them, Baphomet typically punishes his heralds that stray with severity- many are subjected to terrible curses or personal loss, and more than a few have been put to death to preserve their souls and prevent them from slipping farther into darkness. His arcana is The Devil.
- Harbonah, Who Made Babel Tremble: Harbonah is best known as the angel that spear-headed the attack on the Tower of Babel. It is said he singlehandedly destroyed the Tower with a mighty blow. Because of his reputation, it is not a surprise that he was awarded Regency over the matters of destruction and disaster. He orchestrates many events- earthquakes, floods, plagues, meteor showers- in order to destroy that which cannot remain on Earth and to punish the land for its sins in Eden. He does not do this with a happy heart, but does this with full knowledge that in order for their to be rebirth, the corrupt and false must first be brought to the anvil and shattered. He is opposed to decay and rot, and also is offended by the preservation of false ideals and societies. He resents his reputation as a monger of chaos and devastation. His arcana is The Tower.
- Harkness, Sigil in the Sky: Harkness is an angel of the celestial bodies. She is among the oldest of Regents, beginning her duties along with the original angels who served after the fall of Babel. She is among the choir of Seraphim, and she has the duty of spreading hope and drawing the ambitions of men towards Heaven. She has responsibility over the domain of salvation itself, and makes duly certain that all beings are given ample chances to avoid damnation at the hand of Dark Will. As such, she often works in tandem with members of COGITO, a fact that has drawn her much criticism in recent centuries. Her arcana is The Star.
- Baalpeor, The Face of Three Lies: The most mysterious and ruthless of all the Regents. Baalpeor is a being of unknown origins- she claims to be an angel of the Lord, but anyone with an ounce of insight can clearly tell you that she is also among the nobility of Hell. She is one of the three faces of Baal, the arcane entity who once ruled the Land of Milk and Honey. Baalpeor is the face of Baal that exists when the others have been cast into Hell- in other words, she is a shadow of Baal that continues to live on in service to God while her truth self is in perdition- or is it perhaps that her true self is truly allied with God while her false selves suffer in Hell to deter her fellow angels from following Lucifer? It is hard to say what Baalpeor’s true agenda is, and as such she is a being who is never trusted. She is the Regent responsible for the preservation of innocence, who makes sure that man comes to make his choices without being swayed by the knowledge of what is to come. As such, she has ample reason to aid COGITO, but she is highly opposed to the notion of the Estate. Her arcana is The Moon.
- Horus, of Radiance: An enlightened spirit of old Egypt, Horas travels the circle of the Sun and became aware of the truth of the Will. In serving his people in Egypt, he also served the Will, and as such he was quick to submit to the forces of Heaven and do their bidding. He was given Regency very quickly, which caused something of a controversy among both his followers on Earth and the angels of Heaven. He is the sovereign of the sun, and has domain over all light, both literal and figurative. He has responsibility over the aspects of truth and revelation- a duty that is often difficult to address in today’s world. His arcana is The Sun.
- Zehanpuryu’h, This One Sets Free: The chief angel of Heaven’s army, Zehanpuryu’h is the Regent of Judgment. He and his followers see to the execution of the Will, and they do all they can to punish those that would create Dark Will. He is an ally of the Catholic Church, but is also aligned with Christianity in general. He is also popular among those of the Islamic faith. He is said to hold power over fire, as well. Zehanpuryu’h is a rigid and unforgiving individual, offering all beings the exact earnings of their deeds with no compromise. He is stern, but not altogether uncaring. It is said that he may, in fact, be another face of Metatron, but this fact is yet unverified. His responsibility is over consequence, and as such he is often seen as the official face of the Regency. His arcana is The Judgment.
- The Shepherdess: The last Regent. Almost nothing is known about her, or her responsibility. She answers to no one, and acts as she sees fit without consequence. She appears in many forms, but commonly takes the form of a unkempt woman. She never acts indirectly, and spends most of her time in the world of man. It is said that she is the only Regent who can bypass Will itself, suggesting she may be an aspect of the Barbello.