My new book, Fallen Angel is out on the 25th January and I thought I'd take a little time to talk about something that's very important to me - Fallen Angels. Not the kind that were thrown out of heaven by God but the kind who were thrown out of Eden by the Sanhedrin Malakim, the Council of Angels. Of course they didn't call themselves angels, they called themselves Malakim (singular Malakh).
The Malakh came through the star gates after having fought a terrible war. They'd won the war but it had decimated them, wiped out almost one third of their population. They established military bases on Earth to guard the gates that naturally exist here and which the enemy might use to gain access to our reality once again.
They traded and learned from the peoples who lived on the Earth at the time - the Dragons and the Fey among them.
Eventually they built a beautiful city on a cliff overlooking the lush and fertile valley of Eden, in an area later known as Sumeria, now Iraq.
A new, young race began to grow up beneath the notice of the Malakh, a race that were considered no more than animals. However, as they matured this animalistic race began to develop intelligence, built themselves villages, towns then cities. They were what we now know as humans.
One of the military bases of the Malakh was situated in Albion on the edge of a fertile plain inhabited by a tribe known for their horse trading. They began to trade and gradually the Malakh came to realise that humanity had potential.
In one of the plain villages a girl called Astaria grew up. Since she was very small she had a friend, more of a big brother really. His name was Daniel and he would turn up now and again to trade or take counsel with the elders of the village. When he came whistling down the road Astaria would drop everything she was doing and run to him.
Daniel gave her small gifts and took her, riding on his shoulders into the fields of waving barley, telling her stories of the white city on the cliff and the tall and beautiful Malakh who inhabited it.
One day, when Daniel came, he took Astaria back with him, to train as a priestess in the village beneath the cliff. The villages stood on a dry and dusty plain overlooking the valley. The people from the village worked mostly for the Malakh on the hill. They tended the lush olive groves and beautiful gardens on the terraces the surrounded the city.
Astaria was not well received. Her red hair and pale skin were very different to the black hair and olive skin of the locals.She was taunted and called Rose Red and Wishglow, and not in a friendly way. Her name was changed to Ishtahar in the local language which she worked hard to learn.
One day Ishtahar was sitting under a tree overlooking the valley. It was her favourite place to escape the neverending tedium of her life and the taunts of her peers. On this particular day she looked up and saw a vision of loveliness. A Malakh who she later learned was called Semjaza. He was tall and bronzed with honey blonde hair and green eyes.
Over the following weeks Ishtahar fell in love with Semjaza who introduced her to his friends. Azazel, the dark brooding Malakh who was Sem's best friend and, she later discovered Daniel's lover. Taziel, young and carefree, with his beautiful soulful eyes and penchant for wearing black and tossing a silver dagger into the air and catching it. Sariel, young and headstrong, full of light and laughter. Raziel, thoughtful and studious.
The Sanhedrin Malakim, the ruling council, allowed the Malakh to associate with humans, to teach and assist, but when relationships deepened and some of the Malakim fell in love with human women, then came down hard.
Initially, Azazel took the brunt and was glad to do so. His dark personality lent itself to taking on the sins of his fellows, even though he never took a human lover being besotted with the sweet and beautiful Daniel.
He was cast out of Eden, he fell, but eventually he was allowed to return although he was demoted from the rank of Seraph to that of Grigori, the closest to being earthbound like the humans he'd chosen to defend.
Sem became angry with what had happened to his best friend and began to stir up dissent among the Malakh, especially those who had human families and children.
Sem argued bitterly that humanity had the potential to ascend, to become so much more and worthy of equal association with the Malakh. The Sanhedrin were utterly closed to the possibility and threatened Sem with banishment if he pursued it.
The Malakh were guardians of The Source, a magical substance that was literally the source of all things, the soup from which the universe was born. One day Semjaza took Ishtahar by the hand and dragged her through the streets of the city to the temple where The Source was housed and ascended her. She became 'more' and in many ways an equal with her beloved Sem.
To the Sanhedrin, Semjaza had committed the ultimate sin and he was sentenced to be cast from the cliff into the valley below, to die or fend for himself as he could.
Ishtahar was heartbroken, and at the time pregnant with Sem's child. She was comforted by Azazel, who had previously been somewhat cold towards her.
And then one day Sem returned and roused those Malakh with families and children to rebellion. War raged. Malakh fought Malakh. The skies were black with wings and blood fell like rain.
The families of the rebels and their children, the Nephylim, fled. Many were hunted and cut down but some escaped to become the great heroes of myth and legend. Men and women of great beauty, courage and stature. Some with magical powers, or so it seemed to the humans among which they hid.
Sem and the surviving rebels, including Azazel, Daniel, Taziel, Sariel, Uzziel and others making a total of 200 were tried summarily and sentenced to a horrific fate. Their souls were torn from their bodies and bound in the earth. As leaders Azazel were punished further. Azazel was banished out of time and Semjaza was bound into the star constellation of Orion. Always falling, never landing, destined to watch the earth and the torment of his lover forever.
Ishtahar was subject to a terrible curse. After being forced to watch her lover having the soul torn from him in terribly agony, her unborn child was murdered in her womb and she was cursed to never be able to have a child live past infancy and to always be personally responsible for their deaths. She was released to wander insane through the city and the village, driven out by everyone, to die three days later from blood loss after giving birth to her dead child under the same tree she first met Semjaza.
And so ended one of the greatest love stories ever. Except that it wasn't over.
After lifetimes of being a priestess, sacrificing her children and descending deeper and deeper into madness a time came when the bounds that tied the fallen began to break and their souls returned, encased in the bodies of humans. Slowly they began to remember who they were and what had happened to them. They began to find each other, to band together again.
Gradually they came to realise they had awoken for a reason. The gateways that had been guarded so closely so long ago were beginning to break down. The Dragons were long gone and the power of the Fey had faded almost nothing. On the other side of the gateway a terrible danger lurks and the only thing that stands between us as the total destruction of the universe itself is a group of confused angels and a few resentful Fey.
This is, of course a myth....isn't it?