- Half Angel/Half Demon
Special Skills and/or Abilities:
- Most powerful entity in the spirit realm
- Cannot leave the Spirit Realm
Rap Sheet/Criminal Traits:
The Gatekeeper is an unusual entity for it is both an Angel and a Demon.
The Angelic part of him belonged to an ancient and very powerful Archangel. After eons of existence he had removed himself from then never ending war between the Light and Dark realms. Both sides laid claim to mortal souls yet neither were prepared to compromise. By taking a step back, the Archangel had for the first time noticed that the frequent fighting was getting more destructive and leading both sides towards their enevitable doom.
Angels and Demons alike had failed to realise that as more and more mortals were getting killed through collateral damage, there would soon be no souls to fight about. The idealogy of both realms had blinded them to the simple fact so the Archangel decided a solution needed to be found so he travelled to the mortal realm to find answers since it was the battle ground and the only place where Demons and Angels could be found at the same time.
Whilst making his investigations the Archangel came across his Demonic counterpart who by coincidence was also looking for the same answers. They quickly concluded that as no side was ever prepared to listen to the other then an intervention needed to be made.
Creation of the Spirit Realm
The pair concluded that the only way to get their respective races to stop would be by removing the playing pieces from the board, the mortal souls. Demons and Angels could create pocket dimension but never had a pair from Light and Dark realms try to build one together.
Combining their powers they created a pocket dimension that was so big it became the forth realm. The incredible forces at play pulled both entities inside and fused their bodies together to create the Half Demon/Half Angel being that would be known as the Gatekeeper. At the same time shockwaves spread beyond time and space giving the new being an ability to see many possible future events, a skill that would help him make future judgements in his “work”.
Once the new realm was fully formed it started to fulfil its purpose, containing the souls of dead mortals. The realm existed between Light and Dark Realms and since the Gatekeeper was neither Demon, Angel or Mortal he was trapped inside his own dimension. It was both his kingdom and his prison. This though was the price that needed to be paid to bring an end to the war between the Light and Dark Realms.
Now when a mortal died the soul got pulled to the Gatekeeper’s domain rather than residing in the Mortal Realm where Angels or Demons would snatch them and take them to their respective realms. With all the souls now vanishing out of existence in the Mortal Realm, that had the desired effect. The war stopped between Demons and Angels. In fact both sides were united, in being furious at the Gatekeeper and what he had done.
Both Demons and Angels demanded the Gatekeeper destroy his realm. They tried threatening him but having the power of both races meant that once in his domain he could not be challenged for he could destroy any intruder Angel or Demon. They then accused him of stealing souls for his own purpose but the Gatekeeper stated he had no desire in keeping any souls. As force was not an option for the first time both races had to listen to the facts for the first time.
The Gatekeeper explained that Angels wanted all souls to live in peace in the Light Realm where their presence, their positive thoughts would actually generate the flow of Light Magic which sustained the Realm, whereas Demons needed to use souls as a means to survive, by creating Dark Magic. The two were not mutually compatible. This had resulted in stalemate that would only end with their own destruction. He therefore offered to make himself the compromise they could not do for themselves, by sorting which souls went to the Dark and Light realms thus removing the need for war.
Since he was both Angel and Demon and allied to none of them only he could make the right decisions without being byassed. He proposed that if a Demon had a valid claim on a Mortal Soul or a Soul he considered stained with darkness he would open a portal and send it to the Dark Realm, and conversely if a soul was full of light he would open a portal to the realm of light.
Ending the War
Though unhappy, Demons and Angels accepted the compromise as it would end the war, albeit it did not stop the conflicts altogether because there were other issues between them. Seizing the opportunity the Gatekeeper got both sides to air their grievances.
The Demons complained that Angels in the natural form made mortals act favourably to them, thus denying a source of Dark Magic by instilling positive vibes. Angels though claimed that Demons forced mortals into following them so they had redressed the balance by their magical “light”. The Gatekeeper suggested the solution to both sides lay in the fact that neither side were allowing mortals to have free will so the only fair thing to do was allow mortals to decide their own fate.
After much discussion the Angels and Demons agreed to give Mortals free will, provided the Gatekeeper in his neutrality accepted the role of distributing souls. This was the purpose the Gatekeeper had sought all along and so with all parties in agreement, finally a truce was made and the war was over.
Role as Arbitrator
Naturally there would be those that would break the rules so the Gatekeeper agreed to act as an arbitrator for both races. Since he was recognised as neutral, then either side had a grievance over an individual then he could study the evidence and make a ruling.
During such acts a Tribunal is called and the “Rite of Blood” is invoked. Once the process is started a high ranking Demon and Angel present their evidence for and against a particular individual. The Gatekeeper then acts as a Judge and if the individual is found guilty as charged then they are given the “Mark of Blood” which allows them to be hunted in the mortal realm without fear of starting a war.
Whilst the Tribunal is seen as the best way to maintain the peace between the Demons and Angels, in truth both sides have the view that they would rather deal with their own trouble causers rather than giving the opposite side the chance to deal with the problem for them by starting the Rite of Blood.
In rare circumstances either side can invoke the Rite of Blood against a mortal. For this to happen at the Tribunal the accuser has to prove that a mortal is deliberately interfering in the natural order of a realm. Demons for an example might invoke the Rite of Blood against a witch deliberately summoning a Demon from the Dark realm with the sole purpose of vanquishing them, resulting in the creation of instability which could create problems for Demons, Angels and mortals alike.
If the defence can prove a mortal was merely protecting themselves then the Gatekeeper would reject the Rite of Blood.
Role as Fate Decider
Though the Gatekeeper acts as an arbitrator for the Angels and Demons, most of his existence is spent deciding the fate of Souls. From the centre of the spirit realm, the Gatekeeper stands watch on a structure known as the “Crossroads of Decision”. Almost all souls are drawn here and their actions usually have been predetermined by the lives they led. Therefore there is no real choice for him to make because if the soul is Dark or has been signed over in a contract then the Gatekeeper sends it through a portal to the Dark Realm. Likewise if the soul is considered Light then they are sent through the portal to the Realm of Light.
Once sent through a portal the process cannot be reversed. It can however be stopped and the Gatekeeper even has the power to send a soul sent back the the mortal realm via the Balance of Fate.
Except for souls tagged with a demonic contract, souls that can pass through either portal arrive at the “Crossroads of Decision”. These people have accepted their fate either whatever their outcome at the hands of the Gatekeepers. In some cases though an individual might be so focussed on performing a task they inadvertently channel light or dark magic at the time of death. Instead of arriving at the “Crossroads of Decision” they become scattered in the “Wastelands of Lost Souls” which make up the rest of the Gatekeeper’s Domain. Unable to reach the Crossroads the Gatekeeper cannot send them on. If he attempts to retrieve such a soul it will immediately be pulled back to the wastelands and is then considered to have become tethered to the domain. This can also if a mortal had died through “unnatural” means, often the case with rogue Demons. Such trapped spirits often have strong wills and a desire to be in the mortal realm and can sporadically travel there for short periods of time before inevitably being pulled back giving rise to ghost sightings. Some spirits though do seem to be aware of the fact that they are dead but have “unfinished business” and so maintain a tether to the spirit realm that stops them travelling to the Crossroads and moving on.
The passage of time or the intervention of Priests can free the souls, force the individual to let go of their hold and once free they will be drawn to the Crossroads at which point the Gatekeeper can carry out his duty. Souls tethered to the spirit realm often suffer in having to constantly revisit their deaths. The angelic part of the Gatekeeper “feels” their suffering but can do nothing. One of the future premonitions he received upon the creation of the realm was that a mortal would come that would have the potential to release tethered souls from within the Wastelands.
Until that time came the souls would remain stuck without outside help.
Balance of Fate
The Balance of Fate is very similar to the Rite of Blood Tribunal in that its purpose is to maintain the peace between Angels and Demons. This Tribunal is usually formed in the rare instances when an event occurs in which the death of a mortal has the potential to incite a conflict between their races.
For instance if a follower of a Light based religion is killed by the followers of a Demon, in the name of a Demon then it has the potential generate reprisals from Angels. Such actions could lead to war so to avert that, a Demon can instead meet with the Gatekeeper and invoke the Balance of Fate.
Invoking the Balance of Fate is unusual for it involves one of the Realms admitting that its own followers are at fault. By approaching the Gatekeeper and requesting the Balance of Fate, it is seen as an attempt to appease the other side before they take direct action. Unlike punishing their own kind, a representative of one Realm cannot punish its own Followers without escalating the problem for it would be seen as directly interfering in the lives of mortals.
The only recourse is therefore to meet with the Gatekeeper and ask for the Balance of Fate. If the Gatekeeper is in agreement that there is a high probability of conflict between Demons and Angels, he can then undo the key event before it spirals out of control. In simple terms this means the soul is sent back to the mortal realm. Since the mortal is no longer dead then there is no need for the other side to take reprisals. However there is a price to pay for the Gatekeeper cannot give life to mortals and so the returning soul has to be placed within the body of someone living, effectively displacing the existing soul which ends up returning to the spirit realm. The only exception to this could occur if the body of the deceased was being kept alive artificially or a person could survive if resuscitated. The soul would thus end up being returned within moments of having died. That sort of timing though required extremely rare set of circumstances.
Because in almost all instances the Balance of Fate required an exchange of souls, the Gatekeeper rarely chose to do it for taking an existing soul had the potential to break natural order by creating a cascading event that could have been prevented by leaving the original soul in their own body. Such an event had potential fallout to have far more serious consequences for all sides.
This all changed when Hades (see below) arrived as the mortal had a totem that had the power to restore life to a deceased body (provided it had not started to decompose). Hades had beneficial use as the Balance of Fate can only be invoked if a soul is not tethered.
The Gatekeeper and Death Angels
Death Angels are one of the few entities that can retrieve a soul from the Spirit Realm but they have to take the soul before the Gatekeeper processes it and decides to send it to the Light or Dark Realms.
The only other time a Death Angel may remove a soul is if an individual with a destiny has their life taken early. For the Gatekeeper to permit this to happen the Angel has to prove that there is no contract on the soul. As with the balance of fate another soul has to be taken in place of the one being returned to the mortal realm.
Hades and the Gatekeeper
Apart from Angels and Demons, the only outsider the Gatekeeper allows in his domain is Alan Corbett aka the Olympian “God”, Hades. Corbett was not the first one to use the title. That belonged to someone else and the Gatekeeper was quick to learn that the previous incarnation was not the entity prophesied to be able to break the tethers tying souls to the spirit realm.
The first Hades did possess the mystical totem in the form of a Bident that had the means to sever ties binding tethered souls but since the Angel Joshua had manipulated magic to enslave the Bident to a person of his choosing that mean the individual was not the “true” user. The first Hades was therefore banished from the spirit realm before any damage could be done. Since the Bident could give life to a deceased person the first Hades could only create animated corpses since they would not possess a soul unless the life giving happened before the soul travelled to the Spirit Realm.
Then when the mystical Bident of Hades fell into the hands of Alan Corbett he became the being of prophesy that the Gatekeeper “recognised”. Using a form of mystical calling the Gatekeeper invited Corbett to the Spirit Realm to fulfil his duty in helping free the tethered souls. Like the original Hades, Corbett can give “life” to a deceased person but he can also take any soul from the Spirit Realm to their original bodies. However he only does this with the Gatekeeper’s express permission if his actions would not damage natural order. By the same token, when the Balance of Fate is invoked the Gatekeeper will summon Hades as his power means that in returning a soul there no longer is a need for take another soul as “payment”. The only time Hades is not involved in such matters is when a Death Angel requires a soul to be returned. As this is seen as altering the balance, another soul needs to be taken in return.
In the Spirit Realm the Gatekeeper is very much the master and Hades the servant but Corbett is happy with that hierarchy since he can spend time in the mortal realm. The Gatekeeper also allows Corbett to comfort tethered spirits trapped in the wastelands as the act can often untether them without him forcibly requiring him to use his Bident. In the mortal realm Hades can act how he so chooses although taking or restoring life is not a matter he takes lightly. He respects the Gatekeeper too much to play “god” literally but will align his power with the other Olympians if a threat is deemed serious enough. He will also protect himself and his power from falling into the wrong hands even if that involves taking a soul.
Whilst Hades is the only “human” that the Gatekeeper recognises as being able to visit the Spirit Realm, witches and some other magic users have found the means to temporarily make the transition. Some can even snatch tethered souls and take them to the mortal realm. Like Hades, powerful mystics can then bring the deceased back to life but unlike Hades there is always “something” missing. The Gatekeeper takes a dim view of such actions and if an “outsider” is found in his realm he will forcibly expel them.
Prisoners in the Spirit Realm
As the supreme ruler of the Spirit Realm, the Gatekeeper had the option to imprison beings that threaten the natural order governing life and Death. Such beings are usually rogue Angels or powerful Demons that have disobeyed his edict by trying to take souls without his permission or performing actions that would otherwise collapse reality if they continued to operate. Such entities though have to enter the Spirit Realm first before he can entrap them.
Kruniss (Cronos) was the first to fall foul of being imprisoned. Having attached himself to a mortal and then ended up in the spirit realm, the Gatekeeper could not send the Demon to the dark realm due to the soul he was anchored to. Cheating being vanquished by means of a mortal soul did not sit well with the ruler of the Spirit Realm and so the Gatekeeper forged mystical chains and banished the Demon to furtherest corner of the his domain for eternity. Occasionally, Kruniss and others that have been imprisoned in the realm have found a means to escape to the mortal realm but each time they have been dragged back.