They're Back...

By James Walker


It's amazing how many Soldiers Uriel had. Not surprising really, given that he was Commander of the Armies of God; but given that Europe only had a population of a few million when he was recalled, you wouldn't think he could have acquired so many.

Of course, many of them headed to Heaven after they died. They had earned it, after all. Mostly.

Of course, the Purity Crusade had drawn a few to their Fates, as well as their Destinies. The end of the Crusade meant that many didn't achieve either. And then there were the Saints.

Laurence was a little concerned when the flow of Soldiers of Purity entering Heaven became a trickle. He wasn't sure whether to be relieved or horrified when he found that Uriel's Soldiers had decided en masse to become dream-shades when they died so that they could continue fighting beside their patron angels.

There's no knowing what he'd have thought if he'd thought through the implications of hundreds of Soldiers of Purity in the Marches. It's not that they're incredibly skilled (although they are) or know the Marches like the back of their hands (though they do). The thing is, they've been picking up tricks from the Pagan Soldiers.

Timing re-incarnations is a trick the Pagan gods learnt long ago. It's necessary for keeping morale up; their servants really want to make sure that they'll be in the same regions/time periods as their friends and lovers - or alternatively, a long way away!

It took a while for the Tsayadim to set it up. Making sure that all of the Dream-shades would be born in the same general area; that they'd keep their Songs and attunements; that they'd be able to recover their memories; that this would create a crisis of faith - that sort of thing.

In all, it took 13 centuries.

But now...

Rumours are starting. Demons come out of trauma babbling about Soldiers using strange attunements which sound suspiciously like those Uriel handed out. Tsayadim seem to have more of a grip on the modern world, and have been speaking to humans with a degree of familiarity which they normally reserve for each other. How did you know that they were Tsayadim? Well, we recognised a couple. The others? Well, they were clearly angels of Purity; the Tsayadim treated them as equals and they only do that to other angels of Purity, so they must be Tsayadim, mustn't they? After all, there aren't any other angels of Purity, are there?

More thoughtful demons are wondering about the Fall of the Malakim. Kobal and Malphas fooled Heaven, they fooled Hell; if they fooled Uriel, wouldn't he come back? Maybe he didn't see any reason to leave when he found out it was a hoax?

And the body count of demons continues to grow, as Roland and Artos lead the Soldiers of Purity into battle.


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