Rodorsceaft: Pillar of Heaven
The Angel Samael
Nothing of Samael’s history is known prior to his summoning to Rodorsceaft by two devout paladins, a brother and sister named Suleimor and Refa. They brought him into the world during the Demon War, ca. GY 2070, via a desperate plea for aid to the Heavens. The two warriors were facing down an entire army of fel creatures; they assumed their cause was hopeless, but the Light blessed them and sent Samael, who scattered the entire horde.
The situation for the side of the Light was dire during the Demon War, so Samael opted to stay and assist, knowing his power would be a great asset. With his presence, men of the Light flocked to Suleimor and Refa’s banner; with his power, they gained ground against the Raptoran demonologists. Samael’s flaming sword and radiant might brought victory after victory to the Army of the White; the avenging angel was a fearsome sight on any battlefield.
Then, Cathmor and his band of druids cast the Dance of the Fading Spiral. Samael found himself cut off from the Heavens, bereft of orders or guidance of any kind for the first time in his long life. This sudden severing of his divine source sent Samael into a deep withdrawal; though the Army of the White still fought valiantly in his name, and overcame the remainder of the Raptoran forces, Samael himself contributed little to the end of the war.
When he finally emerged from his catatonia, nearly ten solar years later, Samael cast about for a purpose. He found it, in inspiring the men of his former army to build a great empire of good and holiness, that all would come to know the warm embrace of the Light—his way of shepherding the people of Rodorsceaft. Refa had fallen during the closing days of the war; though he never spoke of it, witnesses relate that Samael wept softly at the news. His sister dead, Suleimor and Samael found purpose together. Suleimor rode through the war-ravaged lands on his unicorn steed, rallying noble men and women to his cause. Kingdom after petty kingdom pledged fealty to him and to the angel, until finally, the Solarian Empire was born, with Suleimor as the first Radiant Emperor.
Samael commanded his agent, Suleimor, to bring the light to the wayward people, conquering them and breaking them of their dark ways if necessary, and Suleimor took to the task with fervor. Over the next ten Gnomish years, Suleimor (with Samael’s aid) expanded the boundaries of his empire until it was far larger than anything the world had ever seen.
During this time, for reasons unknown, Samael remained largely withdrawn, rarely emerging from the mighty white-golden temple that had been constructed for him. While he still invested certain holy men with his favor, and acted as advisor and spiritual head of the nascent Church of the Light, he was not a god and could thus not grant spells. Less devout men wondered why Samael did not travel with Suleimor directly; but the Radiant Emperor himself never wavered or expressed any doubt that Samael was the voice of the Light on Rodorsceaft.
Over the next several hundred years, the empire grew, then stabilized, then began to fall into decline. Still Samael remained within his temple, installing and then dispensing counsel and favor to the Radiant Emperors and other souls he considered worthy. Pilgrimage to the Shining Temple became a requirement of the Solarian faith, so that Samael himself could bless the traveler. His demeanor, in the intervening time, grew more and more withdrawn; though he still sought to bring the Light to the rest of the world, dispatching missionary after missionary to the heathen lands, the empire simply would not expand.
Then came the drought years. Crops failed and many people died. It infuriated Samael that the Druids would not intervene to save the populace. Faced with dwindling resources and a crumbling empire, he left the temple at last to rally the people and send them to war … this time, against the Druids, who so held sway and who refused to save his beloved followers.
The war was ill-advised. Over the next four Gnomish years, the Druids presented the Solarian army with a moving, impossible-to-strike target. Try as they might, they could not inflict any significant damage; the Druids were toying with them. Meanwhile, the treasury was running dry, and the people were still starving. Apparently out of options, Samael ordered a strike on the Mother Grove itself.
The Solarian army extended itself, emptying the capital and marching to where Samael had revealed the Grove to be. Unfortunately, when they arrived, they found nothing but abandoned barrows. The Druids had left.
And where they had gone to was Lux, the City of Light, where the Shining Temple
- and Samael himself - were located. A procession of thirteen druids marched into the city on the backs of dragons. They arrived at the Temple, traced a circle of fire around it, and with a gesture, caused the ground beneath the temple to give way and fall.
The Shining Temple fell to the terrestrium and remains there to this day, lost amongst jagged, impassable mountains. It is virtually inaccessible; airship cannot reach it due to dangerous winds, the mountains are all but insurmountable, and Samael’s holy presence prevents teleportation. The great hole in the ground remains in Lux, and Samael himself sits within the ruins of his once-glorious temple, waiting …