From the unpublished journals of Zachary Westland. Join Zack on his debut adventure in Conspiracy of Angels.
The tribes of my brethren were distinct, like separate species. I knew, because I’d left myself a shit-ton of writings collected from different cultures and eras documenting my people, and I’d spent the past few months committing those documents to memory. Each tribe had a Primus – a “first one” – and that tribal head’s abilities set the tone for everyone ranked beneath him.
Tribe determined a lot of things – our magic, our hierarchies, how we took up physical bodies. My tribe, the Anakim, were born like mortals. We aged and died, then did it all over again. Our bodies were tougher than the average human being, but the few threads of grey gleaming in my hair attested to the fact that our flesh was by no means immortal.
The vessels of the Nephilim were longer-lived, seeing as they were essentially vampires. They had fangs, they drank blood, and their flesh didn’t seem to age. If their bodies were damaged catastrophically, the blood-soul of the Nephilim could fall back to any mortal they had established as an anchor. Through the tether to that anchor, they could hijack that person’s body and become them in a way I didn’t want explained to me.
The Rephaim were stranger still, inhabiting not flesh but statues. I had only interacted with Terael, but if he was any indication, the Rephaim were all bat-shit crazy. At least, their experience of the world was so far removed from “normal” that it rendered them effectively insane by human standards.
There were other tribes I knew less about because there simply wasn’t that much information – Gibburim, Zamzumim, some other –ims I’d seen referenced in obscure Midrash and Scripture. I had no idea which ones were real, which ones were myths, or how many tribes might be running around in total — and I didn’t want to ask Sal and reveal the depth of my ignorance. The things she held over me were bad enough as it was.
Each tribe supposedly had an Icon that embodied the Primus’s power, allowing anyone, regardless of tribe, to utilize those powers so long as they held the Icon. Those artifacts had been the focus of a ridiculously long series of conflicts known as the Blood Wars, and were supposed to have been intentionally lost to the ages.
Fat lot of good that did.