The Twelve Empyrean Lords are powerful beings created by the god Aion to protect humans from the Balaur army. In time, the Lords would lose two of their number and become divided, leading to the war between the Elyos and the Asmodians as the two factions split up into the Shedim Lords and the Seraphim Lords.
In the 5.0 lore it is revealed that they were led by a 13th Empyrean Lord that was created by Aion to turn the tide in the battle against the Balaur: The Archdaeva.
The Twelve Empyrean Lords Edit
The Empyrean Lords are split according to the following groupings:
- Leader: Ariel, Lady of Light
- Kaisinel, Lord of Illusion
- Nezekan, Lord of Justice
- Vaizel, Lord of Freedom
- Yustiel, Lady of Life
- Leader: Azphel, Lord of Shadow
- Lumiel, Lady of Wisdom
- Marchutan, Lord of Fate
- Triniel, Lady of Death
- Zikel, Lord of Destruction
History of the Empyrean LordsEdit
When the god Aion created the world of Atreia, he created the Drakan, powerful dragon-like beasts who were tasked with the job of safeguarding the humans, performing Aion's will on the planet, and protecting the Tower of Eternity, which was Aion's physical presence in Atreia. And for a while, the Drakan did as they were told.
But over the years, they began to enjoy the power that their superior strength allowed them over the weak humans. Over time, they began to ignore their duties and abuse the humans they were meant to protect. Aion took notice and created the twelve Empyrean Lords. Angelic in appearance, the Empyrean Lords were demi-gods who walked among humans, and used a force called Aether to create a powerful barrier, an Aetheric-Field, around the Tower of Eternity, protecting all of those within. While the outside world continued to be ravaged by the Drakan, who had taken on a new appearance and the new name, the Balaur; the humans within the barrier managed to tap into the Aether, gaining their own powers. In time, they would become known as the Daevas.
As time went on, the Lords decided that they had to be more aggressive in stopping the Balaur. With the number of Daeva growing in size, the Lords decided to form an army, with ten of the Empyrean Lords leading the Daeva into battle while the remaining two, Siel and Israphel, protected the Tower of Eternity. This conflict between the Balaur and the Empyrean Lords would come to be known as the Millennium War, and lasted many, many years without any real progress being made by any side.
As the war progressed, a faction of Lords began to view the war as stagnant and Lord Israphel proposed a discussion of peace with the Balaur. This surprise proposal drew criticism from within the faction, and after a lengthy and heated debate, was agreed to by 7 of the 12 Lords, leaving the dissidents no choice but to go along. In addition Israphel acquired the support of The Archdaeva, so it was decided.
However, for reasons unclear, the negotiation failed. The Balaur arrived at the Tower of Eternity for the negotiations, but in the confusion, one of the captains was killed, and they marched upon the Tower. They were able to successfully destroy the Tower, which set off a chain reaction that threatened to destroy the very world. However, two of the Lords, Israphel and Siel made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their own lives to protect Atreia. The world was shattered into two pieces with a dark Abyss laying between it, but it still existed.
While the Balaur were banished to the Abyss, the Empyrean Lords found themselves in conflict with each other. Two groups were formed, each with five Lords; the Seraphim, those who had proposed the peace solution and blamed the others for sabotaging the peace negotiations by failing to agree to them, and the Shedim, who blamed the destruction on the Seraphim, believing that their weakness and proposal of surrender allowed the Balaur to gain the upper hand. From that day on, the two sides became bitter enemies.
The Shedim were exiled to Asmodae, the dark and harsh top half of the planet, while the Seraphim Lords settled in Elysea, the light and beautiful bottom half. They both took their armies of Daeva with them, and over time, they adapted to their new world and declared the opposing side as their mortal enemies. Those in Asmodae became the Asmodians, gaining pale skin, glowing red eyes, and claws that allowed them to survive in Asmodae. And those in Elysea became the Elyos, growing even more beautiful and believing themselves to be Aion's chosen people. From that day on, they would wage war for centuries as bloody enemies.
The Truth RevealedEdit
Israphel wanted to destroy the Dragon Lords so he made a trap for them. He gambled the entire plan on an extremely powerful artifact which he found while wandering in the Tower. He teamed up with Beritra by convincing him that they would crush Aion and rule the world with the Balaur. As predicted the Balaur came, however the plan failed because the Archdaeva failed to keep Fregion occupied long enough and Fregion destroyed the Tower of Eternity. Israphel went into hiding but everyone thought he died a heroic death alongside with Lady Siel. While the Hero of Aion paid the ultimate price for the catastrophe and lost his memories, power and body. He/she is only a mere shell of his/her former self.
Although occasionally mentioned, the appearances of the Empyrean Lords have remained a mystery for much of the game's history. Instead they were given symbolical cards to represent their cardinal direction and alignment. The following appearances have been noted:
- Israphel: Full appearance (Aion 3.0)
- Siel: Voice (Aion 3.0); Full appearance (Aion 5.0 Trailer)
- Azphel: Voice, silhouette (Aion 1.0)
- Ariel: Voice (Aion 1.0); Full appearance (official comic)
- Kaisinel/Marchutan: Full appearance (Aion 3.0, 4.0-4.9)
- Nezekan/Triniel: Full appearance (Aion 4.0)
There also is this piece of artwork which was officially commissioned by NCSoft in the early years of the game that reveals the appearances of the Empyrean Lords. Do note however that these appearances were largely intended as concepts: the concepts for Israphel, Nezekan, Triniel, Kaisinel and Marchutan were left pretty much unaltered, but both Ariel's appearance (in the official comic she is based on Lumiel's original design) and Azphel's appearance (in the Abyss cutscene he has long white hair) are completely different from the versions shown below.