Entrances to Faerie tend to be hidden, rather than guarded, and tend to be permanently located in a single place. (The fey may close an entrance and open a new one when the original entrance has become dangerous or unworkable, or in the rare case when wars break out between fey courts and entrances must be closed or guarded.) Faerie entrances are normally found in natural surroundings rather than in man-made areas, and they are often given away by some aspect of their natural appearance that is “wrong” or “off”—a tree in an impossibly specific shape, a reflection in water that does not match the world above the reflection, an apparently empty cave from which faint music can be heard if all else is quiet.
For the most part it is wise for Shadowhunters to avoid Faerie. Though it is described as a realm and one can travel in it like in a country, it does not tolerate being surveyed and does not have a consistent layout. Seasons can change in the blink of an eye, mountains and caverns can appear where minutes before no such things were visible, and its rivers change their courses at the whim of some unknown force. No map of Faerie has ever been produced. Do not wander there; you are likely to join the untold throng of humans who have crossed the borders into the feylands and never returned.
What a surprise, that we are all mixed up with faerie stuff that we should absolutely positively avoid. Have we as a group ever met a warning we didn’t ignore?
Speak for yourself, Fangs.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND THINGS TO TRY
1. What is your favorite Downworlder? Why?
Warlocks, because they are fabulous!
Offended. Also, many warlocks not fabulous. Only the one we know.
Vampires, because they keep bothering me. This question is stupid.
2. Do you have any prejudices about any Downworlders that might affect your ability to work with them? If so, it is important to recognize these biases and discuss them with the head of your Institute before you begin active service.
Vampires keep bothering me, a werewolf gives me my curfew, a warlock hid my memories from me, and faeries are just constantly messing with me.
The part where you’ve learned that Downworlders are a pain in the neck is accurate.
Honestly, the stuff Downworlders have done is nothing compared to what Shadowhunters have done to me, so . . .
3. Have you been tested to see if you possess inherited faerie or werewolf blood? It may affect your ability to take on certain Marks. Symptoms to look for include naturally occurring Sight and frequent cravings for red meat, respectively.
Um, no, actually. I haven’t.
I think you’re pretty safe. Both of your parents were full Shadowhunters, and one of them was obsessed with blood purity.
I bet Valentine had a werewolf grandmother or something. That’s usually how that kind of thing turns out.
I just wrote a thing, but it was not appropriate for a textbook so I erased it.
A room. You two. Get one.
OUR MYSTERIOUS PATRONS
No “If You Meet an Angel” section, Codex? You are not helpful to me at all.
About angels little is known, much is conjectured, and few who might speak knowledgeably live to do so. Of all the supernatural creatures discussed herein, we know the least about angels. They are the great absent generals of our army, having left us a thousand years ago with their heavenly endorsement, basic marching orders, and enough magic to fight for ourselves. Much has been done in their name, both good and evil, even though the number of confirmed manifestations of angels in our world in the entire history of the Nephilim can be counted on one hand.
And yet their blood runs in the veins of every Nephilim, your-self included, flowing into our bodies through the transformative properties of the Mortal Cup. Angels may be absent patrons, but our patrons and spiritual parents they are, and we recognize them with our prayers, our invocations, and in the names of our most holy weapons.
In truth no one knows why angels are so distant from the events of our world. The first great heretical question of Nephilim history is one that has probably already occurred to you: If Raziel and his angels were so determined to wipe the demonic menace from our world, why not do it themselves? Like so many other questions about the nature and purpose of angels, this one remains unanswerable, and angels remain an ineffable foundation upon which our lives and our mission are built.
Writings about angel sightings through history are notoriously unreliable. The general consensus is that angels are shaped like humans, but are much larger, winged, and glowing with heavenly fire—but many authors have suggested that when angels do manifest in our world, they take whatever shape witnesses will recognize as angelic. Today the Clave is dubious of claims about angel appearances and mostly declines to investigate them. This attitude has been firmly in place ever since an embarrassing episode in 1832 during which a Prussian farmer and Shadowhunter, Johannes von Mainz, called the entire Clave to his farm to witness the “angel” he had summoned to his cow barn. Awe quickly turned to chagrin when some of the neighbors recognized the “angel” as Johannes’s son Hans, covered in gold leaf and bellowing pronouncements in a vulgar mix of Latin, German, and what appears to have been a nonsense language of Hans’s own invention. The angel’s wings turned out to be a mix of goose, duck, and chicken feathers haphazardly pasted to a wooden frame. Johannes retreated to his farm in humiliation, and Hans was no longer able to so much as go into town without receiving catcalls and being pelted with feathers. Since then most Shadowhunters have been very cautious in either making or checking claims of angel appearances. Oh, Johannes, what will we do with you?
THE ANGEL RAZIEL
Teacher? I did an independent study, does that count?
Yes. You may skip this section. Enjoy your newfound sixty seconds.
The Angel Raziel holds, of course, a special role as the patron of the Shadowhunters and the creator of the Nephilim. His role in that creation is discussed thoroughly elsewhere in this volume; here we address what is known about Raziel himself.
Raziel is believed to be of the rank of archangel, within the heavenly chorus. In Jewish mystical traditions he is often called the Keeper of Secrets and the Angel of Mysteries. Interestingly, Jewish mysticism includes what appears to be a distorted version of the Gray Book, known as the Book of Raziel and containing a strange amalgam of kabbalistic teachings, angelology, glosses on the Jewish creation stories, and corrupted forms of demonic incantation. The book also contains a large number of runes, most of them totally invented but some of them corruptions of true Marks (but without any instruction on how they might be used or what their purpose might be). Extant copies of this text exist in both Hebrew and Latin today but only as historical curiosities. The movement during the mundane Renaissance in Europe against magic of all kinds labeled the book a dangerous work of dark magic, and its use was suppressed by mundane religious authorities, to the benefit of the Nephilim.
It is difficult to make any clear statements on Raziel’s earthly appearance; we can go only from the earliest art and text describing and depicting the birth of the Nephilim. From that, we can put together, as it were, a composite sketch. We can say that the Angel is consistently depicted as many times the size of a man, as having long hair of silver and gold, as being covered in golden Marks not found in the Gray Book, and as a being whose appearances “fled from the mind and memory as quickly as they were seen.” Many depictions show him with large golden wings, each feather of which contains a single golden eye.
Unfortunately, when speaking of the first meeting of the Angel Raziel and Jonathan Shadowhunter, an act of great symbolic as well as actual significance, it is difficult to divide what is intended as factual description from what is meant as allegory. Since history has not preserved a record of this first meeting—as told by Jonathan himself or even by anyone who personally knew Jonathan—all depictions of Raziel must be assumed to have some kernel of truth but also some kernel of interpretive fiction.
What is generally accepted is that Raziel is (a) huge, (b) terrifying, and (c) displeased to be dragged into human affairs, preferring for us to use the tools granted us to solve our own problems. There are many (possibly apocryphal) stories through Nephilim history of unfortunate Shadowhunters attempting to summon Raziel, only to be quickly smote and reduced to ash for wasting the Great Angel’s time. The Mortal Instruments are meant to summon Raziel and provide protection so that the summoner will not, in fact, suffer a swift death. Unfortunately, Raziel is unlikely to look kindly upon those who summon him in response to a problem that is not global and truly epic. In addition, the question is merely theoretical, since the Mortal Mirror is lost to the Shadowhunters and has been for hundreds of years.
Seems obvious once you know the secret, huh?
It’s a little embarrassing now, I won’t lie.
OTHER ANGELS KNOWN TO THE SHADOWHUNTERS
It is a common question among young Nephilim: If angels never appear in our world, and cannot and should not be summoned here, why must we learn and memorize the names of so many of them? Shadowhunters must know the names of the angels, first because we are of their blood and so we learn their names out of respect. Also, of course, we name our seraph blades after them, and it’s believed that the seraph blades are infused not just with the generic heavenly fire of adamas but with some of the spirit of the named angel. This is why you will rarely find seraph blades named after the most famous and powerful of angels out of worry that such angelic power might overwhelm and destroy the wielder of such a weapon.
Hereafter follows a basic lexicon of angels known to the Shadowhunters, to be used to name seraph blades. More thorough information on each angel can be found in the official angel handbook, Be Not Afraid, 1973, Alicante.
A handy tip: When angels say “be not afraid,” you should be afraid.
Also, as I said earlier, we have to memorize angel names because Jonathan Shadowhunter wanted us to have to memorize angel names.
They sure like to end angel names in “el.”
Means “of God” in Hebrew, Clariel.
You two are just adorable.
Another handy tip: Do not name a seraph blade “Raziel.” Legend says he doesn’t like it.
What would happen?
Just . . . don’t do it. Nothing good.
DO NOT SUMMON ANGELS
Wait, I’m confused. So I . . . should summon angels? Is that right?
One of the lessons learned most quickly by Shadowhunters is that life is deeply unfair. Most unfair is the truth that while our vocation and mission are given to us by Raziel, we have essentially no direct access to angels or their powers [which we the editors hesitate to refer to as magic; the faculties of angels are rather beyond the ken of even the most powerful warlock, for example]. As a young Shadowhunter you may have considered that the best weapon against the demon threat might be an equal opposing angel threat, and you have thought in your idle moments of summoning an angel yourself. Perhaps you have even sought tales or grimoires on angel summoning in your Institute library.
The Shadowhunter art is an ever evolving one, and yesterday’s forbidden methods are tomorrow’s accepted norms. However, there is a rule that remains globally true:
You should not attempt to summon an angel to your aid.
There are several major reasons for this. The first, and least interesting, is that it is most likely a waste of your time. Angels do not respond to summonings in the same way that demons do. For one thing, they cannot maintain a corporeal form in our dimension for long, any more than other non-demon creatures can in a dimension not their own. And the summoning rituals that claim to bring angels to us are obscure, difficult, and unreliable; they have been accomplished so rarely that we don’t have much evidence for what does and does not work. The risk of disaster, injury, or death from a misunderstood or misapplied summoning ritual is very high.
The second reason not to attempt an angel summoning is that there is no way to oblige an angel to cooperate with your needs. An angel cannot be bound in the way that a demon is bound, except by the application of forbidden and blasphemous rituals, the performance of which are among the worst violations of Law that a Shadowhunter could commit.
Finally, even if a summoning is successful, you and any companions you persuade to assist you will die, and die quickly. Unlike demons, angels do not want to be on our plane of reality. They do not like manifesting here, they do not like helping humans, and they are not known for their mercy. They are on the whole deeply indifferent to the travails of the mortal realm. They are not merely messengers but soldiers: Michael is said to have routed armies. They are not patient or tolerant of human vicissitudes. You must put out of your head images of nak*d winged babies draping someone in robes. Angels are great and terrible. They are our allies, yes, but make no mistake: They are utterly alien and inhuman. They are, in fact, far more inhuman than the most monstrous demon you will encounter. Angel blood we may carry in our veins, yes, but pure heavenly fire will burn and consume us, as surely as demonic poison will.
Angels are our mystical source of power, and the origin of whatever righteousness we possess. They are not, however, our friends.
Yes, yes, ha ha, it’s all very funny, this is actually important advice here.