Raveners

The Age of Wrath was long and hard. A lot of good people and valiant Elohim suffered and died. Illusions were lost. Honor gave way to pragmatism, which in turn sank beneath the weight of vengeance and angel and simple despair. Men discovered evil, and angels learned to embrace hatred. By the end of the war, many among the fallen had become little more than living engines of destruction, their joy in creation perverted into a love only of annihilation.

They were crazed, vicious and debased before the war was lost. Before they were stripped of the greater part of their power. Before they were condemned to a maddening Hell of isolation and loss for a term that felt like forever even to eternal beings.

Now, those bitter and wrathful Elohim have emerged from ages spent with no distraction save the pain of their own sanity eating itself… and they find a world as loathsome and corrupted as they themselves have been. Beholding a fouled planet, a debased and cruel humanity and a cosmos shrunk into a withered husk of its onetime glory, they see only one meaningful act.

Destroy.

Destroy Everything.

Wipe away this cruel mockery of the Paradise they once designed. Give humanity the merciful silence of the grave. Destroy the works of God at an and all times, hoping perhaps to provoke Him into finally annihilating them.

Victory is impossible for the fallen, but they may yet be strong enough to wreck the prize — the world — even as it is wrested from their grasping claws.

Rivals

As the most radical faction, the Raveners have the most enemies.

They hate the Luciferians for being willfully mislead. If Lucifer engineered the Great Escape, just where is he? It's nauseating to watch being who were once the lords of Creation scuttling around looking for a new bearded patriarch to lead them to glory, smite the wicked and tuck them into bed at night. They might as well wait for Godot as their precious Morningstar.

Perhaps the only spectacle more repulsive than Elohim acting like children is Elohim acting like parents. The Faustians have gone from serving God, to opposing God, to being brutalized by God… to thinking they can replace God? The Raveners find this train of reasoning laughable, especially since the Faustians think they're the crazy ones.

While the Faustians and Luciferians are insane to think they can still make any kind of serious assault against God, they at least understand that there's a war going on and that it didn't stop just because one side was beaten into submission for a million year. The Reconcilers are, perhaps, the winnders of the hotly contested "Most Despised by Ravener" label simply because they are the most optimistic.

About the only faction the Raveners even tolerate is the Cryptics, simply because they don't (yet) stand for much. Raveners figure they'll eventually get fed up with asking "Why?" and start smashing stuff. It's the only natural course for a realist.

Houses

The ravening Devourer is a stereotype for good reason. Devourers are perhaps the least inclined toward deliberate reflection, and Raveners are the faction of action. Unlike every other group, the Raveners hold out no hope for eventual victory, so why bother with plans for a hundred ears from now or ten or even one? Living hard and dying harder are honorable goals to the virile Devourers.

The subtler Raveners are the Defilers who became soured on beauty by war and exile. Now dedicated to taking an ugly world and making it uglier, they ar the oft-unseen velvet glove moving in the shadow of an Devourer's iron fist. A ravening Devourer who finds you will probably just kill you. A ravening Defiler is more likely to craft you into someone who destroys himself — after undermining or outright wrecking everything you once valued.

Arrayed against the Raveners are the majority of Malefactors. Perhaps their attunement to the Earth's depths makes the surface decay less offensive to them. Perhaps staid and careful natures used to working on geological time are uncomfortable with the faction's perceived spontaneity. Or perhaps they cannot repress their ultimately creative natures enough to pledge allegiance to destruction.

Leadership

Sauriel the Releaser commands the respect and obedience of his fellow Raveners. One of the few Slayers to pursue the Ravener philosophy, he is on of the few who can pursue vengeance and cruelty even beyond the grave. Once on of Lucifer's Archdukes, he leads by threat and intimidation more than persuasion.

His opposite number is Suphlatus. She used to be the Giver of Flowing Waters, but now is the Duchess of Dust. She believes (and loudly proclaims) that the fall of the rebellion was due to treachery from within — specifically, treachery by the one rebel who was conspicuously absent from the Abyss. "One who betrayed once would betray again," she declares, and she now sets herself the task of undermining the best efforts of men, angels and demons alike. The hatred between her and Nazathor is so potent that just to step between them is to be scalded by wrath.

Goals

While Raveners have a reputation for mindless carnage, they are actually fairly careful to choose targets that can be isolated and assaulted without reprisal. Raveners are particularly active in war-torn regions where their viciousness can easily be blamed on either side (or, ideally, blamed on each by the other). To perform these missions, however, requires a safe base to which they can return. Ravener bases are currently under construction in northern Iraq, Macedonia, the mountains of Mexico and in Kashmir. More raveners are being sent to western Africa, the Andes mountains in South America, and the areas between the Aral and Caspian seas. Raveners operate in North America, but in smaller numbers and with more subtlety than elsewhere.