At first, it seemed nothing more to him than some sort of grand, well told joke. They were all cut off now it seemed, bereft of Gods, bereft of Powers, isolated, alone, and bereft of hope. Truly, the denizens of Khazan were the outcasts of Creation. They groaned piteously under the weight of their suffering, and he snickered. They cried out for God to deliver them from the yokes of tyranny being placed upon them and in the silence of the non reply, and the curses to the Lord's name that followed, he laughed uproariously. He mock wiped away a single tear, and then put the entire situation behind him, or so he told himself. As time passed, he found his thoughts ever turning to the now ironically insignificant center of the multiverse. To his quiet horror, vicious glee gradually shifted to actual empathy, even pity. They were now numbered among the unwanted bastards of reality after all, abandoned even by God it seemed.. How could he not understand that? In the end, given how far he had originally damned himself for reality's forgotten children, he should not have been suprised at the old feelings that stirred within him towards the latest batch that had been cast in that role. Unable to suppress the feelings, unable to reason them away, and ultimately, unable to deny them, he chose to act. With a resigned yet exasperated sigh, he tore open a portal to Khazan through sheer force of will, stepping through to regard the now common sight there of a bedraggled, homeless and sickly family. He gestured tiredly for them to step into the portal. That his smirking delivery of the line "Today thou shalt be with me in paradise" sounded more self deprecatingly sardonic than reverent seemed only fitting
As groups of refugees slowly began to trickle in to his now rebuilt city, the debates among its more usual residents grew at a fast and furious pace. Some few decried bitterly the arrival of those that Creation had cast them aside in favour of so many eons ago. Most, while equally virulent in their hate of man, still revered him as their saviour and master, and chose not to question his will. A final few welcomed the new arrivals, simply empathetic to their plight. All of course questioned just what had brought this change about in the one they called their leader. It was the last group that came the closest to understanding.. He was will and wrath personified, hate, pain and defiance given physical shape.. But it was love that had ultimately been the cause of that transformation. It was his deep concern for life that had started him down the path to his own ruination. That part of him having made him what he is, never really could die, only become buried and dimmed. He was still wrath, and he was still indomitable will, but the old feelings were awakening, and they gnawed at him. His actions in response seemed to be the only way to assuage them.
A Shell of Glory
Armor Skin: Supreme
Once, it would have been a point of pride to continuously defy the barrier manifesting around Khazan as he tore his way in and out of the place. Now however, it was simply a source of agonizing pain that got in the way of his tasks when he would go there. Worse still, it was a distraction to the ongoing struggle the majority of his being waged on that far off level of reality to simply maintain his existence. No, creating direct manifestations of himself to walk about Khazan was far too time consuming. It would be far more efficient to have his people create a few resilient husks that he could simply have his consciousness projected into.
Kinetic Absorption: Superior
He soon found out that wandering Khazan, finding those he felt worthy enough to take from the place and leading them to a portal to his home was not quite appreciated by all those around him. From heroes unwilling to believe someone with so dire a past could be leading said people to any kind of refuge to city rulers who recalled his attempts to gain dominion over them, attacks on his person became quite common. In another time, he would have sneered at the temerity of those daring to attack him and ripped them screaming from existence. Now though? Now it was far easier to simply endure their attacks until they were spent, freeing up so much more time for his mission. Letting the effort of most attacks spiral onward into his nonexistence would even show unforeseen benefits later on..
Refusal of Time
Energy Absorption: Superior
Those benefits would soon become clear as the attacks continued over time. It did become apparent that those he took away were truly being given a better life, but for those left behind, this only seemed to increase their hatred. Some heroes now saw him as a factor in people simply refusing to fight back or try to improve Khazan, simply hoping deliverance would come. Others grew enraged at the cult-like following that sprang up around him. Still others felt his past crimes made this new benign role of his an offensive perversion. Those dominating the city simply saw him as a major disruption to any kind of orderly control. And so the attacks continued, and grew more creative, varied, and persistent. And, rubbing his migrained temples all the way, he simply continued to endure them. Still, as the cult devoting itself to him grew, he finally hit upon a use for all that power being channeled into the pocket of unreality that he was...
It was admittedly unnerving to him. He had sought their eradication not too long ago, and now here they were, praising his name and seeking salvation at his hands. At times he would manage a quiet chuckle to himself that they turned to him, and not the Creator. Other times he would simply wince tiredly as he saw them become the frequent targets of persecution and massacre. That really wouldn't do and would just get in the way of him being able to shuttle the ones that actually deserved it away. And so, in the Reborn City, a great ritual was enacted at his command...
The Cult of Zalrafel
They felt it now, all throughout Khazan. The heroes so very tired of a seemingly bitter and endless fight. The people watching themselves and their families live and die in pointless agony. All those that sought refuge, and cried out his name in hope. They were all connected to him, and could feel his spirit within them, giving them the strength to endure, to push past the obstacles to their flight, and to bring their fellows along. At times their basic qualities simply becoming more magnified, at times manifesting far more fantastical powers. All they knew for certain was that he walked among them, and as he did, he gave them the power to at last find a peace away from the hell that stretched out before them. All praise and glory unto Zalrafel, the light and the salvation.
Gone, gone o shackles of man
Iron Will: Ultimate
He rested for a time against an alley wall, laying a hand to his forehead, yawning softly and ignoring the debris around him that resulted from the latest attempt to "dissuade" him. He almost didn't notice the soft flutter of wings and the palpable aura of burning righteousness that accompanied them. He smiled bitterly, without even bothering to look up to the angel. "Oh, hello Casor.. don't I usually merit Gabriel for these little chats?" "your perverse arrogance is boundless Abomination.." "I do try... is this a social call?" "I bring forth the Word on you creature, and the Word is-" "yahtzee?" "Damn you! the Word is Desist! Their fate is ordained by the One above all! you have no right to intervene!" "Hm. Well. shouldn't He be stopping me directly then? Or at least you might give it the old college try.. oh.. wait, you have been throughout this entire conversation haven't you? Impotence for a being without genitalia to begin with must be a special feeling" With that Zalrafel simply strolled out of the alley, whistling a jaunty tune as the angel remained behind him, gesturing futilely, his brow furrowed and slick with sweat at effort after pointless effort.
Energy Body: Supreme
The people were having a rally in his name one day as they sometimes did, screaming adulation for him unto the heavens. Catching notice of it as he proceeded home with another handful of refugees, he let out a slight frustrated grunt, walking over in the hopes of explaining to them how totally unecessary this was, and that he would get to all those who were worthy in due time. It was then of course that the host of angels chose to attack. Linked and strengthened from him as his followers were, they were proving a suprising, and from the host's perspective, horrifying match for the angels as both groups tore at each other in zealous rage. Many of his would be worshippers did still die of course, his name the last word uttered from their blood spattered lips. He cried out in anguished rage, and all he could see before him were echoes of the past, his beautiful city in flames, the angelic host butchering the older races he had gathered there. So lost was Zalrafel in the nightmares of the past that he barely noticed the lone, bloodied angel that had hacked her way through the crowd towards him. He was further oblivious to the pained shriek she uttered after attempting to wrestle him to the floor, as she pulled back and clutched at hands now blurry, deformed and indistinct. By the time the crowd surged forward to pull her under in a spray of gore and blood spattered feathers, he had cohered enough to manage a grimly satisfied smile, the floor underneath him already eroding from the anger and pain coursing through him.