From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Many have often wondered if there were only two sides to the war in Heaven between God's loyal angels and Lucifer's followers. It is speculated there is at least a third side, a group of angels who refused to follow God's orders and didn't rebel alongside Lucifer. Angels who remained completely neutral in the war, despite what their motivations might have been. Once the war was over, most or all of these angels would have been banished from Heaven for their disobedience. Would they have been allowed into Hell for not siding with Lucifer?
Certainly some of those fallen could have struck bargains to gain the safety of Hell, a place to anchor their essence and return to should their physical forms be destroyed. Still others managed to redeem themselves and rejoin the Heavenly Host. More remained on Earth, forced to live among the mortals and in very real danger of facing Oblivion at the hands of former siblings holy and unholy.
A specific group of these fallen angels on Earth learned to use their power to blend in with the native species of the mortal plane, and others that immigrated to it. Over the years they perfected their skills and turned it into an artform. Though not inherently evil, they slowly changed into creatures of shadow that thrived in the unseen places and assimilated to other cultures seamlessly. They called themselves Sable demons.
The First Sables
The first generation of fallen angels that began calling themselves Sable demons are nothing like their distant descendants. Physically they still resemble how they originally manifested on the mortal plane; halo, wings, robes and auras of light (though sans holy aspect). There were initially a few hundred of them, though they have been hunted by both angelic and demonic foes into fewer than one hundred. Though they were first to call themselves Sables, their descendants call them "Lustre Sables," oxymoronic as it may be. The scant survivors have long since gone missing, and only appear every so often to protect their offspring from dire, genocidal threats.
Every family has one. In the case of the Sables, one in particular went so far outside the norm that the Lustres saw fit to act. In the Middle Ages a youngling Sable sought to increase his power, and discovered the failsafe the Lustres had ingrained in their offspring: That for every one Sable that dies, its power is distributed evenly among those who remain. He invented a ritual to funnel all of his victim's power into himself instead of letting it distribute to others, and began ruthlessly hunting down his kin. Considering he knew all the tricks to being a Sable himself, tracking his cousins down was easier for him than it would be for an outsider. This went on for years, and scores fell before the deranged Sable.
When he was caught by the Lustres, they decided that death wasn't appropriate for him. He committed an atrocity against his kin for power, and for that he was transformed into the very power the Sables call on. His consciousness was bound to the shadows Sables create when no others suffice. While the Lustres rarely impose their will on the younger generations, they put their foot down on this issue. It was forbidden to speak his proper name and he was only to be referred to as Proditor, and his magics were never to be taught to others. His ambitions ended, nearly forgotten, and to this day no other Sables have attempted to follow in his footsteps.
Technically, Sable demons have no real form of government and answer to no one they do not choose to. Occasionally they have a small gathering or two to discuss issues the species as a whole faces. No one particular Sable calls this to order, though, and instead it comes about from a kind of "Twilight Bark" chain. One Sable talks to another, and they each talk to two more, and pretty soon they have a decently sized meeting to get down to business if enough care to hear it.
This can prove surprisingly hard to accomplish as they also don't have a set method of getting in contact with one another. Usually handful of Sables who know each other well enough to predict habits just search each other out, and pray for incestuous social circles. In short, their "community" is horribly complex and inefficient, but useful to cover their tracks if they're being hunted.
Still, it's not uncommon for Sables to invent easier methods to communicate with one another, or rely on modern technology as the younger Sables tend to do.
Surprisingly, Sable demons are big on family despite how loosely they're organized. Nearly any Sable demon will address another, even a complete stranger, as "cousin" at the least. Not a single Sable will ever be intentionally rude or hostile to another, and older Sables often take on a guardianlike role to the younger generations.
Sables never rear their own young. They find it too risky a task if they are hunted, and therefore have, through careful planning and magical manipulations, made sure that their offspring remain as a blank slate when initially born. They have no solid form and usually appear as a mass of shadow within carefully folded cloth; that's if there's an opening to see this through. Once a Sable is born, the parent(s) find a suitable surrogate family and leave the child on that family's doorstep. The youngling imprints on whoever picks it up first and takes on an appropriate physical form to match the new parent. For example, if a youngling Sable was picked up by a human woman, it would turn into a human female baby. If picked up by a male human, it'd turn into a male baby.
The parent(s) may or may not stay close to the infant they abandoned depending on the circumstances. Sometimes Sable children have been abandoned for centuries before another informs them of what they are.
Because of the natural shapeshifting abilities Sables exhibit, reproducing isn't a problem for them. They can switch between sexes like people switch outfits, and can carry or impregnate as they please. Or, if they don't feel like normal sexual reproduction, they can do so asexually. Many of the older Sables prefer the latter method as they haven't cultivated the emotional attachments to mortal practices many of the younger generations have.
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