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In the Classic World of Darkness' game line Hunter: the Reckoning the player characters are usually visited by some angelic looking beings. Or they get messages from them or otherwise communicate. At any rate, it's assumed that angels are sending them out to seek out and stop the evil and unnatural. But it's always been a bit vague with both the beings and the mission.

In the game line Demon: the Fallen, the titular demons are (also titular) fallen angels who escaped their imprisonment recently and just now being back and exploring our world. From their point of view, things have changed - not only with the passage of time, but there is a very distinct lack of God or the other of God's agents and former brethren and later opponents - the angels.

So, that puts the two game lines a bit at odds - one claims angels exist, others that they are very definitely not around any more. These two game lines do have angels as a core concept - other game lines tend to take different stances on this and it varies on the individual and the cosmology view, so it's not at all clear cut if there even are "angels" and whether angels are actual angels or something that looks like ones. So, I won't get into those.

My question is - has the Hunter: the Reckoning angelic beings ever been more or less definitively explained? Perhaps by in official sources but not in official books - e.g., blog post, interview, etc. Or have they always been left vague?

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This is neither confirmed nor denied in the fluff. In Time of Judgment, they are not tied to any specific creature type. Per WW usual policy, they tend to leave such things up to the GM.

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One belief extant in the World of Darkness community is that the Heralds are the August Personage of Jade (from Kindred of the East) or perhaps their ministers.

The central evidence for this belief is that the same story is told in both books. Hunter: The Reckoning Storytellers Companion (in a section called The Great Cycle, pg.7-8) describes the origins of Hunters. In ages past, the gods weren't paying attention to earth and evil supernatural creatures emerged. The gods choose certain humans and imbued them with special powers to combat these creatures and lead humanity. These special humans later grew complacent and eventually evil themselves. Modern Hunters are new agents of heaven tasked with helping humanity through the coming apocalypse and into the new age.

This is the same story printed in Kindred of the East (in a section called the Coming of the Wan Xian, but continuing through Karmic Punishment, pg. 44-45). In this version, the "gods" are really the August Personage of Jade, who selected special humans and imbued them with the ability to use chi. They were tasked with destroying demons from the earth and to be responsible for humans in general. The Wan Xian eventually became complacent and corrupt, becoming evil beings themselves. There is no mention of the Hunters of the modern age.

There are many similar circumstantial links. For example, in Time of Judgment one of the potential endings for Kindred of the East involves Heaven waging a final war on vampires and the walking dead. A call-out box indicates that this would be an acceptable end to a Hunter game also. A second example is the story in chapter 6 The Walking Dead, in which a kuei-jin and hunter meet each other and seem to implicitly recognize their common linkage.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ My knowledge of the Kuei-jin has always been low. For some reason I could never get into them, so I have read pretty much none of their sourcebooks. Most of my knowledge comes about them from other gamelines. So, I really appreciate making this connection - I don't think I would have made it otherwise. \$\endgroup\$ – VLAZ Jul 9 '20 at 6:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VLAZ Thanks! Hunter has many references to some "past age" with heroes similar to Hunters. I learned of this connection while trying to figure out what the heck they were referring to. \$\endgroup\$ – indigochild Jul 9 '20 at 6:31
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It is hard to prove a negative, but to the best of my knowledge the answer is it was left vague at all times. I have played both of those game lines and I don't recall anything that explicitly discussed possible connections between those lines.

This is not at all surprising since Classic World of Darkness was always very comfortable leaving a lot of things vague, especially when it came to interactions between the game lines. Even within an individual line, there was often much that was left deliberately vague about what was really true and what was merely believed by some faction within the line. (Looking at Mage in particular, the question of what "True" even meant could readily be raised...)

To the best of my knowledge, there is little information in hunter on what the angelic beings referenced in Hunter actually are, much less whether they are the same angels that are referenced in Demon: The Fallen.

Incidentally, while I don't have the book handy this second I also have to question your interpretation in Demon: The Fallen that "the very distinct lack of God or the other of God's agents" was a core concept of the game. As I recall, the gameline was clear that God was not intervening flagrantly and constantly and angels did not abound, but that is a far weaker statement. The book seemed to leave divine intervention and angelic appearance as an open possibility in my mind. I even vaguely recall one of the all too few supplements included information and creating stats for angels if the storyteller required and they were supposed to be very impressive compared to the Fallen.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "As I recall, the gameline was clear that God was not intervening flagrantly and constantly and angels did not abound" I similarly have to find the books to get the exact quotes but there was a lot of fluff on how the newly escaped Fallen found no God and no angels around. Not as "they don't interfere" but literally "they don't seem to be around". They didn't feel them which they found extremely odd. One remarked on how there were no death angels to guide the souls to the afterlife like the olden times - everything died and it was just chaos afterwards, no order or comfort for the dead. \$\endgroup\$ – VLAZ Jan 25 '19 at 6:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Furthermore, on the metaphysical side - reality had collapsed into a single layer according to the Fallen. According to their account, back in their day reality was in multiple layers and they operated in all. So, when they were creating the earth, spreading the breath of life around and similar in one layer, the same action was thousands of years of evolution and progress in another layer. This was an attempt of reconciling all gamelines and alternative history interpretations by groups - apparently they all happened to some extent even if they were mutually exclusive. \$\endgroup\$ – VLAZ Jan 25 '19 at 6:10

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