Nephilim is a term used to describe anyone born from an angelic bloodline (within four or less generations of an actual angelic) who does not manifest angelic tendencies, and for all intents and purposes appears to be a mortal.

All Nephil have the ability to preform a ritual called Awakening the Blood, which releases the dormant power of their blood. However, their souls are not brilliant and cannot stand up to the wear and tear of magical abuse, so when a Nephil awakens his blood he effectively cuts his lifeline, and by association his actual lifespan in half.

After four generations the blood is too weak to be awakened, unless particular precautions have been taken to preserve the potency of the blood. See the Registry for further details.

The only way a Nephil can ascend to his or her birthright and become an angelic is by Becoming. In Nephilim mythology this refers to the assumption of an intended role, but in actuality it is nothing short that devouring the soul of an angelic and absoring their brilliant soul, sphere, and to some degree, their identity.

Any Nephil who has Become in this fashion is venerated by all nephil, with the possible exception of the Honored Council of Seawalkers who rarely venerate anyone other than themselves. If a Nephil absorbs an angelic soul, he becomes one of the Risen Nephilim to his bretheren. If he absorbs the soul remnants of a fallen angel he becomes one of the Deep Nephilim. In either case he is highly respected, and having absorbed an angelic soul is now free of the death sentence that has been levied on him by both the Irin and the Qaddisin.

After a Nephil has awakened his blood he becomes able to use small powered sorcery and ritual magic. These can be small innate gifts, but are usually more along the lines of simple magical effects. Even a powerful Nephil will fully awakened blood is no match for even the weakest of angels in straight up magical combat, so most Nephil who do manage to Become do so by guile, or by preying upon small children (which many factions among the Nephilim find cowardly and disgraceful).

The nephilim organize themselves into clans based upon their original angelic progenitor. In the case where they had two angelic progenitors at the same generational level, then the claim of the mother stands, otherwise, the more immediate bloodline is the one considered. Besides bloodline, nephilim also organize themselves into groups based on location, as some nephil do not have strong enough claims to any particular bloodline to claim membership in a particular clan, and some simply choose not to declare allegiance, although the protection and guidance of a clan can be very helpful, and some nephil would not dream of attempting to exist outside their clan.

The largest of the clans of the Nephilim is without doubt the Clan of Raziel. While there are other powerful clans of nephilim, there is no clan that matches the sheer numbers of Clan Raziel.

Nephilim Cosmology

Nephilim see themselves as inheritors of great destiny, granted to them by the virtue of their birth and their ability to trace their lineage directly to an angel, a corporeal manifestation of a being from heaven, paradise; a messenger of God.

They feel they have been chosen from among humanity to rule over it, to assume their role as an angel themselves through the ephiphany of Becoming, which translates them to a higher form of existence. It is the nephilim idea that when they take an angelics soul, that angel is not destroyed in essence. Only their corporeal form is destroyed, consumed by the creation of a new angel, and that angel then goes back to heaven to enflesh itself again and return as a new and different being, one higher than the original angel. This is how many nephilim assume angels of different choirs are "created." They are all steps in a chain to ultimate transcendance.

Of course, not all nephilim have a complete understanding of their own cosmology, let alone any idea of the true nature of the angelic beings the both revere and brutally hunt and murder. The actual truth of the matter is that when a nephil Becomes, an angel is fundamentally and totally destroyed, because the nephil has taken their identity, taken their name, being, and essence, and but it on like a coat, like an animal skin, like a halloween costume. But this costume can never be taken off. It adheres to the skin. It adheres to the soul. It devours the soul of the nephil, most often. The nephil is warped. The nephil is changed. A new strange thing that is in no way a nephil is born. These things by practices the nephil call the Deep Nephilim and the Risen Nephilim, but they are not nephilim, and the only home they have in creation, the only place for them is the one they have stolen from someone else.

Nephilim Culture

Nephilim are so diverse and come from so many different groups it is difficult to slap any kind of general identifiers on "nephilim culture." They are loosely organized at best into a series of Clans based on bloodline and geographical location. They are obstensibly ruled over by the Honored Council of Seawalkers whom some revere and some distrust, but who often ignore the common goings on in the world of nephilim unless it directly effects them or one of their interests.

As a whole the Clans are very quarrelsome with one another and do not often cooperate, although Clans themselves are very protective of their members. Most clans have a unique and fairly rigid hierarchy within them, although leaders change very regularly due to the shortened lifespan of the nephil whose blood has been awakened.

Power in the clan is often dependent on personal power, either magical or otherwise, which is often connected with the potency of the blood, the closeness of a Nephil to his angelic heritage. As a general rule, the higher percentage of angelic blood the nephil has, the more power the nephil has in his or her clan.

Some nephil who have potent blood come from bloodlines who do not frequently produce nephil. These Nephil have no clans of their own, but the charismatic and the powerful often draw their own followers and devotees.

Aside from the potency of the nephil's blood, the power of the blood also plays a large part in a nephil's accepted place in nephilim society. The nature of the angelic from which the nephil is descended determines the strength of his blood, it's potential. The broadness of the sphere, the choir of the angel, the brilliance of the soul are all factors contributing to the power of a nephil's blood. Power and potency in combination produces the shaping figures of the every changing nephilim political and social scene, as it is these figures that are most likely to Become, or die brilliantly in the attempt.

Generally, nephilim can be divided into two distinct groups, outside of clan affiliation and potency and power of blood. There are those that come from old Nephilim bloodlines that have been hoarding their blood for generations, and there are new Nephilim, recently produced from angelics within four generations, newly self-aware or informed of their natures, who have either by study or blind chance blundered into the occult world of the Nephilim.

Old families often lead very eccentric lives, cloistered from mortal society and entirely enmeshed in the world of the supernatural, while other old families have subdivided themselves even further, a branch of the family left to tend to mortal dealings and mortal wealth and power while another desperately pursues its chase for immortality, birthright, transformation. As a whole it is from the old families that the strangest of the nephilim come. Due to constant intermarrying genetic anamolies are common, both physically and mentally. Many nephilim from old families are strange and disconnected and entirely unable to function in the world of mortal men although they may be powerful forces among the nephilim. Although they commonly have genetic defects, this does not alter either the potency or the power of their blood, and there are many unstable and degenerate nephilim who are nevertheless among the top echelon of the old families, and thus many of the clans, at any given time.

Newly self-aware nephilim tend to live much more mortal lives. They hold jobs. They go to schools. There is a major portion of their life which is not consumed by the occult, although they are all familiar with it. Most of them enjoy technology to a great degree. They are often without much temporal power in the world of mortals, except by pure chance. They live the life of nomads often, traveling from city to city and country to country in a desperate chase for knowledge, in a desperate attempt to Become.

In the end, nephilim from both sides have their own advantages on the road to becoming. Those from old families have hoarded wisdom and hoarded blood to go along with their strange genetic anamolies. They have the the structure and backing of their family on top of that of their Clan. They have the support of others of their kind.

The new nephilim have cunning and savvy, drive -- which some more decadent among the old families call the mongrel drive. They can function in mortal society, move around in it unhindered. Their lack of support group forces them to be more self-reliant, forces them to quest themselves, to push forward and search.

In the end, being a nephil is very difficult and requires either a blind dogmatic and unquestioning faith in the pseudoreligion of the nephilim or a moral barbarism, a sacrifice of the other before the self, an acceptance of brutality, murder, taboo, and forbidden things. After awakening his blood, a nephil's hand is forced. They cannot choose to sit quietly and do nothing because that choice means death, either from the nephil's own shortened lifespan or from the hunting by the Irin or Qaddisin, and a choice of self-death is not one that many are brave enough to make. Many nephil on the path to Becoming are not sure of what they are doing, even as they run towards it full speed. Perhaps many nephil continue along the path toward becoming simply because they know that they will most likely die in the attempt, and this is the simplest solution for them: to go forward toward death, rather than simply waiting for it.

In any case, very few nephil ever survive to Become either Risen or Deep, and in the end this is perhaps for the best.