"Listen to the angels scream.
Round your body cages rost.
So warm the venom in your veins,
You are there?
Are you ready to dream, my sweet boy?
Are you ready to dream, my sweet child?
Come with me and taste your flesh, boy.
Are you ready to sleep?
Do you wanna have a dream or two?
"[ Lullaby - Leandra ]
Duke Sandalphon is the current Second-in-Command of Cherubim under Great Angel Gabriel’s leadership. His position is rather ambiguous and definitely unique, as he’s neither a Fallen Angel like the Courtiers of Hell, nor is an undercover agent like Prince Absinthion
, but has nevertheless a place saved in the Court as a Duke. This is because, due to his nature and story, he sympathizes for Hell and, among the Great Angels, is the farthest from the Grace of God, almost on the verge of his Fall.
Duke Sandalphon was created at the time of the Great Heavenly War along with his twin brother, Great Angel Metatron, the current Chief of Seraphim, as the key to the Tree of Life, God’s new system of power made aptly to prevent further seditions in Heaven or massive attacks from Hell: he divided the immense power of Heaven into ten Sephiroth and sealed them in the eight most powerful Angels who took his side during the Great Heavenly War, plus the two newborn twins, in order to prevent it from being accessible by anyone but himself and his most trusted Angels. Within Duke Sandalphon is sealed Malkuth, the lowest Sephira. Malkuth, the Kingdom, represents the foundation of Heaven’s powers and the basis of the ties that keep the whole Tree of Life together, without whom it would collapse. Moreover, it acts as a shield absorbing the unholy spiritual energy of Hell and the Sublunar World and preventing it from corrupting the lowest Skies.
Despite the key-role of Malkuth and, thus, Duke Sandalphon in maintaining Heaven’s order, the implication of carrying the lowest Sephira within are rather disastrous in practical terms. For instance, differently from the other Great Angels, who can draw from their Sephiroth’s powers to boost their own, Duke Sandalphon has to sustain Malkuth in order for the Tree of Life to function; thus, despite having huge powers, he can access only a part of them and is subsequently assigned to relatively low-grade duties, often regarding the Sublunar World. Among other things, he’s the one in charge of collecting Mankind’s prayers into light orbs and pass them on to the higher Angels, and is often sent off to the Sublunar World to inhabit Mortals’ bodies or to be summoned by them if needed, in a totally similar way to Demonic possession or invocation. To reinforce his ever-waining powers, Duke Sandalphon resolved to start feeding on the Mortal’s nightmares, whose energy is unholy and consequently more compatible with the one Malkuth absorbs from the lower levels of the Universe; in turn, this further hastens his corruption process, making him subtly scorned by fellow Angels and an easy prey for Emperor Lucifer’s flattery. However, he does not openly side with Hell, as his downfall would have severe (albeit unknown) consequences on his twin brother’s very existence: despite the latter barely acknowledging it, Duke Sandalphon harbours indeed a mixture of resentment and deep affection towards his brother, which binds him into not to give in to Hell... yet.
First of all, this new work from the Infernal Lords
is especially dedicated to a very dear friend of mine, Soy Mallika
, for her endless support to my Infernal Lords series, for helping me take a clear decision about this particular character and, more generally, for reminding me I have to stand for what I want and is worth to me.
With this said, I really, really recommend
that you read Sandalphon: development and symbolism
on my blog to understand the conception of this work and why it looks like the "odd one out" in the project. You will find also details and exclusive material in the post.
With this work, I have done 20 Infernal Lords out of 30 planned, so I can officially say that we've reached two thirds of the project!
Photo, concept, outfit, make up, frame design: *GothicNarcissus
Model, hair: Dirk Alexander
Additional resources: ~amptone-stock
(sparkle texture), *Mithos-2000
Special thanks to ~karinanovak
for helping me with the Hebrew lettering.