(Reminder: As with all information I share about the future, everything here is subject to change.)
"Always in motion, is the future."
The Seven Judges of the Abidan Court
(The Hound and the Titan)
Makiel, the Hound
The story of each universe is written in Fate.
Fate governs the natural lifespan of each Iteration. It isn't a detailed plan that determines every action of each person, but rather a force like gravity that pushes a world toward a healthy life ending in that Iteration's natural death.
Since humans tie the universe to the Way, people figure prominently in Fate. One individual life is unlikely to affect the destiny of an entire Iteration, but their actions might be a necessary step toward a world's continued existence. Or its end.
Makiel and the Hound Division of the Abidan supervise Fate. They tap into the Way to read the past and the future, and to deal with any deviations that may jeopardize one or more worlds.
Makiel is something of a leader among the seven Judges, though the Eledari Pact technically gives him no authority over his peers. This is a tradition continued from the original Makiel, who first realized the need for such a pact and organized its creation.
He is rigid and inflexible, utterly dedicated to the enforcement of the rules that protect existence. This mindset has led him to clash with Ozriel, who tends to value his own will over externally imposed guidelines. He has tried many times to recover the Scythe and Mantle of Ozriel in order to pass the title to a different, more worthy bearer, but the Reaper has eluded or defeated him at every turn.
Gadrael, the Titan
The Way is fundamentally a force of protection, a barrier against chaos and destruction. Gadrael is the embodiment of that concept.
Titan Abidan are the defenders of the Abidan worlds, raising shields and barriers against creatures of chaos and against the enemies of the Court. Whenever the Abidan need a world quarantined, a weapon sealed, a prison reinforced, or an attack turned aside, they call on the Titans.
This generation's Gadrael was rescued from a dying world, then raised as a son by Makiel. His loyalty to the Hound is total.
He once had a reputation as the weakest Judge, due to his lack of skill in any discipline but his own. Other Judges typically have expertise in more than one area; Suriel, for instance, is an accomplished Fox (who excel at instant travel) and an able Spider (who detect deviations in chaos). Makiel could have inherited the post of Razael the Wolf instead, had he desired to do so, and Ozriel was skilled enough to fulfill the duties of any Judge but Suriel.
Gadrael cannot read Fate, he can barely cross through the Way, and his combat power is lower than many ordinary Abidan.
But his barriers are flawless.
Gadrael is is the sturdiest protector in existence, a one-man fortress, an immovable object, an impenetrable wall. Worlds under Gadrael's protection can rest easy, but there are thousands of Iterations under the purview of the Judges.
And the Titans cannot be everywhere at once.
I really wanted to say more about Makiel, but...well, I don't want to spoil too much.
Next Time: The Ghost and the Spider
(Fun Fact: The original title for Unsouled was The Fox and the Phoenix.)
Want to get short stories and book releases before anyone else? Sign up below!