tryingitall: (drinkin')
[personal profile] tryingitall
[Player information]
Player Name: Bridgie
Age: 33
Other characters played at Cape Kore: None

[Character information]
Name: Balthazar
Canon: Supernatural
Canon Point: At the end of 6.21 “Let it Bleed”
Age: 500 million, give or take a few epochs.

Balthazar’s trueform is a double-wheel of fire and wings and eyes, but unless some kind of disaster occurs he will appear only in his human vessel. In this form, he’s blue-eyed, with ash-blond hair, tanned skin, and a sturdy build. (PB: Sebastian Roche)

Inventory: The clothes on his back, his angelic sword, and his vessel’s wallet. This contains about $25 in cash and a very old photograph of a man holding a violin. He also wears a ring on his right index finger, and a necklace with a leopard pendant.

• Angelic Possession – To physically interact on the earth, an angel needs a vessel. To claim that vessel, he must have his/her consent. Balthazar has had his current vessel for some time and has no plans to move on to another.
• Super-strength – As is typical of angels in his canon, Balthazar’s strength is superhuman, and he’s very difficult to injure.

* His vessel can be damaged by human weapons (guns, knives, etc.), but heals within seconds thanks to the spirit and power within. Canon shows that angels can be tortured, with their own blades or with specialized instruments (possibly anointed with holy oil?). The brain area of their vessels appears to be vulnerable.
* A wound made by another angel’s blade may bleed human blood or light- his ‘Grace’. If not tended to, a wound bleeding Grace may be lethal. A stab to the heart, throat/brain, or a disemboweling stroke can be instantly fatal.
* A number of angels have been killed by archangels, by means of a gory explosion or burning from the inside out. Presumably this rends the vessel, and possibly the spirit inside it, into component parts. Probably this is a supernatural effect; an ordinary bomb going off could tear a vessel to pieces, but the angel that had it would continue to live.

• Teleportation/flight – Angelic ‘flight’ is a kind of instant transportation by thought. It’s often marked by the sound of wings unfurling or flapping, and an angel’s arrival can be heralded by electric lights and appliances failing or spewing sparks.
• Telekinesis – Angels are capable of moving objects and people with their minds, although Balthazar rarely uses this ability in canon.
• Knowledge – Balthazar seems to have picked up not just the standard angelic bag of tricks, but also a number of arcane rituals and occult knowledge. He was able to send the Winchesters to a parallel dimension in order to provide a diversion for Castiel, and he knew, or claimed he knew, a way to keep Sam’s soul from returning to its body. The names of all the prophets are known to all angels, as well.
• Time Travel – Balthazar was able to travel back in time to unsink the Titanic, and then to reverse course and fix the damage when Castiel’s orders changed. Presumably this was exhausting; other angels who have attempted time travel in the series end up unconscious for a short while afterward. This ability will most likely be inactive in the Cape Kore setting.
• Healing – While an angel is inside a human vessel, that vessel does not age and is unlikely to take sick from anything short of a magical or demonic illness. Angels are also able to heal humans of their injuries.
• Mind magic – Angels can communicate with telepathically or through dreams. They can communicate with one another through long-distance mental contact, which the Winchesters call ‘Angel Radio’.
• Purchasing souls – In canon, Balthazar had a number of weapons stolen from heaven, which he used to barter for human souls, souls being sources of immense power. While he no longer possesses the weapons or the souls he bought, he can still mark a soul as belonging to him, with its owner’s consent, and can theoretically make use of its power. This sort of thing is really frowned upon by other angels.
Balthazar also has a number of weaknesses, including holy oil/holy fire, higher-ranking angels, Enochian rituals, and angelic blades.


Being as old as he is, Balthazar’s life history is enormous. Linked above is his history in canon. Below I’ll touch on a few major events that have shaped him in my own headcanon.

Balthazar began as an average angel, born in a wave of creation on Earth, as multicellular creatures began to crawl the floor of the primordial sea. He was not alone, surrounded by hundreds of siblings. Ofanim, the angels of his type, came into existence with two simple, powerful drives: to observe Creation and to move in constant, active celebration of the glory of their Father.

He never saw the Father, but the work of His hand was everywhere, and the new angel reveled in it, from the rock and magma at the planet’s core to the dust and chill of the outer atmosphere. And there was life, and it was good.

Lucifer’s Fall and Gabriel’s Departure
Balthazar was never close to Lucifer, but every angel felt the sorrow of his Fall and the fear and loss afterward. Before, Balthazar knew only the joy of God’s Creation. After, Heaven seemed colder, and obedience replaced celebration.

Balthazar always admired Gabriel’s wit and spirit, if only from afar. The youngest archangel’s departure was the first time Balthazar ever wept, or prayed anything other than praise. He asked God to bring both Gabriel and Lucifer back, or if not, to at least explain how this was part of the Plan. He never did get an answer, but when he realized how many of his comrades were pleading for the same things, he thought he understood why. One Ofan’s confusion was not a priority to the Almighty.

Taking his Vessel
By the 20th century, Balthazar was in charge of maintaining the garrison’s armory, and as such, he had rarely had occasion to visit the earth in centuries. But Heaven was aware of impending battle. Humans would call it the War to End All Wars, but angels knew better. This wasn’t Armageddon. Not yet. Balthazar was given a simple mission, and ordered to take a vessel. A bloodline had to be preserved; a human soldier on the allied side was to be kept alive at all costs. Persuading his chosen vessel, however, proved a distraction.

Levi Gilman, a poor painter in New York, had long since given up belief in angels, or Heaven, or God. Balthazar struggled to convince him he was sane, and needed, and at the same time became an ardent admirer of his art. By the time the deal was sealed, Levi had drawn a handful of sketches of his angelic visitor. Balthazar kept them, storing them safely in the place that housed Heaven’s arsenal.

Anna’s Fall
Balthazar was watching the skies the night Anna Fell. Cutting out one’s own Grace was unthinkable. He was certain he had just beheld his sister’s suicide. Shaken by the trauma, he began to question rules overtly. He remained cautious enough to avoid real punishment, but reprimands came more and more often.

When Castiel was recalled to Heaven, Balthazar was the first to speak up for him. In the end, it was hard to tell if his voice had helped at all, and yet when Anna reappeared, he was anxious to do the same for her, hoping to help lighten her sentence. He was not permitted to approach her. Possibly their superiors feared disobedience was contagious; already treading the line, Balthazar could easily catch it and Fall.

Castiel’s Rebellion and the Apocalypse
Balthazar loved all of his family, but some of them were special. Castiel was one of these. His serious, earnest nature was the opposite of Balthazar’s lighthearted sarcasm. Balthazar felt they balanced one another. Out of all the Host, Castiel was the last one he would have expected to rebel. But then, maybe he never knew his brother as well as he thought he did.

When he heard Raphael had killed Cas, tension that had been building for centuries finally broke. Full of undirected fury and grief, he had to get away. He used his position in the arsenal to make off with a number of weapons, hoping that this way they couldn’t be used in the war. To cover his tracks, he shattered the shofar with which Joshua brought down the walls of Jericho. He was assumed dead in the explosion.

The shock of hearing that Cas still lived was just as severe. He almost sought him out, but Castiel had set himself so firmly against Heaven, he had threatened and killed other angels. Balthazar couldn’t reconcile any of it, psychologically, so he stayed, and hid, and tried to forget.

Like many of his castmates, Balthazar takes great pains to hide his real personality under a façade. This outer shell is snide, playful, irresponsible, and dishonest. Balthazar has spent most of his time since his fall from Heaven rolling in decadence; pursuing casual sex, drugs, drink, and anything else that provides a burst of pleasure, no matter how temporary. The home Castiel first finds him in is more or less a McMansion, and it looks like Balthazar has been utilizing it to the best of its capabilities. In that introductory scene, especially, he makes a number of references to his current M.O.: “(Castiel) proved to me that we could do anything, so I’m trying everything.”

He plays the role convincingly; certainly the Winchesters never look too far beneath the playboy persona. In that first post-Fall encounter with him, Castiel (who one can assume knew Balthazar better than anyone) concludes he’s actually gone insane. That’s telling. There’s an underlying desperation to his persistent lighthearted sarcasm.

“What difference does it make?” he asks Castiel, who responds heatedly that of course it makes a difference: they can still stop the war in Heaven.

“Do you know what’s funny about you?” Balthazar answers. “You actually believe that you can stop the fighting. It. Will. Never. Stop.” He further advises Castiel to do as he has done, which is more or less run and try not to look back.

The accusation that he’s had a mental breakdown isn’t unjustified, given who and what Balthazar was created to be. Perhaps he’s always been a little troublesome, but Castiel describes him as an honorable soldier. To change from that to a person willing to stand aside and let reality itself fall to pieces is a significant fall.

Like many of the other angels, Balthazar is disillusioned. He truly loves his brothers and sisters, all of them, including the ones who rebelled and left. He was able to accept an ‘us vs. them’ split in his family when it was just Lucifer on the ‘them’ side, but when other angels, ones he knew better and was more deeply attached to, began to rebel, fall, and die, it hurt too much to reconcile psychologically.

Ofanim, also called Watchers, were created to observe the ebb and flow of creation. Balthazar sees a lot of things. He sees Heaven’s illness and has come to believe that the root cause is the way angels are programmed. God made them to love each other as family, but he also made them to fight, and the violent impulses seem to overwhelm the more tender ones. He leaves Heaven because he is convinced that angels are doomed to turn on one another and make themselves extinct. He thinks this may be God’s real Plan, something He never told anyone, even the archangels. Nevertheless, he tries to refuse to be a part of it, by leaving.

He can’t stay hidden long, and he feels the loss of camaraderie keenly the whole time he’s on earth. When Castiel finds him, he’s angry and afraid, but he’s also relieved. He’s truly happy to see his brother, but when Cas asks for the weapons Balthazar stole, his response is interesting. He doesn’t say yes or no. He says “Don’t ask that.” In a way, even as Castiel is asking him to join his cause, Balthazar is asking Castiel to lay down the sword and take the consequences: to run away with him. But as good a talker as Balthazar is, he’s not good at expressing deeper emotions, and the scope of the despair he feels is almost impossible to vocalize.

In the end, he sides with Castiel against the last living and free archangel, gives him the weapons, and takes part in increasingly fanciful plans to help him. He doesn’t seem to take it seriously, because he has no hope they can succeed. Still, he cares about his brother--and Castiel is his favorite. Against his own common sense, he wants to keep him alive a little longer.

The turning point is after he hears about the plan to open Purgatory. He confronts Castiel, and in that exchange Cas says he needs to know whether Balthazar will stand with him. It’s this subtle threat that changes Balthazar’s mind (it’s worth noting that by this point Castiel has already killed another follower; Balthazar may or may not be aware this has happened). He turns to the Winchesters to stop Castiel: he’s afraid to take a stand. He’s afraid Castiel will kill him, and he’s afraid to come to blows with his beloved brother, as reluctant to be the killer as he is the victim.

On the screen, Balthazar never draws his sword on another angel. He curses one with the Staff of Moses, causing him to be incapacitated by frogs, but there’s no definitive evidence that this killed the victim. He uses Lot’s Salt on Raphael, destroying his vessel, but not the archangel himself. He appears willing to stab Atropos from behind, on Castiel’s orders, but Atropos is the personification of an element, not a sister. He has an encounter with Virgil, over the stolen weapons, and Balthazar comes off the worst, showing up in Bobby’s home with a minor wound. When Virgil reappears, the scene cuts away from the angelic confrontation, but since we see both angels alive later on, we can assume Balthazar fled rather than finish the battle.

I see this as an integral part of his character: like Gabriel, he can’t bear to watch his siblings fight and would rather disobey than fight them himself. Unlike Gabriel, he never fully overcomes this. The stand he takes against Castiel’s actions is underhanded. He never comes out and tells him he thinks he’s doing the wrong thing. He’s hoping the Winchesters will do that dirty work for him.

So, for as much as Balthazar pretends he’s all about drinking and orgies, his primary drives are less hedonistic: a contorted love/hate relationship with his family, and overwhelming avoidance in the face of conflict between angels.

His observant nature comes across in other, lighter ways, as well. The Ofanite tendency to watch has led him to revel in the beauty of creation, on both the macro and micro scale. He’s as likely to delight in the refraction of light from an icicle as in the roar of a thunderstorm, or the panorama of the night sky. This is why he retreats into hedonism as a defense mechanism: he can lose himself in the pulse and gasps for breath of a sex partner, or taste every last bubble that escapes a glass of champagne.

Humans and human creations are often just as fascinating to him; even though he’s willing to be verbally disparaging toward the ‘hairless apes’, particularly to annoy Sam and Dean, he admires their creative streak.

His vessel’s prior life as an artist means a great deal to him for similar reasons. Balthazar feels that art of any kind is meant to capture an aspect of Creation with true vision. He feels his vessel’s art did exactly that, and continues to be touched by the memory of how his true form was portrayed in charcoal on newsprint. He’s always interested to encounter artists, and particularly fond of painters and sculptors.

Ultimately, Balthazar’s natural state is loving, attentive, and comfortably sensual, but he’s so severely damaged that those positive characteristics have been twisted around into desperate hedonism and emotional defensiveness. It’s easier to pretend he doesn’t care, and to stagger from one source of distraction to the next.

Prose 1: With Raphael
Prose 2: I Can Hear Your Thoughts
Actionspam 1: Theological Discussion with Sam
Actionspam 2: The Past Tense of Smite

Anything Else?


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The Angel Balthazar

September 2015

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