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[personal profile] tryingitall
|| Player Information ||
Name: Bridgie
Personal Journal: [personal profile] wugglyump I rarely, if ever, update this journal, but I can be contacted through it.
Time zone: EST
Contact: howe.jenniferl@gmail and I have an AIM at jen_howe but I am more easily contacted via plurk: [plurk.com profile] wugglyump
Current Characters: None!



|| Character Information ||
Fandom: Supernatural
Name: Balthazar
Canon Point: The end of 6.22 “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. Post-death.
History: His entry at the Supernatural Wiki.

Personality: Like many of his castmates, Balthazar takes great pains to hide his real personality under a façade. His 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 on Earth 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.

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. Confronted with a situation he couldn’t handle emotionally, he ran.
The fighting, as he tells Cas, will never stop.

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 as the Apocalypse unfolds, he becomes 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.
In light of season 8 and its revelations about Naomi and the archangels tampering with the memories and personalities of the rank-and-file angels, it’s worth wondering how often Balthazar was reset, and for what transgressions. He has holes in his earliest memories. Maybe he had other issues with emotional attachments to siblings that left or died or were imprisoned.

After his Fall, 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 also relieved. He’s truly happy to see his brother. 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.

In the end, he sides with Castiel against the last living and free archangel, gives him the Heavenly weapons, and takes part in increasingly fanciful plans to help him. He doesn’t seem to take it seriously most of the time. Possibly he has no hope they can succeed, but it also seems possible that he is ambivalent, even uncomfortable with Castiel’s plans. The episode ‘My Heart Will Go On’ is played for laughs, but in the confrontation with the Winchesters, Balthazar protests a bit too much, his demeanor is almost nervous, and he’s quick to inform them of all the ramifications of his actions. Looking at the name he chose when he went back in time (‘I.P. Freely’?) and the fact that he sat for a photograph that he could have avoided, it almost seems like he was deliberately drawing the Winchesters’ attention to the angelic shenanigans.
The events in the current season point to battles between Raphael’s followers and Castiel’s. It’s not unreasonable to assume Balthazar was aware of these, but he also seems to have held back from them. When the boys call him in episode 6.21 ‘Let it Bleed’, he complains that he was interrupted in drinking champagne from a soprano’s navel. That doesn’t sound like business. Possibly Castiel held back this particular brother as a special operative, while others pursued more direct fighting. Possibly Balthazar refused to participate in outright battle.

There is a real turning point after Balthazar 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 seems to change Balthazar’s mind (it’s worth noting that by this point Castiel has already killed another follower directly; Balthazar may or may not be aware this has happened). He turns to the Winchesters to stop Castiel, feeding them information: 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. Despite siding with Cas, he avoids conflict with Raphael and his followers as much as he possibly can. 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. He was once a good soldier, and a good brother, but when he’s torn between two family members, his nobler aspirations dissolve.

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.

Skills | Powers:
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. Since the angel within is dead, I tend to play the vessel’s soul having been sent on to its own final reward.
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?). He can be damaged or killed by other angels, either through angelic blades or by the power of a higher-ranking angel. Angels are also vulnerable to holy fire and certain Enochian rituals.
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.
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.
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 power is going to be moot in a game 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 (and fanon) call ‘Angel Radio’.


First Person Sample:

[Video]
Hello? [The face that pops up in the video feed is more or less good-looking, topped with artfully-mussed ash blond hair. Beneath it, Balthazar’s upper chest is bloody and slightly inflamed from the Enochian letter carved into him. He’s ignoring it for the moment, and ignoring the fact that his angelic healing factor should have already done away with it. Too much to think about: below the letter, his chest aches from another wound, one that was far more fatal.]

Right. Atropos? Are you there? Darling, if this is your way of getting back at me for trying to shank you…well, it’s a bit overdramatic, but I’m willing to concede your point. Very clever, I’ve learned my lesson, and I’m sorry about the stick comment, as well.

Now let me go be dead like I ought to be. [The angel’s expression twists into a smile that’s uncomfortably grim and sickly.

He’s really hoping this is the Moirae’s idea of a prank, because if it isn’t, his whole conception of how the universe works is about to be flipped upside down.]


Third Person Sample:

The problem with Justice, Balthazar feels, is that it turns ugly when taken to its logical conclusion. In moderation, it's essential to the running of the universe, and naturally any sentient being that’s ever suffered wants to know its experience hasn’t been in vain. Everyone wants the world to be fair (or at least unfair in his own favor).

Justice in its absolute form, though, applied to everyone and everything...well, a well-known man once said the meek would inherit the Earth, but if raw Justice had its way, there wouldn't be any meek left to inherit. Everyone that walks the earth has done something worthy of punishment. Most of the beings that fly the aether above have, too.

Maybe angels are monsters, no better than a vampire or a demon. Philosophy makes him uncomfortable, but he can’t not consider these things, not in light of the sigil carved into his skin. If he could sort out something to believe in, he’d feel better, but neither Free Will nor Divine Will have done him any favors. Even his own instincts are divided. There’s no doubt he hurt some of his siblings with his departure, and that matters more to him than any abstract notion of duty discarded.

He’s not sure he could have done anything different. Maybe that’s all Fate is, in the end: options becoming less and less viable until you become trapped between Do or Die.

In which case, Justice is, in some sense, simply what happens when you give up on Do.



Marks:
The Enochian letter ‘Ur’, as depicted here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Enochian_alphabet.png, cut into his upper chest between collarbone and sternum, in the center. It stands for the Enochian word for ‘Fall’ (loncho, according to the Enochian dictionary here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/enoch1.txt). By Falling, Balthazar has done the equivalent of walking out on his family and deserting his post as a soldier, all in one.

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The Angel Balthazar

September 2015

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