Xaphan Picture

Oh damn, the war is coming!
Oh damn, you feel you want it!
Oh damn, just bring it on today!

You can’t live without the fire,
It’s the heat that makes you strong,
‘Cause you’re born to live and fight it all the way.
You can’t hide what burns inside you,
It’s the only thing you know.
You’re embracing that, never walk away.

[ Iron – Within Temptation ]

Duke Xaphan, well known as the Infernal Arsonist, is an Upper Demon and the Leader of the Fourth Level. As the former Chief of Archangels (the second-lowest Angelic Choir), he did not have a particularly bright place in Heaven despite being the Chief of a Choir, so he followed Emperor Lucifer in the Great Heavenly War hoping to gain more power; another reason why he turned against Yahweh was following Queen Barbelo, for whom he had a deep attraction even before the War begun. It was her element, Fire, that inspired him to accomplish his greatest and most infamous deed: right before being casted out of it, he managed to set Heaven afire, preventing the Heavenly Troops from chasing the Fallen Angels in their retreat. Despite becoming a hero in Hell, this cost him his moth wings, which were heavily burnt on that occasion, and now he can fly only for short distances without the help of mechanical devices.
Beside the Great Arson, Duke Xaphan gained his high rank in the Peerage and prestigious role thanks to his ingenious mind and brilliant technical skills. He’s the architect who designed the Imperial Palace of Pandemonium, as well as many devices to make the hostile environment of Hell suitable for permanent settlement (such as the automatic infernal furnaces), many new weapons of the Infernal Army (he invented the gunpowder, which subsequently lent to mankind), and even everyday-life objects like the mechanical wings he uses when he has to fly. His magic can rely on the Secondary Element Metal, making him part of Duke Beelzebub’s Order of the Great Fly, but he can also draw from the power of Fire: although he doesn’t master it and can’t create it out of nowhere, he can manipulate a fire already set. This is another reason why he’s part of his beloved Queen’s fellowship, and apparently she doesn’t mind his attentions – rumor has it that he’s the Queen’s Favourite. He openly hates Count Mammon, for he shares his mastership of Metal and made it to the First Level of Demons despite coming from a lower Choir than his, but his much nicer temper, higher rank in the Peerage and important position grant him a brighter spot in the Court nonetheless.

The new work of the Infernal Lords series was done and waiting for publication quite early after the next one. This time, we've got Xaphan, an interesting figure well defined even in the original sources. If you're curious, go and read Xaphan: Development and Symbolism on my blog.

Photo, concept, manipulation, frame design: Me
Model, hair, make up: Fabio Rossini
Styling: ~Wiegenlied and Me
Additional resources: ~amptone-stock (textueres), ~Cesitlie95 (wings), Sxc.hu (fire)
Special thanks to ~LunarShore for his advice about blending the fire.
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