Nov. 23rd, 2015 01:55 pm
felixculpa: (gonna have to be a different man)
[personal profile] felixculpa
NAME: Christy
CONTACT: [ profile] swagu

NAME: Lucifer Morningstar
CANON: The Sandman
AGE: Immeasurably old. In the mythos of the Sandman universe, God (Yahweh*) created Michael and Lucifer as the first beings to ever exist. As instruments of Yahweh's will, they were the ones to physically create the universe through the Big Bang. For some kind of reference, Lucifer comments that he had been presiding over Hell for ten billion years, but the universe had existed well before Hell was "created."
CANON POINT: The very end of Lucifer, Issue #27



In the world of The Sandman, there are many impressive figures that make up the unseen parts of the world. There are personifications of concepts like dreaming and death, every pantheon made reality, so you can talk to Fenrir just as easily as Bast, and almost infinite amounts of other, smaller existences from faerie to the children of Lilith, the Lilim. However, even amongst these many diverse beings, there are some who have a bit more of a reputation than others. This couldn't be truer for one person in particular, because of course the angel that willingly stepped away from Heaven and Fell would be misunderstood. By mortals, this angel is considered the root of all evil, and by those who are a bit more than mortal, he's a dangerous and powerful creature that shouldn't be crossed unless you have a death wish. However, both of these groups misunderstand him. There are many myths and misconceptions about Lucifer, and strictly speaking, most aren't unfair. He's an enigmatic figure at best, but that's a natural side-effect of being one of the first beings to ever exist. Yet most people that meet Lucifer are surprised when they speak to him, since he's not quite what you may have been expecting from the Devil himself.
JILL: "I'd like to say that you're an arrogant, ungrateful son of a bitch on a permanent power trip."
LUCIFER: "Ha! Excellent. Accurate on all counts. But don't push your luck. My good humor could evaporate at any moment."
The quote above is an excellent one to introduce Lucifer as a character rather than a concept, because Jill absolutely isn't wrong (as he admits). While there are parts of the stories about Lucifer that aren't quite true or are misinterpretations of his actions, they are based in truth. Lucifer is an incredibly proud being, though this isn't actually why he left the Kingdom of Heaven (which I'll get to later). Lucifer is arrogant, proud, and also jaded, since he really was one of the first two creatures to ever exist. Lucifer was creates to weave raw power into life, which is where his title as the "Lightbringer" comes in. He was quite literally the being that crafted the universe and brought light to the darkness by creating the sun(s). He's an incredibly, immeasurably old being, and he's seen everything that's ever happened. This is also where his engima comes in, since being so wisened to the world also means that there's very little that interests or surprises him. He's cool and distant, since most beings simply aren't worth his time, so far as he's concerned.

This arrogant distance from other beings is the first of misunderstandings about Lucifer, since this is absolutely where the perception of Lucifer as the root of all evil comes from. He's calculating, meticulous, and ruthless, but not inherently evil. However, his arrogance does mean that he places very, very little value on life, and can and will extinguish thousands of souls with a thought if they get in his way. Despite how long he's existed, Lucifer has very little patience for foolishness. He may be willing to wait billions of years to see his plans come to fruition, but if someone challenges him, he won't tolerate it. Though he can be more accepting of humans challenging him since they rarely know better, it's not uncommon for Lucifer to kill those that should without any care. This apathy towards others can also express itself as maliciousness at times, because Lucifer always responds in kind to how people confront him. If someone makes an effort to try and interfere with his plans, then he'll very slyly respond so that circumstances align to make things as terrible as possible for them. For example, when Izanami-no-Mikoto (the Japanese goddess of creation and death) tries to plot against Lucifer by keeping his wings from him, this ends in the death of several of her children, and without Lucifer ever attacking them himself. He manipulates situations and takes advantages where he sees them, since he knows this game better than anyone else.

However, the perception of Lucifer as a manipulative being is another misconception, at least in a way, and this ties into his own pride. Lucifer once comments* that the idea of Satan tempting people to sin is completely wrong. Why? Because he has no interest in doing so. Lucifer finds it rather arrogant that humanity would think themselves important enough for that, because there are very, very few mortals that Lucifer will even acknowledge at all. He has his own goals, his own plans, and he cares very little about actually running Hell. It's why he quit, after all. He can absolutely be manipulative, and his ruthless cunning and intelligence are the most dangerous things about him. Another character comments* on this by talking about Lucifer and the subject of lies. Lucifer doesn't lie. He's too proud for it, because why would he need to? He knows enough truth to lead people along, and though he can absolutely be deceptive, he's not a liar. In fact, he's rather straightforwardly and brutally honest. He's not the devil with the cloven hooves and pitchfork at all, since he would argue that image is terribly self-important of humans to have created. His will is his own, and he won't waste it on things that considers unimportant.

And it's the matter of "will" that's really at the center of Lucifer's character. His strong will manifests often times as pride, but as mentioned earlier, that's not the sin that drove him from Heaven. Lucifer willingly left because he was unhappy existing in a way where his whole existence was predetermined. Lucifer is considered the original rebel, but it also goes quite a bit more philosophical than that. Lucifer wants to exist in a way where he can choose his own path completely. Though whether his perception is true or not is arguable, the fact that Lucifer feels like he has no true free will is what motivates him completely. It manifested first as leaving Heaven, since he hoped that having lordship of his own domain would free him from Yahweh's influence, but over billions of years, he realized this wasn't true. So he plotted instead to leave Yahweh's Creation completely, and succeeded in creating his own Creation where he was the ultimate Creator, but wasn't satisfied by even that. He found Yahweh's influence there too, and this simply wasn't acceptable to him. So long as there's anything touched by Yahweh, he feels his influence, and so it's flying off into a true void that Lucifer finds his freedom that he's been searching for since he left Heaven. This might seem like a terrible fate from the point of view as the reader, but to Lucifer, that's exactly what he had been working for. He strives for freedom, and he'll pursue that goal even when it leads to a void. He wants to truly determine his own path, and it's that desire that inexhaustibly drives him.

That said, there's something else in that quote above that's absolutely important to note, and that's where the surprise tends to come from. Lucifer may be incredibly proud and so focused on his own goals that he doesn't give a damn about anything else, but he's still surprisingly affable. He's cool and distant in general, but he's also charismatic. He's well aware of the myths and misunderstandings about him, and he takes many of them in quite good humor. He's sarcastic and will make little quips often, and he'll even joke around when he's in a more relaxed situation. He enjoys simple things like relaxing on an Australian beach or playing jazz music in a piano bar, since they're the sort of relaxing pleasures that fill the time nicely. He is patient when it comes to his goals, but that doesn't mean he won't enjoy himself in between. Though he can be a bit standoffish to pretty much anyone, he'll engage in a conversation easily, and he would converse with a normal human in nearly the same way he would with a god. Though he dislikes ignorance and doesn't have the interest in teaching others, open-mindedness is good enough to him. He dislikes people that are resistant to other viewpoints, since Lucifer is quite the debater. While it's difficult to change his mind on something, it's not impossible. In fact, it's the way to gain Lucifer's respect, since if you can surprise him or show him something new, that's an impressive feat.

Overall, this is what most people will see of Lucifer. He's the suave Satan that decided to quit his job of lordship of Hell, and he passed off the key to eventually go run a luxurious piano bar in Los Angeles. Though he's cool and distant, he still has a certain draw to him, because Lucifer is a much more neutral entity than you would expect. This is definitely because he's almost entirely self-interested, but even knowing that, there's definitely something compelling about his personality. His drive, determination, and intelligence are all things he considers assets much more than his power, and that's what most people tend to realize about him too. He may not be the Devil you know, but that's a good thing, honestly.

The Devil with cloven hooves doesn't make as good of a martini, after all.

As you would expect from Literal Satan, Lucifer is incredibly powerful, but he's also more powerful with his portrayal in the Sandman series because of the role he plays in helping create the universe. In the series, it's stated that he's one of the most powerful beings in Creation (with his brother Michael being one of the few to outclass him). However, though Lucifer is quite strong, what makes him feared and respected over his brute strength is his intelligence and cunning. He's not the sort to show off, so these powers are only utilized when they truly need to be. As such, I'm also completely fine with limiting or nerfing powers as needed, since I know that several of them are a rather gamebreaking in nature. And that he's just terribly OP, even by comic book standards.
Heightened Strength/Speed/Durability/Senses/Etc.
The standard "anything you can do, I can do better." Lucifer has greatly enhanced physical attributes, from great physical strength to truly intense levels of durability. He's able to throw people quite literally into orbit, move fast enough that the movement isn't generally perceptible, and even when depowered to a more mortal state of being, survive being impaled like it's no big deal. He would prefer not to be, though, since it still hurts, thank you. He's also a fairly proficient fighter, both in hand to hand combat and with the more angelic sword and shield. He doesn't really enjoy it, though.

Magical Ability
With how magic (seems to) work in Sandman, magical power is something that any being is technically capable of, not unlike how any person is capable of performing a chemistry experiment. You just have to know how to do it, and most of humanity simply doesn't. Some people have more magical affinity than others, and Lucifer's doesn't actually seem to be terribly impressive as compared to some other characters in the Sandman universe. However, we do see him cast several spells throughout the series that are largely based on runes, names, and occasionally blood. Magic doesn't have concrete systems in Sandman, so generally speaking it follows "classical" myths of spellcasting and the occult where complex setups or blood sacrifices might be required. He also seems to have near encyclopedic knowledge of magic, since he can rattle off obscure forms as if they're perfectly obvious.

Divine Will
As his definite most powerful ability, Lucifer is able to simply create. This is a power that goes hand in hand with his status as the Lightbringer, since this is what allowed (and allows) him to create entire universes if he has the materials to do so. If Lucifer is able to will something to happen, he usually can, which can range from destroying thousands of souls or a single eldritch immortal with a thought to creating new life and their souls.

This is also roughly what allows him to be able to travel throughout other realms and dimensions freely. Lucifer does have to play by the rules of wherever he goes, so this can make him mortal, but to be able to travel between realms so easily and without any sort of assistance is a rare ability. By being able to will things and make them simply happen, this allows him more or less free passage between many of the settings of The Sandman.

Limited Omniscience
While he has complete omniscience in his own Creation, this doesn't apply in the "main" Creation, and this can be limited further when he's existing in other being's domain (which is how I treat it RP so that I don't have to go through the hassle of trying to RP omniscience). Lucifer is able to have a good sense of things that are happening in the world and the many, many domains that exist outside of the physical world. It's not complete omniscience since he does have to make an effort to pay attention to say, one particular person, but he's able to proverbially watch them if he wants to.

"The Lightbringer"
Lucifer has a strong affinity with fire, and it's not because of his rulership of Hell. As the creature that took raw power from Michael and shaped it into universes, Lucifer is the "lightbringer" because he made the suns. Because of this, fire is something that he's able to manipulate to a great extent, such as creating flames from nothing, breathing fire, and fire only being able to harm him under quite extreme circumstances. He doesn't seem to have any other elemental affinities, but he doesn't have weaknesses against any particular elements either.

As the simplest to explain, Lucifer is able to fly because of the large, angelic wings that he has. He's able to dismiss or materialize them at will.
And of course, since this is a lot, I've listed it for the sake of completeness, but I would be happy to assume that Lucifer loses most of these abilities or has them severely reduced so that he's not as untouchable.

Nothing but a very simple tunic and the wings on his back!

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