The Angiris Council is the ruling body of the High Heavens. It initially consisted of five archangels, each of a particular aspect said to represent the chief virtues of Anu. Over time, however, the Council's unity and members has diminished, including the absence of Archangel Malthael. Currently, Imperius is the de facto leader of the council.
|Imperius||Archangel of Valor||Current leader of the Council and the Heavenly Host. A mighty warrior, but also prideful and rash. Formerly close with Tyrael, but their relationship became strained after Tyrael's advocation for humanity at the end of the Sin War. Wielded Solarion, the Spear of Valor. Corresponding domain is the Halls of Valor.|
Aspect of Justice/Wisdom
|The "maverick" of the Council. Formerly an impartial dispenser of justice, his disposition changed at the end of the Sin War, which put him at odds with Imperius. Aided humanity secretly through the Horadrim, chose to become mortal when called to answer for his actions. Has since taken on the aspect of Wisdom in addition to Justice. Wields El'druin, the Sword of Justice. Corresponding domain was the Courts of Justice.|
|Auriel||Archangel of Hope||The voice of reason and pillar of diplomacy in the Council and its only female member. She is also closest to Itherael. Compassionate, but nonetheless willing to fight when it's necessary. Wields Al'maiesh, the Cord of Hope. Corresponding domain is the Gardens of Hope.|
|Itherael||Archangel of Fate||Mostly aloof, though is closest with Auriel. Reads Talus'ar, the Scroll of Fate, which allows them to see future events. Corresponding domain is the Library of Fate.|
Angel of Death
|Former leader of the council. Was once a noble being said to cherish all life. Malthael's persona darkened after the disappearance of the Worldstone. After its destruction, he abandoned the High Heavens and supposedly wandered the halls of Pandemonium, seeking answers to the unknowable mysteries of life and death. Eventually returned to Sanctuary at the head of the Reapers, having since become the Angel of Death. Once carried Chalad'ar, the Chalice of Wisdom. Corresponding domain was the Pools of Wisdom.|
The Great Conflict
As the Great Evils were of the great dragon Tathamet, the Angiris Council was of the great titan Anu, and both sets of leaders led their forces in the Great Conflict, and both sets of leaders led their forces on the battlefield. When united, the Council could be unstoppable. Initially, the Council was led by Malthael.
However, the Council was not without dissonance, a case in point when Imperius slew Diablo on an impulsive decision, despite the suggestions of Tyrael and Auriel that it would serve their cause better if the demon was taken prisoner instead. On his final breath, Diablo mocked the Angiris Council's so-called unity after being slain.
The Sin War
The Angiris Council became aware of the existence of Sanctuary and its nephalem denizens, both world and beings the product of unions between angels and demons. It was the Council's initial edict that the world and its people be destroyed, viewed as "abominations." However, Uldyssian's sacrifice gave the Council pause and it convened to discuss the fate of the world. Imperius opted for eradication. Auriel and Itherael voted for the world's continued existence. Malthael abstained. Tyrael, who had been expected to side with Imperius and thus doom Sanctuary to destruction (a tie would mean the original edict would be carried out), sided with humanity, moved by Uldyssian's sacrifice. Sanctuary and its people would be left to choose between light or dark, and after a pact with Mephisto, both Heaven and Hell agreed to respect its neutrality.
Seeds of Discord
The events of the Sin War had ensured that the Great Conflict would take on a new paradigm, one that boded ill for the Angiris Council as much as the Prime Evils. The ceasefire did not sit well with Imperius—robbed of an enemy to fight, he became something of a "legalistic tyrant." That Tyrael had not sided with him at the conclusion of the Sin War was another thorn in his side. Furthermore, Tyrael would continue to act on his own, aiding humanity despite the edicts of the Council. Auriel continued to act as a bridge between the two angels but Malthael was another story. It is said his mood darkened after the creation of Sanctuary. After the destruction of the Worldstone, he simply vanished. In light of his absence, Imperius took over leadership of the Council, where division continued to exist between him and Tyrael. During this period, the Council eventually relented to the pleas of Urzael to let him take leave to find his master.
And the Heavens Shall Tremble
- Tyrael's parting words(src)
By 1285, the remaining lords of Hell were threatening Sanctuary. Tyrael believed that only by allying with humanity could Heaven survive Hell's onslaught, but instead, the Council put him on trial, believing that his destruction of the Worldstone had endangered Creation. Tyrael and Imperius came to blows over the issue. Ultimately, Tyrael forsook his immortality, becoming mortal and descending to the world to guide the Nephalem against the forces threatening their world. In this they were successful. However, Diablo had made plans as far back as the Dark Exile and through the Black Soulstone and Leah, became the Prime Evil, with all the evils of Hell merged into one being. Besting Imperius outside the Diamond Gates and shattering them, he led his forces into the High Heavens. Auriel and Itherael were captured while Imperius was left to fight a losing battle. Thanks to Tyrael and the Nephalem, however, Auriel and Itherael were rescued and the tide turned in Heaven's favour. Imperius was not so eager to side with the "abominations" he'd condemned 3,000 years ago, but it became a moot point as he was incapacitated and the Nephalem defeated the Lord of Terror regardless.
As new light dawned on Heaven, Tyrael retook his place among his brethren, though this time, standing as Wisdom.
Light and Shadow
The Council members later discovered that the Black Soulstone remained in Heaven, and guarded it. The soulstone's malignant influence began to spread across the realm, bringing discord into the realm. Imperius and the other archangels refused to move the stone, so Tyrael, after reforming the Horadrim, was forced to abscond with the artifact and seal it in Sanctuary. Malthael, having become the Angel of Death, intervened, incapacitating Tyrael and claiming the Black Soulstone for himself.
Later on, Malthael led his Reapers to attack all of Sanctuary. The Angel of Death retreated to the Pandemonium Fortress in order to alter the Black Soulstone to capture all of the demonic essence lingering within humanity. But what shocked the angels the most was when Malthael attacked the Pandemonium Gate in Heaven to prevent the Nephalem from entering. This drew all of Heaven into conflict against the Reapers and in the end, Malthael fell.
- When it came to designing the members of the Council, Tyrael served as the base inspiration, as per his earlier introduction. Thus, each character was provided with their own core imagery while preserving a unified look among them.
- According to Hindu mythology, the Angiris (or Angiras) is a group of celestial beings who are descendants of the Fire God Agni and the Goddess Agneya, and responsible for watching over humans performing Yagna (sacrifices) and protecting the sacrificial fires. 
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