In Nomine for the uninitiated/Mile Higher Club backstory
In the beginning was the Lord and the angels. This is not the Father many of us envision, though certainly some of the angels think of Him in such terms. He is simply the sum total of the Universe, all that is and will be. His song is the Symphony, the music of the spheres, the sound of all things existing. He is all knowing and all powerful because He is All. He is all good, because it is. And yet inexplicably He cares about everyone in it, in Him.
Admittedly, this is a work of fiction, a game setting.
The angels: there were angels of laughter, of fire, of love, of light. Each angel with a Word embodies the concept it represents and pursues that Word with a single-minded devotion, devoid of the need for result or much thought to consequence. They rarely adapt, rarely change. Perhaps humanity was a correction to this flaw, or perhaps that was an afterthought. Yet somehow there was one change--Light. While he was still Light, Lucifer, he came to know Self. He put this Self above the Unity of angels and rebelled.
The rebellion was crushed. Lucifer met the Archangel Michael in single combat, Light against War. Their champion beaten, their army outnumbered two to one, the rebellious angels filed out of Heaven never to return, to a place that would become known as Hell. They continued skirmishes however, and the ensuing guerrilla war would take some of Heaven's finest. Knowledge sacrificed herself to contain Legion. The Waters and Ocean were lost in mutual annihilation. Into this void stepped the gods.
The gods, the ethereal beings as the angels call them, were the offspring of dreams. Not Dreams the Archangel, locked in painful struggle with her former love, now Nightmares, but dreams the creation of human hearts. They were begotten like children but grew like spirits, beginning as mere thoughts and growing to unrelenting archetypes, near-Words in their power but more human, more prone to the fits and frailties of the human condition. In this they were divided, among nations and among themselves. In this was their downfall.
(Here I'm sacrificing continuity for a good story.)
Michael had no beef with the gods, it is true, but the Host was no longer his to command. Dominic, the Archangel of Judgment, was charged as part of his Word with keeping the integrity of the Lord's army. He saw that Michael's methods were painfully close to Lucifer's own, full of pride and glory for the individual. He called Michael to trial for this, which infuriated War. While the Lord Himself it seemed pardoned Michael of the charges, the trial pushed him out of command. He would not fight the enemy and the courtiers, and disgusted with politics he walked away. He was still War however, and fights on his own terms to this day. Dominic keeps a wary eye.
Into his post stepped Uriel, Purity. He is most infamous for taking the Word and the office to their logical extreme: war and purity make genocide. He attacked the gods. Granted some of them were a greater threat than the fallen angels, pushing nations into war over snits, tossing around powers capriciously. Humanity had come to believe that life was random loveless and short, and in this light Uriel's choice was understandable. And yet he slaughtered without discernment. Unicorns, dragons, anything with a physical form was killed outright. Gods, spirits, fae fled to the dreamlands where some were pursued and killed and some found shelter. A few such spirits evaded the angels and took shelter in groves, mountains, even temples thought bare. Thor was last seen fighting six Malakim, Heaven's black-winged soldiers, and is not seen since.
As abruptly as he began, Uriel stopped. The angels say he was taken to the higher heavens; the gods knew only that he was gone. His movement fizzled, and his post was left unfilled. Khalid, his right hand and the patron of Islam, the Word of Faith, waited to be called. His younger counterpart Laurence of the Sword, patron of Christianity, was instead elevated to the post of Commander of the Lord's Army, by the Lord Himself. Most shook their heads--Laurence was too green. Khalid walked away into doubt and fanaticism. The divisions within the Host, for some had objected to the genocide, were shifted.
It is in this situation we find our story. Gabriel, the Lord's messenger and Archangel of Fire, went mad. Eli of Creation, arguably always a bit mad, went on walkabout and is said to not know that he is an angel. Laurence and Michael duked it out once and have an understanding. Dominic is still feared by most of the Host and hated by Michael, and endures this in the firm belief that the integrity he works for is worth the animosity.
The host is split into three overlapping factions. The first is War, to win at any cost. This includes Michael, Janus of the Wind, the remains of Gabriel's organization, and sometimes David of Stone. The second is Purity, to hold integrity above all other values. Here we find Dominic and Laurence, sometimes David, sometimes others. Khalid is presumed to be of this faction but that is presumption--he returned from his self-imposed exile reborn and moderated, and has not settled into any faction. Perhaps he won't. Then there is Peace, consisting of Flowers, Animals, and Trade certainly, but counting Creation among their number. Yves--Destiny--has steadfastly refused to chose.
Corat (he's not In Nomine canon, but he's the link in our story), began his life as an angel in 1145 A.D. Khalid being absent, Janus of the Wind (and travel) sponsored the angels of Pilgrimage, to which he belonged. He had a long and distinguished career there, fearless and compassionate and willing to deal with people others would not. WWJD, I suppose, but be a bit of a maverick.
This went well enough for hundreds of years, guiding people to their destinations and hearing their stories, acting as a non-ordained confessor insofar as anything told to him never went any further. During the 17th century he met a Mercurian of Flowers who would prove to be a longstanding friend, despite being unable to tell her so much. Still it was a blessing to tell someone, something, to be able to talk to someone through all the roles and masks and languages and destinations.
It was a long and distinguished career, and other pilgrimage angels whispered that he might earn the Word. Then in 1972 he made a mistake. It was not the first off the Book site he'd gone to, nor even truly the first pagan site. It was simply...Yasukuni.
A Shinto war shrine, perhaps he was unaware of the deal the kami had cut with the Demon Prince Nybbas, of Media. Michael, having himself been on the wrong end of a Purity crusade, sympathized. When Corat was called to trial for promoting a pagan war cult, War stepped in. The results proved disastrous...or so it seems.