Characters: The Salvation War
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Earth HumansHumans who are still in their "first life" - that is, who haven't died yet and still live on Earth.
The British Prime Minister. He gave Humanity's first reply to the message, inadvertently naming the demons, when he told the Lord's Herald to "Sod off, Baldrick!"
U.S. Army General in charge of the United States military in Iraq during the initial invasion. Later commands US forces in Hell, promoted to General of the Armies, and then the commanding general of the Human Expeditionary Army.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Pretty much his only flaw in the story is his handwriting, "an almost indecipherable scrawl." Then again, this is an age of "email and datalinks"...
- Ass Kicking Equals Authority: A bookish 57-year-old with a back problem, an old gunshot wound and a habit of Motrin-popping is Supreme Commander of Earth, Heaven, and Hell, and earned it too.
- Badass Bookworm: Explicitly declared by the author. Also, from Chapter 32 of Armageddon, when Petraeus and a scientist discuss the physiology of the daemons (almost a thousand of whom were in a POW camp):"I still find it hard to believe that something that’s so different from us could be related to us. DNA shifts and mutation rates can’t explain that level of difference."Protect us from intelligent, well-read generals. Surlethe sighed quietly to himself, life had been much easier in the old days when Generals knew how to destroy armies and nothing else. Then, they just accepted everything a scientist said. Put on a long white coat and they were as good as gold. This one had an annoying habit of arguing with scientists and, even more annoying, was very often right. He quickly realized that it was about to get worse.
- Six Star Badass: Was promoted to five-star General of the Army in Armageddon after the annihilation of Abigor's army in Iraq, then only three months after Satan's death he's promoted to General of the Armies — the only one in U.S. history after George Washington, and John J. Pershing.
- Considering that George Washington might be out there and still coherent — and thus, still technically a General of the Armies of the United States as well — Petraeus may either be given a seventh star in the future or have a beneficially literal reading of Washington's actual promotion order, and of the relevant law... (Specifically, the part about "past and present" grades as of 1976, with no explicit mention of future rank and grades.)
- The Strategist: His main role as an "operational" commander, even after becoming commanding general of the HEA with all the implicit administrative duties.
George W. Bush
President of the United States during the events of Armaggeddon???
George W. Bush's successor as US president, whose term began during the opening of Pantheocide.
Started the Salvation War as an African-American supply corps lieutenant who was thrown in the deep end by being put in charge of a tank platoon, since she was the only officer available when the original commander laid down and died. Learned her job fast and was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time on several occasions. Due to her competence and effectiveness, promoted very rapidly as the Army expanded and stabilized. Is now a Colonel in command of the Spearhead Battalion (ironically a name she'd originally dismissed as cliché), 3rd Armored Division, essentially the "go-to" unit that gets all the peculiar or unusual jobs General Petraeus needs done. She was given the nickname "Hooters" for being notably well-endowed, which tends to get inconvenient in an M1 Abrams.
- Buxom Is Better: ...Except when you have to move around in a cramped fighting vehicle all day; she catches her chest on the tank's cupola ring once in Pantheocide, causing quite a bit of pain.
- Catch Phrase: She says "hokay" often enough for it to sound like this.
- Casual Kink: Apparently into at least mild BDSM, as she had an ex-boyfriend who enjoyed being "trampled" by her.
- Good-Looking Privates: Enough so an angel describes her as "comely", and notes she's very well-endowed.
- The Lancer: She was the first human commander to kill an angel, which got her on General Petraeus' radar. Later, she handled Abigor's surrender and began a quick rise through the ranks.
Government contractor who specializes in targeting nuclear weapons. Creepy.
- Author Avatar
- Subverted; was originally thought to be this by most, but has since revealed himself to be one Don Brennan, apparently a real-life historical figure in his own right.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Related to the above, one popular theory that may have panned out was that the Targeteers were actually multiple individuals. Not that you can tell from the descriptions.
- Uncanny Valley
A Gothic transgender medium who handles portal-generating duties for the HEA for the first two books. In the early days, the crude equipment available for opening portals caused her great pain to use but she carried on in order to make sure the special forces operating in hell were kept supplied. As a result, she became a heroine in Special Forces circles and anybody rude to her gets an immediate dose of attitude adjustment.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Insistent Terminology: Do not capitalize the "k."
- Unhappy Medium
- Not Anymore, she have a well-developing career as one of H.E.A. best sensitives, have a loving and understanding partner and is very respected and looked up to, the transition point was when she saw people in the First Ring with a H.E.A. Officer on her side. For her whole life she was certain Hell is where she'd come after death. The officer explained that she saw that she would come to Hell; what she didn't see was that she'd bring the whole US Army with her and save everyone there. She didn't come as victim, but as conqueror and saviour.
- The Woobie: Both to the audience and in-universe.
Second-Life Humans"Dead" humans, living either in Heaven or Hell.
Former Emperor of Rome, who managed to avoid being tortured by making deals with "old gods."
Former helicopter pilot for the United States military; killed in action and sent to Hell, where she formed the People's Liberation Front for Hell.
- La Résistance
- Rape as Drama: Her treatment on arrival in Hell.
- The Lancer: Becomes this for Julius Caesar.
Former Corporal in the US Army's 10th Mountain Brigade, killed during the defense of Hit, Iraq. Forms part of the human resistance in Hell following his death.
Forces of HellDenizens of Hell, also known as "Baldricks" to humans. Come in an enormous variety of shapes and powers.
Lucifer. The Devil. Resident Big Bad in Hell, who sends forces to Earth once Yahweh declared all of mankind damned.
- Large and In Charge
- Made of Iron: Took an anti-ship missile to the face and survived, and in fact started regenerating immediately.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Killed by two anti-ship missiles to the face... the second of which was needed, because he had already been regenerating from the first!
- Purple Is Powerful: His blood is purple. Doesn't help him that much, though.
- Shoot the Messenger: More like telekinetically crush the messenger.
General of the first demonic army sent to invade Earth. Ran headlong into modern, mechanized human warfare and barely survived.
- Anti-Villain: even before his Heel-Face Turn.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Pretty much Abigor's attitude regarding humans up until a battered flying messenger reports that the bulk of his cavalry and harpies were wiped out on the first day.
- Heel-Face Turn: Surrenders his "army" — the first army's survivors, his mates and their kidlings — to humanity after it was destroyed by them.
- Villainous Breakdown: Seeing his army slaughtered broke him hard. Becomes outright tragic when Satan's reaction is to order him to commit an obvious suicide attack.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Besides mistaking tank attacks for human mage "bolts," his response to the failure of the first day was to extend his lines by thinning them, in hopes of flanking and enveloping the enemy... which not only missed the point but also further impaired his ability to command and control the army.
- On the other hand, in making the decision literally overnight to thin out his army with the intent to flank and envelop, he actually had in a few hours skipped several centuries of brutal lessons in warfare, "fighting in entirely new mental terrain" (Word of Author). The equivalent human phenomenon of battles enlarging past a general's ability to control the entirety of his army "was the big command shock of the late 18th and early-mid 19th century."
A succubus who gets captured in Thailand and defects to the human side.
- Chaotic Neutral: In-Universe; the story makes it very clear that she's ultimately loyal only to herself.
- Horny Devils
- Love Is in the Air: As a succubus she can emit pheromones that make people around her sympathetic to her and agreeable to her wishes. Originally seen by humans as daemonic bimbos, it is slowly becoming apparent that the Succubae are much more dangerous than they appear.
Duke of Hell who specializes in unconventional tactics, clever planning, and actual research, all of which are used against humanity.
A Gorgon and originally the mate of Belial. Also, the source of all his better ideas although she goes to great lengths to let him think he comes up with them.
A Great Duke of Hell and the commander of the army tasked with stopping the Human invasion of Hell.
- Tempting Fate: when his aide said that surrounding the Human army could make them fight harder, he asked if they could fight any harder of how they fought Abigor's army. During the battle against him, the Russians used poison gas.
- The Red Baron: known as the Lord of Flies due the great number of flying demons in his legions.
Forces of HeavenDenizens of Heaven, referred to as "angels" by humans. Generally come in only one form, that of very tall and extremely beautiful humanoid figures.
Leader of Heaven, who decided to damn humanity to Hell for questioning his rule and status as "God".
Yahweh's right-hand angel, so to speak. The single most powerful angel in Heaven, short of Yahweh himself, and able to wipe out entire cities with just an effort of his will. Killed by the HEA forces over Los Angeles in Pantheocide.
- The Dragon: Word of God says that this is his function to Yahweh; Michael has to arrange for his death in order to be able to overthrow Yahweh, because otherwise Uriel would have destroyed him.
- Karmic Death: He's killed by a beam of pure light, and his fallen body impaled on the spire of the Crystal Cathedral, in the City of Angels. Humans parade him after death on a heavy truck like a hunting trophy.
- Unwitting Pawn: Never realized that it was a bad idea to trust Michael.
Yahweh's head general, prosecutor of the heavenly war on Earth, and resident scheming bastard.
- Anti-Villain: While he wants to rule Heaven he's also doing all this to save his race from what he sees as humanity's inevitable victory... and possible angelic extinction, had his scheming not borne fruit.
- Could also be seen as Anti-Hero of the type III/IV/V (he oscillates between all three, spending most time as type IV).
- Draco in Leather Pants: A very popular character despite the horrifying results of his scheming.
- Karma Houdini: What becomes of him is the big plot-wrap-up readers have been waiting to see, as Michael-lan-Michael's intending to get away with it all.
- Turns out he gets stripped of his position of ruler of the city by General Petreaus, then gets set up as a puppet ruler by The Man Behind the Man, the apparently dead Elhmas. A rather hollow victory.
- Magnificent Bastard: Oh my god, yes. Plays almost the entire cast like a fiddle.
- Manipulative Bastard: if you're talking to him, or even talking to someone who's talked to him, he's playing you.
- Moral Event Horizon: His treatment of Maion.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His first reaction on actually seeing the conditions within the concentration camp that he helped create. May be subverted when he claims later on in his own thoughts that he doesn't feel any guilt whatsoever for the repercussions of his schemes, although this may be denial.
- Necessarily Evil: does some absolutely horrible things that are, in the end, absolutely necessary. As one character tells Lemuel in Pantheocide, if Michael hadn't done what he did, all of Heaven would have been nuked/flattened.
- Pet the Dog: gets a few of these moments.
- Raising both Lemuel and Maion up a level or two in the angelic hierarchy to make their lives easier. Admittedly, this also has the effect of stopping the righteous rage of Lemuel.
- Setting up Lemuel and Maion to make them both happy. Again, it conveniently helps him too.
- Pyrrhic Villainy: When the dust settles, Michael escapes justice for his crimes. However, It costs him his most trusted friend, he doesn't end up in charge of Heaven (General of the Armies Petraeus summarily ousts him, appoints his replacement and holds final say over the replacement's deputies), he's Out-Gambitted in the eleventh hour by someone even cleverer than he is and he ends Pantheocide defeated and alone. He even loses his cherished nightclub, the only thing that he actually loves, Petraeus having exiled him to a countryside estate and monitoring the nightclub's new supervisor.
- This is Michael, Chessmaster extraordinaire, and natural inspirer of loyalty. Only one person in the entire series has worked out all of what he did and why, and he seems to be content with taking the backseat and keeping a weather eye on Michael. More than likely he'll be back in charge of his nightclub soon enough, albeit under very heavy watch indeed.
- The Starscream
- Stealth Insult: the absolute master of this, when speaking to Yahweh
- Troll to Yahweh.
- Villain Protagonist
Head of the League of the Heavenly Court, which is essentially Heaven's equivalent of federal police.
Young female angel that Michael got hooked on heroin, and now serves as a pawn in his greater schemes.
Yahweh's biological son (aka, Jesus Himself, as well as Muhammad). One of Michael's friends and appears to be a total stoner... or is he?
- Erudite Stoner
- Guile Hero: Manages to completely upstage Michael himself, ruining his moment of triumph and turning him into a puppet, permanently demolishing his plans to become ruler of the Eternal City. And he did it all in a single scene.
- I Am Not My Father: With regards to Yahweh.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: Took on a human form as Jesus of Nazareth to spread the message of love, forgiveness, and all the other good stuff. Despite humanity misinterpreting several of his messages, he still is far better with them than his father is. Plus, the fact that he's a Guile Hero who outsmarted Michael adds to his cool factor.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: OH. BOY. Not nearly as stupid as he seems, but holy wow, whoever saw THAT coming? Also realized humanity's potential long before anyone else, even Michael.