Follow TV Tropes


Characters / The Salvation War

Go To

    open/close all folders 

Earth Humans

Humans who are still in their "first life" - that is, who haven't died yet and still live on Earth.

     Gordon Brown 

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!"

  • Dude, Not Funny!: Says an equivalent of this to George Bush after he comments on how Sheffield's only usage now was a tourist location.

     David Petraeus 

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.
  • Four-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???

  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Pulls a fast one on the baldricks while convincing them to surrender, with very little effort on his own part.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Notable as the forum this story originated from does not have a high opinion of the man in real life.

     Barack Obama 

George W. Bush's successor as US president, whose term began during the opening of Pantheocide.

     Keisha Stevenson 

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.
  • Catchphrase: 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.

     The Targeteer 

Government contractor who specializes in targeting nuclear weapons. Creepy.



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."
  • Transgender: Assigned male at birth, but she identifies as female. Later in Armageddon???, she undergoes gender confirmation surgery provided by the Army.
  • 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.

     Karl Rove 

Second-Life Humans

"Dead" humans, living either in Heaven or Hell.

     Julius Caesar 

Former Emperor of Rome, who managed to avoid being tortured by making deals with "old gods."

  • The Chessmaster: His solution to being so badly outnumbered that even modern weaponry won't be enough? Convince the demonic veterans that his forces have the same advantage they've had in previous battles, and use them to wipe out the less experienced Zerg Rush. He adapts to the changing situation incredibly quickly and ends the series in a position of considerable strength.
  • Historical Domain Character: The first (unofficial) emperor of Rome. Death hasn't made him any less badass.

     Jade Kim 

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.


     Tucker McElroy 

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 Hell

Denizens of Hell, also known as "Baldricks" to humans. Come in an enormous variety of shapes and powers.


Lucifer. The Devilnote . Resident Big Bad in Hell, who sends forces to Earth once Yahweh declared all of mankind damned.


General of the first demonic army sent to invade Earth. Ran headlong into modern, mechanized human warfare and barely survived.

  • A Father to His Men: Treats his soldiers notably better than many other demonic generals.
  • Anti-Villain: Coded as this 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.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: A villain he may have been at the time, but it's hard not to feel bad for what happened to Abigor when he was still working under Satan: as shown above, he cared much more for his troops than the other demonic officers, and losing them all devastated him, and it was followed right afterwards by Satan sending him on a suicide mission for his failure along with the troops that remained and his family. But once he surrenders and starts working with the humans, the invaluable information he provides is duly rewarded and his luck turns around hard: by Pantheocide, he is President of Hell, has a high approval rating for his benevolence among his subjects, and friends among the humans.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Surrenders his "army" — the first army's survivors, his mates and their kidlings — to humanity after it was destroyed by them.
  • The Good King: By the end of Armageddon???, having taking the throne from Satan and ruling Hell far more benevolently than his predecessor.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Abigor realizes he has no real proof that torturing humans in Hell is for the betterment of Demonkind.
    Abigor spoke very slowly as the words formed in his mind, breaking the mental blocks of millennia. “No, I don’t know any of this. I just believed it. And if my belief was false.” His great clawed hand waved over the pictures. “Then all of this, all of it, was for nothing."
  • Know When to Fold Them: When he realizes the humans are giving him a chance to surrender rather than finishing him off, he takes it.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: A proud general of Hell, who was all too willing to slaughter humanity and send them to eternal suffering...because Satan ordered him to and like a good soldier he does as he's commanded. From the beginning, Abigor lacks the cruelty and sadism of his fellow demonic generals, and any torture and evil he does is because it's what he knows.
  • 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.
  • Villainous BSoD: When he realizes that torturing humans isn’t actually helping demons at all.
  • 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.

  • Anti-Hero: Luga's self-serving, with a bloodthirsty streak and a bit of a rotten attitude. Regardless, she's on humanity's side, if only because they're way better than Deumos.
  • Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: The FBI calls her to aid them interrogate a traitor.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sort of: like most succubi, Luga's in it for herself, and will join the side she thinks is going to win. Once she learns what humanity has to offer her as opposed to Satan and Deumos, she defects, all the while planning to double-cross humanity should the need arise. At the same time, she's willing to do a lot for the people she's allied to. Despite the immense pain she goes through, she opens the portal used to kill Satan.
  • Horny Devils
  • Know When to Fold Them: Surrenders herself immediately when she finds herself at gunpoint. This actually gets humanity's attention and they start considering that other demons might be convinced to surrender as well.
  • 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.

  • Dirty Coward: Abigor calls him a sniveling failure, and while every demon grovels before Satan, Belial takes it to an art form. When Satan is killed and the battle in Hell ends, Belial flees to Heaven to strike up an alliance and save his own skin.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Palelabor
  • Evil Genius: Ultimately subverted; he's certainly more innovative that the average demonic duke, but his attitude is still just as short-sighted and power-hungry as theirs.
  • Smug Snake
  • Superweapon Surprise: Dumping lava on Sheffield and Detroit.
  • Unwitting Pawn
  • Villainous BSoD: After Euryale betrays him.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He thinks he's Satan's Evil Genius, but all his innovations really accomplish is getting him marked as a priority target by the infinitely more adaptable humans, and giving Euryale an alibi for her own deeds during the war.


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.

  • The Chessmaster: Flawlessly plays Belial, and later manages to convince the humans that she was one of Belial's victims too, and ends up running a profitable delivery service and making an alliance with the rapidly-rising Julius Caesar.
  • Evil Genius: The brain behind Belial's plans.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Sort of. She's one of these by demon standards due to her succubus heritage.
  • The Starscream: She is actively insubordinate in front of Belial and flaunts it more so when he is of impaired judgement under alcohol. She betrays Belial during the final act of Armageddon???.


A Great Duke of Hell and the commander of the army tasked with stopping the Human invasion of Hell.

  • Death Seeker: After losing most of his army against the Russians, he soon falls into this moments before an aircraft kills him.
  • Final Boss: He and his army are the last line of defense between humanity and Hell, and he offers the toughest resistance they face during the Curbstomp War. After he goes down, Hell is humanity's oyster, and it's just a matter of hunting down Satan, who's fleeing for his life.
  • 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 Heaven

Denizens 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".

  • Believing Their Own Lies: He honestly seems to believe that he is the God and Creator of humanity even though the other angels know for a fact that he did not.
  • Cain and Abel: He and Satan are brothers here. As the war continues to go badly for Heaven, the family resemblance becomes more clear.
  • The Caligula: Maybe even worse than Satan in this regard: at least Satan made a token effort at actually ruling, while Yahweh just sits on his throne all day basking in worship while Heaven collapses around him and everyone conspires against him, only very rarely making decrees that invariably work against him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Is legitimately grief-stricken when Wuffles the Leopard Beast and Fluffy the Scarlet Beast are killed, though according to Michael they did not return his affection. He also calls Michael "friend" at the climax, seemingly not realizing that an (apparently) obedient servant is not the same thing.
  • God-Emperor: A more literal example, given that he's, well, God.
  • God Is Evil: The reason the Salvation War is taking place: he arbitrarily damned humanity to Hell.
  • God is Dead: By the end of Pantheocide Chapter 76, and at the hands of his own angels, not humanity.
  • Jerkass: Petty, vindictive, arrogant...'Yah-yah' is a dick.
  • Large and in Charge: Much larger than even the greatest of the angels, until he dies, at which point he returns to being no bigger than them.
  • Physical God: Nope: he's an incredibly powerful angel and not remotely as all-knowing or all-powerful as he presents himself.
  • Shock and Awe: His go-to means of attack.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Prone to tantrums when things don't go his way, sending lightning everywhere and tearing up his throne room.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Stops making any attempt to be civil when it becomes clear that Michael seeks to usurp him, outright trying to kill him.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Utterly convinced of his own power after eons of blind worship.


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.

  • Dark Is Evil: Unlike other angels, Uriel has pitch-black skin.
  • Deader Than Dead: Anything that dies by Uriel's will is not sent to Hell or Heaven afterward, and several times it's stated that he dosen't just kill them, he snuffs their souls out. Jury's still out on whether it's this or he simply sends them somewhere else, though.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Crosses this before his death in Los Angeles: he realizes that even if he manages to escape, humanity has beaten him, and he'd never be able to bring himself to attack them again.
  • The Dreaded: Probably the biggest threat humanity faces during the Salvation War, and he's treated with every bit the fear and respect as any other weapon of mass destruction.
  • 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.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Talks about bringing "peace" while rendering thousands of people Deader Than Dead for one thing. When he confronts a human in his first appearance, the human looks into his eyes and sees Uriel's true self: "something dark and chittering like a mad insect", despite Uriel's calm demeanor.
  • 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.
  • Walking Wasteland: Leaves thousands dead in his wake.


Yahweh's head general, prosecutor of the heavenly war on Earth, and resident scheming bastard-in-chief (except for Elhmas.)

  • Affably Evil: He's perfectly charming, funny, and likeable, despite his arrogance, as well as having an extraordinary capacity to inspire loyalty.
  • Anti-Villain: While he wants to rule Heaven, he's primarily 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).
  • Break the Haughty: His meeting with Ehlmas at the end of Pantheocide is noted by the humans to have knocked some of the stuffing out of him (even if they don't know the exact cause).
  • The Creon: Of a sort. He spends most of the series scheming to depose Yahweh, and he's happy to rule, but he isn't remotely bothered by being ousted by Petraeus (noting to Raphael that it was about 50:50 odds), and is apparently genuine in that his sole desire is to run his nightclub in peace (while, it goes without saying, also having a good deal of influence on the actual ruler of Heaven).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He is horrified by the concentration camp he helped build, and regrets that his fellow soldiers had to die by nuclear fire. His final tirade against Yahweh is partly driven by Yahweh's ungrateful dismissal of their sacrifice.
  • 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 Petraeus, then gets set up as a puppet ruler by The Man Behind the Man, the apparently dead Elhmas. A rather hollow victory.
      • Moreover, even though Zacharael the mason is supposed to be "his man," making Michael The Man Behind the Man, Petraeus is already aware that something's up and has final say on Zacharael's cabinet picks.
      • If Zacharael is who everyone thinks he is, Michael planned for this as well, noting immediately afterwards that he reckoned it was about 50:50 the humans would depose him immediately.
  • Manipulative Bastard: If you're talking to him, or even talking to someone who's talked to him, he's playing you.
  • 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. He admits he half-expected to be ousted and doesn't really mind. Moreover, 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: To Yahweh.
  • Stealth Insult: The absolute master of this when speaking to Yahweh.
  • Troll to Yahweh.
  • Uriah Gambit: His favoured method of getting rid of threats, actual or potential. Usually, it works like a charm. Except for on Ehlmas, who figures it out, winds up Faking the Dead, then shows up at the end to deliver an affable death-threat should Michael end up going the way of Yahweh.
  • Villain Protagonist
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Favours this approach, at one point explaining that it's best to adapt plans to fit circumstances, rather than try the reverse.


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, and possibly Martin Luther). One of Michael's friends and appears to be a total stoner... or is he?

  • Erudite Stoner: More eloquent than most, even while baked.
  • 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.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Forget Obfuscating Stupidity, he surpasses arch-schemer Michael in a single scene.
  • 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.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: