The Charred Council are mediators between Heaven and Hell. They were formed to keep the balance between the ever-warring forces of Heaven and Hell. Out of the chaos emerged the Third Kingdom, humanity. When both sides began to make an attempt on ensuring their influence within the Third Kingdom, the council forced a "cease-fire" and allowed the third kingdom to grow without fear of being obliterated. When the Three Kingdoms were ready for the end-war they would break the seven seals for the Apocalypse. The Charred Council is located in a special realm, though some have assumed that they were in Hell due to their fiery surroundings.
There are three Heads that physically represent the council, though the true number of council members and their identities are unknown. Each has a different role, and speak differently. The First is harsh and accusatory; the second questions all things, seeing the far reaching consequences of the crime before it and the judgment at hand. The Third is wise and slow to rouse, and usually offers a course of action that is most fair. Unfortunately, the council itself has been influenced by corruption, knowingly or unknowingly contributing to its strength as it devours creation.
The Old Ones are survivors of worlds more ancient than the current versions of Heaven and Hell, made by The Creator in an effort to create a balance in the universe. Sadly every attempt has failed thanks to the endless war between Angels and Demons. The worlds which suffer these conflicts die and are relocated to the Abyss along with their inhabitants. While they are no longer the center of the conflict as Humans were, they have the power to determine the tide of war depending on their alliances. Some serve the other races willingly such as the Makers.
The most important Old Ones in the series are the Charred Council. The Charred Council seeks to maintain the Balance between the First and Second Kingdoms under the belief that any great power, unopposed, would bring destruction to all Creation. To do so they have drafted the last four Nephilim to serve as the enforcers of their Law and to bring about judgment at the Endwar, hence their moniker "The Horsemen of the Apocalypse" They are the only ones able to obtain and sustain balance between the two sides in the war.
When the Apocalypse prematurely occurred War is held responsible for the events of the Apocalypse and the ultimate destruction of Earth. The Charred Council was furious with War, stating that he forgot his post and the law. Their argument against War was that because there was no call for the Four Horsemen, his presence on the battlefield during the battle of Armageddon turned the tides of war in favor of the demons (despite attacking both kingdoms involved in the constant warring) leading to the destruction of man's existence. After War strikes a bargain to be sent back in an attempt to punish those responsible for disrupting the balance, the Charred Council agrees, stripping him of most of his power and binding The Watcher to him to ensure his loyalty. They then return the Chaoseater sword to him and send him back on a journey to redeem himself, while failing to tell that a century "in human years", as the Watcher states, has passed since War was summoned to Earth.
The Charred Council knew about Abaddon and his conspiracy to start the Apocalypse early. They considered summoning the Horsemen to handle him, but they determined that, without proof, the Horsemen would not carry out justice. Instead, the council stripped War of his powers, when he tried to stop the Apocalypse and accused him of causing the destruction of humanity. They knew that, with vengeance as his motivation, War would stop at nothing to clear his name and seek justice for those responsible.
Nephilim are an ancient and endangered race derived from both Angels and Demons by the Demon Lilith. They fought against the Darkness with great ferocity, but the primitive Nephilim, flawed and corruptible, were finally exiled from the Light. Absalom, the first of the Nephilim crafted by Lilith upon whom the rest were based, led his kind on a world killing crusade beginning with the homeworld of the Ravaiim, who, under Death's advisement, were crafted into the Abominations, weapons the Nephilim used to annihilate many worlds. When the dust-formed Man was given Eden, the Nephilim were outraged. Believing Eden should have been theirs, they met the Archangels on the field of battle in an effort to claim it for themselves. However, four among them grew tired of the long, world-killing conquest of their kind. Believing that, ultimately, the Nephilim's rampage could irreparably damage the balance, they made a bargain with the Charred Council. In exchange for immense power, the four were charged with the destruction of their remaining kin. Thus the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were formed, and they rode forth to slaughter their former brethren, culminating in the duel between Absalom and Death. Death defeated the first Nephilim, who then became Corruption. The souls of the defeated Nephilim were then trapped in an amulet carried by the eldest Horsemen. Although instructed to destroy the souls by the Council, Death entrusted the amulet to the Crowfather, who agreed to take the burden in exchange for its secrets. The physical traits and powers of the Nephilim are quite diverse when compared to other races of the universe, save for their common humanoid shape. This may be owed to their unnatural creation at the hands of Lilith. Though they all retain a humanoid structure, the appearance of the Nephilim can be wildly differentiated. Absalom, for example, possessed very demonic features, not to mention being much larger than the other known Nephilim, whereas War's silver hair and more human features might be due to the angelic influence in their creation. However, it is possible that Absalom's more monstrous features were a result of Corruption's influence, as flashbacks to the battle at Eden portray him with more human features. All Nephilim possess incredible physical prowess. At least two of the Horsemen are known to have more powerful forms they can take on, but Absalom, the only named Nephilim not aligned with the Council, displayed no such ability. Determining what abilities come naturally to a Nephilim is further complicated by never seeing one portrayed without some sort of outside influence: The Horsemen gained power from the Charred Council and used abilities granted to them by other beings over the course of their journeys. Absalom, when encountered by Death, was utterly infested by Corruption and filled with its power. It is therefore impossible to truly measure the scope of the Nephilim's ability. Very little is known about how the Nephilim organized themselves, however it appears to have been simply structured oligarchy with a sole ruler holding the majority of the power along with a ruling class:
The Firstborn - A group of the oldest Nephilim that appears to have served some authoritative role in their social military structure, though the extent of their power is unknown. Death is mentioned as being one of the Firstborn. It is unknown whether Absalom, the ultimate leader of the Nephilim, was considered a Firstborn or possessed a unique status all his own.
The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are the Charred Council’s main method of reinforcing the Balance between Heaven and Hell. Death leads the group, with War, Fury and Strife.
War is the main protagonist of Darksiders. He is the youngest of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and a Nephilim. While not much is known about War's past, it is established that he is feared by both Angels and Demons, and it is hinted that he shares unpleasant histories with many. Though once amongst the Nephilim as they burned worlds under Absalom, War swore loyalty to the Charred Council with his three siblings in the name of preserving the balance. Before they could fully take up their mantles as the Four Horseman, War and his siblings were sent to the mysterious being known only as the Horsemaster. the Horsemaster demanded that they discard their weapons as the ancient beasts they sought to tame would bow only to their will. War proposed a wager as to who would tame their horse first. Fury and Strife proceeded to needle War about his tendency to boast, but the Horsemaster criticized them for bickering like children. Death, silent during the exchange, charged into the stampeding horses without a backward glance. He soon grabbed ahold of one horse and mounted it. The Nephilim gained control of it and directed it back to the Horsemaster and his siblings, where he named it Despair as its appearance changed to bone and pale dead flesh to reflect its master. The Red Rider presumably tamed Ruin shortly thereafter. The Four newly named Horsemen were sent to destroy their own kind at Eden, which the Nephilim under Absalom were attempting to conquer. War joined his brothers and sister in battle and together they brought about the annihilation of all the Nephilim save themselves.War has been described as the most honorable of the four horseman. He demonstrates this in his sparing of Uriel and his unwillingness to kill the Watcher when Samael urged him, still holding loyalty to the Council at the time. War is normally characterized by a very serious attitude, rarely speaking unless necessary and quick to cut through banter to the heart of the matter. Beneath his stoic exterior, War is quick to anger and can be fearsome whenever someone provokes his wrath. However, among his fellow Horsemen, War seems more relaxed, as he shows during his time with Death. He openly talks and asks questions to his brother, and shows more trust in him than anyone else we've seen him interact with. War wields a sword called Chaoseater and can mount a Phantom Horse, Ruin. Chaoseater is later replaced by the stronger Armageddon Blade, though War likely still has it in his posession. He also wields several secondary weapons in the Crossblade, Tremor Gauntlet, and Scythe. Once he had recovered its pieces, the Horseman wore the formidible Abyssal Armor. Additionally, War acquires various powers, items and abilities which aid him during his quest.
· Earthcaller: A mystic horn capable of knocking back enemies and waking Tormented Gates.
· Mercy: One of Strife's handguns that War wields.
· Abyssal Chain: An enchanted gauntlet that fires a spear tipped chain, allowing War to pull things towards him or pull himself towards his target.
· Voidwalker: An artifact that can create portals in particular surfaces.
· Wrath Powers: Several powers War is able able to purchased and upgraded.
· Shadowflight: A power that causes wings of shadow to appear from War's back so he can glide a limited distance.
· Chronomancer: A power that allows War to slow time using Chronospheres.
· Chaos Form: War is able to transform into a large, powerful, fiery creature.
Death is the main protagonist of Darksiders II. He is the leader of the Four Horsemen and the eldest of the surviving Nephilim ever since he carried out the extermination of the rest of their kind on the orders of the Charred Council. Death's past is mysterious and by all indications he prefers it that way. What is known is that he is one of the oldest of his kind, the Nephilim, one of the Firstborn. When the Nephilim went on their world destroying crusade under Absalom, it was he, as the closest thing they had to a crafter, that suggested the creation of the lesser and Grand Abominations from the bodies of the Ravaiim, the race that inhabited the first world the Nephilim attacked. This was, indeed, the very reason they targeted the Ravaiim's world. These were terrible weapons made of metal meshed with sinew, organs, and flesh, far more powerful than the Nephilim's other efforts, such as the sword Affliction and Death's own scythe, Harvester. They were eventually sealed away by the Firstborn Nephilim in the Abomination Vault, though not before many were lost or destroyed on battlefields like Kothysos. He led the other three surviving Nephilim, War, Fury, and Strife, away from the rest of their kind, defecting to serve the Charred Council at some point before the final battle at Eden. Death is described as an arrogant, sarcastic, cold and calculating anti-hero who is resourceful and opportunistic. He has seen and done many things that could be considered immoral, ranging from genocide, the destruction of entire worlds and the creation of weapons of world-ending power. He doesn't wait for things to happen, rather, he causes them to happen. Death is the leader of the Horsemen, so he is very level headed and mature. He is very harsh on his brethren, as he was not hesitant in cutting off War's left arm in order to teach him a lesson. Despite this, he cares deeply for his brothers and sister. He took a blow for Fury, brought War back to life after being killed and showed that he was willing to stand up to the Charred Council to prove his brother's innocence alone not to mention sacrificing himself and the souls of the Nephilim to erase War's supposed crime and resurrect humanity. This hidden warmth is not unnoticed by those around him; Oran the construct observed that he was not as cold as he pretended to be, to which Death responded that Oran should keep it to himself. As the Rider of the Pale Horse, he often appears somewhat morbid & ominous towards those who speak to him. He also possesses a dark sense of humor and sees killing as an art rather than a duty as War does. He is starting to feel guilt for some of his past actions such as the creation of the Grand Abominations and the destruction of his fellow Nephelim at the hands of himself and the other three Horseman. Death wields the shapeshifting scythe Harvester or other shapeshifting scythes when needed. He is capable of wielding a wide variety of secondary weapons, from bucklers, armblades, gauntlets, and claws to massive maces, axes, and spears. The Horseman also wore many different pieces of armor though he eventually obtained the full suit of Abyssal Armor. He also makes use of his Phantom Horse, Despair, as a steed and his crow companion, Dust, to search for the correct path.
· Redemption: One of Strife's handguns that Death wields.
· Death Grip: A power that allowed Death to use a ghostly hand to pull items towards him or pull himself to certain points.
· Voidwalker: A power that allowed Death to create portals in certain surfaces, it could also be used to travel through time once it had been upgraded with the Phasewalker.
· Wrath Powers: Death could wield powers from both the Necromancy and Harbinger skill trees.
· Soul Splitter: A power that allowed Death to split his spirit into two forms while turning his physical body to stone.
· Reaper Form: Death can transform into a large hooded being with skeletal wings and wielding a massive scythe. He can also summon this form for brief moments during battle and when opening chests and doors.
Fury is an Old One, one of the last of the Nephilim and a Horseman of The Apocalypse. She is the rider of The Black Horse whose name is currently unknown. Fury wields a fiery whip as her weapon, and can also use her claws to tear at her enemies. Her whereabouts are unknown.
Strife is a Nephilim and one of The Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He is the rider of the white horse, whose name remains unknown. He wields two large revolvers as his weapon of choice, but may also wield another unknown weapon that could be used for close combat. One of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Strife is the Rider of the White Horse. He carries the revolvers Mercy and Redemption. Strife does not waste time when it comes to business, and will make examples of people to teach a lesson to others. This is evidenced by how he silenced the demonic hordes who taunted the horsemen as they delivered a message to Samael, by shooting off the leg of one of the demons who yelled "Kill the Riders!". In the Darksiders novel, the Abomination Vault, Strife shows himself to be extremely stubborn and disagreeable, as befitting his name; even going so far as to challenge Death's authority over the rest of the Horsemen.
The Horsemaster is a mysterious being who watches over the herds of horses on another world. He is the one who gave the Horsemen their horses when they came to him. Death went to him so he can open a serpent hole that leads to Earth for him because his mission wasn't from the Charred Council.
The Keeper of Oblivion is one of the most feared underlings of the Charred Council, supposedly as feared as Death himself if not moreso. He lives in the same fiery domain as the Council, and has a Maker apprentice. He is shown to be very well spoken and polite, but Death suspects this to be a sort of cover. The Keeper, much like Death, has not been seen without a mask, a slab of metal with tear-like burns coming from the eye slits. The elder Horseman considers the Keeper a kindred spirit and arguably the closest thing he has to a friend outside the Four Horsemen. His title is his purpose: he functions as a punisher of souls sentenced by the Charred Council. By using a large, mirror like portal, he can send them into oblivion, thus erasing them from existence entirely. He refuses to question the council's judgement on the matters of who he sends there as a means to protect his sanity.
Sprites are shadowy lithe figures that serve the council unquestioningly. Their appearance, dark and shadowy, and abilities are more akin to demons, But they are infact classified as Old Ones, as they are neither Angel, Demon, or Human. The name Sprite is used by Azrael when referring to The Watcher, and is assumed to be the name of the race. Sprites serve the council for various tasks, In the Darksiders Universe only two have been observed so far, The Watcher and his sister. The Watcher's un-named sister was obliterated by The Charred Council upon going to Earth and observing that the Armageddon War had begun prematurely, and that War was upon the battle field. The reason for her death was not for providing this information, but because she had gone personally to Earth to obtain it, which was against the Laws of the council, as they are not allowed to go to Earth without the council's permission. It is unknown how many sprites there are, The main occupation of a Sprite is to be the eyes and ears of the Council for tasks, when authorized of course. The Watcher is granted several abilities by the council that allow him to keep War in line while he is on his quest to prove his innocence. Sprites are very weak physically, depending on magic for potential conflicts. They are seen as fiercely loyal to the council, and are seen by practically every race, Angel, Demon, even Old ones, with negativity as they are the harbingers of the Council's will.
The Wardens are some of the few allies War encounters on his journey through the Destroyed City. They are Old Ones just like War and Ulthane. They appear to be giant rock golems with parts of a stone door on their arms and legs, which they can fold up to become a door. They also have iron bars in a hole in their chest, and what appear to be stone fences on their backs. During the Apocalypse Tormented Gates were attacked by Demons and were captured using huge chains. After the apocalypse, they are enslaved by the Destroyer, with the purpose of guarding important areas or parts of the city. War encounters one in the prologue of the game, who is being attacked by demons trying to chain him down, thus blocking the road War needs to follow. In order to get him moving, War needs to defeat the angels flying behind the Tormented Gate. After War defeats the angels, he will break his chains, get up and starts walking away, clearing the road. Once War gains the Earthcaller he can blow it to free the Tormented Gates and have them open paths for him. Occasionally the Tormented Gates are cursed and unable to allow passage unless freed from the clutches of the Shadow Lurkers. In order to accomplish this War is given temporary vision into the Shadow Realm.
Makers are a race of Old Ones neutral to the conflict between the First and Second Kingdoms, as they built cities for both Heaven and Hell. The Makers live in the Forge Lands, an ancient realm that lingers at the edge of the Abyss so that creation can be balanced with destruction. Within the Forge Lands, the Makers largely reside in a place called Tri-Stone. They also previously inhabited many of the temples and foundries scattered throughout the landscape, places where they once crafted constructs of great size and power like the Wardens and the Guardian. Makers are somewhat unique amongst the races of Creation in that their souls are too ancient to be drawn to the Kingdom of the Dead. Instead, Makers form the souls of their dead into Heart Stones and use them to give life to their construct creations. Some constructs still retain memories of their lives as Makers. Maker society appears to be rather unstructured and informal. They do seem to hold their elders and shamans in high esteem as leaders but neither seems to be a role of absolute authority.