The Abidan are an organization that governs the Iterations, ensuring order. Their job is to ensure the Iterations do not deviate too greatly from their natural progression. They protect from outside interference and quarantine worlds when it is time for collapse. The Abidan is an organization with seven divisions; each division is governed by a Judge. The Judges are also referred to as the Court Of Seven or simply the Abidan. The Abidan are very powerful and their artifacts are coveted across all of the Way. Their strength is due to the Eledari Pact which allows them great control when manipulating the Way. The common troops of the Abidan can be compared in strength to the Monarchs of Cradle.
The Abidan is composed of some seven or eight judges and legions of supportive lesser Abidan. They are a force for order, not chaos, aligned with the Way. The Way is fundamentally a force of protection, a barrier against chaos and destruction.
Image, Suriel, Abidan Judge, by sh_aye_
The Judges and their support forces access the serene blue Way, white-armored legions taking care of the numerous Iterations that make up The Way and The Worlds. They cannot create new Worlds from whole cloth, but they can help stitch Iterations together from fragments of dead worlds. They would need a valuable and rare Worldseed to create a brand new world, and they only have three left (Uncrowned, ch 17).
Each division of the Abidan has a different job description. The responsibilities of the Phoenix Division are varied, including to protect the weak, within the bounds of non-interference with fate.
Suriel thought. This was the sort of person the Abidan were created to save: the weak who stood against the strong. The sort of person the Phoenix was meant to save. The sort of person who might, with a little outside help, even reach beyond their fate. (Unsouled, ch 11)
The Abidan also uphold the tenets of the Eledari Pact across the cosmos, and battle cosmic supervillains, including the Vroshir, etc.
- See article about The Way, The Void, The Worlds
HQ is located on Sanctum, Iteration #001. This is where the vast numbers of Abidan forces are based, where they work and where they live when not called away.
However, Makiel’s First Division: the Hounds moved to Outpost #01, aka Oversight, to improve on their ability to observe Fate.
History, Three Generations
The current Court of Seven Judges is the third panel of Abidan to maintain the Worlds. The original founding Abidan served thousands of years ago — perhaps 20,000 years, some readers have textimated. There are seven Abidan Judges in the Court of Seven, plus Ozriel the Reaper, 008.
1. The first group of Judges ascended from Cradle aeons ago, some time after they built the Labyrinth. Guided by the original Makiel, they created the Eledari Pact. All Abidan are sworn to uphold the Eledari Pact. However, the non-interference clause is problematic. Apparently, for some as yet unstated reason, the first generation Abidan were killed? The books say little, though:
He held the Sword of Makiel in both hands. The massive two-handed blade had once been used to pass capital punishment on the first generation of Abidan. (Bloodline ch 18)
2. The second group of Judges set up the Executor Program, which failed. (more info below)
3. This third, current Court of Seven Judges initiated the growth of thousands of new Iterations, because they had finally found a Reaper who could erase all fragments of chaos and corruption, if and when the world finally died.
The Eledari Pact
An ancient agreement between the original Founders of the Abidan — all of them originally ascended from Cradle. This pact both increases and restricts the powers of the Abidan. It is the tool that allows the Abidan Judges to control the power of the Way as they do. There are many rules in the Eledari Pact, but the most relevant one is the Abidan cannot use their powers to prevent the natural progression of an Iteration. If an Iteration, or World, is destined to die, then that’s a matter of fate. “Everything ends.”
The Eledari Pact was first conceived of by the original, first generation Makiel, Hound of Fate, thousands of years ago.
Makiel is something of a leader among the seven Judges, though the Eledari Pact technically gives him no authority over his peers. This is a tradition continued from the original Makiel, who first realized the need for such a pact and organized its creation. (-Excerpt Makiel, Will Wight’s blog)
Executor Program & Eledari Pact
The former panel of seven Abidan Judges created the Executor Program to work around the most upsetting clause of the Eledari Pact, non-interference. The Executor Program failed abysmally, as Duruman, The Mad King, will testify:
Daruman was chosen by the second Court of Seven to be among the first of what they were to call their Executors. He was an agent of the Abidan, but un-bound to the Eledari Pact, so he was not prevented from interfering in Fate. He and his four peers were sent to dying worlds, to defeat the threat from the inside and prolong the existence of the Iterations as long as possible. At first, the experiment was declared a success. . . . By this point, trust in the Executors was nonexistent. A second generation had already been appointed, but these had been raised from birth by the Abidan themselves, designed to be perfectly competent and loyal. Daruman was already considered a relic of an embarrassing past. (Bloodline ch 5)
The second group of hand-raised and loyal Executors failed, too, and the program was discontinued. So, as it stands, the Abidan, according to the Pact, cannot stop a global war from claiming billions of lives and destroying a planet, unless that war was started by outside forces or by a significant subversion of fate. Abidan representatives only descend to correct a deviation of fate, though they're granted a certain freedom of action in doing so. This law exists both to preserve the natural balance of existence and to prevent the Abidan or other powers from settling down in lesser worlds and ruling like gods.
For example, Judge Suriel the Phoenix descended to Sacred Valley to arrest the ascended Grand Patriarch Li Markuth, who returned to rule as king. His crime: spatial violation and attempted domination of local inhabitants.
“Li Markuth was not permitted to return to this world. His attack was a deviation from fate, which I have reversed. When I depart, it will be as though your festival continued uninterrupted.” (Unsouled, ch 11)
The Abidan Judges
There are seven Judges in the current 3rd-generation Court of Seven, plus Ozriel the Reaper. Before they rose to the level of judge, they typically served in a support capacity in an Abidan subdivision, learning from a master, perhaps even a judge.
The Abidan judges are tremendously powerful. However, they are not perfectly benevolent — some are self-centered. They come in a variety of humanoid forms, from a variety of worlds, with a variety of personality quirks. Yet compared to the world-killing Vroshir, the judges are saints.
Every judge wears a white mantle, passed down from generation to generation, except Ozriel, whose mantle is black. They all carry a unique and amazing personal weapon. They all have an intelligence, called a Presence. Each judge has a major connection to the Way, a connection to some fundamental aspect of reality. They all have a source of personal power, apart from the Way, and they have a great deal of Will.
The Court of Seven was created with the founding of the Eldari Pact. They are the strongest of the Abidan, with each possessing the power and authority to determine the fate of whole universes (or Iterations). They oversee the workings of The Way, caring for the Iterations and ensuring their natural progression. The responsibilities of the Eldari Pact are divided between the seven, and their positions are named to reflect those duties.
- Makiel, the Hound - 001 future sight, supervise fate
- Gadrael, the Titan - 002 defense
- Durandiel, the Ghost - 003 unmaking techniques, spatial control
- Telariel, the Spider - 004 communication and detection
- Razael, the Wolf - 005 attack
- Suriel, the Phoenix - 006 healing and restoration
- Zakariel, the Fox - 007 transportation
- Ozriel, the Reaper - 008 ultimate termination, but can use the abilities of all the other judges except Suriel)
- Adriel, the Creator
- If one of the Seven ever reaches their end, either through a desire to retire or through death in combat, a replacement is selected. Such a replacement takes up the mantle and authority of that Judge, going by that name for the duration of their service as a Judge. An unknown amount of time ago, the structure of the Court of Seven changed with the addition of the Eighth Judge of the Abidan Court, Ozriel the Reaper. With the power of the Scythe, Ozriel was the only being in existence with the ability to completely erase an Iteration, leaving behind no corrupted fragments.
- Members of the Vroshir, a cosmic criminal organization, are relentless against Abidan order.
- The Mad King in particular absolutely hates the judges and their Eledari Pact. He considers the Abidan to be criminals themselves, and tyrants.
- Class-One Fiends are another threat to the Abidan, but there are only a limited number of them, and they are imprisoned on Asylum. Right?
- The Abidan Court of Seven itself seems to be splintering from within. Perhaps the judges are their own worst enemy. Certainly, Makiel is not supportive of Ozriel, for one example.
Detailed info on enemies at Vroshir
The Abidan oversee thousands of Iterations, or worlds, more fully listed and detailed at The Way and The Worlds, but some Iterations are central to the Abidan and to the Cradle series.
- Cradle #110 — Birthplace of founding Abidan and later, of Ozmanthus Arelius, who became Ozriel, the Reaper of the Abidan, 008
- Limit #216 — Where Ozriel was last seen when he stopped the The Mad King’s attack 200 years ago (Bloodline, ch 8)
- Outpost #01 - Oversight. Headquarters of Makiel’s First Division: the Hounds
- Sanctum #001 - Headquarters of the Abidan organization, except for Makiel’s HQ
- Haven #002 — Where the Abidan keep their treasures in a secure vault (but Oz keeps his in the deepest Void)
All Iterations are listed and detailed at The Way and The Worlds