Cast Pages - Satan


Prince of Darkness, Father of Lies and all the rest of it.

The only point is that he isn't. Much of what you hear about the former Archangel Lucifer is God's propaganda.

Satan at the start of The Pantheon is like most divine beings - intent on enjoying himself and not much interested in the affairs of mortals. He is, paradoxical as it may sound, quite good friends with Jesus, who may have helped him in past. Jesus is used to being a tool of God, and to disillusionment, so they have several things in common.

Satan also knows and is well-liked by a fair number of gods from other belief systems, notably Ares, the Greek god of war, with whom he probably has history.

In the actual comics he encounters Pan, whose physical similarity to himself he finds amusing and whose mindset as a trickster god he identifies with.

He also, and perhaps more importantly, meets Metrobius, a Greek goatherd.

Satan's relationship with Metrobius is very much an equal one, despite Metrobius being only human. Satan's not about to cheat on him, or do anything else to endanger the partnership. It's probably something he needs after centuries of emotional turmoil and casual sex with half-willing Christian priests.

Satan's respect for Metrobius in no way extends to the entire human race, though it will probably make him think twice about treating them as inferior beings, as most gods do (see Apollo).

History and Theodicy

Christians say God is an all-knowing being. He knows the past, present and future. If he's all-knowing, he must have known, on creating Lucifer, that he was creating a being destined to become "evil". Somebody who deliberately creates evil cannot be said to be ultimately good. And yet God's reputation is also one of ultimate goodness. He is all that is good, Satan is all that is evil.
What's going on?
It has always appeared to me that what's going on is the deliberate creation of a scapegoat, in the form of Lucifer/Satan. Because if God has somebody to point to and say "Look, he's Evil," he can then point to himself and say "Look, I'm Good."
He can also say "Look, I'm better than all those other gods, because I'm all Good. Worship me, not them." And that's the real advantage.

If it's to God's advantage to drag Satan's reputation through the mud, we can't really be sure how much of what we hear of Satan is true and how much is beat-up. So is he really that bad?

The story of his fall from Heaven, as he tells it in the Fallen Angel trilogy, centres around a single heat-of-the-moment incident where (as the Christians teach us) he rejects God's authority. That is to say he calls God a liar and punches him in the face. The reasons for this are made clear in the storyline itself. But it was certainly nothing planned.

He mentions at the end of "Fallen Angel" that after his rejection from Heaven he hated God (as one would) and did everything he could to make life hard for God's believers. This is the traditional Satan, the one everyone knows. He is the enemy of God and everyone associated with God. He tempts, he tortures damned souls, he uses people and he hates pretty much everyone. Including himself. See the short story Walking in Shadows - The Church.

At some point between "Walking in Shadows" and the start of Pantheon-proper, he has a revelation. God wants him to hate and tempt and torture and use, because it's good for God's reputation. But the last thing somebody who hates God wants to spend his time doing is good deeds for God. So he stops, and gets on with doing exactly what he likes.

Cue his meeting with Pan.

Next: Jesus.

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