Kherubim are various groups/races of people from the planet Khera. Kherubim resemble humans in appearance, but are physically far stronger and more durable and extremely long-lived, nearly immortal. However an evolutionary drawback to their near-immortality is that nearly all Kheran females are infertile, only very rarely will a Kheran produce offspring. This is a natural check against overpopulation. Only one in 10,000 Kheran females is capable of giving birth, and only then at her very first mating. Of those, only one in approximately 10,000 will become pregnant, and only 1 in 1000 of those babies will be born alive. The rest are stillborn. The saving grace of the species is that this infertility does not seem to apply when the Kheran is mating with another species as Earth has various Kheran/human hybrids.
Shapers are a subspecies of Kherans. They are shapeshifters who are able to manipulate the molecular structure of their bodies, transforming part or all of their bodies into a substance with metallic properties, which they can manipulate and reshape at will. The Wildcat Warblade is a Shaper.
Though genetically a different species, the Titanthropes (or simply Titans) have been part of Kherubim society for so long that they are also often called Kherubim. However they are considered, and treated as, second class citizens of Khera by the Kherubim. They are large, purple-skinned humanoids who are able to increase or decrease their mass. They have large yellow horns growing from their backs. A Titan's intelligence is inversely proportional to their current size. The Wildcat Maul is a Titanthrope.
Thousands of years ago, the Kherubim destroyed their own planet, according to Titan myth. They then came to Khera and settled it, subjugating the Titans. The Titans would slowly become more or less accepted within the Kherubim society, but remained second-class citizens.
Millennia ago the Kherans came into contact with the Daemonites and a war erupted between both species. This war would last several centuries. A small group of Kherans and Daemonites crashlanded on Earth and inspired humanity with tales of gods, angels, demons and monsters. Their conflict would continue till the end of the 20th century, while in space the Kherans would go on to defeat the Daemonites. Kherans imposed heavy indemnities on the Daemonites and their society went bankrupt trying to pay them off. Khera allowed Daemonites to migrate to the more prosperous planet, but forced these Daemonites refugees to live in ghettos.
When a small group of Kheran and half-Kheran heroes from Earth known as the WildC.A.Ts arrived on Khera, they were welcomed as heroes, but quickly learned that Kheran society had changed over the years. Disgusted with the autocratic nature of Kheran society, they left the planet and returned to Earth.
Later, the Kherubim lord Majestros found hidden Kheran devices, known as Planet Shaper Engines, beneath the surface of the Earth. This caused the realization that humanity and Kherans were closely related and that similar species had been seeded throughout the universe, creating both the Daemonites and Kherans in addition to humans.
The Shaper Guild from Khera arrived on Earth and announced that factions within Kherubim society had decided on using Planet Shaper Engines to transform the Earth into another Khera, causing a civil war.
Kherans are a warrior race with strong emphasis in hand-to-hand combat and honor.
Due to their low fertility, every Kheran man and woman coming off age has to mate with an appointed partner. If the woman gives birth, she must become a priestess. If not, she may go on to live her life as she wishes. Lady Zannah has managed to avoid becoming a priestess, despite giving birth, because her mother told others that the baby had died, allowing Zannah to become a warrior. Her mother then passed Zannah's baby, Kenesha, off as Zealot's sister. As a mother of two children, Zannah's mother, Harmony, has become a living legend. No Kheran can remember the last time a Kheran woman gave birth to more than one child in her life. Zannah became the founder of the Coda Sisterhood.
Older and more powerful Kherans are named Lords. It remains unclear what makes a Kheran a Lord, but a Lord is capable of undergoing the ritual of Ascension when he is ready. The Ascension ritual is an important part of Kheran culture, where a Lord asks a partner or good friend to destroy his body so that his spirit can be free. A Lord usually has so much energy stored in his body that this process tends to consume both Kherans.
The Coda worship a goddess, Hecate, but little is known about this religion. Other Kherans apparently do not worship any gods, but believe in individual enlightenment through Ascension.
Though originally portrayed as noble and protective of other species, after Alan Moore's tenure writing the series, the Kherans have been portrayed as quite speciesist, looking down upon other species while perceiving themselves as tolerant and benevolent.
The Kherans have a political system where various parties vie for power. The various factions include:
- The Pantheon, the party of the Lords. They are currently in power and stand for stability and economic progress.
- The Coda, a Sisterhood of warriors. They want war and combat to prove their worth.
- The Shapers Guild represents all Shapers within Kheran society. They follow the orders from the Pantheon, but have their own secret agenda. They claim to shape the destiny of Khera and are aware of its true origin.
- The Titantropes, while individually repressed by the Kherubim, hold great power as a faction. While being only a small political faction, it is in fact their vote that either keeps the Pantheon in power or puts the Coda in power.
- The Brotherhood of the Sword: a male version of the Coda, its members are created through genetic engineering and cloning. They devote their whole life to the mastery of bladed weapons and suppressing their own emotions. Some Bladesmen sacrifice themselves to become Scimitars, using stolen DNA from the Shapers Guild to become living war machines. The Brotherhood on Earth betrayed Khera and allied themselves with the Daemonites.
- The Adrastea: a race of Kherubim empaths, originally bred to be slaves, but they soon became the largest crime syndicate in Kheran society.
While preferring bladed weapons in combat, Kherans are technologically advanced. They own spaceships capable of interstellar flights. They are capable of inscribing knowledge in the form of organic molecules, which when injected into the bloodstream downloads that knowledge straight into the brain. They are capable of manipulating the laws of chance, simply for the purpose of entertainment as their 'Coincidental Mansion' shows. Armies of very advanced androids known as the Spartan Guards serve as soldiers. Spartan Guards have shown high intelligence and superhuman physical capabilities. Kherubim Planet Shapers can terraform worlds and alter living DNA, and can remain functional for billions of years.
- Lord Majestros, the greatest living hero for all Kherubim.
- Lord Emp, ascended from the physical plane. Former member of the Pantheon.
- Lady Zannah, former member of the Coda.
- Lord Yohn Kohl, the template for the android Spartan.
- Lord S'lyton, father of Marc Slayton
- Ferrian, member of Wildcore.
- Charis, also known as Nemesis. An Adrastea with empathic abilities, trained by the Coda.