Devils & Demons

Deep below the surface, where rock turns to lava and no ordinary creature can live, there are devils and demons. They were created during the long, slow collapse of the Fay civilisation to be terror-weapons in the war against the free species. Of all the monsters created by the Fay, devils and demons were the most terrible and powerful. The Fay committed so much effort to their creation it hastened the end of their civilisation and the demonic races were never unleashed.

Devils and demons come in a variety of forms with different abilities and there is no real distinction between a devil and demon. The terms are synonymous but there are two things which collectively define the demonic races: they are immortal and their names have special powers. Devils and demons have physical forms which can be destroyed but their essence, including their knowledge and memories, returns to the lava pits. There they reform their physical bodies, a process which may take many hundreds of years for the more powerful creatures.

When the Fay created demons and devils, as a means of control they gave each one a unique name bound to arcane magics. The Fay did not want to lose control of the demonic races in the same way they had lost the humanoid races. Anyone with modest magical abilities and in possession of a name can summon and control that individual demon. Inevitably demons and devils strive to keep their names secret from anyone but because of their spiteful, manipulative nature they are also always trying to find out the names of others. In the lava pits the possession of names is power and the great princes and lords know the names of tens of thousands of lesser creatures while successfully keeping their own secret.

Making A Deal With A Devil

The creatures of the demonic races do not enjoy being summoned, even by other members of the demonic races. The more powerful and intelligent they are, and the Fay made some creatures with near god-like powers, the more the devils and demons revolt against being summoned. This is normally fatal for whoever summoned them because although the devil cannot directly harm the summoner, there are lots of ways to do indirect harm.

The Fay foresaw the problems and resentment that direct control over the demons would cause so they also included the concept of a pact. A devil and a summoner may freely enter into a bargain which becomes binding for both parties. The deal may be for anything and under whatever terms the two sides wish to agree. The devil is magically compelled to complete their side of the pact. If the summoner fails to deliver on their side they are stripped of all protection from the devil who will also know the summoner's exact location.

The rules for summoning and striking a deal with a devil have entered the folklore and culture of all the intelligent species, as have stories of how devils can twist and bend the rules to their own advantage. All characters can be expected to know the basic ideas of dealing with the demonic races but this is a situation where the devil really is in the small print. Not knowing all the rules is normally fatal.

Devils and demons (they are synonymous) are powerful, immortal creatures who live deep below the surface in the fiery bowels of the earth. They can be summoned by arcane magics and will make deals with mortals.
Devils may be summoned from the depths and sent back by command of the summoner. The devil or demon makes a pact with the summoner to perform a task and is then free to return to their lava pits. Whatever magic provides these devils with their great powers and immortality is the same magic which forces them to honour their deals.
Unless the summoning is performed within suitable protective circles, the summoner may be in danger. The devil cannot directly harm the summoner but there are many ways for accidents to happen. The death of the summoner sends the devil back into their realm and frees them from the pact. The destruction of a devil's material form also forces their return to the underworld and they cannot leave, even if summoned, for 100 years.
A devil can make a pact with anyone, not just the person who summoned them. Once a deal is made the summoner has no power or protection from the devil. It is whoever made the pact with the demon who has the protection and it is their death which frees the devil. The fate of the summoner is unimportant.
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open/oneshots/demon_strata/devilsdemons.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/03 09:23 by tregenza
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