A Guide to Demons on Manta Carlos

(Intro by Invokerand Kait.)

A demon, daemon, devil, or fiend is a supernatural, often malevolent being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore. In Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an unclean spirit, a fallen angel, or a spirit of unknown type which may cause demonic possession, calling for an exorcism. In Western occultism and Renaissance magic, which grew out of an amalgamation of Greco-Roman magic, Jewish Aggadah and Christian demonology, a demon is believed to be a spiritual entity that may be conjured and controlled. However, in reality “demon” is an umbrella term that can refer to a broad range of vastly different creatures.

Demons come from a variety of spiritual realms, often known as “hells,” though some live alongside worldly creatures and may influence or interfere with the lives of mortals. Hells are often thought of as below ground and for this reason may also be called “underworlds.” Though modern cosmologies tend to think of hells and underworlds as spiritual locations because current geological theories have overtaken beliefs in a literal hell under the earth. On the other hand, modern science has largely failed to notice the existence many things that live beneath the world’s surface, so there may just as well be literal underground hells down there.

Common Traits of Demons

While not all demons are alike, several traits are common to many such creatures. These include:

  • Originating from some extraplanar, extraphysical, or spiritual realm (a “Hell”).
  • A primarily spiritual existence, but often able to assume material form.
  • One or more supernatural abilities that interact with mortal souls. This often includes harnessing the souls for some sort of supernatural energy, but can include capturing or modifying mortal souls by some means.
  • A connection to magical forces often referred to as “dark” or “malevolent”
  • The potential to be summoned by magical rituals, which often also have the ability to control them.
  • Weaknesses to places, items, and incantations with religious significance or holy properties
  • A connection or relationship to things or activities considered “blasphemous” or “sinful”

Keep in mind that some demons may exist for which very little or none of the above is true.

Types of Demons

Goetic Demons

(By Kait.)

Goetic demons are named for the Ars Goetia, a 17th-century compilation of the descriptions of 72 such demons. The descriptions in that text were not always accurate, and in some cases are wildly inaccurate. Though they sometimes share names with demons who are, these demons are not directly related to the theology of Abrahamic religions, Zoroastrianism, or any war between gods and demons. Goetic demons have sometimes been mistaken for Fae, or worshipped as gods.

Much like the fae, these demons are not necessarily malevolent. Sometimes they are even benevolent to living beings they favor. Also like fae, their needs and desires are sometimes different from what humans would intuitively understand. Those needs are sometimes aligned against human interests.

Goetic demons tend to take promises and contracts very seriously. The stability of their realm, such as it is, is built upon treaties, contracts, and promises between lords, their followers, and other lords.

The true forms of Goetic demons can vary wildly. Sometimes they are monstrous humanoids with animalistic features, often appearing mounted in the presence of humans. Other times, they are more like animals or mythical creatures than humans. Still others take forms entirely divorced from anything in human experience. Sorcerers peering into this hell have even reported sights of towering betentacled monstrosities, and beings with forms that barely even seem “alive.”

Because their fundamental nature is so different from that of most living beings, it is extremely unusual for a Goetic demon to successfully have a child of their own. It isn't impossible, though, and it has happened. Usually, this has involved a demon lord going out of its way to have a child with a living creature, which can require such a large amount of magical power that most lords would think it better spent elsewhere. There are also rare mortal beings whose own supernatural power makes them able to bear such a child without special assistance.

Goetic Hierarchy and Lords

Goetic demons exist within hierarchies which have sometimes been compared to feudalism. This analogy works at least decently well to describe the relationship between a demon lord and its legions, its lieutenants, and its other servants. The titles that demon lords take for themselves describe their relative power levels, but not their political relationships to each other. Demon lords' power is often quantified in the number of “legions” under their control, but these groupings are not always militaristic in nature. A legion can include the lesser demons under a lord's control as well as and spirits or souls under their control. Sometimes, a legion can be considered as any group of things elevating the power of their lord.

A lord's power, as mentioned before, can sometimes come from the devotion, sacrifice, or worship of others - including its legions. Sometimes, a lord will gain power just from being summoned, and will happily answer questions or perform minor favors in exchange for the power gained just from the summoner's acts of devotion or sacrifice. Other lords gain very little from summonings and see being summoned as an annoyance to be punished or avoided. The most powerful demon lords do not manifest their true forms in our world; instead, they usually opt to send aspects of themselves, avatars, or servants.

Demon lords can use the power from their legions and from worship to perform incredible feats. They are as gods in their domains. Most lords save their power to defend themselves against other lords; they often make war with each other for control of each other's resources.

Non-royal demons, such as those found in the legions of a lord, sometimes lack the ability to control a domain or derive power from the devotion of living things or souls, even when given access to those kinds of resources.

The Goetic Hell

The hell of these demons is a spiritual realm that has existed since the beginning of time. It usually does not follow the physical laws of our universe, with concepts like space and time being malleable or even illusory. Outside of a lord's domain, the climate is extremely inhospitable to most mundane life. Temperatures can fluctuate rapidly between extreme heat and extreme cold. Humans cannot breathe the air there without supernatural assistance.

The domains of goetic lords don't actually occupy a defined amount of physical space, or exist in a persistent location relative to the others. Travelling in a given direction for a given distance from one domain to another will rarely work twice.

The space within a lord's domain is sometimes more hospitable and pleasant. However, the landscape, physical space, relative locations and sizes of objects or beings, and physical laws within the lord's domain can be changed at will by that lord. In a sense, these things are all illusions which have little effect on the domain's natural denizens. The true nature of these realms exists at a more fundamental level than anything most living creatures can perceive.

Rising and Risen Demons

Rising and Risen demons are the inverse of Falling and Fallen angels, respectively. They are demons who renounce their infernal origins and devote themselves to God and heaven. This is only a possibility for some varieties of demons, usually the kinds found in opposition to groups of angels. Many risen demons consider themselves to be angels, in the same way that many fallen angels consider themselves to be demons.

Cross Roads Demons:

Cross Roads Demons are demons or demon-like creatures that can be summoned through a magical act performed at the center of the cross roads in order to grant wishes. These demons are typically bound to the cross roads and are only present for the duration of the magical act, which typically involves the creation of a deal or pact. The Demon may reappear to collect the price of the pact (usually the summoner's soul or life) at the culmination of the deal or after an allotted time has passed.

Incubus / succubus

Incubi and succubi are demons or demon-like creatures that feed by draining their victims energies, almost exclusively through sexual acts. They typically take the form of a supernaturally attractive individual. They may exhibit a lustful aura, employ persuasion, or release pheromones to aid in the seduction of their chosen victim. Typically, “Incubus” refers to a masculine demon of this sort, while “succubus” refers to a feminine one.

Contributing to This Guide

If you want to contribute to this guide to Manta Carlos's demons, feel free to include a description of your own demonic character's subtype and/or version of hell. This particular wiki page is designed to encompass as many different kinds of demons as SA players have come up with. Put your name with a link to your SA profile at the top of any section you create.

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