Hierarchy Of Demons Of Hades
Dark Titular Bishop
|Subject: Hierarchy Of Demons Of Hades Fri 23 Jan 2009, 8:35 pm|| |
Ghouls AKA Alus
The Ghoul are supposed to be the lowest of all demons, and are indeed treated as such by most of their fellow demons. They are subject to all the other demons' commands, and nobody really takes the Ghoul serious whatsoever. They are constantly picked on, humiliated and verbally and physically abused by the others. In case of a battle, Ghoul are either used as cannon fodder or to clean up after the battle is over (if that is the reason they usually dress in rags - as a kind of a clean-up force - is subject to speculation) - either way, they are somewhat expendable.
This treatment has led to a severe insecurity among the Ghoul, they are a cowardly lot that stick to themselves, leaving their hiding places only at night and constantly fearing discovery.
Despite their being treated very badly, these demons seem to be able to thrive in very different environments nevertheless. So in Hades as well as on the Palladium world there are large numbers of these scavengers that can become a real plague when they grow too numerous - in the history of Palladium there have been at least three reports about massive Ghoul invasions that were luckily stopped and the Ghoul hunted down and destroyed. This has led to the Ghoul being hunted and killed wherever they are discovered, and this seems to keep their numbers below the dangerous height.
However, because of their relative adaptability, it is difficult to determine the Ghoul's origin - yet there is some evidence that the Ghoul are not indigenous to the realm of Hades. It is their relation to the other two supernatural scavengers that are also classified Ghoul, the Dimensional Ghoul and the Dybbuk. The latter are, by the way, very rarely encountered in Hades or on the Palladium world.
No matter where the Ghoul come from, most of the Ghoul of Hades now live under the rule of Mormo, Lord of the Ghoul. While the other Ghoul of Hades are just as timid as any of their kind, Mormo's Ghoul are clearly the most aggressive, because under his rule they are not permanently harassed by the others, they thrive on his secluded islands, and are taken more serious than the others. Of course, even Mormo treats them badly, but far better than anybody else - after all, they are his only minions. But while even a single angry Ghoul can fight with the ferocity of a tiger and the many thousands, probably hundreds of thousands under Mormo's command are a force to be feared, Mormo is unlikely to use his power in the near future.
Until that - anything - happens the Ghoul will continue to live their seclusive lives, hiding in shadows, wandering the world at night, and feeding on the dead and the helpless.
The Banshees do not exactly have an agenda of their own, they are driven by their most basic need, eternal hunger - entities know this hunger, too, they feed on the emotions of their victims. Entities as well are ethereal by nature. The Banshees psychic nature is quite apparent, as is the case with the regular entities. The degree of its psionic abilities are very limited, but the way they use it very similar to the haunting entities - considering all these similarities, the Banshees are indeed best compared to this latter kind of entities.
Against these rather quantitative comparability, the supporters of the demon theory point to the qualitative differences between entities and Banshees.
First of all, while Banshees despise their being together (because they see the other Banshees as potential rivals in feeding), they have no way of driving away fellow Banshees. Nor can the entities really attack each other, but they seem to avoid each other in the first place. Never have there been sightings of two entities in one and the same place - reports of dozens of Banshees scavenging on the P.P.E. of the dead after a great battle are quite common however.
Second, the Banshees are not able to change their form whatsoever, contrary to the entities. While haunting entities may use ectoplasm to give itself a physical body, tectonic entities build their own bodies, syphon entities inhabit inanimate objects etc., Banshees stay in their natural, demonic form all the time.
Third, and this may be the most powerful argument, no entity would answer to a higher authority like the Demon Lords, and would never carry out a command given by them. While the Banshees are not affiliated to any of the Demon Lords (because they are really useless, selfish spectres), they are usually quite obedient to any of their fellow demons - their position in the demon hierarchy is thus quite low. They tend to follow their brethren wherever they go, probably sensing the great likelihood of chaos and mayhem these are going to wreak.
Lastly, since the Banshees would, if classified as entities, also demand to be treated as a very specific phenotype - they have a comparatively high intelligence while their behaviour corresponds well with the rather dull witted haunting entities -, most scholars of today really favour the demon theory.
The Banshees have been compared to psychic vultures that prey on the potential psychic energies of the recently deceased. It is beyond their capabilities to accelerate the process of dying, i.e. they can not take part in actively killing anyone. But like vultures, they have a very keen eye for the dead and the dying. And like vultures, they disappear as quickly as they came without any trace.
Labassu Lost Souls
Labassu Lost Souls are a truly frightening sight, a true apparition - a hideous looking head with fangs, a long tongue and large black eyes, and a vaguely shaped torso with or without arms and hands.
Rarely are they called upon by any of the Demon Lords, and like the Banshees, they are not affiliated with any of them.
When sent on a special mission, it usually has to do with some kind of reconnaissance where Alu are either too precious to waste or the Labassu's low intelligence is sufficient for doing the dirty work.
Most Labassu are quite proficient in dimensional teleport and use this ability often, searching the different dimensions looking for bodies vulnerable for possession by these evil spirits so they can enjoy playing with a body of flesh and blood, usually excessively and impatiently engaging in whatever mortals find to be pleasurable, and mostly quickly wasting their toy (i.e. killing the body), which they abandon just as quickly.
If there are no bodies vulnerable to possession, the Labassu also enjoy scaring away people by acting about the same way as a Poltergeist, slamming doors, rattling chains, knocking things over etc.
All in all, the Labassu are dangerous and evil beings that are potentially deadly, but for normal people that have all their senses together and, not the least, a sufficiently strong hold on their soul as well, the Labassu are just a little more dangerous than the Banshees - useless, selfish, and just a little more dangerous spectres.
These water-dwelling demons naturally have a hard time in Hades. While its shape is not very different from the Palladium world, the elements of water and fire on these two worlds have been reversed - and since Palladium is surrounded and criss-crossed by water with only a few fiery places, the heat sensitive Aquatics really have but a few places to live. This explains the comparatively high population of these demons on the Palladium world.
Actually, there are only a few thousand Aquatics that remain in the few seas of Hades (like at the Palladium equivalent of Mount Nimro), and their numbers seem to further decline. This may be due to the fact that these demons slowly but steadily realise they can cause just as much mayhem without having to rely on the Demon Lords to show them where to do it or to send them on special missions.
Yet because of their low intelligence, most Aquatics are content with what little excitement their servitude for the Demon Lords holds, so most will not or are not able to look beyond that. It is quite sure that most will always remain in their native dimension.
Their small numbers, their low intelligence, and not the least their aquatic nature (although they can actually operate (or rather, crawl) out of water but hate to do so because it reduces their strength by half) severely limits the usefulness of these demons for the Demon Lords. This also accounts for the fact that the Aquatics are one of the few demon races that are not affiliated with any particular Demon Lord.
Not that the Aquatics really cared about that. In fact - they do not realise this, of course -, this gives them a certain freedom, because there is nobody to be made responsible if a few of a particular Demon Lord's minions or worshipers fall prey to an Aquatic or a group of these sea demons. And to take revenge on the Aquatics themselves would be met by resistance by all the other Demon Lords, because they do not want their potential minions to be slaughtered.
Anyway, be it for their low intelligence or their independence, these are one of the least discriminating of all the other inhabitants of Hades. That means, they (more or less mindlessly) attack anything that happens to come across their way - much like the cruel Lasae - unless specifically instructed not to do so by their occasional 'employer'. Still some have managed to realise the possibility of an alliance with other destructive, aquatic forces like the Kappa or Sea Serpents. In fact, there have been sightings of Sea Serpents capsizing ships whose crew was then slaughtered by the accompanying Aquatics.
Their status within the demon hierarchy cannot really be determined since their contact is quite limited. It seems there is not much contact after all with the other demon races. The Aquatics only seem to answer to the Demon Lords, and they themselves have little motivation to get in contact with their fellow demons.
The Couril are, like the Banshees and Labassu Lost Souls, not to be counted to the Demon Hordes of Hades as a matter of course. While the latter two are borderline cases to the beings classified as entities, the Couril's similarities to the faerie folk are so remarkable that even today, one of the only arguments that the Couril really are genuine demons is the fact that they dwell almost exclusively in the realm of Hades.
In most other respects the Couril are nearly identical to some of the tiny creatures of magic. Their physical appearance, their mischievous behaviour, their magical nature, their love for flowers, birds, music and shiny objects are all characteristics of the faerie folk.
Observant readers though will have noticed the sharp contrast between the Couril's love for beauty and their darker, mischievous and even outright destructive side. It goes even further than that - while the evil faerie folk seems to hate all that is beauty, of all other things beauty is the weak point of the Couril. They like beauty almost as much as torturing these tall but helpless mortals, and like the most cheerful, good aligned common faerie, they may stop pelting a helplessly dancing victim of their Song of the Couril with pebbles and sticks only to marvel at the beauty of a rare flower, the setting sun etc.
In fact, on the last character trait some scholars have based the speculation that the Couril were once faerie folk that have fallen to insanity, maybe during the Battle of Gods, and that were then adopted by some Demon Lord as their minion race and taken to the realm of Hades. A recent theory of a Timiro wizard and scholar suggests that this insanity could have been caused by dimensional distortions that happened during a spatial or temporal transcendence of the Palladium world.
Whatever their origins may be, most Couril, as already mentioned at the beginning, stick to the realm of Hades and rarely go off wandering to other worlds. Another interesting fact by the way is that almost all members of the faerie folk seem to have a strong dislike towards the Couril; this may be one of the reasons to stay at home... Further reason may be that their master, Murmur, treats his tiny minions in quite a respectful manner - he surrounds himself with the Couril, listening to their music, and not commanding them to do much of the dirty work other Demon Lords may let their minions do for them.
And after all, the Couril got quite proficient in making fun of and playing pranks on their fellow demons. Many a cautious Alu fell prey to the Courils mischief and, suddenly exposed, had to explain to the guards why he was creeping around master Murmur's castle.
Yet the Couril's favourite prey as well are mortals of flesh and blood.
Last edited by Cazz on Fri 23 Jan 2009, 9:00 pm; edited 3 times in total
Dark Titular Bishop
|Subject: Re: Hierarchy Of Demons Of Hades Fri 23 Jan 2009, 8:36 pm|| |
These tiny demons are to be counted among the most malicious and outright physically aggressive demon races. In Hades itself, these minions of Charun the Cruel live like marauding ants, wandering the underrealm in great numbers (from a dozen up to a few hundred; an average party consists of 10 to 40 individuals), attacking and tearing apart all that gets in their path. Of course, this should exclude their fellow demons, but the Lasae often forget about their political responsibility. Especially outcasts of the demon society, and single travellers often fall victim to them. Apart from that, the strange wildlife of Hades suffers greatly under the Lasae.
Fortunately, the reproductional rate of the Lasae is quite minimal for unknown reasons - a knowledgeable scientist could argue that like the Xiticix, and even more than that, the Lasae are strongly dependent on the potential psychic energy of their surroundings and that in Hades the energy is simple not sufficient. That would mean that on Rifts Earth, the Lasae would thrive with incredible reproductional rates.
Another reason may be that the Lasae queens are either suffering from a lessened fertility, or they are simply not many enough to keep up with the casualties the Lasae have to suffer - in Hades as well as on dozens of other worlds, the Lasae are heavily used by powerful beings as spies, guards or assassins or other dangerous duties, from where naturally many of them do not return.
Even more than that, by some of their fellow demons the Lasae are perceived as so dangerous that they are killed on the spot whenever possible. Particularly the more sociable Shedim have the habit of composing 'hunting parties' to prey upon the Lasae, which are, needless to say, very well able to defend themselves. For the Shedim, though, exactly that's what makes the thrill of the hunt - although it is rumoured that by now, Lasae is considered a delicacy in the Shedim society (rich in protein!), hence their nickname, 'ant-eater'. The Alu, too, have taken a strong dislike towards their vicious brethren, but usually can't do anything about it. Gargoyles find it especially funny to smash the demon ants by dropping heavy boulders on them from high above, or staying just out of jumping range and pelting the Lasae with pebbles.
While most demons think of the Lasae as some kind of danger for demonkind.
The Alu, minions of Charun the Cruel, appear to be one of the more civilised or less outright aggressive demon races. This may be in part due to the fact that they dwell mostly in the desolate mountain areas of Hades, where they have little contact to their fellow demons, and also because their way of living demands a much higher amount of patience than those of the other demon races. Besides, the Alu average a higher I.Q. than most other lesser demons.
Their patient, calculating nature makes these demons even more dangerous, because the Demon Hounds are natural hunters who exhibit their greatest cunning in laying ambushes for and hunting down humanoids. This is also what they enjoy most. Yet the Alu's hand to hand fighting capabilities are also great, and though they do not actively seek confrontations, they seldom back down from a challenge, and many do not have to use the cheats and subterfuges other demons rely on.
The Alu's social behaviour is dominated by the fact that they prefer the solitude of the wilderness, the freedom to go and to do what they want, more than the other lesser demon races. Thus, if more than two or three Alu are forced to stay together for any amount of time, they will soon become jumpy and very aggressive.
Charun the Cruel, the Demon Lord the majority of the Alu see as their master, does nothing to change this kind of antisocial behaviour because first of all, he does not want to spoil the relationship with the somewhat individual Alu. Second, he holds their talents as trackers, hunters and assassins in a very high regard. And he knows that a lone Alu is not a very suspicious sight in most regions of Hades, so he uses them heavily to spy on the other demons and Demon Lords.
It should be noted that as a part of Charun's alliance with Anubis, Lord of the Dead, in his plot to overthrow High Lord Modeus, the Demon Lord has dispatched a good number of Alu to the desert regions of Neter-Khertet, where the Alu also prosper - they enjoy their new surroundings, and somehow the Alu of Ma'ip seem to become a bit more social in their behaviour, hunting in packs to bring down many a demon worm that dwells in the vast deserts of the dark side of Ma'ip.
In the overall hierarchy of Hades, the Demon Hounds hold their place as one of the higher lesser demons. Wherever they are employed, it usually is for the same purpose as mentioned above - as hunters and trackers -, and the other Demon Lords and the greater demons, too, realise and value their capabilities. Thus, they enjoy a good status and will seldom be bothered by the other demon races.
In a way, the Shedim are the most honourable of all the lesser demons. Contrary to their insidious master, the Demon Lord Abrasax the Insatiable, the Shedim have long adopted a very straightforward attitude in every respect. During the occasional gatherings of these highly sociable demons, every single Shedim pretty much says what he thinks, and also acts this way. Because of their high uniformity in thinking, the Shedim rarely quarrel with each other, and fortunately for the Shedim their comparatively low intelligence further equalises their thoughts. Yet the occasional fight does break out, and the result usually is that one or the other faction is wiped out completely. They do not make compromises whatsoever.
The Shedim do not know mercy nor fear, making them the perfect soldiers - although one may complain about a certain lack of subtlety and flexibility. But that is the reason why they are used mostly as shock troops, to storm castles and all kinds of direct assaults. In every field battle, the Shedim's fighting abilities are highly coveted by all the Demon Lords as well as the greater demon commanders.
For the enemy, the attack of the Shedim is a terrifying sight - like eagles darting from the sky, the demons quickly and directly advance into the thick of combat (or any designated strategical target), slaying opponent after opponent, all the time screeching and shrieking with high-pitched, bird-like voices. The only ways to survive the attack of a Shedim is to run away (quickly!) or to slay the demon. Surrendering is not an option, for the Shedim make no prisoners (unless explicitly order to do so, something that is usually never done). Playing dead may hold a very slight chance of survival in a large battle, but the Shedim tend to 'secure the kill' by another raking strike to the throat or similarly deadly targets, usually dismissing this option as well.
Besides their remarkable hand to hand combat abilities and the eagerness to use them, these demons enjoy the thrill of the hunt even more than fighting in a pitched battle. Unlike the more cautious and calculating Alu, they have very little patience and mainly use their speed to bring down their prey, very rarely relying on more elaborate methods such as encircling their intended victims.
These great fighting skills plus their fearlessness all make up for the Shedim's high place in the demon hierarchy - from the lesser demons most (with the exception of the vicious Lasae) do not need to fear the Shedim, and most respect their straight forward behaviour. Greater demons and Demon Lords hold them in even higher regard for exactly the reasons stated above.
For everyone that stands on the receiving end, though, all they may find positive about the Shedim is that wherever they appear, their behaviour is pretty much calculable - they strike quickly, directly, and they strike to kill. Without compromise.
The Dar'ota AKA Incubus and Succubus
The Dar'ota are probably the best example for the demons' innate hate towards the inferior inhabitants of other worlds like Palladium - the single purpose of their life seems to torture and kill weak and fragile mortals, at the moment where they are most vulnerable - at the time of the greatest bliss of sexual pleasure.
These demons find their greatest joy in the absolute horror in the eyes of their victims when changing their seductive human form back to their true form, revealing their demonic nature. An instance later, the poor victim's throat is usually ripped out by the vicious claws or fangs of their lovers that have turned into a monstrous, repulsive lizard-thing, and then the diabolic creature proceeds to feed on the blood pulsing from the lethal wound.
Actually, the Dar'ota do not really have to rely on this food source - since they are supernatural creatures, they could go without food just as well -, but similar to other demons, they engage in this kind of feeding for their own pleasure. Yet they seem to have gotten used to it, so most will not go without food for longer than three days or so without becoming anxious and aggressive, maybe even attacking and killing the next best victim right away out of impatience.
While the act of killing itself also seems to satisfy the psychopathic nature of the Dar'ota, they even more enjoy the process of seducing their victims, of luring them into their doom, to lull them into a false sense of security, using the absolute intimacy to magnify the horror in their victims a hundredfold.
It should be mentioned here that the Dar'ota use their bewitching abilities not only (or at least, not immediately) to the purpose of killing, but also to bring about other kinds of doom on their unsuspecting lovers. Manipulation and intrigue are also characteristic of these intelligent demons, although sooner or later they get annoyed by the games they play and just slay their victim, like a child abandoning a toy when it becomes fed up with it.
It is interesting to note that of all the demons the Dar'ota seem to really enjoy each other's company despite their homicidal nature. This social behaviour seems to be based on their common goal to terrify and slaughter humanoids, which is maybe not so much composed of a will to show off their own superiority (as may be the case with more competitive demons) but for the sake of causing misery and suffering. Art for art's sake, so to speak.
This also accounts for the Dar'ota being something of a great family, almost all of them living in the city of Allvice, where Mania, Queen of the Dead rules over them. In this aspect, the latter is rather well-meaning, she encourages her minions to come and go as they please and to wreak as much havoc as possible.
Their self-image enhanced by this friendly treatment, the Dar'ota think of themselves as much better than other demon races, which is true with most fellow lesser demons, but even some of the greater demons are treated as inferior. This sometimes leads to conflicts between the Dar'ota and other demon races, especially if some greater demons feel their authority is being undermined. But anyway, the Dar'ota are not very often used by Demon Lords other than Mania, so there is little contact whatsoever.
The Mares AKA Nightmares
The Nightmares well deserve their name. These demons are the highest of all the lesser demons, and some ancient almanacs even count them among the greater demons for their great magical and psionical proficiency. A knowledge the Mares exploit heavily to wreak all kinds of havoc among presumably lowly mortals.
Unlike the more physically oriented demons which are heavily into torture and enjoy the mortals' primal fear for their lives, and unlike e.g. the Dar'ota which particularly savour the absolute horror in their victims' eyes, the Mares are more subtle agents of doom, relying more on psychological warfare and on turning their victims into nervous wrecks. They use insidious methods like kidnapping, extortion, killing one's loved ones etc. They also apply especially their psionics to directly push their victims to the brink of insanity, or beyond...
In doing their evil work, the Mares can be very, very patient. This results from the fact that they are not so much eager to see the end result of their actions (like adults that fall on their knees weeping like little children or someone committing suicide), but they love to see how their actions slowly change the lives and the minds of the victims, making them more and more desperate, how whole communities are driven insane etc. The Nightmares like to watch how they directly or indirectly bring about the hated mortals' doom, watching from a distance or boldly appearing inside a small village in bright daylight, demanding ransoms from a warm meal to the turning over of one of the villages children to be tortured and eaten alive by the malicious demon! If the villagers do not meet the Mares demands, something even worse is usually going to happen. Mares do cannot tolerate being rejected and are probably the most vindictive and unforgiving of all demons, haunting the person(s) who rejected them for centuries only to cause them suffering.
Interestingly these demons are very civilised when dealing with their fellow demons, and while they surely should not be insulted by anyone, they are usually very tolerant towards the other lesser demons. But as soon as they feel they lose their authority through the presence of a greater demon or a Demon Lord, they get very easily aggravated and are bothered even by minor things, constantly criticising what their 'superiors' say. This may be because they themselves cannot tolerate not being in charge - they think of themselves as being very self-reliant by the way -, or because they are really angry about the constant harassment of their master, Mantus, King of the Dead. This again may have two reasons - their sympathy for their master, or they realise that the King of the Dead has become a coward, that only a mere shadow of his former glory still remains, and they are ashamed that he does not even respond to the constant insults he has to face.
Since the latter is much more likely considering the diabolic nature of these demons, it is probably not long until the Mares too (like Mantus' wife Mania, Queen of the Dead) betray their master to the powerful Charun the Cruel, eventually bringing about the end of Mantus' reign.
For their mortal victims, of course, this would not change anything.
Dark Titular Bishop
|Subject: Re: Hierarchy Of Demons Of Hades Fri 23 Jan 2009, 9:11 pm|| |
In terms of intelligence, the Magot are en par with the lowest of all demons, the Ghoul. The Magot as well do not possess any knowledge of magic, nor a single psionic ability. Yet the Magot are counted among the greater demons of Hades, and a rampaging herd or even a single one of these demons is one of the most infamous and terrifying sights the realm of Hades has to offer. There is nothing left but one explanation for their high status and the fear they induce in anyone who witnesses the appearance of a Magot.
The Magot are the most ferocious and violent creatures among the demon hordes of Hades.
Their physical appearance alone is a terrible sight to behold - a towering twenty feet (eye-stalks not included!) walking mound of flesh and muscle, in the center of the three massive legs a giant maw with up to two feet long teeth dripping with hot slaver, and their horrible three eyes set upon tentacle-like stalks that constantly move around in all directions, sending out petrifying beams of crimson light. As one can imagine, this is often more than enough for all but the most experienced warriors to run for their lives.
It is because of their ferocity that the Magot are considered to be the most uncontrollable of all the demons - the Demon Lords pay close attention that they do not get in contact with their fellow demons unless absolutely necessary. Although he is not exactly their master, it is mainly in the responsibility of Succor-Bemoth to keep the Magot under control. He is more something of a jailer, imprisoning the Magot in his domain, the third continent of Hades, along with other wild and uncontrollable demons. The Magot do not care, by the way, for they are neither organised in any way nor do they possess the necessary intelligence to realise their captivity.
These characteristics, however, severely limit the use of Magot demons for demon society. Besides being kept as a sort of giant watchdog, especially by powerful summoners (since they can turn into mist, they are so very unproblematic...), almost the only way they are employed is as shock troops preceding a more qualified assault or invasion. In this case, the Magot are either used to overrun their enemies in the first place, leaving their defences severely weakened, or are sent to breach or eliminate positions where there is the highest resistance. The latter employment is quite rare, though - in the thick of battle, the Magot are not very particular about who they petrify or devour and many a demon warrior's last thought was "What's that stomping noise coming from behind me?". Thus, compared to the more intelligent Shedim, who are well able to distinguish between friend and foe, the Magot's use is even more restricted.
Fortunately, one has to say. For the like the Shedim, these demons know no fear nor mercy and love to hunt and to kill. Once enraged, the Magot will fight to the death, and more often than not, it will be their opponents' demise that ends the battle.
Gallu AKA Demon Bulls
The Gallu hold a somewhat special place in the demon society. Their fighting skills alone are impressive but would not account for their status as greater demons (although this distinction is, in fact, generally not even applied in Hades) - a lesser Shedim has a good chance of defeating a Gallu in hand to hand combat.
Their very limited magical abilities as well are not responsible for the high degree of sympathy the Demon Lords have for the Demon Bulls. Every other greater demon (except the Magot) and even some of the lesser demons would laugh at the low level magic of the Gallu.
The true value of the Gallu is more something of an inner value - not only in terms of outer appearance are the Gallu very similar to Palladium's minotaurs. The Gallu as well are clever strategists, although far less adept than the military masterminds of Hades, the Baal-Rog. But when it comes to fortifying and defending a strategically important position, there will always be at least one Gallu supervising the fortification. Not so much in terms of positioning the demon troops, but rather regarding the design of the fortification itself.
The Gallu are, without doubt, the most proficient engineers of Hades. Despite their comparatively low intelligence, the Demon Bulls are the first to be attended whenever there is a need for a natural mechanical talent. And although the Gallu, like most demons, truly enjoy fighting and slaying inferior mortals, what they like best is to really indulge themselves in designing and constructing traps and labyrinths, and wreak all kinds of confusion on uninvited visitors into their domain. The mountain homes of the Gallu are shunned by most other demons not for their inhabitants, but for the omnipresent traps, pits, alarms, and not the least the absolutely confusing construction of their underground tunnel systems.
The Demon Bulls' mechanical talent is also relied on during prolonged sieges of enemy fortifications where the strategic proficiency of the other demons is not sufficient. The Gallu are then called upon to design siege engines, undermine the enemy's position or devise other means of overcoming the enemy without wasting too many lives of the soldiers of Hades. (The time for the first Gallu to appear on the scene has usually come when all the cannon-fodder Ghoul have been wasted.)
Furthermore, the Demon Bulls often serve as the second in command under the Baal-Rog and are often employed by the Demon Lords as a countermeasure for the Baal-Rog's ruthless and costly strategic experiments. The Gallu are, by nature, much more conservative than the aggressive Baal-Rog and, while not exactly defying their leaders' commands, often moderate them so there will not be so many casualties.
On should note that this is not for reasons of sympathy - like most demons, the Gallu do not have a very high regard for life, nor do they care much about such insignificant tools like soldiers under their command. But for the Gallu, their subordinates are like the raw material for designing a trap or difficult mechanism - they take care not to lose a single nail or a piece of wood, because "you never know when it comes in handy".
Yet, since the strange strategic considerations of the Gallu take their time, they are most often assigned to defensive missions where they have the time to prepare for the enemy's assault.
In the eyes of their fellow demons, the Gallu usually enjoy a comparatively high sympathy. By their subordinate (mostly lesser) demons, they are considered to be fair and careful leaders, not uselessly and cruelly wasting their precious 'resources'. The greater demons generally view the Gallu as somewhat strange individualists with a passion for handicraft works, but since they are not particularly aggressive towards their fellow demons nor follow important political goals, they pose no threat to the more intelligent demons.
For mortals as well the Demon Bulls are not such a terrifying sight as the infamous Baal-Rog or the ferocious Magot, and many seasoned adventurers somehow like the Gallu; for when it comes to a fight, the Gallu do not use such insidious methods as many other demons and seem to have a strong sense of honour when it comes that far.
The Night Owls
The Night Owls are among the most solitary of all the demons, despite the many qualities for which they are held dear by many a Demon Lord. They are highly intelligent, good strategists (second only to the Baal-Rog), and exhibit a high loyalty and obedience to their masters, something that is rather unusual for many other demon races.
These qualities are also the most coveted by the Demon Lords - where the Baal-Rog are too aggressive and some degree of discretion is needed, the Night Owls are employed. It may well be that this is where the demons' name comes from - covert actions in the shadow of the night, assassination and other, 'surgical' kinds of warfare are their specialty.
Yet the Night Owls make it clear that it is only their wish to be released from their duties that gives them this kind of scrupulousness. And the Demon Lords usually do not jeopardise the Night Owls' respect and obedience by forcing them into doing more than necessary.
But although these demons love their freedom above anything else (except, of course, causing grief, sorrow and the like among mortals), their methods do not really change whether being employed by somebody or on their own - they only become more subtle, scheming, and deceptively passive in the latter case. The Night Owls greatly enjoy making up long-term plans that, in the end, cause much more of the above mentioned - suffer, grief and pain - to their victims. They are calculating and vindictive creatures that are inevitably drawn to the political arena for it is here where they can have the most devastating impact on the lives of the inferior mortals.
Once having entered the political scene, they usually do not actively take part in it, i.e. usually they do not hold any executive positions, but they prefer the role of a counsellor, deceptively only playing the second fiddle, but really using their charisma and psionics to influence those supposed to hold the power. Many an evil king only turned evil after that strange winged counsellor appeared, whispering in his ear and commenting on every word other people said to the king - taking over the king's responsibilities, making him completely rely on his benevolent counsellor, and slowly but steadily making himself irreplaceable and invaluable to the ruler.
It should be noted that in this position, the Night Owls neither feel any kind of loyalty towards their 'masters' (who are actually just their puppets on a string), nor do they hesitate to abandon their 'toy' once it gets too dangerous for them to stay. What happens then to their victims is, of course, of no interest to them - except for the satisfaction derived from their suffering once the poor souls realise whose advice they were following.
Most of their fellow demons regard the Night Owls with indifference, since these demons are rarely seen in the realm of Hades itself. Even if that were the case, few demons would have reasons to hold a grudge against them. Although the Night Owls not exactly respect them, they also do not usually abuse the other demon races, unlike the Baal-Rog or the Jinn. If anything, they use them for their own ends, but even that is quite rare, since they - like the Raksasha - especially love the resourceful humans and their kin.
However, even a single Night Owl with its impressive magic and psionic abilities is a force to be feared among all the supernatural evil of Hades, which accounts for their high status in demon hierarchy even in their absence. And if it came to not only counting their individual power, but the power they hold over others, the Night Owls with all their influence in the world of mortals would hold an even higher place.
Dark Titular Bishop
|Subject: Re: Hierarchy Of Demons Of Hades Fri 23 Jan 2009, 9:21 pm|| |
When one thinks of greater demons, the Baal-Rog is usually the first that comes to one's mind. The Baal-Rog is the embodiment of all that is commonly associated with demons - a terrifying sight, powerful, magically adept, cunning. And evil.
That the Baal-Rog is terrible to behold cannot be denied from any human's perspective. With double a man's height, a powerful body, giant black bat wings and a nightmarish face, their sight alone could cause even seasoned veterans to run away in terror. And it frequently does.
Those who do not run either know nothing about these demons, or they are very powerful themselves, or quite suicidal. For all who know something about the Baal-Rog have heard stories about the ferocity and physical might of these officers of Hades, who are able to tear apart a fragile human soldier with a single strike of their clawed hands. To hold one's ground against a Baal-Rog is something only true heroes are capable of. Their magical abilities further enhance the demons' incredible fighting skills.
Yet these natural born warriors and warlocks not only rely on straight forward assaults and fighting techniques, but use their intelligence and resourcefulness in a very cunning and versatile way. While other demons of a comparative high intelligence are drawn to the political arena, the Baal-Rog almost exclusively concentrate on warfare, constantly contemplating new strategies. They are born tacticians with the necessary unscrupulousness and resources (i.e. demon troops) to try and carry out their plans, relying on ambushes and diversionary tactics just as much as direct assaults. In regard to military considerations, most other demons are frequently subjected to the Baal-Rog's demands.
Still, what the Baal-Rog enjoy most is to show their masters how capable they really are, thus they far prefer leading small reconnaissance troops or even going on solo missions than commanding great armies.
This is also where they have the greatest freedom to do as they please, and many a Baal-Rog has taken such a liking to this freedom that they decided not to return to Hades and establish their own place of power, with enough mortals around to play with. Actually, these demons are one of those that are most easily attracted to magic items, wealth and power in general, coveting these things above all others - and also respecting the power of others, as long as it is no inferior mortal that wields it. In the latter case, the Baal-Rog will do everything to get his hands on this power. And like most demons, in these cases the Baal-Rog too often greatly underestimate their opponents.
Regarding their fellow demons, they somehow categorise the other demon races by their strategical value, holding a much higher degree of respect towards an Alu or a Shedim than e.g. towards a weakling Ghoul. Ghoul in particular are frequently humiliated and are mostly used as cannon-fodder not to waste more valuable demons in a direct assault. Anyway, their respect for the former demon races is quite mutual, and even many greater demons view the Baal-Rog as talented leaders (which they really are) and follow them without much hesitation. Nevertheless, especially the more intelligent greater demons, particularly the Night Owls, are very annoyed by the Baal-Rog's overconfident attitude.
The Demon Lords, though, usually believe the Baal-Rog to be the best choice for leadership in military matters, frequently employing the minions of Andras, Marquis of Hades for such an operation. Andras himself believes to have found the perfect minions, since he is well aware of the Baal-Rog's lust for power; he firmly believes they will follow him when, finally, it is time to overthrow Modeus, Lord of Hades, and usurp the throne for himself. Andras also slowly prepares the Baal-Rog elite for this delicate plan - the high council of the Baal-Rog may have started developing strategies for an attack on Modeus already.
The Jinn AKA Elementals
To count the Jinn among the demon hordes of Hades is, if not fully inappropriate, at least problematic. More than any other demon race, the Jinn are free spirits that pretty much do as they please. The Demon Lords more or less tolerate this as long as they do not directly interfere with their affairs, and most Jinn wisely obey this single order.
Apart from that, they show no loyalty to their kin, and if it were not for the curse that binds them to those that save a Jinn's life - in one way or the other -, these creatures of chaos were absolutely uncontrollable. Rarely do they obey or serve anyone for any other reason than the curse - the Jinn hates to call anyone 'master'. Ironically, the Jinn have only become like this because of the curse.
In this light the fact that the Jinn are counted among the minions of Set, Lord of Darkness, from the Pantheon of Taut, appears even stranger. It may be due to Set's similar way of thinking and approach to life; another explanation would be that it has something to do with the curse; or Set just knows how to attract these power-hungry beings. Whatever the reason, not only does the ruler of Neter-Zher use the Elemental Demons as warriors, servants and messengers, but he also relies on them as a source of information. Politically minded as he is, and especially considering the current delicate situation in Hades, this is extremely valuable to Set and his allies.
The Jinn cannot really be placed in the demon hierarchy because they hold no real function or place within demon society. Their power is hold dear by many Demon Lords, still the majority of the Jinn do not want to have anything to do with them.
They are feared by most other demons, since they will not even spare their brethren of their evil deeds. Fortunately, they are quite rare, but every single one more than a match for any one of their fellow demons. The elemental magic they possess makes them an incredibly powerful being, and even without their magic they could hold their ground against most opponents.
Of course, the weakening effect daytime has on the Elemental Demons makes them more vulnerable, but the free Jinn have learned to live accordingly - hiding at day, coming out only at night. Or switching between dimensions with a different day and night cycle. Those Jinn that are bound to someone by the curse are, of course, obliged to stay at their 'master's' side regardless of daytime, and hate their masters even more for that.
Like true elementals, the Jinn have a very strong desire for freedom and cannot really enjoy even slaughtering innocents and causing great sorrow and grief if it was due to another one's command. Sure, they like it, but how much more satisfying would it be if they did it on their own. It is fortunate that the Elemental Demons never associate with each other - still, a single Jinn is so extremely powerful that he can wreak unbelievable havoc.
In a way, the Jinn are the demonic counterpart to the spirits of light, and although no Jinn could withstand the primal power and virtue of these epitomes of good, the chaos wrought by the demons is greater than anything the spirits of light would be able to take care of in the same time. It is not only a matter of the latter's low numbers. It cannot be denied that it is faster to hurt than to heal, and the Jinn heavily take advantage of this harsh reality.
If given the opportunity to slay one of these defilers of elements, the spirits of light would drop whatever they are doing at that moment to accept the challenge.
The Rakasha AKA Shape Shifters
Second only to the Demon Locusts, the Raksasha are the most powerful and dangerous of all the demons. Excluding the above-mentioned, they are the most intelligent, cunning, and magically and psionically adept creatures to be counted among the demon hordes of Hades.
They are similar to felines not only in outer - natural - appearance. The Raksasha are usually loners, they too prefer manipulation and elaborate strategies to outright attacks. They love to play with their victims, and before the background of the demons' immortality, these vicious games often seem to be endless for the targets of this cruel passion. Their games are much more of a psychological than physical nature - like those of the vindictive Nightmares -, although many Raksasha like physical torture just as well. Many also like the thrill of the hunt, of chasing their victims and seeing the horror of their impending doom in their eyes. In that respect, they can well be compared to the sadistic Dar'ota.
These demons are masterful schemers with an incredible aptitude for making long-term plans, skilfully taking into account the many different factors and possible developments in the future. They feel attracted to where they can live this passion in the largest scale - to the political arena. Here they can satisfy their lust for power and influence the fate of whole nations. But unlike the Night Owls, the Raksasha always want to hold this power themselves, not being satisfied being a second in command. As one can imagine, the Raksasha do everything necessary to obtain this position - from inciting revolts to assassinating the particular person and using their great shape changing and psionic powers to take on their victim's identity.
Related to this lust for power is their attraction to all manner of magic items - many Shape Shifters hoard great magic treasures over the centuries. Of course, they are not averse to more profane treasures like gold and precious stones; after all, money is power. Many accumulate a fortune of both kinds.
While they rarely reveal themselves when holding a position of real power, for 'recreational purposes' these malicious creatures sometimes imitate common people, taking on their identity, and then suddenly reveal themselves to be the demon they are in front of the (mostly brutally murdered) victims' family or acquaintances. When this happens, the witnesses of the Raksasha's transformation to their natural form are inevitably doomed, for the demon will not let any one of them escape. The Raksasha love to drink human blood and eat raw human flesh. Not that they would spare any other tasty mortal - or even one of their fellow demons, making themselves subject of the critical voices of the Demon Lords. And since their master, Abdul-Ra, takes great care of his subjects, he discourages the Raksasha from these disloyal deeds. Still, most other demons fear the Raksasha. The greater demons, which are rarely bothered by the Shape Shifters, hold a much higher respect towards them, though.
Actually, the Raksasha also respect those they deem worthy according to their own twisted sense of honour, be it mortal or immortal. Many Shape Shifters do in fact have a very high degree of honour; more than that, of all the demons they are probably the most honourable. Still it is difficult to judge when one is treated with honour out of real feelings towards him or just deceptively because of cold calculation. Most Raksasha, though, will not deliberately violate their own code of ethics, so they will make sure to word any deceptive promises in such a way that they are not really bound to them.
However honourable these demons may be, for their victims it makes no difference anyway, and it is rare to see these demons leave without having achieved what they wanted. It takes more than just capable heroes to identify a Shape Shifter in the first place, and many high level characters would fail when faced with a single Raksasha in any combat situation.
Fortunately, in addition to being the second most powerful demon race, they definitely are the rarest of all the demons.
The Demon Locusts
The origin of the Demon Locusts, their role in the history of the universe, and, a far more pressing question, the role these beings will play in the future, is shrouded in mystery. Of course, there are many speculations, of which the Demon Locusts being the creation and the foot soldiers of the Old Ones is the most prominent, but in this case, it is questionable if any of these speculations bear a real foundation.
The only hint that can be found on these obscure and extremely powerful demons is reprinted above - from the so-called 'Holy Bible', a holy book of an equally obscure religion in the world of Rifts where it was found. Although the Demon Locusts are described in exactly the same way they really appear, in the context of the Holy Bible, they are not exactly evil but servants of the all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful and good god of the monotheistic religion that calls itself 'Christianity'. Of course, most people do not understand why an omnipotent being needs servants in the first place...
But anyway, the truth of the Holy Bible's words - by the way meaning 'Holy Book', quite an imaginative name for a holy book - are to be doubted, for the all-powerful god if for nothing else. A god which, by the way, never shows itself, something the few followers of Christianity refer to as his being a 'deus absconditus', 'the ways of the Lord are unfathomable' et cetera. Well, lame excuses.
However, it is true that the Demon Locusts acknowledge one in their midst as their leader, who is addressed as the 'Angel of The Abyss', although he is usually referred to as 'The Destroyer'. The Abyss is a giant Rift deep in the heart of the Demon Locust territory, a dimensional anomaly with unknown destination. Strange myths are woven around this Rift, saying that is a portal to a thousand worlds at the same time, and that it can only be entered by the Demon Locusts. Yet none ever seems to go through The Abyss. In fact, no Demon Locust ever even gets close to it. The Destroyer is the only being that permanently dwells in The Abyss, he is said to watch over it, flying above the dark glowing portal day and night.
A similarly enigmatic behaviour is apparent in every one of these highest of all demons. It is remarkable how uniform these demons' behaviour is - there are virtually no exceptions to the rules presented in the following lines.
While the Demon Locusts follow the commands given to them by their master, High Lord Modeus, they do so hesitantly. Even when called upon by a reckless summoner that luckily wins the battle of wills, it does not seem the summoner has complete control over them - the demons always react a second too late, always take their time to fulfil their task even when told to hurry up, that on could feel inclined they do not heed the command but do so out of their own will.
If that was true, the Demon Locusts would be even more powerful than imagined. Yet when on their own, they do not use their power whatsoever. The great masses, millions and millions of these so-called harbingers of destruction, appear to be a lethargic swarm of giant insects that lack any initiative to use their vast array of physical, magic and psionic powers.
They are diabolic, all of them, there is no question - when commanded to destroy a village of innocent mortals they do so with a wicked smile on their face, slaying everything that comes in their path, young and old, male and female alike, torturing their victims in every way they can. When Modeus asks his chosen elite for their advice, they always suggest the most evil way of doing things (something the Lord of Hades often gladly accepts, by the way).
But still they do not long for progress, they follow no political goals, they rarely use the fact that all other demons are subject to their demands, and quite often, they do not even move for hours, days or even weeks. They seem to be...
waiting for something?
Hierarchy Of Demons Of Hades