5 - 150 years
Ariaheim and Kyrheim
Bestial and Savage
The demonic race as a whole is defined by two key traits that ensure their continued survival and have become the basis of their entire society. The first is their ability to rapidly evolve in order to adapt to situations and the second is their ability to regenerate from fatal wounds within a short amount of time.
Demons are often perceived as one of the less intelligent species. This is true to an extent. The first two stages of demon evolution have intellect not much higher than that of animal, and the third is barely a step above in the eyes of many upper class demons as it is on the cusp of true intelligence and the ever present urge to commit self-destruction that dominates the beast-kin and whelps. Hellions and Arch Hellions are fairly intelligent and it would be a gross mistake to assume that they are less so than humans. Often, a Hellion is at the same level of intellect as the average human while the intellect of the Arch Hellions is usually above that of a human. The brutality and infighting of the demonic society also adds to the opinion that they are less intelligent than other races. This infighting does not occur because they are ignorant of the effects it has on the race as a whole but because they believe in weeding out the weak. Strength is the ultimate factor for demons. Strength and dominance, whether perceived or actual. Therefore, it is no wonder that other races perceive them as savages, and thus inferior.
To put it simply the appearance of the demonic race varies greatly from individual to individual to the degree that it would be pointless in trying to peg down any single common characteristic besides the fact that as a whole, the lower caste have more animalistic and monstrous forms while the upper classes, hellions and arch hellions, gravitate towards are more human like appearance with odd variations such as horns, tails, and even wings.
- Physically powerful
- Highly accelerated evolution and adaptive
- Absorption of other creatures abilities via consumption
- Regenerative powers at the cost of a shorter lifespan
- Rudimentary shapeshifting, forming their body into desired shapes for combat effectiveness
While individual demons have abilities that vary greatly from one another there are a few that can be said to be shared across the whole of demon kind.
Enhanced Strength: This is common throughout every stage of evolution. If a whelp is similar to appearance to that of a roach it will most likely have double or triple the strength of a normal roach and this stays the same with other animals and humanoid creatures.
Evolution: This ability is the trademark of demons and it has allowed them to survive and grow despite their overall lack of innovation in the area of technology. Essentially, evolution allows the species as a whole to adapt quickly in order to survive. All living organism evolve, but not at the same speed of demons. What takes a demon one generation to achieve usually takes more than a hundred to other races.
Furtheremore, demons can also evolve by consuming other creatures of their own or different races to gain their abilities. When devouring another demon the chances of them absorbing skills, abilities and even limbs is relatively high due to the devoured creature being a demon and thus being biologically familiar to the demon’s own body. This is how they essentially evolve without the need of adapting generation over generation. A single demon can raise itself to an incredible height through the act of consuming its kin. The stipulation for evolving through consumption is that the target has to be alive or recently deceased. If a victim is consumed after more than a day of its death, no beneficial effects will be received. If a demon tries to consume any member of the undead not only will it be of no use, but it will also cause immediate death or crippling illness.
When it comes to devouring a creature of an entirely different species the absorption process becomes less likely to happen. An example of this would be if a demon devoured a gorgon or a dragon in order to gain its ability to turn others into stone or its ability to breathe fire. Simply eating a gorgon or dragon once wouldn’t be enough for the demon to absorb the desired ability due to the biological differences. The demon would have to devour a large amount of gorgons, perhaps one hundred, just to be able to have a chance of gaining the desired attribute. Of course, demons can evolve without consuming others but it is a far moe difficult road as it takes much time.
Evolution isn’t simply a one-way street for demons. There is the potential devolve if they consumes inferior to themselves and thus introducing needless or unbeneficial attributes that will ultimately hurt them or make them unappealing to clans or houses.It is important to note that demons activate their ability to evolve by consuming another creature at will, that means that they can safely eat worms without turning into one.
Rapid Regeneration: Demon kind also has the ability to regenerate almost any limb lost along with the ability to recover from usually fatal injuries at an incredible rate. This of course comes with a price. Whenever a demon regenerates from a fatal wound it shaves a number of years off their lifespan, ranging anywhere from years to several decades. In addition, a demon cannot regenerate from decapitation or a similar fatality.
Partial shape shifting abilities: Due to the demon’s unique ability to rapidly evolve and thus alter their genetics incredibly quickly there is the capability to shape shift to some degree. This does not mean that they can change their form at will, this means that they are capable of twisting and shaping their limbs into tools into something useful, such as blade, club, or whatever else may be needed. Generally only Hellions and Arch Hellions are capable of shape shifting with any degree of accuracy or use.
- Demons can shape-shift into human or elvish form if and only if they have personally eaten a member of said race at some point of their life. The only ones exempt of this rule are the Arch-Hellions.
While demons are capable of being omnivores it is a rarity for a demon to be such. For the most part they stick to meat. Whether it is from each other or the local variety. Surprisingly, demons are very particular in the way they prepare their meat. They view the meat from another creature as a summary of everything it once was and thus they will often prepare them with great cut and remove much of the fat and other such things until it is very lean. Of course, this practice isn’t as prevalent amongst the lesser caste and only the cultured demons of the Arch Hellion houses observe this.
- Asexual reproduction
- Imps are inferior, insect like beings that are very weak and unlikely to survive.
- Devils are simple-minded, violent brutes.
- Daevols are more advanced demons that still hold a low position in Demon society.
- Hellions are more accomplished, powerful Demons that are often abused and exploited by the upper caste.
- Arch-Hellions live far longer than any other Demon, possess more power and are genetically superior, save for legendary demons.
As a whole reproduction is asexual among demons. At some point in a demon’s life it will essentially produce what is basically a clone of itself. Of course this process, much like others, is never quite perfect. Mutations often happen creating variations from the “parent” that help distinguish it as an individual. When a demon reaches the daevol stage, mating through conventional means becomes possible, providing they have eaten a human or elf in order so that they are able to mate in what is considered the normal fashion. Arch Hellions do not need to eat a human or elf in order to mate in the conventional method.
Demon Caste/Evolution Stages
Imps: The lowest of the low. Insectoids and vermin who are born into a world of filth, decay, and pure and utter disdain from nearly all other forms of life. As a whole they resemble insects such as roaches, spiders, centipedes, and whatever else that crawled out of a sludge pit only to plague humanity but on a much larger scale. Spiders would be the size of a man’s head and centipedes long enough and thick enough to strangle a man. Demons of this type rarely live long. If they are unfortunate they will live a full five years of hardship and utter loathing. If they are lucky they will die quickly. Their powers and abilities are generally very basic, the bare minimum required to survive and possibly advance ever so slightly so the offspring are born as something not quite so disgusting. They are the most numerous caste.
Devil: A step above the imps, small but still a step. The Devil are the beasts and somewhat more unique of demon kind. Every action is one of instinct, one of impulse. There is very little cunning to be found. Only violence and the engrained need of survival. This kind mainly resembles the more predatory animals found throughout the world such as wolves, lions, and other beast of the hunt. Along with predatory animals there is also a wide variety of beast from the mythical variety that seem to be corrupted by demonic influence and have essentially become a monstrous part of the demon hierarchy. There are non-predatory beasts as well but they are capable of defending themselves. Generally they take the form of turtles and larger creatures such as buffalo and even elephants. The main difference between the demonic beast and the normal ones is their lifespan and their ability to become something so much greater than what they start out as, a blessing to the demonic species as a whole. Appearance wise they are generally twisted. Gnarly fangs, horns made to skewer in the most painful of ways possible. Intimidation and cruel lethality are what comprise the aesthetic qualities of the demonic beast. They provide little sport for the more majestic of demons but much entertainment value when they skewer each other.
Daevol: It is here that the demon just begins to scratch the very surface of true power and wipe away the putridity of the lower species. It is here that a noteworthy existence begins. It is here that generational battles to evolve finally pay off. It is here when the meaning of struggle is understood. Just remember, demons here are still nothing. They have no name. No history. They are serfs, peasants, fools, and the most accursed on the brink of sentience and reverting back to their bestial nature. They are the most distrusted and therefore the most abused. Their powers and abilities are…adequate for their purposes. They did manage to survive this long after all. Demons that begin life in the daevol stage generally live for about 60 years, providing they fail to progress at all. [This is the starting level for new characters, unless you wish to make a Devil or Imp.]
Hellion: Useful and not entirely without power. They are considered to be among the upper echelons of demon kind, the equivalent of knights in a feudal society. They have achieved a measure of respect through deed and blood. Their abilities are above adequate and can even be considered powerful. Their relationship with the lower caste is that of a superior for the have earned the right to give orders. Their relationship with the Arch caste is far more strained. The Arch Hellions, equal to human lords in a feudal society, abuse, order, and often kill the Hellions on a whim. This has created an undeniable tension between the two castes. The hellions view themselves as the equals to the Arch caste despite the fact that they do not come from old blood. In fact, they believe it has made them stronger. It has taught them the value of blood and there is some measure of truth to that, but the complete truth is that the Arch Hellions are simply superior through breeding. Foolish little Hellions. The few demons that reach the hellion stage of life can live up to 100. From this stage it becomes very difficult to evolve. [Level 2]
Arch Hellion: Second only to the near mythical demons of legend. These are the demons that can trace their lineage back to the Old World and have carefully bred in order to ensure their dominance. Their abilities stand far above those of the lower caste to the point that a child can take on a full grown adult of a lower caste. While much of this strength does come from superior genetics, a large degree also comes from a nurturing environment that the parents provide in order to ensure their offspring grow along desirable paths that ensure the continued prosperity of their house. For the lifespan of an Arch Hellion it is far more difficult to tack an accurate number, but it is safe to say that no Arch Hellion has died of under the age of 150 from natural causes within recent memory. [Level 4]
Social Structure: The society is defined by the desire for power that all demons seem to inherently share. Because of this it is near constant upheaval. Leaders often rise and fall within months. It does not matter how one obtains power. As long you have it. Because of this society is incredibly fluid as long as you are capable of earning your place. There are only few unchanging facts and those are the Arch Hellion houses. They have kept their power for ages through deceit, displays of power, and massive amounts of bloodshed.
Demons often stick to hunting each other instead than other species. This also factors into another aspect of the demonic society. Much of the time they are fighting between each other in order to advance themselves on a personal level and on the clan or house level. Notions of caste superiority are taken very seriously. Clans usually begin to take formation in the form of packs while in the devil caste. Most of these packs don't survive to the next stage of evolution due to changing priorities by members who manage to evole and the chaotic nature of the demons themselves.
Arch Hellion Houses
House Mastema: House Mastema is the oldest and widely considered the most powerful house. Wrath is their preferred method of control. Lower castes obey them not out of utter fear. Their battle prowess is the stuff of legend and is demonstrated on a daily basis. They are in a state of perpetual war with almost every other house, save House Vassago. They consider themselves the testers of the houses, to ensure that they are worthy of the same station as House Mastema. They do not wage war out of pure bloodlust but out of a self appointed sense of divine wrath and judgment. The demons of House Mastema have a feature that give them a considerable edg: their skin is metallic and incredibly durable making it essentially a form of armor capable of handling immense amounts of damage, including bullets and assault from most piercing weapons. They can trace their lineage back to a demon from the old world known as Mastema. Legends say that he was a prolific hunter of angels and was for a time known as the terror of Silim. He was also said to be a great upholder of the few laws that demon-kind had. How he met his demise is unknown.
House Vassago: House Vassago holds the distinction of only being second to House Mastema. Unlike other houses they are content with their position. Not due to complacenty but because they understand the fact that they would not be able to stand against Mastema even with the help of house Vepar. So, they have instead made themselves useful. As their house has a natural affinity to magick and a moderate resistance to the scarring effects of its use they devote much of their time to the arcane arts. They often serve as battle mages in many of the skirmishes that House Mastema participates in. The alliance with house Mastema is incredibly beneficial. Their true power comes from divination. They can peer into the future and ascertain images and other interpretations of what may or may not come. While these visions do not always come true, many of them do to provide a certain edge that cannot be denied. They trace their lineage back to the demon seer Vassago of the Old World.
House Vepar: Is the third oldest of the Arch Hellion houses. It is also the least respected. Not because its abilities are not formidable but because their lineage is of great question to the other houses. Until their lineage can be proven as fact they will forever remain as usurpers and defilers of the title Arch-Hellion. Their main power stems from their ability to cause the putrification of most organic life with a touch. The matriarch is the only with enough power to be able to kill another demon within seconds.
House Shax: the youngest and most manipulative of the Arch Hellion Houses. The true power of this house lies in Deception: the ability to alter, bend, or entirely break truth as it is understood. They relish in the confusion, suspicion and/or doubt of others. Some even claim they gain power from it. It is a common view that the house lacks any desire for brutality or bloodshed, their nature reflects a more passive-aggressive tone, but is it truly possible to understand any method to madness?
Extinct Arch Hellion Houses
House Carreau: Once the rivals of House Mastema and the rulers of the demons, this family was termined by the ruling incubi family of Malekith, House Solidor, centuries ago in the old world. Details are not well known.
King Solomon: The current Demon King and perhaps the most powerful demon in existence. His reign has been unprecedented. Unlike most other “kings” he has managed to maintain his throne for an extended period of time and has enacted some measure of order. Thus far his reign is the longest in recent and distant memory lasting a record 150 years. It is said that he knows all that happens within his realm and can tug on the very webs of dreaming in order to inact his insideous will. Of course most of this is thought to be mere myth used in order control the masses, but no one has dared challange him within memory.
The majority of demons, not including Arch Hellions and the upper ranks of the Hellion caste, have very little concept of paternal parenthood, brotherhood, or sisterhood. Instead family is formed between members of the same clan. This is not the loving concept of family that humans know. Most of the time familial connections are made purely out of convenience and practicality. Your “family” will defend you, clothe you, feed you and help you. As long as you remain useful. When you are no longer useful you will be fed upon. Despite this members of the same clan remain tight knit as it is usually a better survival strategy to stick together and not betray each other at every given chance.
Demon’s capable of something similar to speech, humanoid and above, speak a guttural dialect of Noldorin that is understandable to speakers of the more common dialect providing they are listening closely. Unsurprisingly to some, this dialect is actually one of the closest to the original form of Noldorin that was spoken in the Old World. Demons very rarely interact with outsiders and thus they weren’t influenced much by outside sources and kept much of what they knew from the Old World intact.
Power is their religion. While they do not worship the concept like some pagan god almost every demon is in pursuit of it. Occasionally small numbers will worship the king as some sort of deity figure due to the power he wields or even the head of a house, but blind devotion is considered a weakness.
Formal education is a rarity amongst demons. Generally most humanoid demons, considered the most plentiful of the intelligent demons, have very little education and are only capable of reading basic Noldorin. This is mainly due to the fact that demons in this caste generally stick to hunting and foragging in order to survive on a day to day basis. There is no need to know their history or anything else unrelated to hunting, battle, or survival. Hellions and Arch-Hellions generally find that it is a good idea to recieve a basic education at the very least. A basic education to them consist of basic mathematic skills, reading, an overview of demon history, and perhaps a second language provided that the demon comes from an Arch-Hellion house.-- Royal Seal 06:16, July 17, 2013 (UTC)