Demonology 101

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Wherein Lylia Rashere, on behalf of The Order of the Shadow, hosts an introductory lecture on Demons and Demonology at the Porch of Hearthstone Manor in Phoenatos 5118.

Lylia crooks her finger meaningfully at the abyran'sa.  Its serpentine face registers a brief flash of hatred before it approaches and draws up before her, its eyes averted in a show of humility.

Lylia says, "Few subjects are as shrouded in mystery and dread as demons, the entities that shattered Despana at Maelshyve and prowl the Demonwall to this day."

Lylia says, "Yet this aspect of demons is only one of many, for they are no more of one race or kind than we ourselves are. They have their differing natures, their hierarchies, even their rudimentary cultures."

Lylia glances at a scarred deep purple abyran'sa.

Lylia says, "Without revealing every sorcerous secret or plumbing every valence, then, I shall talk today of some of the most common demons you may see and the valences from which they hail."

Lylia notes, "This is of particular importance now that demons are permitted within the walls of the Landing as any other extra-planar entity might be."

Lylia says, "As the Town Council evolved this more enlightened attitude toward demons and demonologists, we should do likewise and learn what we may of these beings."

Torva takes a moment to observe a scarred deep purple abyran'sa.

Lylia says, "What, then, is a 'demon?'."

Lylia admits, "To some extent, it is a term of art rather than a fixed characterization as it applies to a stunning variety of extra-planar creatures."

Lylia says, "From the cleverly wrought creatures of metal and magic, the verlok'asha and verlok'cina, to the awe-inspiring power of the vathor is quite a stretch."

Lylia says, "The most important distinction, then, may be between the so-called 'lesser' demons and the 'minor' demons."

Lylia explains, "The summoned demons you may see following a sorcerer about and doing his or her bidding, such as my abyran'sa here, is a 'minor demon,' in the Common tongue."

Lylia says, "Melikor's grik'pwal would be another example."

Lylia says, "Minor demon types include, but are not limited to, groups of demons such as the abyran, arashan, grantris, grik, imp, and verlok."

Lylia says, "Minor demons are under near-complete control of the sorcerer who summoned them, and their ability to wreak havoc on this valence is limited to protective duties."

Lylia says, "In fact, I have a demonstration."

Lylia quips, "Putting the 'demon' in 'demonstration, if you will."

Lylia says, "Try to rob me."

Lylia nods encouragingly.

Lylia says, "Any of you."

Lylia suddenly turns and grabs Feylisia's wrist!

A scarred deep purple abyran'sa notices Feylisia reach suspiciously close to Lylia's pockets, so it strikes out at her, sinking its fang-like teeth into her hand!
   ... 4 points of damage!
   Strike to right hand breaks a fingernail!

You notice Feylisia reach into Lylia's pockets.

Lylia exclaims, "Wonderful!"

Lylia gestures while calling upon the lesser spirits for aid…

Lylia gestures at Feylisia.

Feylisia's skin takes on a more pinkish tint.

Speaking to Feylisia, Lylia says, "Thank you for that."

Lylia explains, "My abyran'sa guards me, though it is not able to attack on its own."

Lylia says, "We are, of course, outside the town's walls, and you will suffer no legal consequence."

Lylia says, "And would get a mayoral pardon at any rate."

Lylia says, "In contrast to these minor demons are the so-called 'lesser demons.'."

Lylia purrs, "Vathor. Oculoth. Necleriine. Abyran'ra."

Lylia says, "Their very names strike fear still, as they did when the Faendryl first unleashed them."

Lylia says, "They are far riskier to govern, and few sorcerers outside of New Ta'Faendryl choose to take such risks even when they are capable of it."

Lylia murmurs, "I am not the pre-eminent demonologist in the Rashere family, and so control of them is not currently something I can demonstrate for you, sadly."

Lylia briskly asks, "So! Now that we have an idea of what 'minor demons' and 'lesser demons' are, whence do they hail?"

Lylia says, "Some of you doubtless know the names of the three most widely known valences. One was even pictured in the recent art exhibit graciously lent by Ambassador Tredohal Hashier Faendryl."

Lylia says, "Most minor demons you see hail from three valences." She ticks them off on her fingers as she speaks their names. "Grik'tyr. Shien'tyr. Lorae'tyr."

Lylia asks, "Before I go into greater detail, are there any burning questions you have about demons or demonology in general?"

Speaking in Elven, Torva asks, "How do you kill one?"

Lylia says, "Minor demons do not typically die here at all. They return to their valence as soon as the sorcerer mastering them falls in battle or is otherwise incapacitated."

Lylia continues, "Lesser demons require a great deal of effort to pierce their defenses. Dispelling them helps."

Lylia says, "And weapons with a great deal of power."

Lylia notes, "They are impervious to certain sorcerous magics, and they reflect others."

Lylia advises, "Never implode an oculoth."

Lylia darkly intones, "Do not ask me how I know."

Thrassus asks, "Aren't vathors similar in that regard?"

Shinann asks, "What will happen?"

Speaking to Shinann, Lylia says, "They cast it right back at you."

Lylia says, "Grik'tyr, as you might surmise, is the home of the winged and chitinous Grik as well as the leathery, face-changing Imp. Rocky and windswept, this plane is almost wholly without water."

Lylia continues, "The Grik themselves have a primitive society, perhaps on a level with the kobolds we see in the wilds about us, although near-constant war between factions has kept them from much development despite their intellect being keener than that of kobolds."

Lylia murmurs, "There may be a lesson here about fighting amongst themselves instead of massing against a common enemy."

Lylia says, "But I would not dream of bending a metaphor so cruelly."

Lylia says, "I shall not belabor your ears with the finer points of Grik'pwal and Grik'trak and other groups, but  skilled demonologists can tell at a glance what sort of Grik stands before them."

Lylia says, "Imps, like the Grik, are quarrelsome. They are, however, useful for carrying coins and small objects."

Lylia notes, "And they are spotty at best when set to household tasks."

Lylia says, "But onward we go, into somewhere untouched by suns."

Lylia says, "Shien'tyr is a murkier mystery, quite literally. It is utterly lightless, and the Faendryl Harrowers who first ventured there had to rely on other senses to find their way."

Lylia continues, "So, within Shien'tyr dwell the Shien, Aishan, and Arashan."

Lylia says, "The Shien, including Darklings and Shadowlings, excel at manipulating flows of power. They resemble Imps in size and overall conformation, but they are surrounded by shadow and have an aloofness that suggests they are less present in this valence when summoned."

Lylia says, "Aishan are more akin to beasts than sentient beings, large and vulpine with shaggy fur and tremendously powerful jaws. Their eyes are striking features and occasion much talk among demonologists about why they possess them at all and if, indeed, they 'see' as we do."

Lylia says, "In a lightless realm, it seems to me almost certain that what they perceive is something else - heat, perhaps, or perturbations in the flows of essence itself."

Lylia says, "It is a question for another time, though, as we must move on."

Lylia says, "Arashan have their closest analog in our giant spiders, but they are not arachnids though they are many-limbed. Their faces, inasmuch as they can be said to have them, are eyeless. Instead, they sense a great deal through the fine filaments that cover their jointed legs and rounded bodies."

Lylia notes, "Arashan have something else in common with spiders in that they can master webs, a useful trait for any sorcerer who uses this spell frequently."

Lylia says, "I rarely summon them, personally, but some make great use of them."

Lylia says, "They can wind a sorcerer's web around foes quite deftly."

Lylia says, "And then there is Lorae'tyr, the valence that personally fascinates me most and contains the greatest diversity of beings."

Lylia says, "Time in Lorae'tyr is not linear. Thus travel to the valence is officially banned and punishable by death, but we can still pull demons from this realm and have them serve us here."

Lylia says, "Shieltine's Ward, in fact, was defied recently by one Lord Vathon. If he returns, when he returns...well."

Lylia murmurs, "His life is forfeit, by law. But I wonder if he may not be questioned first."

Speaking to Naggarot, Lylia says, "The extent of Shieltine's Ward is also a matter of some dispute. Some say that it applies only closer to New Ta'Faendryl itself. Others maintain that the valence, being only tangential to our own and not in the same physical space, extends in all directions and must therefore be taken to apply anywhere."

Lylia briskly says, "I have my own opinions, but I shall not trouble anyone with them at the moment."

Lylia says, "The abyran are sentient...and they despise their summoner."

Lylia says, "You may have noticed the looks of hatred mine darted at me."

Lylia says, "Abyran'a and Abyran'sa are the laborers and the magic-users or priests of their ophidian race, and the Aybran'ra are their fighters."

Lylia says, "While most sorcerers may learn to govern the former two, the last is beyond the reach of most...although you may see one if you are careless when tearing at the veils between valences."

Lylia says, "Abyran'sa and abyran'a are the most challenging of demons, yet they are also the most powerful of the minor demons in many ways."

Lylia says, "Skilled at casting, able to amplify Balefire spells, cunning and venomous."

Lylia says, "I quite like them, for all their hateful sullenness."

Lylia says, "Another notable denizen of Lorae'tyr, the Igaesha, resembles nothing so much as a cloud of mist or smoke. They are..."

Lylia admits, "They are terribly dull."

Lylia admits, "They are almost wholly pointless on this plane, save for two things. One, they eat anything. Good for disposing of all manner of left-over bits."

Lylia continues, "And two, they are an essential element of Igaeshian readings, a uniquely Faendryl form of divination, which I shall not delve into tonight in the interests of time."

Lylia says, "The Grantris resembles nothing so much as the many-legged creatures you sometimes find under logs, only scaled up to the size of dogs."

Lylia adds, "Very long, very leggy dogs."

Lylia says, "They lack armor and have an almost playful, shy demeanor that makes them popular for sorcerers who wish to appear less than threatening. Once you get to know them, they have a certain charm, and they are useful for carrying many small objects."

Lylia says, "If handed a balled-up bit of parchment, they will play with it endlessly, moving it up and down their segmented bodies with their fine, stiff limbs and hairs."

Speaking in Elven, Torva asks, "How many legs are they known to have?"

Lylia says, "Tens to hundreds of thousands, depending on what counts as a 'leg' and what counts as a 'hair.'."

Lylia says, "Finally, there are the Verlok'ar, Verlok'asha, and Verlok'cina. I may favor them most of all, for they are so cunningly wrought. They are often described as 'metal birds,' although they are not truly birds any more than an Arashan is a spider."

Lylia says, "Let us see if I might find one."

Shadows dance between Lylia's outstretched fingers as she issues a command in archaic Faendryl.

Lylia gestures at a chalcedony runestone.

Lylia traces an arcane sigil over her runestone while incanting, resulting in the opening of a small rift in space beside her.  Her runestone glows momentarily as a bright copper verlok'asha comes hurtling out of the rift.

The verlok'asha approaches Lylia's outstretched hand, then deftly turns away at the last instant, brushing her softly with its magically suspended feathers.

Speaking to a bright copper verlok'asha, Lylia says, "Wonderful."

Lylia says, "Matches my hair."

Lylia says, "They are named for their metals. Verlok'asha are made of simple metals such a bronze or brass. Verlok'cina are of more precious stock, gilded or silvered and exquisitely beautiful. And the Verlok'ar are made of magical metals such as gornar or zorchar."

Lylia says, "This, then, is a Verlok'asha."

Lylia says, "They shed feathers, and the feathers themselves are sharp and faintly magical."

Speaking to Lylia, Ysharra says, "I remember you warning me about their feathers finding your feet at night."

Lylia says, "I have banished them from the bedchamber for that reason. A verlok vane in the heel in the dead of night is enough to make anyone cross."

Lylia says, "We have, then, gone through the tour of the most common valences, and of their most frequently seen inhabitants. We know minor from lesser demons."

Lylia says, "For the sorcerers among us, I should note a few specifics about the actual facts of summoning."

Lylia says, "Some are able to summon demons with a thought and need no runestone at all."

Speaking to Lylia, Ysharra says, "If only they would come as easily as Munin heeds a whistle..."

Lylia says, "Silvean, for example, is the pre-eminent demonologist in the region. I have seen him command an abyran'sa at the flick of a finger."

Lylia says, "But for most of us, a runestone is a safer bet by far."

Lylia carefully places a chalcedony runestone on the ground.

Lylia says, "Some of you may read this. Note that it has both the mark for the valence and the demonic type I seek -- Lorae'tyr-Verlok."

Lylia says, "The guild sells simpler runestones that allow you to summon only from a specific valence. Lorae'tyr, for example. But you do not know what you may get."

Lylia says, "Some of us know certain uncommon runes that allow us to specify and specialize."

Maltreis asks, "What sort of runestone would you recommend for the beginner summoner?"

Lylia says, "Start with the guild's stones."

Lylia says, "It is easier to summon from a particular valence alone than to summon a particular kind of demon from that valence.

Lylia says, "And some demons are more challenging than others because they have certain...skills."

Lylia says, "The most challenging is the Abyran'sa. And it does a very unusual and exciting thing."

Lylia says, "It breaks sanctuaries."

Speaking to Lylia, you say, "Also handy to have around when a bard is being a nuisance."

Lylia says, "Yes. They can disrupt a bard's Song of Annoyance, or whatever they term it."

Lylia says, "I think that if I speak more, we shall be moving into greater depths of demonology. And I would tax your patience sorely, surely."

Lylia says, "So I shall conclude there, unless there are further questions."

Credit and many thanks to Lylia for her excellent lecture, and to Eiliriel for archiving and transposition -- see also the log on the Faendryl Enclave's website.