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Demons are supernatural beings, commonly described as entirely malevolent in nature, which is not entirely true. In reality, the term "demon" is very vague, comprising creatures that are sentient and looking very similar to humans, such as succubi, or positively monstrous, grotesque, and animalistic-minded ones, such as the Mavheragos. Like one can imagine, many creatures are inaccurately called demons. Some civilizations even label ghosts as such! The very nature of demons is somewhat hard to define, though it's generally admitted that any creature coming from an Hellish dimension qualifies as a demon and that they are the polar opposite of Ceiciels. They might be either benevolent, malevolent, or neutral in their dealings with humans, but their reputation in general is dire and grim. They are widely seen as cruel, violent, and fiercely chaotic. There is a huge variety of them, too many to count in fact, ranging from the annoying but harmless imp, to dreadful arch-devils. They often make formidable opponents, with strange and unpredictable powers. It's commonly understood among adventurers of any world that any deal involving demons will be a serious and dangerous one.
Demon classify themselves in to several ranks, according to the power their form holds. It's not necessarily related to their rank in Hell hierarchy, though.
- Pawns are basically cannon fodder. They are lesser minions, often small, weak, and meek creatures with little intelligence, and posing very little threat when alone. They are, however, almost never alone. When a Hell general decides to unleash them in a battle, it's generally in groups of millions! They form a tide of bodies, overwhelming opponents under a swarming attack, winning battles by their sheer numbers alone. Shediches are the most commonly used pawns in infernal armies.
- Lesser Demons are either servants or basic foot soldiers of Hell armies. They are seen as somewhat expendable, possessing little abilities outside of their natural strength and sturdiness. They aren't to be underestimated however. Tough and adaptive creatures, they are able to survive and thrive in very harsh environments and most of them can pose a decent challenge to any soldier. Malphasites are an example of lesser demons.
- Demons are, on average, strong and dangerous creatures, often possessing strange and deadly abilities, and they should always be engaged with the most extreme caution. Demons take numerous shapes, sometimes grotesque and bizarre, nightmarish and terrifying, or deceptively normal. They are often clever beings, and if they aren't, they more than make it up with their great strength. A demon alone could easily decimate a group of unprepared adventurers.
- Greater Demons are very powerful creatures. They are often huge with a terrifying appearance, ferocious, and cunning. They act either as wardens or as shock troops of Hell, and just a few of them can tear through a whole army. Most of them are also magically adept and able to unleash strong magic at their enemies. They naturally have command over demons of a lesser rank than them and are able to devise strategy and lead battles. To defeat a Greater demon such as a Succubus or an Ancient Cerberus is an heroic feat, worthy of being sung.
- Arch-Demons are beings of formidable power, often very high in the Hell hierarchy, and belonging to the nobility. They pose an extreme danger, and should never be engaged under any circumstances. If you ever encounter one, run! If you can't run, prepare for a likely-painful death.
- Primordial Demons are very few and very little is known about them. Suffice to say they are entities of immense power, akin to gods.
- Minimal: A totally harmless being such as a mouse or a rabbit.
- Very Low: Mostly herbivores but who can still strike back if attacked.
- Low: Various animals such as felines.
- Moderate: A moderately dangerous Felaryan creature can still be very dangerous in another world. For example a great white shark would rank between Low and Moderate here...
- Medium: A predatory, dangerous and often man-eating creature.
- High: A great predator. Crisis is in this category.
- Very High: A top predator. This creature could take on a small army.
- Critical: In Felaryan scales, very few creatures reach this rank.
- Extreme: A guardian or a mythical creature. Only a god can hope to survive a confrontation with one of these.
Note that threat ranking is based on the threat that the creature represents for a normal human. It's not necessarily linked to the strength of the creature. For example the dryad Cypress would rank very low because she is very friendly to humans, yet she is a powerful being.
Known type of demons in Felarya :
Size: 30 feet
A giant, monstrous, three headed dog from Hell. These fearsome creatures are used for a few tasks: to guard the gates and various places of Hell, to ensure that damned can enter but not get out, and on the battlefield where they serve as walking portals. Indeed, hell hounds are famous for their excellent skills at creating dimensional gates. A typical tactic of hell forces pitched against heaven in a battle is to use a small but very mobile force of cerberi to get around the enemy position, then have the hell hounds create gates, then flooding troops through them to surround the enemy. Innumerable low-class demons serve this purpose: being constantly ready and specifically trained to jump immediately in to a cerberus gate whenever one opens to assist the beast in battle.
Thus when engaging a cerberus, you can expect to fight many monstrosities coming from the bowel of Hell as well. Most of them are little more than canon fodder like Shediches, but some of them are actually dangerous. The cerberus itself is a powerful and clever foe and they are quite capable of fighting off many threats either by devouring them, or by using their powerful mastery of fire spells to blast or melt them into oblivion. Cerberus are definitely not a monster to be taken lightly. Most of those in Felarya can be encountered deep inside the Ascarlin mountains
Size: 50 feet
A larger, more powerful, and more cunning version of the regular cerberus. Ancient cerberi are fearsome monsters, quite capable of decimating an entire party of adventurers in mere minutes. They are extremely clever as well, and are known to elaborate complex tactics.
Size: 5 feet tall
Minor soldiers in the armies of Hell, Allus are very weak compared to most other demons. Resembling emaciated humanoids, they possess elongated claws on their hands and feet. Their faces is devoid of any facial features such as eyes, ears or even a mouth. In order to even see or feed, they typically wear masks that act like symbiotic organisms. They are essentially used as cannon fodder foot soldiers whose sole purpose is to weaken enemy defenses and overwhelm them under weight of numbers. Many are not expected to survive and thus are rarely, if ever, given armor or weapons. Those that do manage to survive long enough mature into the next stage of their life cycle, the Allu'Baël.
Size: 1 to 2 feet tall
Threat: Very Low
Small deformed creatures with a vaguely human appearance, Shediches are very weak demons, situated at the very bottom of the demonic hierarchy. They are used as basic troops, sent in their millions to mindlessly overwhelm the enemy with their sheer numbers, or to serve as mobile food supply for larger demons. A single one of them would pose very little threat to any man able to handle a sword.
Size: 3 to 4 feet tall
Malphasites are small humanoid creatures, possessing the head, feathers, and legs of a crow. Used as workers in Hell, they construct most of the various architecture and buildings found there, as well as keeping up on their maintenance. They possess a matriarchal hierarchy, though all will follow the order of higher demons. Quite dexterous and nimble, they seem skittish creatures but are much smarter than they appear. Bigger demons know better than to mistreat them too much, lest some mysterious accident happen to them afterwards. Malphasites are rarely seen outside of hell save for when fortifications are needed near the front-line during a war. They have an attraction for shiny objects. Rumor has it that a small group of malphasites, along with a few Naberonthes somehow escaped Hell and have since built a small thriving society in Felarya, somewhere to the southeast of the mist ocean along the edge of the dridder forest.
Size: 20 feet in diameter
Powerful demons of hell, Antithronos were created as a mockery of the throne, one of the highest orders of angels. They resemble large fleshy orbs covered entirely with bloodshot eyes that levitate through the air. They are typically used as sentries in hell as they possess a "true sight" which allows them to see through every type of illusions or invisibility, and to see material and immaterial creatures with equal ease. Combined with their 360 degree vision, very few beings can escape their gaze unnoticed. Should they detect an intruder, they are capable of using powerful dark magic while at the same time raising an alarm. Some of them have been seen floating through the lower tunnels of the ascarlin mines.
Size: 40 feet long
Naberonthes are great beasts of Hell, often used as watchdogs by higher demons. They looks like a large feline covered in bony feathers instead of fur, with four feet resembling that of a raven, and two raven heads connected to their body by crane-like necks. They are dangerous and powerful in combat, but are considered lesser demons, as they lack intelligence and are typically used to guard treasures and other valuables. Naberonthes are also deployed as guards/escorts for malphasites, with which they share a particularly strong protective bond. They defend them from the various threats and are used by them as both mounts and supply carriers.
Size: 2 to 8 feet tall
Even the plants of Hell hold many dangerous species. Grown, or rather born, in the demonic gardens of the upper circles of Hell, Elliborins are plant demons that appear to have lithe humanoid bodies composed of entangling vines and a flower where the head would be. While they don't look threatening, Elliborins are, in fact, quite deadly as a powerful toxins permeate their "flesh", a fact they know very well when they use their whip-like vine arms to strike their enemies. Multiple breeds exist, though all are very weak to fire, which can easily ignite them. Elliborins are typically sent behind enemy lines, as they are very good at sneaking and gathering informations. Their most famous abilities is to perform a summoning dance, which they are very adept at. The process is done in conjunction with others of their kind, in order to summon higher demons but results in all Elliborins involved being turned to ash and cinders, making it a one-time job. Typically, Elliborins will summon powerful beasts and elite demons, the kind of which will pose a serious threat even when alone, in order to strike fast and hard. This makes Elliborins very dangerous indeed. When not in combat or use, Elliborins will literally root themselves to the ground in order to feed and remain unnoticed. They can become your worst nightmare if you have a couple of them rooted in the garden of your fortress, and you are besieged by the armies of hell...
Size: 5 to 7 feet tall
Should a damned soul attempt or even manage to escape Hell, there is one group of demonic trackers who are called upon to bring them back: the bagalluks. They appear as slender humanoid beings that are literally little more than frail skeletons, possessing only a thin layer of translucent skin that barely covers their bones. Their eyes look like burning coals in their elongated face and are said to be able to see clearly within even the darkest of places. Bagalluks are very nimble and, despite their appearance, incredibly strong, with a grip that can crush steel. No man is said to be able to escape them once they begin a hunt, being unparalleled hunters and trackers.
Bagalluks tend to mark their entire bodies with intricate tattoos that grant them various hellish powers. They also serve as the few points of individuality amongst them, and as one of the few ways of distinguishing individual bagalluks, as no two of these hell trackers possess the same style of tattoos. When hunting, they favor the use of bows that fire spectral arrows which paralyze unattached souls until they are removed, allowing them to be dragged back to Hell without trouble. Bagalluks are also fond of their clubs which they cover with intricate runes in order to give them special abilities. Even without these weapons, bagalluks can still be a threat especially with their shrill screams which can damage hearing and cause unconsciousness to the living while stunning the souls of the dead.
Size: 6 inches tall to much more
Also called demons of hate, Balefs look, at first, tiny and frail impish creatures. Even at this size, they don't look totally harmless though; something in their crazy eyes is unsettling and would alert a veteran warrior to be cautious. Balefs are very unpleasant beings, possessing a sadistic and mean sense of humor, and loving to mock and insult others with their shrill voice in order to provoke them. Whenever they receive an attack, be it the strike of a sword, a slap, or a rock bolt or arrow, they grow in size, volume and strength, proportionally to the violence and purpose behind the attack. This process can repeat itself again and again with little limit, turning the Balef into a hulking Juggernaut with formidable power and making them extremely dangerous. Very few beings can destroy a Balef and eating one is probably the last mistake a creature would ever make. After growing, they progressively revert back to their small size over the course of the following hours, provided they aren't hit again in the meantime. When confronted to a Balef, one must remain completely stoic and entirely deaf to its provocations. A single misplaced reaction can create a disastrous circle.
- Credits to Jasconius for the Antithronos, elliborins, bagalluck, malphasites and allus.