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Devils, not to be confued with Demons, are the Evil equivalent of Angels. Unlike angels, they are beyond count in both amount and kind.[1][2] They are categorized by their age, appearance and which Hell they were spawned in.

Origin & NatureEdit

As there are countless devils, it's likely many statements regarding their nature will have some exceptions. Nonetheless, some broad characteristics can be outlined.

OriginEdit

According to Masego, neither devils nor demons are born of Creation. Rather, they are born of Hells, with the first twenty-three being occupied by demons and the uncountable rest by devils.[3] They are considered to be the servants of Gods Below.

NatureEdit

  • Both devils and angels are driven by absolutes.[4]
  • They are more sensitive to boundaries and thresholds than Fae or any other being of Creation.[3]
  • According to Cat, They are bound by nature to honor the letter of any deal they make.[5] This is supported further by the fact that Cat conscripts Liesse to the Fifteenth Legion, thereby stopping the devils from attacking the city.
  • Masego believes they are deterministic beings, i.e. they don't have free will and simply follow the physical and narrative laws of the universe.[6] In a sense, they are no different to a rock rolling down a hill.
  • They enjoy being in Creation as it's the only place they can truly learn.[6]
  • According to the House of Light, they are driven to Evil by their nature.[3] This would support the idea that they are servants of the Gods Below, much how angels are the servants of Gods Above.
  • They do not need sustenance while in Creation.[7]
  • The devils from the Thirtieth Hell that have been employed in Marchford didn't bleed.[8]
  • Technically, they can't be killed, only dispersed beyond coherence.[4] This, along with their sensitivity to wards, suggests they are very much like Fae.

AbilitiesEdit

The abilities of devils vary wildly, depending on their type and age.

In general, the older the devil the more powerful and intelligent it grows. The youngest devils are meant to be mindless while the older ones use ambushes and mimic voices to make their opponents hesitate. The oldest devil we've seen - an Incubus called Tikoloshe - can hold a conversation on topics of philosophy with Warlock.[8][7]

Interestingly, even though it's only been mentioned once by Akua, Devils seem to have a common language called the Dark Tongue. This seems to imply a certain level of both intelligence but also society.[9] They also seem to be able to speak Lower Miezan as some of the devils from the Thirtieth Hell mock Catherine.

The following are the abilities that have been shown so far, mostly noted by the Fifteenth Legion in the Battle of Marchford.

Shape-shiftingEdit

This is an ability available to many devils. Fireflies use it to make themselves smaller so they can ambush mages more easily.[8] Tikoloshe takes on the appearance of the most desirable type of the person who summoned him, though it's noted he can change it at will.[7]

Speed, Strength and DurabilityEdit

Many devils are either much bigger physically or are made out of stone or steel like material that makes them more durable. Since they aren't made out of flesh, they are usually much stronger and faster than the average human.

Flight Edit

Since they are not constrained to a human shape, many devils have wings which allow them to fly. Similarly, others can burrow into the ground to set up ambushes.

Elemental ResistanceEdit

Some devils have been mentioned to be immune to fire. It's possible they're others are also immune to other elements such as lightning. 

Devil TypesEdit

Devils are typically divided along two lines: which Hell they originate from and their age. It's implied that the greater the Hell number, the more powerful the devil but the age is a much more significant factor, to the point were greater devils are often simply referred to as ancient devils.[9]

There are two broad categories of devils: lesser and greater. The lesser devils are such as they are not unique and not as intelligent. The greater devils are usually unique in shape, seem to have names rather than just being referred to by their type, and are very powerful.

Lesser DevilsEdit

These are the devils we've seen most of. They have largely been shown from two perspectives: that of the Fifteenth Legion in the Battle of Marchford as well as Liesse; and that of Akua, who employed them against Summer Fae. These approaches are rather different and so it's possible some of the information below is inaccurate. For example, Akua only refers to devils by their proper names in Mtethwa while the Fifteenth often makes up their own names. It's entirely possible they sometimes refer to the same or different devil type.

FirefliesEdit

These devils can shape-shift. They have two forms - a human-like form, which is relatively easy to dispatch - and their firefly form which is used to ambush mages. Masego calls them mage-takers as they can bury in the back of a mage's neck and take control over their body. They also significantly enhance the practitioners ability to cast magic.[8][4]

JackalheadsEdit

They look like a man covered in rags, with a head of a jackal. They have a very strong grip. [8][10]

Ironhooks/IronclawsEdit

These devils are covered in fur and have iron hooks for hands. They've shown an ability to speak Lower Miezan.[8][10]

Walin-Falme (or Monkeybats)Edit

Winged creatures that look "like a hairy dwarf gargoyle with claws and bat wings". They're immune to fire and seem unconcerned by smoke, suggesting they don't need to breathe air.[11][12] Their name is derived from Mtethwa, meaning imperial guard.[13] They have above average intelligence and an ability to use armaments, which made them the preferred devil type used by Tyrants.

ChumailiEdit

It's possible this is simply a Mtethwa name for one of the devils encountered by the Fifteenth Legion listed above.[13]

KichabwaEdit

It's possible this is simply a Mtethwa name for one of the devils encountered by the Fifteenth Legion listed above.[13]

Incubi/SuccubiEdit

These devils take the form that conforms to the deepest desires of their summoners, though they can change it at will. They seem to personify the human aspect of desire. An Incubus is the oldest devil we've seen. They can appear to be completely human and can understand complex ideas.[7]

Greater DevilsEdit

Jenge KubawaEdit

The Lord of Despair from Twenty-Seventh Hell. He's a massive creature of ebony muscles with two sets of large horns atop his hairless head. Said to hold off an army of Aksum for a day on his own, he was spawned before Miezan occupation. Along with two other greater devils, he was summoned by Akua to fight against the Summer Princes Sulia. The Summer Princes defeated all three with ease, suggesting that despite their power, greater devils aren't comparable to Fae lords and ladies.[9]

Mongowa-umunEdit

This devil was used as the gatekeeper during the second battle of Liesse, meant to stop Catherine and Black. He's very large (Cat reached its knees), made out of material evoking both stone and steel. With no eyes he could still follow his opponents movements. Black speculated it was likely and old Sahelian contract.[14]

TikolosheEdit

Summoned by Warlock, Tokoloshe is an Incubus. Probably the oldest devil revealed in the series, he has no trouble in understanding complex ideas and seems human. He's often described as unnaturaly handsome. He's not shown any ability to use magic nor any exceptional feats of strength, however it can be assumed he's very powerful based on his age.[7]

HistoricallyEdit

Throughout history, devils have seen much use in warfare. Predominantly they were employed by two Evil polities: The Dead Kingdom, where famously the first Greater Breach was created; and the Dread Empire, which conquered all of Calernia under Dread Empress Triumphant who is acknowledged as the greatest diabolist to ever live.[13]

Whether due to influence of Triumphant or just a general tendency, the Dread Empire continued to frequently use devil summoning in wars against Callow. This is supported by the general Callowan sentiment as well as an epigraph by King Jehan the Wise. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Good polities tend to lean towards using angels.

Akua Sahelian is another notable diabolist. Not only has she claimed the Name Diabolist, she also recreated a Greater Breach - something accomplished only once before.

In SorceryEdit

The branch of magic concerned with summoning, binding and contracting devils (as well as demons) is called Diabolism. There are three different ways of summoning.[13]

The first involves summoning a single devil or demon. This is presumably only used for the purposes of study or in the case of the devil being particularly powerful. As an Apprentice, Wekesa summoned Tokoloshe. He comments on the binding being extremely intricate.[7]

Lesser Breach is the second way of summoning devils. A Breach is a portal into one of the Hells that has a binding woven into it, allowing a diabolist to control any devil coming through it. It's noted that these bindings are much weaker than if they were tailored for an individual entity, however many more devils can be summoned this way.[13]

A Lesser Breach is temporary and unstable in nature, whilst a Greater Breach is permanent and stable.[13]

Related EpigraphsEdit

“To bargain with devils is to paint with your own blood: the greater the work, the harsher the price.”

- Dread Empress Maleficent II

“I’m not saying all your closest friends are shapeshifting devils I sent to spy on you after having the originals murdered, but I’m certainly implying it very heavily."

- Dread Emperor Traitorous

“Never back the Praesi in a corner, son. That’s when the devil-summoning starts, and it’s all downhill from there.”

- King Jehan the Wise

SourcesEdit

  1. Word of God in https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/chapter-22-rescue/
  2. https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/villainous-interlude-crescendo/
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/chapter-25-wake/
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/chapter-24-archer/
  5. https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/chapter-20-rise/ 
  6. 6.0 6.1 https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/chapter-28-archaic/
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/red-skies/
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/chapter-23-defeat/
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/villainous-interlude-exeunt/
  10. 10.0 10.1 https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/chapter-29-stand/
  11. https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/chapter-43-truce/
  12. https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/chapter-42-flaw/ 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/villainous-interlude-proscenium/
  14. https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/chapter-62-verse/