Know Your Demons

Know Your Demons

 

So, kicking off the first in what should be a series of articles on the demons of the Thaumatology universe with… det.

What is a demon? Well, there are two answers to that. To most humans and practitioners, a demon is an entity from another universe which can be summoned into ours. To the demons themselves, that kind of demon is a “higher demon,” but there are plenty of other kinds and they are collectively known as “det” in the Devotik language most demons speak. The actual difference between the two classes of demon is that det have no talent for working magic. They can work magic, just as any human can do so in a strong enough magical field, but they don’t have any particular aptitude for it, they can’t work more complex or powerful spells, and in many regions they are actually banned from learning it.

There are many species and sub-species of demons, and even more variety of det. In our world anthropologists are just beginning to realise that the line which created us, homo sapiens, has a lot more branches than they originally thought. They were all clipped out leaving us as the dominant species, and a bottleneck in our numbers around 70,000 years ago has left us with little genetic diversity. That never happened in the demons’ world. Demons evolved to fill a vast number of ecological niches, and with a high magic field pervading the world that evolution took some bizarre twists. While humans have a very limited variation between individuals, skin, hair, and eye colour mostly, demons come in all shapes and sizes.

A typical det is between four and six feet in height, and beyond that there is no such thing as a typical det. The illustration shows two variations (with a Devos higher demon behind them for comparison). The blue one there should be recognisable to readers of the books; that’s Hiffy the blue-skinned barmaid with a very nimble tail. The other det in the picture has toughened hide, pointed ears, and a ridged skull. There are red det, green det, det who live exclusively underwater, det who can’t stand light, and they can range in intelligence from barely sentient to near genii.

One thing, however, is common to all det; they can never become higher demons and the higher demons look down upon them for it. Enslaving det is commonplace. In some regions all det are slaves of one kind or another and most areas will allow the enslavement of a det without legal repercussions. There are rich det, but very few in any positions of power. Det are the common, normal people of the demons’ world; be thankful you’re a human, rather than a det.

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