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Heroic demons in CO?

That would be demon, not DEMON, just to clarify.

I've had this idea spinning around in my head since I first took a close look at the way the female Fire Demons look when they're pretending to be human and thought "this would be a cool look for a superhero." :p

Obviously they're "generally" evil, but are there exceptions?
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    Okay. Champions lore-wise, there haven't been any "good" demons. Demons were generated out of human belief in the existence of entities embodying the concepts of evil, so that's what they are. There are demons who perform positive functions in the cosmic order, such as those populating the Hindu "hell" of Naraka, who torment souls so as to expiate their sins, purifying them preparatory for their next incarnation. But in inflicting suffering to do so, their behaviors would still count to most of us as evil.

    However, precedents can always be bent if they make for a good story. ;) In modern works of fiction it hasn't been unknown for a rare demon to wish to be redeemed and who therefore tries to live a more benevolent existence. Their efforts are usually depicted as being very difficult for them and full of missteps, as they try to understand what the right thing to do is. Alternatively, comic-book and Champions lore certainly includes heroes with some sort of malevolent supernatural heritage, such as being the offspring of a human and a demon, for whom their human nature may constantly war with their demonic instincts. Characters like these are suitable for players who like their PCs angsty.

    [Mini-rant coming, based on personal frustration so feel free to ignore: I see a lot of CO players who want to hammer traditional monsters from folklore or fiction, like demons, vampires, and werewolves, to fit into roles vaguely resembling superheroes. I feel this often has to do with their coming to CO from games for other genres where those sorts of characters are common; and their not being familiar with the superhero genre itself. All the wizards and elves we see running around CO's Millennium City are likely part of the same mindset. I'm not accusing you in particular of doing that, markhawkman. As I indicated above, such characters aren't unknown in comics, and definitely have role playing potential; but they're a helluva lot rarer there than they are here, their exceptionalness being part of what makes them distinctive.

    I apologize for all that -- I just get tired of what feels like a paucity of imagination and understanding of the genre's potential, and felt the need to vent. Please carry on.] :3
  • beezeezebeezeeze Posts: 927 Arc User
    So I have read there is this realm of imagination and thought that exists in CO lore as an infinite city. So say my character Beez who is a demon finds herself in this place and from there enters a back alley that leads to a portal that ends up in Millennium City... that could work right?

  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    Absolutely. Babylon, the City of Man, is the sum of all the great cities of history, past, present, even fictional, in their most iconic forms. Beings from other dimensions frequently meddle in Babylon's affairs to try to gain influence, so demons can certainly be found there (probably mostly incognito). Sometimes a connection, or "nexus," can form between the various "Imaginal Realms" and Earth, and a few of these actually allow passage between them. These nexi most often manifest in areas on Earth resembling the other dimension, e.g. those to Faerie (the mosaic of lands from myth and folklore) usually appear in natural settings. But nexi to Babylon almost always pop up within major cities, in just the kind of location you describe.

    (Babylon receives detailed treatment in The Mystic World, source book for the supernatural side of the Champions Universe.)
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,286 Arc User
    Thank you for that last, Bulgarex. You've now answered the question of how the Shadow-Walker wound up on Champs Earth. (Now he can go back to working on why...)
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  • riveroceanriverocean Posts: 1,667 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    While they may be rare in CO lore, this type of hero isn't entirely unkown in the comics genre as a whole. Here are a few "Demonic" themed superheroes from well-known Comics franchises.

    Etrigan:
    220px-Etrigan_batman_tas.jpg
    Demonoligist Jason Blood has been bonded with the Demon Etritgan. Can shift from human to demonic forms by chanting "Gone Gone the form of man. Become the Demon Etrigan".

    Daimon Hellstrom:
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    The son of an arch-demon and a mortal woman. Struggles with his demonic nature.

    Hellboy:
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    Everybody knows this guy right. Basically a demon pulled into our realm and raised as human.

    Satana:
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    The sister of Damion Hellstrom. More of an anti-heroine as she's prone to devouring souls. But occasionally fights on the side of the good guys. A great archetype of a classic Succubus.

    And of course various other examples like Raven, Illyana Rasputin, Blue Devil, and Ghost Rider. What's kind of cool about these sorts of characters, is their internal conflicts. They struggle to do good despite having inner demonic natures. Also, there's a variety of origin ideas for them. Everything from having a demonic parent, escaping from hell, and possession of a human host.

    [I do agree with Bulgarex's rant. I see a lot of supernatural creatures hanging out in RenCen that are kind of out-of-place in supers game. But CO's character creator is so versatile, that's probably unavoidable. Plus, we do seem to be battling lots of supernatural threats lately. So I guess it evens out. :D

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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    Yup. All illustrating just what I said previously on this thread. ;)

    You'll notice that all of those are examples of some kind of union between human and demon: either hybrids (the Hellstroms, Raven); possession/symbiosis (Jason Blood, Ghost Rider, Blue Devil); or someone born as either demon or human, but raised in the other environment (Hellboy, Ilyana Rasputin). The conflict between their dual natures is what makes these characters dramatic and interesting.

    The Champions Universe has that type of character too. Pagan (The Ultimate Mystic) is a product of the Zodiac Working, a son of the arch-devil Belial by a mortal woman, who can assume a superhuman satyr-like form. His evil instincts constantly war with his fundamentally decent nature, exacerbated by his father trying to persuade or coerce Pagan to his side. Josiah Brimstone (Champions Villains Vol. 3) is a sorcerer whose soul was ripped from him by Belial during a botched summoning ritual, and replaced with the soul of a demon. Brimstone tries to do good, but the "demonsoul" taints his attitudes and behavior, and in times of stress may take full control of his body.
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,849 Arc User
    I think he might be thinking of the second Illyana. The first was an actual human, but she died of the Legacy virus. The second is a flesh and blood duplicate of her with the same abilities, and.... most? of the memories, but did not have the same personality at least at first(When Belasco was creating her he couldn't find her soul so he made a simulation that turned out to be what Belasco wished her personality was), and was prone to transforming into a (cosmetically) half-demon(Darkchylde) form. I suppose technically both are humans corrupted by demons, just that the second is more so.

    hmm... now I have an actual idea I like.... Take a little bit of Goku, a little bit of Satana, and mix it up in a glass of uncertainty. :p the result?

    A person who was found as a baby and raised like a Human, even though she obviously wasn't Human. She looks like a Fire Demon, but doesn't have the same sort of instincts that you would expect of a demon. How much of that is how she was raised? how much is her inner nature? She doesn't really know and doesn't actually know where she came from. then after she meets the Champions all their mystics can tell her for sure is that she doesn't have the soul of a Fire Demon. (also if you were to humorously invoke the duck equivalency principle, she looks like a demon, sometimes acts like one, but never talks like one.)

    Also do Fire Demons even have babies? Or is that what the tiny imp-like Fire Demons are?
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    Traditionally, who can say whether particular demons can have babies with other demons? The conceivers of grimoire demonology weren't really concerned with the diabolical ecosystem. ;) But clearly they can make babies with mortals, and DC's Etrigan is supposed to be the son of Belial, and Champions lore doesn't say otherwise. So, why not? (Gee, Belial's come up a lot on this thread, hasn't he?)

    Humans actually switching souls with demons isn't without precedent in Champs lore, either. Besides the aforementioned Josiah Brimstone, Tarterus of the supernatural villain team, the Devil's Advocates (Champions Villains Vol. 2) had his human soul and mind possess a demon's body due to a magical accident. Although the demonic psyche was apparently voided and the human mind is definitely in control, the inherent evil of the demon's body has made Tarterus crueler and more destructive than his original personality.
  • mutantmaidsmutantmaids Posts: 100 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    Technically, couldn't those sorts of "good demons" (such as those from the depiction of a "demon world"-esque fantasy land) exist in Faerie, since it's influenced by storytelling and such, and in modern days, like you said, plenty of people enjoy the concept of such a thing existing...thus it could influence a small portion of the realm.

    Sure, they wouldn't be true demons from the nether, but still! :P
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    Official lore suggests that's not impossible. Human belief is fluid, and if a change in belief involves enough people over a long enough time, the Imaginal Realms may modify themselves to accommodate it. For example, the Native American region of Faerie now shares its space with the cowboys, gunslingers, and schoolmarms of white Western folklore and fiction. Elysium, the dimension comprising all Heavens of modern ethical religions, includes "pop culture heavens" like the one with winged people in robes playing harps on fluffy clouds.

    If such a pocket of "good" demons -- or at least "morally grey" ones -- had sufficient belief in it to materialize, I would expect it to be in a small corner of the Netherworld, the dimensional patchwork of every human hell. We're still talking demons, after all. That's where you might be able to hang out with Hellboy, Lucie and Maze, and Crowley. ;)
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,286 Arc User
    Thanks again, Bulgarex. I'd been toying with a character called the Risen (if angels can fall, why can't devils rise?), with demonic iconography but Radiant-type powers, and now I can say where he came from. :smile:
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  • kallethenkallethen Posts: 1,571 Arc User
    So I guess my own devil character would pretty much fit. She's a sort of homage to the demon/devil becomes hero archtype as pointed out by riverocean. And like bulgarex points out, there's human intervention. In my character's case, when she was summoned she was bound to an amulet that allows the owner to control her. The original owner was killed before he could use her, and it found it's way into the hands of a more innocent person who took it upon herself to try to "redeem" the devil. The amulet was passed down from mother to daughter for centuries. So while not a "raised to be human" story like Hellboy, centuries of living with a human family certainly changed her. Her current motivation is exactly as jonsills's concept. "If angels can fall, why can't devils rise?" That line (paraphrased), is literally in my in game bio for her.​​
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    Now see, this is more like it. Rather than taking on a demonic character just to be "badass" or "edgy," you're using the inherent contradictions between her past and her present role as the basis for an interesting and dramatic story arc. That I can definitely get behind. B)
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    Here's another tidbit of Champions history which fits the overall thread theme, from the Vibora Bay source book -- a kind of Ghost Rider analogue. From 1972 to 1983 VB became home base for the Speed Demon, a trucker who was possessed by a demonic entity; but a lucky charm given him by his father turned out to have powerful protective magics, allowing Speed Demon to transform to a demonic superhuman form but retain his normal personality. Speed Demon acted as a traveling supernatural "good Samaritan," helping people and occasionally battling magical evil while driving his 18-wheeler between Vibora Bay and points west.
  • xcelsior41xcelsior41 Posts: 1,043 Arc User
    Hm...I dunno if this would be an obvious answer or not, but I've been brainstorming a Warlock(not the male-witch kind, moreover hell magic/debilitating curses kind :p), and was wondering if the whole issue of being tempted to be evil would apply to them as well?
    Buffing everything to stupid high levels and nerfing everything to piss poor levels yields the same results, but not the same community reactions.

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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,849 Arc User
    Just look at Necrull! He took a scientific approach to researching Necromancy and got driven insane by dark powers he didn't understand.
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    xcelsior41 wrote: »
    Hm...I dunno if this would be an obvious answer or not, but I've been brainstorming a Warlock(not the male-witch kind, moreover hell magic/debilitating curses kind :p), and was wondering if the whole issue of being tempted to be evil would apply to them as well?
    Just look at Necrull! He took a scientific approach to researching Necromancy and got driven insane by dark powers he didn't understand.

    That's the question -- can you try to use something that's inherently evil to a good end, and not end up being corrupted by it? Particularly when that something includes intelligent and actively malevolent entities who want to tempt people into sin? Ultimately the answer would depend on how you conceive of your character and what direction you want to take him or her. I think I would liken the situation to someone who works with very toxic chemicals, radioactives, or deadly pathogens. The intention and end result of their work may be benevolent, but they have to take extraordinary precautions to avoid contaminating themselves and their environment, and any accidental exposure may have severe consequences. And in the meantime, most people are going to be very wary around them, and not want them in their neighborhood. ;)

    There's so much "good" or "neutral" magic and magical entities in the Mystic World, the only role-playing reason for choosing to play someone of positive morality who draws on the powers of Hell, is having to deal with that kind of risk and conflict.

  • xcelsior41xcelsior41 Posts: 1,043 Arc User
    bulgarex wrote: »
    xcelsior41 wrote: »
    Hm...I dunno if this would be an obvious answer or not, but I've been brainstorming a Warlock(not the male-witch kind, moreover hell magic/debilitating curses kind :p), and was wondering if the whole issue of being tempted to be evil would apply to them as well?
    Just look at Necrull! He took a scientific approach to researching Necromancy and got driven insane by dark powers he didn't understand.

    That's the question -- can you try to use something that's inherently evil to a good end, and not end up being corrupted by it? Particularly when that something includes intelligent and actively malevolent entities who want to tempt people into sin? Ultimately the answer would depend on how you conceive of your character and what direction you want to take him or her. I think I would liken the situation to someone who works with very toxic chemicals, radioactives, or deadly pathogens. The intention and end result of their work may be benevolent, but they have to take extraordinary precautions to avoid contaminating themselves and their environment, and any accidental exposure may have severe consequences. And in the meantime, most people are going to be very wary around them, and not want them in their neighborhood. ;)

    There's so much "good" or "neutral" magic and magical entities in the Mystic World, the only role-playing reason for choosing to play someone of positive morality who draws on the powers of Hell, is having to deal with that kind of risk and conflict.

    Thanks for the speedy reply :D. And that type of conflict is generally what I'd like to explore in this character
    Buffing everything to stupid high levels and nerfing everything to piss poor levels yields the same results, but not the same community reactions.

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  • roughbearmattachroughbearmattach Posts: 4,784 Arc User
    How about a Nephilim that breaks away from Therakiel's influence? They are not exactly demons, but since they aren't aligned with celestials, either, they could walk their own path.

    Also, I love @jonsils idea of a "risen demon", contrasted with that of a "fallen angel". I have a demonic hero in game with that sort of backstory, Andromanes.


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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    The Biblical precedents defining nephilim are vague and subject to much interpretation, but the Champions Online Wiki took up a more recent pop-culture interpretation, that they're "powerful half-angel/half-demon creatures who serve Therakiel. Corrupted beings formed out of cosmic conflict, under the control of a dark master." Also a little vague, but it certainly sounds like one of these that did gain control of its own destiny could gravitate to either Hell or Heaven. (Nephilim were created for Champions Online, and don't have PnP lore behind them.)

    [Another personal complaint -- I really don't like the abstract visual design Cryptic went with for these Nephilim, and especially for Therakiel. Therakiel's appearance in the PnP game is both much more traditional and more evocative of his "halfway angel" status. It's comic books, not a cubist art gallery!] :angry:
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,849 Arc User
    my interpretation is that Nephilim wings in CO are energy constructs and not physical objects.
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  • shadowfang240shadowfang240 Posts: 1,522 Arc User
    what's wrong with therakiel's appearance? he (she? it? xir? does terakiel even HAVE a gender?) looks exactly like i'd expect a half-angel/half-demon to look​​
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    Well, I can't find an online version of Therakiel's illo from the Vibora Bay source book to link to, so I'll just have to settle for transcribing his printed description: "Therakiel is a picture of horror. His left half is that of an angel -- a finely-formed human body of exquisite handsomeness, with a beautiful white-feathered wing projecting from his shoulderblade. But his right half, where he hit the Earth when he fell from Heaven, is a combination of putrefying flesh and demonic semi-transformation. In places the skin has rotted away in tiny pieces, giving a glimpse of the "dead" muscles beneath and allowing the body to ooze blood slightly (almost as if he had stigmata). There's an odd bump on his right forehead where it's apparent a demonic horn is trying to sprout. His right wing is broken and battered; it usually droops down to the floor, in contrast to the high-held feathered one, and most (but not all) of its feathers have fallen off to reveal corrupt, leathery flesh vaguely reminiscent of a demon's batwings. The nails on his right hand have grown and hardened to become tiny claws, though the hand still looks human (albeit dead and battered)."
  • xcelsior41xcelsior41 Posts: 1,043 Arc User
    bulgarex wrote: »
    Well, I can't find an online version of Therakiel's illo from the Vibora Bay source book to link to, so I'll just have to settle for transcribing his printed description: "Therakiel is a picture of horror. His left half is that of an angel -- a finely-formed human body of exquisite handsomeness, with a beautiful white-feathered wing projecting from his shoulderblade. But his right half, where he hit the Earth when he fell from Heaven, is a combination of putrefying flesh and demonic semi-transformation. In places the skin has rotted away in tiny pieces, giving a glimpse of the "dead" muscles beneath and allowing the body to ooze blood slightly (almost as if he had stigmata). There's an odd bump on his right forehead where it's apparent a demonic horn is trying to sprout. His right wing is broken and battered; it usually droops down to the floor, in contrast to the high-held feathered one, and most (but not all) of its feathers have fallen off to reveal corrupt, leathery flesh vaguely reminiscent of a demon's batwings. The nails on his right hand have grown and hardened to become tiny claws, though the hand still looks human (albeit dead and battered)."

    That sounds Waaay better than what we see in-game
    Buffing everything to stupid high levels and nerfing everything to piss poor levels yields the same results, but not the same community reactions.

    42 40s, LTSer.
  • roughbearmattachroughbearmattach Posts: 4,784 Arc User
    Meh.
    That description sounds gimmicky to me, too on-the-nose for a half-angel/half-demon.
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    Therakiel's history is that while he had sympathy for Lucifer's rebellion, he didn't wholly commit to either his side or God's in the conflict. Thus he only fell "half-way," stopping on colliding with the Earth rather than continuing on to Hell. His form is thus a living reflection and condemnation of his refusal to take a stand. He wants to provoke war between Hell and Heaven because he feels rejected by both.
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,849 Arc User
    So it's kinda like divine punishment?
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    More or less. Or you could consider it karma, if you don't mind mixing theologies. ;)
  • roughbearmattachroughbearmattach Posts: 4,784 Arc User
    I like the theme of Nephilim not being on the side of angels or demons, hence the "no face" look. But that is strictly in CO, and not part of the PnP lore.
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    I can see that, and it's an interesting interpretation of what CO gave us visually. Still hate it myself, but I don't demand anyone else to. :)
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,849 Arc User
    I suspect they changed the look because the original was too hard to make in-game.
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    Nah. We've got wings, and we've got walking rotting corpses. Cryptic just made an aesthetic choice reflecting a different concept.
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,849 Arc User
    bulgarex wrote: »
    Nah. We've got wings, and we've got walking rotting corpses. Cryptic just made an aesthetic choice reflecting a different concept.
    I meant having different left/right. It'd probably need a unique animation just to make one wing droop while the other is normal.
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,849 Arc User
    screenshot_2018_06_18_23_09_00_by_marhawkman-dceuwq7.jpg

    So I made the new character(Pyrana). And here she is pondering the nature of the place where Kigatilik was sealed away....Is this even part of the "real" world?
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  • morigosamorigosa Posts: 698 Arc User
    I think there's a cave like that somewhere to the far east/south-east side of Canada. But I'm not sure if it's exactly the same one.

    As for heroic demons, I've got one that I think is reasonably lore-appropriate; she's designed as an ancient Sumerian demon (daemon?) whose morality does not entirely align with modern attitudes, but she's smart enough to avoid doing the sorts of things that would make enemies out of modern superheroes. ...On the other hand, it's debatable whether her origin is really the Netherworld or - as was mentioned previously - just an appropriate section of Faerie or Babylon.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    So I made the new character(Pyrana). And here she is pondering the nature of the place where Kigatilik was sealed away....Is this even part of the "real" world?

    There's a cave that's sacred to the Inuit that led or opened to the Frost Tomb, "a dimension of impenetrable ice," as it's described in both Champions Of The North and Champions Villains Vol. 1. That dimension was Kigatilik's prison.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    morigosa wrote: »
    As for heroic demons, I've got one that I think is reasonably lore-appropriate; she's designed as an ancient Sumerian demon (daemon?) whose morality does not entirely align with modern attitudes, but she's smart enough to avoid doing the sorts of things that would make enemies out of modern superheroes. ...On the other hand, it's debatable whether her origin is really the Netherworld or - as was mentioned previously - just an appropriate section of Faerie or Babylon.

    Well, there were a lot of demons in all Mesopotamian mythologies, many very cruel and destructive, a high percentage of them involved with spreading disease. Many of them dwelt in the Underworld, known to the Sumerians as Kur, a dreary cavern where the spirits of the dead resided. According to The Mystic World that Underworld is still part of the Champions Netherworld today, although after thousands of years without worship or much remembrance, there isn't a lot left of it.

    But the spirits which dwelt in Kur were not all evil -- some were benevolent and protective. Spirits which escaped Kur, evil or good, were called utukku. So there's precedent for the kind of "demon" you want.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    BTW The Mystic World also notes that many of the famous Abrahamic demons were once gods of peoples in Canaan, cast in that light by their Israelite rivals, with that interpretation spreading as the religions inspired by Judaism spread. How this played out metaphysically, is that those former gods, denied the sustenance of worship, transitioned to sustaining their existence and power the way most demons do -- by feeding upon the souls of the damned. (And sometimes on other lesser demons, if their underlings displease them.)

  • shadowfang240shadowfang240 Posts: 1,522 Arc User
    which abrahamic demons are we talking about here? entities like lilith, azazel, asmodeus - stuff like that?​​
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    In this case I was referring to former gods of the peoples the Israelites shared the region with, who were "demonized" by them and their successors because they weren't the "true God," e.g. Beelzebub (Baal), Astaroth (Astarte), Moloch, and Dagon.

    The Mystic World notes that Beelzebub is the leader of these former gods in the Netherworld, and gained the title, "Emperor of Envy," due to jealousy of the God who supplanted him. (The "Sin Emperors" are the preeminent devils in the Descending Hierarchy, each an exemplar of one form of evil.)
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,849 Arc User
    morigosa wrote: »
    I think there's a cave like that somewhere to the far east/south-east side of Canada. But I'm not sure if it's exactly the same one.
    bulgarex wrote: »
    So I made the new character(Pyrana). And here she is pondering the nature of the place where Kigatilik was sealed away....Is this even part of the "real" world?
    There's a cave that's sacred to the Inuit that led or opened to the Frost Tomb, "a dimension of impenetrable ice," as it's described in both Champions Of The North and Champions Villains Vol. 1. That dimension was Kigatilik's prison.
    OK, so that place Morigosa described is the entry point then? It looks radically different in the man game than the crisis but it seems to be the same place.
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    Champions demon lore includes a selection of "ethnic" demonic opponents for heroic PCs from traditions around the world, over and above Kigatilik and Tilingkoot. Samhain, who has literally spread fear across the British Isles since time immemorial, is a corrupted form of the Wild Huntsman from Celtic mythology. Eretsun is a Xloptuny, a creature from Russian folklore, who preys on present-day Russians. The fearsome Living Sphinx more specifically hunts magical and spell-using beings; he hails from the Egyptian mythic realm, Ma'at. Survalesh of India left the Hindu hell of Naraka because he was bored with tormenting souls of the dead, and wanted to "play" with the living. Li Chun the Destroyer is a powerful Chinese demon possessing the body of a Taoist sorcerer-monk. The murderous Kagamishoki haunts Japan, manifesting from within and through mirrors. Marmoo is the master of insects in the legends of the aboriginal Anangu people of Australia, who wants to destroy everything beautiful in the world. The terrible Eclipsar wields vast powers of darkness, and is connected to the pre-Columbian cultures of the Andes Mountains. Baykok is a demon from the tradition of the Chippewa indigenous people of America, who hates and hunts all heroes; he's an especial enemy of the superhero Tomahawk of the Justice Squadron.

    Baykok, Eclipsar, Li Chun, the Living Sphinx, and Samhain are all written up in Champions Villains Vol. 3: Solo Villains. Eretsun and Survalesh get the same treatment in Champions Worldwide. Marmoo is detailed in Hidden Lands. Kagamishoki is only briefly described in Champions Universe, but got a full write-up in a book for the previous incarnation of the CU, called Watchers of the Dragon.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    Thank you for that, 'Beast. Twelve, yes. I briefly mentioned the Zodiac Working, and one of its products, the superhero Pagan, earlier on this thread, in the context of human/demon hybrids; but that was easy to overlook. Canonically only two offspring of that union have been identified. It need not be the only such demonic mating ever, of course, but was the biggest mass ceremony of its type, and using it would allow one to tie a PC into the larger legacy of Archimago. You can read more about the Zodiac Working in Champions Universe, or just go to the first post on my Unique Character Origins thread (which I recently updated and expanded BTW).

    I realize someone might look at the date of the Zodiac Working -- 1979 -- and think that's earlier than they would want their character to be born. But that can depend on a few factors. For one, The Mystic World p. 62 notes that, since the Ban prevents god-level beings from fully manifesting on Earth, they need human male seed as well to produce a child. So the demonic potential in one of these women could lie "fallow" until she becomes pregnant. While this next isn't officially stated anywhere, I don't think it would be unreasonable to take a cue from real genetics, and have that potential "skip a generation," manifesting in a grandchild of one of these women rather than a child. Particularly handy if you want a devilish pre-teen running around. :naughty:
  • jonesing4jonesing4 Posts: 770 Arc User
    bulgarex wrote: »
    BTW The Mystic World also notes that many of the famous Abrahamic demons were once gods of peoples in Canaan, cast in that light by their Israelite rivals, with that interpretation spreading as the religions inspired by Judaism spread. How this played out metaphysically, is that those former gods, denied the sustenance of worship, transitioned to sustaining their existence and power the way most demons do -- by feeding upon the souls of the damned. (And sometimes on other lesser demons, if their underlings displease them.)

    Kind of like a reverse-order Milton mythology, then? Gods become demons, rather than demons being worshipped as gods.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    Milton is, not surprisingly, one of the many sources The Mystic World's author Dean Shomshak drew upon for his definition of the Netherworld. E.g. the administrative center of the Descending Hierarchy is the town-sized palace of Pandemonium. ;)

    How you perceive the situation definitely applies in a number of cases. But the line between "god" and "demon" can get blurry at times. Several "ethnic hells" from earlier mythologies exist in the Netherworld, ruled by beings who are technically still gods, such as the Greek Hades and Norse Hel. Conversely, demons have been worshiped as gods in the past, on Champions Earth as on real Earth; but in the former the past extends a great deal farther back, and that worship could be very widespread. On Champs Earth enough worship over a long enough period can transform another type of being into a god. At the height of his ancient empire Takofanes was worshiped by millions, which actually translated into godly power for him.

    Dean Shomshak never tried to lawyer all the details too closely. Like the other Hero Games authors, he wanted to leave room for exceptions suiting the desires of individual Game Masters and their players. An entertaining story is more important than a legally binding one. :)
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,286 Arc User
    The unspoken bit here is that Champions uses the same idea as some fantasy tales - that the power of a given god depends on the number and fervor of his worshipers. When enough worshipers are lost, the god becomes no more than a demon or demigod.

    I took advantage of this in creating Kilbern Skyfather - at his height, during the Turakian Age, he was the chief of the gods, but bound most of his power into his sword Aurelia in order to seal the tomb of Takofanes the Undying. He'd retired to a quiet corner of Elysium, slowly losing power as his worshipers died out... Then, in 1987, the Tomb was opened. Kilbern could feel the disturbance as Aurelia was removed and the Lich-King's tomb opened. He spent most of his remaining power crossing the Elysian fields against the wishes of the other gods there, leaving him weak enough to evade the Ban. He manifested directly on Earth, but with only the power of a beginning superhero. Now he strives to become famous enough (the modern equivalent of worship) to gain the power to defeat Takofanes permanently.

    (Fortunately, I had the advice of Bulgarex in working all this out. I'd have had no clue otherwise. :smile: )
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    I'm glad that worked out for you, Jon. =)

    Declining worship can be fatal for a god. If they're deprived of it for long enough they can spiritually "starve to death." Many of the gods from the antediluvian eras of Earth's forgotten prehistory dissipated long ago. OTOH a god may evolve as the nature of its worshipers' belief in it evolves. For example, Ares was the war god of the Atlanteans when they ruled the surface world, but their conception of him was more of a brave, noble warrior; and he was also god of the dead and ruler of the Underworld. It's quite possible many of the gods alive today are in a sense much older than recorded history. But gods always "remember" their own past as most of their worshipers imagine it.

    I've pondered that process in the case of Therakiel. The outcome of Lucifer's rebellion against God isn't specifically referenced anywhere else in Champions books; but it may be that Therakiel isn't exactly who and what he thinks he is, and his fall didn't happen, or happened differently from what he remembers. But Therakiel behaves as though all of that is true, so in practical terms it makes no difference.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,797 Arc User
    I see a notice of a new post here from bluegrassbeast, but there's no post visible in my browser. Can anyone else read it? :/
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