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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: 1,370 Arc User
    edited June 6
    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: 721 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: 1,370 Arc User
    edited June 6
    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: 5,841 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: 1,542 Arc User
    edited June 6
    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: 1,370 Arc User
    edited June 6
    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: 3,776 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: 1,370 Arc User
    edited June 6
    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: 89 Arc User
    edited June 7
    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: 1,370 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: 5,841 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: 1,529 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: 1,370 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: 1,370 Arc User
    edited June 8
    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: 783 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?
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 3,776 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: 1,370 Arc User
    edited June 10
    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: 783 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
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  • roughbearmattachroughbearmattach Posts: 4,702 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: 1,370 Arc User
    edited June 13
    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: 3,776 Arc User
    my interpretation is that Nephilim wings in CO are energy constructs and not physical objects.
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  • shadowfang240shadowfang240 Posts: 1,200 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: 1,370 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: 783 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
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  • roughbearmattachroughbearmattach Posts: 4,702 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: 1,370 Arc User
    edited June 13
    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: 3,776 Arc User
    So it's kinda like divine punishment?
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,370 Arc User
    More or less. Or you could consider it karma, if you don't mind mixing theologies. ;)
  • roughbearmattachroughbearmattach Posts: 4,702 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: 1,370 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. :)
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