- See also: Fallen (disambiguation)
Demons are the main characters and titular supernatural creatures of Demon: The Fallen. They are fallen angels who chose to side with Lucifer and humanity rather than with God in the first days of Creation. As punishment for their rebellion and disloyalty, the Archangel Michael cast these angels out of Heaven and into the Abyss.
Many, especially those who fear or revile them, refer to them as the Fallen or the Damned.
The Elohim were responsible for the creation of everything, including humanity; however, God had special orders for them: the Elohim were to watch over humans, but never make themselves known. The War in Heaven began when an angel named Ahrimal, one of the Neberu, foresaw a disaster in the future; a disaster which God had either directly orchestrated or would allow to happen. The angels debated whether or not to act against God in order to prevent this disaster; many argued that it would be safer to do nothing, because their action could potentially be the cause of the disaster. The angel Lucifer was the first to make a conclusive decision in favor of rebellion, and he became the leader of the rebel angels.
One-third of the angels sided with Lucifer and tried to prepare humanity for the impending catastrophe by accelerating its development. These Fallen revealed themselves to humanity in order to bring them "the light" of knowledge and awareness. In so doing they incurred the wrath of God, who had given humanity the potential to be aware of the Word, the good and evil, yet had not intended Man to have this kind of awareness yet. The first of humans, Adam and Eve, had been given gifts that they could not use due to their initial innocence ("A child is happy because he is unaware"), and the game's Adam and Eve are portrayed as having had only rudimentary knowledge and awareness, solely concerned with their survival. During the war that followed, the sin of Cain taught the Fallen how to kill and many grew twisted and evil.
For this transgression against the Creator's wishes, the Fallen were cast out from Heaven and Creation was devastated. After a lengthy, increasingly atrocious war with the loyalist Elohim over the fate of humanity, the Fallen were finally defeated when the Babel project failed and severed the link between the Fallen and humans. The defeated and former Elohim were cast into the Abyss and lingered there for untold eons. In the end, Ahrimal's vision was true; by abandoning God and misleading humanity, the rebel Elohim caused it to become a shade of what it was meant to be.
Then, the walls of the Abyss cracked during the Sixth Great Maelstrom, and the Fallen started escaping back to the material world.
As spiritual beings, the Fallen need an anchor to the physical world if they wish to remain there. To continue existing, a demon must find a suitable host for itself: bodies with weak souls, for example: comatose patients, severe drug addicts or suicidal people. The demon severs the weakened soul from the body and takes its place inside the host, merging with the host's memories and emotions, and continues existence on Earth to follow its own personal agenda. While the mortal body provides the Fallen with a shield against the full memory of their torment in Hell, they are sometimes hindered by the memories and feelings the mortal soul left behind.
Those who take a soulless human host become the True Fallen, while those whose existence has greatly degraded that they can only reside in inanimate objects become the Earthbound. A human host has the disadvantage of being unable to hold all the Fallen's memories, and also only allows a trickle of power compared to what the Fallen used to be able to accomplish. On the upside, however, the lingering memories and values of some hosts can restore the Fallen to sanity and help them restore and nourish their Faith after their long imprisonment.
As their mortal hosts are already possessed in a manner of speaking, it is almost impossible for a Fallen's host to be possessed by another; however, especially strong acts of will may be able to push a demon out, in which case they must find another host or be returned to the Abyss.
Powers and Abilities
Once possessing a vessel, demons endow their hosts with demonic physiology. This gives them subtle abilities that give them advantages over humans. They may soak lethal damage with their stamina, and may also use Faith to heal lethal and bashing damage. Sources of aggravated damage are rare, but when encountered may not be healed by Faith. Aggravated damages sources include another demon's claws, and certain artifacts, evocations, and items. Demons with high Torment can also take lethal damage from holy ground and sacred relics.
All fallen are gifted with an Apocalyptic Form, or Visage that grants certain innate abilities. In addition, demons have powers known as Lores, which reflect what the fallen's House in Heaven was before they rebelled. A Fallen's primary Lore will always coincide with their Visage; in addition, a demon may never take a secondary Lore rating higher than their primary Lore, though it can be equivalent.
The Fallen also have another advantage that their former divine nature grants them. All Fallen are immune to all forms of mind control, including supernatural ones such as Lores, Disciplines, Arcanoi, Spheres, etc. As a side effect, this also makes it easy for a fallen to discern any illusionary or concealing effects.
Faith and Torment
Faith is the way that demons power many of their abilities; as Elohim, they had endless amounts of Faith to manipulate. Most fallen now "harvest" Faith from willing humans by forming Pacts. By using Faith in excessive amounts, however, a fallen risks Revelation and making themselves a target for mortal demon hunters and enemy fallen.
The opposite of Faith is Torment. A demon accumulates Torment through sinful acts, such as going against their personal beliefs or hurting someone they care about. Torment can be reduced by working to rectify anything they have inflicted on themselves or another. Torment reflects in a demon's Lores and Visage. Too much Torment will taint any attempts to use a Lore with something dark and undesirable, and any who see the demon's Visage will see a horrendous monster instead of a divine being.
Fallen can also willingly call on the Tormented form of a Lore, which can in turn increase Torment. A Fallen with a Torment rating of zero may or may not be possible (storyteller's discretion) but if it is achieved rules provided for playing an angel are available in one of the rulebooks.
Demons can have three names: the name given to their human form, the Celestial Name which is what other demons tend to know them as, and the True Name, which is abstract and utterly unspeakable by mortal tongues. Some Fallen go so far as to shed their mortal name when they gain enough power and memory to reestablish their Fallen identity.
Despite being similarly condemned by God, the vast majority of the children of Caine want little to do with the forces of Hell. Many fear to offend the God who cursed their Dark Father, while others simply are too proud or smart to align with demons. In all major sects and clans, Infernalism is a major crime punishable by Final Death. The Sabbat consider it a heinous crime; to bow to a demon is the same as bowing to an Ancient.
But in the shadows some vampires are convinced that they are damned and monsters, getting tempted to walk a darker path than even the average horror that a vampire endures. Some secretly follow the Path of Evil Revelations, abandoning their humanity in devotion to the forces of darkness.
Some Sabbat and other vampires practice the Discipline of Dark Thaumaturgy, turning to demons for power, becoming, in effect, thralls. The Baali are an ancient bloodline of Infernalists who still survive in the Final Nights. The Baali practice the demonic Discipline of Daimonion in the service of demons. Most vampires ruthlessly persecute this clan and they must hide in secret unless they wish to risk Final Death.
Still many Kindred are tempted by demonic powers, particularly those who feel that, since they are already damned, they have nothing to lose if they align with demons. However, a number of Kindred actively take up the fight against such creatures. The Sabbat Inquisition hunts and destroys infernalists in the sect whenever they are exposed. The Salubri, particularly the Warrior Salubri, were renowned as demon-hunters in centuries past.
Being soldiers in the war against the Wyrm, werewolves are hostile to demons and their servants. The only Infernalist werewolves are the Black Spiral Dancers and the Fomori, although their loyalty is to the Wyrm, not the Fallen.
Although angels in origin, the Elohim no longer acknowledge the Fallen as their own out of contempt.
Most humans believe that demons are evil spirits who possess people and act as tormentors in Hell. These beliefs are due to the strong influence of religion on human society, particularly the religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, all of which condemn demons.
Despite the stigma against demons, some humans willingly serve demons. Most of them are Satanists who worship religion-based interpretations of demons. Others, known as thralls, serve actual demons. Many thralls are seduced by demons who provide them with gifts of health and earthly wealth. Because of this, most thralls come from individuals who are experiencing severe difficulties in their lives, such as a physical disability, financial trouble, poor relationships, and emotional insecurity or despondency. The relationship betweens demons and their thralls varies.
The Fallen can be considered the "true" demons of the World of Darkness, but the term "demon" is often applied to other malevolent supernatural creatures as well, including Banes, some Umbrood of the High Astral Courts, the Yama Kings and their servants, certain Plasmics, powerful Spectres, the alien patrons of the Nephandi, and so on.