Lores are the supernatural abilities possessed by demons in Demon: The Fallen. Lores are the remnants of the divine abilities that demons possessed as Elohim. A Celestial House's Lore is nothing less than the collected secrets of the universe, evocations that encompass the foundations of reality and govern the forces that keep it in motion. Prior to the Fall, each House had its own specific sets of Lore that reflected its duties within the angelic hierarchy. These evocations were considered the heart of each House, and they were guarded jealously as a matter of pragmatism, and many among the Fallen exchanged bits of their Lore with one another to gain whatever advantage they could against their more hidebound foes.
Characters are assumed to have mastered the Lore of their parent House, but much of it lies buried deep in the subconscious of their hosts and must be recovered laboriously. As a host body becomes more and more conditioned to a demon's control and is capable of channeling increasing amounts of celestial energy, one of the Fallen is able to regain more of its former power. Like all abilities in WW games, Lores are rated on a scale of 1 to 5. As a rule, the fourth- and fifth-dot Lores require expending at least one point of Faith to function.
Lores are divided into three groups: Common Lores, which are accessible by all demons; House Lores, which is usually only accessible by members of the appropriate House; and Earthbound Lores, which is usually only available to Earthbound.
Lores usually have a low-Torment and a high-Torment effect: the low-Torment effect is generally beneficial or at least controlled, while the high-Torment effect is detrimental or out of control. Tormented demons have great difficulty in evoking the low-Torment effects of their Lores, but low-Torment Fallen may still use the high-Torment evocations at will, increasing their Torment as they do so. Earthbound are incapable of using their low-Torment Lores.
In addition, a demon's most powerful House Lore, or primary Lore, is also what is reflected in their Apocalyptic Forms or Visage. A demon's Visage is a shadow of their true forms, the only remnant of their divine past. A high-Torment demon's Visage is a reflection of their corruption and evil and appears more like the traditional concept of a demon.
In addition to evoking one Lore at a time, demons may combine several Lores into a ritual. These rituals can achieve almost any imaginable effect, but they are slow and dangerous to perform.
History of LoresEdit
In their time, the Elohim lit the void with starlight, shaped worlds from the primal aether and carried the breath of God to man and beast. Whatever else they have become after the darkness of the Abyss, the Fallen remain avatars of creation, living manifestations of Heaven’s Grand Design. Before they forswore their covenant with God, the Fallen and their peers made up the boundary that separated the Creator from His creation, each Celestial House charged with interpreting a different facet of the design.
In a sense, the angels were the lens through which the Creator’s vision was subtly distorted, injecting a momentum of dynamic change that gave the cosmos a life of its own. It was this process of interpretation and conceptualization that was the source of the beings’ power. The angels took Heaven’s Grand Design and defined its myriad potential, establishing each concept’s existence by defining its relationship to the universe. Once these relationships were described, they could be manipulated by invoking their identity or name.
As the universe evolved, each House accumulated a vast store of these conceptual relationships. They were the threads that comprise the fabric of the universe, the fundamental components of physical reality. The act of manipulating these names of power was called an evocation, and a House’s store of evocations was referred to as its Lore.
Performing an evocation, no matter how great or small, was a cooperative effort between angel and Creator. The Elohim provided the direction and the will to achieve the desired effect, but the power that fueled the act flowed from God alone. This arrangement, or covenant, between the Elohim and their Creator provided the necessary balance between angelic freedom and heavenly authority that made the creation of a universe apart from God possible.
When the Fallen contemplated rebellion against Heaven, they knew that they would commit a terrible act, one that would estrange them from God and, subsequently, their chief source of power. None foresaw the full fury of the Creator’s divine wrath, however. God declared the covenant with the Fallen to be forever broken and denied them the power of His blessing and Faith, thus reducing the rebels to mere shadows of their former selves. God’s curse rendered the Fallen impotent, unable to work their will upon the cosmos.
Their struggle might have ended then and there were it not for the outpouring of Faith from the newly awakened human race. While they were born in innocence, ignorant of the intricate workings of the cosmos, the souls of mankind resonated with the breath of God, and people gladly shared this divine spark with their would-be saviors. The Fallen shone like angry stars once more, and the fates of man and demon became forever entwined.
The mandate of the Heralds was to spread the light of Heaven to every corner of Creation and orchestrate the efforts of the entire Celestial Host in shaping God's Grand Design. Central to their duties was the Lore of the Celestials, comprising the knowledge of harnessing Heaven's will (and later, mortal Faith) to locate, inform, and support the efforts of other Celestials. No less important was the Lore of Flame, granting the Heralds mastery of the primal, purifying fire of Creation, and a terrible weapon to wield against their foes. The Lore of Radiance, encompassing the secrets of inspiration and leadership, wasn't one originally bequeathed to the Heralds, but that evolved among the Devils during the Age of Wrath as these noble leaders and champions refined the power to inspire and command the mortal allies of the Fallen.
The Angels of the Firmament ruled the winds beneath the starry vault of Heaven and bore the living breath of God to man and beast. The Lore of Awakening was central to this sacred task, infusing the bodies of the newborn with the spark of life and keeping their charges free from sickness and injury. Before the Fall, each creature that received the blessing of life was bound thereafter to the angel who awakened it, allowing the guardian spirits to sense when their children were suffering or in danger and could rush to their side. This innate bond was lost to the Asharu after the Fall, but over time, the Scourges amassed a collection of lore that restored a fraction of their far-reaching awareness: The Lore of the Firmament. Secondary to their duties as investors of life, the task of directing the currents of air that sustained the life of Paradise was contained in the Lore of the Winds.
Though seldom seen, the Artificers were responsible for maintaining the ever-changing face of Paradise, carving valleys, raising mountains and extended plains in a slow, steady cycle of motion that stimulated all other cycles of physical life. This prime duty was represented by the Lore of the Earth, granting these angels the secrets of shaping rock and soil no matter how vast or small. Hand-in-hand with this enormous task went the responsibility of making the Earth accessible to the living creatures that inhabited it by laying pathways from one location to another. The Lore of Paths is a subtle but potent collection of evocations that dictates how a physical object passes from one point to another. Humanity believes that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but that's only because the angels of the earth wished it so in times past. Though these potent arts were central to the existence of Paradise, their ways were slow and indirect by mortal standards. When the war began, the Annunaki sought a way to make their powers more immediately useful to their demon and mortal allies, which led to the synthesis of demonically enhanced weapons and tools. These methods, encompassed in the Lore of the Forge, are now considered to be the hallmarks of the Malefactors.
Humanity views the universe as an impossibly vast panorama of galaxies, stars, and planets, each object adrift on a sea of emptiness, spreading like ripples in a pond. The Angels of the Heavens know differently; all elements of Creation, no matter how vast or insignificant, are dependent on one another in a delicate balance of power, motion, and direction. It's a grand mechanism that only God could conceive, and one that the angels were ordered to monitor and maintain in perpetuity. Central to this task was the Lore of Patterns, allowing the angels of the Fourth House to study the motions of the Grand Design and predict possible problems before they occurred. Even then, the design was so large that even the Elohim could view only a small portion at any one time, leading to the creation of the Lore of Portals: secrets that allowed the angels to travel the length and breadth of reality in the blink of an eye. Finally, like the Annunaki, whose duties would normally have kept them far from mortal eyes, the Neberu struggled to use their powers directly in the struggle against the Host of Heaven. The Lore of Light emerged during the war as the Fiends learned to use their knowledge of light-and perception-to weave potent illusions.
The mercurial Angels of the Deep were meant from the beginning to lead a lonely existence, close enough to inspire human hearts, yet eternally out of reach. The Lore of Longing, with its power to inflame human hearts, was the core of the House's collected wisdom, but mastery of wind and wave also led to the evolution of the Lore of Storms, allowing the Angels of the Deep to reach far over dry land as well. Ironically, once the Lammasu had forsaken their oath to Heaven and were able to show themselves openly to mankind, the revels found themselves ill-equipped to relate directly with humanity. They were far more comfortable showing men and women the faces that they wanted to see rather than risk being viewed for what they truly were. Therefore, these mutable spirits refined the art of transforming their appearance at will to suit the expectations of those around them, and the Lore of Transfiguration emerged.
The Lords of Wood and Claw were made to rule the wild things of the world, shaping flora and fauna according to the Creator's plan and shaping each one's role in a complex and dynamic ecology. The Lore of the Beast defined their mastery of animal, fish, and fowl, allowing them to summon, command, and shape the bodies of their subjects, while the Lore of the Wild comprised the collected secrets of forest and field. The Lore of the Flesh came later, during the war, as the Rabisu turned their arts to shaping human flesh for the fury of the battlefield.
Although they're known today as the Angels of the Second World, the Slayers were originally mere agents of change, eliminating plants and animals that had outlived their purpose to make way for new, better generations. The Lore of Death granted them the power to end life quickly and painlessly, then render the bodies of the dead back into their constituent particles for the Earth to absorb and begin anew. Of all the Houses, the Halaku were forced to evolve the most in the wake of the Fall. With the loss of mankind's immortality, the Slayers were thrust into a difficult and painful situation of ending human life, often well before its time, then surrendering the spirit to an unknown fate. The Lore of the Spirit grew from the Slayers' desire to prevent the loss of these souls, anchoring them to places on the Earth in their former bodies, but this wasn't enough to protect the ghosts from the depredations of loyalist Reapers. Finally, the rebel Halaku decided on a more desperate course: The construction of a haven outside the physical universe where God's Reapers couldn't find the souls of the dead. The first step in this plan was to learn the ways of stabilizing and traveling to pockets of reality that existed outside the physical cosmos, leading to the evolution of the Lore of the Realms and culminating in the creation of the Shadowlands and, subsequently, wraiths.
Without legs to carry them or hands to control the world around them, the Earthbound have concentrated their attentions on the tools that are available to them: their Lores and the power to directly manipulate the forces of Creation.
Over millennia, the Earthbound have developed new bodies of Lores, blasphemous powers that allow them to control Creation in ways that God never intended. These secret bodies of Lore are crude, destructive forces that cannot be used in positive or subtle ways. Nonetheless, they are extremely effective powers, and they provide the Earthbound with powerful weapons to use against their rivals, mortals, and the forces of Hell.
It's unlikely that the Fallen will ever learn the secret Lores of the Earthbound. The Dread Kings are not about to teach their secret knowledge to their rivals or enemies. It's not impossible, however, for the fallen to learn such things. Even if a Fallen character does manage to learn the Earthbound Lores, it's a dangerous tool to wield. No low-Torment version of any evocation of these Lore paths exists -- they can only be used in negative, destructive ways. A non-Earthbound character automatically gains a point of temporary Torment each time she evokes one of these bodies of lore.
There are worlds beyond the Earth, levels of reality crafted by the Elohim as a home for mortal spirits that have met their death. And beyond those worlds, beyond the spirit realms known to the Fallen, there is something else, worlds that the Creator's hand never crafted. These chaotic realms came into existence after the Fall, and the prisoners of Hell never learned of their existence or how to control them until the Earthbound came back to Creation. The Dread Kings have found out how to control these wild realities and how to force the chaotic power of these worlds onto the fabric of Creation with terrible results.
Demon: The Fallen Lores