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The Demon Lord

Tyriv Post smallWe now have reached the Demon Lord, the last of the forged Demons. This final forged caste sacrifices martial prowess for intellect and arcane ability. They are the juxtaposition of great abilities and limitations, which we will explore during this lecture. Despite these challenges, the Demon Lord plays a vital role in Demon society.

Let us start as we have in the past by returning to the Demon Forge, and discuss the Demon Lord’s creation…

Creation

As with the Demon Knight, the Demon Lord is uplifted from a lower caste; in this case Demon Knights. Demon Lords and Demon Princes select candidates, based not on their skill in battle, but rather their wits and ability to carry out orders. The Demon Knights selected return to the Demon Forge.

The uplift process occurs in a special chamber, allowing for the creation of one Demon Lord at a time. The chamber contains a full forge as well as the arcane implements required for the ritual.

Before the candidate arrives, the Forge Lord works at the forge within the chamber, creating a lifeless shell in the shape of a Demon Lord. Liquified ebon is poured into a mold and allowed to cool until red hot. Then the Forge Lord opens the mold, and with tools shapes the face and head, to create a unique visage. When the Forge Lord has completed the work, the body is air cooled, until ready to proceed.

Then, the candidate knight enters the chamber and is strapped into a chair opposite of the forge. Once properly restrained, the Forge Lord brings in a soul crystal, which contains the essence of the Demon King and all the Demon Lords which came before. The Forge Lord places the crystal in a holder in the center of the room.

The Forge Lord then casts the first ritual, ripping the soul of the Knight from its body and drawing it into the crystal. Inside the crystal, the soul of the candidate expands and becomes more enlightened. The energy imparts knowledge and transfers skills to the soul. During this process the personality of the candidate expands. This entire process takes only a minute of our time.

The Forge Lord then casts the second ritual, which retrieves the soul from inside the crystal and pours it into the newly forged body. The soul gains consciousness and the Demon Lord comes to life. At this point, the Demon Lord is weak and uncoordinated, as the soul has not connected to this body and is unable to command its limbs.

The Demon Lord is then lifted out of the mold and carried to a recovery chamber, where other Demon Lords tend to and assist it in becoming acclimated with its new body and new abilities.

Unlike the Demon Soldier and Knight, the Lord takes two weeks before it is ready to assume its abilities. During those two weeks, it gains control of its body, and its keepers instruct the new Lord in the arcane arts.

Demon Lord Summary

Features

The Demon Lord is physically larger than the Knight, but is weaker and less martially proficient. They are still a threat in combat, and if wielding a weapon should not be disregarded. Their size is a mark of status, and made to be intimidating to humans.

The latter, I can assure you is true. I have met one Demon Lord, and you are like a child when in their presence; always looking up.

The Demon Lord possesses an incredible intellect, like that of the most learned human scholars. This intellect is coupled with a deep knowledge in any number of areas. Often, the Demon Lord will take up one or more intellectual disciplines, and work to deepen their knowledge. Common areas of interest are: engineering, humanity, history, religion, and arcane knowledge.

When studying, a Demon Lord will collect works based on their interest, and will work to gain understanding, even if that requires inflicting pain or death upon the subject of interest.

There was a story after the Fall of a Demon Lord whose interest was in engineering, and upon encountering a tower of Stamiglinin design was so curious about its construction, that it caused the tower to collapse while looking for the load bearing stones. The collapse killed 15 people.

The Demon Lord also possesses a similar ability as the Demon Knight and is able to mentally control both lower castes, allowing the Demon Lord to impart its will and its control over a large number of Demons. Typically, it will exert its will over a number of Knights, and allow the Knights to command the Soldiers, but when needed the Lord can directly command Soldiers.

Demon Magic

The Demon Lord is the first caste which possesses the ability to manipulate arcane power. Their ability to manipulate the soul energy called essence is akin to human mages. The Lord can exercise their will to shape the energy to produce desired outcomes.

Unlike human mages, the Demon has no ability to summon essence. Traditional human mages can siphon off parts of their own souls to power their magic, and Awakened mages are able to tap into the essence that flows through all living things. Demons, on the other hand, have no such ability. They require a source of essence, which they can manipulate.

That source of essence comes from the souls removed during the Demonization process used to create Demon Soldiers. The souls removed from the human bodies are stored in crystals, which become a power source for the Demon Lord. The Lord is able to exert its will upon the energy trapped in the crystal and create arcane effects.

As long as a Demon Lord has access to a source of essence it is a formidable mage, and with a large enough source of energy is capable of casting large and powerful spells. If they deplete their crystal or the crystal is destroyed, their powers are rendered useless.

Those experienced in fighting Demon Lords know that its more important to attack the crystal first.

Personality

 They have the most potential to create great works, but are only able to produce the will of the Demon King, as efficiently as possible. 

As mentioned above, the Demon Lord possesses a vast intelligence, but it is still fenced in by the will of the Demon King, preventing the Lord from being free. They are fully aware of their trapped nature, and are unable to do anything to oppose it. The lower castes benefit from being blissfully ignorant of their enslavement, but the Demon Lord lives with that knowledge at all times.

In addition, while the Demon Lord’s vast intelligence and arcane studies give them great power, they still lack all but the most basic creativity. The enslavement of their minds prevents them from engaging in true creation. The phrase, ‘a demon never creates, only corrupts’, exemplifies the Demon Lord. They have the most potential to create great works, but are only able to produce the will of the Demon King, as efficiently as possible.

As a group, the Demon Lords have a great range of emotional depth, but they are often sullen or angry; likely from the knowledge of their enslavement. They are not prone to outbursts, or any other kind of subtle defiance. Rather, they are restrained, in a crushing manner. Their speech is slow, their movements tend to be slower, as if they can feel the mental chains around them.

It has been said that the only times they do not feel the chains of their own oppression is when they engage in their scholarly pursuits. During those times they are lost in the pursuit of knowledge and are at their most free.

Role

The Demon Lords have two separate roles in the world of Demons: leader or scholar. The Demon Princes determine what use a Demon Lord will have, and can switch that role as needed. A Demon Lord is fully capable of performing either role.

As a leader, the Demon Lord is in charge of commanding a large area for its Prince. It takes its orders from the Prince, but then determines the best way to carry those out, and commands its Knights to achieve those goals. A Lord can command a large geographical region through its knights.

One special role a Demon Lord can receive is to lead a Harvest. In this role, the Demon Lord is given an area from which to harvest human adolescents in order to create new Demon Soldiers. They will coordinate with their Knights to round up viable candidates, and then move them to the Demon Forge.

We will discuss the Harvest more in the next few weeks, when we have a guest lecturer join us.

As a scholar, the Demon Lord engages in intellectual pursuits to increase the abilities of the Demon Princes. It may work on creating new arcane weapons, based on human designs. Or, it may research the best ways to design cities to maximize control of humans. These Demons spend their time looking at existing works and corrupting them into use for the Demons. Often this requires sending out Knights to acquire materials, lost texts, etc.

Final Thoughts

If it was possible to have any kind of pity for a Demon, the Demon Lord is perhaps the most deserving. Its great intellect allows it to see itself for what it really is: a slave to the will of the Demon King. Yet its own soul and personality are its prison, making it unable, and worse unwilling, to defy those who oppress it.

In our next lecture we will look at the Demon Princes, the only caste which is not forged, but rather transformed. We will discuss their dual natures and their offspring, the Fiends.

Phil Vecchione

Game Designer, Project Manager, Writer, Podcaster, and Blogger — As a man of many hats, Phil has been working in the roleplaying game industry since 2009 working with Engine Publishing, Evil Beagle Games, Third Eye Games, and Pelgrane Games. His work has won or been nominated for a number of awards, including the ENnie, Golden Geek, and Origins Award. Phil is also a trained Project Manager and applies his mad Gantt Charting skills to all of Encoded’s work.

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  • The Demon Prince | Encoded Designs29 April 2015
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    […] ritual, different than the previous three castes of Demons: the Soldiers, the Knights, and the Lords. As far as we know, the Demon King is the only creature which is able to create a Demon […]

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