The Fiendish are the half-demon corruption of different living creatures. Created for different purposes, they all have common traits and represent a hybrid between the un-living Demons and the natural forms of life on Elhal. Fiendish creatures are not necessarily evil, but they are not natural either.
As we conclude our discussions on the tiers of Demons, I thought it would be worthwhile to discuss the half-demons, as they form their own tier; not quite a Demon and no longer members of the species they came from. We will take a cursory look at the Fiendish and highlight several of the more notable versions, including the Human Fiends.
“Demons never create, they only corrupt.” If you come away from anything in this section about Demons, it should be these words. While we have been able to apply it in other conversations about the Demons, it also holds true to the Fiendish. The corruption of a living creature produces a Fiendish offspring.
Lower creatures, such as animals, are made into Fiendish creatures through the use of a plant known as the Ebon Flower. Humans, on the other hand, are made into Fiends through procreation with a Demon Prince. More specifically the offspring of a human and Demon Prince is a Fiend.
The Ebon Flower
No one knows where the Ebon Flower came from. Some speculate that the Demon King created it, others say it was the creation of one of the Princes. Regardless of its origin, there is nothing natural about it. The Ebon Flower is a large plant which stands three to four feet high. It has a large center root that anchors it in the ground, and a system of smaller roots that run on the surface around the plant. The stem, leaves, and flowers of the plant are ebon in color and have a glossy finish, shining in sunlight. The seeds of the Ebon Flower are the size of a human hand, and wrapped in roots.
In the wild, the seed will land on the ground and take root, then grows into the full-sized plant. Once it matures, it waits for a creature to step onto its above ground roots then snares the creature and binds it, wrapping the creature into a cocoon. The creature is then corrupted, and when the corruption is complete, the cocoon breaks open and the Fiendish creature emerges. The plant then withers and dies.
The Demons can prepare a seed to create a specific type of creature by taking the flesh of that creature and feeding it to the seed. This seed is then planted and immediately grows into a mature plant with a cocoon. It will then grow the creature it was prepared for in the cocoon, until the cocoon finally breaks open releasing the fiendish creature, and the plant dies.
As mentioned in our last lecture, Demon Princes posses the ability to procreate with humans. The Demon Prince has a form which resembles a male and is able to mate with a human woman. This occurs like human procreation, and results in the human woman becoming pregnant. The child the woman gives birth to is a Fiendish human, or Fiend. Unlike the Ebon Flower, the woman has the normal chance of surviving the delivery of the child, and does not wither and die.
While Fiendish creatures will have different forms, they do possess some common elements which define them. First, they have an ebon color, be it skin, hide, or shell. If the creature has hair, it will be stark white. It’s eyes will be a solid color, like the eyes of a Demon.
Fiendish creatures are often stronger than their natural counterparts, and often have exaggerated features like longer claws, teeth, or horns. While they lack the ebon shells of the Demons, many Fiendish creatures have a thicker skin or carapace giving them some protection from attacks. All Fiendish creatures can see in the dark.
The Fiendish have one more ability, not to their benefit, but to the Demons. The upper castes of Demons are able to command Fiendish creatures, from the Demon Knight upwards. This ability works exactly the same way it does on the Demons. The higher castes can mentally command a Fiendish creature. This is not a reciprocal ability as the Fiendish do not have the ability to control any kind of Demon or each other.
Fiendish creatures are able to reproduce. They can reproduce with other Fiendish creatures, or they reproduce with their natural counterparts. In both cases the resulting offspring is always Fiendish.
There have been different kinds of Fiendish creatures found in the wild, most likely the sad result of a creature encountering an Ebon Flower. The Demons do have some favorite creatures which they grow on farms, in the same ways we would grow crops.
Below are short descriptions of the most common Fiendish creatures and the purposes they serve for the Demons.
This is the corruption of a wild cat, most likely a bobcat or cougar. This creature is much larger, with ebon skin and no fur. They have enlarged black claws and long fangs. The Demons use these creatures to scare off or attack normal humans. Demon Spawn may be seeded into an area, where the Demons wish to keep out any humans. The area outside of the Demon Forge contained packs of Demon Spawn, to keep anyone from trying to reach the Forge and to run down anyone who tried to escape.
This corruption is that of a desert spider, but one which is far more horrible. Unlike the desert spiders of Monatobe which grow to the size of a human hand, the Fiendish spiders grow to the size of a horse. Their bodies have an ebon colored shell, and they typically have white markings on their abdomens. These spiders are often grown with a single purpose, to be mounts for the Demon Knights. They are fitted with special saddles for this purpose. They are still able to spin webs as well as climb up surfaces. If the Demon Knights were not scary in their own right, Knights mounted upon these spiders are the things nightmares are made from.
This corruption comes from a cow or bull. The result is a bovine-like creature of ebon leather, with large horns. The Fiendish bull is stronger than its natural counterpart, and makes an excellent creature for manual labor, including pulling carts or moving raw materials.
As mentioned before the Fiendish humans, or Fiends, are the offspring of a Demon Prince and a human. They look like humans, with two arms and legs, and have Fiendish coloring with ebon skin and white hair. Fiends also have wings. The wings are leathery and attach to the Fiend’s back. These wings are functional and able to carry the Fiend in flight.
In all other ways Fiends are like humans. They have a variety of personalities, they are equally intelligent, and as we have more recently discovered, some possess arcane abilities.
We will talk much more about the Fiends in future lectures. Their entry here is only to provide an overview of Fiendish creatures. While their history is short, they were pivotal in the Fall of the Demon King, and will likely be pivotal in our future.
The Fiendish are a quasi-class of demons. They are not as un-living or unnatural as a Demon, and are often stronger than their natural counterparts. They are created by the Demons, to do their bidding. Why have to train a mount, or win over the will of the people, when the Fiendish will bow at your very command?
Even after the fall of the Demon King, Fiends continue to grow on Elhal. Even if the Demons are eradicated it is doubtful that the Fiendish, with their ability to reproduce, could ever be removed.
With our discussion of the castes of Demons complete, we will look at two groups of humans who played key roles in the time after the Fall of the Empire. We will start with the Curved Daggers, and the following week discuss the Brothers of Steel. Then we will return to discussing history, looking at the Kotkalan Rebellion.