Demons exist for one reason—to destroy. Where their more lawful counterparts, the devils of Hell, seek to twist mortal minds and values to remake and reshape them into reflections of their own evil, demons seek only to maim, ruin, and feed. They recruit mortal life only if such cohorts speed along the eventual destruction of hope and goodness. Death is, in some ways, their enemy—for a mortal who dies can often escape a demon's depredations and flee to his just reward in the afterlife. It is the prolonging of mortal pain and suffering that fuels a demon's lusts and desires, for it is partially from mortal sin and cruelty that these monstrous fiends were born.
Demons are the most prolific and among the most destructive of the fiendish races, yet despite what some lore might preach, they were not the first forms of life to rise in the stinking pits of ruin and cruelty known across the multiverse as the Abyss. Before the first fledgling deity gazed upon reality, before mortal life drew its breath, before even the Material Plane itself had fully formed, the Abyss was infested with life.
Known to many scholars as “proto-demons,” these wretched and deadly beings were the qlippoth. Today, because of the influence of sinful mortal souls upon the Abyss, mixed with unholy tamperings at the hands of the daemonic keepers of Abaddon and the cruel whims of fate and evolution, the rule of the qlippoth has receded. The proto-demons dwell now in the noxious and forgotten corners of the Abyss, and the far more fecund and prolific demons rule now in their stead. With each evil mortal soul that finds its way into the Abyss, the ranks of the demonic hordes grows—a single soul can fuel the manifestation of dozens or even hundreds of demons, with the exact nature of the sins carried by the soul guiding the shapes and roles of the newly formed fiends.
The Abyss is a vast (some say infinite) realm, far larger than any other plane save possibly the primal chaos of the Maelstrom itself. As befits such a vast and varied realm, the demonic host is likewise diverse. Some carry in their frames humanoid shapes, while others are twisted beasts. Some flop on land while others flap in air or sea. Some are schemers and manipulators of emotion and politics, others are destructive engines of ruin. Yet all demons work to the same goal—pain and suffering for mortal life in all its forms.
Yet despite this, mortals have sought demonic aid since the start. Be it an instinctual draw to self-destruction or a misguided lust for power, conjurers to this day continue to draw forth demons with forbidden magic. Some conjure demons for lore, while others call upon them to serve as assassins or guards. Demons view such summoners with a mix of hatred and thanks, for most demons lack the ability to come to the Material Plane to wreak havoc on their own. They depend on the mad to call them up from the Abyss, and while they gnash their fangs and rail against the commands and strictures enforced, most demons find ways to twist their summoners' demands so that even the most tightly controlled demonic slave leaves a trace of ruin and despair in its wake. More often than not, a foolish spellcaster makes a fatal mistake in the conjuring and pays for it with blood, unwittingly releasing a terrible blight upon the world as his conjuration breaks free of his control.
The truly mad call upon demons to offer themselves, both body and soul, in the misguided belief that alliance with the demonic can buy salvation and protection when the demonic apocalypse finally comes to call. Tales of desperate kings who sought to engage demons to serve as generals for their armies or of lunatics who seek demonic sires to gift them with horrific children are common enough, yet worst are those mortals who worship the most powerful demons as gods, and who pledge their lives in support of that which would bring destruction to all.
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