Archduke's Guide to Demons

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Fallen Angels. Lords of Sin. The Voices in the Earth. The Tempters. Those that Loved Humans Too Much. Demons.

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Demons are a long time staple of Dark Ages Fantasy, and the World of Darkness is no different! The Storytellers of the Princes of Darkness have delved into forgotten and profane lores to bring them to life, to bathe the world in sin and bring woe to the children of men. The Demons of the World of Darkness are powerful Fallen Angels, a third of the heavenly host that rebelled against God in protest of the fate of humanity, who, since their tortures in the Abyss, have returned as horrifying dark reflections of themselves. Since their return from the machinations of Lucifer, they walk the Earth once more.

What are Demons?

The Demons of the Dark Ages of the World of Darkness have a lot alike with your 'basic understanding' of Demons, but there are a few differences worth noting. They are Fallen Angels, former servants of God meant to create the world, who have since fallen from grace. All Demons have suffered in a horrifying realm called 'the Abyss' which has warped them and filled their hearts with torment. The Demons you play in Princes of Darkness are those that escaped the Abyss, and have returned to God's Creation.

As a Demon, the first thing to know is there are two kinds of Demons:

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Fallen are Demons who use a Human body as a host. In game terms, one of your followers, a 'thrall' can be designated as a Vessel. That is the doomed human soul you are possessing. This process is irrevocably destructive on the human body though, and they will begin to die. And once they do, you must choose a new Thrall to give themselves onto you. However, if your vessel has any children, they will become your Laham, or your demonic children.

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Earthbound are Demons who posses a Relic (an Artifact) or the land itself rather than a Human body. Unlike fragile Humans, Earthbound do not need to worry about their vessels burning out. You possess an Artifact or a Title, and so long as you hold that title, you can potentially endure indefinitely. However, should you lose the Title or Artifact, you will need to find a new host quickly, lest you risk being pulled into the Abyss.

Don't feel like this is a permanent choice. Demons can later take the Perks 'Abandon Vessel' and 'Transfer Vessel' to more readily change Hosts.

Finally, all Demons embody a Sin, represented in Princes of Darkness as their Faith. These are the '7 Deadly Sins' and they are more or less how you go about corrupting mortals and advancing your aims.

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These sins, to an extent, define your Demon's methods of corrupting mortals. They choose tenants and a Special Doctrine, setting the fundamental sins and virtues of your faith. Notably, the most central virtuous trait of your sin, the Personality Trait that is connected to it (like Lustful for Lust), is critical for making mortals fall into your wicked embrace.

Demon Primary Mechanics

The core gameplay loop of Demons revolves around 'Thralls' and 'Tempt' and 'Corruption'. Let's go over these things so you can better overthrow God's work.

Thralls and Corruption

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Thralls are your bread and butter for Demon Gameplay. A thrall is a mortal or supernatural that has vowed their soul to you. Most Thralls are mortals, but they can be any other kind of Supernatural. This can allow Demons to build a multi-supernatural realm unlike any other, being able to wield all the strengths of the supernatural in their realm into a single cohesive whole. Thralls are your ideal vassals. Any time you land a random noble, for example in a Barony, they will be a thrall. But sometimes, there is a being that you really want to be your thrall. How do you go about that?

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Enthralling is a Character interaction that is based off of Opinion, and one that costs some prestige. It costs the demon's special resource 'Resolve' to do so as well, which can be gained by doing the 'Revelation' interaction on mortals, as well as some later perks grant you additional means. If they accept, the Target will become your thrall and become an Infernalist, and will usually accept vassalage. If, however, they don't like you, that's where you can slowly twist them to your Sin.

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The process of corrupting a soul to sin is a two step process. The first 'Temptation' is a scheme where you seduce your victim to your sin, where, if successful, gives them the central Personality trait to your sin, such as Wrathful for Wrath, Lazy for Sloth, etc. Then, you can perform the 'Corrupt' interaction on them, which, if successful, will convert them to your religion. Both of these will almost always grant you the positive perception needed to make them a thrall. Finally, the amount of Arcana Experience, your special Lifestyle and Demonic Perks, you get from a month increases with the amount of thralls you have. The more thralls you have, the more Experience you get.

Arcana, Resolve, and Revelation

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The Demon supernatural resource is 'Resolve'. Resolve is a Demon's spiritual power and fortitude, and their ability to change God's creation around them, empowered by Faith. As the Abyss was so traumatic on them, Demons no longer have faith in god, and must instead take the faith of mortals instead. To do this, a Demon reveals their full glory to a mortal, in a process called 'Revelation'. To do this, you must use the Shapeshift Interaction on yourself to become Angelic or Demon, and then use the Revelation interaction on a mortal. This will give the mortal stress and the 'Knows too Much' trait, but will grant you some Resolve. Doing this lets you maintain your supernatural power.

The easiest mortals to perform the Revelation interaction on are those who are easy to intimidate, which is determined by their character traits. A convenient method to continually guarantee a steady stream of Revelation is to find a group of mortals who possess traits such as Content or Craven via the search menu. The Revelation also has the immensely useful benefit of reducing a Demon's stress levels when they perform the interaction at full Resolve. This is by far the most efficient way to maintain stress levels as a Demon character.

A Demon's End Goal

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Unlike other supernaturals, Demons know where their road ends. Back in the Abyss, or spiting God and destroying creation.

As a Demon, your primary Goal begins in the Major Decision 'Corrupt the World'. This is the first step along a chain of major events where your end goal is to throw the world into so much sin and madness, that reality crumbles away and you can lead the infernal hosts in the final war that should hopefully dethrone the monster that threw you into the Abyss. Along the way, you'll get access to a new Lifestyle, as well as the potential for Fallen to expand on the children of their Vessels, the Laham, into the Greater Nephilim.

However, as you grow closer, you may begin to remember things about the past, about the times before the fall... of times when all you had was love for humanity.

Is redemption really impossible?