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Demon: The Temptation
Author: Nick Huggins
System: World Of Darkness
D:tT introduces demons into the World of Darkness, specifically targetting Vampires as the victims of the Infernals. It covers all aspects of demonic life, and Nick likes to consider it a "public domain expansion book for World of Darkness." D:tT was written before the "Book of Madness" but the two are more or less compatible.
This work is intended for adult readers, due to themes expressed herein. No liability is accepted for events caused by reading by younger readers. This material may offend some, dealing as it does with elements of the supernatural, and religion. This work is viewed as ‘Religious Fiction.’ Please, no flames to the author (especially not hell flames, huh?)
‘A World Of Darkness’, ‘Storyteller’ and ‘Storyteller System’ are trademarks licensed to White Wolf Limited. No infringement or dispute of copyright is intended, so don’t sue me (as if I had any money anyway...)
This material is copyrighted to the author. Permission is given to distribute this document in electronic or printed form, but not for personal gain.
NO PROFIT MUST BE MADE FROM THIS WORK.
“Come in.” The voice was crisp and carried a note of authority. A young man of about thirty walked into the room. His eyes took in everything with tiny glances back and forth. His body was held rigid, and he was dressed simply in gray slacks and shirt. He was obviously ill at ease.
“Martin, isn’t it?” The speaker was taller and older. He sat behind a spartan desk, devoid of office toys and carrying a simple pen tidy. He motioned for the younger to sit. “Yes”
“Now I want you to know that this is an informal conversation, but the consequences of it could well be very serious.”
“Good. I hope we can get to the bottom of the matter with as little fuss as possible.”
The young man’s face grew slack, he was sweating lightly. He opened his mouth, then shut it again. Then he looked at his interrogator, fear now beginning to show in his eyes. “I did it - what they said I did.” The older man shifted slightly in his seat. “Do you understand what you are saying, Martin?” he asked quietly. Martin nodded, looking all the while at the table. “By admitting your guilt, you will throw away everything you have trained for, and condemn yourself to a certain jail sentence. This will not be taken lightly by my superiors in this diocese.”
“I know,” Martin’s face was still, his eyes still locked on one spot on the table. “Father, I have never been a...” his voice trailed off. He took a breath and began again: “paedophile. I had a girlfriend in college, but nothing like this...” Martin shuddered slightly, giving the elder priest a chance to speak. “Martin, to be honest, this kind of thing is killing the image of the clergy. Nobody can worship when they even slightly suspect that their local parish priest could possibly commit something like - “
”I know.” Martin’s eyes now locked with the other’s. “You don’t understand, Father Harrison. You never saw him. He was so beautiful. His eyes were like the eyes of a faithful dog. They would watch me when I gave sermons. They would stay on me for the whole service, and only when it was over would they be torn from me.” His voice grew stronger, more angry than
“It started when he came to confession one day. He’d never been to confession, you know. He was just as confused as I was at the start. All he said to me was ‘Father Casey, I love you.’”
“And you gleefully jumped into bed with him.” Behind the words lay a world of hate and disgust. Martin narrowed his eyes at the insult. “It wasn’t like that. I tried to be on his side. I thought he must have had trouble at home, or something like that. He lived at an orphanage, and just came to church because he believed. His faith is so strong.” Martin’s face clouded slightly. “Was so strong.”
“Did you murder him?” Harrison asked. Martin’s fists clenched; color rose in his cheeks as he blurted out - “NO!” He calmed slightly, then spoke again. “I must have been responsible for his suicide. How could I have known what he felt? I couldn’t
have known he’d kill himself.” He looked for guidance, eyes aglitter with tears, “could I?”
Martin Casey’s eyes closed, and he felt the yawning of an abyss below him, ready to swallow his guilt, ridicule him, degrade him, and incarcerate him forever. The voice spoke, the youthful timbre startling him from his reverie. “Martin? Martin are you there?”
“Kevin? Kevin is that you?” The response was spoken aloud. Father Harrison started “Are you speaking to me?”
“Martin, I’ll always love you - You know how you can join me... We’ll be together, and they can’t hurt you any more.” Martin smiled at Father Harrison. “Don’t worry, I’ll make a full confession. There won’t be anything messy.” Somehow he didn’t think it would last that long.
...Elsewhere, elsewhen, elsewise; a semblance of a face passed a semblance of a smile. A young boy’s voice spoke amid horror beyond comprehension with all feeling replaced by sarcasm - “I love you Martin. We’ll be together soon won’t we?”
CHAPTER ONE - The Lore.
There exists more in the World Of Darkness than many of its denizens would believe. The Garou and some mages have spiritual belief in the Triat; the Wyrm, Wyld and Weaver. However, others, notably most mortals believe in a God over all, and in the power of good and evil. Many of the dead depart for the Shadowlands, but these poor unfortunates are those who have left unfinished business in the Realm, and hang in some sort of limbo.
What, then, of those who do not go to the Shadowlands on death? Simply put, mortals have the truth. Mortals who have been essentially ‘good’ during their lifetime are allotted a place in Paradise, and the others are taken to the Inferno. This work centres on those who have Fallen, and their relationship to the rest of the World Of Darkness (If there’s enough demand, I’d be happy to do ‘Angel: The Salvation’, but this is more fun, don’tcha think?)
Upon death, the cadaver’s essence leaves the body. It either ‘ascends’ to Paradise, departs on foot for the Shadowlands, or is dragged away screaming to the Inferno. This process is visible in the Umbra, to those watching. At this conjuncture, a spirit may be delayed by magic, disciplines or gifts. After a spirit has reached its final resting place, it can only be caused to return if it is in the Shadowlands. Souls and spirits in Heaven and Hell are unreachable to those in the Realm.
The denizens of the Inferno refer to themselves collectively as the Horde. Their immediate counterparts in Paradise are the Host, and everyone else is part of the Flock. The Flock includes all manner of ordinary mortals, the werelings and mages as well as those with greater lifespans, such as vampires. Even the wraiths of the Shadowlands are counted as part of the Flock.
When considering the Horde and their affairs, one must almost totally disregard the mortal world as a whole. The Inferno is an entity in its own right, and is not under the sway of the mortal world in the same way that the Shadowlands, or even the Umbra are. Similarly, the Inferno’s residents are removed quite seriously from mortals.
The Inferno appears differently depending on who views it. For a damned soul, it is the worst, most blasphemous atrocity possible. This horror continues without day or night for years, decades, centuries, without ever stopping. There are those, however, who become numb to the horror, slowly acclimatising to the hurt. Hell changes slightly for these few, who are untormentable in the long term. Slowly they begin to see the seams of the Netherworld, and the overlapping portions of others’ nightmares. These few become Demons. They are removed from their torture, and given leeway in the Realm to do the bidding of the underworld. This does not mean that they cease to be tortured. Becoming a demon is worse than any torture possible. A demon is forced to serve his Infernal masters, with no hope of escape. He is given leeway in his endeavours, but no true freedom. Is it any wonder then that the demons of legend, the true masters of the Abyss have lost every vestige of humanity they had, and become vile creatures of nightmare?
A demon of the Inferno can be seen as a force not just for chaos, but for pure evil. He exists to tempt others out of their spiritual possessions. Many demons, notably those of more experience will also fulfil mortal desires in the Realm in a desperate attempt to become what they once were. Unfortunately for the Flock, these desires have become warped and perverse. A demon may revel in the return of his physical body, only to use it for unspeakable orgies of want. A demon whose hobby in mortal life was socialising will turn into a socialite without compare, at the cost of dragging all of his/her ‘friends’ into the pit that spawned him. Picture the nightmare of having one’s wife return from the dead with new and hellish desires.
A demon can never enjoy what he enjoyed as a mortal, but has a constant craving for these things. The demon’s jealousy of mortals grows and grows, and as it does so, his ability to enjoy mortal life lessens and lessens, slowly burning the demon up from within. This process is called the Cycle Of Iniquity. Once there is even a tiny trace of evil in the character he is doomed to become unspeakably so. The only personality that could escape such horror is that of a saint. A saint would never be in hell to begin with...
Not all demons begin their existences as sinners trapped in the bowels of the abyss. Others of their number are spawned directly from the chaos. These horrors are known generically as ‘Fiends’ to all. Generally speaking, Fiends are, from conception, similar in behaviour to the late stages of ‘standard’ demonhood. They are chaotic, vile and unspeakable; preferring destruction and immorality above all other hobbies. They often have difficulty with human customs and standards, most notably with technology. No fiend can ever truly understand a technological device, and most even fear these creations. These creatures, though subservient to the demonic chains of command, as all other demons, believe they are different. A legend runs through their ranks that they were the first created race upon the planet, before Adam and Eve, before animals and birds. They were purely evil, and rebelled instantly against The Creator. He was appalled by his handiwork, and banished the brutes to the Inferno forever, not to be seen by mortal eyes. Whether or not this is true is unknown. Fiends are better used as NPCs, due to their alien natures, but can be used as PCs by adventurous players, after discussion with their Storytellers.
Scholars among the Host have suspected that the Horde could overrun Paradise by sheer weight of numbers if not for one thing. All demons hate their masters. No demon is content to serve. All wish for mastery over all other demons. Therefore, occasionally, orders will be altered subtly from master to servant. “Bring me the leader of the Tremere chantry” is a bad order, since a servile imp may return with the leader dead, in no condition to be tempted. Instead of stamping this practice out, the rulers of the Inferno actively encourage it, and promote demons who practise it.
The Horde organises itself loosely in some areas, and rigidly in others. A contrast to the total dictatorial chaos of Infernal organisation is the rigid structure of the Codex. The Codex has been active since the Fall, and has never changed, even slightly, over the infinity that followed until the present day. The fact that the Codex has never been broken is attributed to ‘Those Who Watch’ who have sway even over the rulers of the Inferno. They are the targets of much speculation by the Horde. Are they Angels? Demons? Super-Powerful humans, or something much worse? The simple fact is that demons who break the Codex disappear. Frequently, they will be seen once before this, staring into space, driven into some strange madness. Since demons rarely suffer from derangements themselves, it is thought that these Watchers must have enormous power.
Strangely, whispers and rumours are heard through the Inferno, of demons who have escaped their eternal enslavement. Demons who have broken the Codex, and escaped. These ‘escapees’ are called the Despoilers, and are only seen once in a millennia. Rumours abound as to their purpose.
Storytellers should feel free to use Those Who Watch to prevent player characters from running wild. Having a comrade disappear can really put the fear of God into the rest of the troupe. Here follow all six articles of the Infernal Codex :
Thou shalt not reveal thy existance to a member of the flock by invoking thy true form, using thy bestowals, or by telling of your kind. The exception to this shall be when thou art forming compact with that member of the Flock.
Thou shalt collect souls. The demon who does not collect souls shall be a failure in the eyes of Beelzebub and returned to the Inferno forthwith.
Thou shalt not kill mortals with which a compact has been made in order to collect their souls. Such conduct is not
permissable, and will tarnish the good reputation of the Inferno.
Thou shalt be honest with thine compacted mortals. Protect them from serious harm lest they be dissatisfied with their treatment. Never extract a compact from a mortal by force.
Obey thine elders. Exception to this may be made, and a tribunal may be brought by the General of the house to which the complainant belongs.
Thou shalt never lay a hand of violence on those of the Host.
Politics and History of the Inferno.
As legend, popular literature and the Bible would have it, the Inferno was first populated by a number of ‘Fallen Angels’ headed by Lucifer Morningstar, who would become the mythical Devil. The truth, as always, is similar, yet removed from the myth. Indeed, angels fell from Paradise, and one of them was called Lucifer. However, they found the Inferno populated by the Fiends, jabbering and committing atrocities in the depths. The angels, greater by far in power, bested the Fiends, and eventually became their masters. Lucifer took one of their number (a genius in Fiend terms) as his second-in-command, and named him Beelzebub. The Fallen and their proteges built a citadel from the natural elements, and called it Pandemonium.
When the citadel was complete, Lucifer used it as a focal point to begin the organisation of his minions in order to conquer Paradise. He used Fiends and fallen angels alike as ‘Dukes’ and ‘Generals’ over less powerful imps and fiends. Almost all of the Inferno was organised into ‘houses’ each of which was ruled by a different General. Then he used a portion of his divine power to give his minions power, in the form of the bestowals. There were seven of these supernatural powers : Appellation, Endow, Ravage, Rending, Revolt, Torment and Wrack.
In order to understand fully the resources at his disposal, Lucifer travelled alone to the Realm. There he saw what his Father had wrought: A world where Adam and Eve lived in blissful innocence amid the paradise that was Eden. He was enraged by the fact that these mortals were given more than he, an ex-angel, was and resolved to corrupt them. He took the form of a serpent to disguise his nature and began his work. The rest of the tale is well-known amongst Flock, Host and Horde. Unfortunately, in tempting the first couple, Lucifer opened himself to the Cycle of Iniquity. He returned to the Inferno, swearing that from hence all demons would corrupt the Flock, and pervert the Creator’s works to the highest possible degree. Many fiends disagreed, preferring instead to wage war against Paradise. Lucifer explained that this was how Paradise was to be defeated. When all mortals were corrupted, they could begin the unholy war to end all wars.
Complete records of the Abyss are rare, and much of the history of that realm is lost to the eyes of all historians. However, it is known that the Horde, under the leadership of Lucifer prospered, and had all but succeeded in their mission to corrupt the Flock entirely. Then the Host stepped in, organising an effective genocide of the human race, in the Great Deluge. They started mortal life over again, with Noah’s voyagers as stock. Lucifer was crushed by this. He began to realise that he was doomed to fail in his mission, so he left the Inferno. He retired to solitude, in secret contemplation of how he could finally destroy his divine counterparts.
Following this, Beelzebub took control of the Inferno. He waited a few centuries, then slew or banished many, if not all of the fallen Angels who had accompanied Lucifer from Paradise. This was intended to draw Lucifer out of hiding, since Beelzebub believed himself to be more powerful. Lucifer never reappeared. Beelzebub declared his old master a coward, and took his throne. He has ruled the Inferno since, forcing the Generals of the Houses to swear obediance to him.
The rule of a Fiend has been both good and bad for the Inferno. Beelzebub has the wisdom to know when he is on to a good thing, and hates the Creator as much as Lucifer. He continues to wage war on the Flock, and uses many of the same tactics as his old Master. However, his organisational skills are poor. He is not much of a leader, and rules by sheer power rather than leadership skill. However, his power level is sufficient to annihilate all but the most puissant of assailants. He squats in the upper levels of Pandemonium, surrounded by his toadying minions, overseeing all.
There are still those who believe Lucifer is still alive, somewhere. Theories abound to his activities. Some say he is researching technology - a science which escapes the Fiends. Some say he has returned to paradise. Others say he is imminently to return, and when he does it will signal the apocalypse that theologians have been waiting for...
The Houses of the Inferno.
The Inferno’s current organisation is similar to what it was after Lucifer began his reign. It retains the structural rigidity of Houses, ruled by Generals alone. However, due to the constant inconsistency introduced by Beelzebub’s reign, many demons prefer to be ‘lone operators’ and are part of no house. (In game terms, this gives characters a potential stereotype, but does not force them to be part of it.)
Each house ‘specialises’ in one of Lucifer’s bestowals, but they are not the sole users of it. For example: The members of the First House of the Inferno are known as the Tempters, and they specialise in the bestowal of Endow. They have great power over mortals, but would soon fall prey to other demons if they did not have a few of the violent Ravagers in their employ. Similarly, the Ravagers would have little sway over the mortal world without a few Tempters.
Known as the Tempters by other demons, this house was originally founded by Lucifer himself. On his disappearance, control of the house passed to the demon known as Baal, after his successful corruption of an entire minor bloodline of vampires. The Tempters are a reserved bunch, believing themselves better than most other demons since they were the first House created. However, they tend to remain quiet about their original patron, since it is not ‘politically correct’ to mention his name. The tempters tend to dislike the more visual bestowals, favouring Endow above all others. They are earnest in their belief that even other demons are capable of being tempted and corrupted to their ways.
This House, otherwise known as the Ravagers have Beelzebub as their General. They are comprised mostly of Fiends, whose violent nature lends itself to the effects Ravage can produce. A Ravager can be seen as a kind of demonic enforcer, evil in the extreme. Most of this house are arrogant about their position, and hold their house above all others. They especially hate the Schemers and the Tempters; largely because they do not understand their subtleties. Not all of the Ravagers are mindless buffoons, however. Many take their disciplinarian roles seriously.
The Schemers are said by other houses to be corrupted by the mortal world. They probably use technology more than any other kind of demon to supplement their house bestowal of Torment, and organise themselves along the lines of some sort of infernal corporation. Belial is their General, although he is addressed as the Director by other Schemers. When in the Realm, the Schemers dress neatly, and carry briefcases. They use written contracts heavily in their pacts, and have an affable demeanour. This attitude has persuaded many among the Horde that the Schemers are hiding something. The fiends have
an almost sacred distrust for them due to their use of technology.
The smallest House of the Inferno are known collectively as the Puppeteers. Their House bestowal of Appellation needs the true name of a victim to function, and so this house has libraries of books and lists of their ‘pet’ mortals’ true names. This constant search for true names has become for the puppeteers something of a quest for knowledge. They have often been referred to as the ‘house of secrets.’ Many other Houses distrust them, and they are closely watched by Beelzebub’s Ravagers. The fourth House makes a powerful friend. Woe betide their enemies. The fourth General of the Inferno is known by many names, for he tells no-one his secrets. He is generally referred to as The Enigma.
Vermin by name; vermin by nature. These pitiful fright-merchants are almost universally disliked for their habits, disgusting even by demonic standards.
This is the House of the Formwielders, users of the bestowal of Wrack. They are lead by their General, Azazel, who is the fallen angel brother of Belial of the third House. It is for this reason that the Schemers and the Formwielders have long had a truce. Unfortunately, the fallen angels are frowned upon by Beelzebub. The sixth house are the spies and disguise artists of the Inferno, and are used by other factions for a variety of services. Their ranks are carefully watched over, for these masters of form often take each others’ place to blackmail or practice extortion.
Asphodel is the general of the seventh house of the inferno, that of the Realityshapers. These demons are the geographers of the Inferno, and are those who make it possible for other demons to travel to the Realm and beyond. Their bastion: The House Of Gates, is full of doors that lead to other places, fantastic and mystical. It is said that some of these doors lead into Pandemonium itself, and some even into shrouded alcoves in Beelzebub’s throne-room. The Realityshapers are a servile house, and they work quietly but efficiently when given a task to perform. Often, when demons are sent en masse to the Realm, a Realityshaper will accompany them to take them back to the Inferno on completion of their mission. It is said that the Formwielders and Realityshapers are but flip sides of the same coin, one dealing with the manipulation of the self, one with the manipulation of that which is outside the self.
To label a demon as one of the eighth House of the Inferno is a terrible insult. The eighth house is the mythical house of the outcasts and Despoilers. Like the Despoilers themselves, those of the House are hunted by the Ravagers. Beelezebub has spread propaganda in the past that Lucifer has become a member of this House, and is manipulating them from behind the scenes. If they truly exist, then only the Puppeteers know the facts, and whether or not the eighth House truly possess True Faith, as the Host do...
The sole purpose of the Horde is to create pacts with the Flock. Pacts (also called Compacts) are simply an agreement between a hapless member of the Flock (called a beneficiary) and a demon. The beneficiary receives something in
return for his own services. The most serious Pacts concern the beneficiary’s immortal soul itself, and it is these pacts that have found their way into the myths and legends of the modern world. However, other pacts can be made, for treasured memories or similar.
How the pact is made is largely up to the demon in question. Some of the Horde set themselves up as a kind of infernal lawyer. A contract is made up and signed in the blood of the beneficiary. Other demons will form verbal agreements, backed up by sheer muscle and supernatural weight of power. The Codex protects beneficiaries under Articles Three and Four. A compact can only ever be formed by the willing assent of the beneficiary after careful questioning by a demon.
In game terms, the pact adds to a demon’s ‘Soul Pool.’ This is a reserve of power that the demon has at his command, and can be used to fuel further supernatural powers (see ‘Character Creation.’) Often, the demon must play salesman, giving a mortal infernal gifts, while retaining enough soul power to fuel greater supernatural feats. For more information on infernal gifts and investments read the sections on ‘bestowals’ and ‘infernal investments.’
The Storyteller is the final arbiter of how many soul points can be gained from any particular pact, and what commodities a demon can demand from his beneficiary. Here follow some examples:
Note that in some cases, the loss of certain memories can change a person’s outlook on life, and the way that they act. A player character selling the memories he has of his wife, for example, is losing something cherished, and something that makes him act the way he does. Storytellers should feel free to add derangements to such a ‘beneficiary’, or possibly to change his demeanour. In certain circumstances, it may be prudent to change someone’s nature. Players should be *well* warned about the penalties of ‘dealing with the devil,’ and should be consulted before changes to their characters take place. Naturally, if a character sells the memories of a loved one, or similar, he must be left with the knowledge that he once had those memories. Such is the nature of torment.
Demons can also make pacts and agreements amongst themselves. To seal a pact between demon and demon soul points are used. Therefore, soul points can be traded between demons for favours. Soul points can only traded by physical contact, such as shaking hands. For example: Gideon, a demon of the first house, does a deal with his beneficiary involving protection. Gideon isn’t very powerful in physical terms, so he gives the job to Yod, a Ravager. Yod demands four Soul Points for this favour, and Gideon must give up four of the five points he gained from his deal. They shake, and the deal is done.
Summonings & Bindings.
Through myth and legend, mortals and hedge wizards have always had the power to summon those of the Horde. Generally, this turns out to be not such a good idea, but it *is* possible. A demon may be summoned, and bound to a person, place or circle (drawn on the ground...) From there, the summoner may entreat the demon to do things in return for servitude. The trick is to dismiss the demon afterward, without harmful ramifications.
The actual cosmological mechanics of summoning and binding are relatively simple. The summoner opens a portal into the Inferno, and calls forth the demon he requires, using that demon’s true name. A binding is actually an extremely localised, extremely powerful strengthening of the gauntlet and shroud, which prevents the demon from moving into the spirit world or the inferno, and even out of the boundary of the circle, or vicinity of person or place. These potent strengthenings of the gauntlet and shroud are only used for binding demons. Having said that, rumours persist of a circle in old, dried blood behind a bricked-up wall in a Vienna residence. Inside lies a dead body, of the mage that drew the circle. His spirit, unable to escape to the Shadowlands, Paradise or the Inferno, howls constantly...
From the demon’s point of view, being summoned is a horrible insult, and any self-respecting demon will wish to destroy the summoner. However, unless he has the appropriate demonic puissance, he may find himself pressed into the service of his new master. Of course - many demons can and will escape such imprisonment. ‘Caveat summoner.’
In game terms, there are many possibilities for summoning a demonic servant. The one thing that *must* be known is the demon’s true name (Naturally, a demon can do much the same thing, so never supply a true name to a demon!) Secondly, some sort of magic(k)al ability is necessary. Whether this be hedge magic, true magick, (dark) thaumaturgy , or just force of will is negligible. For game purposes, a ‘Binding Value’ is attached to the relevant circle. A demon is less likely to escape, the higher the binding value. What follows are a few spells / rites / rituals / rotes designed to facilitate adding demons to your chronicle:
Summon Demonic Envoy (Vampire / Hedge Magician thaumaturgical ritual, level four.)
The caster must be in possession of one Blood Point worth of vampiric blood. With this, he marks a circle on the ground, surrounded by runes, and magical writings. He then recites this ritual, an act which takes approximately two hours. After this, the caster sacrifices a rabbit with a silver knife. This causes a portal to be opened to the Inferno. The caster speaks the true name of the demon he wishes to summon into the portal. The demon appears, and is considered bound within the confines of the circle, with a Binding Value of 4.
Ward vs. Demons (Thaumaturgical Ritual, level five.)
This potent ritual creates a mystic symbol, which appears after the ritual is cast on an object of the caster’s choosing. The effect of the symbol is to make an area of ten feet in radius around the symbol impregnable to demonkind. The only component for this ritual is three blood points worth of the caster’s own blood. The ritual takes fifteen hours to complete, during which the object to receive the ward is repeatedly anointed with blood. When the ritual is complete, the symbol appears magically on the object. A demon touching the object takes five dice of damage. A demon in the ten foot radius of protection takes 1 die damage for every 20 seconds he is in it.
Summon The Herald Of Hell (Daimonion level seven.)
This power needs to be clarified slightly for use with “Demon: The Temptation.” It summons a demon from the Inferno, and binds that demon to the service of the caster. No true name is necesary for this summoning, due to Clan Baali’s dealings with the demon known as Baal.
Rite Of The Accursed Moon Bridge (Garou ritual, level four.)
This rite is effectively a bastardisation of the Rite Of The Opened Bridge. It opens a Moon Bridge to what most garou will term Malfeas, but which is actually the Inferno (it is, of course possible to open a bridge to Malfeas, but this ritual doesn’t do it) The caster shouts the true name of the demon he wishes to summon, and the demon appears. The demon is not considered bound, but since this ritual can only be performed at a caern, he is usually persuaded to serve. The pathstone used in this ritual, which is the same as the one used to create a ‘proper’ moon bridge is tarnished by the ritual. Most garou will never use this rite, because of the connotations of summoning Wyrm-spawn. However, some Black Spiral Dancers can use it. These corrupted garou know that they consort with the abyss, and not Malfeas.
Demonic Servant (Mage Rote, 3 Spirit / 3 Entropy / 2 Prime.)
First used by the Order of Hermes, this rote is still in wide use amongst that Tradition. Use has also spread to the Euthanatos, who use demons as portable assault weapons. The mage distorts reality to open a portal to the Inferno. Once again, he calls the true name of the demon he wishes to summon through this portal in order to summon him. Binding is a problem in this regard. Use of Spirit 4 will perform the necessary strengthening of Gauntlet and Shroud around a particular area (mages don’t need circles as such, but many will use them as a kind of focus.) Mind can be used similarly to its use on a human to mentally enslave a demon, but the demon’s mind is alien. If botches are made on this roll, a Storyteller may consider conferring a derangement or two on the mage.
Additionally, the Flock can attempt to summon a demon without using magic(k) at all. This method of ‘flying by the seat of one’s pants’ is highly dangerous, since a demon can be summoned, but not dismissed or bound. Also, any demon can answer the summons. Some of the Dukes and Generals of hell have a constant ear out for such foolish beings as would try this. In game terms, all that needs to be done is this: The summoner must want to summon the demon enough. He spends 4
Willpower points, and waits. A demon may or may not arrive. Depending on the person, this process is ‘livened up’ by several methods. A tribal shaman would rattle beads and chant, a modern-day occult fanatic might read aloud from a dusty tome he found in a second-hand bookstore.
True names have a lot of bearing in ‘Demon : The Temptation.’ A demon can be summoned using his true name, as has been seen. What is less well-known is that demon can summon the Flock using true names, and force them to provide services for him. Most ordinary mortals won’t even know their true name. Some supernaturals, Tremere vampires, Order Of Hermes mages and mummies especially guard their true names.
So what is a true name? Simply put, a true name is a mystical appellation for a person, place or thing. It is the name that best ‘fits’ in a mystical sense. True names can change sometimes, as the demeanour of a person changes. With
virtually immortal creatures such as demons, vampires or mummies, true names are static, and if known by someone else, can make horrible exploitation possible.
How does one find one’s true name? It largely depends on one’s viewpoint and belief set. A mage or Tremere clan vampire might use mystical tomes to determine a birth chart of sorts, then consult more books to determine a name from this. More spiritually oriented characters will use a ‘vision quest’ and be given their true name by a spirit or totem of some sort. Storytellers should bear in mind that a true name not only reflects a character’s essence, but also his background.
From a game point of view, finding someone’s true name should be a difficult task, but not impossible. Finding one’s own true name is, however, an easy task. Sale of one’s true name is worth 3 soul points, but this is a fool’s bargain, and demon’s can use true names with devastating effect.
CHAPTER TWO - The Game.
Demons & The World Of Darkness.
How do the Infernals relate to the rest of the published World Of Darkness? Simply enough, since all of the supernatural elements of it count as part of the Flock. A demon’s primary concern where a supernatural is concerned is that some beings have the power to destroy a demon on a whim. Hence, and this is in keeping with popular thought in the Inferno, the demon often offers his services to the least powerful.
Vampires are often a very viable target for demons, since they crave power in their endless political machinations. They can be manipulated easily into thinking that, since they are ‘immortal’, they have no need for a soul as such. Of course, a vampire can die as easily as a mortal. The vampire ‘clan’ called Baali need special consideration, since they are devilworshippers. Their power is given to them by Baal, one of the more successful Schemers, and souls that they procure are given to Baal. This means that the Baali are nothing but limited stooges. Naturally, the Baali themselves are blissfully unaware of this. The Sabbat sect should also be mentioned, as they can also have dealings with demons. The Sabbat are more likely to
give away their souls, since they care little for their own safety in many respects. In this regard, they are easier to tempt. To complicate this, the Tempters have a hard time with the Sabbat, who are more frequently impressed by (and hence corrupted
by) the Ravagers.
Werewolves (the Garou) have a spiritual system that does not include the Christian concepts of ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell.’ Nevertheless, they are still easy prey for the Horde. Since a Garou is so taken with his mission to save Gaia, he can sometimes be persuaded to take on extra power in the belief that it will make his mission that bit easier. Garou have a great physical puissance, and a demon should be careful in his dealings with them. Notable in the Garou belief system are two things: Firstly, their equivalent of Beelzebub seems to be an entity known only as ‘The Wyrm.’ Demons ‘smell’ of the Wyrm to Garou senses, and can therefore be in extreme danger from the werewolves. Secondly, the Wyrm supposedly resides in a kingdom known as ‘Malfeas.’ This kingdom is supposedly similar to the Inferno, but no demon traveller has noted any comparison between the two realms.
Mages, as mortals, have many vices and weaknesses that can be exploited by a successful demon. They separate themselves into groups like the Garou and Vampires, and some of these groups have particular interest for the Horde. The ‘tradition’ known as the ‘Euthanatos’ are obsessed with death, and what happens during this process. They were the first group of mortals to communicate with the Horde on their own terms, and are of great interest to the Schemers. Secondly, a
larger group of Mages, called the Technocracy are of note. These fools use their power of reality altering to reshape the cosmos into their own design. This design ignores the Inferno, and indeed Paradise. Neither Host nor Horde have any dealings with them, and they refuse to acknowledge the existence of the eternal verities. Lastly, are a small group called the ‘Celestial Chorus’ who devote their mortal existences to serving the Host. Nevertheless, some of them have been successfully tempted, and there are even a few demons who were once of this order.
The Wraiths of the Shadowlands are closer to the Horde than they would, perhaps, like to admit. They are dead, and are only one step away from the Inferno, which they call Oblivion. They are ruled by their dark sides, or Shadows. They do not fall prey to the Cycle Of Iniquity, but they use raw souls as coinage (1 Obolus is worth 1 Soul point.) Some demons spend their entire existences working in the Shadowlands for these coins, which they use to replenish their energies. However, when doing this, one must be careful not to let one’s nature show. The Hierarchy of the wraiths is tyrannical and
dangerous in the extreme.
Of the other creatures in this World Of Darkness, let it be said that many of them are too rare to warrant advice. Solely the faerie are of any warrant an explanation - They are tricksters, and may, on some occasions even trick one of the Horde.
How To Run A Story With Demons.
It is probably obvious that “Demon : The Temptation” runs best when one or more demons are included in a party of other supernaturals (Vampires or Wraiths for preference.) However, it is possible to work with a troupe of demons in the same way that one would deal with a troupe of another type. When working with a number of demons it can be interesting to vary the types of demon to produce maximum contrast. In the service of Beelzebub, tempters with suits, briefcases and a great deal of finesse are forced to rub shoulders with drooling, disgusting Fiends. One of two outcomes is produced - An uneasy alliance, where all are trying hard to maintain the peace, or a situation where backstabbing of any character is imminent and simple. Demons of all sorts have to watch their backs carefully.
(Authors Note : Most of my ideas for this game have come from playing and encountering a number of ‘Tempter’ types. This game probably owes much of its nature to these types, and they are probably the best catered for as player characters.)
Theme in a “Demon : The Temptation” story is often one of chaos or morality. Chaos frequently follows demons, and they cause it merely by presence in many cases. The morality referred to is generally the morality of the beneficiary, as the demon slowly tempts him away from all he holds to be true and right.
As in any roleplaying game there must be some sort of conflict to challenge the characters. Any Storyteller can create a list of possible enemies (Demon vs. Supernaturals, Demon vs. Mortals (The Inquisition, maybe?), Demon vs. Angels...) but perhaps a few constants would be more useful.
A story involving demons as either part or all of a troupe should have an underlying menace. A demon should never appear mundane. Even the most experienced Sabbat Bishop, dealing with a minor imp knows that he bargains for his immortal soul. Similarly, even the most humane demon is still a demon, a stealer of life and a bringer of death. Therefore, demons should always be different in some way. Discuss this with your players.
Secondly, a demon always knows one thing - He is damned. If he fails in his mission then he will be consigned back to the worst of all possible worlds : The Inferno. Even though most demons will have become accustomed to their own personal hells, they will still not want to be returned to them. A demon with little time left in the Realm can swiftly find the tables turned on him as his last deal turns awry. His beneficiary refuses to give anything, and the demon is returned screaming to the pit by Ravagers in the service of Beelzebub, perhaps overenthusiastically...
CHAPTER THREE - Character.
Character Creation - Infernally Speaking.
Creating a demon character is just about the same as creating any other sort of character, with some different Attributes and Statistics. It should be understood that these rules are solely for creating ‘starting’ demons. More powerful demons have much more power, and the likes of House Generals, Beelzebub, or Lucifer have power beyond mortal comprehension. For example - Lucifer created the bestowals, and gave them to demons in general, so each new generation of demons has them. Similarly, nothing is likely to depose Beelzebub from his throne at this point except a total uprising in the infernal ranks.
Nature And Demeanour.
Nature and Demeanour archetypes should be chosen, and are as important and integral to this game as they are in any other game. It may seem strange that a demon can be, say, a caregiver, but it is possible. Demons are given a unique perspective on their lives, and psychologically resemble a warped version of their human selves. If nothing else, nature and demeanour give some insight into the demon’s ethods for tempting individuals. At the storyteller’s discretion, the extra ‘shadow’ personality archetypes from ‘Wraith : The Oblivion’ can be used. These have potential for creating some truly nasty characters.
Attributes and Abilities.
A demon’s Attributes and Abilities are determined as normal, that is to say 7, 9, 5 points in Attributes (All attributes have a ‘free’ dot in them to start with); 13, 9, 5 in Abilities.
Backgrounds are given 5 points. The following backgrounds are available to demons, and can be found in either ‘Vampire: The Masquerade’, or ‘Mage: The Ascension.’
Allies : Similar to the standard background, but refers to demonic and mortal allies, possibly under pact.
Arcane : This Mage background is available to demons due to their supernatural nature. Demons in the Realm need some cover.
Contacts : Can refer to demonic contacts as well as mortal or supernatural contacts.
Mentor : Demons can train under more experienced demons too.
Resources : Useful for demons in the Realm or the Shadowlands. This background also covers other trappings of society like ID or Credit cards, or masks and oboli in the Shadowlands.
Retainers : Also acceptable as a servant or companion. A demon may have a maximum of two retainers. If the demon has more than two points in this background, the retainers may be of supernatural nature.
Remnants : The demon is relatively ‘new’ and certain people in the Realm still remember her. This background can afford a demon a place to hide, but can also shatter her credibility to potential beneficiaries.
Bestowals are also given 5 points. These powers may be chosen freely, so long as no one bestowal is above 3 points in a starting character. The assignment of bestowals will probably determine what House the demon belongs to (demon belongs to the House associated with his highest ranked bestowal), although this is not always the case.
A demon’s soul pool is quite important, as detailed above (see ‘Pacts.’) It is represented in game terms as a scale from one to ten. Ten soul points is the maximum at any one time. Being at zero soul points is not fatal, though it is dangerous, if a demon is about to mix with other supernaturals. Soul pool starts at zero points. Soul points have a direct bearing on the Bestowals a demon can use. To repeat what is mentioned above, Soul Points are a measure of how well the demon is in standing with the Inferno for corrupting mortals. Therefore, staying at zero Soul Points for any length of time is liable to cause trouble between the Inferno and its errant minion. If, through a high Damnation Pool value (see below) a demon falls below zero Soul Points, the fact comes to the attention of Beelzebub himself, who may or may not choose to take action.
The Cycle of Iniquity’s effect on a demon’s psychology is represented using a statistic called ‘Damnation Pool.’ Damnation Pool rises by one point for every week a demon spends in the Realm. Secondly, in a situation where a demon has an obvious chance to do something evil and doesn’t, he must score over two successes on a roll of five dice against a difficulty of his Damnation Pool value or gain another Damnation point. If at any time the Damnation Pool rises above ten, the demon loses a Soul Point for each Damnation Point above ten. Damnation points can be lost by performing ‘evil’ deeds. The particular evil deed which must be performed is chosen by the Player and Storyteller of the character, and is usually linked to the character’s mortal life. Whether or not a Damnation Point is lost after an action is determined by the Storyteller. Not all actions are worthy...
Casper was, in life, a serial killer whose ‘trademark’ was to brand his victims with an inverted cross after their death. His player sugegsts to the Storyteller that the same act will be the act that regains his Damnation Points. The Storyteller suggests this is a little extreme, and suggests that Casper regains Damnation by merely branding the living...
The Horde have supernatural abilities different to other entities in the World Of Darkness. These ‘bestowals’ are given to them by the rulers of the Inferno, and some are dependant on the level of soul pool the demon has. Simply put, if the demon has not been collecting souls, then he will not be able to use many of the more spectacular bestowals.
A lot of the bestowals listed are similar in effect to some vampiric disciplines. The links between these are intended, since some disciplines are changed forms of demonic bestowals.
An interesting thing to note about bestowals is that they are rarely given freely to their intended targets. Often a demon will ask for a favour of some kind in order to confer benefits on his potential target. Naturally, it is possible to ask for, say a target’s soul, and then use the resultant soul pool value to confer the benefit on the donor.
Appellation is similar to the magical ability of Hekau (taken from ‘A World Of Darkness : Mummy’) as it concerns itself with true names. Appellation is dissimilar to Hekau magic in that it is impossible to work with an object using its true name. Although the true name of an object may be known, it cannot be interacted with using Appellation.
Using this power, a demon can ‘keep tabs’ on a victim. He can do this mentally, receiving a picture of his intended target, or he can use a scrying crystal, pool of water, or pool of blood in order to show images to others. What is revealed is the view through the target’s eyes. Nothing except visual data is received. System: This power can be used at will.
A demon can send telepathic messages to his victim using this ability. This message imprints itself on the target’s consciousness, as anything from clearly spoken mental words, to a sort of auto-suggestion.
System: The demon selects a target, then rolls Appellation + Perception against a target of 6. The number of successes denotes how subtle the message is. One success is a whisper, barely audible in the recesses of the victim’s mind. Five successes is a clear voice. If a demon gets more successes than he needs, he can, of course, ‘attenuate the signal’ to a quieter form.
The demon can transport a being whose true name he possesses to him. This being suddenly appears, slightly disoriented, at the demons feet. The victim is not considered bound to the demon in any way, nor is he required to do services for the demon.
System: The demon rolls Charisma + Appellation versus a target difficulty of 6. The number of successes relates to the time taken for the victim to arrive. The ‘travel time’ is perceived by the mortal as fleeting colours and white noise.
|Successes||Time Taken |
|1||Unable to Summon|
|3||Half Hour |
|4||One Minute |
Just as a conjurer can summon and imprison a demon, the demon can summon another being, and then bind them using this power. The demon must have some sort of imprisoning object, such as a circle (or a more outlandish object, like a bottle, or book.)
System: The demon rolls Strength + Appellation against a target difficulty of 6. The number of successes becomes the Binding Value of the binding invoked on the victim.
A very potent ability. The demon has the power to return a being whose true name he possesses back whence he came. The demon utters the true name of his victim, and the hapless soul is forced to return to his home, haven, or just the Umbra.
System: The demon rolls Strength + Appellation versus a target difficulty of 7. More than one success is required to dismiss a target. The target may negate successes at a cost of one willpower point per success.
Demons greatest power lies in the ability to offer their victims power in exchange for favours and souls. Endow is the bestowal which makes this possible. Through it, a demon can offer great incentives to start up compacts and contracts. Frequent users of Endow are known to the Horde as Tempters. They generally fall into the classic Mephistophelean role.
· False Confidence
Upon receiving Confidence from a demon, the target becomes infused with a feeling of competence, and a belief that he cannot possibly do anything wrong. This effect naturally negates other effects such as Guilt (Torment level one), or Fear Of The Void Below (Daimonion level two.)
System: The demon must engage the target in conversation, and tell him how good he is, something like ‘Come on - I know you can do it, I have faith in you’ is a good example. He then rolls Manipulation + Endow against a target of 5. The duration is about an hour’s worth of time. Enough to give that speech, or to win that ball game.
·· Mask Of Damnation
This is the ability to mask one’s aura and intentions from the outside world. The demon can use this ability on anyone, including himself.
System: The demon touches his target, and rolls Perception + Endow versus a difficulty of 6. The number of successes denote the duration of the effect. During this time, the demon’s aura is masked, deleting the ‘Diablerie Lines’ that make it difficult to operate in Vampire society. Similarly, a demon no longer triggers ‘Sense Wyrm’ or similar.
|1||One Scene |
|3||One Week |
|4||One Month |
··· Luck Of The Devil
This power confers a supernatural luck on a given target. For the duration of the effect, things just seem to go his way. Coincidences follow him around, making just about any job easier. This luck is good luck centred around the target, it does not affect others adversely. For example, a lucky character would not escape death by having his opponent’s gun misfire or explode, damaging the firer. Instead, he would be likely to trip over, causing the bullet to miss.
System: The demon rolls Wits + Endow vs a target difficulty of 7. The resulting number of successes is added to all of the target’s dice pools until the end of the scene. This power is conferred by sight, and costs two soul points to activate.
···· Minor Infernal Investitature
With this power, the demon can confer a small (One or two point) investitature on his target. The target must be willing to accept this boon, and generally it is not used except in exchange for the most compelling of compacts. Demonic Investments are covered in much better detail in White Wolf’s ‘Storyteller’s Guide To The Sabbat.’ More sample Investitures can be found in Appendix One of this work.
System: The demon rolls Strength + Endow against a target difficulty of the target’s Stamina plus the points cost of the Investitature. The demon must touch his target to confer the investment.
····· Major Infernal Investitature
This power operates exactly the same as it’s counterpart, with the exception that investments of three or four points can be conferred onto the Flock.
This bestowal is the most visual of all, and is useful against adversaries rather than prospective beneficiaries. It centres around the demonic form and traditional hellfire. The users of this bestowal are generally Fiends and demons well progressed along the Cycle of Iniquity, although anyone can learn it. Its practitioners are referred to as the ‘Ravagers’ and are counted as the shock troops of the Inferno.
· Fumes Of Brimstone.
This power causes the materialisation of thick, yellow sulphurous fumes which expand to fill an area of about a room’s size. The demon can control the appearance and subsequent dissipation of these fumes, for use as cover during an escape, or simply as an entrance.
System: These fumes can be raised and lowered easily, at the expenditure of one willpower point per manifestation.
·· Flaming Touch
The demon’s hands (or feet, or teeth, but only one of these) become covered in a sheath of flickering soulfire (see below.) This does no damage to the demon.
System: The demon spends a Soul Point, and mystically catches fire. He may maintain this manifestation until the end of the scene, but once dispelled, it cannot again manifest without another Soul Point being spent. The demon may cause aggravated damage with the affected appendage.
Soulfire is a mystical energy native to the Inferno. In mortal terms, Soulfire is akin to napalm in that it sets virtually anything flammable alight. It is however, unlike traditional fire in that it can be any color, and leaps from the hands of a demon in a manner akin to a liquid.
System: The demon rolls Dexterity + Ravage against a target difficulty of 6. Damage is determined by
the number of Soul Points spent, and is considered aggravated. Even if no soul points are spent, the soulfire still sets normal flammables alight. If this occurs, normal flames are observed.
···· Fiendish Infusion
Simply, this power allows a demon to use his Soul Points in the same way as a vampire to boost physical attributes.
System: The demon spends one Soul Point per two dots increased in a physical attribute. The stats remain increased for a duration of one hour of game time.
····· Infernal Transformation
The demon can assume his demonic form, and immediately assumes a number of bonuses due to this transformation. The Codex is at risk after a use of this power, and therefore, even the most crazed fiends will not use it stupidly.
System: Three Soul Points are spent to achieve the transformation. 6 dots are available in this form to be spent on whatever Physical Attributes the demon wishes. The ‘Apperance’ attribute may also be affected, but only at the discretion of the Storyteller, and only if the demon’s True Form is deemed to be more attractive than bestial.
Rending is the bestowal that allows a demon to literally tear apart the gauntlet between the realm and the umbra. This produces effects similar to Spirit magic, and similar. It should be noted that spirits are likely to be able to see a demon’s aura, and are hostile. Therefore, critical botches with this bestowal can lead to interesting results (at the Storyteller’s discretion.) Tales are still told of Blind Ragnek, who, after using Rending to view his beneficiary’s aura, had his eyes ripped out by spirits. Frequent users of Rending are known as Realityshapers.
· Spirits of Untruth
The demon can see vaguely the aura surrounding someone to see if they are lying or not. This is accomplished by corroding the gauntlet slightly in order to see through, and is not ‘true’ aura perception.
System: The demon rolls Perception and Rending versus a target difficulty equal to the strength of the gauntlet in the area. His successes determine what the Storyteller can tell him about the target’s veracity. Only one target can be checked for each use of this power.
·· Create Demonground
There are areas throughout the Realm that are tainted by evil. These areas are repulsive to wildlife, and have few plants growing in them. Plants that do persist are stunted, and grow in strange shapes. These areas are called demonground, and are formed by the passage of a demon. Sometimes, the smell of brimstone will linger here. Lastly, demons are more likely to appear here than anywhere else. A demon can create these wastelands.
System: The demon chooses whether to rend the gauntlet or shroud in his area, then rolls Strength + Rending versus a target difficulty of the relevant rating in the area. This rating is lowered by a quantity equal to half the number of successes, rounding up. The distinctive look and feel of demonground occurs later, but the ‘atmosphere’ happens almost immediately. This power can only be used once on a particular area.
··· Walk Infernal Paths
A demon frequently faces the problem of travelling globally (or even into the Umbra or Shadowlands) to visit a beneficiary. Using this power, that task is simplicity itself. When a demon first contacts his beneficiary, he arranges a place that the two can meet. At a later date, the demon can instantly travel to this place to meet and discuss further blasphemies. Naturally, powerful demons who have networks of subservient mortals have an effective global transit system using this power.
System: The demon rolls Dexterity + Rending versus a target difficulty of the Gauntlet rating of the area to be travelled to and spends a Willpower point. The resulting number of successes denotes how long it takes the demon to make the journey. A demon must arrange this time lag with his mortal, since being late is horribly bad for an Abyssal creature’s image(!)
|Successes||Time Taken |
|1||Unable to make journey |
|3||Half Hour |
|4||One Minute |
···· Escape Binding
Mages throughout history have been horrified to see demons escape the circles and wards they have erected in their protection. the ability is just a judicious use of this power. A demon may simply ignore any one binding spell. A demon may not ignore the effects of, for example a ‘Ward vs. demons’ however, unless it is just blocking his escape...
System: The demon rolls Strength + Rending versus a target difficulty of 6. He must score as many or more than successes than the Binding Value of the binding to escape.
····· Rend the Reality Veil
A demon can lacerate the very fabric of reality with this power. Using whatever means he likes (claws, sword, bare hands) he makes a slashing motion. Reality distends and rips open, exposing one of the Umbra, the Shadowlands, the Realm, or the Inferno. This tear is semi-permanent until closed by the demon, or a supernatural of considerable ability and good intention.
System: The demon rolls Strength + Rending versus a target difficulty of the gauntlet (or shroud, if attempting to open a portal to the Shadowlands. Difficulty in the Inferno is always 6) value in the area. Successes necessary to open a portal are different as per destination:
Destination Successes Necessary
Demons in legend and tales have long had the ability to disgust sensitive mortals. They can engender vermin, cause nausea in victims, to add to many less savoury abilities. Those demons capable of using the bestowal of Revolt are the basis for these tales. These foul creatures are often shunned by others of the Horde, and are named Vermin, after the creatures they have power over.
This power causes a sudden and intense feeling of ‘having one’s grave walked over.’ It can often herald the approach of a demon, but confers no physical damage on the target. It can, however be unnerving...
System: The demon can engender this feeling simply by glancing at a victim. If this power is used too frequently on a particular victim, he will build up a resistance to it.
A more, potent form of Fleshcrawl, Nausea causes a victim to feel as if he is about to vomit. In mortals,
this is a distracting feeling, but in vampires, it can be quite serious (vampires vomit precious blood.) Note that the sickness does not actually take place, but the victim thinks it will.
System: The demon rolls Perception + Revolt versus a target difficulty of the subject’s Stamina + Fortitude (if any.) The resulting number of successes is the number of hours the victim will feel nauseous for. Nauseated characters lose one success from all pools, and magic(k)al effects/disciplines etc. have their effectiveness lessened by one success.
··· Engender Vermin
A demon may conjure forth one handful of vermin to do his bidding. The type of vermin is left to the demon, but it should be something widely held to be disgusting. A rat, some slugs, spiders, cockroaches etc. The vermin may be caused to appear anywhere, such that the appearance causes no damage to anyone. Therefore, it is impossible to conjure a handful of slugs in someone’s windpipe. However, conjuring slugs around someone’s mouth and nostrils would be a legitimate use of this power. Note that the vermin so engendered are not forced to do the demon’s bidding.
System : This power costs one soul point to use.
···· Pack Leader
The demon becomes irresistably attractive to vermin. Once again, the demon chooses the type of vermin, but he can then call his ‘pack mates’ to join him. The amount of vermin summoned like this is theoretically unlimited, but storytellers should remember that vermin can only travel so fast, and there will be few in a given area. A particularly revolting use of this power would be to transform a human form into a seething mass of maggots or cockroaches, whilst standing in an abandoned tenement flat. Although a demon can give orders to a group of creatures in this way, he cannot see through their eyes or use bestowals through them in the same way he could if using ‘Form of the multitude’ (Wrack level 5.)
····· Transmute Matter
This bizarre power allows a demon to escape mortal bonds and prisons. He can alter quantities of matter, transforming them into a seething mass of vermin. The vermin created in this matter are not considered controlled by the demon, neither can the type of vermin created be controlled. A morass of creatures, each feeding on another appears, and tumbles forward if its cohesion is threatened in any way.
System : The demon rolls Stamina + Revolt against a target difficulty of 6. the number of successes determines how many kilogrammes of matter the demon is *capable* of transmuting. The demon must then spend one soul point for each kilogram of matter he wishes to transmute, up to a total less than or equal to his successes.
The bestowal of Torment allows a member of the Fallen to cause the flock mental and physical agony. The lower levels are classic fare for the ‘Tempter’ style of demon, while the higher levels lend themselves more to less subtle pursuits.
This power causes an intense feeling of guilt in the victim. The demon must have the victim engaged in conversation, and ‘set up’ the guilt, by suggesting why he should be guilty. The target will then feel strong feelings of guilt, opening him psychologically to yet more torment.
System: The demon rolls Manipulation + Torment versus a difficulty of the target’s willpower. The demon need not even be able to see his victim to use this power, but must be able to engage him in conversation. Therefore, a telephone conversation can work as a medium for this power.
·· Fear Of Falling
This power is possibly the most frequently used power by the tempters of the Horde. The victim must be engaged in conversation, and then some sort of hint dropped, suggesting that the target has a dilemma of some sort. Valid suggestions are “I hear people are plotting against you” or “Maybe your inability to swim could cause your downfall.” The only real constraint is that the suggestion must have a grain of truth in it. If the demon’s use of the power is successful, the target will feel feelings of doubt, centred around the suggestion.
System: As for ‘Guilt’, the demon rolls Manipulation + Torment versus a difficulty of the target’s willpower. The target suffers no physical damage in game terms, just a paranoid feeling which he must roleplay.
··· Tragedy Of The Lost Embrace
With this power, the demon has the ability to cause feelings of loneliness and betrayal. It undermines the victim’s self-confidence, and causes him to feel he has never had a real friendship or love for anyone. He feels lost and alone, and needs more than anything else to be with someone. Of course, this is an incredibly successful way of seducing the Flock. Any attempts made by the victim to interact with others after use of this power are at -2 to the relevant dice pool due to the look of desperation in his eyes, the way his voice holds a tone of pleading.
System: Roll Charisma + Torment against a target difficulty of 7, or 5 if the target has been drinking or is otherwise open to suggestion. The target difficulty is reduced by one if this power has ever been used successfully on the victim before. The demon must be able to see his victim to use this power, which holds sway over the victim until the end of the scene.
···· Torment Of The Physical Desire
A demon with this power possesses the ability to amplify a victim’s normal physical needs to a degree where they become the worst kind of torture. The demon chooses any normal physical desire, such as hunger, thirst, sexual need or sleeplessness. The target suffers an aching need to satisfy his desire, even to the point of being incapacitated with longing. However, no matter what the victim does, he cannot rid himself of the anguish.
System: Roll Stamina + Torment against a difficulty of 7. The number of successes achieved on this roll are subtracted from ALL the victim’s dice pools for the remainder of the scene. If the victim is surrounded by the object of his physical craving, then he MUST indulge in it for the duration. At the Storyteller’s discretion, dire effects can result from the frenzied attempts to indulge. Examples of this would be breaking the Masquerade due to insane blood lust, or choking to death whilst trying to eat enough food to satisfy the hunger.
····· Taste Of The Inferno
The demon can cast a victim into the horror of the Inferno, for a limited time. The target of this power experiences first-hand what it would be like to be damned. It should be noted that this experience is different for every mortal. If this horror is perpetrated on a player character, then the Storyteller should feel free to use whatever horrors he wants to show the effects of the power.
System: Spend a Soul Point, then roll Perception + Torment versus a target of 6. The victim may negate successes at a cost of one willpower point per success.
|1||One Scene |
|2||One Day |
|3||One Week |
|4||One Month |
When the hapless victim emerges from the Pit, he will be at least slightly insane. Storytellers should give the victim one or more Nerangements, based on the content of the personal hell.
Lucy, a Tremere Vampire has offended Azraak, Demon of the fifth house. Azraak condemns Lucy to the Inferno. Lucy has always had a fear of rats, and finds herself buried under a seething morass of rodents in her own personal misery. The furry bodies rub against her, occasionally nibbling at her flesh, which heals in seconds. She spends a week like this, before falling to the ground, once again in her haven. She now has a serious case of claustrophobia, as well as a fear of most rodents.
Note: It is possible to break the Codex with this power. If a person who has a significant chance of ascending on death experiences the Inferno, Those Who Watch can take action. The Storyteller has full discretion here.
The bestowal of Wrack is a multi-purpose supernatural ability to change form. It can simulate some of the classical demonic abilities, from appearing in the smoke from a fire to assuming the form of the classical devil. Its greatest users are called the Formwielders.
· Assume Demonic Form
This simple power allows a demon to switch between mortal form and demonic form. This can only be used as a ‘frightener’ for supernaturals or animals, for to show one’s demonic form to an ordinary human would be a serious breach of the Codex. Demonic form can be used against other supernaturals, since it can be explained as something other than the form of a true demon.
System: This form can be dropped and assumed at will. The transformation is almost instant.
This power allows a demon’s mortal form to mimic the form of a specific mortal. The disguise is almost perfect, but never totally complete. A demon may mimic a shape, but will always have a flaw of some sort such as eyes with no pupils, or a smell of brimstone about them.
System: The demon rolls Dexterity + Wrack against a target difficulty of 6 if the demon has seen or knows the target of his mimicry, or 8 if the demon has only a photograph or likeness. The number of successes determines the accuracy of the guise. However, there will *always* be a small flaw in the disguise.
Note: Only successes in the range of 8 or more would allow a duplication good enough to pass a loved one’s eye. In this way the Flock is protected from demons in the form of friend or family.
··· Form Of The Object
Demons in legend have the power to appear in the midst of burning flames, or as faces in the trunk of a tree. Form Of The Object allows a demon to effectively become an object of some sort. He can mould the features of the object as he pleases, and even speak through it (of course, in the case of a speaking tree the voice would be high and squeaky, a cloud’s voice would be low and sonorous.)
System: The demon rolls Stamina + Wrack whilst touching the object he wishes to inhabit against a target difficulty of 6. The number of successes is the number of minutes he can stay inside the object. During this time, the demon’s mortal body becomes lifeless and inert. After this time, the object returns to its normal shape.
A demon can use this power to regain a facet of his demonic form. Be it that his feet now leave smoking footprints, or that his mortal form has bat-wings. Any single facet can be regained during a demon’s tour as a mortal. The use of this power alone has been known to drive mortals into a frenzy of terror. Therefore it should be used sparingly, for the benefit of Those Who Watch.
System: The demon rolls Stamina + Wrack against a target difficulty of 6. The number of successes denote how permanent the new feature is. One success is enough to gain the feature for a scene or two and terrify mortals. Five or more successes retains the feature until the demon dismisses this facet of his form. To protect the Codex, a mortal seeing a demon in any really outlandish form is subject to the effects of the Delirium (Werewolf : The Apocalypse.)
····· Form Of The Multitude
This power is perhaps one of the more eldritch abilities of demons. The demon casts his consciousness into several living creatures. Swarms of insects or small groups of animals are the scope of this power. A demon could project himself into a swarm of bees, spiders, cockroaches or similar, but only into, say, six cats. This power requires some guidance from the Storyteller in this respect.
System: The demon rolls Stamina + Wrack versus a target difficulty assigned by the Storyteller. This difficulty is based on the size of the collection of creatures (6 for three cats, or a swarm of insects of about the volume of three cats...) and whether the creatures are present. If they are not, they will respond to a summon implicit in this ability. They arrive within ten minutes of use of this ability.
APPENDIX ONE : Investments
Eyes Of Darkness - The beneficiary’s eyes become twin pools of complete and utter darkness. Their Appearance attribute drops immediately by one point, but their Intimidation score rises by three points. Pan’s Curse - The beneficiary gains small horns on his forehead. This investment can be used as a punishment or to ‘increase’ the appearance of the beneficiary.
Supernatural Sense - The beneficiary can sense any supernatural creature within thirty feet of him. The supernatural individual just ‘feels’ more ‘important’ than others.
Killer Instinct - The beneficiary can spend twowillpower points to send any domesticated animal within 30 feet of him into an insane killer rage. Cats, dogs, pet budgies will all turn on their owners, anyone else human, or seek wild animals to take out their rage on. The beneficiary is never a target for such damage incursion.
APPENDIX TWO : Bibliography.
There’s a few books that could easily bring you ‘up to speed’ on the ideas I’ve taken for “Demon : The Temptation.”
Here’s some good ones:
· White Wolf’s ‘Vampire Storytellers’ Guide’ (invaluable for Clan Baali, and a damned good read.)
· White Wolf’s ‘Storytellers’ Guide to The Sabbat’ (I keep mentioning this one...)
· ’Paradise Lost’ by John Milton. (Ageless... Book One deals exclusively with the Horde.)
· ‘Inferno’ by Dante (Details on the ‘levels’ of the Inferno.)
· ‘Sandman’ by Neil Gaiman, notably the ‘Season Of Mists’ anthology.
· ‘Good Omens’ by Gaiman and Pratchett (another ‘good read’ but has some cool ideas for fiends.)
APPENDIX THREE : Author’s Notes.
I started writing this piece quite a long time ago. At the time there was hardly any support for Demons in the World of Darkness, which is surprising since White Wolf have sold out just about every other facet of WoD. This project happened because I have had a fascination with the Infernal in the WoD games I have played that borders on the unhealthy. Seriously, though, I think the game deserves demons, and I think this has given them some of the treatment they deserve. I am glad to see that the demons described in ‘The Book Of Madness’ fall more or less exactly into my rule-set with minimal conversion.
Unfortunately, I managed to not work on this for a long time, and there was a second stint of writing. What you have here may seem unfinished in areas, and overenthusiastic in others. It was written a lot before anything else I have written, and that may show in areas. One of my motivations in writing this, or anything, is that I read and absorb a massive quantity of data written by authors and net correspondants, professionals and amateurs. I’d like to thank them all personally, but I cannot, due to my own personality, and the sheer number of those I should thank. Simply put, if I have ever read your work, then this piece is dedicated to you. Thanks, and this is some form of inadequate payment. This work is considered public domain, and if you wish to use it do so with my blessing, so long as you do not do so for profit before consulting with the author (me.) I can be reached electronically at ‘HUGGINIC@gw2keuro.gw2k.com’ or physically at ‘Nick Huggins, 65 Pine Valley Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, Ireland.’
See you all on ‘Page XX.’
Joe “Red Pen Samurai” Murphy, for being the best hostile proof-reader a man could have.
Simon “Tourach” Rooney and Silja “Said Hamlet to Ophelia...” Muller, for proofreading without destroying my ego.
Eoin “Freelance servitor” McDonnell, for being William to my Karl, and for destroying the PLO.
Aidan “Herr Flick” O’Brien, for being Andrew to my Gideon, and for forgiving me.
Brian “Hobbit Habit” Nisbet, for being scared by all this horror.
Sean “The Nicest Guy Around” Harnett for persuading me to work when I’d stopped.
Tadhg, Simon, Dorian and Paul for Storytelling various games where I played, or encountered a demon - inspiration never comes cheaply.
Lastly, Mollie, for listening and maintaining a semblance of interest whilst I raved at her.
This work is copyright Nick Huggins. The works, characters and texts contained herein shall always remain the intellectual property of Nick Huggins.
‘Vampire: The Masquerade’ and ‘A World of Darkness’ are trademarks of White Wolf, and are used here without permission. The use of the trademarks will be removed upon request, and no infringement is intended.
This work may be distributed freely in any form, provided that no profit is made from it.
The author may be contacted at : email@example.com