Demon: The Fallen
|Demon: the Fallen|
|Role-playing game published by
|Rule System||Storyteller System|
|Authors||William Brinkman, David Callor, Steve Kenson, Greg Stolze et al.|
|Essential Books||Demon: The Fallen Rulebook
The penultimate game set in the old World of Darkness and the last using the title layout of X: The Y (Orpheus was the last game set in oWoD), in Demon: The Fallen you and your friends take on the role of demons, fallen angels who have escaped Hell and now live among humans. The premise is pretty cool and the lore and mythos behind it is for the most part well written and with a great deal of interesting ideas and an interesting story. A notable criticism of where the game fucks up is how it's heavily centered around the Abrahamic religions. This is rather odd given the number of pagans working for White Wolf at the time, and their love for the non-Abrahamic faiths clashes with the fact that one supplement outright states that every other religion was created by the Earthbound and are thereby false... and then goes to reveal that Abrahamic religions were created by Lucifer to de-power the Earthbound and are therefore equally false. The game is interesting in that it is exactly what Jack Chick and his friends were going on about with the Satanic Panic: you play as a demon who tries to tempt people into making pacts that give them dark powers and makes them worship the forces of hell, all for the glory of your master Satan. This makes Demon: The Fallen one of the most elaborate Aristocrats jokes of all time.
- 1 Paradise Lost
- 2 After the Rebellion
- 3 Important Aspects of being a Demon
- 4 Houses
- 5 Factions
- 6 Lores
- 7 Revelation and Götterdämmerung
- 8 Books
In the beginning, there was God and despite being all powerful, he got lonely so he fashioned beings who were like him yet unique, the first beings known as Elohim, or Angels. Creating seven Houses, each with specific skills, objectives and powers they helped God in His works. This mirrors the whole "God created the world in seven days" thing from the Genesis Chapter from the Bible. Paradise was being created in preparation for the arrival of the epitome of God's work, His most glorious creation: Humanity.
When He was finished and created Adam and Eve (after some drama involving Lilith getting tossed out), leaving them content in the Garden of Eden, he made two decrees to his Firstborn. First, they would love Humanity as much as they loved God. The Elohim considered this to be a given, but agreed because they reached the consensus that God did not want them to feel bad for loving Humanity as much as they did. The second was far more difficult: they would only observe Man and never interfere with or reveal themselves to Humanity. The Elohim were at first disappointed, for they all were in awe of Man and wanted to befriend and help them achieve their divine potential, nevertheless they heeded God and obeyed.
Discord and Temptation
For a while things were calm and peaceful, with the Elohim's observing of Humanity being like watching a pair of very inept Let's Players. An Angel named Ahrimal foresaw a terrible catastrophe that would befall the world and undo all the hard work the Angels had done to help Man and forever mar the race of Man. He reported this to his superiors but was ignored. God's response to this was pretty much "If you knew what I knew you'd understand." Some Elohim took up this offer but were seemingly destroyed and left unfindable. Those Elohim bothered by this began a great debate as to whether or not they should interfere and help save Mankind from this impending cataclysm and at the same defy God. It was the favored son and mightiest of the Archangels, Lucifer Morningstar, who rallied an third of the Elohim and left Heaven to finally interact with Humans. This of course angered God, so when the Archangel Michael arrived, told Lucifer and his kin to face punishment, and that the works of the rebels would be unmade he flatly refused and whupped Michael's ass. Michael retreated but called a curse on each of the Houses:
- The House of the Second World would have to reap things before their time and above all, reap the beloved humans as well.
- The House of the Wild would see Humanity lose its place as nature's top dog and have beasts turn their claws and teeth upon Humanity.
- The House of the Deep would see the minds of humans be filled with lies and untruths, clouding the truth they sought to bring.
- The House of the Spheres sought to bring contentness to the minds of man, but would now see them only consider that which they had not done, filling them with greed and envy.
- The House of the Fundament had given Humanity power over matter, but would see its reach overexceed its grasp and despoil the land in search of more.
- The House of the Firmament would see Humanity grow sick and die without them being able to prevent it.
- The House of the Dawn was stripped of its purpose, leaving them empty and without meaning.
Humanity picked sides as well: most of them joined the Fallen but a few chose to stay faithful to God. With this began the thousand year lasting civil war of the War in Heaven.
War in Heaven
The first blow came from God Himself. Shielding those faithful to Him God essentially place a divine bitchslap upon reality, filling it with entropy and ruining Paradise. Oh sure, it did not destroy the world outright but scarred it enough to break endless perfection. Initially the angels on both sides were naive and kind in a way. Fights were on many different levels, from physical battles to acts of physics meeting. Those who lost were captured and imprisoned: the Fallen to be processed later and the loyalists to deprive God of His soldiers and to try and seduce them. This meant that the war was a bloodless one, until a local man ruined everything. He had joined the Fallen while his brother had remained faithful to God. The man observed his brother make a sacrifice to God and was rewarded with His love. This drove the man into a rage from jealousy but also love. For he loved his brother as much as he hated him, and he loved God as much as he hated Him. So the man decided to make a sacrifice of his own, that which he cherished the most was given to God. It was an act of love, an act of jealousy; an act of kindness, an act of hatred. The man killed his brother, the man gave his brother to God. This first act of cruelty, of murder, of hate and desire, changed the angelic host and the rebel Fallen forever. As a punishment the Lord set a mark upon the man, lest any finding him should kill him.
Way to go, Caine.
This turned the war for the bloody. Lucifer's lieutenants, the Fallen Belial, Abaddon, Dagon, Asmodeus and Azrael, each took command of a host of Fallen and began to wage their wars. They were successful but ruthless: exterminating or enslaving those who would side with God against the Fallen. The successes kept mounting up so Lucifer decided to enact his Great Experiment: uplifting Humanity to their true potential. He appointed ten of the most learned of Fallen and gave them the task to teach something to Humanity:
- Giriel taught how to shape the land by combining elements and minerals.
- Sharaael taught medicine.
- Bephamael taught astronomy and how to use it to predict the future.
- Marael taught meteology.
- Gamael taught metallurgy.
- Ur-Shanbi taught how to predict the future.
- Samael taught of the Moon and its powers.
- Agriel taught farming and herbology.
- Shamshiel taught of the Sun.
- Penemue taught linguistics, writing and reading.
Unimaginatively called the Ten, these Fallen set out to be the teachers of Humanity. For a while they did quite well and Humanity grew to unimaginable heights. Some Fallen however were distressed by this: because if Humanity was to master all of Creation, what use would the Fallen be? A nameless traitor suggested that in order to remain the masters of Humanity, perhaps it would be possible to create something new to lord over the humans. Asmodeus, Abaddon and Azrael being to formulate a plot to create a new race of beings. These things would be born from Fallen and humans, making them subservient to their Fallen progenitors but lording over Humanity in their masters' name. This saw the creation of the Nephilim: possessing the gifts of Man and Fallen, but terrible to behold in visage or potential. They quickly began to dominate their cities, but they made a grave mistake when they turned on the Ten. This lead word of their existence to Lucifer's citadel, who purged them with fire and sword. This great battle left the world in tatters and created the Shattering.
Shattering and Imprisonment
Lucifer had made a miscalculation: the Fallen were teaching Humanity too much, too fast. They began to buckle under the weight of their divinity, eventually snapping. In an attempt to make Humanity like God its own divinity proved to be too much. The most critical failure however was that this caused Humanity to lose its mastery of the One Language, a primordial tongue used by all of mankind to speak with one another. They drifted apart and began to forget of the Fallen, starting to think of them as legends and myths. All that they had build was lost or abandoned, and the Fallen were left with nothing.
At this point the loyalist Host struck. One by one their citadels fell, their inhabitants imprisoned. After 40 days and 40 nights of battle Lucifer's own stronghold was breached and the Lightbringer was bound in chains of fire. Dragged off the Fallen were sentenced to banishment into the Abyss, a place utterly devoid of God's touch. Once the final Fallen were cast inside its gates were shut, never to be reopened. They quickly discovered that one of their kin was missing: Lucifer himself was not with them. The agony of being utterly devoid of everything but those around them began to drive the Fallen slowly insane, decrying Lucifer as a traitor who sold them out. And that was the last anyone heard from the Fallen, until...
After the Rebellion
"I do not enjoy. I cannot. I put on a good show when sipping fine wine or eating exquisite viands or making love to a magazine model, but there is no true happiness for me. I can conceive enjoyment. I receive a certain intellectual satisfaction from undergoing "pleasure". It suits me to arrange matters pleasantly. I prefer beauty to ugliness, the scent of a rose to the stink of a turd, the caress of silk to the rasp of burlap. But the absence of pain is not pleasure, and any mental comfort I achieve is very sterile next to actual joy. I keep trying, though. I keep thinking that maybe one day I'll trick myself into thinking I'm happy, which might very much more like being happy. "Fake it 'till you make it" as they say. So I eat like a king and fuck like a rock star and I get a bumper sticker that says "Heaven Doesn't Want Me and Hell's Afraid I'll Take Over". I've been faking it since mankind tamed fire, and I haven't made it yet. Instead of happiness, I have duty."
- – Lucifer Morningstar, the Adversary
Binding of the Earthbound
Lucifer had indeed not been locked in the Abyss. He was sentenced to wander Earth alone forever. He did not sit idly and began to plot the resummoning of his kin, starting with his five Archdukes. The summoning was difficult, so Lucifer taught the secrets of magic to people all over the world. When he was done the peoples of the times of antiquity, unaware of one another, began five great rituals to summon their "gods". They had prepared great Reliquaries to house their gods, giving Lucifer's followers physical bodies in the world. Said objects resembled their associated Fallen in some way. All five of the Archdukes were summoned at the same time to places all over the world:
- Abaddon was first, summoned by Akkadian priests in service of Sargon of Akkad. His reliquary was an ancient tree 30' in height, carved with faces and filled with crimson vines of petrified wood.
- Asmodeus was summoned to Sumer and housed in a ebony statue run through with bits of gold, looking like a many-armed priest facing the heavens.
- Dagon was summoned by a cult located in the Indus Valley (India) put in a massive basalt slab engraved with players and later adorned with moving parts.
- Azrael was summoned by the necromancer kings of Kush (Africa) into a scarecrow build from bones, draped with gray cloth and had emeralds for eyes.
- Belial, the Great Beast, was last, summoned by the Chinese Shang Dynasty who treated him as greater than the emperor. His Reliquary however was small: a foot-tall idol in the shape of a crouching half-cephalopod, half-man.
Upon being summoned Lucifer contacted them, but to his horror realized that his Archdukes had been driven utterly insane. They scoffed him and began to expand their cults in an attempt to lord over Humanity as the Earthbound, the first of the demons. Their main objective was to harness worship, which gave them the ability to work their dark powers and remain in the world. Their reign was terrible and harsh, punishing severely and driving others into acts of greater and greater depravity. They did not enslave entire nations: instead they aimed for the highest ranking official within a nation and seducing them into their cult. Some of these cults were quite public as religions: Marduk, Nergal, Apep, Zahhak and Bastet are but a few names for these fronts. The secrets of summoning demons began to spread out, and more and more Earthbound were summoned to the world. The Lightbringer sought allies, but all rebuked them and promised Lucifer a future in which only they would rule.
Star, Cross and Moon
Lucifer found allies in the most unlikely of corners: Humanity. Specifically a tribe that told the history of the world as it had actually happened. They had no sorcerers of their own and were too insignificant for the Earthbound to conquer. These people, the Hebrews, started to received the secret guidance of the Morningstar himself. Earthbound caught wind of this and tried to tempt the Jews, but they turned out to be very resilient to their efforts. Solomon, successor to King David, was a seeker of knowledge. This put him into eventual contact with the Phoenicians, who were willing to teach him if he took upon the worship of the Earthbound-in-disguise. Solomon agreed and began to learn a great deal of things while at the same time building temples, shrines and performed rituals and prayers. A staggering total of 72 Earthbound were involved this way, with Solomon eventually building them all a great temple under Mount Moab. When it was done he withdrew an ancient Assyrian parchment and began to perform a ritual. Each of the 72 Earthbound were bound into a single bronze urn that Solomon had prepared. He then brought it out to the Dead Sea and dropped it into its depths, never to be found again.
With the ever-increasing number of Earthbound in the world they eventually came into conflict. The classical period saw the conflict between many of the Earthbound, with many mortal religions creating stories of their exploits against mortals and each other alike. With the rise of the Roman Empire Asmodeus and Abaddon decided to team up and help the Romans. This worked spectacularly, and the Pax Romana was a time of great depravity in the world. Those Earthbound part of it found great stability and an income of worship as well. Everything was peachy until a Hebrew man named Paul stated to have undergone a revelation (courtesty of ol' Lucifer) and claimed the divine connection of a man called Yeshua ben Josef, aka Jesus Christ. The Earthbound were appalled at the call to such a fake religion (as in, there's no Earthbound behind it) and began to take steps against this new religion, Christianity. While the problem was not new (given the whole Hebrew issue) the half-hearted steps taken against the Jews meant that something drastic was needed. Both the Christians and the Jews faced mass persecution by the Roman government, encouraged by the Roman people. The Archdukes saw Lucifer's hand in this, as did they in the deaths of Caligula and Nero, who had five-pointed stars carved upon their foreheads. As the years passed though the accord between the Earthbound began to fracture, cumulating in a Roman called Constatine received an omen in his dreams: a cross of light in the sky accompanied by the words in hoc signo vinces. Doing just that, he ordered his men to paint crosses on their shields and fight their battle, which they won despite the odds. The now Emperor Constatine made Christianity the state religion and outlawed the worship of the old gods (aka the Earthbound). Almost overnight the Earthbound were stripped of their income of Faith, and the death blow was struck when the entire Empire collapsed. In the aftermath the Earthbound made a mad grab for any Faith they could find, but their rage made it difficult to find a steady income of Faith.
Even worse for them, the relatively untouched Arabia saw the rise of a merchant called Muhammad, who claimed that there was only one God, and that all who claimed otherwise should be converted or slaughtered. In a last mad grab for power they tried to turn the three faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam against one another, but the wars between them only bolstered the faith of the people. Now utterly drained the Earthbound found themselves falling into torpor. In their death throes the Earthbound created things like the Inquisition, the Plague and religious extremism, but it was for naught. Only deepening the world's faith the start of the Renaissance and the belief in science, reason or logic rather than demons saw the remaining Earthbound run completely out of Faith. Their Reliquaries were disassembled, hidden or otherwise obscured, their relics buried with them and their servants scattered to the winds, waiting for the eventual return of their Earthbound masters. For centuries the Earthbound slept, through enlightenment, colonization, world wars and the rebuilding of the world.
And Lucifer saw it was good.
Happy New Year!
The year 1999 was a major turning point for the settings of WoD. Due to all the magical shenanigans caused by vampires, werewolves, mages, ghosts and so on the magical backlash resulted in a spiritual storm in the Afterlife. The rather unpopular Wraith: The Oblivion was nixed so hard it weakened the walls of the Abyss, allowing the Fallen Elohim to escape and for the first time in millennia walk the Earth (alongside creating Mummy: The Resurrection and Orpheus). What they do with their new lives is up to the PCs and Storyteller.
Important Aspects of being a Demon
Demons all come with a whole slew of powers built in, much like how Vampires and Werewolves do. These are usable by all Demons, regardless of their House, Faction or Faith or Torment scores.
- Demons are immune to mind-control and supernaturally-induced fear.
- Demons are immune to possession; technically, it's the host who's immune to possession, because the Fallen got there first. A Demon with 0 temporary Faith can be pulled out of its host and then either thrust into a new host or thrown back to the Abyss.
- Demons can see through illusions and supernatural concealment with a Perception + Alertness roll. This has a Difficulty of the highest the target's Faith or Torment score when a Demon is involved, or Difficulty 7 when dealing with a non-Demon.
- Demons in Apocalyptic Form can soak Lethal damage.
- Demons can spend a Faith point to heal all Bashing damage or one point of Lethal damage.
- Demons can detect those who speak their Celestial or True Names (see below) and if the speaker is either their Thrall or another Demon they can establish a link to converse.
- Demons can detect the use of supernatural powers in a nearby area equal to their Faith score in miles. They can roll Perception + Alertness to detect roughly where this happened and how powerful it is, but not the exact nature of the power or its location. They can use their knowledge of the area or maps to pinpoint an exact location with four, maybe three successes. Most demons don't know how to interpret powers of other supernaturals, seeing them as a garbled mess or corrupted versions of their own Lores, as mages, werewolves and vampires didn't exist back in their days.
Demons all have three names: Host Name, Celestial Name, and True Name. Host Names, if you didn't figure, are the names of the people whose identity Demons steal when possessing someone. The Celestial Names tend to be "angel-styled" such as Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. Their True Names are eldritch and nearly unpronounceable, if at all: any given demon's particular True Name can contain things like rustling of paper, or a choir of a thousand children chanting in adoration. Knowing someone's Celestial Name gives you an uncomfortable catalyst by which to reach or empower effects of supernatural funsies you may wanna use against them and knowing someone's True Name gives you heavy amounts of influence over them letting you easily hold them by a leash, so long as you're careful with keeping a steady grip and close track of said leash.
The Fallen feel the pull of the Abyss on their essence and must possess a physical object to remain in the mortal world. The most common vessel is a spiritually-damaged person, one who has little grasp of what makes them "human," such as a coma patient, burned-out drug addict, or someone on the verge of suicide. A thrall may allow its master to possess him, in which case the possession automatically succeeds. Upon possession, the Fallen comes into contact with the host's memories and emotions, two things the Fallen never experienced before. The Fallen must somehow reconcile its own existence and torment with a sudden rush of love, hate, fear, and recollections in order to integrate with the host, survive on Earth, and find a path to forgiveness.
It is possible to possess an inanimate object. The Earthbound have done so. The vessel-to-be must have a strong "resonance" with Humanity; for example, a typewriter on an office clerk's desk is insufficient, but the typewriter of a struggling novelist is. As well, the Fallen's personality influences how well it can integrate with its object vessel. Taking an object as a vessel is quite limiting, so the Fallen use it as a last resort.
Faith & Pacts
God supplied his angels with the resources they needed to use their powers in the creation of the world. After the Fall, the rebel angels were cut off from this power. The ones who escape the Abyss find that human souls, made in his image, can substitute for the power of God. There are two ways that the Fallen can extract this power from humans: reaping it or making Pacts.
- Reaping souls requires the Fallen to reveal themselves as explicitly supernatural entities while interacting with the targets, such as intervening in a fight while wearing the Apocalyptic Form and tearing the skin from an attacker. This is a short-term quick fix of Faith that tends to cause hunters and other supernatural powers to start asking questions.
- Pacts are made with willing humans by exchanging a service for a continual trickle of Faith. It takes time to set up a Pact, which involves the demon fulfilling the mortal's wish and the mortal accepting the gift in return. Once established, only the demon can end a Pact and the mortal becomes a thrall.
Mortals generate anywhere from 0 to 5 Faith:
- 0 Faith means that the person is horribly deprived of something to believe in: they are the most jaded and empty people on the planet. Demons cannot make Pacts with people like them because there is no Faith to use.
- 1 Faith is reserved for hardcore skeptics to whom faith does not come easy.
- 2 Faith is the average for humanity: they'll believe, but don't go out of their way to engage in their belief.
- 3 Faith is for the hardcore believers who put large amounts of time and money into their Faith, for whom their belief is an integral part of their life. Hilariously, hardcore political activists with strong conviction in their cause are also here (yes, even radical atheists).
- 4 Faith is for the most intense and profound of believers: the kind that would live in a monastery, endure imprisonment or act in locations that are an active threat to their lives.
- 5 Faith is for those who are their belief. The most learned religious rulers, those who are truly willing to give everything for their faith and are capable of remaining true of faith when enduring the most difficult of trials.
You can also make pacts with some supernaturals, most notably Mages (and they usually have a crap ton of faith), but the link created between you two makes you vulnerable to those assholes sniffing out your True Name and reversing the deal, making YOU their slave. It is theoretically possible to form a pact with a Werewolf (if you manage to convince it to not rip you open on the spot), but it tends to fuck them up and turn them to the Dark Side rather rapidly, and once they're there they would turn on their demon master... so not recommended. Vampires due to being dead and thus having no spark of creation have no Faith, although Ghouls are free game, even though blood bonds would all but guarantee that they would be more loyal to their vampire masters than you.
A Faith Potential of 2 is the most common amongst Humanity. When heading in both directions the people with such a Faith Potential decrease in number, with there being only a handfull of people with a Faith Potential of 5. Note that this does not have to be a faith in God or another deity: aside from religion philosophy, ideology and science are all valid things to believe in. Hell, according to the book Damned and Deceived even the faith in a celebrity, which can be a religion in and of itself, can be sufficient to generate Faith.
The Faith Potential is how Faith a mortal generates to be used in Pacts. Half of the total amount of Faith Potential, rounded up, can be used by the Demon to fuel its powers. The other half has to be spent on the abilities granted as part of the Pact. These abilities are:
- Repair chronic injuries or impairments: let the cripple walk, heal the blind and so on. Also includes healing a terminal condition like cancer.
- Convert it into 10 freebie points that can be spent on Attributes, Abilities or Willpower: Attributes cost 5, Abilities cost 2 and Willpower costs 1. This can easily skyrocket a Thrall's Willpower, grant them a whole new Ability or increase an Attribute significantly. They cannot be raised above their regular maximums of 5 though.
- Grant one of the Demon's inherent powers such as immunity to mind control, see through illusions, detect the use of powers and so on. Using them requires a Willpower (difficulty 7) roll to use.
- Give a limited version of an Evocation the Demon can use. These costs more than usual: one point of Faith per dot the Evocation has. So a one-dot Evocation costs one point of Faith while a three-dot one costs three points of Faith. Using them requires a Willpower (difficulty 8) roll; this roll doubles as the roll for its effect.
- Bestow one of the enhancements from the Demon's Apocalyptic form. With a Willpower roll (Difficulty 6) a Thrall can use the power for one scene.
Mortals with a Faith Potential of 1 require the granting of a power without generating Faith, but a skilled Thrall with such a low potential can still be used for their skills. Those with a Faith Potential of 2 and 4 have a one-for-one trade: one point of Faith, one point for an ability. With a Faith Potential of 3 and the rare 5 you can go either way: you have a number that you have to spend on abilities but you have some leeway in whether you want to gain more Faith from this particular Thrall or want to give them more abilities to make them useful. After engaging in a Pact a Thrall gives its Demon master a number of the unused Faith it generates at sunrise, up to the Demon's maximum Faith amount. This means that a clever Demon who makes Pacts all over the world (or even better: with an astronaut right before they got to space) has access to a constant stream of Faith to fuel its abilities.
If a Demon manages to nuture the faith that one of its Thralls provides this Faith potential can grow, allowing for larger Pacts to form. In case a Thrall outgrows its Pact it has to be redefined to grant the Thrall more power. If this is ignored though a Demon can simply opt to reap more Faith, if the used-to-unused balance is not distrubed of course.
After being subjected to countless millennia of torture and horror, the Fallen Elohim have been reduced to Demons. The more evil the demon acts on Earth the more Torment he accumulates, this can be both good and bad as it grants both strengths and weaknesses. In game mechanic terms, you typically have to fill out a bar of Temporary Torment before you gain a dot of Permanent Torment, the former which can be ridded by doing good and selfless deeds and the latter with experience, though Permanent Torment is hardcapped at 1. You gain Torment in both shapes by being evil. Once you hit 10 Torment, you're essentially one of the Earthbound. Holding such anger means any living host you take rapidly falls apart, forcing you to possess an object instead. In short, it's not meant for players to indulge and is typically answered with a "game over" akin to when Vampires lose all their Humanity/Path of Enlightenment score and become a mindless beast.
Unlike Humanity which goes from 10 being a saint to 1 being a monster, Torment is reversed: 10 turns you unplayable and 1 makes you a saint. It is rumored amongst the Fallen (especially the Reconcilers) that it is possible to attain the forgiveness of Heaven and become Elohim once again. This would be Torment 0, creating a state somewhere in between Golconda and Ascension. At this point a character would no longer be playable either, but there are not hard rules for how to do this. As such, it's up to the Storyteller to consider if redemption is even possible in their game. Of course, each level of Torment has its own sins linked to it:
|Torment||Hierarchy of Sins|
|10||There is no sin. You're already damned. Why not do whatever you want?|
|9||Casual violation of others: murder for no reason, thoughtless cruelty and torture, near-mindless savagery.|
|8||Premediated violation of others: plotted murder or assassination, systematic destruction of another, long-sought revenge.|
|7||Sins of passion: murder in a fit of rage, giving in to feelings of hate, anger, jealousy or irrational prejudice, encouraging the same in others. Destroying particularly inspirational or meaningful objects. Doing personal harm through addiction or other self-destructive patterns of behavior.|
|6||Destruction of the works or inflicting intentional emotional harm through cruelty or neglect.|
|5||Accidental violations: doing harm to others through carelessness, neglience or thoughtlessness. Neglecting duties or responsibilities. Betraying another's trust.|
|4||Theft from or deception of others without just cause. Breaking your sworn word.|
|3||Doing harm (physical, emotional or spiritual) to a mortal for any reason other than self-defense or the greater good.|
|2||Doing harm to any moral creature for any reason other than self-defense or the greater good (a disrepsect for the order of Creation). Permitting any lesser sin in your presence without at least trying to invent it.|
|1||Any act of cruelty, selfishness or thoughtlessness. Allowing any such act in your presence without trying to prevent it. An unwillingness to sacrifice for the greater good.|
Defilers, Fiends, Malefactors and Scourges all start at 3 Torment, while Devils, Devourers and Slayers start at 4. Torment 4 is the rough equivalent of Humanity 7, putting the latter group on par with the other game lines while giving the former group a head start.
So The Fallen obviously used to be angels before the little... incident. God may have done the heavy lifting on creating the universe but He wasn't big on sweating the details. So instead of missing His Murder She Wrote marathon, He made the Angels to handle all the time consuming bitch work that He didn't want to do. The Angels were divided into seven Houses who each handled an aspect of Creation. They are, in order of creation:
Formerly the Namaru, the House of the Dawn. The very first House and therefore very first Angels made by God, these guys are the leaders of both Angels and Demons, Lucifer unsurprisingly came from this House and half rebelled against God. As leaders they are extremely charismatic and possess great powers of persuasion and manipulation. They are the most stereotypical Demon, commanding control over Fire and being very powerful.
Formerly the Asharu, the House of the Firmament. The Asharu were the Guardian Angels. One wonders exactly how hard it was to be a guardian angel in the Garden of Eden but apparently they were needed. Of all the Angels, the Asharu loved Humanity the most and were dedicated to making sure no harm came to them. This dedication caused them no small amount of grief as they knew humans would never know how much they loved and protected them. Their boss Lailah sided with God in the Great Debate but a lot of the Asharu joined the rebels. This ended up really costing Humanity as they were the ones who kept Humanity immortal and the Asharu's part in the Rebellion ended up making Humans able to die. They took this development poorly.
Formerly the Annunkai, the House of the Fundament. The Annunkai were the builders and craftsmen of Heaven and Hell, responsible for building the physical world and mastering the arts of the forge and working with metals of any kind. They faced the classic STEM major's dilemma, they wanted to understand and be loved by Humanity but were terrible at things like "Emotion" or "Social Skills". It wasn't their fault, they were just made to understand how the physical world and machines worked and fit together, not how to socialize with primitive cavemen. Lead by Toguiel, over half joined the Rebellion because they were dissatisfied that their work on Creation was cut off before they felt it was done and to try to earn the love of Humanity. In Modern Times many Annunkai RAGE at humans for buttfucking the planet they put so much effort into making, and thus desire to 'cleanse' the Earth so that it may be healed and repaired.
Formerly the Neberu, the House of Spheres. The Neberu were the seers but unlike the old "gypsy" fortune-teller that suckers waste their money on, they actually could see the future. They also were in charge of the movement of the heavens and the flow of time. They were the most distant from Humanity and joined the Rebellion in fewer numbers and with more reluctance then other Houses. Which is ironic as it was one of their number, Ahrimal, who caused the Rebellion by foretelling that a great catastrophe would come to Humanity if the Angels did not act. Of course, because Fate is a spiteful bitch, the catastrophe was caused by the Angels acting.
Formerly the Lammasu, the House of the Deep. These guys were in charge of the sea and poetry, art, and dancing. They had a intense fascination for Humanity and chafed hard against God's decree of non interference since they were pretty distant from Humanity being bound to the sea and all. Other Angels tended to mock the Lammasu for being useless as their sphere of influence was limited to being limp wristed poets and glorified pool boys. Belial was of this House and was the one who initiated the Great Debate that kicked off the whole Rebellion. More Lammasu joined the Rebels than any other House.
Formerly the Rabisu, the House of the Wilds. The nature loving animal activists of the Angels. These guys weren't your soft Patchoili smelling tree hugger types though, they were the old school nature red in tooth and claw breed. The Rabisu created all the lower animals, ecosystems, and plant life and were charged with protecting them and Humanity from them. They designed the human form and considered it the pinnacle of their creations. They followed Lucifer with slavish loyalty during the rebellion and took his defeat the hardest. Which is probably why so many of them are raging blood crazed Raveners in modern times.
Formerly the Halaku, the House of the Second World/Afterlife/Death. The Halaku were the Grim Reapers of the Angels. While this sounds badass and you would think that they would be be respected and feared by their brethren for their awesome power over life and death, it turned out more like being the acne ridden goth kid in high school that no one likes. The other Angels resented and disliked the Slayers for even existing and shunned them at every opportunity. The Halaku themselves were unsure of their purpose as God had cryptically mentioned a Second World they were to be vital to but as always was infuriatingly vague and smugly silent about the whole deal. They loved Humanity just as fiercely as the other Houses and were pretty bothered that Adam and Eve would cry and curse them for reaping their pets and such when they just wanted to do their jobs in peace like everyone else were. This sadness lead a great number of the Halaku into joining the Rebellion even if their leader Usiel was too wishy washy to join. One of their number named Madisel was the one who gave Lucifer her scythe so he could defend himself against Michael in the first time a Angel raised hand against another.
Being a diverse group of beings, the Fallen have had a long time to think in the Abyss, and over time various factions have emerged which represent their opinions on God, Mankind, the World and themselves. Upon possessing a host Demons usually seek out their own kind and join these factions, which are in a sense political parties for the Damned.
The Cryptics have used their time in Hell to think. They feel that if God is omniscient, then his creations would be as perfect as reality would allow, and since Lucifer was God's highest angel, then his rebellion was a part of God's plan. The philosophers of the Fallen, the Cryptics gather knowledge to determine what is really going on and what they should do next. They dislike the Luciferans and the Faustians, approve of the Reconcilers asking questions, and dislike Raveners' destructive tendencies. They were initially to be called 'Inquisitors', but this was changed during production, although there are occasional references to them under this name in some books due to editing errors. They are a uncoordinated bunch with no clear end goal or leader, but they tend to defer to the wisdom of Ahrimal. He is the Fiend who saw everything coming, alerting his peers and kickstarted the whole plot. He's currently in the body of a German cop called Gerhard Liebner.
The Faustians lust for revenge against God, whom they believe unjustly exiled them from Heaven. Even without the leadership of Lucifer, they still try to awaken the human race to its true potential, but only so Humanity can be used as a potent weapon in yet another war against Heaven. The plots and intentions of a Faustian are often as subtle as they are dangerous. They have no patience for the Cryptics, their goals are directly opposite to those of the Raveners, Reconcilers can be friend or foe, and they can work with Luciferans. They are lead by Belphigor, the most powerful Devil amongst their ranks. His Torment is getting pretty high, but he's been doing a good job of keeping this fact hidden from his fellow Faustians. He wields a sword forged from one of the remnants of Michael's sword; a majestic and powerful weapon that makes Belphigor a force to be reckoned with.
The Luciferans still believe that Lucifer was right to rebel against God. Even though Lucifer cannot be found, they still follow what they feel to be his directives. Their leadership has divided them into three legions: the Legion of Majestic Liberation (who are searching for and attempting to free Lucifer), the Legion of Glorious Victory (who were organized to fight the Heavenly Host, but found no angels to oppose them), and the Legion of Stark Defiance (who secure supplies, resources, and safe havens for the rest of the faction). They dislike the Cryptics, can work with Faustians, consider the Reconcilers to be traitors, and consider Raveners to be enemies. The three legions all have their own leaders who consider themselves to be the benchwarmers for Lucifer himself; they actually stood down the moment he made himself known to the Luciferans.
The nihilistic Raveners look at the broken world and wasted potential of Humanity and believe there's only one option left: destroy everything. Some see it as a way to finally lure out God and his Angels; others see it as an act of mercy to a near-dead world; and many just don't care at all. They are often enemies with all the other factions of demons, though they can tolerate the Cryptics (as the Raveners assume they will eventually stop asking questions and start breaking stuff). The Raveners have no real leader, with most of them acting on their own accord. They have set up shop in an old fortress called Lemuria, an ancient stronghold of non-human make resting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Reconcilers have used their time in Hell to reconsider their actions and the punishment that God meted out to them. Many have come to the conclusion that they were punished justly and that they must atone for their misdeeds; others simply feel that there is no point in continuing to fight a war they lost long ago against an omnipotent enemy. Now that they are free they wish to do some good, thinking that God might forgive them and allow them to return to Heaven. Even if he won't they might be able to help the humans, even fix things so the humans can have what they themselves can't. They are on reasonably good terms with the Cryptics and the Faustians, but are diametrically opposed to the goals of the Luciferans and the Raveners. The Reconcilers gather in communities, each of which have their own leadership. Areas run by the Reconcilers tend to be fiercely protected from non-Reconcilers, but these communities tend to be too far apart to form a real regional power.
Now these are the really bad demons. After their imprisonment in the War in Heaven, many human magi wanted to learn more about the universe and so started using the magic they had learned from Lucifer to summon Demons. Instead of offering a living host, they created a device known as a reliquary, which was a powerful magical artifact capable of containing the demon. However, without any Humanity to block out their Torment, these Demons, now known as Earthbound became even more corrupted and monstrous, becoming something which even demons fear. Most of them were sent into slumber, as without Faith from their worshippers, their powers faded and they lost their influence over Humanity. However, now thanks to the return of the Fallen, the Old Ones have started to awaken, and they have a very poor view on both Humanity and their fellow Fallen.
Those angels who had stayed loyal to God seem to have vanished from the face of the Earth. In the eyes of many of the Fallen this is just fine because they are in no shape to fight them.
Time of Judgement suggests a scenario in which they make their return, as well as their rules. And as it turns out Angels are BADASS. They are always in their low-Torment Apocalyptic form and are immune to all things that would affect their physical forms (such as the Lore of Flesh). When built from scratch they can spend 10 points on their four abilities as per the DIY Apocalyptic Form. They have 0 Torment, 10 Willpower and 25 Faith points that automatically restore each day. And that 25 is for the LOW-RANKING angels (to compare, Demons have a max Faith rating of 10). Mid-ranking ones have around 40 and the highest level ones are in the 50 to 65 range. They have five dots in their Attributes but have no Abilities. Instead they can spend any number of Faith points for their rolls to pretty much do whatever they want. The low-ranking Angels have 15 dots amongst the Common Lores and their three House Lores, aka an average of 3 per lore. Mid-ranking ones have 20 dots (average of four) and the high-ranking ones have the full five on all the Lores. They are flat-out IMMUNE to bashing and lethal damage, and can heal aggrevated damage at the cost of 5 Faith per point. On top of that, low-ranking Angels can take 10 aggrevated damage before discorporating and being forced to return to Heaven. Mid-ranking ones can take 15 and the high-ranking ones can take a staggering 25. And if you do somehow manage to kill one it returns to Heaven, where it has to spend its Faith to return to maximum power and return to the world. The only way to permanently kill one is to destroy its body and consume its essence just like Fallen can consume one another.
All this makes even a single Angel a significant threat to a group of Fallen, but they are highly unconventional enemies and can only be used in games with truly epic plot lines.
Essentially the Disciplines of the Demons; their magical powers. Lores are interesting in the sense that there are typically two versions of all powers: one for Low-Torment Demons and one for High-Torment Demons. The former tend to be more benevolent and fit for doing the tasks their Houses were once up to, such as healing injuries or shaping the earth, while the latter is more malevolent and damaging. Using the High-Torment versions of the Lores grant Temporary Torment, but sometimes it might be worth it. If you become too far lost in Torment you may start using the High-Torment versions automatically which is bad unless you don't care about turning into an Earthbound. Each of the Houses has three Lores to call their own, and are the only ones who can use them (without certain merits, anyway). All Houses have access to the two common Lores, giving any given Demon a total of 5 lores. Upon creation a character has to have a primary Lore, which determines the maximum level for all other Lores. This has to be one of the House Lores: a common Lore cannot be a primary Lore. A Fallen's primary Lore also determines what their Apocalypse Form is like, which is kinda a divine Crinos shape.
Lore of the Fundament: The ability to fuck with gravity and/or the laws of physics. You can for example make yourself capable of running up walls, sticking to things like glue or walk on water. High-Torment tend to either leave the effects lingering for anyone else unfortunate enough to come across it or create demonic "I was here" marks such as warm footprints that burns.
Lore of Humanity: This Lore is built around interacting with humans. The first power allows you to speak and understand any language the one you talk to speak and top-tier lets you alter people's memories. High-Torment either hamper the Demon's ability to use this Lore properly or adds nasty side effects to the person by making them anxious, insomniac or induce nightmares. The third ability, Fade, normally makes you blend in with crowds without anyone taking notice, but for High-Torments they stand out like beacons to anyone who really wants to bash some heads.
Devils are leaders, working best with either Fallen companions or Thralls to achieve the best possible result: fitting, given their status as the firstborn leaders amongst the Elohim.
Lore of the Celestials: You know when an Angel appears to you in a vision? Or when they smite evil with holy fire? This is that Lore. They can also to some extent manipulate their fellow Demon's Lores at top-tier by modifying outcomes to whatever effect which their others tend to be pissed about. High-Torment tend to do what you'd expect; their visions become terror, manipulating other's Lores becomes sending them flying back at the caster and where Low-Torment casts bolts of holy fire, High-Torment becomes a huge inferno of holy fire which inflicts Aggravated Damage on everything in the radius.
Lore of Flame: No more original than the name implies. You can play with fire. Top-Tier lets you ride flames. High-Torment makes the fires more dangerous, possibly to the Demon itself as well.
Lore of Radiance: What the Devils use to look glorious and appear powerful and like 'the leader'. Abilities ranges from thundering voice to creating instant morale (or terror) or bestow Marks upon people, an example given being "('Let every man give him shelter no matter where he travels.'). The number of successes achieved determines the potency and the effectiveness of the mark." High-Torment makes the Devils look terrorizing and demonic rather than majestic and angelic and turns their inspiration from say loyalty and morale to violence and fear.
Scourges have Lores that work well in conjecture with Thralls. By guiding them through the Lore of the Firmament they can support them with the Lores of Awakening to keep them in good shape and the Lore of the Winds to deal some serious damage.
Lore of Awakening: The Scourges were originally designed, among other things, to ease human's sufferings. Some eyebrow raising on how they were meant to do that without interacting with said humans aside, this is the Lore they would use for it, capable of purging illnesses, healing injures and even perfect resurrection (but you'll need the deceased's soul) at top-tier, which is EXTREMELY rare in World of Darkness. The High-Torment versions venerate Nurgle and creates diseases, pain etc rather than curing it.
Lore of the Firmament: What the Scourges do to look at you when you shower. This allows them to see through the eyes or speak through the mouth of their thralls (see below) to scrying and being at multiple places at once. The High-Torment versions are largely identical but tend to have very nasty effects for the thrall such as bleeding from the eyes and ears or cause brain damages and so on.
Lore of the Winds: Pretty easy to guess what this does. You get to control wind! Ranges from making casual breezes that can help you pick up speed to creating massive cyclones or solidifying air into instant-walls. The two-dot version allows you to go Darth Vader on your enemies and Force Choke them with air. The High-Torment versions actively damages those it touches and smells very badly; for example touching a High-Torment air-wall will sear the flesh from your body and a cyclone might start draining the air from your lungs even at a distance.
Malefactors excel at working with solid matter. The Lore of the Earth is one of manipulation rather than outright damage, and Lore of the Forge allows you to interact with machinery, shape matter and even make magical items. Combined with the Lore of Paths this allows the Fallen to travel on the ground with ease and greatly hinder enemies.
Lore of the Earth: Also not much more original than the name suggests. Meld into the earth early and causes earthquakes late. The High-Torment versions of the abilities are for the most part useful additions unless you're not trying to hurt someone by rupturing the ground beneath them, but can be a bit risky. High-Torment Earth Meld for example allows you to move beneath the ground, which you cannot normally do, but if you fail the roll you're forced back to the surface.
Lore of the Forge: Allows you to create and enhance objects to whatever effects. Maybe a tad boring on the surface but doubtlessly useful with the right mind behind it; a pencil that can double as a flamethrower might come in handy in a place like the World of Darkness, as could a secret drawer only you can open. The High-Torment of this Lore basically turns it into a Dark Mechanicus sort of deal where everything becomes weaponized and out to harm or kill everything it interacts with, possibly including the wielder.
Lore of Paths: Have you ever wanted to be a walking GPS? Maybe make some new paths when the outline of a neighborhood or wilderness tries to force you through a long and tedious detour? NOW YOU CAN! You can also hide or warp paths, the latter meaning "change their directions." This is pretty much the divine version of the Sphere of Correspondence. High-Torment ranges from getting in the way of the abilities to making them more dangerous. For example, instead of concealing a path, you set a trap. Instead of removing a path, you collapse it and so on.
Fiends can use their lores to create illusions, manipulate fate and teleport. At high levels you can freeze time, step out of reality and create illusions powerful enough to kill. This makes Fiends real bitches to deal with.
Lore of Light: Think 'Light' in the more scientific sense of the word and you're right on. Ranges from, unsurprisingly, creating light to being able to form optical illusions and even to a degree solidifying light itself and hamper people. High-Torment makes it fear-inducing, mind fuckening and, in the case of the 'solidifying light' one, makes said light lash out against anything getting too close.
Lore of Patterns: What the Fiends used to see the future. Ranges from that to being able to influence it and downright twist time at top-tier (which is the actual name for the ability), allowing you to stop time, throw a staggering number of knives at people then let time resume for massive damage. High-Torment becomes very obsessed with negative outcomes and may either just show that or actively push towards one even where there otherwise would be none.
Lore of Portals: Take a wild guess. No really. (It creates Portals.) At one dot you can manipulate basic portals (like doors). Can also make wards on their portals to keep others out. When induced with High-Torment the wards don't restrict invaders but do induce a shitload of pain on them, portals aren't opened but rather smashed or ripped open which might cause damage to anything too close when one is brought up or down, and the powers in general become less reliable.
Defilers love Humanity more than any other of the Houses, and it shows. The Lores of Longing and Transfiguration are well-suited for pleasing humans, by altering their perceptions or the Fallen's own form. While this makes them unparalleled in social interactions, their combat abilities are limited to trying to drown people with the one-dot Lore of Storms power.
Lore of Longing: What the Defilers use when they want to be muses. It ranges from reading emotions to being able to create obsessions. The three-dot ability is interesting because a botch on behalf of the receiving party will get them addicted to the power. The High-Torment abilities typically put a dark twist on everything; reading emotions becomes drawing out dark desires, inspiring with great creativity turns genius to madness and manipulating senses are restricted to agony.
Lore of Storms: The Defilers were Angels of the Oceans and this is what they used for it. Ranges from being able to create water with a thought to invoking huge storms befitting of the name. Summon Water is something of a misnomer: you'll still need a water source or some kind nearby like a Waterbender. High-Torment versions tend to make everything worse; someone who likes stormy weather will find that the storms they make are specifically out to damage everything around them rather than being just a force of nature, water they create becomes polluted and can create chemical burns and so on.
Lore of Transfiguration: Chameleon: The Power. Allows you to change your physical features in a slightly more effective, if cosmetic, way than the Tzimisce can. Unlike the Lore of Flesh, they cannot say add a bunch of arms or replace limbs; they can only make it seem like they had. High-Torment tend to either make it difficult to perform without strict focus or it invariably creates some manner of deformity in the victim whether the Demon wants to do it or not.
Devourers have Lores best described as one part Gangrel, one part Green Path Tremere, two parts Tzimisce and four parts whoop-ass. While they can be very benevolent the Devourers' Lores are quite useful when used in High-Torment mode: healing starts doing damage and makes your patient go violent, the wild rises up and hates your guts and animals... well, caw caw motherfucker.
Lore of the Beast: Animalism with a small spice of Protean in it for Demons. Allows you to summon, command, possess and become animals. The top-tier allows you to make mythical beasts. High-Torment, unsurprisingly, makes either them or you violent. Go figure.
Lore of the Flesh: Think the same vein as the Tzimisce with Vicissitude. Want to alter appearance? Can do. Fix up some nerves, add body parts or make bodily functions, ranging from sneezing to adrenaline surges to boners trigger? All there and possible. Has about the same amount of practical freedom as Vicissitude. The High-Torment makes nerve-fuckery straining on the victim, appearances inhuman and scary and new limbs potentially strangle whatever they're attached to, or otherwise lash out against those around said victim. Not the sort you want plastic surgeries from.
Lore of the Wilds: Power over plants to various extents, ranges from the casual to rapid growth, possession and mutations. High-Torment makes the plants more violent and bloodthirsty.
Slayers have spooky powers. They deal with the dead and ghosts, making them the go-to House when you got a body you need to work with. They also work well with the afore-mentioned Lore of Awakening to bring the dead back, or they can do so on their own. It is wise to be careful though because not all ghosts like the living and will either be uncooperative or outright hostile, which can be a problem when you're in another reality than the rest of the party is.
Lore of Death: Ranges from the standard applications like decaying objects and seeing how someone died to creating images of death in their enemies to traumatize them and creating zombies under the Slayer's command. We're not even on the High-Torment versions yet by the way; that tends to spiral the powers out of control. For example, trying to kill a specific individual becomes difficult because nearly all of your powers becomes Area of Effect and start fucking with everything nearby, including the likes of grass and housecats, and zombies becomes feral. A High-Torment Demon trying to see how someone dies can only see it if the person died violently.
Lore of Realms: Pretty much the ability to go into the Underworld where the Ghosts hang out, or what's left of it after the Sixth Maelstrom. High-Torment tend to create ripples where Spirits get through and/or agonize said Spirits and cause unsettling effects on both side of the realms they travel between.
Lore of the Spirit: Slayers use this to interact with Ghosts and Spirits, whether that means simply speaking with them, commanding them or helping them possess a soulless husk like the Demons themselves do. High-Torment may either spread the Demon's Torment onto the Ghost or cause suffering when trying to anchor them to the mortal world.
These Lores are notable in that they did not originate from God but rather were developed by the Earthbounds themselves in their quest to rule/ruin creation somewhere after getting tossed in the Abyss. As a result of that, the Earthbound Lores do not have a Low-Torment version of their abilities but always cause utter agony upon everything they touch. The Earthbounds themselves are already lost to Torment, but a Fallen using them would automatically cause Torment spikes everytime. Mind you, the Earthbound are rather protective about their Lores and are unlikely to share them without trading say, your True Name.
Lore of Chaos: The ability to massively fuck shit up quickly, randomly and in true 40k Warp fashion. Ranges from violating the laws of reality by making houses cry blood or make people's reflections try to bite them to summoning fuck knows what from fuck knows where to mess shit up. Notable in that everything they do is very real and not, in fact, an illusion.
Lore of Contamination: More long-term and probably more controlled than the Lore of Chaos. Ranges from tainting the land and putting it under the Earthbound's control as if it was its body to corrupting objects, shooting its essence into people to make them die of agony and so on. Fun stuff.
Lore of Violation: Notable that the second power in this is literally called 'Mind Rape' to give you an idea of what the theme is. And it's not talking about rape in the kinky sense either. Ranges from sending nightmares to enslaving people to devouring their souls either for Faith or temporary stat increases. Scary in theory but more tame than the other two Earthbound Lores.
Revelation and Götterdämmerung
Like all games in the Old World of Darkness, Demon had its own series of game-ending scenarios. All of them are found in the Time of Judgment book, a collection of scenarios for Changeling, Hunter, Mummy and even Kindred of the East. The book itself has a prologue and epilogue written from the point of view of Lucifer Morningstar himself, detailing him becoming aware of the imminent end of the world (he was at a gas station looking at some porn mags while waiting to pay when it hit him. No it was not Playboy that made him realize this: he was just being a smartass) and taking steps to combat it.
The issue with the scenarios is that... well, they're all more or less the same. In all three scenarios the planet goes to shit thanks to the Earthbound and it's up to the players to partake in war to save the world and humanity. Sure, the details might be different but the core principle is the same: the Earthbound start to fuck shit up and it's up to the players to un-fuck said shit.
Twilight of the Gods
The Earthbound realize that their petty squabbles divide them, and in the face of the ever-increasing number of Fallen making their way back to the world and the subsequent threat that they pose the Dread Kings band together. And we're not talking about a small alliance of two Earthbound like what happened back in Rome: this is a full-on alliance between the collective group of 666 Earthbound in an attempt to either destroy or enslave the Fallen, followed by the same fate for mankind. The Earthbound start to strike at the Thralls of the player characters, removing politicians from power, business assets are obtained in hostile takeovers and so on. At that point other Fallen start being picked off one by one, throwing the local Courts into chaos and getting the players involved. A raid is organized on a stronghold belonging to a local Earthbound, which in turn puts the party in the crosshairs of the Dread Kings. Their allies and resources are attacked (and it's a tough balancing act not to destroy the players' stuff utterly and turn them against the Storyteller), forcing the players either on the defense or even join the Earthbound. If they don't the Earthbound will be entrenched in power and turn the government against the players, forcing the players to either flee or attack VERY carefully. At this point the various Courts around the world finally get their shit together an strike at the Earthbound in a world war. This eventually forces the players to either submit to the Dread Kings and fight on their side, or track down and destroy their Reliquaries in time for there to still be a world for both humanity and the Fallen. In either scenario, the ending will be grim.
Better to Rule on Earth
The greater demons are returning to Earth. Finding a way out of the abyss, the first one to do so either asks the players for help or they find the greater demon first. It's not as easy for a greater demon to enter the world: they have to change bodies frequently to remain here and might have to be summoned with a sizable human sacrifice. It is also possible that an Earthbound was trying to summon the greater demon, only to be interrupted by the players. This greater demon is significantly more powerful than the players, but is nowhere near as malevolent as the Earthbound. In fact, said greater demon will agree that the destruction of the Earthbound is a necessity and will aid the players in this mission. The war against the Earthbound picks up, eventually leading to a fight in broad daylight between the demon and an Earthbound, with the demon prevailing. This fight takes a while and awakens humanity to the truth that yes, angels and demons are real and the Los Angeles Revelation was not a fluke. This drives up both religious fervor and persecution, both of believers and non-believers. The greater demon agrees to a televised event in which it raises up an island as a neutral meeting place between it, the regular Fallen and those new greater demons escaping the Abyss. However, an agent in the ranks of the Fallen turns out to have been working for the Earthbound and sabotages the bastion's defenses, allowing the Earthbound to launch a massive assault. This sparks into a great war spanning the globe: Fallen, greater demons and their human allies against the Dread Kings and their minions. While outnumbered the Earthbound have an edge in that most demons now mistrust one another, keeping an eye out for betrayal from within their own ranks. This forces the Fallen into a potentially dangerous choice: either try and fight and likely lose or use a great ritual, powered by the combined Faith of humanity, in order to try and free the Dukes from the Abyss. These are the most powerful of all demons, ranking only below the five Archdukes themselves. The risk is that nobody would be able to stop them, and if the Dukes turned out to be as corrupt as the Earthbound the end result would be the same. Even if they were not, the Dukes would assume rulership of the Earth in either case, forcing the Fallen and humans alike to live as servants. If the players win, the planet is less fucked than it is in the previous scenario and there's still a chance for Earth to become Eden once more, either under the leadership of the Dukes or not.
The big one. This is not just a conflict between the Fallen and the Earthbound: it's a conflict between them and humanity as a whole. It all starts off with people starting to receive all sorts of revelations to shake them from their cynicism. It starts off with simple instances of divine providence and revelatory dreams, but it builds up to angelic visitations and the devout manifesting stigmata all the way up to divine acts of healing via prayer or people suddenly performing supernatural feats. During the buildup of these miracles a global movement, the Order of the Herald, starts to spread the good word and just so happens to set up a chapter house in the home town of the players. They start off with acts of charity but eventually start to perform bona fide miracles: healing the sick, empowering the weak and fixing handicaps. The book claims that these are the works of the Imbued from Hunter: The Reckoning, but there's more to them than that. Sooner or later the Order starts to attract the attention of both the locals who eagerly join, as well as the players. They will quickly discover that the Order of the Herald has many people with high Faith ratings, which makes them excellent Thralls. The problem is that somehow the Order seems to be keenly aware of what demons are, and those few who deal with the Fallen face immediate expulsion from the Order. Furthermore, the members of the Order cannot enter Pacts even if they wanted to. Why?
Because they are the Thralls of Lucifer Morningstar.
Oh yes, Shaitan has played his hand and it's a winner. Strangely enough the book also claims that the Imbued are powered by Lucifer, which is at odds with Hunter's claims that the Imbued are powered by the Ebon Dragon and the Scarlet Queen, whom might very well be the last two angels on Earth. This would mean that either Lucifer is not aware of the source of their power... or he does know, making things even more complex. In either case, the Imbued make for formidable Thralls, giving 3-4 Faith for a normal Thrall if not using the rules for the Imbued... and 7-10 if you are. That's right, you're looking at a ceiling of 10 Faith per Imbued. Lucifer's not using all that Faith for his own gain: he pumps all of this Faith into his Thralls. Consider that one point of Faith can be turned into 10 Freebie Points, or turned into immunity to mind control or fixing permanent impairments... let's just say that these Imbued Thralls are BADASS. And that's just one of them: once you consider that there's an entire order of them you know that you shouldn't fuck with the Order. If the players pick up on this they can choose to protect the order from a distance from outside threats, including other Fallen. Eventually the Earthbound start to put two and two together: the Order of the Herald is Lucifer's army. Attacks start to take place all over the globe, but the Order is prepared. Blood runs through the streets in cities all over the world, and the party can pick a side in the conflict in their home town. If they've been helping the Order previously and keep it clean, the Order will reluctantly accept them as allies. If they ally against the Order they will all be gruesomely murdered, after which the servants of a local Earthbound will roll in and claim the town for their own. Large numbers of people will be dead, the damage goes up into billions and the people cry out for salvation.
Lucifer once again reveals himself in Los Angeles, in the same spot he did last time. News crews rush to the scene, and once set up Lucifer delivers a short but passionate speech, calling the entire world up in arms against the forces of darkness and its minions lest humanity becomes enslaved for all time. With a gesture of his hand he raises up a great obsidian tower: the new Genhinnom. No longer in hiding, Lucifer takes to leading humanity against the Dread Kings himself. A few days later he receives his first challenge: at the head of a great horde of lesser demons, Thralls and cultists walks the Great Beast himself: Belial. He howls a challenge to the Morningstar and the two start their terrible duel. Their fight lasts for a week, reduces the City of Angels to rubble and the Morningstar receives seven terrible wounds, but at the end of it all Belial falls before Lucifer. The death of his most powerful enemy sends a clear signal to the Earthbound, Fallen and humanity alike: the Morningstar's crusade will not be denied. The Luciferans quickly bow to their leader and after a short duel with Belphigor, the leader of the Faustians, that sees Lucifer temporarily die only to come back like he always does the Morningstar takes charge of the assembled Fallen and the war starts in earnest. The Morningstar's campaign is as methodical as it is ruthless: one by one the Earthbound have their cults and Thralls destroyed, shortly followed by the Dread Kings themselves. It's not very fast and not without losses, but it works. The entire planet is at war, the most horrible chemical and biological weapons are used and more than one Earthbound gets nuked out of existence. The death toll passes the ten digits and the Earth is laid to waste... but it's working. Human society is reshaped into a ruthless meritocracy with zero tolerance for crime, a police state where public executions of enemies of humanity and secret informers being the norm. The Earthbound find it more and more difficult to obtain human cultists, and the war finally tips to the Morningstar's favor, which lets him kick off the second part of his campaign.
He had deemed the Fallen to be irredeemable, and therefore ordered the destruction of all of the Fallen, including the players.
If they avoid the initial purge the players and their surviving Thralls escape to the ravaged countryside, where survival is difficult. On top of that Lucifer reveals a new tactic: he has trained entire brigades to use their Faith as a weapon against the Fallen, a variation of the disbelief that humans once unintentionally used to undermine the powers of the Fallen. It works the same, but in practice it means that you don't even need a dozen humans to utterly shut down the powers of a demon. With their defeat imminent the remaining Earthbound have banded together and have sent envoys to the players to give them a mission: recover the hidden body of Belial. The players are forced into cooperation, recovering the body with great difficulty and handing it over to the Earthbound. The most powerful Malefactors of their kind then proceed to graft a weapon out of the remains: a single dart of bone infused with Belial's hatred. The weapon is presented to the players and they're given a second order: arrange an audience with the Morningstar on behalf of the remaining Fallen to discuss terms of surrender, then use the dart to strike Lucifer down. If used the dart finds it way to the Morningstar's heart with unerring accuracy and strikes him dead, allowing the players to escape in the ensuing chaos. This, however, is the bad ending: the final stages of the war will see the demons lose and leave Earth a barely habitable ball of rock for a small handful of starving humans. No, the good ending hinges on a very Christian concept for a very Christian game:
By forgiving the Morningstar for what he has done to them, to all Fallen, they prove to Lucifer that they are still the angels that they once were. Lucifer knows this: he suspected that there would be an attempt on his life during the negotiations, and that the players would have to make a choice. The choice of hatred and that his actions were just, or that everything that had happened ever since the initial rebellion against God was but a tragic mistake. Lucifer is tired of the fighting and is willing to risk his life on the chance that the Fallen can be redeemed. If the players prove him right he considers all of the remaining Fallen to be redeemable and welcome them back, depriving the last few Earthbound of their servants. The last part of the war will be short yet costly, but at the end all of the Earthbound will be sealed into the Abyss. Lucifer and the Fallen still on Earth will have enough combined power to usher in a new Age of Wonder. A final point to consider for them however was the Abyss: there are still many Fallen in there and they're not sure what to do with them. Perhaps they can be released and returned to Earth in a controlled fashion to heal them of their pain like the Fallen were and join their kin in this new world of forgiveness and greatness.
Of course Lucifer wouldn't risk ruining the whole thing just yet by telling everyone that the reason he started the rebellion was because God ordered him to, but hey, baby steps.
Being released near the end of the old World of Darkness, Demon did not see a lot of books released for itself. It still has a fair deal of the things to make for a concise setting, unlike Mummy: The Resurrection. The books are:
- Demon: The Fallen Rulebook is the core rulebook and has everything you need to play. It describes the Houses, the Factions and all the rules you need to play. Curiously the book contains all the Lores that are usable by players: no other powers were added in later books.
- Demon Storytellers Companion give more background for the Storyteller to work with, basic rules for the Earthbound and rules for the other monsters in the World of Darkness.
- City of Angels is a lore book detailing Los Angeles and its importance to the metaplot of the game. It details Lucifer revealing himself, the events preceeding and following this action as well as the numerous Fallen that have flocked to the City of Angels. It also details the make up of the Infernal Courts, which take after the Domains used by vampires.
- Fear to Tread is a chronicle book, detailing events that have to do with those that transpired in LA.
- Saviors and Destroyers details demon hunters, mostly in the style of fiction rather than rules or regular text.
- Demon Players Guide gives advice to players on building their characters, has the merits and flaws of the system, has rules for creating your own Apocalypse Form, creating relics infused with Lores, powerful rituals and rules for building your very own angelic/fiendish bastion.
- Damned and Deceived is all about those who make Pacts with the Fallen, hints on how the Fallen can get the most out of their Pacts, rules for building Thralls and how to run games as Thralls.
- Demon: Earthbound details the Earthbound and their cults, how to build Earthbound characters, the powers that their Lores grant them, their Apocalypse Forms, special rules for Earthbound Thralls, relics and rituals for the Earthbound as well as tips on how to use them and a number of example Earthbound.
- Houses of the Fallen is the splatbook of all seven Houses rolled into one. It details all seven houses, notable Fallen amongst them, relics and rituals unique to those houses and various roleplaying and character building hints. It also describes the basics for political games between Houses.
- Demon: Days of Fire is a bit of an odd book: it describes the Fallen in an in-universe way, much like the Book of Nod did for Vampire: The Masquerade. In-universe it was translated at the behest of Lucifer himself.
- World of Darkness: Time of Judgement details the end of the World of Darkness for Demon: The Fallen (and the other lesser lines of old World of Darkness). There are three possible endings described: Twilight of the Gods details the war between Earthbound and other Fallen to see who gets to rule the world, Better to Rule on Earth pits the players against one of the Archdukes and Paradise Won has Lucifer reveal himself and lead the war against the Earthbound, possibly even leading into a new Age of Wonder. Notable for having its prologue and epilogue told from Lucifer's point of view.
- Demon Translation Guide was released more than a decade after the last Demon: The Fallen book. It details how to cross over the elements of the two Demon games from both the old and new World of Darkness. For example to pit the Fallen against the God-Machine, the Unchained against the fun things found in the old World of Darkness or have Earthbound try and invade Infrastructure for the hell of it. It has rules for borrowing Merits, Powers and how to make characters for the other story. It also details various examples of what the God-Machine might be in and how it fits in with the context of Demon: The Fallen.