There are many types of spirit beings in the world, but all have one thing in common - they have no corporeal form. When a spirit achieves corporeal form, it becomes something else entirely - a monster.
WARNING - some transcripts include strong language.
NOTE: Many religions have some sort of spiritual being, but this bit of lore is focused on Christian interpretations of angels. I am taking many liberties with the information from the Bible for creative purposes. Most of angelic lore comes from extra-biblical traditions, and is largely inaccurate when compared to the source material.
Angels also appear in the Torah (wiki) and the Quran (wiki), but I'm focusing on the Christian texts because that's what I am most familiar with. The information below is not to be considered a theological essay, but to add information relating to the game.
Ghosts (aka Spirits, Poltergeists, Etc.) There are generally two types of ghosts - echoes of souls that reenact moments of their life and active souls interacting with the world. In most cases the benign ghosts, while creepy, fade with time. The echoes of souls are the figures seen in windows, or moving through halls, and sometimes they make sounds, but they are repeating things that happened, not engaging in new activities. The active ghosts maintain part of their emotions and consciousness. These are the helpful spiritual guardians and malevolent poltergeists.
Transcript of journal entry by M. Hues:
ColorfulMatt [02.19.2016 21:30] Hey, n33t, do you know anything about ghosts?
n33tfr34k [02.19.2016 21:43] Ghosts are often bound to a place or person by the circumstances of their death. The most commonly known ghosts are the ones tied to a location. Less common in western culture, but more common in general, are the benevolent ghosts of ancestors who are tied to a bloodline.
ColorfulMatt [02.19.2016 21:44] So, how do you get rid of one?
n33tf34k [02.19.2016 21.58] In general ghosts stick around for a reason. If a ghost needs to be removed, the easiest way is to resolve whatever they are trying to achieve. If this goal can not be ascertained through research, a séance can be used to ask them what they need (though this can be risky if the ghost is angry). Alternatively there are rituals which can use magic to push a spirit on to the "other side," wherever that is. In general ghosts are only accessible from beyond the mortal coil for a short time after death, or if there is a strong tie to summon them. For example, bones of the deceased, blood of their living relatives, items belonging to the deceased, etc., are good ways to entice the soul to the world of the living for a chat.
Devils More common than demons, devils are fallen angels who inhabit human vessels. Devils have limited power themselves, but can cause things to occur by making deals. Their deals are rarely fair and often result in Faustian tragedies. Most deals are made through verbal contracts, though some devils do their work in other ways. Some scholars of The Weird draw parallels between fairy-tale creatures and beings of other religions like the Djinn. Little is known for certain about devils.
Transcript of journal entry by M. Hues:
You have probably met a devil. My poor artistic skills cannot convey how normal devils look. They don't have horns or fangs. They are not exceptionally beautiful or ugly. They look like a completely normal, nearly forgettable human being.
If you have "the sight" as I've heard it called, devils are easily spotted. They are, like angels, spirit entities. This means their physical bodies are either an illusion, a construction, or a person. Devils make deals. That old saying about "making a deal with the devil" isn't far off. Most of the hosts of the devils are folks who made their deal and the end result was losing control of their body to the devil. I've heard that the devil can stretch out the lifetime of their vessel, but I've also heard they ride the people hard and put them up wet, often shortening the life span. When a devil f***s off, the person usually is dead or dies shortly thereafter. People who do not die immediately or as a result of the possession usually kill themselves or get put away.
Devils are bad news most of the time, but it's by choice, I think. They are fallen angels if the Sentinel Lorekeepers are to be believed. And if angels have free will - they don't have to be evil. I have a theory that many devils exist and just hand out, making minor deals and existing fairly benignly. But if you summon a devil you get what you get. Maybe you get a chill devil who'll make a casual deal. Maybe you get a crazy, violent, Evil (TM) devil who wants to watch you suffer because, why not? The more passionate the devil, the more potent the deal. And the summoning ritual seems to have an impact on the passion involved. This is where blood rituals and living sacrifices come in. More terrible acts summon more terrible devils, usually.
But devils are not mindless beings subject to the whim of the summoner. Devils don't have to take a deal if they don't want it. And they're dangerously clever. They can twist words and bend wishes to torment a summoner.
<line of text struck from the journal> Now, about getting rid of a devil. Sure, you can hack and slash, but that just destroys the vessel. If you want a devil out of a person, that is much more difficult. You can try a counter offer - making a deal to get the devil out. You will almost invariably come out worse for that offer, though. You can try a binding ritual - particularly one strengthened by demonic components (or angelic if you're the kind of person who harvests angel parts). Or, if you believe the Sentinels, you can use chains forged from the ore mined in Hell to bind the devil and perform a deific ritual to banish the devil back to Hell to await judgement day. <.<
Any binding/banishment reports I have heard of have limited success. The bound spirit entity almost immediately breaks free and they tend to be a bit miffed about the whole thing. But rather than just kill the binder or something, the devil "haunts" them, making deals to ensure that person's life is a living hell.
There is little known about angels and how they relate to earth. The common theory among those who interact with the Weird is that angels are much like the entity that made them: distanced and subtle. Some information can be extrapolated from their kin, the devils. It is assumed that angels are also spirit beings who must have a vessel to take form. How an angel acquires a vessel, however, is not known.
Transcript of journal entry by M. Hues:
I found this while investigating an abandoned Sentinel stronghold of sorts. The place was pretty wrecked but this page mostly survived the blaze.
-- Angels --
Let us begin by dispelling some inaccurate representations of angels in the media. Angels are not winged beings, robotic agents of the Christian God, flitting about granting miracles. Angels do not answer prayers. Angels are not cute little chubby children with lyres sitting on clouds. Nor are angels beautiful women who sit on the tops of Christmas trees. Angels do not come to people in their dreams. Angels do not usher the souls of good Christians up to heaven.
Angels are spirit beings and have no physical body.
Angels are neither mortal or divine.
Angels are invisible, immortal, and powerful.
Angels have agency; some choose to serve God, some do not.
Angels who have sinned are exempt from salvation.
Angels were once the messengers of God.
Angels no longer speak the word of God.
-- What did/do Angels do? --
Angels in religious texts engage in four types of work:
Acting as messengers of God
Fighting enemies of God
Serving the Children of God
However, after the completion of the Bible there were no more messages to be sent. The prophets did their work spreading the word of God and performing miracles as divine confirmation of their validity as prophets. Then there were no more miracles, and mortal souls need to now be saved through faith. Allegedly, God now acts through divine providence alone, thus eliminating the need for angels.
What then do angels do now?
Demons are powerful beings who can be summoned through magic. Some are also in hiding on the mortal realm, hibernating or otherwise trapped. Demons tend to be monstrous and compelled to wreck havoc and destruction. There is no way to reason or even communicate with a demon, but there are some magical means of subduing and controlling them. As such, some less good-natured magic users will attempt to summon and control a demon for their own purposes. Demons also pose powerful natural magic and their parts can be used in the casting of rituals and the creation of impressive artifacts.
Transcript of journal entry by M. Hues:
If you meet a demon, you’ll know it. Unlike most creatures of the Weird, demons don’t bother with subtlety or illusion. They’re rare, very rare. Most of the time, a demon has been summoned, so if you can break the binding ritual or enchantment the demon will slip back into its proper corner of the hell it calls home.
Unfortunately you don’t have to be particularly powerful to summon a demon - controlling it is another matter entirely. Most of the time an ambitious magic user will find themselves eaten, which ends the binding spell and the demon f*cks off home. Very rarely the binding outlasts the caster and the demon rampages until it gets put down or banished. I wish there was one solution, but each demon is a little different. Most are immune to energy attacks like fire, lightning, cold, and the like. Some take more damage from pure/sacred objects/weapons but I have a theory that it’s the faith of the user more than any properties of the item.
Demons are almost universally vulnerable to arcane attacks. Also, they can be plain-old-fashioned-cut-to-bits. When the energy binding the beast is severed by blade it sort of goes gooey and melty. Not pretty.
But there are reasons to summon demons and other bad stuff. The bones, teeth, blood, fangs, venom, hair, etc. are all hyper powerful spell components. The Sentinels have been known to summon a demon to get materials to craft demon slaying weapons and magically enhanced armor. The Cabal of the Eye does some of that too, though they’re more interested in components than weapons and armor.
I’ve come across a few symbols often associated w/summoning demons.
[Symbol with bar above and below a column shape with notes “air/above” pointing to the top bar, “stability” pointing to the column, “desert/foreign land” pointing to the bottom bar, which has a wavy top}
This is Egyptian, I think. Three symbols stacked together to trap the demon on earth. Just removing a part makes the binding unstable - but not gone >: |
[Symbol with wide w shape on top, a long line down from the middle peak with a short diagonal line through the middle of the long line]
Anglo Saxon here means “need earth” [arrow to symbol described above] and can be broken with “home” [arrow to symbol described below]
[Symbol shaped like a large square with the bottom point resting on the apex of an inverted V of equal proportion to the square] The Arabic word for bond is super effective if the caster does it on their flesh, usually as a brand, and can get it on the demon. In these cases the bond lasts until BOTH marks are destroyed. I also heard that the English word “allies” has the same effect but that’s unverified as far as I can tell. [Complicated symbols with X's and lines…]
These two are vaguely Celtic I believe. They mean trap and contain, and can be used to control where the demon can go.
This [arrow to a complicated rhombus shape] however, can open the containment and break the trap (ie. release the demon) but that doesn’t send it home.