Demon Lords Myth in Scarterra | World Anvil

Demon Lords

Summary

The Demon Lords were the eight most powerful demons that ever walked the material plane. It is believed that Void demons do not use names, these names below are titles given to them by mortals.   The Harbinger: The Harbinger was the first Demon Lord to arrive, the strongest and most direct Demon Lord.   The Corruptor: The Corruptor tried to recruit mortal agents en masse and is more or less the founder of the Infernalism as modern Scarterrans understand it.   The Defiler: The Defiler attempted to poison the soil and water so that no life could ever flourish again and also attempted to sever the connections between the various planes.   The Vandal: Not merely content to take mortals' lives, the Vandal opted to topple every building, burn every book, and otherwise destroy any and all cultural relics its army encountered.   The Extinguisher: The Extinguisher attempted to blot out the sun, killing all plant life and killing mortals at once via starvation.   The Annihilator: The Annihlator focused primarily on the attacking the smaller less populous mortal races attempting to utterly eradicate them one at a time.   The Successor: The Successor was the only Demon Lord to regularly take mortal prisoners, housing populations in massive prisons as an exploitable resource.   the Ravager: The Ravager was the last and most tenacious of the Demon Lords.

Historical Basis

Initially upon arriving, the new Demon Lords acted in the same manner as The Harbinger, by using pure brute force. Eventually they branched out into more sophisticated and varied tactics. Essentially rhe Harbinger, Annihilator, Ravager, and the Vandal (curse its name) tried to march out and destroy everyone and everything in sight while the Extinguisher, Corruptor, Defiler and the Successor tried to play the long game.   While it is undisputed that the Harbinger was first, there is some argument on who was the second and third and so on. Based on records I have heard or read, I believe this is the order the Demon Lords arrived.   1. The Harbinger   2. The Annihilator   3. The Extinguisher   4. The Vandal   5. The Corruptor   6. The Defiler   7. The Ravager   8. The Successor     I believe this is the order in which they were destroyed. No one disputes that the Harbinger was first fall and the Ravager was last, but many dispute the order of those in between.     1. The Harbinger   2. The Extinguisher   3. The Defiler   4. The Successor   5. The Vandal   6. The Corruptor   7. The Annihilator   8. The Ravager   Each of the eight Demon Lords has their own separate history and legendarium.   As far as we can tell, the Demon Lords did not coordinate with each other much if at all, but since most demonic communication is telepathic, we can never be sure.   We know from the writings of modern demon hunters that a demon grunt will unquestionably follow the orders of a winter demon will unquestionably follow the orders of a death demon.   Presumably all demons would unquestionably follow the orders of a Demon Lord. Not that they speak orders in a sense we understand. All demons are telepathic. We are reasonably certain that grunts have a telepathic range of about a mile and a death demons have a range of about 25 miles.   The Demon Lords could probably communicate over much longer distances. Lesser demons would certainly fly or swim great distance to flock to the banner of the nearest Demon Lord but we have no idea what happened when a lesser demon is in the telepathic range of two Demon Lords. The Demon Lords seemed to keep their distance from each other, both figuratively and literally. For all we know they could have been talking to each other telepathically during the entire Second Unmaking. If so, the armies of the different Demon Lords never seemed to act together in a coordinated fashion.   If the armies of two Demon Lords ever fought each other, no mortal witnessed such an event and lived to tell the tale.   I have a theory, but I have no means of verifying it. I believe if a lesser demon is in the telepathic range of two or more greater demons, the greater demons will fight the telepathic equivalent of a game of tug of war to see who ends up controlling the minion. Though if a greater demon doesn't need or want a particular minion, they could let the other demon take the minion uncontested.   Sometimes Demon Lords worked at cross purposes. We know that a wounded demon can heal itself by draining the life force of a mortal. We also know that a perfectly healthy demon has a limitless appetite for draining the life force of mortals. We don't know if the Void Demons must feed this way or if they merely enjoy the act.   The Extinguisher and the Defiler tried to kill mortals via starvation. A mortal dead in this manner can be fed upon and this might have upset the other Demon Lords. This might explain why their armies were somewhat smaller than the others...the other Demon Lords didn't want to share their minions with them.   Since The Vandal (curse its name) wanted to destroy every buidling it saw and the Successor wanted to capture and repurpose buildings, it is possibly these two Demon Lords were in conflict of sorts. If it is true that The Successor really was slain by goblins, the only explanation I can think of is that the Vandal (curse its name) telepathically stole a large portion of The Successor's army at an inconvenient time. The Demon Lords did not seem cooperate to a noticeable degree, but they did not seem to oppose each other’s efforts to a noticeable degree either. They were okay with everyone taking their own path to their shared goal. Lesser demons just took directions from the nearest Demon Lord they could find until their Lord died in which case they would disperse to their own devices or join another Demon Lord.   The Demon Lords did not all walk the material plane at the same time. Accurate records dating the presences of Demon Lords were not kept given that most people were concerned with fighting for their lives and souls than chronicling the Demon Lords. Historians have constructed a rough timeline. The Demon Lords are listed in their order of arrival (not death). The last Demon Lord is unknown to Scarterra for he never manifested during the Unmaking. The Harbinger, Defiler, Extinguisher, and the Successor had relatively short reigns of terror. The Ravager, Annihilator, Vandal and the Corrupter had relatively long reigns of terror. Historians are unclear whether "relatively long" means decades or centuries.   -Akeem of Magicland, professor Emeritus of History

A Ninth Demon Lord?

 
Many have noted we have nine deities and there were eight Demon Lords.   Some believe the Void unconsciously tried to create nine Demon Lords to oppose the Nine or at least to oppose their ideals. Others believe Turoch himself managed to plant the seeds of nine antitheses to the Nine.   If this is the case that the Void and/or Turoch created nine Demon Lords, there is speculation that there is a ninth demon Lord still trapped beyond The Barrier or perhaps hiding in the deepest darkest trench of Scaraqua waiting for its moment...   Since The Harbinger boldly charged mortalkind head on, some believe The Harbinger was a sort of anthesis to Hallisan. Since the Ravager fought tenaciously but somewhat defensively and with great cunning, some believe it was a sort of anthesis to Maylar.   But, assuming the Demon Lords were tied to the Nine in some way, for all we known the bold actions of The Harbinger and Ravager could have been a sort of anthesis to Mera and Phidas who were not themselves bold and direct. Maybe the indirect Demon Lords were the true anthesis of Maylar and Hallisan, most direct of the Nine.   I do not believe the Demon Lords should be thematically linked to the Nine because it is very easy to link a Demon Lord to several gods or goddesses.   The Extinguisher wanted to blot out the sun and kill all plant life leading to starvation of mass mortals. Khemra is the goddess of the sun and Korus is the god of plants. The Extinguisher could have easily been an anthesis to either. But The Extinguisher also sought an indirect clever ploy which could tie it in with Zarthus or Nami. The Extinguisher avoided direct conflict which could tie it in with Mera. Or if you go by opposites instead of similiarities it could have been anthesis to Maylar or Hallisan. The Extinguisher had to harvest a lot of arcane energy and controlled disporportionally more demon mages than the other Demon Lord, maybe The Extinguisher was an antithesis to Greymoria?   With so many different possible interpretations of which god or goddess each Demon Lord was intended to counter, I have trouble taking it seriously that there are or were nine Demon Lords.   Just for the sake of completeness, I will point out there is a theory that there were actually ten Demon Lords and that the tenth Demon Lord was an antithesis to the Traitor and somehow was or is on our side.   Some fanciful storytellers say that the traitorous Demon Lord is locked in an eternal stalemate with the nine Demon Lord deep within the Void and that if one or the other should win, Scarterra will either be destroyed or enter a golden age.   Others attest the slightly less fanciful notion that the Traitor slew the would-be ninth Demon Lord in the Void using the element of surprise before itself being destroyed by the other eight. Other scholars have posited that a ninth Demon Lord could have been destroyed by Scaraquan heroes underwater and we'd never know about it because Scaraquan historial records are so woefully incomplete.   Benign Demon Lords...really...   -Akeem of Magicland, professor Emeritus of History

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