Demons are a sentient race native to Sahraine’s vast network of subterranean caverns commonly called the Underworld. Demons have existed in large numbers for almost as long as humans but only began making contact with the surface dwellers approximately 1000 years ago.
Demons have an average lifespan of about 700 years, though the occasional Demon has lived as long as 900 years.
Demons and Demon Lords
It is a common misconception that “Demon Lords” are a distinct subspecies within the Demon population, and that they actually lord over other Demons. The truth of the matter is that Demon Lords were, long ago, a separate nation of Demons that adapted to a more hostile environment before the two nations were united. Approximately 80% of Demons have at least some Demon Lord blood, and many believe that it will not be long before the distinction between the two becomes unnecessary.
Demons all have skin that ranges from blood-red to brown depending both on genetics and on health. The average Demon stands at about 5’10" while the average Demon Lord stands at about 6’7", though the average height of Demons has been increasing in recent centuries. Demons usually have wide shoulders and are well muscled, far more than most other races of Sahraine. The eyes of Demons are usually yellow or red, though non-Demon parentage often results in different colors for the eyes. All demons have black hair.
The most distinctive feature of a Demon is their horns, which vary wildly between individuals. This is only heightened by the fact that it is becoming increasingly fashionable for Demons to shape and carve their horns, which can be done fairly often since the horns grow almost as fast as hair does.
[Note: this section will be cleaned up and appended to as more is learned.]
- ~6000 years ago: The gods Daaz/Diiz and Ziid/Zaad become one.
- ~3500 years ago: Demon nations unite as one.
- ~1000 years ago: A Demon Lord, named Saiiz, gathered a small number of followers and terrorized much of the surface world in order to forge her own kingdom.
- ~900 years ago: Saiiz was defeated by an alliance of surface dwellers.
- ~850 years ago: Proper first contact was made by the Demon government.
- 430 years ago: Birth of Abdaal.
The Demonic Tongue, also called Abyssal, is one that cannot be parsed properly in a surface tongue, and such power is in the words that by speaking another speaker’s name in the tongue can, with practice, allow one to communicate over great distances.
Note: Traditionally male Demon names include “aa” while female names include “ii” – though this isn’t always the case.
Demon culture is very inclusive and there is no “traditional” Demon culture, since even the culture they have now is the product of several nations of Demons along with more recent influences from the surface. This has given the majority of Demons a positive outlook on changing with the times and they as a people are striving to always improve.
The demon religion technically has two gods, Daaz and Ziid (or Diiz and Zaad), though through some unexplained event (the gods won’t say) they became joined in one body, commonly called Daaziid (Diizaad) or Ziidaaz (Zaadiiz). The church is split between four different sects that coexist fairly harmoniously (though occasionally there is yelling), that name themselves after each of the possible names of their god(s).
At this time the relative number of worshipers goes: Diizaad > Zaadiiz > Ziidaaz > Daaziid. The differences between the four sects boil down to nitty-gritty details about which of the two gods is masculine and which is feminine and exactly what falls under each of their purview. Literally only priests care about most of the details, most Demons choose their sect based on things like their official colors and whether they agree with the head of the sect on more secular matters.
The one thing that all sects (and both gods, for that matter) agree on is that the future is important, and this is reflected in the gods’ role in providing Demon children. The two prospective parents (on rare occasions there can are more) perform a ritual in one of the gods’ temples (which one it is doesn’t matter) in which they all provide a small amount of their life magic. This magic is used by the gods to give life to a baby Demon that is granted to the parents when they are ready. The amount of time this takes varies from a few days to centuries in some cases. Occasionally the gods refuse to ever grant a child, but this is usually only done in the case where the supplicants are outright evil or those who never reach a level of maturity where they would make a fit parent at all.