Diabolus

Submitted by NCDarkness on Thu, 6/21/2018 at 9:55pm

Diabolus are a broad category of beings with a strong connection to the realm of the Pit. While most are not actual fiends, to the common person they are hard to differentiate. Those who are able to break away from the influence of the Pit often fall into the life of the adventurer, continually moving from place to place, either because they have worn out their welcome or fear being captured by what pursues them.

Costuming

Diabolus characters must paint, at the least, all areas of exposed skin on the face, back of hands, and forearms, an unnatural red hue; they may choose to paint all areas of exposed skin. The exact color varies somewhat from case to case, and their skin may sprout fur, hide, scales, or grow taut and skeletal, but it always has a red hue.

They must also include at least three costuming elements from the following list: horns on their head, claws or talons on their hands or feet, hooves for feet, fang-filled mouths, spaded tails, leathery bat-like wings, multiple arms or flaming eyes.

Nature

All Diabolus are familiar with the Pit, and actively seek to avoid it. Different bloodlines have differing degrees of connection. Cambion, the most "natural" of the Diabolus, typically have not seen the pit themselves, but still feel it's influence. Demonborne, the products of experiments by the Sons of Secronus, fear both the pit and the ones who created them. Incubi and Succubi are the only Diabolus who are actually fiends. Having devoured the soul of a seer, they have gained a greater degree of autonomy. Similarly to Demonborne, they tend to be constantly on guard for those who would enslave them again. All Diabolus shy away from strong Prime magic, though are not as susceptible to it as true fiends.

History

For nearly as long as the pit has existed, so too have the Diabolus. However, having no real uniting cause or identity, the Diabolus do not have much in the way of a group history either. While the Cambions, Incubi, and Succubi are all natural phenomena, or at least as close to natural as anything associated with the Pit can be, the Demonborne are different in this aspect. During the Twilight, two ages ago, the Sons of Secronus are rumored to have created the first Demonborne.

Bloodlines

While not true Bloodlines, the Diabolus come from three distinct origins.

Cambion - Cambion are the offspring of fiends and mortals. Most often these unions involve Seducers, Incubi, or Succubi, but may be of any fiendish origin. A Cambion appears as a normal child of its mortal heritage for the first several years of its life. The only indication that a child is a Cambion  is the absence of breath or a pulse until seven years of age, being too heavy for a horse to bear, and to cry upon being touched. Some Cambion exhibit these traits, or only some of them, or none of them. Regardless, sometime later their true nature becomes apparent. Typically they are no longer welcome at home and must set out on their own.

Demonborne - Demonborne were once mortals. The Sons of Secronus conceived a way to infuse mortals with fiendish essence. Although often fatal, those who do survive the ritual become diablerists unfettered by pacts or familiars, capable of tapping into the fell magic of the Pit themselves. While they may retain their mortal appearance briefly, those who undergo the ritual still suffer from fiendish characteristics and shortened lifespans. They tend to inherit the traits of the fiend who's essence they were infused with. Demonborne characters have managed to escape the Sons of Secronus, but will likely always be hunted.

Incubi/Succubi - Of the Diabolus, Incubi and Succubi are the only true fiends. Consuming the soul of a seer brings about a transformation in fiends, and sometimes grants them enough autonomy to escape. They know the horrors of the pit firsthand, and will do anything in their power to avoid returning to it. They are often hunted by other fiends who they previously served.

Organization

Diabolus are few in number in Orn. The largest concentrations are Demonborne in service to the Sons of Secronus, most often involuntarily. Most Diabolus encountered outside the Sons of Secronus are typically ostracized Cambions, escaped Demonborne, or awakened Incubi or Succubi. Regardless of their origins, these Diabolus tend to keep a low profile, preferring to avoid gathering in large groups. Demonborne who happened to escape at the same time, or knew each other before the ritual, sometimes stay together - but are always on the lookout for the Sons of Secronus.

Culture

Having no common origin, and being small in numbers, Diabolus have few cultural distinctions between the three bloodlines. They are both naturally adept at utilizing, and fearful of calling attention by doing so, the power of the Pit. One common trait among Diabolus is their adherence to contracts, and their knowledge of the power of names. Diabolus who enter into pacts will, almost without fail, adhere to them - though they will attempt to use the letter of a pact, rather than the spirit of it, if it can be turned to their advantage. While Diabolus know that the name and the true name are separate things, they are still hesitant to tell others their name, often adopting new names, or having multiple personas that they utilize.

Relations

Due to their connection to the pit, Diabolus are almost universally reviled by every civilized race throughout Orn. Most view them as a source of corruption, or a herald of ill omen. Diabolus are naturally distrustful of others, especially spellcasters of all sorts. While they may find some degree of refuge in Tarkalsys, those who accept them are few and far between. Of all the other races of Orn, Diabolus tend to connect most with other "unnatural" races such as: Forbidden, Golems, Graefward, Homunculi, and Revenants.

Immortals

Avaren – Tales of Avaren's mercy are a source of fear for some, and hope for others. While she destroyed the fiend Drak, she is also rumored to be able to restore life or grant true life.

Dhuroscht – The prince of fiends is feared by Diabolus perhaps even more than by mortals. Incubi and Succubi have actually seen his malevolence firsthand.

Drathenix – The dual nature of Drathenix draws some Demonborne to him. Hoping to learn more about their own dual nature.

Hexadus – Above all else, Diabolus fear the Pit and enslavement; Hexadus represents both.

Hursisa – Incubi and Succubi may exalt Hursisa, who also gained her free will and escaped the tortures of the Pit.

Istensia – The Radiant Maiden embodies the prime, which is anathema to Diabolus.

Lemesin – Lemisin's eternal crusade against fiends and the immortal Dhuroscht make him a foe of most Diabolus, though some may turn to him in hopes of gaining protection.

Muralakrum – All Diabolus go through a change: Cambions naturally, Demonborne by magic, and Incubi or Succubi by consumption. Diabolus may look to the Faceless One for a way to regain a normal life lost.

Secronus – Demonborne are especially adverse to Secronus, most having escaped the Sons of Secronus after undergoing the ritual against their will.

Adventurers

Diabolus happen into the adventuring life more from necessity than decision. They tend to move around a lot, and prefer to go unnoticed. They can move from shard to shard, changing personas, taking on random jobs, perhaps trying to live a normal life for some time, before wandering off to the next opportunity.

Parlance

"Pact" – Any form of formal agreement between the Diabolus and another person.

"Child of Sin" – A Cambion.

"There are some who call me..." – A typical introduction used by Diabolus.

"Diabolus may be either good or bad, like any other class of beings." – Alleged argument put forth by the philosopher Lyman Baum.

"Sometimes you control the Pit and sometimes it controls you." – A common phrase used by Diabolus to reference their aptitude for using, and fear of overusing, the power of the Pit.

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Abilities