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Demons & Hell in the City of Heroes Universe


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On 11/22/2021 at 1:39 PM, Coyotedancer said:

There's nowhere explicitly called "Hell" in the City universe, as VT said... But there is the Abyss. That's where the Circle's demons and their various named bosses (like the Envoy of Shadows and Lilitu-) come from. The little Wailers may be Abyssal as well, though their lore is less upfront about that than the Circle's demons.

 

There do seem to be ranks and some sort of hierarchy among the Abyssal types... Lilitu seems to be an archdemon, for instance.... But as far as I know there isn't anywhere in the canon lore that really goes into that in any detail at all. Looking at the in-game power/status levels of the various critters is as close as it gets. Spectrals<Spectral Lords<Behemoths<Behemoth Lords<Blade Princes<(Named archdemon AVs like Lil) Hoarfrosts and Succubi are also in there somewhere.

 

 If any of the City demons are from "elsewhere" rather than the Abyss, I'd guess Batz and/or his gremlins. They seem more like rogue elementals than demons... But, then, the Abyss may be a very big and vary chaotic place, filled with who knows what kind of weirdness. Who's to say there *isn't* some corner of the place that looks just like Dante's inferno?

 

To bounce off of this: although Bat'Zul and the Wailers are never once referred to as being from the Abyss the way that Circle Demons are, they're treated as thematically interchangeable in Hard Luck the Demon Hunter's arcs.  That is to say, Hard Luck describes Bat'Zul as "a demon problem" equivalent to what he's dealt with with the Wailers when sending you to ask Virgil Tarikoss for help with the Wailers, and the Wailers presented in his arcs face attempted parlay from the Circle of Thorns and are presented as behaving identically to Abyssal Demons as far as summoning and banishing.  Truenaming works on both Wailers and 'normal' Demons (see the Envoy of Shadows), and the Circle can summon and employs truenaming on both.  Both can be bound/truenamed by books; 'mainline' Abyssals by the Malleus Mundi, and Wailers by Tolshak's Mysteries.  Both breeds of demon also operate on identical pact logic and structure.  Hard Luck further equivocates Johnny Sonata, the PTS and the Circle by classing them by a single term: "demon-callers," which he unilaterally despises. 

 

(This is neither here nor there, but the Wailers also attack sites in the Spirit World in Hard Luck's arcs, which is something we see the Circle/Abyssal Demons do, but also something we see ghosts do in First Ward and fey do in Croatoa.  The Spirit World is a decently defined location with its own logic in City of Heroes.)

 

Moving on, we also have the Tip Mission Demonic Pink Slip and the Demonic Blood Sample salvage, which refer to demons as coming from the lowest regions of the Netherworld, which we must presume is synonymous with the Abyss based on the Abyssal demons encountered in the former.  In the Tarikoss Strike Force, Bat'zul is likewise described, identically, as coming from "The Depths of the Netherworld."  Ergo, Bat'Zul, too, is from the Abyss.  (And, not for nothing, but Circle Hordelings really look like his chicken-boys).  Demonic Threat Report, on the other hand, refers to "Demons" as a class but provides no further clarity.

 

Due to the identical methodology vis-a-vis Abyssal Demons and Wailers, and the identical nomenclature used for all three ("Demons," "Demon-callers," "The lowest layers/depths of the Netherworld"), there's a strong argument to be made that all Demons presented in the canon - Circle, Wailers, Bat'Zul - have a unified source and role, in that they are all hostile, sapient fauna from an extraplanar region called the Abyss, albeit there is enough difference between layers of the Abyss to create distinct morphological differences between "breeds."  What they all share in common is the ability to travel to our plane, the ability to receive souls as a form of nourishment/currency, immortality, and - definitively, in the case of the mainline and Wailer breeds - a weakness to truenaming and a capacity to warp reality through soul pacts.

 

None of this, mind you, is to hold player demons to this canon at gunpoint!  But, it is to consolidate what all we have as far as demon canon, and I think given the differences in behavior and appearance of the Abyssals we see aside from a general malintent, there are strong arguments for player demons to come from both other, more obscure regions of the Abyss (as the Wailers seem to be) or from other dimensions entirely, as say, Black Swan's creatures are.

Edited by TwoDee
Pretentious canon wank
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In my mythology of this world, since demons and arch demons are always mentioned I decided that people who have hellish characters and go the incarnate route are devils since that means they are more powerful than the demons.

THEN there are the different hellish realms that can be spawned, I figure CoX lore is a base that we can build upon.

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21 hours ago, TwoDee said:

Pretentious canon wank

This was really cool, so thanks! :D

 

A question I would pose is, do you think the original developers had a canon document they worked from which went into detail on the hellish/demonic material, and that their writing over the years stayed consistent to it? Or do you feel successive writers just did their own thing?

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On 11/24/2021 at 9:13 PM, Shadeknight said:

The Paragon devs hated the exisistance of PraeInfernal

Yeah...

I always just assumed Praetorian Infernal was T'Keron who was Infernal's friend who got bound to a demon lord. His friend and Infernal got sucked into a new dimension - but T'Keron ended up on Praetorian Earth instead while our Infernal ended up on Primal Earth.

So, my head canon is just that they aren't the same Infernal - they just took up the same title. 

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On 11/24/2021 at 9:13 PM, Shadeknight said:

The Paragon devs hated the exisistance of PraeInfernal

As for Battlemaiden...

Uh... more headcannon? The Spear she found isn't from outerspace or some ancient technological planet. It's from another dimension. Both spears (One found on Primal Earth and the one found on Praetoria) come from the same dimension. Maybe that dimension sends out weapons to other dimensions because it's some sort of sociological experiment? 

Anyways, Primal Earth's Valkyrie used the weapon to help people. The Praetorain version, who grew up in a darker time, uses the weapon to control people. 

I mean, my head canon requires ignoring a lot of the earlier Praetorian lore... ore assuming that the Primal Earth scientist just got the data wrong before handing it out. 

Edited by BBBadger
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On 11/26/2021 at 7:24 AM, Andreah said:

This was really cool, so thanks! 😄

 

A question I would pose is, do you think the original developers had a canon document they worked from which went into detail on the hellish/demonic material, and that their writing over the years stayed consistent to it? Or do you feel successive writers just did their own thing?


I'm not sure if they did for the hellish end of things... There are some pretty interesting things in the old Lore Bible doc in reference to the Oranbegans, but I don't recall a lot about the demons in there. Dee probably remembers better than I do, though. My attention was pretty focused when I was reading through all of that. 

Taker of screenshots. Player of creepy Oranbegans and Rularuu bird-things.

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5 hours ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

Misinformation and unreliable narration are powerful tools for allowing retcons to live a shared life with their original disregarded lore.

 

That's how I jive what's in the older lore docs about the Oranbegans with what Arkarist tells everyone in his history-dump in Library of Souls. There are things he gets wrong... Or maybe just doesn't really want to talk about for one reason or another. Like his own part in it. So the information he gives is similar to the older history, but differs in some interesting ways... 

 

There are a few things there that never showed up in the game itself, too. Tya, for instance. In the old doc, she's apparently the archmage credited with pulling the city underground to protect it from the Mu's airships. IIRC it's at least also implied that she's the one who came up with the "escape plan" ritual that denied the demons the Oranbegan's souls.

 

As far as I know, she's never once mentioned anywhere in-game, though. Possibly because in-game we've never had a single example of a female NPC Circle mage? (In spite of text stating that every man, woman and child from that civilization was a magic user. 😝

 

Anyway, flexibility is probably the best answer. 'Maybe even the only half-way reasonable one. 

 

 

 

Edited by Coyotedancer
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Taker of screenshots. Player of creepy Oranbegans and Rularuu bird-things.

Kai's Diary: The Scrapbook of a Sorcerer's Apprentice

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Not sure if this has been covered exactly, I'm very tired, but if you look at the descriptions of some of the enemies in the Circle of Thorns group it absolutely says they're from Hell:

 

https://archive.paragonwiki.com/wiki/Circle_of_Thorns

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The Circle of Thorns story is pretty interesting, they were pivotal in defeating the Rikti but it wasn't reported publicly, cool read.

 

Seems like Hell is a thing but could be the common name for a horrific dimension people perceive as hell, lines are blurred and it may be better to leave it unexplained so thoroughly. Biblical hell does seem to exist in the COH universe seems Christianity exists (According to the Baron Zoria lore) had time to come up with something I might put into a character sometime.

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I *think* this is the right link for the other, older docs... 

COH Writing.zip - Google Drive

 

ETA: Yep. Page 145 of the CoHBible doc is where the Circle stuff starts, it looks like... although they are mentioned elsewhere in other parts of the doc, too, in passing.

 

 

 

Edited by Coyotedancer
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Taker of screenshots. Player of creepy Oranbegans and Rularuu bird-things.

Kai's Diary: The Scrapbook of a Sorcerer's Apprentice

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On 11/22/2021 at 9:06 PM, Greycat said:

a place ruled by someone named Frank where they play nothing but techno-country-rap

That's the Hell from the Warrior Earth dimension. <-- Just like most of the dimensions we can travel to have their own theme or flavor to distinguish them from ours, I would expect their respective versions of a demonic realm to have a a theme that corresponds to their dimension's.

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