Infernally corrupted Faerie?

In Faith&Flame there is an optional storyline on a Faerie becoming infernally corrupted and turning into a Demon. There was a similar development of a former guardian of place in the old Black Death scenario. (However, this was a 3ed scenario with the power realms less clearly defined. The former role of the entity was mentioned being divine. With the current ruleset it should be Faerie or Magical IMO.)

I think the concept makes for great storylines. Pagan gods turning into infernal False Gods--looks good! Creatures of Magic and Faerie being assimilated into Devine and Infernal realms are also perfectly fitting a theme of old pagan wonder and magic fainting from the world with the rise of Christianity.

Unfortunately I have a few problems here.

As a minor complaint on the concept in FF, the described Faerie was a formerly powerful pagan god. In my opinion it should not be an ordinary Faerie but a Faerie daimon, sending only aspects to mundane world. And I don't think that fits the described background story very well. But there is a much bigger problem.

According to RoP:tI Faeries are not capable of true evil, being amoral and not immoral. So, it is hard to see how a Faerie can truly become infernally corrupted. Worse, Faeries do not have a soul while Demons do. I guess a soul is necessary to become truly corrupted. Owning a immortal soul also guarantees eternal suffering in the end. A soulless Faerie-Demon would escape this fate when destroyed. And I don't think that a Faerie should be able to gain a soul by becoming corrupted (unless one thinks that the corruption is due to a divine act, as creating a soul is divine). Am I somehow wrong here?

On the other hand there are probably creatures with infernal (and divine) might that lack a soul. For example I guess corrupted beasts don't own one. However, I won't call these infernal creatures demons and introducing corrupted-Faeries-that-are-no-demons as another kind of infernal creatures seem to suck the life out of the original idea.

I am not sure about jinn. They come in all four realm flavours. Do magic and faerie jinn lack a soul, while divine and infernal ones have one? Or are they all the same?

And then, becoming immortal by gaining faerie might (or magical one) should change one into a Faerie (or a Magical being) still owning a soul. (Loosing ones soul in the process would make it much less attractive, doesn't it?) In this case there are a few souled Faeries. However, assuming only these special Faeries can be corrupted feels like a rather ugly and purely technical solution.

As a way out one might assume that every being has a soul. Refusing to acknowledge the souls of beasts, Faeries and magical creatures is just Christian propaganda (or simply a theological error). Some pagan believes are nearer to the truth then.

Would love to read your ideas on this.

Interesting thoughts, and I have no good immediate answers. I just wanted to point out that this idea has been in the game for years. The idea of a faerie turning into a demon showed up in either RoP:F or RoP:tI, though I don't know the page, well before F&F arrived.

Generally speaking, I'd just use some sort of corruption mechanic that causes them to react to other Realms as if Infernal, as well as causing them to give off an Infernal rather than Faerie aura, but leave them Faeries in all other ways. Keep in mind, Faeries are really good pretenders; they may not understand demons, but then, they also don't understand how to swing swords, speak, or think. They just give the illusion of doing those things because they're incredibly good at acting; they're arguably as good at acting as demons are at lying. They act so well like their role that they convince themselves they are their role, so if you read their mind, you'll find the appropriate things for the role; they act like they know how to swing a sword so well that they inflict the same wounds on you that a skilled swordsman would; they're so good at pretending to understand and communicate with you that they can speak languages they've never seen, heard, or even heard of before (as long as it fits their role to be able to speak that language, as it usually does). Acting like a demon and trying to corrupt people isn't beyond them... For that matter, acting out a scene of slow corruption as they move from god to false god isn't beyond them. They only inherently suffer from two major limitations in this regard: the Realm Interaction table (they can't be a big shot in Hell if going to a level 10 Infernal aura would give them a -50 to MR and rolls to use their Powers, after all), and the fact that, while they might be able to copy a demon's great intelligence and foresight and lack of all virtuous qualities perfectly, they can't copy one thing demons do: commit evil that human victims wouldn't be able to comprehend. People often have a wall, you see; a limit to how horrible something can be before they stop being able to understand what's so much more horrible about adding more. This wall is different for all humans and would likely be much wider for humans who have been tortured by demons, but it shows up somewhere for everyone. Faeries, being restricted by human imagination, would face this limit as well. The demons, however, are good enough at torturing and putting people in just the right frame of mind to make the next step worse and worse that, with patience, they can keep being more evil and horrible than humans can ever comprehend prior to experiencing it.

Magic creatures, having legitimate minds and personalities, are much more interesting to apply this question to, imho, and there's precedent for it being possible (many of the demons in Hell used to have Divine Might, after all) but I don't know how I'd cover it in the rules.

Demons are a species of angel, and thus do not have souls.

Angles do not have souls: they are a fragment of Divine will. They are purely of spirit, taking on matter as required to interact with the world.

Humans do not generally become angels, with possibly two exceptions, so arguably two of them had souls at one point.

(Jewish demons aside, which are not necessarily fallen angels, since some of their demons are produced sexually.)

So basically your corrupted Faeries do not become demons but are pretending to be demons? Seems like a consistent solution and a very Fearie-oriented one. I don't think I would go for that in my game (at least not in general) but it certainly makes sense from a Faerie point of view as Christianity has reinterpreted pagan gods as demons several times. In that case ist would also be possible for the Faerie to change to a non-demonic role later on (given appropriate human input for a role-change).

Also, I think these Faeries are not protected from hermetic truth-reading as true demons are.

PS: Thanks for your comments, callen.

Thanks, Timothy, in this case the whole thing makes more sense.

However, RoP:tI mentioned that the soul of a demon directly goes to Hell for eternal suffering when the demon is permanently slain (RoP:tI p. 29, both under "The Spiritual Form of a Demon" and "The Physical Form of a Demon"). I also tended toward the interpretation their free will (RoI:tI p. 35) is only possible with a soul.

Ashmodai and Lilith I guess. :slight_smile: RoI:tI (p. 28) mentions a whole group, the terrestial demons, including the children the fallen watchers and demons had with humans. Also, "Those damned souls who managed to return to Earth to torment sinners are also counted among the terrestial demons." I guess this refers to infernal ghosts, which are mentioned to be a kind of demon (a kind that cannot manifest physically, p. 29 again).

I'd argue that's a spirit, and demons don't have free will.

Demons fall and then that's it: they don't have free will, because they understand the Divine plan perfectly and can get no new information on it, so they cannot change their views regarding it.

Not I was thinking of Enoch and Elijah. Elijah becomes Metranon.

Interesting. I knew Enoch became Metatron according to some sources, but I did not know that Elijah became Metranon -- in fact, I had never heard about Metranon before!

Going back to the original post, the way I play it in my sagas is this (I don't think it's a house rule, but a coherent interpretation of the RAW).

In some cases, at some point in time, a pagan cult becomes corrupted. This attracts the interest of the Infernal, and the Infernal dispatches some agent who usurps the name and role of the original pagan deity. Eventually, the original deity fades away, at least from that place. Note that I do not assume the existence of faerie daimons (in fact, I'm not even sure if daimons can be anything but Magical); instead, a faerie god that operates in many places simultaneously is actually a whole group of faeries, each of which takes the role of the god and the corresponding vitality in that location.

So you really had a pagan god (i.e. a set of powerful faeries) named Radegast, and maybe in 1220 it's still worshipped in a bunch of places (i.e. there are a few faeries who keep the role up somewhere). But in 1220 in Pomerania, what people call Radegast is, in fact, a wily demon (GotF, p.122). It's not the same entity that has transformed, it's the same mask that's being worn by a different entity.

Oh oh, souls again.

This piece from A&A (pg. 31) came up in our last discussion on the matter:

The principle difference between the
mind of an animal and that of a human is the
possession of a soul, which is unique to rational
beings such as humans, angels, and demons.

Faerie's "protection" works differently, but I do believe it's there in some sense. They don't get to give magi whatever information they want to give them the way demons can, but they will always give them something appropriate to the role they're playing. Faeries are conceptually difficult to comprehend in some ways, but the important thing to remember is that Faeries, with their rules rather than souls, are also only pretending to have that mind your mind-reader is reading. If their role is that of a demon, even if your SG would rule that they can't copy a demon's lying talent, they'll still probably have some kind of constantly-active Power messing with Mentem effects and effects forcing them to speak truthfully. Woe betide the magus who invents a spell that overcomes this Power and thus begins to think he can force the truth from all demons, though... :laughing:

Ah, wasn't aware of them.

Good point, that's a great idea to keep things in line with RAW. That's exactly what I was looking for. :smiley:

Sorry to bring up old topics as a newcomer here. :blush: I found it a bit confusing, wether 5ed assumes a dichotomy or trichotomy and how soul, spirit and mind/mentem are exactly related. I didn't know the cited sentence as I do not own A&A (yet) but I assumed a similar interpretation from reading the realm books.

Looks like the truth out there is really difficult to determine even for a powerful mind-reading magus.

How about combining your suggestion with ezzelinos: After the Faerie god is replaced by a demonic false god, experiences with the twisted cult inspire people to new or changed tales. This in turn attracts Faeries taking the role of corrupted god from the tales (in parallel to the activities of the demon). Certainly quite confusing to players.

To make this even more confusing, a person (with a soul) can be turned into a faerie (without a soul) even though souls cannot be destroyed, and that faerie (without a soul) can later be corrupted into a demon (with a soul).
Methinks there is something funny going on with regards to faeries and souls here...

The key problem for researchers is that faeries will provide confirmatory evidence for any theory, if it will lead to further research. RoP:F pg. 14. (Yes, that quote is out of context, buuuuuut...)

That said, the simplest explanation for the problem of souls is that souls aren't as immortal as the Church claims. House Criamon claims, after all, that Twilight pulls you outside of reality (though House Criamon claims a lot of things). Mysteries allow you to become a daimonic spirit, and you can also become a faerie. And faeries can become demons. (Faeries can also probably become divine spirits under certain circumstances, but this is easily explained by a miracle.)

Of course, the other explanation is that faeries do have souls; the Nerians certainly believe this. They can't be detected as having any, and appear to be destroyed entirely upon death, but the empirical scientific method doesn't always work in Mythic Europe; it simply might be occulted from human eyes.