Attempting to Understand Devils (SPOILERS)

In this topic, I will be attempting to make sense of the devils, who are one of the most intriguing factions (in my opinion).

There will be a lot of spoilers.

I will be grouping into a few rough topics. I would really appreciate feedback.

The Origins of Devils

[ul][li]Devils probably come from Parabola[/li][/ul]I’ve heard that the devils apparently once cohabited with the Fingerkings in Parabola. Can anyone back that up?

Devils arguably still reside in Parabola, since Hell has been described as being on the edge of Parabola. Although, since they only live on the edge (and also, IIRC, the Fingerkings are implied to be willing to help the bishop invade hell), Devils and Fingerkings presumably had some kind of conflict in the past. Does anyone have any proof of a Devil v. Fingerking war?

  • Are Devils literally Christian devils?

The devils were active in Second City ( ~1300 BC), which means they existed long before Christianity and quite possibly before even Judaism. However, they look and act much like how and 1800’s British person might expect. They have fangs and yellow eyes. They refer to their home as ‘Hell’ and mention it was a monarchy. Also, they trade in souls, even though the idea of the devil buying one’s soul didn’t even exist until the 6th century AD (Theophilus of Adana - Wikipedia).

It seems like there are two possible explanations:

  1. Devils have always existed in more or less their current form and the Abrahamic religions simply never mentioned their penchant for purchasing souls for ~2000 years.

  2. Devils have somehow taken a form familiar to Londoners, taking on the role of ‘devils’ for reasons of their own.

The second explanation seems more likely to me. It would explain why, as far as I know, Devils are not harmed by holy water or warded of by crosses/church bells/whatever, the way one would expect Christian devils to react. This would also explain why angels have never shown up, because they don’t exist in this setting.

The Actions of the Devils in Previous Cities

  • The Duchess claims that the devils were active in the Second City.
  • The Gracious Widow is familiar with Devils, noting that they have become active in ‘the game’ once more.

This seems to imply that the Devils were active in the Fourth City. Can any Silver Tree players back that up?

  • Can anyone confirm their presence in the First or the Third City?
  • Does anyone know if Devils called themselves something else in the other cities?

Why do they want souls?

  • Seriously, what do they do with them?
  • For that matter, what are souls?

All I know is that souls appear to provide morals, motivation, and some forms of happiness to humans, and that can be destroyed by hyper-concentrated sadness (Lacre). Also, I’ve heard that they are ‘star spore,’ which suggests a worrying connection to the Judgments.

Do the Devils have a connection to the Judgments?

  • They collect souls, which are apparently ‘star spore’[/li][li]They emit intense heat, (like miniature suns?)

Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions?

I’m still at work, but here is a great write up on info about the age old question: “Can you kill a devil?”

I know you can find a “Judgment’s Egg” which looks like a soul in Sunless Sea. (Plus I think the Boatman can say something about that, but I haven’t gotten Chess with Death high enough to know what he actually says beyond the wiki snippet)

Also devils are bees.

Missteps in conversations with one Deviless have revealed that Devils were possibly “hatched” although that little tid-bit might have been intentional misinformation.

Devils are fun good best friends. Beeee Friendzzzzz. Also something in, I think, Sunless Sea indicates they believe all Souls are theirs by right. And they certainly wouldn’t lie about that, so cough yours up. It’s not like you need it, so you’ll be a bit stilted, no big deal. Devils are also super fashionable! Best Styles! Znazziezt hatz! They get fashion tips from the future maybe. Time is a flame and all that, wild at the edges, and Devils certainly inhabit a lot of edges.

Well given that they’re bees hatching from eggs makes perfect sense. The deviless in Sunless Sea can mention building hives as well.

Plus you can get chased off from the Brimstone Convention by a giant swarm of bees.

Connection with prisoners honey?

The Lamplighter Bees that make the honey are supplied by Hell, I believe. It’s a sort of collaborative effort between the Devils and Parabola.

Yeah the devils are the lamplighter bees, I’m pretty sure.

Yeah the devils are the lamplighter bees, I’m pretty sure.[/quote]
So, based on the writing, I guess I’m not the only one who grew up with a life long distrust of bees.
edited by friendshipranger on 9/19/2014

I don’t know about the First City, but I can actually confirm that they at least had some presence in the Third. If you have a guest room at the Brass Embassy, the lodgings-specific opportunity card that pops up will have an option to investigate the connection between the devils and the Correspondence (as long as you’re a Scholar of the Correspondence, anyway). The message you get upon success mentions that they’ve been interested in the Correspondence since at least the Third City.

A fascinating tidbit, certainly, but one that only seems to raise even more questions. Like, for instance, what exactly is Hell’s interest in the Correspondence? I know more or less what the Correspondence is and who speaks it thanks to my main’s Destiny, but why would they be interested in learning about that? What could they possibly gain? It certainly can’t be an idle interest; there’s a particular action at the University where you can ask the Brass Embassy for help in keeping Virginia off your back, but upon success they merely offer you an apology and some Proscribed Material for your studies, stating that her orders &quotcome from the very bottom&quot and that they can’t interfere with her.

My guess is it’d have some connection to the fact that souls can become stars, and studying the correspondance relates to trying to understand how that works. Which could imply they’re trying to make their own.

But that is just speculation.

“Dream of a Sunrise,” anyone?

In a certain bit of Fate-locked content, the Duchess says “Hell’s presence here pre-dates the Second City.”

Since we know the devils were originally from Parabola, and (as far as I know) have never been on the Surface, one possibility is that the devils happen to be is-not. Which could have something to do with a desire to create their own judgements?

Well Prisoner’s Honey is apparently mentioned by Pliny the Elder, though that could just mean he had access to the Neath

Or that it was exported

While dealing with your troublesome Aunt, I believe that you can discover that Prisoner’s Honey loses all effect when taken Above.

Or that it was exported[/quote]

Exported, under cover of darkness. Kept in sealed containers to prevent the light of day from reaching it and converting it. Only ever sampled in the darkest of rooms at midnight on moonless nights, lest the reflected light dilute the honey?

That is also mentioned in Sunless Sea (and glim also melts when exposed to sunlight)

My guess would be the passage into the Neath at lake Avernus was around before they built the Cumaean canal though and some people explored it.