[SPOILERS] A query re: the Devils and the Chain.

I have a basic understanding of The Great Chain of Being as it pertains to Fallen London, and have a rough idea of how Judgements, The Bazaar, The Masters, Humans, and Snuffers fit in relation to one another (or at least, near enough that I don’t mind if I’m wrong.)

But I’m not sure how/where the Devils fit into its hierarchy.
(I would say that I expect a lack of soul would limit how high they can climb, but then I thought about it and realised I had no actual solid basis with which to prove or even believe either of those notions - especially as I’ve never seen mention of devils either having souls of any kind OR being soulless.)

Where are the Devils in comparison to Humans on the Great Chain of Being?
edited by Kittenpox on 1/29/2016

Yeah, I’m not sure about that either. I want to say that they’re not officially on the chain, and that if they went up to the surface they would get vaporized by the sunlight because their existence is illegal. This is just my personal impression, however, not something I’ve based on any actual lore. I’m sure the Judgements aren’t fond of them, at least.

A good question, but quite difficult to answer since we don’t really know what devils actually are. We don’t even know whether they always looked like &quotdevils&quot or only assumed that guise when a Christian city fell to the Neath (I believe the latter). You can happily speculate away on this, devils are one of the Neath’s biggest mysteries!
edited by Rupho Schartenhauer on 1/29/2016

I had a feeling that would be the answer. ^_^

I certainly agree about them being considered unfavourable by the Judgements, especially as (to me) they feel vaguely like the antithesis of what the Judgements are about.

I -think- a devil appeared in The Silver Tree - it’s been a while, so I can’t swear to that, but it would suggest that they’re not absolutely bound to the Neath.

My extremely vague and unsubstantiated impression is that the devils are a kind of anti-Judgement - not in the sense of being an enemy of the Judgements’ light and law, like the Fingerkings, but in the sense of being a kind of product of the flaws in the Chain, something that lives in its shadow. Something of the Chain but not in it, one might say. Their ecology is Chain-centric, and they’re repulsed by beings that distort their souls in ways contrary to the Chain’s demands. At the same time, they don’t seem to be serving the Judgements, and they freely break their laws - travelling outside of time and space, neighbouring Parabola, and bringing the Iron Republic into existence.

I don’t know how exactly but this snippet from Discernment is fraught with implied meaning about the relationship between devils and souls (and hence Judgments): http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/pudgyninja?fromEchoId=6840852

Based solely on two points - the prase by some Devil(ess) that all souls originally belonged to devils and the notion that all souls are to end up in a Judgement (or become one(is that actully possible?)), and considering that both are true, I’ve devised two possible scenarios:

  • Devils were somehow somewhere (in what’s now known as Hell, apparently) growing and collecting souls for their own needs before some stuff happened and Judgements, Chain and everything else came to be. Since then they do their best to collect that which they consider rightfully theirs, but, either because of other parties’ interference or lack of aptitude, they do poorly enough to be mostly ignored by Judgements.[/li][li]Devils were created by Judgements to collect souls for them, specifically potent souls that were getting close to an option of ascending the Chain or altering their nature. Assuming that both these cases make ripe souls utterly unconsumable, Judgements would hold it in high priority to prevent both from happening, hence the need for early extraction. That is to say, devils may have grown not too fond of their role (probably shipping all the good stuff up the Chain) so now they seek to break away and explore the limits of how far can they do that.

I am quite hesitant to accept that. Devils have been known to lie.

I guess that makes the Brimstone Buzzings, and the Deviless’s replacement on Mt. Palmerston make more sense in Sunless Sea.

My theory on Devils is that they collect Souls to upgrade them to make/manufacture Judgement Eggs. I mean, look at how many Brilliant Souls are in London. It is not a friendly place, so there can’t be that many exceptional people around.
edited by th8827 on 1/31/2016

This actually hit me while going to work one day.

tin-foil fedora on

The Devils are almost illegal beings, straddling between the real and the Parabolic worlds. Their anachronistic tech is a key evidence to my claim. They were probably caught by the Judgements who in their prudence decided to grant them &quotmercy&quot. In return for the right to exist, the Devils must gather souls in areas even Light can’t reach but the semi-illegal entities can. This is why they are fiercely possessive of souls, they have a quota to fulfill or else they’ll get zapped.

Of course, this is not a good way to live so they decided to make an experiment: the Iron Republic which has the semblance of Law (to look legit in the eyes of the stars) yet the Law is regulated by the Devils.

From the text found in Discernment, about the movement of souls and the need of this movement to continue and accelerate ; and knowing the devils are some kind of bees… I wonder if they don’t need to take and exchange souls in order to communicate with something.
Bees, asire other means (pheromones ?) are known to communicate thanks to some kind of &quotdance&quot. So for now, I think they may be trying to communicate with something which can only see the light of souls, and this communication is done through the movement (exchanges, loss, gains) of souls.

edited by Emain Ablach on 2/20/2016