A demon is an oft-malicious spirit from the Fade that embodies a sin or negative emotion and that feeds on the darker parts of the mortal psyche like rage, hunger, and desire. According to Solas, a spirit becomes a demon when denied its original purpose. This denial occurs when a spirit is forced to do something that greatly conflicts with its original nature, or it may occur as a spirit explores mortal minds and dreams and encounters negative thoughts and memories. A demon's strength and intelligence is dependent on the emotions or idea from which it feeds; the more complex the concept, the more powerful the demon.
Nature of demons
Demons are categorized into a hierarchy by human observers that is aligned to the Five Great Sins as defined by the Chantry. It has existed at least since the Towers Age and is called Brahm's Scale after its inventor. Rage is the simplest emotion to feed from so rage demons are often much lower on the power scale. Sloth demons are above rage demons, and are known as masters of disguise. Desire demons are higher still, and have the power to manipulate people without their ever knowing. Most powerful of all are pride demons. They are fearsome creatures, known for their intelligence. However, demons do not abide by this hierarchy. A rage demon can focus on retribution, which is more powerful and complex motivation than simple anger, while a desire demon focused on lust will be less powerful than one who focuses on desire for something more complex. There are also "terror" demons which rely on more base fears while "despair" demons work to extinguish feelings of Hope. Rarer demons include "envy" and "fear".
Demons do not have genders. Within the Fade, they are able to shapeshift and take a form of their choosing. As creatures of an alternate and malleable reality, a demon's natural mindset can appear insane to a mortal.
Ultimately, a demon is simply a spirit whose purpose has been perverted. Pulling a spirit unwillingly into the mortal world, particularly to achieve a goal out of keeping with its nature, will change a spirit into a demon (however, a spirit passing willingly through the Veil will not be changed). Furthermore, an individual anticipating seeing a demon will do so, even if the entity is in fact a spirit.
As with most spirits, demons crave to join the living. Some spirits cross the Veil because they desire to experience life, either to indulge in an aspect of psyche or to fulfill a purpose they embody. Usually spirits or demons can only cross over the Fade by attaching themselves to something in the mortal world. Demons in particular, cannot make sense of the physical world. They are unable to tell the living from the dead or the very static nature of the physical universe. As such, it becomes very confusing for such creatures who are normally accustomed to a physicality defined entirely by emotion and memory. Thus, demons unable to reconcile with their new reality would look monstrous and wrong in the physical world. If spirits are made manifest against their will they become violent and mad by the shock and turn into demons. Most demons seek to immediately seize upon anything they perceive as life, jealously attempting to possess it since it is the most expedient way to keep their sanity intact in the mortal world. The only known way to exorcise a demon without killing its host is to enter the Fade and confront it directly - but this still entails substantial risks. If the host is killed, the demon returns to the Fade unscathed. Mages, due to their enhanced influence across the Veil, are in the most danger of being possessed.
Abominations are the horrifying result of a demon possessing a mage. However, demons do not only possess the living. When a pride demon takes control of the corpse of a mage, an arcane horror is born, possessing all the spellcasting abilities of a living mage, as well as possessing the ability to heal and even command other animated corpses. Another powerful possessed corpse is a revenant, these are usually possessed by a demon of pride or of desire.
Demons often cannot distinguish between a living being and a dead one and will readily take control of either. This is one of the reasons for the Chantry's custom of burning the dead. For weaker demons, corpses make tempting targets, as the demon cannot sense any resistance. When a sloth demon takes possession of a dead body a shambling corpse is the result. Devouring corpses are held by hunger demons and feed upon the living.
The longer dead also fall prey to possession. A fanged skeleton is a skeleton possessed by a hunger demon. Driven by hunger, these skeletons attempt to consume whatever life they can find and often possess the ability to drain life energy and mana from their victims. Shambling skeletons are possessed by a sloth demon, they are able to use entropic powers against their opponents.
Demons may occasionally possess non-mortal forms to escape the Fade, as well. Trees, for example, may become corrupted. This has the interesting side effect of avoiding the madness usually associated with demonic possession of mortal or sentient beings.
Despite the numerous examples of demonic possession shades prove that demons do not have to possess in order to cross over. They are demons in their true form. In time, such a demon will learn to drain energy from the psyche of those it encounters, just as they did in the Fade. Once it has drained enough, it has the power to manifest. Such creatures do not seek to possess a host and instead exist as a shadow, feeding off the minds of those it encounters.
- Before the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition, David Gaider discussed other types of demons existing and listed despair, fear, envy and remorse to be among them. He mentioned that at least one new major type of demon would appear in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Though despair, fear and envy were indeed introduced, remorse has yet to appear.
See alsoCodex entry: Abomination Codex entry: Arcane Horror Codex entry: Corpse Codex entry: Demonic Possession Codex entry: Despair Demon Codex entry: Desire Demon Codex entry: Envy Codex entry: Pride Demon Codex entry: Rage Demon Codex entry: Revenant Codex entry: Shade Codex entry: Skeleton Codex entry: Sloth Demon Codex entry: Spirits and Demons Codex entry: Wisp Codex entry: Wraith
- ↑ Dragon Age RPG, Set 1 - Game Master's Guide, p.32
- ↑ Codex entry: Demonic Possession
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 David Gaider. "Why is Pride the strongest? ". Bioware Social Network.
- ↑ According to Cole, such spirits become "more themselves."
- ↑ According to dialogue with Solas, and the events of All New, Faded for Her.
- ↑ Cole/Dialogue#Cole and Dorian
- ↑ Codex entry: Shade
- ↑ Codex entry: Charred Sylvan. See also The Grand Oak.
- ↑ David Gaider. "There should be a Despair Demon". Bioware Social Network.