The demons that exist independently only make up a quarter of the demon population, but to say they are potent and prolific is quite the understatement. Demons control things, but they still feed off humans. Violent demons might choose to eat, torture, or otherwise feast on humans in such a way as to live up to the legends of monstrous diabolical devils. Other demons, perhaps lesser known and often overlooked, prefer a more nonviolent take. They feed off dreams and emotions, but do not actually physically harm those they prey upon.
Much Ado About Demons
General Facts About Demons
Demons do not typically dream. While this is a known fact, humans do not seem to realize the importance of dreaming to demon kind. The inability to dream means they cannot sustain themselves or their strength without preying upon those who can (i.e. - humans.)
In order to dream at all, a demon must be affected by the appropriate dominion, or, they must have consumed mass quantities of human blood. As such, it can quickly become a dangerous addiction.
Demons can be born as males, females, both, neither, or as something else entirely. It’s completely normal for a demon to not fit into a binary sex selection. Gender among demons is incredibly fluid and, just like in humans, often has nothing to do with whatever sexual organs they do or don't have.
Demons do not carry what humans refer to as gametes. Demons reproduce through a ritual, which means the sex (or lack thereof) of the participants is irrelevant in tracing lineage and parenthood. Creating a child invokes a pact in which no participant may harm any other physically, nor devour them. It is a magical process and it's magic that ties a demon's hand. For that reason, demons are circumspect about invoking the ritual and creating a demon child.
Demons must feed off humans. Be that their flesh, blood, or other physical component… or their thoughts, memories, emotions, dreams or other incorporeal component. Different demons feed off different aspects.
Demons don't like other demons. Demons can eat other demons to gain their dominions and memories and to enhance their own masteries. Competition among demons is pretty high, and demon society is pretty ruthless.
Humans don’t really understand the mechanics or nuances of the theory, but the easiest translation is this: demons are recycled. When they die, they are born anew, be it soon after their death or centuries later. Demons will rarely remember their past lives completely (though some dominions specialize in uncovering such ‘reincarnation’) but any given demon has likely lived many different lives.
The demons of this world are not "Christian demons" and are not affected by things such as Catholic exorcisms, crosses, holy water, et cetera. In fact, some demons are even religious!
While demons can exhibit god-like powers and abilities (Godly tier dominions), they are not gods.
And as these are not 'Western' demons, there is no angelic counterpart. Demons of this world are just as varied in temperament as humans are, and can range from bad to good.
It was once believed that demons were the manifestations of the subconscious of their hosts. While this has grown to be an unpopular opinion, evidence exists that the human host’s psyche does affect the appearance and personality of the demon attachment as much as the demon attachment affects its host, at least to some extent.
Humans with strong affinities towards fictional characters (or demons who have been exposed to such affinities in previous lives) may become hosts to demon attachments that embody the canon of these characters.
Likewise, humans with strong affinities towards historical figures (or demons who were perhaps exposed to such historical figures in previous lives) may become hosts to demon attachments that incarnate the nature of these figures.
Demons may embody creatures and beasts that may be fantastic, exotic or common in the case of Primal Demons or may take the form of humanoids realistic or otherwise in the case of Civil Demons.
Demons often manifest in one particularly stable form. This form may change when a human experiences an ascension change, but will otherwise be fairly reliable.
Demon Age Ranges
There once raged a massive debate among humans in regards to which demon type is superior. Hell, there still is. But if you ask the demons themselves, they'll gladly inform mankind of their ignorance: primal demons and civil demons are merely two different extremes. Humans have very little choice as to which sort of demon they're saddled with at birth. All human hosts appear to be born with primal demons, but within the first years of the host’s birth, the demon will begin to show civil tendencies (and become civil) — or never do so.
Civil demons are more akin to humanoid companions. They often engage in speech and discourse with their human hosts and — should they be strong — will often seem to be fully-fledged individuals of their own. They are, however, still tethered to their human host. Civil demons tend to manifest appearances.
Civil demons will develop and appear to be separate entities. They have the capacity to form their own relationships, thoughts, emotions, agendas, and personalities. Civil demons rarely share the age of their host.
The appearance of the civil demon can be affected by a human’s strong affinity towards fictional or historical figures, or may otherwise fashion an appearance realistic or fantastic.
Primal demons appear to have the intelligence of predatory birds, but appear to lack the mental ability (or willingness) to grasp more difficult tasks. Similarly, though primals cannot speak a language, they do communicate with their hosts as animals or beasts in the mortal world would and have the capacity to converse with other demons. Primal demons often occupy less humanoid appearances, assuming they manifest at all.
All human hosts are born with what seems to be a “servile” primal demon. At one to three years of age for the host, the demon will show civil tendencies. If they do not, they will remain primal.
Primal demons are believed by humans to be weaker attachments than civil demons, but among demonkind, primal demons are viewed as being more feral and incorruptible.
A solo demon is just that - a demon who is unattached to a human. They live their own lives, and many are able to blend in and be indistinguishable from the humans around them.
They gain mastery of their dominions at a slightly slower rate than civil demons, but still considerably faster than primal.
Solo demons can form bonds with others: human or demon, romantic or platonic. They have their own societal structure, and many have in the past taken human hosts, but for one reason or another no longer do. This could be personal choice, or even a restriction imposed by the government.