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A demon was an elemental spirit of chaos. They were under the dominion of the Bastard, and through them the Bastard could directly influence events in the world.

A demon who escaped into the world required a host to lend it strength and intelligence. It would first enter whatever animal it found such as a rat or ferret, and would be unable to do much damage. However, when the host died, the demon would jump to the strongest soul in its vicinity, thus gradually increasing in power. When a demon entered a human being, the human became a sorcerer.

The simplest way to return a small demon to the gods was to kill the host animal and to force the demon to jump to a divine who was dying. The divine looked forward to meeting their god, and brought the demon along automatically. Stronger demons, though, required special treatment to banish: a saint who could channel a miracle of the Bastard to separate demon from host. It was also possible to destroy demons by preventing them from jumping to a new host. A common method was to leave the sorcerer out in the middle of the ocean; by the time they drowned, there was no creature nearby complex enough to host the demon and the demon evaporated. The Quadrenes knew of ways to erect barriers around a dying sorcerer which prevented the demon from jumping as well.

Being creatures of chaos, demons 'leaked' chaos constantly. If not carefully shed, the chaos would generally kill the host after a while, as the chaos caused deadly tumors throughout the body. Both animal hosts and untrained human sorcerers often died from these tumors, and the trained human sorcerers had to be constantly vigilant about causing chaos outside their bodies to remove it from their bodies.


Behind the scenes[]

The author has discussed the nature of demons: "They are personifications or blobs of concentrated entropy, without which life, the universe, and everything could not exist."[1]

References[]

  1. Lois McMaster Bujold, post to the Bujold mailing list, 12 May 2015, http://lists.herald.co.uk/pipermail/lois-bujold/2015-May/170335.html
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