Peter V. Brett has written two excellent books so far based in Thesa where demons rise from the centre of the world at the fall of night. There's a couple of short novellas based there too, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book, coming out in February. Every couple of months Peat has a competition of some sort, and this time it was to create a coreling of your own. Most of his are elemental - wood demons, rock demons etc, and we were invited to draw, sculpt, write about or otherwise invent some of our own, up to three. I turned in three entries, and got third place, not too shabby at all!
Below follow my entries, I'll try to do some more writing soon, once we get tests and reports out of the way. I had the most fun with the last one, though writing it did require me to dig through his books a bit to find the correct spelling.
Demon of Doubt
Demons of doubt have a toothed maw at the centre of a mass of writhing tentacular arms, covered in suckers and terminating in hooked claws. Small as a grain of sand, and fond of remaining insubstantial until they strike, the existence of these demons is unknown in the current age, though their predations continue unchecked. Unfortunately this means there is no specific ward that guards against them.
Drifting through the smallest chinks in ward nets they phase through the skull and feast upon tiny portions of the unwitting brains of their host. This affects the linkages between neurons and unduly influences the hosts' behaviour, causing them to be more likely to give in to their baser emotions – such as doubt, fear, envy, greed, recklessness, or hidebound thinking. It is probably for the best that humanity is unaware of this demon, lest they revel in shallow acts, and blame their actions upon these beasts.
Far from the lands of Thesa that have been described in the Demon Cycle so far, in one of the last outposts when man was master of machines and science still served him, a small bastion of humanity managed to create an apparatus of surprising power - it was able to convert a small number of demons each night. Though the batteries of this device have long since run down, and the circuitry fallen into disrepair, their numbers still slowly increase, as they are able to overpower and infect those demons that plague the world.
They can be easily identified by their enveloping aura of honey-coloured light, and their eyes are limned with a pleasant viridian tinge that also manifests upon their extremities when they move.
Turned demons can follow simple commands given in their new masters' tongue. Even if the Krasnian army fought their way to them it would do no good, as the language has been lost to the ravages of time and demons - none of that enclave are left alive.
When the sun rises, the enslaved demons do not return all the way to the core, but merely part way down the paths (much like Arlen did) and dwell there. The coreling princes know of their existence, but are unconcerned by them, and see no great need to snuff them out as yet, as that part of the world is devoid of human life.
May Everam's light always shine upon thee. The Dama will say that the tale within this manuscript is heresy, yet still must it be told, for it is true - those of the white have defiled the Will of Everam by dismissing it out of hand.
In 142 AR our people entered a resurgence of matters spiritual. New interpretations of previously obscure scripture flowed down to even the lowliest of the khaffit. Eager to further expand our knowledge and understanding, the Andrah formed in utmost secrecy a cadre of Dama'ting well versed in prophesy and Dama that excelled as distinguished scholars of the Evejah with instructions to prepare by any means necessary prognostications of the future - whether they be dire or jubilant.
All of their auguries so far have been accurate, though you will find no other mention of them, they have been eradicated from our peoples’ histories, as have their names. That is due to their final act of soothsaying, which I am sure will be no less accurate, painful though it is.
Turning their thoughts and powers upon that most honourable edifice, the Jewel of Krasia, last resting place of the noble and brave, paean to Everam's glory and might - I speak of none other than Sharik Hora. Those luminaries from long ago ascertained that in the closing stages of alagai’sharak Fort Krasia would be overrun. Runes undone, the Andrah’s palace torn asunder and Nie's children free to despoil the fairest city of all. The taint and scourge of the darklings rendered our defenses useless. Just as the unending desert sands calls to sand demons, and the restless wind summons the winged foe, so too did the concentration of osseous relics summon a type of coreling never before seen - the Bone Alagai.
A blasphemous melding of the skeletons of those who have gone on to Everam's paradise, with thigh bones sprouting from eye sockets, ribs fusing into fingers and other monstrosities too foul to speak of, the creatures made a mockery of those dal’Sharum who gave their life in alagai’sharak.
Rather than hiding the news of this hideous desecration, these visionaries brought their proof before the Andrah, hoping against hope that given warning we would be able to avert such a course. At first, the Andrah would not accept such an unpalatable message, and threw them out in fury. They did not cease their petitions, and in time, his anger appeared to give way to their entreaties. The Andrah sent word that he would hear them out again, so long as they brought all their evidence and spoke of it to no other.
That most wise of Damaji, Rashid Asu Goram am’Harzuk had in secret left an encoded copy of all documents with his most favoured jiwa, to be passed on to his son when he had completed hannu pash and emerged as a Dama. It is from these that I have gleaned the truth, passed down through the generations, for the Andrah had not recanted in his anger, and still waxed wrothful. When all his seers were assembled and the documents accounted for he accused them of plotting sedition and that their predictions were no more than couzi fueled lies – slander and an abomination of the Everjah, and put their scrolls to the torch.
He then had their tongues ripped out, later to be thrown thrown to fire demons. A rabble of the most miserable and pitiful khaffit was gathered, given lumps of wood and instructed to bludgeon the worthy prophets to death, so that they would suffer an ignominious demise. Then they were bound to stakes on the ramparts of Fort Krasia with their own entrails, so that when the wind demons carried them off that night their souls would be dismembered, screaming wordlessly for eternity beyond Everam's sight in Nie’s darkness.
You will claim that you have never heard of the great Rashid Asu Goram am’Harzuk. This is so, as the Andrah had the names of each oracle and sibyl struck from the record, never to be spoken again, on pain of sharing their fate. The knowledge of them and their “crime” faded from memory, yet their words be true – ‘ware the Bone Alagai.