Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Pantheons & Named Examples of the Seven Types of Demons

by Shannon

Not each of the seven types of demon has a named individual representative, but several do; Havard mentioned these in his list. Saasskas is a hissing demon, Alphaks and Razrog are roaring demons. Atzanteotl is a screaming demon. Ranivorus is a howling demon. Hircismus is actually called a "shaggy demon" and described as a "huge, hulking brute...covered with long, shaggy hair. Its long arms dangle and drag like an ape’s; its hairless face is covered with pulpy, smooth, glistening flesh. The eyes roll madly. The fat, slobbering jowls quiver since Hircismus giggles constantly....Beneath Hircismus’s shaggy hair are short, stiff poisonous spines.... Dangling from Hircismus’s belt (his only garment) are dozens of animated undead heads which gape and roll their eyes in eternal horror." A unique form, not fitting any of the seven common types, he seems more like Orcus or Demogorgon in this regard. Or perhaps we've discovered another type in the "shaggy demon." That could be interesting.... (Say, Havard: What's the citation to Hircismus' being a groaning demon, please? I'm overlooking it.)

I don't think canon contains individually named examples of the other types of demon – croaking demons, whispering demons, or groaning demons (but see my note on Hircismus above and Havard's classification). Also, Nyx is awfully like a whispering demon in appearance, just without the horns or wings; but her goals and behaviour are decidedly not demonic.

I don't know that the presence or absence of these named examples helps much with additional canonical background about the types of demons or any canonical pantheon, though one can certainly invent anything one is inspired to (say, deciding Atzanteotl created or is served by all screaming demons in your version of Mystara, for instance). Canonically, demons are chaotic beyond imagining; they're not prone to cooperation save in the most Byzantine, treacherous, deceitful, and self-serving ways.

The Names of the Types of Demons I shan't post the artwork here because I don't want to violate any rules about copyrighted material, but if you can find the relevant art from the Immortals Rules and Wrath of the Immortals you'll be a long way to seeing the idea behind the demons' nomenclature.

Some demons – notably those who are also true immortals – seem to have their own unique forms. Orcus and Demogorgon explicitly do, and perhaps Saaskas, Bielgorna, et al. may as well. The standard forms of demons, however, correlate with the adjectives assigned to them, and suggest they probably do make the characteristic sounds for which each is named, in some cases the rules explicitly state the demon makes the affiliated sound:

Thus, only the croaking demon, hissing demon, and whispering demon are not noted explicitly to make their eponymous sounds. However, Croaking demons are "giant, humanoid toads" and of course toads croak; hissing and spitting go hand in hand, as noted; additionally, hissing demons are serpentine, and serpents are known for hissing. Whispering demons and hissing demons are explicitly described as female (though whispering demons may take male forms), and that gender is reinforced by their not consorting together. The whispering demon's ways may be, I think, fairly said to invoke what we might conventionally call seductive, feminine wiles, which, combined with its penchant for hypnotically charming victims, all go naturally with whispering.

I hope that additional detail may help with your understanding of the various types of demons.