Demonologists and Devil Cults in the Sea of Stars (A to Z)

5 April, 2021

Some gates are more obvious than othersWhen the Dragon Empress victoriously concluded the Gods War, one of her first tasks was to seal the Sea of Stars away from dangerous influences such as the distant heavens and the various hells.  Now, such a seal could not be total but it could make travel between the realms, especially travel into the Sea of Stars, much more difficult.  If people wanted to flee to the heaven or escape to the lower realms, the Empress did not care, it was things coming out of those realms to disrupt her rule that concerned her.

In addition to the wards that protected the realm as a whole, the Empress dispatched agents to locate such phenomenon as hellmouths, stairways to heaven, gates to hell and other such geographies that allowed otherworldly being to impinge on her world.  Slowly, over the course of a century or two, all of the major portals were located and sealed or destroyed.  A small number of minor portals, especially those that operated on a cyclic schedule, survived being either overlooked, lost or -in a very few cases- deliberately hidden.  One of the cyclic gates to the underworld would turn out to have been hidden under the Summer Palace of the tyrant Ba’ai’i and it was sealed at the end of the Nightmare War that destroyed his Dark Star Dominion.

Though wards and sealed gates alone does not prevent people from trying to gain forbidden power, as the Empress made a concerted effort to save knowledge, especially arcane knowledge, in the aftermath of the Gods War, no small amount of information on how to summon creatures from the other realms survived . . . and then much promptly went missing as various people seized on it as a potential weapon against the dragons.

Some arcane scholars, summoners and demonologists formed an informal, underground to exchange knowledge.  Naturally, some of this knowledge became lost or ended up in the wrong hands, a few acted as seeds for odd beliefs.  Others took what they had and vanished, one such group became the shadowed elves living underground, growing fungi and mushrooms, relying on dark powers to make up for the loss of their gods and replenish their magics.

The demon cults that existed before the Gods War mostly survived the war and its aftermath, they were already hidden from the public eye in most cases, the rare popular cults were wiped out in the general purge of religions following the Gods War.  Those that survived often gained an initial surge of new members which, more often than not, destroyed the cults either through internal division or the new cult became too large and became exposed to the authorities.  But some survived in various fashions, traditions mutating and fracturing down the years, and new ones emerged from writings, dreams and mad prophets.  The few remaining gates that exist tend to create the conditions for the creation of cults, the gates want to be opened, want to bridge the realms.

The casual and lone summoner tend to make single deals with the being they summoned, usually they summon a demon or a devil to resolve a particular problem and then stop, realizing the risk involved.  Some become intoxicated with the power or have longer term plans than require multiple summoning, leading the person down the path of the demonologist, some become servants of the dark power, others try to bend the demons to their will, neither choice usually ends up well.

Demon cults form for various reasons, usually unfilled details.  Some are casual, using the demon worship as a taste of the forbidden but never actually attempting to contact or summon a demon, these are mostly glorified social clubs but can turn to actual demonology under the right conditions.  Others actually want to gain and use the power of the demons to advance their own ends, usually at the cost of the other members of the cult.  Demon cults are by their nature secret and their members often willing to kill to keep that secret for social or practical reasons.

Many powerful wizards and sorcerers dabble in demon summoning, while not making it a major component of their profession or portfolio, as demon make excellent disposable minions.  There are also a surprising number of bound and trapped demons, many in items, left over from the age of the gods in tombs and hidden places.

Notes: Demons and devils are a common foe in Dungeons & Dragons but they should have a reason for being involved in a game.

Photo “File:Zürich – Kunsthaus – Rodin’s Höllentor IMG 7384 ShiftN.jpg” by Roland zh is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


  1. I am not a video gamer at all though my teenager does play a few games. I need to check if he is aware of the Sea of Stars. But Dungeons & Dragons does ring a bell for me 🙂
    What I do love and admire about video games is all the wondrous world building and story telling in them.
    Diacope Or At the Risk of Repeating Myself

    • All of my work is for what have become know as tabletop games, that is games you play around a table with other people, and specifically roleplaying games where you play a character (taking on the role as that character) in an imaginary world. Glad that you found my writing interesting and I hope you come back and explore more.

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