The Court of a Thousand and Nine Sorrows
Humans are very emotional beings, and feel things much more strongly than most other creatures. Sometimes, they feel things a little too strongly.
The Court of a Thousand and Nine Sorrows is a heirarchy of lesser demons. The Sorrows are different from greater demons in that they take very little interest in the politics of the Lower Courts; they do not interfere in the matters of other demons, and in turn, they are largely ignored by their more powerful counterparts.
What makes the Sorrows so different from their infernal kin is that at one time, all of them were once mortal. Some either felt or believed in something for the entirity of their life, so much so that it literally defined them. Others died in the grip of a feeling so strong that it lived on after their death, becoming an entity all its own, bound in a shell of the person's personality.
The Sorrows are embodiments of concepts or aspects of the human personality. Each Sorrow fully embodies whatever their Aspect is, usually to the extent that any other elements of their personality recede or fade altogether. Upon becoming a Sorrow, the person in question becomes much more one dimensional, focusing entirely on their Aspect.
The Sorrows are not necessarily evil, although a good many might as well be, and all of them will commit what would widely be considered evil acts. They are simply the darker and baser aspects of human nature, because those are the ones strong enough to come to life.
The Sorrows feed off of feelings, emotions, and actions that match their Aspect. Hisa, the Sorrow of Vengeance, and Kane, the Sorrow of Justice, feed on the pursuit of vengeance and justice respectively, while Oni, the Sorrow of Torment and Engel, the Sorrow of Agony, feed off of causing or suffering pain, respectively.
All of them have their own individual agendas; they instinctively pursue their Aspect. Some assist mortals who are dedicated to the same principle, some simply work alone. Usually, the Sorrows stay out of each other's way, focusing on their own agendas. However, sometimes Sorrows come into conflict, especially if their Aspects aren't compatible. When this happens, they may frustrate each other's plans, but the ones who suffer the consequences are the mortals associated with them or who just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Sorrows are all of a similar power level, less than that of true demons, but still much greater than mortals. They are stronger, faster, and have keener senses than humans, and some have formidible magical talents as well. All feel an instinctual pull towards elements of their Aspect.
The Sorrows can be temporarily killed, but can never be truly destroyed as long as their particular Aspect is part of human nature. It is possible that a Sorrow's "avatar" might change, if they're killed at the same time another demon of the same potential Aspect is born. Otherwise, if a Sorrow is "killed," it simply rematerializes in the place of its birth, disoriented and unable to fully utilize its full abilities. It takes them at least a month to regain their bearings and regain control of their abilities; longer, if they were killed in a particularly thorough manner. Of course, once they do regain their bearings, they are usually quite angry about the matter.
All demons, including the Sorrows, can be summoned assuming the proper requirements are met; of course, the greater the demon, the harder it is to do properly and maintain control. The Sorrows tend to get particularly annoyed at being summoned, with one or two exceptions, because it always interrupts whatever course of action they are currently pursuing.
It is possible to bind Sorrows, if the correct rites are followed to the letter, but it would be quite dangerous to do so. Not only will the Sorrow object in the strongest possible terms, but they draw power from any manifestations of their Aspect. Someone simply getting too close while under the influence of said aspect can ruin the whole thing.
The Sorrows generally look much as they did in life. They tend to be pale, and some injuries suffered just prior to their death or their ascension into demon-hood stay with them. Their eyes always look a little strange, hinting at their non-human nature, although most can generate enough illusion to conceal this. The particular way their eyes are strange varies from Sorrow to Sorrow. (For example, Hisa has solid black eyes, Kane has slightly luminous blue eyes, and Oni has blood red eyes. Engel has no eyes at all, simply empty sockets, but does not seem to have a problem seeing despite that.)
NPCs • Minor • Criminal/Espionage
"There are ideas that are so fundamental that without them, civilization could not exist. The most inviolate, the most important, is justice. If men do not hold rigorously to what is just, then society cannot live. I will not allow those who would ignore something so vital simply because it does not suit them to persist in doing so."
NPCs • Minor • Criminal/Espionage
There are some people who just lay down and die if someone hurts them. Some people forgive those who hurt him. And some... well, some decide to punish the people who hurt them. Me? Not even death can stop me from having my revenge. Not my death, not his death. They'll all pay.
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? Responses (18)-18
I agree with your comment in PM, something is currently missing from this little ditty. That thing is a unifying context, what sets this court of demons apart from any other dark pantheon of fallen gods and angels. Given the name of the court and what I've read of Hisa, it would seem to be a good guess to say something like all of the Sorrows were mortals, human, at one time and through various acts, betrayals, and black sorcery they were elevated to the status of demons.
I had all these ideas ready, but fate would have it that after reading Hisa, now would work. It was like throwing a cleric into one of Muro's games, it all looked so sturdy on paper, but chance leads to their demise... mmmmm
What I would like to know, at least in this sub, is just HOW one's spirit is turned into a demon, and it seems rather relevant. And while I agree that them all being mortal, or an collection of fragments of souls, would be neat, I think that them not all being humanoid, or even "intelligent" would be interesting. Velce, the Sorrow of the Hunt, a massive tiger with paws the size of a dwarf's chest....
What purpose do you want them to serve? Are they merely there, waiting expectantly for Random Evil Baddies (REBs) to summon them, or do they actively strive to advance their own personal agendas in the world, and how do they deal with eachother when said purposes are not in agreement?
I don't really know beyond that. I'll think on it.
First off: I love the name, more so than I usually love names, and I love names.
Second off: I second Pariah, purpose and agenda are neccesary, especially in the realms of intra-court politics (after all, there has to be a Sorrow of Ambition lurking around, trying to climb is way to the top of the demonic hierarchy.)
Third off: I just have to ask, is there a Sorrow of Sorrow?
Nothing to add to what has been already said on these. Are you planning on making it an 'open' Court? I have a couple of emotion-oriented demons that need rework and this would be a good excuse to do so...
Thankies for the suggestions, I shall definitely be using them to rework this, and it will be much better for it, I think. And yah, Val, I'll probably make it open once I get done with it.
Updated: Finally sending this thing live. Reworked to accomodate suggestions from various quarters. Thanks to all that gave me feedback, and special thanks to Wulfhere for catching my grammatical errors.
Like there were errors!
An excellent group of fiends, tying together several other excellent posts.
Nicely done and well released.
I like! What a nasty crew...
Now they have finally come together. Interesting combination of characters, and a good unifying concept. In fact, these guys could replace the entire demon thing and be the genuine fiends of a given world. I like that.
Oh wow, I like this a lot! Wow, how did I miss this. Now I will have to read the slew of linked subs. What manfred said too! A whole new group of nasties to take the place of any other nasties in any given campaign. Well written, nicely imagined! Great work Ria! HoH forthcoming when I get me one.
Weird it letting me vote again. On talking with Ria I see why he became a demo retrack that statement as i am lazy and won't edit. :)
Trippy! This makes me want to come up with a Sorrow of my own :P
A true masterpiece!
As everyone said above, will HoH this tomorrow.
Very much awesome. And great as well.
Beware of the Sorrows! A honorary Bump.