Daemon, from Serpent Isle manual
|Also known as:||Gargoyles, Manes, (Ultima III)|
|Variants:||Imps, Balrons, Hordlings, |
|First appearance:||Ultima I|
|Last appearance:||Ultima IX|
A race of beings from the deep pits of hell, daemons are full of deceit and malignancy. They are extremely intelligent, cunning, and powerful to no end. Daemons not only boast powerful magics and physical attacks, they can possess their victims, and gate in fellow daemons to assist them. To battle a daemon is either sheer madness or the act of someone totally convinced of victory.
In short, these denizens of hell are among the deadliest of enemies. They are hard to defeat and leave behind no loot--only scars.
Evolution in the series[edit | edit source]
After their first appearance in Ultima I, daemons appeared in every installment of the series except Ultima VII (with the exception of Arcadion in the Forge of Virtue expansion). Daemons and gargoyles appear as two separate races/monsters in Ultima VI, so the lack of daemons in Ultima VII and Ultima VII Part Two is curious. It's hard to know whether we were meant to think they are indeed the same race or not.
Further clouding the issue is that daemon variants known as manes and gargoyles were seen in Ultima III.
In the core series, daemons can be divided into three classes:
- The weakest class is the imp. These small beings are easily vanquished.
- Then come the normal daemons, which are met the most often. They are powerful, and dangerous opponents.
- Never seen after Ultima IV are the balrons, kings among daemons. These infernal lords wield the most power, and are next to impossible to defeat.
In Ultima Underworld II, more varieties of daemon were seen:
- Hordlings were the classic red-hued daemons that hang around pits of fire. In at least one instance, a hordling disguised itself as a Human.
- Despoilers were green-hued daemons that were visible around swampy areas. Many of these were non-hostile entities.
- Destroyers were black-hued daemons, and the most powerful variety available.
In Ultima IX, daemons can gate in a hell hound to assist them in battle, giving the daemon invulnerability while the hound is alive. To defeat the daemon, it is necessary to kill the hell hound first.
Lore[edit | edit source]
Fierce, bat-winged horrors armed with cruel talons and barbed tridents, Daemons were unknown in Sosaria hitherto the advent of Mondain. Drinkers of human souls, Daemons are said to relish the screams of tortured humans above all else.
It looks like it's shrugging, this creature of minor hells, but its pleasure is to stop you in your tracks by magic. The right magical item can thwart the powerful daemon - sometimes.
Be very careful dealing with these minor daemonic legions. They can hurl powerful magic attacks across the arena at thee, inflicting great damage.
Very strong, agile, and smart, daemons have repertoires of magic that include summoning other daemons and possessing their opponents. They are extremely hardy and difficult to kill even if incapacitated. Daemons fly and can easily manage to cross rivers or shallow waters, although they are seldom encountered in mid ocean. When daemons possess another creature, they disappear into that soul, leaving neither trace nor treasure.
This most wicked and formidable of foes is not to be underestimated. Overwhelming strength, skill and intelligence make daemons nearly unbeatable. Possessing magical powers rivaling the most powerful of mages, the daemon can summon hordes of his brothers to assist him in killing or possessing his victims. Being already undead, the daemon has little fear of death. You are forewarned!
These evil, red-hued beasts hold even less love for mankind then we do for them. They call themselves "Gargoyles," but a change in name is not a change in disposition.
Those consumed by flame, either in life or death, or are slain by another Daemon, become servants and warriors for the Lord of Flame and his followers. Daemons are bipedal creatures with mottled and scaly skin, sporting sharp claws and talons. Atop their heads are two horns, while coarse brown fur covers their legs.
These hideous beasts are terrible tools of destruction. With their powerful arms and sharp fangs and claws, they rend their victims with razor-like ability. According to the few witnesses who have seen a Daemon attack, the victims scream of the burning pain that comes from each strike, and legend maintains that Daemons can even hurl destructive balls of flame. As fire is their primary tool, Daemons seem immune to the effects of flame themselves, and their thick scales make them nearly impervious to the common blade.
Driver of art, mother of madness, this Monster of the Pit fears no mortal-born weapon. Like a tortured thought begetting like children, demons summon packs of hellhounds to overwhelm the innocent. Should he conquer the pack, the warrior may reach the creature, if he can decipher its phasing and avoid its rending claws. Yet even in felling it, he does not destroy it, for it returns to the Pit to rebundle its anger. To die at the hand of a demon is to suffer the curse of the slave. For, in death a victim becomes one of its minions, his soul in its clutches forever.
Notable examples[edit | edit source]
There are four daemons which deserve mention:
- The Slasher of Veils in Ultima Underworld I. This daemon, probably a balron, is so powerful, that the Avatar has to use a lengthy ritual to banish it into the Void. Otherwise, all of Britannia would perish.
- Arcadion, the (only) daemon in Ultima VII and Ultima VII Part Two. Imprisoned by Erethian the mage within a mirror, he convinces the Avatar to help him escape. Arcadion bonds with the Black Sword, which he only leaves in Ultima VII Part Two. A later meeting in Pagan reveals that he can't remember the Avatar.
- Virtuebane, seen in Ultima IV in the ruins of Magincia. He speaks of how the city was destroyed by him and his kind for its Pride.
- Balinor, who served the Shadowlords and appeared in Stonegate in Ultima V. Balinor demanded that the Avatar answer a riddle before being allowed to pass.