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A Demon is one of a race of creatures with origins in mythology, legend, folklore and religion all around the world. Though, while they are recorded as existing all across the globe, many records of their existence differ in the connotation they are believed to bear, as well as their place of origin, and their general intent for the world they inhabit.
They are creatures of, at best, questionable nature and intent (the name Demon being derived from the Greek "δαίμων", or "daimon", meaning "spirit", with no obvious connotation toward either positive or negative moral alignment).
Closely tied to the realms of the divine, or at least to nature, they are often considered enigmatic, even to those who devote time to their study, their opposition or their worship.
Some believe they are products or servants of the divine, or that they themselves are divine, while many others hold that they are formerly divine, but now corrupted.
The Greeks, for example, believe that Daimons are spirits born of deities (and thus are, themselves, lesser deities), while the Christian faith holds that they are former angels, cast down by God for turning their backs on Him.
Names of specific Demons:
-Agrat bat Mahlat
-Aka Manah/Akem Manah/Akoman/Akvan
-Azazel / Azaz'el
-Baš Čelik (Bas Celik, Bash Chelik)
-Eblis (or Iblis)
-Lili/Lilin/Lilim/Lilli/Lillin/Lillim- Daughters and descendents of Lilith
-Mephistopheles- Famous for his doomed bargain with the alchemist Faust.
-Satan (or Shaytan; formerly Lucifer)
Their nature as not only spiritual entities, but shapeshifters, maeans that the appearance of Demons are vast and various. They do not come in one particular size; there are demons known to swarm like tiny insects, while others are an easy match for the size of an adult man, and still others tower far above the trees.
Demons have no particular skin color associated with them; they can be stark white, pitch black, green or pink with polka dots, or anywhere else along the full spectrum of colors and patterns. The more powerful lot may even be found, from time to time, mimicking human shape and hue, to stir up fear and strife.
Others, though, may be seen disguising their humanoid visage through that of an animal. No animals hold particular significance to them as they transform. Demons have been witnessed as anything from cats, dogs, birds, lizards, snakes, insects, spiders, rats, wolves, foxes, deer, donkeys, cows, monkeys, wild cats, and more.
They may have coarse red skin, jagged horns and bat-like wings, or flowing blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes and skin soft and fair.
And that is only if the Demon one seeks to identify is even in a form which has any corporeal or physically perceptible components at all. Many Demons remain invisible, intangible and otherwise imperceptible to mortal senses.
Demonic behavior, in cultures all around the world, has commonly been observed as negative toward humans. They have been known to trick, prank, seduce, manipulate, berate, torture, assault, harass, harm and even kill others around them. The reasons are vast and various.
Among Christians, the belief is that demons were cast down from Heaven for their rebellion. As a spite against God's Creation of humans, in this belief, they resolve to undermine the whole of civilization. In doing so, they tempt mortals, lead them astray from moral uprightness, and sentence them to unjust misfortune, to make life as difficult as possible, so that they lose faith in God (or never develop any) and so the believers are crushed. This, they do in service of their leader, the first angel to be cast down, Lucifer, now known as Satan (The Devil).
However, the status and behavior of demons is not believed to be unilateral from one faith system to another. In some cases such as Alû (of Mesopotamian mythology, legend and folklore), Demons are fearsome, but underlings, solitary and single-minded in their purpose.
Other Demons, such as Pazuzu (also from Mesopotamian mythology, legend and folklore) are powerful, with command even of their own lesser hordes (in some cases, whole armies or legions). These, in many cases, are revered by the belief systems to which they belong as divine, at least, and many times, even as gods.
Likewise, temperament varies from Demon to Demon. Often, they are found to be nasty, unpleasant and coarse to encounter. They might possess a disturbing sadism and bloodlust, or possess a sickening sexual lewdness about them.
They can represent any and all of the darkest corners of the mortal psyche, and have been known to assert themselves in places of great authority. In the most dire cases, this can mean spiritual possession, which can only be undone by the action of one with a faithful and morally upright heart, calling down the power of the divine.
Though, it should be noted, not every culture attributes an evil nature to Demons. Some believe that their nature is dual, like any human being, and that Demons can be disposed to good or bad, as per pure choice of free will. In these cultures (such as the various assortment of Demons in Hindu mythology, legend and folklore), Demons have even been seen to be at odds with one another, over what seem like vastly differing and sharply opposing moral ends.
Demons are vast and various in type and level of power, regardless of the pantheon, philosophy or faith system to which they belong. The most commonly held capabilities attributed to Demons are various levels of imperceptibility (the ability to turn invisible, intangible, etc) and shapeshifting.
In addition, they are often said to be the sources of power for witches, sorcerers and other mages. Not only do they possess profound spiritual and natural knowledge, but the abilities they manifest are often effortlessly overwhelming and visually impressive.
Most worrisome of their abilities, however, is said to be their capacity for the power of Possession; that is, assuming supernatural control over the mind, body and/or spirit of a living host. They wear the victim's body like a suit, and channel fearsome powers through them to terrorize all mortals nearby.