The Basics of Demonology
The church of the Archangel would have us believe that the demons come from a spiritual plane of existence, one that will claim the souls of the wicked when they pass away. As a Thaumaturge that studied his whole life to understand the different planes and dimensions in existence, I can safely say that is not the case. The reason for this belief however, has been proven, and is quite clear. It is a fact that a demon may claim a soul, and if he does, that soul is bound to him after death, which isn't actually any divine power, but a very advanced form of necromancy, not much different from the process of creating a lich.
I should stress that the course that the soul takes after someone dies is still a mystery even to us Thaumaturges, and that does mean the religious theories have yet to be proven completely wrong or right, but parts of it can be explained better. "Hell" as the church calls it, also referred to as the Infernal Plane, the Demonic Plane, or the Netherworld, is an actual world, with intelligent beings inhabiting it. These beings however, are extremely hostile, and because of their monstrous nature, the mortals of Entheria took to calling them demons, regardless of actual divinity. The theories and definition of what a god actually is however, is once more convoluted and the beings known as the primevals, could very well be gods, or the closest thing to that in existence.
The demonic races are categorized by the mortals based on their likeness to the capital sins, which might have been one of the first cultural influences to the mortal races in trying to grasp the concept of sin. Portals between dimensions as natural occurrences are not common, but also not impossible. And it is my humble theory that any primitive races with again primitive concepts of religion would have seen these demonic beings and made assumptions based on first impressions. Especially because first impressions concerning demons are rarely the best.
Their world is not unlike ours. It has it's own flora, fauna, culture and government, albeit all of these seem alien to us, especially the idea that these barbaric monsters could even have something like a government. Indeed, even if their race is far more ancient than any other mortal race of Entheria, their societal organization is primitive, tribal in most cases, with some very few exceptions.
Wrath demons were amongst one of the first to ever be contacted by Thaumaturges, prized for their strength. Wrath demons have a form that contain a few similarities to humans, but with key differences. The bone structure is actually rather similar, and the properties found in their bodies is to a certain extent equal to what is found in other mortals. The most noticeable difference is their size, averaging at about 2.5 to 3 meters in height, and with muscle mass much greater than any mortal. After that is their extra pair of arms, each of them strong enough to rip someone's limb off. Less noticeable is the number of fingers, three on their hands, two on each foot.
Their facial features are also quite similar to humans, more so on females however, as males tend to have more pronounced bone structures. Their eyes are also slightly different, orange in color, like bright embers. In their throats they also possess another variation, a pair of glands that shoot out a very flammable liquid. The Wrath demons are also naturally adept at manipulating fire, and have a very strong affinity to it.
Envy demons are ferocious, brutal creatures, not as individually strong as Wrath, Greed, Lust or Pride demons, but more than making up for it in sheer numbers. Their shape is very humanoid, but with many very noticeable differences. The most striking one is the lack of hair, followed by a maw of razor sharp teeth, with no lips to cover them. Their eyes are slitted and green, and their arms possess a deadly spike, that extends from the top of their forearms at the flex of a muscle.
These arm blades are prized amongst demon hunters, as they are very sharp, and regenerate extremely quickly when broken. The spikes also carry a potent toxin in them, one that causes the victim to bleed and decay if the Envy demon manages to break off the sting and leave it in the target's body. Even after being severed the sting regenerates, but the extraction needs to be done right if the hunter wants to use it to forge a weapon.
They were called Envy demons because of their feeding habits, as they tend to eat the facial area of their victims after they kill them.
Lust demons look the most like humans in their unchanged form. The key differences are the pale skin and the normally bright blue eyes. Lust demons also possess fangs, and are known to feed from blood, making them the prime candidates for the theory of the origins of vampirism. Unfortunately, it is known that not all bloodlines can be traced back to demonic influence, but it is a fact that at least one of the lineages was born from the demons of Lust.
Lust demons behave much like vampires, they possess a great affinity with illusive magic, an inherent weakness to flames and a great hunger for blood, being able to absorb life essence without even touching their victims, and even control their blood flow to a certain extent. Lust demons also posses a slight affinity to ice, they cannot control it as well as Greed demons, but their presence is chilling, and causes great discomfort to any around them.
Gluttony demons are amongst the most ferocious and animal like of all the demonic races. They are an insectoid race, with many subspecies, most of them mimicking the insects and arachnids of our world, but of much greater size. The exception to that are the swarm queens, females that resemble a humanoid form, but with many insectoid features that distinguish them clearly from humans. The call of the swarm queens brings forth doom to any and all who oppose them, as the hunger of the swarm is never ending, and there's nothing they cannot eat.
It is difficult to know what to expect when fighting demons of gluttony. They are rarely alone, and aside from the swarm queens, they are generally fairly weak on their own. The swarm queens themselves resemble characteristics of the swarms they command and give birth to, giving even them an extremely large variety.
Greed demons are draconic creatures, being greatly similar to dragons of our world, but with key differences. Greed demons are bipedal, they walk on their hind legs instead of all fours, and are much smaller than true dragons. They also have no variation of element, all greed demons have an affinity with ice, light blue scales with white fur surrounding their joints, and they live in the frozen part of the demonic plane, guarding hoards of treasure in their frozen caves. Their society is mostly lacking, as they tend to keep to themselves, and only meet in their mating season, leaving the demonic eggs to fend for themselves after birth.
This harsh lifestyle leaves the survivors extremely aggressive towards all other living creatures. They are fiercely territorial and after they choose a place to call home, they will guard it till the day of their death. As beings of draconic blood, their lifespans are extremely long, and their deaths are often brought by other demons of greed, looking for more treasure to add to their hoard.
Sloth demons are big lumbering beasts of great strength, and even greater size. They tend to walk around on all fours, but usually stand on their hind legs when attempting to attack something. They are completely black, covered in pitch dark fur, and always surrounded by a thick black smoke that lingers around their fur. This smoke is produced by the sloth demons and is naturally exuded by their skin, almost like sweat. They also have glands on the backs of their throats that allow them to easily project that smoke into a cloud to use against attackers.
This smoke is their main defense, and makes it so anything that breathes it in start to feel extremely tired. The sloth demons are known to put their victims to sleep with this toxin, and then drag them to their lairs, where they slowly consume the victim, piece by piece. Sloth demons don't usually have much energy, a side effect from the black smoke, and they hibernate frequently, only having to feed once every few months.
Pride demons are considered the apex of the demonic realms, the strongest of all the demons, and some of the most magical attuned beings in existence. Pride demons have no form, and on their natural state it is assumed that they are simply shades of pure energy, with a vaguely humanoid shape, but no one has ever seen one to confirm that. Summoned pride demons choose to take the shape of the person who summons them, with the only difference being that the demon maintains his eyes, bright royal purple. Unbound pride demons however, choose to take the shape of whoever they are looking at, or maintain a stolen shape for as long as they please.
Little is known about pride demons aside from their abilities, and their fabled contracts. It is rumored that even in the demon realm the pride demons are drifters, not really having a place to call home, but also not needing one. Being creatures made purely of magical energy they do not require the sustenance that mortals do, and because of that they live thousands upon thousands of years. Pride demons are users of magic, they used Void Magic long before the Obsidian Elves landed, explaining the initial impression of the Obsidian Elves, as to why many thought they were demons.
The nuances of demonology are not in fact known by all people, and it is not uncommon to hear people talk about demons in such ways would make an experienced demonologist laugh. Creatures bearing the wings of bats, the torso of men, and the hooves of a goat, surely stories to scare children at night no? I have chosen my words carefully here, of course I mean the word "would" for that has not been the case for many years now.
It is difficult to point out exactly when this twist in our studies has taken place, however, there is a very prominent theory as to why it has indeed happened. Lets return to the basics for a moment shall we? What I want to talk about is the manifestation of familiars. The creatures manifested by our magic do not exist, unlike the summoning of a demon, an elder spirit, or the reanimation of a morph, the familiars are animals manifested by our imaginations, taking shape and serving us as we see fit.
Now, the reason as to why Abominations are very real creatures that often terrorize the countryside is because of the theory of the Collective Unconsciousness. In summary, this theory speculates that if enough people believe in one particular thing, and if the spiritual energies are aligned, causing the veil between the physical world and the spiritual world to thin, something completely new may be created.
This theory also attempts to explain the origin of Elder Gods, creatures that were worshiped by mortals in times before recorded history. It would explain the power of worship, as all living creatures are made up both of flesh and magical energy. As a result, our mere thoughts extend to the magical realm, and in return give power to the thing we think about.
Now, a single person's thoughts provide a negligible amount of energy, yet multiplied by hundreds of thousands, the common thought starts to create something more powerful. In this case, it birthed the Abominations, creatures created by mortals, to prey on mortals.