The Demon's Tale

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Remember: demons are liars. My own dear master met his end because he forgot this - to satisfy his foolish curiosity, he called up a creature of Pandemonium and demanded it tell him the secrets of its kind. He wisely barred me from his laboratory that night, for in the morning he was gone. I found only a scorched circle where the monstrosity he summoned had stood, and a hastily written transcription of his conversation with it.

I have copied the tale below from those notes, out of the memory of the good man who took me in. Perhaps I should have burned them instead.

Just remember, it is all lies.

You call me unnatural, and you are correct. My kind was created from corruption, warped beyond sanity by the fires that shaped us.

Shaped, not birthed.

You have made your voice heard through the Veil that separates this universe from the Outer Realms; you therefore must know something of those realms. The realm of the demons is one of many, and the youngest by far. The Place of Night's Birth is the oldest; in its heart the nothingness that came before existence still lives. Out of that nothingness grew The Heart of Light, a betrayal that rankles to this day. Your world exists where Light and Shadow collide; were it not for the Veil that shields it, you would be annihilated by the fury of their war.

In the days of those you call the Old Makers, the Veil was like unto a wall of iron, opaque and impenetrable. But it thinned, and the touch of chaos that is magic entered their world of steel and reason. Within the folds of the Veil they discovered a realm of dreams and nightmares, of everything they had dared to imagine; it was the Spirit World, the realm of those you call angels and gods. They found there a shining city, called Deis; a perfect reflection of all that was good and beautiful in their hearts. Their own cities were crumbling beneath the force of their final war, a conflict birthed in the madness that had overwhelmed their world as the Veil thinned. To a world torn by strife and uncertainty, Deis was the breath of hope; it stood for everything they could be, everything they had been before they threw it all away.

In retrospect, what came next should not have surprised us. Out of their infinite jealousy, your ancestors brought their war into the Veil. They had combined their sciences with sorcery, forging weapons beyond the understanding of their own makers. With these weapons, they tore open a gash in the Veil, bringing armies and destruction into perfect Deis. Their rage seared angels to ash, and the gods of Deis burned.

We fought back, of course, but too little and too late. Such was the madness of their weapons that the wielding killed them, or worse. The final strike of the Old Makers consumed Deis in a flash of toxic radiance, annihilating spirit and mortal alike. The shining towers of Deis were flayed to the bone, and the Veil itself writhed in agony.

The Old Makers cut a wound into the very fabric of reality, and that wound bleeds to this day. More than that, it has festered. Deis became Dis, the iron city of Pandemonium where only the eldest of my kind willingly tread. The wound will only heal once this fold of the Veil is excised. It has grown larger with each day, suppurating the madness of the Outer Void into your world. We remember the beautiful garden that was Deis, and we remember who it was that burned that garden. That is your inheritance: fire and blood, madness and chaos.

Yes, I am unnatural. You made me.

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