Eclipse and Infernal Children

English: The demon Belphegor

English: The demon Belphegor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lets get this straight. D20 demons and devils generally don’t have kids because they want someone to love. They’re not big on happy family life. They don’t need to relive their youth through their children because they don’t get old. They generally don’t understand “cute”. They’re immortal, and have no need for heirs. For a demon or devil, having an heir is having someone waiting in the wings to backstab you and take over. For that matter, they don’t usually have “childhoods”; they tend to spring into existence full-grown.

They exist to spread pain, and misery, and hatred. The live to extinguish all hope, to wipe out kindness and mercy, and to destroy whatever opposes those goals. Sure, there may be special cases – the infernal entity trying to rise, one that was once a mortal and still recalls some old emotions and loyalties, or some such – but for the most part you won’t find a single positive feature in them save, perhaps, obedience to orders (if you count that as “positive” considering what their orders are likely to be). That’s what makes them an easy opponent; even most evil mortals will agree that they don’t need any demons or devils on the loose anywhere near THEM.

Yet demons and devils do sometimes have children by mortals. If an infernal child is lucky, his or her existence is the result of some random demonic rape or demonologist’s whims. If less lucky, it’s the result of a demon attempting to create a mortal tool or focus.

If an infernal child is VERY unlucky, he or she is the product of a demon that thinks it understands love, is engaged in some forbidden cross-planar romance that may involve actual affection, or is (perhaps worst of all) the result of an experiment by a demon who is attempting to understand love.

Most infernal children show traces of their mortal heritage. In d20 game terms, they have an appropriate template applied to their base species. Others simply show traces of their infernal bloodline – modifying their racial template or si

mply buying appropriate “natural” abilities as they grow.

Only a few infernal entities are so powerful that their terrible essence overwhelms all traces of the other parent. The children of such beings have no basic racial characteristics beyond being of small or medium size, and simply use the relevant template as their race (although, as usual in Eclipse, with the ECL penalty reduced by one).

Those in whom the power awakens early usually do not survive. It is the nature of unfocused and uncontrolled infernal power to torment and destroy the innocent who cannot be broken to it’s service – and when it awakens in a child too young, there is a target all too close at hand. Such children die in agony or run amuck, spawning terrible tales of demon children, psychopaths without pity, remorse, or any other trace of humanity. A fortunate few will be taken to hallowed ground, or under the wing of powerful holy men, and have the infernal power suppressed until they are old enough to deal with it.

Those who are old enough to have at least SOME control when the power awakens will be tormented by their power until they do bring it under control. Many break under the strain, becoming psychotic horrors like their infernal parents – purchasing peace for themselves at the cost of ruining other lives. A rare few endure, rejecting the darkness to remain mortal – or even, on rare occasions, to become heroes. Such rare individuals will not have peaceful, or particularly happy, lives – but they will certainly be eventful.

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