[LMB] Assassination via demon

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Mon Jul 19 23:51:19 BST 2021

On Sun, Jul 18, 2021 at 9:31 PM Eric Oppen <ravenclaweric at gmail.com> wrote:

> That was another mistake.  I'd only want someone fanatically loyal to me or
> the cause I served to have a demon.

I've been thinking recently about why the default response to 'little
demons', the ones constantly brought into the temple, is to destroy them.
It seems that almost every profession would benefit from the ability to
manipulate the physical world, even in the less-skilled ways a new demon
can manage, and even the professions that don't involve gross physical
manipulation would benefit from having a demon to detect and protect
against attempts to manipulate the mind or slay the body.  (The benefits to
a ruler having a demon are too obvious to mention!)  And surely a young
demon, carrying only the personality of an animal, would be easy for almost
anyone to control.

So the issue isn't the immediate consequences, which are pretty much all
good.  It's the later consequences, when the user dies, and the demon seeks
another host, while carrying an image of the personality and mind of the
previous host, who is then in constant, 24/7 contact with the new host,
that explain why the default is to give the demons back to the God.  (The
times when Des has tried to wake Penric indicate that she's aware and
active on some level even when he's unconscious, although it's not clear
whether she can take external action.)

"Human" demons are united with their new hosts in very intimate ways, far
more intimate than spouses, and hosts can't escape or even take a break
from their demons.  That's why demons aren't ubiquitous, because most
humans can't tolerate such closeness with most other humans.

Matt "mercy of the gods" G.

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