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Can Necromancy deal with the souls of demons?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Darkphoenix747, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Darkphoenix747

    Darkphoenix747 Dreamer

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    The antagonist in my story removed his soul from his body in order to replace it with that of a demon. By doing so, he gained the demon's power for his own. The downside to bearing the soul of a demon in his body is he must constantly maintain control. Failure to do so would result in the demon taking command of the host (his physical body) to use for its own purposes. My question is this: what kind of an art uses such tactics as this? My first thought was necromancy. As an avid gamer I see such characters depicted as anyone who deals with the dead; be they demons, devils, the damned, or otherwise. Research has lead me to learn that Necromancy was a form of divination and that modern media is to blame for naming all who deal with the dead as necromancers. Does my antagonist fit into this new stereotypical role or should I rename his art? I feel "sorcerer" and "wizard" wouldn't be the correct term for the antagonist. What are your ideas on this?

    It should be noted that the demons in my tale are not conjured beasts, but the souls of the wicked in Hell. Most suffer for eternity for their misdeeds, but those who sold themselves to the King of Hell become his servants and, in time, demons. The older the soul, the more powerful the demon.
     
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  2. FatCat

    FatCat Maester

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    I don't see why you have to use an already defined class of magic-user for this, is the antagonist a 'learned wizard' as in did he perform some spell to bind the demon to his soul that took time and knowledge to master, or is it simply a disease or spiritual affliction brought on by his lifestyle? I guess what I'm getting at is why bother with the conventional term necromancer when you could invent your own magic-practice that deals specifically in this kind of demonic possession.
     
  3. Asheiel

    Asheiel New Member

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    I see no reason why necromancy wouldn't work just fine to describe what you are doing with this character. As long as you're dealing with the souls of the dead it seems pretty straight forward as necromancy to me. What your character does with such souls is a secondary concern I think. The original definition may be more specific but the cultural understanding of the term is solid enough for what you are doing to be called necromancy. The only reason I would suggest using a different word is just to make it more unique and add some flavor to you story.
     
  4. ShortHair

    ShortHair Sage

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    You could use a word that means the same thing as necromancer, but that wouldn't exactly match what you've described, would it? Summoning a demon, for whatever reason, is evocation, while calling a spirit into oneself is theurgy or invocation. You could use almost any word associated with using magic or make something up.
     
  5. Chime85

    Chime85 Sage

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    Well like above, I agree that you have a great opportunity to think up your own term with this art. Necromancer is, like you suspected, a suitable term for that kind of magic. That said, why not consider a few alternatives? If his arts are well known, why not create a few common names for his abilities? Some could call him a Vessel perhaps, someone who has the ability to take on a soul and wield it to his will. The word Vessel typically brings to mind great ships and grand designs.
    If you have people in your story who do not favor such practices, they could call him by another name, such as carrier. That word brings to mind plagues and the infectious, a good word to turn people against him.
     
  6. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    You could go with necromancer, but I think it clashes with the flavor of demons in most reader's minds. I suggest maybe going the WoW route and calling him a Warlock. Hmmm..... ultimately though, I suppose deciding on the best term depends on what OTHER abilities he possesses.
     
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  7. I generally don't do this, but I feel I need to ask: If you can remove your own soul with no ill effects, what is the significance of the demonic soul "taking over"?

    If the mind and will of a person is tied to his soul, then removing your own soul and replacing it with a demon soul would be kinda pointless. On the other hand, if the body can retain its mind and will without the original soul, why is this wizard in danger of being corrupted by the demon?
     
  8. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

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    Isn't someone like that called a demonologist?
     
  9. Demonology is generally defined as "the study of demons or beliefs about demons." In other words, it's a theoretical field that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with conjuring infernal forces.

    Though, I guess if you're the type of person who'd attempt to summon a demon, you'll probably have studied a bit of demonology.
     
  10. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

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    I'm not really in demons, so I wasn't quite sure. Thanks.
     
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  11. As said, you can make something up; I definitely wouldn't use "necromancy" for this because it has nothing to do with the dead.

    "Demonomancy" sounds weird. You could use another demon-related word as a base, like "mephistomancy" or something.
     
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  12. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    in refrence to what Anders said, it would help if you tell us just how you define a soul in your setting.
     
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  13. Lorna

    Lorna Inkling

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    With Anders Amting I am also wondering how one could remove their own soul. To me the soul is the 'anima' - that which animates the body. I can understand how a person could have their soul taken but not how they could remove their own soul. Please could you explain your conception of the soul and the process it's removed by.
     
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  14. Darkphoenix747

    Darkphoenix747 Dreamer

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    I am going with the Catholic notion of a soul. That it is the immortal "spirit" of a human being which lives on after death. Whether it be an eternity of bliss in heaven or of unrelenting agony in Hell is determined by one's earthly deeds. There are records in the Catholic religion of people selling their souls to Satan for earthly pleasures, ultimately determining the fate of their immortal soul. I have taken that to a different level by claiming that one could sell their soul for power. The demon the "necromancer" trades with is the soul which takes residence in that man's body. The man still retains his own mind and control of his body, but the demon projects its own sadistic desires into the man's subconsciousness in order to get him to do what it wants. Demon's do not deal fair and, although the "necromancer" believes he is gaining what he wants, it is a deal made in vain. The demon's thoughts and desires influence the "necromancer", often driving him mad altogether, until he becomes naught but a vessel of the demon's will. Which is exactly what the demon wants. According to Ecclesiastes there must be both the breath of life and a functional body in order for there to be a living soul. That is why a demon demands the "necromancer's" soul. Because then the man's body is open for the demon to put it's own soul in place and, in so doing, live again. The Necromancer thinks the demon's soul gives him power, but the demon knows it's the only way it can escape Hell and live once more.
     
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  15. Darkphoenix747

    Darkphoenix747 Dreamer

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    I'm sorry, that was poor wording on my part. The man sells his own soul to the demon who takes it as payment. The necromancer sees this as a simple "removing" of his soul as he does not believe the demon powerful enough to be able to manipulate his mind. My apologies, I should have tried to explain that better.
     
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  16. FatCat

    FatCat Maester

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    So why not simply call him possessed, because it seems like that's exactly what your describing. Also, take a look at this if yo have not seen it already in your research, Demonology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,
    Demonolaters, never heard of it but sounds pretty awesome :)
     
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  17. Darkphoenix747

    Darkphoenix747 Dreamer

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    There is a whole group of these people who trade with demons so I was a little wary with calling them all possessed, though you are right, that is what they are basically doing. That link was extremely helpful, thank you. The religion of Demonolatry is very close to what I was looking for! I do believe the antagonist would be better served as a Demonolater than a necromancer. There are a few things which are different for Demonolaters which I will have to incorporate into the story, but this is excellent! Thank you so much everyone for all your help.

    _______________________________________________________________
    Here's for anyone who is interested in these Demonolaters: What is Demonolatry
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
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  18. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? It's your story - your *fantasy story, mind you - you set the definitions.

    That said, if you're concerned about the use of the term - change it.
     
  19. krunchee

    krunchee Scribe

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    In general I always thought warlocks were seen as the type of mage to deal with demons. Perhaps I'm wrong but warlocks sound dark enough.
     
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  20. Jes

    Jes Dreamer

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    The best part about magic and the Fantasy genre in general is that you have incredible freedom to create your own magic and ideas, or to mold what is known into something new and just as exciting. I say take it away and have fun with it!
     
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