Monday, January 14, 2008

Creatures: Demon Professions

Demons, despite having many different forms and many different appearances can often be categorized by their job. The rigors and requirements of demon jobs often act as sorting devices, with demons of similar appearance and strengths being pulled towards one job or another. While no two demons look exactly alike, when running into certain demonic professions one can be reasonably sure of what to expect.

Agents - One of the more feared kinds of demons, agents are demons who recruit godtouched races for "selling your soul" contracts. They tend to be quite attractive, something they've learned helps the deal. They often dress in a flashy manner, indicative of material wealth, which helps show the mortal what the demon is offering. Agents are smarmy, silver-tongued, and not built for combat. They like to talk in showbiz phrases and despite being masters of manipulation and false promises, they aren't quite as good as communicating with Aarnian mortals as they'd like to think.

Angels - The most attractive demons by aarnian mortal standards are usually taken to the plane of Security, where they're given this job. Usually gaining their appearance by being the children of an Aarnian mortal and demon pairing, these demons have personalities that are less harsh than most other demons. It's their job to watch over the plane of Security and enforce the odd laws that exist there. They run and manage the "Happiness Reeducation Centers" as well as police those who would try to turn Security into a violent, painful or unhappy place. Their uniform is a white toga, a pair of cybernetic feathered wings for flight, and kilts.

Bankers - A little-known fact is that demon currency and Aarnian currency has an exchange rate - with a little demon help, you CAN take it with you - and even give back to any relatives who are still alive. This doesn't happen often however, because most souls have to spend 100 years or more waiting before they can start their new lives in hell. Bankers are demons who manage these accounts and exchange rates, and use stolen Aarnian magical artifacts to tap into and interact with the magical banking system that exists on Aarn. Bankers are typically shorter demons than most, with a good head for numbers and Aarnian magic. Their job forces them to be shrewd and cautious, and they avoid conflict wherever possible.

BHP managers - Perhaps one of the most violent types of demons, a BHP manager is a "Boss" at the Bureau of Human Possession. It's the job of these demons to manage and enforce the strict rules for possession that have developed, and also properly distribute the required paperwork. They tend to dress in ornate black armor with flowing capes and massive, improbable melee weapons. While they use these in combat, it's more of a marketing ploy - themed clothing for what most demons believe humans wear. There is a Bureau of Possession for every kind of godtouched except spirit animals (who through some strange fluke cannot be possessed) however the humans have proven to be the most popular type.

Caterers - There are approximately 10,000 lines of godtouched and sentient animals waiting to be judged in the afterlife, and each line hovers at around 144,000 people, with around 40,000 new souls dying every day. That's a lot of mouths to feed, and a lot of people to keep civil. Caterers are demons who fill both roles - they provide food to the testy, confused, and impatient astral bodies that have not yet learned food isn't a requirement. They also break up fights that can and do arise, and send the offending creatures back to the end of the line. The constant threat of misbehaving souls being forced to wait another few decades to be judged is usually enough to keep them in line, both literally and figuratively.

Caterers are thus usually attractive female demons with enough physical power and personality to not just intimidate virtually any godtouched that is in line, but also to help calm the others down, and provide comfort. Those with the required qualities are rare, so there aren't as many caterer demons as there should be. Not only that, but "Working the lines" is not considered a pleasant job by demon standards, so there is also a very high turnover rate.

Nerds - Demons who live their lives for popular culture, they tend to be weak fighters, overweight, and unattractive by demon and mortal standards both. They drive most of hell's economy, having a voracious appetite for stories and adventures from Aarn, the more authentic the better. Nerds have also been called "fanboys" and "fangirls," and use these particular terms as badges of honor in their own circles. Oddly enough, a nerd is usually recognizable by the tee-shirts they wear. Tee-shirts are shunned by all other demons as a result.

Soul judges - While not necessarily demons with the most power, demons who have a great deal of physical presence and an imposing nature are recruited for this position. It's the job of a Soul judge to - day in and day out - interview mortal souls in the line and then decide what hell fits that soul's value system. It usually takes 6 hours for a soul judge to decide which hell a mortal soul is suited for - luckily for those on line, demons only need four hours of sleep a week. Soul judges tend to be the largest of demons and wear imposing black robes, keeping their faces in shadow.

Police Officers - Demons of moderate fighting skill and poor intelligence, the police officers of hell tend to let their technology do the talking in most cases. They have a great deal of military ordinance at their disposal with which they apprehend demons who don't fill out the proper paperwork for their activities. For some unknown reason they tend to be shorter and squatter than their other demon friends, but some speculate that this is so they can more easily cram themselves into the cockpits of their vehicles.

Politicians - Almost never seen, a politician is a demon who authors the paperwork all demon society is based on. They are clerks and managers of the pen; they are the ones who regulate and organize everything. They almost never show themselves in public, and those who become politicians later in life are almost never seen again. They bare mention here only because of how influential they are over demon society, even if they are almost never encountered.

Robots - To demons, a robot is an idealized lifeform. A robot will only do what it is told, how it is told. Robots control and maintain the hell of Conformity, and their cold, hard logic permeates that entire plane of hell. Unlike demons, robots tend to have more common design aesthetics. There are hovering pod robots who handle maintenance and security, larger humanoid robots who are 8 feet tall and have the physique of a professional weightlifter who handle heavy construction and more serious security concerns, and there are more feminine robots who help tend to the psychological needs of the souls in Conformity. There are a large number of hibernating robots still on Aarn, left over from the brief period of time when demons lived there.

Secretaries - The public representatives of politician demons, it's the job of a secretary to hand out and organize paperwork for other demons. Secretaries tend to work behind computers and typewriters from which they can pull out and dispense any form they wish. Because of regulation over forms however, for every copy of a form they print, another copy of that same form somewhere else must be destroyed, even if it's only a cybernetic copy. Their scanners for digital analysis of completed forms also double as paper-shredders. This can be of great annoyance to anyone who has made a mistake on their form and must start over from the very beginning.

Succubi and incubi - Due to the long lifespans and resilient bodies of demons, they actually have a difficult time breeding with one another. Once they're old enough, they stop being excited by "normal things." It is the job of the succubus and her male incubus counterpart to learn all manner of methods of titillation and put them into practice. Essentially, it is the duty of all demons of this type to help ensure that new demons are born. It is also their duty to record all of their exploits for clerical purposes. These tapes can also be distributed to the market as entertainment, but usually only the most extravagant encounters receive this treatment.

These demons are often taught secret arts of demonic shape-shifting in which they can actually change their appearance through extremely precise muscle control, quick healing, and a high threshold of pain for all the resulting shattered bones. The use of this art to create tentacles is a strangely popular.

Succubi and incubi are among the most well-known types of demons on Aarn. This is probably because these demons will occasionally possess aarnian mortals in order to fill their monthly quotas. Aarnian mortals have somehow gotten it into their heads that encounters with these demons will steal their soul - but it will usually only steal their dignity and quite possibly their sanity if the demon is creative enough.

Taxi drivers - Demons who are short and squat but too stupid for banking or police work tend to become taxi drivers. Their small size allows them to carry heavier passengers in their hover-taxis, and their stupidity prevents them from finding a better job. Taxi drivers also tend to be physically unattractive or mutated in some way, and typically smell bad. Insect features are an especially common taxi driver trait.

Telemarketers - In a society where anything is legal as long as one can get the forms for it, never underestimate the persuasive power of intimidation. Telemarketers are easily the most powerful kind of demon. They are usually twice as large as the typical demon, and up to ten times as physically resilient. In hand to hand combat, a telemarketer will almost always win. Telemarketers are also physically resistant to even demon weapons, and on top of it all, they're grumpy.

"If they are so powerful," you may ask, "why do they have such a horrible job?" Demons live in such a structured society that they often become complacent and easy to fool. They also have a chaotic streak that makes tricking them with telephone schemes even more lucrative than it would be otherwise. Because the telemarketing business is so profitable, there is an extremely high demand for demons to actually make the calls. However, the demon establishment is loathe to hand out telemarketing licenses for the very same reasons. Telemarketing demons are literally the only demons scary enough to convince the secretary demons to let them have telemarketer licenses.

Tour Guides - Adventurous demons who tend to be mentally unbalanced, they live in the fringes of the other eight hells, separate from Bureaucracy. Tour guides tend to have little patience for demonic paperwork and thus flee their home plane and live on one of the other hells. Becoming a guide for vacationing demons is one of the most profitable and desirable jobs for these impatient, antisocial, "unique" demons.

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