Brief history of Infernum
Infernum is known as a world where chaos and impropriety reign and is home to the various races of Demons. Before there were Demons though, there were the Angels and they lived in the clouded cities of Sanctum, however a subset of Angels did not agree with its repressive culture and the stifling of the ambitions they hold so dear, so they congregated and rebelled, this event is known as the Fall and the Angels who lost the conflict have henceforth been known as the Fallen. The Fallen have been banished to a harsh planet in the same system, leaving Sanctum behind to start a civilization of their own. In the effort of building a civilization for themselves the Fallen have rallied behind seven leaders who embodied their ambitions best and set out to found seven cities based on their ideals. This effort transformed them, sometimes unrecognizably so, into what we now know as demons.
Races of Demons
The Royals are what you’d think of as a demon in the first place. Their skin is often red or black, they are large and bulky, their hands and feet often bear talons and depending on the individual they may have a tail like a goat or a spaded tail, perhaps even a set of wings. They have taken this monstrous form to delineate themselves clearly from the angels they have decended from. They are stronger and smarter that most and often take positions of dominance and gravitas. Royals dominate Pride and can be found in positions of power in any city beside Envy and Sloth.
The Succubi and their male counterparts, the Incubi are by far the fairest of the demon races, but their beauty and attraction belies a need for reciprocation, one that not many can meet. They are usually identified by their charming appearance, horns, spaded tails and leathery wings. They generally add great value to their beauty and as such take modifying their body to meet their current ideal very seriously. They come in a variety of colours and some attain features like hypnotic eyes and skin contact effects. Succubi and Incubi are prone to possessiveness and obsession about their sexual partners. They dominate Lust and are often sought as concubines and status symbols in Pride and Greed.
Satyr are goatlike creatures, generally from the waist down, though the males may display excessive chest hair as well. They have cloven hoofed feet, bent knees and short horns on their head. Their tails are not prehensile like those of the Succubi or Imps, but can still move in a broad range of directions. Satyr usually stand two to four feet in height, making them one of the smaller races of demons. They are usually shy, but the males have been known to enter stages of enormous sexual proclivity, known as satyriasis. Satyr are common to Sloth and Lust.
Imps are the smallest of the demons, varying in size from one to three feet with rare exceptions growing taller. Imps are notable for their often conspicuous colors, horns, tiny wings on their back and sinewy tails ending in either a heart, spade, diamond or club like shape, their tail is often prehensile and they use it like a kind of extra hand. Despite their small stature, imps are very brave creatures and use their bravery to play pranks on people, ranging from innocent to life-wreckingly horrible. This feature is generally adored by other demons so long as they are not on the receiving end of it. Imps are especially common in Greed and Wrath.
Hybrids are so diverse they are lumped together into a classification of their own. They often adapt to their environment, taking on animalistic features and organs to suit their particular needs. They choose this form out of a deep hatred of the forms descended from Angels. The advent of gene modification technology from the spacefaring humans has made their changes all the more rapid and all the more drastic. They gather mostly in Envy, Greed and Gluttony, where they can best put their new forms to use. Their situation is akin to that of human hybrids, the only difference is that unlike the humans the demon hybrids have descended from the Angels.
The Fall has been relegated to ancient myth, but the Fallen still keep coming, every now and again Sanctum still banishes undesirables to Infernum, they retain their angelic frames, but often take on darker aspects in clothing and makeup to signify their change. Some go so far as to dye their wings intentionally, to others it just happens. Their adaptation into Infernum’s society is often a rough one as they did not entirely think their ambitions and the risks inherent therein through. Therefore the Fallen are very welcoming to the newly arrived of their kind, teaching them the ways of the world in whatever city they happen to be in.
Having descended from Angels, most Demons retain their long lifespan, with some notable exceptions. The average demon can live up to 300 years, but the chance of them making it that long is very slim. The exceptions to this are the Imps, who live up to 60 years, but proliferate faster than the other demons and the Royals, who live up to 380. The reason for the lifespan of imps being so short is due to stress and abuse mostly and few of them ever escape it. Longer lifespans may be projected if taken out of Infernum. The demon lords all seem to have ascended into a form of immortality, though none but them really knows why or how.
Daemon is the official language of Infernum and is both a written and spoken language that has evolved from Enochian, however where Enochian is choirlike and light in its tones, Daemon is gluttural and sounds ominous no matter how it is spoken. Daemon has a similar writing system to Sol common based on phonemes, however instead uses a runelike script rather than the Roman alphabet. A few of the sounds common to Sol Commmon do not appear in it, which gives demons aspiring to learn to communicate with outsiders a significant hurdle to overcome. For this reason phoneticists have been brought into Pride's education centers to offer Demon and offworlder alike a chance to familiarize themselves with and teach tricks to master either language. Offworlders cannot speak Daemon for an extended period of time though as the gluttural tones work their throats raw in ways comparable to a death metal concert.
Infernum is a rough place, let’s say that up front and your position in society is determined largely on your own merits. Each city has its own structure of values and those who play to them rise in esteem, those who do not are subjugated or eliminated altogether. Infernum is highly individualistic in attitude and group denomination only matters if you represent your group on business.
Infernum barely has any formal education and what little it has is usually made use of by visitors. Demons strive to be well connected and barter skill for skill. A succubus will pay in sex for instruction, a satyr in labor or an imp in favors. Among demons the skills that are valued vary based on the city the demons find themselves in. Lust values sexual fetishes and ways to gain social influence, Wrath relies on martial prowess and tactical knowledge, Pride values rhetoric and power above all, whereas Greed is economically minded and Envy artistically. It is a society where knowledge is quite literally power.
Healthcare is a newer concept to Infernum and one demons look at a bit dodgily. Lust has fully embraced it in an effort to quell STDs and supply the demand for plastic surgeries. The position of doctor is unpopular among demons since they lack the empathy required to help others if there is no active self-interest, so the few doctors there are are usually outsiders. As for the matter of payment, the scarce few doctors that are there usually adhere to the Hippocratic oath, so they will help anyone, even if they cannot pay. The demons however are then obligated to repay their debt in labor and any skills they have available.
Crime is a foreign concept to Infernum’s inhabitants, they are used to a might makes right society where if you pissed off the one tyrant that runs your city, you’re basically done for to begin with. So a codified law was a concept many took to learning about with gusto and set out into Space to become lawyers, judges and prosecutors. Most of Infernum’s peacekeeping is done through private contractors and security teams. Outside of Wrath riots and violent uprisings are exceedingly uncommon as demons prefer to settle scores one on one.
Infernum and the Galaxy beyond
With the advent of space travel and Infernum’s official discovery, much has changed about the dark planet. It has been given an attempt at terraforming and several plants and animals have been introduced, but many don’t do well and those that did have adapted to Infernum’s more nocturnal lifestyle. Infernum raised great protest against the banning of slavery and still practices ownership of others as personal property. They are however not allowed to enforce their ownership offworld and are not allowed to enslave any offworlder, though there are ways to be imagined around that. Overall Infernum has benefitted greatly from the influx in technology and the improvements to the planet made and its inhabitants gladly travel into Space to ply their trades and garner influence that can’t be gotten on the planet itself. They do occasionally run into other races preconceived notions about their kind and mythologies surrounding them that come across as racist, if usually accurate in spirit.
The Seven Cities of Sin
Infernum has seven cities based around the proclivities of its inhabitants. It is upon these vices that the concept of the Seven Deadly Sins is based, this concept later materialized all over the known galaxy, but on Infernum each of them takes physical form. These cities function more or less independently of eachother and have a huge, sustainable population, they also have a high turnover rate, so if you find yourself there, always look out for number one.
Pride can be seen from far in the distance and has some of the most enormous towering structures. It is a tiered city, surrounded by walls crowned with ornaments and statues of stone and precious metal. When gazing upon it for the first time the city may appear like a mountain, which is correct because it was built atop a mountain, leaving the surrounding area barren and stripped for resources in its construction. The first tier is home to the outsiders, employees and craftsmen that keep the city going and is the largest part of the city, surrounding it on the lower slopes. It's also home to Infernum's largest spaceport, as the Royals that inhabit the city compete fiercely over who can get the sweetest deals on the latest tech. It also houses some of the only institutions of education in all of Infernum, the most prestigious ones are the Cocytus Institute of Higher Learning, also referred to as Treachery High, the Malebranche School of Discipline and Governance, which teaches tactics and group psychology to breed effective leaders and ruthless disciplinarians, and the Satanic Academy of Esoteric Arts, which is so exclusive that they have managed to keep the esoteric part of their name a fact. The reason these institutions are located in the outer ring is to keep their attendants motivated to get through their curriculum as quickly and excellently as possible so they may rise again. The second tier houses Infernum natives exclusively and social status is marked by your proximity to the third tier, the higher up you climb, the closer you are to power and the more influence and prestige you can add to your already enormous gravitas, the upper reaches of this tier is almost entirely inhabited by the Royals and Greater, who house the best staff their money can buy and their pride will allow, the finest concubines from Lust, the best accountants from Greed, stylists from Envy and security from Wrath can be found here, in their employ. Some clever Greater sought to rise to status by elevating their dwellings with towers and raised walkways, making the streets below very dark and the atmosphere feels oppressive. Things considered demonic in nature are considered of extreme value and Redspace artefacts are in high demand. At the top of the mountainous city, radiant for miles is the Hall of Pandemonium, here Lucifer holds court as leader as the Fallen, bearer of the Light, Adversary of Sanctum and profound Lord of all demons. Pandemonium is coated in thick layers of solid gold and cleaned daily, no tower rises as high as to impune its glory. Every year the highest of demon society congregates there for Lucifer’s Remembrance Day event, which celebrates the demons’ break away from the angels of Sanctum.
Wrath is a bustling city with an even more bustling turnover rate. The city is in a constant state of gang war and while life there is harsh, there is much to be won. The gangs primarily fight over territory and spread their influence to catch the attention of the PMCs that use them as a recruitment opportunity waiting to happen. These PMCs are the real powerbase in Wrath and while private military corporations, together they form Infernum’s standing army. They invest heavily in new gear, weapons and upgrades for the technology they have, which is why the city looks very utilitarian, aside from the often elaborate gangsigns that delineate the constant struggle. The city is also known for its inhabitants proclivity towards keeping others as pets. The stronger or more charismatic demons usually keep an imp or a satyr around as a pet. Wrath has no particular makeup and almost any race of demon can be found there. Some succubi are attracted to the bad boy attitudes the gangs breed, imps and satyr see the violence as a way up in the world and some Greater find a perverse prestige in sending minions to their deaths. Even a few of the Fallen have found their way there, though their wings tar black in the constant smoke of the city, a stain that may never wash out again. The PMCs fortresses aside the city looks like it’s gone through a lot. There is scarcely a wall to find that does not have some kind of bullet hole in it or laser burn blackening its surface. Due to the constant violence civil services are impossible and as such garbage is often just burnt on the street, giving the city a dangerous character and a shady, smoke filled atmosphere. Wherever a gang consolidates their territory for long enough, additional services set up shop, generally owned and operated by the gang holding the territory, these are most often liquor stores, corner shops and bars, which double as meeting points. At the center of Wrath there is one building so unbelievably impractical it could only really be found in Wrath. A giant cannon, covered in spikes, bayonets and other useless pointy protrusions aims high up into Space. No demon can recall if it has ever been fired in living memory, but it is one of the most intimidating sights you can find on Wrath. As if its sheer nature was not enough, it is considered a particular honor to your enemies to hang them from the cannon’s spikes. It is rumored that the cannon was built by Satan himself and that he lingers in the bowels of the construction, awaiting the day he can fire it as his ultimate revenge.
Lust is almost entirely a red light district and is visibly built to the whims of the omnipresent succubi. It is also the most visited and arguably safest city on Infernum, which makes it popular with tourists. Whereas to the common man there may be little difference, the demons of lust have a social structure based on desirability, the better, kinkier, more niche fetishes you can indulge can raise a demon to great prominence in Lust and the more exclusive their services, often the more desired. Cheap slatterns fill windows and street corners looking for quick cash and a quicker fuck, while incubi and satyr try to lure you into lavish brothels, dungeons and hotel arrangements with guaranteed happy endings, the best companions can only be gotten by those with connections, refined taste and a ransom only Pride or Greed’s elite could muster. The Second Circle is the city’s most luxurious palace and houses Asmodeus’ private harem of girls from all over the known universe. Lust runs almost entirely on prostitution, with a cashflow that flows out for the other city’s exports as quickly as they bring it back in. Luxurious foods from Gluttony are one of the primary imports, accountants from Greed and security personnel from Wrath are also in high demand, as are clothes and accessories from Envy. The city is also home to a variety of chemists, abortion clinics and shady doctors who supply the city with contraceptives, mind expanding substances, STD treatments, spikes you really don’t want in your drink and all manner of ways to handle unwanted pregnancies. Lust is, next to Greed, by far the most visited place on Infernum, due to its lavish charms and sexual pleasures, giving rise to a seedy underbelly of paparazzi, private detectives and other investigators, dealing with disappearances, rape and even people trafficking on a regular basis.
Money is power, but you’d be hard pressed to find a place where this is more so than Greed. Greed is on the one hand a garish place, littered with casinos, gambling dens and old fashioned speakeasies and on the other hand it’s full of soul crushing skyscrapers, where overpaid numbercrunchers make sure that the checkbooks are in order for their paymasters. People from Greed flaunt their wealth with gusto, those who can display it, generally do with gold, gems, fancy clothes and expensive company, but will guard themselves against those who would steal from them with a paranoia that nearly rivals their obsession for money. When it comes to fashion in Greed, there is little room for distinguished style, tacky is the point. It’s considered particularly fashionable to have your own imp and imps feature prominently as mascot characters, models and casino employees. Supposedly Greed is led by a demon known as the Mammon, wealthy beyond imagination and secluded in his casino-palace, keeping check on his balance with one eye and the players with the other. Mammon is, along with Beelzebub and Lucifer, one of the more public of the demon lords. He takes business pitches every week and if not overlooking his personal casino, he can be found in a boardroom discussing his myriad businesses. Common knowledge dictates that if the numbers are on the rise though, Mammon is happy and your job is safe... until the next time he checks.
Widely renowned to be a city of exquisite food and exotic drinks, but there is more to Gluttony than just that, in fact while most cities on Infernum have their poor and destitute out on the streets, Gluttony’s streets are quite clean and have very little waste on them. Gluttony’s primary export if obviously food and its primary import is the ingredients for said food, the nature of which varies from the mundane, herbs, spices, livestock of various kinds, to the exotic, rare animals, illicit chemicals, to the downright immoral, harvested organs, dangerous aliens and even whole people are smuggled in. All of the aforementioned disappear into the various storerooms and kitchens that line Gluttony’s streets. Often you’ll also find that Gluttony’s restaurants have several doors and whether or not you survive your stay can be dependent on which door you enter through. Gluttony’s population though is morbidly obese in extremely high percentages. They prefer comfortable clothing to anything posh or elegant, because they are going to spill food and drink on it anyway. They are however a generally cheerful bunch, since they live for the next culinary thrill and know their life could be over if they wind up on the street after too drunk a night, but do not seem to be too bothered by this. There is a saying that everything is edible, all the time and to excess in Gluttony, discounting the pavements, most buildings and furniture though this largely holds true as day in and day out the restaurants are open and at the regular festivals entirely edible monuments are set up to the chef’s prestige and culinary glory. Almost invariably these monuments last no more than a few hours after presentation. The most lavish is made in honor of Beelzebub and is often eaten entirely by the demon lord himself, Beelzebub is the most public of the rulers of the seven cities and can usually be seen sampling the various restaurants of his great city.
Envy isn’t so much a city as an artificial island that grew together through attrition. It floats wherever it goes on the ocean and has the greatest population of aquatic hybrids as a result. Envy is most known for its community of artists, tailors, sommeliers, collectors and the thieves that steal from them. Having collected all that many possessions, but having no landline to Wrath makes hiring professional security hard, so Envy’s inhabitants get very idiosyncratic, making it easy to associate items with the person and even if they are stolen, they can usually still be identified as their makers, lest the item itself would be damaged. Whenever Envy makes land somewhere the merchants travel out in droves to the nearest city to sell their wares and steal whatever tickles their particular fancy, making Envy’s irregular landfalls seem a mixed blessing to the rest of Infernum’s inhabitants. Envy is supposedly run by a demon lord by the name of Leviathan, but for a creature that is supposedly enormous, nobody has seen it for a long time. Though there is an urban legend that states that Leviathan was so obsessed with possessing everything that he became the city itself and guides it along the waves by sheer force of will, its inhabitants slaves to its fancies to bring in ever more and more exotic possessions.
Sloth is located in the most remote, frozen over ice floes on the sea of Cocytus and it was founded by Belphegor… whose foundation story is well known since there isn’t much going on in Sloth at all. Sloth is best appreciated as a retreat for the people who do not want to be found, the people get by on a minimum effort. Belphegor built a hut to sleep in and has been doing so ever since. He is one of the few things that could be called touristic about Sloth. Him and ice fishing. The inhabitants of Sloth are a primal people, most of them do what they can to get by and go back to sleep. They haven’t the inclination to pay attention to eachother nor do they have the energy to spare. Sloth consists mainly of large igloos that house a family each. The demons there, for all their laziness, are a hardy people though, stout and furry to adapt to the climate. Notably, Sloth gets active in April as the inhabitants suddenly get the urge to find a new mate to spend their long nights with. Being so far north Sloth barely ever gets any sun and its inhabitants are known to be more comfortable in the dark. It occurs on rare occassions that someone from Sloth engages in the arts and often gives up halfway through making something. These attempts have caught the attention of the inhabitants of Pride and Envy as curiosities and things they want to have just by dint of how rare they are and are often amazed at the ease with which the Sloths part with them.