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Nena Camadera

So I've been looking back at some of the older chapters and decided I'm in need of some explanations for both terms and references. This is to help add to the world in Angel Biter and Origins, with a primary focus on the demons in Niflheim and going into some of the terms used throughout the story. It'll be updated as I find time to work on it to help provide additional depth to the stories. Feel free to comment or ask questions if you're so interested as to actually read through the material.

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Nena Camadera

Chilhood

First up, children, because of young Urd and Marller.

Children among the demons in Niflheim are oftentimes revered as the nation's greatest treasure. Reproduction is difficult for demons do to how different any pair of demons' biology can be from eachother, and as of modern time, progress on finding a solution to such a problem is in slow development. Oftentimes, a demon pair can be expected at most to produce one child in their lifetime, though this may amount to more depending on the physiology of the demons and their respective power class. Those pairs with an average Class difference of three levels may find themselves experiencing difficulties during the pregnancy, where the embryo's official class is unknown and the body may treat it as a foreign cell. If a mother manages to carry it to term, there then results in difficulties with the birth itself, where the mother's life may be endangered if she is the weaker of the pair. In earlier days it was not uncommon for such women to die during birth, as due to the nature of Niflheim's society, the child would take priority over the mother. Should both mother and child pass, the family from which the parents haled from were deemed as cursed, and oftentimes avoided by expecting mothers of their own. This was often labeled as 'Lamashtu's Touch' after the fallen goddess known for causing miscarriages among humans. It is only on rare occasions that a demon will have more than one child, and those fortunate enough to sire three or more are often treated with admiration and respect by their peers.

In Angel Biter such cases are rarer thanks to more modern medicine, however is still not uncommon to hear of such events happening amongst lower tier demons. Even those couples that would normally be incompatible have found a solution to the problem, ironically introduced by the Gods who reside in the Assiah. The method, called 'fusion' involves two demons relinquishing the energy that comprises their bodies in order to produce a new demon. Fusion was discovered purely by accident when a fallen god, born of the combined energy from what rumors say were the Heaven's Elite, descended into Niflheim to work with the Daimakaicho. No one save Hild knows the god's origins, and at this point few find it doesn't matter: whatever entities are used in the fusion sacrifice themselves for the new being, thus ending their existence until Ragnarok's initiation.

Because of that sacrifice; however, the demons that volunteer for fusion are often held with a special type of reverence, as they are making the ultimate sacrifice for a child they will never know or raise. Even the most lowliest of demons are temporarily elevated to a high class while they await their time for the ceremony, and the Daimakaicho herself makes it her responsibility to ensure the newborn demon is cared for properly. There are even rumors of a mural somewhere containing all the names of those demons so desperate for a child that they made the ultimate sacrifice for their young.

Children are viewed as incredibly important because of these reasons. Demons are well aware of how old they can grow and how set in their ways they become. Children bring innovation and a fresh way of thinking, and as creatures of instinct demons cannot deny their own internal urges to procreate. Because of this, children are often cherished and spoiled by the adults around them, and it is not uncommon for a youth to be raised by more than one pair of parents. Demons want their knowledge and experience to pass onto the next generation, and they'll be happy passing it on to whatever child happens to be around. This can lead to either an extremely easy childhood or one burdened with the unpleasetries that com with being a successor, as even when spoiled a young demon is expected to learn all they can from the elders around it.

However, even adults can be called away from babysitting duty, and when this happens children are often placed together in large groups. These packs generally have their own pecking order, where young demons of all ranks are given a chance to establish their own pecking order among their peers. From there, whatever mischief their leader decides on is expected to be followed through, usually with violence used to ensure obedience. On the plus side; however, should they get into mischief that gets them in trouble with the adults, the blame shall always be placed on the leader's shoulders.

These packs usually stay together throughout the rest of their childhood, and it is not uncommon to see fights break out between two or more packs of children fighting for dominance over the other and an expansion of that pack's 'territory'. This lasts up until their teens, where that specific pack is rounded up by the adults and expected to undergo a Rite of Passage known as Sihru's End. The children are gathered and separated, their hair cut short to symbolize the Rite's beginning, and then given a weapon they are familiar with. With only themselves to rely on, the children are sent off to various planes with one task in mind: that being to slay a being of a like-minded intelligence, returning with their head as proof. All demons are expected to undergo this trial at some point in their life, as they cannot be viewed as an equal or even as an adult. Until they return victorious, they are banished from Niflheim; those that do not return are oftentimes presumed dead or having run off to live amongst another people (some say young demons are even kidnapped by the denizens of the Dead Lands to serve in the Underworld. No one has bothered with proof of this statement.) Those who return successfully are viewed as having passed into Etlu (males) and Sinnistu (females).

From here young demons are immediately treated as adults, though they are technically adolescents still. They are no longer spoiled and are instead given apprenticeships and small jobs, expected to expand on the knowledge they have and find a place in Niflheim society where they can excel. For most Etlu and Sinnistu, they are expected to learn their places as the family heirs, following after the head matriarch/patriarch into whatever professions that family knows. At this point, they also become eligible for the military. Due to the armistice between the Assiah and Niflheim, it is mandatory that every demon enlist for a minimum of six years, though wavers can be made to hold off the required time for those planning on going in as officers. While the draft isn't mandatory as soon as a child reaches adulthood, it becomes a mandatory requirement within five years. In times of war, the draft can be pulled even earlier. More on that in another post.

From here, another thing that is noted is a subtle distancing in a family. Upon reaching adulthood, parents and child slowly grow more distant as the years go by. This is intentional, as a close family is a targetable family, where politics and power plays can easily destroy relations. Instead children are encouraged to network into the packs of their childhood, growing connections of their own that they can use to their advantage and further the overall family's status. Because of this intentional distancing, parents and children can appear to have a cold and callous relationship to those unfamiliar with Niflheimian culture. Again, it is all intentional, for should the main family come under attack, all it takes is a few well-placed tugs to bring the family-and the expanded network connected to it-together to face the outside threat.

That's all for now. I've got it hidden because it's a long post which may or may not contain some spoilers for the series depending on how the reader spins it.

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Urd

So...i've began reading Origins... again ^^

 

I just can't seem to have enough of reading your fanfiction.

 

Anyway, i know the question might sound stupid at this point but...

 

What is the difference between a Goetia and a Slayer?

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Nena Camadera

That's actually a really good question, as it's something that's never fully defined anywhere in the stories.

 

Spoiler alert just because of the fact that it may hit on things that will be revealed in later chapters.

 

So there are several factions that make up Niflheim's military: Angel Slayers, Goetia, S.E.S. ANZU, and Annunaki being the main ones.

 

The biggest one are the Angel Slayers, which were so named after the original demons who fought in the Old War between the Heavens and the Hells, where the Daimakaicho developed a small unit of soldiers who could go toe-to-toe against the gods they fought and still hold an advantage over them.  This is due to a special ritual that made forced the demons into a berserker's rage whenever they witnessed an angel.  Angels were common on the battlefield back then due to the heavy amount of spells being conducted on the battlefield, and this had, for a while, given the gods a marginal victory of the demons, since they couldn't conduct the same level of spells as the gods without some sort of angel (devil) of their own.  Yet rather than develop a devil in a counter-arms race, Hild sought to negate the angels and take out the gods all at once.  These 1st-generation Angel Slayers became feared not only for their attempts at killing angels, but also their fearsome hunger to consume the beings as well, leaving the victimized gods in a comatose state due to the angels being a part of their soul.  It was this viciousness, and eventually a counter-development of a top-secret 'Golden-Eye' unit meant to combat Slayers specifically, that eventually led to an armistice between the two factions.  The rituals conducted to create these berserker Slayers were conducted all the way down to the third-generation, where demons began to develop and create devils as a conduct to their power in ways similar to angels with their gods.  This led to some rather dangerous accidents due to the similarities in wavelengths between angels and devils, and the 1st-3rd gen Slayers who encountered them (Origins). 

 

In Angel Biter, the generations have continued and the title Slayer is more a branch dictating heritage over capability.  There are still 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen Slayers around, but they have to wear special seals in order to cancel out their sensitivity to any angel/devil wavelength.  Currently, they're best compared to Niflheim's army, and though they were created by Hild, they won't always follow her lead.  Their loyalty is strictly to that of the current Daimakaicho, and though they will fight to defend the current Daimakaicho during an uprising or war, as soon as an announcement is made concerning a change in leadership, their loyalty immediately shifts to that authority, all but abandoning the previous Daimakaicho.  They are primarily divided into three sects: two by land (offense and defense) and one dedicated to air superiority.  Since oceans aren't really a thing in Niflheim, there is no Naval branch.  Instead they rely on allied forces such as Jotunheim or Helhiem for naval forces, and on a regular basis conduct exercises within Jotunheim and environmental training with the Fire Jotun of Muspelheim.  Hild holds surprisingly good relationships with all of  these realms, and oftentimes goes out of her way to ensure that her people have a chance to train in unfamiliar environments.  The Slayers, no lie, hate her a bit for that. (Who wants to go ride a boat when they've never seen an ocean before? Who wants to have giant ash clouds choking their lungs and rivers of lava scalding their skin every four months?)

 

The Goetia, on the other hand, were formed a little later, sometime after the Old War but before Urd's birth, when the law of the land was being laid down and up and coming demons began making eyes at the title of 'Daimakaicho'.  For a good long while, Hild saw no ends of attempts at her life, and while they all ultimately failed (those failed assassins later murdered), Hild still saw that it was more than enough of a reason to create her own little vanguard, a group of warriors who were loyal to her and her alone and would always be around to aid her, especially if she suddenly found herself usurped from her throne and her life in danger.  Something to note was that Hild was pregnant during this time, and as such she was a lot more limited then normal for fear of the baby in her womb--as stated earlier, demons don't bare children easily, and so any unnecessary risks were avoided at all costs, especially given the fact that the child was a half-blood, making her all the more likely to miscarry.  If any demons ever thought they'd ever have a chance at the title of 'Demon Lord', it was then.  

 

Because of that, Hild went to her most loyal Slayers for support--those 1st gen Slayers who'd fought by her side in the Old War and whom each and bled for the other.  These demons and these demons alone she gathered together beneath the root of Yggdrasil--Nidhogg's Realm, and formed a pact with.  They created a soul-bond via blood magic, a magic that, at the time, was still in it's experimental phase and more widely avoided than anything else due to the potential side affects resulting from the spells cast.  Hild gave each demon a bit of her blood, and in that moment bound them all to her side for eternity--they gained a shard of her immense strength and power, and in return they became a sort of pseudo-familiar; creatures with free will but who could be called upon at any time to aid Hild should she feel her life was in danger (Amon in Origins). Some of the side effects included a mental-link, which allowed everyone to hear everyone else's thoughts.  That small group of Goetia, to include Hild, almost went mad the first couple of days due to the heavy flood of voices filling everyone's thoughts.  Eventually Hild designed a mental block to filter out the voices, but should those ever drop, the sudden wave of Noise would be too much, and the chances are high that the Goetia involved would either go mad, attempt suicide, or bury their minds so deeply within themselves that they'd fall into a coma.  Especially now with how the ranks of Goetia have slowly grown over the years.  On top of that, the bond between Hild and her 'Men' have only grown as time has passed, and though they'll still live should Hild suddenly die, there's a high likelihood that they'll follow anyone baring relation to Hild via blood.  Namely Urd. But only if she can erect a mental barricade before their combined Voice drives her insane.

 

Now I won't go into the other military branches like the ANZU (Hild's specialized intelligence/R&D sect) or the Annunaki (Niflheim special forces), but I do want to briefly hit on S.E.S. 

Marller.

This is what Marller is.

SES stands for Survive, Escape, Sabotage, and is-was-an experimental group fashioned after the concept that as time passes and tactics evolved, there needed to be an 'inside man' who could learn about the enemy and then destroy it from the inside out.  Officially, they don't exist; the branch is little more than a rumor that hold's its origins to pop culture such as movies and books, where the main heros are all official badasses who graduated top of their class and could kill twenty Valkyries at varying, impossible distances with a single ricocheting spell.  In other words, they were the kids you have to listen to when playing an FPS online.  Such demons just flat out don't exist. But that's what SES are, and that's what Hild encourages everyone to think of as SES, while those who are members blend in and nod and ask for advice.  In reality, SES are those demons who are weak and foolish to those who come across them, those demons who would sooner curse the Daimakaicho's name as they cross the borders as an informant to Asgard in an act of self-exile and betrayal, or those demons stupid enough to get to close to a Valkyrie compound and suddenly find themselves a hostage within a magically-fortified fortress.  Regardless, these are the demons who were trained to adapt to sudden changes in environment, preferably one that is considered dangerous to Niflheim, and then slowly tear it to pieces beneath everyone's noses.  They're unique in the fact that they are loyal to the Daimakaicho, but have been granted a small shard of Hild's blood.  This isn't so much as to ensure loyalty to Hild as it is to allow Hild to look through their eyes at any given time, to see and hear of plots and plans and inventions that might be skewed by word of mouth.

 

And it is also one of Hild's biggest failures in her reign as Daimakaicho.

To put it in perspective...Marller is currently the only remaining member of SES.  There are no new initiates planned and all others have...gone.  And even Marller isn't a perfect example, not with her 'broken' state in Angel Biter.  But that's a story for another day...

 

 

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Urd

Wow!

Thanks for the more in-depth explanation!

 

When you create your universe, do you write these definitions first, for yourself?

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Nena Camadera

Not in particularly.  A lot of these things are usually just thoughts that mull in my head whenever my mind takes me a specific direction.  You need to remember, I've been working on both of these stories for seven years now.  A lot of the ideas and concepts were things I'd already fleshed out way back in the early years: Angel Slayers and SES being two of the oldest concepts, with things such as Goetia gradually adding themselves more and more as the story and concepts evolved.  There's a whole world that I really want to tell here: things like just how deep Hild's relationships are with those of the neighboring realms, for example: How she knows Surt, the lord of Muspelheim, and his wife, whom hold's a strange relation to Marller.  How she and Loki, the envoy Jotunheim, were so close as to almost be seen as relatives, and how she mourned right alongside his Jotun wife, Angrboda, as he and his Aesir wife were punished for Loki's crimes against the gods.  And just how close Hild is to Helr, one of Loki's daughters and the ruler of Helheim, and how Hild will create excuses just to go and visit the half-dead goddess.  Of the mysterious Kingu of the Ancient Ones, who consistently haunts Belldandy, and how he sees and knows all that is to happen and is patiently awaiting the return of the one he once called a 'mate'.  Of the Ancient One Tiamat and Absu, the original Daimakaicho and Daitenkaicho of what was once only water, and how the melding of those waters created the first Elder Gods that eventually led to Absu's death and Tiamat's fall and just how Hild and her ex are tied into this ancient feud. 

 

It's difficult.  I feel like I could write whole chapters of nothing but the lore itself, most of which are retellings of older mythological tails spun from an AMG perspective and given their own flare, but that isn't what either Angel Biter or Origins is about. So I have to make hints and allusions when able as a way to remind people that there's more to the world than just what's displayed right in front of them, and it's one of the reason's why I encourage questions and enjoy talking about these silly stories of mine. (And why I go uber-nerd and world-build the crap out of any question ask...)

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Nena Camadera

I should really be focusing on the next chapter of Lunar Tears right now.  Or packing for my upcoming trip.  Can't get Origins off my mind right now, especially after the latest little art bit, so, with that in mind, let's talk about something that's only ever really hinted at in the series: The Ancient Ones.

 

 

Gods and Demons all had to arise from something.  Who or what is often the topic of many debates, but the most common explanation is from the oldest of beings, the creatures that represented Infinity and Abyss, Apsu and Tiamat.  Also known as The Fresh Water and The Salt Water, it was from these two that Creation sprung into being.  From the mixing of the waters the first gods sprung forth, young and inexperienced and ignorant of the great power they wielded.  These children, who would one day hold the title of Elder Gods, began branching out with their powers, gaining a feel for them that could only come from experimentation.  With it came creation, immediately followed by destruction, for these gods, though mature in body, held a childish nature.  They played with the cosmos, which was their home, and their play of creation and destruction was so disruptive that it brought agony to Apsu, who grew to despise his children's play. When he brought his grievances to his mate, Tiamat, his mind had further been poisoned by the actions of his vizier, Mummu to the point where he went so far as to consider killing their children.

 

This upset Tiamat greatly, for she loved her children dearly and would not see any harm come to them.  They argued, and Apsu came to realize the error of his ways and dismissed his previous intentions, realizing that notions such as the murder of his own kin were wretched thoughts indeed.  He did not visit them again, and threatened his vizier when Mummu brought the subject up again.  However, at the time of their argument, their fight was so loud that one of their children happened to overhear.  Though this child, Enki, did not hear the argument in it's entirety, he did hear of Apsu's thoughts of murder, and with it grew frightened for his life.  Fearful for his wife and siblings, Enki began to plot Apsu's murder, and in the eve of an Eclipse, murders him in his sleep.  

 

Fearing his mother's wrath upon the discovery of her mate's murder, Enki flees with his wife Apsu's body and creates a swamp from Apsu's waters that Enki and his wife hide within.  There, they wait out Tiamat's wrath, which come in great torrents of grief and rage.  Though afraid, Enki does attempt to council his mother, and at times she almost forgives him for the error of his ways.  However, she was not the only one angry with Enki, and many of his brothers and sisters took the side of his mother, going so far as to convince Tiamat that Enki needed to be destroyed.  Their words poisoned her mind, and sick with grief Tiamat began to fashion monsters, abomination with venom for blood that would act as the vanguard of war, their general the demon Kingu, who bared upon his chest the Tablets of Destiny.  

 

Enki beheld these creatures with nothing but fear, knowing that he could not overcome such horrible opposition.  Yet his son, Marduk rises to the challenge and assures his family that he can defeat Tiamat and her legion.  Armed with a magical spear and the many Winds, he slays first Kingu and his Eleven Generals, then Tiamat and those who allied with her.  From her body he fashions the universe, with its planets and stars, and the heavens, for which he and his family can retire to, relinquishing his hold of power to his father, Enki, and uncle, Enlil, who both come to share the title of the first Daitenkaicho.  

 

Yet even Marduk has to admit that while defeated, Tiamat and the kin that allied with her are far from dead.  "Dead but dreaming." Is how he termed it, and though difficult, it is possible to reawaken these primordial powers, the Ancient Ones.  There are even rumors that these creatures, these first demons, were never slain at all but were instead put into a deep sleep, Marduk recognizing their power as too great to combat on his own and so instead placing a powerful sleeping spell on them that granted him his victory.  It is this belief that is so widely debated amongst Highkin and Falkin, for many demons of the modern day and age claim relations to these ancestral beings.  

 

Some even claim to have met them.

 

Whether or not any of it is true is a matter more of opinion than fact, however there are still documents that display the ancient names of these figures: Kingu, Humwawa, Pazuzu, Kutulu, Uster, Lamashta, Lalartu, and rumors that circle of, under the right circumstances, one might suddenly appear.  What's more, there are even rumors that these Ancient Ones are seeking to re-establish themselves within the tenth-dimension, if only they can find the proper avenue of approach...

 

 

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Urd

If you can't get Origins out of your head, then why not write about Origins then?

Forcing yourself on working on Lunar Tears might not have the best outcome :/

 

I have to read that part about the Ancient Ones more carefully when i get home.

 

Scratch that, when my flu is gone. My pitiful self cries from having to stare at the monitor screen for periods longers than 2min -_-

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IdiAmeanDada

Get better!

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Urd

So yesterday i was watching The X - Files - episode 04 and...guess what?

They've mentioned Tulpas!!

 

Things that are materialized from one's imagination, fears, etc.

And i was like: hey, i know this!!! I've read about this before!

 

Tulpas! The tulpas made it to the X-Files =)

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Nena Camadera

Noooo! I'm on episode three right now and am saving 4 and 5 for next week! I'm on leave with family. The x-files is something we're all watching together while I decompress from my latest training. 

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Urd

Err...ooooppps? :laugh:

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