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Character Information:
Full Name: Mordecai
Series: Original Character
Canon point:
Age: ~900; appears to be in his late twenties
Species: Demon
Appearance/PB:


Appearance upon arrival: Bemused; inquisitive; probably checking his fob watch.



Character History: Mordecai is a demon, which in terms of his particular version of Earth means that he is an earth spirit.  He introduces himself as the Seventeenth Prince of the Lower Kingdom, which is a reference to how demons in that world are born: they are 'birthed' by a world tree that occupies a metaphysical space deep below the earth's soil, and they are ranked according to whichever 'branch' of the tree spawns them.  The higher the branch, the higher the rank.  As his title implies, Mordecai spawned from the seventeenth branch from the tree's top, which means he's of a fairly significant rank, given that the tree has so many branches as to be uncountable.  Although Mordecai has many classic demonic features: goat horns, fangs, claws, imposing wings, etc., his people have no relationship to servants of hell or any other aspect of Judeo-Christian theology.  Rather, they are manifestations of the earth's soul itself; primal creatures given corporeal form.  The tree is the center of the earth's spirit world and the demons are its children and attendants.  All demons are susceptible to summoning by the earth's witches, and many of them actually hope to be called forth, as they are afforded greater measures of power when on the surface--though that power is usually leashed and directed by the spirit of the witch who performed the summoning ritual.


Once summoned, a demon tends to stay with his/her witch until dismissed or until the witch dies.  Very rarely, demons will leave a witch's service of their own accord; as stated, they consider the familiar-witch relationship to be mutually beneficial and would only break the contract under extremely extenuating circumstances.  The witch acts as a kind of focusing lens for a demon's abilities; though demons are powerful on their own, their skills are hugely amplified by drawing on a witch's reserves of will; willpower being the 'engine' of the magic in this universe.  A spell's efficacy depends on the strength of the willpower used in its creation--the more will expended in the spellcasting, the more powerful the results.  A witch and a demon working in concert are able to perform incredible feats of spellcasting because the demon's energy is used to support the witch's will--on their own, neither has enough of either resource to perform complex magic over any pronounced length of time.


Personality:

The first and most important thing to remember about all demons is that, while they are not inherently evil, they are primal beings.  Even though Mordecai dresses like an old-fashioned gentleman and makes an effort to be polite in his speech, he's essentially a beast in a cravat.  He is amoral, cunning, and has no problem at all with ultraviolence.  That said, he is a steward of the earth and he is not inclined toward needless conflicts.  When he trusts someone, he is loyal to them to a fault--'fault' here meaning that if he feels someone he cares for is in danger, he will go to ruthless lengths to neutralize the threat, regardless of the endangered person's wishes or feelings (as evidenced by the fiasco with Brigid).  Gaining his trust isn't difficult, either: he's inquisitive, interested in people, fond of asking questions and a good listener; in other words, perfectly charming aside from his imposing stature and features.

He loves tactile, sensual things, like coffee, warm (or cold) breezes, rain, hearth fires, scented candles, soil between his toes, et cetera.  He doesn't need to sleep, but when he decides to (usually out of boredom) he prefers to sleep outside, in the grass, because he likes the sensation of grass blades on his skin.  These things are that much more precious to him now, given that he's just coming out of a 160-year imprisonment in which he had no companionship and no physical body at all.  He was asleep for most of his time in the stone, which is why the isolation didn't drive him into sociopathy, but when he first took in a breath of fresh air after being freed it definitely felt like the first breath--and the first taste on his tongue--in quite a while.  Nor does Mordecai hold any particular bitterness towards Brigid for putting him there, which goes back to the 'loyal to a fault' trait: though he thought she was misguided to trap him, he understood that she was doing what she thought was right, and he forgave for it the instant it happened.

However, Mordecai's warm, outgoing nature and fondness for making friends can often have a disarming effect on the people he meets, in that it lulls them into forgetting that he is also very much a wild creature, a feral creation of the earth with no qualms about violent killings and no moral objection to almost anything in and of itself, so long as the actions in question won't lead to earth's destruction (because the death of the world is the only way a demon can truly and permanent die as well).  He can become very angry very quickly, especially on someone else's behalf, and his self-control deteriorates in direct proportion to his rage.

Mordecai's speech patterns are antiquated, but they'll likely 'modernize' as he spends more time around other characters from a more present time--demons tend to adopt the mannerisms of whatever culture they're summoned into, and most of Mordecai's recent time on earth occurred between the 17th and 19th centuries.  He has an Irish accent because that was how the first Carroll to summon him spoke; his voice is rich and deep, with a rough undercurrent that suggests any refinement is the result of constant, forced practice.

Curiosity and a desire for connection are Mordecai's primary motivations, with the latter being more significant than the former.  Demons are part of the earth and yet, until they are summoned, also 'apart' from it, because they inhabit a spiritual rather than a physical realm.  Thus, like many demons, Mordecai seeks to establish communion and connection with the aspects of the physical world; it is as exotic to him and his people as a world of ghosts would be to us. 

What differentiates him among his kind is the intensity with which he pursues this desire to connect--for instance, as stated, many demons consider the witch-familiar relationship to be mutually beneficial because it allows them to experience the upper world and to do so with a significant measure of power.  But though a demon might willingly and gladly protect the witch who contracted him/her, they tend to see the symbiotic relationship in different ways.  Many view it as simply something they must tolerate in order to get the strength they need to act as they wish: the witch is a tool to be cared for, but a tool nonetheless; some view it as one might a profitable business enterprise; others are more aggressive or submissive, either trying to dominate their witch or permitting the witch to have total dominance over them.   

Mordecai, however, views the relationship as a real, deep friendship, as the <i>avenue</i> to his connection with the greater physical world.  He forms strong attachments to the witches who contract him, he respects them as people and as friends, and he feels passionately protective of them.  He has a stronger interest in humans generally than the average demon; given their status as creatures born directly from the world tree, demons often consider themselves not only above other supernatural beings but certainly above humans (despite needing them to operate most effectively in the upper world).  They are the earth's first children; her caretakers; the embodiment of the unseen wilderness.  Although Mordecai certainly considers himself all of these things, and he does carry some unconscious bias--particularly against humans who mistreat nature--he does not directly and specifically think of himself as 'better' than anyone.  This ties back to the notion that he is amoral rather than immoral; he has no intrinsic, universally applied moral compass; rather, he values individuals and organizes his behaviors around how he relates to them (chaotic neutral, in D&D terms, though with less connotation of self-interest): if he likes you, he REALLY likes you, and he'll give you all the compassion and kindness in the world.  If he doesn't like you, he hates you, and he'll thwart you at any opportunity.

That being said, he likes most people he meets, because he finds people as a whole to be very interesting.  He's gregarious and outgoing; he's the person at the party who asks you all about your Etsy creations or how you feel about your cat and he really sincerely wants to know.  The only traits in a person that he instantly dislikes are people with no regard for nature and people with a distinct bias against otherworldly creatures.  He dislikes mindless violence and wanton destruction as well.  Nature can be a cruel place, but its cruelty derives from the brutality that accompanies survival, not from pre-meditated sadism.

Finally, it should also maybe be noted that he nor his people are rooted in the typical conception of demons; rather, they are based on the ancient greek etymology of the word 'daimon', which simply meant 'spirit'.  Hence he has no interest in possessing anyone or eating anyone's soul--indeed, a demon of this world is nothing but soul, they haven't got a need for anyone else's.



Character Abilities: An unbound demon is not nearly as powerful as a demon who acts as a witch's familiar, but they aren't pushovers, either.  Mordecai's primary weakness in his unbound state is that he can't sustainably cast complex magic.  He's able to perform light magic throughout a given day (conjuring sweet tea, boiling water, starting a fire with dry brush), but he can only accomplish one feat of greater magic (a full-out fireball/ice lance/anything else impressively offensive or useful) and if he casts that greater magic, he can't do anything else, spell-wise, until he's taken a mental rest.  However, he's incredibly strong physically.  He CAN fly with his wings, he's supernaturally fast, strong and agile, and his teeth and claws are razor sharp.  He can be on ya like a piranha, pretty much.



Possessions: Just an old-fashioned fob watch and the rest of his clothes.  Nothing special about them; they're just what he conjured for himself when he was first summoned into late 17th century England.




Anything else: HOW TO SUMMON AND BIND A DEMON: A CHILD'S PRIMER
What you will need:
1 (one) piece of red chalk
1 (one) sharp, sterile knife
Your grimoire
A patch of hard-packed dirt
Lots of willpower
Bandages
Tolerance for pain

Directions: Draw a circle in the dirt with your red chalk, then divide the circle into quadrants with a cross.  Take your knife and slice it across your palm, making as deep a wound as you can tolerate.  Walk clockwise around the circle, taking care to ensure that a few drops of blood touch the dirt in each quadrant.  Once done, open your grimoire and recite the proper incantation.  The incantation varies and can be customized according to the kind of relationship you're hoping for with the demon; for instance, those looking for a strictly subjugator-subjugatee situation would be wise to speak in the imperative voice.  Those hoping for a gentler camaraderie should still speak with confidence, but they can moderate the diction to be less commanding and more inviting.  In any case, the incantation must contain some variant of the phrase: 'O demon, I call you forth from the Lower Kingdom; heed me and answer'.  Once you've spoken your incantation, keep a tight hold to yourself, as the earth will begin to churn.  This is the demon's spiritual energy trying to pull you into the Lower Kingdom (do not dislike your demon for this; he or she has no control over the effect).  Hold your ground against this force and it will eventually subside.  Your new demon will be sitting in the circle's center.  Please allow a few minutes for the demon to conjure him or herself some epoch-appropriate clothes.  Then bandage your hand and instruct away.

Note: the effort required to cast this ritual may cause you to pass out.  Don't worry, though, your demon has no intention of eating you; once summoned, he or she is bound, and will do their best to make sure you wake in a dry, comfortable spot.

ALL OF THIS TO SAY: Mordecai is susceptible to binding by any magically capable character, and he would in fact be happy to enter into such a contract.  However, even though Mordecai is already on the surface, this ritual would still need to be performed.  This is because part of an unbound demon's spirit is locked within the greater spirit of the earth itself, and the ritual is necessary to draw out that piece and connect it to the spirit of the summoner.  Having Mordecai as a familiar would increase both his and the summoner's magical potency by a significant degree; also he would be your bro for LIFE (unless you gave him a reason to break the binding).  Just sayin'.


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Mordecai

October 2010

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