Demons are the indestructible, body-less souls of people who have died, but whose spirits remain on earth. Followers of Xhoukadi are promised the eternal existence of a demon after death.
Followers of Xhoukadi do not enter a unique afterworld, but they are granted an unending existence on earth in the form of a demon (dena). Demons are spirits bound to any earthly object, most commonly some stationary object like a stone or tree. They are not free to move about, though they can transfuse to new objects with some effort.
Some Southern Vahim Regaad villages who revere Xhoukadi will lay stones on their dead relatives’ body in funeral, allowing their lost ones to fuse with that rock. These rocks are then placed in household shrines, where they can continue to interact with their living relatives. In general, though, demons remain in the wilds of the world, fused to rocks, undisturbed by living humans. They will remain unmoving but fully conscious for hundreds of years, during which they lose their sense of humanity and grow into a characteristic demonic restlessness.
After hundreds of years of dormancy, wild demons may occasionally find the opportunity to enter a human host. Entering a human host requires either a willing subject, or a battle between wills. If the demon loses the contest of wills, the demon cannot enter the body, but if it succeeds in overpowering the human mind, it can enter and control the body for as long as it lasts. The human soul will remain conscious, and can even mentally communicate with the demon. Nevertheless, the host will be completely unable to control their body unless the demon grants them control, a powerful magician succeeds in exorcism, or the host mentally overpowers the mind of the demon. It is rare for any of these instances to occur; typically, once the demon gains control of a human host.
Because demons typically exist in the earth for hundreds of years before they possess a human, they rarely exercise compassion on their host. They have lost the ability to hold compassion over the years of solitude, and wish to exert their control to experience sensations they have missed for centuries. To maintain control, demons frequently subject their host to mental torture. Demons may onslaught the human soul with verbal abuse, or they may cause the soul to experience physical pain or undergo realistic, horrifying hallucinations. For instance, the demon Nalaagura, upon taking control of Tiy Xhadouk ra Garet Rangar, forced him to experience hallucinated repeated incidences of his wife and children dying gruesomely, as well as exempted him to experiences of extreme physical pain and psychological torment. Instead of feeling guilt for subjecting the hosts to these pains, demons usually find the incidences amusing.
In addition to abusing their host, demons will wreak havoc upon the human world once they contain a human form. They create chaos wherever they run. Having lived dormant and motionless for so long, the demons take to their moving form with great exhilaration and act with a notable lack of inhibition and conscience. The presence of a demon in a land can be a region-wide problem, if not a national one.
Demons contain enhanced magical abilities; inside a host, they are able to manipulate magic in far more potent manners than humans ever can. Demons do not need to ingest materials and evoke an incantation action in order to use magic. Their use of magic in a host allows them to heal the body they are in; some demons have been known to possess corpses and use their powers to prevent the body from decaying.
Usually, a host’s consciousness fades the longer a demon remains in the body. If the demon suppresses the human will long enough, the soul will detach from the body and be sent to one of the afterworlds. However, demons cannot remain in a host body long without consequent.
The longer a demon remains in a body, the more it fuses with it. Demons are unfettered human souls, but human souls by nature fuse with human bodies. Therefore, over time, a demon’s magic powers may wane inside the host. On rare occasions a demon remains so long in the body that it fuses completely with the body; the soul of the host and the soul of the demon fuse into one consciousness, and the demon (dena) becomes a creature known as the neden. Neden can also be formed if a human soul consciously accepts a contract and fusing with a demon, though these instances are extremely rare in occurrence, little more than legend.
Neden contain a long lifespan but they are mortal; they will die after 250-300 years and be sent to Shenevezhah’s afterworld. They are more magically powerful than humans, but less powerful than an unfused dena. Most demons avoid becoming neden, and the process will happen accidentally. On rare occasions of need, they may consciously become neden, such as is the case with Nalaagura when she fuses with the corpse of Shioka Kai-ri.