1. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Demon vs Daemon

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TLK, Jul 18, 2013.

    So, another novel I'm planning to write, a Fantasy Novel for a yet-unspecified target audience, features demons (or daemons). These guys will be the main "baddies" of the novel (or will they? Ooh...) so they're something that I need to get right.

    The way I plan to describe them is as follows. As the MC will put it "Demons (or Daemons) are beings made of emotion and thought, held together by magic". Both parts are central to the plot, as the relates to the manner in which these demons (or daemons) are able to manipulate humans and the latter because... well, I don't think that's important and it's hard to explain.

    Anyway, I am, as the title suggests, struggling on which version of the word to use. From research so far, it seems that "demon" has more religious connotations. This is the spelling that Christianity uses when referring to Satan's servants (or whatever, I'm not exactly religious myself). This part is a negative as far as I'm concerned as, in the novel, they will be in no way related to religion and religion, will, in fact, feature very rarely. However, demons in Christianity are always referred to in a negative context, which is something I like as ALL d(a)emons are ALL evil in the novel. Finally, the phrase "one's demons" uses this spelling, which rather nicely fits into the part of them being made of emotion and thought that I mentioned earlier.

    "Daemons" on the other hand is more of a throwback to Greek Mythology. In these instances, the daemons were more like spirits and hence they are not always "evil" or "bad". I don't mind the spirit idea, but, as I said, all of the d(a)emons will be evil. And, I really like the look of the word "daemon" as well XD

    So, I'm still stuck on which version to go with. I'm leaning towards "demon", but I don't like the religious link.

    Any thoughts, fellow forum-goers?
     
  2. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I like "demon". I think the religious references will always be there in the back of the reader's mind no matter what, but it also depends on how you portray religion in your story if at all. I can pick up a fantasy novel and read about demons and understand them as creatures of the unknown and not link them to Christianity. I think as long as you don't state anywhere the existence of the demons is based on some religious belief.. people will understand the creatures are just what you make them, manifestations of emotion.
     
  3. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Thanks for the input, duke :) I guess you have a point about the religion though I guess.

    Another issue I have is what to call the Organisation that deal with demons/daemons. I'd originally planned to call it The Inquisition, but I felt that sounded to religion-y. "Demon-Hunters" didn't sound right either.
     
  4. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    The Department of Magical Protection? Short version the Protectors?

    Note also the use of daemon in the computer world.
     
  5. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Yeah, the computer/gaming world was something I picked up on as well. I think I'm fairly decided on "demon" now, actually, it's just the name for the blasted order now.
    [MENTION=39882]B93[/MENTION], your idea isn't bad at all. Just that "Department of Magical Protection" is a bit too... Harry Potter. "Protectors" as a short is ok though. I'd prefer "Protection", but that'd just make people think of contraception.
     
  6. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    I had the same question when I was working on my novel.

    After research here is my conclusion.

    If the book is modern stick to Demon. The word Demon often relates to the "dark spirit" and represents evil. On the other hand Daemon is related to Greek Mythology, being good or bad (depending on your source).
     
  7. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    The Watchers
    Black Ties
    Gatekeepers
    The Undercity

    Not sure what time period you're in so just shooting off some ideas :)
     
  8. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    daemon will always, always make me think of His Dark Materials.

    Also what about calling it the organization based on their attributes? Eg. a group that wears masks and hood KKK style might be referred to as "the Masked", or a group that are marked by the dragon tattoo on their forearms might be talked of as the "Dragonarms".
     
  9. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Thanks for all the ideas, guys, it's really helpful just to get some brainstorming going.
    [MENTION=53357]rhduke[/MENTION] : The novel is set in Medieval-esque times, though without gunpowder, if that makes any difference whatsoever.

    I was thinking the Borderguards (or Border Guards), since the area where the demons live is distinguished as a different country to the main country in the novel. Sounds too modern to me though.
     
  10. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    The two are essentially the same word. "Demon" isn't inherently connected to Judeo-Christian theology. The Bible was originally written, in part, in Greek, as well as Hebrew, etc. "Daemon" is closer to the original spelling, but the Roman letter used was actually that wonky a-e hybrid which hasn't been used in conversational English for over a century. Much like "encyclopaedia" or "Caesar", "daemon" has just been simplified to "demon" to suit modern usage.
    That being said, "demon" has a slightly more sinister connotation, while "daemon" sounds a little more pretentious. (Like "encyclopaedia")
     
  11. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I had the same thing with fairie and faerie - I prefer the latter as it makes the setting seem older
     

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