1. RabidChipmunk
    Offline

    RabidChipmunk Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2

    Why Are My Demon's Hunting Souls?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by RabidChipmunk, Nov 24, 2011.

    I'm in the process of brainstorming a story, and it's still in that fledgling, exciting stage where there's all sorts of unanswered questions that I can just sit back and think of explanations for. Here's the gist of it:

    A strange, black dome called The Night has encapsulated the Kingdom of TBD and prevented anyone inside it from getting out or anyone outside it from getting in, sort of like in Stephen King's Under the Dome. Inside The Night is a equally strange black fog called The Fog (the creativity department of the Kingdom of TBD has become a little lazy) that has the equally equally strange ability to condense itself into certain shapes and forms, creating equally equally equally strange demon-like creatures called Shadows, which are basically The Fog's attempts to mimic the various creatures contained under the dome to suit it's nefarious needs. The purpose of these beasts is to wonder around either slaying people or, preferably and if at all possible, collecting their souls, which for the purpose of the story, appear as small, white flames (unless you've committed great evil, in which case they just appear as dull, gray orbs).

    I have most of the details ironed out. I know what the dome is and why it was summoned. I know that the Shadow's want souls, and I know that they aren't interested in souls that produce no light, but for the life of me, I can't think of what they want them for. I know a major theme for this story is Light and Dark, if that helps any of you guys brainstorm, but I don't know, it's just not coming together for me.

    I'm not asking you to write the story for me, I just need someone to throw me a bone so I can figure it out on my own (unless, of course, you're idea is really good, in which case I'll just steal it verbatim).


    Oh, and by the way, if reading the title made you think of the video game Demon's Souls, then I have accomplished my mission for today.
     
  2. ScreamsfromtheCrematory
    Offline

    ScreamsfromtheCrematory Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe the shadow needs them because they're a fuel source, it's sort of "naturally" attracted to them as predator to prey, this is actually some sort of weird form of "salvation" it feels compelled to perform, it is recruiting them for some massive war in a faraway land/dimension etc etc.
     
  3. bazzie
    Offline

    bazzie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    hello,

    love threads like this... is it really nefarious or just doing what it needs to to "survive" ?

    - fuel seems like the obvious way to go... it must take energy to keep this thing going right? now there could be some other source of energy, but failing that, souls seems like a good idea...
    - some sort of "balance" theory - most magic systems have an element of balance to them, perhaps the "protection" from the outside comes with a cost, and that is having to keep on your toes on the inside from these demon things...
    - what if the demon things are a completely un-anticipated by product of the dome itself.. they could be parasites that feed / live on the dome as their ecosystem, feeding on souls purely for their own survival, nothing to do with the power of the dome itself... but getting rid of them would / could harm the operation of the dome itself, so they are still there...
    - perhaps the demons are the way in which whatever is outside the dome are essentially laying siege to the inhabitants...?

    not so sure about why "good" souls are more "valuable"... will keep thinking about that..

    bazzie
     
  4. bazzie
    Offline

    bazzie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    hello,

    love threads like this... is it really nefarious or just doing what it needs to to "survive" ?

    - fuel seems like the obvious way to go... it must take energy to keep this thing going right? now there could be some other source of energy, but failing that, souls seems like a good idea...
    - some sort of "balance" theory - most magic systems have an element of balance to them, perhaps the "protection" from the outside comes with a cost, and that is having to keep on your toes on the inside from these demon things...
    - what if the demon things are a completely un-anticipated by product of the dome itself.. they could be parasites that feed / live on the dome as their ecosystem, feeding on souls purely for their own survival, nothing to do with the power of the dome itself... but getting rid of them would / could harm the operation of the dome itself, so they are still there...
    - perhaps the demons are the way in which whatever is outside the dome are essentially laying siege to the inhabitants...?

    not so sure about why "good" souls are more "valuable"... will keep thinking about that..

    bazzie
     
  5. psychotick
    Online

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    315
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    My first thought was that it's simply what they do. But maybe as others have suggested - fuel, or rather food. Maybe they eat souls, and white souls are extra tasty, black souls somewhat burnt around the edges and chewy! Or they could actually be a source of power for magic / spells / life etc.

    If they were real demons from hell though, there'd be another motive, winning the war against heaven, as each soul turned, consumed, is another victory in the horny guys battle.

    Cheers.
     
  6. psychotick
    Online

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    315
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    My first thought was that it's simply what they do. But maybe as others have suggested - fuel, or rather food. Maybe they eat souls, and white souls are extra tasty, black souls somewhat burnt around the edges and chewy! Or they could actually be a source of power for magic / spells / life etc.

    If they were real demons from hell though, there'd be another motive, winning the war against heaven, as each soul turned, consumed, is another victory in the horny guys battle.

    Cheers.
     
  7. RabidChipmunk
    Offline

    RabidChipmunk Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2
    I really appreciate the help you guys. I myself have been leaning more towards the thought of "souls are fuel," but that still leaves open the question as to why dark souls are less viable than bright souls. I suppose I could say that dark souls simply have no value as fuel (the light itself is the fuel), but I'd still like to hear other ideas first.

    @Bazzie: I like your theory on the demons being parasites, but something I left out of my description (d'oh) is that The Fog, which itself forms demons, is also what forms The Night, which is the dome itself. So that wouldn't work because it'd be parasiting (?) on itself. But yes, I do view the demons and The Fog itself as sort of animalistic in nature, so they have no interest in trying to start a war. The term "demon" is just a way of the locals in my story to describe them, but they are, in the end, more like animals.

    Maybe if it helps, I can add some more details about the souls. I don't know how, but I know I plan on having a character who can "see" souls; that is, she knows if they give off light or not, and if so she knows how much light they give off. She also has the (so far) inexplicable ability to work with souls to a limited degree: whereas Shadows can take souls out, she can put souls back in. She's supposed to be a saintly character, which would mean her souls is extra bright (ah, but not everything is what it seems, winky winky).
     
  8. RusticOnion
    Offline

    RusticOnion Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    8
    Perhaps the beasts become stronger with each soul they own? That being said perhaps if they become powerful enough they can leave "The Night" perhaps through bartering (exchange of souls to something someone) or by brute force due to they amount of souls.

    If they leave they night they could then feast on the souls of other humans and at a later date create a whole new "night" somewhere else?
     
  9. Vaalthurion
    Offline

    Vaalthurion Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Alabama
    Perhaps they don't need the souls per sé, but are driven by some form of animosity against the souls. You could take the "Light vs. Dark" approach and say that a previous (or ongoing) war has given the Demons an agenda to destroy the souls in order to fulfill some 'political' or other means of their own. Maybe this Dome is only one of many that is part of this war throughout the world?

    The difference between the Light and Dark souls could be indicative of individuals who are potential "heroes" that are capable of destroying, or at least causing great harm, to the Demon mind.

    Hope this helps!
     
  10. shangrila
    Offline

    shangrila Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah, my first thought was fuel or currency, kind of like the game Dark Souls. Since the demons are just drones for the fog/dome (am I understanding this right?) it might make sense that this is how the dome feeds itself.

    Another idea might be that these light souls hurt the demons in some way. Maybe not physically, but they sicken them so much that they feel the need to hunt them down.

    Finally, something out of left field (kind of); the souls contain a person's memories and/or feelings. The demons, and I guess the dome as well, can't feel, so they've become obsessed with collecting the souls so they can feel something, even if it isn't their own.
     
  11. Protar
    Offline

    Protar Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    603
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    UK
    There's a world outside this dome right? Perhaps The Fog is say at war with another species and needs souls to fuel their war machines, with there being multiple domes acting as "soul farms".
     
  12. ScreamsfromtheCrematory
    Offline

    ScreamsfromtheCrematory Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    What if the shadows weren't really that bad of fellows? What if they were perhaps some life forms afflicted by some bizarre ethereal pestilence who otherwise would have no negative intentions towards the souls, but simply need to consume them because they have no other choice if they wish to survive?
     
  13. blandmanblind
    Offline

    blandmanblind Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Florida
    Have you considered the notion that they serve no necessary purpose? The demons simply collect them out of greed? And to them those purer souls are the most lustrous and perfect. I can kind of imagine a Scrooge McDuck scene of the demons just wading through their collected souls. Enjoying them to enjoy them. Almost like dragons from medieval fantasy that collect vasts hordes of treasure because it is the most comfortable for them to sleep upon.
     
  14. UberNoodle
    Offline

    UberNoodle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps the demons are jealous of humans possessing souls and thus steal them in order to have that experience. Yet, because they are incompatible with souls, they quickly corrupt and destroy them, and thus, are required to constantly replenish their supply. Perhaps some demons become addicted or dependent, and the capture of a new soul is akin to securing their 'next hit'.
     
  15. Ettina
    Offline

    Ettina Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    20
    How about the demons have dark souls themselves, and dark and light souls generate different magical 'nutrients'. They get the dark soul nutrients from their own souls, so eating dark souls doesn't give them any benefit, but eating light souls gives them nutrients they can't get any other way.
     
  16. RabidChipmunk
    Offline

    RabidChipmunk Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2
    Oh holy crap... I came back to this thread thinking I figured out what I wanted, and then I read this and I was like "Yes... Yes, that's exactly why the Shadows are doing it." Really, this is good stuff. I could combine this with Ettina's proposal that the Shadows themselves possess dark souls and... yes, don't you just love it when everything "clicks?"

    Thanks for all the help, you guys. This probably won't be the final reason I use in the story, but so far it seems to be the one most compatible with my established canon, as well as the most intriguing. I can't thank all of you guys enough, though, you've all been a big help! :) I've still got plenty of holes that need filling, so if/when I come back, I'll be excited to see what you all say then. Thanks again!
     
  17. demonmr98
    Offline

    demonmr98 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps these demons need the souls to transfer back to the fog itself. These demons could be spawned from the fog and therefore are part of it. The fog can create these demons using itself, but it also requires an outside object, a soul, to make the form it sculpted into a demon. The demons keeping sending these souls back to the fog so that it can create more demons.
     
  18. UberNoodle
    Offline

    UberNoodle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    No worries! It was fun to brainstorm! GOod luck!
     
  19. Monosmith
    Offline

    Monosmith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had to laugh at that, out of context.

    But anyway, I agree with that post right at the end. My assumption about anything appropriately labeled as a Demon is that it wants human souls because of their hatred for God (or any universal concept for goodness, depending on the views of the author or the reader). I'm assuming that if the title of Demon is in this case appropriate, then all the explanation you need is that they are pure evil, and tht they have a deep, insatiable hunger. Not a physical hunger, but a hunger of the soul that can never be fulfilled, and can only momentarily be satisfied by taking in and consuming the poor, despairing soul of a human.

    The type of hunger that I describe is explained with better rhetoric in The Screwtape Letters, which I highly recommend, if only because it's one of the best reads I've ever had regardless.

    By the way, I love the theme of darkness vs. light. Most people don't have the guts view their story in such fundamental terms, because everyone wants to come up with a more complicated theme all for the novelty.

    Monosmith
     
  20. Monosmith
    Offline

    Monosmith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had to laugh at that, out of context.

    But anyway, I agree with that post right at the end. My assumption about anything appropriately labeled as a Demon is that it wants human souls because of their hatred for God (or any universal concept for goodness, depending on the views of the author or the reader). I'm assuming that if the title of Demon is in this case appropriate, then all the explanation you need is that they are pure evil, and tht they have a deep, insatiable hunger. Not a physical hunger, but a hunger of the soul that can never be fulfilled, and can only momentarily be satisfied by taking in and consuming the poor, despairing soul of a human.

    The type of hunger that I describe is explained with better rhetoric in The Screwtape Letters, which I highly recommend, if only because it's one of the best reads I've ever had regardless.

    By the way, I love the theme of darkness vs. light. Most people don't have the guts view their story in such fundamental terms, because everyone wants to come up with a more complicated theme all for the novelty.

    Monosmith
     

Share This Page