When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Calabite

By James Walker


Relievers & Demonlings don't pick the choir/band they intend to fledge as at random. I've been mulling over what influences their choices; here's the first option:

When I grow up, I want to be a Calabite

A Calabite might insist that his band was inevitable, given how wild and unruly he is. And that's almost true - but not quite. The big, in your face difference between Calabim and every other band is Discord. Very few demonlings will have accepted Discord to become Calabim - most will already have it and become Calabim to hide their previous failings. (Perhaps that's why Kronos doesn't want his Calabim having Discord - why slow down a Demonling who is drawing nearer their Fate?)

Now, how'd he get it? He didn't have a resonance to backfire. Ask any Calabite, and he'll tell you that he was a familiar, like Haagenti, yeah, to a really obnoxious Sorcerer who thought he could push an Infernal around, and well, you know how weak humans are... This'll be true for one in a thousand Calabim; the others latch on to the story. After all, he's both a rebel (for disobeying his master) and one of us (it was only a human - not a REAL boss). Also, it's more believable than disobeying a demonic boss - the demonling survived the disobedience.

What really happened to most of them? Celestial combat. Demonlings fight all the time; some of them lose Forces - if that's the only Force in a realm, they get Discord on top of their other woes (and this is likely when you're only 3 or 4 Forces strong). The stereotypical mindless brute got that way because his only Ethereal Force was torn away, and he couldn't - and daren't - replace it. The permanently scarred demonling isn't only coping with Discord. Becoming a Calabite is a decision to be tough, to make sure that no one can ever hurt him again. Of course, this decision is going to get him into more fights - but no one said that Hell was easy.

The typical Calabite on the street is dumb because demons need multiple Corporeal Forces to function on earth - in Hell, a different stereotype will exist, the canny Calabite warped by Corporeal Discord, with only one or two Corporeal Forces. Of course, a demonling who picks up a Vulnerability needs a different band! A rare Calabite will have lost both his Corporeal & Celestial Forces - if rebuilt by their Prince, these demons will be used as guards for vitality important sites in Hell - and on the understanding that if anything goes wrong, the Calabite will be broken down for parts.

It's worth noting that since the demonling couldn't gain Forces in one realm, to fledge he needed a Demon Prince's help. Among 7 Force demons, being a Calabite will have a certain status because everyone knows that you know your Superior personally - maybe not well, but even so...at higher levels this advantage will disappear, something that may irk many Calabim who'd assumed that the respect was due to their destructive capabilities.

A special sub-class of Calabite is the Calabite of Nightmares. Instead of gaining his discord in Celestial combat, he probably gained it in Ethereal combat, possibly even against angels. Since Beleth enjoys the terror of her subordinates, it would be drummed into new Calabim that they've failed their Dread Mistress once - next time, well, isn't interesting that the Calabite of Nightmares attunement is the only unrestricted band attunement of Nightmares? That if a Dream Soldier earns a band attunement, it'll have to be granted with a Calabite's Force?

Given that their resonance can do Celestial damage in either The Marches or Hell, when Beleth decides to break a Calabite down for OathTaking Forces she probably does this with a sort of 'firing squad' - Calabim of Nightmares resonate one of their fellows to death, joke together about how pathetic he was, and then leave, wondering if they'll be next; wonder if the Dream Soldiers they monitor have been sworn in with an old friend's Forces. This fear of failure will inspire these Calabim to take foolish risks; after all, they're the one band that is supposed to get Discord, so what does it matter if they get brained occasionally? So long as they have good news to report to Beleth! And, of course, Bound makes it harder for them to get dissonance, while Fears may make Beleth fonder of them - especially if it's a fear of her!


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