By Moe Lane


Walspurgisnacht. The traditional witch's holiday: since the neo-pagan revival of the 1960s, it's also been a favorite holiday for those exploring the blackest aspects of esoterica. Most of the major Sorcerous Circles have special rituals for that particular night, and it seems that somebody always chooses Walspurgisnacht for their first-ever demon Summoning.

Needless to say, the younger generation of Hell hates this holiday.

First of all, there are the humans. Have you ever considered how pathetic the average modern demonologist is, these days? All they seem to want is money (as if they couldn't get it on their own, if they bothered to work for it), sex (dude, a little soap and water would do wonders there) or to have somebody killed. OK, the last one is usually kind of fun, but even then the demonologist never seems to see the pleasures inherent in a simple drive-by shooting. No, it always has to be some weird esoteric killing, complete with goat heads and a smell of brimstone. As if the Host doesn't have people whose only job is to watch for that sort of thing...

Second, they all call at once. Any demon unfortunate enough to have his, her or its True Name listed in the books is going to have lunatics calling him all night. This is an especial trial for Servitors of Lust: sure, they're being called in for carnal pleasures beyond mortal ken, but think for a second about how desperate a human has to be before he or she will resort to Summoning a demon in order to get laid. Andrealphus' Servitors may not have morals, but they do have standards.

Third (and most importantly) it's all so ... tacky. The old-style demonologists at least knew how to decorate: this new crop of poseurs thinks three black candles and some rancid sheep blood is sufficient to make their guest feel at home. There's never a comfortable chair or a light snack, and most assuredly never any beer (wine sometimes, but never beer). The last thing a demon wants to do (even if he doesn't have anything else to do) is to waste valuable corporeal time squatting in a smelly abandoned house while a bunch of humorless talking monkeys pontificate at him. I mean, these guys have heard of dance clubs, right? Movie theaters? All night diners, at least? Can't they ever Summon a demon somewhere interesting?

Apparently not ... and the Word is that casually slaughtering these twerps isn't to be done frivolously, mores the pity. Still, the temptation is strong to cull the herd a bit. Against the rules, of course, but since when did that ever stop a demon who thought that he could get away with it?

Having a demon who finally snaps and guts a bunch of would-be Fausts can be an interesting scenario to investigate. There'll be the agents of Fate, who will want to find out who slaughtered such promising humans, for a start. If the demon with Poor Impulse Control is otherwise on good terms with his/her Prince (or the original Summoning had just bollixed up that Prince's plans), there'll probably also be a cleanup squad - or a blame-somebody-else squad. Actually, blame-somebody-else squads from other Princes might also show up. No sense to wasting a good atrocity, after all.

Then, of course, there's the Host. Some Archangels will want to terminate the demon, too (makes the incident report nice and neat, you understand); others will - probably erroneously - figure that the demon might be Redemption material, and showing it the only way that he knows how. There'll also be blame-somebody-else squads on this side, too: Archangels love starting grudge matches between Princes. And, of course, there'll be the PCs, who may start doing one of the above, but will probably go off and handle the situation in their own inimitable style.

Well, as long as they're having fun.


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