Flintlocks & Fireballs
“It’s simply a matter of business. People need soldiers, we can do that. People get desperate for food or safety, we can cut a deal. Not to mention the chance of making some quick cash, and someone’s always ready to sell themselves for the right price. The rebellion is a goldmine.”
— Charity Harker, devil wholesale trader
- The Devil background replaces the Tiefling race.
- You do not gain the Infernal Wrath power, and may not buy feats related to it.
- You gain the Eldarin power Astral Step, and may buy any Eldarin-only feats related to it.
- You should determine if you are serving under a contract, and if so, what it is.
- On a successful DC 15 Insight check, you can determine whether a person has made a contract for their soul with another Devil.
- On a successful DC 20 Insight check, you can determine whether anybody in your vicinity is willing to make a contract for their soul.
Devils have been around as long as anybody can remember: suave, horned, humanoid creatures with blood-red skin and one driving interest: making a contract for your soul. The contract only ever takes one form. The devil will carry out a service for you, and if it is completed before you die, the devil takes your soul upon death. Nobody has yet found a limit to what devils will do: they’ll perform any deed — bloodthirsty, morally repugnant, or utterly menial — to meet their end of the bargain. Their only limit is their physical capability: aside from the power to teleport short distances in a burst of brimstone and sulphur, there’s nothing a devil can do that a charming, suave, ruthlessly driven person couldn’t replicate.
As such, there are a number of people who will happily employ a devil as a personal assistant; there are a number of devils who quite happily — smugly, some would say — spend a lifetime washing dishes until their employer dies of old age. Equally, there is a programme amongst the Imperial justice system that will allow condemned prisoners to live out the rest of their lives in — relative — comfort provided they sign on the dotted line and order the devil they summon to serve the Empire unquestioningly. A number of these go into the Imperial army to serve as disposable soldiers in what’s known as the Hellfire Battalion. They’re generally kept away from other troops for purposes of morale.
One would think that the Incarnationists would come down on all this business like a ton of bricks. Surprisingly, you’d be wrong. Sure, anyone actually worshipping the things gets lynch-mobbed and executed, but Incarnationist dogma decrees that the soul itself is of no value: it’s merely the vessel for a spark of the Divine, which is released on death. Theologically speaking, all that devils are doing is finishing the bun after you’re done with the hot-dog. This doesn’t mean that the Church approves of people seeking the quick and easy solution to their problems, but that’s a moral issue — not a theological one.
You can read a Devil’s account of his hunger for souls here.
The Inside Skinny
If you are playing a devil, here’s what you know that you’re not letting on. If you’re not playing a devil, you may have heard rumours to this effect, but they have no more or less credence than a number of identical rumours.
- You weren’t ever young. You have no memory of parents as humans have them, though there were likely other devils who taught you the essentials of living in society. Before your memories of that, all you have is a vague impression of a land of fire, sulphur, lava, and jagged obsidian.
- There’s no question, as far as you’re concerned, of the importance of souls. You can sense them on other people, feel the rising avarice when a more successful devil walks past you with four or five under her belt. The best analogy for the hunger for souls would be the human desire to be clean: while it’s physically possible to live for years without washing, it’d be a constant irritation in the back of your mind.
- Besides that, you don’t really know much more about who or what you are than the average man in the street. Mostly, you’re aware that the more you reveal about yourself, the less likely you are to be able to swindle people out of their soul, which is why devils tend to be terribly secretive about what they know for sure, even with other devils.