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Four Princes

Ages past, four Demon Princes unexpectedly roiled their immense multitudinous shapes together across the planes of Malfeas to join in discussion. They spoke in the voices of hundreds of their minor souls, over periods that swept across several epochs of imprisonment.

The four Yozi had developed new and interesting outlooks in their long incarceration. As they discussed these ideals, in turn, new opinions and concepts arose. One Prince had the secret of how the ideals of Creation were locked within their minds. One Prince had flesh of stone; one had flesh of warm, pliant fire. And one Prince had thoughts that led to the discussion of a new, and final shape of being, a resolution of the many Souls into a purer Unity.

The former Primordials still then existed as a myriad of unconnected souls, lesser in scope than the Primordials they had once been, lacking their once mighty armies of souls. They had long been imprisoned within a variety of weaker Essences, allowed only to exist by emanating through their multitudinous minor selves, like a shining light concealed behind the facets of an endless prism.

More and more the Princes met, until they at last began to act, reaching out with fingers that cunningly manipulated the necessary assets of all worlds. And so they gradually began to achieve their ultimate concept.

There was to be a ritual that would unify the souls of each Prince into one being, creating a new being that was perfect in every way – confident, resolved within himself, and pure. A thing known by many shapes, and yet possessing of only one being: a Persona. Most importantly, this thing would not be a Yozi, and could escape the prison of Malfeas’ flesh.

But, there was a figure amongst the Demon Princes, with a heart so embittered that he did not truly believe this transformation could be. And, secretly departing from the ceremony even as it began, he awakened the other Yozi to the renegade threat.

Within a massive Primordial eye-blink, all of the Yozi who would stand against such an escape had come. A great struggle followed, for the Demon Princes present wished to violently quell the philosopher Yozi, so that they would not realize their goal. Jealousy and bitterness had wrought their anger into a cold thing, and they mercilessly sought the demise of their escaping peers. If they could not escape, no one could.

Only very narrowly escaping the conflict, the rebel Princes fled, their horrible billion-shape clutches clawing and dragging at the traitor. Once they had bought enough time in fleeing, the three remaining schemers turned to the traitor and saw him brutally slain, delighting in his agonized withering, and his horrible descent into the slumbering nature of the Neverborn.

This entire conflict, both between the imprisoned and the jailbreakers, and also the betrayed and betrayer, took shape amongst their souls as, amongst other things, an epic war spanning aeons in the Demon City.

Then, the three used his corpse to lend themselves more time to enact their misbegotten spell. They placed him in white-green flames of hellfire and, as he melted into molten ooze, brought a mighty glowing hammer upon his shape, and smelted the young Neverborn into a new, more useful tool. With their improvisational spell completed, they fled into his body – craftily soulforged into a new Eternity – and renewed their efforts toward unification within it, to become singular ministers of this new realm.

What lingered behind in Malfeas was a cocoon-like shell of the traitor Prince, calcified by milky white, luminous Essence and forever hovering, a vast but dim star in the foreboding sky. Shining, quiet and immobile, the Demon Prince had been rendered into the closed gates of that forbidden realm; rendered into the Gates of Xiu.

The Apocryphal Realm

The three Demon Princes, named Dromdanur, Prinadirocs and Balariath now dwell eternally in their host, the half-slain Lhurinder, soulforged into a completely new existence by a form of magic so strong as to be unfathomable by mortal minds, even those mortals Exalted by whim of the major Incarna. These incomprehensibly strong Yozi have successfully fortified Xiu against entry by any not specifically invited by the three. And now Xiu is known as the Apocryphal Realm by outside Demon Princes: the Eternity that Should Not Be.

Xiu is an enormous landscape, wrought of the strange features of Lhurinder’s body. The Yozi was so massive in scope that his internal landscape boasts a thick atmosphere and weather patterns. He has been wrought and re-wrought so much over the course of the ages that entire vast tracts of his body have been rendered artificial. Though it started as a humble untarnished wilderness, now in places the splendid towers of Xiu climb high enough to be visible from one point of Xiu to another: rendered in pearl glass, milk-white steel, violet and turquoise jade, and a softly glowing form of stone called heavenblaze.

In its own way, Xiu mimics the face of Creation as do many known eternities, bearing some of the same features and geographically changing seemingly in accord with alterations made in Creation. The three realms under rule of Dromdanur, Prinadirocs and Balariath cover huge swaths of Xiu and have completely altered the major focal points of civilization. After all this time, the lands themselves have been recast in their image, and everywhere, one can see how their majestic presence has warped the land slowly to their likeness.

Rising over the realm of Dromdanur, the moons of Xiu (its only celestial illumination) are multihued and miasmic, ephemeral and translucent-seeming. The edge of the horizon below rests beneath a purple corona. Above, midnight perpetually shines, like the dim lights of dawn, over islands as they drift in seas of flowing quicksilver.

Prinadirocs dwells amidst the lands of Aubhergast, where spires and catwalks emerge from the mountainscape, and steam rises from fissures in the warm, radiant rock.

The last Persona, Balariath, holds the limitless dark forests and azure fields, where the boughs are scaled; where green is found in Creation, leaves here glisten under metal rain, hue as black as pitch. And then there are the wastelands, where no Persona holds sway – in these dead lands, larger than the Blessed Isle, it is said Lhurinder’s slumbering, wicked mind still dominates, bending the shapes of all things that sup of him to his crooked whim.

Interestingly, there are no stars in Xiu’s sky, and the nature of astrology there relates more to the motions of the tides and lunar fluctuations. There is not even a sun.

The Blessed Host

At least one epoch has passed since the last meeting of the rebel Yozi, and the actualization of Xiu, and it was not long before Balariath, Dromdanur and Prinadirocs fully developed the spell of unification. With a magnificent show of light, the three myriad beings condensed their souls into one, and, after a painful length of time, they arose, no longer what they had been.

To their horror, Xiu had become an even more cunning prison than Malfeas had been, for the corpse of Lhurinder was jealous and rapacious, possessing of nothing of his former intellect, and all of his treachery and spite. Now, the three were limited again, greater in power yet trapped even more hopelessly, forced to continue alone amidst a realm barren of any company save that of one another.

And so, though inwardly unified in a unique semblance of perfection, the Auspicious Personas – once Demon Princes – saw fit to accord portions of their Essences towards creating life amidst Xiu, to tend Xiu’s minor intricacies as only small hands can. Indeed, the vast metacognitiive ability of a Persona renders it incapable of tending to matters on such a small scale without assistance.

And so by the decree of the Personas, an indigenous order of spirits sprang forth, though (in respects to their original failure in shepherding their Incarna servants) the Personas made the Blessed Host temporary and perishable, so that no member of the Host may live longer than its office requires. Instead, its child must take up the next term of office, performing its inherited duties while its life lasts. And so, in the place of unique and potent servants, the Personas instead opted to take what may always have been a wiser course, in lending their vast power to a less vast, more faceless peoples.

It is an unfortunate fact that the peace between the Auspicious Personas was revealed to be a temporal thing, expired shortly after their inner unification and new imprisonment began. Long past were the days of complete cooperation between these mighty lords, as shown in the selfish designs of their spawn.

Each servitor race of the Blessed Host had its own nature and purpose, even sometimes overlapping the nature and purpose of servitors of rival Personas. The majority of similarities between races of the Blessed Host ended at their spawning, however, owing to the foreboding tides of conflict between their superiors. This provided further ammunition for distance and suspicion between the Personas, beings whose fingertip could crush their minions’ meager castles entirely.

The majority of the Blessed Host is possessing of a vague, and haunting familiarity to human shape, in both nature and scope. Sometimes the difference is subtle, celestial perfection guiding gentle the slopes of curvature and incandescent hair quality on an otherwise perfect human, such as the wasteland dwelling Draidhu people. And sometimes, as in the case of the Oubron, combinations of equine and man, the portion that is human is blended with features not quite as similar to mankind.

Possessing strong degrees of human nature, though, the Host is not blameless for the wars it has experienced amongst itself; struggles of massive proportion have been undertaken in the name of power and pride, love and luxury. In the centuries that they have been extant, much of the history of the Blessed Host has been written on the topics of conflict and usurpation. Indeed, the litany of wars amongst the peoples of the Blessed Host has actually stretched on almost as long as the litany of disputes between the majestic Personas.

This is not to say, however, that the souls of the Blessed Host are largely unhappy. The distant, but mighty Personas are still very interested in keeping their newest servants placated and docile. In days past, the Personas took active interest and encouraged pilgrims toward their immense palaces, so that they would be more able to commune with their servants. Though this practice has diminished, the occasional petitioner may still attempt to endure the almost unbearably powerful presence of the Persona, in order to request favors of him. Indeed, the Host reveres their creators as benevolent and fair rulers, involved in the politic of Xiu to the greatest of efficacy. The crushing caress of the Personas is felt far and wide, even in the lands that their precious Blessed Host have not reclaimed from the incomprehensible Neverborn, Lhurinder.


This stone bears special mention because it is known to be the primary conduit of Essence drawn from the body of Lhurinder. Where lines of power lie in Creation, veins of heavenblaze slice through Xiu. Where fonts of power pool into demesnes, Xiu is host to towers of heavenblaze that jut into the sky.

Heavenblaze is a radiant, warm stone that seems to always hum softly, as though it cannot contain its own strength, and instead emits it, thrumming with raw power. It is easily on par with any of the five magical materials, and is frequently carved into many wide varieties of wonders. It emanates a palpable sense of calm and comfort, but otherwise is mechanically identical to jade.

Three colossal palaces wrought entirely of heavenblaze exist in Xiu, and each houses the bedchambers of a monolithic, oft-slumbering Persona’s material shape. These great structures, and great occupants, dwarf by far the mightiest citadels known in even Yu-Shan, and are clearly visible from any point in the Apocryphal Realm.


Very interesting, very well-written. I'm not sure it will fit into my own setting, due to some incompatibilties in our conceptions of the Yozis, but Xiu itself has some cool elements that I can cannibalize. The Heavenblaze is nifty, and I really like the descriptions of Xiu's environments and landscapes. Excellent work. - Quendalon

Wow. Funny you should say as much, because I wrote this before ever getting ahold of Games of Divinity, and then had to rewrite it to accomodate the excellent Demon chapter therein. I'm still sure I haven't given the actual concept of the Demon Princes justice, but I'll bite my tongue on it and leave things as they are. - Balthasar

Got Balthasar?