Protosuperior: Demon of Despair (Balseraph Duke of Factions)
Despair, n. utter loss of hope
"Whoever feels pain in hearing a good character of his neighbor, will feel a pleasure in the reverse. And those who despair to rise in distinction by their virtues, are happy if others can be depressed to a level of themselves."
HISTORY & NATURE
"Appetite, with an opinion of attaining, is called hope; the same, without such opinion, despair."
Perdix is an old Balseraph, amongst the numbers of Malphas's first Hellborn. Upon gaining his first acknowledgement of duty, a Knighthood, the Liar petitioned for the Word of Despair. There are rumors that Perdix chose this Word because, rather than in spite of, a Habbalite of Nightmares was petitioning for the same Word. Lucifer deemed a contest between the two was in order and in a calculated maneuver, Perdix fell to the ground, bemoaning his inability to ever succeed. Perdix was immediately granted the Word. While the duplicity is simply a rumor, those familiar with the Serpent would not place that sort of speculation outside the realm of Perdix's cunning.
The rumors and stories do not end there, either. Popular theory has it that the new holder of the Word of Despair was behind the following destruction of his Habbalite competitor's Heart and corporeal form, sending the other demon to Limbo for a number of centuries, so that Perdix could gather his power. It's the type of cunning that is expected to have kept the holder of such a powerful Word alive for so long. A little surprisingly, the Punisher was placed into service of Perdix upon her return from Limbo.
Perdix is intelligent and cunning, but that is never outwardly displayed. Perdix comes across as one who is always just about to give up and drown in his own sorrow. The demon walks a fine line along his own Word and political gain. It's hard to rise up when you have no hope. The Balseraph most commonly appears as what would be a tall, handsome man wearing a finely tailored and expensive suit, if it weren't for the fact that the suit, and the man in it, was slumping with his head half-way hung in hopelessness. Perdix, like his Superior, rarely uses physical violence, preferring to bring an adversaries spirits so low that they do nothing against him, while the Demon of Despair outwardly moans his own fate and quietly gains a little more power.
Perdix has steadily gained political clout and power throughout the centuries. His rise has never been meteoric or often noted. In fact, a number of the Horde would find themselves quite amazed were they to realize the extent of Perdix's reach. Amongst his servitors are demons of Factions, Nightmares, Fate and Media, including (but not limited to) the lesser Word-bound demons of Depression, Lost Prizes, Doomed Accomplishments, One Dollar Short, Depressed Housewives and Depressed Housewives Who Just Sit There And Watch Television.
Internally, Perdix does believe that he's ready for a Princedom. His Word his powerful, he has maintained excellent relations with other Princes as well as carrying an excellent performance record for himself and those in service to him. However, any move that Perdix might make belittles his own Word and, likely, Lucifer would then not grant him a greater piece of the pie. Perdix is in a no-win situation and is trapped in his own despair. And that's exactly where Lucifer wants him.
"I can endure my own despair but not another's hope."
-William Walsh, Song
It is dissonant for Perdix, or any of those who have moved to his direct service, to offer encouraging words to others or themselves. They must constantly remind everyone around them that every situation is hopeless. Not surprisingly, these demons aren't too fun at parties.
Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
-Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
Balseraph of Despair (Restricted)
Perdix's first attunement is one that can only be passed to other members of his Band. Liars with this attunement may add their Celestial and Ethereal Forces to any resonance roll, if the lie's intention is to crush someone's spirit.
The demon knows, at a glance, just what to say or do that will hurt an individual's feelings and push the person closer to desperation and inaction.
Wailing and Weeping
Everyone around the demon will become consumed by their own feelings of shortcoming or loss, unable to take any action to lift their spirits. This attunement is often used within already mournful or introspective events and situations. The attunement effects everyone around the demon within Celestial Forces yards and lasts for a number of minutes equal to the Essence spent to activate it. Victims of this attunement may find their way out of their hopelessness with a successful Perception roll.
"In idleness there is a perpetual despair."
-Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881)
Convince someone that nothing they do will turn out right (+2 Essence)
Watch a person weeping from despair for 10 minutes
"Despair is vinegar from the wine of hope."
Possible Allies: Beleth, despite not having Perdix as a direct servitor, is a supporter of the demon. His Word fosters nightmares and personal torment. Malphas is also a supporter of his Duke; Perdix has realized that despair places an individual in a faction of one. Despair often leads to desperate and unthought actions, bringing themselves and those around them closer to their Fates; Kronos knows this and assists Perdix when it will further himself.
Possible Associates: Nybbas isn't fond of Perdix but in his words,"Hey, I'd never bring the guy to a premier or cast party, but this guy is the audience, baby! What do people do when they're depressed? Bring up the ratings! Who else watches infomercials?" Those in despair are often dependant on chemical stimulation; Fleurity realizes this and offers Perdix a hand now and then. How many people eat because they're depressed (and are depressed because they eat)? Haagenti finds it funny that this let-down of a guy unintentionally furthers his own Word.
Possible Hostiles and Enemies: Andrealphus; depressed people are simply unsexy party-poopers and Perdix isn't the sort of guy that Andre wants around. Those wallowing in self-pity don't often lift weapons and don't follow orders; Baal believes that, successful record or not, Perdix must go.
SUB-PRINCIPALITY: HALLS OF HOPELESSNESS
"Oft expectation fails, and most oft where most it promises; and oft it hits where hope is coldest; and despair most sits."
Within the mazes of Stygia exists an area teeming with the wailing masses of those who feel trapped, lost, and unable to ever find their way out. One of the walls of the mazes features a hidden door to a small chamber, whose own walls are covered with poorly-written self-help books and clippings of some of the world's biggest failures. This is where Perdix makes his home. Human souls seeking to escape the din of Stygia often find themselves lost in the mazes, and somehow they always end up here. Misery loves company and the imps, gremlins, demons, and other lost souls alike inform the newcomers that their quest of the maze is hopeless. Some manage to ignore the bemoaning and misery to keep traversing the mazes, but most end up sitting in their own little space, lost in their despair, only to speak again when a new soul arrives -- to inform the newcomer of their hopeless quest.
Credits: Erich Arendall