"Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power."
Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

Reasons for dealing with Demons are many but the desire for money, sex, power and occult knowledge are the most common. However there are others and Demons are allowed a significant amount of latitude if a Thrall wishes for such a broad generality.

Pact Formation
While every Pact is different, they all have a few things in common. First, the mortal has to be willing to form the Pact. Second, he must know on some level that he is making an agreement with a supernatural being (whether he thinks of the Demon as an angel, demon, god or other) and his soul is part of the deal.
If a Demon finds a mortal willing to form a Pact, it is formed using the following guidelines:

  1. The Demon must agree to provide the mortal with something that he wants in exchange for his soul. This something can be anything ($10 for gas, putting out his burning flesh, greater strength, a magic necklace, etc.).
  2. The Demon gives the mortal what he promised. There is some flexibility on the Demon's part when determining what to give the mortal to meet his request. For example, if a mortal wanted to be able to pick up girls easier, the Demon could increase his Persuasion or Socialize, or give him the striking looks merit, or give him a supernatural ability to control minds.
  3. The mortal always looses at least 1 dot in Morality (or more if Pact is more powerful).

To provide the new Thrall with his part of the deal, he Demon may give the Thrall experience points. These experience points represent any changes to the Mortal. To grant the Thrall experience points, the Demon may provide his own or harvest part of the mortal's soul. Taking the soul of a mortal lowers their Morality by the Pact level. Each point of Morality yields 5 experience points that the Demon may spend on the Thrall to fulfill the requirements of the Pact. Morality is automatically reduced by one point (signifying a default Pact level of 1). Morality cannot be reduced to less than 1 through the formation of a Pact.

These experience points may be spent on the following:

  • Attributes, Skills and Merits (even Merits only available at character creation) as normal
  • Supernatural powers such as the first 3 levels of Demon Evocations or the supernatural Merits from the book "Second Sight"
  • The Demon may break a Thrall's addiction, eliminate a Derangement or mundane disfigurement for 5 experience points a piece
  • The Demon may grant a form of immortality that prevents the Thrall from aging for 10 experience points

Note 1: For a mortal to use a granted Evocation, the Mortal must always spend at least 1 Willpower even if the Evocation normally has no cost. The Mortal replaces any Faith cost with Willpower and rolls the relevant Attribute + Skill + Pact level to activate it.
Note 2: Making a Pact with a Thrall is a level 2 Psyche Ban (See: Psyche). This loss of Morality never results in Derangements.

A Demon doesn't need to grant experience points for most Pacts. Sometimes a service, straight cash or a roll in the hay is all that is required. If a Demon is capable of giving the mortal what he desires without the need of experience points, it is a simple level 1 pact. The mortal still gets the 5 experience points for the loss of the 1 dot in Morality, which the Demon (or mortal, if the Demon doesn't care) may spend as they see fit.

To finalize a Pact, the Demon must spend a number of Faith points equal to the Pact level and a point of permanent Willpower (which can be bought back with 8 experience points) to "seal the deal" and make the link the the Faith flows through to the Demon.

Once a Pact is formed, the Demon gains one point of Faith from the Thrall each day. The Demon and Thrall are now bound together by the Pact, only Death can separate them. Demons that die and move on to a new host retain their Pacts while those that are consumed or return to Exile do not. Once a Thrall dies, his soul belongs to the Demon, who can do with it as he wishes (empower items, trade to other Demons, etc.).

The Pact can be renegotiated, if the Thrall desires. Even then, the Demon may not wish to further empower the Thrall. If he so chooses, the Demon may renegotiate such a Pact, further empowering the Thrall by granting him more experience or moving previous Pact experience around to achieve new goals. In this new Pact the Demon can give the Thrall more of his own experience or burn the Mortal's Morality for 5 experience per dot as before.

Middle Man
Sometimes a mortal wants more than the Demon can provide. In some cases, Demons have been known to pass along the Pact formation to another more powerful Demon for a "finders fee". Usually, the Demon will contact another Demon higher up in his House and negotiate his fee. Usually such fees are paid in Faith, while some may be simple repayment of past favors and debts.

Demon's may supplement their Evocation rolls by drawing on the will or life force of their Thralls. This is called Ravaging. The Demon may only draw from one Thrall at a time when Ravaging. Demons may use the Thrall's Willpower points to fuel an Evocation (as extra dice on the Evocation roll) as a Reflexive action. The player may add a number of dice to his Evocation roll up to the Pact level of the Thrall being Ravaged or the Demon’s Dominion rating (whichever is smallest). Each extra die gained through Ravaging drains a Willpower point or point of Health from the Thrall. Each time the Demon does this the Thrall must roll Resolve + Composure. Failure results in a permanent minor Derangement or increases a minor to a severe. Further Ravages can result in more Derangements that then rise to Severe and so on. When the Thrall is out of Willpower the Demon may drain his Life as Lethal damage. Each point of Lethal damage becomes 1 extra die for the Evocation. This process can be as painful as the Demon desires it to be, even stunning his victim.

Thralls have no defense against this ability unless they work such protection into their Pact. Something as straight forward as "2000 dollars and you never hurt me" seems simple enough, but most Demons will add in an addendum such as "Don't forget you'll need to be prepared for a little of this or that…" and others will opt to assume the Thrall meant physically hurt and interpret "hurt" as inflict pain. Such a Thrall may still be driven mad and left to die from having their life painlessly drawn out.

In general only one incredibly steeped in the occult and perhaps even specialized in Demonic studies should know about such a thing. The average Thrall shouldn't know exactly what the Demon means when he says "…in exchange for your Soul."

This is ultimately the woe of low level Thrall's. Demons often see them as expendable. This is not an absolute defense against an angry Cult of low level Thralls, the Demon can only momentarily incapacitate one at a time in this fashion, so it's in the Demon's interest to insure the Thralls he keeps close are content.

Thrall Merit For Mortals
Thrall is a lesser Template available only to Mortals.
Character Generation occurs as normal except the Thrall must dedicate Merit points to the Thrall Merit.

Thrall (••••)
Prerequisite: Mortal (non-supernatural)
Your character has made a Pact with a Demon. The Demon approached you, or you summoned it. Either way, you made a deal and now your soul isn't yours exactly. The character can exchange Morality points for experience during the formation (or renegotiation) of the Pact. Each Morality point can be exchanged for 5 experience points, lowering the character down to 1 (one) Morality at the lowest. This experience may be spent on anything available to the character (Attributes, Skills, Merits), including the removing Flaws and Derangements at 5 experience a piece and supernatural abilities. No matter what, making a Pact with a Demon is always results in a loss of 1 Morality (and gaining of 5 experience). Each Morality dot exchanged in this way permanently reduces the Morality potential of the character. Meaning, if the character exchanged 4 dots of Morality for 20 experience, he may never (unless the Pact is broken) increase his Morality above 6 dots. The Pact formation prevents the character from gaining additional Derangements from the dropping of Morality in this way. If your group possess the book "Second Sight", the character may now spend the Pact experience on Psychic and/or Thaumaturge merits. If you don't have the book, the character can spend experience on Domains (up to rank 3) as if he were a Demon.

Soul Trade
There is a reason that people talk about selling their soul to the Devil, it happens. Demons can use a soul to do many things, but they don't need to buy them all. Sometimes they just take them. Demons use souls as currency amongst themselves. Soul contracts and deceased souls trade equally among Demons.

Gaining souls:

  • Souls of Thralls are collected by the Demon when the Thrall dies
  • Souls can be taken from other Demons in a manner similar to Consumption
  • Souls can be taken from mortals by force with the right Evocation
  • Souls can be removed from Demonic Items (if the Demon has the right Evocation)
  • Traded from another Demon

Spending souls:

  • Devour the soul for 1xp per Pact level to be spent increasing Dominion
  • Devour the soul to refill Faith pool to max (max of 10 Faith gained)
  • Trade in soul to the Demon's House for 1xp per Pact level to be spent increasing Status (House)
  • Trade soul with another Demon for favors
  • Free the soul (actually release the mortal from obligation) for 1xp per Pact level to be spent on increasing Psyche
  • Fuel a Demonic Item (if the Demon has the right Evocation)
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