Perhaps the most scholarly of all the arcane arts, demonology - despite its name - is not restricted only to the summoning of demons from the Abyss. Fey beings, elemental spirits, devils from the pits of Hell, and even celestial angels can be called forth by the skilled summoner. The only thing limiting the power of the learned demonologist is his skill and daring.
There are a number of ways in which demons and other planar beings may be called forth; the most common of these are the 6th-level wizard spell Ensnarement, and the use of ritual magic. Although there have been many rituals of summoning and invocation throughout the ages, the most commonly used one in Leng is known as Karna's Invocation. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages. Spells such as Ensnarement can cast a wider net, allowing you to summon a demon of a specific type, for example, if you cannot name a specific one. However, they are more easily evaded by shrewd and powerful entities.
While Karna's Invocation requires foreknowledge of an entity's name and can be riskier to cast, it is much more effective at compelling planar entities to appear. The names of entities can be found in certain eldritch grimoires, but more often than not some other means must be employed to learn the name of an entity to summon. Some sorcerers may use Ensnarement first, to summon an entity and learn its name, and use the ritual on subsequent invocations. Others may employ lesser planar servants or other forms of divination, such as Contact Other Plane, to learn what they wish to know.
There are other ways to conjure extraplanar entities besides the two described above, of course, but they can be far riskier. Often, entities formally summoned can be entreated to agree to pacts. They can then be summoned to fulfil their pact at a later time with nothing more than their name. For example, a demon may forge a pact to serve a sorcerer, but demand that the sorcerer provide blood and souls to devour each time he is summoned. Likewise, in the case of Inner Planar beings - elemental spirits, fey, and the like - it may be possible to find and confront them directly, and attempt to negotiate a pact in this manner.
Other ways of manifesting without a summoning circle exist, as well - in some cases a place sacred to some extraplanar being is enough to allow them to manifest, if they are called forth. A possession or piece of the entity's body, or even something with sufficient emotional attachment might be enough to call the entity forth - if its name is known and if the conditions are right. And of course, you could always visit their realm directly and attempt to make contact. This is the most inconstant means of invocation, however, and like all means of summoning without a protective circle, it is dangerous. Spells such as Protection from Evil or rituals like Pentacle can help to mitigate this danger.
Summoning Powerful Entities
Summoning is usually not constrained by the power of the entity to be summoned. Ensnarement is often easily avoided by intelligent and powerful victims, but Karna's Invocation can infallibly summon any being of less than demigod power, as long as their name is known and they are not already engaged by another. So what is it that stops a conjurer from marshalling the most powerful of minions? Three things.
First, the knowledge of names. Only the most minor names can be found in commonly-available grimoires, and with good reason. Not only is demonology a cloistered and secretive art, but sharing names is actively counterproductive. A creature already conjured and bound to service by another cannot be used by yourself, and is useless to you. For this reason, names are often guarded even more closely than spells.
Second, the inherent risk. A properly constructed ritual circle, inlaid with gemstones, can reduce the risk of a summoning considerably, as there is no chance of the summoned creature finding a way to escape. But such a circle is vastly expensive, permanent and immovable. Few can afford such a thing. And even for those who can, there is always a level of risk. A stray breeze stirring a straw across the lines of power would be enough to break the circle, leaving them at their captive's mercy. A conjurer who intends to entrap a powerful demon for a long time to compel him to accept a bargain had best have a perfect place to do it in.
Third, the magnitude of the creature summoned. Service cannot be extracted without the consent of the summoned creatures, though many will attempt to bully or torture their captives into making such pacts. The more powerful the summoned entity, however, the less likely such tactics are to work - and the greater the demands they will place upon the conjurer. The services of a powerful demon do not come cheaply.
The Five Circles of Conjuration
Neophyte: An elementary conjuration; even if mistakes are made, the consequences will not be irreparable. Can be defeated or banished without difficulty.
Apprentice: A more formidable conjuration, and one that would be dangerous if it turned against you. However, it is either easy to keep bound, possesses natural weaknesses that you can properly prepare for, or it has a friendly nature.
Adept: A being of significant power. As long as you do everything right, you will come to no harm; fail in your preparations, however, and your death is almost certain.
Master: A being that is powerful, cunning and versatile - often more so than the caster themselves. Even if you do everything by the books, the innate powers, immense charisma or great intelligence of the summoned being make it dangerous. It should be summoned only with great care. Such beings may well possess the resources to find and punish their summoner once they are released, and will be on the lookout for details such as their master's name.
Ascendant: A being which should not be summoned, even by the great masters of conjuration. Beings in this category possess great power and will beyond a shadow of a doubt be able to punish those who foolishly conjure them. They are conjured only by the foolish, the devoutly faithful, or the desperate - often some combination of the three.
Undead shades are the remnants of creatures that once lived: usually, of mortals. Beings with wholly spiritual natures sometimes become undead - elves becoming ghasts, for example - but this has more to do with their physical bodies than their spiritual nature. It is very rare for a wholly spiritual being like an elf to become a shade - and when they do, it is because some great event has caused their spiritual form to maintain its shape after the destruction of their vessel. The banshee is the best-known example of an elven shade.
Those who specialise in conjuring forth the shades of the dead are known as necromancers. In particular, this name is associated with those who conjure the dead for personal gain or as servants - in short, those who compel the dead to do their bidding. There are others, however, who commune with the dead on friendlier terms. Shamans, witches and even priests sometimes commune with the dead for various reasons - those who do so and are not necromancer's tend to be respectful of the fact that shades should not be conjured frivolously. They tend to conjure them for as much time as is absolutely necessary, always mindful that their presence in the Material plane is painful and unnatural - and potentially dangerous. A peaceful soul who spends too long conjured by ritualists is likely to become something far more sinister.
The greatest danger of necromancy is that, when conjuring the soul of a dead mortal by name, you can never be certain of exactly what you will encounter. Although the majority of dead spirits are simply haunts, older spirits that have passed on may well appear in the form of an extraplanar petitioner - such as an archon or a lemure. Likewise, the shades of those with powerful evil souls who refused to move on may appear as ghosts, banshees and other dread spirits. Because of this, necromancy of spirits is more unpredictable than most demonology - safer for the most part, but more difficult to judge beforehand.
Finally, when it comes to conjuring shades, it should be noted that circumstance plays a much large role. A haunt or ghost who is tied to the place of their death can't be compelled to leave it, even if they want to. Nonetheless, a suitably evil necromancer has many tools at their disposal. A favourite method is to conjure up "gentle" souls - such as haunts or petitioners from the afterlife - and bind them in circles until they grow bitter and twisted. The result is a ready-made army of shadows.
|Mastiff, Shadow||Ghost, Ker||Banshee|
When most people think of elementals, they envisage the hulking beasts often summoned forth by druids: masses of sentient fire, towering earthen statues, or invisible hurricanes. However, though these unintelligent beings may be amongst the purest of elemental spirits, they are far from the only ones. From djinn to efreet to animentals, the Elemental Planes are inhabited by a wide variety of consciousnesses. Although they are less ephemeral than the Ethereal Plane from which they sprung, the Elemental Planes are equally diverse.
There are generally two types of people who summon elementals. The first type is the sorcerer who desires them for their power. For a mage who commands the elements on a daily basis, binding an elemental to your will as a servant is a logical next step. Elementals are used by such figures as servants, soldiers and even as the power source for magic items. The other breed is that of the druid or witch. These respect the elementals and view them as sovereign spirits: like the Fey, but more closely tied to our world through their affinity with the elements. Despite their fearsome reputations, many elementals can be very accomodating to those who treat them with respect. Gnomes - and the svirfneblin, in particular - are known for their close ties with earth elementals.
|Animental, Animal||Mephit||Genie, Djinni||Genie, Dao||Genie, Marid|
|Fire Bat||Quasielemental, Positive||Elemental, Air||Genie, Efreeti||Genie, Noble|
|Quasielemental, Negative||Elemental, Earth||Elemental, Water Kin, Water Weird||Archomental|
|Animental, Monster||Elemental, Fire||Elemental, Earth Kin, Earth Weird||Dharum Suhn|
|Elemental, Air Kin, Sylph||Elemental, Water||Elemental, Fire Kin, Salamander Noble|
|Elemental, Earth Kin, Pech||Paraelemental||Elemental, Darkness|
|Elemental, Earth Kin, Sandling||Paraelemental Beast||Elemental, Composite, Skriaxit|
|Elemental, Fire Kin, Fire Snake||Belker||Immoth|
|Elemental, Fire Kin, Azer||Elemental, Air Kin, Aerial Servant||Bone Weird|
|Elemental, Fire Kin, Tome Guardian||Elemental, Fire Kin, Salamander|
|Elemental Grue, Harginn||Elemental, Earth Kin, Chrysmal|
|Elemental Grue, Ildriss||Elemental, Water Kin, Nereid|
|Elemental Grue, Varrdig||Elemental, Sandman|
|Elemental Grue, Chaggrin||Elemental, Wind Walker|
|Magman||Elemental, Composite, Tempest|
|Galeb Duhr||Invisible Stalker|
Fey & Ethereal Spirits
Even more remote from the world of humans than elementals are the Fey and other denizens of the Ethereal Plane. While an elemental is deeply connected to one specific aspect of the natural world, the denizens of the Ethereal are far more ephemeral. They are the capricious sprits and fearsome monsters of legend, both benign and sinister. If elementals represent the building blocks of the Material Plane, the denizens of the Ethereal represent the infinite range of possibilities and potentialities that is at the root of all creation.
Ethereal spirits are invoked for much the same reasons as elementals. They are more capricious, however, and even further from the sensibilities of humans. They are also far less well understood by demonologists. As a result, few attempt to invoke and bind fey; their chaotic natures and mysterious ways make them more trouble than they're worth. Other kinds of Ethereal spirit, like oni or invisible stalkers, may be a more attractive prospect for those seeking formidable servants. For much the same reason, witches and druids tends to have a very close relationship with the fey, especially those that act as patrons and guardians of the natural world.
For more information on the spirit world, see the associated cosmology page. Also, see the page on the Realm of Fey.
|Petty Faerie||Sprite||Glouras||Nymph||Animal Lord|
|Frost Faerie||Sprite, Sea||Sprite, Pixie||Nymph, Unseelie|
|Sprite, Seelie Faerie|
|Sprite, Unseelie Faerie|
Although many dabble in the summoning of the dead, these are not the only beings that reside in the Outer Planes. Planar spirits, created of pure spiritual energy by the belief of mortals - or by the gods themselves - abound in the alien realms that sit within the Astral. Of these, the so-called Upper Planes, aligned with the forces of Good, are where holy spirits originate.
There are many reasons why one may choose to conjure a creature from the Upper Planes. It is rarely possible to cow, compel or cajole them into service as it is for Lower Planar entities - they are usually too high-minded. As such, they are usually only conjured forth by those of similar alignment or faith. It is not exclusively clerics or members of an organised religion who call them forth, however. Many, such as the eladrin, are strongly associated with the natural forces of the world.
Note that of the archons, only Trumpet archons are permitted to leave Mount Celestia; as such, they are unlikely to swear themselves into service or give anything besides information or a promise to follow the appropriate protocol once they return to the Seven Mounting Heavens.
|Lantern Archon||Guardinal, Cervidal||Eladrin, Lesser||Eladrin, Greater||Aasimon, Solar|
|Guardinal, Equinal||Guardinal, Lupinal||Guardinal, Leonal||Tome Archon|
|Aasimon, Agathinon||Guardinal, Avoral||Aasimon, Planetar|
|Aasimon, Light||Guardinal, Ursinal||Throne Archon|
|Air Sentinel||Aasimon, Astral Deva||Delphon|
|Hound Archon||Aasimon, Monadic Deva||Lammasu, Celestial|
|Aasimon, Movanic Deva||Lillend|
Fiends from the Lower Planes are ever-popular, despite the dangers inherent in calling forth a demon or devil. This is because it is actively encouraged: although an unwary demonologist may be destined to live a short life, the power of abyssal or infernal assistants can place the levers of power in the hands of an ordinary mortal.
|Imp/Quasit||Tanar'ri, Least, Dretch||Tanar'ri, Lesser, Alu-Fiend||Tanar'ri, Lesser, Yochlol||Tanar'ri, Greater, Wastrilith|
|Chaos Imp||Tanar'ri, Least, Rutterkin||Tanar'ri, Lesser, Armanite||Tanar'ri, Greater, Babau||Tanar'ri, True, Balor|
|Abyss Ant||Tanar'ri, Lesser, Bar-Lgura||Tanar'ri, Lesser, Maurezhi||Tanar'ri, Greater, Goristro||Tanari, Guardian, Molydeus|
|Tanar'ri, Least, Manes||Tanar'ri, Lesser, Uridezu||Tanar'ri, Lesser, Succubus||Tanar'ri, Greater, Glabrezu||Tanar'ri, True, Marilith|
|Baatezu, Least, Lemure||Spyder Fiend, Kakkuu||Tanar'ri, Lesser, Bulezau||Tanar'ri, True, Hezrou||Tanar'ri, True, Nalfeshnee|
|Baatezu, Least, Nuppperibo||Baatezu, Least, Spinagon||Tanar'ri, Greater, Chasme||Spyder Fiend, Raklupis||Baatezu, Greater, Pit Fiend|
|Yugoloth, Lesser, Marraenoloth||Tanar'ri, Greater, Nabassu||Baatezu, Lesser, Erinyes||Yugoloth, Greater, Arcanoloth|
|Tanar'ri, Greater, Alkilith||Baatezu, Lesser, Kocrachon||Yugoloth, Greater, Ultroloth|
|Tanar'ri, True, Vrock||Baatezu, Greater, Amnizu|
|Spyder Fiend, Spithriku||Baatezu, Greater, Gelugon|
|Spyder Fiend, Phisarazu||Yugoloth, Greater, Nycaloth|
|Spyder Fiend, Lycosidilith||Gehreleth, Shator|
|Baatezu, Lesser, Abishai||Slaad, Grey|
|Baatezu, Lesser, Barbazu||Slaad, Death|
|Baatezu, Lesser, Hamatula||Bebilith|
|Baatezu, Lesser, Osyluth||Bodak|
|Baatezu, Greater, Cornugon|
|Yugoloth, Lesser, Mezzoloth|
|Yugoloth, Lesser, Canoloth|
|Yugoloth, Lesser, Gacholoth|
|Yugoloth, Lesser, Hydroloth|
|Yugoloth, Lesser, Piscoloth|
Other Planar Entities
Besides the most well-known agents in the endless conflict that dictates the Great Wheel, there are many others besides. Whether they are agents of neutrality, entities with unknown motives or creatures simply strange and bizarre, a great many things exist within the Outer Planes.
|Lurker on the Threshold||Devete||Chaos Beast||Moon Dog||Mortai|
|Gear Spirit||Nishruu||Couatl||Foo Creature, Lion||Phoenix|
|Centipede, Spirit||Marut (Inevitable)|
|Foo Creature, Dog|