Classes of spiritsEdit
There are five basic "ranks" of demons, although there are, according to Bartimaeus, "legions of lowly sprites" too weak to fit within the lowest subclass, and "great entities of terrible power" that are likewise too powerful to fit within the highest class of generally-summoned spirits.
- Marid: The strongest class of commonly-summoned spirits, marids are so powerful that they leave behind traces of their powers that can be tracked, similar to the slime left behind by a snail. Even for a weak marid, summoning usually takes two magicians.
- Afrit: The second strongest conventional class of demon, described as being spirits of fire and possessing fiery hooves.
- Djinni: Intelligent, powerful, and the most varied class, djinn are equipped with enough powers and skills to be potent and controllable as a servant spirit. Sub-classes of djinn include horlas, ghuls, and utukku.
- Foliot: They possess some intelligence and power, but are considerably lesser than those of djinn. They are used as spies and guards. They are somewhat prone to petty squabble, but are apparently capable labourers.
- Imp: The lowest classified type of spirit, imps have little power that they are barely worthy of classification. Although, certain sub-types of them fulfil useful roles, such as acting as Search Spheres. Imps are commonly used by magicians as messengers, sentries, or other minor roles. Personality-wise, imps tend to be disrespectful and extremely dull.
The "twin problem"Edit
Every summoned spirit experiences the twin problem of having no free will and being constantly in pain. Their slavery and suffering fuel their desire to go back to the Other Place. One method, and the most direct, to return home involves killing the summoner.
The magician-demon relationshipEdit
Usually, demons are enslaved forcibly by magicians. Over the millennia, most demons have come to loathe magicians (although it is noted that a large proportion of them feel no particular hatred of commoners), and seek ways of killing and destroying them. If a demon is summoned incorrectly, then they will attempt to kill (and more often than not, succeed to kill) the magician doing the summoning. They may also attempt to scare or trick the magician into leaving their pentagram, thus allowing the demon to kill the magician. In recent times, the djinni Faquarl, along with the greater spirit, Nouda, manipulated the magicians of London into summoning demons into their own bodies, wrongly thinking that they would receive demonic powers whilst still remaining in control of their minds. Once summoned, however, the demons destroyed the minds of the magicians and began a revolt, which was stopped as a result of the teamwork of Bartimaeus and Nathaniel.
There are exceptions to the rule. Not all demon-master relationships are relationships of hate and distrust. The Egyptian magician Ptolemy was known for being especially benevolent to the demons he summoned and went so far as to follow Bartimaeus back to the Other Place in order to show his trust. A relationship of respect also formed between Bartimaeus and Kitty Jones after she underwent a similar ordeal, which eventually extended to Nathaniel, when he released Bartimaeus from his service before he was going to be killed. Bartimaeus also described Khada's marid, Ammet, as having a connection in which Ammet adored Khada.
In order to summon a magical entity from the Other Place, a magician must draw a pair of pentacles, in one of which he must stand and in another of which the demon will appear. Many other precautionary measures must be taken to prevent the magician's death at the hands of the entity he summons.
Spirits are composed of essence, which is entirely different to anything from the human world, described as a kind of "smokey liquid". They do not have a physical form in the Other Place, but have to take one when summoned to the human world.
They can shape-shift to different forms when in the human realm, but their "spirit form", often a hideous creature with many tentacles and other protrusions, can be viewed on higher planes. The stronger the spirit, the more shape they can take and the higher the plane can their form be viewed.
A spirit is constantly at pain while on our realm unless bound into a physical object (in the case of Honorius and the demons during the Spirit Revolt).
Powers and abilitiesEdit
All spirits, if not contained in an object, lose strength overtime while in our world.
Although the exact powers of imps and foliots are not exactly sure some of the foliots have been known to use the attacks, it is known that djinn, afrits, and marids can also deal powerful magical attacks, such as:
Spirits can use magic, casting spells while in the human world, including:
- Concealment: Make something covered by something else. It is used to avoid attention.
- Glamour charms: Make anything appear as something enticing. It may change and/or enhance the appearance of the subject. It is used to lure a target.
- Whispering Breath
- Pulses: Djinni, at the least, can send out pulses to detect magical artifacts.
- Flames: Spirits can produce flames, as shown by the djinni Bartimaeus.
- Noisome Wind
- Flight: Spirits of all classes are able to fly.
- Shape-shifting: Some spirits can shift moreso then others, with the general amount of power depending on the level of the demon in question. It can be pierced in higher plane levels, again depending on the spirit's power.
- Invisibility: Spirits can all disappear to some degree, but this can be seen through on higher planes, depending on how strong the spirit is.
Some greater spirits can perform skills that others can not, including:
- Teleportation: Uraziel demonstrated the ability to transport himself between locations.
- Omnipotence: Uraziel was implied to have an immense level of power, perhaps able to do nearly anything.
- Reality warping: Ramuthra did not have a fixed form and could only be distinguished by outlines caused by the shimmering and fluctuating planes of reality around him.
- Seven planes perception: The majority of djinn, and all afrits and marids, are able to see on all seven planes. It has been stated that there are more than seven planes, but the djinni Bartimaeus believed those that claimed to be able to see above these were "just showing off". Lower spirits like foliots and imps are able to see on less than five, though usually, demons see more than three planes.
- Silver: It offers a degree of protection from them. It is used to make weapons to fight spirits.
- Iron: It weakens spirits to a lesser extent than silver.
- Certain herbs and powders, such as rosemary
In addition, demons' masters can inflict cruel and torturous magical punishments upon their demons, although these can be reversed by the demons if they somehow come into possession of their master's birth name. These punishments include:
- The Red-Hot Stipples
- The Systematic Vise
- Indefinite Confinement
- The Punitive Jab
- The Essence Rack
- The Stimulating Compass
- Inverted Skin
- The Mournful Orb
- The Infernal Coals
- The Shriveling Fire is easily the deadliest punishment to a spirit. It will destroy a spirit instantly. It is made up out of fifteen different curses in five different languages.