Demon, more properly known as a spirit, is a general term for any of the supernatural entities originating in the Other Place and commanded by magicians in the world of the Bartimaeus Sequence. Although considered disparaging and more than a little disrespectful by Bartimaeus, it is commonly used by magicians, particularly during their incantations. Bartimaeus finds the word "demon" to be highly insulting, and prefers that people call him a spirit, djinni, or "exalted djinni".
Classes of demonEdit
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.
- Main article: Marids
Marids are the strongest form of commonly summoned demon, although none are actually summoned in the series. There are, however, a couple of mentions of specific marids; Atlas was a marid who was enslaved by Phinidas to construct the Parthenon, and was then charged to hold it up indefinitely after his work was proven to be shoddy. Harold Button also mentioned that he lost his leg whilst summoning a marid in order to converse with it. Ammet, Khaba's servant (claimed by Bartimaeus to be a traitor to spirits for torturing other spirits and loving his master), is also a marid. Jessica Whitwell is the only known magician to have defeated a Marid, summoning a Void to obliterate the Marid. 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. It is unwise to use this analogy in the presence of one though, for obvious reasons. Even a weak Marid usually takes two magicians to be summoned.
- Main article: Afrits
Afrits are the second strongest conventional class of demon, and are seen much more often throughout the trilogy than marids. They are described as being spirits of fire and possessing firey hooves. Bartimaeus refers to them in Ptolemy's Gate as "overrated", although this comment is probably the result of jealousy on his part. Notable afrits within the context of the Bartimaeus Sequence are:
- Honorius: a ninth-level afrit who was bound in servitude to William Gladstone, sealed into his corpse and charged to guard his tomb forever. Honorius was driven mad by his extended servitude, but found solace from the pain of the physical world due to his residence within the bones of his former master. Bartimaeus mistakenly believed himself to have destroyed Honorius by drowning him in the Thames; Honorius was later destroyed fighting Duvall's Golem.
- Naeryan: a female afrit who took part in the Spirit Uprising but was ultimately killed by Bartimaeus and Nathaniel during the third book of the trilogy, when Nathaniel destroys her with Gladstone's staff.
- Shubit: Jessica Whitwell's afrit who last appeared during her futile attempts at escape from before Nouda; his servitude ended with her death.
Other afrits mentioned by name include Mormel, Patterknife, Phoebus and Tchue.
- Main article: Djinn
Djinn (plural form of djinni) are the third most powerful kind of demon; most demons summoned by magicians tend to fall into this category. Partly as a result of this and partly as a result of the fact that Bartimaeus, who narrates a large percentage of the trilogy, is a djinni, more djinn are mentioned, and more details of their various strengths and habits are brought to the reader's attention. Notable djinn within the story line are:
- Ascobol: A greater djinni in the service of John Mandrake who had a distaste of Bartimaeus, and frequently irritated him. He took the semblance of a slightly effeminate cyclops. He was later slain by Faquarl.
- Bartimaeus: An ancient djinni of the fourth level who narrates much of the story. He has had many well known masters such as Gilgamesh, Solomon, Ptolemy, Faust and, most recently within the chronology of the alternate world, John Mandrake. Although not the most powerful of djinn, Bartimaeus has survived for millennia largely due to his quick wit and guile - however he is referred to in Trismegistus' Manual as having "great ingenuity and no little power" and also as being dangerous.
- Cormocodran: A third level djinni in the service of John Mandrake. He preferred the semblance of large things, and last chose to be a large tusked boar. He had apparently done time in Ireland. He was later slain by Faquarl before the Great Spirit Rebellion.
- Faquarl: Referred to by Bartimaeus as his "nemesis", Faquarl is seen to be considerably more powerful than Bartimaeus, and the possessor of great intelligence, though not necessarily greater than Bartimaeus. It is noted that he often takes on the semblance of a cook, which he attributes to the fact that there are lots of sharp and lethal objects to be found in a kitchen. He was destroyed by Bartimaeus and Nathaniel during the Spirit Uprising.
- Hodge: A djinni employed by Mandrake. His form was seen to be a giant lizard that shot poisonous spines, and may or may not have been very smart, as Bartimaeus questioned, seriously, whether or not he could read. He was later slain by Faquarl just before the Great Spirit Rebellion.
- Jabor: A higher djinni who usually takes the semblance of a tall red-skinned man with the head of a jackal. Jabor has been described as "moronically strong to the point of indestructible"; coincidentally, he is somewhat lacking in intelligence. Bartimaeus destroyed him by luring him into a rift caused by the arrival of Ramuthra; he was apparently torn apart.
- Mwamba: A female djinni who served John Mandrake, and apparently had been more apt at taking on forms than other Djinn. She was known to be more sympathetic to Bartimaeus during his extended time on Earth. She may have listened to Bartimaeus' warning about "Hopkins", but she did not hear him, and was slain by Faquarl just before the Great Spirit Rebellion.
- Nemaides: Julius Tallow's djinni, who always takes the shape of a tall green monkey. He was the demon who inflicted the Black Tumbler on Jakob Hyrnek and Kitty Jones on Mr. Tallow's orders.
- Queezle: A female djinni with whom Bartimaeus is known to have had a deep relationship. She had done time in Asia, and was working with Bartimaeus at the fall of the Holy Roman Empire. She was later reunited with Bartimaeus during the Golem Affair, though was unfortunately possibly killed by the creature.
- Main article: Foliots
Foliots are considerably less powerful than djinn, and Bartimaeus, and presumably other beings more powerful than foliots, view them with some disdain. Foliots are described as "cut-price Djinnis" by Bartimaeus. They are somewhat prone to petty squabble but are apparently capable labourers.
There are two foliots of note within the Bartimaeus Sequence:
- Simpkin: A foliot in the service of Sholto Pinn, who actually derived a certain amount of satisfaction and pride from his servitude, which, amongst other things, led Bartimaeus to regard him with contempt. Despite having the opportunity to escape his fate, Simpkin chose to attack a golem and die rather than leave Mr. Pinn's store. The only character in the trilogy other than the three main protagonists to have a chapter (albeit a short one) told from his point of view (except in The Ring of Solomon).
- Gezeri: He is Khaba's slave in The Ring of Solomon who serves him somewhat willingly. He is responsible for many of Bartimaeus' troubles in the quarry and as Asmira's slave. He is eventually killed by Asmira.
- Main article: Imps
Barely worthy of classification, imps have little power, although certain sub-types of them fulfill useful roles, such as acting as Search Spheres. Imps are commonly used by magicians as messengers, sentries, or other minor roles. Nathaniel used an imp that took the form of baby in his personal scrying glass. The only other imp mention in slight detail was in the 1st book; he was carrying mail from Lovelace when Bartimaeus detained him and proceeded to go through the said mail whilst forcing the imp to call him by a different glorifying title everytime he was addressed. Personality-wise, imps tend to be disrespectful and extremely dull.
Demons are composed of Essence, which is entirely different to anything from this world; described as a kind of 'smokey liquid'. While they usually have a 'true form', often a hideous creature with many tentacles and other protrusions, this is often only visible on the seventh plane, or above and is not, in fact, a manifestation of their actual true form, but merely a convenient statement as to the nature of their power on Earth. On the lower planes, demons can shapeshift at will, taking on any form they choose, though this is somewhat limited by the extent of their power. When exhausted, or exposed to silver (or iron, although silver has a stronger effect), it can be harder for them to shift between shapes, or even maintain a solid one at all.
Nevertheless, despite physical appearances, demons do not possess a physical shape on Earth, unless, as seen in the case of Honorius and the demons in the Spirit Revolt of Ptolemy's Gate, they are bound into a physical object.
Powers, abilities and weaknessesEdit
Although the exact powers of imps and foliots are not exactly sure some of foliots have been known to use the attacks, it is known that djinn, afrits and marids can also deal powerful magical attacks, such as:
It should be noted that Bartimaeus has employed the use of a spells such as the Whispering Breath, Pulses, Shields, Flames, and Concealments and mentioned (but not used) another by the name of the Noisome Wind. These are, however, not attack spells.
Demons can also conceal, or change the way they look by using spells such as Concealment or Glamour Charms. Demons can fly and shapeshift as well (although some can shift more so then others, with the general amount of power depends on the level of demon in question), making them formidable opponents. Demons can also become invisible on the lower planes. With assistance from their masters, they can also teleport to a certain extent. More powerful entities than marids, such as Ramuthra, warp reality in their wake.
The majority of djinn, afrits and marids are able to see on all seven planes, although not all can. It was stated by Bartimaeus in the books that there are more than seven planes, although those who operate on them are "just showing off". Lower spirits (foliots and imps) are able to see on less than 5, though usually demons see more than 3 planes.
Demons are, however, vulnerable to certain substances, most notably silver, which offers a degree of protection from them. They are also shown to be weakened by iron, although to a slightly lesser extent, and 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 Vice
- Indefinite Confinement
- The Punitive Jab
- The Essence Rack
- The Stimulating Compass
- Inverted Skin
- The Mournful Orb
- The Shriveling Fire
- The Infernal Coals
The most deadly (to demons) punishment is easily the Shriveling Fire, which is made up out of fifteen different curses in five different languages, and will destroy a demon instantly.
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.
The magician-demon relationshipEdit
Usually, demons are enslaved forcibly by magicians. Over the millennia, demons have come to loathe magicians (although it is noted that a large proportion of them feel no particular hatred of commoners), and to 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) the magician doing the summoning. 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 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 in Ptolemy's Gate.