The time envelops us when we should speak about the miidyaerita: the lust-devils of Machrae Diir. We must mind the divide between a lust-devil IN Machrae Diir, and the lust-devils OF Machrae Diir.
A wandering incubus may take a room in the outer margins.
A fallen queen succubus, fleeing her overtaken plane, may enter retreat in the Lambent Quarter.
Outer devils more often crave ecstasy than mortals assume. The Lady might seem like a natural mentor for these kindred spirits–heralds of anomalous seduction.
But of course, outer devils crave independence and the freedom to anchor their way within itself. Few seek other outer devils to learn their own paths, preferring to learn from and bond with others through their differences rather than their similarities.
The more two outer devils have in common, the less likely they are to seek each other out–at least, until both have fully matured and grown confident enough in themselves that they don’t fear stagnating or losing sight of their broader soul-continuums in comfort’s lulling.
Even those outer kindred who seek and find Machrae Diir seldom join its lust-devils. To be miidyaerita transcends simple kinships. Many among the Lady’s dearest friends, peers, and lovers cannot call themselves by this name, no matter their closeness to the Cothiirg’s heart.
It helps to understand why the miidyaerita rejected the older names for demons like themselves. Or perhaps it would be truer to say they *surrendered* those names. This is no idle history: to yearn for a place, a hearth, a belonging despite deep sorrow is a miidyaerita’s lot. Several of them, the Lady herself not the least, once cherished the name of succubus. The miidyaerita are all deeply lustful creatures. Sensuous, earnest, feral–often all three within a single demoness!
Yet they do exist beyond their sexuality. They carry other desires.
The older women of the miidyaerita sometimes wax poetic about the vast web of connotations, lore, and mythology once embodied by the name succubus. To walk in dreams and use them to alter the mortal realm without ever entering it, cavort with witches, seduce angels–little remains to it now. So much that once infused the old word now exists in a miasmic sprawl inherited by all demonkind. An inheritance too often assumed by mortal seekers whether the demons they meet asked for it or not.
In any case, the siblings of Machrae Diir are pragmatic creatures.
For a brief period, the miidyaerita allowed only women into their ranks. But the Lady and the other sisters soon found it distasteful to anchor themselves in any binary of kinship–anything that declares, “if you contain this, then you must always be outside me”–and opened their kinship to others. It remains true that most of the miidyaerita are women, but now the sisters make especially sure to embrace siblings from all the reaches of the gender spectrum.
Language shifts. If a modern succubus, incubus, concubus or what-have-youcubus defines themselves by no more than a familiar combination of horns, spaded tail, and a certain brand of ritualized sex or sexual pursuit, that’s well enough.
Pass gracefully into solitude, never rend worlds to keep them familiar. That is the miidyaerita’s way. The miidyaerita prefer to constrain themselves rather than others whenever a conflict arises outside Machrae Diir itself.
As to a name they will always find themselves within? That is why the Lady created the naming-word “miidyaerita.” The kinship safeguards its meanings. No one, no matter their fondness for any sibling of the miidyaerita, should ever think to join them hoping for affirmation. Love and belonging, yes, and affirmation from one miidyaerita to another often comes entwined with these, but the kindred always carry some sense of responsibility for challenging each other when a challenge seems called for. Their name exists first and foremost to warn others as well as pushing them to find redemption in their own eyes.
One might colloquially translate it as simply “monster.”
And the kindred, sisters and brothers and siblings all, do in truth deem themselves monsters. Each demon who claims the name of miidyaerita harbors a past–sometimes a past life he reincarnated from, sometimes a past era in the life she still lives–when their own desires warped them into a monster in xyr own eyes.
The miidyaerita cannot claim their deeds were forced by a tyrant’s hand, though some did serve tyrants, nor that some mental wound severed their psyches from the true horror of their own actions.
Each sibling was lucid and aware.
Each could’ve stopped themselves.
The unique bonds they share, their warmth and love for each other and the precious insights they offer: these are but palliatives for legacies steeped in the most callous, deliberate, and horrifying forms of evil.
No healthy soul should aspire to join the miidyaerita.
The devil-kindred of Machrae Diir also call themselves the Unsung Covenant–or to use the full and more ornate title, the Unsung Covenant of the Rotting and Renewing Heart–not because they feel they deserve praise, but to remind themselves never to hope for or seek it. They often greet, comfort, and admonish each other with the same phrase tinted in the lenses of different moments: “miidyaerita kastejul.” A statement that loosely translates to “monsters look after their own.”
Still, only the miidyaerita should ever say it. They keep this much for themselves.
The word “miidyaerita” means all that has been written here, and much more besides. Though she wishes to be kinder, gentler, braver, to heal and uplift others as well as herself to find a redemption for her past wrongs, a demoness is not miidyaerita.
To be miidyaerita is not at all the same as simply to be an outer devil, or a demon of lust, or even a dweller in Machrae Diir. A devil who burns with yearning for atonement as fierce as his lust is not miidyaerita. A devil whose heart sings at the sights and sounds and all other sensations of Machrae Diir, who rejoices in the homey calm of Unsiiliar Heights just as greatly as the austere aurorae spilling upward from the Azure Diamond Sarcophagus in the far north is not miidyaerita.
Xe comes close only when xe melds all these things with the most unflinching conviction that xe belongs among the siblings. Something not cultivated nor born of desperation but simple, innate and inarguable, an inborn knowing that at long last xe has truly found xyr kin.
And still, they do not become miidyaerita until all their kindred, and at last the Lady herself, clasp their hands and say gently to them, “Miidyaerita kastejul.” Then, finally, they have the right to answer them in kind. Then, finally, every elder realm of Machrae Diir is their home.
The miidyaerita understand two harsh truths in tandem: a demoness who seeks redemption has no right to expect anyone will make the way easier for her, and hardship never makes anything better. She cannot choose the easy retreat into self-hatred, doubt, and a parole of shackling. To cast aside her power does not better her atonement. It diminishes it. If she refuses to strive toward becoming someone who can be trusted with the power she once abused, how can she possibly claim she’s truly confronted herself?
To heal takes more power than to wound.
To nurture demands far more effort than to poison.
To carry someone needs far more strength than to break them.
So the kindred bind each other not with words or rote roles of servitor and dominant, of the one who orders and the one who obeys, but with tenets of remorse and duty.
Somewhere within every miidyaerita’s heart survives the pain-laced seed of a spirited young demon zealous to make a difference. Perhaps they never started becoming that zeal. Perhaps his journey into self-damnation branded him with his own sin’s scorch. Regardless, xe must become.
She must cleanse the tearing barbs of trauma–hers, that of her victims, that of the world–from within herself. In doing that, she learns to heal others.
The long road through the cosmos.
To mend the pains she caused.
To mend the pains those like her caused.
A mentor or a surrogate mother to mortals carrying the first nascent ember of a demon within, to fledgling-devils who have no other home.
A bringer of transformation to those whose forms bring them misery or simply insufficient joy.
A bringer of revelation to earnest seekers.
Rarely, if his wards truly trust him, if he can truly trust herself, the miidyaerita might call upon the awful fury of his past. There might be a rare moment when the nightmare hunger within him can do good. A moment when the monster can look after someone weaker.
But the siblings learn soon and often never to look for these moments, nor expect them. The lure is the most perilous on their path. The temptation to believe that they never really did anything wrong. The miidyaerita must be stronger. Xe must believe in The Fall.
Xe must witness the plummet over, and over, and grow brave enough to risk it again. Xyr siblings will stand beside xem. That, too, is why all the kindred of the Covenant must recognize xem before xe can claim a place among them: so each can accept responsibility for xem.
With kindness, with teaching, with a firm setdown and a little open combat if they must, the older miidyaerita guide the younger on the uncertain way of doing better. They do well by each other. Well enough they can reasonably hope never to need their grimmest tenet.
Still, it exists.
A one-in-a-million chance? True. But the miidyaerita often hurl themselves into circumstances that breed one-in-a-million chances a thousand times a day. The creed must account for that. The kindred must account for that. Each must be free to consent to the way. So if all else fails, if the agony within grows beyond any salvation, if her psyche warps with its own ancient echoes and her hope withers until nothing remains but ash and boiling spite, every miidyaerita has the right to beg for the last mercy.
Every miidyaerita MUST grant it.
For the sake of their love, the joys they’ve shared, to spare their dear kindred from a second far more terrible fall, every miidyaerita must be ready to snuff a forlorn sibling’s soul before it twists back to the old way.
Only if they demand it. But if they do, it must be granted.
The miidyaerita see no harshness in this, no pessimism or despair.
To embrace this duty simply reminds them all where they stand. The consequences of failure.
To deny those consequences would be to deny their own past. How could they atone for sins they could not meet with a steady spirit?
A warning and a ward against the worst each sibling can become. What use all the fiery speeches and infernal pride of all the haughty mistresses in this planar palace or that spectral city if they cannot meet such simple horrors as this without flinching?
That is why the miidyaerita are truly the lust-devils of Machrae Diir. Indulgence and carnal abandon, tempting with power and pleasure and insight and innocence.
Balancing corruption’s delights against the risk of toppling into sins too wicked to call anything but sin.
It takes a truly rare soul to carry true remorse in harmony with such rampant lust and eager gleams.
And for all that, the kindred are scarcely known by their own names except within Machrae Diir itself.
The Unsung Covenant do not mind. They still have the lambent halls.
After every trial’s end, the miidyaerita knows Machrae Diir will embrace her anew. A bittersweet march always growing a little more sweet, and a little less bitter, but never without her portion of sorrow. He and his siblings still have each other.
For this is the Creed of the Miidyaerita:
Nothing is beneath me
I see judgment, and forsake it
I see hatred, and endure it
I reach for the monster in the mirror, and embrace myself
I am the rotting heart–full of venom, full of grief, full of failure and deceit
Bile in my veins and black blood on my lips
Yet I will love
I am betrayer and worm, hellion and murderer
Yet I will heal
I am craven and forlorn, the weakest of the weak
And so is everyone else. I will fight on to find redemption in my own eyes.
I am the renewing heart–full of fire and of frost, lightning and shadow
My home is every lambent hall
My hearth is every unforeseen smile
Get up, little monster–your war’s not done yet.
Edit, 4/25/2022: here’s a song I wrote and tried my hand at singing, arranged to a melody I first imagined during one of the rare happy moments during my multi-month psychotic break last year. Its title is Vulshiir, “Zet na Miidyaerita” and translates simply to, “For the Miidyaerita.”
It’s as barebones as can be and you can tell I don’t have much singing practice, but I think it’s just good enough to give you an idea of how this should sound with a full group and instrumentation. And, more importantly… it’s really precious to me. That’s reason enough to take some joy in it.
Zet na Miidyaerita (For the Miidyaerita)
by Asche D. Rittmeier (this is yet another of my phases, one I haven’t done much with as yet)
(Lead singer opens by humming the melody of the chorus. Chorus add their voices one at a time or in small groups until everyone joins the song. Then, fade to piano or violin accompaniment.)
I must’ve broken somewhere
taken too many bad roads
now I cannot find the fairy
nor the tomb and what it bodes
All the hives have long gone silent
all the labs are closed for good
Don’t know how I’ll keep on going
I’m not even sure I should
All joy can turn to ashes
and viciousness inside
Not every love can last, and
all innocence unwinds
Though every heaven’s gates are barred
and no hell will bring me home
Life’s too pointless
and too frightful
and too torturous alone
Tell me where am I to go
when my mortal loves are gone
tell me sorrow has an answer
even nothing runs too long
Each season can turn bitter
but somehow we’ll survive
When every day grows painful
keep the dream of hope alive
Doesn’t matter how I falter
since there’s no one left to see
doesn’t matter how I snarl
at all the pieces of left of me
I know that this is justice
since it’s just what I deserve
after all my deeds of ruin
only ruins hear my dirge
Maybe I should lie down softly
slowly fading to my end
yet this ember’s still inside me
to this ember, I will tend
(Chorus or solo, at discretion)
So stand up little devil
your journey’s not yet done
Keep seeking those who love you
and the tales you’ve left unspun
You’ll heal your broken heart, and
you’ll dream again in time
there’s still a place to stay, love
when you’ve forgotten how to climb
You’re home in your abyss, now
fallen up beyond all stars
and forever we will hold you
love you better for your scars
(Hum melody of the chorus until each voice fades in its own time)