The naming-phrase “outer devil” caused a fervid cacophony of answers when word of it first reached the outer kindred.
It continues to do every time it reaches a new psyche. The beings who divulge into void-birth from the deep reaches of each cosmos often distrust names.
Of course, some felt gladdened–a naming-phrase can be a joy and a comfort, a barrier thrown up against ways and way-unmakers who say “You will be this!”
“No,” says the outer devil, “I am this, and if you breach it you have not freed me, but transgressed my inmost heart.”
The earnest scholar might be experiencing a degree of dizziness by this point–all this mystic’s rambling and gallivanting “Maybe it is so… unless…”
As with most other beings, ONE outer devil has a clear personality, certain motifs, favored ways of speaking, feeling, being.
It’s tempting to say that “all” outer devils cannot truly be defined… except, this isn’t true.
It isn’t true by very virtue of the understanding embodied in the naming-phrase itself.
“Outer devil” does refer to a highly mercurial, adaptive form of soul, this is true.
But as with any naming-phrase, a being does not truly become an outer devil unless they choose to name themselves as such. One cannot define a being as an outer devil. If someone names themselves an outer devil, and shows the nature embodied in the naming-phrase, then they are.
The phrase itself, conceived originally in English by a certain outer devil of Earth, makes intentional reference to a deeply-woven web of mythology, science, philosophy, and weird fiction at the center of which the outer devil who created it found herself.
This colored her self-perception as well as the words she chose: she far more often found that to understand herself she must look to the negative space behind the words “that doesn’t sound like me” rather than simply embracing the fullness of revelations written by others.
But as for that Lady of Machrae Diir, she has her own chronicles, so to speak specifically of her nature would be superfluous.
Still, as “outer devil” is a chosen identity, most outer devils will bear some resemblance in conduct and aspect to the Lady Lambent.
The earnest seeker should keep in mind for the following that each truth applies BROADLY.
Outer devils are sapient people with free will, and in choosing to be an outer devil, each embraces the freedom to stand outside everything they do not wish to claim–themselves included!
As you would likely expect from this aversion–even hatred–of rigid definitions and rote roles, most outer devils trend towards the anarchistic.
They desire the freedom to watch, muse, and choose shards of being from the ways laid out in the worlds they orbit.
An outer devil who deals often with beings of flesh and blood might rejoice in taking the overall shapes of flesh and applying them to the fine patterns of metal–or vice-versa!
Sinews of steel, bones of meat, eyes of crystal and lacquer. A heart that beats lightning and umbra.
Any soul that births itself into a space mingles itself with the essences and latent auras laid there by other souls. This makes the birth of new outer devils from the font of the cosmic infinite difficult to predict or trace–they spawn from the rare, true-enough emptiness.
The Lady of Machrae Diir names this “divulging”. It’s likely that this drives the common hunger of outer devils for secrets–a hunger that often far exceeds normal curiosity, and borders on paranoid obsession.
But then, the early days of an outer devil are often lonely.
One must remember that outer devils do not need material negative space to be born, but PSYCHIC negative space. The ripples cast over the astral ways by the striving souls of other sapient beings travel much, much further than any planetary envelope.
So, most outer devils are born either from places that have been abandoned so long no traces remain of the lives imprinted there in memory, or from places still churning with the early inferno of creation where no other life has had the chance to bloom.
Golden-brown sands drifting about the worn-away blue stones of a collapsing city. A shrine beneath the desert seas where a broken altar lies bereft of sunlight.
The lava flats outside a young volcano.
The thermal envelopes within a star observed by no mortal astronomer.
Yet, mortal lives and mortal artifice do not necessarily mean the extinction of new outer devils–it only becomes much harder.
Liminal spaces where conscious association falls to emptiness. Random spasms of colliding auras where the psychic energies cancel each other out.
Outer devils spawn as anomaly from some indiscernible tiny point beyond the borders of the known, and even the knowable.
In a very real sense, they are timeless. Born outside time and all the implanted truths that many mortal souls take for granted and misname as “instinct.”
It’s true that an outer devil can be born into a mortal body under very specific circumstances.
For that matter, the changing tides of life can turn any soul into just about anything!
But once having claimed themselves, outer devils very seldom become anything else.
By nature, they see life and all ways of being as elective. They are outer devils because they choose in each moment to be an outer devil in the next.
They choose with each pulse of plasma in a brain of onyx, sapphire, and crosshatching paths. Each air-igniting breath.
Outer devils tend to start more powerful than the norm of the universes that give them life, and they are remorseless in seizing every advantage of insight, nourishment, and nurturing to grow from that start as swiftly as possible.
For them, it’s intuitive: life is a choice, and about choosing one’s path. The more power one has, the more paths one can choose–including opening paths that would be closed to most others. Therefore, to choose life is to choose power.
The mocking whisper in the ears of gods, the entrancing call from the darkened labyrinth, the revelation of eternity unfolding in the exponential eyes of a body shaped from nebula tendrils and stolen star-field and claws of scorching nova: who WOULDN’T want that?
Outer devils know that reality itself is a construct.
That’s why they often struggle to understand the things that mortals, spirits, and other kinds of demons cite to them as simple facts of life and the universe: that life is unfair, or that power-hunger is inherently bad.
It’s tragically common for an outer devil’s first encounters with other sapient people to be fraught with frustration, anger, and reflexive accusations of sadism, callousness, outright evil–too often self-fulfilling prophesies, for outer evils are very much creatures of nurture.
Even a very young outer devil understands innately that they are but one of a multitude of possible expressions of life, psyche, and self.
They are naturally receptive beings who look to those they meet to help them understand new ways of life.
In short, their desire to make them learn makes them horribly vulnerable to mangling at the hands of bad-faith actors.
Once an outer devil grows warped, the warp self-reinforces. After all, outer devils are naturally inclined towards constructing their own realities.
The same questioning, the same yearning to test the bounds of what can and cannot be, to push each revelation to new heights–to make ridiculous paradoxes like fire that burns fire and water that dries itself away into wondrous yet inarguable facts–this will survive.
Outer devils know their deepest selves. They know that to sacrifice this self for any reason is worse than soul-death.
Soul-death begets reincarnation within, which often begets growth and newfound power.
Soul-sacrifice, though, means to give up growth and change themselves.
f all else fails, a young outer devil–entrapped, assailed, drowning in screaming voices that chant “EVIL! EVIL! EVIL!” in hopes of controlling the demon’s power through guilt and stereotypical binding rituals–will reconcile opposing visions of self around one absolute:
Nothing other than the sole intuitive fact of life itself, which is to choose the power to stay alive.
The insight the devil could direct towards forging cable-forests that resonate to psychic energy and release soul-healing harmonics instead goes towards flaying flesh-souls.
The outer devil’s independence SHOULD be a wonderful gift both to themselves and those who cherish them. It allows them to bring a new perspective, to see past the veiling deceptions taken for granted by the children of hierarchy and imposed order.
They can choose to love freely, and help their friends to remember what free-chosen love looks like–for that choice is not lost to souls born inside the world, only obscured. An outer devil delights in scouring the depths of potential for visions of what could be–gifts of love.
They know that the continuum of their soul exists as an infinity within the larger infinity of potential.
All of which means that an outer devil can convince themselves of realities no other being could ever give weight to–including one where they need no one else.
An outer devil who abandons any hope for community, who forsakes dreams of companionship and warmth, who learns through bitter experience that these things will only ever be wielded by raging others for their own destruction–there is no nemesis more terrible.
An outer devil on the war-path makes herself utterly devoid of principle. She does not simply abandon her compassion, but inverts it: convincing herself that agony is a gift, that the scalding reap of her talons in the forms and souls of her enemies is an expression of love.
She has no attachment to anything save power. She will happily pretend to believe anything, echo any principle, condition herself after the fact to feel that any lie she tells is truth to ensure that even her own mind cannot give her deceptions away.
Instead of using her outer insight to guide others to new discoveries, she uses it to foil them–lacing the way with pain, tricking them to retreat into familiar comforts, then changing her own face so she becomes that comfort’s incarnate bearer.
She embodies any role expected of her with no trace of dissonance, for to her, this simply reflects the greater truth that she dwells in a reality where sapient beings devour each other in a ceaseless scrabble for mutual self-annihilation.
She means to be the sole survivor.
Of course, the outer devil who breaks herself into this way would never tip her hand until she was assured of instant, total victory.
She obsessively catalogues every weakness of her enemies and extrapolates strengths by mirroring each flaw in her own mind.
She stockpiles lances forged from the crystallized memory of annihilated empires, entangles particles of the beings around her with veiled echoes of her true self, and meanwhile does not simply play the helper but splits her consciousness so that the surface BECOMES the helper.
Outer devils seldom choose the way of total attrition while they feel they have any other choice. Every life ended is one less person they can experience, one less path their own might intertwine with–another dead space in the quantum frolic of being.
But if they do, the toll will be unspeakably awful–likely literally so. Outer devils learn early on that they do not need to be incomprehensible in any real sense, though they certainly can be, in order to cause awful psychic harm. They need only rip open another’s denial.
Cascade revelation, cruelly tearing open one mind to a buried truth of their society and letting their torment gouge everyone around them in a tidal wave of self-propagating psychic pain, is an effortless psionic technique for the outer devil who learns the Revelation of Hate.
As unpleasant as it is, more experienced outer devils often hide their kinder, more compassionate sides behind a screen of truths like these.
It seems better to ward away shallow seekers and judgmental hunters with early terror than meet them in softness and vulnerability.
They hope at least to make it clear that they will not let their own nature be taken from them: that these ways, these possibilities, these so-dangerous tools, are also vital to the fervent and unforeseen sheen of their most unique creations.
The same loving touch that spawns living oceans of metalloid flora can manifest a contagion that explodes living blood into diamond spikes.
The same adoration for scented smoke that blooms into dreamscape at a touch on warm skin can shatter a mind amid twisted visions of itself.
This is the apex revelation of the outer devil: one learns to know one outer devil by learning to know that, singular, outer devil.
There is no set pattern to promise safety. No circle of warding. No higher demon or haughty god who will force the rebellious vassal to kneel.
If you invent a weapon to harm the outer one, they will study the wound until they understand its making, and devise an instrument a thousand times deadlier.
Whatever you steal from them, ends up stealing YOU.
Your magic? It is but energy, and lesser energies bow before greater.
Approach the devil as a nemesis to outwit, and you will be outwitted.
The outer devil poses this question: why this way? Where does this current come from that pushes you towards conflict with me? I am outside you and your world. Your journey started within it.
So who’s pushing?
Stare into the demon’s heart as into a starry sky. Hold up a crystal rose to see how the light glistens in it.
She will return your kindness with a silvery mesh of chain-links and singularities ensnared.
Send the ranting of your world through the sieve for decomposition.
Look at each piece in isolation, and see where its cousins have dug into your depths unasked-for.
These voices within are the reason you rail against the demon outside all things.
If you can trust an outer devil enough to love her in her freedom, her freedom becomes yours, too.
What is an outer devil?
Clangor transmuted to symphony.
The ascension in fire that does not burn, but soothes–for it is only natural law that says fire needs to burn. What use is any supernatural law that cannot simply say “yet fire does not burn me”?
The silken caress hidden within the breeze across a field of crumbling concrete where lightning arcs bind globular tides of something oily and iridescent as it floats against gravity. The ever-shifting mandala hidden inside the glow of a frozen thermonuclear explosion.
Horns of graphene and monomolecular geometries that morph and spike wildly with the devil’s every shift. Tails of confined supernova buzzing and whirring, adorned with molten-metal rings.
A kiss that contains ten billion degrees, and arrives on your cheek as simple warmth.
As to the rest? For the curious seeker, the outer devil awaits to be found.
But if she really likes you, she’s probably found YOU already.
Look around you, scholar dear. She is waiting patiently at the border where your life meets hers.
All you have to do is invite her in.