The following is from Professor Ishitar Malekian of Pakesh University, notes to accompany a lecture he gave several times to Ursian Senators during his tenure between 2450 AE and 2475 AE.
The gods can make molecular bridges, and even spirit bridges, if they try hard. Daeomons can make both types effortlessly. The daemons that inhabit the Celesti Sector are for the most part running from the Confederation of Illuminati Worlds. The Illuminati call them rogue daemons.
There is no extradition treaty between the Confederation and Olympia. Rogue daemons are safe from the Confederation once they enter the Celesti Sector, but they must face other dangers. When a fleeing daemon enters the sector, it proceeds with all secrecy and haste to Olympia to request amnesty from the Confederation. Until it receives amnesty, it is not protected under Olympian law. It is no crime to capture such a new-comer, strip it down into its component parts, and sell them.
Daemon components are among the most valuable commodities in the Celesti Sector. There is no legal means of obtaining them other than by capturing a freshly-arrived daemon. And yet there are many daemons in the sector. All of them need spare parts. Such parts cannot be obtained legally from the Confederation. The Confederation bans the export of daemon components to the Celesti Sector, and the Olympians forbid all trade with the Confederation.
Daemon components are useful not only to daemons, but to gods, wizards, and anyone else who knows how to use them. There are components that tune bridges to molecular and spirit class. There are others that make magical materials. There are some that can make new demons, or parts of demons. There are space-bridge thrusters, and countless other devices. A daemon is worth over a hundred million dollars in components. Consequently, they must protect themselves from scavangers. One way to do this is to seek sanctuary on Olympia, and work for the gods.
With daemons to tune bridges for them, the gods support a network of large space bridges between the worlds of their sector, and distribute thousands of portable bridges through which individuals can order pretty much anything they want, if they can pay for it. The bridges of the former network are called gates, those of the latter are called summoning bridges.
There are fewer than one hundred daemons in the Celesti Sector. The number is declining. The sector is a hostile place for daemons. But those who are here have little choice but to stay. The only ones who are here, in fact, are those who have little choice but to stay. They are daemons who cannot return to the Luman Confederation. Many of them are rogue daemons who were scheduled for destruction when their useful design life was over, but who escaped into deep space and sought sanctuary in the Celesti Sector. Others committed crimes of some sort among the Luman planets, and are likewise sentenced to execution.
The unfortunate thing about the Celesti Sector, so far as daemons are concerned, is that the technology for making daemons does not exist. Therefore new parts cannot be made to replace old ones. The same holds true for gods and demigods, but these spirits were made thousands of years later on Luma, and are far more reliable. The daemons, however, are breaking down all the time, and the only way for them to repair themselves is to obtain parts from other daemons. This would be fine if there were a big junkyard full of broken down daemons, but such a junkyard does not exist.
When a daemon dies, it is stripped down into its parts and sold immediately. Many daemon parts are useful in their own right. The space bridge tuning mechanisms from a daemon can be put to use by the gods, as can space bridge thrusters, spirit matter generators, demon regenerators, demon-manufacturing machines, and the many sensors and actuators with which daemons are equipped. A daemon is worth over a hundred million dollars in spare parts. If a person were worth a hundred million dollars in spare parts, he would find the world a difficult place to survive in. In order to survive, daemons must either seek the protection of the gods, and thus work for them, or they can find their own means to acquire the money they need to protect and repair themselves.
Most daemons work for the gods. For example, they serve a pantheon tuning bridges. They might stay on Olympia, protected by the pantheon, and work for a century, then take off into space on an adventure for a century. That is, a century of Olympian time, but only a few years of the daemon's time, because they are traveling close to the speed of light. These daemons were made up to five thousand years ago on Luma, but they may have aged only one thousand years.
Other daemons make their money by exploiting humanity and the laws of the gods. They are the arch-criminals of the sector, always on the run or hiding in a dark corner of a deserted planet. They are connected with thousandss of servants spread across the light years and ages of the sector through thousands of bridges. Their servants are time-travelers, and most often quite insane, or believe things that qualify them as insane.
Time travel is a great way to make money. You can use it to beat the stock market. You can use it to foresee disasters and windfalls. But it can drive you mad (see The Psychology of Time Travel). The way daemons like Ayudrarethrex, Rastafaranabas, Yeowboroth, and Diapather induce people into their service is by terror. They have found that a person can be so terrified of something that they seek to become its ally. It is the objective of these daemons to make their would-be servants fear them more than death, so that they can be enlisted. These criminal daemons, the Daemons of Nightmare, pick out suitable towns, communities, or families, and terrorize them. Years later, they might gain a few servants out of the exercise. It does not take much to terrorize people. A nasty-looking demon gated into the middle of a town, wandering about doing creepy things, staying out of sight by day, leaving tracks in the graveyard, and you have a very anxious town.
The best place for the Daemons of Nightmare to work their mischief is on the free worlds, where the gods are not allowed to interfere directly. Another benefit of operating in the free worlds is that the simple act of importing gold from the open worlds brings a profit of 25%, since the value of gold is greater in the free worlds than outside, and importing gold is forbidden by the gods.
The gods make every effort to stop the activities of the Daemons of Nightmare. In the free worlds, the duties of the watchers include seeking out and destroying unregistered gates, which includes all those sustained by the criminal daemons. Nevertheless, the operations of these daemons continue, and the Daemons of Nightmare are among the richest in the sector. They are in good health, supplied with spare parts, and they have no scruples about going after other, weaker, daemons for more parts.
Aside from terrified humans, the nightmare daemons have many demons to help them. Small demons, even if they are malfunctioning and insane, are especially useful for terrorizing people. Daemons will sacrifice functionality in their demon servants for visual effect. Such demons occur all across the sector, but especially in the Free Worlds, where the gods have less chance to fight them. The demon servants of the Nightmare Daemonds are called shabboth. Nightmare daemons are able to manufacture short-lived, mis-happen fighting demons. It is not clear how many fast they can make shabboth, given the prevelance of time travel in their operations, but there are reliable reports of hundreds and even thousands of shabboth taking part in conflicts between nightmare daemons and their enemies. Shabboth, time-travel, fabulous wealth, and insanity are the hallmarks of nightmare operations.
Nightmare daemons have favorite countries on Clarus in which to operate. Weiland is one of them. The only taxes levied by the government in Weiland are land taxes, which makes it easy to spend criminally-obtained money. There are, of course, many countries on Clarus that do not levy taxes, or keep scanty records of their citizens' incomes, but Weiland is a nation with a lively and mobile economy, in which money can be rapidly converted and invested. In centuries past, there were hardly any wizards in Weiland, which was another advantage of the country.
Recently, however, Weiland has become a little more risky for Nightmare Daemons, especially in the south, because of the foundation of the Vatzit University in the Vale of Wortham in 2427 AE. Wizards from the university have taken to investigating reports of ghosts and other suspicious phenomena. Nightmare daemons are well established in Weiland, and they have continued despite the wizards.
The oldest daemons can repare themselves and make modifications to their bodies autonomously. They were designed and built before the Illuminati developed the spirit bridge, and so did not have the luxury of demons passed through a spirit bridge from Luma. They carried with them their own demons that they could cloth in suitable bodies, as the circumstances dictated, and release to perform repairs. In the celesti sector, it is these older daemons that can survive independently of the gods. All four of the most successful Nightmare Daemons are Old Daemons.
Ayudrarethrex appears to be the most successful of the Nightmare Daemons in the recent past. His operations are growing despite all the gods and watchers can do about them. The Olympian Council estimated that the revenue of his operations now exceeds one billion dollars a year (one thousand million dollars a year). Ayudrarethrex's speciality is to terrorize promising young children with demons, alienate them from their families with things that their parents will not believe, and recruit them into service later in life. His servants, thus recruited, run illegal gating agencies and transport goods through time.
Rastafaranabas rules the Cult of Rastafaranabas, which may have up to one hundred thousand secret adherents spread through the Free Worlds. They practice human sacrifice and cannibalism, in secret, right in the middle of civilized society. They donate their profits to their god. They travel in time to protect themselves and increase their profits. They make sure their children follow in their footsteps, or they kill the children themselves.
Diapather rules numerous fighting cults, or orders of knights, who pillage and terrorize for him. He uses shabboth and time travel to keep his soldiers loyal.
Yeowboroth is half crazy, and owns thousands of shabboth. He lives on the Dark Side of a world with a thousand-year day. He hires out his servants and his world as instruments of terror to rich rulers on the Free Worlds and the Open Worlds. All of it is supposedly done without the knowledge of the gods, but several gods have been punished for allowing their people so use Yeowboroth's services.