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|Book Universe||The Demonata series|
|First Book Appearance||"Bec"|
The Old Creatures are a species of powerful magical being from the old unvierse. They are extremely powerful as the Demonata and have been known to protect the new universe from demons.
Earth was just one of the billions of worlds whose inhabitants developed intelligence with the help of the Old Creatures. They had begun to leave this planet several centuries prior to the events of Bec, and humanity therefore became vulnerable to attack by the Demonata around that time.
At the time of Bec, only a few dozen of the Old Creatures remain on Earth. They reside in an underwater cave, and appear as shifting masses of energy on tall stone pillars engraved with mystical writing. As their magic is quickly fading, they will soon be left with no other option to rejoin their fellows, and appear to be simply awaiting the inevitable in as restful a way as possible. When Brude opens a tunnel to the Demonata's realm, allowing vast hoards of demons to rampage across Ireland, Drust and Bec consult these Old Creatures about how to close the tunnel. They reveal the location of the tunnel to Drust, as well as warning him that the demon masters are very close to crossing, and will be able to do so two days and two nights from that time. Drust is dismayed, but they urge him to still be hopeful in spite of the odds. At Bec's request, they also reveal to her that Drust intends to sacrifice her in order to close the tunnel.
Drust and Bec ultimately manage to close the tunnel, though every one of their party apart from Bran (a young Beranabus), die in the process. However, Bec’s soul manages to remain in the cave where she died, a feat which defies all the natural laws of life. This event causes the force of Death to develop a mind, and ultimately changes the course of history. Death gathers an army of demons and leads them in their war on this universe, guiding them to numerous inhabited worlds through its ability to locate every living creature.
In Death's Shadow, Beranabus's memories reveal that the Old Creatures rescued Beranabus from his attempted suicide following the death of Bec. Knowing that Bec's soul is still trapped in the cave where Lord Loss's familiars killed her, they tell Beranabus that he may see her again one day if he agrees to help them. They send him on various missions to kill demons, but one day he returns to Earth and finds that they have all left the cave. Realising that they must be leaving Earth, Beranabus goes to Newgrange, where the last Old Creature awaits him. This Old Creature bequeaths the protection of mankind to the boy, as well as telling him of the Kah-Gash, claiming that it is a weapon which can destroy the Demonata's universe once and for all. It then takes its leave as well.
Dark Calling reveals that both the Old Creatures and the Demonata are creatures of the original universe which preceded the two universes in the series. This universe was structured like a chessboard; it consisted of sixty-four squares, half of them White and Black in chess and half of them black, each square containing infinite space within. The Demonata inhabited the white squares, the Old Creatures the black; the different zones were kept separate by a force which the Old Creatures called the Kah-Gash. While the Demonata were capable of reproduction, the Old Creatures were sterile, but this did not bother them; since time did not exist in the original universe, everything therein was ageless and immortal. They can still get killed.
Originally, the peaceful Old Creatures contented themselves with exploring their realms, undisturbed. The Old Creatures and the Demonata were unaware of each other, and it is stated that they were never intended to mix. However, out of curiosity, the demons eventually crossed into the black zones, discovered the Old Creatures, and attempted to wipe them out. At first the Old Creatures fled, hoping in their innocence that the demons would lose interest and leave them alone. When it became clear that this would not happen, the Old Creatures were forced to engage the demons in open war.
As the conflict escalated, pressure was put on the Kah-Gash, and it ultimately fractured under the strain. When this happened, the entire universe collapsed into a single speck, exploding a split-second later in what came to be called the Big Bang. The explosion formed two new universes: one (this universe) for the Old Creatures and ultimately the numerous species which developed on various planets; the other for the Demonata. The Kah-Gash split into three pieces, which for the next several billion years moved between the two universes inhabiting various life forms. Its last act was to create structures separating the universes, so that the two groups would never come into conflict again.
Following the explosion, time came into existence; everything in both universes began to age, and therefore became mortal. The Old Creatures accepted this, but the Demonata were determined to regain immortality. They set out to re-assemble the Kah-Gash, which would enable them to reverse time and restore Old Universe. Realising that this would mean destruction for all the life forms which had developed in the new universe, the Old Creatures were determined to thwart the demons. Whenever the Demonata found a piece of the Kah-Gash in their universe, the Old Creatures launched a raiding party which destroyed the form the piece inhabited, thus freeing the piece from the demons' clutches. This continued for millions of years, but as the casualties suffered by the Old Creatures rose, they realised that continuing with this strategy would ultimately lead to their extinction, given their inability to reproduce. They accepted this, and devised a way to ensure that others continued to fight the demons after they were gone.
The Old Creatures split into small groups, set off to several different planets, and began to foster intelligence among the beings of this universe, hoping that these beings would fight the Demonata. In most cases, their efforts succeeded, and they found that the newly sapient species produced magically gifted individuals. With the help of magical lodestones, the Old Creatures prevented any attacks by the Demonata so that the species could evolve in peace. Ultimately, they left each planet whose inhabitants they had assisted, moving on to continue their work on new worlds. Unfortunately, in the centuries following each such departure, the protective magic of the Old Creatures gradually faded, enabling mages to summon demons to the worlds in question. This is how the Demonata first began to cross into this universe.
The Old Creatures had not anticipated the capacity for evil in the creatures they assisted. A small minority within most civilizations used their gifts to dominate their fellows and gain power for themselves. The Old Creatures were horrified, but refused to interfere, in keeping with their belief in free will. Eventually, some mages opened tunnels which allowed the Demonata to cross in large numbers and wipe out entire planets. However, the majority of species continued to develop, and if they managed to hold out long enough against the demons, eventually departed from their world and began to explore space. Not only did this leap allow such races to escape weakening worlds before the Demonata could break through, it enabled them to assist in the development of other races, just as the Old Creatures had done for them.
As time passed and the carnage worsened across the universe, the Old Creatures actually considered shutting the project down. However, this would have involved killing each of the billions of sentient beings in the universe, something they could not bring themselves to do. Therefore, they pushed on with their efforts, aware that although the Demonata might cause terrible damage, they could not possibly wipe out every species.
When the Old Creatures realise that Death could lead the Demonata to final victory, they resolve to ensure that at least some life survives should this happen. They select a world in this universe and place numerous lodestones thereupon, providing enough magic to last until the end of time. They then bring several members of selected sentient species (including humans) to that world, and give them the choice to settle there. It is hoped that this world will offer these few million beings shelter from the onslaught of the Demonata, just as Noah's Ark protected numerous animals from the Biblical Flood. For this reason, they refer to the planet as 'the Ark'. Magicians will be born into every generation, neither food shortage nor infertility will ever arise, and the lodestones will all be tightly guarded so that the Demonata will never be able to cross to this world. Steps are also taken to prevent internal conflict among the inhabitants: the species were selected because they have a fighting spirit but a compassionate nature.
Despite all these precautions, the Old Creatures are certain that Death will eventually guide the demons to the Ark; when that happens, demonic armies will cross to nearby planets and from there they will travel through space and attack. The Old Creatures therefore recruit Kernel Fleck to be 'the new Noah'. If and when the demons attack, Kernel will open an enormous window to another part of the universe and use it to transport the entire planet to safety. In order to ensure that Kernel will always be present to do so, they ask him to willingly become part of a tunnel between universes, as Brude did in the novel Bec. Doing so will mean that he will never die and will be able to serve the Ark and its people forever. The Old Creatures propose this idea to Kernel in Dark Calling (with one of their kind assuming the appearance of his former companion Raz Warlo in order to act as ambassador), and give him the freedom to accept or refuse. At first, he decides to return to Earth, hoping that he might still be able to stop the demons and that the Ark will be unnecessary. However, he decides to accept the Old Creatures offer, but when he reveals his choice to his companions, Grubbs blinds him so that he cannot use his powers to return to the Ark and will be forced to stay and fight on Earth.
In Hell's Heroes, Grubbs and Kernel meet 'Raz' on an unihabitted world in this universe, and ask that the Old Creatures protect the Earth from the Demonata once again. The Old Creature refuses, but the discussion is cut short by the arrival of Bec (now seemingly in league with the demons and sharing a body with Death). Before killing 'Raz', Bec reveals that she knows the location of the Ark and will guide the demons there shortly.
Grubbs, Bec and Kernel unite to form the Kah-Gash and restore the original universe, wiping out everything in both new universes in the process. The Old Creatures are then revived and returned to the black zones, where they immediately lament the loss of all the life they worked for billions of years to protect. However, they are delighted to discover that the three teenagers have a plan to restore all of this life: they will wipe out every demon which poses a threat (sparing Lord Loss as a necessary evil), and then recreate the human universe within one of the black squares. As the minds of the Kah-Gash, the three guarantee that the Demonata will never trouble the Old Creatures again, and the latter race return to peacefully exploring their zones as they did before their original war with the demons. Since time no longer exists in this restored cosmos (except within the isolated human universe) the Old Creatures are once again immortal, and their sterility is no longer a problem.
The Old Ones have the power to make and move through windows. They can also take on the form of whatever they think the person seeing them would like. Examples of this is two Old Ones taking on the form of Art and Raz Warlo for Kernel Fleck to see.
The Old Ones look very similar to the patches of light that Kernel can see. They are glowing light and not only Kernel can see them as Bec McConn and Grubbs Grady can see them too when forming the Kah-Gash.
The Old Creatures give large Boards to almost all the species they help evolve. These Boards are designed as maps of the original universe, with sixty four squares, half of them black and half of them white; each square is a self contained universe. When a species evolves to a certain point, the Old Creatures take their souls into the Board, sheltering them and allowing them to evolve at an accelerated pace. During this period, they also teach the race about the Demonata, the origins of the universe, and the need to develop interstellar travel and continue the battle against the demons.
On Earth, one such Board was given to the early druids by the Old Creatures. Over time, the druids forgot the purpose of the Board, and it became the first chessboard. Following the demise of its keeper, Drust, at the end of Bec, it falls into the hands of Lord Loss, who fills each of its squares with numerous demons. He later uses it to torment Beranabus and his Disciples in Demon Thief.
Dark Calling reveals that lodestones are fragments of the planets which existed in the original universe. After the Big Bang, they embedded themselves in the many newly formed planets in this universe, and later came to act as interstellar navigational points for the Old Creatures, helping them to find their way around and cross vast distances in space very quickly. The stones are charged with enormous amounts of powerful magical energy from the original universe, and the Old Creatures use this magic to hold off the Demonata and prevent crossings while a species is still in the early stages of development. Although the stones’ magic remains after the Old Creatures leave the planet, the protection diminishes over time and ultimately disappears.
On some planets, mages have used more powerful lodestones to open tunnels into to Demonata’s universe, allowing demons to invade and wipe out the inhabitants of their world. It is later revealed that if the Demonata manage to invade planets on which lodestones are plentiful, sky demons may use the energy to sustain themselves long enough to reach and attack nearby inhabited worlds from space. The power in the lodestones eventually fades, forcing the Demonata to return to their own universe, but this may take many millions of years.
One lodestone which the Old Creatures used on Earth is revealed to have been left in an underground cave in Ireland. Brude uses this stone's magic to open a tunnel to the Demonata universe, and Bec in turn uses it to close the tunnel. Another lodestone appears in Death's Shadow, on board a cruise ship filled with demons which are led by Juni Swan. Through the sacrifice of the demon Cadaver, this stone is used to summon Death to the human universe. Shortly thereafter, Beranabus destroys the stone, thus sending Death back.
- Beranabus credits the Old Creatures with the building of Newgrange, a megalithic tomb in Ireland.
- Rings of standing stones which protect those who stand within from being attacked by demons.
- Various supernatural entities (leprechauns, giants, fairies, banshees, etc), which came into existence after the Old Creatures, and thrived for a time on the remaining Old Magic. By the time of Bec, with Christianity and other new religious groups rising to power in the Eastern part of the world, these beings are all migrating Westward so as to avoid an undignified end when Christians eventually spread throughout the world.
- A jutland on the West coast of Ireland which is protected by Old Magic. Violence is impossible on this jutland, and lesser demons cannot set foot there, although demon masters can. These masters cannot commit violent acts, but they can use magic. Being on this jutland also has the effect of dramatically boosting and amplifying the power of magicians, enabling them to perform feats which would otherwise be impossible to them. Drust uses this temporary enhancement of his powers to banish Lord Loss from sight. This magic seem to work exclusively for human magicians (or perhaps exclusively for students of the Old Creatures), as evidenced by Lord Loss' inability to tap into it.
- An underwater cave where the last of the Old Creatures reside before they leave Earth.