Geoff posted a bit ago about succubi and dryads and what would be their origins.
I could not remember any Dungeon and Dragon’s based origin story for the Succubus at all.
As we all know D+D monsters in the beginning were developed from current mythos so I would hazard a guess that it was so with the Succubus, also the fact that this origin seems to be missing from early D+D monster manuals may be because of the sexual overtones it is filled with.
I did find mention that a couple D+D source books have Succubus stuff in them-> The fiendish codex 1 and 2-sadly I never owned those so if one of you could look them up I would appreciate it.
I do have the fiend folio but I have it packed away and I don’t think succubus is in it. Although drow are-odd that early on they were considered fiends.
I apologize in advance for all sexual overtones to this piece.
So, for some fun, let’s have a closer look at the Succubus:
A Demon in female form that has sexual intercourse with men through their dreams.
A demon that assumes a female form to tempt men to intercourse, especially appearing in their dreams
Late Latin succuba-> harlot, Medieval Latin succubāre-> to lie beneath.
The Dungeons and Dragon’s Definition:
Succubi are low level demons, and are favored as servants by most rulers of the Abyss. Their ability to shape change and seduce make them useful diplomats for negotiations between Abyssal Princes or with surface dwellers.
In the early years of the Abyss a group of Succubi betrayed the demon Graz’zt and were cast into a lake of molten iron for their insurrection. Those that were able to pull themselves free became Ferrolith. They lost their beauty but more than made up for it with their ferocity and strength.
(Ferrolith->Obviously there are variants of Succubi and a number of creatures akin to them but this post is about the Succubus only)
Further D+D Mythology:
Succubi are sexual corrupters. They have the ability to shape change at will. They use this to appear in any way that will best accomplish their goals. Old girlfriend, next door neighbor, etc. Their natural appearance closely resembles the female form with leathery wings and horns. ( Up to 4th edition they were classed as demons then changed class to devils.)
Succubi appear with their own individualized look. In their natural state, all succubi demonstrate some number of demonic traits. Some have cloven feet, some have tails, some have spines. Some even have scales or glowing red eyes. The only demonic traits which all succubi share are wings and horns. But there is a great deal of variance in the types of even those two features. Some wings are leathery, while others are feathered, and still others seem to be made of shadow, or silk. Horns most often sprout from the head, but they could sprout from the chin, or even the cheeks of a succubus, and they form in any number of shapes.
Succubi have absolute control over their own reproduction. They may choose the gender of their children, gestation period, and even how many children will be produced from a single coupling.
(It’s quite obvious you will not encounter these beings very often or in mundane places aside from your bedroom.)
Now for the mythological stuff:
How do they come into being?
There are a number of theories as to how these beings are created in the first place. Some schools of thought theorise that they are created by more powerful beings. Beings they are often found serving.
Another theory regards succubi to be entities created by their victim’s own mind. It has also been theorized that a Warlock/Sorceror could cooperate with a succubus to create a Tulpa or Moonchild, which would be a mating of sorts. Such a thing could have a number of results, and the method can be adapted to create both corporeal and incorporeal beings with innate succubitic tendencies.
Regions of Origin:
The term “succubus” is European in origin, but similar beings appear in the mythology of most regions of the world. As they are incorporeal, geography is largely irrelevant. All will take a pleasing form from the minds of their victims. Some found in other regions feed on fear rather than lust.
THE CHRISTIAN ORIGIN:
Adam had 2 wives. The first was named Lilith and was created from earth just as Adam was.
Lilith and Adam got into a disagreement which became a heated argument. Lilith felt she was Adam’s equal and wished to be treated as such. Adam would have nothing of it. In a fit of rage Lilith spoke aloud the true name of God and was pulled from Eden.
God apparently attempted to mediate and asked Lilith to reenter Eden. She refused and was punished with a curse.
God then created Eve from Adam’s rib. (I guess a rib woman was more docile than a dirt woman.)
Eventually Lilith had relations with the arch-angel Samuel and had four cursed off spring. All female and all succubi.
That’s it-that’s the religious origin. But we won’t stop there because I found more fun stuff about it. You may recognize Lilith as a D+D Bad Girl.
NON-D+D SUCCUBI STUFF AND STUFF:
Succubi are incorporeal but can and will appear in a corporeal form. They can shape shift and will try not to let their victims see their true form-you know-the wings and horns-oh and duck feet. I guess the shape of their feet are duck like. They can be induced to appear in physical form through various rituals as well.
The basic premise is that they are incorporeal sexual energy feeders, generally regarded to be a type of incorporeal vampire.
The Christian church believed the Succubus was seducing men for their “stuff” which was then given to an incubus (the male counter part) to impregnate a sleeping woman, producing an unholy offspring. There is no mention of what is done to the “stuff” by the incubus before it’s use. They do blame birth defects on this event. It also was a convenient excuse for unmarried women who became pregnant.
As a side note: there are two camps out on the incubus. Camp 1 says it is the male counter part to the Succubus or at the very least a close cousin. Camp 2 says the Succubus’ shape changing ability allows it to appear as a male to do the deed. I am leaning toward camp 2 😛
They drain energy from their victim by causing or taking advantage of sexual arousal or frustration. In the middle ages, monks, nuns, and other celibates were particularly unfond of these beings, as they manifested to them with some frequency, due to the sexual frustration which is often an innate part of celibacy.
Succubus experiences are usually pleasurable for the victim, and will only cause any problem if they are already extremely ill or weak. Some vampires and vampiric magicians dislike these beings as they hate being drained of vital energy. (I take this statement to mean present day magic users/wiccan-warlocks/and energy stealing bad guys-lol)
In modern times is seems rare that a succubus experience will not be regarded as pleasurable. Generally, these will be situations in which the entity explores the hidden sexuality of it’s victim. This exploration of hidden and forbidden sexuality is part of what made the Christian church revile them to such a great extent and regard having sex with them as so sinful.
Are they dangerous?
No, not really. On rare occasions, swarms of these entities will attach themselves to one person, and will be able to physically affect them. As ever, this experience is generally harmless and pleasurable assuming the victim is healthy and suffers no strange repressions regarding sex. It can be rather exhausting to them, though. (ROFL!)
Succubi often form an entourage to more powerful entities, particularly those entities with vampiric and sexual associations. These beings are attracted by the use of magick as well as by sexual desire and frustration. Once they decide they like someone, that person will generally receive multiple visitations over the course of his or her life. Some people regard the exchange of a little energy for the sexual pleasures offered by these beings to be well worth it, and will seek to encourage visitations by them.
How can you get rid of them?
They can be prevented from attacking by using substances such as salt and gold, and may be gotten rid of with a simple banishing such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or one of it’s derivatives (the Gnostic Pentagram, for instance). Dream catchers are also generally reported to be effective against their attacks upon the sleeping. They can be eliminated by being completely drained of energy, although this is blatant cruelty towards a largely harmless entity.
Whelp..there you have it. I mixed in some plagiarism and some personal thoughts. It was very interesting looking for this info. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember the next time you wake up with a beautiful person next to you, you don’t know….Have them take their socks off first!!
Duck feet! LOL.