I'm writing a short story, and one of the species are Material Demons. I plan on there only being a single Material Demon character, but I'd like to know what weapons the Material Demons might use. This is meant to be about an individual, not large groups, but if you'd like to, feel free to consider group combat as well.

(Feel free to just call them Demons if you'd like. I just like to keep the Material and Non-Materials separate.)

Physical Characteristics

  • Material Demons are the physical versions of Demons. They aren't evil by nature, but due to historical reasons are usually at least highly distrusted by others.

  • Material Demons stand at 7-8 feet tall, and are very long-limbed with 6 fingers and two thumbs.

  • Material Demons have a regenerative ability. They can't rapidly heal during a battle, but given a few months can regrow entire body parts as if nothing happened. Cauterization of the wound can at least delay the healing.

  • Material Demons have a large, sharp-toothed mouth and three eyes that are vertically arranged above the mouth, or eight eyes arranged in an octagon with one larger eye in the center. Material Demons don't have noses, but instead smell through the roof of their mouth.

  • Material Demons don't die from old age, and usually die around from natural causes.

  • Material Demons have a secondary 'brain' arranged below their main one, roughly at the lowest eye/top of the mouth. This brain is closer to a fist sized olfactory cortex, (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong) allowing them to smell up to 10 miles away. The upper brain does not have an olfactory cortex.

  • Material Demons have long, hollow, whip-thin tongues tipped with a spiked bone. This tongue is used like a needle to absorb liquids.

  • Material demons are omnivores, but have a heavy cultural preference towards meat.

  • Material Demons have thick, rough skin, rendering most non-gunpowder projectiles not designed for armor piercing useless unless they use blunt force.

Environment and enemies

  • The Material Demons live worldwide, but the specific group I'm referencing are in a flat grassland, with occasional mountain ranges scattered around. There's also a few Material Demons who live in the eastern badlands and are usually criminals.

  • The Material Demons herd cattle and other animals for food, but sometimes enjoy a human or two.

  • The Material Demons are the dominant species in this world.

  • Eastern Material Demons are forced deal with nomadic elves (How might Elves in this setting survive?) raiding for food and supplies, but the elves usually do this stealthily and avoid actual conflict.

  • Western Material Demons must deal with one another, they aren't a unified force.

  • Both Material Demons have access to 17th-18th century technologies but are roughly in the 1880s with firearms and a small amount of modern industry. These more modern technologies are spread out and less common.

  • $\begingroup$ Brimstone projectiles? Pitchforks? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jan 26, 2022 at 7:50
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean the non-demons have 1880s (late 19th century) technology? Or the demons are culturally in the late 19th century but technologically in the 17th-18th century? Or late 19th century technology exists but is rare? $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2022 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ If you do the math on why metal tipped spears and arrows work so well (force per unit area) this characteristic doesn't fit your otherwise well considered model Material Demons have thick, rough skin, rendering most non-gunpowder projectiles useless unless they use blunt force (Your bolded part doesn't scan). Shaped charges use a similar approach to be armor piercing. $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2022 at 16:26
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    $\begingroup$ I find it confusing that you mention distinguishing Material Demons from something else -- "I just like to keep the two separate when talking about them in the same sentence." -- but never mention what that something else is. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Jan 26, 2022 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ Given the range of weaponry that humans wielded in the 1800s why would it be any different for Demons? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jan 26, 2022 at 19:38

2 Answers 2


Whatever is handy

Demons with claws and teeth and spiked tongues, rending and tearing and... tonguing. Been done done done. Demons with spiky weapons and glowing swords! Done. Demons with special little poison demon knives. BEEN SO DONE!

None of that tired stuff. Your demon just goes around as he is. He considers it gauche to be toting a weapon and also he is pretty lazy and weapons are heavy. If there is the kind of fight that needs weapons this guy grabs whatever is handy and uses that. It is never the same thing twice. Sometimes he is frustrated by the very poor suitability as a weapon the bush or ham or whatever it is that he grabbed but he uses it anyway. Sometimes the weapon turns out to seriously rock, or maybe is an actual weapon. That is cool but he leaves it where he found it when the fight is done. He has principles.

Now that I think about it, this has been done too, by Jackie Chan. But I think it is ok to copy Jackie Chan.

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    $\begingroup$ "If you are going to plagiarize, plagiarize from the best" 👍😊 $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2022 at 20:59

roughly in the 1880s with firearms and a small amount of modern industry

Careful, now. By 1880, armies had access to things like rifled, breech-loading artillery firing explosive shells, the classic Gatling gun was invented in the 1860s and the Hiram machine gun was developed in the 1880s (though there were quite fast firing guns even before that).

This suggests that your demons are a) probably not bothering with personal armor unless everyone else is hopelessly backward and ill-equipped and b) probably not bothering to use weapons that aren't guns and cannons. If everyone else is backward and ill-equipped (eg. they've brought swords and bows to an artillery fight) then the demons probably won't bother with armor then either, because they'll utterly slaughter their opponents.

Both Material Demons have access to 17th-18th century technologies

That doesn't really make sense if they have early modern industrial techniques that mean they can use 1880-era firearms.

Something has to give.

  • $\begingroup$ The industry that allows early modern technologies are still on a small scale and spread out, given a few decades it'll begin to be much more common. $\endgroup$
    – Atriol
    Jan 26, 2022 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Atriol the mechanization required to build a machinegun implies the ability to manufacture new machine tools, too. You've described an industrialized society. $\endgroup$ Jan 27, 2022 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ I'm mainly trying to avoid a large-scale industry to give a better reason to why they haven't steamrolled the other races then "They just don't see any value to it" If most goods are still produced non-industrially, they can't outproduce everyone else on such a scale. $\endgroup$
    – Atriol
    Jan 27, 2022 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Atriol industrial bases do not necessarily scale down well, and it seems rather surprising that demons are so happy to coexist with other species. I can't help feeling it would be easier to just not give them the ability to make machine guns, if you don't want them machine-gunning everyone to death. $\endgroup$ Jan 28, 2022 at 9:29
  • $\begingroup$ I feel that would work better. Small arms are one thing, but maybe they just haven't figured out machine guns. As for coexisting, its less "let’s be friends" and more "it just isn't worth it to kill you all". $\endgroup$
    – Atriol
    Jan 28, 2022 at 11:45

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