The Order of the Eight Demons is a clerical order of the Church of Agrik, god of fire and war. The order emerged from bloody schism just over five years ago when female clerics of the Order of Herpa the Mace chose to chart their own destiny. The separatists toppled the Herpan establishment with sudden violence and have quickly become the dominant Agrikan religious order in the Thardic Republic, while also controlling a keep and substantial lands in the Kingdom of Rethem.
Like the Herpans from whom they split, the Order of the Eight Demons places a high degree of emphasis on divination through the interpretation of signs, portents, and omens in a variety of forms. In addition to astrology and an Agrikan form of tarot, they examine sacrificial entrails or blood spatter and the dancing shapes of flames or sulfurous smoke.
What sets the order apart is its all-female membership and dogmatic emphasis on pain, particularly the agony of childbirth. Pain holds a special place for most Agrikans, whether inflicting or enduring it, and many orders of the faith perform some sort of ritualized self-mutilation, such as tattooing, branding, or flagellation. The torture of captives or sacrificial victims is also common. But for the priestesses of the Eight Demons, the concept is central to their identity. One of their core tenets is that there is no pain as exquisite as that of birthing a child; in this state, the supplicant is thought to be as close to the divine as possible. By extension, the mere fact of their sex makes women more godly and thus more apt to truly comprehend the ways of their harsh god. In addition, the Order of the Eight Demons has earned a grim reputation for the sexual torture of male captives and sacrificial victims.
The Order of the Eight Demons article describes the order's history and current situation, membership and recruitment, organization and practices, and scriptures and lore.