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On p120 of Mortal Remains, it mentions a black mist (which rather reminds me of the demons from Supernatural).

Unlike voyeurs, who tend to be invisible, devourers exist more in the physical, carnal world. Outside a host, they appear as a fine black mist. A human caught in this mist chokes, their eyes water, and intense nausea sets in. After only a few seconds, the victim hits the ground, unconscious. An intricate lattice spreads beneath his skin, infiltrating his muscles and nerves. When he wakes, the victim is now the puppet of a creature that wants only to indulge.

I've yet to find any mention of "black mist" in the demon book. Could someone point me to what this is referring to?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is probably an instance of the Hunters confusing the source of a supernatural threat. It sounds like one of the Hosts or Magath from Werewolf. \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc Sep 28 '14 at 13:23
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The demons in the "Lesser Demons" section are mostly Hunter-ized versions of creatures from World of Darkness: Inferno. They're not Fallen agents of the God-Machine; they're ephemeral beings from the mysterious realm of Hell.

The "devourer" might be a Diaboli from that book, or it could just be a spirit with some interesting Numen/Manifestation combination, one of which would be Possess or Claim. Given the description of the choking black mist, they could even be Strix from Vampire 2.0.

With how Hunter treats its monsters of the week, it's not too important exactly what the being is.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Imps and Devourers are definitely not from Inferno. Imps are blatantly some non-angelic creation of the God-Machine, with their unemotional nature and mechanical motif, and Devourers also share the latter, with their lattice of circuits that puppeteers the host physically. It's not demonic possession. They're completely physical. \$\endgroup\$ – user10063 Nov 1 '17 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like you may want to add your own answer. To me, the Voyeur looks a lot like the Whisperer from Inferno, Imps look even more like Diaboli than Devourers (the consistent, patterned behavior is a telltale sign of a ghost/spirit), and Devourers look a whole lot like Strix. A common theme of Hunter is that Hunters get things wrong. All the images of circuits and pistons are seen by occult senses or part of an ephemeral, which portray things in metaphor. \$\endgroup\$ – Gregory Avery-Weir Nov 2 '17 at 18:49
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Short answer: it's likely a custom monster, because it doesn't fit neatly into any pre-existing categorization in any other game line.

As described, a devourer exists strictly in the physical, carnal world, it's literally a black mist hanging in the air. That rules out any kind of ephemeral being: it's not a ghost, a spirit, an angel of the God-Machine, or any class of demon from Inferno, all of which are ephemeral entities that can exist in Twilight, while a devourer never does.

Devourers don't possess people like ephemeral beings, possession is strictly nonphysical, with the entity remaining in Twilight superimposed on the host. Devourers instead physically install themselves in the body, visible as a "phosphorescent lattice of circuits lurking beneath the host’s skin" and physically puppeteer the body technologically.

Devourers do have a few similarities to the shadow-birds, the Strix, to a certain extent. Strix are non-ephemeral, are made of 'shadow-stuff,' and possess hosts by invading their airways. But there are some key discrepancies: devourers are pure hedonists for pleasure and pain with no long-term memory, while Strix have a wide variety of motives, many with devious long-term plans. Powerful Strix can possess a living human, but torturing the host to the brink of death--'mortification of the flesh'-- can't exorcise a Strix, which can simply continue to possess the resulting corpse instead. Whereas a devourer releases its hosts when caught in the "throes of ecstacy" from the pain. (Strix even devour living flesh to feed, but only when possessing a corpse. They're more limited when possessing the living.)

Devourers share a mechanical motif with imps, and imps are clearly otherwise known as Imperatives from Demon Storyteller's Guide: Rank 1 ephemeral entities, far simpler and less intelligent than an angel, created for some purpose by the God-Machine and now repeating it in an endless routine. (Utopia Now outright mentions this more accurate label for them, 'the “imps” or “imperatives” that repeat tasks like broken records.')

That all hints that devourers might be yet another minor creation of the God-Machine, since they seem to be artificial, inexplicable, and high-tech far beyond known human capabilities. Their description does suggest they had a purpose to their creation:

Their memories seem non-existent; they are eternally curious about simple sensations of the flesh. They’re prone to crimes of bizarre passion. They tend to retain small, ritualistic behaviors, though, indicative of an original purpose they haven’t fully abandoned.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "it's likely a custom monster" -- everything's a custom monster by this reconking... \$\endgroup\$ – PrometheanVigil Feb 21 '18 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PrometheanVigil ...How so? Many monsters in HtV are imported from other books, rather than custom made for Hunter. That's the primary draw of a book like Mortal Remains, recontextualizing monsters from other game lines as Hunter antagonists. And the entire point of this question is to ask where, in other books, the devourer was copied from. Which, unusually, it wasn't. \$\endgroup\$ – user10063 Feb 23 '18 at 20:26

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