Yeah, it's October, which means that after a month or two of messing about with other story ideas (which I dropped after not being able to come up with good endings for them), I'm back to the main NaNoWriMo novel. For once, I already know which (out of the half dozen stories that are always lurking about in the back of my mind) I want to work on at the moment. Yes, it's that stupid romance and action in Shambhala thing.
This year, my goal is to 1) finish the novel, however many words it takes and 2) write a novel that I myself want to read. Some of my short stories I've kinda liked (maybe not brilliant, but at least I thought they were ok!) but the novels...eurgh...
So today, I'm thinking about where the "demons" came from... I realize that yes, they are actually demons (in the sense that I use the word in the world this novel is set in), but they're "lost" demons from desolate hells. That is, they come from planes that have been utterly drained of life. Wracked by war and abandoned even by the Dark Queen of the Abyss (or whatever I'm calling her these days), they are broken places scoured by the mind-destroying wind that blows through the Void. The "Dry Kingdom" where the Salt Gang are headed to now is one such place. A few of the planes bordering Shambhala are also, as a result of the wars from the time of the Golem Empire (yeah, remember that other story? The one you decided was also set in Shambhala, but back when the rulers were basically gods?)
So the lost demons have lost their bodies and most of their minds. They're worse off than the goblins. They wander into the world of the living and latch onto the first embodied, sapient mind they find. So the Bear killed someone, and she can't forget that... he is living a stolen life. She, on the other hand, was summoned into Shambhala and gained her incarnation more slowly (over a century!). Note also the "latching onto the first sapient mind" thing: they instinctively seek out "complexity", so people who work out in the borders try to keep their thoughts calm and wordless if they can. The monks/nuns who defend Shambhala against the demons do that "Empty Mind" thing. In the chapter with the demon attack, note that the younger novices have trouble with this...that's why they were targeted.