Emblem of Demonland
|The Worm Ouroboros location|
|Created by||Eric Rücker Eddison|
|Notable locations||Galing (capital), Drepaby, Owlswick, Krothering|
|Notable characters||Lord Juss, Goldry Bluszco, Lord Spitfire, Brandoch Daha, Lady Mevrian|
Demonland is a large island in Eric Rücker Eddison's fantasy world, described in The Worm Ouroboros. Contrary to what one might think based on the name, Demonland is not home to demons. Instead the people who live in Demonland are recognizably human, though they are adorned with small horns on their heads.
Demonland is the setting for much of the action in the story. Although it has a complicated geography, it was never fully defined by the author. Demonland is one of several important realms in the book. The others are Witchland, Impland, Goblinland, the Foliot Isles, and Pixyland.
This is how Demonland was described by Lord Juss when he saw it in Chapter 8:
Westward, facing the thunder-smoke of dawn, the fine far ridge of Kartadza was like cut crystal against the sky: the first island sentinel of many-mountained Demonland, his topmost cliffs dawn-illumined with pale gold and amethyst while yet the lesser heights lay obscure, lapped in the folds of night. And with the opening day the mists swathing the mountain's skirts were lifted up in billowy masses that grew and shrank and grew again, made restless by the wayward winds which morning waked in the hollow mountain side, and torn by them into wisps and streamers. Some were blown upward, steaming up the great gullies in the rocks below the peak, while now and then a puff of cloud swam free for a minute, floated a minute's space as ready to sail skyward, then indolently stooped again to the mountain wall to veil it in an unsubstantial fleece of golden vapour. (page 126)
In fiction, Demonland is somewhat comparable to Rohan of Middle-earth or Cimmeria in Conan's world. As a real place, Demonland is similar to Norway during the Viking age, both in geography and in its economy. Eddison describes a rugged land where people follow a pastoral economy inland, while near the ocean there are many ships and fishermen. No major cities are named but many castles are described; each lord of Demonland seems to rule over a territory centered around a castle. Major castles are:
- Galing Castle, home to Lord Juss
- Owlswick Castle, home to Lord Spitfire
- Krothering Castle, home to Brandoch Daha and his sister the Lady Mevrian
- Drepaby Castle, home of Goldry Bluszco
Many other places are named such as Switchwater Way, Glaumry Pike, Rammerick Mere and hundreds more. However, Eddison, unlike his better known contemporary Tolkien, never mapped his world.
Government of Demonland
As Paul Edmund Thomas explains in his introduction to the 1991 edition of the book, Demonland has no clear government. Lord Juss is not a king, and what orders are given are issued after a council meeting. Lord Spitfire says early on "Are not the Demons a free people?" Despite this, the ordinary farmers and fisherfolk of Demonland are content to follow their leaders into battle without much question or complaint.
The main leaders of Demonland are the three brothers, Lord Juss, Goldry Bluszco, and Lord Spitfire; as well as one other great lord: Brandoch Daha. Lesser leaders of Demonland are:
- Lord Volle of Kartadza
- Lord Vizz of Darklairstead
- Lord Zigg of Many Bushes
- Other notable people from Demonland are: Astar, Tharmrod, Styrkmir, Quazz, and Melchar (see page 354)
Several battles are fought in Demonland during the book:
- Battle of Grunda - Corsus of Witchland defeats Lord Vizz of Demonland
- Battle of Crossby Outsikes - Corsus defeats and kills Lord Vizz
- Battle at the Rapes of Brima - Lord Spitfire defeats Corsus
- Battle of Thremnir's Heugh - Lord Corinius of Witchland defeats Lord Spitfire
- Battle of Krothering Side - Lord Juss and Brandoch Daha defeat Corinius and the entire Witchland army is driven from Demonland
In addition one other battle is mentioned taking place before the book begins:
- Sea battle at the Races of Kartadza - The fleet of Demonland destroys the fleet of the Ghouls (page 126)
Demonland is also the home to the last of the wild hippogriffs, and a second hippogriff egg is found in the waters of Dule Tarn by Brandoch Daha. This allows Lord Juss to rescue his brother Goldry from the enchanted prison of Zora Rach.
- Gerald Hayes, a cartographer with the Royal Navy, created the first map for The Worm Ouroboros circa 1925 - initially from internal evidence, and later in consultation with Eddison. He states in a letter to C.S. Lewis that he secured Eddison's approval "as a true presentation of all the lands, seas, and countries of his history". Source: Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Vol II, page 559. Not sure if it still exists! States crude copy made for Lewis.
- A rough map was created by J. B. Hare in 2004 and can be seen here.
- Another map of the world by Bernard Morris was published in Twilight Zine No. 4 and reprinted in the book An Atlas of Fantasy (book author: Jeremiah Benjamin Post) in 1979.
- The map on this page was created by David Bedell in 1978.