I'm back from my holiday vacation and this week we're gonna heat things up with the cold flames of the Infernoids. In the OCG and TCG, these monsters are named demons attributed to the Qlithotic spheres featured in Judaic mysticism. Much like in our reality where these demons and the Qliphoth are associated with one another, the same can be said for the Qliphorts and the Infernoids in the card game as well.

If you missed the article on the Qliphort and the Qlithoth look no further than this link. As for today, let's get started with the origins and Inspiration that show us where the Infernoids began.

We'll Make The Rules As We Go...
The Infernoids are rooted in late 1800's mysticism devised by famed occultists, including Israel Regardie, Aleister Crowley and Bill Heidrick, who largely expanded on the ideas of the Kabbalah and the Qliphoth. The demon association didn't come into being until around that time. In the book "Magical Correspondences" by Heidrick, this information is broken down into a chart revealing the attributed demon, their sphere (sephira), their reigning planet and corresponding Key number, amongst other invocations.

It's mentioned that each sphere of the Qliphoth has a reigning and attributed demon associated with it; an adverse side. Heidrick went on to explain the forbidden art of contacting those demons of the Qliphotic spheres. He wrote that through communication with them, one could obtain powerful divine and mystical knowledge – knowledge man shouldn't have.

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Like the Qliphoth and the Qliphorts, these demons would become translated into the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game. The connection between the Qliphoth and these demons is also reflected through the relationship the Infernoid and the Qliphort monsters share. Like the Qliphotic sphere, the Qliphort act as "shells" containing the Infernoid demon, demonstrated in Nephe Shaddoll Fusion and Void Launch. It's similar to how Heidrick described the Qliphotic spheres as each having their own demon.

In some instances, it was mentioned that the purpose of communication with these demons was to unravel the mortal coil which restrains humans from learning of the divine; the almighty knowledge. Heidrick wrote that when the mortal coil is shed, humans can begin to understand sacred geometry and the wisdom of the universe. I'm assuming though that by "shedding the mortal coil," some form of death could be involved here.

But, Remember, The Safe Word Is...
Have you ever wondered why magicians and soothe sayers repeat magical verses or strange words? It's not just for show, but because words alone are thought to contain magical and powerful influences. Across numerous different cultures, the act of casting a spell generally involves a command word, needed along with specific motions and ingredients to make a spell come together. Japan offers a great example of this, where the empowering of objects with words, and the belief that words can alleviate or cause harm when spoken, is known as "kotodama."

The names of the Infernoids have changed a lot since their arrival in the west and for a simple reason. Travel back thousands of years to the beginning of the belief of demons when religion was much younger: just as words hold much magical influence, so do certain names as well. The best examples are the names of demons, which aren't to be taken lightly. In performance of magic, it's often believed that merely uttering the name of a demon is enough to bring it forth from the underworld and into our reality!

Demons don't necessarily appear in a physical state or in a pleasant form either. Some of them are said to be absolutely horrifying and their presence alone causes adverse effects to the conjurer and their surroundings. The summoning of demons is generally believed to be advisable only by highly skilled magicians, as is noted over and over again in many of the texts I've own and read. While these demons can be unruly and threatening, it's mentioned in both religious and magical texts that by speaking the true name of the invoked demon you can bind, control or banish it...usually. With that in mind, another recurring motif in demon lore is that a demon won't just give you their name right off the bat, since it would grant you control over them. Coupled with that secretive quality, lots of tales invoke the idea that guessing a demon's name incorrectly could spell curtains for your sanity, your soul, and your very life.

Keep in mind, demons aren't necessarily physical beings but the things that go bump in the night or the voices you hear in your head: the things you see out the corner of your eye; your darkest desires; imaginations and fears that can compel and control you without your knowledge. Demons on a more physical level, I'm sure, are even more terrifying than one could imagine. Some of the summoning spells I've read even have major warning labels. In fact, many grimoires specifically state to NEVER read aloud from their pages if you don't know what you're reading, as only a skilled magician would be able to undo a spell you've cast.

But moving out of the lore and into the reality of our game, the name "Infernoid" is a combination of a few words, including "infernal," "void" and the suffix "-oid" (from the latin oides meaning "form"). The greatest question of all that everyone throws their arms up over is the name change during the process of localization from Asia's OCG into our TCG. We have plenty of cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! that retained their demonic name in the past such as Darklord Asmodeus, Gaap the Divine Soldier and Belial - Marquis of Darkness. Like I mentioned above, the names of demons are said to contain power and with enough intention and emotion, demons can be empowered and summoned.

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"But Japan has these monsters named on the cards!" you're probably going to shout. Yes and no. The names written on the cards are corruptions on the spelling of their names so it's not completely accurate, and therefore the use of the card as a summoning vestibule would be restricted. Why would anyone want to anger an unknown destructive force on purpose?

One fascinating theory, although perhaps just a coincidence at best, is that Konami gave the Infernoids a system of numerical names split amongst different languages to hamper their ability to enter into the mortal realm. The numerical system attributed to each of these monsters is very clever because it lays out the map needed to traverse the Qliphotic trees route to obtain the forbidden knowledge. The tree is broken down into a path system numbered one through ten. The level of each monster corresponds to their number on the tree and their newly attributed name which are broken down and redistributed as ordinal numbers of different languages.

My Name, If You Can pronounce It
We know that the Infernoid theme has released seven of the ten demons as cards so far. Three of these monsters have been released visually on a special mat to be released in the OCG which you can view here. In this section, I'll break down the various Infernoids and explain the images found in their artwork. I won't get into to much detail about the remaining three unreleased Infernoids until we have more concrete information regarding them.

All of the Infernoids share similar attributes to create a cohesive archetype which is typical of themes found in the Yu-Gi-Oh! realm. Some of the symbols the Infernoids share include:

-Glassine, mirrored, or vented wings. This is a possible reference to their fallen angel or ancient deity statuses. Also, this could help them fly.

-They all feature "power stations" attached to their bodies in different colors and numbers. The number is equivalent to their name, their number in the Qliphoth and their Level.

-Coincidentally, the Othala rune is featured on their body and in the containers of their "power stations". The Othala symbol is synonymous with wealth, ancestry, power, family and many other positive things. I believe it's just mere coincidence but it's interesting to note that all the Infernoids have this pattern somewhere on their form.

Keep in mind, many of the things we consider to be "demons" in the west are corruptions of deities from ancient religions. Some of these demons that Western traditions consider horrible were in fact sacred gods of old cultures, twisted by rival belief systems into heathen, blasphemous demons. With the ability to teach humanity vast amounts of knowledge of both the arcane, sciences and mathematics, speech and politics, too much knowledge can be considered an "evil thing".

1st - Infernoid ONE
(Satan and Moloch according to the Qliphotic tree)

From the image we can discern from the mat released by Konami of Japan, the Level 1 monster, Satan or Moloch looks like a little flying goblin. I'll delve deeper into this monster when we get more concrete information about it.

The 2nd Sphere - Infernoid Antra
(OCG Fanlation: Infernoid Beelzebuth)

Known in the OCG as Infernoid Beelzebul (fanlation), this monster is named after Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies or Lord of the Swarm. Together with Astaroth and Lucifer, they give knowledge of their fall from heaven and the rebellion led against God. First acknowledged as a Philistine god of the people of Ekron, it was known as the "Lord of the Dunghill" and so the association with flies became synonymous with this demon. Its name is made up of the words "baal" "lord" and "zebal" meaning "to make dung". Beelzebub is said to have the power to transform men into animals and is the sower of Discord.

The body of Infernoid Antra features two large gray "power stations" on its shoulders anchored to a long neck that ends with a stout dragonic head. Its body features six legs and its backside features a sharp stinger and two large glassine wings. Now take a better look at it: all these features reveal to us that Infernoid Beelzebul is in fact a large fly! That makes complete sense when we consider that the demon Beelzebub is the Lord of the Flies. Notably, this monster's Level is 2 and on its body are two "power stations" acting as the fly's eyes.

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The 3rd Sphere - Infernoid Harmadik
(OCG Fanlation: Infernoid Lucifugus)

The OCG Fanlation of this name, Infernoid Lucifugus, is referencing Lucifugus Rofocale and not actually Lucifer itself. It's a demon mentioned in the Grand Grimoire as a Prime Minister in Hell. Acting as Lucifer's intermediary, it's the one with whom magicians make pacts. Its name means "light fleeing".

Physically, Lucifugus Rofocale appears as a demon wearing a jester's cap with the curved legs and hooves of a goat. Not surprisingly these features are depicted in the artwork of Infenroid Harmadik. Physically, Harmadik has the curved legs and hooves of a goat and its head features the three-horned "jester's cap" which is bent and curved purposefully. This monster features three black stations on its body reflecting its level.

The 4th Sphere - Infernoid Patrulea
(OCG Fanlation: Infernoid Astaroth)

Known in the OCG as Infernoid Astaroth (OCG fanlation), this machination is named for Astaroth. When conversing with Astaroth, it's said you should always keep your distance as its breath is nauseating; when speaking with it you must place a ring of silver before your face to prevent injury sustained from its breath. It teaches occult knowledge and can transmute metals with ease, find treasure and mines, and it has the power to cause destruction, tempests and storms.

Baals and Astaroths (Ashtaroths) were the genders assigned to different false gods of the Israelites, with Baals being male and Ashtaroths being female. Astaroth comes from Astarte, an Akkadian and Phoenician deity synonymous with Ishtar. Beginning as a feminine entity, it evolved into a masculine demon and has remained as such.

Astaroth is said to appear as a revolting and horrifying angel riding on the back of a dragon and carries a viper in its right hand. Other versions state that it rides a wolf and carries a stave. Our Infernoid Patrulea looks like it followed the dragonic angel route complete with a bipedal, humanoid form with a dragon's head and tail, and a serpent's head for a right hand. It also features the wings which all the Infernoids display, symbolizing its once angelic qualities.

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The 5th Sphere - Infernoid Piaty
(OCG Fanlation: Infernoid Asmodai)

Fanlated as Infernoid Asmodai in the OCG, this monster's named for the demonic entity Asmodai which is a corruption of the name Asmodeus. It has the power to make men invisible; teaches mankind geometry, arithmetic, astronomy; and can reveal hidden treasures.

Asmodai is described physically as riding a dragon, and is said to be monstrous with three heads; a man's, a bull's and a ram's vomiting fire. It has a serpent's tail with webbed feet. So yeah – it's terrifying.

No surprise, Infernoid Piaty comes with all those features included: its head has the horns of a ram on the lower back of its skull, and the horns of a bull on top of its crown, with a dragonic face. Its mouth is lit up with a red light possibly referencing the flames Asmodai regurgitates. Its tail is long and serpentine and its feet are also webbed like Asmodai, looking nothing like the feet of the other Infernoids.

The 6th Sphere - Infernoid SIX
(Belphegor according to the Qliphotic tree)

Known as Infernoid Belphegor in the OCG, as a demon in demonology, this card began as the Moabite deity Baal-Peor. From what we can glean from the image shown on the mat, this monster looks much like the traditional drawing of Belphegor seen in woodblock images: it has a forked tail, long pointed claws and talons protruding from its fingers and toes, as well as horns sprouting from above the ridges of its eyes and even a horn placed to look like a nose in the center of its face, just above the snout. If one were to put the image of the card and the woodblock print of the demon side by side, you'd be able to pick up the details very easily. It's quite shocking visually.

Here's where we'll end this portion of the article today. Check back again next time when we'll pick up where we left off with the rest of the Infernoid monsters released in Secrets of Eternity. Also, we'll explore some of the imagery associated with the Infernoid spell and trap cards.

-Franco Ferrara