What is a succubus?

“But everyone knows what a succubus is, Roman.”

No, not everyone knows everything about fantasy. You may be a kid who’s just getting into fantasy RPGs for the first time in your life. Or, you may be an adult who has just gotten the itch for fantasy literature. For all I know, you just got out of a cult who limited your interaction with the outside world.

I don’t know who reads this blog. Regardless, I want you here. And I really mean that.

I’ve always been an artist/musician, and yes, we’re the feeling types. I never play the holier than thou game. I’m not better than you or more important.

By the same token, I don’t hang out with people who think they’re intrinsically better than me either. I don’t play that game.

So whether you’re the resident expert at all things fantasy or you’re a complete newbie, welcome. I want you here either way.

The history of a succubus

I’ll need to do more research. But I do know a few things. I know a lot of Bible scholars say that Lilith was the first succubus. Did succubi go back even before the Bible? I don’t know.

Lilith was the first Succubus
John Collier’s Lilith (1887)

Most famous mention of a succubus? Well, not exactly a succubus. Rather, her male counterpart. An incubus.

Merlin, the greatest magician of all time, was fathered by an incubus. That’s one reason he was destined for so much power.

What is a succubus?

A succubus is a female demon. Different stories give her different powers.

Generally, they seduce men in their dreams. Legend has it that if they successfully seduce you in your dream, you’ll die in your sleep and they get your soul.

I also heard they’re not quite that powerful. If you’re a writer, it’s your world. You can choose how powerful you want to make them.

Regardless, they are dream demons.

There was even a Pope who they claimed got his power from a succubus. I’ve done some digging on Pope Sylvester II and found that he was in love with a succubus named Meridiana. I’ve also heard that this story was fabricated well after his death to smear his name. Believe what you will, but Pope Sylvester II was the Pope from 999-1003.

Revival of the succubus legend

Succubi were popular scary stories during the Middle Ages. Gary Gygax with his Dungeons and Dragons brought the character back big time.

I’m now seeing her everywhere, including in a lot of anime and manga. She’s a pretty potent and powerful fantasy character.

Anyways, I’m writing about succubi because I’m currently working on a painting with a succubus lead. Just in case some folk don’t know what she is.

Other characteristics

The legend goes something like this. The succubus enters a man’s dream at night. She starts off as a beautiful young woman. Since men have different views of what constitutes beauty, she appears as your ideal woman (an incubus for the ladies).

If you can resist her, you’ll start to see her as she really is. Not all at once, but more like a process. You’ll start to see horns, a tail, scales, and other demonic deformities (not all at once but as your resistance grows).

When she becomes unattractive to you, she loses any control over you. Then she has to find another victim to haunt.

So stay strong men. And of course ladies if an incubus enters your dreams. Keep your soul!

By Roman

Pinup Artist. Composer. Writer.


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