Hey, want a special villain preview? Warning: Here Be Spoilers:
Caacrinolaas is a demon from the Ars Goetia. He actually has a few names, and is most commonly known as Glasya-Labolas. I picked Caacrinolaas because of the three major ones (Glasya-Labolas, Caacrinolaas, Caassimolar), it rolls off the tongue and sounds the most sinister. “Glasya-Labolas” is awkward, and “Caassimolar” sounds like a food. “Caacrinolaas” also contains “crino,” which will give some readers an immediate wolf/dog/hound association.
What is the Goetia, you ask? It came from the tradition that Solomon’s wisdom, rather than coming directly from God, came because he summoned and enslaved seventy-two demons. I know, I know, but just bear with it. The Solomonic tradition is actually where we get most of our concepts of demon-summoning, as well as many of the demons themselves. Some of you might recognize a bunch of the names (Amduscias, Buer, Andras, etc.) from Castlevania or Shin Megami Tensei, but they actually are fairly underrepresented in literature, TV, movies, or similar things. I’m picking up on the tradition because it’s quite fascinating, and has a ton of story potential. Concerning our winged doggy buddy, here are two excerpts:
“Caacrinolaas (aka Caassimolar, Glasya-Labolas) is a high president of hell who commands 36 legions. He appears as a dog with griffin wings. He teaches liberal arts, inspires murder, makes men invisible, and predicts the future. In the Great Grimoire, he is called Classyalabolas, a sergeant sometimes mounted to Nebiros or Naberus.”
-Collin DePlancey, Dictionnaire Infernal, 1818
“The Twenty-fifth Spirit is Glasya-Labolas. He is a Mighty President and Earl, and showeth himself in the form of a Dog with Wings like a Gryphon. He teacheth all Arts and Sciences in an instant, and is the Author of Bloodshed and Manslaughter. He teacheth all things Past, and to Come. If desired he causeth the love both of Friends and of Foes. He can make a Man to go Invisible. And he hath under his command 36 Legions of Spirits. His Seal is this, to be, etc.”
-S. L. MacGregor Mathers, Goetia, 1904
Here’s Louis Le Breton’s art, as found in the 1863 edition of the Dictionnaire Infernal:
And here is his seal:
Now, from that description, I want you to take notice of something:
“The Author of Bloodshed and manslaughter”.
Based on the other passage (“inspires murder”), it would seem that this means Caacrinolaas authors various murders. For the sake of the story, however, in Vintage Soul, he is the author of murder. Murder He came up with it. He’s not just a winged dog, he’s one of the worst hellhounds out there. Sure, he can make you invisible, and he’s a seer, but he really loves the murder part of his job. It’s his calling. When Caacrinolaas is summoned, blood will be spilled.
Caacrinolaas plots and schemes, and although he speaks rather smoothly, at heart he is a brutal butcher, and his impatience and savagery will always take charge eventually.. When manifested on earth, he is nearly impossible to put down, as his ectoplasmic body can heal from nearly all damage. But despite his teeth, claws, and hellfire, Caacrinolaas is far more than brute force – as a fallen angel, Caacrinolaas has the intelligence and craftiness of millennia behind his actions. Let’s look at a few choice quotes, shall we?
“You think I fell from Heaven, but I say I was pushed. You talk about good and evil, but I say that there is no good or evil, only truth. The truth of the savagery of your heart. What you call ‘good’ is merely the set of rules that force humans to behave against their nature. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not take what has not been given you. Don’t fight. Don’t argue. Don’t be greedy. Don’t be free. Don’t live. Deep down, our nature is the same. Mine. Yours. Humanity’s. I offer freedom. The freedom to be true to yourself, to be true to your soul. You have heard the call of blood. I want you to answer it. What I offer is truth, not the lies of a god who enslaves. And when I come in all my glory, I will show the world a new age of freedom. You will love it. You will revel in it. You will become what you are truly meant to be.”
“When the first of your kind bludgeoned his brother to death with a rock, I was there,” the demon said. “I saw him strike every blow. When your primitive humans crawled out from their caves and first played at society, it was I who made them fight. When the first wars began, I was the one who inspired them. When man kills man, it is because I taught them how. When nation rises against nation, I gloat. When a failed artist inspired the slaughter of millions, I smiled. When men thought it was their god’s will to butcher you and kill your children in the dirt, I laughed. My machinations are eternal. Yours are not. Humans are like blades of grass, soon to wither away. Not even your ilk can live forever; you turn to ash and dust soon enough. You will meet your end, but only after you serve me with each drop of blood that you spill. You and all your kind are mine, child, and you cannot oppose me.”
“Bullets? Your weapons are meaningless. They cannot harm what they cannot touch. I am the wolf at the door. I am the darkness and the flame. I am eternal.”
Well, now! He seems like a fun guy, doesn’t he? Now, what does this mean in the context of the story? As a Fallen Angel, and one specifically tied to the Goetia, Caacrinolaas cannot come unless called, and he is bound to whatever level of power he is summoned in. A normal conjuring would produce a misty, intangible demon with limited power, though still quite capable of murder. And there are certain rituals that just might let him break those limitations. Rituals powered by blood…
As a fun little coda, I actually own a small (2 1/2″ tall) figure of Caacrinolaas. It came from the obscure Japanese toy line, Demon’s Chronicle (vol. 10), and is based on the Dictionnaire art. It’s a great little writing mascot, and I give it a little tribute in-story – no, I don’t have the toy appear, but Caacrinolaas in Vintage Soul has gold-colored fur, just like the Demon’s Chronicle figure. Besides, I think gold suits him. Everybody else does black dogs, so why not vary that a little bit?
Just remember, he isn’t a nice doggy…