Human Name: Umbra Ella (AKA Morton Salt Girl)
Demon Name: Unknown
Desire Embodied: Thirst
Danger Rating: ★★★★★
It is appropriate to begin our description of Umbra Ella with yet another reiteration of The First Law of Demonology: Just as humans are born of the desires of The Gods, demons are born of the desires of humans, such that the strength of the demon is proportional to the strength of the human desire. From this, it follows that thirst, a desire driven by one of man’s most fundamental physiological needs, gives rise to one of the most powerful demons of all: Umbra Ella. Though little about her is known by modern demonologists, she is, ironically, one of the most widely recognized of all demons, due to her fame as the logo for Morton Salt® , the preferred brand for summoners all over the world. Even among the demonologist community, she is more commonly called “The Morton Salt Girl”; “Umbra Ella” was only chosen as the official name because including a brand was considered poor form.
All witness accounts of Umbra Ella closely match the famous logo of Morton Salt® ; she looks like a young girl, perhaps around 8 years of age, in a yellow dress, with yellow hair, carrying an umbrella and a can of Morton’s Salt. From the logo, it is natural to assume that salt is spilling from the can to the ground, but in fact, the reverse is true; when Umbra Ella is summoned, salt flows from the Summoner’s Circle to her can. This destroys the circle, leaving the summoner completely unprotected. It is for this reason that Umbra Ella is a tremendously dangerous demon, one whose summoning is absolutely forbidden by all but a select few chosen by the Grand Magister, and even then, only when the utmost caution is taken. Countermeasures against her are extremely difficult to devise, as she can only be summoned out in heavy rain, which would wash away any runes inscribed in blood. The demon herself, however, is untouched by this rain, thanks to her umbrella. No matter how hard it pours, or how the wind whips it in different directions, not a single drop makes its way to her skin. Though it has never been proven, it is commonly believed that she carries the umbrella, not by choice, but as a punishment from the Gods. She is stricken with eternal thirst, only summoned when water is all around her, but just out of reach. It is for this reason that some scholars describe her as “Daughter of Tantalus.”
Much of what is known about Umbra Ella comes from an account written by Joy Morton, who, in 1915, became the first known person to survive summoning her. The existence of an embodiment of thirst had been theorized before, but never successfully proven (much like the embodiment of breath, to this day). He was the first to predict that rain was a requirement for the ritual. In his secret autobiography, he recounts how, at first, he thought the ritual failed, and Umbra Ella was an ordinary girl who was lost. He took pity on her as she looked at him with pleading eyes, silently begging him to slake her thirst. His heart ached for her, but he could not risk stepping outside his circle. It was only when his summoner’s circle began unraveling itself that he realized the truth. He fled for his life, but she pursued relentlessly, unhindered by the rain. He was only able to survive by an unfortunate coincidence. While running, he passed a woman. He wanted to warn her of the danger she was in, but by the time his breath caught up to him, he was too late. The woman’s jugular had been punctured by Umbra Ella, who was now suckling greedily from her neck. Joy watched, paralyzed with fear, as he realized that the woman was his wife, looking for him to return safely from the rainstorm. She was drained completely dry in less than a minute. Then Umbra Ella turned to face Joy. He feared she would attack him, but she only smiled briefly, then vanished. He describes the smile as “Cruelly innocent, a precious expression which would melt one’s heart, were it not for the blood that stained her teeth.” Motivated by this encounter, Joy Morton decided to found his own salt company, to produce salt which could protect summoners from dangerous demons like Umbra Ella. When he arrived at the patent office declaring his intent, he was shocked to find that he’d already done so; the Morton Salt® company, bearing a logo identical to girl which he had summoned, had already been founded by one Joy Morton in the year 1848 – 7 years before he was born.