Human Name: Alice
Demon Name: Unknown
Desire Embodied: Love*
Danger Rating: ★★★★☆
*It is not wholly accurate to say that any one demon embodies the desire to love, or to be loved. It is tempting to believe that this contradicts the Second Law of Demonology, since there appears to be a human desire without a demonic embodiment. But this is false, as love is embodied, not by one, but by many different demons. This is because the word “love” describes many distinct desires. For example, the love between a husband and wife is quite different from the love between a brother and sister. Accordingly, these two desires are embodied by different demons. Since all desires for love are very powerful, the resulting demons are extremely dangerous. Their conjuring should not be attempted by any who have not been awarded the distinction of Master Summoner, and even then, only with extreme caution.
Alice holds the distinction of being perhaps the most difficult demon to summon, barring any demons which are yet to be discovered by the demonology community. At first, her ritual seems relatively straightforward: the summoner performs a blood sacrifice sine mortem1, mixes the blood with the freshly cried tears of the hostia2, then drinks the mixture. The difficulty arises from the Third Law, which states that a demon may only be summoned by a human who is strongly experiencing the desire which it embodies. The love embodied by Alice is the love a parent has for their child: a desire to protect and nurture, to coddle and dote on, to ensure that the object of one’s affection never suffers the hardships of the cruel world they live in. Yet the blood drawn for the ritual must be from the summoner’s own child. The level of rationalization required to injure one’s own child in the name of protecting them borders on self-delusion; there are few who can go to such extremes in the name of research, and even fewer who are willing to do so.
Among these few was a man by the name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Though he is credited with neither the discovery nor the first successful summoning of Alice, he is easily the most noted researcher devoted to her study. Prior to his work in 1859, the Demonology community’s complete knowledge of the ritual was little more than the brief overview given above. It was known that the ritual was highly prone to error, but leading authorities at the time attributed this to summoners failing to perform the necessary mental gymnastics. Dodgson, however, being a man of reason, refused to accept this hand-waving explanation without proof. Through theoretical and experimental research, he discovered that the ritual’s success can be guaranteed by meeting a long list of hidden conditions. While many are of the sort that are common for rituals, e.g., the mixture must be exactly 10 parts blood to 6 parts tears to ensure success, some are more unusual, e.g., the mixture must be drunk from a bottle labeled “drink me,” at exactly 6PM, on a day which is not the birthday of the summoner or the hostia. To this day, the list of conditions compiled by Dodgson is believed to be exhaustive, describing the most complicated ritual known for any demon. The list was so long that he had to publish them as two separate books, which went on to become the most widely known texts in the history of demonology: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” and “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There,” published under his pen name, Lewis Carroll. Rather than publish his findings in a journal of demonology, which were difficult for summoners to obtain due to their perceived heretical nature, Dodgson encoded his results in a novel which anyone could read without suspicion. In addition to conditions on the ritual, the novels describe Alice’s behavior and appearance, the latter done through the illustrations of John Tenniel, which were based on photographs that Dodgson himself had taken of the demon. Thus, most modern depictions of Alice in Wonderland closely resemble the demon. Even the color of her clothing and hair, which are not included in the photographs or drawings, are based on notes from Dodgson’s diary. All pages including these descriptions have been confiscated by The Summoner’s Council, along with all other references to demons and their study. This has led to some consternation among mundane historians, who can only wonder at what caused the sudden rift between Dodgson and the family of young Alice Liddell. They can never know that it was Dodgson’s discovery that it is not necessary for the child used in the ritual to be related to the summoner by blood; a strong emotional connection is sufficient.
Since Alice embodies the unconditional love of a parent for their child, she is a tremendously dangerous demon, though not in a conventional way. Once summoned, Alice beguiles her summoner with a powerful charm that compels them to do anything to make her happy. Her requests usually start innocuously enough: play card games with her, have tea with her, tell her stories, and the like. In time, her requests become tests of the summoner’s devotion to her: “Would you put your hand on a hot stove for me? Would you stab a knife through your foot for me? Would you burn your house down for me?” The stakes of these tests escalate, leading up to her penultimate question: “Would you kill for me?” This is what makes Alice so dangerous; she has no capacity to harm, but she is extremely adept at manipulating others into harming for her. Unless the summoner possesses an extraordinarily strong will, they are powerless to stop themselves as their child falls to the ground, lifeless, before them. Driven to despair by their failure to fulfil the very desire from which Alice sprang in the first place, they always give the same answer to her final question: “Would you die for me?” Invariably, Alice’s victims are found with a ritual bottle filled with Alice’s tears, suggesting that this is the wrong answer.
1Without Death, i.e. a sacrifice in the summoner draws blood, but not a fatal amount
2One who is sacrificed for a ritual