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Findo Gask is a demon and is the primary antagonist of Angel Fire East and the Genesis of Shannara series.

HistoryEdit

Findo Gask is a centuries old demon, older, most likely, than any demon in the Word/Void Trilogy.

Even as demons went, Findo Gask was very old. He was centuries old, and this was unusual. For the most part, demons had a tendency to self-destruct or fall prey to their own peculiar excesses rather early in their careers. ... Findo Gask had avoided this end because he was not driven by emotion. ... No, he was simply curious. ... He might have accomplished great things through research. But a man lived a finite number of years and was hampered by rules Findo Gask did not necessarily accept. A demon, he was quick to see, could do so much more. ... He had been alive for so long, a demon for so many centuries, that he can no longer remember anything of his human history. [1]

While he was working on a project, the Void contacted him. This is significant as Gask notes that only the most reliable demons are contacted by the Void. He is told that a Gypsy Morph, a creature composed of wild magic that is prone to change until it finds a suitable form, has appeared in the Pacific Northwest and that John Ross, a Knight of the Word, has captured it. His mission was to either capture it to be used for the Void's purposes or to destroy it so that it could not be used by the Word. By his ability to sense the wildly changing magic emanating from the Morph, Gask is able to track John Ross's movements. He first has violent men, who are convinced that he is a U.S Marshall and that Ross is a dangerous man, to kill him. However, Ross is too much for them and they are defeated. Gask continues to follow Ross and the Morph when the Morph does something strange. It speaks the word Nest. Because of this, Gask is convinced that Ross will see Nest Freemark in Hopewell, Illinois. Somewhere along the way, he enlists the help of three other demons: Penny Dreadful (a young goth-type girl with crazy red hair and a penchant for self-destruction), Twitch (a half-crazed hulking albino man), and an ur'droch (a lethal demon who remains in its dark, shadowy form instead of taking on a human guise).[2]

Angel Fire EastEdit

Findo Gask arrives at Nest Freemark's house as she is going to church. His early description is that of a preacher with a book in his hand. Nest recognizes him for what he is, a demon. Gask tells her that Ross will be coming to her and that if she wants to live, she must refuse to help Ross. However, she chooses to help him, a move that seems to be anticipated by Gask. He has Penny to seek out people to be used and finds a police deputy, Robert Heppler, that has a crush on Nest. Gask has him watch Nest, using the deputy's crush to his advantage.

When Nest leaves her house to go caroling with some friends, Gask returns to her house and notices Bennett Scott, a childhood friend. He tries to enter Nest's house but Bennett refuses him entrance. When she is asked about John Ross, she replies that he has not arrived. Gask notices that she is a recovering drug addict and thinks about ways to use her. Gask has Penny tempt Bennett with drugs. While doing that, he tries to kill Nest by cracking the ice where she and the morph were tobogganing. She is saved, however, by Pick who warns her that Gask has tampered with the ice. However, the trap meant for her kills Ray Childress, a park worker.

When Nest goes to examine the ice where Childress was killed, she finds that he was taken by the trap. In that moment, Gask appears and chides her on not giving him John Ross and the morph when she had the chance. She does not lose her cool and defies the demon by not submitting. This bothers Gask just for the fact that she stood so confident against him, even knowing that he was dangerous. And so, he comes up with a plan to remove all of her friends one by one, starting with Two Bears. However, when he takes Penny, Twitch and the ur'droch with him, the Indian surprises Gask by removing himself from the picture. Next, he goes to work on Bennett Scott. He had Penny try to get her to use drugs and when she had finally succumbed to the drugs, they position on the cliff that nearly took her life fifteen years ago. With an image of Harper in Bennett's sights, the demons succeed in driving her off the cliff, killing her. He also leaves the ur'droch in Nest's house but it is repelled by Wraith.

The next day, Larry Spence, under the influence of Gask, opens a window to bypass an early warning net that Nest had put in place after the ur'droch incident. This allows him to take the children, forcing Nest to give him the morph, not realizing that he has the Morph already which has taken the form of a boy. Because Gask already had the Gypsy Morph, John Ross and Nest mount an offensive to retrieve the children. Nest goes down to the basement of Gask's hideout to get the children there and encounters the ur'droch. She and Wraith are able to dispatch the creature. Ross rushes through the front door with his magic, taking the demons by surprise. He is able to kill Twitch and Penny however one of Penny's demon poisoned knives was able to penetrate his defenses and stabbed him in his side. Gask explained that he was now infected with demon poison and will die soon. He then goes away to leave Ross to die and sets off to find Nest. Angered at losing control of the situation, he was determined to correct everything by eliminating her and the Morph. However, she surprises him by informing the demon that the boy was the Morph and that he had it all along. She also told him that his magic had dissipated and he was gone. Gask realized that she was telling him the truth about the Morph and decided to let her go, thinking that he had completed his mission of not allowing the Morph's magic to be used by the Word. He never realized that the Morph's purpose was to become Nest's child.

Armageddon's ChildrenEdit

Eighty years after the events of Angel Fire East, Findo Gask appears again in Armageddon's Children as the leader of the demon army, destroying human fortresses, killing those who resist and sending others to slave camps to perform experiments on them. Many demons believe him to the be the Void's chosen one because he is the oldest and strongest of them all but secretly wanted him dead. He was around when civilization collapsed and probably played a role in it. He had also created the slave camps and the laboratories for experimentation on the human race. However, by this time, his interests in them has deteriorated. He had found a new partner, a female demon called Deloreen. She is his right hand who made sure that his interests were carried out and his back was watched.

As his army was storming the Anaheim compound, a Knight of the Word, Angel Perez, is working to save the children. Deloreen had been working to capture the Knight but has failed three times by this point. He tells her that she is underestimating the female Knight and Deloreen reminds Gask of how he once underestimated Nest Freemark. By this time, he has realized that he was deceived by Nest. She had hidden the Morph from him somehow. But he was determined that he would set it right one day. He sends Deloreen to kill the Knight. After his army has destroyed the compound and captured the rest of the people, he has realized that the female Knight has taken the children to safety and that Deloreen has failed again.

Gask is mentioned later in the book. As Hawk, the Gypsy Morph, uses magic to heal his injured dog, Cheney, the demon is able to find him and commands his troops to find him and destroy him.

The Elves of CintraEdit

The only mention of Findo Gask is when he summons the Klee. He commands it to find Hawk, the Gypsy Morph.

The Gypsy MorphEdit

Findo Gask's next appearance is outside the Cintra. His army is waiting for the demon known as Culph to return with the Loden under his control when he senses Elven magic, caused by Kirisin using the Elfstones. He wonders why they were used as it seemed like an unnecessary use of magic. With no satisfactory answers, he thinks over the matter, still waiting on Culph to capture the Elves. Unbeknown to Gask, Culph was killed by Kirisin in Elves of Cintra and is now working under his own accord. When Kirisin uses the Loden to put the Elven city Arborlon inside itself, the demons begin their assault but are repelled slightly by the elves, giving Kirisin, her sister Simralin and Logan Tom, a Knight of the Word, time to escape. However, he sends skrails, a human-shaped creature with leathery wings and a reptilian spine and tail, to capture Kirisin and the Loden.

The skrails bring Kirisin to a shade of Findo Gask who is able to project himself across long distances. Kirisin recognizes him as the one who leads the demons and is hunting the elves and Loden. He is able command Kirisin's obedience into telling him that Culph and Deloreen were dead and that he dropped the Loden stone while being taken away by the skrails. He then tells the skrails that he would be there soon and the shade disappears. However, before Gask can get to where the skrails have Kirisin kept, Logan Tom appears, kills the skrails and sets the elf boy free.

Findo Gask's army made it to a dam on the Columbia River and had caught up to Hawk and the caravan that he is leading towards a safe haven. He has his army attack the caravan. The caravan's defenders, made up of men, elves, and mutants, aren't enough to stop the flood of demons and once-men that come rushing at them. Even Angel Perez, a Knight of the Word, and her magic isn't enough to stop them. However, Hawk uses his magic to open the earth and swallowed the bulk of the army. Gask, who watches this from a high point away from the magic, realizes that the demons who follow him are now losing their confidence in him and are deciding which one of them is going to take his place. So, he commands some skrails to take him to Hawk so that he may finish him off himself. He lands near Hawk and Angel, who protects him. Hawk lies unconscious due to the expenditure of magic that was required by opening the earth. Angel is near exhaustion due to protecting the caravan from Gask's army. Gask prepares to attack Angel but is hit by a blast of magic from Logan Tom, who, with Simralin, have finally returned to the caravan after recovering the Loden. Logan blasts Gask a second time but by then, the demon escapes the blast and hits the Knight of the Word with magic of his own. As Gask prepares to kill Logan, blue fire strikes him from behind, summoned by Simralin and the Elfstones Kirisin gave her a while back. Together with the Elfstones' magic and Logan's magic, the two finally put an end to Findo Gask.

The loss of their commander, even one whom they were thinking of replacing, demoralized the remnant of Gask's army. They turned away, even though they could have banded together and wipe out the rest of the caravan.

PersonalityEdit

The one personality trait that is mentioned when describing Gask is his curiosity. Unlike other demons who give into their impulses and are destroyed or self-destruct early in their demonhood, Gask's curiosity has allowed him to live longer than demons are expected. It is not known how old he really is because Gask has forgotten even in what century he had become a demon. Because demons, on the most part, "are dependent on their origins", "they [are] forced to prey upon the creatures that they pretend to be."[3] This soon turns to madness on the part of the demons and then self-destruction. Gask is able to avoid this end because of his curiosity. He is able to take human form without being ripped apart by the dichotomy of it. This makes him the envy of other demons.

Findo Gask's view on humans are like test subjects. He preys on dissension and frustrations to reveal the ugliness of the human character. He is good at deceiving humans, like he does with the five men that he conscripts to kill John Ross and deceiving Larry Spence into thinking that he is an FBI agent. He also collects the names of his victims in a leather book, aptly called the Book of Names, which chronicle the names of people he's had killed and how it made him feel. However, by Armageddon's Children, he puts aside the book. Later, in the Genesis of Shannara trilogy, he begins to use humans, especially children, for genetic alteration and breeding to examine humankind. But by that time, his interest in humans wanes to the point where he views them as an anathema.

He is very analytical and is able to project several scenarios that his enemies might avail themselves to, if not control the outcome entirely. He is also very knowledgeable about his enemies in whole. He knew about Nest Freemark before he met her, especially the part where he knew that her father was a demon. He knows about gypsy morphs and their capacity to become a force of good or evil. He knows about elves when their existence is mostly hidden from humans.

Because of his long existence, Findo Gask is stronger and wiser than, most likely, any other demon. With a flick of his wrist, he is able to conjure fire to prevent a rescue team to save Hawk and Angel. He is also able to project his avatar across long distances, like he did when he interrogated Kirisin in The Gypsy Morph. He is able to conjure magic similar to Knights of the Word without the use of a device like a staff. He is able to use some form of telekinesis or mind control when he control Larry Spence to fire his gun at John Ross.

If there is one weakness to Findo Gask, it is that he is over-confident in his abilities. He believes himself to be stronger than any other creature, human, elf or demon. He believes that he is able to control outcomes and, for the most part, he does. However, when things don't go according to his plans, like when John Ross and Nest Freemark did by engaging in a preemptive attack, it throws his own world out of orbit. He is also quick to write off people who could be a danger to him (i.e. He fails to kill Nest at the end of Angel Fire East and allows himself to believe that the Gypsy Morph was destroyed), which proves to be his downfall.

Findo Gask allies himself with other demons if there is a need for it. Whether he does it by convincing them of a common goal or enemy or through subjugation is unknown. These are a list of demons that have worked for Gask.

Penny Dreadful (Angel Fire East) - A red-headed female demon with a propensity for backtalk. She is self-destructive and is enamored by the idea. Gask considers her a live grenade. She is armed with knives laced with a powerful demon poison. A scratch is enough to take out normal men but a blade length's is enough finish off a Knight of the Word. She is killed by John Ross but her poison-laced knife kills him in the process.
Twitch (Angel Fire East) - An large, albino demon who seems to be dim-witted. He likes to watch television. He is strong enough to crush bones. He is killed by John Ross.
ur'droch (Angel Fire East) - A shadowy creature with the penchant not to take human form. It does not speak or utter a sound. It feels more comfortable in the shadows. Because it is like a shadow, it makes it difficult to combat. However, shedding light upon it confuses the demon. It is killed by Nest Freemark and Wraith.
Deloreen (Armageddon's Children) - A large female demon who acts as Findo Gask's right hand in his army. She is strong enough to toss armored vehicles like toys and break men in half. When she is first introduced, she is undergoing a metamorphosis into a new creature, similar to a large cat. She hunts Angel Perez, a Knight of the Word, to Arborlon. In combating her, Deloreen has her eye injured by Simralin's blade. Later, she and Angel battle on Syrring Rise (present day Mount Rainier). She is killed by Angel Perez but the resulting battle leaves Angel critically wounded.
The Klee (The Gypsy Morph) - A shape-shifting demon with the ability to assume the form of someone that the victim cares about. This ability allows the demon to lure away victims from safety to kill them. It is sent by Findo Gask to kill Hawk, the Gypsy Morph. It first encounters Larkin Quill, the blind Elven tracker, and kills him. It then hunts for Hawk. When it encounters him, Hawk is able to hide himself with his magic. In its second encounter with Hawk, it lures Tessa, Hawk's lover, away in a dust storm. When Hawk goes after her, he finds himself trapped with the Klee. With the combined effort of Hawk's dog Cheney, Panther and Bear's automatic weapons firing, and Angel Perez's magic, the Klee is destroyed.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1 Angel Fire East, Chapter 3
  2. 2http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_Fire_East
  3. 3 Angel Fire East, Chapter 3

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