Phylum Ex-mortae, Family Phantasmae
Habitat: Catacombs, castles, human settlements
Disposition: Varied, lustful, natural leaders
diet: Spiritus, some forms of magic
A form of undead mamonme which resembles a beautiful woman of nobility, swathed in an elaborate dress of ethereal fire.
In realms where demon energy is abundant, or where those who are interred may once again rise, when a woman of great personal strength passes there is a chance she may be reborn as a Belle Dame. While her form may be that of nobility, it is her innate ability to lead which is responsible for her new incarnation. A Belle Dame may form from a brave, heroic regal woman, a village elder or wise woman, a warrior maiden of note or even one of peasantry who instills a desire to improve or defend a community from those who have power. The trait which is always visible in any Belle Dame is leadership.
As mentioned previously, a Belle Dame appears attired in an exquisite dress formed from diaphanous flames. This is in fact another factor which is crucial to the birth of a Belle Dame. That being that all Belle Dame were women who, due perhaps to their position or beliefs refused to accept the fact that they wished to wear fine apparel and be acknowledged for their beauty. Such women would have oft claimed that plain garments were the only ones they required, or that fancy, delicate apparel could never suit them or would wear through far too easily and yet more than anything else they would have yearned for a beautiful dress.
As such, when a Belle Dame comes into existence, she resembles herself in life, though the only apparent garment protecting her modesty would be a fine looking pair of skimpy, flaming lingerie. While in the beginning this may constitute her only apparel, as a Belle Dame becomes increasingly attuned to her new form (the process can however be expedited through contact with another Belle Dame or through the acquisition of Spiritus) her outfit will grow more and more elaborate, while blemishes and mortal wounds will be smoothed away as if with an artist's gentle eraser. Eventually, once physiological adjustments have run their course leaving her as a vision of haunting beauty, her psyche will expand.
During this rapid phase of development, intelligence will increase exponentially, with saline and magical abilities manifesting in rapid succession. It is also during these leaps in ability, that a Belle Dame's latent propensity to control the actions of the flames of her dress will become apparent. While initially appearing as nothing more than decorative finery a Belle Dame will gain the capability of shaping her dress to perform both offensively and defensively in the form of gouts, tentacles and shields of flame. This ability can only be used consciously. Her other powers allow her to sense and influence other undead in her area of influence, sharing some of her power with those under her command to boost their faculties and abilities. In effect, she can aid one of the Zombie genus to express her buried personality and more easily form a marital bond with a partner she desires.
She will consent to dally with interesting men for food, but will tend towards monogamy once a man captures her unbeating heart. It depends on her own desires what sort of man she will choose, but once her heart is set she will stop at nothing to make him hers. Once married, she will once more experience slight changes, brought on by the desires of her husband and delivered via Spiritus. Thus might her bust increase or a turn of phrase slip into her vocabulary.
Due to their innate aptitude for leadership it is not uncommon for monster friendly states to be led by a Belle Dame and over the years several towns in formerly hostile territories have elected a beautiful woman who would later reveal her true nature. She cares for all her subjects, both alive and undead, and will fight to a second death to keep them safe. For this reason, even the Demon Lord is careful around them. Luminaire records state huge losses in one of the few recorded battles against their kind.
In the distant past, under previous Demon Lords, Belle Dame were greatly feared for their destructive beauty. It was during these periods that Belle Dame would lure in warriors and others both young and old with their radiant looks only to destroy them in cruel ways. It is perhaps due to this macabre past, that after the current Demon Lord Seretique vi Alloriel brought about the grand changing, Belle Dame came to despise those, both male and female who would consciously lure another into a relationship with the express intention of destroying them, be it physically, mentally or emotionally. Such people are the type a Belle Dame will regard as "spume of creation."
While it is said that Belle Dame are visions of ethereal beauty who are both fearless and inspirational as leaders, they do fear one thing above all else, images of their old living form which perhaps remind them of how (perceivedly) ugly and unhappy they were, leading to debilitating bouts of depression and melancholy.