|“||But long ago, before humans overran this miserable world, a different sort of evil broke through the gates: the Valg. Demons from another realm, bent on the conquest of Erilea, and with the force of an endless army behind them. In Wendlyn, they fought against the Fae. Try as the immortal children might, they could not defeat them.||”|
The Valg are a race of powerful and malicious demons.
True Valg are parasites; they possess humans and feed off of them, effectively killing them. They can be removed from a host using powerful healing magic, which destroys them.
While in a host, Valg are undetectable except for their eyes, which become wholly black. Their true form outside of a host is that of a creature surrounded by smoke, revealing glimpses of gangly limbs and talons, a mostly hairless, gray body with slick skin, and unnaturally large dark eyes. In this form the Valg has small pointed teeth like a fish.
The Valg hail from an unnamed home dimension. Their world was originally inhabited by other creatures, but the three Valg Kings Erawan, Orcus and Mantyx waged a war to end all wars that lasted a thousand years and ended with the world being completely conquered by the Valg. They then sowed the land with their offspring and ruled uncontested, until the Valg Queen Maeve appeared and married Orcus.
Discontented, she eventually escaped to Erilea through a Wyrdgate and left the stygian spiders, her handmaidens, to guard the gate. She then traveled to Wendlyn and inserted herself as one of the Fae Sister-Queens, using her power to alter their memories. Maeve built up the armies of the Fae to defend against her husband and his brothers when they came after her.
Orcus figured out what had happened and pulled slivers from the Wyrdgate, constructing the Wyrdkeys which he ditributed to his brothers. He then began the search for Maeve and followed her to Erilea where he waged war against the Fae, though he did not recognize her as she had disguised herself in a Fae body.
Maeve learned of the Wyrdkeys and sought them, using her knowledge of his armies to steal them and send Orcus and Mantyx back. Brannon Galathynius stole the keys back before she could exile Erawan. He hid them away.
After the First War, many of the Valg were either killed or exiled, though Erawan remained and sought the Wyrdkeys to bring his brothers back. Gavin Havilliard and Elena Galathynius fought Erawan a second time centuries later and, using the Lock forged by Mala Fire-Bringer they managed to contain Erawan in a sarcophagus in Morath, which could only be opened by using a Wyrdkey.
During their time in the world, the Valg kidnapped and mated with the Fae, producing both the Ironteeth Witches (who take more after their Valg parent) and the Crochan Witches (who take more after their Fae parent).
Erawan was unwittingly released centuries later when a young King of Adarlan discovered a Wyrkey under the Glass Castle and took it to Morath to show his cousin Perrington. The two boys approached the sarcophagus holding Erawan and proximity to the Wyrdkey opened it, allowing him to possess Perrington and a prince to possess the young King.
- Main article: Stygian Spider
Stygian spiders are highly intelligent horse-sized spiders that produce Spidersilk, an invaluable lightweight material. They reside in the Ruhnn Mountains of the northern continent.
Their cousins, the kharankui, inhabit the Dagul Pass in the southern continent. They are vicious, cunning predators who have no qualms about hunting down humans and ruks; they look down upon their trader kin.
- Main article: Ridderak
Ridderaks are vaguely human Valg creatures that grant their summoner strength in exchange for a sacrifice. Unlike conventional Valg, they are not parasites.
All Valg encountered thus far have displayed unbridled malice and love of inflicting pain. Their expression of these traits, however, differ depending on the variety of Valg in question. The Valg princes specifically are cold and calculating, and they delight in emotional pain as well as physical. Four Valg princes forced Aelin to relive her worst memories during the attack on Mistward.
Powers and abilities
Abilities vary by the type of Valg demon.
Valg royalty, the kings, princes and princesses, have the ability to possess a host just like lesser Valg. They are much more powerful than their soldiers, able to summon darkness to shroud them, transport them and drain their victims. These Valg can also use the darkness as a weapon, and can enter a person's mind and interfere with their memories and make them relive old ones. Valg royalty are immortal.
Valg Queens such as Maeve, and female Valg in general, are exceptionally more powerful and possess dark gifts that can manipulate minds and create weapons of darkness. Maeve has been seen using telekinesis as well. She is also extremely long-lived.
All Valg have an aversion to fire. The King of Adarlan revealed that Erawan tried to wipe out the Galathynius line completely in hopes that Aelin would never be able to destroy them. Using her fire, Aelin successfully killed General Narrok and three other Valg princes.
- Three unnamed princes killed by Aelin
- Unnamed prince that possessed the King of Adarlan
- Unnamed princess that possessed Duva
- Stygian spider that bargained with Falkan Ennar
- Kharankui that spoke with Nesryn Faliq
- Various Valg princes and princesses
- Maeve was mistaken as a Goddess because of her true immortality.