|“||And there walked warlocks, in all their bat-winged, cat-eyed glory...||”|
Warlocks are born from demons and humans, usually, rape or deceit from shape-shifting Eidolon demons, disguised as humans or a human's loved one or an object of sexual desire. Through this, some warlocks may have half-siblings, and quite possibly, a pure sibling from a human parent raped or tricked more than once.
Warlocks are immortal beings. At one point in their lives, they stop aging—which point exactly will depend on their demon parent. At one point, however, after an unspecific but long duration of time, warlocks, like most immortal or long-lived beings such as Silent Brothers, can "fade" and "petrify"—when they grow bored or unsurprised by life and stop looking forward to their years ahead, when the weight of their long lives settle on them, they may begin to lose their minds, and/or stop feeling and living, in all other essences of the word except literally.
A universal trait among them is their warlock or demon marks, a part of their body that is strange or unique that identifies them as unearthly. Warlocks from the same demonic bloodline may have similar demonic features on their bodies.
An exception from these limitations are the very rare offspring of demons and unmarked Shadowhunters; without Marks to resist the demonic energy in a fetus, the pregnancy results in a living child—particularly, a dominantly Shadowhunter being with traces of warlock abilities. The only known case so far is Tessa Gray, who does not have a warlock mark and has given birth.
Because of their half-demon, half-human nature, other Downworlders sometimes insultingly refer to them as "half-breeds."
Along with faeries, warlocks are the only Downworlders who can cast magic because of their demon blood; unlike vampires and werewolves, who were merely infected by demonic diseases. Because of their willingness to use magic when asked by mortals, usually for a price, even Shadowhunters work with warlocks, as partners or as hired specialists, to allow the Nephilim to make use of some of the demonic magic that their own powers and nature exclude them from. The language they use to cast spells is called Chthonian.
Nearly all warlocks are, to some extent, practitioners of magic. Some inherit more magical aptitude than others, and those who cultivate that aptitude may become quite powerful. The most gifted may find themselves able to study demonic magic and become scholars in the secretive Spiral Labyrinth, the central home of warlock magical research and knowledge. They have invented quite a lot of new magic, which is dutifully recorded and kept in the Labyrinth. However, while warlocks inherently possess magic, some are stillborn without it, and they are known as ifrits.
|“||Better to love and fear than feel nothing. That is how we petrify.||”|
Warlocks are independent and mostly keep to themselves, hence they do not have an established community or organized society. However, most warlocks are usually acquainted with each other and at least have a way of contacting one another. They are also governed by an unofficial group called the Spiral Council who reside in the Spiral Labyrinth. High Warlocks are also seemingly appointed in every major city or locality around the world.
In addition, few warlocks opt to marry, let alone adopt a child.
A list of known warlocks:
- Raphael Santiago stated that drinking warlock blood does strange things to vampires, though he does not elaborate on what they could be.
- It was a warlock who supposedly summoned the Angel Raziel to create the first of the Nephilim.
- Although "witch" is generally a term used to refer to mundanes who partake in witchcraft, it is also sometimes used to refer to female warlocks.
- Warlocks can be affected only by a few diseases, but they are generally immune to those that affect mortals.
- Warlocks are also immune to the magical effects of faerie fruit.
- According to Magnus, warlocks prefer to use simple one-syllable last names, apparently always nouns, in contrast to the Shadowhunter's long and self-important ones, possibly reflecting the warlock's mood during the choosing. Due to their immortality and infertility, they rarely pass them on.
- To Simon and his vampire senses, warlocks smell like burnt matches.
- It is more common for warlocks to have a father than a mother as their demonic parent.
- A warlock's hair stops growing when they stop aging.
- There are eight warlocks who are still alive in the late 1990s or early 2000s who claim to have been born before Jonathan Shadowhunter, meaning they have been alive for almost a millennia, if not longer. One of these warlocks is Baba Agnieszka.
- Elizabeth Alba
- City of Heavenly Fire
- Clockwork Angel
- "It depends on their warlock parent," Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- The Rise of the Hotel Dumort
- The Shadowhunter Chronicles
- "They won't all have the same mark, though they will often have similar ones." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- City of Bones
- Clockwork Prince
- The Shadowhunter's Codex
- City of Ashes
- "Warlocks are by and large immune to all mundane/mortal diseases," Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Chain of Gold
- "Warlocks pick their own last names; they're always nouns," Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale
- "but it probably does reflect the mood of the warlock when they chose it," Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- City of Fallen Angels
- What Really Happened in Peru