Religion is oppressive and omnipresent, and in the oddest variation from our universe, every human being has a 'familiar' called a daemon, an animal-shaped being that is always with them and to which they are tightly bonded.
And I defy anyone with a heart to be able to read Lyra's parting with her darling daemon Pantalaimon at the gates of the Land of the Dead, not knowing if she will ever be able to find him again, without choking up.
When young, one's daemon can shapeshift to a variety of animal shapes, but as one grows older, the daemon settles on one animal form.
Since one's daemon is a physical instantiation of one's soul, these experiments are Nazi-esque in their cruelty.
In the Daemon of the World (341-2), Shelley himself cancelled a metrical reading for one that makes the verse a syllable too short.
But we have to turn to the very late authority of Plutarch (De Iside et Osiride) for an account, confessedly incomplete and expurgated, of what mythology had to tell about the great Egyptian " culture-hero," " daemon," and god.
Among the Nayars of Malabar, the family-serpent is capable of almost unlimited powers for good or evil; it is part of the household property, but does not seem to be connected with ancestral cults.'4 In Greece, however, " the dead man became a chthonic daemon, potent for good or evil; his natural symbol as such, often figured on tombs, was the snake."
Viirtheim, De Ajacis Origine, Cultu, Patria (Leiden, 1907), according to whom he and Ajax Oileus, as depicted in epos, were originally one, a Locrian daemon somewhat resembling the giants.