Laraje, as told by occultists and demonologists, is a spirit or demonic being with specialized supernatural powers. According to legend, he was one of 72 demons supposedly controlled by the biblical King Solomon. Most of these demons, listed and described in an uncanny grimoire called the Lemegeton (or the Lesser Key of Solomon) are believed by some to possess all sorts of impressive abilities, including teleportation, fortune telling, control of weather, physical transformation, emotion manipulation, the spreading of disease, and the poltergeist-like ability to topple structures by sheer spiritual force. Laraje, however, apparently shunned most of these magics and supernatural skills to pursue a more tangible craft—archery.
Whereas many of Laraje’s comrades among Solomon’s supposed 72 demonic recruits are said to prefer chimera appearances, taking the shape of certain creatures or mixtures of several animal shapes, Laraje is thought by the occultists to be most comfortable in the familiar shape of a human. Despite looking like a man, he would be easy to pick out from a crowd these days, as his wardrobe reportedly consists of outfits that resemble Peter Pan or Robin Hood costumes. According to the aforementioned Lesser Key of Solomon, “He is a Marquis Great in Power, showing himself in the likeness of an Archer clad in Green, and carrying a Bow and Quiver” (Lesser Key of Solomon, Shemhamphorash, 14). As mentioned by the quote, Laraje is said to be a fairly powerful figure in the supernatural hierarchy, and occult texts (such as the Lemegeton quoted here) claim that around thirty legions of lesser spirits heed his command. Although Laraje evidently does not like to use flashy magical abilities, he is said to have made one exception and, of course, it is connected to archery. This supernatural ability, it is said, allows Laraje to make arrow wounds suddenly petrify at his command. Unfortunately, whether or not he has been able to adapt to the evolution of modern projectile weaponry remains unknown.
Written by C. Keith Hansley
Picture Attribution: modified and cropped illustration by N. C. Wyeth (1882–1945) for Paul Creswick’s book Robin Hood and his Merry Outlaws (1917), [Public Domain] via Creative Commons