Primer: FDCM 101

In Xuanhuan or Xianxia novels, the world is usually sorted into various realms, with three or six realms being the most common.


TermAlt TermDescription
Realm of Deities
Realm of Gods
Divine RealmGods, deities, omnipotent supernatural beings
Realm of ImmortalsImmortal RealmHuman cultivators who ascended into immortality
Realm of MortalsHuman RealmMankind
Realm of DemonsDemon RealmAnimals, plants or objects who have cultivated enough to take on a higher spiritual form, usually human (e.g. Fox Demon​)
Realm of DevilsDevil RealmInherently evil beings who could be natural born, resentful human souls, fallen immortals or cultivators who have chosen to walk the evil path (also known as Demonic Cultivators)
Realm of the Dead
Realm of Souls
Ghost Realm
Wandering souls and spirits (ghosts), usually humans

* The term ‘Demon’ is sometimes used to describe both 妖 Yao​ and ​魔 Mo, although there are some differences between them. To keep things consistent​​ and clearer in “Fox Demon Cultivation Manual”, I’ll be calling the ​妖​​界​​ Demon Realm and ​魔​​界​ Devil Realm, while 妖​王 will be called Demon King/Lord​ ​​​and ​​​​​魔​​王 Devil King/Lord.

Here’s a general progression chart from one source to tell the difference between 妖 Yao​ and ​魔 Mo.

Origin: Plant/Animal/Object ​​→ Spirit → Demon ​→ Demon King
E.g. Fox Demon (Song Ci), Mirror Demon (Feng Zhuojun)

​​Origin: Soul (Human) ​→ Evil Spirit → Devil → Devil King

*It’s also possible for an immortal to descend into evil and turn into a devil.