Other demons, that is.
Phleg never liked them. Not after the time they framed him on charges of possession. But then, as a demon without an alibi, what else would be his most likely reason for leaving the nether regions?
He had sworn revenge, well, unofficially — not by genuine oath. That would have required he seek out a minor demon of vengeance, and the reams of paperwork to fill out would take far too long.
So Phleg nursed his resentment. He made his plans. And he sought to gain his revenge by becoming the new Spirit of Vengeance after he rubbed out the old.
It didn’t help that he had a cohort of imps tracking his every physical move, so he spoke to no one, associated with none, and made his plans in secret.
After all, a conspiracy of one can never blow its own cover.
So, he sat in the tavern, looking over the customers, in the form of a raven among the rafters. He spied a young journeyman wizard below, just out of his apprenticeship and ready to be fleeced by an enterprising spirit of evil like himself.
Phleg fluttered down to the table, looking the wizard in the eye, and crooned, “You look like a bright young sir, and I’ve got just the thing you need, this!” He dropped a gleaming ruby out of his beak. The wizard picked it up and examined it. Magic? Oh, it reeked of it! But once touched, it had its effect, and the suggestion took hold. Perfect!
Another piece had been maneuvered on the metaphorical board, and Phleg’s plan to not only get vengeance, but to be vengeance, advanced one step further.
He chuckled inside.
Your move, Thogratass!