In Greek mythology, Alastor (English translation: "avenger") was the personification of familial feuds. He was also associated with sins that pass down from parent to child. As a genius, or spirit of the household in Roman mythology, he incited people to murder and other sins. Another Alastor was a mortal, son of Neleus, King of Pylos. He was later downgraded to a minor daemon after he and his brothers were killed by Heracles. A third Alastor was a friend of Serpedon, who was killed by Odysseus.

In Christian demonology, Alastor became chief executioner to the monarch of Hell. He was likened to Nemesis and the destroying angel and was known as The Executioner. He was exceptionally cruel. The name Alastor was also used as a generic term for a class of evil spirits. Edward Alexander Crowley, 20th century ceremonial magician, changed his first name to Aleister. The difference in spelling can be easily attributed to the fact that 'Alastor Crowley' does not add up to 666.

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