Every person is endowed with transmogrifying animal counterpart called Daemons. They can communicate to their attached human, and to other Daemons, but more importantly, they act as a physical manifestation of the person's soul. These shape-shifting creatures exude their fears and desires,taking on the forms of various animals, such as leopardsandvillainous creatures of flight. While they can't attack humans outright, they can come to the defense of their owners. Think of it as spiritual warfare meets Pokemon. And we're told that our heroine Lyra and her Deamon, Pan (or Pantalaimon, for you HDM rabids) will be playable characters, even controllable simultaneously, on her quest to unlock the secrets of "the Gobblers" and the plague ofdisappearingchildren.