Usumgalla was one of the eleven warriors Tiamat created for her fight against the younger gods. Ninurta, Enlil and Ninlil vanquished them and banned them to the Abzu, Enki’s realm.
When the gods left the Earth, Usumgalla was appointed to stand in for Enlil, the god of the winds. His ability to travel with high speed and his loyalty as a warrior made him an indispensable ally for Utnapishtim and part of the ruling triumvirate of the Order of Dilmun.
Like Usumgalla, the Basmu was created by Tiamat as a weapon in her fight against the younger gods. Originally just one demon, the Basmu split into multiple, smaller versions of itself. It is often seen as the ancestor of the Greek hydra as it can multiply its heads, but also its body. However, it clearly doesn’t have to lose a head to do so.
Since the departure of the gods the Basmu have taken the role of Ninlil and oversee rains , thunderstorms and all kinds of severe weather.
Half man and half dog the Uridimmu used to accompany Utu on his rounds in the Magillum boat. However, around each full moon, the demon suddenly turned aggressive and attacked Utu. Only when Nanna took him into his service, his strange change of behavior stopped.
By appointing Uridimmu as his substitute, the moon god created an inextricable bond between the two of them hoping that the demon would not be prone to his seizures during Nanna’s absence.
The Kullulu are the tribes of mermen who live in the Abzu. In Sumerian mythology mermen, like other figures who were half man, half animal were associated with protective magic and often worked as guards for the gods.
Enki appointed Oan, one of the leaders of the tribes, to substitute him and it is only natural that that he supports Utnapishtim, the second protégé of the sea-god in the ruling triumvirate of the Order of Dilmun.
Asag is described as a demon without a father, an unscrupulous and shameless murderer who lived with his stone army in the Zagros mountains. Once he raided the cities of Sumer closest to the mountains and raged with such brutality that the somewhat weaker local tutelary deities of these cities capitulated and bowed before him. It was Ninurta who had to come to free the city and put Asag in his place.
As it is said the Asag often killed humans by inflicting them with fever, he was probably a natural choice for Nergal to choose him as the replacement of the god of diseases and death.
The Silim are little demons created by Ki, the earth herself to ensure vegetation on the planet. They are part of every plant and ensure their growth. Once a Silim leaves a plant, it stops growing and is bound to die. Baba, the goddess of healing chose the Silim to stand in for her, as they also absorb the healing powers of the plants they occupy.
Furthermore, the Silim can receive and understand all kinds of communication waves. Using this capability, they work with Nisaba to receive the prophecies which the Nisaba, the goddess of wisdom sends to Earth each month.
The Girtabullu, or scorpion man, is half man, half scorpion. Before Utu designated him as his successor, he stood outside the gates into Mount Mashu. These gates formed an entrance to Irkalla and were opened each day, when Utu travelled out in the Magillum boat and and closed after his return to the underworld at night.
Like the mermen, the scorpion man possesses powerful protective magic.
Imdugud is a creature with the head of a lion but the body of an eagle, who can breathe both fire and water. He often was the cause of the gods’ distress. He once stole the tablets of destiny from Enlil, but he had to give them back after Ninurta beat him. Another time he nested in Inanna’s beloved willow, from where he was driven away by Gilgamesh.
It was certainly not for his character but rather for this knowledge of all aspects of fire that Girra nominated him as his successor.
Lamashtu probably went through the most astonishing transformation from a demon who tortured pregnant women and women in childbirth to the stand-in for the goddess of love. She is a shapeshifter and one never knows if her loyalties don’t shift as quickly as her appearance.
For Inanna it was probably a prank to select Lamashtu as her substitute or just a message that she stands for more than love peace and harmony, even if we prefer to push these aspects at the back of our minds.
The Kusarikku, or bull man, is half man, half bull. He has the upper body of a human and the ears, horns and hindquarters of a bovine. In Sumerian mythology, he often appears in contests with rampant animals. Only Ninurta is said to have vanquished the Kusarikku in a fight in the middle of the sea, the element that is most alien to this creature.
It was because of his strength and agility that Ninhursaga, the goddess of the mountains chose him as her substitute.
Umu Dabrutu was another of the eleven warriors created by the primordial goddess. He was especially known for his cruel weapons and the fearlessness and joy with which he leads off every fight. The only opponent he had to submit to, was the god of war himself. Ninurta was obviously very impressed by the demon’s fighting strength, as he named him his successor after the gods’ departure.
Hanbi is the spirit of evil and is known for her vicious intentions against man. However, her appointment as Ereshkigal’s substitute as the ruler of the underworld had a somewhat mellowing effect. Doesn't come as a surprise considering she gets to see how little remains of her former enemy every day, when the new dead arrive in Irkalla.