Note: While these creatures were clearly inspired by Forgotten Realms' Neogi, these are not the same creatures, in terms of power, background, history, or ability.  Do not presume anything here is intended to match the mythology there.

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Neogi

The Neogi, Hell's Workforce

The neogi serve an interesting roll in Hell, serving as the rank and file workers which keeps Hell functioning.  Despite their horiffic appearances and behaviors, they are not demons, per se, but rather a supernaturally endowed race of mortals.  Their primary existence is on the mortal worlds, though in the service of their demonic masters, a few have taken up perminent residence in Hell.

Their exact duties vary greatly, but there is one universal truth: they are willing to do just about anything.  They have no moral compass to speak of, their only interest being to prolong their own lives.  Most, even those most loyal to their masters, remain on the mortal worlds, however, since even the most powerful of demons feels "out of place" in the mortal realm, being an alien realm to their makeup, while the neogi belong there.

Unlike the demonic priests, who are humans who worship the demons, the neogi are first and foremost mercenaries in terms of their service.  They generally act individually, though the most elder of their species will sometimes command as many as around a dozen younger neogi, sometimes with them as willing soldiers, sometimes with them enslaved by their elders.

Across the entire universe, there are less than a million neogi alive, around half of which are, in some way working for a demon (either enslaved by one, employed by one, or enslaved by another neogi who works for a demon).  Around twenty thousand have taken up permenant residence in Hell, with typically around another ten or twenty thousand in Hell for some short-term purpose.  Of those not working for demons, most are aware of their extisence, either having met one at some point in their life or knowing other neogi working under demons.

Mortality

The neogi are mortals, in the sense that they are born, can be killed, grow old, and will all eventually die.  However, their lifespans are substantially longer than those of most other mortals, and as they age, they gain more access to supernatural powers, especially those connected to demons, and thus can unnaturally extend their already long lives.  Without magical aid, a neogi will typically live around two thousand years.  Aided by the demons they serve, however, their lives are substantially extended: The oldest of neogi alive are well over ten thousand years old, most of which showing little sign of their age.  However, ancient neogi such as these must be careful to ensure they retain their power; losing access to magical power for even the briefest of time can cause rapid aging and death.

Neogi have souls, as any mortal would.  What happens to a Neogi's soul upon its death is unclear; the only time neogi souls have been known to be damned to Hell have been on direct sacrifices, and even then, that is rare.  Unlike most other mortals, a neogi's soul seems to dominate its body: to kill one, you must attack its soul as much as its body, since otherwise it will simply use its power to regenerate and heal itself.  Generally, when a neogi dies, the soul is also destroyed, burning itself trying to keep the body functioning.

As a race, the neogi are ancient; they served the Devils before the Demons were more than non-sentient monsters, and they seem to have existed as one of the first forms of mortal life to come into being.  There are few, if any worlds where they haven't been present, though there is rarely any evidence left of their time: their bodies tend to quickly decay upon their deaths, so rarely leave any fossilized evidence behind and most other mortals who come into contact with them don't survive the meeting.

Appearance

The neogi appear as large creatures with the body of a spider whose head is replaced by what appears to be, roughly speaking, than of an eel.  In place of where a spider would normally have their pedipalps are large, fairly dextrious claws capable of manipulating objects, although they are not, in general, tool-users.  Their heads appear in the general shape of an eel's, though lack the breathing openings one would expect of the marine animals.  Also unlike actual eels, their necks and heads are not slimy at all, but rather more flesh-like.  The flesh of their necks and heads is hairless, though the spider bodies are generally seen covered in thick, course hair.  Their coloration and patterning varies widely from one individual to another as does the exact shaping of their heads, allowing individuals to generally be easily enough identified from their appearance.

With their necks fully raised in a standing position, a neogi will stand around 8 ft tall, weighing around 750 pounds.  The largest of the neogi stand around 10 ft tall, weighing over 1000 pounds.  They have two brains, one in the head which is promarily responsible for processing vision, hearing, and speech, and in the spider's body, under a heavily armored area at the base of the neck.  Their intelligence lies in the lower brain, making beheading a neogi a particularly ineffective method of killing one.

Magical Ability

The neogi are among the most magically capable of all mortal races, though their magic tends to be fairly focused on certain abilities which come naturally to them, with other areas of magic largely absent.

Regeneration

All neogi have a natural talent for regeneration of their bodies, both from natural decay as they age and any injuries they suffer.  A sufficiently powerful neogi can regenerate its body from almost nothing, making them exceedingly difficult to kill if they have enough power built up: they can, in theory, regrow their entire bodies from as little as a few living cells, though none are known to possess this level of power.  Normal injuries from attack, even including being beheaded are likely to simply annoy them.  Perhaps unintuitively, the more elder a neogi is, the better they can regenerate from injury, as they are constantly in the process of regenerating themselves from the effects of aging, reducing the relative effort involved in fixing injured body parts.

Mental Enslavement

Most neogi have the power to mentally enslave other mortals, including both human and other neogi.  They are telepathic, able to send commands to their slaves as well as receive simple replies from non-telepathic slaves.  They do not possess their slaves as a demon would, however: they cannot force the slave to perform some act the way a demon can simply take someone over.  Instead, the neogi can induce pain on their slaves, in the form of disabilating migrane headaches, using this power to punish any slaves who don't do as they are told.  

To establish this control, the neogi must sting their victim, injecting a potent venom which connects the victim to the neogi.  The venom will wear off over time, so additional stings are required to retain control.  The range of control of a freshly stung slave is quite large, at least a hundred miles for the least skilled of neogi, as large as the area of an entire planet for those most skilled, but within months, the range will start to decline.  The longer a slave has been held under the command of a neogi, stung repetatively, the longer each sting lasts.  Slaves are generally sold near the end of their control, especially if sold to another neogi, so the new owner can take full control of the slave.

Teleportation

One of the things which makes the the more powerful of neogi dangerous is their ability to create portals from one location to another.  Once a portal is created, its creator can sense its presence and activate it, with minimal effort, holding it open for as many to pass as they like.  Neogi generally make some effort to secure their portals from activation by other neogi, though they can leave a portal "unlocked," and sufficiently aged neogi will often be able to bypass younger ones' blocks on the portals' use.  Traditionally, these portals are limited to a single world, as the same creature must visit both locations to create the portal, but in worlds where interstellar travel is possible, they can span different planets.  Furthermore, with the aid of demons, they can be brought into Hell and back out onto a different world, allowing them to, in theory, create portals literally spanning the entire universe.  However, as the power required to create a portal grows with distance, creating one across such distances is generally not done.

Neogi can also create portals into and out of Hell, though the energy requirements of this are massive.  Demons find such portals invaluable, though, offering them gateways onto worlds through mechanisms unrelated to either demon summoning or their sigil being implanted on a world, which is inherently tracable back to the demon responsible for the gate.  As such, one of the more common jobs neogi will have on a demon's staff is to create and maintain portals to other worlds.  

Around half of the neogi can create a portal of some sort, though a relatively small percentage are able to create portals spanning enough distance to be particularly useful.  Only a handful are capable of creating portals spanning worlds or into Hell.

A gate can be used to extend the range of telepathy: even without activating a gate, its presence serves as a link through with the telepathic ability can be extended.

Death and Torture Magic

The neogi need power to feed their magical ability, but they are not demons, able to consume the souls of those they kill.  Instead, they have learned to draw the energy from one they have enslaved, destroying them in the process.  While the process is not, in and of itself, painful, inducing pain in their victims improves the efficiency of the process (as it does when the demons consume a soul), thus virtually everyone killed by the neogi are tortured to death.

Those neogi who deal extensively with demons also demand payment for their services in the form of magical power: what the neogi gain from torture is similar to what the demons gain from consuming souls, allowing for such deals.  As a side effect, however, the most elder of neogi are almost always highly dependent on demons simply to keep them fed with enough energy to remain alive.

Behavior and Attitude

The neogi, as mentioned above, have effectively no morals.  Without exception, their focus is on themselves above all others, and they will do anything to improve their own situation.  While they will slightly favor others of their kind in dealings, they have no problem enslaving, torturing, or killing others of their kind if it is to their own advantage.  This is not to say they are incapable of working with others: In fact, they can work closely with other creatures of any sort, but generally cannot be trusted once it isn't to their advantage to remain loyal.

Unlike the demons, the neogi have no predisposition to keeping their side of a deal or telling the truth.  They routinely lie, break their side of a deal, and overall act in a dishonest way the demons thoroughly disapprove of.  The neogi, for the most part, have learned that such acts do not end well: lying to or breaking a deal with a demon does not end well for a neogi, especially since the demons can detect such acts in mortals, neogi included.  However, when dealing with other mortals (including other neogi), there is virtually nothing honest about them.

The Slave Trade

For the most part, the neogi's main profession is in the trade of slaves.  This is especially true of those not working for demons: they run some of the largest slave trade rings in the universe, at every level.  In particular, a large group of around one hundred neogi have set up a massive interstellar slave trade covering dozens of planets, using portals established through deals with demons to get them passage from one world to another via Hell.  This particular gang's standard mode of operation is to locate a high-gravity world with, ideally, a population of around one hundred million people at relatively low technical advancement.  They open portals to their "customer" worlds, supplying them with slaves drawn from the invaded world.

 

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Created by aeto on 2017/12/21 00:30
    
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