Niyotts are tiny creatures, no bigger than a human hand. They are albino imp-like creatures with razor-sharp teeth. They also have relatively large bat-like wings, long arms and long legs. They have 3 fingers on each hand, and they have 3 toes on each foot. Their most notable weapon, however, is a long, scorpion-like tail with vicious venom.
Niyotts do not eat flesh. They eat paper. They devour books, texts, scripts, tomes, and the like.
Two weeks after a male and female niyott mate, the female niyott lays anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tiny eggs in a secure spot, usually within the walls of a niyott habitat. After a five to six month period, half of these eggs hatch. Only two to three niyotts of a particular brood live to maturity at age ten, however. Niyotts can live anywhere from a century to a millennium.
Every niyott seeks to learn valuable knowledge, and then shred it so that it can never be read again. They are also good liars and diplomats, although the use of flatteries is a surefire way to fool a niyott. Niyotts have impeccable memories, and are said to be unable to forget anything.
Niyotts believe that gaining power equates with gaining knowledge. The more you know, the stronger you become. Although they prefer books, they seek interesting pieces of knowledge from anyone or anything that can supply it. Then, they swiftly get rid of the source before others can utilize it and gain power to rival them. Niyotts especially enjoy magical knowledge, and while they do not keep these spell books or ritual books, their impeccable memory gives them the power to use any spell they know (and have the capacity to utilize).
Long ago, a forgotten wizard slaughtered a gathering of imps. Using the remains of the imps, the wizard conjured the first niyotts in the image of the slaughtered imps. The wizard ordered the niyotts to devour knowledge, starting with a library of a fellow wizard. The niyotts did as commanded, shredding the library and murdering the fellow wizard. The niyotts were far from satisfied however, so when they returned to the wizard, the swarm of niyotts killed their creator. The niyotts then dispersed, still hungry for more knowledge.
Niyott culture is centered on learning and shredding knowledge. Niyotts live in large clans. A niyott clan descends upon a place of knowledge, and then they disperse to lay claim to the knowledge to be read and heard. The niyotts shred boring and unintellectual pieces on sight. Works of art, however, niyotts spend much time leisurely reading and taking in. Some tales even tell of niyotts crying, sobbing, and wailing as they devour a beautiful book.
A niyott clan is not satisfied until every single piece of readable knowledge in the vicinity is read and destroyed. Libraries house empty shelves overnight. A church can lose all of its holy scriptures in mere hours. Even wizard towers are not immune to loss of their books. Once every book is found, read, and devoured, the niyott clan moves to the next settlement.
The elite niyotts are wizards, who have managed to devour spell books. An elite niyott lords over all other, lesser niyotts of its clan.
Due to their relations with imps, niyotts and imps get along fairly well. They trade information, contracts, and tall tales. They think of each other as cousins, even though each believes they are superior to the other.
An encounter with a niyott can go bad fast. While clan-less niyotts may even become the familiars of offbeat wizards, niyotts with clans behind them are very overconfident when it comes to other creatures.
Since niyotts storm places of knowledge, settlements may wish to hire mercenaries or adventurers to help deal with the niyotts (before their entire trove of knowledge is eaten). Some very unlucky settlements can house more than one clan of the fiercely territorial niyotts...
Some amoral wizards can call upon an entire swarm to devour a place of knowledge, offering the niyotts a tasty lunch. If the niyotts are not satisfied however, they usually go on a killing spree against the amoral (and unlucky) wizard. If they are satisfied however, the wizard gains a horde of eager niyotts to command...as long as the wizard can keep providing knowledge.