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.
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? Responses (29)-29
I love it! These things are just threatening enough to pose an actual threat, without just being another baddie to send the part against. The idea for encounters could play through a whole range, and each could be different. Good job, Bly!
Also, I think that the Niyott should find The Ink Drinkers.
That means alot! Thanks!
(Also, the Niyotts should definitely form a partnership with these ink drinkers...imagine the possibilities...the horror...)
This is actually a pretty interesting little monster. Original, inventive, and twisted in its' own right. I both want to see these things in a campaign and never want to be a pc in that campaign at the same time. Wizards are going to HATE these little bastards, though. ^_^;;
I think a 'Preservation' ritual is in order...
...does it cover objects being eaten though?
(Also, thanks for the 5 star rating! It is too much. :P)
Very good, Bly. Very fun idea that I hope to use some day. Keep up the good work, I just wish there was a larger audience for you.
Oh dear, I am going to be replying to these comments all night!
Don't worry, I think exposing only a small audience to my corruption is enough for now...Mwhahahaha...
These things scare the hell out of me (IC). The speed in which they devour is devastatingly horrible. If they are known in the world there would be some kind of protective guild that sprung up that would know how to ward individual books and/or entire libraries. If they kept the knowledge secret, their guild would soon be incredibly rich and have access to previously hidden caches of special knowledge. Book collectors, of magical and normal sorts, would not be able to keep their secret hidden from them if they wished it to survive a Niyott infestation.
Additionally, my thoughts only scratched the surface of the need for some to make friends, somehow, with these things in order to find some destroyed bits of knowledge. If the Niyotts are indeed intelligent, they could quickly find themselves able to demand any price to reveal knowledge they devoured.
Wonder if they have a central way to find a certain piece of information contained in a random Niyotts.
Me after paying a large sum of gold: 'I am looking for the serum for the bite of an Aligonstonorous of the the 5th age.'
Niyott: 'You much search out Gribble Niyott of the Ternage Clan. He was last seen headed towards the Cornin Library. He holds the knowledge you seek.'
Great creature that has my mind churning!!
Just be careful. The Niyotts do not share their knowledge lightly. ;)
Blydden, I really like your idea. I just have a few clarifying questions:
1. Is the paper consumption, necessary for survival? Can they eat other things?
2. Do Niyotts accurately share the knowledge they destroy with each other? If not, wouldn't this result in fierce competition over books and/or clan anarchy?
3. How would a Niyott react to something written on something other than paper or parchment?
4. How would a non-magical Niyott fair in combat... say compared to an imp?
Great stuff, I enjoyed reading this and rereading it. I would have liked a little more information on their life cycle... but obviously that is not necessary to use these critters. I feel 'juiced up' man. Thanks.
Here are five (hopefully) clarifying answers:
1. There is no documentation of a Niyott consuming anything other than paper.
2a. They rarely share at all. A reasonable Niyott could sell their knowledge for the price of more knowledge, however.
2b. Clans are held together by heritage. A Niyott knows that their the clan is helpful protection. However, the competition over knowledge is a fierce one, and they typically try to stay away from one another's territory.
3. The niyott would read it, then probably figure out how to get rid of it, or at the very least, hide it. Of course, this depends on how valuable the information is. If it is not worth the effort, the niyott does not bother.
4. I'd say about a 50/50 chance. It is quite an even battle.
Thanks for enjoying it! It makes me feel special. :3
Apply a couple of these in combination with the Braggu, and you can pretty much destroy any civilization...
Great little beasties!
Still working on that Ink Drinker alliance. Please take a number. :P
Actually, the Braggu would deem the Niyott to be greedy midgets, for sure!
Also, Ink Drinkers and Niyott would compete for the same finite resource, not?
1) And it's true!
2) Nah. Read the knowledge, feed the Ink Drinker. The book goes blank, and the knowledge is removed. The niyotts don't need to eat as much paper as they do to sustain themselves. (In fact, they only need to really eat a page a day, tops. They have just adapted so that their metabolisms are able to allow such voracious consumption.) Though, they might want to be extra careful that the ink drinkers don't devour the knowledge before they can read it, or it defeats the entire purpose.
What Strolen said. Awesomeness. Mind churning. Nyotts and Ink-Drinkers!! Welcome aboard Blydden. Great stuff.
(Fun fact: I originally thought about creating some kind of magic shredder for the Garage Sale from Hell. Then I thought about a pet imp in a cage. Don't ask why I combined the two. Just roll with it.)
Can they be reasoned with? 5/5 I would hate for even one of these to discover my bedroom.That tail could badly hurt me.
They can be reasoned with. To be reasoned with reliably, not really.
*imagines if one disguised itself as an imp to serve a wizard, only to eat his books and scrolls as soon as the chance presented itself*
These are splendidly horrible little creatures. I must find a way to use them in the future. 5/5
Good idea, good execution. I am a bit bothered by the lack of bold on the headers, but that is just my opinion and does not affect my vote.
How wonderfully horrible! I think I will send my players after some bit of hidden lore that has already been gobbled up. See just how many hoops a Niyott can get them to jump through, knowing that a physical confrontation will only destroy what they seek.
Brilliant post!, that I've only just found.
If these guys were a problem though, I'd imagine that people would have quickly moved to non-comestible stores of knowledge. Clay tablets would probably be my first choice, as they're cheap, easy to use and once baked, fairly durable. (bar the clumsy apprentice.)
If you have cheap metalurgy, you could also use sheet metal embossing to defend yourself from the niyotts.
I can totally imagine how a wizard's wealth and prestige could be measured by the instruments he uses to record his knowledge, with paper at the bottom of the ladder and magical crystals at the top, with clay and metal in between. Rich wizards could scorn poorer ones over their crude tools, while the gift of a crystal, or a sheet metal book, could be a right of passage in a magical academy.
Great post, that stimulates ideas and makes me want to roleplay an encounter with them.
5/5 and my HoH!
Now I need to read the Ink Drinkers sub as well out of sheer curiosity.
Fascinating sub, (thanks to Kassy for pointing it out to me) and can make for a nice change of pace when used in an adventure, and a group of these is sure to be a mage or bards greatest nemesis.
I do feel the history portion fothe sub is a bit lacking however, why did this wizard create the Niyotts and send them forth to devour knowledge? Did he lose control of them or were they set free to run amok from the beginning?
Still great stuff, I can see these making an apperance in one of my fantasy campaigns someday.
Really cool little fellows. Quite useful as a threat and as a plot device.
Still one of my favorite lifeforms, I think. Have an HoH!