The neogi appear as a cross between a wolf spider and a moray eel. The short,
furry, eight-limbed body is topped by a lithe, bare, fleshy neck with a serpentine head, its mouth filled with needle-sharp teeth. The ends of its limbs are tipped with small claws. The fur of the neogi is a light tan, but dyed a variety of colors to signify power, rank, accomplishments, and warnings to other neogi. The older a neogi grows, the more colorful its hide becomes. The neogi are ruthless slayers and plunderers, and think nothing of eating their enemies, servants, or fallen comrades. They are a hateful, xenophobic race. Neogi can communicate in their own language and in Common. Many speak other languages to help facilitate their slaves taking orders correctly.
The hated neogi are only found in very remote locations, deep beneath the earth, or among the farthest stars. Their lives revolve around their communities and their slaves. Neogi are a slaving race with an inborn sense of property: all is either owned or owner, slave or neogi. Even neogi are slaves to other neogi, but slave-neogi may have their own slaves. The neogi tattoo their non-neogi slaves with symbols of ownership, usually on the left shoulder in the front and back. Captive umber hulks are trained from birth to follow their “small lords,” caring for their every need. Any neogi can command another umber hulk. The neogi world view of “own or be owned” has resulted in a paranoid outlook that borders on xenophobia, and their relentless attacks on other races result in their being universally hated. The only “normal” race with ties to neogi are the mind flayers, who make a profit on the neogi slave trade.
The neogi have a number of defenses, the first, and most obvious being their enslavement of umber hulks. Each neogi has a personal umber hulk slave who is a combination bodyguard, manservant, and useful set of hands. Second, the bite of the neogi is poisonous. It causes a victim to be effected much like the wizard spell Slow. Lastly, the Neogi can use its claws to claw and rip at flesh, although they try to avoid melee combat if at all possible.
As a neogi grows older and his mind fades, his orders become confused and his slaves become disobedient. His fellow neogi may choose to poison the older one at once. The different poisons moving through its body overload the old neogi’s system, and it begins its change into a Great Old Master.
The neogi making the transformation swells to 20 feet in height and a similar girth. Its legs and arms become useless, and its intelligence fades; it now lives only to eat. Live flesh is preferred, but the dead will sustain it. After 2 months of eating, the skin of the Great Old Master bursts and a new crop of mature neogi spill forth. These are unmarked and barely sentient at birth, and for the next week the brood area resounds with combat as the young neogi kill each other for food. Of the 20-40 neogi that eat their way out, only about 3-6 survive. These are considered slaves of the community, until such a time as they claim an umber hulk as their personal slave. If a Great Old Master is attacked and its flesh pierced, it releases between four to eight neogi to defend itself. These are taken from the future brood, and are not replaced. Blunt weapons will not pierce the skin and therefore do not bring forth young. Edged or piercing weapons, or magical spells that pierce or burn, will produce this defensive reaction.