They were strange, bloated creatures whose eyes were sewn shut as were their mouths. Every nupperibo was deaf. However, it could discern the existence of creatures within 30 feet (9 meters) by scent. One way to "blind" a nupperibo was to confront it with an outrageous smell. Their hunger gave them one special ability that effectively allowed them to perceive something. Provided they were in the Nine Hells, nupperibos could pursue any creature without fault that was hurt by one of the vermin that surrounded the nupperibos. Any nupperibo's vermin sufficed for this.
Nupperibos were genderless creatures. They also never drank or ate anything. That said, they constantly hungered, and they put whatever they could grab, no matter how filthy, into their mouths, it simply was never satisfactory or quenched their hunger in any way.
The method through which a devil was demoted to a nupperibo was to carve its flesh, sew its eyes and mouth, seal the ears with lead, fill the body with corruption, and then remove the brain. The process, as done by an excruciarch left the devil with practically no hint about its former form and the nupperibo was complete. As mentioned before, there was practically no hint about its former form. A nupperibo that was born from demotion always had some signs that might give another person idea about its former identity like some unique scar patterns.
A second way to generate a nupperibo was to leave a larva alone on Baator. They naturally grew into nupperibos. However, they were turned into lemures, so they could become full members of infernal society. However, some souls, namely of evil people, who were not evil because of their actions, but because of their laziness, lacked the spark of ambition that gave a devils the ability to enter and rise in their hierarchy. Such souls still entered the Nine Hells, but the devils could draw no use out of them and could not turn them into lemures or other devils. So, these souls became nupperibos and stayed that way.
Nupperibos had barely anything that could count as having a personality. They lacked all sorts of ingenuity to develop anything that resembled combat strategy on their own and even when somebody directed them, all they could do was to try to overwhelm with their numbers. They were merely almost completely mindless, but still lawful evil. This personality trait showed itself in their unquestioning obedience towards their superiors and their cruelty towards their enemies.
Nupperibos generally fought with their claws, but were sometimes given simple weapons like clubs. When more than ten nupperibos ganged up on the same opponent, they generated an effect that was similar to cause fear against the one they were ganging up on. However, such behavior was only displayed on order from a superior devil. However, they were surrounded by a fear-inducing aura that could similar effects at all times. While this was not exactly an aura, a nupperibo was surrounded by vermin. These vermin were harmful to any body who came close to a nupperibo.
Killing them was very hard. They had a continuous regeneration ability that was slow to heal wounds but very strong. Even when burnt down to ash, a nupperibo's regeneration ability brought it back to full health if given enough time. There were two ways to deal with this ability. First, this ability had the peculiarity to work only while the nupperibo was on one of the Lower planes, meaning if the nupperibo was brought away from there, it could be permanently killed. Second, the nupperibo's regenerative abilities did not work on wounds inflicted to them by holy things like holy weapons or holy water.
Nupperibos were relentless warriors who never lost their fighting morale and were completely immune against any effects that tampered with their minds.
A nupperibo's role in the infernal military was canon fodder, distractions, rear guard during a retreat, cushions to absorb attacks, and forces to occupy enemies. A nupperibo was never the protagonist in a military campaign.
Nupperibos were at the utter bottom of the infernal hierarchy. A nupperibo was on a purely technical level a creature that stood higher than a lemure. However, a nupperibo was a dead end for baatezu promotion, it was not possible to rise higher in the hierarchy. To rise higher than that station, a nupperibo needed to first be demoted to lemure-status to have any chance to rise high in the hierarchy. A devil was demoted to nupperibo-status only on some failure towards its superior. It was common belief among devils that demotion to a nupperibo was a tool to clarify how important the failed mission was. Sometimes, a failed devil was turned into a nupperibo, but kept around because the superior devil saw some value in the nupperibo's original form's capacities. In such cases, a nupperibo was returned to its former station when it was opportune. From time to time, this led a devil to kidnap a nupperibo from its rival, to restore the nupperibo to its former station, and then gain information and/or an ally. Asmodeus was rumored to send formerly-important-devil-nupperibos as servants to mortals to enjoy the activities of other devils.
Nupperibos were the target of abuse at the hands of other devils who outranked them. They were the menial labor force of Baator and as far as devils were concerned, it was labor resource that was virtually inexhaustible, because it constantly gained new members.
A usual group of nupperibos was one consisting of four to eight called a mob. This number was chosen, because it would force any opponent to divert some time and maybe even magical power to get rid of them. Giant mobs of thousands of nupperibos were organized when fighting the Blood War. When a nupperibo was found alone, it was most likely a survivor of the nupperibo-mob it was part of, or an enforcer or guard gifted to a low-class mortal servant of a devil. This was something of a joke among devils, as they found the idea of a diminished devil serving a weak mortal funny.
Nupperibos were counted among the baatezu and the baatezu claimed that they were part of their race. This was a lie, the race of the nupperibos, or to be more precise what the nupperibos eventually matured into, existed on Baator for a longer time than the baatezu did. Whatever they were, when the baatezu came to Baator, this race disappeared.
Being the original denizens of Baator, nupperibos naturally grew from larvae that were left alone and were expected to grow into mature specimen of their race if given time. However, the baatezu, who claimed that they were the first denizens of Baator, perpetuated a lie that the nupperibos were members of their race and turned them into lemures to build them artificially into their hierarchy. The truth that the nupperibos were not baatezu was leaked by the yugoloths at some point during the 14th century DR.
When a devil died outside of Baator, it most often became a nupperibo in Baator. Devils often made arrangements with their subordinates to find them by leaving detailed descriptions of their nupperibo-form and restore them to their former position. This method had a number of problems. Distinguishing one nupperibo from the horde was difficult even for devils and from time to time, it happened that a devil intentionally disobeyed the order. However, having the chance to work one's way up from nupperibo-status was viewed as more preferable than dying by the devils.
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 168. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 127–128. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Chris Pramas (1999). Guide to Hell. (TSR, Inc.), p. 59. ISBN 978-0786914319.
- ↑ Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 28.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Sean K Reynolds (2002-05-27). Hell in the Forgotten Realms. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2003-06-18.
- ↑ Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 20–21. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 12–14. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
- ↑ Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 25–26. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
Least: Advespa • Lemure • Nupperibo
Lesser: Abishai • Barbazu • Hamatula • Spinagon
Greater: Amnizu • Cornugon • Erinyes • Gelugon • Osyluth • Pit fiend • War devil
Alu-fiend • Archdevil • Cambion • Duergar • Fimbrul devil • Hellcat • Imp • Kyton • Legion devil • Narzugon • Seared devil • Succubus • Tar devil