Art by, Dr9com9ge
Common Jobs: Death-Delayer, Lawyer, Soldier
Likes: Sin, Pain, Anarchy
Dislikes: Virtue, Boredom, Order
Attack Method: Darknidows are incredibly brutal and sadistic fighters when they give their all, ripping their opponents limb from limb and enjoying every second of it. They typically strike their opponents with their venomous stingers first, however, in order to make sure the suffering lasts as long as possible.
Darknidows worship seven Sinful Lords, beings that represent the most prevalent and popular sins in darknidow culture. These Sinful Lords represent pride, greed, lust, envy, wrath, gluttony, and sloth. In addition to these Sinful Lords is Ebb, the supposed "Dead God", who created the Sinful Lords before being betrayed and eaten alive by them. Darknidows despise Ebb for forcing their ancestors to live in boring order before his demise.
Darknidows are a rather terrifying-looking species. The upper halves of their bodies are humanoid, with two insectoid arms, but the lower halves of their bodies look much stranger, like a mix between a snake, a scorpion, and a centipede. Darknidows have six spidery legs on their slithering underbelly, as well as a tail that ends in a large, dark, and sharp stinger. This stinger stores the infamous venom of the darknidows. Darknidows are typically some shade of purple, except for a red hourglass pattern on their torsos and a darker grey coloration on their underbellies. The red hourglass pattern typically has smaller green details and patterns inside of it. Usually, these green spots take the patterns of buttons, suits, ties, or other fancy clothing. Darknidows can naturally heal wounds relatively quicker than other species, an extremely useful ability considering the constant violence on their homeplanet. Depending on the temperature they are born in, a darknidow can have a slightly different appearance from the norm. Darknidows born in warm conditions are the most common, with their smooth snakelike skin, but darknidows born in colder areas have layers of hair across their bodies, starting out very thin but getting fluffier the colder the temperature they were born in was.
Darknidows have round heads with a toothy smile and eight glaring eyes, two of which are bigger than the other six. These eyes are usually a solid red, but sometimes have pupils, or are a different color. Darknidows also have two large horns on the sides of their heads, which can take a variety of shapes, but are always sharp. Many darknidows wear small hats, as hats are a signifier of both status and personal limits in the Ninthircle System. Different color hats correlate to different planets of sin, and certain symbols can help clarify whether a darknidow is okay with being a subject of sufferfeeding. Visitors to the Ninthircle System are typically gifted a hat to show any darknidows that see them that they shouldn't be subjected to arbitrary cruelty.
Darknidows are most well-known for their love of sin. Any action that is seen as "sinful" in the eyes of the universe is beloved and approved of in darknidow culture. In addition to this, through a bizarre anomaly affecting the entire species, darknidows can feed off of the concepts of suffering and pain, and enjoy doing so. Due to these facts, the Ninthircle System that the darknidows call home is a lawless place where murder, crime, and decadence are celebrated. If they're hungry or just want some entertainment, two darknidows could simply stab each other and they'd both be perfectly happy about it. Sufferfeeding, the random acts of violence done to sate hunger in the Ninthircle System, is seen as a reasonable thing, and unless a specific symbol is explicitly worn on a darknidow's hat, any darknidow can be the subject of sufferfeeding without warning. Because they know they're helping one of their brethren get a meal or enjoy themselves, and that their wounds will heal quickly, almost all darknidow are fine with this.
Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for the rest of the universe, laws stop people from being the subject of random assaults. Darknidows begrudgingly accept this fact, and the rate of illegal sufferfeeding outside the Ninthircle System is shockingly low. Darknidows have two options to replace sufferfeeding. The first is that they can eat an all-meat diet, as flesh has the taste of inherent non-sentient suffering baked into it from the death of whatever animal it came from. The other, more common option, is that they can prank people. A bit of mischief that surprises or worries somebody for just a second is technically suffering in the eyes of whatever anomaly affects darknidows, and although it doesn't "taste nearly as good as clean-cut brutality", some minor devilry will do the trick to feed a darknidow.
Despite the fact that they accept and follow most universal laws, darknidows are cultural anarchists, believing that the ideal society is one with no rules at all. Darknidows also believe that negative emotions are actually a good thing, and should be embraced rather than despised. Because of this, even the most depressed or angry darknidows will be seen smiling, knowing that their negative feelings are valid and acceptable. Many masochistic darknidows take this even further, believing that pain itself is positive, and willingly offer themselves up for sufferfeeding. Darknidows don't just accept torture and cruelty. They love and thrive in it.
According to geological studies, Vehemence, the supposed original homeplanet of the darknidows, is one of the oldest planets in the universe. Fossil records show that darknidows spontaneously appeared on Vehemence sixty thousand years ago, rather than evolving naturally. Concurrently with the darknidows came the lightonarchs, insectoid angelic beings with extravagant moth-like wings, a species that seemingly populated an exactly equal amount of the planet. The darknidows claim that they, along with their light brethren, were the masterwork of Ebb, a god of order and balance.
Although the bodies of these species didn't change much over time, their minds did. Sixty thousand years ago both darknidows and lightonarchs were like simple fauna, feral and stupid. Over millenia, they grew smarter, invented things, and grew intellectually as most species do. Throughout this evolution of thought, darknidows say that Ebb lived among them, descending from the heavens to make sure that the darknidows and lightonarchs were balanced and lived in a world of order. The lightonarchs were supposedly happy with Ebb's order, infinitely positive and bright, but the darknidows were filled with hatred and spite. They felt a need to cause suffering, and despite creating them that way, Ebb refused to allow it en masse.
Then, seven thousand years ago, things drastically changed. The darknidows, who had been living peacefully among the lightonarchs, suddenly snapped. Seven darknidows created a plot to kill Ebb, destroy his "boring order", and establish a society of anarchy where all darknidows could act out their desires freely. Oraenar, the Envious Dissenter, was the one to gather the group together, after being jealous of Ebb's godly power for so long. Kelnaria, the Greedy Founder, had a specific plan for the society he would create once Ebb was gone. Vanadias, the Lustful Trickster, offered to lure Ebb into a trap through seduction and creative use of shadowmancy. Silzael, the Wrathful Godkiller, would be the one to strike Ebb from the shadows, beheading him with two scythes at once. Azelium, the Prideful Heir, would take Ebb's power and split it into eight parts, sharing it amongst the others, but keeping two for himself. Valicarn, the Gluttonous Void, would lead a campaign of genocide against the lightonarchs, violently consuming their bodies in a sadistic show of power. Quroogor, the Slothful Idler, was also there when the plan was created.
The plan went off without a hitch. Ebb, the Structured Conductor, was dead, and chaos would reign. Notably to some religions, only the darkness-controlling half of Ebb's power was supposedly taken by the Sinful Lords, his lighter half simply fading away. Now that they were in control, the Sinful Lords helped found Kelnaria's society and helped in Valicarn's systematic cannibalism of every lightonarch. It took around a thousand years for the lightonarchs to go extinct, but based on the rarity of any natural remains of lightonarchs, fossilized or otherwise, they were certainly...thorough.
Darknidows developed space-faring technology on their own in, rather fittingly, the Fear Era. Hearing of the mass suffering caused by the notails at the time, they were quick to spread across the universe, although the vast majority of them stayed within their own star system after learning about the existence of universal laws, wanting to stay in their "paradise of pain". Supposedly, during the discovery of the darknidows, a single ship of E-class notails flew onto Vehemence, saw darknidows goring each other for fun, and flew right back off the planet. For information on current darknidow society, cultural differences on the various planets of sin in their star system, and the cults that have appeared worshipping Ebb, refer to the article on the Ninthircle System.
Mutilated: The Mutilated are darknidows who were born with too much venom in their bodies, leading to it flowing through their veins along with their blood. As a result of the venom's physical and anomalous properties, the Mutilated gain a number of bizarre abilities. Most notable of these is that the Mutilated are always born with at least one strange, often horrifying mutation, usually localized in the head area. Common Mutilated mutations include mouths that go around the darknidow's entire head, multiple horns in places they shouldn't be, too many eyes, not enough eyes, and no eyes.
The Mutilated also have vastly increased regenerative abilities, able to regenerate entire limbs within weeks, but anything regenerated comes back mutated , bizarre, and sometimes unusable. In situations where a Mutilated is very gravely injured, the venom in their bloodstream will activate and neutralize the wound. When a wound is neutralized, it won't heal, but will instead become a normal part of the Mutilated's biology. Due to this, many Mutilated are covered in wounds that seem to have not healed, but are simply a normal part of their body now.
Shadeweaver: Shadeweavers are darknidows with a very specific anomalous power: shadowmancy. In the age of Ebb, almost half of all darknidows were shadweavers, as this ability is said to have originated directly from his presence, but they're now exceedingly rare. Shadeweavers can be distinguished by their pitch-black eyes. Their main use of shadowmancy is that they can control their shadows independently of their own body, and their shadows can interact with people and objects through their shadow. For example, a shadeweaver's shadow could tap somebody else's shadow on the back, and that person would feel it, or the shadow could pick up the shadow of a bottle, and the bottle would float in the air.
Algotoxic Venom: The venom flowing through a darknidow's stinger is technically beneficial to whoever is stung. Through reasons unknown, darknidow venom temporarily keeps victims from dying while doubling the pain victims feel. It is theorized the venom causes this effect by paralyzing the outer layer of blood vessels while still letting blood flow through, but the simpler explanation is that this is just yet another anomalous property of theirs. Due to this, victims struck by darknidow venom can endure fatal injuries and survive (although they'll be in the most severe pain they've ever felt). Many darknidows take up the odd profession of "Death-Delayer", as willing patients in critical condition can be struck with venom to give doctors enough time to fix their injuries.
• Because of their love of taboo and contrarianism, many darknidows have joined the religion of Obmilism, worshiping the widely-hated Limbo gods. As a result, many blessed items are collected by darknidows, and the Ninthircle System is one of the best places in the universe to find them. Some theorize that some of the universe's most terrifying unidentified anomalies are darknidows, blessed by the gods for no reason other than a vague, selfish, sinful spite against Limboism.
• What counts as "suffering" in the diet of darknidows is rather vague. Physical pain is said to taste the best, tasting similar to blood, but emotional distress has a more stale and smoky flavor. Darknidows can technically eat their own suffering, but find its taste disgusting and nauseating. Often, darknidows need to be shooed away from hospitals and funerals, as the mass amounts of suffering wafting from places like these are supposedly delicious.
• Although the darknidows are seen as violent, idiotic, and cruel to most in the universe, they sit surprisingly high on the species ladder. This is because the greed-obsessed darknidows of Rapacity and the pride-obsessed darknidows of Pique both make strangely large contributions to various donation drives and committees of high-ranking species. In the case of Rapacity's darknidows, it's likely because they believe the species are good trade partners or financial investments, while in the case of Pique's darknidows, their main goal is just to be seen as high-class in any sense at all. In addition to this, darknidows from many walks of life decide to become lawyers, having been so interested in the technicalities and loopholes of the laws of the universe that they want to make a living studying them.
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