Devourers are undead beings born when fiends or evil spellcasters are lost beyond the Great Beyond. They somehow acquire an alien intelligence and a burning desire to snuff out all life. They can absorb the soul of any living creature they touch and use its power to fuel their unholy magic.
Devourers come into being when a fiend or evil spellcaster travels beyond the Great Beyond, where they experience a dramatic transformation that simultaneously destroys and recreates them, leaving behind an alien mind with no trace of their former personality. It is hypothesised that there is a presence that actively draws them to itself and turns them into devourers; this might explain their strange mannerisms and why only evil spellcasters and fiends are susceptible. It is possible that some devourers might be unaware of their own origin.
Devourers earn their name from how they trap the souls of creatures they kill inside their body and slowly absorb the power of these souls, piece by piece, to fuel their magic. Each devourer can only trap one soul at a time, and must relinquish or destroy one soul in order to trap another. For some reason (possibly tied to how they interact with the devourer's alien mind), certain spells can forcibly split a devourer from a trapped soul, allowing that soul to proceed to the afterlife. Souls that are released and resurrected come back weaker, they are drained. It is believed that devourers can also consume disembodied souls, but they do not find this necessary. Devourers do not need to eat souls to survive, and use them simply as magical batteries.
Although devourers can be created by magic, what exactly occurs when these spells are cast is certainly more than just animating a corpse: these devourers might be called into being instead of created, and they share all the traits of normal devourers. Some scholars notice points in common between the different ways that various magical traditions create devourers, suggesting that this ability might have been introduced by some evil force long ago as a single spell.
Devourers wander the planes, eating souls as needed but paying little attention to others, as their mind is elsewhere. They avoid others of their kind for some reason, possibly because they are preparing to deliver the planes to their unknown master, so there is no need to have more than one in a single area.
Devourers opportunistically feed upon souls and are pragmatic to the extreme. They are willing to serve greater masters to further their own ends, and will quickly attack these masters or their servants if they tire of their company or feel that they have outlived their usefulness.
Devourers are intelligent and knowledgeable but speak in bizarre ways, babbling half-sentences or riddles and sometimes answering unasked questions; it is speculated that these verbal tics are caused by their creator. Devourers never discuss just who or what they are talking to, but sometimes let apparent titles like 'Dire Shepherd' or 'Wandered Upon the Stair' slip.
Due to being born from planar travellers but lacking the ability to do so themselves, devourers are obsessed with the planes and seek ever more efficient ways to wander the Great Beyond. They spend their existence pursuing alien goals that make little sense to others, encompassing irrational, blasphemous, dangerous knowledge that is likely linked to their mysterious creator. It is unknown if they remember their past life or not, but their actions might shed some clues on what they used to be before becoming devourers.
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