If you ever doubt that nature can be cruel, look no further than these damnable things.
Nebiri-Shi are large, predatory crustaceans native to the The Abyss
. They are infamous for their vicious temper and are more than happy to attack any fisher who fall off their boats.
The Nebiri-Shi are crustaceans, with a black shell and powerful ripping pincers. They grow between two and four meters in length, with a powerful armored tail. Unlike some crustaceans, their eyes face forward and and are set deep within their skulls rather than on stalks. Six swimmerets line their bodies which they use to paddle their way through the water. Another four, smaller arms are located just below their face which they use to shovel bits of food into their large, jagged maw.
Some priest say the Nebiri-Shi are devils sent from the angry ocean to punish us. I'd say they're probably worse.
Voracious predators, Nebiri-Shi do not exactly hunt in packs but tend to converge on movement in the water in a frenzy of ripping and tearing to get at their meal. Blood can draw the Nebiri-Shi from miles away, a trait which afford them a dreadful place in the mythologies of the settlements near the Abyss. They've shown themselves willing to attack prey much larger than themselves and even each other. Nebiri-Shi wounded by failed attacks have been turned on by the others from the swarm and devoured just as any other prey.
The Nebiri-Shi stay relatively close to the surface while hunting and make their nests along the rock cliffs of the sides of the Abyss. They sometimes travel great distances to hunt and will eat almost anything (or anyone) they can get their claws on. They are capable of great bursts of speed by flicking their tails that they use to quickly surge on prey and the grasp them with their pincers to rip them apart. The grip of a pincer is can dent metal and tear limbs off with ease, making them feared shadows in the black waters. Despite this, the Nebiri-Shi are sometimes the prey of other, larger creatures from deeper down in the Abyss, not all who are known to mankind.
As the saying goes in Dūbavum: anything that scares a Nebiri-Shi ought to scare you, too.
The Nebiri-Shi mate rarely and there isn't much courting involved. Both genders are equally short tempered and failed mating often end with the would-be couple battering each other instead. Otherwise, the fertilized eggs are deposited in a nest, covered with kelp and debris then abandoned. When the eggs hatch, the young are ravenous and turn on each other for their first meal. Those who survive stay close to the cliff and feed on small fish, worms, slugs and barnacles until they reach adult age and venture into deeper waters.
Older Nebiri-Shi tend to be particularly large and particularly short-tempered, in part due to the fact that should they show any weakness their younger kin wouldn't hesitate to make a meal of them.
Every fisher who sail the Abyss know and fear the Nebiri-Shi. They are infamous and one of the common threats against any who sail the waters. Their fearless nature and voracious appetite make them particularly prone to attack humans, even going so far as crashing into boats and rafts to tip them over. They feature often in cautionary tales and children's stories, devouring unruly children who strayed too far into the water against their elders advice.
While their numbers aren't quite so great as to be everywhere in the Abyss, the mere threat that they could be is a weight upon every fishers mind. Talismans and charms of protection are popular and common, particular around Dūbavum and the rangers there sometimes make Nebiri-Shi hunts part of their initiations. But not too often, because those hunts are just as likely to see them dragged below and devoured as it is to end with a meal of Shi-Shu.