The NI Monster

Written by Barron

Devourer of the Lazy

The NI Monster, which stands for the "Needs Improvement" Monster is a mythical monster that was created to persuade children to strive for excellence and to never let themselves become content. The beast makes common appearances in children's entertainment, and is oftentimes hinted to in the Syndicate equivalent of fairy tales.   The Beast is said to lurk in the shadows, under the bed, in the closet, wherever it can't be seen. Waiting for children to grow lazy and happy before devouring them and taking their souls. While it is but a fairy tale, the existence of Foci and other horrible monsters means that Kids are often terrified of the NI Monster.  


The NI Monster was a creation of the early Syndicate culture, first as a joke, but a stream of viral videos and games made the monster a common piece of Syndicate culture. Soon parents used the story to try and instill a desire to always be improving upon their children.   The myth has stayed solid in the Syndicate over time, but it has yet to spread to other Banner's cultures.  


The Needs Improvement Monster is said to resemble a massive writhing mass of charcoal-colored tendrils. Each of them hold within emotions of laziness, apathy, gluttony, and depression. The beast is said to wrap around children, choking them with the emotions and paralyzing them until it slowly devours them into the mass of black tentacles.   The beast is also said to have a glowing yellow sack on its back, where it stores all the souls of the children it has eaten, rather than letting them have an afterlife.

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Mommy says if I don't find something to try, that the NI Monster is gonna eat me. I don't wanna get eaten!
— Syndicate Child
Yeah. It feels a bit barbaric, but hey it got the kid to get outside and take up something. So there we go!
— Syndicate Parent

Cover image: Hologram Wheel by Ademal


Author's Notes


Summer Camp Prompt 17

Describe the tales in your world designed to make naughty children behave.

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