The succubi are what is known as a symbiont race; their culture and lifestyles are primarily dependent on those of other races. In the case of succubi (also called incubi- we’ll address this later), they are creatures that are dependent on humans and humanoid races for their survival.

Succubus by r-trigger

Succubi are primarily found in and around human settlements. Their appearance is made to match those of the races around them. Whilst a doppelgänger can take on the appearance of specific individuals, the succubi can only change their physical forms to a certain extent without the use of magic. They can switch their external sex, with ‘males’ referred to as an incubus and females referred to as a succubus- to them, these terms are interchangeable, and as such they are mainly used as terms by other races and not terms they would use for themselves. They can change their racial appearance to an extent, such as skin colour, facial features, ear shape etc. In general succubi take on forms that are conventionally attractive to the individuals around them as well.

There is no ‘true’ form of a succubus. After a while of changing shape, they tend to choose a form that they are most comfortable with and remain in this form when they wish to be themselves. This is referred to as their ‘normal’ form, but would not be the same as the form they would have if they never interacted with other races. This form usually shows traits that display their inhuman nature, such as a pointed tail, facial horns, and inhuman skin tones such as red and purple. Disguising these forms takes more effort than changing the rest of their appearance, and as such there is a tendency to take any opportunity available to not hide these structures.

Art by Robh Ruppel

Succubi are most well known for their drive to corrupt humanoids around them. Sources vary in regards to why they do this; the most commonly accepted is that they must be servants of some great evil, and corrupting others must give their lord power. Others say that, despite their need to eat food as with any other living thing, their corrupting acts are how they truly gain energy. Either way, succubi feel an internal need to make other races go against their internal moral codes. These codes don’t necessarily correlate with the local laws, but instead correlate with what the person themselves feel is wrong. The fewer morals a person has, the less appealing they are as a potential target.

This drive can vary in intensity and form, much like human sexuality. Some succubi only like to corrupt males, others only females, and others don’t mind what sex they work with. Some only like to corrupt others sexually, whilst others do so through acts of violence, greed, or pride. Some have a very suppressed drive, and as such can go through their lives as just another human.

It is important to note as well that the enjoyment of this corruption varies from individual to individual. Succubi emotional spectrums are not as intricate as humans, but they can still feel bad if their actions negatively affect those that they care about. What’s more, the physical acts they may have to undergo may not always be pleasing to them. For example, let’s say an incubus has decided to seduce someone in order to make them commit adultery. For one incubus, they may enjoy the event and enjoy having sexual relations. For another, they may get no positive feedback from the event besides satisfying their drive for corruption (this could be compared to the sensation of alleviating a physical pain as opposed to an enjoyable sensation).

Demonesses by Phob

Succubi lack their own culture, but this hasn’t stopped human culture being shaped by them, nor has it stopped them changing how they must interact with humanoids. In militant, religious regions, succubi must be secretive about their existence. They pass themselves off as normal humans, manipulating humanoids either under the cover of night or by taking on positions in human lives that allow them to have a degree of influence, such as in taverns, clergy, and schools, where people of all kinds can be influenced by suggestions and persuasion from bartenders, priests, and teachers. Individuals in these societies may present themselves conservatively in order to avoid attention, or take the opportunity to present themselves more provocatively, in order to have a greater initial effect on their victims.

Elspeth by NickRoblesArt

In more open and mixed societies, however, things can drastically change. The caricature of succubi as these highly attractive individuals that need to have sex has resulted in succubi and incubi being treated by some as living sex objects. Whilst a few individuals find this appealing, most succubi aren’t fond of the constant harassment, and as much as they may be approached by suitors willing to ‘feed’ them, these individuals are obviously wanting to cheat on their spouses (thus are not corruptible enough) or are simply looking for a bed warmer. Succubi low on their luck may at times turn to brothels for work, but this isn’t always a desirable option. Young succubi and incubi may also go to these regions in order to practice their ability to persuade others, as well as to learn other skills that they would need for less accepting regions.

Fortunately, this isn’t a cultural norm. Other areas are more accepting of succubi, allowing succubi with low corruption drives to live their lives in relative peace, or giving corrupting succubi a resting point and some space to collect themselves after being driven out of other settlements. Succubi can be great members of a society; their good understanding of human body language and behavior makes them good at solving disputes and working with people, and their ability to detect the moral codes of others allows them to work alongside city guards to find criminals. Succibi with enough intelligence and a good disguise can use this inherent knowledge to obtain positions of power, lasting for years until people figure out that they may be something other than human.

Succubi produce more of their kind by reproducing with others of their kind. As they can change sex, succubi/incubi are hermaphrodites, meaning that both individuals can leave a relationship with a child. Reproduction between individuals of the same species results in a succubi infant, whilst stories vary about the offspring of a succubi and a humanoid. Some say that the infant will be a stillborn monstrosity. Others say that they will be succubi themselves, unaware of their true natures until the desire to cause harm to others becomes too great. A few stories even say that their spawn would become something worse than a succubi or a human.

Pregnant and child rearing succubi often find fulfilling their drive for corruption hard, and are often driven to find ‘normal’ forms of work in order to sustain them. The majority of succubi found in brothels are usually single parents in need of money. If they are lucky, both parents will care for the offspring of their pairings, meaning one can find work whilst the other cares for the children. Young Succubi look like the race of their parents, with their form changing during infancy based on the races they interact with on a regular basis. Succubi infants that do not interact with other races have a strong likelihood of looking much like their parents.

It is easy to forget that succubi age. Whilst they age slowly, they will eventually become old and weak, and the beauty and charm that kept them alive for so long will eventually fade. When this occurs, succubi that have strong corruption drives are known to take their own lives, knowing that it will be hard to seduce others when they look like old crones. Others, meanwhile, become crafty, using their harmless facade to tempt others into giving into other sins- theft, deceit, murder… after all, the little old man in the house next door must know what’s best, right?

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