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Kyton

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 170
Despicably cruel and equally horrible to gaze upon, kytons are evil fiends who feed on the fear and suffering of mortals through painful supernatural means. Their monstrous appearances vary, but their stoic and amoral dispositions are universal, for no kyton cares anything for the plights typical of the creatures they prey upon. They are beings wholly dedicated to metamorphosis achieved through horrific trials of self-mutilation and the mystical power provided them by their sapping of mortal anguish.

Despite being often categorized by mortals as shadow-dwelling devils, kytons calmly refute such claims, seeing themselves as above the principles of Hell's denizens. Instead, kytons seek ecstasy through pain in the form of deliberate and violent self-transformation, adhering to the belief that by altering the physical and spiritual matter that makes up their form, they can reach a state of perfect being. Removing aspects of themselves and replacing them with more desirable or powerful pieces one at a time, kytons believe that experiences of heightened emotion and sensation (typically in the forms of terror and pain) lead to greater states of awareness and existence. The dedication with which they practice this belief places them on the level of zealots, their fanatical commitment made all the more disturbing by their eerie composedness and unnaturally cool dispositions.

The original kytons were born of the first truly selfish and depraved thoughts conceived by mortals. These creatures surprised and horrified the early gods with their power and hideous nature, and so the gods chained them in a remote part of Hell. The kytons embraced their chains and, seeking to fulfill their unnatural hunger for pain, escaped to the Plane of Shadow, which lay much closer to their mortal prey. Now, kytons are born of mortal souls that were spiritually and physically tortured in life, victims of their own masochism, sacrifices to gods of suffering, or those promised to the fiends either by their own will or by sadistic cultists. Obscure rituals force the sacrificed souls to bypass the normal judgments of the afterlife and instead become mired in the Plane of Shadow. Over an excruciating and lengthy span of time, these souls are warped and twisted until they emerge as frail new kytons. A kyton's first willing act must be to cut away part of its own flesh, proving it is worthy of its kyton nature—the first step in an immortal lifetime of replacing its own substance with the stronger parts of other creatures. By drawing strength from its new grafts, a kyton grows and becomes both stronger and more terrible to behold. Thus, weaker kytons resemble the mortal creatures they once were, whereas older ones are horrifying patchworks of transplanted material that rarely look like their original forms. Many kytons still proudly wear the chains that bound them (either to Hell or to the torture devices that created them), trophies of their power to defy the gods or mortal fate.

Kytons' need to replace parts of themselves with those of stronger mortals puts them in perpetual danger of attacking creatures that are too powerful for them to kill. For this reason, kytons are pragmatic and ruthless in their battles, scrutinizing all potential outcomes of a situation before taking action. Seeing strength in numbers, kytons often attack or trap a mortal victim as a team, hauling the unfortunate soul to the Plane of Shadow, converting their prey into a new kyton or dividing its body and soul among them for grafting and nourishment.

The kytons of the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary are a specific type of kyton (other kytons call them “evangelists”); they have all the traits listed in the kyton subtype (see page 306). The kytons listed here are but a few of the other known types—many more exist on the Plane of Shadow.

Kyton Demagogues

The powerful kyton rulers called demagogues possess strength hardly fathomable by mortals. They exist within a power structure similar to that of archdevils. Lesser kytons view these overseers as horrid sovereigns among their kind, and though there are many outlying areas on the Plane of Shadow not controlled by demagogues, kytons who find themselves wandering through a demagogue's territory know to show respect for these lords of suffering.

Demagogues are so advanced in their metamorphosis of self-mutilation and augmentation that no two look alike. Some are strangely beautiful, some are horrors beyond sane description. A demagogue's powers are vaster than even many of their kyton brethren dare consider—they construct enormous cities out of the countless bodies of their victims, weaving entire networks of veins and spiritual energy to create breathing, pulsating metropolises. Demagogues seek to control as much of the realm around their organic superstructures as they can, a feat that proves forever challenging in the dark, shifting corners of the Plane of Shadow. Though one rarely finds reason to leave the confines of its home plane, a demagogue's influence is far-reaching, and kytons who value their lives do as they are commanded, lest they incite the awful and calculating rage of a mighty overlord. The following are some of the most powerful kyton demagogues that reside in the Plane of Shadow, watching over their pulsating kingdoms in massive, gory towers.
  • Barravoclair, Lady of the Final Gasp
  • Fharaas, the Seer in Skin
  • Inkariax, the White Death
  • Morrobahn, the Parasite Seed
  • Raetorgash, the Skull-Hoarder
  • Sugroz, the Voice in Screams
  • Vevelor of the Broken Dream

Creatures in "Kyton" Category

NameCR
Apocrisiarius7
Apostle Kyton12
Augur2
Cantor9
Ephialtes16
Eremite20
Interlocutor12
Kyton6
Lampadarius4
Libitinarii13
Oitos11
Ostiarius5
Phylacator18
Sacristan10
Suffragan5
Termagant17

Kyton, Apocrisiarius

This slender humanoid is clad in a severe black leather harness and long skirt decorated with curling twists of wire. Her eyes are colorless orbs, and tears of blood course down her cheeks. Slender surgical lancets pierce her body in numerous locations, yet these wounds do not bleed.

Apocrisiarius CR 7

Source Pathfinder #98: Turn of the Torrent pg. 84
XP 3,200
LE Medium outsider (evil, extraplanar, kyton, lawful)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
Aura truth (30 ft., DC 14)

Defense

AC 19, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 natural)
hp 85 (9d10+36); regeneration 3 (good spells, good weapons, silver weapons)
Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +6
DR 5/silver or good; Immune cold, poison; SR 18
Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity

Offense

Speed 40 ft.
Melee lancet +14/+9 (1d4+7/19–20/×3), lancet +14 (1d4+5/19–20/×3)
Special Attacks unnerving gaze (30 ft., DC 16)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +9)
Constant—aura of truth (DC 14)
At will—mage hand, open/close, stabilize
3/day—cure moderate wounds, poison (DC 16), sending, tongues
1/day—order’s wrath (DC 16), plane shift (self only, to or from the Material Plane or the Plane of Shadow)

Statistics

Str 17, Dex 20, Con 18, Int 17, Wis 10, Cha 15
Base Atk +9; CMB +12; CMD 27
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (lancet)
Skills Bluff +14, Diplomacy +14, Heal +12, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nobility) +6, Knowledge (religion) +12, Linguistics +15, Sense Motive +12, Sleight of Hand +14
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Auran, Celestial, Common, Ignan, Infernal, Necril, Shadowtongue, Terran, Undercommon
SQ lancet mastery, truthspeaker

Ecology

Environment any (Plane of Shadow)
Organization solitary, pair, or company (3–8)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Aura of Truth (Sp) An apocrisiarius kyton exudes an aura of truth, making it difficult for anyone within 30 feet to utter a lie. This effect functions as per zone of truth, save that it emanates from the kyton (not a fixed point in space) and thus moves along with the kyton. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Lancet Mastery (Su) An apocrisiarius kyton wields two lancets in combat. In the kyton’s hands, these weapons function as +1 keen punching daggers. The apocrisiarius kyton adds its Intelligence modifier as a bonus on all damage rolls for the lancets (this modifier is in addition to any other damage modifiers, such as that granted by Strength, and is included in the statistics above). When not wielded by the kyton, these weapons revert to nonmagical daggers. A kyton who loses a lancet can withdraw a lancet from its flesh and transform the blade into a new punching dagger as a move action.

Truthspeaker (Ex) An apocrisiarius kyton is incapable of lying; it can withhold the truth by refusing to answer a question, but can’t utter or telepathically communicate a falsehood. Any attempts to do so (including attempts to obey commands to do so while the kyton is mind controlled) simply fail, as if the kyton had chosen not to communicate.

Unnerving Gaze (Su) The gaze of an apocrisiarius kyton causes an opponent to become overwhelmed with a painfully acute awareness of all the times that lies (be they his own or those of others) have hurt or complicated his life. Those who fail to save against this effect are staggered for 1 round.

Description

The term “sadistic” is synonymous with kytons, who are known for their innate cruelty and capacity to gain pleasure from the suffering of others. However, an apocrisiarius kyton considers inflicting pain and suffering nothing more than a tool to reach what truly intrigues it—the purest form of a single truth. An apocrisiarius typically appears as a human whose eyes are blank, white orbs. Tears of blood weep from its eyes—physical evidence of the sorrow it has tasted over the ages from dreadful truths torn from the flesh and mind of its countless victims. The dozens of surgical lancets that pierce an apocrisiarius’s body do the creature no harm, and the holes these instruments leave are as bloodless as they are deep. The kyton operates on those it captures with these lancets; these fiends prefer to use torture and vivisection to carve away both physically and metaphorically at their victims until all that remains is the one nugget of information they desire—a pure truth, unadulterated by extraneous life.

Ecology

So obsessed with truths are these single-minded fiends that they exude a supernatural aura that causes others nearby to be unable to lie as well. For apocrisiariuses, speaking a truth is the greatest pleasure they can achieve, particularly if those to whom it is spoken suffer from the revelation. Laying bare the most damning of secrets, particularly those that have existed only in a cloak of lies, is to apocrisiariuses like the completion of a masterpiece. A truth, once spoken, is but wind and sound and ends once the breath used to fuel it expires, yet the effects upon those who hear such words can outlast even the finest work of art. To the apocrisiarius kyton, the wounds caused by such cutting truths are the finest vintage of suffering one can inflict. As outsiders, these fiends don’t need to eat to survive, yet an apocrisiarius kyton denied the opportunity to extract a hidden truth for too long grows emotionally starved. Such kytons suffer no physical effects from this metaphorical starvation, but might well agree to things they otherwise would not (such as releasing a prisoner or revealing information they have been entrusted with) in return for someone admitting before them and allies a truth that shames and hurts those who hear it.

Habitat and Society

Because apocrisiariuses see themselves as seekers of truth, they tend to hold themselves apart from other kytons out of a haughty sense of superiority. This arrogance is sometimes answered with extravagant punishments meted out by more powerful kytons of other types, but apocrisiariuses take these brutal reprisals with equanimity, seeing such persecution as acts of jealousy, and further justification of their pursuit of truth.

Though apocrisiariuses are native to the Plane of Shadow, they frequent the Material Plane with distressing regularity. On occasion they hire themselves out to those who require the services of a skilled torturers and interrogators, but they are used most often as messengers and diplomats, particularly in the political mazes of Nidal. Those aware of apocrisiariuses know that they are incapable of uttering falsehoods, and so messages delivered by them are beyond corruption or confusion. If a noble’s conjured apocrisiarius reports to another an offer of alliance, the recipient can rest assured that the source has no duplicity in mind, at least for the moment. Others use these kytons as lie detectors, by either simply capitalizing on their truth auras when interrogating nearby subjects, or asking an allied apocrisiarius to repeat a phrase. If that phrase contains a lie, the kyton cannot repeat it. Of course, these kytons have no additional insights as to why such phrases are lies, and indeed, they have even been known to willfully ignore requests to repeat things they know to be true if doing so can further their own complex plans. To an apocrisiarius, strategically withholding a truth can be far more potent than a lie ever could be.

Because of their inherent ability to recognize lies, apocrisiariuses are often used as emissaries between the governments of Nidal and Cheliax. If Nidalese diplomats wish to assure Cheliax that their darkened nation poses no threat, they send one of these fiends. The Chelish government accepts whatever the kyton says as truth, knowing that it can’t utter falsehoods even if the Nidalese diplomat somehow tricked the kyton.

An apocrisiarius’ victims are particularly unfortunate souls, for these kytons have no interest in their prisoners’ well-being after truths have been extracted. Indeed, apocrisiariuses have been known to deliberately avoid acquiring the desired information in a timely manner in order to maximize the amount of time they can spend tormenting their victims, under the theory that only when a being has nothing else to cling to does the truth it conceals become pure. This does mean that in cases where a creature might hold multiple secrets, an apocrisiarius may not be the best choice for the job. These kytons excel at extracting the truth, but often their subjects do not survive beyond uttering their first revelations.