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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, Phylacator

This imposing humanoid is clad in black chainmail with a featureless helm. It clutches a serrated dire flail in its gauntlets, and several pairs of manacles on its belt writhe of their own accord.

Phylacator CR 18

Source Pathfinder #132: The Six-Legend Soul pg. 88
XP 153,600
LE Medium outsider (evil, extraplanar, kyton, lawful)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., true seeing; Perception +26

Defense

AC 32, touch 12, flat-footed 30 (+6 armor, +2 Dex, +14 natural)
hp 297 (18d10+198); regeneration 15 (good weapons and spells, silver weapons)
Fort +19, Ref +15, Will +16
DR 15/good and silver; Immune cold, disease; SR 29
Weaknesses iron chair (see text)

Offense

Speed 20 ft. (30 ft. without armor)
Melee +1 vicious dire flail +28/+23/+18/+13 (1d8+16 plus 2d6), +1 vicious dire flail +28/+23 (1d8+6 plus 2d6)
Ranged mwk manacles +23 (1d4+11 nonlethal plus trip)
Special Attacks animated manacles, forbearance, unnerving gaze (30 ft., DC 26)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th; concentration +25)
Constant—true seeing
At will—deeper darkness, detect thoughts (DC 19), discern lies (DC 21), order’s wrath (DC 21)
3/day—greater command (DC 22), greater teleport
1/day—imprisonment (DC 26), greater prying eyes

Statistics

Str 31, Dex 18, Con 32, Int 15, Wis 21, Cha 24
Base Atk +18; CMB +28 (+32 trip); CMD 32 (44 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, EnforcerAPG, Great Fortitude, Greater Trip, Improved Trip, Improved Two- Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (dire flail)
Skills Bluff +28, Intimidate +28, Knowledge (local, planes, religion) +23, Perception +26, Sense Motive +26, Stealth +21
Languages Languages Common, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ institutionalized

Ecology

Environment any (Plane of Shadow)
Organization solitary
Treasure double (mwk chain mail, +1 vicious/+1 vicious dire flail, 4 mwk manacles, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Animated Manacles (Su) A phylacator can throw a set of masterwork manacles like a masterwork bola. A target tripped by the phylacator’s manacles is also entangled until it slips free of the manacles or breaks them. Manacles thrown by a phylacator automatically expand or contract to fit creatures of any size. As a move action, a phylacator can move a single set of manacles within 180 feet up to 30 feet in any direction, but if a creature is locked in the manacles, the phylacator must succeed at a grapple combat maneuver check against the creature to move it. A phylacator can open or close any number of manacles within 180 feet as a free action, but it cannot open and close the same manacle in the same round.

Forbearance (Su) As a full-round action, a phylacator can end one imprisonment effect it previously created. This violently rips the target through the Plane of Shadow to an unoccupied square adjacent to the phylacator, automatically reducing the target to 0 hit points in the process. This is a pain effect.

Institutionalized (Ex) In exchange for its service, a phylacator forms a bond with an institution that consists of 100 or more prisoners. While inside the limits of this institution, it gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Bluff, Intimidate, Knowledge (local), Perception, and Sense Motive checks. It must spend 1 day familiarizing itself with the institution to form this bond; once selected, it loses any bond it had with a previous location.

Iron Chair (Su) Each phylacator is bound to a specific metal throne covered with a thousand iron spikes, in which it must sit, unarmored, for 15 minutes each day. A phylacator that does not perform this ritual loses its regeneration and institutionalized abilities until it can do so. The iron chair has hardness 10 and 500 hit points; if destroyed, a phylacator must spend 1d12 days on the Plane of Shadow to acquire a replacement.

Unnerving Gaze (Su) A creature that fails its saving throw against a phylacator’s gaze is overcome with submissive hopelessness, taking a –4 penalty to its CMD for 1d4 rounds. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.

Description

Phylacator kytons serve as jailers, torturers, and executioners in the most terrible prisons across the planes. Although a phylacator normally relies on its intimidating presence and booming voice to quell its charges, phylacators also enjoy violence and relish opportunities to quash riots. In combat, a phylacator knocks foes to the ground with its flail and pummels them into submission, relishing the painful feedback it receives when using its weapon. Against fleeing foes, a phylacator hurls manacles it magically animates, incapacitating its foes until it can recover them at it leisure. Since a phylacator is often responsible for keeping prisoners alive, it frequently uses nonlethal tactics—but that doesn’t mean it is any less brutal or efficient in its methods.

Although a phylacator normally wears armor and draped chains to cover its flesh, its skin is midnight blue in color and has the texture of rough-hewn stone. Phylacators are hairless and their steel-gray eyes lack pupils. They are unceasingly patient and can remain utterly motionless for hours.

Phylacators stand almost 7 feet tall and weigh approximately 350 pounds.

Ecology

Phylacators claim to be the ones who exploited the weaknesses of the kytons’ prison in Hell and helped to facilitate their race’s escape into the Plane of Shadow. As a reward for their service and intimate knowledge of prisons, phylacators were chosen to serve as wardens in Xovaikain, the prison realm where their revered deity, Zon-Kuthon, resides. For ages, the phylacators’ vigilance in maintaining security has been absolute. Wherever phylacators serve, they maintain a thorough knowledge of all chambers and passages, every lock and bar, and the habits of each other warden and guard.

Phylacators are deeply familiar with the sufferings mortal minds experience while imprisoned and are experts at provoking maddening desperation in even the most resigned prisoners. As a form of entertainment, a phylacator sometimes allows the most intelligent of its prisoners to think he has found a way to escape, such as by creating predictable patterns of guard shifts, instructing officials to seem to be susceptible to bribes, or appearing to overlook access points near supply routes. After letting a prisoner plan for weeks, months, or even years, those avenues are closed at the last minute to catch the prisoner in the act of escape, after which he is publicly tortured to serve as an example to others.

As powerful as they are, phylacators have a significant vulnerability. Every night, a phylacator must remove its armor and sit in a torture device known as an iron chair to shed its blood in tribute to Zon-Kuthon. This device is a dull metal throne covered with hundreds of spikes all over the back, seat, and leg-rests. A phylacator usually keeps its iron throne in a secluded location, such as behind a trapped secret door, but some phylacators keep their iron thrones hidden in plain sight among other implements of torture.

Habitat and Society

Although the creatures mortals call kytons are properly known as “velstracs,” most don’t mind the term “kyton” as it denotes a flattering appreciation for their skills. Phylacators are an exception; they bristle at being called kytons and insist that their kind be called velstracs instead. Failing to do so after a single instance of correction is sufficient to earn a phylacator’s ire.

A select few phylacators are bound to the Material Plane to serve as jailers for military prisons or other high-security detention facilities. A spellcaster can bound a phylacator only with powerful spells such as planar ally, greater or greater planar binding. A conjurer that knows a phylacator’s proper name can promise the phylacator sanction over not less than 100 good or chaotic creatures and ownership of the corpses of prisoners executed under the phylacator’s jurisdiction. If these criteria are met, a phylacator serves willingly and obediently for 1 year. A phylacator might serve longer for a larger prison population, or increasingly sadistic authority over the prisoners.

Most phylacators on Golarion serve evil dictators or wicked cults, although a few secretly serve less despicable benefactors who use the outsiders to keep dangerous criminals securely locked away. For instance, many Nidalese know of phylacators serving in Pangolais, but rumors that taxmasters of Abadar employ a phylacator in a secret correctional installation beneath Oppara are stridently denied by the church.