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Sahkil

Source Bestiary 5 pg. 212
Psychopomps oversee one of the most fundamental functions of the multiverse: the progress of mortal souls. Through this infinite cycle of lives, deaths, and rebirths, the forces of the planes calibrate and evolve. Psychopomps serve as caretakers of this process, yet no matter their might or influence, they all know their place, their duty, and a shared secret: that the order of the planes is not perfect, and that one distant day it will end. For most psychopomps, this burdensome truth reinforces the great need for their diligence in fending off the decay of all things. For others, it is an onrushing nihilistic destiny. And for the most brazen, selfish psychopomps, it is a reason to rebel.

Those psychopomps that dissent are known as sahkils. Not content to serve as clerks in an endlessly deteriorating cycle of meaningless lives, these former psychopomps abandoned their duties. Escaping the strictures of their previous brethren, they flee to the empty places of reality—most congregating in the misty Ethereal Plane. There, where the great procession of newly departed souls endlessly marches toward judgment, death’s rebels remake themselves. Embracing the dread with which mortals already view them, they restyle themselves as tyrants of terror. No longer servants to souls, they would become their terrifying masters. Reality’s days might be numbered, but for those finite eons, sahkils resolve to rule.

Sahkils bear little resemblance to the psychopomps they once were. Although some embrace the morbidity of their former brethren, most sahkil forms are inspired by common or particularly potent mortal fears. Unnatural fusions, insectile limbs, and bloody phantasmagorias abound among sahkil shapes, each designed and destined to terrify. The least sahkils have the most recognizable forms—familiar limbs seemingly twisted by unimaginable excruciations. The greatest of their kind, though, are near-indescribable horrors, obscene in both shape and proportions. Yet sahkils share the single drive to give all creatures reason to fear.

From the Ethereal Plane, sahkils watch. They slip tenuous tendrils into the dark and abandoned places of the world, infusing the mundane with dread and giving fangs to mortal imaginings. When they trespass upon the Material Plane, most sahkils prefer to remain veiled, corrupting nature and turning people into monsters. They revel in the awe associated with terror and hear praises in every scream. When finally their victims have been sapped, drained of their capacities to hope and to fear, the sahkil feed. Not willing to let their playthings escape to feed the cycle they once served, sahkils delight in nothing more than tearing mortal souls apart or giving rise to blasphemous undead.

The most dangerous sahkils rise to dominate their brethren as nightmare warlords. These sahkil tormentors form vast, sanity-bending realms from which only tortured sounds escape. Unique in form and objectives, these demigods gather legions of sahkil servitors, uniting them in campaigns targeting vulnerable souls, entire mortal worlds, or even rival tormentors. Regardless of their goals, sahkil tormentors are the most secretive members of the race, cloaking themselves to preserve the terror of their true faces, or sometimes to hide the beings they once were.

As sahkils viciously impede the multiverse’s workings, these gluttons of fear are widely loathed. Nearly every celestial and lawful race opposes their selfish desires, hunting them as dangerous beasts and metaphysical brigands. Psychopomps most actively oppose sahkil interference with the progress of souls, yet rarely display racial malice against the traitors. Additionally, manasaputras violently resent sahkil schemes, as sahkil predation actively impedes the development of mortal souls. This often results in dutiful manasaputras or their agents defending vulnerable spirits or leading quests to liberate worthy souls before they’re destroyed.

The sahkil are not without allies, though. Divs, in their campaigns to spread misfortune and ruin among mortals, respect the motivations of sahkils and sometimes work with them to spread fear. Equally nihilistic, the end-seeking daemons delight in sahkil destruction of mortal souls and their hastening of the end times. Kytons, too, have a distant admiration for the avant-garde masterpieces of insanity and terror that sahkils work upon mortal minds.

Sahkil Tormentors

A fractious group of godlike warlords dominate vast numbers of sahkil. They have been the most effective in the goals of their race, amassing power and worship through terror. From their nether-realms upon the Ethereal Plane, these sahkil tormentors sow new horrors among mortal worlds and minds. Some of the most dreadful tormentors include the following.
  • Ananshea, The Skin That Walks on Teeth
  • Chamiaholom, Skull Staff
  • Charg, The Typhon Wheel
  • Dachzerul, The Darkness Behind You
  • Iggeret, She Who Was Lost
  • Hataam, River Eater
  • Nameless, Upon an Empty Throne
  • Ozranvial, Despair’s Smile
  • Shawnari, The One Out of Place
  • Velgaas, Minds in the Dark
  • The Vermillion Mother
  • Xiquiripat, Flying Scab
  • Zipacna, The Mountain Below

Creatures in "Sahkil" Category

NameCR
Esipil2
Ichkoh7
Kimenhul20
Nucol4
Pakalchi9
Qolok16
Wihsaak6
Ximtal17
Zohanil10

Sahkil, Ximtal

A rat’s head sprouts from the front of a crab-like body, and two tentacular tails ending in hands erupt from the towering bulk.

Ximtal CR 17

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 244
XP 102,400
NE Large outsider (evil, extraplanar, sahkil)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect good, detect magic, see in darkness, true seeing; Perception +27

Defense

AC 33, touch 17, flat-footed 25 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +16 natural, –1 size)
hp 279 (18d10+180)
Fort +21, Ref +13, Will +17
DR 15/good; Immune death effects, disease, fear effects, poison; Resist cold 15, electricity 15, sonic 15; SR 28

Offense

Speed 50 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee bite +31 (2d8+14 plus disease), 2 claws +31 (3d6+14/19–20 plus grab)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with claws)
Special Attacks constrict (3d6+14), disease, isolation, look of fear (60 ft., DC 25), miasma
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 17th; concentration +23)
Constant—detect good, detect magic, fly, greater magic fang, true seeing
At will—feast on fear (DC 23), putrefy food and drink (DC 16)
3/day—cloudkill (DC 21), quickened displacement, suggestion (DC 19)
1/day—horrid wilting (DC 24), imprisonment (DC 25), maze, sequester

Statistics

Str 30, Dex 25, Con 30, Int 15, Wis 22, Cha 23
Base Atk +18; CMB +29; CMD 47 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Dodge, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (displacement), Staggering Critical
Skills Bluff +27, Climb +18, Fly +17, Intimidate +27, Knowledge (arcana, planes) +23, Perception +27, Sense Motive +27, Spellcraft +23, Stealth +24
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ despoil, easy to call, emotional focus, skip between, spirit touch

Ecology

Environment any (Ethereal Plane)
Organization solitary, pair, or fright (3–6)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Despoil (Su) The DCs of saving throws against diseases, poisons, and drugs within 1,000 feet of a ximtal increase by 2.
Disease (Su) A creature bitten by a ximtal is exposed to a debilitating disease called forsaken agony. As the disease progresses, it causes the sufferer to grow pale and distracted, to suffer increasing loss of sensory input, and to eventually die of ennui induced by isolation and despair. Those who suffer from forsaken agony are strangely contagious to others—the sickness can be spread by touch, but only when the creature suffering from the disease touches another creature when no other creatures are within line of sight. Forsaken agony is not contagious when the sufferer can see two or more creatures. When transmitted via contact with another victim, the save DC to resist the disease decreases by 4, so that only a successful DC 27 Fortitude save is needed to resist contracting the sickness from an infected host or to avoid its ongoing ravages.
Forsaken Agony: Bite—injury; save Fort DC 29; onset immediate; frequency 1/day; effect 1d6 Wisdom drain plus sensory loss; cure 2 consecutive saves. Each time a creature fails a saving throw against forsaken agony, it must also roll 1d6 to determine what sense it permanently loses, as follows.
d6 Sense
1 Taste: The creature takes a –2 penalty on all saving throws against ingested toxins and on Perception checks based on the sense of taste, such as using the skill to identify the powers of a sipped potion.
2 Smell: The creature loses scent and scent-related abilities.
3 Touch: The creature’s Dexterity is reduced by 2.
4 Hearing: The creature becomes deaf.
5 Sight: The creature becomes blind.
6 All: The creature immediately loses all of its senses.
If a creature rolls a result that it’s already suffering from, it instead suffers the next highest result that it’s not currently suffering. A creature that has lost the use of all senses that fails a saving throw against forsaken agony instead takes 1d4 points of Constitution drain. The save DC is Constitution-based and does not include the +2 bonus from the ximtal’s despoil ability.
Isolation (Su) Once per day as a standard action, a ximtal can attempt to isolate up to four creatures adjacent to it, obstructing the way in which they normally work alongside their allies. A creature can resist this effect with a successful DC 25 Will save. A creature that fails to resist isolation becomes intangible to all creatures it regards as an ally. The target is essentially incorporeal, invisible, and silenced to its allies, though it can’t move through objects and can interact normally with items. In addition, an isolated creature can no longer see, hear, or perceive creatures it considers allies. The target can see and hear itself, cast spells with verbal components, and use command words normally, but any effect that requires allies to see, hear, or touch the target doesn’t function. Any creature with an attitude of indifferent or worse toward the target or that wishes the target harm can see and interact with the target normally. True seeing pierces this effect, but see invisibility can’t be used to perceive the targets of this effect. Once every 24 hours, a victim of isolation can attempt a new DC 25 Will save to end the effect. This is a curse effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Look of Fear (Su) A creature affected by a ximtal’s gaze is panicked for 1d6 rounds and shaken for 1 minute thereafter, or shaken for 1 minute on a successful save.
Miasma (Su) As a standard action, a ximtal can discorporate into a dark, greasy fog that damages creatures caught in it. When a ximtal uses miasma, its space increases to 20 feet and it is treated as if under the effects of gaseous form. A ximtal can remain in miasma form indefinitely and can revert to its solid form as a free action. Within the miasma’s space, all sight— including darkvision—is reduced to 5 feet. A creature within 5 feet has concealment, and creatures farther away have total concealment. On the start of the ximtal’s turn, creatures in the area of its miasma take 4d6 points of damage (this damage bypasses all damage reduction and energy resistance). A successful DC 25 Will save negates this damage. Any creature within the miasma can attack the ximtal but takes a –4 penalty on its attacks and can’t attempt saving throws against the damage from being within the miasma at the start of the ximtal’s next turn. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Description

While psychopomps usher mortal souls to the proper judgment, sahkils have no care for souls and want to only torment and frighten mortals, often toying with their feelings of unease about their very mortality. Sahkils want to remind mortals that they are just that—mortal and alone in a complex and dangerous universe. Ximtals feed on the fear of not belonging, and on the fear of isolation from the rest of a community or society. A ximtal stands 14 feet tall and weighs nearly 1,000 pounds.

Ximtals are manipulative schemers by nature. Having no concern whatsoever for any law, and feeling only contempt for joy and freedom as well as a total disdain for the overarching principles of society, a ximtal uses any insecurities and other weaknesses it perceives in order to slowly erode positive thoughts and actions and keep strong-willed mortals from acting on beliefs that would aid the greater good. They foster the vulgar and abusive voices in all sides of a conflict, subjecting the sensible and sensitive to ill treatment from the loud and malignant. These sinister outsiders instill feelings of dread and hopelessness, and make people feel as if they were alone and unacknowledged even in the presence of their friends and allies.

Ximtals delight in finding impressionable and aggressive voices to do their work. They know that if they can get someone who thinks she is fighting for a good cause to use terrible tactics in her pursuit of the ideal, they can corrupt that message and seed fear, shame, and dread in what would normally be seen as a constructive endeavor. In this way, ximtals hope to transform the righteous into fanatics.

More subtly, ximtals sometimes focus their attention on friends and allies of the truly virtuous—their ultimate targets—to indirectly discredit these paragons. In these cases, ximtals encourage associates of a target to misrepresent the target’s intended cause. They work their way into the minds and ideologies of people who focus their actions on advertising their ideals and motivations; they gradually corrupt such folk, leading them to treat other voices with barely concealed aggression and contempt and make hasty decisions that run counter to their final goals. Eventually, the ximtals hope, these agents of discord will subvert the paragon’s message and mire her in despair and isolation.

Ximtals tend to remain isolated from others of their kind. They don’t often cooperate to target a certain individual or cause unless it holds some fascination specific to individual ximtals or sahkils. Instead, they spread themselves out through the multiverse to focus on divergent ideologies or selective societal crusades. Despite their tendency to be alone, some ximtals work in partnerships with pakalchis (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 5 216), as pakalchis focus on breaking down the bonds of friendship. Working in parallel, these two types of sahkil can destroy not only friendships, but entire families or organizations.