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{{Badges|featured}}
 
{{Deity
 
{{Deity
| image = [[Image:Zon-Kuthon holy symbol.jpeg|160px|Zon-Kuthon's Holy Symbol]]
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| image             = [[File:Zon-Kuthon holy symbol.jpeg|160px|Zon-Kuthon's Unholy Symbol]]
| name = Zon-Kuthon
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| name             = Zon-Kuthon
| titles = The Midnight Lord<br />The Dark Prince
+
| titles           = The Midnight Lord<br>The Dark Prince<br>The Prince of Pain
| alignment = [[Lawful evil]]
+
| adjective        = Kuthite, Kuthonite (worshiper)
| portfolio = Envy<br />Pain<br />Darkness<br />Loss
+
| home              = [[Xovaikain]], [[Shadow Plane]]
| cleric alignments = {{Alignment grid|off|off|off|on|off|off|on|on|off}}  
+
| alignment         = [[Lawful evil]]
| domains = Darkness, Death, Destruction, Evil, Law
+
| portfolio         = Envy<br>Pain<br>Darkness<br>Loss
| weapon = spiked chain
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| worshipers        = Sadists, masochists
 +
| cleric alignments = {{Alignment grid
 +
                      | off | off | off  
 +
                      | on | off | off  
 +
                      | on | on | off
 +
                      }}  
 +
| domains           = Darkness, Death, Destruction, Evil, Law
 +
| subdomains        = Catastrophe, Devil, Loss, Murder, Night, Undead
 +
| weapon           = [[Spiked chain]]
 +
| symbol            = Chained skull
 +
| sacred animal    = [[Bat]]
 +
| sacred colors    = Dark gray, red
 
}}
 
}}
  
[[Zon-Kuthon]] (pronounced ZONN-koo-THON)<ref>{{Cite book/Campaign Setting|247}}</ref> possesses one of the most twisted and evil minds in the multiverse. His position as god of pain is well earned, and he has been the root of countless tortures, murders and worse throughout time.
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The [[deity]] '''Zon-Kuthon''' (pronounced ZONN-koo-THON)<ref>{{Cite book/Campaign Setting|247}}</ref> possesses one of the most twisted and evil minds in the [[Great Beyond]]. His position as god of pain is well earned, and he has been the root of countless tortures, murders, and worse throughout time.{{Source}}
  
__TOC__ 
+
== History ==
==History==
+
{{See also|Dou-Bral}}
At the beginning of time, Zon-Kuthon was known as [[Dou-Bral]], a good deity who shared the portfolio of beauty, love and the arts with his half-sister [[Shelyn]]. Dou-Bral abandoned [[Golarion]] for the dark places between the planes, though, and was tormented there and possessed by an alien being. Upon returning to reality, Dou-Bral as he had been known was gone, replaced with the twisted, malevolent soul known as Zon-Kuthon.
+
Myths tell that at the beginning of time, Zon-Kuthon was known as [[Dou-Bral]]. The son of of the divine spirit-wolf [[Thron]], he was a good deity who shared his appreciation of beauty, love, and the arts with his half-sister, [[Shelyn]].<ref name="ISWG-227" /> During the [[Age of Creation]], Dou-Bral was among the original gods who battled the [[Rovagug|Rough Beast]] who sought to destroy [[Golarion]], and were eventually able to contain him in the [[Dead Vault]].<ref name="ISWG-216">{{Cite book/The Inner Sea World Guide|216}}</ref> When Dou-Bral grew jealous of his sister's talents, he abandoned Golarion for the [[Dark Tapestry|dark places between and beyond the planes]], and there was tormented and possessed by an alien being. Upon returning to our reality, Dou-Bral as he had been known was gone, replaced with the twisted, malevolent [[soul]] known as Zon-Kuthon.<ref>{{Cite book/People of the Stars|22}}</ref><ref name="ISWG-227"/><ref name="USH-10">{{Cite book/Undead Slayer's Handbook|10}}</ref>
  
When Shelyn saw that her brother was forever changed, and not for the better, the two battled, her pleas and tears met with a violence foreign to the Dou-Bral she knew and loved. Shelyn finally wrested the golden glaive the two had shared a symbol of their power from her twisted brother's fingers, establishing an tenuous truce, held in place more by silence and avoidance than any desire to actually coexist.<ref name="PF11p67">{{Cite article/Pathfinder 11, Skeletons of Scarwall|67}}</ref>
+
When Shelyn saw that her brother was forever changed, and not for the better, the two battled, her pleas and tears met with a violence Dou-Bral would never have been capable of. Shelyn finally wrested the golden glaive known as the ''[[Whisperer of Souls]]'' the two had shared (a symbol of their power) from her twisted brother's fingers, and established a tenuous truce that held in place more by silence and avoidance than any desire to actually coexist.<ref name="PF11p67">{{Cite book/Skeletons of Scarwall|67}}</ref><ref name="ISWG-226">{{Cite book/The Inner Sea World Guide|226}}</ref>
  
Seeing the crimes Zon-Kuthon committed in Golarion, [[Abadar]] knew that he must be punished, and made a bargain with the evil god. Zon-Kuthon agreed to go into exile on the [[Plane of Shadow]] for as long as the sun hung in the sky in exchange for an item from the [[First Vault]]. This imprisonment was not meant to be over as soon as it was, though, and when the sun stopped shining upon Golarion during the [[Age of Darkness]], Abadar honored his deal, giving Zon-Kuthon the first shadow, which The '''Midnight Lord''' has used to craft evil creatures from his realm of [[Xovaikain]].<ref name="PF11p68">{{Cite article/Pathfinder 11, Skeletons of Scarwall|68}}</ref>
+
A second myth speaks of how Zon-Kuthon first came into conflict with [[Abadar]], the god of culture, wealth, and stability. Seeing the crimes Zon-Kuthon committed in Golarion, Abadar knew that he must be punished, and made a bargain with the evil god. Zon-Kuthon agreed to go into exile on the [[Plane of Shadow]] for as long as the sun hung in the sky in exchange for an item of his choosing from the [[First Vault]]. This imprisonment was not meant to be over as soon as it was, though, and when the sun stopped shining upon Golarion during the [[Age of Darkness]], Abadar reluctantly honored the deal, giving Zon-Kuthon the first undead [[shadow]], which the '''Midnight Lord''' has used to craft evil creatures in his realm of [[Xovaikain]] ever since.<ref name="PF11p68">{{Cite book/Skeletons of Scarwall|68}}</ref>
  
==Relationships==
+
== Relationships ==
Zon-Kuthon has little concern for the dealing of other deities. As long as he can play with his many toys, The Dark Prince has no need for any alliances, wars, or diplomatic dealings. While often the target of vengeance from Golarion's good deities, Zon-Kuthon himself does little to instigate conflict. That said, he is not above torturing followers of other faiths, and does so whenever possible. The only one safe from his evil ways is his sister Shelyn, though he grants no such immunity to her faithful.<ref name="PF11p68" />  
+
[[File:Shelyn vs Zon-Kuthon.jpg|250px|left|thumb|An artist's depiction of the eternal struggle between Zon-Kuthon and [[Shelyn]]]]
 +
Zon-Kuthon has little concern for the dealing of other deities. As long as he can play with his many toys, the Dark Prince has no need for any alliances, wars, or diplomatic dealings. While often the target of vengeance from Golarion's good deities, Zon-Kuthon himself does little to instigate conflict. That said, he is not above torturing followers of other faiths, and does so whenever possible. The only one safe from his evil ways is his sister Shelyn, though he grants no such immunity to her faithful.<ref name="PF11p68" /> Zon-Kuthon nevertheless considers the goddess [[Sivanah]] one of his greatest enemies, and she sees his use of shadow magic as corrupting and enslaving.<ref name="ISWG-230">{{Cite book/The Inner Sea World Guide|230}}</ref>
  
==Appearance and Emissaries==
+
== Appearance ==
As Dou-Bral, Zon-Kuthon was known for his beauty, but his body now resembles a work of art only to those like-minded individuals who find pain and torture to be the pinnacles of existence.  Pale, gaunt, and often hairless, Zon-Kuthon is often depicted wearing tight, sexualized leather clothing, exposing his many open wounds and body modifications.  His lips have been removed, giving him a bloody, haunting grin, and hooks and piercings contort his face into reviling expressions, enhanced by the crystal which rests in the cavity where his left eye once sat.  Atop his scalp, a vertical crown of spikes pulls his skin into a disturbing sunburst, and the back of his skull is completely gone, revealing his brain. His hands ends in long, knife-like fingernails.<ref name="PF11p65">{{Cite article/Pathfinder 11, Skeletons of Scarwall|65}}</ref>
 
  
===Servants===
+
As Dou-Bral, Zon-Kuthon was known for his beauty, but his body now resembles a work of art only to those like-minded individuals who find pain and torture to be the pinnacles of existence. Although his exact appearance is said to often change, he generally is depicted as pale, gaunt, and often hairless. He is often depicted wearing tight, sexualized leather clothing, exposing his many open wounds and body modifications. His lips have been removed, giving him a bloody, haunting grin, and hooks and piercings contort his face into revolting expressions, enhanced by the crystal which rests in the cavity where his left eye once sat. Atop his scalp, a vertical crown of spikes pulls his skin into a disturbing sunburst, and the back of his skull is completely gone, revealing his brain. His hands end in long, knife-like fingernails.<ref name="PF11p65">{{Cite book/Skeletons of Scarwall|65}}</ref> His appearance is simplified in most mortal representations of him, showing him as a pale, gaunt [[human]] with a single, significant wound.<ref name="ISWG-227" />
Zon-Kuthon and his followers are more concerned with pain than they are symbols of the faith, but clerics are known to summon [[shadow|shadows]] and [[erinyes|erinye]] to do their bidding.<ref name="PF11p69">{{Cite article/Pathfinder 11, Skeletons of Scarwall|69}}</ref>
 
;[[Prince in Chains]]: A lasting reminder of Zon-Kuthon's decadence, the god's herald is a tormented remnant of the [[spirit-wolf]] who sired Dou-Bral and Shelyn.<ref name="PF11p84">{{Cite article/Pathfinder 11, Skeletons of Scarwall|84}}</ref>
 
;[[Vreet-Hall]]: This [[kyton|chain devil]] is covered in wounds, which it inflicts upon itself, and which transform into other organs, each performing their normal function.<ref name="PF11p69" />
 
;[[Dominik the Unquenchable]]: Dominik is a vampire who was tortured and mutilated by Kuthites who is plagued with the inability to quench his undying thirst due to a permanent wound which removed his digestive organs.<ref name="PF11p69" />
 
  
==Church of Zon-Kuthon==
+
== Servants ==
There is no centralized church of Zon-Kuthon, and independent churches are content to cause and revel in the small bit of pain and misery they are able to inflict upon their corner of Golarion.  As a lawful faith, however, each sect has a clearly-defined hierarchy, based on physical power, endurance, willingness and ability to endure pain, and similar elements related to church practices.<ref name="PF11p66">{{Cite article/Pathfinder 11, Skeletons of Scarwall|66}}</ref>
 
  
===Worshipers and Clergy===
+
Zon-Kuthon and his followers are more concerned with pain than they are symbols of the faith, but [[cleric]]s are known to summon shadows and [[erinyes]] to do their bidding.<ref name="PF11p69">{{Cite book/Skeletons of Scarwall|69}}</ref> His personal [[divine servitor]]s are the [[lampadarius]] [[kyton]]s, creatures who embrace Zon-Kuthon's love of pain by continuously cutting off parts of their bodies and replacing them with the burning darkness from the Plane of Shadows.<ref name="ISG-315">{{cite book/Inner Sea Gods|315}}</ref>
Kuthites run the gamut in their origins and motivations for joining the faith, whether they be evil sadists, demented masochists, or those whose spirits are so wounded that only overwhelming pain distracts them from their sorrows.<ref name="PF11p65" />
 
  
Clergy tend to take their fervor for pain and agony to higher levels than lay believers, but are also experts at blending in with normal society.  Most clergy of Zon-Kuthon are [[clerics]], and the number of [[blackguards]] is limited at best.<ref name="PF11p65" />
+
=== Unique servants ===
  
Despite the faith's negative image in most nations, others have welcomed his worship and established their governments around it, such as [[Nidal]], which is ruled by the secretive and sadistic [[Umbral Court]] in [[Pangolais]]<ref>{{Cite book/Gazetteer|64}}</ref>
+
; [[Dominik the Unquenchable]]: Dominik is a [[vampire]] who was tortured and mutilated by Kuthites, and who is plagued with the inability to quench his undying thirst due to a permanent wound which removed his digestive organs.<ref name="PF11p69" />
  
===Temples and Shrines===
+
; [[Prince in Chains]]: A lasting reminder of Zon-Kuthon's decadence, the god's [[herald]] is the tormented remnant of [[Thron]], the [[spirit-wolf]] who sired Dou-Bral and Shelyn.<ref name="PF11p84">{{Cite book/Skeletons of Scarwall|84}}</ref>
Temples of Zon-Kuthon are, for all intents and purposes, torture chambers, and often function as such even when not in use for religious ceremonies.<ref name="PF11p66" />   Because of the unique and often disapproved practices which take place in the church, temporary temples are kept fairly simple with decorations brought in specially for services. In more remote areas, believers might make impromptu shrines in places where violence and pain have occurred. <ref name="PF11p67" />
+
 
 +
; [[Umbral shepherd|Umbral Shepherds]]: These strange, otherworldly creatures are servants eternally devoted to Zon-Kuthon who use their powers to possess creatures and further the agenda of their master.<ref name="ISBp53">{{Cite book/Inner Sea Bestiary|53}}</ref>
 +
 
 +
; [[Vreet-Hall]]: This [[kyton|chain devil]] is covered in wounds that it inflicts upon itself, and which transform into other organs, each performing their normal function.<ref name="PF11p69" />
 +
 
 +
== Church of Zon-Kuthon ==
 +
[[File:Attacking the Glorious Reclamation.jpg|250px|right|thumb|[[Emil Kovkorin]] and a Kuthite attack a member of the [[Glorious Reclamation]].]]
 +
There is no centralized church of Zon-Kuthon, and independent churches are content to cause and revel in the pain and misery they are able to inflict upon their corner of Golarion. As an ordered faith, however, each sect has a clearly-defined hierarchy, based on physical power, endurance, willingness and ability to endure pain, and similar elements related to church practices.<ref name="PF11p66">{{Cite book/Skeletons of Scarwall|66}}</ref>
 +
 
 +
Despite the faith's negative image in most nations, one nation welcomed his worship and established their government around it: [[Nidal]]. This shadowy land has been ruled by the secretive and sadistic [[Umbral Court]] in [[Pangolais]] since the [[Age of Darkness]].<ref>{{Cite book/Gazetteer|64}}</ref> The Midnight Lord also has significant (if often hidden) worshipers in the [[Hold of Belkzen]], [[Cheliax]], [[Geb]], [[Irrisen]], and [[Varisia]],<ref name="ISWG-227">{{Cite book/The Inner Sea World Guide|227}}</ref> and among [[Chelaxian (human ethnicity)|Chelaxians]],<ref name="ISWG-13">{{Cite book/The Inner Sea World Guide|13}}</ref> [[Tian]],<ref name="ISWG-20">{{Cite book/The Inner Sea World Guide|20}}</ref> and [[half-elf|half-elves]] throughout the [[Inner Sea region]].<ref name="ISWG-28">{{Cite book/The Inner Sea World Guide|28}}</ref>
 +
 
 +
=== Worshipers ===
 +
 
 +
[[File:Priest of Zon-Kuthon.jpg|250px|right|thumb|A [[drow]] priest of Zon-Kuthon.]]
 +
Kuthites run the gamut in their origins and motivations for joining the faith, whether they be evil sadists, demented masochists, or those whose spirits are so wounded that only overwhelming pain distracts them from their sorrows.<ref name="PF11p65" /> Others who immerse themselves in spiritual darkness often find themselves drawn to his anthracite embrace.<ref name="ISWG-227" />
 +
 
 +
The god is also revered by the druidic [[Shades of the Uskwood]].<ref>{{Cite book/Campaign Setting|111}}</ref>
 +
 
 +
=== Clergy ===
 +
 
 +
Clergy tend to take their fervor for pain and agony to higher levels than lay believers, but are also experts at blending in with normal society. Most clergy of Zon-Kuthon are clerics, and the number of [[blackguard]]s is limited at best.<ref name="PF11p65" /> Despite its strict hierarchy, the church has no standardized vestments, although most priests can be identified via their self-mutiliation and love of black leather.<ref name="ISWG-227" />
 +
 
 +
=== Temples & shrines ===
 +
 
 +
Temples of Zon-Kuthon are, for all intents and purposes, torture chambers, and often function as such even when not in use for religious ceremonies.<ref name="PF11p66" /> Because of the unique and often disapproved-of practices that take place in the church, temporary temples in caves or basements are kept fairly simple with decorations and tools brought in especially for services. The tools are often disguised as farming implements, should the secret cult be exposed.<ref name="ISWG-227" /> In more remote areas, believers might make impromptu shrines in places where violence and pain have occurred.<ref name="PF11p67" />
 +
 
 +
=== Unholy texts ===
 +
 
 +
Kuthites are not bookish worshipers, often choosing to experience their faith rather than study it in a text.{{Source}}
 +
 
 +
; ''[[Umbral Leaves|The Umbral Leaves]]'': The tenets of Zon-Kuthon's faith are detailed in this grisly book, written in blood on pages of flayed skin by a mad prophet.{{Source}}
 +
 
 +
=== Holidays ===
 +
 
 +
The faith of the Dark Prince has few holidays but, Zon-Kuthon being the god of darkness, regular worship generally occurs on nights of a new moon.<ref name="PF11p68" /> The last month of the year, [[Kuthona]], is named after the Prince of Pain.<ref name="ISWG-248">{{Cite book/The Inner Sea World Guide|248}}</ref>
  
===Holy Texts===
 
Kuthites are not bookish worshipers, often choosing to experience their faith rather than study it in a text.
 
;[[Umbral Leaves|The Umbral Leaves]]:The tenets of Zon-Kuthon's faith are detailed in this grisly book, written in blood on pages of flayed skin.
 
===Holidays===
 
The faith of the Dark Prince has few holidays but, Zon-Kuthon being the god of darkness and all, regular worship generally occurs on nights of a new moon.<ref name="PF11p68" />
 
 
; [[Joymaking|The Joymaking]]: In an effort to concentrate the sensation of pain, this practice allows the wealthiest and luckiest of Kuthites to have their limbs and non-vital organs amputated so that they remain a helpless head and torso, destined to live the rest of their lives as the subjects of limitless torture.<ref name="PF11p68" />  
 
; [[Joymaking|The Joymaking]]: In an effort to concentrate the sensation of pain, this practice allows the wealthiest and luckiest of Kuthites to have their limbs and non-vital organs amputated so that they remain a helpless head and torso, destined to live the rest of their lives as the subjects of limitless torture.<ref name="PF11p68" />  
; [[Eternal Kiss|The Eternal Kiss]]:This annual sacrifice lasts eleven days and often involves using the victim's entrails or cries of pain as soothsaying tools.<ref name="PF11p68" />
 
  
==References==
+
; [[Eternal Kiss|The Eternal Kiss]]: This annual sacrifice lasts eleven days and often involves using the victim's entrails or cries of pain as soothsaying tools.<ref name="PF11p68" />
<small>{{reflist}}</small>
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 +
=== Favored animals ===
 +
 
 +
Gods are often associated with certain [[animal]]s, either because they possess a quality favored by the god, or because the god's faithful feel a special kinship to them. Zon-Kuthon's favored animals include [[bat]]s, parasites, [[ant]]s, and [[Rabies|rabid]] [[wolf|wolves]].<ref name="AA-ibc">{{Cite book/Animal Archive|inside back cover}}</ref>
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== References ==
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{{Refs|2}}
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{{Deities navbox|core}}
  
{{Deity list}}
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[[Category:Zon-Kuthon| ]]
 
[[Category:Major deities]]
 
[[Category:Major deities]]
 
[[Category:Lawful evil deities]]
 
[[Category:Lawful evil deities]]
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[[Category:Shadow Plane/Inhabitants]]
 
[[Category:Darkness domain deities]]
 
[[Category:Darkness domain deities]]
 
[[Category:Death domain deities]]
 
[[Category:Death domain deities]]
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[[Category:Evil domain deities]]
 
[[Category:Evil domain deities]]
 
[[Category:Law domain deities]]
 
[[Category:Law domain deities]]
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[[Category:Catastrophe subdomain deities]]
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[[Category:Devil subdomain deities]]
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[[Category:Loss subdomain deities]]
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[[Category:Murder subdomain deities]]
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[[Category:Night subdomain deities]]
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[[Category:Undead subdomain deities]]
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[[Category:Bones mystery deities]]
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[[Category:Lunar mystery deities]]
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[[Category:Shadow mystery deities]]

Latest revision as of 21:27, 17 December 2018

This is a PathfinderWiki Featured Article.
Zon-Kuthon
Zon-Kuthon's Unholy Symbol
(Deity)
Titles The Midnight Lord
The Dark Prince
The Prince of Pain
Adjective Kuthite, Kuthonite (worshiper)
Home Xovaikain, Shadow Plane
Alignment Lawful evil
Areas of Concern Envy
Pain
Darkness
Loss
Worshipers Sadists, masochists
Cleric Alignments
Domains Darkness, Death, Destruction, Evil, Law
Subdomains Catastrophe, Devil, Loss, Murder, Night, Undead
Favored Weapon Spiked chain
Symbol Chained skull
Sacred Animal Bat
Sacred Colors Dark gray, red
Images of Zon-Kuthon

The deity Zon-Kuthon (pronounced ZONN-koo-THON)[1] possesses one of the most twisted and evil minds in the Great Beyond. His position as god of pain is well earned, and he has been the root of countless tortures, murders, and worse throughout time.[citation needed]

History

See also: Dou-Bral

Myths tell that at the beginning of time, Zon-Kuthon was known as Dou-Bral. The son of of the divine spirit-wolf Thron, he was a good deity who shared his appreciation of beauty, love, and the arts with his half-sister, Shelyn.[2] During the Age of Creation, Dou-Bral was among the original gods who battled the Rough Beast who sought to destroy Golarion, and were eventually able to contain him in the Dead Vault.[3] When Dou-Bral grew jealous of his sister's talents, he abandoned Golarion for the dark places between and beyond the planes, and there was tormented and possessed by an alien being. Upon returning to our reality, Dou-Bral as he had been known was gone, replaced with the twisted, malevolent soul known as Zon-Kuthon.[4][2][5]

When Shelyn saw that her brother was forever changed, and not for the better, the two battled, her pleas and tears met with a violence Dou-Bral would never have been capable of. Shelyn finally wrested the golden glaive known as the Whisperer of Souls the two had shared (a symbol of their power) from her twisted brother's fingers, and established a tenuous truce that held in place more by silence and avoidance than any desire to actually coexist.[6][7]

A second myth speaks of how Zon-Kuthon first came into conflict with Abadar, the god of culture, wealth, and stability. Seeing the crimes Zon-Kuthon committed in Golarion, Abadar knew that he must be punished, and made a bargain with the evil god. Zon-Kuthon agreed to go into exile on the Plane of Shadow for as long as the sun hung in the sky in exchange for an item of his choosing from the First Vault. This imprisonment was not meant to be over as soon as it was, though, and when the sun stopped shining upon Golarion during the Age of Darkness, Abadar reluctantly honored the deal, giving Zon-Kuthon the first undead shadow, which the Midnight Lord has used to craft evil creatures in his realm of Xovaikain ever since.[8]

Relationships

An artist's depiction of the eternal struggle between Zon-Kuthon and Shelyn

Zon-Kuthon has little concern for the dealing of other deities. As long as he can play with his many toys, the Dark Prince has no need for any alliances, wars, or diplomatic dealings. While often the target of vengeance from Golarion's good deities, Zon-Kuthon himself does little to instigate conflict. That said, he is not above torturing followers of other faiths, and does so whenever possible. The only one safe from his evil ways is his sister Shelyn, though he grants no such immunity to her faithful.[8] Zon-Kuthon nevertheless considers the goddess Sivanah one of his greatest enemies, and she sees his use of shadow magic as corrupting and enslaving.[9]

Appearance

As Dou-Bral, Zon-Kuthon was known for his beauty, but his body now resembles a work of art only to those like-minded individuals who find pain and torture to be the pinnacles of existence. Although his exact appearance is said to often change, he generally is depicted as pale, gaunt, and often hairless. He is often depicted wearing tight, sexualized leather clothing, exposing his many open wounds and body modifications. His lips have been removed, giving him a bloody, haunting grin, and hooks and piercings contort his face into revolting expressions, enhanced by the crystal which rests in the cavity where his left eye once sat. Atop his scalp, a vertical crown of spikes pulls his skin into a disturbing sunburst, and the back of his skull is completely gone, revealing his brain. His hands end in long, knife-like fingernails.[10] His appearance is simplified in most mortal representations of him, showing him as a pale, gaunt human with a single, significant wound.[2]

Servants

Zon-Kuthon and his followers are more concerned with pain than they are symbols of the faith, but clerics are known to summon shadows and erinyes to do their bidding.[11] His personal divine servitors are the lampadarius kytons, creatures who embrace Zon-Kuthon's love of pain by continuously cutting off parts of their bodies and replacing them with the burning darkness from the Plane of Shadows.[12]

Unique servants

Dominik the Unquenchable
Dominik is a vampire who was tortured and mutilated by Kuthites, and who is plagued with the inability to quench his undying thirst due to a permanent wound which removed his digestive organs.[11]
Prince in Chains
A lasting reminder of Zon-Kuthon's decadence, the god's herald is the tormented remnant of Thron, the spirit-wolf who sired Dou-Bral and Shelyn.[13]
Umbral Shepherds
These strange, otherworldly creatures are servants eternally devoted to Zon-Kuthon who use their powers to possess creatures and further the agenda of their master.[14]
Vreet-Hall
This chain devil is covered in wounds that it inflicts upon itself, and which transform into other organs, each performing their normal function.[11]

Church of Zon-Kuthon

Emil Kovkorin and a Kuthite attack a member of the Glorious Reclamation.

There is no centralized church of Zon-Kuthon, and independent churches are content to cause and revel in the pain and misery they are able to inflict upon their corner of Golarion. As an ordered faith, however, each sect has a clearly-defined hierarchy, based on physical power, endurance, willingness and ability to endure pain, and similar elements related to church practices.[15]

Despite the faith's negative image in most nations, one nation welcomed his worship and established their government around it: Nidal. This shadowy land has been ruled by the secretive and sadistic Umbral Court in Pangolais since the Age of Darkness.[16] The Midnight Lord also has significant (if often hidden) worshipers in the Hold of Belkzen, Cheliax, Geb, Irrisen, and Varisia,[2] and among Chelaxians,[17] Tian,[18] and half-elves throughout the Inner Sea region.[19]

Worshipers

A drow priest of Zon-Kuthon.

Kuthites run the gamut in their origins and motivations for joining the faith, whether they be evil sadists, demented masochists, or those whose spirits are so wounded that only overwhelming pain distracts them from their sorrows.[10] Others who immerse themselves in spiritual darkness often find themselves drawn to his anthracite embrace.[2]

The god is also revered by the druidic Shades of the Uskwood.[20]

Clergy

Clergy tend to take their fervor for pain and agony to higher levels than lay believers, but are also experts at blending in with normal society. Most clergy of Zon-Kuthon are clerics, and the number of blackguards is limited at best.[10] Despite its strict hierarchy, the church has no standardized vestments, although most priests can be identified via their self-mutiliation and love of black leather.[2]

Temples & shrines

Temples of Zon-Kuthon are, for all intents and purposes, torture chambers, and often function as such even when not in use for religious ceremonies.[15] Because of the unique and often disapproved-of practices that take place in the church, temporary temples in caves or basements are kept fairly simple with decorations and tools brought in especially for services. The tools are often disguised as farming implements, should the secret cult be exposed.[2] In more remote areas, believers might make impromptu shrines in places where violence and pain have occurred.[6]

Unholy texts

Kuthites are not bookish worshipers, often choosing to experience their faith rather than study it in a text.[citation needed]

The Umbral Leaves
The tenets of Zon-Kuthon's faith are detailed in this grisly book, written in blood on pages of flayed skin by a mad prophet.[citation needed]

Holidays

The faith of the Dark Prince has few holidays but, Zon-Kuthon being the god of darkness, regular worship generally occurs on nights of a new moon.[8] The last month of the year, Kuthona, is named after the Prince of Pain.[21]

The Joymaking
In an effort to concentrate the sensation of pain, this practice allows the wealthiest and luckiest of Kuthites to have their limbs and non-vital organs amputated so that they remain a helpless head and torso, destined to live the rest of their lives as the subjects of limitless torture.[8]
The Eternal Kiss
This annual sacrifice lasts eleven days and often involves using the victim's entrails or cries of pain as soothsaying tools.[8]

Favored animals

Gods are often associated with certain animals, either because they possess a quality favored by the god, or because the god's faithful feel a special kinship to them. Zon-Kuthon's favored animals include bats, parasites, ants, and rabid wolves.[22]

References

  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 227. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  3. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 216. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  4. Ethan Day-Jones, Jim Groves, Jonathan H. Keith, Andrew Romine, David N. Ross, and James L. Sutter. (2014). People of the Stars, p. 22. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-674-4
  5. Dennis Baker et al. (2014). Undead Slayer's Handbook, p. 10. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-604-1
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Zon-Kuthon. Skeletons of Scarwall, p. 67. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-099-5
  7. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 226. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Zon-Kuthon. Skeletons of Scarwall, p. 68. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-099-5
  9. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 230. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Zon-Kuthon. Skeletons of Scarwall, p. 65. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-099-5
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Zon-Kuthon. Skeletons of Scarwall, p. 69. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-099-5
  12. Sean K Reynolds et al. (2014). Inner Sea Gods, p. 315. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-597-6
  13. Sean K Reynolds, & Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Bestiary. Skeletons of Scarwall, p. 84. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-099-5
  14. Jim Groves, James Jacobs, Rob McCreary, et al. (2012). Inner Sea Bestiary, p. 53. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-468-9
  15. 15.0 15.1 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Zon-Kuthon. Skeletons of Scarwall, p. 66. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-099-5
  16. Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 64. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3
  17. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 13. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  18. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 20. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  19. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 28. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  20. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 111. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  21. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 248. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  22. Amanda Hamon, Philip Minchin, Jason Nelson, et al. (2013). Animal Archive, p. inside back cover. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-487-7