Hey all! I have a question for y'all. I'm looking at making a level 1 inquisitor of Zon Kuthon. I was wondering if anyone has or knows of anyone whom has fanficed or home brewed any zon Kuthon fluff or Any "excerpts " from the umbral leaves? I really like RP while playing and really wanna generate some good fluff and background for him!
Thanks in advance!
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Never really written anything out in full detail, but I always thought bits of Kuthonite and kyton philosophy might go something like: (jumping back and forth between darkly LN and flat out evil)
Pain breeds strength of spirit.
Cutting away what you no longer need strengthens the whole.
Pain proves existence. It proves that you're alive. Pain is where you find your true knowledge of self.
Existence is suffering. You can only see its true beauty and understand its mysteries once you accept that fact.
Discipline fosters a good community. Discipline thyself and thy neighbor.
Hope is decadence. Acceptance of misery and understanding that that which you long for may never be yours is enlightenment. Lower your expectations to something realistic and fitting for your station in life.
True strength and beauty are found in the wreckage of the flesh and spirit.
Zon-Kuthon loves you. And he wants you to share that love with the world.
The followers of Shelyn are the most beloved of Kuthonites. Make them see the true beauty of the world so that they may rejoice.
The weak obey the strong. The strong hold and are responsible for the weak.
We shoulder so much pain so that others may be spared. Kon-Kuthon's fate was something he accepted willingly in order to spare his sister, thus we do the same.
There are terrible things outside our reality. Some demand our pain to be sated. Some are held back by our pain. We do what we do so that we stay sharp and hold the line against them.
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I found a lot of insight when I googled Zon-Kuthon and hit the pathfinder wiki page.
Remember that he is actually half brother to Shelyn. Lots of RP goodness to be had from that.
Pain is beauty to a Zon-Kuthonite. For example, they could wear gauntlets that are spiked...on the inside.
They also do body modifications.
There is also a relationship with Abadar and the First Vault.
These are just a few things but I highly recommend checking the pathfinder wiki page.
Ooo...also something with shadows or wraiths.
One of the characters I was developing was a separatist cleric of Zhon-Khulton (so he wouldn't have to be completely evil, and also so I could have a different domain) -- Before I start a campaign with a character, I like to get inside his head and not just sketch out a little backstory, but write him a bunch of dialogue to sprinkle into the campaign and also to remind me (week to week, month to month) just what his "Voice" is. I'll post below all that I wrote for him that related to his Faith to Zhon-Khulton so maybe some of it will be useful, but I imagine, because of his unorthadox doctrine... not all of it will be true to a purist khultonite. -- but here goes! (first description, then mostly quotes):
Domains are Darkness and LUCK? TRAVEL? LIBERTY? Cleric separatist!
"Virindi Gustmich" Lawful Neutral Cleric of Zon-Kuthon -- From NIDAL (read up)
Born in a beach settlement nearby the Port city of Nisroch, He left his community when he was accepted into the Umbral Priesthood, but made his truest allegiance to a splinter faction of the church which led to his fleeing persecution and his departure from Nidal.
A "Priest of the Shuttered Lantern" -- they are a splinter sect who's core tenet is "It is darkest behind the light, The brightest light also blinds, and it casts the darkest shadow." This particular cult is few in number and believes that balance and order must be maintained by tying Zhon-Kuthon's darkness to the light of good, that civilization is lost to chaos if the dark will not hide it, and the entire world is an altar upon which true heroes heap plentiful sacrifice to the god of pain and shadow. As such, Virindi seeks such promising heroes and will swear to serve them, stopping at nothing to keep them alive so that ever greater and more numerous offerings are made to his god through their works.
"My apologies if I may seem overfamiliar… I have been watching you both so closely in fact that I'm afraid I'd forgotten we hadn't actually met yet. I am… Virindi Gustmich."
"It is true that Evil is a tool so many of my faith blindly adhere to, blind adherence is a sacrament in a faith of darkness. But it is not my way… not now, and likely not in my lifetime… There is a balance I must see maintained -- and perhaps when the world-wound ceases to vomit the spawn of hell upon the world, and the dead cease to walk the twisted wreckage of the blight-lands… then, then perhaps we might not be allies, perhaps I could be seen as a threat. But for now we have far too many common enemies not to make a game of our co-operation. Allow me to serve you, and our glories will be storied an even in number."
"Your mind and bodies are bristling with weapons, both hidden and obvious. You think that Zon-Kuthon will not be pleased with your works? This whole world is an altar, friends -- and you have so many sacrifices to offer him. We all do. It is my sacred vow to see to it that you both embrace the glory that is your birthright, and remark the fine cleansing you shall leave in your wake. Order teeters on the brink of a darkness more foul than that of Zhon-Kuthon -- That of chaos, Oblivion…"
"When I was small I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for persons wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me… and the persons upon the beach might be you."
"Behind every light is shadow, it is the way of things… it is order, balance. You will shine so very brightly in the times ahead, and behind you shall move a darkness, a reflection that does as you do. Please, allow that darkness be me, and you will not regret this."
"There is a certain Liberty in knowing one is damned. We shall be like scattered lamps in a thirsting darkness -- the innocent will brave the night and conduct their business and only because we were there to light their times, and to draw to ourselves in the night the swarm of flies that shall try for our blood instead… and fail."
"There is enough expression of cruelty and pain in YOUR martial practice, dare I say -- for my tenure with you I may perhaps shed the least blood of all. Meditate on that paradox before you would think to sever me as the wicked. Am I profane for wanting to sustain you while you butcher man and demon alike? If so, can you argue yourself any less profane? I prefer to see us both as being holy by that instead. You have work to do… work that involves the twisted wreckage of mortals dead by your hands… and I have the work of seeing that while you may see an ocean of pain, you may never die."
"In many of the places you must go, Darkness will not be a friend to you -- except by me. Let me walk by you in light… and I will do my best to see that the dark be not so callous to your visitation."
"The darkest place is behind one's eye… and behind that, the mind - yet darker."
"What need have I of a Church? A man can no more diminish my God's glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can wipe away the dark by scribbling the word "Sun" on the walls of his cell. At any given moment, by night half this planet is my church in darkness -- and wherever there is pain, or war, or destruction in any god's name, I hold mass."
"Do not think it strange that I might minister to the sick, or heal the wounded, it is true that some of the firmest adherents to my faith treasure pain and injury above all else -- but death is the end of pain, there are tenets to heal as well -- The Vudrani say that all life is suffering, and that the cessation of desire shall lead to enlightenment… By this logic, to prolong life is to prolong suffering. To grant desires is to forestall enlightenment… and can you think of a deeper darkness than that? "Good" is done, and darkness reigns… sweet sweet balance is maintained. Business as usual."
"Deep into that darkness peering, long we shall stand there, wondering… fearing… doubting… Dreaming dreams few mortals ever dared to dream before."
"The goddess of beauty, art, music and love (Shelyn) is half-sister to my God, and has her peace by him -- Despite his "Differing elegance"… -- If such a peace can exist in the heavens, It is no more wild to imagine that we can hold a peace, moreso, we could be great allies."
"It is easier to hack than to heal -- come, let us go easy on them then… AND HACK THEM APART!"
A curse: "By the Worm Eye that bleeds in all the dark places, by the sotted wound that never heals... I curse at thee, vileness, with the darkest heart of passion!"
defeating undead: "Look upon your final death and LOVE US, abominations -- your slavery to a false life ENDS TODAY."
Threat: "Watch your tounge, naive -- lest your story be cut short, and your imagined destiny redacted, covered, blackened."
"I can tell the time for diplomacy is reaching an end. I appeal to you to accept our terms rather than a quick and frightening push into Oblivion."
"BOW to the Midnight Lord, and offer up your flesh-eyes so that his own blind eye may see! Ice your blood in darkness, and sing your shrieks in anthems -- let the Great Dreamer wishes thy flesh unto stone! Do you think these phrases mere words, man-fools? LOOK AT US -- We are the agents of gods of light AND I a god of darkness! If you be thirsty in your plans against them, Drink of us -- if you be Hungry to defy their will, raise your pathetic knives to dine -- for we are the Burning of suns, and the Void that enrobes them! We are the fire that feeds on the fleshes of evil, and purges the bones of the dead all the same! And WE… standsie here in the stars-infested maw that Yawns to be your destruction! TREMBLE, curs -- and kneel so that our gods might spare you, or stand and prepare to embrace your pointless deaths!"
On fighting at night: "No barrier, no enemy will thwart our purpose. This night we bring them the dream of true death!"
"Abandon the foolish conceit that you shall defeat us -- all that awaits you is the wrath of my charges. You're too late to stop their rise to power. Now prepare to meet my Master -- in a black heaven you shall miscall a Hell."
"There are heroes of evil as much as of good -- surely there are no tenets in your faith forbidding any kind of… logical pragmatism? Besides, the world is full of Evil that threatens to consume the times of men and fashion the extinction of mortal flesh -- surely we have plenty of common enemies to slay in the name of balance before my peccadillos ring loud enough for your punishment?" (smile)
"The light that puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. My sun is but a morningstar… allow me to put it to your eyes." (brandish)
"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."
"Zhon-Khulton has a place in all our lives, grand or common. Ask the farmer if his back does hurt? Ask the midwife if there is no blood nor pain in her profession, ask the SOLDIER if those he butchers do not feel agony, and that in the vilest conflict he prays only for the pain to be anothers, and perhaps for the dark to hide him, ask them that sleep if they need darkness -- and I will show you how even the most kind and gentle among us need his purview. Zhon-Khulton takes what is given -- the pain and misery of our lives, our fears, all the way on to the uninstigated aggressions of "more gracious" deities easier for men and women to understand. He takes what we give him, we all have what he wants -- Love all your other gods, but it costs nothing to honor him when you render to him your pain, and ask… beside Iomedae and Sarenrae, for his protection from the Dark…. For he delivers this, and one must look no further than City Nidal for proof."
"It is true that the fundamentalists of my faith advocate self-infliction of pain -- but you misunderstand their motivations. The people of Nidal were faced with slowly being hunted to extinction by abominations of the Dark who's eyes gleamed about them every night like a perverted reflection of the heavens. They prayed for the dark to hide them -- and it did, Zhon-Khulton did that. When Fundamentalist Khultonates flay themselves, they are thanking him for the existence they may live because he saved their forefathers, and their forefathers swore to honor him in return. You call it barbarism, but they are keeping true to oaths of pain and blood… and they saintly pay those dues with their own rather than seeking the agony of others. Would you look upon them more kindly if they sought to bring their whips down upon others, upon you? Such perfidies are more squarely thrown at the feet of Cheliax -- A Khultonate sticks his knives where they belong… and may pay his respect in his own pain, rather than harming another."
"But I personally do not advocate the practice of self-flagellation… I won't discourage it in every case, but I know there are broader ways to honor the dark and pay homage to my god, that every GOOD folk may do. Is the life of even the kindest among us free of pain? I would argue in fact it is likely the opposite. Good in all of its forms calls for sacrifice, and sacrifice is pain. pain delights the night lord, and there costs the good nothing. Every laborer knows pain and exhaustion, why not give that to the night lord -- is it not free? LIFE is suffering -- and there are a million ways to perpetuate the night lords tributes just by perpetuating life. The Vudra say that the way to end suffering is to end desire -- do you think then that Zhon-Khulton would deny you your enjoyments? And even the ascetiscist, who seeks enlightenment -- do you think you will arrive there without pain? Zhon-Khulton will have you all, and I know in my own heart this is not a curse when I say it."
"Send your ENEMIES to Zhon-Khulton's hell, If you have paid your dues to him why should you not go to whatever heaven you choose? In life you may pay to him your own pain, and the suffering of your foes. In Death, you pay your debts by honoring him and a priest such as I will intercede to close your accounts. Let some other god or goddess have what is left, If you earned some reward by them, parallel or incidental by your works -- why should the night lord care what heaven or hell you retire to? You gave him all your pain, and in your end, all must pass through darkness."
"Darkness, gather to us, may it yield to our will and grant us the indomitable power of it's protection. Death, break free your earthly bonds, take life with perfect strength so that by it's foods you will sustain us. Arise, Ravagers -- Arise! Pain has got us to it, Pain will see us through it, and death in the end will punctuate it. But not today. By your will, tomorrow would be so much better."
"I represent a sect known as the priests of the shuttered lantern. We believe that darkness follows the light and must exist in it's presence. If you are repulsed by the articles normally associated with my faith, I would have you ask me questions, discuss our reformed tenets -- and I promise there is far more comfort in the shade of my faith than the blackness your prejudice threatens. There is a saying central to my faith -- "Stick your knives where they belong"… I am not your enemy, and by seeking to understand me I may be lever against all you would hope to oppose through fear of my faith. Your rejection itself is a courtesy to the Night Lord, your troubles -- given in his name or not, are a balm to him. These are not blasphemies. In your brightest temple your shadow stands a dark reflection. And In this metaphor, We are brothers."
"Do not confuse my courtesies with the silver-tongued lies of Cheliax. I do not advocate unwilling slavery, spurious lies, traitorous coercion -- or the sale of mortal destiny to demonic powers when our true reward lay in the afterlife of our gods. Tell me your preconceived notions, and I will disabuse them -- and such will be a sacrament to the night lord, who's blackness calms, who hears your pain and gives it value."
"Nidal's relationship with the night lord is… special… more profound. But there is still a place for him outside that bastion of the faith. Life is pain, Light casts shadow, and half the world at any given moment is cloaked in his darkness. To deny him does not change that he is there... and he is ALWAYS there."
My group in our Rise of the Runelords game plays a LN Zon kuthon monk, with vow of silence. He had his tongue ripped out in the shadowy dungeons of Nidal, and after he kills anything intelligent, he desiccates the body, flaying skin back peeling muscle and other pretty morbid stuff. He's also coincidently afraid of the dark!