Shining children (or shining children of Thassilon, if your campaign is set in Golarion) are disturbing outsiders that have been part of the game since all the way back during 3.5 and the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path, courtesy of creator Wolfgang Baur. Like the jyotis, they are an example of light/positive energy creatures that are by no means good—in fact, they’re downright evil. (The jyotis hate interlopers, but they won’t set them on fire in a gout of searing light the way a shining child will.)
They’ve changed a bit in the telling—by the Bestiary 2 shining children seem to have lost their prehensile tails, for instance—but the essentials remain: Shining children hate creatures of this dimension, seeking to obliterate them in searing light and fire sparked by their victim’s own positive energy. In other words, if you thought lurkers in light were bad, shining children their even nastier outsider neighbors.
By the way, those with the resources should definitely dig up a copy of Pathfinder #4: Fortress of the Stone Giants. With more space to devote to its monsters, it serves up no less than four possible origins for shining children, as well as some delicious flavor text. For instance, when a shining child dies, it leaves only a “shadow” made of light burned onto the nearest surface. Now you know you want to learn more, right?...
A visiting preacher promises a visitation from on high by a celestial. What he delivers—perhaps intentionally, perhaps by ill luck—is a shining child. The shining child plays along with the charade for the mischief it can cause…or rather, the outright tragedy. It allows the villagers to approach one by one to ask its blessing, only to incinerate the supplicants, whom it then claims have been sent to the heavens. Only when a terrified child escapes with tales of his mother being immolated do the villagers realize what is in their midst.
Shining children hate wayangs. When a magepriest binds a shining child, the price the outsider demands is more of the shadow people to torture. Adventurers who come to the wayang community’s aid and dispatch the shining child will be rewarded not with gold but knowledge. The learned wayang elders know about the strange dimension—and future—from which the shining children hail…and how the energies of that dimension can power rare magical tattoos and artifacts.
A shining child is the avatar of a dying star. When an adventurer learns her fate is tied to the mystic world that orbits that star, she must find a way to travel to it before it snuffs out. The easiest way—if such a thing can be called easy—is to bind one of the star’s shining children to her voidship’s helm.
—Pathfinder #4 88-89 & Bestiary 2 245
I almost forgot! Tuesday night I DJed an exceedingly silly set of swear-packed music—a sample of all the songs I can’t usually play on Saturdays due to FCC regulations. You can download me being totally immature here.
(If the stream skips, Save As an mp3 and enjoy in iTunes. Link good till Monday, 8/12, at midnight.)