Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Human cantors (particularly in the Christian and Jewish traditions) lead their congregations in songs or call-and-response prayers.  Cantor kytons, on the other hand, seem to only unleash silent screams.  (Perhaps they do sing, but it’s not listed as a skill in the cantor stat block.  And with 100 ft. telepathy, one can imagine them not even bothering with Common or Infernal, thought they speak both.)  Thus we have to assume that instead of leading congregations, these cantors lead kyton hunting packs on terrible raids in the mortal realms.  (The Occult Bestiary describes the mind of a cantor as “a weapon against reality and a scalpel to excise sanity,” and a group of cantors is listed as an “expedition,” supporting that theory.)

Then again, their small size does recall images of castrati, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, and the children(/ground meat) from Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” video.  And I’m reminded of a scene in Alan Moore’s Spawn #8, when a demon posing as an angel collects the soul of a gospel singer to put in an electrified bird cage.  So perhaps the next time your PCs visit a kyton fortress, they’ll be greeted by choirs of silently screaming cantors…and all their terrifying congregants.

A cantor allies with some shadow-tainted spriggans, enjoying their madcap cruelty as a refreshing change from the calculated sculpture of the kyton realms.  The twisted gnomes’ ability to grow in size makes the illusory horror of the cantor’s oneiric invasion all the more convincing.

An ostiarius tempts a bard with the gig of a lifetime: a performance in the Basilica of Sin’s Sinew on the Shadow Plane.  The ostiarus makes his offer thrice, each time promising more riches, more glory, and especially more thrilling sensations.  Should he be rebuffed, the ostiarius (less patient than most of his kind) turns the performance into a command performance, sending a cantor expedition to hunt down the arrogant minstrel.

A halfling patriarch has never fully recovered from the psychic damage inflicted by a cantor’s lingering touch.  The only cure requires an ingredient that is particularly difficult and dangerous to obtain: a chunk of the shadowstuff that serves as a kyton’s form while in its shadow body.

Occult Bestiary 30

Having heard a number of stories from my suitemate, who sang in church choirs all his life and ran my college’s madrigal group, I’m guessing more than a few of you probably thought your cantors were kytons too…

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