Scion Of Kyuss

by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Dragon #307

Scions of Kyuss are undead creatures created by Kyuss, a powerful evil cleric turned demigod. These creatures have a great hatred of all living things and a great desire to create more spawn in the thrall of Kyuss. Scions of Kyuss resemble well-rotted zombies and ordinary spawn of Kyuss. Unlike these lesser undead, scions are both intelligent and cunning, retaining the skills and abilities they had in life. Scions of Kyuss speak the languages they spoke in life.

Creating a Scion of Kyuss

"Scion of Kyuss" is a template that can be added to any Medium-size or smaller humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or giant with 9 or more HD, any Large humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or giant with 13 or more HD, or any Huge or larger humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or giant (referred to hereafter as the "base creature"). Creatures with this template have their type changed to "undead." It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Hit Dice: Change to d12

Speed: Same as base creature

AC: The base creature's natural armor increases by +2.

Damage: The base creature's natural and manufactured weapons deal damage normally. If the base creature does not have a better natural attack, it gains a slam attack that deals damage based on the creature's size:


Special Attacks: A scion of Kyuss retains all the base creature's special attacks and gains those listed below. Saves for abilities listed below have a DC of 10 + 1/2 the scion's HD + the scion's Charisma modifier unless noted otherwise.

Create Spawn (Su): A creature killed by a scion of Kyuss rises as an undead creature 1d4 days after death. The victim returns as a spawn of Kyuss if it is a giant, humanoid; or monstrous humanoid that does not qualify for the scion of Kyuss template and as a scion of Kyuss if it does. Other creatures do not rise as undead.

Fear Aura (Su): A scion of Kyuss continuously radiates a fear effect. This ability functions like a fear spell (caster level 15th), except that it affects all living creatures within a 40-foot radius. Any creature that makes a successful saving throw against the effect cannot be affected again by the fear aura of that scion of Kyuss for 24 hours.

Implant Worm (Su): Once per round as a free action, a scion of Kyuss can transfer a worm from its own body to that of an opponent. It can do this whenever it hits with a natural attack, but it can also make the transfer by means of a successful melee touch attack or a ranged touch attack, hurling a worm at a foe from a distance of up to 20 feet, See the Scion of Kyuss Worms sidebar for more details.

Worm Expulsion (Su): Once per day as a standard action, a scion of Kyuss can cause a 20-foot burst of worms from its body. Each creature in the area is coated with 2d4 worms. See the Scion of Kyuss Worms sidebar for more details.

Special Qualities: A scion of Kyuss retains all the base creature's special qualities and gains those listed below.

Fast Healing (Ex): A scion of Kyuss regains lost hit points at the rate of 5 per round. Fast healing does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation, and it does not allow the scion of Kyuss to regrow or reattach lost body parts.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A scion of Kyuss has +4 turn resistance.

Undead Traits: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. It is not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, or death from massive damage. A scion of Kyuss cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing. The creature has darkvision (60-foot range).

Saves: Same as the base creature

Abilities: Increase from base creature as follows: +8 Strength, +1 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, and +6 Charisma. Being undead, a scion of Kyuss lacks a Constitution score.

Skills: Same as the base creature

Feats: Scions of Kyuss gain Alertness and Toughness as bonus feats.

Climate/Terrain: Any

Organization: Solitary, pair, or brood (3-4 plus 1-4 spawn of Kyuss)

Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +2

Treasure: Same as the base creature

Alignment: Always chaotic evil

Advancement: By character class

Scion of Kyuss Worms

Each worm is a Fine vermin with AC 10 and 1 hit point. It can be killed with normal damage or by the touch of silver. On the scion's next action after contact with a living creature, the worm burrows into its host's flesh (a creature with a natural armor bonus of +5 or higher is immune to this burrowing effect). The worm makes its way toward the host's brain, dealing 1 point of damage per round for 1d4+1 rounds. At the end of the period, it reaches the brain. While the worm is inside the victim, a remove curse or remove disease effect destroys it, and a dispel evil or neutralize poison effect delays it progress for 10d6 minutes. A successful Heal check (DC 20) will extract and kill one worm.

Once the worm reaches the brain, it deals 1d2 points of Intelligence damage per round until it either is killed (by remove curse or remove disease) or slays its host (death occurs at 0 Intelligence). The victim returns as an undead creature as described un der the scion of Kyuss's create spawn ability. Newly created spawn are not under the control of the parent, but they usually follow whatever scion of Kyuss created them.

Minions of Kyuss

The evil demigod Kyuss and his minions offer intriguing possibilities for nearly any campaign. Because they are intelligent and capable of spreading their evil in a slow, insidious manner, the minions of Kyuss can infiltrate and dominate all but the most powerful organizations and communities.

Including Kyuss in a campaign also hints at the possibility of a mortal rising to the ranks of the divine. While the tales of Kyuss's rise and the means through which he achieved demigod status might be lost to antiquity, where one can succeed, others can almost certainly follow. Strife between other powerful evil forces and the minions of Kyuss might revolve around another powerful and evil individual's quest to usurp Kyuss's power or follow in his footsteps. Good characters caught between such factions might even find themselves allied with the horrific minions of the demigod.

Sample Scion of Kyuss: Ogre Mage Scion of Kyuss

Template Index