A set of insectile legs emerges from this book, sharp teeth ring the tome’s edges, and a ribbon bookmark protrudes menacingly from its open pages.
Gishvit CR 1/2 (XP 200)
Str 6, Dex 15, Con 9, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 14
Base Atk +1; CMB +1 (+3 grapple, +11 when maintaining grapple with ribbon); CMD 9 (11 vs. grapple, 17 vs. trip)
Feats Improved GrappleB, Improved Initiative
Skills Climb +10, Knowledge (arcana) +4, Knowledge (history) +4, Knowledge (planes) +4, Perception +4, Sense Motive +4
Languages truespeech (can’t speak)
A gishvit can transfer the information within its pages to a single target through its grasping ribbon. When a gishvit has successfully grappled a foe, it can force this information directly into the grabbed creature’s mind, overwhelming it with an onslaught of facts and recorded information. The grappled creature must succeed at a DC 12 Will save or be staggered for 1d4 rounds. The save DC is Charisma-based.
A gishvit’s tongue is a primary attack with reach of 10 feet. A gishvit applies its Dexterity modifier as a bonus on attack rolls with its bookmark ribbon. A gishvit’s ribbon deals no damage on a hit, but it can be used to grab the target. A gishvit has a +8 racial bonus to maintain its grapple on a foe grabbed by its ribbon. A gishvit does not gain the grappled condition while using its ribbon in this manner.
A gishvit finds pleasure in being a repository of information. It can immediately transcribe information dictated to it and material it overhears.
Alternately, a gishvit can spend an hour with a willing subject, wherein it collects memories and experiences from the subject. This transcription process is not dangerous to either the gishvit or the target.
Information recorded and stored in this manner appears as filled pages within the gishvit’s booklike body, and it remains there for up to 24 hours after the gishvit is slain (unless the gishvit was killed by an erase spell, see below). Another creature can research the pages of a willing or deceased gishvit. The text inside a gishvit is comprehensible to any creature that can read and knows at least one written language. Researching the information within a gishvit for 1 hour grants the reader a +4 insight bonus on any single Knowledge check in the next 24 hours, and the reader can attempt such checks even if not trained in that Knowledge skill.
Vulnerability to Erase (Su)
An erase spell deals 2d4 points of damage to a gishvit and has a 50% chance of removing all written text within its pages (no save). A gishvit reduced to 0 hit points or below in this manner is slain, becoming a blank book.
Environment any (Axis)
Organization solitary, pair, or curation (3–12)
Sometimes referred to as “lore roaches” by scholars familiar with the Outer Planes, gishvits are natural inhabitants of the lawful plane of Axis. Often associated with the native axiomites and scrivenites, gishvits occupy a mundane role on Axis, maintaining vast stores of knowledge within their booklike bodies. Transcribing knowledge from living creatures, a gishvit stores information in its body in the form of written text, preserving the acquired knowledge within itself. Because of this unique method of information gathering, gishvits are treasured by information brokers and spellcasters on the Material Plane.
A gishvit varies between 1 to 2 feet in length, often weighing no more than 8 pounds.
The booklike body of a gishvit is indicative of its ultimate purpose: the consumption and storage of knowledge. For as long as the ordered realm of Axis has existed, gishvits have clambered throughout its seemingly endless streets and meandered within its many archives of knowledge.
Some scholars believe that these creatures first emerged from the quintessence of Axis as companions to axiomites and scrivenites. While axiomites tend to ignore the pesky little creatures, scrivenites associate with the book-like outsiders, sometimes even treating them like pets more than pests.
A gishvit has a set of razor-sharp teeth that emerge from the edges of its cover page and back page, though it lacks the strength to use them with great effectiveness.
These teeth are visible only when the outsider opens its mouth. A set of similarly sharp insectile limbs emerge from within the gishvit’s body, acting as legs that can be retracted at a whim to act as embellishments for the gishvit’s spine. A whipping, silken bookmark tongue that issues from between the pages of its body completes the gishvit’s odd anatomy.
A gishvit absorbs knowledge from its surroundings and from individuals who wish to store their memories and experiences within the creature’s pages. Once the small outsider has consumed a sufficient amount of knowledge, it darts off to digest the information. This digestion takes place over several hours, during which the gishvit’s interior pages fill with the stored lore.
Gishvits understand all spoken languages thanks to their truespeech ability, though they lack vocal cords and the ability to speak. Only creatures capable of telepathic communication can engage a gishvit in conversation, and even then, such conversations are generally dominated by the gishvit’s ravenous desire for new information or its hope to hibernate and mull over the stored information after filling its pages with stores of memories and experiences. Despite having considerable insight into numerous topics, even without ingesting any knowledge from other creatures, a gishvit finds little joy in relating such information through conversation. Negotiators find conversations with gishvits incredibly difficult, and though gishvits rarely have the chance to converse with other beings, they still find most conversations a detraction from their endless urge to transcribe knowledge.
In addition to being able to collect a wealth of information into their small forms, gishvits are known for their knack for transcribing accurate information. Since they interact directly with subjects’ experiences and memories, they have the ability to cut through bias and misremembered experiences. This makes the information stored within a gishvit valuable to court proceedings and other instances where the truth is more important than a potentially flawed statement.
Habitat And Society
Most inhabitants of Axis are powerful enough to pay gishvits little more heed than a creature from the Material Plane would associate with most common vermin. Despite the creatures’ lowly status, several factions on the lawful plane employ gishvits as negotiation tools or unintentional spies. In these roles, the little gishvits excel, as they are able to extract knowledge from negotiators and put it to paper or collect valuable and accurate information from stationed guards. Still, many creatures on Axis have far more reliable means of extracting information, so they instead relegate gishvits to a pitiable status as planar vermin. It is not uncommon for an eager gishvit to pester a creature enjoying a meal inside one of Axis’s many restaurants to spend time with it in hopes of adding lore to its pages, or for a patron of the plane’s many archives to find herself accosted by a whipping bookmark tongue when she picks it up by accident while the creature was resting on a shelf.
On both Axis and the Material Plane, a satiated gishvit quickly enters a state of gradual torpor, followed by a period of hibernation. Such gishvits often seek to rest in large archives or repositories, hiding among hundreds or thousands of similar-looking mundane books. They then wait for centuries at a time, content to rest with the knowledge they have digested. After several centuries, a gishvit willingly discards its digested knowledge. It is then instinctually compelled to repeat the process of acquiring and digesting new information. Sadly for the gishvit, it often finds itself trapped in a now-long-forgotten archive, unable to escape. In these unfortunate circumstances, the next creatures to enter the gishvit’s sealed-off home are immediately assaulted by the knowledge-ravenous creatures.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #127: Crownfall © 2018, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Thurston Hillman, with Eleanor Ferron, Crystal Frasier, and Adrian Ng.