This humanoid has the lower body of a giant seahorse and a round, colorful face dominated by wide, staring eyes and hideous fangs.
Kigyo CR 6
Str 19, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 14
Base Atk +7; CMB +11; CMD 24 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (trident)
Skills Bluff +12, Intimidate +12, Perception +11, Sense Motive +11, Stealth +12, Survival +11, Swim +22
Languages Aquan, Infernal
SQ amphibious, change shape (Small or Medium humanoid; alter self), trident mastery, underwater grappler
Grasping Eddy (Su)
As a standard action, a kigyo can create a powerful underwater eddy that holds its enemies in place. The oni selects a grid intersection within 30 feet on or beneath the surface of a body of water as the center of the eddy. The oni can attempt an immediate grapple combat maneuver check against any enemies within a 10-foot radius of this point, as though the targets were within its reach. As a swift action in each subsequent round the eddy remains in place, the oni can maintain the grapple on those targets caught within the eddy’s grasp (attempting a separate combat maneuver check for each target). In order to pin a target or deal damage with this effect, the oni must take a standard action as normal.
The effect immediately ends if all targets escape the eddy or if the kigyo does not spend any actions to use this ability, falls unconscious or dies, or moves more than 30 feet from the eddy’s center. The kigyo can maintain only one grasping eddy at a time.
Trident Mastery (Ex)
Kigyos are experts at employing tridents as deadly weapons. The oni gains Weapon Focus (trident) as a bonus feat and treats a trident as having a range increment of 20 feet when underwater, even though throwing weapons underwater is normally ineffective for most combatants.
Underwater Grappler (Ex)
Kigyos are skilled grapplers and know how to use their underwater environs to their advantage when in close combat with their foes.
A kigyo gains a +4 racial bonus on grapple combat maneuver checks while it or its target is at least partially underwater. This bonus also applies to grapple combat maneuver checks the kigyo attempts while using its grasping eddy ability. The kigyo gains no bonus to its CMD against grapple attempts.
Environment any water
Organization solitary, pair, or band (3–12)
Treasure standard (masterwork trident)
While most oni are rare, those that take aquatic forms are scarcely ever encountered by terrestrial folk, though locathahs, merfolk, and other aquatic races are more likely to encounter these sea-dwelling oni than they are to meet ogre mages or other land-borne spirits. The most common submarine oni is the kigyo, which adopts a form resembling a corrupted parody of a merfolk.
Like merfolk, kigyos have a torso and arms, with an aquatic lower body that allows them to maneuver lithely through the water. Unlike a merfolk, however, a kigyo has a monstrous face and its body more closely resembles that of a seahorse.
A typical kigyo is 7 feet long from its head to the tip of its curved tail and weighs 190 pounds.
As with many types of oni, kigyos are hateful, vengeful creatures that prey upon mortals not out of necessity but out of spite and malice. Kigyos enjoy seeing their victims drown, and they are said to be drawn to the sites of shipwrecks or tragic deaths at sea where mortals met their end in the unforgiving ocean. While this may not be true, plenty of kigyos have been the cause of such deaths, either in combat or by manipulating their victims into dangerous situations from which they could not escape. Kigyos have the ability to create powerful underwater currents that swirl in tight eddies, latching on to multiple creatures and holding them in place until they either drown or fall victim to the oni’s other attacks.
In the same way that a kigyo draws a sense of accomplishment from drowning a victim, it also feels a sense of superiority at making an enemy willingly give up something of incredible value in exchange for its life or that of a loved one. To oni, life and mortality are foreign concepts, and they can derive only so much pleasure out of seeing a living creature’s essence snuffed out by death. As jealous and possessive beings, however, kigyos can more easily comprehend the sacrifice of giving up something other than one’s life. Many kigyos develop obsessions with a single type of ransom they demand, such as firstborn children, spouses, a victim’s reproductive or sensory organs or lungs, or even (in rare cases) pure material wealth. Those who hunt kigyos or research kigyo activity across the world can sometimes follow a single oni from nation to nation and from ocean to ocean by the specifics of what it demands of its victims.
Thus have specific kigyos developed almost mythic status while victims across both distance and time suffer the same sadistic fate at the oni’s hands.
Habitat and Society
Kigyos rarely congregate with others of their kind, preferring instead solitary lives in the forms of aquatic elves, gillman, locathahs, merfolk, or other aquatic or shore-dwelling humanoids. In these forms, kigyos attempt to seduce unsuspecting mortals, and trick them into bringing the oni—who usually pretend to be castaways or injured victims—onto their vessels or into their seaside communities. Once in these societies, kigyos bed unsuspecting mortals who take pity on them and then abscond with items of value while their partners are sleeping. After amassing particularly valuable or numerous prizes, a kigyo reveals itself to its victims and demands a ransom of something far more precious for the items’ return.
Like all oni, kigyos are filled with hatred, especially for their uncorrupted kami counterparts. Kigyos see suijins in particular as contemptible, and they are known to form elaborate hunting parties to seek out the benevolent nature spirits and destroy them and the untainted waters they protect. These raiding bands constitute the few large groups of kigyos, and they can present deadly threats to those who encounter them, be they kami or other creatures. The oni fight tactically in tandem, half of the kigyos using their grasping eddy abilities to hold their foes in place while the other half surround and stab at them with their tridents. Even when encountered alone, a kigyo presents a formidable challenge to even the most adept underwater fighters, as it can hold an entire party in one of its powerful whirlpools, reducing its foes’ ability to conduct their own group fighting tactics.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #124: City in the Deep © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Amber E. Scott, with Alex Greenshields, Mikko Kallio, Mark Moreland, Tim Nightengale, and Kalervo Oikarinen.