This translucent, unnaturally tall humanoid figure sprouts dozens of long tendrils from its upper body.
Sishkanset CR 8
hp 105 (10d10+50)
Fort +7, Ref +11, Will +11
Defensive Abilities incorporeal; SR 19
Str -, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 9, Wis 15, Cha 18
Base Atk +10; CMB +14; CMD 29 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Flyby Attack, Iron Will, Stealthy, Toughness
Skills Escape Artist +6, Fly +25, Intimidate +12, Perception +15, Stealth +21, Survival +15
SQ eavesdropper’s veil, insidious winds
Chilling Touch (Su)
A sishkanset can make a melee touch attack that deals 6d8 points of cold damage.
Disorienting Gale (Su)
Once every 1d4 rounds, a sishkanset can create a 60-foot line of freezing, madness-laced winds. Creatures caught in the gale take 4d6 points of bludgeoning damage and 4d6 points of cold damage (Reflex DC 19 half). Creatures damaged by the gale must also succeed at a DC 19 Will saving throw or be confused for 1 round. The confusion is a sonic, mind-affecting, compulsion effect. The save DCs are Charisma-based.
Eavesdropper’s Veil (Su)
A sishkanset can use its detect thoughts spell-like ability on any creature within 1 mile to which it has line of effect. Additionally, using detect thoughts or its whispering persecution ability does not end the sishkanset’s invisibility.
Insidious Winds (Su)
A sishkanset’s presence suffuses local winds, causing natural light winds within 5 miles of the sishkanset to increase to moderate (11-20 mph). Moderate or greater wind forces are unaffected. If the sishkanset is destroyed, natural wind conditions return within 1 hour.
Whispering Persecution (Su)
Sishkansets temporarily relieve their anguish by driving others to madness. As a full-round action, a sishkanset can wrap susurrating currents of ethereal wind around a creature within 5 miles to which it has line of effect. The currents deliver maddening ramblings audible only to the target creature, and the sishkanset must maintain the currents by remaining within 5 miles of the target and concentrating for 1 minute each day. After every 24 hours that a creature is the target of this ability, it must succeed at a DC 19 Will saving throw or take 1d3 points of Wisdom damage. Damage caused in this way cannot reduce a creature’s Wisdom score below 1. A sishkanset can affect only one creature at a time with whispering persecution. This is a sonic, mind-affecting, curse effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Creatures able to see invisible or ethereal objects perceive the currents as translucent gray threads that ultimately lead to the sishkanset.
Environment any land (Ethereal Plane)
Formed from the fabric of the Ethereal Plane, sishkansets are incorporeal reflections of mortal psyches. Born of the disorientation and despair of souls whose mortal vessels died isolated and buffeted by wilderness winds, sishkansets haunt sparsely settled frontiers. They wield the same winds that tormented their progenitors in their final moments; a sishkanset’s presence disrupts the atmosphere for miles around, and though the natural winds they stoke are not inherently dangerous, they are maddeningly constant.
Sishkansets sift through mortal thoughts in the hope of reassembling their own fragmented personalities, but their fundamentally incomplete nature makes this an unattainable goal. When a sishkanset’s suffering becomes overwhelming, it visits its condition on others, slowly driving its victims insane through unending wind and discordant whispers.
A sishkanset takes the form of an eerily tall and ghostly humanoid with dozens of tendrils trailing from the back of its head and shoulders. These tendrils reach into the Ethereal Plane, spreading the sishkanset’s presence through the local atmosphere. A sishkanset’s features are indistinct, but its elongated form often resembles the individual whose traveling soul incited the creature’s formation from the Ethereal Plane.
A sishkanset is about 8 feet tall and unnaturally thin.
Sishkansets’ progenitors are those who perish in the wilderness, lost and utterly alone with only endless, mocking winds to usher their spirits from their bodies. Such souls carry enough despair that their passage through the Ethereal Plane leaves a psychic impression. Powerful negative emotions whip the plane’s mutable substance into a roiling frenzy that eventually coalesces into a sishkanset. The creature maintains only a fraction of the mortal being’s personality, culled from its last moments of disorientation, isolation, and desperate search for comfort and safety. The creature finds itself inexorably drawn to the Material Plane, where it seeks what its progenitor could not find in life.
Sishkansets most often dwell in sparsely populated frontier areas, border towns, and isolated homesteads. They are drawn toward landmarks that could have guided their progenitors to safety, twining their unnaturally tall frames around flagpoles, steeples, weather vanes, and other high places that allow an unfettered view of their surroundings. From such heights, they reach along the unnatural air currents they produce to sieve the minds of passersby.
A sishkanset clutches the emotions it pulls from these studied thoughts, hoping to fill the gaps in its persona, but its fundamentally fragmented nature means it will never achieve this goal. Over time, these tantalizing glimpses of mortal life drive the creature to frustrated despair. It relieves this torment by visiting its condition on others, wrapping its victims in winds that carry its anguished ramblings. Driving an individual to insanity soothes the sishkanset for a time, but its sense of fulfillment eventually fades.
Sishkansets fly against their assailants when aggressively confronted, wreathing themselves in restless currents and disrupting their opponents’ minds with mental assaults and disorienting blasts of icy wind. Sishkansets that are banished rather than physically destroyed develop a focused hatred of their banishers. Sishkansets lack any inherent means of traversing planar boundaries, but they wait, howling their wrath into the void, until an unwitting extradimensional traveler creates a means by which the sishkansets can return to the Material Plane and pursue their targets.
Habitat and Society
Sishkansets are an infrequent menace and are often mistaken for incorporeal undead. They enter a keening frenzy in response to attempts to banish them with positive energy or similar means-such displays of faith are a reminder of mortal experiences forever lost.
Though their minds are fractured and their trains of thought mercurial, sishkansets are reasonably intelligent. Their fruitless attempts to fulfill themselves with the thoughts of others means they know much about the communities they haunt. Sishkansets relieved by recently driving a victim insane can sometimes even be engaged in conversation. Their erratic desires often include requests for mortals to describe their lives and feelings. Individuals who are able to parse these demands from a sishkanset’s ceaseless, whispering stream of consciousness and indulge the creature can sometimes ask for information in return, though they are wise to leave before the sishkanset fixates on them.
Objects bearing strong emotional impressions intrigue sishkansets. They hover over the psychically charged items, rambling about the memento’s past like an academy’s lecturer. Eventually, however, the creatures’ inability to interact with objects or incorporate the emotions they store rekindles their existential anguish.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #129: The Twilight Child © 2018, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Ron Lundeen, with Patchen Mortimer, Andrew Mullen, Richard Pett, F. Wesley Schneider, and David Schwartz.