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Oni

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 205

Oni are a race of evil spirits, native to the Material Plane, that manifest physical bodies based upon the shapes and desires of humanoid mortals. In pure spirit form, an oni is nothing but a disembodied evil longing for the sins of the flesh. In this form, oni are harmless and invisible. The majority of these bodiless oni were once kami who failed their wards, or more often, who deliberately abandoned them. As punishment, they were stripped of their ability to form a physical body and then cast into the void. Rarely, a mortal creature's soul can become a disembodied oni upon death, or in even rarer cases, after a truly evil individual has undergone a particularly vile ritual that ends in suicide. These oni are more often destined for positions of great power and strength than most.

Eventually, an oni's spirit manifests a physical body on the Material Plane. The methods by which this may occur vary, but the process generally takes place in areas already despoiled by sin, tragedy, or cruelty. The type of oni a spirit transforms into is influenced by a wide variety of variables, ranging from the nature of what the oni spirit was before to the location where it is reborn into the realm of flesh and blood. Once an oni manifests its physical body, that body becomes its true form for the rest of its life—all oni are shapechangers, but this original form is the form in which they are born and the form they revert to upon death.

An oni's true form is always similar to that of a specific type of humanoid, save that it is always deformed and monstrous to look upon. Tusks, additional eyes, or strangely colored skin are common physical attributes. Yet while they have hideous forms, all oni are capable of changing their shape to assume forms more pleasant to the civilized eye. The type of shapes an oni can assume depend upon its species, but all can transform into some form of humanoid. Oni use this ability to infiltrate humanoid societies, either to prey upon the weak or to rule them in disguise.

In order to understand oni, it is important to consider that most of these beings were once spirits tasked with protecting a material realm they now believe is undeserving of such care and concern—indeed, the physical world is to be dominated and consumed. They arrive in physical form starved for sensory experience, and never fully sate their desire to gorge on such experiences. Most oni seek to attain positions of leadership and power, often in the guise of a normal humanoid, in order to secure a never-ending supply of sensory experiences. It is also important to understand that oni's immoderation is also motivated by their corrupted and evil natures—that is, no pleasure is more enjoyable than one that deprives or wounds another.

Oni retain their hatred of the kami upon reentering the Material Plane as physical creatures, and often their depredations and violations of the world can be directly tied to their efforts to destroy kami or the kami's works. Oni tend not to congregate with others of their kind, being most comfortable in positions of leadership over enslaved or oppressed societies populated by humanoids they can masquerade as. Yet, at times, particularly powerful oni abandon this mindset and instead gather to their side entire legions of oni drawn from all types. The oni known collectively as the yai—oni with an affinity for true giants—are most often responsible for such actions, and when a yai builds such an army of oni, the humanoid lands shake with terror.

Theoretically, as many types of oni exist as there are types of humanoids, although in reality, certain types of oni are much more populous than others. The ogre mage, an oni associated with ogres, is the best-known and most commonly encountered type of oni, for reasons that still send scholars of oni lore into spiraling arguments with seemingly no end. Beyond the oni detailed on the following pages, the atamahuta (ettins), ja noi (hobgoblins), nogitsune (kitsune), and wind yai (cloud giants) are relatively well known. Oni with associations to bugbears, great cyclopes, stone giants, trolls, troglodytes, and other races exist as well. And above even the mighty void yai there exist the oni demigods—entities of nearly incomprehensible power known as the oni daimyo.

Known Oni Daimyo

Countless oni stalk the world, slaking their greed and bloodlust to the misery of humanoids. The great leaders among the oni, beings known as daimyo, are as numerous as the nations of the world, and all oni seek to climb the rungs of power to become such powerful entities. The following list includes oni daimyo that have power in ways that make them known and feared outside their own domains. Most of these nefarious oni command armies or control points through which other oni can enter the world.
  • Akuma, the Horned King (ogre mage)
  • Chimon, Hunter of Blood (ogre mage)
  • Guyuku, the Sea Devil (water oni)
  • Inma, Empress of the World (void oni)
  • Muronna, the Dark Mother (ogre mage)
  • Nataka, the Red King (fire oni)
  • Onmyuza, Dancer in Flesh (ogre mage)
  • Ushitora, Keeper of the Oni Gate (void oni)
  • Uzumae, Daimyo of the North (kuwa oni)
  • Yabu, Lord of the Kazan Caldera (fire oni)

Creatures in "Oni" Category

NameCR
Atamahuta11
Earth Yai13
Fire Yai15
Ice Yai14
Ja Noi5
Kuwa4
Nogitsune7
Ogre Mage8
Spirit Oni2
Void Yai20
Water Yai18
Wind Yai16
Yamabushi Tengu5

Oni, Nogitsune

This fox-headed humanoid has a sleek, feminine form that moves with seductive grace. As she steps into a defensive posture, a mass of bushy tails flicks at the air above her back and she reveals teeth flecked with blood.

Nogitsune CR 7

Source Pathfinder #50: Night of Frozen Shadows pg. 86 (Amazon)
XP 3,200
NE Medium outsider (kitsune, native, oni, shapechanger)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +13

Defense

AC 21, touch 18, flat-footed 13 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 natural)
hp 80 (7d10+42); regeneration 5 (acid or fire)
Fort +8, Ref +12, Will +8
Defensive Abilities evasion; SR 18

Offense

Speed 50 ft., climb 50 ft.
Melee bite +14 (1d6+4), 2 claws +14 (1d4+2 plus poison)
Ranged mwk dart +15/+10 (1d4+4 plus poison)
Special Attacks contagious whisper, sneak attack +3d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +11)
Constant—detect thoughts (DC 16)
At will—feather fall, jump, obscuring mist
1/day—displacement, haste, shadow walk

Statistics

Str 18, Dex 25, Con 22, Int 17, Wis 16, Cha 19
Base Atk +7; CMB +11; CMD 29
Feats Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +17 (+25 jump), Appraise +5, Bluff +14, Climb +16, Diplomacy +7, Disable Device +16, Disguise +13, Escape Artist +17, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +13, Sense Motive +11, Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +17, Swim +5
Languages Common, Draconic, Fey, Giant
SQ change shape (Small or Medium humanoid or animal, alter self or beast shape I), fleet distraction, poison use

Ecology

Environment any urban
Organization solitary
Treasure double (four masterwork darts, 5 doses of blue whinnis poison, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Contagious Whisper (Su) As a standard action, a nogitsune can influence a target she speaks to as per the spell suggestion. The target must succeed at a DC 17 Will save or be affected by this effect. In addition to being subject to suggestion’s normal effects, any creature affected by the contagious whisper can pass the enchantment on to other targets. Doing so requires the target to communicate the nogitsune’s suggestion, forcing the new target to save as if it were the initial target. If such a secondary target resists the contagious whisper, it is unaffected, but this does not remove the suggestion from the initial target. Failing the save puts another creature under the nogitsune’s compulsion. Newly affected creatures are also able to spread the suggestion. A nogitsune’s compelling whisper can affect a number of creatures equal to the its Hit Dice and lasts for a number of hours equal to its Hit Dice. Creatures that successfully save versus the nogitsune’s compelling whisper (as a primary or secondary target) cannot be affected by that particular nogitsune’s compelling whisper for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Fleet Distraction (Su) A nogitsune can make a Bluff check or use its obscuring mist spell-like ability as a swift action in any round in which it moves up to half its base land speed.

Poison Use (Ex) Nogitsune are skilled in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves. Their aptitude is such that they often paint their weapons and nails with blue whinnis.

Blue Whinnis: injury; save Fort DC 14; frequency 1/round for 2 rounds; initial effect 1 Con damage; secondary effect unconsciousness for 1d3 hours; cure 1 save

Nogitsune are created when oni spirits take over the bodies of kitsune (sagacious humanoid fox-creatures). The resultant possession creates a creature with the kitsune’s foxlike grace and cunning and infuses it with the destructive power of an oni (Note from Nethys: This bolded information is not entirely correct and has been further clarified here). Nogitsune are always female, and resemble shapely humans with a covering of fur and a fox’s head. A nogitsune’s fur color varies and can be orange and white, grey, pure white, or even black. Whenever nogitsune use their shapechanging abilities to assume a humanoid form, they still evince somewhat pointed, vulpine features. In addition, any hair on their assumed form betrays the natural coloration of their pelts. Nogitsune stand between 5 and 5-1/2 feet tall and weigh just over 100 pounds.

More details on kitsune can be found in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Dragon Empires Gazetteer.

Ecology

Oni manifest themselves in different ways based on the creatures they take as vessels for their depraved wrath. They take particular joy in corrupting kitsune to form nogitsune, delighting in turning the mystical creatures into deadly killers and spreaders of woe. Most nogitsune become spies or assassins. Though they need no real reason to kill others, the coin they receive for their services allows them to afford the other vices they enjoy, such as pleasures of the f lesh and excesses of drink and narcotics (when available). Nogitsune are deft killers because of their speed, grace, and spell-like abilities. Those who have seen them and lived tell tales of these oni running toward walls at blinding speed and then simply continuing upward to vault the wall’s crown as if it were no more difficult to walk on than the ground. Still others claim that nogitsune can dive into a shadow like a pool of water and disappear, while others mention the cloud of smoke that nogitsune often use to escape pursuit, even when running full speed.

Although they often don human form to disguise themselves for the purpose of inf iltration, nogitsune prefer to stalk and kill prey in their natural form. This gives the creatures the choice of whether to use manufactured weapons or their own sharp claws and deadly bite. When wielding weapons, all nogitsune enjoy using poison, whenever possible employing toxins and venoms that do not kill outright (unless a contract so requires it) but rather render the victims unconscious or helpless. This gives the oni the joy of dealing the killing blow with their jaws and slaking their bloodlust in abject savagery.

A nogitsune’s most feared weapon, however, is its contagious whisper. This powerful compulsion, often whispered into the victim’s ear in honeyed tones, not only forces the targeted creature to believe whatever lie the nogitsune crafts, but also infects the subject of the contagious whisper with a corruptive echo of deceit that causes the victim to unknowingly pass on the nogitsune’s suggestion to others. Nogitsune may use this ability to convince a successive series of servants to open all of the doors to a well-guarded castle, or to make a host of witnesses believe they saw an innocent man commit a brutal crime that was really the oni’s own handiwork.

Habitat & Society

Nogitsune inhabit large urban areas, where they can have their pick of a nearly endless stream of victims. Occasionally they will inhabit a town or village in the countryside, but such locales are always in the shadow of a large castle or estate that can provide additional opportunities to stalk and murder others. Wherever they choose to dwell, nogitsune lair in the seediest districts, where drugs, brothels, and crime are rampant. These areas not only discourage chase by would-be pursuers, but also place the oni in the midst of people who society generally doesn’t miss if and when a contract doesn’t slake the creature’s bloodlust.

Those looking to hire a nogitsune can do so, but such a practice is both costly and dangerous. Although little binds a nogitsune to its accepted contract when it receives payment, most nogitsune happily carry out their orders for the sheer joy of bringing death to another. But many who foolishly hire nogitsune to do their killing find themselves the next victim once the initial target is slain. Nogitsune have little honor, and such treachery not only feeds their bloodlust, but also leaves fewer witnesses.

Nogitsune prefer to lead solitary lives and be in command of their own foul fates. Thus, most avoid associating with more powerful creatures, other oni, or even other nogitsune. Those honorable samurai and good ninja who have fought and killed nogitsune recount seeing a conf licted and turbulent anger within the creatures, as if the once-righteous kitsune within a nogitsune constantly battles to reassert control. Although there is no record of such a reversal occurring, many believe that these malevolent oni drown themselves in death and bloodshed in order to extinguish the last vestiges of the creatures they were before.