A kastighur was a type of tanar'ri demon found in the Abyss or the Barrens of Doom and Despair. Wicked and sadistic, kastighurs acted as prison wardens and hunters among demonkind. They teleported around the field of battle and used their devastating charges to stun and horrify their enemies.
A kastighur was huge, standing somewhere between 15 and 20 feet tall (4.6–6.1 meters) and it could weigh up to 10,000 pounds (4.5 metric tons). Ancient, veteran kastighurs could grow to even greater sizes, however. In form, the demon was roughly humanoid, with a body rippling with muscles under a tough blue hide, powerful legs standing on cloven hooves, and thick arms ending in strong claws. Its visage was hideous, its head large and weight, bearing long horns. Their horns grew slowly but continually, and they adorned them with carvings of symbols or words.
For further protection, a kastighur "wore" armor, of a fashion—enormous steel pieces bolted directly to its body. A helm was bolted to its neck, a breastplate to its torso, and other pieces to its shins, forearms, and shoulders.
Kastighurs were invariably chaotic evil, being depraved, cruel, and driven by whim and impulse. Their chief enjoyment was to break the wills of others through torture, whether physical or by the exhaustion of an unrelenting hunt. They also had an immense love for melee combat and took to battle with great joy.
The kastighur charged its enemies as often as it was able, attempting to stun and then rain deadly blows upon them. Combat started with the kastighur charging its target, stopping at the limit of its swing (15 feet or 4.6 meters). If the target was stunned, then the demon would make another charge, closing the gap between kastighur and victim. In close melee, it would go all-out, goring, slamming and dealing out catastrophic injuries at full force.
In battle, it would sometimes use a quickened teleport to appear closer to a target so it could charge it. They were so battle-hungry, they would even try to use their teleporting ability to appear above a flying target, to then attempt to grapple it and take it down to the ground as they fell.
As the kastighur took to the field of battle so quickly, it rarely had the time to become familiar with the battleground and attempted to keep its teleports as close as possible. Kastighurs used their teleporting ability with a bit of trepidation because they didn't enjoy the same greater teleportation that many other fiends possessed.
As a tanar'ri demon, the kastighur shared many of the same traits and abilities, but with some differences. In particular, it was immune to acids, but lacked the ability to summon other demons and use greater teleport. Instead, the kastighur could only use teleport, but this was limited by range and had a risk of going awry. In return, three times a day, a kastighur could teleport in the blink of an eye to surprise victims. It could also use feather fall at will, which was a boon at those times it teleported high into the air.
The kastighur had a terrifying aura whenever it charged or attacked and, in turn, it grew more aggressive against fearful opponents. Like many other fiends, kastighurs didn't need to feed or drink—at least not in the same way as most mortal races. Instead, they fed off the fear, panic, and hopelessness of the creatures they hunted or imprisoned. They took great joy in the hunting and torturing of others, prolonging their deaths as long as possible so they could savor the delicious emotions a little longer.
It used its strong arms to slam foes, and its long horns allowed it to gore its victims. The kastighur trained to charge, knock over, and overrun its enemies, and to deliver wild, brutal attacks. A gore attack inflicted on a charge could leave a foe stunned, if they still lived.
Kastighurs were also skilled trackers and hunters, on the planes and above and below ground. They had keen senses, and could even track prey by scent.
On their own, they wandered these planes as they would, hunting and killing what they liked, from a damned soul to another kastighur. They despised others of their kind, seeing them as competition in the hunt and for the services of more powerful creatures to serve. Kastighurs were not very intelligent and lacked a reliable means of traveling to other planes like other demons did. So, to reach new hunting grounds and places to spread pain and torment, they depended on other demons, magical items, and potent evil mages summoning them to the Material Plane via a gate or greater planar ally spell.
Thus, they mostly served more powerful and intelligent demons, working as jailers and hunters, tasks they found quite fulfilling. When one of the tanar'ri needed to track down a creature, but lacked the ability to create a retriever, they summoned one or two kastighurs instead. In the Barrens, kastighurs competed to serve the goddesses Loviatar, the Maiden of Pain, and Talona, Lady of Poison. They were often summoned to the Material Plane and to Toril to serve powerful mages, among them Fzoul Chembryl, Larloch, and Manshoon.
However, a kastighur's appetites and impulsiveness made them unreliable. Sometimes, a kastighur would let a prisoner escape so it could then hunt them down. In battle, kastighur units regularly broke ranks to pursue enemies who appeared frightened or fleeing. When two or more kastighurs had the same master, they put aside their mutual hatred but their rivalry became a competition, and they sought always to outdo each other.
Kastighurs preferred to travel light, and what riches they found usually went to its masters, so they were not wealthy. Their most valuable possessions were the +2 breastplates, which were bolted directly to their bodies. However, they looked for magical items that granted other ways to move, such the ability to burrow in the ground, climb with ease, or fly. Most prized were means of crossing to other planes, such as plane shift.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2006). Monster Manual IV. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42–43. ISBN 0-7869-3920-6.
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