Cambion (planar scion)

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Cambion
A cambion.
(Creature)
This article covers the type of planar scion. For the type of demon, see cambion.

Cambions,1 also known as tieflings, are nephilim planar scions12 native to Golarion who have the blood of demons, devils, or other evil fiendish outsiders in their veins.1 They are often distrusted and feared for this evil lineage.3 Even in infernal Cheliax, where some tieflings serve as middlemen between the people and the denizens of Hell, they are second-class citizens at best.4

Origins

Half-fiend creatures can be of many types, but cambions are born only from humanoids.3

Cambions are fertile in their own right, and it is common for them to have children and for those children to be cambions in turn. However, a chance also exists for the child of a cambion couple to be an outwardly normal member of their parents' species.5

Lineages

Although the source of most cambions' fiendish blood is unknown, there are some who can trace it back to a specific type of fiend, and their very personalities can be influenced in a way echoing this ancestry. These cambion lineages are as follows:67

Society and culture

Jheraal, a cambion Hellknight.

Cambions are rarely welcomed in humanoid society due to their fiendish descent and outwardly fiendish appearances. As such, many cambions live in ghettos and other undesirable areas of their settlements. Some cambions attempt to counteract this stigma by amassing personal wealth or power, while others seek to form communities with other cambions where they can live without needing to hide their natures. Occasionally, cambions associate with other marginalized or distrusted species, such as half-orcs.8

Some cambions ease their solitude by adopting pets. While many animals are instinctively put off by the scent of fiendish blood, this can be overcome with sufficient training. Additionally, cambions are known to develop affinities for specific types of animals if they are descended from a fiend associated with specific creatures. A cambion descended from a vrock may share a bond with vultures, for example, while one descended from a tiger-like rakshasa may have one with cats.9

Cambions are rarely religious, although some seek faith to find the acceptance and affection that their lives often lack. Many cambions who tend towards religion are driven off from good faiths by both their persecutions of cambion-kind and by the thought of sharing an afterlife with people who despise them, leading them to the worship of evil deities or of powerful fiends. However, many revere neutral deities such as Gorum or Nethys, who value a worshipper's abilities and actions more than their race or appearance, or more open-minded good deities such as Desna. Many religious cambions become inquisitors, distancing themselves from their persecuted past by themselves becoming the ones seeking out impurities and heresies.910

On Golarion

A cambion thief picks a mark's pocket.

Cambions often face discrimination in the nations of the Inner Sea region. Chelish cambions form an oppressed underclass despite their association with the devils that the empire often works with, as the nobility of Cheliax views devils as servants to be bound and controlled and dislikes the thought of uniting mortal and infernal blood. Cambions of demonic blood or otherwise non-infernal fiendish heritages face even greater prejudice and are rarely tolerated within Cheliax's borders. Chelish cambions fleeing discrimination often head to Cheliax's neighbor and rival, Andoran, but can find themselves facing prejudice there as well due to their association with fiends and Cheliax's infernal regime.11

Cambions face greater discrimination in Jalmeray, where they are considered unclean and relegated to jobs such as sewage and garbage collection and life in crowded ghettos. Most Jalmeri cambions are beastbroods descended from rakshasas.11

Likewise, cambions are rarely welcomed in Mendev and other lands that had been assaulted by the demons of the Worldwound, where they are seen as agents of their demonic progenitors. Mendevian cambions are often killed as soon as they are discovered, forcing them to live in hiding or head south to less hostile lands. Cambions born within the Worldwound itself find little acceptance from either their mortal parents, who see them as unwelcome reminders of their fates, or their demonic ones, who see them as either slaves or mortal victims like all others.12

In Tian Xia, the nation of Chu Ye is home to numerous hungerseed cambions descended from the nation's oni rulers, who use their descendants as agents and spies. Cambions also live in Shenmen, where the difficulty of daily life allows them to find acceptance among villagers more concerned with whether they can aid in their towns' survival than in their heritage.11

References

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Logan Bonner, et al. Ancestries & Backgrounds” in Player Core, 78–79. Paizo Inc., 2023
  2. Logan Bonner, et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary, 262. Paizo Inc., 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 Colin McComb & Hal Maclean. “Blood of Fiends” in Blood of Fiends, 4. Paizo Inc., 2012
  4. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 1: Characters” in Campaign Setting, 40. Paizo Inc., 2008
  5. Colin McComb & Hal Maclean. “Blood of Fiends” in Blood of Fiends, 6. Paizo Inc., 2012
  6. Colin McComb & Hal Maclean. “Tiefling Heritages” in Blood of Fiends, 18ff. Paizo Inc., 2012
  7. Mikhail Rekun. Tiefling” in Ancestry Guide, 62. Paizo Inc., 2021
  8. Colin McComb & Hal Maclean. “Blood of Fiends” in Blood of Fiends, 4–6. Paizo Inc., 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 Colin McComb & Hal Maclean. “Blood of Fiends” in Blood of Fiends, 11. Paizo Inc., 2012
  10. Colin McComb & Hal Maclean. “Blood of Fiends” in Blood of Fiends, 13–14. Paizo Inc., 2012
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Colin McComb & Hal Maclean. “Blood of Fiends” in Blood of Fiends, 8. Paizo Inc., 2012
  12. Colin McComb & Hal Maclean. “Blood of Fiends” in Blood of Fiends, 9–10. Paizo Inc., 2012