|Titles||Prince of the Blasted Heath|
Demon Lord of Fungus and Parasites
Lord of Filth and Pollution
|Realm||The Jeharlu, Abyss|
|Areas of Concern||Disease|
|Worshipers||Alchemists, black dragons, deros, drow, ex-druids, polluters, evil vegepygmies|
|Cleric Alignments (1E)|
|Domains (1E)||Chaos, Earth, Evil, Plant|
|Subdomains (1E)||Caves, Decay, Demon, Growth, Plague|
|Symbol||Moldy spiraling tentacle|
|Sacred Colors||Green, yellow|
|Images of Cyth-V'sug|
Source: Beyond the Doomsday Door, pg(s). 65
Cyth-V'sug (pronounced SITH-vih-SUG) is the demon lord of fungus and parasites. Originally a qlippoth lord, he is older than any of the demons now residing in the Abyss. Cyth-V'sug was spawned by the qlippoth lord called Oaur-Ooung and later ascended and transformed into a demon lord.
During the ancient war between the demons and qlippoth shortly after the formers' creation, the qlippoth lord Cyth-V'sug did not want to take part, staying in his realm and slaughtering any invading demons. He eventually observed that the demons were worshipped by self-destructive mortals, and as he sent tendrils of consciousness into the Material Plane, he found desperate creatures looking for answers to their prayers and responded to them. This increased his strength, but Cyth-V'sug was still forced to remain in the deep Abyss alongside the qlippoth.
Cyth-V'sug continued to hear the pleas for divine gifts and responses from his worshippers. This greed caused Cyth-V'sug to feel the mortal emotion of desire: for his original home, for demon blood, and for vengeance. In time, the other qlippoth lords noticed this change and threatened to destroy him, forcing him to flee to the upper Abyss.
Cyth-V'sug realised that he had become like a hated demon, but he was still hungry and continued to demand sacrifices from his followers, slowly transforming into a demon lord. However, this did nothing to quell his hatred of demons.
Cyth-V'sug resides in a layer of the Abyss known as Jeharlu, made up of a single writhing colony of parasitic fungus that corrupts anything it touches into a vile extension of its own consciousness. The Prince of the Blasted Heath forever yearns to expand his domain by pulling other parts of the Great Beyond into his realm. He continues to pursue the qlippoth goal of eradicating mortals and starving the demons of sin, so the qlippoth can reclaim the Abyss. He cares little that this will mean his own destruction, as it means that his hunger will finally be sated.
Cult & worshippers
As an ever-hungry demon lord, Cyth-V'sug has little interest in forming cults or secret societies like some of his fellow demons; instead, he hungers to absorb the whole of Golarion into his realm. Still, he does have those devoted to him on the surface world, although these are generally lone madmen obsessed with spreading his fungal taint. Followers wish to understand and reveal the powers of disease and infestation, revelling in the filth of the world. They seek to bring bloody sacrifices, especially of elves, to gain a greater closeness to their master.
Unsurprisingly, the Prince of the Blasted Heath had a dedicated following in the Worldwound, where he was venerated by numerous fungus queens in Frostmire Fen, who in turn were overseen by the greatest of their kind, Enivuni. The closing of the portal to the Abyss in 4717 AR, however, has led to a substantial loss in power there for the Lord of Filth and Pollution.
The veneration of Cyth-V'sug becomes more common below the surface of Golarion. His largest group of worshipers are likely the drow of House Urdrinor, who tend the fungus gardens of Yagasfanas and supply the drow of Zirnakaynin with edible mushrooms procured with the power of their demonic patron. The dero also occasionally turn to Cyth-V'sug in their madness, searching for answers to spiritual questions. Certain mad shamans among the more violent tribes of vegepygmies have been known to ask the demon lord for assistance as well.
In the deepest fastness of Nirmathas's Fangwood forest a rotten heart once beat. Originally a part of the fey Accressiel court—serving as a handmaiden to the glaistig Gendowyn—the jealous and spiteful dryad, Arlantia, found herself corrupted by an ancient relic of the demon lord Treerazer: a weapon called the Spiteful Scimitar. Immersing herself in the unholy texts captured during the campaign against Treerazer, Arlantia eventually open a portal to Jeharlu, and merged its foul influence with her own fey magic to become the source of the virulent, supernatural contagion known as the Darkblight. Arlantia infected many of her fellow fey and lead a bloody coup against Gendowyn in 4062 AR, unseating and imprisoning the glaistig, and styling herself "Princess of the Blasted Heath" in her new seat of power, the Pestilent Palace. Commanding an army of blighted fey, Jeharlu demons, and even an ancient black dragon, Arlantia courted the attentions of the ever-aloof Cyth-V'sug by spreading the Darkblight in tribute to the demon lord, hoping one day that he might notice and take her as his unholy bride. Fortunately this union never occured, and Arlantia was slain by a group of Nirmathi militia members in 4717 AR.
The Excresence, Cyth-V'sug's unholy text, is a living tumour that grows on the body of a devotee. To cultivate a 'copy', a cultist must smear a special foul concoction (whose recipe is only granted by Cyth-V'sug to worthy followers) on an open wound, then survive without curing the infection while the tumour grows to the size of a cat, so The Excresence can whisper to them. If the symbiont is removed, another host must be found to keep the book alive.
All copies of The Excresence share the same voice, and when near another copy, begin intoning in a creepy, harmonic unity: it is unknown if all copies are individuals or fragments of a larger intelligence. While the whispers can be copied onto paper, pages inscribed with The Excresence rot unnaturally quickly due to the influence of Cyth-V'sug, who ensures that only devotees have access to his wisdom.
Cyth-V'sug's followers rarely interact with other religions. They sometimes work alongside the followers of Urgathoa or Ghlaunder to spread disease, but rarely for long. Cyth-V'sug despises other demon lords and wishes to sow chaos and destruction through other means. His arch-enemy is the Great Old One Xhamen-Dor, who competes with him for the same goal.
The nascent demon lord Treerazer, one of Cyth-V'sug's most potent offspring, has a mixed relationship with his progenitor. After a failed coup against the demon lord, Treerazer was exiled to Golarion around the end of the 25th century AR. There he began to establish a domain for himself in the southern part of the abandoned elven land of Kyonin, but received no further punishment for his transgression. Some consider this lack of attention from Cyth-V'sug as a passive support for Treerazer and wonder if it might coincide with the demon lord's ambition to assimilate Golarion. Others are concerned that Cyth-V'sug's loss of power in the Fangwood and the Worldwound (see above) might presage a reconciliation between the two powers. If the demon lord were to combine his efforts with those of his offspring, it could spell the end of Kyonin and beyond.
For additional resources, see the Meta page.
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