Scythe Glass SwarmThe razor-sharp wings of a thousand stained glass insects jingle with a resonant melody.
Scythe Glass Swarm CR 9Source Pathfinder #101: The Kintargo Contract pg. 86
N Diminutive construct (swarm)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0
DefenseAC 25, touch 21, flat-footed 18 (+7 Dex, +4 natural, +4 size)
hp 110 (20d10)
Fort +6, Ref +13, Will +6
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune acid, construct traits, weapon damage
Weaknesses vulnerable to sonic
OffenseSpeed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee swarm (4d6 plus 2d6 bleed)
Space 10 ft., Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 20), resonant flight, serrated wings
StatisticsStr 1, Dex 25, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 1
Base Atk +20; CMB —; CMD —
Skills Fly +21
EcologyEnvironment any urban
Organization solitary, pair, or gallery (3–12)
Special AbilitiesFreeze (Ex) A scythe glass swarm can assemble itself into a large, stained-glass window. A scythe glass swarm that uses freeze can take 20 on Stealth checks to hide in plain sight as a window.
Resonant Flight (Su) The wings of a scythe glass swarm produces a resonant sound, creating a hypnotic effect to all who hear it. Every creature within 60 feet of a scythe glass swarm must succeed at a DC 15 Will save or become fascinated for 2d4 rounds. While the target is fascinated, the scythe glass swarm can approach the target without breaking the effect, but an attack from the scythe glass swarm immediately ends the effect. Creatures that successfully save against this effect can’t be affected by the same scythe glass swarm’s resonant flight ability for 24 hours. This is a sonic, mind-affecting compulsion effect. The save DC is Charisma-based. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Serrated Wings (Ex) A scythe glass swarm’s serrated wings leave severe, bleeding cuts on its victims. Its swarm attack deals an additional 2d6 points of bleed damage.
Many would-be thieves have found themselves spellbound by the sound of a beautiful, stained glass window breaking apart and taking flight. This is followed by their screams of terror as thousands of tiny wings cut them to shreds. Scythe glass swarms are used to safeguard shrines and inner sanctums from unwanted attention while also providing beautiful facades when the creatures are inactive. Different religions and sects add their own twists on the constructs to express some aspect of their gods or masters. A scythe glass swarm remains within the confines of the area it is guarding, but even if intruders manage to escape, the blood from pouring from their wounds can be used to track down the interlopers.
Scythe glass swarms consist of thousands of winged glass insects. An individual insect is 9 inches in height and weighs under a pound.
EcologyThe windows that scythe glass swarms form vary greatly depending on their creators and locations, be they simple chapels of Calistria with single stained-glass windows or looming, gothic cathedrals dedicated to Asmodeus and featuring huge rose windows that consist of multiple scythe glass swarms. Carefully crafted combinations of shapes and colors make the windows works of art in their own right, though the amount of careful labor required to craft the thousands of delicate glass insects is staggering. Major faiths have the resources to employ teams of glass workers to speed up the creation process, whereas smaller shrines to minor deities and secret chapels to more nefarious powers have to make do with the dedication of a few devotees who toil at the task over an extended period.
The patterns that the stained-glass windows display reflect their surroundings, representing symbols of faith and scenes sacred to the religion in question. Some scythe glass swarms are created to be able to form a number of different scenes according to the commands of their masters, instead of depicting the same scene all the time. In some churches, these transformations are displayed on ceremonial occasions so the faithful can marvel at the shifting forms of these beautiful and deadly pieces of art.
The appearance of the figures in a scythe glass swarm reflects the ideals of their creator’s faith, such as wasps for the Calistrian faithful, iridescent butterflies for the devotees of Desna, or tiny flitting devils for the clergy Asmodeus. Though certain details of the glass insects’ structures vary greatly from creator to creator, a guiding principle in their design is to use flat segments that can unfold and combine into a flat window surface. The insects are quite fragile during their creation, making the art of crafting them all the more difficult, but once they’re completed, the magical processes involved grant them unnatural resilience against harm.
Habitat and SocietyScythe glass swarms and their variants can be found across Golarion, but they are most prevalent in Cheliax, which is famous for the glass products it exports across the seas. The rise of House Thrune elevated the demand for scythe glass swarms, for their beautiful but merciless nature appeals to the infernal rulers of Cheliax.
Scythe glass swarms are crafted to blend in with their locations as natural elements of the architecture. Similarly their surroundings are often modified to take advantage of their abilities. For example, a sanctum of a vampiric cult might have gutters in the floor to funnel the blood shed by this construct into a receptacle used during gory rites.
Scythe glass swarms function according to the directions set by its creator. They have different modes of operation, such as guarding an area against intruders versus ignoring anyone moving within that same area, that can be activated with certain command words.
Some scythe glass swarms are housed within permanent fixtures such as window frames, while others are contained in portable structures that can be moved to new areas as needed.
Most creators craft control rings or sets of control rings to allow select groups of people to work safely in the area or issue commands to the swarm. Creators who fear that such keyed items might be stolen instead create scythe glass swarms that respond only to their commands. Upon its creator’s eventual demise, such a construct remains behind, following the last order it was given.
ConstructionA scythe glass swarm is built from 2,500 pounds of glass, which is infused with exotic materials that costs 1,000 gp in total during the melting process.
Scythe Glass Swarm CL 13th; Price 61,500 gp
Construction Requirements Craft Construct, geas/quest, hypnotism, limited wish, creator must be caster level 13th; Skill Craft (glass) DC 20; Cost 31,250 gp
Variant Scythe Glass Swarms While their creators are often tight-lipped about the details of the construction process for these beautiful and deadly construct swarms, secrets have a way of getting out. As other creators have worked to construct these creatures, each puts her own spin on the original form to customize it to her specific application. Because of this, a multitude of custom scythe glass swarms are possible. What follows are just a few variants that various faithful crafters have invented.
Hellfire Glass Swarm: Devotees of Asmodeus suffuse hellfire glass swarms with infernal energy, replacing acid immunity with fire immunity. Hellfire glass swarms have the following ability instead of serrated wings.
Hellfire Blood (Su): When a hellfire glass swarm injures a creature, the spilled blood covers the space under that creature and erupts into unholy flame for 1d4 rounds. Any creature that enters the area of the fire, or that starts its turn in the area, takes 4d6 points of damage. Half of this damage is fire damage, while the other half is from unholy energy that deals no damage to creatures with an evil alignment.
Shade Glass Swarm: Shadowcallers of Zon-Kuthon infuse shade glass swarms with materials from the Shadow Plane, replacing their acid immunity with cold immunity. Shade glass swarms have the following ability instead of serrated wings.
Shadow Fragments (Su): The wounds inflicted by a shade glass swarm are embedded with shadow fragments, which are infused with negative energy that disrupts healing. A creature injured by a shade glass swarm is resistant to magical healing for 1d6 rounds (Will DC 20 negates). Any spells or effects that heal hit point damage are reduced by 10 points (minimum 0). The save DC is Constitution-based.
Spell Glass Swarm: Followers of Nethys enchant spell glass swarms with wild magical energy, replacing their acid immunity with electricity immunity. Spell glass swarms have the following ability instead of serrated wings.
Spell Backfire (Su): Spell glass swarms react violently when they are caught within a spell’s area of effect, creating an additional area of effect immediately around the caster of that spell. The caster and anyone adjacent are subjected to the spell that triggered this ability.
Venom Glass Swarm: Priestesses of Calistria don’t hide the images of swarming insects in their gorgeous windows, and they equip their venom glass swarms with stings that deliver a potent poison. Venom glass swarms have the following ability instead of serrated wings.
Poison (Su): Swarm—injury; save Fort DC 20; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d6 Str damage; cure 2 consecutive saves.