Aucturn is an Great Old One created by Paizo Inc. for the Pathfinder RPG in 2007. However, it was the Starfinder RPG (published by the same company) that Aucturn was fully developed.
In Pathfinder[edit | edit source]
It is the eleventh planet in Golarion's solar system, as well as the furthest from its sun. Every 56 years, and for four months, the orbits of Golarion and Aucturn align, which affects the elements of Golarion in unpredictable ways.
He is a newborn or created Great Old One. There are cultists who believe that it is the womb from which said god is gestated, rather than the deity itself. It is believed that it is somehow connected to the dark and empty places between the stars.
In Starfinder[edit | edit source]
General description[edit | edit source]
It is the planet furthest from the sun, covered in dense poisonous fumes. Even after centuries of planetary travel, it remains a mystery. Although its mass is constant, visual observations change depending on who is observing it, and both its diameter and its period of rotation fluctuate wildly and, apparently, randomly. Sometimes it looks like a gas giant with a rippling crimson atmosphere, and sometimes a lifeless rock with a tenuous atmosphere. This is due to a planetary scale illusion caused by an unknown magical effect.
He's surrounded by old ships purposely sent by worlds from the inner system to neurealize him. While there are ships that can land without damage, these are a warning to those seeking to colonize Aucturn, leading to madness and corruption. As it approaches its orbit, it is discovered to be an inhospitable but strangely organic planet. Its atmosphere is greenish-yellow in color, and it contains drugs, mutagens, and poisons. The surface swells and shrinks as if it were a living being breathing or a trembling tumor.
Its very existence is a danger to reality itself and to any creature that approaches it. The Pact Worlds have the hypothesis that it is not a planet, but an immense egg from which, one day, a quasi-divine being of impossible cosmic power will be born one of the Great Old Ones. The cultists who inhabit Aucturn also strongly affirm this.
Its geography is inhospitable, mutable. The territory is made of calcareous stone or rubber soil from which mutated and atrophied vegetation grows. Invisible Leviathans swim through the black mud of their oceans. The atmosphere is made up of poisonous gases, which vary by location, from a thick neurotoxin concentrated in one area to a fine hallucinogenic mist in another. From its yellow sky, acid rain falls on the earth. Your geography is in a state of flux, transforming as the planet shakes and contracts over months or years, but sometimes it happens in moments: rivers run dry and mountain ranges of fleshy mounds are created. This leaves your visitors with the impression that they are in a dream. They can go from mushroom forests to canyons, monasteries of lords of ichor or glowing towers containing biomachines. In general, its surface is an organic place, with soil like meat and mountains that appear like tumors, covered with veins through which a black ichor flows. It is used as a psychotropic drug by its native creatures, such as the Orocorans, who use their proboscis-like languages to extract it.
However, there are places that seem not to change:
- Undulating Sea: a large ocean at its south pole that surrounds a polar cap. It is the site of the Citadel of the Black.
- Twisting Peaks: mountain range that crosses from the northwest to the southeast. They are ancient gray stone mountains worn away by acid winds. Its highest parts are home to stone fortresses.
- Chalkmounds: small mountain range that crosses its northern hemisphere. Its stone, porous and easily crumbling, absorbs toxins from the atmosphere. This makes it a more livable place, but mining it releases concentrated toxins. Due to a forgotten disaster, it has craters that emit background radiation. In short, although the air is breathable, mutations are frequent. In a vast cavern in its depths there are several stone ziggurats tens of meters high. They were sanctuaries to Nyarlathotep championed millennia ago, but they still reverberate with religious energies, causing the Dominion of the Black to find it and reactivate it to corrupt the cultists of Nyarlathotep by altering their brain waves. Overseen by the chizáedos (wormlike beings and the closest thing the Dominion has to religious scholars) many deh-nolos, neh-thalggus and yah-thelgaads exchange the brains of trapped cultists to extract and mutate their biotheological energies. They also hope to find secrets to counter possible rescue missions.
It is also possible to find these other places:
Population[edit | edit source]
Life on Aucturn is toxic in nature, and visitors can mutate after several days on the surface. The physical ones are the least important, for they affect the mind and sanity towards evil purposes.
Humanoids (usually Humans and Ysoki) are cultists of the Outer Gods or prisoners with a distorted sense of reality. They live in sealed buildings, with oxygen generators and respirators outside. Others opt for the use of old air cleaning machines (from the Citadel of the Black) or the natural effect of the Chalkmounds. Despite this, the energies of the planet can cause mutations such as extra eyes, chitinous plates or weakened limbs, sometimes making it impossible to recognize. its original species.
Most of the life forms that inhabit it are ruthless and monstrous. Although there are Shoggoths and Gugs, the most common life form is the Orocorans. There are also the so-called bryvaths, beings that absorb light and live in dark areas, assaulting intruders, as well as psychic ghosts that are only visible as flashes of pale light and eyes that do not blink.
Locations[edit | edit source]
Aucturn has few colonies, consisting of native creatures or Outer God cultists. These crouch in fortified areas or in the ruins of buildings from a forgotten age made of meat. This is so because the planet is currently a battlefield between the cults of the Elder Mythos (who seek to gestate the new god) and the Dominion of the Black (who seek to manipulate him for their own purposes).
These sites are frequently attacked by the Dominion of the Black, bombarding the surface, attacking bases from other dimensions, or carrying out suicide attacks from their depths. Clusters of Dominion of the Black agents control remote sites such as the Ziggurats of the Limestone Mountains, the Bleeding Frost, small biotech factories, and caves. In this way, they avoid conflicts with the cults and can gain strength and contact their allies. They tend to use the explorers who come to these places for experiments. Among the agents are neh-thalggus and yah-thelgaads (who use magic) and deh-nolos, more focused on technology.
Cultists resist the attacks of the Dominion of the Black because their fortifications hold up to bioweapons, psychic attacks are diminished by erratic minds, and their bodies are stronger after years of grueling rituals. The Dominion would need a planetary-level assault to be effective, and the Pact Worlds prefer that it waste its resources on a hostile and remote planet.
Aucturn's main colony is the Citadel of the Black, where the Pyramid of the Black Pharaoh is located. This is the largest temple dedicated to Nyarlathotep in the Pact Worlds. Although it began as a free zone between the battle between cults, when the open conflict began it became the base of operations of the Elder Mythos, with the forces of the Dominion being removed from the place and their small groups resisting the more or less generalized control of the planet.
Here is also the powerful leader Carsai the King, the closest the planet has to a president and whose true form and nature are unknown. Defending the planet from the Dominion of the Black and being a reasonable figure on a strange planet caused the Pact Council to accept Aucturn as a protectorate of the Pact Worlds, if only out of necessity and proximity. While this means that he may have a representative on the council (usually Carsai or his associates), he does not have much power on planets or moons in the system. Unable to purge this area, they have no choice but to maintain a nominal connection with it.