Until recently, the kyton (or "chain devil") was on the whole a relatively minor force upon the planes. A native kind of Minauros, the third layer of Baator, they were almost unknown outside their home city of Jangling Hiter but for those occasions when they would be used by the baatezu for one plan or another. While they may rarely have been encountered outside their city, such instances were few and far between. They were most known for their aptitude with chain both in creation and in use; able to animate the chain wrappings that encompass them as though it were a part of their own body, and with unmatched skill at chain craftsmanship in all varieties and forms. Within recent months, however, things have changed drastically, open rebellion having erupted between the kytons and the baatezu in the wake of the Iron Shadow. Increasingly fervent on staking out claims beyond their homeland, they've been seen more and more beyond their realms, seeking to expand their power base through one means or another.
In strong contrast to the baatezu, and in a manner that utterly flummoxes them, kytons utterly eschew any nature of hierarchy amongst themselves. Every kyton is the equal of every other, with none set above or below. While they certainly aren't free of argument or strife, they strictly hold to these standards, and quickly move to strike en masse against any that would seek to take power amongst them. Many outside the culture fail to realize this, as often specific kytons serve as "envoys" between themselves and others, seemingly able to speak on behalf of their entire kind and make decisions thusly, but this is instead simply an expression of the pure egalitarianism of the kytons; any individual will be heard by any other kyton at any time, and so the more "sociable" often take on the position of an erstwhile ambassador at relaying between within and without.
As spiritual beings, kytons have no need for any of the necessities of life that plague biological creatures: food, drink, sleep, breath. They do, however, enjoy indulging in meat purely for the pleasure of it; especially the mortal victims of their hunts. They savor the taste of their kills, seemingly drawing as much enjoyment from the physical as from the spiritual, from the pure fear of their victims upon their death. Some think they may not even need to kill their quarries to gain something from their fear.
This aspect of their nature may also be linked to their special susceptibility to blessed objects, which are known to create wounds in a kyton that can barely be healed. Further, kytons seem to lack many of the more physical qualities that mark even other fiends. Even the most severe wounds are utterly bloodless and ichorless, and even should a limb be entirely severed, if placed back upon the stump it reattaches itself within seconds. And of course, there is their innate ability to mimic the appearance of the beloved dead of those to which they speak. Though this leads some (including the unnamed author of one of the more widespread pieces on Hiter, An Eternity in Chains) to suggest that they are in fact some variety of semi-corporeal undead rather than a true planar being, the preponderance of circumstantial evidence leads most sages to categorize them as a step beyond the usual fiendish kind; a people with little true physicality or spirituality, but rather largely made up of pure planar essence.
None have been able to confirm this beyond such circumstantial evidence, however, and in fact little more than this is known about their nature at all; they are a notoriously private people, reticent to speak much of their own way of being. Nor have any been able to examine them to learn more themselves. On death, a kyton dissolves into an acrid ooze and a pile of lifeless chains, rendering any post-death examination impossible. Neither can they be easily examined live, as kytons have the odd ability to end their own lives at will as well as a severe and somewhat ironic hatred of confinement of any sort, meaning that any captured kyton does not remain such for long. While this may be further linked to their conjectured nature, for obvious reasons none can confirm or deny this hypothesis.
Kytons are always humanoid figures, though the details of their form are indistinguishable beneath their heavy chain wrappings. Little of the underlying body can be seen beneath their chains, most commonly the only exposed surface being the eyes and the lower half of the face. They seem to naturally be genderless, but this cannot be confirmed given their habit of seeming to take the form of a lost loved one to the one talking to them. This resemblance is never total, nor is it constant, but it's always seen, seeming to be strongest amongst those that knew the person in life.
- Planes of Law - Baator, pp.18-19
- Planes of Law - Monstrous Supplement, pp.22-23
- Tales from the Infinite Staircase, pg.120