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Div, Aghash

The Embodiment of the Evil Eye

NE; CR 4 [PF1e], Creature 4 [PF2e]

The aghash is a creature born of curses, misfortune, and relentless spite. These malevolent beings wander the deserts of the Prime, the slopes of Gehenna, and the layers of Baator, drawn to the arrogant and the beautiful, whom they seek to humiliate and ruin. Unlike many of their brutish kin, aghashes employ subtlety and supernatural curses to bring their victims to despair.

The Ecology of the Aghash

An aghash is grotesque and haunting, draped in ragged cloths and hunched over on goat-like legs. Their most unsettling feature is their face, or rather the lack thereof. Instead of a visage, they possess a single, large bloodshot eye ringed with fangs. This eerie eye is the source of their power, embodying the evil eye curse itself. Moving with a staggering, jerking gait, their emaciated frames give them an almost spectral appearance.

Aghashes serve as walking curses. They are not content with mere destruction; they aim to humiliate and undermine those they target, taking particular pleasure in bringing down the vain, the charismatic, and the persuasive. Their curses are potent and insidious, often sapping the very qualities that their victims pride themselves on, such as beauty and charm.

These divs are often mistaken for hags, sharing their love for curses and their preference for subtlety over direct confrontation. This mistake suits an aghash just fine, for to be misidentified is an advantage. An aghash’s spectral hand ability allows it to deliver curses from a distance, making it appear as though the victim has been afflicted by some divine retribution or mysterious illness. This ability ensures that the aghash can torment its prey while remaining hidden, relishing the suffering it causes from the shadows.

As well as haunting Gehenna and the Prime, Aghash can occasionally be found in Stygia, ostensibly working for the Egyptian power Set—but probably still loyal to Ahriman.

Methods of Manipulation

Aghashes are masters of curses. They use their single, unblinking eye to cast the evil eye upon their victims, causing a myriad of misfortunes. They’re driven by a deep-seated compulsion to target the beautiful and the vain, often stalking such individuals compulsively, in order to maximise their torment. This obsession with beauty is a reflection of their own self-loathing and jealousy. When given a choice, an aghash will always attack the most physically attractive opponent, delighting in sapping their Charisma and undermining their confidence and allure.

Their curses can vary in nature but are always designed to bring about ruin and despair. Whether causing physical ailments, mental anguish, or social downfall, an aghash’s curse is a tool of slow, agonising destruction.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Aghashes are excellent at staying hidden and evading direct confrontation, which makes them dangerous foes. Their curses can weaken even the strongest of opponents by targeting their most valued traits, often leading to a slow and painful downfall.

However, like all divs, aghashes have their own peculiar weaknesses. Their compulsion to despise and attack beautiful mortals can be predictable and exploited by those who are aware of it. Moreover, while they are dangerous at a distance, they are less formidable in close combat. Their reliance on curses and indirect methods means that they can be overpowered by those who manage to close the distance and engage them directly.

Philosophical Musings

The existence of aghashes underscores a fundamental truth about the nature of beauty, arrogance, and downfall. They serve as a dark mirror, reflecting the consequences of vanity and the fragility of pride. In their grotesque forms and malevolent actions, aghashes embody the fear that true ruin often comes from within, triggered by the very qualities that individuals hold dear.

These divs are a cautionary tale about the dangers of superficiality and the perils of arrogance. Their curses reveal that the things we prize most—beauty, charm, confidence—can also be our greatest vulnerabilities. The aghash’s ability to strip these away leaves their victims not only physically weakened but emotionally and psychologically shattered.

Aghashes also represent the idea that some forms of evil do not need to strike with physical force. Subtlety, patience, and psychological warfare can be far more devastating, leaving long-lasting scars that physical wounds could never achieve. In this, the aghash teaches the thoughtful to be wary of the quiet evils that lurk in the shadows, just waiting for the perfect moment to strike and unravel our lives.

Source and stats: Bestiary 3 p84 [PF1e]; Bestiary 3 [PF2e]

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