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Div, Bushyasta

The Agents of Sloth

NE; CR 6 [PF1e]

Bushyasta divs, the insidious fiends of sloth and laziness, embody the absolute antithesis of industriousness and productivity. These gaunt figures are driven by a singular purpose: to lull mortals into a state of unproductive lethargy. Bushyastas present a disturbing visage with their skeletal frames, sickly yellow complexion, and the eerie feathered masks that obscure their features. Their wide beak-mouths bristle with fangs, a grim reminder of the danger they can still pose despite their usual focus on non-violent manipulation. Bushyasta move with a languid, almost hypnotic grace, exuding an aura that saps the will and energy of those around them.

The Ecology of the Bushyasta

As agents of sloth, bushyastas target the fruitful and industrious, preying upon those who strive to achieve and create. They often haunt construction sites, especially those destined to become centres of civil or religious significance, deriving great pleasure from disrupting projects that would bring pride and glory to communities. Their presence can halt progress, sowing seeds of disinterest and procrastination among the workforce.

Bushyastas employ a variety of methods to promote shiftlessness and laziness. They whisper seductive promises of rest and ease, magnifying doubts and fatigue in their victims. They disguise themselves as workers to spread lies and foment rebellion. They tamper with equipment, seeking to cause accidents and further spread discontent. Through their abilities, they can lull individuals into sleep or a trance-like state, preventing them from completing their tasks and achieving their goals. Their influence extends to creating an environment where lethargy thrives, draining the vitality and motivation of those around them. Above all, they feed on the conflict that ensues as workers are fired, rebel or quit, and relish the panic and misery that their actions can create.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The primary power of bushyastas lies in their ability to sap the drive and determination of mortals, effectively halting productivity and progress. Their magical abilities allow them to induce sleep, weaken resolve, and create an atmosphere of pervasive lethargy. This makes them formidable foes in environments where productivity, teamwork and industriousness are paramount.

However, bushyastas have an esoteric flaw: an intense loathing for perfumed odours. They cannot stand the scent of cologne or aromatic flowers, leading to a widespread custom of perfuming the dead to keep these divs away from funeral services. This aversion can be exploited by those aware of it, using fragrant scents as a deterrent against bushyasta interference. This is one of the reasons that incense is burned in temples.

Philosophical Musings

The existence of bushyastas serves as a dark commentary on the delicate balance between work and rest, productivity and sloth. These divs are the manifestation of the destructive potential of laziness and the fragility of human resolve. In a multiverse where industry and effort are often celebrated, the bushyasta’s influence reminds us of the ever-present temptation to succumb to ease and idleness. These fiends tend to roam far from Gehenna, seeking important projects to disrupt. Other than the Prime, the bushyasta are particularly feared in Bytopia, where the cutters of Dothion value hard work over all. In Sigil, the bushyasta are said to have infiltrated the Bleak Cabal, where their plots are aimed at treading even harder on the already down-trodden. Darker chant even whispers that bushyasta have a secret enclave in Maladomini, and are tasked with tormenting the Lord of the Seventh by none other than the Dark Lord Asmodeus himself.

Bushyastas teach a harsh lesson about the importance of vigilance and the dangers of complacency. Their ability to turn industrious individuals into shiftless drones highlights the vulnerability of even the most driven individuals to the insidious pull of laziness. They serve as a cautionary reminder that anything worthwhile requires constant vigilance and resilience to resist the lure of sloth.

Source and stats: Book of the Damned p248 [PF1e]. Canonwatch: Bushyasta is a female demon of sloth from Persian mythology. Little is known about her, apart from her ability to lull the faithful to sleep when they are supposed to be praying.

See also: A nice summary of bushyasta powers and tactics, here.

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