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Div, Sepid

The Blightbringers of Ahriman

NE; CR 14 [PF1e], Creature 14 [PF2e]

Sepids are the fearsome elite caste of the div race, their malevolence and power surpassed by few creates of Gehenna. These monstrous beings are born of Ahriman’s dark obsessions, stripped of any vestige of their former selves and imbued with an unquenchable hatred, a sense of entitlement, and an insatiable thirst for vengeance. They are masters of torment and ruin, slipping through the crevices of Gehenna to bring unparalleled misery to mortals and genie-kin alike.

Sepids are terrifying to behold. Towering figures with an aura of dread, their forms are often shrouded in darkness, making them appear more like shadows than solid beings. Their eyes burn with a cold, malevolent light, and their faces, often obscured, reveal fanged maws twisted into perpetual sneers of contempt. They move with a predatory grace, their every motion adding to a building sense of doom.

The Ecology of the Sepid

As one of the most powerful of the divs, sepids serve as Ahriman’s enforcers and harbingers of despair. Their primary function is to spread misery and suffering across the planes, particularly targeting mortals on the Prime and genie-kin in the Inner Planes. The more anguish they sow, the more power they draw to themselves and their dark master, Ahriman.

Sepids are not content with simple destruction; they revel and feed off the slow, methodical breakdown of their victims’ lives. They employ a variety of tactics to achieve this end, from manipulating events to incite betrayal and despair or foment rebellions and uprisings. Their presence is often the harbinger of widespread calamity, as they are capable of orchestrating plagues, famines, and wars from the shadows to feed their insidious hunger.

Methods of Manipulation

Sepids are cunning strategists and masterful manipulators. Their magical powers allow them to charm, deceive, and control their victims, while their physical prowess ensures that they can dominate in any direct confrontation. Standing twice the height of a human, and wielding a falchion as large as a man, you’d need to be a brave blood indeed not to tremble at their approach. In combat, they seek out the most powerful opponents, revelling in any victory they score against them. Out of combat, they deliberately seek heroes, aiming to corrupt or degrade them—with the greater goal of crushing the hopes and dreams of the societies that revere or depend upon them.

One of the sepid’s most feared abilities is their power to slip between the crevices of Gehenna, enabling them to appear where they are least expected. This ability makes them exceptional at ambushes and infiltrations, allowing them to strike at the heart of their enemies’ strongholds with terrifying efficiency. Their presence alone can instil fear and panic, often causing their victims to make disastrous decisions in their desperation to escape the sepids’ grasp.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Sepids are incredibly powerful, both magically and physically. Their ability to manipulate events from afar makes them dangerous even when they are not directly present. They can spread plague, incite rebellion, and cause natural disasters, all while remaining unseen and untouchable. Their strength and resilience in combat make them nearly unstoppable once they engage.

However, like all divs, sepids have their own compulsions and weaknesses. Their insatiable thirst for vengeance and hatred can cloud their judgment, sometimes leading them into traps set by those who understand their nature. More significantly, despite their immense cunning, sepids are intrinsically compelled to weave webs of deceit. This compulsion to lie is a fundamental aspect of their corrupted nature, making them incapable of uttering the truth even when it would serve them better. Every word from a sepid’s mouth is laced with falsehoods, half-truths, and deliberate misdirections, making it impossible to take anything they say at face value. A canny cutter can use this to their advantage, able to glean the truth by assuming the opposite of what a sepid might tell them. 

Philosophical Musings

The existence of sepids is a grim reminder of the depths of hatred and the destructive power of vengeance. They’re the embodiment of the old saying, “Hatred corrodes the vessel that contains it.” In their relentless pursuit of misery, the sepids lose all semblance of their former selves, becoming hollow vessels of destruction.

Sepids teach us a philosophical lesson about the nature of evil and the cost of revenge. Their existence proves that the pursuit of vengeance can leads to the loss of one’s identity, transforming the seeker into something monstrous. The sepids are a cautionary tale about the dangers of allowing hatred and bitterness to consume one’s soul.

Moreover, sepids reflect the philosophy that true power comes not from sheer force, but from the ability to manipulate and control from the shadows. They demonstrate that the most dangerous adversaries are those who can turn allies against each other, incite chaos and fear, and watch as their enemies destroy themselves from within. They’re a reminder that some evils are born not of necessity, but of a deep-seated need to see others suffer — a blight upon the multiverse that feeds the dark power of Ahriman.

Source and stats: Bestiary 3 p89 [PF1e]; Bestiary 3 [PF2e]

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