Psychopomp, Catrina

Habitat: Underland shores of the River of Souls and the end of the Dead Roads

Alignment: Neutral

Challenge Rating: 5

The catrina is a graceful and beautiful figure in the realm of the undead. Imagine this skeletal being, dressed in a dancer’s attire, adorned with lengthy, curling hair, and carrying a bouquet of vibrant flowers. Despite the absence of flesh, their beauty shines through. Their appearance is a paradox of beauty and mortality, a reminder that even in the afterlife, there is a place for compassion and solace.

The role of a catrina is quite unique among psychopomps. They are the gentle ushers of souls, responsible for keeping the departed calm as they arrive in the Underlands. Their purpose is to lessen the shock and terror experienced by mortals who haven’t fully accepted their own deaths or who still grieve for the lives they’ve left behind.

Unlike their somber counterparts, catrinas eschew the funereal themes and colors. Instead, they dress in festive shades, surrounding themselves with light and vibrant hues. It’s their way of dispelling some of death’s inherent gloom. However, they do not disguise their skeletal forms. They embrace the finality of death, acknowledging that there’s no going back.

Their motivation is not driven solely by compassion for the soul but by the practicality of the situation. A calm transition is essential for the orderly processing of the dead. After all, screaming and chaos disrupt the bureaucracy of the afterlife.

Catrinas rarely visit the Prime, but when they do, it’s often at the command of a powerful psychopomp or power of death. This treatment is reserved for high-ups such as priests of death powers. In such cases, they serve as companions and guides, not executioners. However, they are capable of taking on the role of enforcers, especially when misguided mortals attempt to hinder their sacred duty. Their deadly, painless kisses can swiftly end a life.

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