Psychopomp, Kere

Habitat: Underlands, Prime graveyards, tombs, mausoleums

Alignment: Neutral

Challenge Rating: 10

The kere is a ghostly sentinel, her form slender as a wisp, cloaked in the somber attire of a mourner. Her face, usually hidden behind a veil of deepest black, watches over the silent kingdoms of the dead—the graveyards.

Now, cutter: Keres don’t ferry souls like their kin. They’re the guardians of the final resting places rather than the souls themselves, warding off those who would disturb the peace of the departed. Their task? To keep at bay the necromancers, the grave robbers, the body snatchers, and those who seek the dead for nefarious ends.

Within the hallowed grounds they protect, an air of dread hangs thick as the fog in the Deep Ethereal. The kere weaves illusions not of undead horrors, but of a more subtle, chilling nature—mournful cries on the wind, gravestones that seem to shiver in the moonlight, spectral figures that vanish when approached. This tapestry of fear is woven to deter any who dare to tread upon sacred soil.

These vigilant spirits dwell in the lesser-trodden graveyards, their presence strongest when night’s shroud falls over the land. Aloof and silent, they communicate not with words but with the eerie language of their haunting displays. When faced with those seeking to “cleanse” their domain, they respond not with parley but with further manifestations of their eerie power, driving the unwelcome away with fear, or if needed, more direct confrontations.

Sometimes, in the loneliness of their vigil, a kere might seek out mortal attention, a fleeting desire for connection in their eternal watch. Yet, they are ever drawn back to their solemn duty—the prevention of the dark arts of necromancy and the protection of the dead’s tranquility.

Each kere is bound to a single gravestone, a tether to their ghostly form. Stray too far, and they become visible, powerless, stripped of their ethereal might. They can blend into the stonework of graves and statues, a spectral fusion with the memorials they guard.

See Also:

Sources and Stats:

  • Pathfinder Adventure Path #64: Beyond the Doomsday Door [PF1e] p88 here
  • Origin: In Greek mythology, the keres were female death spirits who personified violent death and were drawn to battlefields. They did not have the power to kill, but they waited and then feasted upon the dead. More here.

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