Psychopomp, Morbai

Habitat: Underlands, places of healing and medicine across the planes

Alignment: Neutral

Challenge Rating: 6

Imagine, if you will, a figure no taller than one of Sigil’s lightboys, hunched and shrouded like an old crone from a tiefling bedtime story. But here’s the dark of it: this ain’t no ordinary hag. These creatures, barely three feet tall, embodies the very essence of life’s precarious balance. Their forms shifts to match the race of whoever’s unlucky, or lucky, enough to lay eyes on them; a mirrored reflection of mortality itself.

Each morbai sports not one, but two plague masks, front and back, like some macabre Janus. It’s a right creepy sight, it is. You can never quite tell where they’re looking, or thinking, for that matter. Perhaps they’re looking both directions at once, cutter—it’s not even clear whether they have two faces or just the one. These masks, they’re a symbol of a dual nature—healer and harbinger, life-giver and life-taker. Underneath a tattered shawl, hidden from careless eyes, lie two pairs of small, unassuming wings, feathered in the dullest of greys. Don’t let their size fool ya, though. These wings bear the weight of life and death.

Now, these morbai, they’re the masters of a deadly dance, where one step heals, the other harms. They’re the guardians against epidemics, preventing the cogs of the death bureaucracy from jamming under a glut of souls. Yet, in the same breath, they’re the crafters of new diseases, a grim reminder to the living that life is a fleeting thing, always to be treasured, never to be taken for granted.

Most morbai, mind you, aren’t ones for direct confrontation. They’d rather pull strings from the shadows, inspiring and manipulating mortal medics like puppeteers. You might find them as crotchety advisors or demanding patients, always testing, always judging the mettle of their earthly proxies.

Despite their daunting duty, morbais have a streak of good nature, though it’s often laced with a biting sarcasm. They’re the unsung heroes in the eternal struggle against the yugoloth leukodaemons, their most despised foes, and act with a swiftness that belies their aged appearance.

In the grand scheme, the morbai stand as a stark reminder of the delicate balance between life and death. They’re the unseen guardians at the crossroads of existence, ever watchful, ever present, a testament to the intricate and often cruel dance of the multiverse.

See Also:

Sources and Stats:

  • Concordance of Rivals [PF1e] p59 here
  • Origin: Morbai is the Latin name for the Greek mythological nosoi, harbingers of pestilence and disease from Pandora’s Pithos. This creature is closer to the original myth than the nosoi psychopomps.

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