Psychopomp, Nosoi

Habitat: Anywhere in the Underlands

Alignment: Neutral

Challenge Rating: 1 [PF2e & D&D5e]; 2 [PF1e]

Nosoi ain’t your ordinary feathered friends. These songbirds, draped in shades of sombre grey and black, have a glint of something more behind their empty eyes. Their stylish masks, a signature of psychopomps, conceal their visages, adding an air of enigmatic grace to their sharp beaks and hollow gazes.

In the grand bureaucracy of the hereafter, these nosoi are like the ink-stained clerks of the dead. They’re diligent record-keepers, jotting down the final moments of mortals, the verdicts on their souls, and their ultimate destinations in the Outer Planes. But, unlike the tireless golems of other realms, nosoi have their quirks: they’re prone to whimsy, gabfests, boasting contests, and a bit of light-clawed mischief.

In the graveyards and catacombs, a nosoi might be seen keeping watch, a guardian against the creeping taint of undeath. They’re fond of taking the forms of mortal songbirds – crows, sparrows, and particularly whippoorwills. Their elegant funerary masks and artificial tails, crafted from odd bits and bobs, make them a sight to behold as they soar through the murky skies of the Underlands.

Size-wise, they’re about a foot long, but with those decorative tails, they seem much longer. Surprisingly hefty for their size, they weigh a good 10 to 15 pounds.

In their roles, nosoi are social creatures, chattering away in libraries and scriptoriums of the afterlife. They bicker over notation, swap gossip, and reminisce about past deeds. Despite their immortality, they often reincarnate or ascend to higher ranks among psychopomps after centuries of service.

Now, here’s a twist – though they need not eat, nosoi find dining a delightful indulgence. They’re known to snack and taste their way across the planes, and it’s said that a sweet treat will loosen their tongues faster than gold.

And for those dabbling in the arcane, a nosoi might just become a familiar. Handy with a quill despite their avian form, they’re a boon to any spellcaster with a penchant for the macabre or meticulous record-keeping. But beware their mischievous nature and their penchant for pilfering trinkets!

In essence, the nosoi in are more than just soul shepherds; they’re a blend of scribe, gossip, and guardian, wrapped up in a feathered, mask-wearing package. Their existence speaks to the endless paperwork of the afterlife, the whimsy hidden in the grim business of death, and the unexpected delights found in the small things, even in the bleakest of places.

See Also:

Sources and Stats:

  • Bestiary 4 [PF1e] p220 here
  • Bestiary [PF2e] p270 here
  • D&D conversion by d’Artagnan [5e] here
  • Origin: In Greek myth, the nosoi were spirits of pestilence and disease released from Pandora’s Pithos. In Greek, ‘nosoi’ is plural; the singular is ‘nosos’.

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