Psychopomp, Olethros

Habitat: Underlands, Prime

Alignment: Neutral

Challenge Rating: 17

Picture a moth-winged woman, her form draped in a white, silken gown adorned with tiny bronze mirrors that capture and reflect the light of countless worlds. Her face, hidden behind a spiral insect mask, adds to her mystique as she navigates the complex interplay of birth, death, and fate.

Olethros are among the most potent agents of the Underlands in the mortal realm, operating outside the typical hierarchical structures and answering only to the highest echelons of the psychopomp order. They blend seamlessly among mortals, adopting guises such as wise midwives or former mentors, their guidance subtly steering the course of fate.

Unlike other psychopomps who focus primarily on the transition from death to the afterlife, olethros concern themselves with the entire spectrum of existence—from birth to death and the delicate balance that lies in between. Their interventions are aimed at promoting a particular vision of fate and counteracting those who resist its natural flow.

Their rivalry with the fey norns is a tale as old as time, with legends even speaking of star-crossed romances between the two. On the flipside, their disdain for lipika aeons and their manipulation of life’s cycle for an alien sense of karma often leads to shadowy conflicts that can span generations.

Within the ranks of psychopomps, olethroses command a varied reception. Morrigna regard them with respect and admiration, while nosoi may view them as overly directive. Yamarajes, recognizing their autonomy, sometimes enlist their expertise in complex judgments.

Olethroses focus their animosity not on the undead, as do many psychopomps, but on the sahkil. They occasionally shift planes to pursue these traitorous kin, fuelled by a deep-seated fixation whose origins are shrouded in the mists of time.

Unique in their armament, olethroses wield silkbows—magical longbows of their own creation, made from ethereal strands of cloth and silk, potent and effective only in their hands. Each mirror on their gown serves as a scrying focus, allowing them to monitor and influence countless threads of fate simultaneously. Their touch, a fated caress, brings their target face-to-face with its destiny, pulling it inexorably towards its inevitable conclusion.

To an olethros, the cycle of existence is a singular, interconnected phenomenon. The birth of an olethros is a rare event, tied to the emergence of new fateful pathways. These beings claim that each new olethros is destined to shepherd and nurture these new branches of destiny. Olethros mothers, especially powerful in their kind, grow in might and wisdom, each developing a distinct specialisation in the realms of birth, fate, and death.

See Also:

Sources and Stats:

  • Bestiary 6 [PF1e] p, here
  • Origin: In ancient Greek myth, Olethros was the personification of havoc. The Bible translates the word as ‘ruin, death, punishment or destruction’, but also the kind of punishment that forgives and restores. More on this here.

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