Perched awkwardly, this strange songbird stares with a glint of intellect in its empty eyes. A stylish plaster mask conceals its face, while two pairs of wings ruffle over its body’s somber shades.
Speed 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (good)
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 16
A nosoi’s song has the power to grip the spirits of those that hear it. All living and undead creatures within a 60-foot spread must succeed at a DC 14 Will saving throw or be fascinated. A creature that successfully saves is not subject to that nosoi’s song for 24 hours. This effect continues for as long as the nosoi sings and for 1 round thereafter. A nosoi can sing for a number or rounds per day equal to twice its Hit Dice. This is a sonic mind-affecting charm effect. This ability can affect undead creatures, even though the undead subtype makes such creatures immune to mind-affecting effects (though undead creatures with immunity to mind-affecting effects from a source other than their creature type are still immune). The save DC is Charisma-based.
Environment any (Purgatory)
Organization solitary, pair, or group (3–15)
Nosois eagerly fill the roles of clerks, scribes, and messengers in the bureaucracy of the hereafter. They record the circumstances of each mortal’s death, any judgments for and against its soul, and its final destination along the Outer Planes. But unlike more tireless, mechanical outsiders, nosois are also prone to powerful whims, boasting contests, and petty theft.
Mortals recognize nosois in their roles as messengers, counselors of troubled or disbelieving dead, and guides along the River of Souls, and some ancient texts refer to them as scribe psychopomps, death’s messengers, and yanakeion.
Many large and well-tended graveyards or catacombs play host to a nosoi who tends to the newly passed and keeps a watchful eye out for the looming taint of undeath. Nosois’ bodies take the form of mortal songbirds—usually crows, sparrows, and especially whippoorwills—though like all other psychopomps they wear graceful, elegant funerary masks that accentuate their sharp beaks and empty eyes. Many also craft decorative artificial tails from small bric-a-brac that trail behind them as they soar through the Boneyard.
Nosois are typically measure about 1 foot in length, though their tails may double or triple that length. They are deceptively heavy, weighing between 10 and 15 pounds.
Nosois serve within libraries and scriptoriums, tirelessly scribbling away without rest. Being social creatures, however, they frequently chatter with one another—boasting of past deeds, arguing over notation, and exchanging gossip from the far corners of creation. The immortal creatures toil for centuries before ascending to become higher psychopomps or, more likely, reincarnating on the mortal world.
Though outsiders have no need to eat, nosois consider doing so a rare treat. Their frequent sojourns to the Material Plane and many Outer Planes involve frequent snacks and tastings. Being dutiful but not unwavering, nosois sometimes succumb to bribes and share the information they possess, and mortal treats loosen their secrets far faster than gold or magic.
Nosois sometimes depart from their service to the bureaucracy of death to act as familiars to spellcasters with a special connection to or interest in death. Most relish the opportunity, and make useful assistants to spellcasters who keep extensive libraries or prefer meticulous records. They can be troublesome, though, given their natural curiosity and tendency to steal small objects. Any neutral caster of 7th level or higher and who has the Improved Familiar feat may summon a nosoi.
Nosois often use their skill as scribes to aid their mortal masters. Despite their size and apparent lack of hands, they may use medium-sized drawing and writing tools without penalty. They grant their masters a +2 bonus on skill checks made to scribe scrolls. Like all psychopomps, nosois loathe the undead. They immediately leave the service of any master who creates or permanently becomes such an abomination.
Statistics from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 4 © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Savannah Broadway, Ross Byers, Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock, Tracy Hurley, James Jacobs, Matt James, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Tork Shaw, and Russ Taylor.
Ecology from Pathfinder Adventure Path #47: Ashes at Dawn. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Neil Spicer.