Thursday, December 18, 2014


When a valkyrie chooses a soul, it is promoted above the rank of a mere petitioner.  These warriors of prowess and valor become the einherjar, champions for the gods across the multiverse.  Naturally these outsiders are based off of Norse myths of Odin’s warriors fighting and drinking the day away in Valhalla, but einherjar in your campaign could serve almost any god in any culture.  Change their weapons and call them soldiers of the sun or celestial blades or what have you—they’ll be just as indomitable either way. 

Then again, there’s something fun about vikings just being that much more hardcore than everyone else.  When you’re born in a land of giants and linnorms, you can’t help but be larger than life, even in death.

Interestingly, in addition to their other powers of rage and regeneration and so on, einherjar have deathwatch running constantly.  Given that they got where they are thanks to glorious death in battle, don’t expect this will make them go easy on your wounded character.  If anything, they’re likely to think slaying your PC is doing her a favor, since she’ll be that much more likely to join them in the afterlife.

Traveling through a faerie glade, adventurers are stopped by a stag-horned man sitting before a bountiful heroes’ feast.  Those who refuse his invitation receive a sad shake of the head and find the way to their next challenge overrun with brambles and thorns.  Those who accept receive the full benefits of the spell and pick up some intriguing gossip and lore from their host as well.  But they then must face the antlered einherji in combat before they journey onwards, or feel the food turn to poison and curses in their bellies.

The Days of Myth bring old tales alive.  Overnight the great lake of Glimmermere becomes a salty sea.  Longships rowed by skeletal champions and helmed by seven-foot-tall giants are spotted on the horizon.  Adventurers must arrange a defense against the regenerating einherjar and their undead crews before they can begin exploring their newly strange world.

Halfling souls are destined for the hills of Vanaheim.  But one halfling is determined to be reborn in Valhalla, even if that means directly appealing to the gods themselves.  Before he can get an audience with the valkyries, let alone Wōden himself, he and his companions will have to travel to Ásgarðr and face some of the deathless einherjar he so longs to be.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 84

3.0/3.5 fans can find a version of the einherjar in Deities and Demigods; they serve the Norse pantheon and live in Ysgard in the Great Wheel cosmology.  I’m sure there were plenty of mentions in older editions too.

Ooh, that beheaded one, that's delightful. I'm definitely going to include that at some point in my campaign.


On another note, I was just wondering what your plans are when you finish up Bestiary 4?  Assuming there isn't another Bestiary out by then (if there is I guess that kind of puts this question off for a bit :P) will you end the blog or move on to other monsters from other sources?

No idea!  Honestly I’m lucky another one didn't come out this year (though the Monster Codex is gorgeous—I’ll have more to say about that once my copy gets shipped from out West).  I’m sure another Bestiary will come out down the road, and either way I’ll play it by ear.  I love doing this blog, but at that same time there are other avenues to explore that can be tough to balance with a daily blog and a demanding career.  I’d love to write about/invent planar locations…I’d like to review/look back at old issues of Dragon Magazine…and I’d like to maybe really dig into creating some Pathfinder mini-campaigns in the style of early-2000s Polyhedron (particularly if I could find the right partners to maybe put that work into some kind of product form).  And it’s also been way too long since I last published any fiction, and that need to happen. 

Trust me that you 1900+ readers are part of that decision.  The best way to tell me to keep writing this blog is to tell me to keep writing this blog the way you already do—with likes, reblogs, and comments.  They best way to tell me to explore other things is to send me comments or emails (spelled out to avoid spam spiders: dailybestiary [at] gmail [dot] com) to that effect as well.  Gertrude Stein said, “I am writing for myself and strangers.”  As long as I am writing for myself I am faithful I will find an audience, but I’m always excited to hear what you delightful strangers are hungry for as well.

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