Greysend- Tongues For The Dead

World: Limbo, Alfheim

Diet: Mostly invertebrates in Erebus, the fruits of the underworld in Limbo

Height: 4’6″

Lifespan: 50 years

Habitat: Limbo, soul reefs

Activity Cycle: Nocturnal (only applies for the few greysend living on the surface)

The land of the dead is not for the living. Despite this, in Limbo, the entrance of the underworld, some life has taken root. For the most part, these are the deep plants, fungi, and other hardy sessile life of each world. However, wherever the base of a food chain takes root, so can animals to feed upon them. At some point in the distant past, some form of living fae made their way to limbo, and their descendants now are the greysend.

Without use of their powers, a greysend has no features. Their heads are a smooth cylinder of hairless grey skin, lacking eyes, a nose, or a mouth. Their skin is velvet-like in texture, extremely soft and with a lot of give to the touch. They cannot see or eat when not channeling, but they can breathe through tiny holes where a regular humanoid would have a mouth. As they cannot maintain their powers while asleep, they are always faceless when unconscious. Their feet are toeless, but tough and horny all over like a hoof. They can flex very little, but can tolerate terrain that would be painful for the bare feet of most races.

Their natural abilities are geared towards interacting with the souls of the dead. They can see the shades of the underworld more clearly than any other mortal, able to see who they once were instead of their wispy current form. They can also speak clearly with the dead, hearing their voices in full where others only hear warped whispers. Those who seek an audience with the dead are best off contacting greysend, if they can find one: they are horribly rare outside of Limbo, and most of those who live anywhere else are in the deepest regions of Alfheim, in the soul reefs.

The soul reefs are regions of Erebus so deep that the power of the underworld reaches them, leaving lingering souls and providing energy for their coral-like plants to grow in great numbers. Some greysend have made their way up there and there contend with devils, come to fetch the lingering souls that the greysend have befriended and rely on. For this is how a greysend lives most of its life, channeling the souls of the dead. They take a shade into their body, gaining facial features randomly splayed across their face and even on the rest of their body.

They have no control over the placement of these features, and in fact their control over this power is often lacking entirely. They can access the memories, knowledge, and sometimes even the powers of the spirits they channel, but sometimes they are overwhelmed, many spirits flowing into them without control, causing a complete mental overload. It is for this reason that among the few who know of greysend from brief contact with the creatures, they have a reputation for madness, people mistaking their overwhelmed state for their normal behavior. In fairness, the greysends of the soul reefs are rather skittish, constantly watching out for devils who would take away their soul friends.

An inelegant recreation of a Greysend’s scrambled features on a mask.

Greysends are mostly a solitary sort, living only amongst a small group of spirits that they channel. The spirits enjoy having a body again, making this a willing partnership. They are hermaphrodites, and two greysends who meet will always mate before going their separate ways, returning to their endless pattern of wandering. A month or so after mating, both will lay cloudy grey eggs. They will form a base camp to keep their egg at, remaining in one spot until it hatches, then going their own way, as the hatched youngster can very quickly take care of itself. Their children are born as formless grey putty, and learn everything they need to know from the spirits around them. They even learn what shape they should take as they grow from these souls, and there are reports of non-humanoid greysends, from giants to serpents to bizarre dog-shaped greysend that seem entirely unaware of their lack of thumbs as they fumble to use tools.

Even if given the opportunity, all greysends will refuse to wear clothing, stating that the chances of growing a lidless eyeball under a scratchy shirt are too great to bear.

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