The Ferrymen of Oblivion are often mistaken to be the generals of the Shadow-eaten by ignorant Helldivers and the few other foolhardy wraiths that venture into the Labyrinth. A classification of that kind does them a great injustice however – their allegiance lies not with the denizens of the Labyrinth, yet in some ways they are closer to the nature of it than any Malfean.
The Pasiphae are spectres, no doubt, yet they are unique, powerful, and exalted beyond any Shade or Nephwrack. The reason for this is simple – unlike their lesser brethren, the Pasiphae are pure Shadow, having no Psyche to torment them and make them long for elusive life. A Pasiphae is not a wraith claimed by Oblivion as is traditional of the Shadow-eaten, but is created by a process known only to the society of Ferrymen, a process known as the Ritual of Severance. The ritual has the effect of corporally and permanently separating a wraith from his Shadow. The Angst of the process itself creates a Corpus for the released Shadow, which is physically identical to that of his former Psyche – only the taint of Oblivion sets it apart. The only wraiths who have had this fate inflicted upon them have been Ferrymen, and every Shadow released as a result has entered the ranks of the Pasiphae.
Despite their ignominious birth, they are more than the discarded Shadows of the Ferrymen, much much more. Their foremost purpose is to lead the worthy to salvation in the arms of the Void. The Pasiphae deserve their title Walkers of the Labyrinth, as their intuitive mastery of the Hive-Mind makes every nook and cranny of Hell known to them. Whatever corner they turn leads to the mouth of the Void, if they so desire. Their secondary goal is to spread Oblivion in its purest form, often foiling the plans of over-ambitious Nephwracks or Malfeans if they defy the principles of entropy. They know emptiness of the soul like none other, from their lack of the martyrous Psyche. The scythes of the Pasiphae are feared and worshipped as the chosen tools of the Void, as befits the Pasiphae’s role as champions of Oblivion itself. But beyond these bans, the desire to harry and torment the Ferrymen that had them imprisoned for so long is present in nearly all of these creatures. Knowing that their repressed perversity and worst nightmares walk the Underworld, causing havoc and spreading despair, is the unspoken tragedy of every Ferryman.
Most Pasiphae share similar elements of their appearance. Corrupted versions of the scythes of the Ferrymen are nearly uniform, but the image of these can vary. Some are delicately ornate, some are broken and shattered, yet nearly all are horribly rusted from the tear of Oblivion. Similarly, their robes lacerate and lose color rapidly in the Labyrinth, giving them a ragged and leprous look. Suits of armor and protruding spikes have been seen as well, all tarnished, painful, and deadly beyond mere words.
Saints of the Shadow-eaten
The Pasiphae are a source of fear and admiration in the Labyrinth that rivals that of the Neverborn. They should not be portrayed as player characters, yet they are individuals with certain similarities that make them possible to classify, even within the boundaries of rules and dots.
Pasiphae have the same relationship rules-wise with their Ferrymen reflections as all spectres do to the wraiths they used to be. They gain the same powers and weaknesses from the Ritual of Severance, making them immune to mind control, able to store 20 points of Angst rather than 10, and so on. Immediately after the separation, a newborn Pasiphae has the exact same statistics as his Ferryman. Additionally, the following rules apply:
- Pasiphae are eyeless and voiceless. They can sense their way around the Labyrinth and the Tempest without eyesight, yet their lack of voice is a distinct handicap. They can only communicate via the Hive-Mind, and so only with other spectres and the Ferrymen. This can be done for free, without the need to expend Angst.
- The Castigate score of 5 required to become a Ferryman is converted to a Hive-mind score of 5 in the Ferryman’s Pasiphae. This includes all possible arts within the Dark Arcanos. Also note that Pasiphae are immune the Hive-mind arts of other spectres, as if Unity of Being was in effect at all times.
- Up to 7 points of the Ferryman’s other Arcanoi may be converted to Dark Arcanoi on a one-to-one dot basis following the Ritual of Severance.
- A Pasiphae retains the Dark Passions of his Ferryman. If all of the Pasiphae’s Dark Passions turn out at 3 dots or lower, then the highest is increased to 4 at the cost of the same amount of dots from the lowest Dark Passion he possesses.
- A Pasiphae has even greater difficulty than the Ferryman in reaching the Skinlands, in fact he cannot do so at all. It is impossible for Pasiphae to perceive or affect the Skinlands. Being in the Shadowlands tears away his Corpus at a rate of one temporary point per scene/hour. During a heavy Maelstrom (level 3+) this limitation is lessened, or ignored.
In addition, the Walkers of the Labyrinth utilize many arcane powers and Artifacts fueled and created by pure Angst and Bloodfire. Among these are alloyed versions of the Dark Arcanoi… let your imagination loose.