An ashitar is a an undead creature from the lore of Lepi Monotheism. Created when the rites to send the spirit of a dead person to the Place of Twilight Mists to find the arms of Raikep, ashitar are zombie-like creatures that can inflict a putrid liquefaction upon any living flesh they come in contact with.


When a dead body is neglected such that it is left unable to give up the sacred 'water of life' to the process of desiccation, that water becomes corrupted and yearns to make its escape. It makes good on this desire by raising the body containing it - imbuing the dead flesh with a fell a fell imitation of natural life - and shambling about, searching for someone to release it from its fleshy prison.   Ashitar are blind, as the film that covers the eyes of the dead obscures vision; instead, the creature hunts by smelling the sweat of exposed skin on the desert breeze. The mere touch of an ashitar on bare skin allows some of the corrupted water to escape, joining the still-pure water of the touched creature in the hopes that this creature will dry out properly upon death and, thus, smuggle some of the corrupted water to the Place of Twilight Mists. In doing so, however, some of the corruption inherent in the water also enters the victim, causing a necrotizing infection and often hastening the victim's own transformation into a new ashitar.   The creation of an ashitar can be prevented with proper burial rites for the deceased, the observation of cleansing rituals when going about the deceased, and the wearing of proper attire for desert conditions. If encountered, an ashitar can only be defeated by cutting it appart so that its limbs can no longer carry it around or reach victims; truly killing the creature requires defeating it outdoors and opening its innards to the wind and sun, allowing it to dessicate naturally.

Historical Basis

The myth of the ashitar relates to the real danger of infectious diseases sometimes harbored by the recently deceased. The drying process and application of preservative herbs during mortuary practices helps sanitize the body, while the use of protective clothing and taboos against coming into direct contact with the dead helps prevent disease transmission. Tales of the ashitar's ability to hunt by smelling sweat were likely established as a way of preventing Raikepists from elevating fashion over function when it comes to clothing, as the Great Ilmenite Desert, while not overly hot, is an arid place where potable water is best conserved within one's own body.

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Cover image: by Beat Schuler (edited by BCGR_Wurth)


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