From PathfinderWiki
Type Outsider
(extraplanar or native)
CR 1
Environment Any (Material Plane, Positive Energy Plane, Shadow Plane, Elemental Planes, Astral Plane, Outer Sphere, Cynosure, Dead Vault, Dimension of Dreams, Dimension of Time, Jandelay, Leng or Xibalba)
Images of petitioners

Source: Bestiary 2, pg(s). 208–209
See also: Soul

A petitioner is the soul of a mortal being that has traveled to a plane of the Outer Sphere for its ultimate reward or punishment. They often retain limited memories of their former lives, although their shape is dependent upon the plane which they inhabit. A petitioner who returns to life retains no memory of its life as a petitioner, although those who please the powers of the outer realms—and are transformed into a different species of outsider, such as an archon, demon, or devil—have been known to have some remembrance of their former lives.[1]

Physical structure

Once a soul becomes a petitioner, it is irrecoverably altered. At this point, the soul's relationship with its mortal vessel fully ends—a petitioner gains a new physical body formed of quintessence and can never be resurrected into its previous mortal form. Also, its body is fused with its soul and, if its body is destroyed, its soul is as well; the surrounding plane absorbs its essential energies.[2]

As such, petitioners are themselves mortal in a fashion: their existence is limited, either by violent dissolution or gradual absorption into their patron's plane over millennia.[2]

Types of petitioner

Petitioners vary greatly in appearance, demeanor, and abilities, depending on which plane they reside. Some are still recognizable as vaguely humanoid, while others are totally transformed.[1] The nature of a petitioner's journey is heavily influenced by the alignment of its patron's plane. For instance, souls queue to become petitioners of lawful realms, find their own paths to neutral realms, or are scattered randomly across chaotic realms.[2]

The asphodis

Although the town Spire's Edge is part of the Boneyard, it has its own kind of petitioners, called asphodis,[3] created from undeveloped souls who lived meaningless, directionless mortal lives. The town's infrastructure provides them a second chance to better themselves so they might eventually travel to an Outer Plane, but most do not, preferring to continue living alone the life they knew as a mortal until crumbling into quintessence. Most asphodis, especially old ones, resemble dried-out undead.[4]

The caged

The followers of Rovagug are sent to join their god in the Dead Vault as caged petitioners, who appear as chained incarnations of their mortal bodies with faces that unfold into horrific insectile maws.[5]

The chosen

For another meaning of "Petitioner", please see Chosen (Usaro).

The chosen are the petitioners who make their way to the bucolic plane of Elysium. There they enjoy countless pleasures and take on forms which resemble idealized versions of their mortal bodies. Those who greatly please the gods of Elysium have the opportunity of being transformed into azata. Traditionally, the chosen are the category of petitioners who most quickly ascend after arrival in the afterlife, in large part due to their affinity to the identity of their idealised selves, though most of the time they become half-celestials before ascending again into an azata or angel.[1][6]

The chosen dreamers

Worshippers of Desna, Pulura, or the Black Butterfly are sent to the demiplane Cynosure and become chosen dreamers, who are identical to the chosen of Elysium and radiate soft nimbuses of glittering starlight.[7]

The cleansed

The petitioners of the plane of Nirvana are known as the cleansed. They take on the shapes of animals that closely mirror their mortal personalities. Those who reach true enlightenment find themselves transformed into agathions.[1]

The collected

Jandelay's petitioners, called the collected, typically number one per destroyed world recorded in Jandelay and are among the last casualties of the ends of each. They retain memories about their lost homes, and usually live solitary, monotonous lives in the fragments of their worlds, only interrupted by the Oliphaunt of Jandelay's rumbling presence which brings back a sense of panic and desperation. Most collected have never known visitors, but are more than willing to share information about their lost worlds.[8]

The damned

Those souls who have committed truly horrific deeds are sent to Hell after death. There they are known as the damned, and must endure eternal torment at the hands of devils. Those petitioners who are able to withstand this Sisyphean torture eventually transform into devils themselves. Constantly surrounded by flame and hellfire, the damned are gifted a lesser form of invulnerability to heat and fire: they take no permanent damage, yet feel the pain as if they did.[1] These souls roam the plane of Avernus until their inevitable capture. Such souls appear as they did in life, except gray and emaciated, usually bearing terrible scars of their mistreatment. Those souls unworthy of becoming devils instead form the building blocks of infernal structures, and are tortuously molded into impossible shapes for this purpose.[9]

A very rare few of the damned, usually anti-theists or asura cultists in life, fall into the hands of the asuras instead. These souls learn the asuras' dogma, gravitate to the divine crime that they find most offensive, and become asuras modelled on that particular crime.[10][11]

The dead

Petitioners of the Boneyard are known as the dead. Most serve as groundskeepers and caretakers of the plane, and in time they earn the right to be transformed into psychopomps.[1][12][13]

The dreamers

The petitioners of the Dimension of Dreams are known as the dreamers and possess idealised mortal bodies.[14]

The elect

The elect petitioners of Heaven possess glowing halos and feathered wings, and promote its doctrine of justice. They are treated well by the bureaucracy and aid Heaven's goals through honest labour, but are viewed as too vulnerable to leave Heaven or interact with other outsiders. Under the guidance of the resident celestials, many of the elect transform into angels or archons.[15]

The enlightened

The Positive Energy Plane's enlightened petitioners are diaphanous, radiant versions of their mortal bodies.[16]

The hunted

Abaddon's hunted petitioners appear greatly emaciated, serving as the lowest tier of the food chain. Many are consumed within hours of arrival, and those who survive longer never know a moment of peace and start to prey on each other before becoming daemons. Unclaimed souls condemned to Abaddon are granted one last chance before being consigned to existence as hunted: a single devil and demon are stationed at the Devouring Court, given special permission by Pharasma to persuade them to choose the Abyss or Hell instead. Some panicking souls accept, but many refuse out of spite.[17][18]


Abyssal larvae: one form of petitioner.

The larvae, sometimes denoted more specifically as Abyssal larvae or as soul larvae, are the hideous petitioners of the Abyss. A larva is a pale, maggot-like creature about one to three feet in length, whose facial features are similar to those of the living being it once was. They bite anything that bothers them. Larvae that spend long enough eating the filth of the Abyss transform into demons. They are hunted, however, as larvae may be used in vile magic or eaten as a tasty morsel; fiends and night hags value larvae enough that a form of currency has evolved where larvae are used in transactions and barter.[1][19][20]

The lost

The petitioners of Leng, known as the lost, resemble haunted, sleep-deprived versions of their previous lives.[21]

The mutilated

The mutilated petitioners of the Shadow Plane are covered in bleeding wounds.[22]

The pneumas

The petitioners of the four Elemental Planes are known as pneumas. They are short-lived and quickly become elementals once they arrive on the plane. Air pneumas have semitransparent, misty-looking forms; earth pneumas are stony or crystalline; fire pneumas are smoky or burning; water pneumas have watery bodies.[23][24][25][26][27]

The prey

Souls who worshipped an oni daimyo or rakshasa immortal find themselves sent back to the Material Plane by Pharasma, where they become prey petitioners. The prey warp into strangely bestial versions of their former mortal selves.[28][29]

The remade

The remade petitioners of Axis have milky white skin covered in riddles. Deciphering these riddles gives the remade permission to enter the Adamantine Crucible to be reforged into an inevitable.[1]

The remnants

Petitioners sent back to the Material Plane, except the followers of oni daimyo or rakshasa immortals, are collectively known as the remnants.[28]

The shapeless

The Maelstrom's shapeless petitioners appear as they did in life, but incorporeal and constantly shifting in shape and colour. Most of them wander, indulging their whimsy in the Maelstrom's wilds. Petitioners who used to be the greatest of soldiers are transformed into valkyries, who can choose others to transform into einherjar. The native proteans never transform petitioners into more proteans unless specifically petitioned, and though they accept willing souls into their ranks, this is less common than on other planes. As a result, most shapeless eventually become chaos beasts.[30]

The terrorised

Xibalba's terrorised petitioners appear sickly, with weirdly disproportionate joints.[31]

The unbound

The unbound petitioners of the Dimension of Time appear exactly as they did in life, except their perceived age varies based on their mental state. They have but one job: endlessly repairing the structure of Stethelos as it constantly wears away. Sometimes, these petitioners are swept away to the Material Plane, where they become twisted creatures known as khaei.[32][33]

The untethered

Petitioners of the Astral Plane, known as the untethered, resemble astrally projected versions of past lives without a silver cord.[34]


For additional resources, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Wolfgang Baur et al. (2010). Bestiary 2 (First Edition), p. 208–209. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-268-5
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 F. Wesley Schneider. (2014). The River of Souls. Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh, p. 72. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-593-8
  3. Singular form is asphodi, which is also the adjectival form.
  4. Crystal Frasier. (2018). Spire's Edge. Distant Realms, p. 45–52. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-046-0
  5. Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 212. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
  6. Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 167. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
  7. Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 211. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
  8. Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 217. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
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  12. Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 179. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
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  33. Greg A. Vaughan. (2019). Rise of New Thassilon. Rise of New Thassilon, p. 35. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-106-1
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