Simply put, I was wondering if there was a lawful neutral god whose portfolio is transporting the souls of the dead from the Material Plane to judgement. Marvel has Lady Death, the Greeks have Thanatos, the Norse had the Valkyries, the Egyptians had Anubis... but when I look them up (save for the first), they seem to be reallocated to Evil Gods of the Dead and Damned.

This quest has been bothering me for a couple years now with a few builds (like my chaotic good grave domain cleric) as it paints a very grim and unsavory light to even a divine hero dying and being called to Mount Celestia by their god, while, in the original context, each one was simply doing their job to keep the world in balance (and in Anubis' case, he'd even go above and beyond to help souls pass peacefully). Ironically, I did find a few snippets of lore about how important maintaining this flow of life and death is to many gods, yet not even a type of celestial charged with maintaining it...

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    \$\begingroup\$ I prefer Death to be responsible for Mages, Cats and Rulers due to contractual reasons, TALK IN CAPITALS, and to be assisted by a rodent skeleton. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 8:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Or to be the sister of the sandman... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 9:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Isn't this more of a setting question than a game system question? Forgotten Realms and Exandria have different dieties. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 20:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ There’s a word for a dirty that has this role - a psychopomp \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 21:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.E.D. I as asking about divine portfolios. Not knowing the word psychopomp, I was confused on finding the right god of death. Regarding settings, Wee Jas would fit the role in Greyhawk, yet if her cleric was transported to - say- Exandria, they would be under the protection of that realm's psychopomp and not just a random god of death (by rules) \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 4:52

2 Answers 2


You have tagged this 5e, but also lore. Depending on how open you are to prior-edition material, consider one who is more the judge than the transporter, but whose clergy work to make sure the transport happens: Kelemvor

Fair yet cold, Kelemvor was the god of death and the dead—the most recent deity to hold this position, following in the footsteps of Jergal, Myrkul, and Cyric. Unlike these other deities, whose rule as gods of the dead made the afterlife an uncertain and fearful thing, Kelemvor promoted that death was a natural part of life and should not be feared as long as it was understood... The death clergy, as they were known, had many duties; most involved tending to the last wishes of the dying and providing burial services to those who died alone.

See also: In the Forgotten Realms, what happens to a human PC when they die?, but contrast this with the more recent note in the link to Kelemvor.

In Greyhawk, there is Wee Jas:

Wee Jas thinks of herself as a steward of the dead...As a death goddess, more people look to her for safe passage into the afterlife than harsher deities like Nerull.

Thanks be to Idran for pointing at a reference to Trumpet Archons in 3rd edition's Planes of Law and Warriors of Heaven. These beings actually do the reverse of what you are asking (since as Groody explains, the arriving journey can be accomplished by the soul itself unguided):

However, the most important duty of the trumpet archons was to escort the souls of mortals who were raised or resurrected back to the Material Plane - that is, the souls of what were now lantern archons. For this reason, trumpets, alone among the archons, were permitted to leave Mount Celestia without permission to perform this important task.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've only played 5e, but am quite open to other versions. Wee Jas sounds like the exact god my grave cleric serves, while Kelmerov sounds more geared towards my Phantom Rogue who'd serve his cleric. \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 8:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Kill 'em all, let Kelemvor sort 'em out \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiger Guy
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 18:50

In D&D 5e, the souls do not need to be guided

See page 21, DMG:

When a creature dies, its soul departs its body, leaves the Material Plane, travels through the Astral Plane, and goes to abide on the plane where the creature's deity resides. If the creature didn't worship a deity, its soul departs to the plane corresponding to its alignment.

As there is no divine guide required for the soul to reach its normal resting place, there also is no need for a god whose portfolio is to do so.

P.S. There is an Avatar of Death in D&D 5e, it is on page 164 DMG with the stat block "Avatar of Death", for the Skull card of the Deck of Many Things. If it manages to kill you, you cannot be restored to life again.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The only lore of the Avatar of Death I found related to the cards, as if that was the start and end of its existence. Also, why wouldn't there be someone the living could turn to in hopes that their beloved finds eternal peace? Seems like a universal hope. \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 8:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB The game also lists the Norse, Greek and Egyptian and other real world pantheons. Essentially this is a question of world building. If you have your own homebrew world, there is nothing stopping you or your DM to use those, or assign this to one of the death gods. As Kirt explains, even in FR there is Kelemvor as a LN death god, and in GH there is Wee-Jas, if you play in those worlds. It should be easy enough to rule they are prayed to by people for that purpose. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 9:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB Re "Also, why wouldn't there be someone the living could turn to in hopes that their beloved finds eternal peace?" Note that people living in a typical D&D fantasy world have a completely different relationship with their gods than our ancient ancestors did. In D&D the gods are beings that demonstrably exist; they are not comforting or explanatory mythology, nor unverifiable objects of faith. Someone studying the nature of the gods in a fantasy world isn't doing theology, they are doing science! "Universal hope" isn't a good explanation for who gets prayed to, in such a world. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 4:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ben TIL the word I was trying to describe in the quote you took was a psychopomp. Thanks to Idran and Dale for teaching me the word. However, they are actually found in multiple mythos, like Thanatos in the feared Greek pantheon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 5:00

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