In Etruscan Mythology, Leinth is one of many goddesses of death and the underworld. The Etruscans had quite a fixation on the afterlife, and much of their pantheon is devoted to it. Unfortunately, the Etruscan body of myth and religion did not survive as the Greek's and Roman's did, so we don't know a lot about their hierarchy.
The name "Leinth means "She Who Stops" in the old Etruscan language. Many other Etruscan words having to do with death, laying down, becoming inert, etc, have a structure similar to her name. This implies she might actually be death personified, whereas the other gods and goddesses are simply those in her retinue or employ.
Other divinities associated with death and the underworld in the Etruscan traditions include Aita, Alpan, Artume, Atunis, Culsu, Februs, Ferspnai, Karun, Lethans, Mania, Mantus, Thethlumth, Tuchulcha, Turns Aitas, Tvath, Vetis and Vanth.
Leinth is a sombre, haunting figure. Her face is veiled, or sometimes just left blank. She's sometimes called "The Old Woman", but many classical depictions of her suggest the body of a young woman.
She often is shown in the underworld, or at it's gates, but almost never at the scene of a death.
Game and Story Use
- Leinth is an interesting alternative to the grim reaper or angel of death. She has a classical quality to her, a simple strong iconic image (veiled faceless woman in a greco-roman dress). Kinda familiar, and easy to accept, but with no real clue as to what she's all about, or what she's capable of.
- Faceless, she could easily be voiceless as well, and thus really crank up the mystery and creepiness.
- Her face is hidden. It could be horrible to behold, or deeply sadly beautiful. It might just be gone / featureless. She might have a secret identity, and actually be some other goddess doing double-duty / moonlighting. It may be that seeing her true face is to bring death upon yourself.
- You know PCs are going to want to peak behind that veil. If she shows up in enough scenes, they'll figure out a way. The GM should be prepared with knowledge of what's behind that veil long before she ever meets the PCs. Make it something memorable.
- She's clearly Death of the Endless - Dream's Sister from the Sandman novels.