Death as a personified force...
It has been imagined in many different ways. The popular depiction of Death as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood first arose in 15th century England, while the title "the Grim Reaper" is first attested in 1847.
In some mythologies, the Grim Reaper actually causes the victim's death by coming to collect them. In turn, people in some stories try to hold on to life by avoiding Death's visit, or by fending Death off with bribery or tricks, as in the case of Sisyphus. Other beliefs hold that the Spectre of Death is only apsychopomp, serving to sever the last ties between the soul and the body, and to guide the deceased to the next world, without having any control over when or how the victim dies. In many mythologies (including Anglo-American), Death is personified in male form, while in others, Death is perceived as female...
In Scandinavia, Norse mythology, death was personified in the shape of Hel, the goddess of death and ruler over the realm of the underworld known by the same name, where she received a portion of the dead In the times of the Black Plague, Death would often be depicted as an old woman known by the name of Pesta, meaning "plague hag". She wore a black hood. She would go into a town carrying either a rake or a broom. If she brought the rake, some people would survive the plague; if she brought the broom, however, everyone would die.
Later, Scandinavians adopted the classic Grim Reaper with a scythe and black robe image to depict the reaper of souls.
In the world of The Runes Series, Goddes Hel has a legion of reapers who travel through portals to the diferent realms to collect the souls of the sick and the old and bring them to Hel. The evil souls are also collected by them, however, they are taken to a special island in Hel known as "Corpse Strand" where the waters are filled with serpent venom and the evil souls are condemeded to be forever tortured. It is said that the screams of the tortured souls can be heard throughout all ends of the island. On the other hand the souls of the old and the sick are taken to a special hall in Hel, where they stay for eternity reliving the memories of their lives. The Grimnirs are Goddess Hel's army, she uses them as she pleases and has her pick of favorites to which she entrust the most important missions. This army is said to fight for her against the Gods and Giants on Ragnarok, the final battle and the end of the worlds.