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Horseman of the Apocalypse


The greatest of daemons, known as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse (or simply the Four), rule the blighted plane of Abaddon. Each of these monstrously powerful evil demigods is a unique physical personification of one of the four concepts of apocalyptic events: death, famine, pestilence, and war.

Only four Horsemen can exist at any given time, though whether their claim to that status is granted by the assent of their other sibling-peers, by their native plane of Abaddon, or by a rumored fifth progenitor Horseman of deific power remains a mystery. While their number remains exclusive, Horsemen can and have died and been replaced, slain by vengeful gods, demon lords, daemonic harbingers from within their own courts, or even—in rare cases—their own sibling-peers among the Four. Among the Horsemen, only Charon, the Horseman of Death, has held his position from the beginning. The title of “Horseman” is gender neutral—there are and have been female, male, and genderless Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as well as ones with multiple genders.

Every Horseman was once a mortal whose soul transitioned into the form of a daemon at some point after death. This legacy stands at the center of their kind, gnawing at their pride and sanity moment by moment, as they understand that they began their lives as the very things they seek to exterminate. Equally incongruous is that the Horsemen each actively foster their own mortal cults, even granting spells to clerics pledged to their name. The Horsemen see their worshipers as useful idiots condemned to oblivion upon death, despite the aid such cultists provide in carrying out the Four’s genocidal will.

Any Horseman can be contacted through commune and can be called by a gate spell, though they are under no compulsion to come through the latter. Typically the Horsemen require an enormously valuable offering or a tremendous amount of bloodshed in their name before accepting such an invitation.

Apocalyptic Realms

The Four Horsemen collectively rule vast reaches of their native plane of Abaddon, dividing their realms among themselves. Within each of their respective apocalyptic realms on Abaddon, each Horseman holds godlike powers and exerts control both actively and subconsciously over the surrounding landscape and its nightmarish denizens, often blurring the line between themselves and their claimed portions of Abaddon. For all their terrible power, however, none of the Four are omnipotent, and with careful preparation, powerful mortals can travel within their realms without falling afoul of their rule. A Horseman gains the following additional powers while in its realm (the statistics presented on the following pages do not include these abilities).

Restore Mount (Su)

Once per day as a standard action, the Horseman can restore its apocalypse horse mount to life as if via true resurrection.

Heightened Awareness (Ex)

A Horseman gains a +10 insight bonus on initiative checks and Perception checks.

Horsemen In A Campaign

Each Horseman is a unique creature ranging in power from CR 27 to CR 30. Horsemen are beyond the reach of most mortal heroes, and even beings of equivalent power fear to directly oppose them on their native plane of Abaddon. As such, the Four are best used as either the final enemies of long-term campaigns or as the lurking puppeteers of villains who can be directly opposed and defeated by the player characters. Between them, the Four control the resources of an entire plane, including courts of daemons known as harbingers—an entire race of fiends devoted to the extermination of all mortal life. They play an extremely long game, however, and as such their methods are often subtle and complex, extending to the use of mortal servitors, cults, and even dupes completely unaware that their actions further the goals of creatures devoted to the termination of all mortal life. One way of incorporating a Horseman into a campaign is by having PCs fight the Horseman’s lesser minions until the party gradually becomes aware that one of the Four is the campaign’s major antagonist. Once the PCs come to this conclusion, if they are themselves mythic characters, they might directly fight the Horseman in a truly epic battle. If not, they might be placed in situations where they either fight the Horseman for a few rounds before, for instance, using an artifact to banish the Horseman back to Abaddon.

Alternatively, they might fight a lower-powered version of the Horseman weakened by the PCs’ actions elsewhere. In any event, even being in a Horseman’s presence should be a truly memorable experience and something that players will recall even years later.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 6 © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Robert Brookes, Benjamin Bruck, John Compton, Paris Crenshaw, Adam Daigle, Crystal Frasier, James Jacobs, Thurston Hillman, Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Jason Keeley, Isabelle Lee, Jason Nelson, Tim Nightengale, F. Wesley Schneider, David Schwartz, Mark Seifter, Todd Stewart, Josh Vogt, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.