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Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 159
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).
  • Mythic: A Horseman functions as a 10th-rank mythic creature, including having the mythic power ability (10/day, surge +1d12). It can expend uses of mythic power to use the mythic versions of any spell-like ability denoted with a superscript “M,” just as if the ability were a mythic spell.
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities at will: demand, discern location, fabricate, major creation, and polymorph any object (when used on objects or creatures that are native to Abaddon, the polymorph duration factor increases by 6).
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities once per day: binding and miracle (limited to physical effects that manipulate the realm or to effects that are relevant to the Horseman’s particular facet of apocalypse).
  • 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.

Creatures in "Horsemen of the Apocalypse" Category

NameCR
Apollyon29
Charon30
Szuriel28
Trelmarixian27

Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Trelmarixian

This starving-thin man has a trio of jackal’s heads with jagged, crystalline teeth. His oily black f lesh ripples disturbingly.

Trelmarixian CR 27

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 166
XP 3,276,800
NE Medium outsider (daemon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect good, true seeing; Perception +46
Aura frightful presence (120 ft., DC 36), unholy aura (DC 28)

Defense

AC 45, touch 35, flat-footed 36 (+4 deflection, +9 Dex, +10 natural, +12 profane)
hp 656 (32d10+480); regeneration 20 (deific or mythic)
Fort +29, Ref +31, Will +33
Defensive Abilities amorphous, apocalyptic resurrection, freedom of movement; DR 20/epic, good, and silver; Immune ability damage, ability drain, acid, charm effects, compulsion effects, death effects, disease, energy drain, petrification, poison; Resist cold 30, electricity 30, fire 30; SR 38

Offense

Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (average)
Melee 3 bites +46 (4d6+21/19–20 plus energy drain), 2 claws +46 (3d8+14/19–20 plus grab)
Special Attacks energy drain (1 level, DC 36), fast swallow, predecessor’s rage, ravenous devourer, swallow whole (10d6 acid damage and 1d6 Wisdom drain, AC 15, 65 hp), wail of the consumed
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 27th; concentration +37)
Constant—detect good, freedom of movement, true seeing, unholy aura (DC 28)
At will—astral projection, blasphemyM (DC 27), desecrateM, greater dispel magic, greater teleport, shapechange, telekinesisM (DC 25), unhallow, unholy blightM (DC 24)
3/day—control weatherM, horrid wilting (DC 28), quickened hunger for flesh (DC 24), insanity (DC 27), mass hunger for flesh (DC 27), plane shift (DC 27), soul bind (DC 29), summon daemon, waves of fatigue
1/day—imprisonment (DC 29), time stopM, wishM
M Trelmarixian can use this ability’s mythic version in his realm.

Statistics

Str 38, Dex 29, Con 40, Int 31, Wis 32, Cha 31
Base Atk +32; CMB +46 (+48 trip); CMD 81 (83 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Critical (bite, claw), Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Vital Strike, Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (hunger for flesh), Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, Tiring Critical, Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +41, Bluff +45, Fly +44, Intimidate +45, Knowledge (arcana, dungeoneering, engineering, history, religion) +42, Knowledge (planes) +45, Perception +46, Ride +44, Sense Motive +46, Spellcraft +45, Stealth +44, Use Magic Device +45
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Infernal; telepathy 300 ft.
SQ Horseman traits

Ecology

Environment any (Abaddon)
Organization solitary or mounted (Trelmarixian and the Black Horse)
Treasure triple

Special Abilities

Predecessor’s Rage (Su) Trelmarixian consumed the previous Horseman of Famine, and portions of that previous Horseman’s essence still exist within Trelmarixian’s belly, being slowly digested like a sweet, spiritual lozenge. This previous Horseman was herself a parasitic entity, and once per hour as an immediate action, Trelmarixian can lower his resistance to his predecessor’s rage to allow her to infuse him with fury from within. When Trelmarixian does so, he gains the effects of righteous might, and his regeneration increases to 30 for 4 rounds. When this effect ends, Trelmarixian is staggered for 1d4+1 rounds if he fails a DC 35 Fortitude save, or for only 1 round if he succeeds.
Ravenous Devourer (Ex) Trelmarixian’s bite attacks always apply 1-1/2 × his Strength modifier to his damage.
Swallow Whole (Su) Trelmarixian’s swallow whole ability is a supernatural ability that can affect Huge or smaller creatures, despite the fact that Trelmarixian is only Medium. His stomach functions similarly to an extradimensional space and can hold any number of creatures. If Trelmarixian swallows an object that contains an extradimensional space (such as a bag of holding or a portable hole), that object cannot be opened while it is within the Horseman of Famine’s belly, but it does not otherwise interact with his stomach in a destructive way.
Wail of the Consumed (Su) Trelmarixian can, as a standard action once every 1d4 rounds, call upon the tattered fragments of the innumerable souls he has consumed to unleash a mind-shattering wail. This affects all creatures within a 60-foot spread. Affected creatures take 1d10 points of Wisdom drain and are stunned for 1 round. A creature that succeeds at a DC 36 Will save instead takes 1d4 points of Wisdom damage and is staggered for 1 round. This is a sonic mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Description

The youngest but perhaps most ambitious of the Four, Trelmarixian the Black obsesses over soul consumption, riding the line between brutal, amoral science and quasi-religious zealotry. A perpetually ravenous shapeshifting horror, Trelmarixian maintains a three headed humanoid shape—but only just, with his frame constantly shuddering and shifting and threatening to slump into a protoplasmic slurry of bile, blood, and mucus. Trelmarixian was once a meladaemon himself, and his meladaemon servitors, while always emaciated and bestial, have become more canine in appearance under his rule. When the so-called Lysogenic Prince rose to power, he overthrew and consumed his predecessor, but he maintains a fragment of her existence within him to fuel periodic bouts of parasitic rage.

Trelmarixian embodies not only starvation, but also the broader concept of wasting, both physical and metaphysical, particularly the lingering dooms of cancer, parasitism, and spiritual decay. Like the viral afflictions he represents, the Horseman of Famine behaves like his chosen concept in a concrete manner, having secretively inserted fragments of his physical form into many of his servitors. This bombards him with sensory information on a truly maddening scale, and thus Trelmarixian’s fragmented mind brims with insanity and a multitude of voices, including that of his predecessor. He still adores her in his own fashion, and she in turn speaks to him, advising as she sees fit or mocking his shortcomings like an aggressive, self-aware conscience. By force of will, he can silence the voices, but the thing that haunts him more than any of these cannot be so easily dismissed. Most daemons retain only fractured, fragmented recollections of their mortal life. Trelmarixian, on the other hand, remembers everything save for the last few minutes of his life. As a mortal, daemon-blooded tiefling, Trelmarixian exterminated all life on his world with a work of profound sorcery, but in doing so he condemned himself to starvation. Near the moment of his agonizing death, he recalls someone talking to him, asking him questions and mocking his success as paltry compared to what awaited him after death. Despite his destruction of everyone he had ever known in life, someone was there, and he cannot remember that person’s face or final words.

Trelmarixian’s memories haunt him still, as does the question of whose blood his soul carried, and thus who may still have some unknown claim on him, such as a long-dead Horseman of Famine. He’s likewise haunted by the notion that he was born to be the vector for his progenitor’s return—one virus within another, waiting and incubating, to someday express itself and snuff him out as he did his own predecessor.

Trelmarixian’s domain, the Withered Court, is a realm of biological and metaphysical horrors, towers spun from flesh and bone with mortal souls used like living, screaming bricks, each mournfully crying out in the constant pangs of starvation. In this realm of horrors, his servitors devour as much as they craft, warping souls into nightmarish wonders while their master continues his nihilistic work within his citadel, the miles-high Weeping Tower.

Trelmarixian's Cult

Trelmarixian is worshiped by all those touched by famine and the broader concept of wasting, including evil druids, gryphs, hungry ghosts, and victims of starvation. Trelmarixian also holds the allegiance of many of the daemon-worshiping and daemon-created urdefhan race. The Lysogenic Prince is further served by astradaemons, derghodaemons, fiendish jackals and jackal monsters, ghouls, scavengers, vampires, vermin, and wendigos, but also by those who have been driven to madness or cannibalism by starvation.

Trelmarixian’s unholy symbol is a jackal skull viewed from the side as it clutches a solar eclipse in its jaws, and the spiked gauntlet is his favored weapon. He grants access to the domains of Earth, Evil, Madness, and Weather, and to the subdomains of Daemon, Decay, Insanity, and Seasons.