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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, Szuriel

This blond woman’s pitch-black eyes weep tears of blood, and a massive pair of raven’s wings spreads from her shoulders.

Szuriel CR 28

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 164
XP 4,915,200
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 46, touch 35, flat-footed 37 (+4 deflection, +9 Dex, +11 natural, +12 profane)
hp 676 (33d10+495); regeneration 20 (deific or mythic)
Fort +30, Ref +31, Will +32
Defensive Abilities apocalyptic resurrection, fire shield (warm shield), 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 39

Offense

Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee Lamentation of the Faithless +58/+58/+53/+48/+43 (2d6+36/17–20), 2 wings +46 (1d6+9 plus energy drain)
Special Attacks energy drain (1 level, DC 36), eruptive arrival, fury of the forsaken
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 28th; concentration +38)
Constant—detect good, fire shield (warm shield), freedom of movement, true seeing, unholy aura (DC 28)
At will—astral projection, blasphemyM (DC 27), desecrateM, greater dispel magic, greater teleport, shapechange, spiritual weaponM, telekinesisM (DC 25), unhallow, unholy blightM (DC 24)
3/day—blade barrierM (DC 26), fire stormM (DC 28), incendiary cloud (DC 28), plane shift (DC 27), summon daemon, quickened telekinesisM (DC 25)
1/day—meteor swarmM (DC 29), time stopM, wishM
M Szuriel can use this ability’s mythic version in her realm.

Statistics

Str 46, Dex 29, Con 40, Int 29, Wis 30, Cha 31
Base Atk +33; CMB +51; CMD 86
Feats Blinding Critical, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Critical Mastery, Flyby Attack, Greater Weapon Focus (greatsword), Greater Weapon Specialization (greatsword), Improved Critical (greatsword), Improved Initiative, Mounted Combat, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (telekinesis), Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, Staggering Critical, Weapon Focus (greatsword), Weapon Specialization (greatsword)
Skills Acrobatics +45, Bluff +46, Fly +49, Intimidate +46, Knowledge (arcana, engineering, history, religion) +42, Knowledge (planes) +45, Perception +46, Ride +45, Sense Motive +46, Spellcraft +42, Stealth +45, Use Magic Device +46
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Infernal; telepathy 300 ft.
SQ corrupted flames, Horseman traits, warmonger

Ecology

Environment any (Abaddon)
Organization solitary or mounted (Szuriel and the Red Horse)
Treasure triple (Lamentation of the Faithless, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Corrupted Flames (Su) Channeling the fury and sorrow of those devoured within the boundaries of her domain, Szuriel’s touch corrupts the very essence of fire. Any spell-like ability or supernatural effect used by Szuriel that normally causes fire damage deals half of that damage as fire damage and half of it as profane damage that is not subject to energy resistance or fire immunity.
Eruptive Arrival (Su) When Szuriel uses any teleportation effect, she can create a pyroclastic detonation upon arrival as a swift action. This creates a blast of fire that deals 20d6 points of fire damage to all creatures within a 30-foot radius (Reflex DC 41 half). Szuriel can selectively omit creatures from this effect as she chooses, though she rarely does, enjoying the carnage and death of even her own allies. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Fury of the Forsaken (Su) As a standard action once per day, Szuriel can instill all non-daemons within a 60-foot radius of herself with a mind-twisting rage and lust for blood. Affected creatures gain a +4 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution and a –2 penalty to AC, and they are compelled to attack the nearest creature regardless of any previous allegiances. A creature can resist this effect with a successful DC 36 Will save; otherwise, it persists as long as Szuriel remains within line of sight. When the effect ends, an affected creature becomes fatigued. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect and does not stack with barbarian rage, the rage spell, or similar effects. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Warmonger (Ex) Szuriel is proficient with all weapons, and is treated as a 20th-level fighter for the purpose of qualifying for feats that require a minimum fighter level as a prerequisite.

Description

At first glance, Szuriel seems a triumphant, angelic figure. With her ivory skin, f lowing golden hair, f lawless and powerful body clothed in a coil of unsullied silk, and wings the blue-black of a raven, she appears as a personification of glory from on high—a veritable goddess of war. Up close, however, this impression quickly fades. Mirrored and black as onyx, Szuriel’s eyes bleed constantly in crimson rivulets that run down her cheeks and fall to the ground. When she deigns to smile, she reveals a mouth of jagged, razor-sharp fangs more befitting a shark or dragon than anything humanoid. Szuriel’s greatsword, Lamentation of the Faithless, has been wielded by every Horseman of War dating back to the first, and it is said to be the corrupted blade of an ancient and forgotten empyreal lord.

The Horseman of War was once a fallen mortal paladin. After she was excommunicated for her sins, she became a conquering general and finally a ruling empress who slaughtered the followers of her former faith. Her own death came not on the battlefield but by an assassin’s blade, yet this merely opened the greatest chapter in her conquests by propelling her into Abaddon and, in time, the role of the Horseman of War.

Szuriel makes open mockery of all angels, playing upon their thematic elements in her warped, destructive interactions with mortals, awing both the misguided and those fully cognizant of her nature. Her cults often portray her not as a paragon of destruction, conquest, and genocide, but as promising righteous victory, with the souls of fallen soldiers elevated to paradise regardless of what horrific crimes they commit.

Szuriel’s armies represent the largest and most strictly organized force in Abaddon, but at any given moment, fully half of the Horseman’s armies are scattered throughout the planes in mercenary service to various Abyssal lords, archdevils, and whatever other forces purchase their services. Most times, that price is steep, as Szuriel demands living mortals or souls, or the right to consume those who fall upon the field of battle. When her armies march upon the mortal plane, they honor their commitments just long enough to make their “allies” complacent before engaging in systematic genocide.

Szuriel's Cult

Szuriel is worshiped by those associated with every facet of war, including everything leading up to it and arising in its bloody wake. Arms dealers, looters, mercenaries, soldiers, and warlords worship the Angel of Desolation. Szuriel also holds the allegiance of a significant number of the daemon-worshiping and daemon-created urdefhan race. The Seraph of Devastation is served by her deacon race of purrodaemons as well as carrion eaters, obcisidaemons, undead soldiers, war beasts, and warswornB4. Szuriel’s unholy symbol is a pale hand and black sword, and the greatsword is her favored weapon. She grants access to the domains of Evil, Fire, Strength, and War, and to the subdomains of Blood, Daemon, Ferocity, and Tactics.