Archives of Nethys

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Wild Hunt

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 278
The wild hunt is an awe-inspiring and enigmatic group of fey who stalk and pursue their chosen prey between worlds. Those few who have caught glimpses of these elusive beings and lived to tell the tale speak of clouds of green mist filled with spectral hounds, archers who fire bolts of magic with inhuman accuracy, and the sound of a melodious horn echoing for miles across the landscape.

Although some believe the wild hunt is nothing more than a mere legend, or perhaps groups of vengeful spirits that hunt the living, the riders of the wild hunt are real, and are powerful fey indeed. Countless members of these fey compose the wild hunt—the term “wild hunt” refers to the race as a whole as well as to individual groups of these fey who gather to pursue their quarry.

All fey of the wild hunt ultimately serve a legendary leader they refer to only as the Horned King. The Horned King’s nature is unknown, but its ability to command such powerful followers suggests that it is a fey lord with the power of a demigod—or perhaps even that of a true deity. When the Horned King calls, several wild hunts join into a legion and ride together against legendary opponents. Because of their occasional role as the agents of a reclusive fey divinity, the members of the wild hunt are sometimes classified among powerful entities known collectively as the Tane. In support of this theory, wild hunt fey share the Tane’s ability to instantly acclimate themselves to a new plane. However, the relationship between wild hunts and the Tane is more complex, as the Tane can sometimes become targets of a wild hunt, and on other occasions, wild hunt masters strike bargains to gain the temporary assistance of one of the Tane.

The Horned King’s call is rare, however, and wild hunts are normally left to direct themselves. Each wild hunt follows a wild hunt monarch, who travels effortlessly between the realm of the fey and the Material Plane in search of new quarry. While most missions come from rumors gathered by the wild hunt monarch, they occasionally consider proposals from those rare few brave and knowledgeable enough to seek them out. They accept tasks only from worthy sources, and the payments they demand for their services vary significantly, though they have no interest in material wealth. Wild hunt monarchs take grave offense at unfavorable deals. Those who attempt to cheat a wild hunt monarch or involve one in trivial matters often become the enraged fey’s next target.

Members of the wild hunt usually hail from the fey’s primal homeland, but they frequently venture to the Material Plane to pursue their quarry. Reasons for individual wild hunts vary, ranging from tests or demonstrations of skill to missions of vengeance and even drives to improve a wild hunt’s own numbers.

When they hunt for the thrill of the chase, they choose difficult quarry or intentionally place convoluted restrictions upon themselves to increase the challenge of the task. They try to avoid killing their targets, at least at first, but if their quarry refuses to understand that the purpose of the exercise is a battle of wits and responds with particularly lethal tactics, they reply in kind. After all, if a mortal is too foolish to recognize a friendly competition, it is his own ignorance that is to blame for his death, rather than the actions of a wild hunt.

At other times, a wild hunt fights to kill its prey. In this role, its members act as assassins. If they expect that their prey has means to revive itself, they may transport the remains to another plane before turning the corpse into dust. Should their foes return to life anyway, the wild hunt fey’s reaction is unpredictable, ranging from amused detachment to furious bloodlust. Foes that the wild hunt chases for a second time face a far more ignoble fate than death. For example, some wild hunt monarchs keep a small menagerie of animals made from their most irritating prey. Others simply disappear without a trace, seemingly beyond the reach of resurrection magic.

The rarest reason a wild hunt rides is to seek new hunters for its ranks. Although most members of the wild hunt originate from the realm of the fey, a scant few trace their origins back to the fateful day when they failed to escape a wild hunt’s interest. A wild hunt’s reasons for seeking out any particular mortal are shrouded in mystery, though wild hunts seldom pursue mortals who lack significant strength or power. After a lengthy pursuit, a wild hunt’s monarch ritually slays the quarry, which reincarnates the following morning as a new member of the hunt. When mortals join the wild hunt, memories from their previous lives fade away, though they sometimes retain a measure of personality. If the wild hunt master finds the mortal’s talents or skills particularly impressive, he may choose to preserve these abilities, transforming the mortal into a unique member of the hunt. These specialized hunters retain most of their memories as well. While they occasionally spend time with their old friends and family, the call of the hunt master’s horn is far stronger than any loyalty they felt in their previous lives, making the maintenance of old relationships a fraught endeavor.

Traditionally, the fey of the wild hunt consist of five distinct races. While these five types of fey can be encountered alone or in small groups, they are at their most dangerous when banded together into a true wild hunt. This gathering of fey consists of a specific number and combination: one wild hunt monarch, one wild hunt scout, three wild hunt archers, three wild hunt horses, and four wild hunt hounds. As a whole, this dangerous group constitutes a CR 21 encounter, and thus could make an excellent capstone encounter for a campaign.

Creatures in "Wild Hunt" Category

NameCR
Wild Hunt Archer13
Wild Hunt Horse11
Wild Hunt Hound10
Wild Hunt Monarch19
Wild Hunt Scout15

Wild Hunt, Wild Hunt Horse

This powerful steed stands upon wispy puffs of air, its grassy mane and tail swishing majestically in the wind.

Wild Hunt Horse CR 11

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 280
XP 12,800
CN Large fey (wild hunt)
Init +4; Senses greensight 60 ft., low-light vision, scent, see in darkness; Perception +23

Defense

AC 25, touch 17, flat-footed 20 (+3 deflection, +4 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 natural, –1 size)
hp 142 (19d6+76)
Fort +12, Ref +15, Will +12
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement, instinctive cooperation, wild grace; DR 10/cold iron; Immune cold; Resist electricity 10, fire 10

Offense

Speed 100 ft.; air walk
Melee bite +21 (2d6+12), 2 hooves +19 (1d10+6 plus bleed)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks bewildering hoofbeats, bleed 1d6, deafening cry, wild gaze (DC 22)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 13th; concentration +16)
Constant—air walk, freedom of movement, know direction, speak with animals, speak with plants
At will—transport via plants (self and rider only)
3/day—stone tell

Statistics

Str 34, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 17
Base Atk +9; CMB +22 (+26 overrun); CMD 40 (42 vs. overrun, 44 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Greater Overrun, Improved Overrun, Multiattack, Power Attack, Run, Weapon Focus (bite, hoof)
Skills Acrobatics +26, Perception +23, Sense Motive +23, Stealth +22, Survival +20
Languages Common, Sylvan; speak with animals, speak with plants
SQ planar acclimation, rider synergy, wild hunt link

Ecology

Environment any land
Organization solitary, herd (2–10), or wild hunt
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Bewildering Hoofbeats (Su) As a standard action, a wild hunt horse can make it seem as though hundreds of horses are approaching from all directions. All creatures within 60 feet must succeed at a DC 22 Will save or become confused for 1d4 rounds. A creature that succeeds at this save is immune to the bewildering hoofbeats ability of all wild hunt horses for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Deafening Cry (Su) As a standard action up to three times per day (but no more than once every 1d4 rounds), a wild hunt horse can emit a thundering cry. All creatures in a 30-foot cone emanating from the horse take 10d6 points of sonic damage and are deafened for 1 minute. Creatures that succeed at a DC 23 Fortitude save take half damage and are not deafened. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Rider Synergy (Su) When a wild hunt horse carries a rider with the wild hunt subtype, the two act as one. If either the rider or the mount would take damage, the rider and mount decide how to divide the damage (typically splitting it equally). Additionally, the rider’s movement as a part of the horse’s overrun combat maneuver does not provoke attacks of opportunity, unless that movement would also cause the horse to provoke attacks of opportunity.
Wild Hunt Link (Su) A wild hunt horse increases the speed of all creatures in its wild hunt link by 30 feet. This increase is an enhancement bonus. It also grants the members of its link the effects of freedom of movement.

Description

When they are not participating in a hunt, wild hunt horses enjoy constructing complicated courses through land and sky and racing each other for ever-changing stakes.