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 Monarch

This limber and regal humanoid has an elk’s antlers, long pointed ears, flowing white hair, and luminescent green eyes.

Wild Hunt Monarch CR 19

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 282
XP 204,800
CN Medium fey (wild hunt)
Init +11; Senses greensight 60 ft., low-light vision, mistsight, scent, see in darkness; Perception +37

Defense

AC 34, touch 26, flat-footed 26 (+8 deflection, +7 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 natural)
hp 325 (26d6+234)
Fort +19, Ref +22, Will +23
Defensive Abilities instinctive cooperation, wild grace; DR 15/ cold iron; Immune cold; Resist electricity 10, fire 10

Offense

Speed 50 ft.
Melee monarch’s glaive +30/+25/+20 (1d10+21/19–20/×3 plus 2d6), gore +19 (1d8+5)
Ranged monarch’s glaive +26 (1d10+21/19–20/×3 plus 2d6)
Special Attacks call to the hunt, monarch’s glaive, staggering gore, wild gaze (DC 31), wild reincarnation
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 17th; concentration +25)
Constant—know direction, speak with animals, speak with plants
At will—charm monster (DC 22), command (DC 19), dominate person (DC 23), ghost sound (DC 18), major image (DC 21)
3/day—quickened charm monster (DC 22), greater command (DC 23), hallucinatory terrain (DC 22), mass suggestion (DC 24), plane shift (DC 25), stone tell, veil
1/day—dominate monster (DC 27), summon (level 9, 1 wild hunt horse 100%), wind walk
Druid Spells Prepared (CL 17th; concentration +25)
9th—foresight
8th—finger of death (DC 26), mass cure serious wounds, word of recall
7th—control weather, fire storm (DC 25), heal, sunbeam (DC 25)
6th—greater dispel magic (2), move earth, transport via plants (2)
5th—baleful polymorph (DC 23), call lightning storm (DC 23), death ward, tree stride, wall of thorns
4th—air walk, cure serious wounds (2), dispel magic, flame strike (DC 22), freedom of movement
3rd—cure moderate wounds (2), daylight, snare, spike growth, wind wall
2nd—barkskin, hold animal (DC 20), lesser restoration, resist energy, stone call, tree shape
1st—cure light wounds (2), entangle (DC 19), faerie fire, obscuring mist, produce flame
0—detect magic, guidance, mending, stabilize

Statistics

Str 33, Dex 25, Con 28, Int 22, Wis 26, Cha 27
Base Atk +13; CMB +24; CMD 50
Feats Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Dodge, Furious Focus, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (glaive), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (charm monster), Step Up, Tiring Critical, Weapon Focus (glaive)
Skills Acrobatics +36, Diplomacy +37, Intimidate +34, Knowledge (geography, nature) +35, Perception +37, Perform (wind) +37, Ride +33, Sense Motive +37, Stealth +36, Survival +34, Use Magic Device +37
Languages Aklo, Common, Draconic, Sylvan; speak with animals, speak with plants
SQ planar acclimation, wild hunt link

Ecology

Environment any land
Organization solitary or wild hunt
Treasure double (+3 glaive, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Call to the Hunt (Su) Once per day as a full-round action, a wild hunt monarch can blow his hunt monarch’s horn to summon a number of other wild hunt fey up to a CR 18 encounter. For example, he may summon one wild hunt scout, two wild hunt archers, two wild hunt horses, and two wild hunt hounds. These fey appear within 100 feet of him at locations of his choosing, and they remain on the Material Plane for 1 hour or until reduced to 0 hit points. In the hands of any other creature, the hunt monarch’s horn functions as an ornate masterwork horn.
Monarch’s Glaive (Su) A wild hunt monarch wields a +3 thundering glaive that functions as a bane weapon against any creature (thus effectively functioning as a +5 thundering glaive that deals an additional 2d6 points of damage on a hit to all targets). A wild hunt monarch can summon his glaive to his hand across any distance as a free action. He can make attacks with the glaive in any square between himself and the end of his reach, even if a glaive would not normally threaten that square. Additionally, he can hurl his glaive at opponents. When he uses his glaive in this way, it counts as a thrown weapon with a range increment of 100 feet. If the wild hunt monarch dies, the glaive reverts to a +3 glaive.
Spells A wild hunt monarch casts spells as a 17th-level druid.
Staggering Gore (Ex) A wild hunt monarch’s gore attack knocks the breath out of his foes. A target that takes damage from this attack must succeed at a DC 32 Fortitude save or be staggered for 3 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Wild Gaze (Su) A wild hunt monarch has increased control over his gaze. Each round as a free action, he can select any number of visible creatures to exclude from his gaze. Humanoids and monstrous humanoids that fail the save are dazed as well as paralyzed, and animals and magical beasts are panicked. All other creatures are confused and can never receive the result of “act normally”; on such a result, they instead move in a random direction at full speed, as if pursuing an imaginary target. Succeeding at a save against any wild hunt fey’s wild gaze attack (whether it is that of the monarch or any other member of the hunt) does not grant the normal 24 hour period of immunity to the monarch’s wild gaze attack.
Wild Hunt Link (Su) The monarch can maintain a wild hunt link to a range of 1 mile. He expands the range of the wild hunt link ability for all members of the wild hunt within his range to 1 mile as well, allowing the hunters to spread out with almost a mile between them without breaking the connection. All members of a monarch’s wild hunt link gain regeneration 10; this regeneration cannot be suppressed as long as the wild hunt monarch lives. A wild hunt monarch’s plane shift spell-like ability can transport any number of creatures in his link, as long as they all join hands or are similarly in contact with one another.
Wild Reincarnation (Su) Once per day as a free action when a wild hunt monarch slays an adjacent creature by any means, he can attempt to reincarnate it as a wild hunt fey, even if the creature would not normally wish to be restored to life. The slain creature can resist this reincarnation if it succeeds at a DC 31 Fortitude save, but creatures slain while under the effects of any of the wild hunt monarch’s charm or compulsion spell-like abilities take a –4 penalty on this saving throw. The wild hunt monarch can reincarnate the creature into his choice of wild hunt creature whose CR is equal to or less than the target’s CR in its previous life. Alternatively, if the target was a humanoid or fey creature, the monarch can use the creature’s own natural abilities to create a unique member of the wild hunt. Such a creature maintains all of its abilities. Its type changes to fey (do not recalculate any statistics), and it gains the wild hunt subtype. Its appearance changes to blend in with the wild hunt, granting it features such as long ears and glowing green eyes. Once reincarnated, the creature retains only faint memories of its previous life, but is now chaotic neutral and loyal to the wild hunt. A creature reincarnated in this way can be restored to its original life only via a miracle or wish—slaying the creature and raising it from the dead merely restores it to its latest incarnation as a member of the wild hunt, unless the effect of the wild reincarnation is first removed from the body via a successful break enchantment spell against a DC of 31. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Description

Wild hunt monarchs command dozens of other wild hunt fey. While their followers can travel on personal missions, these majestic leaders (who can be female or male, and are referred to as wild hunt queens or wild hunt kings as appropriate) can rally the hunt to follow them anywhere without question. Wild hunt monarchs set the terms of each specific hunt, depending upon the prey and their own whims. The easier the prey, the more likely a monarch is to impose rules to make the hunt more entertaining, such as forbidding anyone but his hounds from injuring the quarry, or holding back his forces to give the target creature time to rest and recover.

Many members of a wild hunt monarch’s following join as soon as they are born from the fey realm, but others are born out of his own prey, or come to serve him after the demise of their previous leader. Monarchs do not typically interact with their own kind, but they occasionally collaborate on an exceptionally challenging hunt, testing their wits against nascent demigods or beasts of legend.