Apocalypse, Baal, Beelzebub, Calabite, Distinctions, Djinn, Faerie, Fairy, Four Horsemen, Genubath, Goetia, Haagenti, Habbalite, In Nomine, Khalid, Lawrence, Legion, Makatiel, Mammon, Mixed Party, Numinous Corpus, Nybbas, Olympians, Renegade, Saminga, Songs, Valefor
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse may not have shown up as part of In Nomine’s Revelations cycle, but that does not mean that they need to be absent from the setting. After all, In Nomine is the sort of the game that encourages an Apocalypse of the Week.
There are a few different ways of handling the Horsemen.
One is that the Horsemen are Demon Princes:
- The White Horseman: Makatiel originally, but now Nybbas
- The Red Horseman: Baal
- The Black Horseman: Haagenti (with Mammon in reserve)
- The Pale Horseman: Saminga
While this is a fairly simple and easy to implement approach, it adds nothing to the setting. Another possibility is that the Horsemen are all Wordbound Servitors of particular note – but this is also somewhat limiting, as it locks a specific demon into each role.
The approach I prefer is to identify the cavalry commanders of hell who are responsible for identifying, recruiting, and supporting the Four Horsemen. This allows for much greater narrative flexibility. For example, the same being does not have to serve as horseman during each apocalypse. One could emerge and be fully defeated by the PCs, only to be replaced by another horseman in a future Armageddon. Likewise, a player character could find themself elevated into one of the horseman positions without being permanently bound to the position could the world not actually end. And, of course, the commanders responsible for these elevations could themselves be used as recurring villains.
Why a Rittmeister General?
Several European countries had a special rank reserved for the commander of a squadron of cavalry: the Rittmeister. This rank was considered equivalent to Captain.
Given the prominence of the Four Horsemen in apocalyptic literature, the idea that they would be overseen by a mere Captain is laughable. I am therefore promoting the Rittmeisters of the four cavalries of the Armageddon to Generals.
Seir, Renegade Demon of the 1st Seal
Rittmeister General of the White Cavalry
Seir is a scout, a spy, a provocateur, and at times a double, triple, or quadruple agent. The White Cavalry of the Armageddon is responsible for recognizing and fomenting conquests of all sorts (even those that Hell might not be happy with). While their particular focus is the breaking of the first seal, these scouts will also keep an eye out for the warning signs of any other apocalyptic scenarios.
Officially, Seir is on loan to Nybbas. However, they are known to have worked for Genubath, Legion, Lawrence, Khalid, Makatiel, and Valefor each in turn. Their command is lousy with agents from heaven and hell (both those with assignments to report signs of the apocalypse back to their respective Superiors, and those on the hunt for traitors and apostates).
Because the White Cavalry of the Armageddon has been known to include both Angels and Demons, it is an ideal setting for a mixed party.
Tamlin, The White Horse
Tamlin was either an Ethereal or a Dream Shade tithed to hell by the Fae. Although he claims to have originally been a man, his time among the fair folk and the subsequent infusion of fel energies has more or less guaranteed that he shall never wear such a form again (though he does enjoy faking it for “conquests” of his own).
Seir rides Tamlin now, but it is the erstwhile knight’s lot to become the Stallion of the White Horseman whenever one is named.
Berith, Djinn Demon of the 2nd Seal
Rittmeister General of the Red Cavalry
Berith wanted to be Wordbound to “War,” but neither Baal nor Lucifer would allow it. Two Princes instead bound Berith to the apocalyptic seal that unleashes War. A model that was repeated for each of the other Rittmeister Generals.
In pursuit of breaking the 2nd Seal, Berith has invested considerable effort into the monetization of everything. If human history has taught the demon anything, it’s that debt, poverty, trade disputes, and the chance for a quick profit are all great motivators for war.
A demon must already have attained the Distinction of Knight before Berith will accept them under his command.
New Distinction: Rittmeister der Roten (Captain of the Red)
Captains in the Red Cavalry of the Apocalypse have an instinctive grasp of all vehicles. Their level in any Riding, Piloting, or Driving skill will never be considered less than their Corporeal Forces. They may also purchase Attunements from Baal or Mammon as if they served those Superiors.
Aethon, The Red Horse
Aethon is a a war prize seized from Ares towards the end of the conquest of Hades. Baal granted the horse to Berith as a reward for services rendered. Unlike most horses, Aethon is actually a god of Fire and Battle. Berith has placed celestial fetters upon his prize and rides it almost constantly to ensure that they remain in place.
Vine, Calabite Demon of the 3rd Seal
Rittmeister General of the Black Cavalry
Vine’s cavalry is sometimes known as the Locust of Hell. They are thieves, despoilers and profiteers; bringing famine in their wake and encouraging mortals to do the same. Vine herself is something of a prophet (though nowhere near as powerful as Gabriel). Under the right circumstances she can peer into either the future or the past, and uses this knowledge to help her besiege the impoverished and overthrow their walls through hunger and need.
A demon must already have attained the Distinction of Knight before Vine will accept them under her command.
New Distinction: Reittenmeister der Schwarzen (Captain of the Black)
If a Captain in the Black Cavalry of the Apocalypse is completely out of Essence, they may sacrifice 6 Body Hits to immediately gain the effects of spending 1 Essence. Using this skill renders conventional healing ineffective until Essence has been regained by other means. These demons may also purchase Attunements from Baal and Haagenti as if they served those Superiors.
Song of the Black Cavalry of the Apocalypse (Numinous Corpus)
Vine only teaches this Numious Corpus variant to those under her command. It transforms the singer into a black steed with the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the teeth of a lion, the wings of a locust, and the tail of a scorpion. The singer gains the benefits of Numinous Corpus Teeth, Feet, Legs, Tail, and Wings but loses the use of their hands. Returning a vessel to mortal form will end the song until it has been sung again.
Thanatos, Habbalite Demon of the 4th Seal
Rittmeister General of the Pale Cavalry
Though both are fascinated with Death, Thanatos is basically everything Saminga is not: disciplined, thoughtful, dispassionate, skilled in arms, and entirely uninterested in the occult. There are more than a few Demon Princes that silently hope that the Rittmeister General will eventually dispatch eir host and take over the administration of Abbadon.
Thanatos could not care less what the other Superior’s think. The Rittmeister General has been dead inside since the passing of Beelzebub. E pursues the breaking of the 4th Seal because it is the only goal that still holds any meaning.
Unfortunately, since the 4th seal is so rarely broken, the Pale Cavalry has come to be seen as part of Hell’s strategic reserves. Individual cavaliers may travel to Earth to encourage mortal soldiers towards acts of mass murder, but the unit mostly patrols the dry lands because Saminga cannot be bothered.
A demon must already have attained the Distinction of Knight before Thanatos will accept them under eir command.
New Distinction: Rittmeister der Chlor (Captain of the Pale)
Captains in the Pale Cavalry of the Apocalypse are undisturbed by death and will never suffer trauma upon the passing of a host or vessel. They may also purchase Attunements from Baal, or Saminga as if they served those Superiors.
Khloros, the Pale Horse
During the Fall, Genubath stole one of the prototype horses from the Hall of Creation. Unsure what to do with the beast, the Prince of Rapine gifted it to Beelzebub, who in turn used its Forces to craft a Djinn steed for the young Thanatos, then a courier between Corruption and The War.
When the 4th Seal is broken, Khloros will abandon Thanatos for a time; attuning itself to the Pale Horseman instead.