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Shadow Riders

 

Species Description:
These appear as cloaked hooded humanoids, invariably wearing black with glowing red eyes visible beneath their hoods. Occasionally one wearing red garb is seen and these are thought to be their leaders. They ride emancipated black, sometimes partly skeletal horses. Often these beasts have mutations such as horns, spikes or reptilian scales and tails. These also have glowing red eyes and this light also emanates from their mouths, as though their insides were made of fire.

There are unconfirmed tales that Shadow Riders do not just ride horses. They are also said to ride hideous, bat-winged and bird-like abominations but it is not known for sure whether this is true or not but one thing that is agreed on is that all these creatures are black.

No one is sure where they come from, but one thing for certain is that Shadow Riders travel in groups of at least 8 - 10, sometimes as many as 50! If one alone is seen, then it is sure to be a scout for its cohorts and more will soon follow.

Shadow Riders are only seen at night, when they descend upon isolated towns and villages, razing them to the ground sparing no one. They will attack and kill unwary travellers and anyone else they might happen to meet on the road.

One of the most sinister things about their attacks is the fact that, among the victims' bodies, there is no trace of any children. It is rumoured that the demons carry them off but their purpose for doing so is not known ... some say that they feed upon their young lifeforces, whilst other tales suggest that they corrupt them, turning the stolen children into demons.

Either way, Shadow Riders are a swift, deadly menace. Fortunately they are not seen near any major trading routes and other well populated and defended areas. They also mainly keep to the forested places such as the Greater Wilds.

The truth about Shadow Riders, which is known only by very few, is that the humanoids are not demons. It is the steeds that are the actual demons and the rider is a physical manifestation of the lifeforces stolen from those they have killed. A tormented being doomed forever to ride the demon, it is forced to serve the demon, slaying any living being that they come across so that the demon might be sustained. Not knowing this, when people try to fight Shadow Riders, they always try to kill the rider but this has no effect since their efforts do not harm the demon. So the only way to kill them is to direct attacks against the demonic steeds.

 

Average Statistics
Diet: soul stealer
Alignment (if any): evil - demonic
Life expectancy: n/a
Solitary/Group (number): groups. From 2-3 up to 15-20.