Runequest Thursday #11 - Mythos Society Guide to New England Bonus Monster 'Demonic Horse' - Runequestified!

Clint Staples

Since the Call of Cthulhu RPG and Runequest share the same basic system, it is not difficult to convert monsters for one to use in the other. Since I have recently written up a bunch of Mythos monsters for my Mythos Society Guide to New England , I thought it might be useful, and fun, to have them available to torment characters in Runequest, specifically my Brightwater Saga campaign . Also, we are playing tomorrow night, so any of my players that read my posts on d-Infinity can get suitably nervous.

With that in mind, here is the first of these conversions - The Demonic Horse . I know, all you true fans of my column are saying "But this was the latest Mythos monster you wrote up. Why start with it? why not go chronologically?"

To which I reply, "Do not allow yourselves to be bound by the strictures of linear chronology and euclidian geometry. Open you minds to the vast, terrifying cosmic vistas beyond the scope of such thinking. Contemplate the absolute meaninglessness of your exis . . . never mind."

Demonic Horse

A massive black horse of fiendish aspect, with glowing eyes, and carnivorous appetites. In Glorantha, demonic horses are referenced at least once that I am aware, as the steeds of Sir Ethilrist's Black Horse Company, a unit of mercenaries that has its own country, Black Horse County, a longstanding relationship with the Lunar Empire that does not preclude them from hiring out against it occasionally, and an immortal wizard-swordmaster who harrowed the Underworld to gain command of the beasts in question. I am not sure if these demonic horses are the ones in question, but they could be. And they would go a long way to helping explain why the Black Horse Troop is so kickass. Imagine a unit of sorcerer-knights on armored demonic horses in full charge. 

As a monster of Gloranthan folklore, the Demonic Horse could be something raised by a powerful enemy, a left over from the God Learners investigations into things best not known by men, the legendary 'haunt' of a particular local, or the product of a wizard's summons.

Some of the possible eldritch abilities may suit different roles better or worse.As a creepy encounter Breathe Fog, Swimming, Nightmare and Compel Rider go well together and could lead to a neat kidnap scenario or a 'demon horse sighting' sort of thing. In such a case, the GM may increase the INT of the demonic horse if desired, to reflect its level of cunning malevolence as required [INT 6 is the level of a very smart horse or dog, but not true sentience]. As the mount of the Black horse Company, a wizard, or even a PC, maybe 'Compel Rider' could be the trial that the rider must occasionally overcome to master the creature, getting easier with practice.

Regardless, the Demonic Horse is a powerful being, whether enemy, ally or somewhere in between.