These mounted knight wields great swords as swift as dawn, as bright as the blazing sun, and as cold as the grave. The white horseman is a young rider full of promise, the red rider a man in his prime, and the black rider a scarred and bearded fellow, his eyes dark and his mouth set in a grim frown. They ride with purpose on powerful steeds.
Baba Yaga’s three horsemen are legends in their own right. Bright Day, Red Sun, and Black Night (also known as the White, Red, and Black horsemen) are her faithful emissaries, scouts, and warriors abroad. The three horsemen change over time, but they are typically male, human warriors. Their appearance is distinctive: each dresses in colors and lacquered armor and trappings to suit their name, with their magical horses colored to match.
Their roles appear to coincide with their appointed offices, although their precise relationship to Baba Yaga is the source of much speculation.
Varied Origin. They may be serving Grandmother Winter for a time in exchange for a favor or bargain, or they may be cursed to replace a previous horseman they slew. In either case, Baba Yaga is the source of their power. The horsemen are innately connected to the domain of time; each represents part of the day, as measured by the sun. Bright Day is bound to and governs dawn to mid-day, Red Sun from mid-day to sundown, and Black Night rules until daybreak. While Baba Yaga herself is wily and capricious, her three horsemen are bound to cosmological forces that are uniform and constant, which is reflected in their alignment and demeanor.
One Rises, Two Set. The horsemen never co-exist with one another except within the confines of their mistresses’ Dancing Hut and the fenced yard around it. Each one must yield his presence on the Material Plane to his successor in rotation (this varies on other planes, depending on intervals of day and Each horseman has unique senses, defenses, and special abilities. Add the appropriate traits to the base horseman traits for each of the horsemen as follows. Forcing two horsemen to co-exist on the Material Plane places a perilous strain on reality. Bringing all three together could trigger a primal magical event or chronal catastrophe.
Timeless Nature. The horsemen don’t age and don’t require food, drink, or sleep.
Baba Yaga’s Horsemen, Base
Medium fey, lawful neutral
Armor Class 20 (plate and shield)
Hit Points 171 (18d8 + 90)
Speed 30 ft.
|22 (+6)||11 (+0)||21 (+5)||16 (+3)||18 (+4)||18 (+4)|
Saving Throws Dex +4, Wis +8
Skills Arcana +7, Athletics +10, History +7, Perception +8
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities lightning, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses passive Perception 18
Languages Celestial, Common, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)
- Innate Spellcasting. The horseman is a 12th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Charisma (save DC 16, +8 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
- 1/day each: dimension door, fire shield, haste, slow
- 3/day each: ethereal jaunt, phantom steed (appears as a horse colored appropriately to the horseman), plane shift (self and steed only)
- Magic Resistance. The horseman has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
- Peerless Rider. Any attacks directed at the horseman’s mount targets the horseman instead. Its mount gains the benefit of the rider’s damage and condition immunities, and if the horseman passes a saving throw against an area effect, the mount takes no damage.
- Quick Draw. The horseman can switch between wielding its lance and longsword as a bonus action.
- Multiattack. The horseman makes three attacks with its lance or longsword. It can use Temporal Strike with one of these attacks when it is available.
- Lance. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft. (disadvantage within 5 ft.), one target. Hit: 12 (1d12 + 6) piercing damage.
- Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d8 + 6) slashing damage.
- Temporal Strike (recharge 5-6). When the horseman strikes a target with a melee attack, in addition to taking normal damage, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or instantly age 3d10 years. A creature that ages this way has disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws based on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution until the aging is reversed. A creature that ages beyond its lifespan dies immediately. The aging reverses automatically after 24 hours, or it can be reversed magically by greater restoration or comparable magic. A creature that succeeds on the save is immune to the temporal strike effect for 24 hours.
The horseman gains the following damage immunities: fire.
The horseman gains the following innate spells:
The horseman can see perfectly in normal and magical darkness, gains immunity to cold, and the following innate spells:
Tome of Beasts. Copyright 2016, Open Design; Authors Chris Harris, Dan Dillon, Rodrigo Garcia Carmona, and Wolfgang Baur.