Wild hunt

From PathfinderWiki
Wild hunt
(Creature)
Type Fey
(wild hunt)
CR Varies
Environment Any land
Alignment

Source: Bestiary 6, pg(s). 278

The wild hunt is an enigmatic group of powerful fey who pursue prey across the First World and the Material Plane. Traditionally, the wild hunt consists of five distinct races.[1]

Ecology

The wild hunt usually ventures from the First World to the Material Plane to chase their prey for three reasons: to seek the thrill of the chase, to kill the target, or to seek new members.[1]

When hunting for thrills, members of the wild hunt choose difficult quarry or follow self-imposed challenges, and try to avoid killing their targets. However, this no longer applies if the target resorts to lethal force; as the wild hunt puts it, if they are too ignorant to recognise that the hunt is only a friendly battle of wits, then they should blame their death on their foolishness, instead of on the wild hunt's actions.[1]

At other times, the wild hunt fights to kill, transporting the corpse to another plane before disintegrating it if they suspect their prey to be capable of resurrection. If the quarry comes back to life anyway, the wild hunt's reaction is unpredictable. Those that are chased for a second time often face far worse fates, like disappearing without a trace and beyond the reach of resurrection magic, or becoming exhibits in a menagerie consisting of the wild hunt's most irritating prey.[1]

Although most wild hunt fey originate from the First World, a few originated as mortals captured by the wild hunt and transformed into one of their own. The reason why the wild hunt seeks a particular mortal is unknown, but usually only powerful ones are pursued. If the hunt is successful, the prey is ritually sacrificed and reincarnated as a wild hunt fey the next morning. Most such mortals forget their previous lives except for a measure of personality, although particularly impressive ones might be allowed to keep their memories and skills, becoming a unique, specialised member of the hunt.[1]

Society

Each wild hunt consists of a specific number and configuration of members: one monarch, one scout, three archers, three horses, and four hounds. The monarch effortlessly travels between the First World and the Material Plane to gather rumours of new quarry. The wild hunt sometimes accepts proposals from those that seek them out and are deemed worthy, and the hunt's demands for service vary significantly, but never involve material wealth. Those who try to cheat a wild hunt monarch or involve one in trivial matters often become the wild hunt's next quarry.[1]

All members of the wild hunt serve a legendary figure called the Horned King, whose true nature is unknown and suspected to be an Eldest. When the Horned King calls, several wild hunts gather and ride into battle against legendary foes, but this is rare and wild hunts are usually left to direct themselves. Because of this affiliation, the wild hunt is sometimes classified as part of the Tane. Although they share the Tane's ability to instantly attune themselves to new planes, the relation between the two is complex: the Tane can become targets of wild hunts, yet sometimes wild hunt monarchs temporarily strike bargains for a Tane's service.[1]

According to tradition, the wild hunt rides for Pharasma under the lunar eclipse, in exchange for the ability to turn dead mortals into one of themselves on other nights.[2]

References

For additional resources, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Robert Brookes et al. (2017). Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 6, p. 278. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-931-8
  2. John Compton, Crystal Frasier, Ron Lundeen, and Amber Stewart. (2019). Concordance of Rivals, p. 35. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-127-6