And I Feel Fine - Part 5: The Fourth Horseman

By Earl Wajenberg (


"When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hell was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." -- Revelation 6:7-8

Uriel's critics have often commented on the close relationship between his Word of Purity and that of Death -- the one so often seems to lead to the other. And so it shall, one last time. The Word of Death is waxing great, thanks to the many disasters of the Tribulation, and Saminga's power-lust grows with it. He does not notice how the incoming Essence, manipulated by Uriel from High Heaven, focuses his mind more an more on one idea -- that his time has come, that this is his hour of triumph.

The scene is a small, elegant parlor in the depths of the Vatican. Therrian sits at a table, the only human thing in the room. At the table with him are Lucifer, Kronos, Baal, and Mammon.

Baal: "I need a 30% increase in conscripts. It's as simple as that. We're fighting on fifteen fronts, at the moment, and have eleven recovery zones in need of substantially increased firepower for policing."

Mammon: "And *I* need those people and more, for the labor gangs, or the zones will fall apart in two months -- no electricity, no water, no staples freight, not to mention no manufacture of *anything*, including munitions."

Therrian: "Lower the age limit on conscription again."

Baal: "It's already as low as it can usefully go. A child has to be strong enough to lift a gun, after all."

Therrian: "Then we shall just have to divide resources proportionally to current needs and hope to acquire more populations soon."

Baal: "Which won't be easy with insufficient troops to make the acquisitions."

Mammon: "And insufficient labor to make places to put them."

Baal: "Twaddle. Concentration camps are cheap."

Mammon: "That won't do if you want to keep tempting--"

The door flies open and in strides Saminga as a skeleton in evening dress, making him look like a cross between the Grim Reaper and the Phantom of the Opera. Behind him, Therrian can see his personal secretary, slumped inert over his desk.

Saminga: "My Lord, gentlemen, I can offer a solution to the problem I heard you discussing. How would you like several million zombies for your labor pool?"

Mammon: "Sam, you idiot! Get out! We don't need your useless stiffs!"

Baal [looks at Lucifer, who is waiting quietly]: "Zombie forces would need close supervision. How would you steer -- let alone create -- millions?"

Saminga: "No problem! My Word is flourishing as never before. Even now-- That is, at your word, Lightbringer, my servitors can raise mass graves and set them to work. And I will give any demon -- *any* demon -- my Zombi attunement to make and master more." [He pulls up a chair and crowds in between Baal and Mammon, who are kept from exploding only by Lucifer's continuing gaze fixed on the Death Prince.]

Mammon: "Why this unexpected generosity?"

Saminga: "So my Word may feed upon itself, of course! Baal's demons will direct zombie troops to kill still more, who will become more zombies, and so on. Mammon, your demons can use my zombies to run any sort of support services Baal may need."

Baal: "That will take a great many supervising demons."

Lucifer: "All Hell follows in his path. So now we have all four."

Therrian: "The Horsemen? Is there a problem, Lord Father?"

Mammon: "You aren't saying that Heaven--"

Lucifer: "No, I think not."

Kronos: "Do not concern yourselves. Broken prophecies still leave fragments after them. It is inevitable that death, war, and poverty attend the violent dissolution of a society."

Lucifer: "Continue, Saminga. How many demons? How many zombies? How fast?"

Roleplaying seed: Zombie Zapping

Saminga's minions, now working with those of several other Princes, set up zombie factories in isolated territories controlled by Therrian. Shipments of corpses go in, squads of zombies stagger out, led by demon controllers. (In some cases, trainloads of living victims go in, but the output is the same.) Any PCs serving Heaven can be usefully employed making strikes against the zombie factories, especially if allied humans have been targetted as raw material.

Of course, Hell tries to keep the zombie workers segregated from the mundane population, but strange rumors inevitably begin to circulate -- rumors of walking dead, but also of androids and robots, of brainwashed enemy POWs, of clone-slaves, etc. PCs may hear of the zombie factories through the grapevine first, rather than through official channels.


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