Rider of the Black Horse

Rider of the Black Horse

A half-demon chasing a futile dream. An elf huntress embracing her monstrous side. A foul-mouthed black magician obsessed with knowledge. A warrior who likes his swords big and his golems bigger. A vengeful dragon queen intent on starting the biggest war in history. Can they come together against the odds in spite of their obsessions and egos, or will their unfolding epic battles culminate in the end of all things?

The Rider of the Black Horse series, or in short the Rider Saga, was created by Viktor Zólyomi, the author of the Con City novels, before he found his voice as a writer. These are highly experimental and tonally all over the place sword and sorcery fantasy books, heavily influenced by metal music, computer games, pro wrestling, and some other sources you might not expect. They also throw several writing conventions out the window and are in dire need of a revised second edition that may or may not happen someday. They are however a blast to read in their currently existing edition if you love fantasy, antiheroes, sword and sorcery, and are looking for something... different. Something very, very different.

The Setting

The world of Arghard

`Those of us who have seen how vast the Multiverse truly is will inevitably find living in Arghard less than satisfying. However, those of us that roam the Planes should always remember, that wherever we may go, whatever wonders we may find out there, Arghard is still our home. Home to all Arghardians, whether. they're orcs, trolls, elves, dwarves, humans, or dragon-kind. Home to magnificent sights such as the pine forests of Ordhiar, the great mountains of Uldath, the caverns of Arudden, the exotic forests of Endarryn, or the vicious desert of Envorryn. Home to the unique architecture of dragon-kind in Draconia, home to mystical ruins of ancient times, and home to long forgotten corners such as the continent of Mor'Peri. Truly, travelers can find many wonders within our own world that can in fact compete with the magnificence of the Planes.' - Excerpt from the treatise entitled Arghard and the Multiverse, written by the orc mage Azrahl roughly two centuries before Twilightfall

Map of Arghard

Map of Arghard artwork by Juliana Medeiros.


`The great City of Mages known as Re'Cas is considered part of Arghard and the capital of the Ess'yerian Alliance, but truthfully it is a separate world. It exists within a different Plane of Existence, albeit a small and artificially created one. This small world was made by the ancient group of mages known as the Draconian Brotherhood. Originally it was used to conduct magical experiments, but when the Brotherhood was forced to abandon Arghard they built a city there. While they are long gone, their legacy remains. Re'Cas is the most magnificent city ever built by mortals, full of buildings of wondrous architecture. Today, the Supreme Council governs the Ess'yerian Alliance from Re'Cas, sitting proudly in their Palace in the most beautiful city ever built.' - Excerpt from the treatise entitled Arghard and the Multiverse, written by the orc mage Azrahl roughly two centuries before Twilightfall


`The world of everlasting darkness known as Kh'Tal is quite possibly one of the most unusual Material Planes within the Multiverse. A giant magical stormcloud follows the sun all day long, bringing a violent rain with it that never stops, and completely robbing the world of sunlight. While Arghardian plantlife could not exist in such a lack of light, the plantlife of Kh'Tal thrives in it. With their exotic blue leaves and strange appetite they can survive in the dark just fine, as can the countless magical beasts that inhabit this world. Though I wish I could recommend it to you all to visit this dark but beautiful world, I cannot, since Councilor Jenathar has forbidden planar travel to Kh'Tal due to the number of night elf black magicians that used to make Kh'Tal their second home. Being a forbidden world however does not diminish Kh'Tal's exotic beauty, not in the slightest.' - Excerpt from the treatise entitled Arghard and the Multiverse, written by the orc mage Azrahl roughly two centuries before Twilightfall

Elemental Planes

`The Multiverse is composed of two different kinds of worlds. One group comprises the worlds like Arghard, the so-called Material Planes, where everything is made of some kind of matter, be it solid, liquid, or gas. There are millions of such worlds in the Multiverse. However, a handful of worlds are fundamentally different. These are the Spiritual Planes, worlds which have no material component, yet extend infinitely on the spiritual level, thus connecting all the Material Planes that are otherwise materially isolated. Home to creatures that have no body, only souls. Among these planes the four Elemental Planes stand out as more than just Spiritual Worlds. The Elemental Planes of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water are the source of arcane magic in the Multiverse. The magical energy which surrounds us everywhere in Arghard and in all the other Material Planes comes from these four Spiritual Worlds. Beyond that these worlds are akin to other Spiritual Planes in that they are inhabited by powerful souls. The inhabitants of these planes are called elementals, and their rulers are called Elemental Princes. Powerful mages can summon elementals by conjuring manifestations for their souls. Such creatures can act as very powerful servants for any mage. In Arghard, the Elemental Princes are known by the common folk as the Lords Beyond. Common folk believe that these creatures are gods and that they created the Multiverse. The truth is, that while powerful, the Elemental Princes are not omnipotent, and the Multiverse is not their creation. Regardless, they are among the most powerful creatures in the Multiverse, therefore it is no wonder that in many places they are worshiped as gods.' - Excerpt from the treatise entitled Arghard and the Multiverse, written by the orc mage Azrahl roughly two centuries before Twilightfall

Hellish Planes

`Another group among the Spiritual Planes that stands out is the group of the so-called Hellish Planes, often referred to simply as Hell. Like the Elemental Planes, the Hellish Planes are populated by extremely powerful spiritual beings. These are called demons, and their rulers are called Demon Lords. Like the Elemental Princes, the Demon Lords are among the most powerful beings in the Multiverse, and many mortals worship them. These creatures are however extremely malevolant, demanding horrific sacrificial rituals from their followers and ultimately serving only their own interests, which either involves spreading chaos and destruction, or simply spreading their influence among the Planes. Unlike the Elemental Planes, the Hellish Planes do not act as a source of magic in the Multiverse. However, Hell is not without a magic of its own. Some demons possess special magical powers that are collectively known as demon magic. It is a form of magic that only demons can master, and can be used to do far more horrible things than what black magic is capable of doing. The creatures that inhabit the Hellish Planes are terrifying and awe inspiring at the same time. Some mages are tempted to travel to the Hellish Planes simply to be able to study these horrific yet fascinating creatures, despite the dangers involved.' - Excerpt from the treatise entitled Arghard and the Multiverse, written by the orc mage Azrahl roughly two centuries before Twilightfall


`Some call it the Elemental Plane of Darkness, the Shadowland is the Spiritual Plane which powers black magic much as the Elemental Planes power arcane magic. Not much is known about the Shadowland. No mortal has ever been able to enter this world. Each time a mage attempted to enter the Shadowland in the recorded history of our world, the Portal was closed shut before it could have properly opened. There are indications that the Portals were closed shut by the powerful creatures that inhabit this world, although of course there is no proof, since noone has been able to enter this world and confirm their existence. It is however plausible to assume that they exist, since creature exist in the Planes that power arcane magic as well. The haunting question, rather, is why these creatures insist on keeping mortals out of their world. If they are powerful enough to do so, they certainly need not fear any mortal intruders. Some fear that these beings are planning something behind closed doors, and by the the time we learn of what that is it may already be far too late.' - Excerpt from the treatise entitled Arghard and the Multiverse, written by the orc mage Azrahl roughly two centuries before Twilightfall


`As strange as it sounds, the Multiverse was actually given a unique name in Arghard ages ago. That name is Rosen Lauris Magnus, or, the Great Rose. Some merely refer to the Multiverse as Rose. The source of the name is unknown though several theories exist about its origins. One of these theories attributes it to the Draconian Brotherhood, while another to elven magicians. Regardless, to some extent there is logic in naming the Multiverse after a flower, for each separate world within the Multiverse may be referred to as the petal of a flower. A crude description, perhaps, but one that is easy to understand, similar to an ancient depiction of the Multiverse which symbolizes Material Planes by stars in a rainbow colored mist which symbolizes the Spiritual Planes.' - Excerpt from the treatise entitled Arghard and the Multiverse, written by the orc mage Azrahl roughly two centuries before Twilightfall

Prominent Characters

Supreme Councilor Achmor, dwarf warrior

`I say find him and kill him on the spot! But try to find the demon as well. Oh, and get a shipment of elven wine, too! We could have a nice feast...' - Supreme Councilor Achmor, 2 years, 3 months, and 3 days before Twilightfall

Supreme Councilor Achmor Dahnir, the dwarven member of the Supreme Council was a skilled warrior in his prime. His reign as Councilor made him soft however, and he eventually adopted a largely hedonistic lifestyle, not even bothering to address any problems his people may have had and only caring about the quality of the food on his plate. Achmor has always been far from being a strong ruler, but still strong enough to firmly hold on to his position in the Council.

In the years leading up to Twilightfall he has no idea that in the near future he will come to face his toughest test in life, and only time will tell if he is in shape enough to face what is coming for him.

Adrian Rand, human mage

`I knew this. I knew all about it. I didn't like it but I accepted that these are the rules and I must adhere to them if I am to reach my goal. It was better to suffer this than to be denied guidance, guidance I desperately needed. So I joined the Guild at the age of twenty. I was fifty-two years old when I was finally allowed to attempt the Fifth Trial. The fact that the Magister likes me had quite a lot to do with that. I went out of my way to gain the Magister's favor by volunteering to many of the more difficult chores he offered to apprentices. Many Inner Circle mages looked at me with suspicion and jealousy because of it, but I knew that there were only two ways to get ahead: either gain the favor of the vast majority of the Inner Circle, or gain the favor of the Magister. It was obvious to me that the latter would be quicker, provided I was willing and able to brave his tasks.' - Adrian Rand, 4 years, 7 months, and 11 days before Twilightfall

Adrian Rand, possibly the finest magician of his generation, became a member of the Inner Circle of the Mage Guild of Ashkel at an unprecedentedly young age by outwitting the strict rules of the Guild. Two years after his induction into the Inner Circle, he was approached by his friends and asked to aid them in their efforts to revolutionize the Guild. Adrian was faced with a dilemma, for what his friends asked would involve murdering Magister Kelnys, the man in charge of the Guild. Adrian made his decision the way he makes every decision: by looking ahead. He could not know, but the decision he made four years and seven months before Twilightfall would have far reaching consequences for the entire world of Arghard.

Eric Shyrn, night elf black magician

`I cannot let him lead us down the path he chose. His entire plan is foolhardy. It will not work. He is far too proud to see our own limits. We are the superior species of Arghard, yes, but we are not infallible and we are not invincible. He thinks this undead army is enough to conquer Ess'yer but he is wrong. It takes much more than this. Far more.' - Eric Shyrn, 1 year, 1 month, and 7 days before Twilightfall

The night elf Eric Shyrn's name is one synonymous with authority and viciousness. As the Commander of the Supreme Guard, the private enforcers of the Supreme Council, merely referred to by the commoners as the Enforcers, Eric holds full authority over every citizen of Ess'yer other than the Supreme Councilors. Also being the second in command of Sewareld Worriil makes Eric a very powerful and dangerous person. Though his magic cannot compete with that of his superior, only a fool would ever underestimate him, as his skills in unarmed combat make him a dangerous foe. Eric's dark secret that only he and Sewareld Worriil ever knew about makes him even more dangerous. His ambition has always rivaled that of Sewareld, though he has been a touch more reserved, being one of the few night elves to respect the wood elves and look upon them as his own people.

In the few years leading up to Twilightfall, he is essentially the voice of reason for Sewareld Worriil as Sewareld's ambition slowly leads them down a dangerous path. He has no clue that in the near future his role as Sewareld's right hand man will put him in a precarious position, and he will likely play a key role in coming events that will change the world of Arghard forever.

Flora E'Lyn, wood elf hunter

`So, I hunted them. I sought challenge after challenge, beast after beast, prey after prey. I've enjoyed hunting them. Sometimes they wounded me greatly, brought me to the brink of death, but I still enjoyed the hunt. I finally found a meaning in my life again. And now, I am content with my new life. I've accepted what I am, and grown to like it. If my people would see me now, they'd call me a monster. Indeed, that's what I've become. But it can't be undone, and then why is it bad that I've come to like what I am? They may judge me, but I care not. Not any more. I am no longer one of them, no matter how much I'd have liked to be. And I have accepted it by now. A monster I may be, but I rather be a monster with a meaning in life, than live a life with no meaning whatsoever.' - Flora E'Lyn, 1 year, 3 months, and 20 days before Twilightfall

Flora E'Lyn is considered one of the most skilled elven hunters in the history of Endarryn. Ages ago the elves of Endarryn founded the Order of the Black Panthers, an elite guild of hunters specialized in fighting dangerous, magcial creatures. Their primary purpose has been to defend Endarryn from the vicious beasts of the desert of Envorryn which regurlarly invade the elves' forests. Flora came to be one of their most respected hunters. Four years before Twilightfall she suffered a great loss when her brother was killed by mercenaries from Delamar.

Her life has always been difficult, but in the last couple of years leading up to Twilightfall it is about to get much worse. Two years and three months before Twilightfall, Flora is bound to face some of the demons of her past, without ever suspecting that her life will take a strange turn in the near future, changing the very foundations of her existence.

Jason Vogan, human mage

`The Rider of the Black Horse is a legend of nightmares. The Rider is essentially a symbol of death. Legends speak of the Rider slowly walking through villages and every last living soul dropping dead as the Rider merely passed them by. Legends speak of the Rider being the last sight of dying men. Legends speak of the Rider taking warriors into the Afterlife after they fell in battle. There are countless such legends surrounding the Rider. The one thing they all have in common, is that he brings death to wherever he goes. For one who was born in Arghard to have a name which means one with the Rider is bad omen, so they say. I was never keen to superstition, but this troubled me. It filled me with a sense of dread, a terror that my life will be filled with death. I always hoped time would prove me wrong. But I had no idea...' - Jason Vogan, 17 years, 4 months, and 8 days before Twilightfall

Jason Vogan was born in the city of Re'Cas thirty-seven years before Twilightfall. His mother, Elaine Vogan was a highly acclaimed mage in the service of Supreme Councilor Jenathar. She died giving birth to her son. Jason was raised in Re'Cas to be a mage like her mother and eventually became Jenathar's apprentice. He was very skilled and his peers thought that one day he would succeed Jenathar in the Supreme Council as his mother was supposed to. However, at the age of twenty he mysteriously disappeared along with his fellow apprentices.

In the years leading up to Twilightfall no-one seems to know what happened to him, and Jenathar refuses to talk about him to anyone, keeping the matter in his closet like his deepest, darkest secret. Barely a handful of people in Re'Cas other than Jenathar know the details of what happened that day. Two and a half years before Twilightfall only Jenathar himself knows that Jason Vogan has returned, bearing the burden of what had happened to him all those years ago. But not even Jenathar knows what role Jason Vogan is to play in the events that will lead up to Twilightfall, the events that will change Arghard forever.

Supreme Councilor Jenathar, human archmage

`You have heard the story of how I learned the art from Kurt, how I was his only friend when the whole world sought his death, and how I broke free from the limits of his tutelage. I saw the great turmoil that the world fell into after the Great War. I wanted to change that, and I had to learn that there is only one thing that can do so. Power.' - Supreme Councilor Jenathar, 2 years, 3 months, and 4 days before Twilightfall

Supreme Councilor Jenathar is man whose name will live forever in the history of Ess'yer. He became the human member of the Supreme Council and thereby the law in the lands of Delamar a mere century after the Great War. A controversial leader, Jenathar did much to spread knowledge, but his strict laws and paranoid rules made him less than popular. He learned the Arcane Arts from Kurt Aurach before the old black magician left Arghard for good. He learned magic well, but he did not learn much patience. He means to make his world a better place, and in his mind the goals justify the means. However, while his people have suffered under his reign, Delamar would have fared much worse without a strong leader like him.

In the last few years leading up to Twilightfall, after nine centuries as Supreme Councilor, he already knows that his time is running out. He knows, for he has been rapidly losing his power as his body has been getting weaker each passing day. Yet, he has not named a successor to his position. Even at the brink of death Jenathar will not give in, rather, he will struggle any way he can. Those around him that noticed his weakening can only be certain of one thing: whatever he will do in the remaining years of his life, he will do what he thinks is best for the people of Arghard, and he will do so by any means he deems necessary.

Magister Kelnys, human archmage

`Fortunately, the Great War changed everything. Without the countless human mages who pretty much voluntarily took part in the war, we never would have survived, let alone won the war. To make matters even more intriguing, a black magician was instrumental in our victory. All this made the people realize that they needed mages to survive, should the dragons ever return. The nations of Ess'yer united and a single Council was formed to lead it all. Gatestown was built, Mage Guilds were founded, and slowly the people began to accept us. Although they do still fear us. Even those people down in the streets, as they walk so calmly towards whatever chore they must complete. They are used to our presence, but that doesn't mean they don't fear us. It is such a shame.' - Magister Kelnys, 4 years, 7 months, and 11 days before Twilightfall

Magister Kelnys was named Magister of the Mage Guild of Ashkel after the demise of the previous Magister nearly three centuries ago. A clever man and a highly skilled mage, Kelnys had been long looking to one day become Supreme Councilor. While he had been a great supporter of education and an author of several books on magic, he had lead the Guild with the same shortsighted mindset as all of his predecessors, which ultimately lead to an unpleasant incident just four years and seven months before Twilightfall. An incident which would have far reaching consequences for the entire world of Arghard.

Supreme Councilor Khargun, orc warrior-mage

`Resign? Bullshit! For a bunch of worthless travelers and a few guards? All because someone or something wreaked havoc on the town? It's no fault of ours that they were weak, now is it?' - Supreme Councilor Khargun, 2 years, 3 months, and 3 days before Twilightfall

Supreme Councilor Khargun, the orc member of the Supreme Council, is a skilled warrior with some knowledge of magic who earned the undisputed respect of his people as a warrior. However, as a leader, his people never respected him. While many orcs dislike the humans of Delamar even a thoursand years after the Great War, none ever took their hatred as far as Khargun, whose prejudice knows no bounds. Blinded by his hatred of humans he cares about nothing but making the life of Councilor Jenathar and his people as miserible as he can, while neglecting his duties as the leader of his own people.

In the years leading up to Twilightfall, he is as consumed with his hatred of humans as ever, and has no idea that soon he will face a threat that could very well destroy him if he fails to look past his prejudices and understand the true threat.

Kurt Aurach, human archmage and black magician

`No, John. I always disapproved of many things you've done since you became Councilor, but I've no grudge against you. Indeed, my exile as you call it, was self imposed. Kh'Tal is my home now, I am no exile there.' - Kurt Aurach, 2 years, 3 months, and 4 days before Twilightfall

Kurt Aurach is the most controversial hero in Ess'yer's history. A thousand years ago the Dragon Hordes rained fire and destruction upon the continent of Ess'yer, threatening to destroy everything the Ess'yerians hold dear. The people of Ess'yer fought back, but they never stood a chance against the overwhelming odds. Even when the races of Ess'yer united their forces and formed the Ess'yerian Alliance, the Dragon Hordes seemed destined to defeat them. Had it not been for Kurt Aurach, the dragons would have sealed their fate. It was Kurt Aurach's powerful magic that tipped the scale in favor of the Ess'yerian Alliance. Despite his clear role in the victory however, people feared him, for he was a black magician, a master of the so-called Dark Arts, a destroyer of souls, a lord of darkness. People owed him their lives, yet they were divided, wondering how they should think of him. For many years he was an openly celebrated hero despite his dark powers. In time however, he left Arghard and settled down in the dark world of Kh'Tal instead. He was close friends with Councilor Jenathar, but their friendship was strained over the centuries, and he is no longer considered a great hero publicly.

In the remaining few years leading up to Twilightfall he still resides in his home in Kh'Tal. Few would even suspect that he is about to play a key role in what is to come for the world of Arghard, like he did once before.

Supreme Councilor Lyour, troll warrior

`Death to the bastard! Destroy him, rip him apart! No... better... Bring him here, alive, so that I can do it!' - Supreme Councilor Lyour, 2 years, 3 months, and 3 days before Twilightfall

Supreme Councilor Lyour, the troll member of the Supreme Council is known to be one of the strongest trolls that ever lived. He became Councilor due to his prowess in battle. Quick to lose his temper, Lyour would gladly resort to violence whenever necessary, and would gladly fight any battle. His intellect had never been his strong side however, thus he would often underestimate his foes.

In the years leading up to Twilightfall, he does not suspect that in the near future he will face a threat that will challenge his resolve and wits, and that resolve alone may not be enough to overcome the trials that await him.

Ryan Allen, human warrior

`Truth be told, I wonder if the Guildmaster knew how far I'd go. Perhaps he did. Doesn't really matter though. He's not going to stop me. Not just because he can't.' - Ryan Allen, 3 years, 2 months, and 23 days before Twilightfall

Ryan Allen was one of the most promising members of Ashkel's Fighter's Guild. Three years before Twilightfall however, his life took a dark turn and he chose to leave the Guild in order to find his inner peace. Finding his inner peace however would not be easy, as it involves finding and killing a vicious assassin whom even the criminal underworld of Ashkel fears. Ryan does not fear the assassin however, and he will stop at nothing to track down his nemesis.

Supreme Councilor Worriil, night elf archmage

`The Council is no longer what it used to be. I've been a part of it since the very beginning, and I've seen it change. I've seen it crumble, seen it weaken, seen it wane. I alone hold the Council together today. The burden of leadership is mine alone now.' - Supreme Councilor Sewareld Worriil, 2 years, 3 months, and 6 days before Twilightfall

Supreme Councilor Sewareld Worriil is known to all as, quite possibly, the single most powerful mage in the entire Ess'yerian Alliance. He became the elven member of the Supreme Council when the Council was formed after the Great War. A thousand years later, in the years leading up to Twilightfall, we may be old but he is still at the peak of his power. Sewareld considers himself the only competent member of the governing body of Ess'yer. As a proud man who thinks his race is the superior one in Arghard, he uses his position and power to do whatever he deems necessary to facilitate the rise of the elven nation. As a night elf, he has always been a man of great ambition. Two years and three months before Twilightfall, his ambition is greater than ever. But not even he himself knows where this ambition will eventually lead him and his people.

Privacy statement: unlike the majority of the internet, we do not use tracking cookies on the site. This is because the only information we need about our visitors to make the site function is the size of their screens which is determined on the fly by the html/css code.