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Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Highlander)

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We are the Four Horsemen. No band of men has ever been more cruel or more feared. Remember that.
~ Kronos in the Bronze Age

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, also known simply as the Horsemen , were a group of barbaric, murderous Immortals who rode for perhaps thousands of years and were most prominent in the Bronze Age. They were featured antagonists in the TV series Highlander, and were opposed by Immortals Duncan MacLeod and Cassandra in the present day.

Their members were :

  • Kronos - their leader, who called himself Pestilence, dangerous and vastly intelligent but possessing noted weaknesses, like his inability to see past the life of blood and carnage they reveled in. ( See Full Entry for Kronos )
  • Methos - their planner and tactician, who called himself Death, the Oldest Immortal and the most cunning. He eventually grew dissatisfied with their endless ride and left, to be pursued by Kronos for centuries until the late 20th Century. ( See Full Entry for Methos )
  • Silas - a raging brute on the surface, called War, but he also had a gentle side, and preferred the company of animals, since they could not mock him as others (especially Caspian) often did.
  • Caspian - a psychotic fiend, possibly a cannibal, called Famine, controllable only by Kronos and not truly liked by anyone.

The First Ride

How they originally came together is unknown, though events later in the series hinted that Kronos may have had some connection to a millenial-rising demon. What is known is that, once their ride began, they quickly made accurate Kronos' later account that no one was ever more cruel or more feared. Riding masked and eventually gaining followers who set up camp for them wherever they ravaged, their legend traveled even faster than they did. It can be speculated that the Four Horsemen from the Book Of Revelation ( Revelation is the English translation of the Greek word 'Apocalypsis', 'revealed truth' ) were inspired by these four, since their exploits pre-date much of the codification of the Abrahamic Bible, especially the New Testament.

During their ride, they came upon and destroyed a small village, killing all but one resident, its healer, a woman named Cassandra, who became immortal upon being slain. Methos not only raped and tortured Cassandra, but cruelly led her to believe that it was he, as Death, who made her Immortal, and who by extension could end her existence at any time he pleased. For the better part of a millennium, he came to dominate her, this despite ferocious resistance on Cassandra's part. Breaking her spirit came with a price for Methos - despite himself, he felt immense regret at how he had treated her, and missed the fighter she had been. This accelerated Methos' feelings that the life he lived was no longer and in fact could never be enough.

Kronos often kept the feuding 'brothers' Silas and Caspian from each others' throats, and did his best to ensure Methos' growing doubts never took root, though both proved to be impossible tasks.

Ever mindful of Methos' changing moods, Kronos demanded that since, as brothers, the Horsemen shared everything, Methos should share the company of Cassandra. Methos may have had a double motive in surrendering her. For when Kronos tried to force himself on her, she fought back and fled the camp at last, never to return. Methos surmised that, after enough deaths, Cassandra tumbled to his deception and was rightfully enraged. But his goals were achieved; Cassandra, feeling betrayed by the one she thought a god, finally regained her spirit and fought back enough to save herself, while his facade of not caring for her fooled Kronos back into a false sense of controlling Methos, perhaps setting up his later departure. How Methos ultimately left is also not known, though a deleted element of the script from the two episodes of Highlander featuring the Horsemen had Methos lock Kronos in a tomb, from which Kronos was centuries in escaping.

Certain commonly accepted fanon and authorized print and visual fiction based on the Highlander TV continuity have the Horsemen at least encountering, and perhaps even being briefly joined by, The Kurgan, another barbaric immortal in their age group. Nothing onscreen ever suggests this.

Dispersed and Reunited

However Methos left the Horsemen, his strategy of letting himself become an urban legend among Immortals and their Watchers seems to have helped him convince Kronos that he had in fact been taken in combat; in love with the life they once led, it was beyond Kronos to think Methos would ever lay low. While their activities for most of the Common Era (AD) are simply not known. But Methos knew Silas kept to a remote forest in the Ukraine, and it is not unthinkable that he had been there for a very long time, even by immortal standards. Caspian had been captured as a serial killer named Evan Caspari, and kept in an insane asylum in Romania, and it seemed possible he had been a serial killer for much of the modern era, using different names as Immortals often did. There were also hints of his cannibalistic tendencies still taking hold.

Kronos attempted to form several groups over time to recapture the reckless abandon he had as a Horseman, but to no avail. It was during one of these attempts that he ran afoul of Duncan MacLeod in the American Old West. Always wealthy but wanting only his old World back, Kronos was frequently miserable, and used his endless time dabbling in biochemistry and biophysics, this to create a contagious disease worthy of his old title as Pestilence. By chance learning that someone calling himself The Oldest was about, Kronos tracked down Methos, threatening to kill him for his betrayal but intrigued by the possibility of reuniting the Horseman, which they did, although Silas and Caspian once again got along not at all. Pursued by Duncan MacLeod and the vengeful Cassandra, the four set off to enact their plan of biological terror on Paris. Though MacLeod wondered and Cassandra doubted whether Methos was trying to thwart his old comrades, in fact the Oldest was waiting to see who would get the upper hand, and then he would join the probable winner.

In a ferocious battle, MacLeod killed Caspian, enraging Kronos, who rushed his plans and managed to capture Cassandra. Macleod barely stopped the virus from being released, and then confronted Kronos at his base of operations. Methos chose his side, and though it broke his heart, he killed Silas, whom he liked and always saw a better side. MacLeod managed to defeat and kill Kronos, barely persuading Cassandra to abandon vengeance on Methos. The revelation of Methos' past strained his friendship and alliance with the Highlander for some time to come.

In visions sent to him by the demon Ahriman, MacLeod saw both Kronos and James Horton as taunting specters. In an alternate universe seen by Macleod, Kronos and Methos once more became the Horsemen, though no sign of Silas or Caspian was seen.

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