"Disease gets a bad rep, don't you think? For being filthy, chaotic. But really, that just describes people who get sick. Disease itself, very... pure. Single-minded. Bacteria have one purpose: divide and conquer. That's why, in the end, it always wins."
Deciphered from "Sacralexicon": Edit
On the topic of the Horsemen, very few have seen their true forms. They manifest in the shape of mortals, but on all accounts, they are simply... inhuman. In both appearance and behaviour. Perhaps most interesting is Pestilence. Legends say she was not damned from birth to be a bringer of death, but that she was just a normal dragon, a power-hungry conqueror who managed to acquire the twisted power and ascend into divinity.
An eyewitness account described her taking the shape of the Nocturne, the bat. Unfortunately, the eyewitness later perished in the hospital before more accurate accounts could be taken. If true, a Nocturne is surely a fitting form for one who chooses to spread disease. Few creatures carry the will of Pestilence like the rodent, and unlike their landlocked cousins, the bat is not limited by sea nor mountain, they can spread their filth to all corners of the world.
"What are you?" I asked the pale Nocturne.
She smiled at me and replied, "Pestilence." Her eyes were deep pools of blood, and her voice was the hiss of a thousand vipers, low and dangerous.
Of course, I've heard the legends of the Riders, the Four Horsemen who championed the Apocalypse, and brought about the ends of worlds. I remembered that in those stories, the mortal dragons were drained pale of all heart and soul, then injected with the teeming mass of fiendish power that consumed them and left ley lines of perversion across their skin, until they were more machine than dragon.
But this Nocturne before me, her patterns were wispy, crooked and chaotic. Not at all what I'd expected from the meticulous work of divinity. I scoffed then, disbelieving. The Horsemen were nothing but myths, a big bad to scare hatchlings into listening to their mothers.
She reared back in fury, then smiled, wicked sharp. The shadows grew longer and deeper, and the room suddenly suffocatingly small. A thunderous noise boomed out from everywhere and nowhere.
The solid noise struck me and drove me down, and I collapsed on the ground, assaulted by dizziness. I lay gasping and clutching at my bleeding eardrums, my heart leaping into my throat.
Perhaps she saw my inner turmoil, for she smiled at me again, this time, open-mouthed. Within it, I saw the entirety of her diseased arsenal. An endless pit of horror and suffering, ravaging disease and ancient horrors. And from that open mouth poured forth a thousand thousand locusts. They swarmed the air with speckled black and buzzed with their discordant song.
I scurried back on my knees, horrified, and begged to be allowed to leave unscathed.
I wondered then what she saw, if she was seeing a mortal, to be treated with nothing but amused disdain, or a piece of red meat, raw and still squirming. She flared her wings and for a split second, they flashed vivid red, a pulse of unearthly colour. I blinked hard, but the image was embedded before my eyes.
Before my blink was half finished, I felt an explosion of pain throughout my body, and the sensation of a strong pull. A scream tore out of my throat. I would marvel at the speed of the strike, if I weren't preoccupied with the deep fang marks driven into my skin, and the blood that ran like rivers onto the ground.
I felt like I'd been bled dry.
My world pitched sideways, and my orientation spun. I gaped at her with wide eyes. She watched impassively, her head cocked to one side and her mouth coated with rich red blood.
My mouth was suddenly parched, I could not draw breath. Some ancient horror now pulsed in my veins, swarming like the locusts crawling over my skin, arms, eyes. Oh god. My heart started hammering like a rabbit, and I convulsed hard, struggling with heaving breaths. I tried to push myself up, but my bones could not support my weight. In desperation, I threw myself backwards, screaming myself hoarse as the insects began to fill my mouth. In my violent struggle, my diseased and tormented bones finally gave under the strain and snapped like brittle twigs.
Within a few, painful minutes, I gladly surrendered to the second wave of darkness that crept up the corner of my eyes. Unlike the locusts, this one was numbing and quiet.
I hit the ground, and my world went black.
...I woke to a world of white and to the beeping of machines. The doctors bustled around me and I struggled to push myself up. But I was weak, my bones still shattered, and every moment was brain-splitting agony. I opened my mouth but could not scream, as if my vocal chords had been torn from my throat.
The blessed darkness dragged me back down, and I was swimming in dream minefields again.
And so I met Pestilence. If she is to be believed, if the legends are true... Then she is only the first. What devastation would her siblings bring?
"Fugue is odd. Different. Oh, she plays the part well enough, but she just looks... off. Not quite as sure as the others, not quite as fixed into what she is. Is she Pestilence or is she Conquest? Is she even a horseman at all? Is she truly the wielder of a primaeval force or just a really good mimic? She is a Nocturne after all, and if there is anything Nocturnes are good at, it's copying what they cannot hope to become. Though we all wonder, none has gotten close enough to find out." - Coronach