“Though the night was dark and dismal, yet the form of the unknown might now in some degree be ascertained. He appeared to be a horseman of large dimensions, and mounted on a black horse of powerful frame…mounting a rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow-traveler in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck on perceiving that he was headless! but his horror was still more increased on observing that the head, which should have rested on his shoulders, was carried before him on the pommel of his saddle!” — Washington Irving, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Headless Horseman, Unique Entity
In addition to the above description, the Headless Horseman may also appear as a skeleton upon his nightmarish steed.
A Hessian mercenary during the Revolutionary War, the nameless soldier who was to become known as the Headless Horseman, had his head removed courtesy of a cannonball. Buried in a church cemetery, he haunts the nearby area, nightly searching for his head. Other spirits are said to haunt the area as well, and the Headless Horseman is referred as “the dominant spirit” and their “commander-in-chief.” Rumors whisper the Horseman may not cross a particular covered-bridge near his haunt; those attempting to escape over the bridge have discovered too late the fallacy of this rumor. His horse is an extraordinary animal, able to outrace any other horse, and leap over tree-tops. The Horseman is never encountered away from his animal, though it is no stretch to imagine he can dismount. The Horseman seems to be a mischievous sort of spectre, offering rides to travelers on foot, only to throw them off when nearing a creek; one tale has the Horseman challenging a man to a race, pretending to fall behind his opponent, only to have his horse bolt ahead at the last moment. He particularly likes to appear to those who scoff at the idea of phantoms and spirits, delighting in shattering their wrongly-held beliefs. His chief concern, however, is finding his head. Any head will do, as Ichabod Crane discovered.
Attacks and Special Effects: Command Spirit. By spending 1 magic point, and matching his POW against a target spirit’s POW, the Headless Horseman can control a spirit for 24 hours.
Disappear. Upon his horse, the Horseman may spend 1 magic point to propel his horse at fantastic speeds, and disappear in a blind flash of flames. This takes 1 round, and the Horseman may perform no other actions.
Disturb Animals. Any animal within 15 yards of the Headless Horseman must roll POW x 3 on a d100, or bolt in a blind panic.
Head Throw. The Horseman can through a spectral copy of his decapitated head, as solid as you or I, at a target. Any target thus hit must make a Luck roll, or have his head torn clean from his shoulders. On a successful Luck roll, the target instead takes 4d6 damage.
Physical Form. Though a ghost, the Headless Horseman does take a solid form. This form can be harmed by mundane weapons. Reduced to 0 hit points, the Horseman simply disappears; he will reform in 24 hours. In spirit form, the Headless Horseman attacks as a Wraith, targeting a victim’s CON.
The Headless Horseman, Galloping Hessian of the Hollow
STR 18 – CON 18 – SIZ 18 – INT 11 – POW 18 – DEX 15
Mov 6/15 Mounted – HP 18
Damage Bonus: +1d6
Head Throw 55%, damage 4d6 or death (see above)
Saber 45%, 1d8+1+1d6
Sanity Loss: 1d10/1d20 to see the Headless Horseman.
STR 36 – CON 18 – SIZ 36 – POW 18 – DEX 18
Mov 15 – HP 27
Armor: 1 point of spectral muscle.
Rear/Plunge 25% 2d8 + db
Trample 35%, 2d6 + db
The horse can make each of these attacks regardless if the Horseman is mounted or not.