Charon Character in Zheng-Kitar | World Anvil


The Horseman of Death and Master of the realm of Gehenna, lord of the five rivers and survivor of the Cosmic Gloam

Charon (a.k.a. The Horseman of Death)

For an eternity, the Obliviator ruled the Court of the Apocalypse as the King in Lethe. Utterly invincible, he alone controlled and radiated lethe; he alone wielded mastery over the five damned rivers that pulsed through the veins of Gehenna - no matter the souls they contained, no matter how powerful their will, any who opposed him fell into the unthinking madness.   Even a journey through the Gloam, infinite expanse in which all things fall away into meaninglessness - geometry, reality, life, death, everything - could not stop his eternal rule. Even as the other Horsemen were lost to the Gloam, the King in Lethe's iron will alone kept the burning star of destruction intact within the cosmic gloam - one singular, burning will against the crushing force of infinitude.   Without him, there can be no Gehenna - there can be no Hinnom to populate it. Not even the arrival of The Worldbreaker could stop him - its broken corpse forming the shell of the burning star as the echoes of a thousand broken cosmologies trail behind him like a fractured scream, doomed to repeat itself forever.
— Excerpt from The Apocalyptian
Charon is classified as a Lesser Idol, and is capable of granting powers as a patron to witches, oracles, clerics, warlocks, and the like who venerate the Ruler of the Court of the Apocalypse and Master of the Five Damned Rivers, whose invincible will shattered The Worldbreaker and delivered the head of The God-Fiend to his own thrice-damned Court. Consult your GM if you are interested in following or recieving power from Charon as described here.
  Obedience: Spend an hour waterboarding or repeatedly drowning yourself or another victim within icy or cursed waters, always stopping just short of unconsciousness and allowing them to catch their breath before continuing. Once completed, carve, burn, or otherwise permanently mark the symbol of Charon(A fractured circle within a lantern) upon the body of you or the victim whom you used for this obedience.   Effect: You can breathe underwater, are automatically proficient with Scythes, and increase their damage die by one step so long as you wield them. Once per combat, you can as a move action create a spatial rift that automatically moves an enemy within 60ft that you can see into a square adjacent to you - this has no save but provokes no Attacks of Opportunity. This is blocked by effects that prevent dimensional travel.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

As an entirely Skeletal being, Charon's physical condition is seemingly nonexistant - he has no bodily health to speak of, and as a divine being he is wholly immune to most all ailments that could befall a normal being. His body is utterly and fantastically powerful despite his small stature and skeletal makeup, such that he can and has overpowered other divine beings on several occasions.

Body Features

As a skeletal being, Charon's body is defined by an unnatural thinness that is often concealed by thick black robes, wide-brimmed hats, thick ponchos, or other similarly concealing gear that hide all but his head or eyes.

Facial Features

Charon's face is that of a baleful skull whose hollow eye sockets are lit by an ever-burning gloamfire taken straight from the depths of the ever-burning River Phlegethon that stands as the Third of Charon's Five Rivers, the flames dancing evilly within his sockets as his skull is pockmarked and marred by countless impacts like the surface of an asteroid-cratered moon. His bone, unlike many other beings, is utterly jet-black with flecks of purple and silver - as if his skeleton does not belong to any species that exists within The Cosmology of Ea.

Identifying Characteristics

Charon cuts an unmistakable presence when he seeks to - in his true form, he is absolutely impossible to miss as his enormous scythe, glowing lantern, and ominous hooded appearance all given him a uniquely terrifying visage, amplified and extended by his quiet, entropic menace.

Special abilities

As the utmost and unsurpassed lord of Gehenna and strongest of The Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Charon's power is utterly legendary and seemingly invincible - as he wields total control over the five rivers of Gehenna, Charon wields the memory-wiping the power of the River Styx, the soul-rending misery of the River Acheron said to be able to bring any soul to despair, the searing Gloamfire of the Phlegethon said to be able to bring entropy to gods and mortals alike, the freezing ice of the Cocytus said to reduce any material or being to brittle glass in mere seconds, and the oblivion-bringing powers of the River Lethe which send any being who stands against him into unthinking madness.   Beyond his mastery over the rivers, his combat skills are utterly superhuman - even the most conservative estimates of The Yema were said to have placed him as the equal of the entire Major Pantheon if he were to be faced in his Drowning Court in Gehenna.

Apparel & Accessories

Charon is almost exclusively seen wearing a thick, jagged black robe that hides most of his features, with a thick hood that reveals only his face to the world. Otherwise, Charon bears no accessories - he travels unassuming and unaided, for it best exemplifies his legendary patience and inevitable victory to go unadorned; for him, true power needs not flaunt itself.

Specialized Equipment

He is often seen carrying his signature lantern that is said to contain an ever-burning flame from a ruined world across or even within the cosmic Gloam, and wields his signature weapon Gloamscythe, said to be irrevocably infused with the entropic energies of The Gloam that dwell outside The Cosmology of Ea - a scythe so legendarily powerful that many claim were it to collide with the Scythe of The Yema God of Death Molt, the resulting detonation would tear apart the entire Planescape.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Much of the personal history of Charon is unknown, and what little is known is simply the history of Gehenna itself - which can be read here: The Cosmology of Ea.   The utter mystery of his personal history is a driving force to many scholars both outsider and mortal alike, and even to his colleagues in the Horsemen and the Hinnom - to learn of the secrets of The Horseman of Death is said to be the only way to learn the method of defeating him.

Gender Identity

Charon has little use for gender, but he is typically assigned a male persona and identity by his followers and those who know of him.


Unknown, but he has daughter with an unknown partner.

Accomplishments & Achievements

Much of Charon's Accomplishments before arriving in The Cosmology of Ea are anecdotal, and are listed under a different category here for ease of reading.


Broke the seemingly unstoppable advance of The Worldbreaker and carved its hide into the outer shell of Gehenna.   Met a far-distant aspect of The God-Fiend and beheaded him within his own insidious citadel, delivering his head to his own infernal court.   Brought utter ruin to the Infinite Empire of the Illithid deep within the Gloam, severing their psychic links and filling their minds with entropic agony.  


Fought The Yema God of Death to an absolute deadlock atop The Boneyard Spire.   Carved a path for the River Styx to flow through the prison of Vvaal, The Bound Obliterator and Primordial God of Oblivion.   Led an invasion of the Materia Sphere and nearly cracked the Planet upon which the continent of Zheng-Kitar sits in half during a cataclysmic duel with Hlodvi, the Giant King.   Collapsed the Divine Planar Realm of Vecna the Arch-Lich.

Failures & Embarrassments

The only failure that Charon has faced is his failed invasion of the Materia Sphere some two or three thousand years before the current day which occured on the same planet Zheng-Kitar dwells upon, on a far-distant continent on which he was beaten back by the combined champions of the realm and personally defeated by the legendary True Giant King Hlodvi.

Intellectual Characteristics

Above all, Charon is infinitely patient - just as the slow, creeping death by Old Age he is the embodiment of. He is a quiet, infinitely patient schemer who makes deals and bargains over the course of eons, and who does nothing suddenly or with force unless pressed or threatened.

Morality & Philosophy

Absolutely none. He will do anything within his power to attain victory and bring oblivion to The Cosmology of Ea.

Personality Characteristics


Most disturbingly, none can claim to truly know what guides or motivates the terrifying Lord of the Court of the Apoclypse, aside from the exceedingly obvious assumption that he seeks to further the interests of the realm of Gehenna which he and his three Horseman Colleagues rule - to find and capture souls to feed to Gehenna to sustain the Star of Destruction's ever-collapsing manifold.   Many beings, both his colleagues and others who simple study him alike, assume him to seek the release of the all-consuming god of destruction said to be imprisoned within Gehenna, but in reality this has never quite been soundly proven - many times, his actions seem to contradict each other as he sometimes works to seemingly keep this mysterious being sealed, while other times he seems to seek its release.

Savvies & Ineptitudes

An excellent negotiator, schemer, warrior, navigator, ???   Inept at ???

Likes & Dislikes

Likes: Being given respect, Being feared, His Daughter, The Yema God of Death, Being left alone, Atheists, The Unstoppable Advance of Entropy, Suffering brought on by Old Age or Time, Things being consumed by oblivion, Being offered souls, Seogharan Finger-Chess, Horses, Boats, ???   Dislikes: Immortal Beings, Gods, Being disturbed, Unwanted or Unexpected Visitors, A group that falls to infighting, Being asked about the Fifth Horseman, The Horseman of War making him call her "Horsewoman", Those who disrespect the dead, ???

Virtues & Personality perks

The Virtues of a being known as the Ruler of the realm of Gehenna and who is often referred to as "The Lord of the Court of the Apocalypse" are, as one might expect, extremely difficult to actually list in any sense unless one is being extremely generous in one's research and writings about Charon and his dealings.   However, to those who seek to try to list them, his chiefmost virtue is likely patience and his even temperament - unlike his colleagues in The Horsemen, he is a quiet schemer who is content to make plans that unfold over Eons rather than any alternatives, making him one of the rare few Horsemen who can be talked to and who will make deals and bargains with those who contact him. However, this patience should never be mistaken for a good-natured spirit - many of The Hinnom commonly speak the adage "The worst villainy is that which you cannot identify as such", and it holds extremely true here, with Charon. Many have made the mistake of assuming that since they are being allowed to speak and bargain with the King in Lethe that he will tolerate their excuses and be forgiving - only to learn a hideous lesson later.   Otherwise, his virtues are extremely sparse - as a being who seeks to bring oblivion to The Cosmology of Ea, any other virtues, if they exist, are inscrutable and unknowable.

Vices & Personality flaws

Charon's Flaws are many and numerous, but because of his personality they are hard for many to understand or recognize - despite his cold, callous personality which can easily fool many into assuming him a laid-back, reclusive hermit who only acts in defense of himself and his people, he is in truth a being who seeks the destruction of most, if not all, of the gods of the Planescape and the return of the entire Cosmology of Ea to formless, cosmic Gloam and nothingness.   With this constant desire to bring oblivion and entropy to the Planescape, Charon is a cruel being who happily feeds on the deaths of untold trillions across the Planescape to fuel the flames of Gehenna, the realm which he and his Horseman rule as Gods - a realm which he would happily burn the entire Planescape for, to ensure its ever-collapsing manifold can stay stable for a single second longer.   Quietly cruel, Heartless, and Logical to the point of callousness, Charon deals and bargains in the ways that are best for him and for Gehenna as a whole - he will make any deal, undercut anyone, inflict any amount of suffering, and do any deed in pursuit of his goals; however, it is only when his mask of quiet stoicism is peeled off that his bottomless, unfathomable menace is revealed to the world.

Personality Quirks

Though many have forgotten, Charon's subtle ticks and quirks remind those who deal with him that he is an utterly alien existance in many ways - aside from his buzzing, maddening speech similar to The Outer Gods such as Cthulu and Hastur, his strange inability to fully grasp the languages and speech patterns of the Planescape and its denizens, and his utterly alien mind all serve as strange quirks that tell the tale of a being so utterly foreign that he cannot fully exist comfortably here within this reality.


As an utterly skeletal being, Charon keeps an immaculate appearance without much effort.



No beings exist in Gehenna or The Cosmology of Ea that remember a time where he did not rule over the realm of Gehenna and the Hinnom who populate it as its absolute master at the head of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He has led his people through the infinite expanse of The Gloam, on a journey of unknown duration through that terrible, all-consuming expanse where reality itself breaks down and gives way to absolute, total nothingness - ruling as an utterly invincible King for as long as any can remember.

Contacts & Relations

Perhaps most infamously, Charon is the head of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, better known as the Arch-Hinnom, who rule the realm of Gehenna as its four absolute masters - as the head of The Horsemen, Charon is responsible for ensuring that no one but the Horsemen are aware of any friction or disagreement among them, ensuring that they present a godlike, perfectly unified, and unassailable front to their subjects in Gehenna.   While his opinions on the original Horsemen who were lost during Gehenna's time in The Gloam have been mostly lost to time, he seems to view the newer Horsemen as something akin to junior colleagues and interacts with them accordingly, teaching them and keeping them in line as needed.   However, the oldest of the Hinnom and the most dedicated(and insane) Scholars of Gehenna know a mysterious truth about the mysterious Horseman of Death - he once viewed the previous Horseman of War as a brother, though this Horseman is believed to have died from injuries sustained during Gehenna's trip through The Gloam, and did not survive long after Gehenna's arrival within The Cosmology of Ea.

Family Ties

Though it is natural to assume that The Horsemen as a group would have no children(And one would be correct, for the most part), Charon is unique among his brethren in The Horsemen in that since his arrival in The Cosmology of Ea, he has somehow, for reasons known only to the ineffable Obliviator himself, sired a single child - a lone daughter, with whom he seems to keep in semi-regular contact. This daughter, known to the Hinnom as Seruxan, is an utter mystery to Hinnom, Outsider, and Mortal Scholars alike - in defiance of all reason she seems content to regularly visit her father in his Drowning Court, and has as of yet evaded capture at the hands of the other Horsemen and Hinnom and Outsider and Mortal alike, who would all seek to use her as leverage against her father.   While this one singular familial tie is a delicious mystery in and of itself, the mother of this daughter is even more mysterious - her identity an utter mystery, none have inquired about her identity and lived to tell the tale, for the baleful eye of The Horseman of Death is quick to utterly obliterate any who dare to attempt to uncover her identity...even, most infamously, a Horseman who sought to use this knowledge to usurp Charon's title. As such, the identity of this mysterious woman remains unknown - despite the efforts of many who seek to learn of who could possibly catch the eye of The Obliviator in such a way.

Religious Views

Charon seems to have an entirely atheistic approach to Religion - viewing no Gods as truly deserving of fate and believing only in the slow, inevitable march of time towards all-consuming oblivion. Even his own status as a worshipped Lesser Idol is something that he seems to view with callous disregard, viewing it only as a means to an end and little more.   Most mysteriously, he seems to refuse to recognize most all "gods" in The Cosmology of Ea as beings worthy of the title - offering cryptic words that suggest he has seen other beings more worthy of that appelation or somehow thinks of "Gods" differently than any beings do within The Cosmology of Ea.

Social Aptitude

Charon is a being who, like many of his fellows within The Horsemen of Gehenna, does not rely on smooth-talking social speeches to achieve his ends - instead, he above all others of The Horsemen relies on subterfuge, quiet dealings, subtle bargains, and ever-so-slight influences and "nudges" of events across the Planescape, using power only as a last resort to keep his colleagues in The Horsemen in Line or when he is challenged by one being or another.


Charon's mannerisms are quiet and threatening - he does not make overt displays of power, and looms threateningly as time does: quiet, inevitable, and all-consuming. He does not make grand gestures because he carries a confidence born of infinitude - his schemes play out over eons, and he knowingly can and has waited out the lifespans of his enemies before moving in to achieve his aims.

Hobbies & Pets

Charon's only pet is his personal steed Chloros - the long-dead skeletal mount with decaying green flesh that has been with him ever since his journies brought him violently into The Cosmology of Ea.


The speech of Charon is often likened to "A Maddening Buzz of the Mind", and is something that seems almost similar to that of the Outer gods such as Cthulu and Hastur - the longer one listens to it, the more inimical it becomes to sanity and reason. He has exceedingly strange speech patterns, as well - and will sometimes entirely misspeak or simply stop talking, as if the languages of the Planescape sometimes stand at odds with his speech and are somehow hard for him to pronounce.

Wealth & Financial state

The wealth of Charon is a thing that is as mysterious as the being himself, but from the best of all possible calculations and assumptions the wealth of the Horseman of Death is likely absurd beyong reckoning for the simple reason that all things, big or small, that fall into the River Styx across The Cosmology of Ea find their way back to him in one way or another...meaning that every coin, every scrap of metal, every fallen mortal or outsider that meets their death on, within, or near the banks of The Styx is simply another item added to his ever-expanding vault.   However, Charon himself rarely displays this wealth - instead preferring to use it in bargains and deals made with those who encounter him as leverage rather than in any kind of frivolous spendings or luxurious displays of wealth.
The Hatred of the Styx.   The Misery of the Acheron.   The Searing Gloamfire of the Phlegethon.   The Frozen Wailing of the Cocytus.   And the Oblivion of the Lethe.   This Cosmos knows nothing of death. Not Yet. The Styx is merely the beginning.   In time, though, it will.
— Charon, spoken upon first contact with the Yema god of Death.
None. He cannot be quantified by any alignment system inherent to The Cosmology of Ea.
Current Status
Many speculate about his goals, but none can truly know his ineffable purpose.
Honorary & Occupational Titles
The Horseman of Death, The Obliviator, Master of the Five Rivers, The King in Lethe, The Boatman, Lord of the Hinnom, The Breath of Death, The Temporal Ravager
Unknown. Many speculate he was born in Gehenna, but scholars suggest that due to the nature of Gehenna itself he was likely either born fully formed from its depths or lived a life as a mortal in a far-distant cosmology before being stolen away by Gehenna
Current Residence
The Drowning Court
Mostly none, but slightly masculine
None - he has burning pits of necrotic flame in place of eyes
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
6'8 (2.03m)
Quotes & Catchphrases
These "Gods" of this realm are cancerous, corrupt, and utterly vile - hardly deserving of the term at all. I have met existances that stand as thrice the beings that your "Gods" ever have and ever will be, who shine brighter than the collective filth of this realm even as I broke their reality down around them, screaming.   So few here worthy of the sickens me. Oblivion may well be a mercy, here.
— Charon, on the subject of the "Gods" of The Cosmology of Ea
Related Myths


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