FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCRALYPSE (DISCWORLD)
War is an important anthropomorphic personification, and one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocralypse. War appears to be a large, jolly man in red armor, with a huge sword, riding on a large red horse, with skulls around the saddle horn. As a Horseman, War has played obligatory roles in Sourcery and Thief of Time.
War lives in a longhouse, the type that is ideal for eternal carousing with dead warriors. However, War has married a retired Valkyrie, who has changed the house somewhat and chased out his “friends”. War also stores his memory in his wife. War and Mrs. War have two sons, Terror and Panic, and a daughter, Clancy, who are introduced in Interesting Times.
The phenomenon of war may be most notably practiced by humans, but is also practiced between wild animals such as ants. Nevertheless, War the anthropomorphic personification has picked up a human-like personality, marrying and, as it were, getting soft, thinking that he has grown old and ill like a mortal old man.
Gods of War, as distinct divinities in their own right, are mentioned in Discworld Noir. It is unclear how demarcation operates here or what the exact professional relationship is. Perhaps they are local franchise-holders, in the way Scrofula and others have delegated for Death in times of great volume of business.
Famine is an important anthropomorphic personification, and one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocralypse. Naturally, Famine’s appearance is that of a starving man and He is always hungry even though he eats large amounts of food quite fast. When bored, He goes around eating up the food stocks in pubs. Likewise His horse looks like a toastrack.
Famine has obligatory appearances in Sourcery and Thief of Time. Unlike Death and War, and like Pestilence, Famine’s existence is down to humanity. Natural droughts are never as bad as man-made ones. For this reason, Famine has picked up the human trait of arrogance: the arrogance to, for example, over-use the land for farming.
Pestilence is an important anthropomorphic personification and one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocralypse. Pestilence speaks in a voice that sounds like something dripping out of a coffin. When bored, he goes to public places such as the restroom in a hospital, and tries to infect people with various diseases (in Thief of Time).
In this role he has appeared alongside the other Riders in Sourcery and Thief of Time. He also has appeared early in the series when the Four Horsemen were described having a card game at Death’s house (in The Light Fantastic).
Although diseases and pathogens had started existing since the beginning of life, pestilence, i.e. major plagues, is created by human carelessness. So, like all other anthropomorphic personifications that have been shaped by the human concepts, Pestilence has some human traits. In his case, unfortunately, one of his traits is unbefitting a Horseman; he is easily afraid.
The Colour of Magic mentions Disease, an anthropomorphic personification that’s subordinate to Death. The Colour of Magic also lists Famine as subordinate to Death. Disease is another name for Pestilence.
Pestilence’s Horse (it’s one of the four, so fully merits the capital H) gleams unhealthily like a gangrenous wound just before they call in the Barber Surgeons to hack it off.
On Roundworld, Pestilence has hung up his tarnished silver crown, disheartened at the existence of asepsis, disinfectants, antibiotics and penicillin, and retired; his place was taken by a new anthropomorphic personification, Pollution. If only he knew the opportunities that the future would present… (Refer to Good Omens for details).
In artwork by Paul Kidby, Pestilence is depicted as untidily wrapped in soiled bandages, like a shrouded corpse, and the wychlight that surrounds him is a sickly green, as opposed to the light blue of Death and the red of War.