Pestilence

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Pestilence
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Name "Pestilence"
Race Anthropomorphic personification
Age
Occupation Personification of Pestilence
Horseman of the Apocalypse
Physical appearance
Residence
Death
Parents
Relatives
Children
Marital Status Unknown
Appearances
Books The Light Fantastic, Sourcery, Interesting Times, Thief of Time
Cameos


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.