|War, one of The Four Horsemen and one of the last Nephilim.|
|Type of Creature||Nephilim|
|Mode of Travel||Phantom Horses, On Foot|
|Genders||Male & Female|
|Additional Features||Magical Capabilities|
Extreme Physical Prowess
Only Four Remain
|Previous Affiliation||The Charred Council, Absalom|
|Occupation||The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse|
Former Servants & Enforcers of The Charred Council
Fury & Strife's Unnamed Horses
|Voice||Liam O'Brien (War)|
Michael Wincott (Death
Simon Templeman (Absalom)
|“|| Trust me angel, if you live until the last star burns, until the Creator Himself has died and putrefied away to nothing, you still won't even begin to understand how depraved we were.|
— Death, about the Nephilim, to Azrael
Nephilim are an ancient and nearly extinct race derived from both Angels and Demons by the Demon Lilith. The physical traits and powers of the Nephilim are quite diverse when compared to other races of the universe, save for their common humanoid shape. This may be owed to their unnatural creation at the hands of Lilith. Though they all retain a humanoid form, the appearance of the Nephilim can be wildly differentiated. Some possess remarkably human appearances aside from their size while others were known to have horns and even wings.
All Nephilim possess incredible physical prowess. At least two of the Horsemen are known to have more powerful forms they can take on, but Absalom, the only named Nephilim not aligned with the Council, displayed no such ability. Determining what abilities come naturally to a Nephilim is further complicated by never seeing one portrayed without some sort of outside influence: The Horsemen gained power from the Charred Council and used abilities granted to them by other beings over the course of their journeys. Absalom, when encountered by Death, was utterly infested by Corruption and filled with its power. It is therefore impossible to accurately measure the scope of the Nephilim's ability. However, until the defection of the Horsemen, the Nephilim's Balance-emperiling crusade was apparently unstoppable.
The Nephilim left some of the deadliest and most powerful weapons in Creation as their legacy. Though the Nephilim were not craftsmen, they were able to create extremely potent weapons by infusing their energies into Maker-forged weapons. Death himself appears to have been particularly skilled at this, as he was noted as being the closest thing the Nephilim had to a crafter. He was responsible for infusing both his own scythe, Harvester, and the sword Affliction with arcane energies that vastly increased their effectiveness. Affliction, for instance, inflicted poisonous wounds beyond the skill of even Heaven's best healers to mend, and Harvester was able to transform into any melee weapon Death wished it to become. The most heinous of their creations were the Grand Abominations, world ravaging weapons crafted from the flesh and bone of the Ravaiim. Ordinarily, creating weapons such as the Abominations would have been far beyond the skill of the Nephilim, but the somewhat amorphous nature of the Ravaiim themselves enabled the Nephilim to circumvent this problem.
|“|| Nephilim-cursed union of Angel and Demon. The Nephilim put countless realms to the sword, and burned them to ash.|
— Crowfather, speaking of the Nephilim
The Nephilim came into being by the hand of Lilith, who derived them from the mingled dust of angel and demon. Upon the first such being, Absalom, were all subsequent generations based.
Absalom led his kind on a world killing crusade beginning with the homeworld of the Ravaiim, who, under Death's advisement, were crafted into the Grand Abominations, weapons the Nephilim used to annihilate many worlds.
When the dust-formed Man was given Eden, the Nephilim were outraged. Believing Eden should have been theirs, they met the Archangels on the field of battle in an effort to claim it for themselves. However, four among them grew tired of the long, world-killing conquest of their kind. Believing that, ultimately, the Nephilim's rampage could irreparably damage the balance, they made a bargain with the Charred Council. In exchange for immense power, the four were charged with the destruction of their remaining kin.
|“|| I wondered where the souls of your brethen had gone, for they never passed through my realm.|
— Lord of Bones, speaking of the deceased Nephilim to Death
Thus the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were formed, and they rode forth to slaughter their former brethren, culminating in the duel between Absalom and Death. Death defeated the first Nephilim, who then became Corruption. The souls of the dead Nephilim were then trapped in an amulet carried by the eldest Horsemen, instead of having them be transported to the Kingdom of The Dead like other souls. Although instructed to destroy the souls by the Council, Death entrusted the amulet to the Crowfather, who agreed to take the burden in exchange for its secrets. He would come to regret this decision, as the Nephilim could still whisper their hate and malice in his ear.
|“|| The eons have not answered the question: Was it worth it?|
— Crowfather, on the slaughter of the Nephilim
Eons later, when Death rode forth in search of a way to protect War from the Council's justice, he visited the Crowfather once more, only to find that the souls of the Nephilim had driven the Old One to madness. The Crowfather refused to help Death in his quest and attacked him using War's form. After his defeat at Death's hand, the amulet containing the souls of the Nephilim shattered and the shards embedded themselves in Death's chest, along with the souls themselves: a potent reminder of his betrayal.
On his quest, Death learnt that to resurrect humanity, he would inevitably be forced to sacrifice the souls of the Nephilim. Alternatively, he could sacrifice the souls of humanity to revive the Nephilim as Lilith, who had promised Lucifer an army of the Nephilim, urged him to. Following his victory over the corrupted Absalom in the Well of Souls, Death ultimately chose to sacrifice himself and the souls of the Nephilim to erase War's crime, thus leaving the Horsemen as the only Nephilim in existence, with no chance of the race ever returning.
After the breaking of the Seventh Seal on Earth, the Horsemen were called, reviving both Death and War from their demises and restoring the Horsemen to their full number.
|“|| Flawed castings from a perfect mold. Absalom was always stronger than the rest of you...|
— Samael, speaking to Death on the Nephilim
Very little is known about how the Nephilim organized themselves save that Absalom led them, however they appear to have been a simply structured oligarchy with a sole ruler holding the majority of the power along with a ruling class:
The Firstborn - A group of the oldest Nephilim that appears to have served an important authoritative role in their social military structure, though the extent of their power is unknown. Death is mentioned as being one of the Firstborn. It is unknown whether Absalom, the ultimate leader of the Nephilim, was considered a Firstborn or possessed a unique status all his own. Also, these Firstborn were extremely skilled in crafting weapons, as Death, a Firstborn, viewed himself as the closest thing the Nephilim had to a Maker.
Notable Nephilim CharactersEdit
The Four Horsemen of the ApocalypseEdit
The Four Horsemen are vastly powerful beings bound to the service of the Charred Council. The four Nephilim were granted their exceptional abilities in exchange for their oaths to serve the Council as enforcers of the Law and defenders of the Balance, their first task being the slaughter of the rest of their kind.
- War - The youngest Horseman and the main protagonist of the first Darksiders, he wields the sword Chaoseater. The Horsemen have the innate ability to transform into much more powerful forms for a short period of time. War's form is called "Chaos Form".
- Strife - A Horseman wielding two pistols. One of them is a weapon wielded by War in Darksiders, named Mercy; the other appears in Darksiders II as a weapon for Death, named Redemption.
- Fury - The only female horseman, she wields a fiery like whip along with a set of razor-sharp claws.
- Death - Death is the eldest of the Horsemen and their leader. He wields the scythe Harvester, though he uses alternate weapons since Harvester cannot be utilized without the Council's permission. He is the main protagonist in Darksiders 2. Death's form is called "Reaper Form".
- Absalom - The first of all Nephilim and leader of the race. He led the Nephilim across countless worlds, burning everything in their path until eventually they came to Eden. The Angels met his forces on the field of battle with the help of the Four Horsemen. Eventually Death defeated Absalom in single combat. Absalom then became Corruption, setting in motion events that would culminate eons later. In Darksiders 2, Absalom took on this role as Champion of Corruption and guarded the Well of Souls. When Death reached the Well, he defeated Absalom and killed him, ending his life and the threat of Corruption. He wielded the axe Absolution.
- It should also be noted that there are two interpretations of the Four Horseman. The Biblical interpretation labels the horsemen Conquest, War, Famine and Death. The interpretation used most often in popular culture including the famous woodcut by Albrecht Dürer, consists of Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death. Other than War and Death, the other horsemen, in either interpretation, were cut and replaced with Fury and Strife. Although Fury has no close resemblance to her corresponding horseman Famine, Strife slightly resembles Conquest. Conquest is designated to depict internal conflict, similar to Strife. The word strife, however is more closely related to War.
- Like most religious elements in Darksiders, a lot of creative license has been taken with the concept of the Nephilim, making Darksiders' interpretation of the Nephilim and Four Horsemen very different from the Biblical ones. Most notably; in the Bible, the Horsemen are mentioned as being the first four seals in addition to being separate from the Nephilim. The most popular as well as the major traditional view of Nephilim in religion is that they were the offspring of humans and angels, described as giants amongst men.
- It should be noted that some conflicting canon exists in the Darksiders universe. It has been said that the Nephilim are created from angels and demons yet other statements say the Nephilim are older than angels and demons. If the first statement is true then their mother is Lilith. If the latter is true then the Nephilim race are one of the first beings created by the Creator and probably as old as the universe itself second only to the Makers. Although Lilith's statement of "mingling the dust of Angels and Demons" could be seen as accurate since men are also considered to be created from dust but Demons were only created after the fall of Lucifer's host and further Abaddon has been stated to be older than nephilim and Lilith herself was a demon (most probably never human as nephilim are eons older than humans).
- At the end of Darksiders 2 the souls of the Nephilim were sacrificed to resurrect Humanity. The amulet containing their souls was embedded in Death's chest, who was also sacrificed. The end of the game reveals that Death was resurrected, but whether the amulet containing the Nephilim was brought back with him, though unlikely, is currently unknown. If it was, there is a chance that the race may be resurrected in later games.
- The term Firstborn has only been used in the novel Darksiders: The Abomination Vault, and has not appeared directly in the games, though as all but one of the Firstborn are dead, there is little reason for it to be used.
- The Four Horsemen are only ever referred to as "The Four Horsemen", never as "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse".