Rochubur (Pathfinder Deity)

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God of the Steppe and the Horde

Alignment Lawful Neutral
Domains Animal, Community, Law, Travel, War
Subdomains Feather, Cooperation, Family, Loyalty, Tactics
Favored Weapon Shortbow
Symbol A sun rising over a horseshoe
Sacred Animal Horse
Sacred Colors Gold and Brown
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Rochubur is one of the younger, more vibrant deities among the Old Gods. Originally the brilliant leader of a war-band of some ancient celestial race, Rochubur was transformed into an Old God by the Lord of All Deities, as a reward for creating the Steppes of Iddam to serve as a neutral battlefield for the Great Divine War. Even as he ascended to godhood, Rochubur refused to part with his beloved war-band, and appointed them his divine heralds and most elite celestial host. Some even say that the essence of the entire war-band was absorbed into Rochubur in his ascension, and that Rochubur is the entire war-band at once, riding as one.

Rochubur is a god of loyalty and trust, of unbreakable hierarchies and brutal standards. The Horde-Father empowers charismatic leaders and loyal servants alike, installing complex systems of unwritten laws and social order in those communities that bend their knee to him, but shuns those who defy their superiors or assemble simply in the name of strength in numbers. Some view Rochubur's code as a way to drive improvement in society and encourage all to focus on mastering their role, while others call it outright tyranny. To Rochubur, however, it is simply a necessary fact of life required to survive in the harsh environment he and his subordinates call home.

Worship of the Horde-Father is mostly concentrated in those hordes who model their way of life around the God of the Steppe and his war-band, but Rochubur also gives his patronage to cavalry militias, mercenary companies, militaristic orders, and other groups that find strength and comfort in the unbending law of Rochubur. Stablemasters, couriers, and strategists are also known to give tribute to Rochubur personally in exchange for safe travels or military advantage.

In religious or tribal art, Rochubur is usually depicted as a fierce, abnormally large human warrior, clad in light armor of dyed leather, donning a magnificent crown of interwoven silk threads adorned with silver and golden pheasant feathers topped with the skull of a falcon. His black hair is tied to resemble the tail of a horse, he wields a curved shortbow made of antelope horns, and he rides a robust brown steed with the head of a steppe eagle called Morsur. In truth, Rochubur himself is both horse and rider: a creature similar to a centaur, his lower body is that of an enormous, powerful horse, while his abdomen is that of a muscular human and his head is that of a gold and silver feathered eagle. When visiting a mortal plane, Rochubur appears clad in armor similar to that which he is often depicted in, but his selection of garments and even skin color usually adapts to the culture of the location where he appears. Rochubur is cold and ruthless when it comes to battle and subjugation of the weak, but he is said to be one of the warmest and most amiable deities to his followers and fellow war-band riders, holding large feasts and inviting musicians and entertainers from across the multiverse to his hall in the Steppes of Iddam to celebrate victories or other auspicious occasions.

Rochubur's holy symbol is a circular sun rising over a horseshoe affixed with seven bolts, representing the Rider's ideal of hierarchy and his leadership over his seven war-band mates. The most prominent religious leaders of Rochubur are cavaliers, whose mastership of the horse and superior abilities as tacticians complement the Rider's dogma perfectly. Most of the priesthood, however, is comprised of clerics and warpriests, while yet others are paladins, hunters, and rangers. Hunters and rangers are more common in small, rural communities, who turn to the masters of the wilderness for advice, while paladins can be found in larger societies that require protection and organization. His titles include the affectionate Horde-Father by his adherents, the Scourge of the Steppes by his enemies, and simply the Rider by followers and outsiders alike.

The Church[edit]

Though anyone about to cross the plains or do battle might offer a quick prayer to Rochubur, those who devote themselves to the Horde-Father are most often soldiers and commanders, stablehands, tacticians, and hunters; the odd merchant or trader might also find themselves drawn to his faith, likening their caravans to war-bands, hoping to safeguard their travels and curry his favor so as not to draw the ire of actual war-bands who raid in the name of the Scourge of the Steppes. Many commoners in societies devoted to Rochubur but whose daily lives are not directly related to the faith still happily accept to the order and protection brought by the clergy, usually turning a blind eye to the brutal raiding and harsh treatment that are commonplace among believers in the Scourge of the Steppes, if not necessarily promoted by him.

Priesthood of Rochubur is often paradoxical; though the Rider requires his believers to know and respect their own place in their religious or social hierarchies, his most devoted priests are also the most ambitious, working hard to prove themselves before their deity so that they may one day be blessed with an ascension in the ranks to a position with more power where they may express their leadership better. This "strong conquers the weak" mindset tends to work in smaller, more utilitarian communities of Rochubur, while larger churches with a deeper spiritual connection to the Rider shun this ambition and reward those who accept their position.

The most well known manifestation of Rochubur's favor comes in the form of advantage in battle, but the Horde-Father also shows his approval in the form of particularly docile and obedient horses, an eagle guiding a traveler through a safe route, or a ray of light shining on a map to suggest a strategic ambush site or enemy position. A rider who drew Rochubur's ire might find themselves thrown off their steed at an unfortunate moment, an important waymark lost or moved, or their hidden position given away by a bird's cry or an unlucky step on a dry branch.

Marriage is one of the most important ceremonies in a devotee's life; Rochubur knows that more than for land or for wealth, those who fight for loved ones fight the hardest. Wedding celebrations include a large feast during which both newlyweds' virtuous deeds are retold, and religious music comprised of deep vocal harmonies and percussive rhythms reminiscent of a horse's gallop. Though same-sex marriage is acceptable in the faith, it is viewed as inferior to different-sex marriage, as the ability to bear offspring and grow the community is vital to a religion where most high-ranking members are at constant risk of dying on the battlefield. Families, like most other aspects of the Rider's faith, follow a rigid hierarchy, with one of the parents, usually the one that ranks higher in the priesthood, considered the family head responsible for providing for the family and representing it in community meetings. The other parent is responsible for maintaining the household and taking care of children, and able children over the age of thirteen are expected to serve as the family head's aide in whatever role they take in society.

Temples and Shrine[edit]

Temples to the Scourge of the Steppes are low-lying buildings, usually with walls of wood and straw roofs. Those built on the steppes don't have flooring, and instead use the grassy ground as a base. Temples sometimes double as stables or barracks, and always have a large meeting hall to serve as the community's gathering place. Decoration is modest, and often limited to paintings of Rochubur and the community's ancestral heroes, as well as horse- and eagle-based imagery such as hooves, saddles, and wings. Shrines to Rochubur are erected on the sites of important battles or throughout migratory routes, and are generally piles of stones embedded with a broken arrow for every ally lost in that battle or pointing in the direction of the route. Important shrines might be topped with the skull of a horse or a bird of prey.

A Priest's Role[edit]

Rochubur has worshipers from many walks of life, but ordained priests are almost always clerics and warpriests, with druids sometimes serving in that position in more rural communities. The daily activities of a priest vary according to that priest's role and the community as a whole. A priest in an established, peaceful settlement will hold rites for the protection of the community and oversee work, holding a gathering of family and guild representatives every few days to assess issues and confer the deity's blessing to residents; these priests are always on the lookout for anything that may endanger their communities' prosperity and wellbeing, and have several lay worshipers subservient to them whose role is to take care of problems from the outside, while it is the priest's role to protect the community from the inside. As part of their daily routine, priests make use of the Animal Handling, Diplomacy, and Knowledge (local and nature) skills, as well as various Profession skills appropriate to their community.

Priests in nomadic and warlike communities, and those in less forgiving environments, lead a more practical lifestyle. They forgo some ceremonial and administrative work to instead hold strategy discussions with military commanders, oversee the training of troops, and escort scouting missions to give them Rochubur's blessings. These priests require extensive training in both military practice and theory, and locals look up to them for protection not only in the form of divine blessings, but also in real combat.

Priests of Rochubur are expected to be honorable and just. They uphold the laws of the community, kind and rewarding to those who excel in their roles and harshly punishing toward those who defy them. Priests of all ranks must display courage and leadership, standing proud even in the face of danger, and maintain a reputation as a beacon of justice but not of forgiveness or compassion so as not to create a lax attitude toward the faith in members of their community. Many commanders take a local priest with them to lead a charge not only for the Rider's blessing, but to raise morale amongst the believers.


Since priesthood of the Horde-Father is inseparably tied to community and leadership, travelers who have taken up adventuring as a profession and call Rochubur their master are relatively few. Lay worshipers from communities dedicated to Rochubur who undertook a mission to protect their home in the name of the deity and decided that the life of adventuring fits them are the most common variety of Rochubur adventurers, and they tend to make their adventuring party their new community and take on the role of priest and leader for the party. Adventurers of Rochubur are less strict and punishing than their regular priestly counterparts, preferring to focus on maintaining cooperation and order amongst their companions and unleash the Scourge of the Steppes' ire against lawless enemies and wild monsters instead.


The ranks of Rochubur priests are differentiated by their nezur, a unique headdress made to imitate that worn by Rochubur in religious imagery. The simplest of nezur are brown and gold silk crowns, and are worn by priests of the lowest ranks. The higher one climbs in the ranks, the more ornate their nezur gets; decorations include bird plumage, gemstones, and silk of additional colors. High priests of renown beyond their own communities don a special form of nezur called nezur-nezadur, a particularly resplendent crown decorated with a faux ponytail made of a real horse's tail hair, the skull of a falcon, and up to seven pheasant feathers of gold and silver, with seven signifying the highest authority in the faith of Rochubur.

Other religious raiments are usually a cloak made of yellow or brown cloth, a rope belt, and leather gloves. The holy symbol of Rochubur, a sun rising over a horseshoe, is made of one or two types of metal and worn on a chain around the neck or kept in an inner pocket of the cloak.

Holy Text[edit]

The Code of Rochubur is a series of laws, parables, and anecdotes, originally written as a set of instructions to nomadic tribes seeking to survive and thrive on the Horde-Father's steppes. Though originally meant to be taken quite literally, believers of Rochubur in places other than the steppes have taken to interpreting the Code as a guide to life in general, and different societies sometimes have vastly different interpretation of the verses in it. The Code of Rochubur deals mostly with the order and hierarchy of a horde, the proper treatment the faithful should give to horses, the do's and don'ts of raiding and pillaging, and other rules that pertain to life in a war-band.


Holidays in the faith of Rochubur vary from community to community, commemorating important battles, migrations, or the births and deaths of legendary leaders. The Code of Rochubur only mentions two holidays, and those two are shared between all communities of the Rider, though they're not always celebrated at the exact same time.

Chabibur: Marking the end of winter, Chabibur is celebrated on the night of the vernal equinox and the day after it. At night, bonfires are lit and a burnt offering is made to the Rider, with adherents usually sharing a hot alcoholic beverage and singing rhythmic religious hymns. The next day's festivities include mock duels, archery (and specifically mounted archery) competitions, and horse parades, originating from the renewed preparations for roaming after the cold winter on the steppes.

Longride: The day of Longride takes place on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. As the day on which hordes had the greatest amount of daylight to travel to, Longride is now the day in which children over the age of 13 come of age, and must pass a series of trials to prove their worth to Rochubur. These trials include successfully hunting down targets, traveling between certain waymarks, and making an offering to the Horde-Father.


Followers of Rochubur use many passages from the Code of Rochubur in day-to-day life, having borrowed their wordings but given them new, more relevant meanings.

No Horse Untamable: Originally meant to encourage domestication of wild and feral horses, this aphorism now commonly refers to rowdy children, tricksters, and misbehaving members of society. It is also used to reprimand priests for overly harsh punishments of those "horses", reminding them to try and correct the problematic behavior instead of merely punishing it.

The Dust Settles When the Sun Sets: One of the first verses in the Code, this saying originally instructed nomadic followers of the Rider to stop riding and camp as soon as the sun sets, so as not to risk not having a safe campsite by the time darkness falls. The verse quickly received a new, broader interpretation; since night is the time in which the tribe is most vulnerable, all feuds and bad blood between community members are considered null and moot from dusk to dawn, at the risk of grave punishment. It can also be used as a sign of good faith and intention to atone for past misdeeds.

You Lead, I'll Follow: With leadership and honor as important as they are for the faith of the Horde-Father, this saying is used by followers to bequeath the highest level of trust in each other. It is also a common courtesy to declaim this phrase when introduced to a fellow member of the faith, especially if they are of a higher social or religious rank.

Relations with Other Religions[edit]

Many veterans of the Great Divine War, and especially the winners, are still grateful toward Rochubur for creating the steppes of Iddam. The Rider himself cares little for other deities, so long as they do not disturb his realm or attempt to sway his followers; this has led to a long standing feud with the God of Civilization, Industry, and Pioneers, who views Rochubur's eternal nomadism as barbaric and has attempted to forcibly settle and civilize Iddam. Some other deities of nature may view Rochubur's ways as destructive and his followers as cynical abusers of natural resources, while fellow tribal or community-oriented gods appreciate the Horde-Father's zealous dedication to order and hierarchy, and find much to learn from it, even if not directly emulating it.


Rochubur lives in a domain of his own creation, an endless golden plain known as the steppes of Iddam. Various kinds of celestial wildlife roam the realm, vaguely reminiscent of horses, antelopes, gazelles, wolves, and foxes; the cloudless skies of Iddam are home to races of lawful angels and eagle-like folks who oversee the great ancient battlefield. The flatlands are dotted with rivers and lakes, as well as ancient battle sites where Old Gods drew weapons against each other in the Great Divine War aeons ago. The nomads of Iddam use these sites as landmarks in their eternal travels, while enterprising interplanar adventurers sometimes go on expeditions to these ruins and retrieve time-worn relics and lost information from the beginning of time.

The most notable denizens of Iddam, besides the deity himself, are his war-band members, known collectively also as the Rochubur. Members of a divine race from an unknown celestial domain, the Rochubur are part horse, part human, and part eagle. Master hunters and wayfinders, the Rochubur live for the thrill of the ride, and the faithful believe that the rolling thunder in a storm over the steppes is the beat of their hooves in their celestial realm. Some even say that, as their name would suggest, all seven Rochubur and their leader are together the deity known to mortals, but the Riders have never attempted to confirm or deny the theory.

Planar Allies[edit]

Those who call upon Rochubur to aid them in battle might summon one of the bestial denizens of his celestial realm, and powerful clerics might even petition one of the Rochubur to come to their side in their time of need. Described below are three beings that serve the Scourge of the Steppes and may be called by his faithful using planar ally or similar spells.

Pillagur (unique amarok): Two golden lines run along this bear-sized black wolf's furry back, and its eyes gleam with terrifying wisdom. Pillagur leads a pack of amaroks who roam Iddam in search of challenging prey to hunt, and he delights in being called to the mortal realm to track and fight powerful adversaries. Though he considers the hunt and battle a reward in itself, Pillagur requires a payment for his services, preferably in the form of magical weapons or the fresh corpse of a powerful monster.

Temperhooves: Rochubur's herald is his second-in-command in the war-band, a creature resembling the deity himself with the body of a black and brown horse with metallic fur, the abdomen of a tanned muscular human and the head of a bronze-feathered eagle. Temperhooves shares his master's strong affinity for order, and his most common duty as herald is to oversee the social construction of new or newly converted communities dedicated to the Rider. Temperhooves also excels in escorting the faithful through harsh landscapes, not necessarily only those within Rochubur's domain, sometimes even letting the tired or ill ride on his back to safety. However, Temperhooves' greatest skill, and the action which he enjoys most, is wielding his bow to protect those who call on him or those whom Rochubur wills to protect; the herald's arrows fly in a flash, unleashing a booming thunder as it does. Temperhooves is less enthusiastic to be the aggressor in a fight, and is loathe to receive orders from those he perceives as inferior, but holds utmost respect towards those who call on him.

Zizur-Samai (unique resolute roc): With their awe-inspiring span, this massive bird's wings could blot out the sun if it weren't for them being made out of pure sunlight. Zizur-Samai's preferred offering includes white-hot metals and mirrors, and she agrees to fight by a believer's side though she would rather be called to carry companions on her great back or light the way in a dark night.

For Rochubur Characters[edit]

Characters who worship Rochubur may find the following rules elements thematically appropriate.


  • Divine Hunter (paladin) Ultimate Combat 62
  • Divine Strategist (cleric) Ultimate Combat 40
  • Horse Lord (ranger) Advanced Player's Guide 125
  • Luring Cavalier (cavalier) Ultimate Combat 38
  • Plains Druid (druid) Advanced Player's Guide 100


Magic Items[edit]

  • Bracers of Archery Core Rulebook 504
  • Cavalryman's Bow Ranged Tactics Toolbox 22
  • Commander's Banner Knights of the Inner Sea 31
  • Equestrian Belt Ultimate Equipment 211
  • Equestrian Plate Ultimate Equipment 126
  • Horsemaster's Saddle Ultimate Equipment 304


  • Aspect of the Falcon Advanced Player's Guide 203
  • Mount Core Rulebook 315
  • Shared Training Blood of the Ancients 13


  • Beast Bond Ultimate Campaign 59
  • Savannah Child Ultimate Campaign 63

Variant Spellcasting[edit]

Clerics, paladins, and druids of Rochubur may prepare mount as a 1st level spell. Clerics and paladins of Rochubur may prepare gravity bow as a 1st level spell; inquisitors may learn it as a 1st level spell.

Paladins of Rochubur[edit]

The Horde-Father's paladin code draws directly from the Code of Rochubur; his paladins are champions of order and protection, seeking to preserve their communities and hunt down anything that might put their lifestyle at risk. Their tenets include the following oaths.

  • I will protect my community at all costs, and give my all to contribute to its prosperity. I will be proactive in nipping any threat to my allies in the bud.
  • I will spare the weak and defeated, but show no mercy to those who put my allies in danger.
  • I am just and unwavering. I have no compassion for those who disregard order within the community.
  • I will not bear grudges against my allies. Lack of trust is the downfall of any community.
  • I will respect the land and its natural denizens. I will not alter the land irreparably.

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