Los Diablos, the Devil's Herd
A Scenerio Seed for Call of Cthulhu/Delta Green

From: Morrigan (
Date: Tuesday November 18th , 2003
The Devil's Herd is an undetermined number of ghostly Texas longhorn bulls, all of stupendous size. A bull from the Devil's Herd looks to be the same size as a bison, cape buffalo, or even a rhinoceros. Every sighting of the Devil's Herd will number at least five animals, and will include one pure white bull, one midnight black, and one blood red. This suggests some connection between Los Diablos and the steeds of the horsemen of the Apocalypse, but exactly what that connection might be is unknown. The Devil's Herd is also likely to have a connection to the Wild Hunt of European folklore, as well. The eyes of the bulls of the Devil's Herd all glow like blazing embers, while the bulls snort blasts of smoke and belch balls of fire. Their unshod hooves are made from the blackest iron, as are their broad horns, while a ring of tarnished brass passes through their noses. Close inspection of the hide of one of the bulls reveals that they do not have a covering of hair, but instead of very small iron scales. The herd is surrounded by a zone of extremely intense heat - the heat from the fires of Hell.
The Devil's Herd is a portent of doom in the west, especially the Spanish influenced southwest. Keepers can use sightings of the Devil's Herd as a sign of portents to come, like seeing a shooting star, either ones the Keeper has designed to be dispensed, or the proceeds of spells/ psychic talents with divinatory aspects. When Los Diablos are to be seen as such a portent, they will take the form of a ghostly herd of gigantic bulls, accompanied by grim faced cowboys, seen in dim light, or from a distance, or even galloping across the skies (the latter is particularly apt just before or during particularly noteworthy storms). Seeing such a portent costs 1d3 SAN.
It takes four nights for the Devil's Herd to fully manifest its full, sinister aspect.
On the first night, the focus of their attention will hear a distant rumbling - it is the Keeper's choice if others can hear this rumbling - as though a herd of bison or steers were stampeding in the distance. The next night, the rumbling grows louder, as though the stampede might be just around the corner. A SANity check must be made or those hearing the rumbling will lose 1d3 SAN points. The third night, the target of the Devil's Herd, and any others the Keeper chooses, will see a cattle stampede in the distance, a parade of titan bulls racing across the horizon at dawn or dusk. A failed SAN check results in a loss of 1d4 points. On the fourth night, the
Devil's Herd will fully manifest, as an actual stampede of unearthly, yet entirely physical bulls. Witnessing the physical manifestation of Los Diablos is worth a loss of 1d6 SAN points if a check is failed.
It is on the fourth night that Los Diablos will attempt to claim a target.
The keeper will designate a character, either a player character or non-player character, as the target of the Devil's Herd. Los Diablos will always attempt to run this individual down. If any of the constituent bulls of Los Diablos scores a successful hit with their charge attack on the target, then the Devil's Herd has claimed him. What happens next depends on the character of their target.
  • A person of good character will be carried along with Los Diablos for a
    time, as a sort of ghostly outrider or cowboy, either mounted or on foot,
    and will be released by the Devil's Herd 1d100 days later, having aged one
    year for every day he or she accompanied Los Diablos.
  • A person of evil character will be transformed into one of the constituent
    bulls of the Devil's Herd, and will never be seen by kith and kin again.
  • Persons of indeterminate character will be carried along by Los Diablos
    forevermore, as ghostly outriders, aging a year for every day they accompany the herd but never dying. If someone of good character is targeted by the Herd, it is this company of damned souls they join for the duration of their time with the Devil's Herd. This is a uniquely western Hell, to forever tend the Devil's Herd.
Western folklore has it that the Devil's Herd ranges far and wide, claiming souls for their infernal master, which implies a more dire fate for those carried along by the Herd. If the Keeper chooses to have a firmer connection between Los Diablos and the powers of Hell, the consequences of being targeted by Los Diablos are as described above. However, the persons of indeterminate character carried along by the Herd have been claimed by the Devil as his own, and this is their unique punishment in Hell: to forever tend the Devil's Herd as its cowboys. Those good souls who are gathered up by the Herd ride with it for a time, but are eventually taken with the Herd to Hell itself, there to contest with the Devil over their souls. The Keeper is encouraged to have fun with however the ownership of these souls is contested, but anyone who loses this contest with the Devil joins the company of cursed cowboys who accompany Los Diablos as its outriders.
Although the bulls of the Devil's Herd are phenomenally tough, they can be hurt and killed, and if the red, white, and black bulls from the herd can all be killed, Los Diablos are prevented from claiming their target. If one of the ghostly outriders can succeed in roping one of the bulls, that person is immediately freed from both the Herd itself and any claim the Devil might have on it. One of these ghostly cowboys cannot be harmed by any means so long as it accompanies the herd, so even death itself is not a reprieve from their torment.
Although the Devil's Herd obviously is best used in games with something of a wild west flavor, such as adventures set in the southwest, or concerning cowboys or western lore in some other direct way, this should not limit their uses. Imagine the Devil's Herd chasing down a target in modern day Las Vegas, or claiming a Vietnam-era GI - in Indochina - who hailed from Albuquerque. The Devil's Herd can, and should, turn up anywhere the Keeper wants them to, with the incongruity of their appearance adding to the shock they give to the PCs.
4d6 + 20
3d6 + 10
20 - 21
4d6 + 20
Move: 12
No physical barrier is proof against the bulls of the Devil's Herd. They can
run through thin air if they have to, and what they cannot bludgeon down,
they can simply pass right through, like ghosts.
Hit Points: 27 - 28 *
Average Damage Bonus: + 3d6
Armor: 5 points muscle and hide *
Weapon: charge, 30%, damage: 5d6
fireball: range 5 meters, 30%, damage equal to ½ the "firing" bull's CONstitution score
Power Drain: Anyone within a number of feet of a bull from Los Diablos equal to the POWer score of that bull will lose a point of POWer each round they are within that radius. When POW reaches 0, that person falls unconscious, and will regenerate lost POWer normally. Physically, this POWer drain from proximity to a bull feels like waves of blistering heat pouring off the bulls, and the unconsciousness which results from lost POW is usually chalked up to heat exhaustion.
Skills: scent enemy 65%
* Only attacks from the designated target of the Devil's Herd can do full damage to one of the bulls. Attacks from anyone else always do the minimum possible damage, and an impale can never be scored.