| War |
Also Known As: Rider of the Red Horse, The Red Rider
|Means of Travel||On Foot|
|Special Features||Gauntlet left-hand, superhuman physical prowess|
|Affiliation||The Four Horsemen|
The Charred Council (formerly)
|Occupation||Horsemen of the Apocalypse|
|Relatives(s)||Death (oldest brother)|
Strife (older brother)
Fury (older sister)
The Watcher† (Former guide, warden)
|Type of Attack||Melee|
|Actor Name (en)||Liam O'Brien|
|“|| You can look me in the eye when I kill you.|
War is the main protagonist of Darksiders. He is the youngest of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and a Nephilim. Framed by Abaddon for starting the Apocalypse too soon, War was wrongly imprisoned by The Charred Council for over one hundred years. After being released he journeyed to the remains of Earth to find justice and clear his name.
|“|| The Horseman War has charged into countless battles astride his spectral steed Ruin, leaving trail of blood and bones in his wake. His eyes and hair are as white as the chill he casts on angels and demons alike, for the fury of his massive sword is unmatched in combat. As unyielding as time itself, War is both honorable and savage.|
— Official description
Before they could fully take up their mantles as the Four Horseman, War and his siblings were sent to the Far Fields and the mysterious being known only as the Horsemaster. The Horsemaster demanded that they discard their weapons as the ancient beasts they sought to tame would bow only to their will. War proposed a wager as to who would tame their horse first. Fury and Strife proceeded to needle War about his tendency to boast, but the Horsemaster criticized them for bickering like children. Death, silent during the exchange, charged into the stampeding horses without a backward glance. He soon grabbed ahold of one horse and mounted it. The Nephilim gained control of it and directed it back to the Horsemaster and his siblings, where he named it Despair as its appearance changed to bone and pale dead flesh to reflect its master. The Red Rider presumably tamed Ruin shortly thereafter.
The four newly named Horsemen were sent to destroy their own kind at Eden, which the nephilim under Absalom were attempting to conquer. War joined his brothers and sister in battle and together they brought about the annihilation of all the nephilim save themselves.
The Abomination Vault
War was ordered by the Charred Council to go to Heaven to destroy a weapon designed to kill only demons called the Sacrament Bomb, a weapon created under Abaddon's orders. He used his position as the Council's enforcer to enter the White City under a peaceful pretense. In the city, War traveled to the building his objective was set in and used a statue as a battering ram to break his way in. He then proceeded to search the structure floor by floor by blasting through the floors with a Redemption Cannon he collected from one of his victims and using ammo clips as makeshift explosive devices, slaughtering all in his path. The last angel War came across in the room with the Sacrament Bomb happened to be Uriel, who at the time was just out of adolescence. Amused by her inexperience and impressed by her determination, War hit her with the flat of his blade and knocked her unconscious, remarking that she should challenge him again in time.
Shortly after his return from his mission in the White City, War was called before the Council along with the other horsemen to hear Death's explanation of the Grand Abominations, ancient nephilim weapons of terrible power created from the living flesh of the Ravaiim, the inhabitants of the very first world the Nephilim destroyed in their crusade under Absalom. The Charred Council assigned all four of the horseman to stopping whoever was attempting to access the Abomination Vault, but shortly after leaving the Council's presence, Death ordered the younger three horsemen to stay behind and meant to undertake the task alone. War, Fury, and Strife protested, Strife even pulled one of his guns on the eldest nephilim, but Death was unmoved. Fury eventually chose to honor Death's wishes, Strife stayed behind because he was bitter over how the elder horseman had shamed him after he drew his weapon, but War chose to follow Death whether he approved or not.
War went to the White City, where he knew Death intended to research the rogue Maker Belisatra. He entered the realm near the Argent Spire itself and, upon realizing that his brother had yet to arrive, went out into the city to look for him. When the horseman found his brother, he was being attacked by an angel assassin using an old nephilim sword called Affliction. War attacked the angel before he had the chance to further assault Death and the angel, unwilling to face two horsemen at once, retreated. War's entrance to the White City had not gone unnoticed, however, especially given the circumstances of his last visit. A force of angels including Uriel lead by Abaddon himself soon tracked the two horsemen down. A standoff ensued, but Abaddon relented grudgingly after Death threatened retaliation from the Charred Council. The duo then made their way to the Argent Spire, Death chastising War's disobedience and lack of tact as they went.
Azrael was waiting for them when they arrived and dispatched his scribes to scour the archives of the Argent Spire for any mention of Belisatra. War paced restlessly while his brother provided an edited account of the Abominations and the Abomination Vault to the angel of death. Soon enough Azrael was able to give them all the angels knew of the rogue Maker. Belisatra had once been an apprentice to a near legendary Maker named Gulbannan. Gulbannan had been murdered some time ago, but he had fallen out of favor with his fellow Makers long before when he chose the demon Lilith as a paramour. The horsemen determined that the demon was their best and only link to Belisatra and set out for her lair.
After arriving in Lilith's domain, Death forced War to remain in the hall while he confronted the demon alone. War argued vehemently, but Death could not be swayed. The elder horseman managed to cajole the information he wanted out of Lilith, discovering that it had been Belisatra rather than Lilith that murdered Gulbannan when he had grown repentant and was planning on revealing how much he had taught Lilith to the other Makers, and that she had been the demon's servant until recently when she joined forces with an angel named Hadrimon. The horsemen surmised that Hadrimon had been the assassin that had attacked Death in the White City. Lilith also gave Death the location of a laboratory she had used long ago hidden in Gulbannan's domain, which they chose as their next destination.
When the nephilim arrived at the laboratory, Death attempted to use a storm of bones to break through the hidden stone door but the attack lacked the brute force necessary, the storm being meant for ripping flesh from bone rather than stone. War then tried his hand by simply ramming the door astride Ruin using all the strength at his command and met with greater success. Once inside, they found Hadrimon and Belisatra waiting for them, having been alerted by War's cacophonous assault. The fight had hardly begun, however, when both sides were surprised by the arrival of demonic mercenaries. The horseman dealt with the demons handily, but Hadrimon and Belisatra slipped away in the confusion. A search of the lab revealed that they had recovered one of the Grand Abominations and Death found an all but dead Abomination named Mortis. When War's brother put on the shield Abomination, he was caught off guard by its prying telepathic abilities and it took the knowledge of how to awaken the Abominations from him to Hadrimon. The Grand Abominations needed the blood of the ravaiim to awaken and with that in mind Death led his brother to the greatest source of ravaiim blood remaining, the ravaiim homeworld where most of them had been killed.
After arriving on the ravaiim's world, War forced his brother to reveal why he felt such personal guilt over the Abominations. He discovered that, not only had Death been amongst the Firstborn that created the Abominations, they had originally been his idea. Though disgusted by his brother's admission, War agreed to follow Death and eliminate the threat posed by Hadrimon and Belisatra. Soon after the horsemen encountered a force of angels lead by Azrael, who offered their assistance to the pair in eliminating the threat, though some of the angels were less than enthusiastic about working with War in particular. Upon hearing Hadrimon's name, Azrael revealed that he was an outcast that had turned against the White City after his lover, an angel named Raciel, had been banished to Hell for the unsanctioned romance he had reported.
The nephilim and the angels traveled together until they came upon Belisatra's construct army. They attacked the constructs in earnest and were winning the battle when the demon mercenaries attacked again. War found himself fighting Knights of Perdition, mounted demon soldiers that, while much less powerful, were Hell's answer to the Four Horseman. War defeated them and went on a rampage against the demonic horde. The battle once again seemed to be going in their favor when Belisatra and Hadrimon made their appearance wielding the Grand Abominations Earth Reaver and Black Mercy respectively. Earth Reaver channeled all the subterranean magma flows in an area into a large volcanic eruption while the wounds inflicted by Black Mercy or merely in the vicinity of Black Mercy always killed no matter how minor. The demons withdrew altogether while the horsemen and the angels were forced to retreat, though Death managed to temporarily cripple Earth Reaver.
Once they had regrouped, Death revealed his plan to War and the angels: he would use his necromantic abilities to gather and compress all of the ravaiim blood soaked into the soil to fit into a cylinder with Azrael's help. The angels would then depart with a decoy cylinder while he would stay in the cave with another decoy and War would go with a small company of angels and the real cylinder to deliver to the Charred Council. Unbeknownst to War, Death had carefully leaked this plan to Hadrimon through Mortis while keeping his true plan entirely to himself, ensuring that Hadrimon would not go after the ravaiim blood while signing War's death warrant. In actuality, War was carrying a decoy while Death held the true ravaiim blood. Hadrimon attacked War's party with Black Mercy and succeeded in killing the Horseman.
After destroying the blood once and for all, Death returned to the ravaiim homeworld and spent days searching for his brother. When he found War, Death devised a way to revive him. He impaled himself with Chaoseater and allowed it to feed off of the pain and violence of the act, strengthening the spark of War's life that remained in the soul bound sword. He then used his own necromantic abilities to call back War's soul, allowing him to recombine it with his life force and his body. War was resurrected, but ashamed at his failure to protect what he believed to be the blood of the ravaiim. Unable to tell him the truth, Death told War that he had stolen the ravaiim blood back from Hadrimon and destroyed it. The pair then returned to the Council's realm together.
They soon discovered that the crisis was not as resolved as they thought. The Charred Council revealed that Hadrimon and Belisatra had attacked an angelic outpost using the Maker's construct army and Black Mercy. The Council demanded that Death reveal the location of the Abomination Vault, claiming that they could not trust him alone with its safety. He refused and the Council tortured him with a fiery pain that paralyzed even him. The Council claimed that his disobedience had outweighed his usefulness, making him expendable and threatened to kill him. War, however, stepped forward and proclaimed that the Council would have to kill them both if they killed Death and they would have lost two horsemen. The Council reluctantly relented and assigned War and Death the duty of guarding the Abomination Vault while Fury and Strife would hunt the Hadrimon and Belisatra. After leaving the Council, War vented his frustration over being assigned the duty of mere guards but Death revealed his theory as to how Hadrimon and Belisatra had managed to awaken Black Mercy without the ravaiim blood. Each Abomination was crafted from the flesh and bone of the ravaiim, thus each Abomination contained ravaiim blood. They had cannibalized Earth Reaver to harvest enough blood to fuel Black Mercy and attacked the angelic outpost to test its effectiveness. He also revealed that Hadrimon knew the location of the Abomination Vault, so the angel would come to them.
On the dead world the eldest horseman made his home on, also the location of the Abomination Vault, the nephilim prepared for the assault. When Belisatra's construct army attacked, Death's traps and wards thinned their ranks before the two horsemen were forced to take part. War and Death demolished the constructs with ease but fell back when Hadrimon appeared with Black Mercy. It was then that the mercenary demons controlled by Raciel, now a demonic Lost Angel, summoned by Azrael in disguise at Death's request, made their appearance on the battlefield and fought both the constructs and the horsemen. Hadrimon was stunned by Raciel's appearance and she used his feelings for her in combination with his growing irrationality to manipulate him into an alliance with her. War found himself outside with the remaining demons, constructs and Belisatra while Death pursued Hadrimon to the seal of the Abomination Vault. Azrael revealed himself in time to critically wound Raciel, who then retreated into the structure after Hadrimon with the angel of death in pursuit, leaving the younger horseman to fight Belisatra, now wielding a massive cannon of her own design.
Within the structure, Hadrimon fell entirely under the influence of Black Mercy and killed Raciel. Azrael and Death then used deception to kill Hadrimon himself, effectively resolving the crisis. Once Death exited the building with Black Mercy in hand, Belisatra surrendered. Both War and Azrael expressed distaste over the deceptive manner in which victory had been achieved, but Death dismissed them as being foolish. Azrael told the elder horseman to wait quite some time before thinking to find aid in the White City again and departed. Death told War that he would place Black Mercy in the Abomination Vault and restore the seal. He asked for War's help in clearing the battlefield carnage, but War, laughing, told him that he would follow his brother into danger any day, but Death was on his own with cleaning up the carnage.
Darksiders Comic Book
At one point the Red Rider openly defied The Charred Council due to his quick temper. War went to Earth and began to do battle with an entire human army, but they were easily slain before the other Horsemen intervened. During this battle with his siblings, War showed his strength by attacking the other three simultaneously and subduing Fury. Death, the strongest and eldest horseman, placed himself between the two and took the blow meant for their sister. Death showed no pain as he was impaled by War's sword Chaoseater, while Fury used the opportunity to trap Chaoseater and War's arm with her whip. Death then severed War's left arm trapped with Chaoseater, telling him to remember the lesson. He later replaced the limb with an enchanted gauntlet.
Centuries later and shortly before the apocalypse, War accompanied the rest of the Four Horsemen to deliver a warning to the demon prince Samael. The youngest horseman delivered the warning to Samael that he must not break the peace between Heaven and Hell. The Blood Prince first told them to take their warning to the Dark One, but the horseman insisted that the Dark One's time was nearly passed and Samael was next in line. He noted that, if Lilith's presence was any indication, the Blood Prince was counting the hours. The Mad Queen was angered by his insolence and told the horsemen that they should deliver such a warning instead to Abaddon rather than Samael, for the angel advocated war vehemently.
When the End War erupted, War crash-landed in the center of one of humanity's cities to find the armies of Heaven and Hell already waging open war in the streets. Slaying any angel, demon or human that tried to bar his path, War fought his way to the city center, where he found the Archangel Abaddon leading Heaven's army against the demonic hordes. War called out to the Archangel, demanding to know where his brethren were, but Abaddon was shocked by his presence, exclaiming that "The seventh seal was not broken!". Distracted, the Archangel fell at the hands of the Demon commander Straga as he emerged from the ground.
War engaged the demon commander in battle, putting out one of Straga's eyes in the process. War appeared to be winning the fight, but the tables turned when War's powers were mysteriously drained. Weakened, the horseman was easily crushed by Straga. His death sent War to the Charred Council.
The Charred Council accused War of inciting the End War before its appointed time and assisting the armies of Hell in claiming victory. They stripped War of his power, including his sword and even his horse, Ruin. The horseman was sentenced to death and his soul imprisoned in the Abyss for a hundred years.
However, determined to prove his innocence in the matter, War persuaded the Charred Council to allow him to clear his name, proclaiming, "When I rode, Heaven and Hell were already at war". Apparently if grudgingly convinced, The Charred Council ordered the horseman to return to Earth and learn the truth of what had happened, advising him to seek out the demon merchant known as Vulgrim, one of many outcasts from Hell who'd long sought the Council's favor. War was disgusted by the thought of the Council making deals with Demons, and when informed that many demons had fallen from the Destroyer's grace, War wondered how long he had been imprisoned. Instead of answering his questions, the Council, wary of what the horseman would do unchecked, bound an entity known as the Watcher to War, to serve as the Council's spy and to kill War should he disobey.
Path of Vengeance
War returned to Earth armed with a weakened Chaoseater. He and the Watcher landed in the Seraphim Hotel rather than at their proper destination, the Crossroads. As War headed out, the Watcher used his power over the horseman to bind him, "laying down some ground rules" in the form of threats before releasing the Horseman. Fighting through scores of the Wicked, the remnants of humanity, and a number of demons, War eventually escaped the Seraphim Hotel. The changed and empty cityscape led to War demanding to know how long had passed since War had been there. The dark entity replied saying an entire century has passed since the fall of Man, "long enough for the last of the mouth breathers to die off". War was left disheartened at the knowledge the Third Kingdom was lost.
After fighting through a horde of Wicked and Demons, War encountered Vulgrim outside a destroyed building. After taking what Souls War had already collected, Vulgrim explained that the answers to War's questions lay in the tower where the Destroyer, a powerful demon who'd led Hell's armies to victory in the End War, made his lair. When the horseman began moving towards the Tower, Vulgrim stopped him, remarking that in his weakened state, War "wouldn't last a heartbeat" and that the demonic magics protecting the Tower prevented even Vulgrim from finding the way. In exchange for a bribe of five hundred Souls, Vulgrim would offer information that would help War continue his journey.
The horseman journeyed around the city, collecting souls by slaying Wicked and Demons; War eventually returned to Vulgrim once he could buy the demon's information. Vulgrim traded with War an artifact known as the Earthcaller - a horn powerful enough to wake a Tormented Gate. The demon advised that the horseman find the demon lord Samael, once the right-hand of the Dark One and amongst the most powerful demons in Hell, but now imprisoned due to his opposition of the Destroyer. Vulgrim hinted that, at his full strength, Samael was considered close in power to the Dark One himself, possibly even a threat.
The Twilight Cathedral
Putting the Earthcaller to use, the Tormented Gate removed itself from War's path and the horseman fought his way through the now opened Library, meeting the Phantom General guarding Samael's prison in the Scalding Gallow. After an exchange of words, War killed the Phantom General and freed Samael. In return for his release, Samael offered to help War get into the Destroyer's Spire, but warned that it was protected by demonic magic. In order to lower the barrier, Samael needed the hearts of the Chosen, Hell's strongest warriors hand chosen by the Destroyer himself to guard the approach to the Tower. He told War to ask him no questions, as his reasons for helping the horseman were his own business.
The first target was to be Tiamat, the Bat Queen, whose lair was located in the Twilight Cathedral. Samael said that it would be impossible to reach Tiamat's lair by foot, as it's grounds were burning pits and large chasms. To aid him, Samael granted War the ability of Shadowflight, a pair of shadowy wings that allowed the Horseman to temporarily glide through the air.
War crossed the Choking Grounds, a location full of Undead warriors, until War met another Tormented Gate and learned that he needed to conquer the Shadow Arena challenges to proceed, as the Tormented Gate said, "By their blood we are chained, by their blood we shall be free." The horseman was then given the ability to see into the Shadow Realm and successfully completed the challenges.
After the Gate left, War traversed the Broken Stair to the end of a shattered highway and faced a Trauma for the first time since the Apocalypse. After defeating the hulking demon by breaking its neck, War traveled to the top of the old building and found a party of Angels hunting for him in the ruin, which included Uriel. The angels insisted there was nothing in the ruins but demons, but Uriel disagreed, exclaiming, "Can't you smell it? From neither the White City nor the Black Depths, but something lost between". As the angelic hunters draw closer, War stole an Angelic beast from its riders and used it to evade the pursuing Hellguard and demon swarms amidst the ruins as he journeyed to the Twilight Cathedral. While exploring, War found the Crossblade and killed the Jailer, an undead monstrosity. Solving the puzzles in his path, War unlocked Tiamat's inner sanctum. As he entered, the Bat Queen taunted him, asking whether he had lowered himself to become an assassin for the Council, or was simply doing Samael's bidding. Tiamat then tried to cut a deal with War, but the horseman rebuffed her. After a frenzied battle atop the ruined cathedral, War killed Tiamat by ripping her wings off and then tearing her heart out. Vulgrim appeared to the horseman as he exited the cathedral and offered him the use of his own transportation method, the Serpent Holes in exchange for one glance at the Chosen's heart. War then returned to Samael and gave him Tiamat's heart.
War's next target was the Chosen known as Griever, but Samael remarked that there was an 'obstacle' to be removed first: The Black Hammer, one of the Old Ones. When the Watcher accused Samael of changing the deal, the demon angrily knocked him aside, dismissing the Watcher as "filth" and a "parasite" who "stifles the Horseman's true power to keep him on the Council's leash" then demanded that War kill the Watcher and free himself from the Council's control. Furious with both, War struck the Watcher and gained the Chaos Form. In private, Samael viewed the horseman's refusal to slay the Watcher as weakness, but remarked to himself that he had seen in that moment one who "would stand alone against the Destroyer's army".
War traveled to the Drowned Pass and met another Tormented Gate and again defeated the Shadow Challenges, allowing the Tormented Gate to leave and War to enter Anvil's Ford. When War entered he saw a massive black hammer resting on the ground and tried unsuccessfully to lift it. Ulthane appeared and warned the horseman that if he wanted to keep his hands, he better not touch what didn't belong to him. As he jumped down to confront War, he apparently recognized Chaoseater, hinting that he knew who War was. War soon realized that the Black Hammer was Ulthane himself and they fought, War using Chaos Form as nothing else was powerful enough to affect Ulthane. Their "tussle" was interrupted by Uriel and the Hellguard, who, having waited more than a century to avenge Abaddon's death, were eager to exact justice upon the horseman. Since she was unable to have War tried in the White City for his alleged crimes, its gates being closed to the Hellguard since the End War, Uriel ordered the Hellguard to kill War on the spot. However, Ulthane and War joined forces to fight their common enemy, and have a contest to see who can kill the most angels. War then faced Uriel. After a short duel, War rendered her unconscious and the Hellguard retreated with her.
Ulthane allowed War to enter The Hollows, where the Griever made her lair, happy to help the horseman kill the Chosen because of the annoyance she and her young had caused him. As War travelled through the dungeons he acquired the Tremor Gauntlet and eventually came to face the Griever. After a protracted battle within the demon's lair, War killed the Griever by breaking off one leg and repeatedly ramming a train car into its face, shattering its jaw. As with Tiamat, the horseman tore out the Chosen's heart. War returned to Ulthane's home and showed himself in by effortlessly throwing the hammer he had previously been unable to lift using the Tremor Gauntlet, grazing Ulthane's face. Ulthane offered War the lethal handgun Mercy, but War interrogated him instead, questioning why an Old One made his home amongst the ruins of mankind; Ulthane stayed silent even at gunpoint. Realizing he wouldn't get an answer, War went to Samael with the Griever's heart and was granted the power of Chronomancer, the ability to use Chronospheres to slow down time briefly, in exchange. Samael then sent the horseman to the Ashlands for the Stygian's heart.
War traveled through the Dry Road and then the Ashlands, where War used Chronospheres to avoid the ashworms and reach the Phantom Den, where the Stygian was being held by lesser demons intent on using the ashworms for sport. Eventually War fought his way into a massive gladiatorial arena the demons had built. There he was forced to do battle with a number of foes until he faced an Abyssal Gladiator, who had enslaved Ruin. War killed the Gladiator and faced the frenzied Ruin. War refused to harm Ruin, even as the steed ran towards him with the apparent goal of trampling him, saying, "Ruin, I will not fight you." He did not flinch as Ruin, apparently recognizing his old friend, phased through him harmlessly. War then escaped the arena astride Ruin to Leviathan's Drift and did battle with the Stygian as it freed itself of its captors. After fighting the monstrous worm on horseback, War killed the Chosen by jumping down its throat and ripping out its heart. After returning to Samael and giving him the Stygian's heart, War was sent to retrieve the last heart, that of Silitha in the Iron Canopy.
The Iron Canopy
After traveling through the Ashlands, War rode across the Soul Bridge and was abducted into the Iron Canopy by Silitha's children. After breaking free of his imprisonment, War traversed the web-covered streets of the Iron Canopy, slaying the demons and breaking the protective enchantments that blocked access to Silitha's inner sanctum. Once the way was opened, War entered the lair. Silitha confronted him and told him that Samael had been lying to him from the start. The Chosen played no part in protecting the Tower; the charge the Destroyer had given them was to prevent Samael's return at any cost. The reason Samael wanted their hearts was to regain the pieces of his power implanted in them; Silitha warned that, while War could easily kill her and take her heart to Samael, the demon lord would become "a threat greater than all the Chosen combined!". War rebuffed her, saying, "I did not come for your counsel, spider. Or your stories". Angered, Silitha attacked. After a lengthy fight, War smashed the Spider Queen through the floor and impaled her on a stalagmite below her before claiming her heart. War returned to the Scalding Gallow and confronted Samael with his new knowledge. Samael pointed out that he had made it clear his reasons for helping War were his own and that he still meant to honor their bargain. Knowing he still needed to enter the Tower, War reluctantly gave Samael the final heart, restoring the demon to his true power.
After briefly threatening to kill War for trying to deny him what was rightfully his, Samael relented and agreed to help the horseman. He remarked that even he had a code to follow, and that he could tell War was on a quest for revenge, something he respected. True to his word, Samael opened a portal that would take War to the Tower. Before leaving, War asked Samael why he had challenged the Destroyer; Samael replied that he did not approve of the company his master kept and told War he would understand when he came to the end of his journey. War made for the portal, despite the Watcher's misgivings. Before he departed, Samael ominously remarked to the horseman, "We will meet again".
The Black Throne
The portal conveyed War to the Black Throne, inside the Tower, where he discovered a surprising prisoner; Azrael, the Angel of Death. Azrael's first reaction to War's presence was terror, remarking that the Seventh Seal had not been broken. Once he learned War had not come with the intention of killing him, he asked War to free him. Azrael explained that the Destroyer had sent Straga against him, imprisoned him and forced him to open the Well of Souls, allowing the Destroyer to use its power. War then traversed across the Tower, channeling the energy of the Well from different regions of the Tower back to Azrael's prison in order to free the angel. As War freed him, Azrael made a terrible confession: Abaddon had recruited him for a plot to bring the Apocalypse about early. Abaddon believed that delaying the End War any longer would ensure the defeat of Heaven, but the Council was tying their hands by forcing the angels to honor the truce. Abaddon's plan was to break six of the seven seals, leaving the Seventh intact to prevent the Horsemen from interfering. When the final battle began, the Chosen of Hell would gather to declare battle rights, at which point the Hellguard would descend and slay the most powerful of the demons in one strike. Azrael voiced fears that breaking the seals would destroy the Kingdom of Man and, even if victorious, would see them both punished by the Council; however, Abaddon revealed his masterstroke- the seals would be reforged by a third conspirator: Ulthane. When the Council arrived to investigate, there would be no evidence of their plot; they could claim the demons had attacked Earth prematurely and Heaven had brought Hell to justice. However, the plan had collapsed with Abaddon's death and the Hellguard's defeat.
Furious at this revelation, War blamed Azrael for his fall from grace, while the Watcher ordered War to execute the angel for his treason. However, War refused, saying his service to the Council was over. The Watcher disagreed, insisting War was required to restore the balance. With Azrael freed, the angel opened the way for the horseman to confront Straga. He also prolonged his life by explaining that he would be War's only way out of the Tower, since Straga's death would cause the Tower's destruction. War descended into the depths of the Tower and challenged Straga. After a lengthy fight, War defeated and killed Straga, thus avenging his earlier defeat. As the Tower began to collapse in response to Straga's death, Azrael appeared and conveyed War to safety.
Azrael brought War to Eden, thought to be destroyed, but in truth preserved by Azrael. The angel explained that War would need to visit the Tree of Knowledge in order to obtain a way to defeat the Destroyer. After battling a twisted mirror of himself, a creature born from the darkness of his battles, War proceeded alone to the Tree. He received a revealing and terrible vision of things both past and yet to come.
The vision showed War that, after Abaddon was killed in the apocalypse, he was taken to a strange limbo and confronted by Lilith. After being told his own plan had been manipulated to her own ends, the demoness offered Abaddon the chance to become her mightiest lieutenant. Abaddon initially refused becoming the very thing he had fought to destroy, but the demoness pointed out that, once his crimes became common knowledge, he would be discredited, condemned and likely executed by the Council. With no other option for survival, Abaddon became the Destroyer. The vision also showed War that the Destroyer had possession of the seventh seal and planned to lay siege to Heaven. He saw that Uriel would lead the Hellguard into battle against the Destroyer and fail. The vision then showed that the Charred Council was aware of what was happening, though they couldn't stop the events themselves from unfolding. The Council knew the horsemen could stop the conspirators, but would never lower themselves to become mere assassins without proof. The Council thus chose to send War to Earth alone in the Apocalypse, and then accused him of starting the End War, knowing full well he would stop at nothing to clear his name. Lastly, War saw himself being betrayed by the Watcher and stabbed through the back with a sword. When the vision faded, he held the hilt of the sword in his hand.
War returned to Azrael and the Watcher and told them what he had seen, though he did not mention the Council's betrayal or his own demise. Azrael explained that the sword he had seen was the Armageddon Blade, but that after the conspirators had used it to break the seals, Abaddon had ordered it destroyed. However, War showed him the hilt and knew where to find the rest. Azrael instructed War to find the pieces of the sword and take them to Ulthane, the only one who could reforge it. War set off on his search, gathering the sword's remains from across the shattered world. As he reached the Dry Road, he encountered another obstacle; Uriel, who challenged him to Nex Sacramentum, a death oath where one must die at the hands of the other. War defeated Uriel after a lengthy battle, but refused to kill her, despite the Watcher's urgings and her own rage. The horseman departed, but not before informing Uriel of the Destroyer's true identity and reminding her that the duel's requirement that one must die was soon to be fulfilled. Disturbed and shocked by the revelation, Uriel also departed, gathering the Hellguard for battle and launching an attack against the Destroyer's lair in the ruins of the Tower.
The Final Battle
With the broken pieces of the Armageddon Blade gathered, War returned to Anvil's Ford and had the blade reforged by Ulthane. With his new weapon ready, War returned to Azrael, who informed him of what had happened and allowed War, as one last act of service, to reach the Destroyer's lair. War arrived in the wake of Uriel's attack, the Destroyer had routed the angels and taken Uriel captive. The Destroyer mused on Abaddon and Uriel's unrequited love for one another for a moment, then turned his full attention to War and made him an offer:
"Heaven hunts you... Hell hates you. All of creation cares not whether you live or die. Join me, War. Like a great sword, I will raise you up, and our enemies will shatter against us. The spoils of a thousand victories will be yours. Or serve the justice of a corrupt Council and a Creator who abandons his most faithful. I offer you this choice, Horseman. Would you serve in Heaven, or rule in Hell?"
War was silent for a moment and replied "I choose what once a coward did not" as he drew his sword. Enraged, the Destroyer attacked War, but with the aid of Ruin and the Armageddon Blade, he was able to do enough damage to the demon and destroy his draconic form, forcing Abaddon into his fallen angelic form. War and the fallen angel battled through the ruins of the tower before War finally overpowered Abaddon. Broken, humiliated and defeated, Abaddon desperately turned to Uriel for support, but she told him to reap what he had sown. With nothing more to be said, War killed him.
As Abaddon died, the Seventh Seal fell from his hand. War moved to pick it up, but was stopped by the Watcher, who confirmed the Council's treachery, knowing full well that War would likely turn against them with the Seal in his possession. Uriel tried to intervene, but the Watcher blasted her aside with his magic. As the Watcher turned to taunting War, Uriel armed herself with the Armageddon Blade and stabbed the horseman in the back to fulfill Nex Sacramentum. Then she turned the Blade on the Watcher, cutting off his arm and shattering the Seventh Seal. The breaking of the seal, which calls all Four Horsemen to duty, even from oblivion, restored War to life and freed him from the Watcher's control. Free of the creature's torments, War gave no quarter and crushed the Watcher's skull in his hand.
Uriel accused War of knowing what would happen, which had been the only reason he had spared her during their prior duel. War replied that he hadn't; he had spared Uriel out of a wish not to destroy the last of Heaven's honor by killing its champion. Surprised, but satisfied, Uriel and the Hellguard saluted War. Uriel remarked that his debts to Heaven were repaid, but warned him that she would likely be forced to fight against him again in the near future; a duty from which she would not hesitate. As War made to depart, Uriel called out to him: "You will be hunted! The White City for certain, the Council, and...there will be others! You would wage this war alone!?"
War turned to her and held up the broken remnants of the Seventh Seal, replying, "No. Not alone." as, in the distance, three comets plummeted to Earth, heralding the arrival of the other three horsemen.
During War's time on Earth, he sought several items of note scattered throughout the hellish landscape.
Artifacts of the Legion
- Main article: Artifact
When Hell's armies took the Earth, the soldiers of its armies and its commanders were given insignias to honor their deeds. Vulgrim offered the horseman souls in exchange for these artifacts. War found all three types of artifacts, Soldier, Champion, and Overlord.
Armor of the Abyss
- Main article: Abyssal Armor
Also hidden in the ruined city were the ten fragments of Abyssal Armor. Over the course of his journey, War discovered each piece of the armor and obtained the potent armor.
The Lord of Bones mentioned that War's agonized soul was trapped in the Abyss during Death's journey and that the Charred Council would soon be "picking it from their teeth". Presumably this is where War's soul was during the century between his death during the Apocalypse and his return to Earth.
When War defeated the Destroyer and the seventh seal was broken, not only was War revived, Death was revived as well, having sacrificed himself and the souls of the nephilim at the Well of Souls to restore humanity.
War has been described as the most honorable of the Four Horseman. He has demonstrated an unwillingness to kill foes who are not a threat to him, and has been shown to be disgusted by the very idea of killing an opponent when they are not at full strength. He also demonstrated this trait in his unwillingness to kill the Watcher when Samael urged him, still holding loyalty to The Charred Council at the time. He is known to relish combat, though he is known to dislike winning through dishonorable or underhanded means. He is also known to despise using stealthy means to achieve his ends, preferring open conflict to deception or subtlety and especially hating the idea of assassinating a foe. However, this straightforwardness should not be mistaken for a lack of intelligence, as Death himself has openly acknowledged that War's tactical acumen is even greater than his own.
War is normally characterized by a very serious, stubborn, and blunt attitude. He tends to speak only when necessary, and even then tends to say only what absolutely needs to be said. He is also known to smile only rarely, and typically only either in battle or in anticipation of one. Beneath his stoic exterior, War is quick to anger and can be quite fearsome when provoked. Despite being quick to anger however, he has demonstrated a great deal of control over his temper, and is only rarely enraged to the point of actually losing control.
However, when War does give into his belligerent, he is known to sometimes lose himself to the thrill of battle. The greatest example of this was the incident that cost him his natural left arm. Swept up in the heat of combat, he refused an order from Death to stand down during a battle with an unidentified group of opponents. He then engaged his fellow Horsemen and attempted to kill Fury in his rage. The blow was intercepted by Death, who admonished War and sliced his arm off as a "lesson". In younger days, before becoming a Horseman, War is shown to rather proud of his achievements in battle and enjoys competition with his older siblings, something that they teased him about. Despite his loyalty, even the Council is said to have difficulty reigning in his lust for battle on occasion. Despite his honorable tendencies, he is phenomenally brutal in combat, and can be quite vindictive if he has been wronged by an opponent. For instance, before executing Abaddon, War took advantage of a critical injury he had dealt to his foe to tear Abaddon's wings off of his back, for no other reason than to spite him for all the trouble he had caused War.
Although very rarely express, War demonstrates to have a soft side and is very capable of feeling love towards another being. Despite their issues, War cares about all his siblings and displays a less stoic side of himself when around them. He shares a close bond with Death, and has been shown to trust his elder brother almost implicitly despite their extremely differing personalities. War also deeply cares about his steed, Ruin, and refused to attack him when they encountered each other again after War's long imprisonment.
Armament and Abilities
As a Nephilim and a Horseman, War is an immensely powerful warrior. He prefers to use his incredible physical strength to best his opponents with sheer raw power. He can go toe to toe with powerful adversaries such as The Chosen or even Abaddon himself, after becoming the Destroyer. War is also very intelligent, solving many puzzles on his way to redeem himself and is a great tactician in battle.
War wields a sword called Chaoseater and can mount a Phantom Horse, Ruin. Chaoseater is later replaced by the stronger Armageddon Blade, though War likely still has it in his posession. He also wields several secondary weapons in the Crossblade, Tremor Gauntlet, and Scythe. Once he had recovered its pieces, the Horseman wore the formidable Abyssal Armor. Additionally, War acquires various powers, items and abilities which aid him during his quest.
- Earthcaller: A mystic horn capable of knocking back enemies and waking Tormented Gates.
- Mercy: One of Strife's handguns that War wields.
- Abyssal Chain: An enchanted gauntlet that fires a spear tipped chain, allowing War to pull things towards him or pull himself towards his target.
- Voidwalker: An artifact that can create portals in particular surfaces.
- Wrath Powers: Several powers War is able to purchase and upgrade.
- Shadowflight: A power that causes wings of shadow to appear from War's back so he can glide a limited distance.
- Mask of Shadows: A mask that allows War to see into the Shadow Realm and interact with objects hidden there.
- Chronomancer: A power that allows War to slow time using Chronospheres.
- Chaos Form: War is able to transform into a large, powerful, fiery creature.
- On War's right shoulder pad is a face similar to Samael's. Although it has been claimed that this actually does represent Samael's face, there are similar carvings to be found throughout the game, implying that the carving is most likely just a generic demon's face.
- When War falls down an abyss or a gap at low health he will take no further damage. Therefore, for War, it is impossible to die by falling.
- It seems that War's gauntlet can be used as a weapon; in some of the moves of the Tremor Gauntlet, War uses his own gauntlet too. It's possible his gauntlet may come in handy when he's unarmed and has no weapons to use.
- War originally had another set of armor, aside from the Abyssal Armor, which was much more ornate and silver in color, with a blue cowl. It was scrapped in the development stage, likely due to its appearance seeming a bit out of place and not fitting War's concept as the Rider of the Red Horse.
- When Ulthane looks upon Chaoseater, a flash of recognition is seen on his face. Considering that he forged Mercy, an apparent duplicate of Strife's handgun of the same name, it is speculated that he may have forged all of the Horseman's weapons.
- Liam O'Brien, the voice actor of War also voices Illidan Stormrage in the Warcraft games, Hiroim the Shamed in the Marvel movie Planet Hulk, Gaara from the Naruto series, Caius Ballad and Kain Highwind from the Final Fantasy series and Jūshirō Ukitake from the Bleach series.