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Climate/Terrain: Lower planes
Frequency: Very rare
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Carnivore
Intelligence: Very (11-12)
Treasure: Nil
Alignment: Neutral evil
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: -4
Movement: 15, Fl 36 (C)
Hit Dice: 6+6
THAC0: 13
No. of Attacks: 3
Damage/Attack: 4-10/4-10/2-8
Special Attacks: Burning hooves
Special Defenses: Paralyzing cloud
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: L (6' at shoulder)
Morale: Elite (13-14)
XP Value: 2,000

Nightmares are the evil steeds of the lower planes, often serving as mounts for baatezu, tanar'ri, night hags, liches, and powerful undead lords.
They look like large, powerful horses with a jet black coat. Nightmares have glowing red eyes, flaming orange nostrils, and hooves that burn like embers. Their flowing manes and great tails are ragged and wild.
Nightmares can understand commands from evil riders. They communicate among themselves by empathy.

Combat: Nightmares are hateful of material life. They will often attack any non-lower planar creature they encounter (and will sometimes attack the lower planar creatures, too). They have vicious fangs that inflict 2-8 points of damage on a successful bite. Their burning hooves each inflict 4-10 (1d6+4) points of damage per attack and will set any combustibles on fire.
During combat, the excitement and fervor of the fight will cause nightmares to emit a smoking, hot cloud of noxious vapors. It blinds and chokes all those within 10 feet of the evil steed. Victims must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation or be at a -2 penalty on their attack and damage dice.
Although they have no wings, nightmares are able to magically propel themselves through the air at an impressive rate. They may fly through the Astral and Ethereal planes at will.

Habitat/Society: Nightmares are the servitor steeds of many lower planar creatures. They are intelligent, however, and cannot be treated as casually as a simple horse. They will willingly and gleefully serve as a mount for any mission involving evil. However, for the unwary rider, a nightmare's own ambitions can prove to be insurmountable. These hateful steeds will often do what they want rather than follow the wishes of their "master." In many ways, nightmares pose the same problems as magical weapons with large egos.
Anyone on the lower planes who is not a native thereof can attract the attention of a nightmare to secure it as a mount. The process involves several spells, as well as an offering for the creature's service. The summoning requires a mage or specialist wizard of at least 5th level. The following spells must all be cast by the same spell-user. First, the mage must cast a mount spell. This conjuration is used to attract the attention of the nightmare. Next, a monster summoning III spell must be cast to bind the nightmare into service. When that is complete, a wall of fog spell is cast. If all of this is done properly, the nightmare will come galloping through the fog, nostrils flaring and eyes gleaming, ready to perform in the service of evil. Lastly, an offering is required. This may be given by anyone, not just the spell caster. The offering must be oat-like flakes made from platinum that the nightmare will eat. The flakes must be of at least 200 gp value. Whoever feeds the oats to the nightmare will be its master for 72 hours.
Creatures of the lower planes do not perform these steps to summon a nightmare. It is unknown what dark agreement they make for a nightmare's service.
Once per decade, on the plane of Hades, there is a dark and sinister time called Gloom Meet. At this time the various lower planar denizens will meet and decide how they will spread their will for the next decade. The nightmares play a special role in Gloom Meet, for they spread the word that the meeting is about to begin. As the Gloom Meet approaches, there is a higher concentration of nightmares and their frequency changes from very rare to uncommon. This is the first indication that Gloom Meet is to occur, and lasts for approximately two weeks. Immediately prior to the meeting, the nightmares ride the planes in a terrifying charge that notifies all that the Gloom Meet has started.

Ecology: Nightmares are the wild steeds of the planes. It is their place in the lower planes to act as mounts for missions of evil and dread. They have no biological link to true horses. A nightmare is merely a foul minion of evil, without need of food or air, that through some unknown pact has taken the form of a huge, terrible steed. Nightmares are listed as carnivores, based solely on their habit of eating fallen foes whenever possible. However, there is nothing to indicate that the nightmares derive any of their sustenance from the flesh of animals -- they more likely gain all their strength through their service to evil.

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