The Pursuers are a group of rowdy, opportunistic fighters, who are tenuously unified by their shared pursuit of Allison's Key of Kings. Since the battle of Hell 71 where they initially fought against each other, the Pursuers have begun traveling together in pursuit of Allison under the pseudo-leadership of Maya. With the possible exception of Blue Bellied Meng and Red Tusked Saar, each member appears to be independent and has their own motives for obtaining a key, either for themselves or a well-paying guild.
The Pursuers appear infrequently in the comic, but have made major appearances at each main battle in the comic so far: the Battle of Hell 71, the War of the Teacups, the Siege of Yre, and the Battle Royale on Rayuba. While they began as a group of 14 named characters (and 10 unnamed characters) in Hell 71, their membership is fluid and changes as Pursuers are gained or lost in combat.
The Pursuers are part of Jadis' prophecy of the Successor:
"His [the Successor's] coming will be flanked by 108 burning stars."
It is worth noting that there might not actually be 108 Pursuers, as Jadis' prophecy is largely symbolic, and it is unknown how their membership is counted (i.e., whether the count includes those who are dead, or simply the living pursuers at any moment in time). In any case, in 2016, Abbadon mentioned that there were about 30+ pursuers at that time, so it possible that the total number of living Pursuers at the end of the comic will be 108.
The Pursuers are not only described as "stars" in this prophecy, but also in the Hover Text of Wielder of Names 2-39:
"O, tumultuous heavens, O unfavorable stars."
The Pursuers' role going forward in the comic is unclear, but so far, they have played an important part in fulfilling the prophecy of the Successor. In each arc of the plot, they have followed Allison, causing havoc and destruction beyond what Allison originally intended. In this way, they have an important role in destabilizing each of the demiurges that Allison has interacted with.
The Pursuers first appear at the Battle of Hell 71, where most of them began fighting in an attempt to gain Allison's Key of Kings. Whether they wanted the key for themselves, or intended to simply sell it, each of the Pursuers was an opportunist who was willing to fight in some capacity for the riches or opportunity represented by Allison's key. Following the bounty placed on Allison by the guilds at Hell 71, the Pursuers set out to track Allison down and claim the key.
After the Battle of Hell 71, the Pursuers, following a compass held by Eris Lo-Kai, manage to track Allison to Mottom's Palace of Radiance. After breaking into the Palace, the War of the Teacups ensues between the Pursuers, Mottom's guards, and the angels Juggernaut Star and White Chain.
After this, the Pursuers make their way to Throne. It seems that the Pursuers briefly lost track of Allison while she was putting together her heist team, but they were eventually able to track her to Mammon's Fortress of Yre. They are seen waiting outside the Fortress when Mottom's Palace of Radiance rams into Yre - creating a massive breach through which Mottoms's forces invaded. The Pursuers then capture a ship, and make a dramatic entrance onto the chaotic field of battle in the golden sanctuary of Ynamon. The disruption they cause as they enter the fight at Ynamon gives Allison and her crew the distraction they needed to escape the Vault.
After the Siege of Yre, a year passes as Allison trains in Throne. Why the pursuers did not locate her during this time is unclear. During this year, the Pursuers continue to travel together. Maya points out that at some point, they have stopped trying to kill each other[b] and have begun working together. While visiting a remote temple with Maya, the pursuers hear of Solomon David's fabled tournament, the Ring of Power, to be held on Rayuba. Many of them join the tournament, where they coincidentally meet Allison again.
How many of the Pursuers ultimately survived the Battle Royale, the Total Life Obliteration, and Jagganoth's appearance at the Ring of Power remains to be seen. Maya at least, and any Pursuers with her in the city of Rayuba, would seem to be safe for the time being.
- Eris-Lo Kai
- Layla Brimstone
- Kierinsaval of the Golden Feather
- Blue Bellied Meng
- Red Tusked Saar
- Etlin Da
- Amoto Soreen
- Maya (following, but unaffiliated)
- (RIP) Humble Uktulki (Killed by White Chain at the War of Teacups)
While unnamed and appearing less frequently than the more prominent pursuers mentioned above, several other reoccurring pursuers have been noted in the comic. Those in the list below are characters who accompanied the pursuers in more than one book. All of the pursuers in this list will have participated in at least two of the following events: the Battle of Hell 71, the War of the Teacups (at Mottom's Palace of Radiance), the Siege of Yre, and the Battle Royale on Rayuba.
Unnamed Pursuers first appearing in KSBD:
- Ring Fighter
- Globe Knight
- Gaunt Swordswoman
- Golden-plated Knight
- Painted Archer
- Three-Faced Wisp
- (RIP) Centipede Monster (perished in the Battle Royale)
- (RIP) Cthuloid Warrior (perished in the Siege of Yre)
- (RIP) Mortar-board Hat Fighter (perished in the Siege of Yre)
Unnamed Pursuers first appearing in Wielder of Names:
- Rabbit Fighter
- Stork Warrior
- (presumed dead) Shaggy Devil (likely killed in the Total Life Obliteration)
- (RIP) Bug Man (perished in the Siege of Yre)
Unnamed Pursuers first appearing in Seeker of Thrones:
- Yellow Scarf
- Sword Thrower
- The number 108 (the full number of Pursuers) is considered sacred in Hinduism and also appears in KSBD in the tale of Aesma and the Three Masters.
- Abbadon has stated, regarding the Pursuers' unique designs, that he doesn't have elaborate backstories for most of the Pursuers but prefers to focus his character design around a particular visual aesthetic for each Pursuer.