- "In this year Kald Gorfgrimm, Hearth Lord of much renown, in fulfilment of Oath placed upon him by his King, led an expedition into the eastern lands to establish trade with the distant kingdoms of Cathay. Gorfgrimm had been given orders to travel through the southern reaches of the Plain of Bones, avoiding the lands in which our debased kin lurk. Yet he had not reckoned with the Daemons that lair within those dark lands. A great fiery bull descended from the sky on the fortieth day, scattering the column amid much slaughter and trampling Gorfgrimm's body beneath its hooves. His oath unfulfilled is now a shame upon his kin. May Grimnir curse all their Chaos-spawned breed, their malice brings us nothing but loss and suffering."
- —The Death of Kald Gorfgrimm, from the Karak Azul Book of Grudges, 1346.[3a]
The Great Taurus[1a] or Bale Taurus[2a] is a huge and terrifying monster with the body of a massive bull and membranous wings like a dragon. These creatures are stabled in great pens beneath the Temple of Hashut, the bull god of the Chaos Dwarfs. Powerful Chaos Dwarfs ride Great Tauruses into battle. The creature burns with a terrific intensity, so that its whole body is wreathed in fire and smoke.[1a] Indeed, so angrily and so hot does the Great Taurus' skin burn, that swords and axes become molten and blunt in the very process of striking it.[4a] When it moves across the ground sparks fly from its hooves and lightning plays about its feet. It breathes fire in great snorting bursts and black smoke curls from its gaping maw. The Chaos Dwarfs believe that the Great Tauruses were once Chaos Dwarfs, and that they were mutated by the warping power of Chaos into living bull-furnaces like the statue of the god Hashut himself. The Chaos Dwarfs sometimes call the Great Tauruses the Red Bulls of Hashut.[1a]
- "It descended from the dark skies like a firebolt. Hotter than a forge were its fires, and many of our kin were slain. On this beast we have sworn revenge."
- —Entry from Ungrim Ironfist's Book of Grudges.[4a]
The Dark Lands are a dread realm, a haven and birthing ground for all manner of monsters and unnatural creatures, but none are more sought after by the Chaos Dwarfs than the Great Tauruses of the Volcanic Heights. Of the supreme terrors of the crags and craters of ash and fire, some claim the Great Taurus is less a beast than a manifestation of the rage and deathly savagery of the Dark Lands themselves. To the Chaos Dwarfs their resemblance both in form and molten fury to the icons of their terrible god, Hashut, Father of Darkness, is no mere coincidence.[2a][3a]
In form, no two Bale Tauruses are ever quite alike, and the mightiest of them are truly massive beasts that never die except by violence. All bear the overall semblance of a huge, winged, daemonic-bull whose flesh burns with the intensity of a living furnace sufficient to wreath it in smoke and spark the ground afire beneath its hooves, and against which arrow and blade alike perish to cinders and ruin. To many who would consider themselves wise in such things, the burning wrath of the Bale Taurus is little more than a myth, for sustained by the fires of the Dark Lands, they seldom stray far from their lairs. But those that inhabit the Dark Lands know better. They fear the ash-trailing shadows that circle the sky, and the plummet of the Great Taurus like a red-wreathed comet to its prey - an onslaught no mere mortal creature can withstand.[2a][3a]
None but the highest servants of Hashut and the most powerful of fire-wizards can hope to master these hellish monsters, and the infernal stables of the crimson and bronze Tauruses beneath the great temple of Zharr-Naggrund are heated by sacrificial fires kept burning night and day to appease the sacred beasts kept there.[2a][3a] Indeed, it is only by means of the most complex and dangerous spells that a Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer can even mount such a dangerous creature without themselves succumbing to their incinerating heat and voracious appetites.[2a]
As creatures of flame and ash, Great Tauruses cannot stray far from the Dark Lands save for when the Winds of Magic are at their strongest, for no other part of the world is so suffused by the power that sustains it - the Fire Wind, also known as Aqshy. Only by careful channelling of Bright Magic can a Great Taurus be lured into the Old World or beyond, but the beast's raw might more than compensates for the effort involved.
- 1 Warhammer Armies: Chaos Dwarfs (4th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 48
- 2 Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos
- 2a: pg. 185
- 3 Warhammer: Monstrous Arcanum
- 3a: pg. 37
- 4 Warhammer: Storm of Magic
- 4a: pg. 128