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Rhinox

The beasts they ride: Rhinoxen.

Rhinox Cavalry are Ogres who ride the fearsome juggernauts known as Rhinoxen. Rhinox Cavalry are a rarer sight than Mournfang Cavalry . This is mostly due to the fact that Rhinoxen are large and ornery beasts, and are thus quite difficult to tame. Even when broken to saddle, the extreme stubborness and poor eyesight of the Rhinox makes it hard to maneuver them on the battlefield with anything remotely resembling accuracy  This means that only the toughest and most determined members of an Ogre tribe can do so.

Overview

There is a rite of Ogrehood practiced in the Ogre tribes of the Mountains of Mourn. Aspiring Bulls will stalk and hunt an adolescent Rhinox while it performs its own violent rite of passage – a brutal contest of strength that involves high-speed collisions and a lot of blood.

A protracted Rhinox leadership challenge will usually result in the death of the losing party, as even these badtempered hulks of muscle and matted hair can bleed to death. However, the Rhinox, as with all species native to the Mountains of Mourn, is extremely resilient. Even when its brain has ceased to function, it will continue to fight, slashing and biting in its death throes. It is at this point that the hunting Ogre will launch his ambush.

The victor of a Rhinox leadership challenge will be exhausted and have lost a lot of blood as a result of its ordeal. Only when a Rhinox is in such a state could a lone Ogre hope to capture it alive. The Ogre aspirant sprints toward the wounded Rhinox and vaults onto its back. Those that ride out the bucking, bellowing frenzy that invariably follows will break the beast’s will as it slows and eventually concedes that to continue would be to bleed to death. Those Ogres that fall off during this violent rodeo are gored and subsequently eaten by their quarry.

For the successful aspirants, there follows a period in which the would-be Rhinox rider must remain in the saddle at all times and steer the beast with his club. With its walnut-sized brain addled by the repeated blows, the Rhinox slowly becomes accustomed to bearing a rider. In this way, the Ogre wins the acceptance of the beast. Once a Rhinox has been broken in this manner, it is just about possible to domesticate it.

Ogre Rhinox riders return to their tribe with their prize – but not for long. There is a fortune to be made as a mercenary for a young Ogre with his own Rhinox, and every spring, a few new Bulls from the upper slopes will join together and sell their services as the heaviest shock cavalry known to the Warhammer world.

Rhinox riders typically carry all their worldly possessions on their mount, as there is more than enough room, and a broken Rhinox makes an excellent beast of burden. The riders like to advertise their success as Dogs of War and often wear precious metals to show their wealth. Although Rhinox riders can usually secure the victory of any battle they are engaged in, these brutes and their gigantic steeds do not come cheap, and the paymasters of the victorious side have often noted a profound feeling of loss when the spoils of war are shared out.

It is a well-known fact that almost all the Rhinox riders abroad in the world hail from the Ironskin kingdom, populated by a tribe of Ogres who revere their mighty Tyrant almost as much as they revere iron itself.[1]

Source

  • 1: White Dwarf 309 (September 2005; UK Edition) -- pg. 77,78
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