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Warhammer Mournfang Cavalry

The Mournfang Cavalry are arguably one of the hardest hitting mounted troops in the known world

The Mournfang Cavalry are arguably the heaviest of their kind, the Ogre Kingdoms utilizing them to brutal effect as a powerful shock force that can literally mow down entire enemy formation in a great, thunderous charge. It is this bold resilience that attracts Ogres to Mournfangs -- for it is hard not to respect an animal that will continue to bite and slash even when its brain has ceased to function. Ogres have tried to capture and break the beasts for mounts since they first encountered the Mournfang -- although for centuries every attempt ended in death or crippling injuries for the Ogres.[1a]

Over the years it has become a sort of rite of Ogrehood, as young aspirants head up the mountains in their attempts to capture one of the savage beasts. Few survive the brutal encounter, for the Mournfang are strong enough to take down any Ogre Bull, but such are the rewards for claiming this mighty beast that many still continue this fatal tradition, even at the cost of many lives. [1a]

OverviewEdit

Warhammer Mournfang Art

A mighty Mournfang stalking the slopes

High up the slops of the Mountains of Mourn lives a cave-dwelling beast that has always attracted the attention of the Ogres -- the Mournfang. Aggressive predators that resemble a blend between the shaggy Rhinoxen and the ferocious Sabretusk, Mournfang packs are led by the largest of their kind and, working together, they can hunt and kill anything that lives in that harsh domain. Mournfangs have a notorious tenacity that makes even the most powerful of creatures think twice about confronting them. Ogres' tales tell of defiant Mournfangs blocking cave entrances or refusing to give ground and every tribe has a story about a beast continuing to fight long after drawing its last breath.[1a]

Mightily built beasts almost hunched with coiled muscles, Mournfangs are straightforward hunters. Upon spying their prey they prefer to charge their quarry, hurtling themselves forward and pouncing at maximum velocity. The impact of such strikes alone can snap a full-grown Ogre in two. Once engaged, a Mournfang will use its ripping claws and powerful jaws to savage its victim. Working together, a pack of Mournfangs can hunt and kill anything that lives in that harsh domain, and even whole Ogre tribes have retreated before the hungry packs. Their toughened hides and thick, matted fur make them incredibly resilient, but it is their relentless nature that has inspired countless tales. It is said that a Mournfang, even when slain, will not relax its bite – but will continue to hold on in a death grip. Woe to anything that crosses paths with a hungry hunting pack.[2a]

It was Ogre Rolgut Hamfists' discovery of the leadership challenges amongst Mournfang packs that led to the first successful capture. In battles reminiscent of Tyrant challenges in the maw-pit, the largest Mournfangs engage in their own violent fights to claim the pack's alpha position. Their bloody and protracted contests result in the death of the losing beast, as even these bad-tempered hulks of muscle and matted hair can bleed to death. The victor will be exhausted and have lost a lot of blood as a result of the fight. As Rolgut discovered, this is the best time for an Ogre to vault onto a Mournfang's back. If the Ogre can hold on during the wild ride that follows, and can remain atop the beast until it passes out from blood loss and exertion, he will have done it. For when the groggy Mournfang finally comes to, it will concede to its new master. Ogres that fall off during this violent rodeo are gored and eaten by their quarry.[1a]

For the successful aspirants, there follows a period in which the would-be Mournfang rider must remain 'strong in the saddle' at all times, steering the beast with his club. The Mournfang, its walnut-sized brain addled by the repeated blows, finally becomes fully accustomed to bearing a rider. Once a Mournfang has been broken in this manner, it is nearly possible to domesticate it and the great beast will live and travel with the Ogre tribe. Mournfang in such captivity do not breed, however, so Ogres must still climb the mountains to seek out Mournfang packs in the midst of their own leadership challenges.[1a]

WarfareEdit

There is a fortune to be made as a mercenary for a young Ogre with his own Mournfang, and every spring a few stout lads from the upper slopes will join together and sell their services as the heaviest shock cavalry in the known world. Powered by thick haunches of purest muscle, Mournfangs surge towards the foe at a speed faster than their muscle-bulked frames would suggest, not slowed in the least by the large Ogre or saddle atop its hairy back. Protected by thick skin and coarse shaggy hair, enemy arrows bounce off the oncoming beast or ping off the Ogre's armour as harmless as hailstones.[1a]

When they do smash into an enemy, the powerful Mournfangs chomp, slash and stamp the foe whilst the Ogres lay about them, swinging ponderous clubs to bludgeon the foe. The results are devastating, with the fallen not just slain, but utterly pulverized, pounded into the bloody ground by a profusion of heavy blows. Alothough whole units of Mournfang Cavalry can usually secure the victory of any battle they are engaged in, these brutes and their gigantic steeds do not come cheap, and the Tyrants or paymasters of the victorious side often note a profound feeling of loss when the spoils of war are shared out.[1a]

MinatureEdit

Source Edit

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 43
  • 2: Scrolls of Binding (Storm of Magic Compendium)
    • 2a: Section: Mournfang

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