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Warhammer Tomb Kings Skeletal Horse Archers

A legion of Horse Archers unleashing their barrage

The Skeleton Horse Archers of Nehekhara are likened to an angry desert wind, one that appears suddenly and leaves only the dead and the dying in its wake. Skeleton Horse Archers move relentlessly across the battlefield, firing volleys of magically blessed arrows into their foes before turning about and escaping retribution. As the Undead cavalry turn, they disappear from view as they ride into the cloud of dust thrown up by the hooves of their tireless, unliving skeletal steeds.[1a]

Before the cavalry archer's stunned victims can recover their wits, the Undead horsemen reappear, loosing another deadly salvo. The horse archers of ancient Nehekhara were very different to the other living warriors in the king's army. They were not soldiers, raised and trained within the vast cities of Nehekhara, but nomadic tribesmen that dwelt in the deep desert. Such warriors knew the ways of the parched plains better than any city-born man, and with their swift mounts, they could traverse the shifting dunes without fear of getting lost.[1a]

OverviewEdit

Such was their skill on horseback that they were said to have been born in the saddle and their marksmanship, unhindered by the jarring motion of their galloping mounts, was renowned throughout Nehekhara. The kings had great need of such warriors and guides, and they would pay much gold to hire their services as mercenaries. It was not until the reign of Rakaph III, of the second dynasty, that horse archers became a permanent feature in the armies of Nehekhara. Rakaph granted these tribes the freedom of the desert, the protection of his grand armies and as much gold as their chieftains could carry, in exchange for an annual tithe of warriors who would swear an oath of unswerving loyalty and obedience to the king.[1a]

Ever since then, the kings of ancient Nehekhara maintained strong contingents of horse archers amongst their armies. Skeleton Horse Archers are the outriders and scouts of the Tomb Kings army. Whereas mortal horses need regular rest and water, skeletal steeds cross the vast tracts of open desert at a relentless pace. Even in death, these Undead horsemen maintain an innate ability to track and hunt their quarry through the shifting dunes, and no sandstorm can obscure their targets from them. As scouts, Skeleton Horse Archers hinder the movements of the enemy and harass their flanks in fleeting, yet bloody skirmishes. These attacks do much to slow the advance of the Tomb King's enemies, pinning them in place while the Tomb King manoeuvres his own warriors into position.[1a]

WarfareEdit

When Skeleton Horse Archers are on the warpath, they strike without warning or mercy. The first an enemy soldier knows that he is in danger is when a black fletched arrow plunges into the throat of the man next to him, the gurgling cry of pain a ghastly prelude of the slaughter to come. An instant later another comrade falls to the ground, an arrow shaft protruding from his blood-slick chest as his pierced heart empties its contents onto the desert sands. With every passing second more arrows find their mark, falling amongst the enemy like a deadly rain.[1a]

As the Skeleton Horse Archers close upon their foes, their enemy sees them for the first time, appearing through the haze of the desert heat like a terrifying mirage. At a silent command, the skeletal riders urge their Undead mounts forwards and the archers' grinning skulls turn to face the panic-stricken survivors. With eyeless sockets never wavering from their targets, the Skeleton Horse Archers raise their weapons and draw back bowstrings once more. As mortal warriors turn and flee for their lives, the last thing they ever feel is the searing agony of an arrow slamming into their backs.[1a]

MiniaturesEdit

  • 6th Edition.

SourceEdit

  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Tomb Kings (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 37

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