Skeleton Horsemen are warriors from Ancient Nehekhara who had proven themselves competent enough to be trusted with a horse and who acted as light shock Calvary. Unlike the usual undead stereotypes, the skeletal steeds that once charged through the deserts of Nehekhara are just as fast-if not more-than they were in life as they are unencumbered by excess weight or armor that many of their contemporaries have, instead seeking out loose formations of infantry to trample beneath their merciless hooves, or to be pierced through with their rider's sharpened spear to shatter formations and lines of infantry.
They display the same loyalty to their riders they had in life, instinctively obeying him as if one in mind and body, only occasionally twitching with some long lost trace of who they were in life or the memories they had shared, as one would expect to find between two long lost comrades and partners.
A History of Horses in Nehekharan Society
Before the time of The Great Catastrophe, human civilization was very rare, yet the other races spawned of the Old Ones were much more abundant and prosperous, such as the Lizardmen, Dwarfs, Sky-Titans and-most importantly for this story-High Elves, for it was them in their desire to colonize that lead to them spreading their influence across the world, and leading to horses being introduced to the various human races of the world.
The Ancient Nehekharans adopted this practice, and used horses since before the dynastic period of their own history-with their own accounts of The Great Catastrophe showing Ancient Nehekharans and High Elves working side-by-side to repel the Daemonic Legions invading the world. According to the same records the ancient gods walked amongst mortals and rode in magnificent chariots of gold and made the desert lands verdant and beautiful long before the birth of man, who were favored by these Gods and who taught them how to write, farm and construct great cities. Whether there are any truth to these legends or if they're perhaps and romantized viewing of the Elves civilizing the humans in Nehekhara and introducing them to things like writing is similar. Likely the nomadic peoples who settled in Nehekhara were introduced to the High Elves and how to maintain and care for them.
It's said taking care of horses in the inhospitable desert was quite the task as the water needed to supply them only the exceedingly prosperous could maintain, meaning the introduction of chariots and the first extensive use of them by Settra in his campaigns showed much of his status.
By the time the the Great Necro-Cancer had his big claim to fame by turning everyone in Nehekhara undead, it was clear horses were extremely venerated and honored in Nehekharan society, despite not having a God dedicated to them like they did with vultures, cats, crocodiles, etc. After years of use in their military in war against countless Greenskins, barbarians, lizardmen, and chaos, they were honored enough to be buried alongside the Priest Kings to guard their tombs and to be used as great mounts for princes. Such an honor surely meant they were valued greatly, as if an extension of the king himself. Additionally the leader of unit of horsemen- Masters of Horses-not only are considered grizzled veterans in their own right, but as a council are considered so knowledgeable about war and their experience so valued that they tend to serve as advisors to the Kings themselves in their campaigns.
Unlike Chariots, which the Tomb Kings use to pierce through more heavily organized formations and hit heavier targets, the role of skeleton horses are to charge into were formations are weak or vulnerable units like artillery and war machines, charging them at great speeds hard and fast. They also have use as baiting forces, causing enemies to overextend or to be kiting into range of the archers they have, along with the usual vanguard/scouting role, chasing routing enemies, and flanking tactics used by most fast Calvary across factions.
Though not barded like other steeds, they are far from defenseless to the fire of projectiles, with each warrior carrying a large shield to defend themselves with and deflect oncoming attacks from missiles, though this is still weak to the newer gunpowder weapons some of humanity and the dwarfs have been using.
|Forces of the Tomb Kings|
|Leaders & Characters||Tomb Prince • Tomb King • Liche Priest • Liche High Priest • Tomb Herald • Necrotect|
|Troops||Skeleton Archer • Tomb Guard • Skeleton Warrior • Nehekharan Warriors • Tomb Swarm • Dust Goblin • Bone Giant • Skeleton Horsemen -Skeleton Horse Archer • Carrion • Necropolis Knight • Mummies- Scythans -Bastethi|
|Constructs||Sepulchral Stalker • Ushabti • Warsphinx • Necrosphinx • Heirotitan • Tomb Scorpion • Bone Thrower • Screaming Skull Catapult • Casket of Souls • Khmeric Titan • Sky-Boats|