Gorax

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Gorax are great, hulking, humanoid brutes inhabiting the temperate forests of western Immoren. They are consummate carnivores and have a particular fondness for human flesh.

Physical Characteristics

A gorax is thickly muscled, with iron-hard tendons and bones as dense as hardwood. A heavy mane of matted hair grows down a gorax’s spine, matched by similar patches on the backs of its disproportionately long arms. The claws of its large hands are ideal for digging or slashing deep furrows in the flesh of prey. A wide maw, distended by hardened teeth and tusks protruding at irregular angles, dominates the creature’s ugly face. A gorax's adrenal glands are nearly as large as the kidneys beneath.[1]

Gorax are well known for a rancid odour. Gorax saliva and sweat is thick with pheromones. A gorax habitually licks its arms to keep its musk strong, as those with more powerful odour are likelier to attract a mate. Most other creatures are repulsed by the smell of the gorax.[1]

Behaviour

A gorax possesses a cunning mind despite its primitive features. Gorax are able to communicate with one another through a rough series of guttural vocalisations, and they can be taught through extended effort to follow simple commands.[1]

Gorax become even stronger in response to nonfatal wounds. Rather than slow a gorax down, injuries drive it to lash out with ever-increasing savagery and strength until it is forced into a blind frenzy of bloodlust, during which it is strong enough to tear a warhorse in half. A wounded gorax remains in this state for an extended period, sometimes as long as several hours after the injury that caused it.[1]

Wild gorax prefer dark and damp dwellings, like natural caverns. They expand the interior of a cave by scraping the walls with their claws, and a gorax den is easily identified by deep, overlapping furrows carved into rock. Gorax often keep a surplus of meat in their dens and will drag half-eaten prey back to their caverns for later consumption. Gorax and trolls often compete for prey and territory, particularly when a troll is drawn to the site of a gorax den by the smell of stored meat. When the two meet, they tear at each other savagely, and the victor typically consumes the body of the slain.[1]

Gorax are generalist carnivores. Any animal that comes close enough to a gorax is eaten with little hesitation, though they seem to hold human flesh in high regard. Gorax that taste the blood of mankind seek it out, which has caused some of them to move from the wilderness into the fringes of civilisation.[1]

Employment

The ability to be trained coupled with the gorax’s response to injuries makes them a popular spectacle in underground arenas. Gorax are often wounded by handlers prior to a bout, which typically involves the beast fighting packs of vicious dogs or groups of men armed with bladed weapons.[1]

During the Thousand Cities Era, the gorax were prized for their relative cunning and response to pain and used the beasts as frontline shock troops. Directed at the enemy, dozens of gorax would tear across the field of battle unimpeded by arrows. Once they fell upon a column, their strength already greatly magnified by pain, the enemy would quickly be torn to pieces. Once the creatures’ blood lust became too great to control, they were simply killed. The tendency of raging gorax to attack allies and enemies in equal measure eventually reduced their use in battle.[1]

The blackclads of the Circle Orboros continue to widely use the gorax as warbeasts. The druids have bribed them with food and mates, for they are conditioned to accept training and do not require armament to fight effectively. The Circle taps into the primal chaos seething deep within the maddened minds of gorax and spreads that raw strength like a fever among other warbeasts, transforming untapped aggression into bestial destruction.[2]

The human mad scientist Dr. Arkadius has also devised a way to control gorax in a similar manner to brute boars and giant hogs by adding alchemical injectors containing his devotion elixir to the creature’s adrenal glands.[3]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Iron Kingdoms Unleashed
  2. Forces of Hordes: Circle Orboros
  3. No Quarter 56
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