This is my take on Ray Harryhausen’s Minoton.
According to ancient records, in the old city of Akragas ruled a terrible and evil tyrant king that was particularly fond on torture. This tyrant worshipped ancient and forgotten demonic gods, the most powerful one being often depicted as a black Aurochs. Sacrifices of blood were regularly offered in front of this god’s unholy altars, many being human lives.
The king was said to have commissioned the construction of life sized bronze statue of an Aurochs, hollow and fitted with a door in one side. The statue was intended to be a diabolical instrument of torture, where victims would be locked inside and a fire would be set under it, heating the metal until the person roasted to death. The account says it was fitted with an acoustic apparatus that converted screams into the sound of a bull, and that the first victim to die in such a fashion was the artisan that created the statue.
This macabre spectacle was said to become the king’s feast’s main entertainment, as well as the main altar to the dark god’s bloody sacrifices.
When old and fearing death, the king ordered a tomb to be built for himself, and a giant maze was dug under a secret cliff by the sea. He consulted his sorcerers and ordered them to prepare his body for eternal life, as well as to provide a champion to protect his tomb forever. Word was sent to summon the most formidable warrior in the world, with promises of unparalleled fortune and glory.
The biggest and strongest warrior of that time was then tricked and brought into the king’s court, where he was kept as an honoured guest and lived in luxury and debauchery while the very best craftsmen of his time were at work developing the most formidable suit of armour to fit him as a glove. When the armour was finished, he was drugged and trapped inside of the armour, that got riveted shut over his body. The suit was topped by a horrendous bull head, and he was in this way chained to a stake where he was slowly cooked alive in a dark ritual of necromancy. It is said that while his screams of agony boomed through the dark chambers, his soul was bound and condemned to rise again as a revenant guardian, forever watching the king’s tomb to keep it safe until the day his evil master would rise from the dead.
The dwarven archer. A terrible underrepresented class in the fantasy genre, yet of vital importance in dwarven armies. Being slow on their feet and having the fast skirmishing elves as a common foe, as well as having to fight from inside their fortifications, all raised the need of specialised ranged troops. Their short stature prevented them from being able to use bows strong enough for the needs of warfare, as the staves were too long for them and shorter bows oh high draw weight were not possible due to raw materials limitations. The solution came in the form of a short, recurved pattern-welded steel bow.
Metal bows are slower than organic ones, and thus less efficient. To make up for that lack of efficiency, the Dwarves had to increase its draw weight greatly, and that made the bow all but impossible to bend. This problem was circumvented by adding a pulley system to it, a technology dwarves are very familiar with due to their stoneworks and mining. The end product is a formidable weapon, that shoots incredibly hard for it's compact size, as well as bringing other benefits as unmatched durability and the ability of staying strung all the time without losing any of it's power.
The range is not excellent though, due to their short and heavy arrows and low speed shot, but at closer ranges it packs a tremendous punch.
This warrior here is represented employing the traditional dwarven thumb draw, and a high standard of armament. This kind of troop can be used on skirmishes at both long and short range, being fully equipped to melee combat as well.
The quiver is separated in 3 segments, and holds 3 different types of arrow, each type coded by its different feathers. The crow feather is for the broad-heads, intended to bleed out a poorly armoured target, the turkey feathers are for the bodkin point, and the grouse feathers for the regular war head. There is also a holster for the bow slung over the sword scabbard.
This warrior’s armour is of high quality, consisting of a blued-steel helmet decorated with bronze, and a maille haubergon worn over a quilted leather gamberson.
The maille consists of equal parts of solid rings and brazed rings (welded with an alloy of brass and zinc) fashioned from high grade and heat-treated steel and decorated with bronze plaques. The very best maille money can buy.
He also sports a traditional seax shaped knife and a dwarven messer-type sword. To top it up, a medium round shield is carried on the back.