“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.”
―Revelation 6:8The Diomedes are a genetically engineered breed of horse that the US Armed Forces developed just before the Great War. They were never deployed, and their genetic material and fetal samples lay frozen beneath the Idaho National Laboratory for centuries. They were only recently unearthed by a Tectonic-backed scavenging mission, and have since become an important part of the Yellowstone Nations.
Diomedes are universally albino and typically stand fifteen hands high. They can gallop at 30 miles an hour while mounted, but some exceptional specimens are faster. They have overdeveloped adrenal glands that allow them to function even after receiving grievous injury, although they will likely die once they have calmed.
Flesh Eating Habits
Unlike other equines, the Diomedes are omnivorous and can consume meat. They do not hunt, but will scavenge flesh when there are no plants available. A sustained diet of meat is abnormal, and will make the animal highly aggressive and unsuitable for riding.
Diomedes are very difficult to breed, and can usually only give birth to live young in captivity. A pregnant animal has need of high nutrition simply not available in the wasteland to bring its young to term. This makes breeding Diomedes an expensive but rewarding profession.
Diomedes are highly prone to health problems as they age. Skin conditions are common, and they must be well cared for to avoid them. In advanced age their hearts are very likely to give out. Cancer is another common illness in Diomedes. They typically live no longer than fifteen years, with many dying far sooner.
Domestication and Human Interaction
Diomedes were created to serve as mounts for humans, and make for fine companions. They tend to bond with their riders over time, and a longtime horseman can push a Diomedes to gallop until its heart bursts. They excel at their original design as warhorses. They can be easily trained to bite and kick enemies when in close quarters, and remain calm around the scent of blood and the sound of bullets.
The Diomedes were rediscovered by a team of scavengers, mercenaries, soldiers, and scientists called the Glass Expedition. They were funded by the Protectorate who immediately took possession Diomedes and were eventually able to clone their first one using a Brahmin as a surrogate. It looks years and a great commitment of resources to bring the herd to sustainable numbers, but the advantages the Diomedes gave the Protectorate were too great to ignore. Glass would embark on a second expedition to the Idaho National Laboratory and was never seen again
Military Units Using Diomedes
Diomedes are essential to several military units
- Tetonic Lancers
- Tetonic Dragoons