"Creatures of War" is set in the post-apocalyptic future, when the world is ruled by tribes of violent nuclear survivors, who use MAWBs (Modified Artificial Warfare Beasts), or animals used as vehicular weaponry. Each animal is fit with some kind of heavy weaponry, from rifles to plasma cannons.
Here are 5 of the 10 "Creatures of War" from the collection:
The manta rays that glide through the waters beneath the horn of Africa were quickly utilized by the eastern tribes for their speed, size, endurance, and aquatic abilities. The tribes fit the rays with artillery and torpedo shooters, then control their means of travel, having them attack enemies from the beach. Since the rays have never been harmed, they have no need for armor. The stealth and power of the manta ray MAWB has earned it the nickname of "the Imp."
Though the scientific community never confirmed the existence of the Nandi Bear, after the destruction of Europe, a new species of fearsome ursus emerged in Africa, perhaps drawn out by the immense nuclear shockwave. Since no established bear has existed in Africa for thousands of years, the tribes assumed these animals to be the legendary Nandi, and immediately fitted them with 105mm protracting rifles, along with steel armor and electronic sensors. They are terribly destructive MAWBs, angry and powerful, each referred to as a "Goliath" by its foes.
The Tank is a modified African elephant, a MAWB who wears such heavy armor that it has almost no offensive modifications (albeit a small frontal pistol capable of firing lethal shots within ten or fifteen yards). However, its armor is so thick and complex that it can withstand even heavy missiles and fragmentation grenades. Thus, the Tank is usually on the front lines of whichever tribe has employed its defensive capabilities, slowly trudging forward with an anxious vanguard situated behind it.
The Dread Walker
The Dread Walker is one of the few MAWBs made from a deceased animal, usually a giraffe, occasionally a zebra or wildebeest. They are fitted with a sensitive electronic push-device that takes control of the nervous system and therefore controls the body, usually bringing the MAWB into the vanguard, or front of the battle formation. Since Dread Walkers are relatively inexpensive and already dead, they are usually the first to fight and the first to go. They are equipped with standard 75mm hevla guns and lines of grenades.
The Lotus Gunner
The Lotus Gunner, so named because of its relation, in name and body, to the tiger lotus, a plant with flat petals and a large stymen, is a dangerous MAWB and one of the few creatures of war capable of damaging foes without having to use its modifications. Unlike the Artillery and the Goliath, MAWBs whose muscles are only outweighed by their weaponry, the Lotus Gunner is able to retract its cannon whenever in close combat, making it a deadly enemy from both near and far.