Credits

Design and Writing: Gary Astleford, Steve Darlington, and Robert J. Schwalb

Slaves of Destiny: Chris Pramas

Development: Robert J. Schwalb Editing: V, Studios Proofreading: Scott Neese

Graphic Design & An Direction: Hal Mangold

Cover An: Andrea Uderzo and Scott Purdy WFRP Logo: Darius Hinks Interior Art: Miguel Coimbra, Mike Franchirta, l'aul "Pro}" Herbert, Jon Hodgson, Andy Law, Par Loboyko, Scott Purdy, Wayne Reynolds, Christophe Swal

Canography: Andy Law

WFRP Development Manager: Kate Flack Head of Black Industries: Marc Gascoigne

A Black 'Industries Publication

First published in 2006 by BlackIndustties, an imprint ofBL Publishing

BL Publishing

Games Workshop. Ltd

Willow Road

Nottingham

NG72WS

UK

Warhammer, Warhammer FaBt;lsy" Roleplay, the Warhammer Pamasy Roleplay logo, Blacldndusaies, the Black.lndusrries logo. and all associated races and race_iJ]j;ignia,1UlI1k,s,

names, characters, .illusrrations, and images from me Warhamme~ universe are either ®> TM> and/or © Games Workshop Ltd2000-2005, variably

registered in the tJKaod other commies around the world. All rights reserved,

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used with permission.

"No part of rhis publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means eleccronic mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without me prior permission ef the publishers.

© Copyri.,oht Garnes Workiliop Limited 2006. All Rights Reserved. Games Workshop, me Games Workshop logo,

Produ:ct Code: 600402830i5

ISBN 10: 1-84416-307-$

ISBN13: 978-1-84416--307-6

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Table of Contents

IN'I'RODUcrrON 3

CHMTER I: THE SKAYEN s\R.E R.£.iL, AND THEY ARE

A,\fO 'G US!m. j

Legends of the Rarmen 6

Form and Function I4

Chronicles of the Skaven 24

CHAPTER Il. SKA VEN. HIsTORY 27

The First Wave "" 27

Skave:nblighr 28

Disaster at Skavenblighr 28

Afrermarh and Expansion 29

The Crushing of rhe Dwarfs 29

Nagash ;o

The R.ise oj Clan Pestilens 30

The Glorious Dearh 31

The Spreading Shadow J3

Presenr Threats 14

CHAPTER ill:

SKA YEN 50crITy 17

- Skaven Temperament-e- rr

Skaven Personaliry ,8

The Enemy Wirhin J9

Slca.ven and Orher Races ,9

Dwarfs JI)

Elves· .. ···· J9

H alf1ings 19

Humans·········· .. ······· · ·· 39

Orfier .Races 40

- Skaven Life - 40

Language '10

Drugs cmd Warpstone 41

Skaven Customs and Behaviour .41

Flarrery· .. ····· .. · .. ··.·· · · 4T

I 11.f anticide 41

Marking '12

Nose Elevation '12

Supersririon '12

Teerh Grinding '12

Verhal Abuse of Minions 42

W;~~hir~~ ~~~~=~~: .. ~.:~.:::::::.!~

- Skaven Government - +1

The Council of Tbirteer: 44

The Four Grear Clans 45

Gllln Eshin. '15

Clan Moulder 46

Clan Pesrilens 47

Clan. Skryre '18

The Warlord Glans 49

CI,an Flem 49

Clan Mors , 49

Clan Skao jO

Clan Skaar 50

Clan Ska~l 50

Clan Sleekit jO

aan, Yerms _. 50

CHAPTER IV:

SKA YEN SETTI:EMENTS 5I

- The Under-Empire - 5I

GeographY of the Under~Empire5I Climare in the Under~EmpiTe .... 52 Highwo,ys and Bywqys: Joining

[he Under~Empire Togerher 52

$kclVen Serrlemenrs , jJ

Shaven Architectur:e JJ

Skaven Communaies of Nore j4

Black Chasm " .. j4

The Gir} oj Pillars j4

Hell Pi: j4

Mousillon jj

Q.ueekwel.1 ········ ·· · .. ····· ·5j

Slca.venblighr 5j

UndeNUrdorf 56

- Sample Sertlemem - 56

Un.der~Delber:{, 56

- Warbands - 62

Sample Skaven Warband 62

Custom Skaven Clans ~ 63

Clan Si,ze tH

Cl.an Influence 6J

CLan Serrlemenrs 6j

Cl,an Talents 6i

Sample Skaven Clan 1M

CHAPTER. V:

SKA VENW ARfARE .•....•.•..••. 65

-Prey- 65

- Tacrics-« 65

Fear 66

Inrelligence 66

Plague 66

Poison 67

Slave Harvesting 67

SreaIth 67

Strength in Numbers 67

- Types. of Skaven - 68

Assasstns 68

ClQ;nrats 68

Clanrar Slaves ,,~ 68

Globadiers 69

Grey Seers 69

Gurrer Runners 70

Nighr Runners 70

Packmasrers .. ···· .. ·· .. · .. ···· .. ··· .. · ····7°

Plague Censer Bearers 70

Plague MonkS 70

Rat Og1'es 71

Skaven Females. 71

Srormvermin 72

Warlock Engineers 72

- Tools of War - 72

Weapons of the Skaven 72

Clan SkrJ1'e' 5 Tools of War 7 j

- Skaven Magic - 76

Perzy Magic (Warp) 76

Dark Lores 77

The Lore of Plague 77

The Lore of Stealth 78

The Lore oj Warp 78

New Spells : 78

- Warpstene - 82

Warpsrone Dust 82

Warpsrone Tokens " 82

Unrefined Warpstone 82

- Warpstone Anefacts - 82

CI.an Skryr.e Technomancy 84

Requiremenrs, 84

Design 84

Building the Device 87

Using the Device 87

Malfunctions 88

Filling in the Blanks 88

Sample Device 88

CHAPTF.R VI:

SKA YEN CHARACTERS •••••.•• 89

- Roleplaying Skaven - 89

- Creating Skaven Characters - .. 92

- Skaven Careers - 94

Basic Careers 9'1

Advanced Careers f}7

New Talents "" , 103

- Fleshmoulding - 104

Requirements [04

CHAl"TER VII:

A SKA YEN CAMPAIGN 106

- Skaven as Villains - roe

The Skaven Gonspiracy I06

- Skaven as PCs- [07

Skaven Pl.ayer Groups r07

Skaven Adventures r08

- Against the Skaven - I09

- Under-Empire Bestiary - III

CHAPTER Vlll.

Su YES OF DEsTINY u8

lNDE,X 127

2

Introduction

n ats, Dis.gastiug creatures aJL [n rhc Old World, r~e- r~ar ~ "-symbolizes decay and disease, The creatures lurk 111 the midden andthe privy, in the slaughter yard and [he borreyard. They gnaw at the dead and ar their rotten flesh and if nor prevented they creep into homes and granaries, breeding in warm beds and devouring fre~h food. And unlike the goat getting into rhe cabbages, a single rat in the gr:Illary could

do more than JUSt reduce the food store . 1JJ.e tilrb ir carries with it could poison [he whole

harvest, leaving me peasants with

rwe uuenvlable choices: death by starvation or dearh by SOme hideous plague.

To conrrol {he rats, the Empire employs Rat Catchers, men who cour [he sewer and streets with trusty mall (bur vicious) dogs at their sides. These brave men go even into me di msteful bowels of [he cities, doi ng their parr tQ Stem the Rood of me pestilential !'<l[. Thol.lgh he may reek ofbis hUlldng grounds and his prey, a Rat Catcherbearing a pole with a dozen far brownies

ried by their rails is a happy sight

to all Older 'Voriders, r~gardJess of clas or ration,

OM NBS: RaTS! Rctt-s! Horriblerau!

Bur the: Rat Catchers know mere rhan they Jet Oil. Behind the far,:ade of grimy Faces and hard eyes, [hey know [hal sornethi tlg Far worse lurks below me srreers, Certainly if you ask them [hey will deny it, bur the truth is there. You can see it in their face when they heat [he scrabbling dick: of cLlIWS on the cobbles, OJ when they see the tattered silhouette of some bent creature peering Out from an alley, They know rhere are things mar look like rats, bur larger. Things rhar

walk upright like men.

No mere Beastmen, these crearures are Far roo cunning, and wiLd:ly dangerous. 111e)' fight with care, employ terrible weapons of destruction, and are relenrless in their despite for (he surface races. The wise men and sages, kings and viziers, say mar these creatures don't exist. The Rat Caschers

know better. Each one knows a peer or three who did not rerum from their forays into the sewers, whose bodies were never FOLLnd. They say chat these unfortunates were sacrificed, were taken by the Children 0f me Horned Rat, by

the Skaven,

W ATCI'fMAN: Rats in- rhe streers! HERR GUSSER: And rers in- t.he houses!

FAAU GUSSER: Ran in. my hair!

MAID: RaIS in Ihe beefs!

J URGEN GUSSE1\.; And rats in my trsusers!

GOVllRNESS: And rars in the cradles!

FATHn. FFELLEl'..: Rats in the soup! INNKEEPER: And rllrs in rhe ladles!

OMNES: Rats! Rats! Horrible horrible rars!;'

--mOM THE Ol'ENlNG CHORUSEP..OM DzrLEF SJERCK'S COMIC OPERA, "THE R.l:n OF HAMMliTAT"

This vol urn e examines 011e of the most danger-eus races

in theOld World: the Skaven, These Rannen batch terrible plors, commit profane atrocides, and breed both their OWI1 spawn and pestilence with equal zeal. ali co overrh (OW Humanity's long ~eign on-the surface. While the Skavec have made many artemp£s to destroy and enslave Humans, they

lire thrown back each time into their warrens, defeated by me resolve of the good people of the Empire. Bur me Skaven ar-e nor exclusive ro the most' populous regions of the Old World. No, their Under-Empire extends to every corner of humanity's kingdoms, from as fal" away <l$ exotic Cathay to me steaming jungles of Lusrria. Considering how Widespread and powerful [hey are, ir is a wonder the people of all nations aren't cowering in their homes f0r fear of rheir irupendlng doom. The reason? The kaven dear exist.

WILCX)MB TO CHllJ)UN 01 nm HoUID JUrI

Or so say the powers [hat be.

WHAT'S INSIDE

Children oftheHomed Rat-explores every aspecr of me 5kavel1., from their history (0 [heir culture, from the traits of their various b reeds to th e hahi [5 0 f their most in fa m 0 us v illains,

Wit.hin these pages is all me Information you need to bring these dreaded foes full-foreeinro YOill campaigns. Inside Y:-0u'1l lind:

Chapter One: The Skaven Are Real, And They Are Among Us!

This chapter explains how rhe people of the Old World see

me Skaven, examining their tendency (0 shroud legends of the sinister Rarmen in myth and denial. In addition, thi chapter offers advice for [hose who would com bar [he Skaven menace,

ln cI udi n g-v iC\'IS fro rn establish cd SkaVCJl hun rers, rips fo r equipment; ana a list of the tell-tale signs of a Skaven infestadon. This chapter also provides a broad overview of the different t:ype5 of Skaven, as well as examining rheir physiology and habits, From me perspective of [he sornev .... bar bafBed residents of the Empire. A few legends of me Rarmen are also explored.

Chapter Two: SkayeD History

This chapter examines [he history of this insidious race, revealing several diabolical secrets regarding [he Skavens' origins.

Introduction

PRISONER OF SKAVENBIJGHT

The last thing h~ remembered was pra.ying co Sigmar. A tef'rifying animafJace had snarled, he'd hea"d a blade hit h~~ helm, and his vision hadJa-ded a second beJore his mind did. And he had prayed to Slgmar rhar he would net die that day.

For a moment, when he came to, he thanked his GodJor having had heard. him. Then his vision cleared, and he felt the weight around his neck and arms, and he knew [he Gods were cruel. and fickle. He did in.deed nve, but as a chained prisoner oj tHe Ratmen ..

He stared around the cramped stone cell he was (yi.ng in, trying [0 sse joce« in the darkness. Were any oj hisfeUow soldiers here? A JriendlyJace would be a great comfort. Bur he saw on(.y old men he did not know, their eyes reflecting his ownfear back at him. He thought of his brorher,I-feinrich, who hQd disappeared fighting the Ratmen. rhat spring-had he ended up in a place like this? If so, might he stiH be here?

That hope ga7.Jehim courage. He began to stand, ptkshing hisboqy up against the rock walls. Almost i'mnw.diate/y, anor"er prisoner crashed into him, grappling him with cold, clammy arms. He looked into thejace, hoping for anything Jamiliar, but there was no longer even any huma.nity there. The eyes lolled, bloodshot and blind, and the withered skin was stuck IO the skull like wet PQper. The madman tried [0 talk, but his mourh was filled wirh sores, and his t~gue had long o,go been severed WiTh a dull knife.

He pushed a.way rhegnarled prisoner, and raised himself up again. He could see a gate, and a light beyondi.r, and .then at[ oj a sudden, the light was gone. At the rop oj the darkness that replaced it, the tight silhouetted two pointed ears, and whiskers wafting in a slight bree.t.e. The smell stung his eyes, and heJell back. The gare clanged open, and leathery clQWS grabbed his chains and dragged him. OUt oj the cell.

The world spun about him. HeJelt the pebbles of II rocky path cutting into his back as he was dragged. A cliff Ja.ce towered above, and beyond it, a cavern of impossible site,Jilled with tight, and neise, the sound oj a thousandfol'ges and a thousand shipyards, though how stich rhings could be found in the dark underground, he couldn't undersrand. The dragging stopped, and he lolled imo thejeLIow prisoner» who. were being dragged Qiong with him. He saw the alii madman again, still trying to form words, bellowing our urgent sounds at himJrom his broken throat. A warnirrg, perhaps? A terrible cry about wha.r was to come? What rorrure would they have him endure? What knowledge could rhey possiblY7leedJrom him?

CLaws grabbed him, and threw his body 01\to a wooden seat. Spikes hammer-ed his 'IJ1Tist-shackles into the wood, Iockine him into plac.e. Dimly,. he realised it was some kind oj sLave galley. An iron-bound handIe sa! inJron.t oj him, and rheJloor moved when he trod on it. Nor a galley, he thought, bur a rreadmilL,jor cru.shing grain. They mean!" ro use him as slave labour. Well, he co.uld handle that. He had worked a rreadmill as a bqy. It would be brutal work, but at night he could plan his escape. He was strong. AlmoSt as strong as his brother. He wouldjind others like him. He weuLd escape. He woulcL survive.

Another beLIow came as the madman was pushed in neXI [0 him. Herecoile.d in horror as once 'lgain the crazed cripple grabbed a! his hands, sliding over rhem. with his death-coLd skin. T.hen he saw it. The oU manwa.s putting their hands toger:her, next ro ea.ch other, so it was obvious that the rings they each wore on their second fingers were identical.

He looked ·up in sudden realisation. He stared into the eyes oj the broken, inhuman creature that his brother had become in only six months. And he went mad.

This chapter explores the intricacies of kaven society, providing details on its hierarchy. rhe nuances of octal Inreracnlon between its members, and me minutiae and details of me culture, such as it" is, that binds these abominaricns together.

Chapter YI: Settlements

The kaven world bears a disconcerting resemblance [0 the surface world, This chapter illustrate the app'car:auce, organisation, and SITllCtllIC of.Skaven serrlements,

Chapter Vi Warfare

This chapter explains the martial morivations of me bellicose Skaven as well all offer.ing Icsighr into typical Skaven tactics. This chapter also includes new spells and rules for Warp Technology.

Chapter VI: SkaYeD Characters

Designed for groups who want a more vicious game or for Game Masters who want more robust adversaries, this chapter presents new Careers and Talents designed specifically tor Skaven,

Chapter Wi A SkaveD Campaign

This chapter is invaluable for campaig-ns char heavily feature Skaven, whether as Player Characters or as 0pp0Ilem:s. Filled with roleplaying tips and ad venture seeds, it pulls rogerher and provides context for ill of me informarien presented previously

Chapter VID; Slaves of Destiny

Finally. an advenrure pitting the adventurers against the foul Racmca is provided, as well as guldleltnes for playi ng the

SCCIl:;triO From the side of the 5kaven as well. .

4

THE SKA YEN ARE REAL, AND THEY ARE AMONG US!

11 )'OU are reading this, thenJirst I chankyou, bur second I must warn you: herein are conrai~d rTu[hs)'ou wiU not wish co hear, and that others lLiIl seek to persecute you for knowing. If you llre reading this in any roum or dry in che Empire, then know without doubt [har ther« are one or more Skaven warriors within a mile of ),ou, andfuTthermore that they art, er this moment, plQnning or carrying our aas of theft and murder, spreading sedition, and working to bring about the destruction of our great Empire and rhe death of every person within it. The Skaven are real, and they are among us, and they aTe working con5tantg. to murder us all.

If you havefound rhis document, then it means rharyou are one of rhefew with che courage rojaee this truth and the desire to knew more about J-our enM\,Y.lr is jor you chat I have assembled chese pages. They are based on IOyears of sru4Y and exploranon, during which 1 travelled across all :he Old World, seeking truth in aU tbe oldest books and alL the darkest corners. 1 have tried to learn everything of che Skaven that L can, so chac you and rhose like you need no longer be ignorant and afraid. There are, 1 know, mo.ny of you who hope seen through the comforting UtS and know thot the Rarmen are an ever--ptesent and very dead{y threat. 1 hope that with this document those who wert! ignorant will be made aware, and rhose who were alreaqy awart' wilL become learned and skill hunters of rhe beasts. Perhaps if enough learn what they are, and of the atrocities oj which they are capable, we may one dllJl rogether drag t.hese vermin OUt into (he hars.h light oj day.

Yours in Vigilance, Ammelie Meyer, Priesress of Verena, 2522

5

LEGENDS OF THE RATMEN

There are few tales told of the Skaven, for those who have seen rhern do no! wish to be reminded of such horrors, and those who have not seen them have little desire to hear stories of invisible enemies when [here are so many more apparent ones in this age of war. What few exist I have collected here, as an example of both the truths and the fictions that surround the Ratmen.

It is said that all myths COntain a glimmer of truth. Our first Story's purpose, however, is to bury that glimmer, to eliminate the truth and

PUt a great falsehood in its place. It transmutes historical facts and honourable deeds, in particular those of Emperor Mandred Ratslayer, into a child's tale of the Ratslayer driving OUt vermin.I present it here as a demonstration of tbe full extent of the lies our children are being taugbt,

GRAF MANDRill THE RATSLAYER AND THE INCREDIBLE CHEESE

1 n rhe year IIIl after [he reign of Sigmar, there came a great calamity. The people of the Old W orid were even more wicked [han they are today. They had turned away from Sigmar and Ulric and rhe goodly Gods, and the Gods of Evil and Chaos punished them gleeJ ulry for rhis. First there came a great. plague oj horrible black boils, and rhousands upon thousands died in their beds and on the srreers And then came an endless horde oj rats, larger than an)'

the world has ever seen, and at their head ran [he rar-kings, [he Skaven, larger and mere cunning and more deadly than alI other rats. With these leaders the rats ran unafraid through the land .. They fed on the Living as well as the dead, killing rhe )'Ol.mg and

the old. With each passing day, the rets grew ever more bra;ren and more lJicious. They arracked men and women in the streets, they chased dogs and killed cats andJeared no trap or ner, nor was there enough poison in the whole oj the Empire [0 kill them.

Soon there wa.s nor a town or village in the Empire thar was free of rhem. They filled the streets and rushed along the gurrers. They sur on the rooftops and rhe steeples, chell crawled through [he middens and climbed inro [he privies. They ate the Jood and rhzy poisoned

the wi.ne and they scratched the widows and they bit the babies. They ran through the great palaces of AlldorJ and the rrading houses of Marienberg and the College.s of Nuln, and they came swarming over the greal wall oj Talabheim. Soon, mOSI every man and woman in rhe Empire lay sickening or lay in their graves. And all the while rhe Skaven kings did laugh ro see such slaughter.

Only Middenheim held our against the plague and [he rats, safe

er the tOp of Ulricsoerg. Graf Mandred wi.sety ordered tbe great via.duclS oj [he city smashed before the rers could cross, and men stood ar every waU and window with [ire and oU ro SlOp them climbing up the rocks. Bur the rats swarmed around the base of tna: mounrain and the citY lay besieged. Months passed, and rhefood grew short. GraJ Mandred knew [hat though he could protecr his people from the plague he could nor protect themJrom hunger. Yet he and his soldiers were roofew to rum the tide oj ratS away from the mountain, and rhere would be no help coming from che souch, Jor all the ocher ciries hadfaUen to the endless hunger of rhe rars.

For 13 days and lJ ni.ghts Mandred sat on his throne, trying [0 rhink oj a solurion lest all the men of the Empire perish and Sigmar's grea.r narionJall back inro Chaos and darkness. And on the morning of rhefourreenrh day, he stood up in triumph,Jor he had a plan.

He called together all the sroreJolk oj the town: rhe shopkeepers, _..n.,..-......,. rhe butchers, the bakers, theJishmongers, rhe men who owned

the warehouses and Slored the grains and the men who owned rhe res/aurum! and cookedfor the lords. And he summoned all [he peuple of the city also, and he charged rhem all with a simple task: 10 bring forward aillheir mears and cheesesJrom their larders.

The people cried our at this,Jor rhey had so Lirtle lefr, and rhey feared the Grof mean! ro Starve them. then and there. The Gro] calmed them, speaking [0 them of his great plan. Such was his kindness and conviction that rhe people knew he meant them no harm at all, and such was the wisdom of his plan that aU in the ciIY at once Jell ro their rasks.

Meanwhile, GraJ Mandred called upon the engineers to bring for!h rhe largest smelring pOI in the armoury. This pOI was lorge enough to boil a man on a horse, and [hey irs purpose WaS to sme!.t the cannon~batlsJor the grear rrebuchers. He ordered lhe great pOI co be placed in (he Square oj Martial5, righr infronr of rhe palace. And all the people of the ciry were asked to bring their meats and cheeses and throw them inro the giant ves.sel. And so they did, every one, bringing sausages and soup bones and dried steak, and so many cheeses: great wheels of Ulric's Day, and Red Sa/.zemund and Nordland Copper and many more,Jor rhe cows had been spared the plague ami given much milk thar spring, and cheese was plenry. Soon, rhough the pm was huge, ir wasJull wirh cheeses and mears, aJeastJitJor a thousand men, maybe more.

Then the Graf hitched a m.ighry team oj oxen ro the POl, and they began ro move if. They cook it dOllln ro rhe very borrom of thaI great tiJ)I, and thenfarrher, down into the runnels beneach. The DwarJs guided their way, and great logs were rolled under the por ro help it move. Soon enough, rhey had the giant pot sitring next

to the Grear Black Well, that awesome channel thor pushes water [ortb jrom. the deepest depths, miles and miles below Ulricsberg. This great well provided (he people oj Middenheim with almost

all tluir warer, and was the lifeblood oj rhe ciry. Graf Mandred honoured the Black Well, and askedJorgivenessfrom the Gods, andJrom the Dwarfs, andJrom the people of Middenheim, and from the earrh irselj,Jor what he lIIaS about ro do.

Firsr, he gave the order Jor [he grear bell oj Ulric ro be rung out IJ rimes. This was [he signalJer I'll! the goodJolk of Middenheim to hide in their homes and in the watchtowers, to Jind the highest ground [hey could. Soon onry the soldiers remained on rhe streets and walls, so as to protect any J olk found wandering. Down below Gro] Mandred ordered rhe pot to be raised up on rhe logs, and a great jire Ii! beneath it. The bonJire blazed, and soon enough, the grear pile oj cheese and meat began [0 melt and warm, then bubble and boil. A grear aroma waJred off rhe por, the mosr delicious thing rhar had ever been smelt or smelled in rhar dry. So strong was rhisflavour thar ir was soon born on rhe wind, rising up our oj the undercity, shooting our through the pigeon holes in the rock ['[selj, and down rhrough the runnels ro the ground below, and ever oUIward, onro the plains.

The rar hordes below were hungry and angry, and had begun eating each other Jor want oj prey. When rhe smell hit [heir noses, they wenr into afrenzy oj hunger. Their mauihs jilled with foam and their eyes with red desire, and they thought oj onry one thing: to find thisJood and devour it. In a huge wave the rars charged up the mountain, climbing over each other in their fury, and at their head ran the Sk(7)en lords.

They charged up [0 [he top oj rhe cliff face and swarmed over the walls. Others runn.elled in rhrou.gh the pigeon holes and raced up

J

6

:i ~ [[( nnds lowards the scent. So grear WGS The odor, so

J ur10U$ was their hu.nger [ho.t :.'-..!)' cared for nothingebe !>w !O Jind rhe source and ear unril sated. 'Lhey did nor see :hat rhe streets were empty.

T h ej1 did nozce re rha r r hey met no guards. All rhey cared [or was the delicious smell oj cheese and flesh in t.hat great boiling pot.

Dotvn and down rhey raced, ja:ws J rorhing, eyes bulging, their hunger raging, thei.r claws r,eady f Or .de.ath. Down they charged to the great cooking pot, where Graf

.'4a ndred a.nd his men still stood. Hundreds of the beasts, rhousands of them,filled [he dry and choked [he runnels benearh. And as (hO' lcaprjor rheirfood', andfor the Graf's men, the Grtif galle [he word. The Dwarfen engineers lit rhetrfuses, and the gunpowder exploded. The Grear Black Well was splirasunder, and an. endles'S WGlIe oj water bursrjorrh into rhe tunnels. II gushed like a rorrenr, spil!ingdown rhrough all rhe w.nnels,ji!Iing the under-city [0 the top and washing .~mo the 5t'reets above.

The tide oj water blasred the ra!s againsr t.he walls and choked them with its jury. Those who survived i.rsjirsr coming could nor swim agairul the current, rheir small arms useless agai~sr tne ever-ill/ing uxuers.L» ajew momenIS, every single rat was drowned. And the

last do go u,nder where the Skaven Iords, paddling desperarely agai~sr Ihe flood and sC'r'faming j or help as the walers covered rhem. The Graj and his men, whose strong strides had taken them safely !O rhe surface, watched aU the Skaven lords die, and watched their bodies sink below, and knew thar the horror of the rats had paJsed. The neX( day, Mandred raised his troopsQnd marl:hed our co relieve the great city of A/rdorf, andfrom there onward to the whole Empire. When he had finished, [he people made Graj Mandred the Emperor, and he Tuledlong a.nd wiselY over th« land he had saved.

And every year since, on the C4th of Ulric-Tide, we celebrare

the great viclory of Emperor Mandred the Rars/qyer by boiling up a big PO! oj cheese and sausage for all to ear, joyous in the knowledge that the rats were driven out and that never more shall rhey refurn to plague our gre~r Empi.re,

-,FROM THE GREAT GRMS Of MIDDENHEJM, CIf/WREN'S REIiDER The following tale is told throughout the Empire, with the ciryin question always changing tosuit the audience. I have been unableto trace the origin of tbe SIOry) bur if ir was nor inspired by real events, there arecenainly events much like it happening allover the empire, far more often than we would ever care [0 imagine.

THE HORRIBLE TALE OF TRESPASS THE RATBOY

There once w~s a, butcher who lived in the dry oj Middenheim, and he had a son by the name oj Tre~pass. Now, Trespass was a perjecrly normal lad, excepting for [hefatr .thar he had six toes on his righ! foot. When. the boy was born rheforher grabbedjor his deaver to lop thor e~tra roe right ojj, bur his morherdid wail and

hold the boy away j rom such a thing. 50 they were mer.ciful, and called ncr j or the Wirch Hunrers,jor who would lose a strong sonfor nowt bur an eX[Ta roe?

One iummer day, Trespass was playing barej oor 1virh rhe other children, and they saw his six roes, and rhey pointed and laughed .. They called him names and rhrew horse-cakes at him and ma.de him crJI.

But rhey didjar more than rhar, For rhe caUs of the boys

d rifted d01.tlll r he srreers, a nd it wa.s heard by passingjolk,and they did whisper it ro others., who whispered it jurrherand $001'1 enough it came to t.he ears of a cerrain wi;card. Mad, he WIlS, like aU wi:(ards,. lind

in league with tbe horrible Skaven as well. He and his fellow wizards worshipped those rar-things deep down

in r he Se10er s, wh ere r he)1 did unspeakable things lui!h them., and called upon Ihe Chaos godsfor unholy powers,

This wizard hearsabour Trespass's six roes, and he sees in Trespass abo), tainted .by Chaos and ripe for the picking. So Iha! stormy nighr he comes ro rhe butcher'S house, kiUs rhe mother,and snarches the boy away. He rakes him down into rhe sewers, inwthe darkness, Qnd into his Chaos temple. He ties him down, and .caUs on the rllr-thi.ngs to comejorth. A. 5kaven comes our of the blackness, and ir carries with ir a shard oj thar damned Wyrdsrone. It rakes the shard, wraps it in rat hair, and binds rhat ro the boy':s su-roedjoor.

Then thO sendrhe boy out on horrible errandsfor their twisted practices, They strop a cage [0 his back, bursting with dozens oj rers, And they charge him 10 go around ro every burcher's shop, every pie sralI, every tavern and meadha!!, and pur a rat down in the cellars of everyone. And [he boy, rerrifi.ed and knowing no barer, does whar he is mId. And the rars ger into the meat and the pies a rul [he beer ,a nd everyone gers sick, i usr like [he Skatren wa n r .. Disease and plague run rior through the roten, and scores of men and women are struck down.

Meanwhile, rhe boy'sfalher searched desperatelyJor his son. He sold his butcher shopandjamily home and rook 10 the caracombs .. Bw:jind him he never did. The braue jather walks rhrough t.he sewers, talling OUt every minurefor his boy, knowing only despair • .But Tresposs, ij he hears hisjather, does nor go to him,for fear oj his captors' wrath. Days pa.ss, then weeks. Trespass c{)nnnues on wuh his errands, creeping rhr{)ugh rhe sewers wilh his box oj rors, quieras anyrhing .. Hefinds orher rars, whole clutches of them, and he pocks them up and putS [hem in his lirJle CGge, or even lers [hem run around in his coor or hair. And al.! the while, me srone is working on h15foor, fuming is from. human Jlesh into rarflesh. Soon enough, where [here was a human limb, there is only a horrid rat teg, all hairy and ending in bloody dOlUS. And every srep he tokes through rhe sewers, he has one normalfoom:epthup----o nd one horr.ible scratch along rhe stone-screech!

And Tresp!ls5 goes mad ar rhe sighr oj it, and dearly loves his new leg. And he swears his l.ife and soul to rhe Skawnforever. Then

he creeps back to the boys who had called him names and rhrOlllTl horse-ca.kes. He purs rcrs in r heir beds and ra r s in .tb eircoatl and ra r 5 in their shoes,and [hey are bitten aU over,and die of the poxaff!l.lJ

7

dll)'slo!er, all swol.len up wirh blood and pus. And thor's why you muS! never suffer a Mmcmt child to live. And why you munolways be home before dark, and never go down in rM sewers. Becauseyou never know when you'll hear him coming for you, his box of rers ranling in t.hedark} and rhat horrible sound of his Chaos--twmed rar-leg: Thup - screeech! Thup - screech! Thup - screeeech!

-MAD ARTHUR, V AGAB<lND

'THE LAZy SoNE' OR 'THE SKA YEN CREPT IN'

"Now sene," spake rhefarher "'Hill you to work?

Will you go doon in the well

Or will you sray here and shirk?" "No f earl" spa.ke the SOlle

"111 bed I sha II ti~

For there bel'(us in the well And if rh{Y bire me, I'l! die" And the father cryed:

"Rats! Relts!

You should give thanks ro rhe Gods thaI it isonlyra[S! For fare is a srrumpn, and life is a curse

And if it war'n'T (he rats, il would be something worse!" "NOli) sone," spake the father

"Beye working today?

For the cows are at milking And a-needing their hoi' "Nor I," sp a ke r he wasrrel Wirha pileOUS wale

"There are rcrs on rhe raIfers! And rats in r he pail!"

And thefathercryed:

'IRan! .Rars!

Give thanks to the Gods rhat it i$ oniy r:nrs! For fa.re is a s.rru mper, and life isa curse

And if it war'n't the rats} tr would be something worse!" "My sone.." blelll rhe father

"Ye wi{( come 10 work now!

Get the seeds up and garnered!

Hitch the horse to the plough!"

"None!" cryed the boy

I'For down therein the mud There are rats by the hundreds And they're hungry for blood!" And theJather cryed:

"Rats! Rats! .

Give thanks to the Gods thati! is only rars! For fare is a strumpet, and life is a curse

And if it war'n'r the r(ltS, it would be somnhing worse.!"

Bur the boy he was srubbor.n .

And .sraid in his cor

And hisfather, a-sighing R.eTurned to his lor

And rhere(lll alone

The boy slept owt the dqy Till the Ska.ven crept in And sroie him away

And the boy cryed:

"Rats! Ra.ts!

Sweet merciful Shallya, let it be rats! For fare is a nrumpetand Life is It curse

And I no longer fear rars now I know what is worse!"

-POPULAR TAVERN SONG IN WISSENUND

CoMMON VIEWS

In my travels and my research, I have heard a thousand facts about the Skaven, almost all of them wrong. I include a sample of them here, in the style of the great Odrlc of Wurtbad, to give the reader a senseof the scope of beliefs that exist about the insidious Ratmen. If nothing else they show that, where Ignorance reigns, the morral mind creates srunning variety to fill the recess,

''This very day I was accosted by the bailiffs in my own school room,and given an edict signed by Ar-Ulric .himself. We are

not obliged to say that Skaven exist, bur we are ordered to "reach the controversy." As if to say that chi/dren's rale.s and the ravings of the mad are somehow creating disputation in .ehefield! .As if there was eller any sign or mar.kfound anywherero give credence to rhe.sefantasies of rars that walk like men! As if rheirexisrence was as scientific as the Grand Elemental Proposirion! J fear [or education. wday and in [heyears ro come,forlr seems we will never move beyond rhis .benighted andfearful age in which we live!'

-M.AsnR STEFhN ELLENDhN., PROfESSOR Of ScIENCES AT

THE UNIVERSITY Of SALZENMUND

"There are those so overcome by their depraved tusrs Ehey Lie with rhe beam of [he field .. Those that li.e with goats spawn the horned Beastmen; those that lie wieh the dogs and cats give birth [0 the furred SkaVe11i those rhar sell their souls to Slaaneshand lie lilith makes and roads giye birrh .[0 Orcs; and, oj course, those r.har lie wirh sheep give birrh ro Averlanders!'

-FATIm\. SCF..INSTEII., DLPJaN FR..lAl\.

"Afriend of my uncle's knew a sailor who llIent all the way across the ocean to I.he other side of the world, w.here th« men walk up.side down and rhe horses breathe fire, and he said rhar down there are these newts that wal.k around just like men .. So if you ask me, sam.e thing with these Ratmenand Beastmen; animals just get uppity if you don'r warch them, and rhey sum acring like liS .. That's why we mUst bear rhemand sromp on them, CO show them who's master, and we .should burn any that start to talking or standing on .lWO legs."

)

i

--Gruwwr YON HECKF.N1lERG, MUUSKlNNER "Oh,lthe Skavfn did it,' or 'the Skaven roo.k him,' that's what al.l

the ciry workers say. Really all they wanl is to gel out of doing their jobs! 'Can't dean your privy .today,. ma'am, there's Skaven ooou[. Can'!" get the rcrs today, ma'am, saw a Skave:n in the alleyway! What utter rash! Frankly, I think we should arrest any giving voice to rhis fa ntasy and flog them in the mai.n square. Tha: will StOp rheir rongues wagging."

-LAoy CoNSTANCE CUL YETI OF WOLFFNlltJRG "Japp and I were on warch on the wall rhat night, when we saw 'em. A do.ten of 'em, coming right out of the river. Bigger ':n men, and aU covered in fur and horns and spikes, and wah Durnin' green e)'e.s and long noses and rails. Like rilts! They cl.imbed up the bank, up the wall, and all of 'em went into tbe east tower, through the Master's window. Sword oj Verena, I swear 'tis true as ISland here. An' if was the very same night, exactlY one year larer, rhar the Misrress who wa.s supposed to be barren had her baby. I lir our after thar,fer 1 din'r dare to work. rhere no more."

-PlETER STAPEL, Mu..lTlAMAN AT CASTLE DoRFLJNGEN

"Are the)1 a myth? Well, if you mean the Ska"ven that lurk under every city and trade with every burgomaster, and the magic ralS in

all rhose rales rheyuse TO scare visitors co Nuln, rhenyes, of course, those are myrhs. If you mellll [he rar~headed Beastmen we met on rhe fields of Ostennark, [hough, then you're very much mistaken. We call rhem raners in my regimem, rhough, nor Skaven. Keeps rhe men from rhinking they're bogey men, reminds them rh(I[ rhe rarrers are rhe cowardly ones. The ones who rour as soon as they ra.ke a Jew losses. Thar gives the men courage, especially if they've beenJighcing the horned ones, or rhefour~legged buggers, who won'rrour jor !.ove or mon~.n

-Gamv.L MORRSHEIM, Mul.sHMJ:. Of TI:!E TAUIlECLANO ARMIEs "The enemies oj our Jai1h are Legion, and che creerures of Chaos ullCounrable. If is unseemty for us [0 dwell roo much on cheir narure,for their narure is on(y Abominable (0 our sighr, and

we mUSt surround ourselves only with the good, and rhe Hol,y. Therefore we shall have no namesfot any of chem bLf,[ Chaos~ Spawn, and no rhoughrjor them except their universal desrrucrion with cleansing fire."

-Mot-Loc:roR AGr.lM, HIGH PRn:sr Of SIGMAR, fROM HIS TREATISE 01fTffE PROPER CONDUcr OF TI:f£ D£FF.NDEII.S OF THE F Mll-I

'The Ratmen came up behind me and they put me in a box and rhey took me to che dork pillce and they Jed me soup char was all black and nasIY and 1 said 1 don'r like your soup and then rhey beat me and said ear ir munching or we cur out your tongue and so 1 au it and then I couldn'r see proper and then [hey let me go and I couldn'r find my house or my mam and my skin was real irchy and I was bleeding andJaUing ooer and then the watch came and said wicked boy you should have a bell to warn folk bUT I didn't have a bell so th~ bear me and now I am in anorher box and 1 don'r Like it either but there ere no Rarmen and no soup and I have rags all on my J ace bur I j eel real sick and I wish I could see proper and go Jind my mam."

-PRIsoNER, #J08, OLD TEMpLE PrusoN, MmOENHEl}.1

THE SrnOLAR'S VIEW

''The question isn't 'what are they,' bur rather 'who are [hey working for?' Do yov.. think it is some random accidenr rhar they so resemble ross, the perject crearure [0 inJil~rare our cities and our settlements? Do you think it is coincidence thar no hard evidence is ever found to prooe [hey exist? No, rhese rat-beasts were madeJor a purpose, and in rhe dark hours, rhey kill: w.homever their musrers ser them upon. And who else 'WOuld their masters be bur rhe Wi.tardsJor who but .rhey would be able [0 creare such beasts? Anddidn'r they benefit nicel,y when Lord Kaschen dropped dead of the pox last monch, and his WQ:Il-rd Tax went wirh him?"

~..l.ANGFORD BEYER, AGITATOR Of MmOENHEIM There are two great myths about the Skaven, The first is that they do not exist. The second is tharanybody truly believes in the first,

It is impossible for the Skaven to have an empire so large and plans so allinvasive yet to leave no signs whatsoever of their passing. There are always wimesses, sighrings, stories, tracks, clues and anefacrs; things left behind, or forgotten. Despite the secrecy and deceit that protocrs the Ratmen,

even the most ignerant peasmt cannot fail to see patterns in the traces,

and tbence create their own stories to fill the gaps. Thus many scholars and sages ha ve come [0 believe in the: Skaven, or whatever they think is

the Skaven-be that giant rats, or rat-headed Beastmen, or WJ.Zards in the form of rats, or anyrhing else. What they do not believe is the true nature of the Skaven, nor the true enormity of the: threat they represent to us all ..

"Is it likely there exists a separate strain oj Beasrman with uniform rodenc characteristics? OJ course. Is it likely char these beasts are a1\)'Where near as intelligenr, as numerous or as omnipresent as

[he tales would have us beli.eue? OJ course nor .. The quesrion is laughable, and a product oj nothing more rhan IYpical human paranoia,Jed ro bursring by rhe propaganda oj our jingoistic

go.vernmenrsin order ro ju.stijy rheir neXT miluClty c!;lmpaign. As in a{{t/lings, we reap only what we sow;"

-MIiNHuD KEYEs, PROFESSOR OF HUMANITIIS, UNTVER.SlTY OF AL'ITlORF (NOW DlSBAlUU!D)

''Th£ 5.kaven are real; ohyes,. very much SQ. And rhey ,are nor the mindless, evil beasts that we'Ve been rold to fear by the Grcma TheogeniSr. Yeu kn<1W Marquis Ludo.vicw, who. wo.re tbe mouse~ eal'S to rhe last Masquerade? ThaI:W1l$ a. signal, don.'tyou k1lQw.

All oj gs in rhe group knew what it meant-(!lIerher one o.J his fabulous parries ajreFWfJrds. And one oj his '·UnlefriemJ.s" made

an appearance, in disguise, [0 deliver his:wonderfulparzyfavo.urs, Best stuff in rhe ciryl believeyou me . .And we danced 'til dawn!'

-Sm F'EB.,ClVAL ScHwAAZLUlKl!R" MAsTER OF THEJEWF.tLERS' GUlLlJ (DECEASED)

Even those who have come robelieve in both the existence and threat of these beasts can. accomplish llrtle, as they are hampered by [heir inability to speak OUt. The Witch Hunters are as vigilant as ever, the Sigmari.tes quick to censure, and feUowscbolm quick to scorn, So they must hide their convictions behind possibilities and hypotheses-words through which the certainty ofboly denial CUts like a scythe,

<lFrem {!)hat We have read., rhe ,evidence 1'emai.ns Jtagmentaryafl,d anecdoral. We would dear(y.like to know the truth oj rhenulIler, bur how do We sepal'are truthjro:m mythf'Everychil.d knows the tale ef Emperor Mandredand the rilr~kings,.and every hotl5~ fra.uhas heard rhe ;St'reet,""orner gossip about Rarmen IU.rking in every shadow, So every jrCl;gmenr is viewed rhreugh the lens oj this myth, and every anecdorejired as much by .imagination as by true observation. Whatever these Ska'ilen m(!ybe; We cannor know rhem ami( We can see them :with Our own eyes!'

-DUCHESS HELGA ULlUCHSEN, 'rHlRD IN UNE TO THE THlI,ONE OF T ALABHElM.

"1 see nOW that 1 was mistaken. H<1W could great merciful Shal!Ya allow such beasts t:o exlsr? How ceuld SigmaI' stand Their presence, 0.1' eur great Emperor Jail m .arille them back [0. the Chaes W IlSIes? No, I was alo01, iuhe trUst.edin .he werds oj ether foels. I hereby recant everything in my essq)', and condemn Lras the greatest heresy. Mil;:)' rhe masters o.f this great collegeJergiw me, and mtzy Sigm:ar have mer", o.nmy scuL"

-CoLMAN SM111fE]l.:S, STUDENT AT ALTOORF UNM:RSlTY IronicaUy, the scholars most aware of the presence of our enemy are rardy those w!)e devotethemselves to the Rumen's extermination. Rather, tbey trade and parley with them, they make deals and promises, for they have heard too often about the benefitsof the so-called "Chaos Bargain." The Skavens' gifr fer secret)' makes them exeellent spies for those who. want them, and their love fer Warpsrone makes Ihemeasily bought by any Wizafd Qralchemisl who hassome to trade, The one .savmg grace cf thistreaeherous practice is that the Ratmen always nun OIl their temporary employer, using him fer tbeir own needs before killing hint. Thus de these Ioathsome roenperlsh for their sins, having gained. nething but their own damnatien, BUt who Imom hew grearl.y

they may help our enemy in even the briefest betra,yaf? .

I'YOU must undersrand how stupid rheyare. For ten. gold crowns rhey wm procure the moS! sensitive o.f docv.mems, or pull ofj the mestdifficv.lroj assassinario.ns. And what do rhey do U!ith his geld? ThO' wear ir around their necks, j or .rhe)'l.ih the sh[ne iI makes. They are "flnny enough to get into the moS! tighrly-gtulrded studies, bur rhey have no. culture,. no learning, no sense of the valui oj rhings. Tru{y, they are oori'ly above beaS!s,and if they haven't rurnedand killed each otherbenveen our monthly :meet,ings, they Qrt JUS( as Like{y re have drowned themselves by scurrying down t.he wrong sewer. We .train our dogs and hawks ro do. OUt bidding by _'._-=- ~ po,ssing them. a handJul oj mear, andwe.ne:ver oncejear thar they

will someday sei:( e control oj tne .Empire; I wager r h at we will more Uke{}' see a go.shawk o.n the Imperial Throne than rhese srupid Rcmnmever learning a more o.j strategy! So where is the danger

in dealing with them? Indeed, rhe real danger is in nor dealing with them,jer 'Who knows how tnan'y great:men and great cities have Jallenduew II lack oj intelligence, ~he kind oj inreWgence on{}' the Skaven can provide?"

--.5m.JOR..GFN KUIVEII.., MA.mR AROOVIliT,

THE KOMlSSlON OF 1m IMl'E:ruAL ARCHIVES, Ar.TD0RF

'They arewarching me now, I know. They ar~ in [he waIls,. :under the srone.s, ifl.,·rhe cilnals, ever)'UIhere. I do nor know at whidl point I ceased [o.be the masrerand bec,ame rhe slave, .bur rhey have :me}asr

in rheirchains. I need rhe powder every day now or my eyes weep and my hand,f shake. And .rhey have :me de thingsjor [hem, as I once had them. dojor me-steal things, hide thing5,pi.qy turncoat to tnyown liege lord. I have thrice~dQmned my soul and .betrayed my friends, my cit]' and my empire to our"greateS! oj enemie:s. 'Yet let me say" while 1 am still efJirm mind and unshakeable conviCTien: tha!

my damnation has 1Wt been in vain" and that [he eternal rotmmrs eJ rhe Daemensis a worrhy price co po.yjor the knowledge I have gained and rhe power I have mIlstened, thanks to the Wyrdstone rhey hrought, and rheproscribed books rhey acquired. A.ndif Jam to die a mewling slgve oj the Rarmen, then. my gloriousr:rearien will ltve on, and rhroughit, my legend will redeem me"

-DocTOR: AtffON WIFSSANG, MAsn:R NECROMANCER, LAST DIARY EN'fR Y

FROM BEYOND OUR LANDs

"We colI them La Souriscarle, rhesejever-rrus, who brought the Mal Rouge-the Red Dear/l.-down upon us. We lost so. much ro them., th.e souls of mony grlUlT knights and rhe .beaury ejour great €eun('ryside: as :welL And :we knOU! all teo well it is you who. brought them upon eUS: yeu .Empire scum and you Tileans, with yo.ur filthy cides oj moneylenders, thieve.s and wheres!"

- JACQ. UE BICHEAU, BPJ.!TONNJAN COURT SClUBE "TIte, hunring eJ vermin is a taskfor peasallfS, nor [or a knight ej Our LaG{v."

-SUI. I'HIl.ul'E DE BLOIS, KNIGHT OF THE GRAn.

The deadly claws of the Skaven have preyed en all the lands of the E!npirt, and nor least upon our Bretonnianncig)loours. Seven bundred years after the Grea t P1agu~ ef mr, the Bretons suffered their ewn great pes tilenee

of Skaven design, a pox that killed more than half their populatien. Yet the Bretons remain even recre ignoranr of their enemies than the people

of the Eropin:, for they have .l'l0 sCholars or learning to matcheUI:S., and their knights are a poor substitute for our witch hunters and militiamen. But JUSt all we would seem tile ignorance of the Bremnniru1s,.the 'Tilean princes scorn us for ours. For tlie Tileans have thrown off the cloud of lgnoranee altogether, and fact these enemies in the clear light of day.

"Sometimes we collyou.se rhe rodonapho.bi, whicltneQn the: peeple stared of the mil:e .. Youse .Empire peoples are like a woman, no? All 0..11 a stool, crying help me, help me, is running up ITU'. skirr, 'When rhe:mice is all small and so quiet. No, no, [he SkQ'ven is no mouse, and is very dangerot15 rhing, buryotl5e do not lookal il proper,YOu leap on the chair and dose yo.ureyes and say it is nor therel if I de aei see it. Go, go., l.i.rrlemouse, 50 I doner see how Mgyeu are or know :whereyeu are hiding! I see 110 mouse! I see nothing! And so the mouse live aU lIappyin the walls, and eat al1.rhecheese:"

--CRISTO CAlI..RAZANNO, TlLEAN BAWD The Tileans have the terrible cum: of inhabiting the closest land to. the great Skaven spawning ground of Skavenblight, whkh lies in the

Zombie Marshes. Although they have been spared the worst of the plagues, they have instead suffered the grea lest share of the sorties of our common enemy. So many times have the Skaven marched against them that they have long-since forgotten rhe luxury of pretending that the Rarmen do not exist, and instead have devoted themselves fiercely to protecting rhelr cities and exterminating the Skaven found Within them. The Rat,..(.atchers of Miragliano, one of the most f ameus mercenary regiments in all of Tilea, are employed by the prince of thsr city solely to destroy the Skaven menace.

"y eu see r!rese here notch-as on my bandoleer? Thru-sa mean.s

I kill twenty Rarmen.Anron, he has the dogs and they-a smell them ottr, then I seidel' them with-a "lY :spear, .rhos whar we~a call sollecirare-ir means, the rickler, see? Because of all the barbs

on Lts-a side, see. I r kills the SkilvMi very much, and rhen wes-a sticking their stupid Unle s/cI.!Us on-a the town gare,. a.s-a warning. Accorde, rhey always come back again, the very nexr night roo. Theysoa never giving up, and 50 neirherd.oes we!'

-NICOL;\.SDE Ll.MPmuS/l.,

1'n.E.>iN MERCENARY, RAT-CA'I'Q-IEI1.. .R.EGIME.NT

&om what I have gathered, the southern Estalians have. suffered linte, contact with the Rumen, The same, I believe, holds true for our Elven neighbours, wherever they may lurk. I have only met a handful of Elves who ventured fromtheir forest homes, and they claimed the Skaven did not and could not. enter their hidden cities . Fer ha ps j t is the roots of the magicaltrees in which they make their homes, reachirtg down into the earth to block the ever-spreading empire beneath. If the Elves would only share their thoughts on the matter, we might finda great weapoiln to use against the Ratmen, but as always, the Elves keep their own counsel.

l'Of course wejighr them, and we slay them,. withottt mercy. They are cre(ltures oj ChC!os, are they MIl Bur we do norJear them, for Ihey neuerenrer our forests, Su.ch things oj the undereurtnare better left to other things of .the underea.rth .. It is a ma.rrer for the Dwarfs, who n0 dou.bt have much in common with this enemy."

-MIFLBlUGHTMOON, GLADE GuARDiAN OF I.A\J1lF.LORN FOItFST 'Our du{}' is dear. If you: connor swnd againsr them, then we will rake aJOrce and destroy rheserat-rmngs that F~y upon you. Make way."

-Low ADa;w., SWORDMASTER OF HOITi'!

The Norsemen and the Kislevites tell legends of the Ratraen, and there

are many in those nations who are aware of the Skaven menace and who

do bartleagainst them. I have also mer maIly Halflirigs who know of the dangers and do not shirk their duty,. despite tbelrsmall starure. However, were is no stauncher :supponer in our efforts against the Skaven tban tbe Dwarfs, They battled the SkaveJl for thousands of years before mecQmiI1g of Sigmar, and the Ratmen are below only the Greenskins ln their Book of Grudges. We can look to tbe Dwarfs fo.raid in our struggle, yes,

l1ur more importantly can look to them as a guiding example. Let their courage and tenacity at crushing this menace be an ins-pira.tion to us aIL

"rhere'sa [~gend root rhe. Skaven ate all descendedJrom S/l1avor, the son ef Ga:l(:u[, cousin to Grimnir. Skavor, like Ga-t'Ul., was yottnger [hIm his brothers attd lacked the skill for worki.ng stone. or shaping metal. H« was righrlyexitedfor this, so he W('1ft away irito rhe deep-:earrh !lndlearnr how [0 shape his flesh instead oj shaping metal, turning himself inro a hideous rar~beast and swearing revenge on his brood-kin. And this is why the Dwarfs fight the Skaven as hard as weJight the Greenskins, though the Rarmen ha1)1! "Wreakedfar less d.amage upon us: because many of m believe that che Skaven cameJrom our bIDod. We/ight them nor jUst co serrte our grudges, but to shed our shame."

_;nllJRlN STROl\'GBlADE, RlJNESCIUBE OF l<A.RAK ALNOR "yVe'<ie heard feU of these Humans who don't think the Sk(1)l!n exist. Thai's Huma ns lor you .. But all it rea.!(y amounts ro isfrlJ)er

troops to help us hold back tius« mud-sucking Dastards. If you're not picking:up a weapon,y' parr oj the problem, son, and if you get in my WilY,. I'll trea.tyou. no different CO them rar-faced scum!'

~BEtiR.AM. GUNnARSON, DWARF Sl(AV.EN SLAYER

SIGN AND SPOOR:

TRACKING 'THE SKA YEN

It is well said that in order to best fight your enemy, you must know your enemy .. But in tins world of ignorance and superstitlert..and against an enemy which relies so greatly on stealth and subterfuge, it can be difficult to know if you have even encountered theSkaven at all, It is easy to jump at shadows or, contrarily, to miss. their actions altogether. If you would wish [0 learn more of yoU"!' enemy, you must know them by the trails they 'leave behind.

l'If you w.anr [0 know for sure rha.[ the Skauen aren't .Beasrmen, men be .sure ro sta.nd in the middle of a village. rharsbeen rerbirten one daJ'. The Beastmen are dead'(y., and they've creared their share or desolarion around the Empire, bur the Beasrmen. are creatures 'If destruction. That's all. They go through some1.vhere, and· you'll know it. Ii's worse than .the Ogres_._.)rhey smash everyrhing ropiece;,. knClck down homes,tear people apart, and leave nothing bur death and chaos behind. The Ska1)en aren't like that. WheJ1 they rake a town .•. wel1, they wait. Th~y plan. They gather their numbers. They come in a SWarm, and they come in the dark, and theya.re upon you before you even know it.1'v€ seen towns left empty with not a. single bit of shale shakenJrom the roo/reps, nor a spear lifredfrom the wall .. And lIIho they don'r kidnap/or their mines, they eat, so there's nothing left but afew ~plotches of blood and that [(MO(y smell to say anyt/ling happened sr aU. Ir'sunnaturlli, and damn diswrbing-a. whole rown of goodly folk, just vanished wirhout a sign."

~BEHRAM. GUNnARSON, DWA"RJ SKA YEN SLAYER.

,,.. .... _,,..- Luckily ,the Skaven do follow very prooictablepantrns in their Il:naciu--(l.nly 'their -motivations are eonvolured and cryptic. As described by my fellow hunter Behram, a "rat-binen" village will often be left empry, withom any survivors nor any signs of violence to explain

tlY disappearance. Likewise, when they fall upo.n.an anny or fighting squad, [ilt Ratmentypica11y leave tOe battlefield stripped clean, with only armour and shiefds remaining. So great is the Skavenappetite that I have even seen them stop to devour a fallen foe ,in the middle of a hank.

..... vr.m dJey do leave corpses behind, usually in isolated ccmmunities, their reliance on Warpstcme weapons and technology is typically t\'iden,[ in the carnage. Flesh turns black ana blisters when hit with the lmible fire of a warp-pistol, and whole landscapes may be similarly afiectled by dl(:payloadof the Warp fire Cannon. If there an: any survivors, they will almost cenainly be murared after their exposure,

as may many olher unfortunates living nearby. In such cases" theenrire area- rna_yneed to be burned dean and the Mutants pur to the sword as soon as possible. Such is the dark .shadow of the Skaven,

SIGNS OF A SKA YEN ATTACK

In the cities, however,1!:!'imes andviole-nce are tYpically done with a Skaven-like mandate-to leave. as r ew signs as possible, regardless of

the! perpetrators. This. makes it far more difficult t.o recoW1i.se when or whert (he Skaven have struck, I have thus prepared the following list of signs [0 look for when inspecting a. we of suspected Skaven activiry.

DIFFICULT ENTItY: Tn.e Skaven aeeexcelleneetlmbers and able

[0 squeeze through the smallest. of entrances. If There seems no possible way for <l man or even Halfling to have got [0 the site .of the crime, then it is a good chance the attacker was it Skaven.

TRACKS: Are there any traclrs nearby, in the dust or din? Skaven rtacksresemble thou of a iaFge hunting dog, oTily nmower and with longer claws. Look also for dawmarks in wooden. flocrsor doors.

SMELL: If the arrack was recent or the site-not ventilated, a snong powerful musk may remain in the air or on the clothes. Imagine the smell of the water of a.dying eat mixed with the aroma of festering wounds: dn [ is the scent of the Skaven.

HAIR: Skaven hair is long, thin and spiny, rypica,l1y brown, dark grey or black. Hair may be caught by the Skaven brushing againsr walls or doors, or left in the wounds of the victim, should there be a body left behind .

WAlU'DUST OIl. MUTATION: As consmm U5eJSof Warpstone, any contact can spread flneamounts of this dread mineral. Always rake care when investigating a scene as a result.! If the Skaven had been recently exposed, fine green or blue powder may have transferred over to the min or clotl'x.-s of the victim. Other..vise, look forsigns of recent murnuon-a disloned eye or ear, and extra fmget, etc.

METAL, GLASS os, GONl'GWDEl'.;i: Narrow slivers of a very

fine metal may be found., or shards of glass like that ftom a lens. Do no! touch these if you find them!' They are the remnants of Skaven weapons, and are most likely tainted with their deadly poisons. Collect them with a shovel or pie-ce of wood, and bury them in tbe sancrified grounds ofa Chapel of Ulric or Sigmar. Elememsofexpleslse devices may also be found, such as fuses or traces of gun.powder.

GUEN OR Y£LLOW OIL;. This may be found on the metal or glass items mentioned above, or simply on the floor or other surfaces, Itsheuld also not be touthed! It will appear slick, like tamp oil, and .may smell like it as well. If it is residue or spillage from one of their poisonsacb, however, it.may have no smell. Anything contaminated by such-a Substance should be burned and sanctified immediately,

POlSON: Poison dans or throwing stars will leave small wounds in tbe skin with little blood. Look for discoiouration around these wounds, or swelling. Discolouratien in the eyes or on the tongue or fingers may also indicate poison. ALso consider how the body was found; a drugged victim will not have been able 10 raise a weapon or even his arms .in defence.

INFECTION OR. PLAGUE: Doesthe body appear diseased in

any way? Do the wounds smell infected? Have the wounded

areas become sWollen or reddened, or do they drip with pus? Discelouradon in rhe eyes or tongue is also a useful sign of disease.

ShVM3:E W01JN.DS: Are the wounds dean as if chopped by a sword ,or -ragged around theedges as if tom by a Nwk or wolf? Does .any parr of the body appeatchewed o.reatcn.! Is ther~ a. body part absent,or a large chunk of flesh missing? All of these are signs tbat the Skaven Have preyed upon the poor victim.

I<We can conclude rhar rhe' arracker scaled rhe oU-tsLde wall

while the gullrds eh(lnged WIl[ch, then descended through the dumbwaiter shaft without a. sound, before rearing the victim ap(lT't with a very sharp weapon. We canrhusJorm a pi-crure of

a creature oj immense strength, of incredibkJlexibiti:ty, with phenomenal climbing skill, and a savagery 50inhuma:n if defies im<lginarion. J mainrain agai.n, sb', [he evidence .strongly suggests that the attacker was neither m(ln not beast bur some (lbominabLe hybrid. What is more, the a'lIack was .so well planned thar I am convinced thar the arracker had inreUigence Jar beyond that oj al'tJ' Beastman."

- VOrro.NEG!EssER, AL TDORF Cl'fY W ATQ-/

(REl'OR T TO SUl'ER, VISORS)

'IOn-ee or rw[ce,you'Ujind a bedy bur rhat Can .be w.orse than finding none. We have a saying amongst Th.;(lrjs thllt goes 'If my shield shouIdJalrer, ler my body be my shield! It means we don' like to see wO!.inds on our backs. Bur when the Skp:ven rake yOll. .• .si.x of them will jump on you, pull you down, bite and claw; poke our your~yes, rip OU.tYOUT rongu,e, chew on your gu_rsasyou lie tbere

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dying ... and the wounds are evetywhere. That ain't no way for ,a Dwarf ro die. Noway at alt'''

-BEI'lllI'J>1 GUNDftRSON, DWARF SKt.VEN SlAYER It is of course little comfon to detect the presence of Ska,ven after they I1aveeommitted their foul murders. I have had many ask me. how they might detect the Skaven before they strike, Here are some signs to took form your town or local area.

Mysterious or sudden disappearances of residents, officials or city workers.

Sewers backing up, Other public works falling down or failing. SeWC"r jacks or watchmen complaining or leaving their jobs. Ironically, a reduC'twn in Tat numbers-5kaven often eat sewer rats, so reduced nueabers may in fact indicate a Skavenpresence under thntreets.

Sewer entrances, drains, trapdoors or river gates broken or disturbed.

Cowted figures moving on the stttttsafterc!atk.

A rise in mutations, breech binhr or other bad omens ..

The moon Morrslieb,. which the Skaven worship, being full when

any of these events oceur. .

Anyone of these in isolation is unlikely to Indicare a Skaven presence under the streets or in the alleyways, but if you observe several of.hem, you must immediately take actien, Do not, 1 exhort you, try to seek

or pursue the Skaven,espeAally ilIone.! Skaven arecomrdly and always prefer tohave theadvanrage of numbers, therefore a riJ1gle man is always in gmve danger .. Skaven tend to hum in packs of four OT five, so if you must investigate their lam, ensure youtak.e at least a dozen strong men, preferably soldiers.

Do not tell the watch or any other autborides of your .suspicions Or discoveries. Unless they are like my associate Volpece, city officials will either ignore your information or will simply report it to a higher party. Due to the duplicitous nature of the Skaven, it is quilt likely someone in the chain of command will be in teague with the RaIlI1en, and then he and they will be aware of your knowledge. The Skitven will be sent for your blood the very next night.

The best course of ectlon if you believe you are in dang~r of a Skaven anack is to sqrnmOJ1 a SRaven hunter ora group of travelling adventurers re deal with the problem. Skaven huruers are rare, but nearly guarantee SUa:e5S. If you are d~g with itinaant advemurers.jrase sure you get aperienced ones who have dealt w.hh the Skaven previously. You should also never pay adventurers in advance. Negotiate ehher a sum. per Skaven skull they bring back, or a f1at nile for the whole group. Do nO! offer

(0 pay them a set amount per person, or you will find many teams will come back with more men than they started-squires and scconds whom they'simply "forgor to bring along" during the bargaining.!

Despite thelrunscrupulousness (and rypicalmenru instability), advcnrurers are the easiest solution to a Skaven presence. Should they succeed, they will not raise the anention of the watch or any officials, and will move on to a new town before suspiciollO.r rhoughts of revenge can fall upon you .. And should they perish at the hands of the Skaven, rhei.rlif eszy le is such that they will not be missed.

If you cannot locate acivenrurcrsquick1y, there are some common: sense 5leps you can. take to help protect yourself againS1 the Skaveru

Board up all entrances tosewers, drains and rivers. Even if

the Skaven have no interest in you, you. may be denying them

a thoroughfare. or .method of quick escape.lnfonn your neighbours discreetly of the ritk, and encourage them to shut up their houses as well.

Summon a priest of Sigmar and have your house bl~ and sanc:tifitd. Carve the symlxil of the comet or tbe hammer on your

door and window frames, and sprinkle holy waler on the door

step. This will deter the Skaven from entering, although it is not foolproof: tbe Skavenare powerfUlly resistant to the holy powers.

Observe the town curfew. Encourage yourneighbours to do .50 as well. That way, anyone seen outside afterwards can be marked as suspicious.

Build a Skaven~k:nell. Hang a thin rope high across a nearby sewer or creek, and tie bamessbells along ir, At three or four equally spaced irnervals, loop separate rope; around the f irst, These should be long enough to dangle in rhe water. Aru.ch large fishing hooks to tbeend of the vertical ropes, and paint !he endre dung with tar to obscure it. In the dark or while underwater., the Skaven willner see the knell. the books will cateh in tOOk fur or armour, and pull the bells, thus giving you plenty of rime roann yourself or evacuate.

Finally, always keepa loaded crossbow in the house. You may nor have time to load if the Skaven attack. Having arsenic on hand is also useful,. as a swift death from poison is preferable to being taken back to a Warpstone mine in chains.

HUNTING THE SKA YEN

"J may be small, bur I'm .5tr~ng .. HeU, royears in II Skaven mine makes you damn strong. J get in dose, J can SMp their puny necks like a twig. 1 could tef!.ch you Empir.e boys a thing or two about ie, lhar"s as .:rure as murron."

-FASSruNDER THE STRONG, HM.ruNG MER0ENhRY If reading all the above hasesused you to give in to terror or despair, reader ,. then take bean. For there is hope, in the face of the Skaven threat: a few individuals who dedicate their lives to holding baekthis ubiquitous foe with all [heirm:ength, till sword or old ilge strike them down. These are the Skaven Hunters. They are few, pur tbeir deeds are great, and their courage legendary.

They are few because the task offers great risk, yet no glory in victory I and no payment in bounty. Who, after all,. would pay a man for bartling a creature that does not exist? However, as we have seen above, there are many who have come to believe, both rich and poor, and although they cannot declare it pu.blic1y, [hey will sometimes pay handsomely for the removal of these very deadly vermin •.

"No lord oj rhe malWT lQQnts to admi: to his Wife or hisJritnds at COUrt .Umr he's paying a bunch oj Dwarjs [0 kill Skavm j or him. So you. have to be discreet. You sayyou're rarcatcha-s, ami. rouchyour nose «] ew .nmes,and if rhO' knew what you mean, then, well, rhO' know what you. mean. Any good seneschal wilI make sure you get paid J'OUr du£a5 "rarC1Qrcl!trs" with no one [he wiser-u.Irhough make sure to get yout maney ill adva·nce! MOTe than once I've had a lord ojj er me aJine bounry then rifuse [0 pay mejor killing .somefigmenr of myimaginarioll. May the Shwetl drew theiroones, 1 S!!y!'

-BEHR.AM GDNDARSON, DWARF SKAVEN StAYER Of course, the poor folk of the cities or farms can offer little in bounty, but they can frequently pay 'in services and supplies. A Skaven hunter needs food and lodgings; his horse may need shoes; his weapons may be in needof sharpening. Again, however, discretion is vital, for peasanrsand nobles alike may call the witch hunters if your profession is revealed. We cannot help but stand amazed at the co~~ of tbese men, for not even the crazed Dwarf Daemon Slayers risk execution by the very people they protect!

''We do nor do iljor coin,jor tbere ts none. We do not dOlt

JOt glory,jor [here is none also, We do not do itJoreven the gratitude. oj the people, nor the sofr kiss oj a 1TW.iden,.jor the people are tOO scarei to th.ank us. No, Wt do ir.jor the screaming of our enemies-and oj that, mi amico, rhere isa~plenry!'

-EL GA1TODEL SAN STEFENATO, TU.EAN SKA VI'.N HLlNrElt

THE CoMPLETE SKA YEN HUNTER

Some items no Skaven Hunter should be without:

HALBERD OR SPEAR. Skaven are fast and prefer to overrun their opponents in great numbers. The length and speed of these long weapons keeps them at bay.

CR.OSSBOW PISTOL. lt lacks the range and penetradenof a crossbow, but you won't need much distance, and Skaven rarely wwarmour. Most importantly, you can wield it in your free hand, so it is always ready should a Skaven get past your sword.

PISTOL OR REnATER PISTOL. If you can afford them, these weapons have a similar advantage to the crossbow pistol~they are fast and deadly, knocking back artackers who get tOO dose. Both the pistol and rhe crossbow are also useful for raking down a fleeing Skaven before he can summon more of his fellows.

CHAIN 0:11. PUrE ARMOUR. Skaven teeth can tear through leather like paper. Metal armcurs are expensive, but what price can you place on your life?

CLOAK OIt OVERCOAT. Much of your hunqng will involve creeping through sewers or muddy tunnels, and it is wise to have something to protect your clothes. Good boots are also a must.

NECKERCHIEF. Soaked in wine, garlic oil or healing herbs, and placed over the nose and mouth, this will allow you to breathe deanly despite the smell of the sewers and the even worse smell of tile Skaven, Dwarf warriors prefer to soak theirs in their own urine, swearing by ics effectiveness.

HOODED L"NTEllN. It may be important [Q gain surprise on the Skaven, so a light that can be shaded is useful.

CLAY. Skaven hunt by seem, and can smell a Human from at least roo yards away. To defeat this, rub your armour and skin thoroughly with thick, fresh clay. Dwarf warriors prefer more pungent camouflages, such as pig's blood or even Skaven dung.

CROWBAR. Sewers are ofte.n blocked by grills or locked gates. A crowbar can come in handy for these moments.

Symbol of Sigmar. As mentioned, the Skaven have

little fear for the Hammer, but we should never face our enemies without keeping our Lord Sigmar close to hand and dose in mind.

If despite all this you seek to join the ranks of these brave adventurers, then I can offer little more than my admiration and my prayers, for although I have slain my share of Rumen, I am far more a woman of books tban of battle. I instead tum to some of my long-time comrades for their words on the matter:

''The SkcweIl are smarter than they look. Don't mistake them Jar being stupid-nor for cowards, neither. Th~ reason they run is because the surface isn'r their home ground. They only fight when they've gar the advanIage: underground, in the dark, ar.d wirhfar superior numbers. Injact, if (he Skaven auack,you know you're in trouble, because it means they think you. don't stand a chance. It's much beerer ro track rhem down and aTtack them by surprise. And they ain't roo hard to track. Once rhey get underground, rhey don't expect anyone rofollow them, leasr nor in the cities. They smell like a plague pir roo, so [us: follow your nose."

-BEHl\.AM GUNDARSON, DWARF SKAVEN SLAYER "A S'ingle Skaven, he is a weakling and a coward. Divide and conquer is the watchword here. In ones and twos, .they will atways fall under your sword, but in many numbers they will come from all sides, sneak around behind in !he dark tunnels, e<len dropping from abOlle, or crawling from below, and attacking without

[ear or any cari.ng for their own lives. They are like rhe ocean tide-bur Hke rhe tiae, if yotl stand firm, then they will break againsryou. Keep your distance, srrikeand thenJall back, and

try ro [arger the larger ones, most special [he ones with black or grey fur rather than brown. These ate the Skaven generals, and withour them, rhe orhers will break mu,ch quicker. It is nor so hard [0 defeat them, if you keep your heads againsr such numbers and such furies. Tru{y, down in the dark, it isfear thar isyour enemy, n01 the Skaven."

-Er. GATTO DEL S"N STE,fENATO, TlLEAN SKAYEN HUNTER As I write these last words, I am reminded of my comrades Behram, and Volpone and Fassbinder, and I recall again rhe most important lesson I have learnt in all my study of Ratmen and of hunting them. And that is to never hum them alone. In greater numbers we can use thelr favoured weapons against them, driving them OUt by force.

And note well, brave reader, that we need never hum them alone. In this world of fear and igJJorance it is easy to fed so very isolated, as

if all the world is blind to the reality and the danger of the Ratmen,

Bu t there are more of US than you might believe, and With each passing day, there are more still. The more we learn and the more we fight, the more we can remove the Skavens' claws from around the throat of our great Empire. One day, there will be an army of us, brave souls who can no longer pretend to believe the lies. Then we will rise up, drive OUt the Ratmen from [heir holes, and rid this world of the Skaven menace forever.

It is a victory for which I pray every single day.

-MIME-LIE MEYER, PruEsTl!SS Of VERENA

FORM AND FUNCTION

The following notes include all I have discovered on [he nature, form and behaviour of the Skaven in my 10 years of study. Those of you who wish to defeat the Skaven should read it well, and often, though you may find much of it distasteful, unbelievable or even heretical. All the information I'bave collected here will make you better prepared to fight our enemy. It may also save your life.

Some of what follows was gained through personal experience and observations, the rest from discussions with wimesses, or from writings 1 bave collected. The last source provides the first inclusion-a lengthy letter describing an intense physical examination of Skaven corpses. Alas, the receiver is long dead, and I could find no trace of the sender or his amazing find.

14

A MOST DISTURBING FIND

To: Dr. Heironymous Blirzen, Professor of Bestiaria, University of Ahdorf

Doctor Blitzen,

I {hank you for again taking the time to read a .. missive from such a -primitive as I, by which I mean both J11Y residence in the rustic location of Rugebrunnen and my poor and humble scholarship in coroparisen to Y0llrS. I hope you forgive my intrusion upon your studies, but I feel

I must bring to your arrenrion a most shocking and disturbing find. It may in fact be the most important finding of this century, both to our common field of Bestiaria, and also for the security of the Empire! For I have uncovered the first undeniable proof of something that previously all learned men would have called a myth. I have discovered bodies of the Skaven.

You yourself have written that even in the wildest stories of monsters there is a glimmer of namraltruth, but in the case of the Skaven, that glimmer in fact seems IO be a blazing bonfire, and the light of it may ill umina te a whole nation lha t heretofore was in the darkness.

But I shall starr at the beginning.

I had, as you so readily instruct us, put forth word to all those in the village that should they discover any beasts unnatural or strange to

aim. me immediately. This most recent report came from the men of a runnel crew, helping IO expand rbe cellars of the town hall. All men were good, honest, Sigmar-fearing men, neither drunkards not zealots, and not given to fancies :nor forgeries. I can swear that their testimonies are accurate.

They had apparently broken through into an underground cavern, where they detected the air to be sulphurous and choking. When the air had been cleared, they discovered that others had already fallen victim to

the deadly vapollrS. For on the other side of the cavern, having dug in from farther below, were five creatures which could only be described

as Skaven: large, humanoid rats. I went and inspected the bodies myself, and ordered them immediately {O be carried to my workshop.

[made sketches of each of the creatures (which 1 have taken the liberty of including with this Iener) and then began to examine them internally, following to the letter the processes outlined so well in Anatomica Principia, by your colleague Sir Josef Liener, What follows below are my complete and unexpurgated notes made during this. exploration, and further sketches made during the operation.

VISUAL ApPRAISAL

If we are [0 believe our own eyes, the creatures would fit every child's story and peasant myth of that race we call the Skaven. The creatures are gigantic rats. All but one are beyond five feet in length, and their bodies twisted so as to walk upright, or near enough, so they would stand as tall as a man. All five specimens seem hunched, but whether this is a birth trait or due to the cramped nature of their underground lifestyle, I cannot say. In all other IeS¥=CtS they resemble the common rat: they are covered in fur from head to feet, apan from the hairless nose, ears and

a. thin fleshy tail. The tail is about as long as the body, and is used fer balance while moving. Each of the four limbs ends in a viciously clawed paw. The ears are prominent, and they possess long whiskers under the nose. In all respects, these features are disturbingly similar to those of the rats from which they undoubtedly originated.

At least, that holds true for three of the five specimens found. Of the others, one is very much rat-like, but has the notable aberration of twO extremely large, curving homs, like that of a goat or ram, protruding from the top of its skull. The final beast is something unlike any rat and rather akin to a creature of nightmare. I have heard tell of the legendary Rat-Ogres, the terrifying giants of the Skaven race, and given the

immense size of this beast, I ca:n only presume that this is what I have found.

Even the other four, though uniform in their basic appearances, showed great divergence in other factors. The smallest of the four (Crearure I

in my sketches) would have stood only four feet ten inches tall and was clearly a far weaker physical. specimen than the others. It also had brown fur, wbereas the large, muscular Skaven (Creatures II and nn have a deep black fur, and the horned 0ne (Creature IV) a very light grey. Judging by the general health of all four creatures, I have postulated that fur colour is used as a basis of social hierarchy in the Skaven burrow: white furred at the tOp. then black furred, then brown. The smallest creature is also marked by many scars from what I believe are whips,

and had other signs of beatings; I surmise therefore that he is either a prisoner I or of a servant or slave caste. Despite the beatings, and indeed the infectious lesions on his skin, he seemed in good health, indicating these creatures have a hardy constitution!

The black fur may perhaps denote a warrior class, as Creatures II and ill are nOI just larger ana more muscular (each over six feet tall at the shoulder!) but have longer claws and fangs, stronger forean:nsand

more powerful jaws. They were also found wearing heavy armour and carrying the largest weapons, and their rails are pierced wirh iron spikes, presumably for attacking enemies. We can suppose that this group was some SOrt of advance scouting party: a leader with his tWO bodyguards, his servant and the monstrous killing machine he controls.

Turning aside now from their individual differences, I will focus instead on WOOl characteristics all five creatures share, for here, I believe, we can form a picture of the nature of the Skaven form, and thus, perhaps lead US to hypothesize on the mind of this terrible enemy.

\

"

FUR .AND SKIN

On all the creatures, roe fur is quire fine, and thick, again much like a rae. It is clearly well-insulated from the cold, and is covered with a

15

oil that makes it virtually water-proof. We can assume that, like the water-rat and otter, the Skaven are good and frequcm swimmers. This oil is secreted from various orifices in the skin, located ahmg the baekand neck, under thearm-pits, on the hip joints and above the tail, and is presumably spread with their claws.le~mined t~ orifices and they seem extremely complex, and somewhat like the sunk-vessel of rhecommon skunk. I hypothesize the Skaven can produce liquids from these glands with a variety of aromas, and that this forms a type .of communication for them, with each subde change in Scent containing

as much meaning as we might include in an entire sentence. I also found patches of urine and f~eces .among the fur, which may be used t.o further enhance their foul stink, JUSt as dogs like to roll in horse manure .•

The skin is quite ihick beneath the fur, and there is a layer of fat immedia:~e1y below, which again would protecrilgainst the cold and

Wet. The hide is not particularly rough, but it is dearly dura.ble. Every creature's skin. was marked with countless scars and abrasions, bothold and new, and most of them matching the claw size of :another Skaven, indicating even when not engaged against their enemies, the life of a Skaven is.one of constant battle with his own kind.

The skin of all rbecrearuresalso showed signs of various Infecticns and diseases. In some cases, these lladsin.ce passed, leaving pox-marks and abraded .skin; in others there were freshpustules, bells and rashes. Due to the risk <of infection, these areas were not studied. Inste_ad the flesh was CUt off and burned immediately. One can imagine that touching a:

Skaven is as dangerous as touching a pox~ridGen beggar in the streets.

There was one fmal noteworthy aspect of l:h: skin: evay creature also bore a least one area ofrirual scarring or ta [[ooing ,. typically in the>f ann of a sigil:tl1ree lines intersecting to f orro a triangle.! can .on1y guess that this is of some kind of occult significance,. although it isa terrifying thought that beasts such as these would have gods akin to those of men!

SKELETON AND MUSCLES

As mentioned, the skeleton frame is set so as mallow the creature to walk upright, yet hunched. The back legs are exrr:mely strong, m.d

the tail allows the upper body to extend forward WIthout unbalancing .. This pUts the creature's nose, eyes and ears at the forefront, [he faster to detect dang~ or enemies. The pose also pu.rs themevcNeady to pounce forward, tearing their enemies open with their terrible fangs .and ~aws. Pizy the poor Empire soldier who is used to seeing his enemy's shield first.,. who turnS a comer and instead stares straight into the eyes of these monstrous killers, already leaping fortbe lull!

Their upper body is also quite strong: like the rat, they are created to latch all four limbs and teeth -intO thcirprey and never let go. However, if they were unable to bring this strengta ro bear,then they would likely be quite helpless: it seems to me that, much like the win~ ?f a falcon,. the muscles are only strong in certain movements and POSlUons. In the main, the Skavenare far weaker than we Humans, particularly when it comes to carrying or pullingloads. This likely explains why onlYl~ larger of the creatures were wearing any armour , and the poor quality of their thin. blades.

The Skaven make up for their lack of strength however wirh their speed. Not only are they poised to pounce and bring. down their enemies under their weight, their powerful back legs make them extremely qUick. I estimate they could run a! easilyrwice the speed of a man. With their sharp da.ws an.dgrirping feet, they could reach these .speedS on narrow ledges, branches or :precipices as well. Their .~kelerons are also.extremely flexible, like that of a cat, able. totwist and tum far beyond a man's. This combined with their powmullegs and .strong claws makes them extremely nimble and no doubt excellent climbers, I fear they could escape most any bond or cell, and could reach the most remote of casde. towers or mountain Outposts. Again, pity the Empire soldier who thinks he is safe in his high guard towerl

NATURAL WEAPONS

If by their works may we kn.ow our Gods ,then whatever tmholy

gods the Skaven have, they are farh~grkr for death than Ulrica:nd, Sigmar. The Skaven are not only built to pounce, but they abound WIth

terrifying weapons to tear us to pieces when they do.

I Each paw has four strong appendages, ending in an fuch,.long razor simp claw. Tbedaws are also able ro becovered in oilsecreted from beneath the s.kin, which no doubt poisons or infectS til: woundstOCycause, further speeding too de.mise of their prey. The foot claws are equally sharp and envenomed, but neither serareas fearsome as the fangs.

The Skaven possess somewhere between 20 and 32 teeth, including four large lndsors at the: forefront. The top ones :protl'llde from the mouth, descending below the chin to fonn extremely sharp points. Removing. one, we ~ested its efficacy on rope and leather and it proved 1.S good as any bladeI own. As mentioned, the jaws ate vel')' powerful, and the teeth are designed to puncrure,l'3ther than saw, again so thatthey can apply their weight to the enemy and, if not drag their whole body down, perhaps rip off entire limbs instead.

Still the arsenal continues, for the Skaven can also use their tails as potent weapom. As men.tiomed, Cresmres ill -and IV had metal spikes inserted in the ends of their tails, no doubt so Ibey might whip lhe.m arotmd in combat to .srrike their enemies with unexpected blows. I

experimented with the flexibility of the t!lil,and I believe that Skaven might also be able to hold dubs or blades in those coils, or perhaps other helpful tools such as Iamems, poison vials or incendiaries.

Regarding weapons and tools, It.seems their fingers are nimb1e enough to not only manipulate black powder weapons (Crearures IDand IV were

armed with tbem) but to build them as well. I3J,II far from a scholar of the armoury, but I believe that t.he devices we found on these creatures are nothing any human mind would create, or even conceive! Not only

16

they seem dangerously unsafe, but they contain fragments of what 1 believe to be that foul substance Warpst:onc. I have placed these weapons in a metal strongbox, just in case, and will await your advice before examining them further.

INTERNAL ORGANS

I have removed several of these but I must confess again my complete lack of scholarship in the an of surgery. I have placed the items in jars

f uI1 of fermented ale, as instructed by Sir Liener, but can tell link from them myself. I can however see a stomach and lower tract, as with most creatures.

I cut open the sromach in an anempt to analyse diet, but the only noteworthy discovery was two gold rings, as would be worn by a nobleman or wealthy merchant. This to me suggests that perhaps the hands or fingers bad been devoured whole, and the Skaven stomach is powerful enough to digest even bones, given sufficient time. I also found more flakes of Warpstonc in the stomach of the white-furred creature. I refuse ro believe that any beast, no matter how tainted by madness or Chaos .• would wilfully ingest this substance, so I instead conclude that they were swallowed by accident, while the mature was performing some dark sorcery or twisted experiment.

1 also noted that the stomach seemed very small compared 10 that of a man or even a wolf. Perhaps this is the origin of the Skavens' reputation for ravenous hunger, as they have to continually eat to keep refilling this tiny stomach?

1 conducted a brief examination of me ears and nose (areas where I am much more confident of my studies!) and found them much like those of a rat or indeed a dog. The sketches I made of a hunting bound last year proved all excellent point of comparison: the Skaven's senses seemed to be ofa very similar design. Both sets of ears contained small hairs 10 amplify the. sound, and both animals' noses bad rhe same large internal surface area, where the flesh is pocked with thousands of "scent-holes." Based on this comparison, I would have Iirtle daub! that the Skaven's sense of hearing and smell is at least the equal of any good hunting hound. This means they could likely detect their prey up to a mile away in good wind.

THEBEAST

I turned to this ungodly creature (Creature Yin the illustrations) last of all, because, if I may ee honest, I was afl'aid to learn more abour it. I couldnot conceive of the power that could create such a beast, or the mind that would choose to. To look upon it is to behold the work of true Chaos.

I am not being faIlcif ul in my words here, for the more I examined the beast the more I became convinced that it was a work of design, created by the Skaven the way you or I would create a sculpture of clay. Only here the clay was the flesh of their own race, and probably Others and they must have moulded it with the blackest of magic. Not to mention brute force, for this creature is held together by stitching and, in other places, armoured plates and metal staples. The skin was also scarred heavily allover, more so than all me others. I can not guess whether this is because of the violence it faced from the enemies of me Skaven, or the violence toot was done to it bytbe Skaven in order to construct it or make.ir obedient.

The cuts are not deep however, and no wonder: the: skin is as hard as leather and four inches thick to the muscle. And wOOr muscle! I have once had the privilege to examine the hind legs of a Shire Horse that

had been gravely injured in a fall, and 1 see echoes of the same here: the muscle fibres are thick like ship's rope and wrapped over-and over across the chest and arms. Like an Ogre, this creature is approximately 10 feet tall at the shoulder. and yet 1 believe it maybe even stronger than those monsters. 1 shudder to think of what unnatural surgery was required to put the strength of twO creatures into but one.

Tbe creature has all the other features of the Skaven: flexible spine

hunched over and ready to POIlJlCe, the powerful legs, the heightened

senses, the thick fur, And of course, tbe same natural weapons-the long, envenomed claws, tbe poweIful puncturing teeth, the spiked tail---{)niy now these are all much larger; four inches long in the case of the claws on the hands. Or J should say land, for the [eft hand of this beast had been removed and replaced with a long metal blade, like a spear-point, attached to tbe flesh with stedrivetS driven fully into the bone.

After my brief examination of this creature, 1 was tempted to burn the corpse, and all the others, out of sheer abhorrence artbeir unnatural state. I began to understand why Other learned men would wish to hide the truth of the existence of these things from the common people, or indeed, anyone. Especially a learned man, for he who has the most knowledge of the natural forms of body and beasts knows most well how horrifically misshapen are theses creations of the Skaven.

And well he knows tOO, how terribly perfeer are the Ratmen themselves; tbese masters of biology, the perfect, silent bunter in the darkness, the ultimate combination of man and beast. Be they crafted by Chaos God or unmerciful nature, they point to a great hostility in this world in which we live, upon which few men would be brave enough to contemplate.

THE CoNTROVERSY

I have read that there are those who (While admlrring their existence) believe the Skaven are nothing more than Beastmen, or large rats bearing some Chaos mutation. After my many days of analysing these creatures, I can of course attest they are far more than rats. But as to their precise taxonomy? It is difficult 10 say. After all, Beastmen and Skaven are both creatures of horror, and it is difficult to look close enough at such abomina.rions as to be able to classify them.

Yet, from what. I have read in the great books you and others have been so gracious to send me, I have concluded that.the only defining constant of Beastmen is that they are never constant. They are creatures of pure

_,' /

random chance, a hideous mix of animal and human features, assembled with no care for the ways of nature or even basic survival. They have no logi.c or pattern to their creation, as often undone by their own mutations as helped by them.

But in the Skaven,the psrtems are obvious. Apart from the created ogre-beast, all of them are clearly of the same race, and the forms of nature arc clearly inherent in their design, so well are they suited to their underground life. They show no random creation or detrimental defonuities-they are healthy and hardy and mong enough and smart enough to bring down prey far larger than themselves, even without manufactured weapons.

In summary, r feel Beasnren are the work of Chaos In an overt sense: creatures that, through exposure to Warpstone, have produced a host

of random characteristics, of both beast and man. Whereas the Skaven

are the work of Chaos in a far subder way, using the ways of nature to create a.perfect monster, a creature that Isnot random but designed. In

the Skaven I see not a mix of man and beast, but all the great advantages of the animals-the strength, the speed, the fur, the claws and teeth, the instinct to kill-given the mind of a man, the ability to think and plan, to create and design, to use weapons and armour just like our own, and

[0 mimic our ways and rum them against us. They are thus [he beast best suired to slip into our cities, to undermine our defences and gnaw away

at our Empire of puriry and order. Though rars be harbingers of disease,

I see in thesecreatures I have studied not the hand of the Great Pestilence, but rather the Great Mutator. Woe betide us if we do not watch for them at every rum and in every comer, for the Mutator is the most subtle and most dangerous of all our unholy enemies.

Which brings me to my final question: as we now, here, have undeniable proof that the Skaven exist. what can we say about the Other my:ths of

the Skaven? Do they indeed take our children in the night to work in their slave pits? Do they nuly lurk in the sewers of the great cities of ~enheim and Nu1n? Did they really bring about the plague of nn, as IS toldin some tales? If the Skaven are real, then aU of this is possiblemnlikely.lf the Skaven are real, then anything is possible. And the Skaven are real. I have seen them with my own eyes, and though the truth a.- their existence now gives me such disturbing thoughts, I cannot shut ":!:y eyes and rerum to ignorance again.

hhfi-J'I! {(·fA>- "PPlttjt" /IlI/IIflllI.

It is you, though, DOCTor Blirzen, who must help me make my work

known. We must convince all the men of learning of this truth, though they will be greatly resistant to accept it. But as long as we call

rhe Skaven a myth, they can prey

on us, unknown, unobserved and unchallenged-----and who knows to what dark purpose they grow closer to achieving, with every passing day? Such dark thoughts cause my hands to shake in greal trepidation, so I shall close this rn.isSi ve now.

Yours on this aorh day of Vorhexen, the Year of Our Lord Sigmar's Empire, 2510

Your eve-vigilam student,

Docter Felli: Liebkosen, Esquire.

The Manor House, Rugebrunnenm, Middenland.

CoMMENTS AND CoNSIDERATIONS

I found this Ierter buried in the University Archives, where they have Sat since BliIzen's death in 2,512. I have since journeyed to Rugebrunnen, but nobody there will talk of anyone named Liebkosen. Indeed, the

town no longer has a church, or any son of scholar's house, efrer it was razed during the Storm of Chaos. Whatever evidence Doctor Liebkosen had, it has long Vanished, and without it, his great work can easily be dismissed as the ramblings of a madman.

No doubt Liebkosen died during the Storm, and Blirzen's sudden death from fever can be explained by the cold winter of 2.112. Yet I recall the strange death of Anders Emmerich, who .• in 2;07, was mysteriously >tabbed to death on the streets outside his house, JUSt weeks before he intended to publish his collection of Sksven sketches and etchings. And

1 recall the great Wilhelm Leiber, whose epic work The Loarhsome Rarmen and AU Their Kin would have opened the world's eyes bad it not been condemned as heresy by-the church of Altdol'f in 2n3. Leiber went mad a few reonrbs after his book was publicly burned, claiming the Skaven were following him everywhere. He was moved to an asylum but took his own life wi.thin a week of his arrival-or at least that is what the asylum report mf orms us.

J am a woman of logic and reason, and dislike jumping at shadows but

I cannot deny tbat a panern emerges from this. Are the Skaven or [heir human agentS truly so desperate to stem the knowledge of their nature that they would take such terrible steps upon the few scholars who brave the condemnation of our peers and rulers to throw light upon the subject? Is my life in danger too, then? Mark well, dear reader, that as of this day, tbe fourth af let Hexensnachr, 2522, I am sound and fit of mind and body, and if I should f all to some harm, let it not be blamed on madness or any accident! And if the worst should occur ,then whatever you do , reader, copY this work and pass it on in my name! Knowledge will live as long as there are those who live to keep it.

FIELD NOTES

I am no scholar of the sciences like Leiber or Liebkosen, but I have made lIlY own study of the Skaven over all my years of cracking them. I am neither proud nor foolish enough to pretend to have created a deflnitive guide, and fully admit the incompleteness of my observations. However, what follows is likely still the most comprehensive examination of the

18

S1.lbject in I;!ristence. I hope one day it will be far eclipsed by works of those with real scholarship in the natural world.

In. compiling these notes into one document, I was much ~ebted to my fellow humer Behram Gundarsen, who offered much advice, and has added his own comments to mine where he deemed it appropriue.

SMELL

''The first rhinE yOIl nonce about them is me smell. Nor a stinking reek Lik,e Goblins, but a smell on the air, like Q horse smells when ir's scared. It changes, too-when they charge, there's a smokey

smell oj swea.!, and rage; whrnrhey run, it:'san a.cidic musk oj [errOT', like ane1lrir€ regiment has pissed itself. I reck1J1t they use their smell !,ike we' 'use our barrIe cries, or our rertoos, since I've s~en rheJilrhy bastarJs rub t.he smell aU aver theirJur beJore a battle. Since this smelI-oil comes our oj their ears, and atse, and pizzLe, it's no wonder these things are so auntn diseafe-ri.dden."

A. good Skaven hunter should have a nose as sharp as his. eyes. Even a Human nose will detect these beasts before its bearer's eyes see rhero,and this is true even when they haven't been wading through the sewers. For the Skaven, scent is a measure of status and a means. of communication, and all of them cultivate it carefullY.. The.ir emotions conrrol their scent, flaring 'Up to the strongeststink during the exuemes of combat. And so [00 do the Skaven use their scent to communicate those emotions, to the rest of the pack. This is likely why Skaven rout so quiCkly when the battle goes m":""the palpable smell ot fear spreads asfast as the wind. amongst them.

J believe their eomrel over scent may even be so sophisticated as 't.o express not JUSt broad emotions, but also something of the q~ty Of. them, or cause behind them. For example, the scent exuded while fleeing from a noll slayer may be different from the scent given off while fleeing from a group of their own kind. T~us oompkll ~ormarion can pass very quickly amongst their lines even intbe contusion of battlefar faster than in any human unit.

!'And anot.her thing-make S'UretQ geryotlr axe out oj them damn quick, a.nd give i.t a wash and an oillmmediare(y a.Jter rhe barrIe. Their blooi1 sricks like heH and srinks something awJuL You can a.lways rell a DwarJ who ham'rdonerhis; t.heJoulsmell rakes weeks to jade,. and rhe other Dwarfs mal'k.youunril it does;"

-BEHR..AM

ApPEARANCE

'They look a.lot bigger than you whenyou!re up close and they've gor their claws Ol.{t, espec£aUy the big J o;r ones. But so do Elves and Humans. I tell.you, Ska'Vengo down·(t lot easier. AU thatJuris

a ruse-underneath rhdre as lean as a Goblin, cllld jlLS! as easi{y smashed wirh a good axe-blow."

Perhaps because they are so likened to rats, there seems [0 be a miso<lmception t.hat the Ratmen are small, l.ilte Goblins. In truth, they are very much man-sized, their claws and fangs within easy reach of the human throat. The dark-furred Skaven an: sometimes even larger than Huro:ms and broader across the shoulders.

In g~,·thefr size and shape is close enough 11 man that if wearing 11 l'IOQd and cowllhey could pass as a beggar or mendicant in 11 darkened street. Remember I undl you have seen a mortal fare, there is always the possibility astnnger in the shadoWs is in faa one of th6Tt,watching and plotting,.

The way to distinguish a Skaven so disguised is by Weir gait. Skaven SCUllY rather than Walk; croijched low, their heads and arms forward, their legs coiled ready to spring, [hell feet up on their claws, and their rails held high

for balance, They also move extremely rapidly, with quick, shuffling steps, much like their rat-kin .. Skaven woo are forced to be Wsible ~ public will therefore move as little as pD5Sible, until they must, lest they gJiveaway th:!ir nature. Whm they are sure no one is watching,. they sprint for the nearest underground entry before anyone can notice :rlqare gone.

It is one of the rcnifyingconrradictions of the Skavcn that they should be so fast, yet able roremain perfectly still for so long. Buuhey can, and many a soldier has been surprised to find, at the very end of his warch that a Skaven has been crou.ching noun: feet from him the entire time .• :.wrting fOT the moment. that soldier tewe;;hls g~iU'd. TtJ:: quiet pa.ti.ence of the Skaven hun,rer IS equal.and oppome to his explesive ferocity when he strikes.

Their viQlence and speed,and their nightmarish appearance, means that most of the Skavens' fees.are dead before they even have tirae to draw their swords. Those entering Skaven territory must have their weapons in bandand tneir nerves steeled, constantly watching for attack. Eternal vigitance is our only defence.

TOOTH AND CLAW

Speaking of attacks, both dY: fangs and the claws are~y sharp ru:d e:xtreme1y fIlthy. Any wowxl inflicted by rht: Skaven will almost. certainly become infected. As soon as pD5Sible, such wounds should be ffusledout with alcohol, and then wrappecl in a healing poultice. In extreme cases the wound may need to be bu.rnerl clean. Skaven hunmrs are y,;rcll advised to wear good armour and rravcll.ing detbes rhat cover the whole body--:mklelength, long-sleevcd coats, for example. Not that the Ska:venclaws will be turned asj.de by leather, but loose cloth may tangle them. somewhat and Stop them an inch or so before your skin.

The Skaven. are willing to ear. an;y[hing, and [heir sharp teeth and crushing jaws make them, able to do so. I have seen them bite through steel armour given enough time, which mears that only the mongest

prisons can hope to hoJdthem. Imprisonmem should nev.er be a.. •

consideration, of course+-tbe only proper response to a single Skaven IS extermil1ation, and the only response 10 their race is genocide.

Finally, remember that a Skaven has. foursets of claws, one set of teeth and a' raiL A wide shield may protect you from the claws and fangs,. but then you'U be smtck in rbe mrl from behind by an attack you never even saw coming. I speak from personal (and painful) ~perience.

''When a Sluwen. gets his claws or teerh into you, ht'll ~etler ler go. I've seen DwarJs come backJr.om barrie wIth severed Skaven heads $till ana.ched to their legs, the r.eerh .buried in their Dones, Their a.im. is simple-grab on right (tnd use their '!Wight 10 drag you down onto your back soyou ca.n'rfighr. We Dwarfs don'rjall over so easy,. bur you: m411lings are ina. Lot oj trouble, especiallY.if more r.han one leap.s a[you.Alw'9's stand tuirh o.friend. beside you, 50 each of you can pri5e off a:ny that gets through to the other beJore youIaU. Onc.eyou.'re down, the rest will rush and join rhe pile-on, ana thenyou're good as dead."

~

,.

WEAPONS AND ARMOUR

Desphe theirpowmm natural weapons, Skaven use ~ufacmred . weapons just as often as we Humans do, and!hey are JllSt as. dea~ Wlth them. Skaven have Iirde care forcrsftsrranshlp, however, so their swords and axes are usually low in quality, They usually favour melee weapons, but special units in their army hordes are trained to useproj~es.

The. JIlost popufu choice of these appears to be throwing knili'es or stars. These are more finely crafted than their swords, strongend wellbalanced. Typically, they are also coated in deadly poison, j~r like the blades of the assassins of Araby. Again, the bestdefence against these is simply a lot of armour, for if these weapons drawblood, there is no __ "" __ hope: the-vicrim will be dead by morning.

I have never heard ef a Skaven using a bow, For longer distances, they

far prefer gunpowder weapQns-"--"Or rather, their own versions thereof, powered by gunpewder and some mixrure made from Warpstone. Frequently, these weapens abo fire bullets made frorn that C!eadJ.y stone

as well. These unholystonesc:an dissolve rhe strongest armour, and are so rife with black ~c that again, any vicdm will be dead within hours, or worse, hideously mutated. There are tales of rhem hining from extreme distances, suggciting they have long rifles or jezzai.ls.lt is vital, therefore, to never engage the Skaven at a long distance,unless you have a very large fence. There .. are at feweases where Skaven emploY crossbows. Theseare nearly always small repcaters~fast and nasty.

"Am.melit's righr aboltl tong distance: yotI. never want the Skaven ro be conTrolling the field [hilt much. The be51' sol.mi,o.n is [0 rush

up to them, quic.k asyou ron. Very often, a. charge like rhatwill break them early, or ger you rhrough rhe ranks to rhe generals or w~:tards, and if you take [hem down, the rest willJaU soon enough. Problem is, the Skaven up on the hills don't give a ,dam.n abour [heir oW.n men, and theyllftre their jezxailsand canMns into the rhick of oJrCfj if !h~ think they might hit you, ClOSing on them doesn't stOp the warpfireJrom coming; it just givesyolL more cover/'

, (

'l

.,

~BEHRhM Even morererrifying than Warpsl:one bullets are the weapons [hal throw warpfir~a kind of burning, flaming ooze that sticks to the skin, with all th: same pmpenie,<l cif the stone from which it is made. Like the WarpstOl1C bu1leu of rlrir rifles and pistols I. this ooze mclts the skin and. mutau:s flesh, leaving its victims. deformed or crippled in moments. I have heard !egenck of huge: cannon which shoot the same sruff only in massive v01umes, enough to drench an entire squadron wirhthis lethal chemical. I do not know if this is rrue.J pray ir is sti11 a myth,

"It isn't. My cousin Kroger mV' drink a .bir roo much a,fe, bur he's no Uar, dClmmit!'

~BEHRAM Whatever the truth of the cannon, it is cl~ that Skaven weapon technology is far, far beyond that of the Empire, and even beyond that of the Dwarfs. The sole mercy of this is they still lack much mendon to craftsmanship, and these terrifying weapons are extremely unreliable, In a sweet irony ,. they often d0 more damage 10 their Batmen wielders than they do to their enemies.

"I take offencear that. QUl' weapons may nor be quite as deadly to our enemies, .but that dO~SI1'r mean rhtl[ our engineering is lesser than the Sk!.wen's. For my mon~y, when a weapon explodes in your hands moreojun thana! the enett!:Y, ie''s nor much ofa weapon at all. Right?"

~BEHRAM

On-rERWEAPONS

Beyond their warpfire weapons, the Skaven are also known to use the weapons of disease. Not content with the lrifClruOn they spread through their Wounds alone, some Skaven carry censers into combat, in which they burn noxious chemicals that blind and choke their enemies ... For longer distances ,somecarry glass spheres also filled with poisonous gas. Thes,c can be thrown into a group of enemies, and the effects are disastrous. Once in my life 1 have come upon.a unit of men hit by one of these gasseo;-tO see their eyes writhing in thcirchoklng Faces., blood gargllilg from their lungs, their tongues blackened with putrid sores. then: was nothing Human left in [hem. It was a mert')' to slir their throats, but rhelr agonlsed faces baunt my nightmares sdll,

I have seen Skaven wearing strange masks over their mouths as they go lmo combat, so perhaps eVen thW powerful constitutions can yield to these terrifying vapol1tS. If the armies of the Empire would only admit to the existence of Skaven, theycol11d work at producing such prole<:tion -for our men, Undl such time,C:OVet your mouth and eyes if you sPy

green vapour" and pray for the countless good mC1I11ost for the sake of pride and ignorance.

'We dwarfs are hardy when iI comes to poison. anddisea.se~ hardier than you mantingsQIIJ'WCfj. Which is w/tY a lot of my folk can't see why any HUlTWn wouldJighr a Skatlen--and why [hose that do so are wekomeila.s brethren by us Dwarfs) for rhey must have guts oJ iron! and hearts of steel."

OrHER PHYSICAL Asl'ECTS

In trutb, the entire body of the Skaven is a weapon/not simply the claws and teeth. Their powerfulbaek legs let them pounce five times their

. hcight, both up and across, and run at mice the speed of a man. Their eyes are extremely sensiti.ve, giving thempcrfect sight/even in pitch darkness. Their noses are even more honed: they can smell an intruder from half a milea.way, and are almost impossible to ambush as a result, unless you hide your Set:I1[, But all too often, we hunters are sensed and discovered, and then tl1atterrifying speed and powerful muscle pUtS [hose claws to work.

!'H-umans don't like it, bm lfind a good. squ,eez;e of rarr' blood Inro the hair and beard keeps the Skaven's noses confused. Long enough for you to geryOtlr axe in.rotheir bftlins, anyway."

-BEHlI.Io.M As weUasstrength and speed, the Skaven howe incredible constitutions. Though they ofren carry great -plagues (both de1iberately and accickntally), they rarely fall victim to such tbingsthemselves, and then onlytothemost virulent strains. The Skaven.Jr seems, are the ultimate

survivors: all but irnmuneto disease and infection, able to liv'e'in any environment, even the most disgusting, and able to nourish themselves on anything at all, be it rortingccrpses, or se.wer scum, or even

Warps tone! No siege could ever last againSt them, f or they will even rum and eat their own kind when hungry cnough-and they breed fast enough to never run OUt of this- particuLar food supply. If ever some -nuly great calamity destroyed all the monal races of this world, I am sure that the Skaven would liveon, in the ashes, battling only witbtbe restless dead for dominion over the carcass of the world.

DIET

The Skaven can and do ea.ranyrhing, but like most omnivores, they also have foods that they seek out regularly and in preference to others. For the Skaven, this is fresh, raw meal.

I estimate that about a qumer of all the meat goods produced in the Ernpire-one carcass of every four-are devoured or desrroyed by Skaven. They c1a1m livestock. from our farms (the extensIvely mutilated corpses left behind 'after [his often leads farmers to blame fantastical beasts such as Wyvems for theses attacks), Steal from the .stockyarclsand warehouses, and find their way into rhecold stores of taverns, inns and manor houses, all for the lure of fresh meat. Of course, the reasOI) they only take cow, pig or goa,t is because Human flesh isslighdy harder to obtain. When it is easily prccured, however-say If they find aIone traveller In the wilderness ,or a child too far from his home---they take such pleasure wheneverr~ can.

"Funny thing iii, they'll ear Dwarfs sure enough, but if there are Humans around., rhe' a[wq)is rake t.hemJirsr. I reck.on we DwarfS don't taste Ivery nice-we're aU gristle and bone., see!"

-BEHlI.AM

Once I sat ~d watched a hiVe of them, timing how ofren they came

to eat from their pile of corpses. By my reckoning, the Skaven need to eat five times a day. The individual meals are nor Iarge, but in total a SkiveI) eats at least its own weight in raw meall!Vcry day, The stronger typically eat more, and those who are denied this quota are easily spotted fer [heir weaker frames' and jlTerru:ding ribs. If they are denied food Long enough/ they go mad, SinkiriginlO a frot!Ungberserker rage. Under the effects of d1i5 "black hunger" as Icibcr ealled it, they lose their natural cautiousness,.imowing no pain OT fear in their blood-fury, and their

ra "ages will not be stOp until they have eaten their fill, or are killed. Take no chances with a wild, hungry'Skaven,.and do not lower your guard until you. are Very sure it has. ceased fWitChin,g.

I sus~t this. great appetite. isnec~. to fuel the"ir seemingly . . exbausdblespeed and feroclty~whlch ill rum guarantees they ac'.lwre their next meal .. Inthe face of such inexhaustible hunger, I can. almost fed pity for these creatures, for what must life be like to be constantly needing to seekour the next meal, and tr!e'ntXI, and the next?

BREEDING

We can f'erma true understanding of our enemy'sdtive for battle when we look at rheir rapacious hunger in context with their Incredible fecundiry, Skaven females seem rare, perhaps one in ten of the Skaven population, and cenainlyare never seen on the surface. I approximate that they reach breeding age in jusT two years (whereas male Skaven require five years to be fully grown) and from that poinr on spend the rest of thcii" lives in a constant cycle of breeding and nursing.

IThe on9" rhing that b:reedsJasrer than tars is rhe Skavm. One rime, while cleaning out arunnet, my cousin and J Jell rhrough a weak spot into one oj the birthing chambet>s .. It WIlS like all ocean of fur. yO<! couldn't counr [hem aU, bur there was a hundred

if rMre was one. Of aU differ~r ages, somenill sightless, some weaned.and ready to ./citl. And er the [OP' oj it aU, a great big morher Skaven, suckling rwo do~enyoung a1 her hairy breasr. My

cousin was never right after that dqy-he kepr munet'ling there were roo many oj them, they had to be every damn where. A few months later, he stoed up a second roo earty and gar a Warpsrone buller through hiS skulL Damn shame."

-BEJiRAM Lbave eonsulted various schelars of narural history ,and looked long

and hard at the unbounded populations of Skaven, and made comparison to the common ral,and I b<j.ve cQncluded tha:t a litter of Skavencould contain betweencne and tWO dozen pups,andthat a well-fed female could give binh to su.ch a Iirter four or five rimes a year. That is to say, every Skaven female can produce over 100 offspring every single year. Even if only one tenth of these survive to adulthood (a mher hopeful figure fo.r our sake, I fear), and only one tenth of those is female,

a single female can produce more than 50 other females .in 10 years,

and a rood of morerban I200 Skaven warriors in [!Jat same time, AU from a single female! Imus! admit,.rM preclsernathemadcs of this is beyond me (and I acknowledge the great help of the great mathematician Finnobacci of Tobarc in'producing these figu:res) but 1. am assured they are correct, despite their terrifying proportions.

Yes, the Skaven are shon-lived, with few lasting beyond their second decade of hle,bu.t even SQ, in one df those generations.a single Skaven pair can produce m.ore warrior offspring than there are people in Bogenhafen lIt is rhus easy to conclude that there is no sentient. race on this earth as numerous as the. Skaven, Yet even one alone is a greon danger to all of us. This is anIll portent for the hope of mankind.

HABITAT

,

.,

Where [hen de all of these squirming futmen live? As discussed in the Liebkosen letter, they are creatu~ perfectly suited to the underground. When they do appear on the surface, they almost always do so at night, and stay to the darkness. Some have suggested" as with the owl, that the sunlight blinds their sensitive eyes, but we cannot be .SUl'C:. The eonrrary seems to be true, however: the darkness causes themno disadvantage,

nor do the cramped condldons of tunnels or sewers prevent them from bringing ill their terrible strength to bear. Naturally they prefer to fight in these environments, for both of these conditions gready hamper US Humans. No! only can we not see or manoeuvre, bur we are also subject to irnuional.primitive fears in dark, confined places. The Skaven may want to conquer the surface world, but [hey will always be at their most rowerfill beneath it.

Inrbe cities, .. as is well known amongrbeir hunters, the Skaven use

our own runnels-eeur sewers and cellari and canals-for unrestricted nave!.l! would be comforting 10 think that their tunnels are far more primitive, but the Skaven are clever enough to build soundly. Their tunnels are wide and clear and difficult to destroy or block. If you mean to llj' to close off one of their routes, you will need a. tot of time, and good picks and shovels.

1 myself have never ventured beyond their rranspon runnels, but. I have heardra1es of the rest of their ne~work: vast caverns where the ceilings are 100 feel high, mine shafts that plumb hundreds of yards. beneath

rhe surface, massive nurseries where the young Skaven are stacked like firewood, gigan.tic Warpstone furnaces powering machines of unknown function andW1imaginable design ... and.all of it connected by an impossibly huge network of tunnels rhareriss-crosses the entire Empire, running under every single city and every .single village. Until we can begin to map this Und(!r~Empire, we cannot hope to ever significaJ1.dy defray the Skaven, Yet bow can we ever hope to model such an immense labyrinth, even if it were completely empry of our enemies?

"Leave IUnne!~for rhe Dwarfs, manlings, or at least take one of us with you if yeu must go down below. You'll only get lest down rher.e alone .. And ther« are more horrors in rhe dark rhan jusr the Skavl!n,. trust me!'

2I

Combined within the Skaven an: an unquenchable hunger and a popl.!1ation that. is almys explosively growing. No matter how large the Under~Empire is, ,we can see that it CQuId never hold the Skaven race for long-, nor would it ever provide enough food for the population. Thus, the Skaven make war upon us because if they do not claim the surface world and devour our food, their oalj ahemativeis death by,smrva.tion.

Hence the Skaven s~to revel in slaughter as muchas victory, for defealequally serves the purpose of reducing their numbers. Hence the Skaven's failure to be deterred by any mutlber of casualties, for there are almys' hundreds more to came in the warrens below. Hence the individual Skaven's l1,ck of concern for any of his fellow Rannen, for who would care for one life when there are so many ready to replace it, and when each of those lives could be eontenr to let you die or outright kill you, should food becamncarce?

This is the key to understanding how the Skaventhink. UnUke Human and pwarf, the Skaven have no fear of their race as a whOle ever being anmhilated. Instead, they fear only the opposite-that their numbers will become so great asro choke themselves with too many mouths to feed. Thus, they care not for any sense of victory for their race, and care only .for the personal Vict0ries each individual SkaVen can acquire for himself. We have aJl..too~often seen this same mentality among the men of [he Empire, for when our borders are not threatened by the armies of Chaos, and we ha.ve no fear of oun gmt nation f.amng, the noble Iords of the Empire fall to squabbling amongst themselves for intcmalpower.

"Tbere is a DwrtrJ sqying.: 'HeJights hardest whose back isagllinst rhe K.arak gatts', That's why Dwarj'sfight harder than any manli~g-we'~e tasted so much. oj deathand loss, we know exacrlj the prLee oj defear. No disrespect !oyou Humans and Half!ings, bur you have shorr lives and shorr memories, and know nothing ojihe rruefear of e.t'rinaion. Tne Skaven have no/ear at aU,and on,J:yjighr becau~ anorher, bigger Skavm will whip them. if rhey do not.l've seen many a Human (ike thaI, too, eomero think oj it,"

-BEHRAM With nothing to fear, the Skaven have nothing to fight for beyond their own ~. Heno:t~ have ~o. honour, no sense of the greater good, no understanding of gloo0us sacrifIce. HeiJ.ce their f3ln0US cowardice, for they havenothirlg to risk in nmningrrom a battle. But do not think then that we soouldsray our hand in demanding thr$ destruction, lest we reseh them courage .. F0r the explosive population that fuels their confidence will a1son~ver cease todereand more food, more space and.more slaves. So as long as even one Skaven lives, they will exist only toconsume us all, and the battle between our two racescan only be resolved by the complete extermination 0f the other.

I do not plan on it being our race that falls.

SocIETY

W?atcan be said then of the eulmre and society of the Ratman, given tbeir psychology of total.self -inrerest and constant hunger? In short,

the Skaven life is one-of constant warfare. Just. as theyoonstantly rise against men and pwans to. seek their basic needs for food andspace, they also constantly flghr:amongst themselves to ensure the grea:restaccess and cornrol ever these resources. In the Skaven world, not unlike our own. the Strong~teats the best portion, and every etherrat plots to. take that place for himself.

So ingrained is this strllggle that the Skaven have neared a social structure around it. Skaven society is; I have deduo:d" mvi.ded into several levels. The whit!!"" and grey-haired rats be_1ong to rhe priestly class, which rules over the others. Next come the dark-furred rats, of the warrior class. Then 'the brown rats Conn the lQwest class, and serve as slaves to the others.

_, .. _.--, believe there may also be furtherclas:sifications across these groups,

as well-socts trained specifically for one sort of Tole, such as crea ring weapons or building tunnels. All of these groupings allow the Skaven

to apply their urge for social cl.in:tbingon a much larger scale, each sect battling for supremacy over the other, JUSt as each Skaven battles for supremacy wLthln his sect .• Outright warfare is avoided by the Skaven priests keeping tight control over their brethren, although no doubt they only maintain this respect through a regime of tenor and crueltY.

'They go: regimerm, sure enough. 'The ones with the Rar-Ogres, rhe)' dress diJJerentl,y from the ones wirh the warpJire guns. The ones with rhe Mack fur ,atwqys have better weapons, and bener rraining. You ~n take heart in that-if yo.u'relacing the little brO'lll1Yj urred ones, fhey're far more likely [0. break and run. What's more, all these diJJerent groups make rhem. twice as

like(y to. back~bit,e each orher, or tofall into squabbting. Jmt as ouraTlcesto.rs gave us all hidden srrengths, the Gods give all our enecmies hidden weaknesses. Sometimes, Grungni bles'S 'em., .the Ska.ven wiII win the battlrJor you just by rurn,ing on themselves."

~BEHl\AM

RlliGION AND MAGIC

''The sign oj r.he rar. The three~bars~crossed. The cursed triangle . .Know it weIL F orrhe Skav~n can't go anywhere without marking it on the walts. You: spor it,you; know rhey're there. And they're proud oj ii too. Th~ ar€n't quire so monsrrQus as to not rally to rheir banners, nor to rage when they're rom dO"IDn.llreak rhem or bum them.,llndyou break their spirit, and send them packing."

~BEHJV.M !he S}mvenan: that, mast !Wrrible 0f contr.ldi~riom"''''complete1y bestial

m their features and appeates, yet they walk like men, and model our hux:oan behaviQurs in their own sick and sordid fashion. So they, tOO, have their own religio.n. and worship their own twisted god: The Homed Rat. This en.ti7 is ofcour:se. a Chaos Goo, but what relationship he has. to the other R~ous Powers is ~known. He is depicted as desedbed: a gigantic Skav~ Wl.th huge horns like a ram. The priests of [his foul God always have lighHoloured fur: grey or pure white. As indicated in the letter above, it seems some of them c:ven have horns like their God. No doubt thisis somt;dMk blessing from being so close to his Chawraint, jwt as roose mages who have great mastery over a certain Wind of Magic take on some aspects. of that Wind.

Ho~d 0r~t, these priesr~Skaven have control over dark and powerfJil mag,tc. ~a:king stmlgth from their precious Warpstone, they can. call up Cba..os~fn:e :0 bum men where they stand, or send clouds of plague and pesti1e~ce WIt~Ut~y ~ f~r glass globes or censers. I have reports of them disappeanng. into thin an only to rea~ on the olOer side of the battlefield a moment later, of .summoning hordes of' smaller vermin to be thcirserVants, and of i:nstilling the black hunglOT in the'll" troops with only a gesture. Any encounter with these priests is 10 times more dangerous r~ any .other Skav.en en~unter, and they should never be engaged wrthoUt human Wizardsm your partY.

The power of their faith docs not end with magic, however. The Skaven iJ:J general.are deeply religious. All of them f ear the wrath of their Homed God, and they gain much c.ourage and fury from that fear. Almost. all of [hem carry or wear his symbol, or palnr it on. their flesh: three crossed lines, fonning an inverted triangle. Those foolish or treacherous humans who fall in with the Sltaven may also wear such symbols, and the Skaven carve it into building.s lhey irlhabit. so be ever 0l11fw lcoketrt for the; ~n. T~ke no notice of theHwilanpriests and scholars who lell yoUlt IS nothing but somerandem scratches.

11¥: Slaven useorher symbols as well. I have Seen eno!1gh-saatches in their lairs to beue.ve !My are no! random, and it would be fOolisharr~ to believe they could not have developedseme kind of written langUage. For, truth be told, the Skaven are far cleverer tlml any: beast, and also many men.

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SKAVEN HUNTERS I HAVE KNOWN

"Technology is jusr a fancy word for engineering thaI don't 'Work."

-BEHRAM Almost all the power of tbe twisted Skaven intellect goes inro making wea.pons, but that is far from the end of their dark designs. As with thcir weapons, their mastery of the sciences is unbound by concerns of d'ficicrx:y or safety, and stretcbes far beyond the lirnirs of the minds of men.

A comrade of mine who escaped from the hellish pits of Skavenblight has told me stories of gigantic treadmill devices, producing great strikes of lightning for a pwpose he could never discover. There were also giant mining cam used to uanspon Warpstone, running on iron rails with no beast to pull them. That Warpstone was fed into gigantic forges

and feundries, which belched black and green smoke constantly. What

VOLPONE GlllSS£I!.: A lieutenant in the Altdorf City Walch, Volpone has not fought many Skaven himself, but keeps a keen eye on those streets, watching for any crime ihat may be: the actions of the Rumen.

BEHaAM GUNnARSON: Behram had his brains scattered by a Skaven rock-trap while he was a Shieldbreaker, and is a tittle maddened as a result, but there.is no Dwarf braver or more dedicated to wiping Out the Skaven.l have travelled far with him, and learnt much.

Ei, GATTO DEL SAN STEFENATO: E1 Gatto was a TileanJudicia1 Champion until he discovered his prince was in league with the Ratmen. He slew his own m~s[er and brought his incredible mastery of weapons with him in exile to crush the Empire's Skaven.

they were building with these cannot be guessed, but we can be sure it is something designed to wreak havoc and disaster upon humanity. Again, we are crippled by our lack of knowledge; though the Skaven lurk just below our surface world, and know all our secrets, we know nothing of their world below, or what they are truly doing down there.

'Wharever rhe Ska-ven. are building, if's 110 science of any DUlarfkind. The steam they make ears through the rock walls, gets into the warer and makes it dea.d{y poison. Then that wafer flows into the soil and everything growing on the surface rots and dies. It eau thrGugh metal, too, I reckon, so everything they build mu.srfa[i apart twice asjast, an.d 'When they explode they'll JUS! dump more of that junk into our mountains and ancient Dwprf holds. When we rake them back, there may be nothing lefr ro reclaim, and the air too [oxic to breath. The Ska7Jen are [0 engineering wha[ Warpstone is to flesh-they pervert ami desrroy aU that Ulas natural and strong."

-BtHRAM

GHOST ST1I..IDElI. JUN: An Elf from Laurelom.Jian knows little of our Human ways, but she is a master of the bow. She equally hates the Skaven for murdering her brother and the Human author-ides for covering it up.

FASSBINDER THE STR.ONG: This young Halfling crawled OUt alive after 10 long years in the mines of Skavenbfight. His suffering ha$ made him monger, both in mind and body, than any man I have ever met.

GOTREK GURNISSON: 1 had the privilege of meoting this legendary warrior once, with his companion Felix Jaeger. I can attest that he is every bir as impressive in the flesh as he is inJaeger's aecounrsl

23

We de know, however, that both their insane science and their dark magic depend wholly en one thing: Warpstene. Darkstone, rbeeurse of mages, the stone more predcus than gold: this substance has been a black plague upon humanirythreugh all of hlstory. Allschelars recognise its power, yet enly the insane weuld ever use it, fer it destroys the flesh with enly the lightest teuch, and it corrupts all that surrounds it to the ways of Chaos, Yet. to' once again prO've their pervenenaIUre, it is this cursed stone that is essential to all Skaven socie ty. They use it to' create theirpoisens and their diseases, they use it to power their claemenic devices and their evil spells, and they shape it Into their blades and their pistols •. I have once even wimessedsorne of their Chaos priests.eating crystals ef the stone, and rubbing it in powdered form into their fur.

If there was ever proof that these basts were an inversiO'n ef allthat is good andnarural, it ishett, in 'their addiccien 1.0' this most unnatural and unhcly of elements,

Yet it is here also that we may find a weakness in our enemy. Warpsrone is such a mainstay of their society that they trade in it,

using it like currency to' purchase weapons or troops. Denying them this substance would net only cause their scientific and magical powers to' weaken and collapse, it would also cause their culture to' destroy itself. As we have seen, Starving CUt the Skavenls no solution, fer they only become more dangerous when enraged with hunger. Killing them enly frees up space and resources for 'the next genemrion. But if we were to' Starlit tOem of Warpstone, we could deny them one of their most deadly weapons against us without empowering their warriors, without helping fOem control their popUlanon,and witheut any reduction in our own arsenal.

Of course, there is no known method for disposing of this cursed stone; but I believe we must begin 10' search most fervently for such a thing. For here we have a chance' to begin chipp.ing away at the Skaven empire just as assuredly as they have chewed away at cuts' for thousands ef years, Warpstone is an extremely dangereus and deadly material, but if we can contro] itssuppiy, wecan control the Skaven.AJ1d if we can conrrcl them, we can defeat them.

CHRONICLES OF THE SKA YEN

I

,

(

~

,'"

In all my travels, I have found no tWO histories. ef the Skaven that

agree. Some say they are a strain of Beastmenthar developed to live underground. others that their ancestors were simply normal rats mutated te unnatural size after years spent in contact with deadly Warpstone. I have heard learned academics argue proofs that they came dewn upon us from Momlieb itself, brave sailors have whispered that they are men cursed for commining the greu crime of cannibalam, and a priest in BlurrOj::h onceSWCfe. to' me that his sister had birtbed an entire liner ef them after visiting the sinful streets of Nuln.

The best lean previde, then, is-the oldest tale I have eneounered, This

is from an ancien.t collection of legel1ds, now a. religieus relic kept in. the Temple ef Ulric in Midclenheim. The book is titled "Lord Ulric and the Making of theWorld~'and neither the author nor collator i5.!m.own.

THE GREAT BATTLE AND THE RIsE OF THE SKAVEN

There w~sa lime, when th.cW01'ld wasycung and man had just ceme f orrh onro the earrh,that rherewas no taim of Chaos upon the land. Father Taal and Mother Rhya tended the things of (he land, and their $0.11. Manllnn. wa.s masrer of the things oj the 500. Morr WfU king of rhedarkness, and Verma the queen of the light,. attd

$0 aU was in. ballltlce. Inrhe high summers, Lord Ulric, breTher oj Taal and prince oj the mow and ice, had nO' realm to tend re, so

he hrtd taken to walking the earth and the sky and the gars to seek advenrurt. He Irwelledfur b{VOM the ken of mtln or God,foughr

anil slew the greafer mOn.sr'ers "md dragons and gave name.s IO all the wonders that he fOUM. With him in ma1\)' ef these journeys came

his cousin., Prince Ranald the Trickster, and many are the [alenold of rhe5uwo friends and rheirbr~l.Ie deeds. But all joul'1l~Ys must end, and this is the tale of rhetr lasr jOUl'1lf,y rogerher.

Ulric and Ranald had journeyedJar to the norrh,jarrher than any God or' man hadl!1Jer gone .bejore, intO' rhefr{){_en wasres, where th( air is $0 co[d irJr~ezes {ike the water and the eartn shatters under your/eer liknhefirstJilm oj .ice on the lake .• and M1ItIlJl nor Dwarf can survive ... And here, at the very tOP oj the world, Ulr.ic and Ranald came upon a~ crack ih the slv'.Looking rhroughit, they saw a. grea.r hOtTor: it led to the Rea/moj Chaos. There stcod aU the .beasrsand DaemoJ1.s and Gods ef Chaos, a grea.r and terrible horae. straining to widen rhecrack and hUJ:l:gry jOrconquesr oj this new world. ULric knew thllr should this ar:l1lJl

brea.ch the gate, aU of this wo:rld would .bejore1Jer destreyed. He (l.alied .!o his brother Ranald EO immedillrely rlin. to tell Father Taal and King Morr cf what they had sem, so the)' might make rea4Y their armies; ro drive back t!iis h{)rde. Ulric saW he would srand at the C'l'ack and held it desed as leng.u he ·could.

Ra1lllid ncdd,ed to' his .brother, a.nd ran. But the Trickster was a coward,and when he had seen the Chaos herdes he had k:n<lW1l onlyjear.lnstead ej ru.n'ning IO rell·his Lords and jamily What had hllppened, he instead ran and hid. He ranjo1t.1ar aw'!Y, to

!h€ .bu1'1ling deserrsin the south, and .buried himself deep under che sana fliere. Ulric waited at the crack, hclding it do.sed with

all his might, though en the other side « million Daemcns clawed and gra.bbeda.t it, desperare to rear if jurther and gain rheirentry. Ulric stood and heM the gare jor a Ih()usana years and ene, his muscles ever-srraining with the effort, waiting for his cousin to' return .. Bur he never returned. Enraged II'! his brarher'scowardke, Ulria swore never ro speak to his brother again, nor ever to

suffer a tricksrer [0' travel wilh him,jora.ll that trusted in tricks were no'ught .bU! c,owards, weaklings and deceivers.

Fin.aL()" Ulric's strength .began to wane .• and he knew his weakling bl"orher had not delivered .he message. He knew toe, that he could not held the gate dosed much longer, So desplIe htsf~a.rs, he was forced to let go and .boor the Terrible news ro hisfamilJ himself. But when hearr.ived to' de so, hefound himself ignQt~d and disceunted. His btother Taaldid nor believe rharthere could .be anorher world .bfyend his, and Manann had 11¢ care for things of th« land. Grear king Morr b.elieved Ulric's scary, .but did not see

a grear danger-certainly it Was nothing Utric himself ('.Quld nor handLe. Ulric derpairf!d, knowing rhat even ncw the ChaO's hordes must be pouring QUO their werld, ( a ~y their own great and hideous Gods., rea!(y ro dmro) aU rhey ha.d made.

Final~, heappe;aled to Q:ueen V.erena, and in her wisdom, she saw thaI rhe dong". was indeed verJ' real and very grf!at,and that these fiends would deSTro)' all of the Beauzy and Reason she ha.d creared. She swore that even if her .husband would not acr, she would, an.d she toek up her husband's sword and rode OUI tcbarde wah brave Letd. Ulric. And to this day, Verma still carries that sword, as

a reminder to' Morr lind to aU her .subjects rhllrwisdom must be joined with action, [est aU wisdom be Ion.

Shamed Into aenen .by his Q_u.een, M.orr rallied' aU the Gods behind him, and an rheir l.oyalJolIcwers, and rode out .[0 meet rhe Chaos Go.ds and their armies. MOtT, was no great warrior,

24

and Ulric had proven his wisdom in seeing the danger, so Morr gave over to Ulric command of aU [he Gods' [orces, and. Ulric [hence became the God oj Bartle. Wearing his great helm and. swinging his massive hammer, Ulric led rhe Godsjorrh to meer their enemy. And. where the hoof bears of their horses fell, they cut a trail of mud far deep inro rhe earrh, and [he sea rushed in to fiU it up, and became rhe grear river Reik. All the while, the Chaos Daemons ran on their claws of fire and blood, so sharp rhat rhey bit into the very land itself, which is why [he coast of Norsc« is now so ragged and. rom.

The [wo farces met with ·uncoruainedfury. The Chaos force was uncountable in number, unending in hunger, unimaginable in savagery. Yet Ulric's courage never faltered. Hisfury would not abate, and his strengrh did never waver. He smashed rhe Chaos ranks with his great hammer, breaking every charge thar came. Behind him rode King Morr, bringing the darkness of dearh, and Q.ueen Verena with her sward of light, and Fatber Taal with eire fury of the lion, and Mother Rhya with the strengrh of the mother bear, and Manaan broughr tlie sea f arch into the field, dragging thousands oj Daemons down into his realm where he could chcke the life OUt of them. Stal the Daemons and Chaos monsters came on, still the Gods of Lighr fought back. The barrie ragedfor a rhousandyears, until at last all the armit.s of Chaos were roured, a.nd the Chaos Gods themselves were smashed to pieces benearh ULric's great hammer.

Bur the vicrary was nO[ without cost. Thousands of [he Gods' servants lay dead. Lesser Gods and heralds had been lostfarever from the world. The Dragons thaT hadfought wich the Gods had seen most of their Itumber fall. And warsr of all, King Morr himself wa.! gravelywoun{{ed.. He lived, but was farced to find succour in the Da"k Land.> and was never more seen on this earth. Seeing al.l this stiff ering and loss, Q.ueen Verena fen [0 her knees and cried. And her rearsflowed over the bartl.efield, andfrom them came the Goddess Shallya, bringing her mercy and healing to the injured and despairing.

Exhausted and. grief-stricken, Ulric and hisfellow Gods left rhe barrIe field. carrying all their dead home co give [hem proper burial. But here was their great mistake. For rhe bodies of c.he Chaos hordes still lay on the barrIe field, a vast carper of carnage. And on rop of

ir all lay the hideous bodies of the Chaos Gods themselves. As rhey lllJl there rorring, there came what al.ways musr come to barrie fields: n plague of rats rofeasr upon the dead.

And with such afeas!, cM rats came in their thousands, t.hen in their millions. They fed on the beasts of Chaos and the Daemons and the monsters. So grear was rhejre1'l1::Y of Jeasting rhar the rars grew gigantic wirh rhefood, and fought savagely wirh each orher for the greatest spoils. finally, the largesr and strongest rats fell upon the Chaos Gods themselves, and as rhey did they gained something of rheirnarure. They grew even more in size, and in cunning and in brutality, into things that were a mockery of man himself·

And so it was, when Ulric returned to the battl.efield, he saw

The rarsfeasting, and realised his great mistake. In their great consumption the rars had taken on. a remna.nt.of rhosefoul Gods' power, and become like t.hem: a new race, like rhe Humans and

the Dwarfs, only madefrom pure Chaos. They, like aU things of Chaos,would work forever to destroy HumanilY and aL[ he had builr, and [0 one d.qy bring about the victary the Chaos Gods had been denied. He saw roo rhrrr the Daemon troops that had been routed had returned and. carried awV' wha.t was nor earen, and chen had fled to the darkest corners of the world. They, roo, these Beastmen, would warch and wait for their chance ro reclaim the world from Men Clnd Dwarfs. Ulric ha.d saved the earTh, bur he had doomed the morTals who lived there to ever face the threat of a simil.ar destruction.

Although i.e was roo lare, Ulric struck his hammer hard on the stony ground and brought forth a. grearjlame with it. And wi.eh rha.tjlame he bumrall rharfouI offa.l thar remained ro ashes.

Then he charged his brorher Manann to droum. rhe whole field with water so it could never more taim the land. The warers of the ocean poured over the field, and tr became the Sea of Chaos.

Then Ulric turned [0 the fate of the Men. He caughr [hem how co mould steel [0 make hammers and swords and. axes, and roughr them how ro wield {hem. He taught them how to fight, and to hunt, and to kill. And lastly he taught them how to make fire and how [0 use it. All of this wa5 to. prepare chemfor their endless barrie with the minions of Chaos. He Taught them well, and gave ~hem courage. He rook charge over Mankind, and promised he wo.uld ever warch ouer rhem,jor now their lives would know ·only barrIe. In rerum, the pe0ple of Ulric: pledged ro never suffer a Chaosrhing [0 lilJe while rh~y had breach in their bodies, and roensure rhar every beast of Chaos tharfeilloouid be burned ro ash, cleansed from this warld by ULric's Hol.Y Fire. Thus, the tainr of Chaos would never spread again. Ulric's mistake musr never be repeared, and creatures like the Skaven musr never again be born Unto. this world. And so we keep our pact f orevermore, We strike without fear against the Ratmen, and the Beastmen, and aU the creatures of Chaos, and. raise the deansing flame of Ulric to a.1/ the hea.vem above.

THE Dooss THAT CAME To KA VZAR

Probably the most persistern Skaven myth is the Story of the Doorn of Kavzar, or the Thirteen Tolls of the BeU. The version most commonly referenced by scholars is an ancient epic poem of I3 stanzas, in either the original Tilean or a translation. However, questions have always been raised about the origins of this tale, especially since, despne the poem's name, lrnever mentfors Kavzar in the felt, and Kavzar is hardly a

25

'It 'Ila;...~ [0 begin with. In my research I discovered an even older version of tale that the Dwarfs have held for millennia, and which is clearly a :tCI.II'Sor to the Tilean work. The description of events is almost identical ittween [he rwo, although the Dwarf poem paints the Dwarfs in a far mon: favourable light than the HUIDaIl version, where the Dwarfs are ilinderously depicted as uncaring of any Human suffering.

Down ro [he underearth rh~}' weIU Dwarfenhelp rhey came [0 sue 1)wQrfen help rhey were nor given For rhe dwarfs did suffer roo

RlUS had earen rhrough rheir f ood-srcres Floods ra.n ,hrough rheir halls oj 5[011Q And so [he men. who dwel! in Kav.;:ar Were I if! roJace Iheirdoom alone PI.ague and fever Came upon them Toinsing whaqJXIs lefl [0 ear

Men lay c(ying in rhiir hundreds

Men lay c(ying in rhe S!reef

Then the S!0Tm senr StOMS of fire Burning whar rhey did nor SllWSh The 'I1UInUngs wepr as all of Kall:{_or Fell to rubble, and ro ash

With Chaos Gods the mm now pleaded Ami newborn babes were n~istedJ r£Uh Ami old andyoung as one were blighred And lhe SIrong fel! II/ilh rhe wrok

And al.llhe while up on .[he lOwer Thil"teen times rhlU beU did peill Thirreen rings 'cross all of Kavzar Thirreenrtngs their doom to seal

Then came rheTwisted, wil Ska1len

Rars as like as men in 5i.tt

CLaws as sharp as rwice-J orged axes Bloody hunger in !heir eyes

The Skaven ca me on in their thousands The Skaven 1"ushi!d rhrough ilIl rhe rown WharJew who sTill did li1le in Kavzar Ran Jor soj'er,y underground.

Ran imo .th,u Dwarf stronghold

And saw their ending, all roo (are

The Dwarfs had mer r.he Skaven allo And had shared rhe 'I1UInlings' flUe

Back to back rhzy stood rogerher

DwarJ and manfoughr to rhe Last

BU! none oj !hOSt who dwelt in Kovzar Would live to see [hat bame past Tearing, biting, aU devouring!

The Skj}.ven chewed on flesh and bone And Man and Dwarf didJaU together Theil" blood spilled o'er the ancienr none Thinsen rolli TOng from [he tower

To celebra[e thar city 5ei:ted

Now aU of [hose who dwelt in Ka1l:(ar Were our greateS! enemies.

Heed ye well [his [ale's lessons:

Dwarf and mo.n JrWSI" stand as ant! And never [rurr a S!Tangers bargain Or aU we build mqy rome· undone! Drive Oil! Chaos, never resring! Drive out Chaos, IlIrge or smalll For the doom rhlU came to Kavzar May 011Q day rome IO claim. us all!

The poem is of course originally in Khazalid. In presenting it herc. in Reikspiel, I am much indebted to the great Dwarf scholar Svenrik Blackhammer, whose translation, unlike all Others of this or the Tllean poem, preserves both the rhyme and rhythm of the original. As with the Tilean legend, however, the author of the original remains unknown.

Then came unto that rown of sorrow A srrang<1l" in a hood and cowl

.And as he came the sky grew darker As he came rhe wind did howl

Bur 1Ie promised r""m his magic PTonli$ed !hem rhe spirs Taise4

And an oj those who dwelt in KOllzar &ggedfor him [0 lend his WII,}'S

B.u.r [he srra nger first did .bargain Bargoined.jor bill one demand

ThaI llpon rhe temple's tower

A torem oj his God might Stand TheJoikoJ Kalltarsawnodangtr TheJoik of KOlizar rrurred weU

And IIU of those who dwel! in Kavzar Gave him leave ro work his spells

All and one went to [heir houses

And ar miIi:nighl back rhey CTep[

Was [he srranger's magic grearer? Was rhe stronger's promise kept?

T hfJlooktd and saw atop !har steeple There did swing a screaming b!1!1

And all of [hose who dwelr in Kau-tar Knew it rang their own dtath knell Once and rwice and !.hrice it rang Four lind [iue, and six and seven Eighr, :nint, cen, and chen dev"n

Twelve dark rings thor shook the heavens Then or last if rang rhirreen

And ruirh ir. f el.l a rain Wee stones

And all oj those who dwelt in Kov~ar Ran inJta!" ba.ck [0 rheir homes Th'D'I"O.se [0 Jind [he day in do rkness An mdl~ss storm above their lown Lightning struck rheir mighty rower ThuMe)" shoo.k [he very ground

And through the storm chere came (I ringing:

Thineen rolls oj f.hal dread bell

Ami all oj [hose who dwelt in Kq;vtar Warched [heir cir,y ru.rn !O heU.

Days ro weeks and weeks [0 month

The rain poured down and broughr rhejlood The Jie1.d5 50 rich and lUSh were poisoned

The hills senr down grear slides oj mud

And the S!reefS nG more were silver

And the bwldmg1lost lheir gold

Pic), tho~ who dwelr in Kavtar,

Hearn despairing, spirits cold

Thefrilk. of K01I:(;ar sene our ridm

&.kin.g help JromJar and wide

Bur if any breached the rempesr's shadow None rerurnedf rom thar dread ride The men GJ Kav:car prayed 10 heaven Tha; rheir Gods mighr end cheir pain Bur all rheJolk who dwell in Kov:{_1IT Had no reply but md!ess rain

THE Dooa THAT CAME To KAVZAR

26

Once a loll «nd ancienr dzy Stood amp an ancimr hiU

There within borh Dwarf and momin.gs Built char cizy to their "Will

'Pon the sur] ace lived rhe manlings DwarJs lived i·n the earch below

And nom [har dwelt in all of Kavtar Knew of wan! or knew of woe

All arollnd rhar Jabled city

Rich and lush rhefie!rU did grow

And 'neath the hills thaI offered shelter The richest veins oj ore didJlow

And !he srreers were paved wich sillier And rhe buildings made. of gold

And wise and true were those oj K01I:(Qr Hearrs of gilling, spirits bold.

And seeing all rhe Gods had giuen

The Men of Kav-ta,. Jell 10 praise

The Men of Kav-tar dreamed a remple For !heir grearer Gods ro raise

And on Ihis grear and godly remple Rai.!e a grear and gGdzy rower

So 0.11 who came ro know of Kavzar Would know their Gods' almighty power. The Men oj Kav,tar were nor builders, DwarJ couruelfirsr rhey soughr

The.y summoned all [heil" grearesr croftsmen And rheJinesr 5[011Q rhey boughr

CarifulIy rhey planned their lower

To rouch [ile very skies above

So th« Gods could see the works of Kav:(ar And look upon !hem. tuilh cheir love.

Days to weeks a nd weeks rc months

The men of K GIIZ,IIr laboll.red S!ilL

Soon did !Fing !Urn inro summer

And su. mmer [urn-ed [0 winrer chilI

Weeks to months and mo/1rhs [0 )'tars

Stili the building :was nor done

And so rhe great I!rP.frsmen of Kav-tClr Passed rheir lask on co their sons.

A hundred yeClrs 500II ClIme and lOSn[ At Iasr [he mighzy temple S!ood

Made of Gromril, jade and marble And all agreed :har ir WIIS good

And up above ir sr:rerched the rowel:

Reaching an unewthL)' height

And aU of those who drudrin Kavtar Stood in awe ar sue/! a sighr

Bt![ now !he craftsmen casted J ai/ure. For rheir rower WQ5 so rall

No pulley could be ra4ed mop it Ami a climber sure to fall

No WIly was there co reach the1leT!ex No wqy 10 fir lhe crowning spire

And aU oj those who dwelr. in Kavtar Wep! [0 see their drri:lm5 expire

Chapter Il. Skaven History

4'Who are the Skaven? Nor even the Ratmen can srzy."

-KONDER YON' SPRaT

Manlings wilL f all! Y es~yes .. in rime ... .M.!N"':FLAYER., OF CLAN MORS

The Skaven ~are little for the pasr, and do not keep a,ny

recorded hi tory. For a Skaven, [here are only IWO rimes worth thinklng about: right n w. when they are not ruling the world, and very soon, when [hey will be. The only history the Skavcn do co nslder worthy of thought is personal, rather (han racial. One might recall such things as the glory days when

he rose in power in his seer. or the despicable enemy that brought about his downfall, bu t rarely would chi nk about his origins, or any great achievements at any Skaven not himself TIley have no rituals or remembrances of their dead and old objects are simply cannibaliscd [0 make new ones.

The Skaven also have no use for a calendar. For the scheduling of military artacks or planning Qflarge constructions, kaven reckon time eased solely on practical rnarrers, such as food stops, sunsets) or the phases of the Chaos moon Merrslieb. Beyond this, me)' have no concept e rimes- or dates, nor years, generatien or ages.

Therefore, the history of rhc Skaven remains unknown and mostly unknowable to the inhabitants of the Old World. The Skaven themselves do not care abour it, and. the few Humans who make an effort to collect and catalegue Ic find themselves hlcing insurmountable difficulties. The amy sources available are rho e few l::Iuma.ns who witnessed the culmination of Skaven plans and somehow manage to live to tell of it. Moreover, it is clear that many Human agenrs, for reasons both nefarious and weil-intenrloned, .have actively purged or altered what few records exiscof the'Rarmens actions, and persecute mosewno search these areas [00 deeply.

Why they should do this remains as unknown as every oilier I--I~..u ... aspect of the kavens' convoluted schemes. Regardless, the

impact is undeniable: the precious few collected histories

of [he Skaven are sparse, conflicting, aod Full of guesswork, and those brave few who tr:y ro expand them find ehernselves constanrly frusrrared, if not bum, <It rut: stake. The history provided below, rherefcre, Cl1l1Jl01 be arrriburable [Q

any inhablrant of the Old World, and should be treated accordingly.

THE FIRST WAVE

Much ofrhe stOry related in me Doom That CamC' to "I/IIMr

is accurate. 'the cornmunlry was rounded by one of the first tribes of Humans, between the Iranna Mountains to the north and the Tilean Sea to the sourh. Not long afrer ir was settled,

a g~oup of Dwarfs looking for ore deposlrs found the area

also. Immediately recognising me richness of the mountains and the oil below, the two races formed an alliance, Humans and Dwarfs war-ked and lived in perfect harmony, each helping the oilier according rorheir strengths.

Alrhough tht')' lived apart-Humans on the surface, Dwarfs below=-rhe Dwarfs provided the necessary stone, metal

and craftsmanship for me human city [Q grow, while the Humans worked the fields ro feed the populations of both cities. The prosperity of me lands and [he mountains asci

the cocperarion between tn,e two great races allowed rite

city to rise [Q incredible heights of archirecmre and cui cure within a ingle generation. Their building techniques and enginceri ng skill~ were the greatest ever seen on [he surface of [he Old World, and it would be cenruries before any Human serdernenr would even come do e re the wenders of rhe sneers of the dr:y. The erewning jewel of (he ciry was their

SKA VENBUGHT

Il: Skaven History

great tower, which remains unrivalled as the highest Structure ever erected in the Old World-and, iflegend is to be believed, l[ extended an equal distance below the earth as well.

Yet despite a1J their great science, me ciry builders could nor raise me final keyscone [0 the pinnacle of their nlighty [Ower. Ic was men rhar the "hooded stranger" mentioned in ,he Kazvar myth appeared, The identity of this figure is the most mysterious question surrounding [he Skaven. and remains unanswered.

The Skavcn, in [he vel')' rare times chey speak of their origins. refer [0 this figure as "The Shaper;" who 15 said to be of an «older race" dun theirs. This, combined wid] rhe fain oFWarpsrom summoned Frum the s"7, points [0 [he most likely conclusion: elm: the Shaper was ODC of [he Old Ones, and mat the first Screaming Bell (known [0 rhe Skaven as the Great Shrieking Bell) hung from the top of the [Ower of me ciry-a. device designed '-0 call down mereorires from die heavens rhemselve .

Whatever the true Identity and purpose of me sITanger, the awesome power arrributed to the bell is difficult [0 believe. With its peals, it broughr down endless rain, mist and chill, wrapping that ollce-grear ciry ill a prison of darkness and deprivacion. Then came me deluge"ofWarpstone. twisting the landscape beneath forever more. The crops were poisoned,

(be ore corroded, and the Humans and D .. varfs annihilated by disease, starvation and murder, Even the cit)' itself, irs great and glorious archirecrure, was twisted and perverted by mar rain of pure Chaos, remade into a cyclopean maze as hideous as it once was beautiful. And as the people perished and the town was reborn, so roo were created the creatures that would devour those, few lefr alive, and who would forever after call this mockery of a city theirhome. The Rarmen were. born in slaughter; and their very Iirst act was genocide.

Kavzar was no mort and kavenblighr was born, bur chis

would nor be the end of the Rarmen. In me years rhar followed [he destruction of Ksvzar they lay low in [be world. growing

f:it on me resources acquired when d1ey overthrew the ciry.

Ir is believed mar [hey were contenr with their new home, breeding in the warrens beneath and always searching for

more Warpsrone. One Imagines there must have been great infighting and wars amongst rheir kind, as the creatures are

a notoriously treacherous race. And they grew stronger as

they culled me weak. But ro the rest of the world the Rarrnen remained hidden, a nightmare best forgotten, 'a plague amongst the swampy ruins of a long dead dry.

Abeut 1600 years before the birth of Sigmar, me Rarmen surfaced once more. Our of the black pits of madness the creatures we recognize today as Skaven emerged from me warrens. WIth keen intelligence and humanoid bodies,

these beings were the absolute masters of Skavenblighr, and over rhe centuries they used Warps[one [Q learn the ways 6f magic. Bur after hundreds of years [he kaven depleted rhe WarpsroLlc in the ruins of their dry forcing them co venture farther and faIThcr outward to find this sacred substance. And rhe world was dangerous indeed, filled with Orcs and Goblins, migrating tribes of Human savages, and worse.

The Skavcn knew that the world awaited irs true masters, so [0 achieve the conquest they felt was inevirable, the Skaven withdrew ro SkavenbUgIu (0 devise some way to crush the world between their paws.

DISASTER AT SKA VENBUGHT

Despite every obstacle, every new plague, and [he ongoing scarcity of food. the Skaven thrived in me runnels of Sksvenbllghc, In rime there were so many of rhem that rhey had ro expand rheir runnels even further, but they could nor burrow fast enough [0 create more room. So [he Skaven called upon the sorcerers [0 do someeh ing. to open a space where all

leaven could live and prosper. 111C antecedents of the Grey Seers planned to open a gn.>at rift beneath me earrh chat would provide rDQIU enough for all, So rhey constructed a terrible machine powered by Warps[o)le co cal' cure and bend me energies of magic, a machine that would split che rocks beneath. the mountains.

For decades rhey laboured until finally, in II grand ceremony

in a specially excavated chamber beneath Skavenblighc, the sorcerers activated theic si nister machi ne, They summoned forth the loose energy courslng beneath the earth. forcing

ir into their mad invention ofiron and brass. The machine shuddered and smoked as more and more energy- filled irs coils. JUSt as the sorcerers believed the), had accumulated enough and cea ed their chanting, the machine vomited forth showers of sparks and caused the very earth to rumble, The ground shook, causing the grear bell in the temple above [0 ring. A great rift began to appear in the earth and It seemed the Sksvens mad plan would work. But it was not to be. The machine failed and with a duindering Bash it split open, releasing all the peD! u.p energy, tearing rhrough the: tunnels and ripping hundreds of

28

Chapter U: Skaven History

29

SHARED MYTHS

Most of the races and nations of the Old World recall these rnigrarions in their myths and legends. III Kislev they are presented as the actions ofUrsunos evil brorher, who became Father of Rats and drove his servants northward (0 punish his brother's pride. In Norsca rhey mixed wirh [he legends of the sea-demons and were said ro have been driven back into the oeean through the singing of rhe old songs. In Araby their invasion was called [he Scouring of Scholars, with [he creatures seen as a holy punishrnenr upon . men who trusted roo much in science, and in Cathay they were said to have been vomited our from me gigantic maw of the Great Black Dragon that lives coiled inside the earth.

PER. VERSE ScIENCE

Another reason Dwarfs despise [he Skaven so gready is rhar [he Rarrnen are their only rivals in the ar of science and engineering. However, where the Dwarfs enshrine precise craftsmanship and enduring results, the Ska:ven are the opposite, quire happy to throw anything together rhat works, not caring at aJ] if ir blows up after a few uses. The Dwarfs rake this as an in ulr agaiesr tile whole concept of c rafts mall s hip and injurious to their pride, especially since=-precisely because [btl}' never need to worry about safety or efficiency-Skaven technology continues to outstrip their own.

Skaven into furry gobbets as it shattered Skavenbllght, Ceilings collapsed, killing thousands more, and the destructive energy spread our from Skavenblighr in all directions, The ancient city sank with a tortured rumble as me sea washed in [0 drown [he [0 rtured land.

Though the city was in ruins, Ir was ar this moment that new masters emerged amongst the Skaven. The Council of Thirreen formed to lead the Skavcn, The survrving sorcerers founded

the Order of the Grey Seers to act as advisors and CO lead me Skaven into a glorious future.

AFTERMATH AND ExPANSION

After the earthquakes collapsed Skavenblighc and buried it under the foul waters, it was clear that the Skaven would have to expand.The calamity only worsened the food shorrages and limited living space. And so, the Skaven spread throughout

the Old World, migrauog to new lands to find resources and

to expand thelr ccnucl ever the world. 'The rnigrariug Skaven established srronghols in the Southlands, Araby, and (he Dark Lands. Lord Malkric, one of the Council of Thirreen, led Clan Moulder to a place d131 would become.known as Hell Pit. Lord Viskrin insrrucred Clan Eshin [0 establish a stronghold in far Cathay. 'ome kaven even crossed [he seas to found societies beneath me humid ;UJlgJes of Lustria.

THE CRUSHING OF THE DWARFS

While the Grear Sniff, as me Skaven call this time, was spreading the [Oxic presence of [he Raunen to every corner of me globe, their armies that remained in the Old Woddset themselves a single fanatical goal: the [Oral extinction of the Dwarf race. TIlls was a goal they shared with the Greens-kin forces, and the tWO mires formed an unholy alliance to see it through. Unlike the Skaven, however, who fought for rerrirory or dominance, the Orcs and Goblins fougb,t because it was all th~ knew. "While perhaps nor as cunning as their Rarmen allies, [heir warriors

were far more practiced. As a result, and bceau e the Ska:ven used skirmi hing and ambush tactics ramer than savage frontal assaults, it was the unrelenting ferociry of the Creenskins chat became most remembered by the Dwarfs, and chat race became Erst named in their great Book of Grudges.

Not tha the Dwarfs were unaware of their Skaven enemies, nor de they today lack a thirst [0 revenge themselves upon

the Rarmen for their ccuneless atrocities. Indeed, wi thour the Skaven, rhe Greenskin armies would neve!' have penetrated the deeply hidden Dwarfhold of Karak Ungor. kaven sappers were also responsible fo r the flccdlng ofKarak Yarn.a yea.r later, and the Dwarfs still tell of the hideous sigh t afterwards, as me Ranncn feasrcd on the bloated corpses of rheir drowned comrades.

After these early victories, the combined Sksven and Grl."enskin forces attacked the souehcrn mountalns from both sides and slowly drove the Dwarfs northwards. 111e Dragonback Peaks were soon abarrdaned, and every Ka:rak farther south was losr, The Dwarfs never stopped fighting, and as rhewar raged on

for cen runes, rhey lest and, re-gained much of their ancien l empire, over and over again. Yet the gains of their enemies steadily advanced. Aner a rnillennium of ceaseless banle, [he Skaven and Greenskins had claimed such greac holds as Kerak Azul, Karak Drazh and Karak Eight Peaks, and in -380 Te

me two armies poured their dark might down into the Dwarf capital of Karaz-a-Kazak, For a moment it seemed as i Erhe great, unshakeable empire of rhe Dwarfs had mer irs end,

bur (be sound of Dwarf en defiance came in the form ef rhe, cannon's rear, The Dwarfs had mastered gunpowder, and used it at the battle Karaz-a-Karak in vast quantities to turn back the green and furry hordes.

The chances that the Dwarfs could have wirhsrood anomer onslaught were low. bur an event occurred which topped rhar final blow from falling. Clan Pesrilens returned to the ld Wonld from Lustria to claim power for themselves, throwing me entire kaven populadon inro a chaotic and brutal civil war, At the same time, [he Dwarfs found new allies in [he rising Homan populations. Wim two armies united against

Chapter II: Skaven History

now Qnly one enemy, the Dwarfs wert able to rum back me invasion of the Greenskius, and within a few cenruries claimed a greiJ.[ decisive victory at the Banle of Black Fire Pass.

NAGASH

The DwarJs were nor tile only ones who stood in the S~en's W.:ly. 111CY covered Nagashizzar and its Warpsrone mines at Cripple Peak, burthar land was ruled ay a tell Necromancer called Nagash. "TIle Skaven arrd the Necromancer's Undead legions. fou,ght fer nearly a centu ry, and though mey weakened the Neerernaneer, the Ratrnen were unable '[0 vanquish him. E,,~n if che Skaven were co break through his forces and confrdnr the Wiza,ro himself, the Grey Seers did nut believe themselves capable of defeanng him,

However, the devious Skaven knew that Nagash had many prisoners languishing in his dungeons, and believed chat one of them surely would leap at tile chance to ki II his cap[er. To aid in the assassin's work, rn.e Grey Seers created a weapon

so potem that it would destroy both victim and wielder. "TIle blade was ferged from Warps[one mined in Cripple Peak and GronuiJ srelen from Karak Yam. Dire spells were pur Inro the molten metal and the blade was quenched in acidic bile and magical coxins, Runes were carved along irs length that were so cle:;t.dJy, to read them was death. Finally, a chunk of precisely cut Warpstone was embedded in the pommel [hat allowed the Sk:;tven to see through the eyes of the:"vielder and to channel protective spells that might de1!ecr Nsgash's fell sorceries.

The Skaven crepr into the Necromancers lair through .hidden, runnels until they came upon the cell of the chosen captive,

a prince of rhe sourh. They freed him and gave him. the

sword. Filled wirh hate, he took up me blade, The Lords of DeCilY willed trim towards the throne roQ)II. Wendlnghiswa), through the labyrinthine pass%les, the. prince finally came before Nagash on his-throne, andarraekcd. The Necromancer defended himself, unleashing sorcerous energies so great that rhe backlash killed sevcral ef the Grey Loras. But the H urnan persevered, warded as he was by [he Skaven and chann.elling their spells rhrough hi5 blade, hacking Nagash into neady a thousand pieces. Waidn.g:Skaven scurried frGHD their hidden places and g:trlu:red up me pieees and cast them inro the Warpstone forges,.apparencly desrroytng the Necromancer fur all rime.

Witl, Nagasb. defeated and his armies same red, the Slaven swiftlyseized Nagashizzar and [he mine of Cripple Peak. "TIley enslaved rhe Humans of Nagash's empire and over

the centuries ruined huge amounts of\Varpsmne to bdng back [0 Skavenblight, And at the centre of [his acriviry was Clan Rikek, which became very wea:lrhy as a result of the rniningoperarions. However, in cheir foolish confidence they underestimated the migh.t efNagash. Centuries later Nagash returned with an armyof Undead, crush ing tile dan in bur a single night.

When the survivors brought news ofNa.,<>:ash's rerurn, Skave..Ilbliglu sent a massive army to besiege Nagashizl'm before the Wizard could wreck vengeance upon the (eSI of me Skavel'l, After ngnting for several months, however, it became dear that Nagash wassordy weakened by his "rebirthf'and lacked me strength to continue any assault on [he Skaven, Furthermore, since the Skavell had already exhausted. the Warpsmne mines beneath Cripple Peak, there was no reason ro continue the costly war. And so the Skaven withdre\y, leaving rhe Necromancer to moulder and Hew.

THE RIsE OF CLAN PEsTILENS

As previously mentioned, me rerum of Clan Pesrilens re the Old World was a turning point fer ehe Skaven, orre that both helped and hun (heir foes. Clan Pestilens had journeyed

dud ng (he fi rsr rn igrarioll to [he roning j LlJJgJes of Lusrria, There they bad been beset by rampam diseases, decirnaring rheir numbers, After a few ef rhe creatures' shan generarlorrs, the Sk.aven developed resistances to these deadly plagues snd actually "Came ro see rbe pestilence as the rrue work of [he Horned. Rat.

The Clan settled in a pre-Human temple In [be Lusrrian interior and learned many terrible things from the degenerate. inhabiranrs, from rhe earvings on still visible on the walls, and from the foul catacombs beneath. Wjtheacb generatlon Clan Pesol ~ 11S grew SITO nger, lig/lti n g the Ltsazdm an war rio rs in the caverns and surrounding jungles. They enslaved and sacrificed. thousands to the unholy Homed Rat and became more and more obsessed with worship and ceremony. Eventually they became devoted disciples of decay, blessed with, the. Horned Rars vision of corruption.

Once they exhausted the. lands around them, these so-called Plague Monks decided that it was time to return to their kin in the Old World. A grearmigration oFClan Pesrilens and its

31

Chapter II: Skaven History

slaves carved irs way through the jungles [Q the shores of the ocean. There, the Plague Monks had the slaves create crude barges [Q carry them. across the sea, and cross them they did, making landfall in the far Southlands and establishing a new' Stronghold rhere, They then sent emissaries [Q Skavenblighr announcing their return and their role as the Horned Rat's priesthood of decay; TIn: Council of'Thirreen had no need For a new h!CtiOll with which to share their power, however, The Lords of Decay had me emissaries butchered and sent their LOtting cadavers back to the Plague Lords as a lesson in humility.

In response the Plague Monks overran the Human ciry of Bhagrusa seeming lashing our in anger ar me nearest human dry ... but their true plan was revealed when [hey besieged the Skaven stronghold hidden beneath it. ALI communication ro me distant hold ended immediately. The Council, concerned. dispatched a scouting force, and after several rnouths rhey discoveredwhae had befallen me former Human dry. It was empty of all life and fUJl of pestilent Skaven cerpses, weir bodies shewing the ravages of terrible disease. The Plague Monks hsd surrounded tnt: STronghold of Clan Merkir with gn~ar cauldrons filled with Warpscone-Iacedbubbling olfal and plmescence. and used greae bellows to fill the caves below the dry with noxious mists carrying all manner of deadly diseases. Those who Bed [0 die.surface were captured and enslaved, ana only Lord Merkii himself and a Ilal19Ful of'lieutenanrs escaped ttl tell the rale,

ill reponse, the Council of Thirteen sent armies of Clarrrars supported by WariockEngineers and their terrible technology. By then news of the hideous slaughter at Bhagrusa had spread. however. and many of the srrenghelds in the ourhlands surrendered before me armies left Skavenblighr: The Council's inability to deal with Clan Pesrilens desrabillsed their authority, and many Warlord

Clans splintered off from the rest of Skaven society, either waging war agaiJ1SI each other or joilling CLan Pesrilens ill the Southlands. AFter a few generations the Council lost control of rhe Southland, alrogerher, and began [Q lose control of the Under-Empire in its own territory.

These Struggles lasted for 400 Years, dividing the Skaven

rate berween rwo hemispheres; the north led by the Council and rhe south led by the Plague lords. Opportunistic Clans switched sides regularly, supporting one faction or another only for so long as ir was advantageous. This resulted in a

[lear constanr state 0f warfare that ravaged rhe Southlands fet generations, bur j r seemed nothing would change. The Skaven were deadlocked, each side bdieviog themselves and their way of life [0 be Iavoured by [bee Homed Rat.

Everything changed, though. with the return of Clan Eshin. Trained in the arts of assassination in Cathay, their black-dad murderers could infilrrate the roost well defended lairs and slay the mighties t fees wi thour ever being discovered. Clan Eshin swore allegiance to The Couneilof Thirreen and immediately set about co destroy Clan Pestilens, For generations. Clan Eshin used fear and assassinations to bring the unruly Clans back under the Ceunoll's-conrrol, slowly breaking down Clan Pestilens' hold on [he Southlands.

The Plague Lord realised rhey were losing ground, and so requestedan audience with the fllJi Council of Thirteeu in Skavenbllghr.The Grey Seers iurerceded.and made theLords of Decay vow nor (0 rry to assassinate the delegates. And

so Nurglitch, the rnlghtiesr Plague Lord of Clan Pestilens, travelled north to treat with me Council,

Naturally, there WC1'e several attempts co kill this grear leader during rhe journey, but he eventually made ir to Skavenbllghr, There 11(l abased himself and requested acceptance inro [he Council. offering Clan Pestilens' resources [0 the Lords of Decay. As added insurance Nurglirch revealed thar he and his disciples carried a SHain of virulent Yellow kull Fever and that, if they failed to reach an accord, he would be forced co release it-and therefore exterminate the entire Council and possibly

a great deal of me Skaven race, 111.' Lords of Decay welcomed Clan Pestilens back and Nurglitch, who survived trial by combat, wall welcomed as a new Lord of Decay. WhiJe those hundreds of years of civil war allowed the surface races to live free oftbe Ratmens attentions for a rime, the ultimate price paid for them was [00 bjgh: the art of che Plague Lords had been added [0 the Skaven arsenal.

THE GLORIOUS DEATH

"Ole kaven reputation for cowardice and dissension leads tnany to believe that [he Skaven are either roo impadeur or roo foolish to craft long-term plans. For rhe individual Rarrnen, this may be true, bur (he weigh. of cultural ~ressUJes •• he constant innghring and sabotage, and [he slow build-up of power give me race as a whole a sense of patience and cunning; One. Warlord mal' hatch a scheme and begin breeding rhe warriors [Q complete it; another may catch wind of the plan and begin to imitate it; aad decades after me fir [ two are long-dead) having killed one another ill a spireful battle over who should best carry OUt die attack, a new Warlord may pick up where they lefc off. So it was with [heir plan to re-conquer me empire of Human i [}', a plan which began some 500 -years before the .first blow was srruck-e-and all the while, Humanity was unaware of the danger growing beneath them.

Indeed, Humans of rhar time bad even less awareness of the Skaven rhreat than they do now. They had faced only the Creenskins in the Dwarf wars, and diose: taciturn warriors had not seen the need to describe (he Rarmen in detail. With the Ore and Goblin armies routed, there was lirrle [0 fear. Lacking an enemy from without, Humanity became its own ene.my, JUSt centuries aFter Sigrnar's foundtng-of rhar grear nation, [he Empire was crippled with corruption, indolence and division. Those few who remain sceprical of me Ratmen's unearthly cunning and inrelligence should rake note: even if they did nothing to help along this process of societal decay, d:iey co-crdlnaced their centuries-long plan re strike 3J exactly the moment when rile Empire was ar its weakesrBy the end of rhe n($t millennium, Emperor Galdgathel' was on me throne sold)' by his virtue of being rhe most £orrup[ lord in the realm, and. his Empire had collapsed beneath him into outright civil wac.

The Skaven's first moves were invisible, of course. Disease was so ubiquitous in me Old World that few could have conceived thar such a thing might be a tool of war. 1he Black Death, so

DISEASE BY DESIGN

The Black Death and the Red Pox are bur two aCme plagues mat, unknown to their sufferers, 'trace rheir origins. to me Skaven, Also well known is the Boil Lutgy, which causes Suid-filled sacs to grow all over me body and causes death in 13 days. The -Rot Worms are the larval. Form of a rat-spread parasite mat lays its eggs. in human Besh. The larvae harch and literally ear rheir way to the surface, Estalian Fever causes the "blood ro slow and die patient to lose aU rnobiliry until he lacks the .strength even to ear, the Vermilljon CIHSe-c:OVefS the skin in purple lines before dle victim chokes on his own blood, ;lud Saint Ehrlich's Eire makes the patient burn with f~ver while hallucinatingof hellish rorrnenrs. Onl)' che 1"s[ is rypicaU)' nor fatal, but many sLlffcrc[s kill themselves, convinced that mey are already damned by their own sins.

A FORGOTTEN HISTORY

Although -rhe Black Death of 1111 remains .... 'el! known, the blstorles of che Empire have forgotten or dellbemcelyomlned

the. sGcompanyil'lg invasionof the Skaven, They have become Instead simply a plague of unusuallylarge rats, feeding olf me many dead so llS to achieve 6mtastic populations and size. And now the deeds of Mandred Rarslayer have been softened, nearly forgorren, reducing him [0 a child's folk hero. Erdlings olJ:en show him chasing pesky vermin from the streets with just his beers,

named for ehe spreadtng black spars it eau s ed on rhe skill as the victim was consumed, was first seen in rhe sourhern areas. causin,g many 00 believe that it had been spread by Tllean rradesrnen. Communication at the time was Iimhed, and it was only when the disease decimated the streets of Nuln and Talablseim that the true extent of the epidemic became knQwn. Then the panic began.

111 e disea.se was !itst -s p reading an d [as t -act in g, kilIiJlg i ES victims in days if nor hours mer the symptoms presented. No .known medicine could help, and rhe speed of the disease provided no time to study it. The disease was soon rhoughr to be unsrcppable.wlrh suppiication rome Gods thoughr

[0 be ~he only way to be spared. Both the low and bigh born suff-ered, arid in 1115 Emperor Goldgamer himself was declared a victi m of [he sickness (although in truth he was killed by a shuriken Qf a CLan £Shin assassin). By then. the Ernplres populatien had been reduced to less Than half the size of the generati0:n before.

Then rhe Rarmen artaeked with ferce .of arms. They poured om of their underground warrens into eve,y dry and town ill [he Empire. Those few Humans spared by the plague had no rime. to pn1pa re and no will to srand against the Skaven. Many viewed them as the last trumper of the apocalypse, sent [Q devour wharever fragment of human irystitl I ived .. Powered by that f~r, the' Skavenconquered whole cities in hours, Those [00 old or YOttng [0 work were butchered on si:ght; those """:JlO could stand and hold a pick were taken to the Skaven mines

as slaves. Within another year, a dllid of the Empires already depicted population had been slaughtered or enslaved, and on:ly three cities held Out against the Skaven invaders; Ahdorf, Talabbelm and Middenhelm, With no Emper-or f)1J the throne, however, rhe Rarmen considered themselves victorious, and there-were few remaining Humans brave. enough to disagree, It seemed mar the cndefSigmar's Empire had indeed arrived->but once again, Fate played a hand, and U\1Q events occurred that stopped the death blow from Iialling.

In 1116, the Shven marched west ro claim the last" remaining terrireries of the Empire, bur as, they entered Sylvania they

encountered an enemy they could not so easily defeat~nd a new herror marched forth upon this world, Five years earlier, JUSt when the plague had begun, a meteorite had been seen to fall upon the state of Sylvania. As with rlte stone that later fell on the town ofMordheim, It is now dear [his meteorite was composed partlyor wholly from w."trps[one. f n the chaos of the plague years, none had set forth co see what damage this had wrought. but when rhe Skaven force.~ entered Sylvania's borders, there was an army there ready romeer them: an army ofche dead,

Facing a foe immune to both disease and ftar, and almost as numerous as themselves, the Skaven fOUlld rherpselves without any of their traditional tactical advantages. The small force

thar bad been sent inro 5ylvani:l was quickly eliminated by

the Undead horde and their necromantic general van Hcl,

The Skaven responded as ooJy they knew how: sending waves and waves of more ttoOpS into that province to crush this new enemy. The war benveen these rwo abominable mCe! endured for-a1mosr five. years, and no side ever claimed victory. The struggle did however divert the great armies ofthe Rarmen away from rhe remainder of me empire, as well as exhaust .heir HOOpS (and, equally prnpitious For the Empire, the rroeps ef cite Undead armies as well), FlinaLly,. rhe Empire had a chance to strike back against their conqLlerors, hut the damage wrought upon them had been SQ com piece that there was no one brave enough to believe such an acrion could succeed, let alooe convince other men to follow him in it.

Except for one.

When the plague struck, Elector Count Mandred von Grorkaas, ruler of Mlddenheim, ordered [hat C:iry's:grear stone viaducrs ro be destroyed to prevenr rhe infecuon entering

the walls. This decisive action spared the city most of the horrorsofrhe disease, and its army remained strong. When

the Ratmen attacked, me}' recognised Middenheim :IS the lasr bastion of Imperial strength, and laid siege [0 the ci!;}". while their sapper ag<mrs worked rheir way up through the tunnels

in the mountain beneath. Bur Mandred did not falter against these terrible odds. He ordered the lower levels of the city to be

32

'loaded, and his grear courage and personal leadership inspired his men to light furiously and, ceaselessly against the Rarrnens ccnstanr attacks. The city held OUI for months, and when the battle in Sylvania began, much of me Rarrnen's forces collapsed into internal srrife or withdrew,

>\ware that this may be his only chance [0 stOP the hideous tide of rheRatmea, Mandred gathered what remained of the City's soldiers and templars and rode out inca me Skaven armies, breaking the siege and routing the Ra[I1l~. After years of facing cowed and our-numbered opponents. the Sksven were unprepared and unwilling to face 311 onsiaught.of armnured knights, Pressing every advantage be had, Mandreds a.o.n}T rode sourh [0 Alsdorf and relieved that dry as well. His army grrn, and be launched.It on a grear crusade against all the Rarrnen in me empire. Over the nexc five years, th€ Skaven were gradually divided upon themselves, and driven back underground. lr

was a defeat, but for the Skavea 001y.a cem.POl;;1ry one. For now they knew {heir enemy intimarely, his lands and forces,

his strengths 311.d weaknesses, and it was only a matter of time before they tried again.

THE SPREADING SHADOW

Ir was almost seven hundred years larer, bur the Skaven did scrtke again with equal force and filly, bur this time against Breronnia, Here rhc disease of choice became known as the Red Pox, for the bloody welts (hat appeared on the victim's Face ane throat, The Pox was slower ro kill man the Black Death, making it slighcly easier to contain, but greacly extending the suffering_ of irs victims. II: firs. appeared in Bordelaux, then some years later in Brionne, before spreading east along [he Brienne rlver, and south i 11£0 Tllea. Once again, the Skaven waited until the entire southern region was ravaged by disease and depopulanon, then arracked. They sacked Brienne and Miragliano, and Jay siege CQ Quenelles. However, the lords of northern Breconnia were nor slow to retaliate, and with the

aid of me elves of Arhel Loren, soon drove the Skaven back underground yer again.

During this millennium, humanity explored the world, and discovered that no place was safe from the depredations ofshe Rarmen. When Marco Colombo reached Lusrria, he found me Skaven already poised to slaughrer his men, and when. Tllean sailors reached me shores of Cathay, they found [he SkaVGIl lurking in me darkness there. Finally, mankind became aware of me erue extent of the Skaven Under-Empire, and the true magnitude of the Skaven population.

Again, ir is easy to under-estimate me Skaven; [0 picture rbe Under-Empire as noiliing but rough-cue, earth-filled barrows, around their larger sertlernen ts. A comforting thought, but a staggeringly incorrect one. The Skaven runnels are vast in height, solid in construction and inconceivably far-rallging. By the turn of the second millennium the Skaven bad construcred networks under every rown and city in the Empire, and all ef them lead back to their capital, the rwistedand.evil rower of'Skavenblight, which has mines running as deep as the rower stretches above.

Their networks C3JlIlOt cross the huge expanse of the Grear Wes[crn Ocean to Lustria or Naggarorh, bur that is their one

II: Skaven History

and only limitation. TIle Grear Maze, as they call ir, soon provided oontinuous unbroken [ravel From me Chaos teppes beyond NOfSC3 and Klslev, LUld er rhe Sea of Claws to Albion, through the Empire and Brercnnia ro Tilea and Esralia, and ever-southward, ro Araby, me Sourhlands, and beyond. Neither the World's Edge Mountains nor the Giam Kingdoms delay a Skaven force from travelling to distant Cathay and the islands beyond ir, Although the way is long and often IlaIT0W, there are no mountains, swamps or Iorests in the dark below. no SJ1QWF.illS or storms, and very few beasts rhar ha¥e nor learnt

to fear the rodentmasters of the dark. So I[ is mar a Skaven 1lrmy can new rravel from Nippoa to Brewnrua-halFway around the world-jn Jess than six monrhs, And the Skaven may move even lister soon, for Clan Skryre have perfected

their Wa.rpsrone-fuelled "warprail engines" and awair only the completion of the tracks lor the carts to run on before they can place these: machines throughout all of rhe Under-Empire.

Despite their size, these runnels still do nor contain sufficient living space for the consranrly breeding Skaven horde, however, so we Skaven continue to snuggle ro conquer [he sluflll:;e,

and to lind more places to hide beneath ir. Also feeding their need for conquest is their unquenchable lust fGt Warpsrone. Whenever me Grear Maze is nor being used ro.house or transport Skaven [[Oops, it shelters the mining, processing and transportation of that all-precious mineral.

Warpsrone deposirs have been found aU over the Old Wodd, with the biggest finds Iccated under Karak Eight-Peaks, under the hills of Albion and mosr famously, under the ciry of Mordheirn. In the year 1999, a huge meteorite composed entirely ofWarpsrolle descended all mar city, reducing ir

in a moment to little more than ash and molten rock, and

33

IT: Skaven'~tory

creating the largesr concen [fared source of thar foul material ever known in the Old World. Almost as insrantly, the Skaven appeared in the crarerous ruins, keen to claim the dry's

new treasure. But [he impact had been seen m.r.and wide,

and soon word of what lay in rhe ruins reached the ears of

Wi zards , Chaos worshippers and countless other seekers of rhe stone,

As they were 1 • .Illaffec{ed by the Chaos tainr of the stone, the Skavennarurally grabbed the Han's share of me mineral, but more lmporranr was the knowledge chey gained from mar evenc chat men would pay dearly for even rhe tiniest amount ofWarpsrone, and char other men could be paid a rrifle to seek

CITY OF THE DAMNED

Wfthilie end of the niilIennium approaching, many believed mat Sigmar would come again re reclaim his empire. Following an ancienr propliecy ofMac3.damnus the Hermie rhar Sig1ll~r would return to the "ciry efhis siste£s", reus.of thousands of pilgrims joumeyed to Mordheim, home of [he convent of

.~he Merciful Sisrers of Sigma!". As the numbers iacreasedaed their fears grew, however, Mordheim's ,epu!adon :IS .a city

ef vice toek hold-and manypjlgrlms rhrew Qfftheir holy waysin favpuraflkelUieusness and depravity. Thus, many scholars conciqae, Sigtnar did rerum [p judge his empire; and cleansed icwith holy £ire &om above. Others state Mordheim was already a. dry of m.e damned, and its powers.caused faJse fpHowers to be drawn to iI, and even mally, called down the Chaps stone itSelf.

vascquao rities of ilie. smile. for them. The Skaven discovered mat, linked by a common desire, humanity could be ensl;).ved· by bargains JUSt,;!s well as by ehains, From that poim hence,

me Chaos Bargain spread like wildfire. thro:ugh die Empire, and great was the s'ufferihg ir brought,

PREsENT THREATS

In the 50Q years sincerhe fuJI ofMordhelm, tbe Skaven

have returned ro the surface of the OLd World in laeg!;: numbers twice more. Both were during dark times of Chaos incursions. As such, these events are typicaliy forgotten ill. rbe greater histories, wh ich, of COlU'Se, su i r the Rarrnen's srrlL.tegy pert"ecdy.

In 2302 Magn.us the Pious, like Mandred Ratslayer before him, rallied a. divided and. corrupt Empire tQ make a stand against the Chaos, incursion thar was sweeping down from the norm. He allied himself with die Tsar of the Kislevites, and rogeeher their armies stood nrm. as [he chumiag seas of Chaos smashed upon me city of Kislev-s-and then withdrew, The brave creeps who survived were marching home in victory when Skaven skirmishers acracleed their tines, mrning that victory march iura a desperate retreat [0 rhe.safery of

the cenrral cities. The armies of the Empire were reduced to

a re,I1.111aJ;1[ again, yet 110 further attacks came. It is unknown what twist of Fare, if any, prevented the Skaven £rompressing their advan rage.

Two centuries later, rhe forees of Chaos rose again, and the Scorn' of Chao» broke over Middenheim, As A_rchaon led

his armies inro rhe Empire, the Skaven were present in rheir usual ravenous hordes, picki fig the hones and feas~ on the wounded. During the si~ge- of Middenhei 1"11, rhei r sappers desrreyed mucb of the battlements and caused rmther damage behind 'me lines. Valten, the 1;:feateSl hero of the Empire, was assassinated by Dearhmasrer Snikch as he Lay wounded in his rent, Vet only a small £medon of the Skaven milirary force was seen rhroughour the Storm, -and never once did they press their advantage as they had before.

Perhaps their [me actions were losr in me sheer volume of that immense struggle. Or perhaps they were deali.ng wid'! other enemies, far beyond tlw borders of the Empire. The third possiblliry js far more [errifying: char they have been WAiting, as they had before, until the ahermadt of the battle before they strike. Although rhe Srarm, has subsided, rhe Em pire remains torn te tarrers, irs HOOps scattered and exhausted, irs people confused and afraid. Disease and pestilence are' rising stronger than ever from the charnel pits that were the barrlehelds, and famine stalks the land like a hungry wolf:

The Empire is once again ripe For the caking, and where ir is weak, the Skaven are strong. weir runnels still lie beneath every dty. their clawed hands slink in rhe shadDws behind countless Human undertakings, their twisted minds ever waiting and planning, seeking ultimate revenge againsx die upsta..-r rnanlings, The $t(lcm of Chaos may have subsided, bJJ r a new tempesr is set to break. UpOH Humanity at any moment, When it daes,Skaven history will be . changed f0revet, and Human history may forever cease.

c. -2000 The ancient ci ry [nat w0uld become known as kal.'~nbHgf1[ is firsr occupied by men. It grows rapidly 00 become the most densely populated Human ciry in the Old World.

-1950 Awandering Dwarf dan from the Black Mountains establishes trade with the city and evenrually settles there, The ciry grows even lister with their.help and niany advances in arch ltecrure and, engineering are achieved.

-1880 The Humans, with rhe help of me Dwarfs, begin work an tbei r great temple. WOlOk continues for II century

-1780 TIle temple is completed, but Warpstone rains down on the city. Within a year, rhe city is overrun by swarms of gianr rnurared rats and disappears from history.

c. -1600 The first [rue Skaven emerge as masters of'Skavenblighr; In search of.more WarpStone, they look beyond their city, Skaven begin experrmenring with magie. They expand their tunnel system 00 accommodate rhelr rapidly expanding population.

c.-1500 Jus!' as rhe High Elves withdraw from me Old World back to Ulthuan after rhe disastrous War ofthe Beard, the Dwarf Empire in the World's Edge Mountains is devastated by a serie or volcanic eruptions and earthquakes triggered by Skaven sorcery. Skavenbllghr's popnlarion is devastated, In the wake of [his destruction, the 12 Grey Lords ari e, forming the first Council of Thirteen and the Order 1J Grey eers. Dwarf records indicate rhac this era marked the beginning of Skaven incursions into Karak Yarn. The Skaven support rhe Creenskirrs against the Dwarfs in [he destruction of K:ual< Ungor. l1lis marks rhe beginning of me Goblin Wars.

c.-1400 The wandering Clan. establish me first Skaven strongholds in me areas later known as the Sourhlands, Araby, and the Dark Lands. Lord Malkrir leads Clan Moulder into what will become known as HeU Pi t in me IroLL Country Qfl<islev. Lord. Viskrin instructs Clan Eshii:! ro establish its tIonghoJd in fill: Cathay.

c. -1306 to c. -1250 The War of Cripple Peak is rought with the l<;gtons of Nashash.

E. -1200 In exchange for W1!Ip.srone minded below Cripple Peak, Skaven temporarily join forces with Nagash's Undead legions to lure several tribes of Qrcs and Goblins .lnto the Cursed Pir, agash summons" [pas ive army of Undead and the Council of Thirteen has him assassinated.

Skaven, break through to me [ower levelsof Karak..Elght Peaks, which falls ro me combined

A TIMFLINE OF SKA YEN HrSTOR Y

forces of Orcs, Goblins, aad Skaven. Once me Dwarfs are driven eur, the Skaven keep fightingagaiJlSf the Goblins for possession of me upper levels.

<2. -120010 -420 Dwarf soldiers discover gunpowder on a. Skaven cocpse, proving that che Rarmen have begun USing-the Dwarfs' own weapons against them.

e. -400 Establishment of the Skaven Under" Em pi re andrhe fifS[ great ru n nel networks beneath the 01d WorM. Human tribes settle across the Old World.

c. -380 Dwarf cannon are 6r. r used. in barrie, hdpill~ to prevent rhe Greenskin and Skaven armies ITom raking Karaz-a-Karak. Skaven spies sreal [he designs for rhe cannons and begin building warp-pistols and jezzails, Clan S kryre rises [0 powe r with these devices,

c. -350 Skaven overrun Crockback Moun rain in me Dark Lando and enslave everal tribes of Night GobUns living mere.

c. -300 to 200 Skaven of ChUl Pestilens return from Lustria, and a great: civil war ':[UptS in the Empire. \'(7ithouLSuPPQrt from the kaven,

dre Creenskin armies weaken and. the DwarfS b~gin rorurrr the Goblin ridc baok,

c. -100 agash rerum [0 Cripple Peak and destroys Clan Ri kek.

-15 Dwarf King Kurgan [ron beard is captured by Skaven of Clan Eshin in the Grey Mounsalns, He is then sold co Orcs for many pieces of:Warpstone; be is later rescued &001 the brcs by Sigmar, a Human chlefiel 11.

-1 Battle of Black Fire Pass.

o Sigmar's Empire founded in Alrdorf 17 Sigmar destroy a kaven horde in the Middle Mountains of che Empire,

0;;. 100jl,ssassin-adepcs of Clan Eshtn return !Tom Carhay ro serve the Council of'Thirreen. Many Clans are q ulckly brought to heel by rhe assassination of their Warlords.

0;;. 200 After enslaving or destroying several other dans, devastating the Sourhlands with magical plagues and killing OBe of the Lords of Decay in ritual.combat, Nurglitch, Plague Lord of Clan Pesrileus, gains a place on me Council of Ihtrteen.

c. 700 Wadooo. of Clan Skryre perfeer the warpfire threwee Reports of these rerriIYi ng weapons.are dlsceunred as tales of madmen,

11 i 0 Lord Vilner, heir to the Drakwald throne, is assassinared by Dearhmaster Slike, sparking civil war in the Empire.

un Clan Pesdlens unleashes ehe.Black Plague. Over the nexr lour years, more man half of the Empire's population ls wiped out, Massive Skaven incursions erupt across [he land, looring and razing rowns andvillages,

illS kaven starr ro sysrernarieally enslave

rhe surviving Human settlements In the Empire. Emperor Goldgarher is assassinated br Deadunaster Snke. When no Success-or is named, the Skaven declare themselves rulers of the Empire,

1116 TheSka.wL1. march inro Sylv'il11,ill, Necromancer van He! raises a rnassive Undead anny toturn bad [he kaven advance, The two forces_figlu to a standstill for the next five years.

1122 Counr Msndred Ratslayer breaks the siege ofMiddcnheim, [hen rallies supporc from the Erector Cou rus and leads a crusade against theSkaven.

1124111(: Empire finally drives the Skaven below ground. Mandred is crowned Emperor,

1152 TIJe Council of'Thirreen orders the assas ination of Emperor .Mandred Rarslayer. Nartik of Clan Eshin murders him later (he same year.

12471'i1ean explorer Marco Polare reaehe Camay. and writes ofspyillg the Skaven under me gre.ar city ofWei-jin.

c.1300 Clan Moulder ereare the 6rSt

succes fuJ Rat Ogre, and begin their rise in prominence amongst me other Clans.

",1430 Sultan Jalfar, a powerful Arabyan sorcerer, welds a coalition ef several desert rribes.and expands his city state to a small empire With rhe capmre of Al-Haikk, Copher, Marrek, and Lashiek, Legends speak.of hlm summoning Daemons and conver ing with spirits. TIle Skaven in Araby secredy ally With Sultan Jaffar, spying for him and murdering hiS' rivals.in exchange for Wnrpstone.

1448 The Skaven convince Jaffitr war Esralia Intends to lltql.ckAraby. The Sultan invades Esralia and captures Magrirra, This sers ill motion we Araby crusades rhar eventually drive the Sultans armies back to Araby and 'S.ha[[erthe Sultanate ar the Bartle of Al- Haikk,

1492 Marco Colombo discovers Lusrria, and r'C:pons s.ighdng many Skaven in the jungles, sull.fighrlngrheir Lizartirnen enemies.

1563 Skavcn overrun me city of To bar a in Tilea, forcing irs ruler, Prince Marcelli, to evacuate.

1565 Marcelli rerurns twO years later with reputedly the largest mercenary force ever

assembled. With the help of the high elveS, he reclaims his home.

1601 The village of Escanrcs ill Southern JiJ~ iscompletely devoured by SW31'mS of rats.

]666 Ciao Skryr~ warlocks develep a. reliable (by Skaven standards) warpfire cann an. Its .eJ;fifyin g payload can wi pe au r entire armies.

1707 Skaveil fbrc</s ald Ore Warlord Gorbad Ironclaw i11 h isaerack againSt rhe Empire. Skaven farces cripple 1\1 ula from rhe inside, allOWing Ironclaw roo rake control of rhar dry wichour any signillcanr losses, The Skaven are repaid handsomely with Wa.rpsoone.

1786 Clan Eshln releases rats infecred with me Red Pox in the town of Bordelaux in Bretonnla, The oi ty loses over a tn ire! of its population to the Red Pox i na single week. The Baron Gisc:a.rd Du'ponre orders the poor qWl.rter ,0 be burned [0 the grQund in a fir of desperarien. The pox is halted irunrediately,

1812 Sourhem Bretcnriia and nerrhern Tilea are Iavaged by another outbreak of [he lkd Pox. i?ank, anarchy and rioting spread duough several Bretonnian dries as mobs rampage in [he Cities, burninganything rharrnight au:ry the pox. indudJL\g£heep. dogs, frogs and fisb. 111 Brio nne, the resulrin g G relit Ere of Bri on nil. razes three-quarters of the dty. Again with rhe disease 31 its peak, theSkaven att:l.ck. Brionne, Bordelaux and Miragliane an: all bur destroyed by disease.and invasioattbe Rarrnen then lay siege to Quenelles,

180 Due de Parravon convinces me Elves ofAtheJ Loren chat the Skaven will turn 0]] rhern IlO:;X" and an alliance is struck. The combined fo·rees of the Due and rhe Elves break the siege at Quenelles and drive the Skaven underground once more, Over a third of the Breeonnian populariou I ie dead &om the plague and the invasion.

1941 Warlord Skinchewer of Clan Skab allies himself wlm one of the Tomb Kings. Acquiring new and dark magiC from this arran gem ell t, Clan Skab riscli in power amongst the clans, alrhaugh it .is still far below rhe fom Greater Clans.

1999 The city of Mordheim io hit by a mereorire -composed. entirely afWarpstont:, providing the largest concemrated source

of mar foul rnarerialever koown.Skaven irnmediarely take possession of the town, and begin mining the stone.

c. 2000 Clan ScrueenIs 100.o3.w'<1.y frem the. main Skaven areas by Grey Seer K'd.tisl.ik. the Clan establishes a stronghold hidden in the Cursed Marshes and Clttending beneath Marienburg,

TI: Skaven History

2084 Clan Skryre warlocks pe.rfyc! the Farsqueaker, allowing instanraneous

C01IlJTI unication between warrens any distance apan::

2J.ll Lawful citizens of.Rorebach discover that me Count of Middenland, Luirprand Il, has made the Chaos Bargain, Lutrprand has me enme town hangea to cover his tracks.

2207 Another, smaller, Warpstone meteorite crashes ce the ground. this time in the Barren Hills. Skaven crews carry III uch 0 fit avroy but nor all: a HUIllaJJ Wizard manages to grab one piece. He rransperts ir in secrer to Casd~ Wi~ellstei!l.

2250 Small skirmishes between the Skaven and dte.Tomb King:; of'Khemri rum lnro outright war. The war lasts for some two cenruries-and provides cover for the Skaven ro greatlye>"l'and rheir runnel nerwork to the Southlands.

2302 Magnus the Pious-leads (he Ernplre

in holding back the forces of Chaos at the gates of Kislev, The ;_ising ride of dark magic prompts the Grey Seers to srtp in and call upon 'the: Homed. Rile for divine judgement [0 stop rhe warting between mel! clans, In

a massive ceremony at Skavenblighr during Vermintide, the great annual feaM of [he Horned God, rho G(q S0C[S succeed in

sum moning an incarnation of the Homed Rill. The Clan Lords are terrified into a level of obedience and cooperation previously unthinkable as the Horned One dierates

me plan they are to fallaw, The Council

of Thirreen is cernplerely reorganised -and

a.1I hescllnes berween Skaven ace ended immediarelj,

2"303 During rh .. Grear War Against'Chao$, the Skaven figh t the Chaos arm ies as well as th e arm ies 0 f rh e Em pi re and K:islev, b ut we r several hundred years of inrernecinewarfare, me Skaven's numbers are almosr exhausred, The Chaos hordes are eventually defeated

by Magnus the Piousat Klslev, The Skaven ambush several contingents of rhe Empire annyas it returns home, and SOOIl afrerwards minor plague. erup~ in Nuln. Talabhelrn, and Mari(;,J1bll£g,.

2320 Skaven agenTS In Marienberg burn half rhe shipsin that harbour m me warerliuewirh nrepQts. The motive for this arrack is never discovered.

2321 During the winter, Clan Eshin Currer Runners make a number of raids on Imperial, Breronnian, Tilean and Esralian warfleers at anchor i.n their respective ,ports. The Gutter Runners use fir(lpo rs. an d n ap'rh a [0 b urn me Beets with varying levels of success.

2377 The MorikeyKlng,si:JZes p0wer in Cathay. He.installs Warlord Kishkik of Clan Eshln as an advisor; and begins trade with the Ska1<Cn Empire,

2387 Skaven ~;l:ppers undermine (he walls

of CAstle Siegfried in Sylvania. \i7ben Prince Karsten ()fWaidenilof fails to pay [hem for this service, they carzyaway every child in town.

2399 Skaven ef Clan Skryre begin develeplng warpfire-powered underground locomotives ["warprnils"j, Originally used to move mining cans, rhey are soon adapted for troop r(;llJ.sporr as well,

2485 Clan MOTS devastates several rival dans (including much of Clan Skab) and begins to rise in power and srarus,

2491 13agrian. master of rhe nrcnasrery of La Maiso 11 taal i 11 Breronnia, inlil tra res Skavenbllghr and.steals th"c awesome BlackArc. The C;rey Seer Grrawdoom and.his Slaiven, ,along with allies Intheforrn of the Undead army of the Liehernaster Heinrich Kemler, move against the monasrery and recover rhe Arc after a vicious bartle with rhe monks.

2512 Skaven sappers completel'y destroy Castle Wirrgensrein and retrieve rhe Warp§tone stored [here.

2514- Fritz von Halsradr, ChlcfMagisrra[e of N uln mid head oJ the Countess Emrnanuelles secret police .. is discovered rracling Warpst.Qne to the Skaven in the-sewers beneath Nuln. Grey Seer Thaaquel has been feeding real informacion, half truths, and outright lies ro [be insane '11011 Halsradt; manipulating him withrhe ultimate aim ef Harting a civil war

in the Empire. Th.e plot is exposed and von

H alstad t is killed, bur Thanq uel escapes.

Later the same year Thanquol rerurns, seeking vengeance with a Skaven horde. Usi "g Nulli's extensive sewer network [0 infiltrate the dey, they almost overrun i r in a.si n gle nigh t, h aJ red en I }' by files Ii r by the defende IS, wh i ell rh en rage throughm~ dty. Eventually the Skaven are driven back, Ieaving half of'Nuln in ruins. Grey Seer Thanquolswears he will have vcngeanC"e upon Nu.ln and its inhabitantsbefore rerum ing to Skavenblighr to face the inquisition of the Lords of Oeory;

2520 The Storm ofChnos begins, An:;llaon leads his Daemontc horde into the-Empire. 3kaven armies join in the slal.Jgnl:.er of rheir enemies.

2521 Siege ofMiddenheirn, Skaven sappers destroy much of the easr side of the cicy, but me city Still holds. Dearhmaster Snikeh assassinates Valren in the afrermarh.

2522 Cu.rrent Day

36

Olapter ill: Skaven Society

"You suck your rhumb and your teeth will stick out! And if you don't stop,you'Il grow whiskers and. Q, snout, too! Where do you think Skaven come from, hmm? They're all little boys who sucked their thumbs!"

-FRAU WILCHERS OF UNTERBAUM

Though ir appears to be outwardly simple and brutal. Skaven sociery is more complex [han ir seems. Iris fi-aughr wirh plots and lnrrlgues, riddled with treachery, and burdened with 11 deep-seared hatred for the world of man. Everything me Skaven do is co advance their positions, eirher as individuals or as a civilisation. 111i8 chapter rakes a closer look ar me wheels

of Ska yen society, exami ni ng everyrhi ng from remperaruen [ and psychology of rhe individual Rarrnan to (he goals and motivations of rhe GTea~ and Lesser Skaven Clans, Customs, language, and religion are also discussed in depth, as are the Skavens views on [he other races thar call the Old WQdd their home.

-

Skaven rep[esem many things [bat the typical Sigmarfeadng citizen of rhe Empire would despise, They are selfish crea-tures, raised ill a "turbulent society espousing survival above all otherthings. The methods Skaven use ro survive

are resrricrcd only by the severity of their consequences, and even these repercussions are overlooked iu the face of extreme danger. "Better him than I,"

is a heart-felt Skaven vow, enriched by millen n ia of active ob ervance by dl€ foul, tar-like .species.

to the last of his kind-so lonE as he is die .lnsr. of ills kind. His relanonships with his birrhkin are Heeting at best, and lase only SG Long as bis siblings and cousins. areof lise to him,

Despitethe individual Skaven's thirst for survival and advancement within his society, individual Skaven can also be driven to a ferocity un marched by any of the other races.

When food is scarce and space in their under-empire is ar a premium, the Skaven have been known [Q scare death in the face wi rh nary a fUnoh. especially when they ate part of a lar,ger group. Whether this is because they are rnocivared by hunger alone, or are driven by some uncontrolled group instinct or enraging-seem,

or are forced [Q act our of

fear of thei r leaders' reprisals, nOH!;: can say. Ir is J lkely 1'0 be. a combination of all of rhe

"A rale is told of neo Skaven, birrhkinJrom the same breeder. While scouring the woods a.f;oove [heir home, [hey encountered a ravenous Minotaur. Wisely, [he)'jled [he beaSt, but it gave chase and pursued them-for many miles.

Life and Individual freedom are next to worthless in Skaven society Survive] is paramount [Q the individual, and the weak are rarely suffered to live unless they provide-some tangible benefit [0 [heir superiors. While

life is cheap to [he Sleaven, each one still struggles to survive againsr all odds, A cornered Skaveo__g,Iadly fights

'''Surel,y,' said rhefir!rr Skaven, panring, 'we cannot (anno[cannorourrun rhis hOf'r.wIe crearure.'

"The second chittered his a&reemenc,' or do we have to,' he replied.

'Vnsure of his birthkin's morive, rhe [irs: Skavtn asked, 'Whar do you meaN';'

"By way of response-, rhe second Skaven tripped his companion, answering, 'II ronty need [0 ourrunyou.!'"

~A F~BLE-EROM THE LEssoNS OF THE HORNm RAT

37

~~. ~~~~~~~~====~cm~.~p~tcr~. ~Ill~:~S~'~~v~m~&ci~~'~ezy~,==~~~~~~~~~~~

Though they rarely admir it; tbe Skaven vie~vcall clanmaees.as more. $urm acnons'taken against other Ska.ven are not only

potential enemies, Skaven who occupy posirions of aothorfry considered to be entertaining, but are also seen as a natural way

ate envied forcncir power, while those Ratmen who serve in of culling the weak. Skaven leaders who entertain themselves

lesser roles are co as tallciy suspected of sedition. A Skavens by debasing er punishing a Ii val's servanrs must take care nor to

empathy is limired to undersranding.ilie ceverous fedio'g5 of io(:oJLvenjence their peers or superiors ov:ermuth. Those that do

his peers .. MUm or ills suspicion is projected upon die Ratrnen so risk hecomil'lgex,amples themselves.

around him, whether or nor [he alle-prions are founded in

A Skaven's single mosr driving goal beyond simple survival is any klad oFfact. Skm'cn motivarioris are never pure, and even

to rise in status above bis peers. lndeed.jhe Skaven mentality the simplest of actions on the plirt of one i ndividual can cause

is that this rise in starus is a means to the end: the higher ones ripples of suspieion mat ultimarely affece anyon.e who comes

status, the longer one is likely to survive, Yet with each rise in

inrocenracr with him. ",...

position, there is always another level of superiority, another

rank of superiors to ell',}" and of course each increase in power only means that 'there are rhar maoy more lesser Skaven TO covet the successful Rarmaas posirlon, In other words, [he more powerful you become, the more enemies YOll earn. Even the canniest of Skaven never see peace in [heir lifetimes, and to die fr.om natural causes is unheard of.

The Skaven never accept blame for their failures, preferring instead to implicare others, thereby transferring culpablliry OI1.W [heir comperirors. The i'fucbliJlness of these accusations

is irrelevant to the accuser, me accused. and the superio [ who must judge them; all that matters to any of the involved parties is rhe strength of me case. The blame game has always been

a popular pastime amoo:gsl; the Rarmen, and Skaven who are unable [0 successfully shift blame from themselves anro others tarely live for very long, Inrerestinglj; this habit has grown

fFOUl one 'of mere survival and ef rrickery, after centuries of breeding .. i 11m one of actual belief. Almost aU S.kaven seem to bel psychelegically predisposed to bel ieve rhar their own milLlIes must be-the resul t of a subordinates rncornperenee, sabotage' by a jealeus rival, or the poor pJan ning.of a superior. The concepr bf£ailure based on one's own merir (orlack thereat) is simply impossible for them to imagine.

Skaven leaders, meanwhile, SUpport this intrigue because they love to make examples of their subardinares. Berter yer. they enjoy singli ng our rhe subordinates 1)[ their rivals even

SKA YEN PERSONALITY

By and large, indivrdual Skaven are perry, jealous, devious, and sly: They are always leeking ror an. angle tG play in order to advance ikemsdves within the geear scheme ·of things, TIlOUgh tbey are consraruly seeking inroads to pnwer and excess, dley 1tI"I! rarely possessed of the abillt)' to plan things in the long term. Thi$ is, in parr, due to their namraJly shore life spaos. A Skaven who develops a talent for mapping the actions and reactieos.cf his Foes over the course of mrulY weeks, months, oryears is surely destined to become a powerful member of'his species.

The Skaven who learl their people seek to elke all the credit for success, while at the same time letting their subordtneres do all the work and rake all rhe risks, Evenmirror victories aretouted, exaggerated, and made [0 appear luger man life. Many Skaven reputarions have been made or broken all such call tales, yet it Is eommealy accepted as a leader's due to call arrention [0 his vicrories,

By comparison, lesser Skaven seek [0 gain SOme measure of glory without making themselves t00 much of a nuisance

to their masters as a resulr, Calling arrenrion to oneself is a double-edged sword .. ] n one instance, It allows for a Skavens actions to be suitably rewarded, On the other hand. ir makes [he individual Skaven a target for jealous rivals who might

not have noticed him otherwise. in me long-run, rank and Hle Skaven constantly dream of gaining [he power of their betters at the expense of everyone else around them.

Ofall rncrivanng facrors in a SkaverLs life, then, Fear is perhaps the strongest. The only things a Skaven has, his life and his status, can be taken ill an Instant, and the fear of the loss of either is a constant spectre. Punishment and ccndernnarion lead to rhe 105s of <line or the other or hoth, :\'0 fear 0 F them, [QQ, is a constant. To sacrifice even minimaladvancemenr

or lase one's position (0 a rival is a heavy blowrea Skaven's ego, and for Ills peers to know of it JUSt as bad. Losing- rank

is terrible, and dying is a. horror net [0 be considered, hue

[Q endure the chitted.l1g hughter of one's peer-s preparatory

to eirher~ Pure hell. Thus, second.orny ro fear as a common Sksven emotion is that. of spite .

. ~8

THE ENEMY WITHIN

W.ithin me. Under-Empire, inrer-clan warfare is a daily occurrence. Far from being a rarity amengst the Skaven, lr i-s less GO)lUL10tl co fi,nd che Ratmen at peace with one another

for any appreciable length of time. The weakest dans serve as targets for the strongest, which are constantly on the look-out for vulnerabilities [Q exploit. Sometimes, several clans compere wirh one another in order to determine who will have the chance to. pick at the proverbial bones of a lesser dan that is Qnly .hours from irs own destruction. Clans that fall beneath the swords and claws of their fellow Skaven are in regrated into the victor's clan as expendable slaves. After all. a slave mu t be alive [Q be of value, and continued survival, even in a state of bondage, is alway. preferable ro a leaven man death.

As such, the lesser clans are always jockeying with one another in order to avoid being on the receiving end of this inevitable slaughter; In the land afme blind, even the one-eyed rat is kingl such is the logiC [hac divides me Lesser clans, and this.has fuelled their petry squabbles fOi millennia. Were the lesser dans able co unite, even fm a short period of nme, rheyrnight be capable of forming a powerful bloc wirhia kaven socieo/ . Such an evenr is hardly likely, given Skaven sensibilities, and so rhe nighrly COil [(15'( continues unabated.

SKA YEN AND OrHER RACES

Beyond the Skaven's self-destructive and predatory impulses reward their own kind, [here Lies the surface wodd. 111e average Skaven knows Ii rrle abou t the folk who walk the grou nd mar rDafs [heir warrens, bur he hares [hem nonetheless. Men, Dwarfs, Elves, and ~ny of'the ocher rerresnnal races are seen as romped [01:5 for the Sl<aven's birth right, mere obsracles [0 world domination. To rule the world, it must first be cleansed of these lesser races in order to make roern for die Skaven hordes.

DWARFS

Dwarfs, being a subterranean race, have had the most intimate relationship with tb~ Skaven and their methods of warfare. Nearly 1 ,)00 years prior to the founding of the Empire, during a peried me Dwarfs call the Time oEWoes, their muggles against the Skaverr were at their most iurense. The rnemory of the Dwarfs is indeed long, and me.ir enmity for rhe Skaven is second only [0 their hatred for [he Greenskin races.

Because of [he bitter confllcrs that have arisen berween Dwarfs and Skaven, me Dwarfs are perhap die best prepared to deal with rhe Rarrueu On weir own terms. In 'the earliest clays of these conflicts, the Skaven found the Dwarfs to be easily defeated. This was -as much doe [Q the Dwarfs' inexperience with the kaven as i, was to the fact:.l:bar [he Dwarfs were without allies and beset

by enernie 0,11 all frOntS, A number of Dwarf holds, as well as countless outposts and settlements, were lost during the lime of Woes, and many Dwarf.lines were exterminated as they rougbr to the last [Q defend their ancient halls.

In modem times, the Skaven view Dwarfs with a mixture of fear and conrem_pr, TIley recognize [hal Dwarfs are great

warriors. but they also see that me Dwarf race is caught in

a downward spiral from which ir is unl ikely [0 ever recover, Given the opporruniry, the Sksven clans cause the Dwarfs ever mere harm, bur this is hardly a priority now that many of the ancient Dwarf holds are already under Skaven control.

The forests of the Elves are all bur avoided by the Skaven. Though they loathe admirdng it, the Rarrnen are fearful of the Elves and their ways. Of the other races, only the Elves call rival the Skaven's penchanr for speed and stealth, and their wizardries are powerful indeed. For these reascns, me Skaven avoid open warfare with [be Elves, preferring to save the worst for last.

Of die conflicts between Elf and Skaven perhaps the most well-known is the Barde of Rernarche in 1813 Ie As: (he Skaven attempted to besiege several Breronnian cities, namely Quenelles and Brlonne, their forces were routed by a large force that included the Elves ofArhel Loren. The Elves had come co honour the rrearies they cultivated with the Human kingdoms of Breronnia, and mel' foughr well against the insatiable Skaven menace.

TIle defeat at Rernarche has lingered long in die kaven memory, more so [ban any of thei remer losses. Even though the baule itself was a minor foomate in an ever growing

List of campaigns and-skirmishes, it remains a 50fC pouu.ro Skaven historians and warlords alike. The Skaven continue ro harass the Elve when convenient cppornmiries present themselves, but they have .had Ii ttle luck Infilnating Elf cities and serrlernenrs,

HALFLINGS

The HaLflings are ne threat to the Skaven or rneir plans 1'0 conquer rhe world. During the Greac Plague of 1111, the Skaven enjoyed free reign over rhe newly-incorporated lands of the Mom. in response, the Halflings hid behind closed doors, fighrlng enly when circumseances Forced [hem to do so. 'These first forays into the Hal1:Iing land produced little tangible benefit to the Skaven, however, and so such campaigns in the modem age rue rare.

TI1e Skaven believe HalHings are roo weak to wage war effecDvely. TIley make horrible slaves, especially given th,ei r lack of physical strength and their high food requiremenrs. T0 most Skaven HalHings are no better than Livesw(;k, offering little of value except for rheir meat, which me Rumen find render but fany and ornewhar Jess chan fiUing.

HUMANS

Wlm the spread of Humanity to nearly every Carner of

the world, from fabled Camay to rhe jungles of Lust ria, Humans stand.as me greatest obstacle to the kaven's plans to achieve world deminaricn. Narurally, Dwarfs are fm:midabJe opponents, but they are fut becoming ('00 fe.w co resist me hordes of Rarmen thar stalk the munds of [he Under-Empire. And as (he Elven population diminishes, Withdrawing more and more into me safety Ot their distant homelands me Skaven

39

would be free to aCT with impunity if irweren'r for the hared rnanlings. This said, however; Humans are easy to CQrrpp [, quick co Qerray their own race .for a few more pieces of filthy lucre. And so, the Skaven's gre,ue£r enemy in their expanslen in to me surface is alsc til ei r g,reaces r ally.

Coupled with their duplicitous tendencies, Humans are ofreu naive and lgnorauc, wilfully ignoring all evidence of danger

Ull til it's too late. The widespread denial of me Skaven race ensures that the sinister Rarrnen will one day triumph over the hai rless chattel rhar cancerns i l2Se1f with Skich minor thi ngs like prices, trade. and other nonsense" Those few who do rum to [he shadows, who I.ook into the dank recesses of shadowy alleys and sewers to .h unr the rrurh .. are, branded madmen or heredes by their countrymen, and are watched OJ even imprisorted

by "their betters. Too many inqu isirive men and women have

vanished or turned up dead after a few days of persistent quesrionlng,

Imperial attitudes are a prime example of the insidiousness of [he Skaven. There :ue fewo,rganhatiom in the Empire who aren'c host to erie-or more Skaverrspies or: agl!Ll~s, This malign in£luen(:e spr6tds from the highest positions of Imperial power to the most presrigtousinsrlnruons of learning and knowledg«, gna'wing at rhe Empire's heart from [he inside OUt, So long as tales of the loathsome Raonen are held as works of Emtasy, these Skaver; corruptors ean operate freely, albeit from rhe shadows,

Nor all Humans are blind co the Skaven menace. A few openly fighr "he Rarmen, opposing them at every turn .. Nowhere is this male true than in Tiles, for these people's history is one tied [0 the Skaven's. Tileans recognize .the' Skaven as a true

and very real danger co their civillsarion, and light [0 keep the Sk.wen host at bay. Thanks to their vigilaklce, tbey have kept and continue co keep (he Skaven under control.

The Skavea don't discriminate when it cernes to ,dispensing hatred. All races ate either cools or rivals; dlminlshing.rescurces that the Skaven desperarely need. Of me other races, the Skaven maintain tenuous aIlim;rces with rhe Greensldns" though such conrracrs are rarely long-llved a:nd tEi", Creensktes always su£l:er for their gldlibility when ir comes co Skavc:fl ITiendsbip.

Clan Moulder is parricularly inreresred in the larger races, especially Ogres, Trolls, and Giants. This inreresr is purely academic Oil (he parr of the Masrer Moulders, who take the power and s tren gth i o.her!!m in these b u.dy c fell rures and bend it to their own uses. lr is From such experi men ts cine Rat Ogres

were created. -

Alrhough they ate a race born of Chaos,.che Skaven feel

little kinship with Beasrrnen, M utants, or Daemons: l1ie"y occasionally ally with such forces. especially when ids convenient co do so, bUI rlie Rarmen do 110'[ presume such coalirions are-worth susrninjng overlong. They see tOO clearly the mozives of their chaotic cousins. and their place in a world ruled by me Ruinous Power-s would certainly be no more glamorous man if is today.

, X. TruLe the dally lifeof the Skaven is driven by a canHam. y Y· quest for survival, there are many distinctive elernerirs War set them apan frem me other races-of me Old World. Language, religion, arid behaviour serve. all examples. of whar make the-Slcaven truly unique.

LANGUAGE

The language of the Skaven, Queekish, is a chittering and hasty speech. Skaven dialogue is often littered with a hodgepodge

of rapid squeaks arrdtrills. Queekish words are shoet, dipped. and often repeated several times in a row in an dfon: 1:0 add,

emphas~ to statements. Due to the speed with wh_ich Queeklsh is spoken, IQl)g sentences are _ofrel) broken up Inro several fragments. As such, these fngmenrary senrences must be

pieced rogechee to form coherenr thl:lughrs> especially during long stretches of dialogue.

The wrirten form of Queekishconsisrs of several thousand plcrograms, each representing a single word or concepL

.Mosr Sk-;ave~l know the most imporeanr picrograms, while

only a few em recire them all. A1; new discoveries are made, new plcrograms are devised. Many are so similar as to be indistinguishable to rhe u nrrai ned eye. Wti[lng is accomplished by [he nse of a sharpened stylus or an extended claw. Many

41

Chapter ill: Skaven Society

Skaven records Were kepr on wax or day caplet ~ bur rhc use of ink on parchment has become increasingly popular with me Grey Seers and Master Moulders.

The S kaven are able llnguisrs and many learn [he Janguages

of me Old Wodd.so tbey may be ITer deal with their slaves

and enemies. 111011gh they see other languages as inherenrly inferior ro their own. mey lind [bey are valuable tools in the advancement of rhein Gause. Their linguistic habits of repetition and quickly-spoken words carry over to the other tongues War [hey learn. A Skaven's voice is of [en high-pitched. squeaky and displays a omewhar-whiny character.

Seem also plays a srrong a role in Skaven cornmunicarion. The Skaven exude several different musks, depending on their ernorional state. Though secretion of these musks is largely involuntary, many Skaven learn to. hide [heir emotions from [heir companions by will alone. OnLy a handful of surface dwellers are able to distinguish between different Skaven musks. To me majority of non-Skaven, me Rarmen sdnk of urine and wet fur.

The most common Skaven musk is referred ro as me Musk

of Fear. UJl urprisinglj, the Musk of Fear I ecrered when

a Skaven i frightened. Though most Skaven are in a nearconstant stat.€: of unxiery they only exude in nruly terrifying circumstances. This, of course, depends On d1C individual Skaven, for some are better able ro face [heir fears than others. In any case, whaor £rig.hrellS one SkaVell may not.necessarily frlglm:o another,

TIle Musk of Fear IS a cool of survival, and It allows a single Skaven ro warn .his fellows thar something is horribly wrong, When displayed between individuals, ir is almost always a sign of deference, indicating rhar me Skaven who exudes the musk is, for 'whatever reason, dispLaying overwhelming awe and fear cowards his leader. On me bartlefield, however; the Musk of Fear can cause a warlord's best-laid plans to collapse, Units of Skaven Clanrars have been known to route to the last Ratman once the Musk of Fear spreads through their ranks.

The second most common, Skaven.musk is known as the

Musk of Battle. 'The Musk of Baede is scented when a Skaven communiry has reached irs upper limit in regards to population density and avallablliry of food. More acrid than the Musk of Fear it signals a slow bur steady Lise towards war for a warren, and rides me foul all of a Skaven nesr until banle is joined or me siruarion improves. Entire populations of Skaven have been incited ro fury by this stink.

DRUGS AND W ARPSTONE

Skaven are hedonistic, so it is llrele su rprise mar drugs play an importanr role in their social order. Most Skaven drugs are slmple concocrions (hac-are designed to supply an inrense,

yet brie , euphoria in their USC[l). Ochers, such as skalm, have legitimate medicinal purpqses, while a few; such as kavenbrew, are created in order [0 make Rannan warriors more effective in barrie.

Amongst irs multitude of uses, Warps(O[]€ can be administered 3S a drug. Ic is most commonly powdered and used as a snuff

Aside from a giddy feeling of self-confidence, Warpsrone dust increase the magical abilities of any Skaven that ingests it. Prolonged use of\X/arpsmue causes mutations in addicts, and these deformiries are viewed by ether SkaVen with a combinarion of awe and mmempt. Warpsrone.muff is expensive and 1'aJ:C, so itIs rarely seen in me possession of Clanrars: iris .generally Jield by Gfey Seers, Chieftains. and Warlords, among a few others.

Beyond irs use as an arcane narcotic, Warpsrom: serves as

a central pillar to Skaven society. Because of irs seemingly magical power, Skaven consider Warpstone to be me holy spoor of tile Homed Rae. Clan Skryre work Warpstone into nearly evety mechanical device mar rhey IillIpJOY, and Skaven smiths add Warpstollc dun [Q the weapons and armour they manufacture, CI3.I1 Moulder is no suanger to Warps[Qlle, either, using concentrated dQSCS of rhe stuff co induce rnurarionsin hs subjects, Even Clan Pestilens uses a distillation ofWarI;lSl:One, mixed with a virulent disease, ro empower us pJague censers.

Thanks 1O irs power and versariliry, Warpstone is me most valued commodity in the. Sk.1,Vell world, and i rs acquisition drives the race's movements and plans. The strange luminous meteors that rained down upon Sylvania were composed of Wiupsrone, and rhe Skaven invasion of char cursed land was

a direer result of its presence, Likewise, the destruction. of Mordheim heralded me coming ofthe Skaven, who fought for dominance over Warpstoue-Iaden ruins of rhe city.

SKAVEN CUSTOMS AND BEHAVIOUR

The customs and behaviour of the Skaven are litrle known ro the denizens of me Old World. The Skaven have a society rich in idiosyncrasy and ell ternary behaviour.

FLATIERY

Respect is the cornerstone of S kaven cui rure. All Skaven demand respect and deference from Their lessers. While keeping aile's nose lowered to the proper level is an excellent begtnulng, those ofle ser station also provide CllstQn13J"Y Ba([ery (Q their superiors. 'Ihlsflauery cakes many forms, bur is typically verbal in nature. Bestowing creative euphemisms upon one's masters

is an art foan in many Under-Empire communities, especially amongst die Skaven of Clan Skryrc, The more creative a Rarrnan's improvised Harrery, the higher he will Iikely rise amo[]g1'[ his peer.,s.

Examples Include, "Yes-yes, shrewd-clever master," "rnost merciful of pocenrares," "killer-killer of man-rhiugs," "boldbrave: leader," and so on.

INFANTICIDE

\1r7hen a victorious kaven warlord overwhelms an opposing clan, it is co-mmon practice ro kit! and devour any juvenile Skaven remaining within me captured warrens. This is viewed a celebratory dinner of sorts, which virmally-guarantees char

Chapter ill: Skaven Society

me dan's line ends with its offspring. 'Ulough elder kaven

are allowed ro live and kept as slaves by the victors, they are never allowed access to br~eding females unless they manage [0 distinguish themselves and rise above their new positions of servitude.

MAJu..uNG

Marking is a peculiar custom a.mon&Sl: kaven mac involves urinating upon (or applying urine ro) property in order: [Q rna rk i r as theirs. Skaven feel more comfortable when their possessions smell as they do, and marklng i an excellent way for them to imprcgnare their gear with their own inimitable scent. In facr, high-ranking Skaven apply [heir mine [0 their subordinates, who in turn apply theirs to their subordlaares, and so on and so forth.

Skaven also leave small marks behind them as rhey navel-One might expect this is done by kaven in order ro mark their territory; but the Ratmen in read leave these marks so thar they know where rhey have been. I[ is akin to leaving a trail of breaderu rubs SQ rney can; find [heir way back to their homes. In some cases, the kaven refrain from marking their paths. especially wheo they are arrernpring ro disguise their pre-smce.

NOSE ELEVATION

Body language plays a large role in Skaven communication. Posture, especially, is an indication of a Skaven's artirude rewards Iris I"eers, underlings, and superiors. Ir is Important for a Jesser Skaven [Q keep his nose below the level of his master's, This can result. in entire rooms of kaven who seemingly bob rheir heads at random because each IS attempting [Q give respect [Q those above him willie at the same time maimaining his superiority over those below his station.

SUPERSTITION

The Skaven ate a superstitious race with a wide variecy of credulous beliefs. Notabie amongst these is their hatred of

cars, of which they have an almost iusrincdvc fear. Cars of all colours are seen as signs of ill omen by the Skaven, and while cats are especially unlucky. When sacking a village or [Own, Skavec raiders will invariably hunt down and kill every car that they can find, throwing their corpses upon IlUge pyres after severing their rails, Dogs, especially those terriers cemmouly employed by rat catchers; arc given a similar treatmen t,

As with cars, birds of prey are viewed with displeasure by superstiriou Skaven. It is ofien whispered thar rhe siege of Mlddenheim in 1118 IC was doomed From the start after the shadow of a kestrel was seen Au tteri ng over the banlefield, Nocturnal birds of prey, such as owls, are parricularly despised.

Not all Skaven beliefS involve their fear of predators, For instance, legend bas it [hat an. entire army of kaven was once lured to its doom by a Human playing upon a ser of pipes.The story of the piper is laid ar banquets, and pipes are rradiricually shunned by Skaven musiclans a a result. Instead, me Skaven prefer bells of all sizes and tones when composing their own manner of dlseordanr musk.

Amongst signs of good fo.rrune are bars. Not only are bars denizens of the Under-Empire, bur Skaven lind their squeaking to be soorhing, Many notable S~ a ven keep bars as pea>, and they feed them on blood and Warpsron.e dust, These creatures have been known [0 grow [0 disproportionate sizes, especially me ones that are kept by Clan Moulder. The number three is also seen as" a lucky torn! by the Rarmen. Litters of three Skaven born [0 [he same breeder are considered [0 be blessed by me Horned Rat.

TEETH GRINDING

Skaven commonly grind their teeth rogerher, which creates a low; gratillg noise. Referred to as "bruxiug," rhe distinctive sound creared by this activity is akin [0 a rapid chartering.

kaven teem, especially their incisors, grew at an incredible rate, much llke those of normal rats, In order to wear their reerh down, the Rarmen must gnaw upon objects, such as bones or special tooth files. Lacking any objects ro chew upon, Skaven brux as required. Tooth grinding also occurs in times of stress, anda kaven who bruxes constantly is surely in a Hate of anxiety or fear.

VERBAL ABUSE OF MooONS

Ir is customary for Skaven leaders to give their underlings their due, typically ill the form of mild verbal abuse and chasrisernenr. In doing so, Skaven leaders reinforce me worthlessness of their servants in relation [Q themselves.

A Skaven who fails ro Insult his minions properly fails 00 rnainrain me proper chain of command. In many circles, failing to publicly slur one's subordinates is akin to m'aring rhern as equals. This is one Skaven custom that r.ardy goes unobserved.

WORSHIP OF THE HORNED RAT

Tbe Horned Rat is the supreme ged of rhe Skaven, an.d he brooks no other gods before him. Though not affiliared with [he lords of haes, the ! orned Rae is certainly a distanr relative of those foul, nebulous beings. He repr~en[s allrhings the Skaven are, or wish to be. Undying and eternally scheming; [his cunning deity parienriy awaits the day of the Grear Ascendancy, when his children will swarm across the face of the world, devouring it from within, Entropy is his manna; decay is his SLack in trade. All things must rot.figuraovcly or lirerally, and [he Homed Rat and his offspring are the worldly reality of [his simple rruth,

All Skaven revere the Homed Rat. None question his existence, Such re pc t is a product of fear, For [he Horned Rae eternal hl.Loger does not discriminare between his vermin children. and rhe dwellers of the. surface world. A devour Skaven utters small prayers to the Horned God rhroughour the day, .eac.h prayer being a verbal slice of hate, envy. or malice, These prayers -are answered often enough [Q give me Homed Rat v;ilidit:y in the minds of his adherents, even. ill cases when divine intervention i obviously not involved.

42

Chapter Ill. Skaven Society

Blood acrifice is common in the day to day wor hip of [he Horned Rat. The Skaven fear char if me Horned Rat's appedce is nor satisfied, be will devour his children instead. The form

of me sacdfice-va slave, Skaven GIl' orherwise-e-is not as lrnporranr as me sacrifice itself. There is no specific docmne mat governs who or what must be sacrinced. The sacrjnce itself is enf,lo-gb to Sate me Lord of Decay for a brief rime. Young victims are considered (Q be me most potent sacrifices for me Homed Rat, while che blood of rhe aged and infirm is less desirable.

The number of sacrifices made [Q me Horned Rat bv his followers varies can Iderably dependlng upon their ~eed.

In rimes of war the number of daily blood sacrifices can be staggering, sometimes numbering in [be thousands in the

great Skaven cities of Skavenbhgh. or Hell Pit. The Skaven

also increase tbe number of daily sacrifices if rhey fail 1:0

seCLLTe victory in battle, or suffer some ether embarrassing setback. The Grey Seers preach mar victory cannot be WOn i1' the Homed Rat is unsatisfied with his minions, and thus, any defeat or failw:e is a sign char he must be appeased.

Rcllgiou services are constandy held by [he Grey eel" in honour of their sinister god. All Skaven are expected to be pres~nt at a mas at least once a day, even though no formal records of arrendance are kept. Those who do 110[ attend services open themselves 1.1Jl ro all manner of criticism, Including accusatlons of heresy, treason, and atheism. In.£lmmdal Skaven warlords contract their OWll spiritual advisers from the ranks of the Grey Seers, and these priests fur hire give private services co their employers <U1d their households.

THE GREY SEERS

1he most devout of the Homed Rat's minions are known as che Grey eers.No ordinary Skavell can become one of the Horned Rat's chosen. These Skaven ate chosen at birth for

their sacred duty. each being marked by grey or white fur. Most disrurbingly, each Gn:), Seer is born with twO small. bony nubs uPQn his, head which eventually gww into twisting horns. The horns sec me Grey Seers apart from the rest of their kin,

"[he birtl ... of a Grey Seer is a rare and auspicious. occasien.

An infant so blessed is Immediately carried off to be raised ill seclusion by hi kind. uch an apprenticeship is a lorrg and dangerou course, and most Grey Se,et juveniles do not survive the ordeal. 'TIley must not only suffer dangerous training and rellgieus indoctrination, but they are also set one against the other, much as rheir mundane birthkin are. 1]1e stakes are indeed high, and me Homed Rat rewards those GreySeeEs

who are resourceful enough [Q carve their place within his priesthood's hierarchy.

Magical and sorcerous training are paramount to a Grey Seer's vecarion .. Each 15 an accomplished Wizard with access to destructive spells and terrifying powers. ueb arcane abiltrv is arrributed to the Seer' connection [Q hisgod, bur me energies mar power such spells are drawn !fom rhe eer himself. "These powers do nor originare with the Homed Rat. Instead, me Horned Rat gifrs his unholy children with an enhanced abilit:y to manifest such magic.

*If'')

eJ -*

*

Once they have completed rheirapprenrjceships and proven their ability to su rvive me cutthroar tactics of thei r brerh ren, yOWlg Grey Seers are allowed to administer their dark religion (0 the teeming Skaven hordes of the Under-Erupt reo They are expected (0 provide religious counsel to all of me Horned Rat' offspring, interpret signs and omens, and craft orne manner of unity berween the assorted clan. Their methods are varied, and their motives are often impure. Like echer Skaven, the Grey eers are cfien more interested in (heir individual successes, rather than the triumphs of mel] race as a whole.

The mere mention of their God e.ids the Grey Seers in mastering the politics of rhe Under-Empire. No clan dares

to oppose them, lest they be declared heretics and be hunted down by me test of their species. The obliq L1C threat of being dubbed a heretic by a Grey Seer bongs even the rnosr rebellious Skaven back iota line. Seers mar oppose one another rarely engage in direct conflict. Instead, [hey use [he Horned Ra~'s worshippers lIS pawns in a devious chess game mar can last for decades,

Grey Seer'S define status within [heir Qrganjz,1.tion through a cernbiaarion ef ascomplishmenr and senioury; As rbey rend

to be longer-llvedthao typical Skaven, age plays a substantial role in determining a Seer's standing wirhin his religious order. At the p.i nnaele of this ever-changtng pyramid, just below the Horned Rat himself stands the Seerlord. 111e eerlord is an enigmatic !igme, the supreme rdigiou.s leader of all kaven. His des to the Counci] of'Thlrteen are strong; indeed, it is rumoured one of the sears on the Counoil belongs (0 me Seerlord himself.

43

The Skaven are a people with along and proud tradition of government. They are ruled by me Council of Thirteen, an augllSt body of powerful Skavencomptised (iJf representatives of the most powerful Clans. Tlrough [hey are ostensibly unired by a common cause, the Council of Thirteen is fraught with infigbring, conspiracy, and betrayal. Add [he Grey Seers to this system of governrnen t, and th.ings become even more intriguing.

THE CoUNCIL OF THIRTEEN

'TIle Council of Thirceen is [he ruling body mar oversees all matters pertaining to che . kaven, from hatching terrible plots ro iniriating an offensive against one of the hated Human cities Oil the surface, 'The Council consists of me Warlords of [he four Grear Claus plus seven ether lesser Warlords. The Seer Lorddaims the rwelfih sear, and the Council reserves the thirteenth sear for the Homed Rat. No others are perruiued to sit in his place. To do 0 would be heresy, Though largely symbolic in nature, ic is said thar [he Horned Rile..; seat is occasionally taken by a shadowy figure wid, luminous green eyes. \'((herner [his is an avarar of me Horned Rat or merely a Warpstone-induced hallucination is unknown.

The Councilof Thirteen, the members of which are known individually 3S the Lards of Decay, unites the various Great and Lesser Claus under a single banner. While me Council holds sway over the entirety of th e Und e r-Empire, the reality of a unified Skaven nation has ¥I.'[ [0 be fully realized. If it were oar for the eonsrant squabbling between the various Skaven clans, [he GrflllL Ascendancy would have occurred millennia ago. Instead, Internecine fighting and bickering hold the Skaven back, much to the benefit of the Old Wmld.

Each of me Creaz Clans=-Eshin, Moulder, Pesnlens, and Skryre-s-are represented on the Council of Thirreen. lhough far .from united in common cause, these four clans are The wealthlest and mosr lnfluen rial of those char are represented. Togerher, they fo~m a powerful bloc mat can rarely, if ever, be defeated by me remaining Lesser Clans. Given me support of the Grey Seers and (purportedly) we Homed Rae, they form a powerful majoriry. The Lesser Clans often side with the Great Clans on important matters In order to protecr Oleic own interests, To anger [he Great Clans. much less the Grey eers, is to invite disaster.

Of the Lesser Clans rhar hold positions on me council, Clan Mors and Clan Skab are [he most powerful. Mors is me most recent addition to the Council, gaining a sear-merits defear of the now-defunct-Clan Rathe. Mors has grown exponentially in recent years, and threatens to rival the Grear Clans.lfWarlord Gnawdwell is careful, and choo es hIs barrles wisely, he may well lead Clan Mors From its scare as a Lesser Clan into a new Grear Clan, the first co have done so since Clan Pestilens joined the Under-Empire.

The remaining Lesser Oans-Elem, Skaar, Sleekir, kaul, and Verms--continue to live in "be ever-growing shadows of [he Great Clans. Their leaders oonsiscentlyfollow the parry line our

of (ear. "Ihei r warlords know all [DO well that mete are dozens, if nor hundreds, of orher lesser Clans who would rake any risk co gail1 a seat on [he Council of Thine en.

Sea t'S on the Council are gained in one of th ree way . The

fi est, and 1ll.0S[ common, method for galning a Council seat is [0 destroy a Clan mar possesses one. By rights, the seat of a vanquished Clan belongs co the victor as a spoil of war. Whemer the victor can maintain rhe seat ecce it has been taken is another rnarrer en tirely.

The second method involves an active challenge from another Clan which does 110[ already have a seat on the Council These challenges are rare, bur they do occasionally happen. The challenging Warlurd and his rival en we Council meet in single cornbar, to the death. The vlcror's Clan either gains or mainrains [he Council sear.

The final way co gain a Council, ear i to fill a vacant position. I n rimes of barrie, iris nor unheard of fa r Clans to be completely destroyed by non-Skaven feeces. In adler incidents, entire Clans fall victim ro plague .. Such incidents leave vacancies on rhe Council which must be filled in order to keep me Skaven governmenr funning smoorhly: Any Lesser Clan may pedtion for a place on we Council, and the. remaining Council members chaw lots to determine which clan is to receive the honour. 'Ihis rnerhod is completely randomized and. fair, of course, and is never tampered with.

The Council of Thirteen gather, in whole 01: in part, at least once a month, and sessions are occasionally called 011 a weekly basis, especially In times of war. The Council members discuss battle plans, important issues rhar face their race, and srra.egy. Policy also play all importanr part in me Council's discusslons, and alliances are often made or broken ill full view of the orher members. The unity of the Council remains, ar irs core, an illusion. The members are all able plotters, each one skilled

in consplracy, and their schemes are rarely favoutabje to their colleagues.

On Significant matters, [he Council members submit voces to determine an issue's outcome. Each member has a Single vote, and no one dan carries more aurhorirarive weighr than the "est ... at least, nor In theory. The rru rh of the muter is Ev from political equality, and the Lesser Clans are matched against one another by the Great Clan 0[1 issues or notable importance. Bribes and threats are exchanged, and ir .is these machinations thar tip the balance one way or the orher. In the case of des

me Horned Rat has dote swing vote. which is often interpreted by the Seerlord, In reality. this means the Crey Seers have two votes on the Council, but nope dare question the Seerlerd's ability to commune with me Horned God.

The majority of me Council's sears have been held by me same members for hundreds of years. These ancient Skaven are powerful indeed, their .llves increased tenfold by roul magic an.d Warpsrone. After 0 many centuries of plces and schemes, these elder Raunen are well versed in the arts oFsubterfuge, berrayal, and survival.

Chapter III: Skaven Society

THE FOUR GREAT CLANS

Of'rhe mulrirude of Skaven clans, four stand out from rile

rest. These Gmal Clans hold much of the power in. me Under-Empire, and each is [he equal. both militarily and economically; of dozens of lesser clans. From me stealthy assassins of Clan Eshin to rhe twisted creations of Clan Moulder, the Grea[ Clans each offer some as erto the Lords of Decay. These unique resources <continue to gU3.fantee mac [he Greae Clans remain in power for generations tocorne.

CLANlisHIN

Early in. the history of the Skaven, Clan Eshin stole away to the far East. Eshin, was thought ,0 have been lost for hundreds of years, but the Clan mysreriou ly returned ro Skavenblight

to offer its allegiance [0 the Lords of Decay The. rimespenr exploring me lands ef Nl ppon, Ind, and Cathay had served Eshin well, for rhe dan had gained ignlficanc training in the arts of stealth and assassination.

The assassins ofClan Eshln are rightly Feared by a.1l Skaven, They come silently, dispense deaeh with uncanny accuracy, and return to their warrens with their foes none the wiser. Their methods are seemingly supernarural, and rhe shadows appear [0 cling (Q them like spider webs. Rarely are their Iaces shown, for they hide them behind cowls and masks.

Clan Eshln is net merely a den of assassins. Because oE thei r stealth, thei r 1igb ters are also prized as spies and SCOUts. Eshin sells its services to me Wru:lords, offeriflg skirmishers and light HOOps thar em infiltrate the rear of an enemy's line to

scour enemy formations or (0 dispatch leaders, wizards, and other valuable assets. Eshia also maintains a powerful cadre of infarman ts ftom which they draw a grear deal of useful In to rmation,

Eshin is shrouded in mystery; much more so [han the other Grear Clans. Little is known about me dan's inner workings, and this icformarion is well-hidden [rom prying eyes ;J1)d ears. Skaven who learn roo much about me assassi ns have been known to wind up dead, or worse, which ensures thar the clan will sustain its secrecy in [be centuries to come.

Eshin's Motives

Infounarion is a prized commodity amongst Clan Eshins population, and secret are nor given away For free. lr would seem char Clan Eshin trives co increase irs own wealth and power in rhe Under-Empli:e by lending ,its services to anyone willing 1;0 pay their exorbitant prices .. They have yer [0 use

me secrets they have learrred fcr their own power bids, or to provide fals~ information to their clients for their awn benefit. The clan has simply worked irs way into [he good graces

of me Lords of Decay and continues [0 serve me Council unquestioningly. Whether rhis obedience will continue is a question that future generations tnusranswer, but fur the time being, Clan Eshin is virtually untouchable.

The Tactics of Clan Eshin

Clan Eshin is famed for canny stealth, for employing a variety of unusual and exotic weapons, and For irs ability [0 kill swiftly and efficiencly. Even rhc lowliest Clan Eshin warriors, rhe

ight Runners, have some rudimentary skill at subterfuge,

45

Chapter ill: Skaven Society

b<!ing able re move quickly and quietly to strike at the hearts of their enemies. "Ihose who survive and learn the greater techniques of [he Art of Silent Death are promoted to Currer Runners who can sneak behind enemy lines and slaughter enrire units of enemies. unseen and unheard.

Of all of Clan Eshirfs warriors, rhough, the Adept Assassin is the most feared and reviled. These Skaven are masters in all

of the techniques learned in disranr Cathay and bring to bear an incredihle array of fighting tech niques thar allow rhem [0 eclipse rhegrearesr Human killers. Using a hosr of weapons From rhe throwing star and blowgun rc the repeating crossbow and an arsenal of poisons, these dealers of death are blamed for rhe majority of suspicious murders in both Skaven and Dwarf socieries, nor [0 mention chose unrimely deaths in [he Human lands by [hose who do not deny the leaven menace.

Eshin-In Service to the Council

Over the cenruries ince weir rerum, Eshin has achieved a special place within the Council of Thirteen, using their talents co cow-and coral the lesser Clans and mainrain the authority and in:Ruence of the Great Clans. In effect, they act as [he secret police farce to rhe lords of Decay, the .metaphorlcal

poi oned' dagger in the hand of the Ccuncil. Their political reach has grown long. for they hold rhe power (0 call any Skaven forward as a heretic or a trai Ear. Evidence 0 such crimes is easily manufactured, and in many eases, it need not be fabricared at all, It is for precisely th is reason thar the ether clans avoid angering Clan Eshin, and indeed facilitate its invesrigarions without objection.

Clan Eshio also uses more direct methods to quiet oppo idon [0 the C6ul"H;iJ's authority . Pelltical murder is. common amcngst the Skaven, and Eshin exeels ar such activities as

11"0 other clancan. Countless deaths have been engineered

by & hins assassins in the name ef ehe Lenis of Decay, and entire clans have been dcsrroycd by their brothers after having been muck leaderless by a well-placed blade or poisoned dart. Thoagh Clan Eshin affer,s its services to other customers who have little or no affiliation to [he Council. it bas never been proven char the clan has participated in treasonous activity.

CLAN MOULDER

dan Moul der holds HeU Pitas their home and .lair, The mines of chis reernlng Skaven metropolis are rife with WaJpscone,

and it is this material that is used [0 such excellent effect in the clan's horrific work. The Master Moulders mel!'! Bern and bone like tlay, breeding or building beasts that can be used [0 bolster their armies.

Give,n their exposure [0 the same mutating Warpsmne they use in their expeeirnenr , [be Master Moulders are something more (or less) than typical Skaven, Stories are told of Skaven Mutants thar tly the banners of Clan Moulder. their bcdles warped, twisted, and armoured, surgically-altered er hideously transformed. The Master Moulders tinker with the anaromies of crearures ill rnuch the same Way that Clan Skryre's WarJodc Engineer fiddle with mechanical war machines and the

end results of these biological experiments are of tell JUSt

as terrifYing. Giant rat'S and Rar Ogres are JUSt cwo awful examples of Clan Moulder's ingenulry,

O[ only can the denizens of dan Moulder creare monsters well suited to w'arfa.re, they have also learned co control rhern, The Clans Packrnasters, wielding whips with exceptional skill, QUl drive Rat Swarms, Giant Rats, and Rat Ogres into the teeth of oncoming enemy formations where they can inB lcr rhe most damage. Olf [he bartlefield, the Packmasrers train dielr beasts to figh-r by pitcing them agalnsc one another. The skilled and strong survive, rhe weal, and wounded die.

Moulder's Motives

The mi sion of the Moulders is simple enough: to create, via surgery, breeding, or muration, the most effective biological killing machines imaginable. These beasts nor only swell the ranks ofClan Moulder's armies, bur are sold to other clans, where rhey act as pers, bodyguards, or front-line shock troops. Moulder's goals have nearly been realized, and they work toward the day when their creations stand at the pinnacle

of Skaven engineering. Indeed, [he respeccand awe the other Clans Ieel towards Clan Moulder is well-deserved.

Their twisted creations enhanced Moulder' prestige and influence in the Undcr-Ernpire, bur it is whispered amongsr we other Skaven that this Clan plots something else, somerhing hI" more dangerous :tOG sinister. Wharever it is, none €lUI say wirh authOrity, but [he sudden surge of new and [w:ifyingcrearlortS spilling OUt &om Hell Pit has more rhaa one Skaven Clan nervous.

The Tactics of Clan Moulder

BeaSTS figure prominently ie [he methods and suategies of Clan Moulder, The principle units in any of Moulder's armies are the Packmascers, who dlrecr hordes of Gi:Ulr Rats, Rat Ogres, and mutated Rar Swann agains[rliej[enemies. Cianrar warriers, the 1110 t common anragorust In many kaven armies are only Btl pplemen tary (Q th is Clan's host.

The beasts of O:UJ Moui der are.thei r call i ng cards. The Clan's menagerie of horrifyi ng creations is seemingly endless, and exhibits a wide vadery of mutated and surgically-alteted beasts. Of course, the creatures Moulder creates are descended from monsters rhar have been captured, either in the icy wastes of Kislev or in rhe foresdands of che Empire south of Hell Pir. Ai, a result. Moulder's Packmasters are quire adept ar capturing live prey:

Ir has been said chat each of Moulder's bioicgieal horrors

is created with a bullt-in failsafe thar prevents them fr,om harming members of their parent clan. 111 additioe, such creatures obey the Packmasrers and Master Moulders without quesrion, making them dangerous investmeurs for anyone who wishes to purchase one. hould a customer become an enemy, he had besr keep hls artearien focused on any Moulder-made pets thar he keeps,

Moulder-In Service to the Council

The Council of Thirreen sees Clan Moulder as a valuable rool. The beasts they crease are-valuable, indeed. Not only do Elley

Chapter ill: Skaven Society

possess b arrl eoel d prowess 0 fre n rim es unm a rch ed, b U I: they al s 0 inspire [error in the enemies of me Skaven, Hordes of Gianr Rats and packs of ravenous fun Ogres call cause a line of tmopS' to crumble even before they have made conract with them.

Moulder prides itself on the services it offers ro discerning

(nor to mention wealthy) Skaven Wallords,. Many of their creations am available for sale. and !:hey are proud ro effer custom designs made [Q order. The Council of Thirteen

benefits from such oprions, and nearly every Lord of Decay is the proud owner of at least one Rat Ogre. Two or three council members possess nightmarish creations rhsr few burthe Mauer Moulders have ever seen.

Although their skills are geared towards changiog bodies, the Master Moulders are quire adept in [he healing arts as well. With the aid of Warpswne salves, any wound can be healed and any body can be improved, The oldest members of the Council of Thirteen have survived to their extreme ages through liberal applications of Clan Moulder's alchemy.

CLAN l'EsTILENS

The plague-ridden monks of Clan Pesti lens emerged hom the Lusrrian rain foresrs centuries ago. Their initial contacts with me Under-Empire were less [han peaceful. but after-a time an accord was reached and Clan Pestilensbecame a productive segmem of [he Under-Empire. Riddled with disease and contagion, the Skaven of Clan Pesrilens are devout worshippers of the Homed Rat. 'Ihongh rhey recognize the Homed Rat's OTher attributes, rhey focus on his ability to create. control. and spread plagues.

After the dan's workers and cap rive labour are taken inro aCCOllJ] t, [he maj oriry of Clan Pesrilens' mill cary strengrh lies

111 irs Plague Monks. The Plague Monks are religious zealots dedicated to me worship of the Homed Rat. Their bodies are riddled With plague, and so used are they to pain that they barely fed it aoy longer, Combined with their religious fervour, this resistance to pain makes the Plague Monks incredibly capable combatants, eSFecially en masse.

Pestilens' Motives

The Plague Monks believe thar [he rest of their Skaven brothers have been misled by the Grey Seers. They feel rhar the liverage Ratman bas been blinded to what [hey profess (0 be the true face of the Homed Rat; namely; pestilence itself The dan's overriding goal is ro bring me Ten of the Under-Emplre into the fold, while avoiding declarations of heresy from the G.l:ey

eers. Appeasing the Grey Seers for thetime being is the only way to-succeed, In time, once.their victories have been secured and the test of the kaven dans have been won over, me Grey

eers, roo, will follow their example. or die.

Like the Grczy Seers, rhe Plague Monk ,1'.rie'Sts, ana Deacons of Clan Pestilens believe [he rime ef the Grear Ascendancy is fast approaching. Pesrilens' peculiar rwisr on this myrhology is mar the Horned Rat will only allow such a victory if the majority

of [he Under-Empire has convened to their form of worship. How else can one explain tile mi.lu[es wroughr time and time again by the bumbling campaIgns of the Lords ClIfDecayl

In the long run, Clan Pesrilens intends [0 decimate the populations of the Old \'Q'odd with a mixture of plague. pox, and brute force. Given their own unnarural reslsrance ro diseases, the Plague Deacons feel that once (he entire Skaven race has accepted the truth and become OBe wirh the illnesses they create, roral world congues[ is o Illy a short distance way.

The Tactics of ClanPestilens

The plagues of Clan Pesrilens kill insidiously, regardless of an enemy's anus or armour. They are quier weapons that do not cisk the lives of the near-immune Plague Monks thar spread them. 111e enemy even spreads the diseases For the Skaven, and provides breeding grounds for the plagues in the, Form of the poor, auitarion and hygiene in me majority of the Old World:S ciries, As an added bonus, diseases do not destroy structures. equipment. or other spoils of war.

Once the plaglies have been spread and allowed [Q do their work, the madness and resilience of the Clan's Plague Monks make the fighring Forces of Pestilen powerful foes on ally bardefield.Pormariens offrorhlng Plague MOIlk.~ are led i.mo battle by a line.of Censer Bearers, Skaven chosen (0 wield sacred plague censers against their foes. The Pestilens believe thar their enemies will either fau to the plague 01; will fall

to despair when their kin succumb, Even jf they survive the physical and men tal anguish rhar plague bri ngs, they-will be so weakened in body and spirit rhac they will easily faU before the vermin hordes,

One of Pesrilens' methods of spreading disease involves specially-bred rats, These Plague Rats are infected with <lny one of a number of diseases, and are then released lnro the ewers

47

Chapter ill: Skaven Society

and alle.yways of an Old World dry. Rats are a common sight in any ciry, and die Plague Rats @fClan Pesrilens seem no dlfferenr from alley rats to the casual observer. The)' creep on quiet feel into the homes and larders of che Old World, leaving behind diseased droppings and half-eaten foodsmffi.

Another tactic Pestilens uses to spread diseases involves the

use of prisoners. These unfortunate wretches are i:nfecred with a plague that is dow to manifest, Once infected, me Skaven release t:hem. \"I;Ihen chey make "their way back [Q their people, they become the unwitting killers of thousands of their own kind. By the time the symptoms are evident, it is far too lam.

Pestilens-ln Service to the Council

l?esdlCllsserves the Lord of Decay by desrroying [heir enemies wirh Fresh-brewed plagues the likes of which the Old Wmld has never seen. The Council Is all [00 happy ro acapt Pesdlens' aid in battle, as disease is a powerful weapon in anyone's arsenal. Not only are the Plague Lords capable of creadng new ailments, they are al 0 quire able [0 effordessly cure a number of diseases.

WbJJe the general consensus of Clan Pesrilens' members is that curing any sickness or disease is akin to blasphemy, [hey know mat now is nor [he best time to make such revelations known to their masters 011 the Council. The Lords of Decay can easily recognize. the value of Pesrilens' corrtribuuons co their war 1'£[0[[ , and rhey continue to enlist rheir aid as the end rimes approach ever closer.

CLANSKRYRE

Clan kryre holds sway in Skavenblighr, a teeming kaven rnecrcpolis considered by many [Q be the captcalof the Under-

Empire. Access to the ciry's pJenci_fuJ veins ofWarpstOTlc allows the Clan [Q expand upon the rechnologies for which ,hey "are renowned. The ciry reflects the nature of its kryre masters, being atypically mo-dem when compared talTIOST other Skaven senlernenrs.

Without a dsubr, Skryre is [he wealthiest and most powerful of aU the Great Clans. The Oan's suength rests on. artifice and s0rcery in equal measures, Much of their technology is geared towards war, mixing equal amounts of magic and Warpsrone to creareweapons unparalleled anywhere in rhe Old World. Fortunately for 'Clan Skryre's foes, their weapons are often as dangerous to the Skaven as mer are to their r,;.,gees ..

Because weapens are Skryre's stock in rrade, the c1au's other mechanical feats are easily overlooked. Skryre succeeded in creating many exciting devices, £rom me Warprail, connecting one end of (be Under-Empire to the other, [Q the Farsqueaker, a device allowing instant communication between Skaveo over grear distances. Indeed, much of rhe Under-Empire's mining is accomplished by way of kryre-rnanu&.cnrreclearrhmovers and rock drills.

The Clan's Warlock Engineers arc constandy researching new technologies. Skryre's experiments are just as likely to succeed as they are to fail, however. ofi:en with carastrophlc results. The Warlock Engineers fed that suchfallures are ro be expected, especially those riding On the curring edge of technology. The number of labourers, mechanics, and engineers that die as a result Dr this research is irrelevant when compared to the value of a successful experirnenr.

Skryre's Motives

CLan Skryre expands irs own power by augmenting its access [0 Items of high recbnclogy By delving into [lew areas of research and makinggreat discoveries, [he clan increases irs prestige am0ngsr it rivals. in addition, Skryre-manufacrured cquiprnenr provcn on the battlefield is often sold or leased to orher Clans, creadng a widespread reliance on Clan Skryre equipmenr, ensuring their pJace on ehe Council,

the Warlock Engineers of Clan Skryre an in no way ashamed of adapting and improving [he technologies of me other races. The warplock [ezzail is an example of a piece

of mundane equipment stolen by Skryre and perfected

with liberal amounts ofWarpsrone-laced iron and steel. Their heavier weapons, such as [he fading gun and warpfire thrower, resemble designs rhar were originally produced by Dwarf engineers in years long past. Though Skryre ingenuity is capable of grear invenrion and original design. it is als6' capable of modification as well.

The Tactics of Clan Skryre

Clan Skryre utilises its tech nological superiority to great advanrage on the banlefield, Though ClanSkryre relies 011 Clanrars to shoulder much of me military burden. cheir warriors are far berrer equipped man typical Clanrars of other lesser Clans, and their weapons are capable of destruction

on a massive scale. Heavyweapen teams using rading gllnS and warpfire throwers, while [he berter-rrained Clanrars are

equipped with warplock pisrols. Enemies are softened up by Poison Wind Clobadiers, specially-rrained Skavcn who fling poison gas-filled glass spheres into the ranks of their foes. Skaven snipers set up away from the from lines with their warplock jezzalls, where rhey pick off important targets at-will. Closer to the real of Skryre formations sit large cannons mat are capable oflaunchi:ng bolts of desuuodve warp lighrning, Serviced by numerous technicians and engineers, warplighting cannons are prene to exploding if they are improperly maintained,

Like all other Skaven dans, Skryre is willing make great sacrifices if it means mat they will achieve ultimate victory over their enemies. Firing a warp-lighting cannon, Or rarliug gun through their own troops in order 1:0 destroy-a powerful enemy or weapon is perfeccly aeceptahle ro Skryre's warlords.

Skryre-In Service to the Council

By supplying we Council ef Thlrreeu with infernal machines, Clan Skryre ensures its own position of power within the Under-Empire. Each member of [he Co 1,1.0 til is well aware

of kryre's value, and the Clan will never allow them to

forget it, New inventions and devices of war are constantly demonstrated to the Lords of Decay, aad rhe most promising ofthese receive funding &001 the rest of the Grear and Lesser Clans. Many victories have been achieved by the deeds of

the WarlockEngineers and their lackeys, who were in turn

su pporred by the inventions of Clan Skryre.

Other, less destructive, devices are also put ro use in the name @f the Skaven people as a whole. The Parsqueaker, for example, allows me Council ro communicate with its agents ill the field. ill addi cion, Skryre maintains me Warprail, a system of cracks and warp-powered transport cars wowing fast subterranean transport of troops and equipment. The powerful.machines [bat are used to mine tunnels and move rocks and soil away From rhe Under-Empire's byways are also Skryre designs. So long as Clan Skryre continues to supply tbe Under-Empire with valuable services and (somewhat) reliable weaponry, it shall remain the most powerful of the Grear Clans.

THE WARLORD CLANS

Most $kaven claim membership [Q one of the lesser Wallord Clans. There's no telling how many there are, but most believe they-Dumber In the hundreds. Rrvslry among these lesser Clans is Rerce and treachery is rarnpanr, A new clan can rlse and fall in a matter of days. Among these small factlons, there are a fewthar stand our from the rest, though even they pale before the might of the GreaL Clans. Though weaker; they do have representation on the Council of Thlrreen.

CLANFUM

Otten confused. with Clan Pesdlens, the Skaven of Clan Hem. are deeply invested in the arts of plague. They diJfer f~om. their far more powerful rivals in tha~ they lack the religious rrappings of the ptague Monks, though few other Skaven make the effort to notice or distinguish. die two clans. Clan Hem walks a dangerous road, knowing fujI well that Pesrilens

tolerates their existence and alsoknowing thgr it is JUSt a matter of time before Pestilens absorbs them into their sickened fold. Until this happens, Flem knows to follow its berress and always supports Pesdlens in all mar they do.

CLAN MORS

The Skaven of Clan Mors are considered (0 he upstarts by the Great Clans. Due to recent vicrories and prodiglous expansion, Clan Mors is very near to matching Clans Eshin, Pesrilens, Moulder, and even Skryre in sheer: power and inauence; Together, the four Grear Clans might easily crush Mors,nltu:;h as they have destroyed other upstart dans in the. past. Yet Mors conrinues [Q Haunt its power, and none are certain why the Crem Clans have failed ro acr as they are expected [0.

Warlord Gnawdwell, the mastermind behind Clan Mars' unbridled success and the unquestioned waster of the City of Pillars, now sics upon the Council of Thine en. His ruthless methods nave resulted in the deaths of many of hls rivals, as well as the outright destruction of at least six lesser Clans. With these rriumphs GnawdweU has increased the wealth and power oE Clan Mors [0 unprecedented levels. The Skaven of defeated Clans have increased Mors' military strength, not to mention irs labour force, and conquered strongholds across the UnderEmpire proudly By the their banner,

Rumours have spread mar the Grear Clam Live ill fear of Gnawdwells sinister reputation, Many grear Skaven have been struck down as a result of the warlord's schemes, -and there is no relling what he will do if he is forced to defend his clan's newfound prestige .. E"en if Cnawdwell hi mself were to be assassinated, anyone of a number of hls subordinates would likely rise EO usurp his posicion. Given the effectiveness of rhe dan's battle srraregies {Q date, irwould be foolish to assume it would crumble if Gnawdwell were killed,

The Skaven of Mors are uncharacteristically united as one,

and exhibit a loy,alry [Q rheis leaders unheard of in Skaven society; Even those Skaven who have been conscripted into MO!'s from less forrunate clans are 50011 heard voicing praises to Gnawdwell and his staff. None are certain if this loyalty is a resulr of sorcery most foul, as of y.etundiscovered drugs, or the product of something else mat .has yet (0 be discovered.

Mors' Motives

Like any Gf the 'Lesser Clans, Mars covers a place amongst me Great Clans. Warlord Gnawdwell bas made ir very clear char

He believes he is the one [Q lead all Skaven co their inevitable victory over the surface world and irs furless lnhabicanrs. Given his continued success and prowess in battle, perhaps he i~ correer,

The other dans are hesiranr to accede to his call for an invasion of the world above, citing char the rime is nor yer ripe for anomer invasion. G nawdwell dismisses such .reaso ns as pi wid excuses, but be his hesitant [0 throwaway his recently gained ascension co the Council of Thirteen. $0 be bides.his rime until his place is somewhat stronger ill the Council, He is instead content to rest on his laurels for the rime being, bailing in me

plenriful adoration oEltis ~roop .

The Tactics of Clan Mors

Clan.Mors employs a variety of techniques, from me tried

and [HIe waves of slaves and Clanrars ro the mysterious assassinations employed by rheirtrained killers. Perhaps their stroagd, asset is their use of poisons, for wl'lien mey are

famous throughout the Under-Empire, Still, the ramics of

Clan Mars are hard ro predict becausetheir greatesr strength

is [heir rapid adaprarion to [he situation at hand. Unlike the CrearClans, they-are 110[ heavily invested in or beholden to anyone particular method of war or weapon of choke and that versatility is a notable asset among die ofrea single-minded Skaven,

In barde, Murs has proven to be unrelenting; brueal, and merciless in the extreme. Forces mar are pur to field against rhe Clan are ofien wiped 0lI( (0 the lase lowly Clanrat. Clans mar have faced Mors' troops

in the past suffered from poor morale. largdy due to the merciless reputation of their foes. By comparison, units char surrender srraighe away are shown quarter and isolated unril their clan has been soundly defeated, at whieb time they are lncerporared into the ranks of Mars' Clanrar slaves.

Skaven of defeated Clans who show promise are elevated to positions of responsibility alter rhey have proved rhernselves to be rrusrworrhy, Gnawdwell feels only those Skaven who are deserving of servitude be consigned

(0 the ranks of the slaves, while the e with something to offer Clan 'Mors should be used appropriately. While betrayal and backsrabbing are still ever-present factors within me ranks of Clan MOfS, [hey are viewed as methods for deserving Skaven

to advance [he agenda of the Clan as a whole. For example. [he murder of a superior that actively hinders the success of Clan Mors is akin to treason. If the shift in power is beneficia! ro che Clan, however, the murderer is lauded as a true patrior,

Mors-In Service to the Council

Clan Mors has yet to prove irs value to the Lords of Decay, though Ir will indeed have an opportunity to do so ifWaclord Gnawdwell has his way. The Council irself is nor yet sure how to best employ Clan Mors,and discussions between individual Council members have been heated on this topic for some time. It is no secret that Skryre wishes to see Mots destroyed,

II. sendmenr Clan Moulder has dismissed on many occasions. Pestilens, which-was in a similar position to Mots' at one time, has yet to make a dererminarion. Eshin, of course, keeps its own counsel regarding the upstart dan.

Of [he Lords of Decay; it seems only ehe Seer Lord has lent his support to Clan Mors. The unity exhibited by Mors' members, which. is an obvious factor in j ss recent successes, intrigues the Siler Lord, 1 f [he methods by which G nawdwell guaramees

(he loyalty and stability of his Clanmares can be discovered, then perhaps [he Grea[ Ascendancy will become reality. Afrer

all, it is me dury of the Grey eers to keep the Skaven united as a race, and GnawdwelJ has obviously seen some success in keeping his own forces in line.

CLAN SKAB

Regarded as some e£ [he finest warriors in Skaven society, Clan Skab Clanrats are ofren leased our 10 other Clans f0r service, Even more important, Clan Skab eends to produce more Black

kaven than other Clans, and so they have an inordinately high number of Storm vermin in their ranks, These expertly trained warriors are ofien sold to other Clans to act as guards for Chieftains and Warlords, or are claimed by the Grey Seers for similar purposes.

CLAN SKAAR

Clan Skaar is known for irs extensive mining operations. Skilled at ferreting our lodes of Waxpsro ne , they often work closely with Clan

kryre and Clan Moulder, supplying each ClaN with the precious substance. [t's rumoured that Clan Skaar plays a dangerous game, pitting Moulder and Skryre against

each orher, Most Skaven believe [hat this rnilirarily weak Clan wilJ eventually be destroyed, and their mining operations claimed, by Skryre, Moulder, or horh.

CLAN SKAUL

I[ isn't enrirely dear [0 anyonewby Clan Skaul maintains irs pesltien on the Council ef Thirteen. 'The dan's population is composed almost entirely of hedonists and addicts who persist in making extensive use of Warp-laced narcotics. One answer for their success m.ay lie ill me fact than several Grey Seers have been born ro Skaul's breeders within me past ~ve decades. Some postulate that me drug use of [he clan's rank and file rnay have somednng [0 do with [he increased number oFGrey Seers being born there.

CLAN SLEEKIT

Many of the byways of [he Under-Empire are linked by subterranean rivers and eas. While most Skaven avoid these regions for the dark things they are said to conrain, Clan

leeklr sees these routes as a commodity. Expert boatmen and navigaeors, me Skaven of Clan Sleekir are said to have explored me dirn reaches of the world below, and harbour terrible secrets abour what olh€( Lhings lurk in (he sunless world.

CLANVERMS

Clan Verms is a pitiful Ciao, shunned and reviled by all others, even those lesser dans who cannot hope to compere with its rather limited pGwer. Verms has affinity with insects, bugs,

and other types of vermin. Many species of over-sized. insects, spiders, and the like have been attributed to the ezperiments of Clan Verms.

so

Chapter IV: Skaven Settlements

"Can't you hear them? The scratching? The skittering? The squeeking? They are under our very feet!"

-BaRT THE MAD

industry of any kind, much less for their skill as homemakers and city builders, The truth is far more terrifying, especially considering clue the world of the Skaven, which they refer ro as weir Under-Empire, is a sinister reflection of rhe surface world.

The Skaven are nor me simple Cham spawn they are believed to be. Most people imagine the Skaven squaceing in bare caves, cursing [be world above [hem while ehey gnaw bones and scheme incessantly. They are rarely given credit for

The Skaven are a subterranean race. They live their whole Lives beneath the ground (except when barding to cenquerche surface), and their Under-Empire encompasses

an area much larger than the surface ef the Old World.

Far freD'! an unsophisticated species, Skaven an; master architects who skilfully excavate their collective homes within [he depths of we earth. Rather than using natural caverns exclusively, as some might expect, the Ratrnen create rheir own environmen rs beneath rhe earrh, Th is is not co say char natural caverns are never usilized by che Skavee, but those thar are have often seen some.modilication to a greater or lesser degrees.

GEOGRAPHY OF THE UNDER-EMPIRE

The Under-Empire stretches from one end oftbe Old World to the next. Its bo rders are, not defined in the same sense

as those en rhe surface. The £a._e[ that the Skiven have been sighted in places as far away as Araby and Cathayindicates rhey are indeed a widely-travelled race. Skaven do nor willingly travel under (he open sky of [he surface. world, and Instead use a variety of underground avenues when moving

great distances. These passageways have been millennia in [he making, and the most widely-used of [hem have felt rhe plrter-parter of billions of Skaven feet over [he centuries of ehelr use.

As wirh any surface ciry, the size of a Skaven settlement depends on [he amounts and rypes of resources readily available there. Warpsrone, especially, is a prized commodity to the Skaven, and cities in proximity to plentiful Warpsrone veins

are often the largest and mOSI populous in the Under-Empire. Besides {his precious ere, a settlement's aceess 1'0 foodstuffs

and fresh water are also lmporcanr, Other commodities,

such as easy availability of captive labour, also playa role ill determinlng how prosperous a Skaven settlement is.

The Ska ven's Under-Em p ire closely mirrors [he' surface world in most respects. Nearly every single unsuspecting surface city has some manner of Skaven warren nestled beneath its streets. While the size of the city does not always retlecr rhe population of the Skaveu serrlcmerrc beneath it, me largest Human burgs Tend [Q have correspondingly lars€: Skaven, populations, The Ratrnen are able rogain easy access [0

these cities through me use of man-made runnel sysrems and sewers, which the Skaven cleverly combine with their own networks of passageways.

51

however, they can become both fasr and, tireless. The Musk of War Or other varianc scents, combined with the cruel whips of raskmasrers and a group in riner, allow them to cover great distances wirh little or no res r,

IV: Skaven Settlements

CLIMATE IN THE UNDER-EMPIRE

Weather in the Under-Empire is more or Jess constant, Ternpetarure i IJ me caverns, tunnels, and passages of me Skaven world is aifectGd by a grear many things: humidity depth" available water sources, wind, and sources of geothermal hear, A vast cavern that teems wi rh Skaven is much warmer man it would be otherwise, simply due co (he body heat that they generate. The Skavcn, having adapted to I ife underground, are typically comfortable under most circumstances, [hough. like men. they are not overly fond of extremes of either hear or cold.

HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS:

JOINING THE UNDEREMPIRE TOGETHER

The Skaven utilize a complex series of tunnels, passageways, and caverns to navigate between setrlemenrs, as wdJ as between destinations on rhe surface. By &C, the most common mode of transportation used by Skaven is shank's mare; in other words. their own rwo feet. As individuals, Skaven's inherenr laziness and constant hunger keep them from moving about very much. When pan of a large group determined [0 reach a goal,

Another mode ef transportation used by the Skaven is the Warp rail. Designed by the Warlock Engineers of elate Skryre, dle Warp rail is a [min driven along a system ofiron ralls by a massive warp-engine, Though. still experimental, [he Warprail has been proven [0 be the fastest mode of transpnrtarion

in the Under-Empire-that is, when ir works. Given their consrrucdcn, the warp-engine powering me Warptail are prone to overheating and experience constant problems with pressure regulation. If not properly maintained, warp-engines can explode. causing-a catastrophic loss of life as well as the inevitable cave-in of the tunnel chey travel through.

If not for These minor setbacks, [be Warprail would be

me pre-eminent farm of travel between major Sksven settlements. A:s it is, [here are only a handlul of Warp rail engines available, and nee all of them axe in working order at any given time. In addition, Warprail engines require tracks laid down in stable runnels, and thus rar [hes€ only exist between major Skaven cities, such as Skavenbllghc, Hell Pit, and ehe City of Pillars. As Clan Skryre continues to perfect its warp-engine technology, additional tunnels an.d tracks will doubtless be Implemented, allowing the Skaven [0 move large bodies of troops and supplies between their dries with unprecedented ease.

52

53

Chapter IV: Skaven Settlements

SKAVEN SETTLEMENTS

Each Skaven serdemenr is difl:erent, reflecting the personality of die clan or clans rhar call it home. Given mat rhe Skaven psyche is invariably linked to Chaos, no two Skaven cities are builr.ro me same specification. Some sprawl out over a great distance, while others are compressed areas of intertwining runnels and passageways ~har loop and twist over and beneath one another Iike knotted and tangled fopes.

Skaven settlements are defined by their sizes and populations, much like Human cities, towns, and villages arc. The largest settlements an; unsurprlsingly, referred to as cities. Skaven cities are sprawling complexes mar are, in large parr, sdfrsufficiem. These metropolises can easily accommodate from 10,000 to 50,000 Skaven, rho ugh popalation varies depending OJ] me current political climate. A Skaven city efien bus up to twice the number of residents as its mirror Human: dty on me surface; in rimes of grear plenty, me population may be much, mum hjgh&.

The next most populous Skaven serrlernenrs are referred to as warrens, Warrens are the equivalenr of Human towns in size and cornposiclon. While not completely self-sufficient, they are typically able to support themselves so long as they can trade with other settlements for products they do nor produce. The population ofa Skaven warren can range from 1,000 co 10,000 Skaven strong.

The smallest of the Skaven communities are commonly called nests. Nests are akin to villages and hamlets on me surface

world, and they are often closely tied [0 a nearby ciry, warren, or stronghold, Nests are rarely horne to less man 50 individuals, with the largest of them providing shelter to as many as 1,000 Rannen. Nesrs are CO n:JJ1l only aIliliared with a single Clan orWarlom.

Though they are not sertlernenrs in the strictest sense of the word, Skaven strongholds deserve some mendon. Like me keeps, cas des, and citadels of the surface world, mongholds are easily defensible dwelli ngs often 01.,( the centre of Skaven eommuniries. They are veritable forrressf\S with carefully resrricted access points and brutally effective defences. U'they ate nor incorporated inco a warren or dry; strongholds are rradirionally affiliated with client nests chat provide labour, revenue, and conscripts.

SKAVEN ARCHITECTURE

Skaven cities are massive, with a perplexing number of structures packed into a small place. However, SkaVI:U are notgrear builders: mer see things in (he short-term, slapping rogether make-shift hovels rhar serve the moment, Skaven would ramer steal a home- than build a new one. And if a neighbouring home cannot be stolen, the spiteful Rarrnen have no compunctions against burrowing beneath i,1; to sink 1,.

Skaven cities therefore tend toward ramshackle collections of debris and detritus. Skaven use wood, dung. and mud as their materials, TI,e only ehing mat keeps these buildings from fulling down is the skill of me slaves mat shore up and rebuild them. Few structures have foundacions, and if so, it's because a Human or Dwarf builder rhoughr Hi) Incorporate one. As a result of rhis

shoddyarchiresrure, fire is a big threat, and buildings collapse ail the time. Style depends solely on me workers. Humans and Dwarfs bring their views and talents CO some buildings, our such structures are reserved for the important Skaven, On occasion, rhese buildings might: be built on sensible lines, along paths or even roads, but again, such quality stems Irom slave ingenuity' and never Skaven forerheughc. Even the better buildings are rarely finished, given the lifo:: expectancy of slaves and even

me Skaven themselves, so most settlements are collection of incomplete and plundered strucrures.

The only exceptions ro these slapdash ana dangerously precarious structures are the temples of the Horned Rat. Osrenrarious amounts ofWarprokens, slaves, and materials

are granted by status-seeking Skaven wan ring [Q curry favoW' with the Grey-Seers. These temples usually have a rower and bell-me [Ower has thirteen storeys, which represcms &he Council. Beneath rhe temple is a labyrinrh, which is used as a divinarory mol as well as a method of initlation for Apprentices as well as an excellent mode for executing undesi cables, The maze is sacred to (he Horned Rar, and those that can find their way through it are deemed to have been guided by me will of me Skaven God. Those who become lost or die in one of the m<l-l1Y rraps have clearly been abandoned by their God and are rhus worthy of death. Needless to say, there are many rraps, shifting walls/ and hidden passa,g-es in these mazes.

'TIle Skaven, as a species, are hot overly fond of right angles. Instead, [hey prefer runnels chat are smooth, rounded, and almost organic in appearance_ Depending on me purpose of

a particular passage, its size can show a great deal ofvariation, Tunnels designed [0 accornmodare Individual Skaven are

oFten no larger man live feet in diameter. Given me compact and lithe physiology of the Skaven, this provides more man enough room for them to manoeuvre. Large rhorougbfares, on the other band, are designed with vehicles and large crowds in mind, and can be nearly any size at all.

'The mining of tunnels and passages is relegared [0 captive labour, be it Skaven, Human, Elf, or Dwarf Excavation techniques are, by and large, simple. Shovels, picks, trowels, and other hand cools are used to dislodge and move

large amounts of earrh, stone, and rock in order [0 create passageways. Larger Skaven settlements skilfully incorporate massive natural caverns, in addition [0 Skaven-made funnels and chambers. Craftsmen (or crafisrars, sometimes) assist

in finishing the runnels, ensuring that [hey are stable and visually pleasing, Of course, [he aesthetics of me Skaven often leave a lot: to be desired, especially by The standards of other subterranean races such as Dwarfs.

Since tbeyspendxnuch of their lives in proxLmity co their brocdmares, Skaven are not accustomed co privacy As such, doors are an uncommon sight in me Under-Empire. Many highranking and influential Skaven seal their personal chambers with. wooden or scone doors, or with iron bars and ga1:es, in order

to keep unwanted trespassers and assassinsout, Peivacy is not considered a luxury available to the likes of the masses.Jiowever. The Skaven also have little use for windows. so they are rarely;

if ever, incorporated, The only exception to chis is in defensive fornficauons, such as arrow slits-and murder holes.

The Lords of Decay have mer to discuss the siruatiorr, with Pesriiens' representative being conspicuously absent. Someone must be sent [0 negotiate a truce between Eshin and Pesrilens before their war causes destruction in me Skaven capiral,

N: Skaven Settlements

The sleeping areas used by the Skaven are communal in nature, and are ofren dictated by clan affiliatiM. Skaven construct bedding and nesting areas om of anyth ing mat they can scrounge, nom moulde.ring maw, to animal skins and furs, to old clothes and discarded cloth, Position in these communal sleeping-areas is largely dependent on an individual Skavcn's social stares, with the most influenrral slecping closer to me rop of the pile.

Areas wirh high concentrations of Skaven living in them smell very sErongly of rae urine. This is due in part to the lin Skaven leave small markings wherever they go. Skaven nave little difficulry idendf}ring rheir own marks by scenr, as well as the marks made by [heir kin and associates. Skaven have 110 wncep[ of privies. jusr abour any SpOt of open ground that is even sligbtly our of me way is an appropriate place for a Skaven EO relieve himself.

SKA VEN CoMMUNITIES OF NOTE

Th~ Under-Empire is vast, and nearly every clry; village,

or town harbours a corresponding kaven community Populations vaqr, bur it is a general rule of thumb (hat (he Skaven population of a city, warren, or nesr will be nearly twice rhar of its mirror serrlemenr em rhc surface. In times of great plenty, Skaven populations can grow exponentially, triggering both inrerneciue warfare and upward expansion.

Each cernrnunity de railed herein is given a broad overview, including such ehtngs as location, population, industries, and clan affiliations. A capsule description is also provided, along with a brief adventure hoek. Most of these adventure hooks are designed with Skave.n parties in mind, bur they can be easily modified for use with a group of 110n- kaven protagonist.

BLACK CHASM

.Location: A series of jagged eli ffi- and caverns in Breronnia. Popu.lation: 25.000

Industries of Note: None. The strongholds of Black Chasm produce little of worth, though several artefaccs of Clan Pesrilens have been recovered in. recent years.

Major Clan Affiliathms: Eshin (35%). Pesrilens (34%).

Moulder (18%), Flem (13%)

Black Chasm has been a site of strife between the Skaven since Clan Pestilens returned from it long sojourn to Luseria, It was here rhar Pestilens' ancestors made one of their earliest homes. Their ancienr forebears carved Out a series of strongholds within me limitless depths of me Black Chasm itself. The assassi 115 of Clan Eshin claimed [he abandoned srrengholds for themselves, and refused to return comrol of them to Pestilens upon the dan's return from me west. In modem rimes, Pestilens relies on irs relarionship with Clan Flem as it: fights [Q regain irs losr legacies, while. Clan Eshin has been employing the Packmasrers of Clan Moulder to berrer cement irs posirion.

Advenrure Hook

'Ihe figbrmg between Eshin and Pestilens has spilled our of Black Chasm; and threatens to boil over into Skavenblighr.

THE CITY OF Pu..r..ARs

Location: WitHin dle rums of Karak Eight-Peaks in the southern World's Edge Mountains.

Population: 95,000

Industries of Note: Clan Mol'S mines the rich. Warps-tone veins surrounding the City of Pillars, us.ing me proceeds to expand irs military might. The clan also trains mercenary rroGps, which it offer to the other clans at competitive prices.

Major Clan Affiliations: Mars

The Cio/ of Pillars is an i rnpressive rnerropolis currently held by (be Skaven of Clan Mars. In centuries pas" the Cicy of Pillars was me Dwarf.srronghold of Karak Eight-Peaks. The Dwarfs who lived and worked there were assaulted by 6mh me Rarrnen and me Greenskin races, causing [hem co retreat from their fallen ci radel, In the years si nee, the City of Pill ars has changed hands fr0rn Clan to Clan. Clan Mars now occupies me dry, which is knO\VO for irs massive subterranean vaults with their expertly-crafred pillars,

Adventure Hook

Clan Mars, in conjunctlon with a mgu€! Warl(j)ck Engineer, is working on a secret weapon. None are cerrs in what Mars plans to LIse rhe weapon for, but Clan Skryre is desperate to gather more informadon. Tf possible, Skryre would also like [0 see the weapon stolen, or nr least destroyed, along with the traiCOFOUS W.1.clock Engineer.

HELL PIT

Locatien: Far [Q the DOUb: of Praag, in the Ian d of Kislev. Population: L 15,000

Industries of Note: Clan Moulder breeds all manner of monsters 111 me breeding plts mat give rhis Skaven metropolis irs name: Hell PLf. These beasrs are puc through a tigorous selection process (0 weed our [he weak. 1h05e that remain are trained and used to fight Clan Moulder's war. or are sold or leased to other clans to aid in their OWI1 conquests. Warpsrone production is also one of Hell Pit's primary industries, even [hough most ofwhac is mined is funnelled inre Clan Moulder's breeding programs.

Major Clan Affiliations: Moulder

Clan Moulder calls Hell Pit its home. The air of the dry carries a constant mixture. of srrange sounds and miasmas risi ug from the breeding pits of the Master Moulders, Of casual interest [0 visitors is me Warp Menagerie. which provides an impressive, albeit horrific. view of Cl1lJ1 Moulder's accomplishrnenrs in the arts of breeding, rnutatien, and surgical alteration. The growls, cries, and shrieks of rhe creatures in rhe Menagerfe can" be heard frOUl one end of the city [6 me other, and when mixed with the cacophony of the breeding phs. [be noise is sanity-blasting.

55

Chapter IV: Skaven Settlements

Adventure Hook

abereurs breeched [he cages of'the WaFt:> Menagerie, unleashing dozens of radically mutated and altered beasts onto me very streets of Hell Pit. TIle monsters have spread QU[, each wreaking a wide swath of destruction throughout the dry. Semeone needs [Q rein the monsters in before they reach the breeding pits, where dley are sure co disrupt the work of the.

Master Moulders. .

MOUSIILON

Location: Beneath the ruined clry of Mouslllce in Breronnia. Population: 55,000

Industries of Note: Clan Pestilens holds sway in Mousillon, and the city aces as a testing ground for some of the dan's newest and most virulent plagues. Rich veins of Warpstone are mined here, as well.

Major Clan Affiliations: Pestilens (930/0). Hem (7%)

The Brerormian dty of Mousillon has been under a terrible curse fer many. !Dany years. It was struck by a powerful earthquake long ago, and has .never full recovered. The HUmaJ1 ciry continues to sink slowly deeper imo the stagnant earth that surrounds it, even as plagues from below seep

up to rake their toll on the few residents [bar remain. Clan Pesrilens has since taken up residence in the sewers and tunnels beneath Mousillon, even as rhe city [bar Once lay above them gradually sinks to merge with their own horrible metropolis. Vying for resources are a great number of Ghouls, purportedly led by the Cannibal Knight, who presides over hi]; court in a rwlsted mockeryof the. lands above. For more information on Mousillon, be sure to check our Baron)1 oftbe Damned.

Adventure Hook

A new plague has come to severalvillages and towns j.lJs.r

ours' de of Mousillon, which has attracted the arrenrien of

the local. authorities. The presence of the Skaven beneath Mousillon rnusr remain a secret, lest rhe Bretonnians destroy the Ratmen once and for all. Resourceful characters may be .able to use this to their advsnrage.especially if they have made themselves enernie of Pes til ens.

QUEEKWELL

Location: Ease of theTllean city of Pavon a, beneath the Apuccini Mountains.

Population: 450

Industries of Note: Small-scale mlnlng of Warpsro.ne. iron,

and precious metals.

Major Clan A:ffiliations: Clan kaar

Queekwell is a nest near Clan Skaar's serongbold.ln Pavona,

It is a small mining village, rypical ofany nest that claims allegiance to a nearbysrronghold Or warren. The sleepy; small(Own feeling of Queekwell is often inrerru pted by occasional earthquakes mat seem [0 be centred in the mines themselves. ~Totkers often meet their ends ill cave-ins and the like, b ur Clan Skaar demands thar the mining continues.

Adventure Hook

Someclling has been uncovered by Clan kaat's Claarats, deep in the mines o.fAPLll;cini. Clan Skaar is particularly cautious about tipping iTS hand, and has revealed lirrle of the nature

of irs discovery. RI1JJ1eucs abound that they have revealed anything from a hidden cache of Chaos artefacts co a rich vein of Warps tone that lay previously undiscovered. Some suspecr thar whatever Clan Skaar has uncovered relates (0 the region's persistent earthquakes.

SKA VENBUGHT

Location: Rumoured to be beneath rhe Blighted Marshes. Population. 250,000

Industries of Note: Warpsmne mining is one of Skavenblighrs largest industries, making ir one of the richest Sksven cities in the Under-Empire. Besides mining, Clan

Skryre maintains one of its largest engineering colleges in kavenblight, and many of [he dan's inventions

are designed and built here. The GreySeeI;s call Skavenhlight their home. and they exert an inordinate amount of conrrol over me entire metropolis.

Major Clan AfIiliatioDs: Skryre (25%), Moulder (22%), Eshin

(18%), Pescilens (16%). Mors ell %), others (8%)

Thanks to me dominance of Clan Skryre, Skavenblighr js choked with mechanical devices or all kinds. Public ceansportariou, while dangerous and unreliable, is one of the city~ most impressive features. Street lamps, powered by WarjJscolle-laced gasses, lend the place a eonstanr eldritch glow. The streets, passages, and byways of the Skaven capital are censranrly swollen with warm

bodies, and me" crowding of me populace is nearing me paine where it will-soon become unbearable.

Adventure Hook

A _pawediLi artefact, the Hamed One's Claw, has been stolen hom the Grey Seers in Skavenblight. No one knows for certain who took the Claw, but the signs point to someone with inrimare knowledge. of the Grey Seers' compound. Is [he perpeuaror one of Clan Eshins Night Runners, as some suspect, or is it one of the Grey Seers themselves?

UNDER .. ALTOORF

Location: Benearh the Imperial capital of Alrdorf Population: 120,000, including captive labourers

Industries of Note: Altdorf's high Human popularion allows for sbducrions in the seedier parts of town, making

the dey a prime spar for harvesting caprive labour, Skaven dans in Under-Alrdorf especially Clan Skaul, supplement weir economics by rrading drugs to Human merchants and smugglers. The grafi and political excess

-SAMILI

The warren beneath me Imperial (Own of Del ben, midway between AJrdorf and Mlddenheirn, is a hub of activity f01" Racmen on the move. Even without: its prominence as a wa)' station, however, Delberz is a valuable source of food, slaves, and material, all rolen from the Human city's docks above. A complete accounting of Delberz is given here, along with major sigbts and places of note,

UNDER--DELBERZ

Location: Beneath rhe Imperial [Own of Delberz. Population: 10,000

Industries of Note: The recent influx of refugees has made Delberz a prime source of slaves, captive labour, and living subjects for Clan Moulder's experimenration. As the largest sertlement along the subterranean by,vay between Middenheim and Alrdorf Delberz is also a source of food and rest for Skaverr travellers of all clans,

Major Clan Affiliations: Moulder (19%), Eshia (16%), Skryre (14%), Mors (11%), Pestilens (11%). Skab (10%), Sleekit (lO%), Skaar (6%), others (3% combined).

Under-Delberz is a major stoppingpoim for Sksven who are [ravelling between Middenheim and Alrdorf It is also a major military smging point for the troops of dans Moulder, Skryre, Mors, and Skab, Given irs blg!:t eoncensrarion of Clanrats and Srormvennin, Under-Delberz is seldom a peaceful place. for the Skaven rhar are permanently housed there. Clan, Skryre and Clan Mars, especially; have recently taken [Q ngnting in the streets, and amy the intervention of the Grey Seers has kept the violence from est.a1ating Lora open dan warfare.

Adventure Hook

A rash of brutal murders amongst chI" Human refugees ofDelberz is being attributed roa.huge, .rat-like creature that comes Out co

in the Empire's capital allow rhe Skaven (Q employ, blackmail, and control human politicians quite easily.

Major Clan AfIiliations: ,k:ryre (33%), £shin (28%), Moulder (15%), Pestilens (12%), Skabb (G%). Mors (4%),Skaul (3%)

The city beneath Alrdolfboasts one of the largest Skaven populations ill the Under-Empire, bur the lack of available Warpstone ensuresthat it will never rival Skaven blight as [he Skaven's greatest city. Control of Under-Alrdorf is split between several clans, with klyre holding the lion's share of power. For .more information on Altdorf see Spire, of Alttioifand SigJ'/"utl'! Heirs.

Adventure Hook

A prominent statesman's opponenrs are leaving Altdorf's political arena, and those that dent are often £ollild dead. if they are found ar all, Clues point to a mysterious informant who meers with the statesman on a regular basis. Could this informant be one of the mysrerjOtl5 Racmen, and what will rhe sratesrnan Sb co keep his secret nom his political rivals and peers?

-

hum after dark. Most likely a Rat Ogre, the beasr is liable to attract unwanted attention [Q the Skaven senlemenr ifiris caugbt or killed by [OWn guardsmen, mercenaries, or adventurers.

Mall)' of rhe settlement's native burrows have been appropriated to serve as quaners for Clanrars mat are passing !'brough. In periods of overcrowding, whkb is most or the time, troops from different clans are housed together in the same burrows. The Council of Elders does its best to keep from housing hostile units with one anomer; bur such things do occur from time (0 time,

The Squeak-Kill Burrows are typically overcrowded, defiled,

and painted with Skaven leavings. Hundreds of Skaven uoops are fOrced to sleep atop one anomer in grear, reeking putrescent plies. Dung and muck are rampant here, and the filth is [}'Pkally crushed under (00[ until it is completely mixed with rhe sofi dirt and mud at the chambers' Boors. TIle 10wJjeS~ Skaven Clanrars are forced [0 sleep atOp this mire and beneath me other Skaven, acting as.lrving mattresses and pillows for their superiors.

BREEDING PITs

As with most Skaven corn rnuni ties, the most heavily guarded areas in Under-Delberz are irs breeding pits, rhe lairs of the female Skaven, whose sole purpose are Co spa.wn endless Iirreas of Skaven. The runnels and chambers are constantly patrolled by [he warren's rnilirla. Breeding females can oruy be accessed by those Skaven who are strong and aHluenr enough to do so, as well as those few males who are allowed [0 husband, The halls and chambers of'Under-Delberz' Breeding Pits are quiet and dark. and nor quite as 61th)' as the rest of me warren .. Th,is has more to do with the area's lessened f-oor rraflic man with any efforr toward sanitation on the parr of the Skaven,

56

57

IV: Skaven Settlements

'The Raewives, as they are known, are selected from Skaven who are tGO weak 'CO 6ght or perform hard labour, but who show a predilecrien for rhe healing arts and me appiicadon of narcotics. Each is emasculated prior ro being aU owed. wirbin. the Breeding Pits, which prevents them from raking advantage of their nearness to breeding females. Being made into one

of "the cut" is certainly no honour and is feared more [han becoming a slave.

MAsTER-LEADERNESTS

Every Clan with some manner of lnfluence in Under-Delberz is-allowed to-staff a Master-Leader Nescwithin the town, Small embassies of a sort they are almost like small strongholds or bunkers, each one accorded co its respective Clan as if ir were tbar Clap's property: The legation burrows are constructed diiferendy·froni one another, but d1ey are all of similar size and eapaciry Clan dignitaries are expected co stay within the Clan

esrs, as opposed re either the Squeak-Kill Burrows or the Thlngs-Place,

Great Clan Master-Leader Nests

Each of the Grcat Clans staffs a permanent Great Clan M3S[tlCLeader Nest in Under-Delbcrz, and each location reflects the values and aesthetics of the group. These are beavily guarded by Stermvermin.and Clanrats, who happily butcher anyone-they don'e recognise.

Clan :Eshin's Master-Leader Nest is subdued and dimly lit. NonEshin are not permitted to enter on pain of death. 'There are no visible sentries guarding the enrranee, but mar is no indication that security is nor present. On the contrary, Clan Eshins guards are never seen if rhey are successful. even. when rhey are killing an intruder, At least one Assassin dwells within £Shin's MasterLeader Nest, bur he is only seen when he desires it.

The Master-Leader Nest of Clan .Moulder is most conspicuous for irs guards: a pair of large, aggressive, and dim-witted Rat Ogres. 1I1<:5e beasts guard the legation's entrance. secured to the chamber's walls by several thin chains. Anyone who anempts entrance into Moulder's Master-Leader Nest is at fisk of being torn to pieces by the two creatures unless they are escorted by a cecegnlzed representative of Clan Moulder.

Like Clan Eshins Master-Leader Nest, the legation of Clan Pesrilens seems to lack living security of any kind. Despite this seeming dsfencelessoesa, Pesrllens' faci1i des are. rarely visited by anyone but Plague Monks and the orher diseased members of the clan. Fear of disease is the largest.reason for the lack of visirors, and the horrid stench rhae emanates fro-m the MasterLeader Nest's chambers does nothing [Q divest potential guCSES of rheir anxieties,

Of the Crear Clans' Master-Leader Nests, Clan Skryre's is

the most Visually Inspl ri ng. A great arc of .green warp ene~gy, $eemingly, drawn from within the legation itsele crackles continuously berween rwo poles mat are set above the /iciJiry'S' doors. while chittering Skryre engineers carne and goat aU hours. Unwelcome guests have been known ro be turned into piles of ash for their trespasses, making die light show that much more intimidating,

Warlord Clan Master-Leader Nests

Only four of the Warlord Clans have secured enough in AuenGe in Under-Delberz to warranr their own Master-Leader Nests. Specifically, these-are CIaJ1s Mars, kaar, Skab, and Sleekit, Compared ro the Master-Leader Nests afforded to the Great Clans, the legadons of the Warlord Clans arc ramshackle and tiny. Their sraffi are correspondingly small, and the amenities are few and far between. Other Warlord Clans are not permitted tlil sta1f Master-Leader Nests within Delberz, partly because there are 110 facilities currently available Ior them to do so. However, any Warl0rd Clan willing [Q bribe the Council of Elders sufficiently can secure i~ own Master-Leader Nest.

ann MOJ:S has recently acquired a Master-Leader Nest in Under-Delberz, financed by the Clan's recent financial and martial victories. Ir is perhaps rhe largest of the Warlord Clan Master-Leader Nests in. Under-Delberz, though rhe exrenr of irs construction is known only to Mots' leadership. Mors keeps several visible guards at the entrance, as much to intimidate rroublemaksrs as to maintain its vislbiliry as a martial power.

Much of the mining and excavation in and around UnderDelberz is associated with Clan Skaar, which gives me Clan mordnfl.uence in Uader-Delberz than irs percenrageof the population might suggcs,. The secrets of the do/above are well-known to Skaar~ administrators. and the Clan is said to continuously build secret entrances and runnels that connect to the [Own's most secure chambers.

Like MOJ:s, Clan Skab keeps a squad of highly-trained. black-furred Srormvermin on scaff within its Master-Leader Nest. These brutes accost aoyane passing; and have earned a repuraeion for senseless bruraliry, Few Skaven knowingly pass very-dose (0 Clan Sbb's Iegarien unless they have official business with [he clan, and this seems to suit die dan's elders.

Because Sleekir maintains a large contingent of 'river. rats' in the ciry of Under-Delberz, the clan has been accorded a tiny Masu:r-Leader Nest near the docks. Exhibiting none of me security, eirherexpressed or implied, of the other Masterleader Nests, Clan Sleekit's is more like a Skaven import/ Clf("OH company. For a price, Sleekit's boats can be leased and its crews hired to transport anyone or anything to just about anywhere ill the Under-Empire that connects [0 a warerwsy

The eommen districts. otherwise known as the Dreg Pile. are home to. Skaven workers who are citizens of Under-Del berz, Regardless of their respective dam, rhe eontraen Skasen of UndercDelberz. are the ones that keep the warren's economy booming. Though it may indeed be a niilirary staging area, Skaven civilians are predominant in the town's population, making me Dreg Pile one ofthe largest dismicrs,

Though the Dreg Pile exhibits no specific architectural quirks, and to all eyes appears ro be a typical Skaven burg, it is nonetheless well-censrrucred, The scene of feculence reflects the values and markings of its thousands of residents, giving them comfort for all its defilement. The streets are narrow ani! paved with rough cobblestones. Skaven merchants setup tables and

Chapter IV: Skaven Settlements

THE WARR.EN OF UNDER. ... DELBER.Z

F:a.OM THE DESK OF SIGO BENETELE, MAGISTER OF THE LIGHT OIlDER

ryou.'t~, 111r.th fa.uli .£orr.d !DUD (JOn. diE.

r) Compare ._----" for HM; secure ==-._

l) Contaer VK to corifirnt FR.'s claims; r Five Proofs of Non .. Aerhyria to C0unter his J) .Research life and influences of Leiber. Ref: LO.n. ... OU

4) Send agenrs IO invesrigare Watch Reports! 'cloaked man' wh{) was shor and vanished near Caravan J weeks ago. There is a possible connection to von Siert's story here.

58

Chapter IV: Skaven Settlements

*l(l)

eJ *

*

c9figh C!horisteJ:

'WIf l1~ast;r once told me: "GBI!IVRJ'l! the Grp wllo bell!"S gifts . c7vQrv. g knon: wllat he meant.

.'1 r;cei!Jl!d the I!lIci?5ed artifacrsfrom CiJlt(llrkus GFiscill!l: a <iiWa,9.lster qf SOIllI! reputation in the .GlTf @rdll': ~ made some vague remarks about GBeasflllI!fI of the city: and tltat IIII' sholiid lool! illfO !it IVas clear that lie hnen) sOrlll!tiling.

. to divulge co IIII' exacttp whar.

"CmiJlniinu some if" iht! mar/lings were blasphemous tol/gues

Are these Wee cir;y distri.crs?

dots on. ~.map ~'

jjjlh1~ffHtf!J' -. ua.d",er" Nests /' 47~

are situated in rhe Wa.rren. 2 ( j •

7. Big Sqruak IJ, HOI"fled .Rar Tem.ple 7

8. High Council 14. Slave Pens

9. 5ka.ar Dreg Pile Ij. Moulder Dreg Pile

10. The Wheel r6. Skryre Dreg Pile

II. Skab Dreg Pile 17. WheLp Pirs

13. Pestilms Dreg Pile 18. Breeding Pits

A.I'.g" ", .... 1. Ugh'. Ilwr< will b. 1)".., ....

59

IV: Skaven Settlements

hawk [heir .ruerchandise both day and nlghr, Dead end alleys are widespread. with many cul-de-sacs serving as makeshift housing.

Typical living conditions fOJ: the citizens ofUnde.r-Delberz

are based first on dan, and secondly on family. Birthkin rend

[0 stick rogerher, nesting with one another throughout their relatively short lives. 'TIle Commons is subdivided into rough districts based upon dan predominance in the area. Conditions are often peaceful, even between members of competing clans, bus relationships often become strained dLLfjng times of War. Riots are net at all UJlCOlI1IllOIl during such periods.

MOST HIGH GRAND CoUNClL

111e Most High Grand Council consists of 11 leaders who are elected from.amengsr the most venerable and wise Skaven in Under-Delherz, Most High Grand Council elections are not public, and.areinstead held behind dosed doors. 111e specifics of the-ir procedures are unknown, bur involve a vast amounr of corrup cion, graft, and underhanded cheming. Elections are held whenever a Couucilmernber dies or vanishes. an event which is all roo common. The Mosr High Grand Council majority is affilia"tcd with Clan Moulder, and [her-e is no other Clan that dominates rhe proceedings [Q [he same exrenr,

The chambers are adjacent to rhe Big Squeak. The rang, low balcony protruding inro the Big Squeak serves me elders as

an elevated podium where [bey preside over matters of great irnpertance. Bodyguards of all kinds are a familiar sigbc in

and around the Council and <lac], elder keeps at lease TWO

on retainer at anyone time. Bodyguards and security are not permined [Q enter the Most High Grand Council chambers during deliberation, however, and it is 110 surprise that heated debates an: the most comrnon catalysts fat an elder's death,

Outside of the Master-Leader Nests of the Great dans and dle breedi I'lg pits, the Most High Grand Council is perhaps me single most well-protected and secure structure in all of Under-Delbers, The entrances and exi ts are secured by rusted. iron gates, and tile Clanrars of me warren militia parrol me halls conrlnueusiy in small groups, Thegares are rarely opened to anyone unless they are members of the Council or delegares from me Master-Leader Nests, Anyone who is caught within the Most High Grand Council chambers withour cause is executed on IDe spor,

The docks. extend along [he banks of the River Black, which mirrors the movements of the River Delb on the surface.

Clan Sleekir conrrols the docks •. and they manage to do a fair amounr of business ferrying goods and individuals up and down the river. There are always several boars and skiffs moored at the wharves, most of them barely sea-worthy. The facr chat SJeekic's boarrnen can sail such rickety craft is testament to

their skill with oar, paddle, and pole.

The stone wharves that make up Undec-Delberzs docks are old, crumbling, and worn down by centuries of running warer; They glOW shorter and shorter each year as the River Black consumes diem, The air is fresher near the docks, stirred by a.moist; cool breeze char follows we waterway in its sourhern course. Blind fish, as well as owe r unknown things, swim in the rivet's currents, sometimes splashing ar the surface.in a Hash of white scales.

BIG SQUFAK

The Big queak is the grear rown squa.re of Under-Delberz.

00 most days, rhe Big Squeak is merely a gathering place for Skaven in their normal comings and goings. Newsqueakers, the town crlersofUnrier-Delberz, scurry amongst Ute omnipresent crowds, preading Information, rumours, and g0ssip by word of mouth. Thefi is a constant threat, as are bearings and the occasional brawl as Skaven contend with one. another for starus and even up 01d scores.

When civic announcements TIlUSt be made, the Big Squeak 1. where they are given. Other civic events, the most common of which are executions, are also performed in the Big Squeak. The Most High Grand Council oversees many of these events from its balcony, which is raised above the rabble char scurries and creeps about the Big Squeak. A well, which is no more chan a wide, dark pit, dominates" the area's centre. Few Skaven dare venture [00 dose, and there are rumours chat horrible, slimy things Jive within irs depths.

SKRAWLMARKET

The Skrawl Marker is little mare than a series of twistil1g, maze-like runnels punctuated by numerous stalls, shops, and awnings. Skaven merchants hawk their wares, which .include everythlngfroru Warpsmne incense [0 HalBing 'pets' to

lowly Skaven slaves. Nearly anything can be bought within the Marker, for a price. Though it lacks the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the larger markers in Under-Alrdorf Skavenblighr; or Hell Pit, Under-Delberzs marketplace is still an excellent source forgoods and services.

61

Chapter N: Skaven Settlements

M0S[ bfUnder-Delberzs citizens perform rheirdailyshopping here, haggling in high-pitched squeaks and shrill, obscenitylaced verbiage. Even clan affiliation is run enough to stem the constant squabbling that breaks out within the market. To both the Skavel1- who sell their wares and to those rhar buy them, haggling is yer snodrer form of survival and one-upmanship, Getting me better part of any deal, either by bargaining or blatant larceny. is a noble goal [Q [he kaven,

THING--l<.n.r.ER HEAnQ UAR TERS

The headquarters of the warren Clanrars is adjacent [0 rhe Most High Grand Council. Aside From its administrative offices, this area also houses [he warren's dungeons and barracks. The structure is in poor repair, having sUffered from a: series of riots several years ago which resulted in tb:c violent deaths of ruesr of the militia's Clanrars, Things have improved fOr the militia's rrcops since then, but [he vandalism remains behind as a stark reminder thar the warren's citizens possess their own form of aurhoriry;

The miliria is a shoddily-trained and ill-disciplined fighting force, yer it performs its duties admirably despite its many failings. Few of rhe warren's citizens willingly face the Clanrats on an individual basis, which makes achieving a position within the 'Thing-Killers a lofty goal fur any Skaven who wants to garner some cheap authority. Although such a COLLrse suits many Skaven [hugs, me morraliry rare in the rniliria is esrraordinarily high due <0 a combination ofin-lighting and angry citizen gangs.

WHELPPm

These dark and squalid chambers, located near me breeding pits, are where Skaven young are raised. There are few amenities here, for Skaven children are considered to be worthless unless they ate special in some W<J.y. Black-furred Scormvermin or whire-furred Grey Seers are taken from their birthkin at once, while their unremarkable siblings are relegated to the confines of the nurseries until mer are old enough [0 feod for themselves.

When a male Skaven is bern, he and his birrhki n are shuttled to the whelp PIts by the Rarwives, There they are separated based 00 [heir farber's clan and placed ineo creches, Fed on blood-laced milk, they grow fast and are quick to learn the ways of survival amongst their peers. Many do nor survive, and their bodies ate devoured hungrily bytheir brothers.

SLAVE PENs

A large contingent of slaves and captive labourers are considered [Q be the property of the city as a whole" and

ace used by the aurhorlries in anyway that suits [hem.

Civic projects are of elm built on the blood and toil of these unfortunates, who spend whar Iirtle free time they are permitted resring in Under-Ddberz's slave pens. The slave pens are perhaps the vilest portion ofthe dey. Even me Skaven, who are normally .acclimatized to refuse and excrement, have a hard time: .ignodng rhe nauseating stench of the hundreds of captives kept penned.in and unwashed for weeks and months at a time.

Slaves are caged in large groups, regardless of their species. Skaven slaves are rreared no differently chan-are Dwarf, Elf,

or Human slaves. Overseers, armed with whips and cudgels, maintain a draconian order over the entire area. Even so, deaths in the slave pens due to .mistreatment are a rarity. as each slave repl'esems at lease serne miniscule investment of time and Warp Tokens. Ir is far more common for slaves to be worked to death than ro be killed by an overseer's beating,

Tr:MPLE OF THE HORNED RAT

As in mosr ether Under-Empire settlements, me Skaven of Under-Delberz fervently worship me Horned Rat. Ir is no surprise that the Temple of the Horned Rat is €Ine of the largest and most mlposing structures in the cemmuniry The premises are maintained by the Grey Seers and rheir enmlLEage. Prayer services are held ccnstantly, and consist-of sermons, sacrifices, and vulgar displays of wilep magic char are designed, [0 keep the populace in line.

Both the interior and exterior "Walls of [he temple are adorned with strips of jagged metal, shards of black glass,

and Warf'stone-tinged effigies. The spires climb high. andthe tallest of these is ripped with a large bel] that is rung upon the thlrteerrth hour each day. While elite guards and Rat Ogres are constantly visible within the confines of the temple. the Grey Seers and their magic represent the single greatest threat to intruders. No one is certain how many Grey Seers call the temple their home, though me [Oral is probably dose to a dozen, all rold.

The Grey Seers spend much of their time administering 0

the splrirual welfare of the warren's citizens. They wander [he streets alene.or in small groups, searching for anyone who

is obviously ac.rmg out against rhe will of the Horned God. Violators are captured and returned [0 the rem pie for cleansing. The cleansing procedure varies depending on the. severity of

the perperraror's religious crimes. In many cases, heretic are judged harshly and end upon the Homed Rae's altar before a til rongof chan ring adherents.

SLAVE- TIDNGS- PLACE

The Slave-Things-Place is where travellers and irinerants can find a. place co res c. This is so rneci Illes easier said than do ne, as the best SPOtS are almosr always Eaken, and fights to claim [hem are conseanrly breaking our. Privacy, in rhe form of common rooms and (he occasional secluded den, call be bought for the right price. Hostels, which provide semipermanent housing, are also in high. demand. Food of all

ki rids can be purchased .l n the transien ( disrricr at nearly any time of the nighr or day.

The central road in the lave- Things-Place loops in from Under-Delberz's north gare, making a wide sweep of the area before rerurning co the gate. ReferIed co as the Wheel by the ci.tizenry, this avenue is where caravans from the far ends of the Under- Empire come. to offload their wares. Trading .here

is even more cutthroat than ids in the warrens market. The militia hils to patrol [he Slave-Things-Place, preferring to leave the foreigners to their own devices.

IV: Skaven Settlements

W. ;cr. b. ands al"l"m. e. essenrialr.:omPQ. nenc o.f Sbve. n Fo.r'ces. Each warbandis made up of several different types

of unirs mal work in unison to cornplere wharever military objecnve is assigned ro them, To create arandomwarband, wJ1 ldlO times. on Table 5-2: Random Skaven Units, To generaIE individual Skaven encounters, JUSt roll once. See Old WOJ'I:d B~1tifJr;; and Appen~ S:nupJe Skaven Characters for derails,

SAMPLE SKA YEN W ARBAND

What follows is a sample Warban:d generated using Table 5~2:

Random Skaven Units,

Skrink's Verminous, Horde

Warlord Skrink has assembled a small Wafband in order to wipe out: a neighbouring clan's S'tf'ODgllold. He bas enllseed seours from ClanEshin ro probe hisenemys defence$. He has also hired

one 0fCla:n Mors'expcriencooatmck teams CO provide his own as.~ult team with much-needed baek-up, Mosr of the \Xl;1rlord's

Warpstom:, however, was "pemon the coup de grace: .one of Clan Moulder's nel.vy assauk reams, backed up by a M(lSoct Moulder and his entourage, With such a selection OftooOpSlit his fingmips, he finds th'e prospect oHosing 00 be ali bUI unthinkable,

The exact type and number of units in Skrink's Horde- are as (oHews:

Skaven Assaulr Team (1 Clawleader, 7 Srormvermin) S.bven w'1rrlor Band 1 (1 Clawleader, z- Srotmverrnin, L2

Clanrars)

Shveu Warrior Band 2 (1 Clawleaaer, 2 SrGrm:venniJl,. 9 Clanrars)

Clan Esbill: Scouts (2 Gutter Runners,S Night Runners) Clan Mors; Attack Team (1 Clawleader; 8 Srormve[Jnin, 6 Clanrars)

Clan Moulder: Heavy Assault Team (2 Packrnascers, 4 Rat Ogres, 8 Clanrars)

Clan Moulder: Master Moulder and Entourage (1 Master Moulder, 1 Packrnasrer, 2 Rat Ogres, 8 Stormvermln, and 6 Clanrars)

TABLE 5-2: RANDoM SKA YEN UNITS

Number Encountered

t Clan Chieftain,L Clawleaders, 1 Grey Seer; LdlO Stcnnvertnin I Grey Seer, 3 A

I Clawleader. 2d 10: Stormvermin

~--------~------~--

1 Skirmisher, ldlO Clanrars

1 Clawleader, 2 Stormverrnin, Ldl 0 Clanrats 1 Oanrars, 3dl0 Slaves

29~30 Clan Eshin: Assasslnarion, Team 1 Master Assassin, 2 Gutter Runners, I d 10 Night RUt1.llerS

31-37 Clan Eshin: SCGutS 2 Gutter Runners, 1dl012 Night Runners

------_ ...

3&--44 Clan Eshin: Fast Attack Squad ldlO Gutter Runners

----~-

45--51 Clan Mors: Anack Team 1 Clawleacler, IdlOI2 Srormvermlu, IdlO+5 Clanrars

------------- -----~

52-56 Clan Mars: Sneaks uno Skavell Thieves

Clan Moulder: Hea AssaultTeam 2 Packrnasrers, 4 Rat 0 res, IdlO Giant Rats

------------~--~----~--~------~----------------------~

Clan Moulder: Master Moulder and J Master Moulder. 1 Packrnaster, 2 Rar Ogres,

Entourage 1 d 10 Srormvermin, I dID Clanrars

Clan Moulder: .Rar Pack 2 Packrnasters, 2dIO GiMt Rats

Clan Pestilens: Censer Bearers 2 Censer Bearer-s, 1 dlO 'Pb,gue Monks

------..,

Clan Pescilens: PlagtIt' Monks 2d 10 PIa ue MOllks

Clan Pesrilens: PI;IgUe Priest-and 1 Plague Priest,.2 Plague Deacens, 2 Censer Bearers,

Entourage izio PhgueMonks

Clan Sl\:ryn:: Hea Weapons Team 2 Skirmishers, Id l O Clanrats

I d 1 0 Ski rmisaers

IdlO Skirmishers

-----~~

I Warlock Engineer, 4 Scormvertriin, ld 10 Skirmishers

Roll Encounter Type

-----------

01 Shven Commander and Entourage

Q2 Grey Seer and Eruourage

---

(J3~08 SkaVIlD A:ssauJrTC2m

09--1 5 Sksven Scours

---~

16--22' Skaven Warri.or.'!

63--64

65-71 72-77 78--84- 8S~86

99

00

Clan Sktyre: Warlock Engineer and En ooillage

62

Chapter IV: Skaven Settlements

CUSTOM SKAVEN CLANS

Wilile warbands may be the lifeblood of any kaven aJ:my,

they are still controlled by large Skaven Clans.LJ1W;: are only four Great Clans, bur there are literally thousands of Lesser, or WadDed. Clans ill the Under-Empire. It Is beyond ehe scope of any volume to name and derail each of die Warlord Clans, so a number of [abies have been provided to allow you ro build one of your own by providing the essenrial building blocks.

Roll on the following tables in order. and record your results as you go.

CLANSIZE

Every Clan is> made IIp ofa number of individuals. A Clan's popularioo gives a general idea of irs p!'lwer and influence within Skaven society. Smaller Clans, with less than a thousand members, are typically snuggling to survive. while larger Clans, which may encompass hundreds of thousands of Skaven, are always looking for less powerful clans to feed upon.

To determine a clan's size, roll on Table 5-3: Clan Size. To deremnine the Clan's estimated population, roll the dice as indicated by me entry that you've generated.

CLAN lNFtUENCE

Each of me .many Warlo~d Clans has a certain amount of influence and. respect in me Under-Empire. To determine how the clan stands in rhe eyes of irs peel's, ro1l0J1 Table 5-4:

Clan Influence. Clans with less than 10,000 members take a -I penalty to rolls on this table, while dans with more chan 100,000 members add a +1 bonus to rolls on this table.

Clan influence call. change radically depending on the clan's actions, population, arrd repuration. There are no hard and fast rules for determining a shifrin a clansinfluence, and the Game Master isthe final arbiter ofs.u_ch thi ngs.

'The following describe the effecrs of IT clan's ul.auCllGe.

None: This clan has no Standing within Skaven sociery, and Is nor even known, of by rnesc of us peers. Perhaps the clan was reeemly f01:111.ed, or was previously losr ro rhe Under-Empire, only ro be rediscovered.

Shunned. This dan is actively spumed and ridiculed

by its peers. Due ro some past transgression, or because of a broad racial srer.eorype, this clan is seen as beneath rep roach .. The other Wad 0 rd Clans never admi [ ro dealing with [his clan, unless rhey mean to destroy it out of hand,

Low: This dan's standing in me eyes of the kaven is low. The clan is net well-respeemd, and is seen as Iirrle more than a potential target of opporruniry, The oilier Warlord Clans quierly watch this dan, Waiting-for a chance ro sttike and strip it of it holdings.

Moderat.e: This dan'S" standing within Skaven society is abour average. The clan is treated with cautious respecr

TABLE 5-3: CLAN SIZE

5-7 8-9 10

Clan Population

-----

IOO-COOO Skaven (ldIO xJQOJ

___ 1...;,;.000-10,000 Skaven (ldlD l( I,OOO..;.,) _ ___' 10,000-100.000 Skaven (ldJ 0 x 10,000) 100,000-1,000.000 s.kaven (1 d lOx 100,000) 1,000,000+ Skaveo narc x 100,ODO + 1,000,000)

Roll Result
] or less .Ncne; All bur extinct
2-3 Shunned
~5 Low
6-8 Moderate
9 High
10 or more Excellent by irs peers, ehcugh any display of weakness on irs pa:rr doubtless wiJI cause its stariding co diminish lmrnensely

High: This clan's sranding within Skaven society is high. Most of the Warlord ClaDS view them it respect, and they envy irs perceived prestige.

El cellene This dan's sranding within Skaven society is only exceeded by [hose Warlord Clans that have sears on the Council of Thirreen, AU Warlord Clanstreat the clan with fawnin,g respecr. hoping to avoid irs wrath ifl'her cannot instead cultivate irs favour.

CLAN SETTLEMENTS

in addi [ion co irs size and standi ng, a clan is also [udged based on the number of settlements it controls, Most clans have

ar least a single stronghold to its name, though some of the weakest have no holdings TO speak of 'Ihese sad few cling to life in whatever kaven serrlemencs allow them to rake root. To derermine me number of setdemenrs rhar a clan conrrols, roll on Table 5-5: Clan Sertlements, Apply rhe following rnodlfiers based on rhe clan's Influence: None -4, Shunned -2, Low -1, Moderate +0. High + 1, Excellent +2.

1]]( following describe (he effects of a clan's seeslemenrs, Vagabonds: This dan is one of the few vagabond dans; [hat is. Warlord Clans with no settlements to speak of. They wander me Under-Empire endlessly in nomadic groups, and. are generally despised by their peers.

No Holdings: This dan is one of me rare few char has no holdings whatsoever in the Under-Empire. The clan population is scarcered throughour the settlements of the other clans.

IV: Skaven Settlements

TABLE 5-5: CLAN SETTLEMENIS

3--4 One Holding

--~.~~~--------~

"- ~_~;...7------ ... M;;,;;od,;;;:.es;;;;.;r H.91din

8~9 Rich Holdings

Va:stHol~ TABLE 5-6: CLAN TRAITS

1 Besnal
Berserket
.'3 Charming .
4 Diseased
5
Martial
SWiJt The followlng desciihe the ·effects 0La. dan's traits.

Bestial: This dan trains, modifies, and u;til4es liV~ng creatures forwar or induscrx. "lli:.e.se Skaven gain a T 5% bQ[lus (Q Animal Care and Animal Trnjning tests.

Berserker. MeJllbers of this dan can enter -a bloody rage. These Sbv,m gain me FrenzyTilenc. . ~

Charming; Members of this clan are gQ0dat games of lnnigue and deception, These Skaven gain' me Schemer Talent.

Diseased; This dan is particularly attuned to' disease. pestilence. and plague, These Skaven gain tile Resistance to Disease Talent.

Intelligent: Members oflhis dan are particularly intelligent. These Skavert gain the SavVy Talent.

Magil.:al1y Attuned: "Ibis dan is well-known for its members' abiliw to harness rnagical power. These Skaven gain me Aerhydc Artunernenr Talent.

• Martial: Thls clan is particularly adept ar military manoeuvres, strategy, and tactics, These Skaven gain me Warcior Born Talent.

Swift: The Skaven of this dan are incredibly quick on their feet. These.Skaven gain me Pleet Foored Talent.

Technological: Members of tbis clan can meld sorcery and engineering into rerrlble.ardfice.These Skaven gain

Trade (Engineering), .

Waxped: This clan is known for its heavy exposure to Warpsrone. These Skaven gain a random mutation.

SAMPLE SKAVEN CLAN

Presented .here is a-sample Skaven dan, generated tlSing the tables in this chapcer,

Clan Vecrab

Clan Name: Vec:r:ab

Clan Population: 4,OQO S.kiven Clan InRllenCe:. Low

Clan. Settlements: Few holdings, 1 Stronghold, 2 nests Clan Ihlent: Martial

Clan Vect:ab is one of the. smaller W~Lord Clans. Though if lacks the respect of itspeers, Vecrab manages.to maintain its own small slice of the Under-Empire through

sheer f0rce of arrasIndeed, tire dan is made

up of born warriors, and even the Slaves fiillng

ia; ranks are of'above average skill in fighring. Regardless of its members' bacde ptowe_ss, Clan Vecrab's days:are surely numbered unless i.r can secure a more ssable position within Skaven

society.

One HoLding: This clan possesses a single stronghold, from which it controls iaio nests.

Modest Holdings:, This dan possesses ar least one stronghold, and. controls 2d 1 a nests. Tn addition. me elan has eontrel of at least one moderately-sized warren.

Rim Holdings, This dan pnSSelises a well-established and defensible srrcngholdas well as a number of nests :rna ldIO warrens within the local area. Additionally, it has some measure mf power in at leasr one major Skaven dty.

V~t HoJd:ings:. This dan possesses muluple strongholds and associated nests, as well as 2cil 0 warrens. Members of [his dan have influence In the

local governments of several major Skaven cities,

CLAN TALENTS

Nearly every dan has something to set it apaft from Its peers. In many cases, this is some manner of.speeialry or talent tharrhe clan has evolvedover rime, When generatinga random dan, roll or choose a resulr on TabJe 5-6:

Clan Traits.

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

_VAg~ ~~

"I'm. not sure what those things were, but they fought like

d "

cornere ... err ...

-JOSEF ScHNEmLING, MERCENARY

"Kill~kill, quiclc--quick!" -SKAVEN BATTLE CRY

Warfare is all- integral part of the Skaven psyche. They must wage Wales, or else they risk me starvation of their entire race. 1l.1e:irlI11l3CC feeu.ndlry demands ir, as tbey breed

qu ickly and wi th abandon. As me warrens and nests of [he Under-Empire geow ever more crowded with these loathsome Rarmen, me musk of battle grows ever stronger in [heir nostrils. In such times, [he Skavenbeceme aggressive, snapping at one another in rage without any provocation.

When these circumstances reach a critical poinr, me Skaven either go [0 war against one another, engaging in an Olgy of self-desrruceive slaughter, or work [0 conquer the surface world [hat lies beyond their subterranean realm. The Skaven believe chat uI rirnare vic[Qry over the rue surface dwellers is only a matrer of rime. and diacwhea they are finally deserving of triumph. the Homed Rat will. grall, them the spoilsrhey so richly deserve,

-!uY-

The Skaven view the world from a predator's perspective. seeing all the creatures beneath the SUll and moon either as potencial tools or eventual victims. Their rapacious rrarure

is focused on their. own kind jusr as often as it is fixed upon [he inhabitants of the surface world. Ir comes as little surprise thar the Skaven favour rhe weak as prey, above all ocher targets. This is due to the Em: rhar their cu I cure is based all survival

of the fittest. and only the Sl:rong can succeed for any length of time. To the Skaven, rhe weak exist (0 justify the strong.

For [hose Skaven who seek to undermine the rightful stams of.individuals who occupy positions of leadership within the dans the weak provide a necessary contrast, helping each

Rarman to judge his peers in [he eves-changing hierarchy of Skaven society.

When they an! not preying on one anorher, the Skaven turn their gaze to me denizens of the surface world. Much of the time, Skaven see Humans. Dwarfs, Elves, and their ilk as

tatgers of oppornmiry Sleaven raiding parties are sent to rerrieve food, prisoners. and valuables from settlements en rhe surfaee, supplementing the Sbven workforce and providing valuable comestibles for the discerning Rutman palace. NQr only are prisoners used for labour; many are given (0 me Horned Rat In rirual sacrifices, while ochers are slaughtered like carde and used to feed me reernjng masses of me Under-Empire.

-TACTICS-

The. .S~vell arc masters ~f stealth, tr:ea~:hery, and in:u.iguc. 'This IS not ,USt something they train 111 casually. Skill

at these types of things is simply macter of survival of the cuuhroar world of Skaven society. The day to day existence of the average CIa-mar is filled with more double-dealing,

conspiracy, and deception. [han one can possibly imagine. Given me state of affaiu within the Under-Empire, ir is little surprise that the lessens they learn snuggling for position and prestige amongst their own hordes are pur [0 good use against the rest of rhe-world,

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

"forI cannotJorger the reuu.lsion 1 Jelt 'Upon seeing thos« flqyed bodies rO!Iing in. the sunligfir on the morrow, nor can I repres.s rhe memory oj t:Tie rar~rhings beneaTh rhe gibbous m:ocn: the ,eve beJore. That rhesecreatures 'lDrOlJ,ght such horror bej ore my '/Jet) eyes) wilUngg and with relish, is/ar lessftighttning to me 110:&:0 than theJaCl t.hat .11.0 one wilT .believe myra Ie."

-'Ht.ltAD VAN KOISfE, MERCHhNT In 2387 'C, the Skaven were betrayed by Prince Karsren of Waldenhof, II Human pawn they had been cultivating as an ally for many years. In retribution for Kar,S[eH'S audacity, the Skaven areacked the [own ofWalde:nhof and stole away with each and every en ild mar 1 ived within me dty walls. The very horror and grief such anact can cause in an .enemy Is itself a powerful weapon, and one the Skaven have grown quite adept ar u tilisin g.

The tacac of Pear is a hallmark @r me Racmen. By com mirrJng arrcclties and ether reprehensible acts against their enemies, the Skaven culrivaze a fearsome presence in the minds of their foes. When these horrible deeds are accomplished in such a way mat ,bey are only discovered after the fac;t, tbe horror thar results

is multiplied ten fold. The Skaven feel rhar lr is only proper CO demoralize an enemy rhrougf liberal use offe'a.J'.

lNTELI JGENCE

"ljeel the eyes upon m~ w.hereuet" I go. T caMor shake rhe nonon that 1 am .being followed. As 1 lay i.n my bedar

night, I can hear the :sound oj claws 'l.!pon the'ri1es of my roof. Iris asifeveryrhing [do, every word I speak, is being marked."

~F"RANS£SCA ThORGIN'O,TlLEAN Dll'WMAT 111e Skaven are .injmitahle sptes, They have eyes andears everywhere, ltiddell in the teeming metropolises af me

Empire. This intelligence nerwork is used to exce!lenteffeer, and gathered_inf0rmati_Gn is rraded .for Warpsr:.ane ar used to blackmail men rile Rarmen wish ~p use for rhelr own ends. .Blackmail is crucial to the measure of control tbe Skaven have over Human pawns and politictans, Information gathered within the darkest recesses GF Imperial cities is oftentimes particularly damning to those men who hold the reins of power.Tn the OLd We,dd,. there are few peoplewirh secrets that they wouldn't rather have buried and forgowm.

Beyond me obvious political uses far ineelligence garhermg,

the Skaven also desire to keep an attentive eye upon the

troop movements of their enemies. When anarmed force of any appreciable size mobilize.s JOOT near a major Imperial settlement, you can be sure thar [he Skaveu already know about it. The Slaven remain mindful of me scope of such operations, seeking to take advan cage of arity's sudden defensive· reduction. They are alsoadept m anticipating the movements of large troop roJ:marions and the Plague Monks of Clan Pestilens have been known to defile the food and water supplies that opposing aemies will doubtless put to use as they advance upon rhelr intended objectives.

PLAGUE

liMY patient is co)Jet"edjrom head re roe in boils, each red and angry andjilled Wilh~. Hisjever' has remained steady, acrom;panied byvioIent chills. No remeqy seems ro relietle his suffering. 1 have 7lGtseen a disease oj this kind bej@re, nor do l hope to wet" see one aga.in. I recommend thar the victim's body be incinerll!ed once.he expires, which,

'at rhe present ra.[e, should be'socn.'" .

-FIIJINcolS MM TJ:N, PHYSIClt.N The G rear Plague of 1111 Ie is a pori me example of disease used as a weapon by the Skaven. The Plague broughc much of the Empire to.irs knees, paving the way for a 5bven lneursion that has noc been equalled in all the centuries since. Noble and peasant alike sulfured.as the virulenc jn.fecdon passed along trade routes, foJlowiHg in the wake of merchants and refugees. By me time the Skaven poured forth from [heir warrens,

the glory of the Empire had already been reduced [0 a mere shadow of its Fonner self.

Disease isone ally me Sknven are happy m embrace. Armour is useless against if. Weapons cannot destroy it, It spreads unseeu, ics meehodsof eransmlssion mJsUItdCTstoQrl by mestof the E~l1pi1:e'~ citizens. Given the dire stare of hygiene in rnuchof the Old World, little can be clone to Stem an epidemic. Once "symproms appear within a populace, Ir is usually tOO late ro do much else butp'ray.

Clan Pesulens, which is well-known for using sickness as 3 weapon, has often been [he harbinger of plague in [he

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

Empire. Sudden outbreaks of disease jn heavily-populated areas sometimes foreshadow a new kaven advance. These diseases cause death and.disabiliry, worrying away ar [heir victims in a slow, insidious manner. Even illnesses char-do nor cause .i rnmediate death can deny rut. opponent: me full use of

h is forces on rhe field of bar de. If infected uni [5 rake co the field despite [heir diseased stare, their eiftlctiveness is jJl~iabJ:y reduced.

POISON

"Subject is a Tileanfemale in. her middleyears. There are no signs of entry or str1J.g'gle. The onty eviriem:e 1 canfirul. that poi]1ts to fouL play is a blaek dort in her (ower back. I'd ber my father's 'Wooden teeth fhar the dart has been envenomed in some way."

Poison is another weapon mat is commonly employem by

the Skaven. Though the Assassins of Clan Eshin remain rile undisputed masters of all manner of poisons, all Skaven have some famiUadry wirh irs use. When properly used, a single dose of a terrible toxin, such as rnanricore spoor, can bringrurmoil [Q an entire nation. Leaders of enemy forces are often the targets of Skaven assassins, as their deaths can easily cause discord and loss of morale amongst rheir subjects.

SLA VE HAR VESTING

"Tbe village of Toldsraar is no longer there. bh, the Duildings, conages, even the fown well remain, bur the

folk that once walked the central avenue are gone. Their doors hang open, their suppers sir rotting upon mouLdering trenchers, half-earen; as if they had beeninrerrupred bjl importanr guests even as rhey dined."

=Dor, WEN FEATHF.RlIl\.lGHT J "ELF ScOUT

The Skavcn are a race that delights in the enslavement of others. 51 a ves of aU kinds are ar the bo trorn of the Skaven social order. The slaves of the Under-Empire perform duties [bar would demean even the lowest of Clanrsrs, such as food culrivarion or mining operations. In limes of religious furore, laves are sacrificed to the Horned Rar by the thousands, their

blood leaving crimson stains upon [he pestilent altars of the Skaven.

On an individual level each slave is an expendable asset

ro be: used as his master sees fit:. When clustered into large Formations, rhe slaves ofrhe Skaven are thrown pell-mell at enemy Formations while [heir own troops riddle bam sides wirh black aHOWS and poison wind globes. The bodies of these unforrunares are used as ramps by the Clanrats and

rormverrnln char follow, climbed upon and crushed into pulp as the battle continue to rage.around them.

Being thar slaves are valuable cemmodiiies [hat ace callously squandered by rbe Rarmen, .iris of len necessary for the Skaven to harvest new ones. In the Under-Empire, weaker clans mat have been subjugated by smmger ones are enslaved to me lase individual. When the Skaven are unable to take their own kind as slaves, raiding parties are instead sent inre remote HLUn;U1

serdemems to rake prisoners. Ncn-Skaven slaves are treated with even. less dignlry chan their Skaven peers, and mosr are worked to death within a very short period of time.

STEALTH

"Nothing was expected, and so The men were at ease. Sentries hail been postea, but rhey; roo, were weary from the road. We'd taken off our armour, sec our weapons [0 the side. A pai.,. of bruisers from Alrdorf were rhT'owing dice arul. teHing bawdy jokes. Lirrle did we reaLi:te thar in mere moments, half of ot,l:r number would be dead, and the orher half would be running for their lives."

-ULlUCH Kazss, MERCENAR.Y Ambushing from [he dark and using me shadows against

their enemies is ofren one nf the Skaven's best straregies. Like poise 11 and disease, me elerncn t of surprise is "3 hallmark of rhe Skaven. The Rarmen will rarely accede ro a fait .fight, and. any circumstance rhar gives them an advantage, no rnarter how underhanded, is readily exploired. Fighting during rhe dayLighr: hours is nor somediing mar the Skavendo willing.ly, unless they are desperate Of supremely confident in their a:bili(y to win.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

u .... Still, rhey kept coming. Wa1.le after Wll1Ie of rar-like demons, [heir lips pulled back to reveal yell0wedI angs that squghr our throats. We turned back rheir curved and jagged blades, and rheir lives wereforfeired co our own weapons,yer [hey continued to advance. Over the corpses of rheir comracks rhey dambered, the dirt beneath their bm1.ies ruming to thick

Chapter V! Skaven W mare

m't,Ld as it mixed with the blood of the dead. Tben. a terrible bell. tGUed in the distance, aJUl our line broke like It twig that has lain tOO long across a weel-trodden rrail ... "

- KoNlUJ) GREGERSON, KNIGI-IT OF SIGMA1\.

Above all other tactics, the Skaven rely on their superior numbers to overwhelm melt enemies. Skaven breed quickly, mao:u:ing in

only a few short years, and their innate fecundlty means their populations swell exponentially, even afi:erthey suffer massive casualties, Because life is cheap in me Under-Empire, the Skaven wholeheartedly waste the lives of [heir subordinates. Little distinction is made between me sacrifice of a single Clanta[ slave and an entire regiment of Sccrruverrrrin, There are-always others waidngln the shadows to take the places of the dead.

"Here, in my self-imposed Tilean exile, I put pen co parchment and reoord my knowledge. One do,y, perhaps, it nw.y serue my br<Jchers and sisters of the Empire, as undeseruing as rhzy 17!lzy be. My nam£ has been mocked and rUliculed in Wolfen.burg, forI know a trurh that 171:)' peers dare nor accept. Perhaps

I have bem too harsh in my criticism of my countrymen; perhaps I have nor been harsh eMugh. Until. rhe day rhat Sigmar bids me return [0 my fleloved Iwmelcmd, I s1wIl remain here, in a country where rhe Rarmen, otherwise known as the SkaVe7I, are Imcwn,feared, and acrive(y hunted!'

-STEFfAN PAULUS AD]LHOF, SCHOLAR OF WOLEFNllIJRG "The ever-wise Council of Thirteen wise{y commanded me to record the deeds and nature of our mighty race. It is a grear~grear honour and I shal.l show my cunning in my words-words!'

-SKR.I'Jll.lN T!-ruR.NTIK, GREY SEER

The martial resources of me Skavenare vasr ami seerrungly unconquerable, Their populations swell unchecked, and while Ill..OS[ of [he troops fielded by [be rat kin may be repulsed in

a fair fighr by any mundane militia mere are others mar are much more formtdahle and fearsome.

AssASSINS

"Thzy doubde-ss selr their servkes ro anyone wiLting to pCU' their horTible price. Their cursed skills were perfecred in the Far East, which is wiry rhzy seem aUen to ou.r oum civil~ed sensibilities~ Yet, (hese methods are quite ifJecrive. Evm

the bare harnls of these bemal assassins are as effective as swords, and they strike like ma.kesfrom the darkness. To be nw.rk.ed by them is to be eonsignedto Merr's kingdom,Jor naught can save you once such a thing has come to pass."

-5TEliFAN PAOLUS ADELHOf, ScHOLAR OF WOLEENBIJRG "All ClansJear [he assassins. They env.Y-hare rhemJGr their power-scr.engch. Assassins kill~kill Skaven and nw.n)' Man,,Things. To the Lords of Decay, rhe assassins lire valuable tools rhat Sh0uld no! be squandered like hapless Cl.anrats!'

~5KRF.ELIN 1'H:lJIumK1 GREY SED.

The Assassins of Clan Esh i n represent the culmination of years of training and countless examples of murder most vile. Some of we most feared 5kaven to creep through me Under-Empire belong [Q this elite group. Masters of poison, exceptionally skilled in. the arts of hand-to-hand combat, and versed in the ways of srealrh and eenspiracy, these killers sell [heir services [0 any Skaven Wilrlord who can meet their exorbltanc fees. They even offer their services [Q Humans who ask therlghr people andwho offer me proper compensation.

The Council ef Ihlrreen often emJ?10Ys Eshin's Assassins in their day to day affitirs. Maimaining the status qu.o requires precision that only an Assassin can provide. In effect. the Assassins bave been relegated to me status of a secret pelice force :u the beck and call of [he Lords of Decay. Clan Eshin is aware of rhls, and is perhaps a bi [[00 SIDU.g within irs posi don of power. 50 long as they remain useful to the Council, however, the assassins of Clan Eshin are beY0lld reproach.

CLANRATS

"Typical Skaven, if rhere are such things, are much the same as typical men, They feed, they fight, they Jear.

Of course, rheform of the creature offers an Gbvi.ou.s difference between the rwe, as does the temperament of [he beast i1:se/f, born in the darkness of rhe eartb: and fed [0 bursring upon paranoia and envy. They ere rhefront line of the Under-Empire, rhefirsr wave of significant amu:k (or defence) [0 beJielded by thei.r vile masters. Pity the general who underesrinw.tes them, bur pity even mGrI! SG the soldier who musrJace them."

-St'mAN PAULUS ADELHOF, ScHOLAR OF WOLFENBUR.G 'The chirrering hordes and sr-rengch of the Skaven aTe the Clanrats. They fill-iill GUr d<Jmain [0 burmng. It is their duty to die-die for us, OJten is there need, and often do thzy give .. rr

-SKltEELIN 1'I-n.rn..NrlK, GREY SEER Clantats represent the rank and file troops of the Skaven. Compared to most other Skaven, they are unremarkable. Nor surprisinglythey are me Rarmen who are most commonly encountered, either within [he Under-Empire Of in the w~rld above. Senior Clanrars are known as Clawleaders, and each one is given dominion over hili own Clanrat trOops. Though they are more experienced and better able ro wage war [han their subordinates, most Clawleaders compare uofavourably to Seormverrnin.

CLANRA T SLA YES

'The reeming multitudes of slaves, rake·nJrom rheir homes or wresredfrom the clutches gf clans thar no longer exist in the Skave1t.universe, are a patheric lot. Many seek- ro prove themselves, hoping ro rise above their sration and gaih an air of legitimacy in their new clans, while Others consign themselves to lives of roil and pain in the mines or legions of their masters!'

-STEFFAN PAULUS ADELHOF, ScHOLAR Of WOLfENBURG "Man-lhings, srunry-things, ani1faNhings, slaves suppGrr our society. Some. are Skaven. raken from raid's by SI'rong~

68

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

powerjul Clans. Their warlords at'e dead~deaJ. now, their warrens under [he rule oj an enemy dan [hat rightly cfa.ims them, and their bodies~livesforjei.r re [he whims of fe~ers who were'oncerheir .bitter hare~foes."

-SKAmJN THurumK, GREY SEER

The Iowesr of the Skaven are me Clanrar slaves. These unfertunares have been taken from their dans '3J1d Ioreed into lives of servirude, They are expendable, and as such are often used In suicidal battleeeld manoeuvres or senr firsr as shock troops to disrupc the enemy lines and cause messy diversions. Few Clanrac slaves survive for long. bur chose who do gain a small amount ef legltimacy as Pawleaders.

GLOBADIERS

. "Clan Skryrejiel,cis [roops rhar lob balls of poison into

rhe Tanks of rheir enemies. Those who succumb to these choking clouds diewrirhing upcm rhe ground, drowning in their own bloo~ froth. Few who witness their assaults a.re unmoved by them, for their ourla·nJ.ish costumes and gas masks ser the Grobadiers aparrJrom other Skaven. They a7'e not mere{Y enra,ged vermin- wha swing swords; instead, these faceless automatons are feared, merciless killers.

-STEEEAN PAULUS ADELHOP, ScHOLAR OF WOLFENBURG "fhe d:elkarefingers of poison mist char drift across [he bardefields oj my brothers are birthedJrom [he spheres

that Skryres Globadiersfling. Thefumesfloar with deadly beauty, seeking the lungs oj our foes. Taking root within the enemy, the poisen rurns their breath into bloodjroth, Clnd death-deaIh 500njo!.1ouJs."

-SKREELlN TiiURNTIK, GRE'l SF.F.R.

TIle wea_pons of Clan -Skryre are asl imi cless intheir scope as they are dreadful in rheir menace. Some of the most horrifying are chose rhar kill many enemies with only- a little efforT.

The poison wind globes are one such weapon, and they life dispensed by an eli re corps called lobadlers, The Clobadiers are trained -in ehe uses of peisons, much like Assassins are. Unlike Eshins killers, these Skaven instead focus their (raining upen toxins that can kill man,y enemies at once. The vapours char swim within poison wind globes are one such weapon. carried On the JlckLe winds ofrhe battlefield and into me lungs of rhe enemy and, sometimes, into those of allies as well.

Clobadiers wear unique prececdve gear which allows rhern [0 breathe these and other poi onous fumes without ill efi:ea. or only do me gas masks pro(ecrm.e Globadiers, bur mey lend each one a menacing apFtlar.lJ1ce. They are used In barde to decimate large units. Once their poisonous cargQ has been unleashed, they draw their blades and wade into [he mass of dle-if writhing victims ro eur the throats of those who still claim some semblance of Jife.

GREY SEERS

''The most fervent serVants of the Horned Rtu are known as Grey Seers. Rctised [rom: birth ro serve their unholy master, the Grey Seers are rhe spiritual advisers of [he Sk:aven legwl1cs. They commune with their horned g.oil, oJJerint advice and seeming(y daring their leaders co discount ir injavour oJrh>eir own plots and pUms. Who c-an

argue with rhe wiCL oj a god? Who wauld risk his wrath by ignering his emissaries?"

-SU:fFAN l'AULus ADELHOF. Sa:lOLAR OF W OLFENBURG ''OJ my brorhers, what need be said! We are the chosen oj our Master, the rrue Lord oj Decay, whese sear remairu aIwa)'~alwaysJilled upon [he Council oj Thirteen. Orher StillS may change hands, bur His wiU always remain, and no-none orher can l.qy claim ro it. We speak His trusiw:

We hear His thoughts. We know His purpose. We are the guides oj our people, ehe spiritu:al compass ehOl guides-leads them to I.heir destinies as kitl~as~ers of [he world."

-SlGlEELIN TRmumK, G1\I.Y SEER

The spiritual leaders of the Skaven are the GreySeers. 'TIlde grey or whire rat kin are barn with tiny horns chat, along with the colour of rheir fur, mark them as me chosen of che Homed Rat. Cloistered away from the resr of die Under-Empire, they are rucored in. me ere of the w.'lfp. M uch of their ti me is spenr ill prayer [0 their horned god, seeking His f;tv0ill and guidance.

'Iheugh ir may seem a less hazardous course, [he path of the Grey Seer is as treacherous as the road followed by any Skaven in me Under-Emplee, perhaps more so. Initiates are commonly killed during their apprenticeship, both by the rigors of

their rraining, as well as by me duplicity of rheir peers. If [he camped-cion between Skaven io rhe warrens is fierce, then it is doubly so in the delsrers of the Grey Seers. The Skaven that survive weir apprenticeship are perhaps the most danger0us Rarmen of all. Apprentices are required 1:0 walk rhe Labyrinth of the Homed Rat 1:0 be fully initiated into the Grey Seers, and should they negotlare all of these successfully, mOlY prove their Emess TO guide (or some would say rule) Skaven society,

~~,~~~~~~~~~==~c~~~p~re~r=v=:=S~"h~V~e;n~vv~·~·~~are~'~'==~~~~~~Lb~~~~

rhei.f' charges into the enemy jormati,cyns in which they can cause ,the tn.OS! damage!'

~STEFFAN PAI:1LUS :AnELHOF, ScHoUllt OF WOLFFliBUR.G "Packmasrers ren4 the beasHhings oj Clan MouLder. They control-fead Rat Ogres, Gia.nr Rats p:nd other kill .. things!'

-S1<KE£LlN THcrn.rmK, GlIJi.Y SU.R

GU'ITER RUNNERS

"GUtTer l'tmners arejast, even by the alacrirous standards oj the Skaven. They eer as skirmishers iii battle, harassing the enemy and distupting the rear of his line. Th~yare abo groupei1. infO teams rhrrt' runnel beneath. ent'l1"\)' formations and j orrificarions, seeki.llg re undermine their opp0nel\fr security. They are Chin Eshin'sassassill$-in-training"and while rhey are nor as jormidGbleas their murderous peets, they shov.1tl never be underestimared."

-STEfFAN "PAULUS AoE£J-(Ol!", SCH0LAR OF Wor,mmUltG "Gmur Runpers are strong-sneaky NighrItunners. They sUp behind enemy litl(s, and ki[[...ki[[.11

-SKREELlN ~, GREY SEER

Guru:r Runners are nimble and quick; drey would have [0

be co have survived their appren riceship in me ranks of CUll Eshln's Nigbt Runners. They are dire skirrnishers and SCOUts, SCCQlld only co Eshln's Assassins in. the art of stealth and speed. 111 e ira tracks are q ui ck an d effecri ve, fr us rrari ng rh eir enemies 35 eke Gurrer Runners appear, arrack, and vanish just as quickly in a Hash of smoke or asplash of shadow,

NIGHT RUNNERS

"Those Ni.ght Runners who somehow mCll~age to survive thesuicida{ missions rhar rhey are sent upon evenwalO-' become Nighrleaders,an4 those Nrghdeaders who show fu.rrher iniriarivea.najorrirudeare inducted int.o the ranks of ~he Gurrer Runners. Thus do these vile cre'atures [hat e.xcel at speed, stealth, and duplicity ad,vanct amongst their OW1l kind, well on rhe road to om oj the bloodiest and mostJeared oj Skaven tiers."

-SUEEAN PAULUS ADELHOf, ScHOLAR OF WOLmfflURG IIEshin Skaven,littl.e better than Clanrar~" ,rheydiStract the man~[hings [0 reveal their weakness. Night Runners also creer-creep into malNhing places to spy-km."

-SKREELJN 1'HtJRNTlK,. ,GK£Y SEER Clan Eshin's rank and 61e troops are called Night Runners, Ligbx1y armed and armoured .se as m take adv~lltage of their uemendeus speed and agili ry;, the Nigh [Run ners excel at Ranking manoeuvres and llgh tniJlg-fasr attacks. They canner stand lOflg ag:tinsr heavily-armed or armoured oppouent ... , and are best kept in a reserve role unless JlO ether course is available. Despite their lirnirarions, mel' are. often thrown

lnrc [he fray as necessary, their lives sacrificed e.n masse.

Ni.ghr Runners wh!:) survive th:_e rigors of [heir profession -are well 0.0 their way TO achieving Guerer Runner status, and each wj j L gladly kill his brodrers to ;i:d.vance his cause.

l' ACKMASTERS

"Tb» GianT Ran and }tilt Ogres of Clan Moulder ,are arivman.d oonrrotle;d by Sbtven who show a.[,alent for mastering beasts. They are called Packmasrers, and [he skill ,they display when controlling theirJoul pets is wirhout compare; Wielding whips, the Pademaners steer

Skaven Packmasrers drive packs of ravening beasts into barrie, usingwhips and intirnidarion in order to spur their sharges inca a frenzy ofteesh and claws, These beasts include swarms of rats, 1IS well as rnurared Giant Rats and honiRc. Ran Ogres of every description. The Packmasters display no feaE of-rhe crearures that they conrrol, for ~G do ~Q is to invite the beasts [Q turn on rhern, Even so, no beau is Gntirely Illwdktablc,

and even a veteran Packmasrer puns the constant risk of dying beneath b.i.~ charges' reeth and claws.

PUGUE CENSER BEARERS

''Dro.wnJrom rhe ranks Qj r.he mad .Plague MOlik!f are

the Censer Bearers, swinging rheir W a "pstone-inf u~ed flails wiIh unhol)l fury. 11 single gritting :wound from one of these Cell$er'$ will kUlafull-grow.l1 man, ~nJecting him wirh It fast-acting pl>lIgu.e rhar devours the balfy in mere momems. Covered from hegd to we in a Plague MO.nk's pus-doned robes, these Censer Bearers ofteJt lead charges into stronger enemy forma tioN, followed by rheir jrerv:_ieil rhe Plague M:onkclanmaresP'

-STEFfAN PAULUS AoELHOF, ScHOLAR OF WOU"ENBURG "Fierce kiU~sotdier,s, Censer Bearers kiU-kill many man~ things with their' hea"y smoking flails. Much.-m.udl die from rheir·own ,~91sQn."

-SKR.EELlN ThuRNTIK, GREY SEER

"TIle bearers of Clan Pesdlens' plague censers are taken from [he ranks of Plague Monks, To be chosen fat such duty JS a grand honolUr¥ld one thar is never refused, even though ir will lead to the Mank'sewn death. To die in ~he service of the Homed Rar, swinging a.smpuldermg plague censer with dgnreous zeal, i.~ cornpensarron.crrough for these maddened cui lists.

PLAGUE MONKS

"Ah, y(s. The: Pf,ague Monks, Where to begin? The.se wretched creatures have whol(y embraced.rhe diseased (lYpecr of their horned god.l'hey inflia themselves with sickness, drawing srrength from it and gaining some measul'e

of immtmiry' to mundane diseases. So inured lIre .they.to pain and .disco:mfort rhat they hatafJofeel U any longer, Driuen by a JUTY and .teal rharonl;y the rru{yrdigious can comprehend! the Plague M.onks are cerrainty one .oj ~he Ska.lIen's most dista.rbing and rerribteirmcuarions!'

-STEFfAN :PAOLO'S Abf1:.HOF, ScHOLAR OF WOLl'ENBURG <!,Plague Monk>s do not know the true ·n!lwre of rhe Horned Rat and kill themselvesfor it. Th{\-' are usejul, burderide~h(ue the Grzy Seers. This i.mpudenc~ wfU b~ their done-death."

~SI.a\.EELIN THU1I.NTIK, Glt,EY SBER

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

The Plague Monks of Clan Pesrilens are masters of contagion and disease. Ar the lowest levels are fervenr and devoted worshippers ofthe Horned Rat, singing daily praises and liturgies to the Lord of Decay. Each is riddled with disease,

overed with scif-.inEiicred wounds and erupcions that ooze blood and pus. When unleashed aga..i nst dre enemies of the kaven, Plague Monks are much more effective than one might expect. It is easy to discount their ahiliries, given their

icknesses, yet it seems rhar they find solace in their constant pai n. Mundane discom forrs IJke severed limbs and opened bellies cause them no more than passing discomfort.

The highest ranks of the Plague Monks are occupied by the Plague Priests, individuals who have proved themselves time and again and have survived countless plagues. These Priests are instrumental in the formulation of new diseases and poxe with which they seek to conquer rhe world. Even more powerful wan Plague Priests are Plague Deacons, whose mastery over pestilence is econd only to [he Horned One himself

"Nor truty Skaven, rhe Rat Ogres, but they are aberrations nonethel.ess.l have seen but one in my travels and i.t is Q. memory rhat I hi.de even J rom. myself. Bred in the pirs oj the Masrer Moulders, 110 two Rar Ogres are the sa:me,yer they share encugh similarities to be easily identiJied. When driven by Moulder's Packmasrers, Rer Ogres are effective weapons oj war. If I.eft to their QWn devices, however,

they are just as likelY roJeed on nearby oJJal as [0 kill the Skaven or their enemies!'

-STEFFAN PaULUS ADI'LHOF, ScRm.AR. OF W QLFENBURG "Rat Ogres much"kill. TOllrgk-srTong, btu hard ro control, on(y the Packmasrers can use tbem. well-good."

-SKREI!LIN THURNTIK, iliEy SEER One of CIao Moulder's greatest accomplishments was the uocesstul breeding of [he so-called Rar Ogres. ertainly,

there is a bit of Skaven blood Rowing in the vei ns of these unwholesome creatures, but only Clan Moulder knows

what orher influences have lent their strength, fewcity,

and voraciousness to we clan's Rat Ogres. 'TIl 0 ugh. they all share similarities, no two Rat Ogres are physically identical. Mutations bred into me creatures by rlre Master Moulders give them a variety of different shapes, sizes, and capabilities. Some are even surgically rnodified with implanted weapons, many of them experimental creations of Clan Skryre,

Each Rar Ogre receives training. of a sort, which involves constant deadly duels wirh Clan Moulder's ocher foul creations. 'Therein they learn to follow rhe guidance of their Packmasters and become used [Q me rigors of violenr cornbar, They might also gain valuable insight into ractics and strategies, if they didn'r forget; anything roo complex after a day or so ill. their pens. Despite their physrQ:! boons, Rat Ogres are barely sentient. Wimotlt rhe constant supervision of Moulders Packmasrers, a RaJ Ogre would wander aimlessly about rhe battlefield, only stopping to grab a quick snack or to r1p [he throat from any living rhiog [hac was unlucky enough TO attract its mercifully short attenrion.

SKA VEN FEMALES

''Few have seen them and rfcogni:red themJor what they are. Perha.p5 rhey are the key to the ilesrrucrioll oj the SkQ;vm,Jor withoutJemo.les, how would they profJOgare? Neverrhel.£ss, SkavenJemales do exist, cloistered away and used as necessary by t/lose males who ha1Je earned [he right 10 breed. Broods

oj ratlings aTe born within rhe Ska1Jen nurseries, and their mothers are rarelY withou.r €hildJor more than a monrh."

-STEff.AN J.>AUI._US ADELHOF, ScHOLAR. Of W OLFENJlUR.G 'There are 110 Skaven J emales. Jusr Skaven broodmorhers." -SlGU!liLIN THuPJ-ti'IK, GUY SEER.

it bas been a COOlman misconception rhar Skaven are all of

the male gender. The specifics of where they come from are wid.ely debaeed arn0IigSt those scholars who show an interest

i1:'l du: species, and include many ludicrous rheories as co the OJ;igin of me Rarmen. One such po rularion is that the Skaven are born directly &01Tl Chaos, while anomer claims [hey art: merely ordinary rats thar are murared by constant exposu.re to WarpStDDe. The truth of the. matter is that [here are, indeed, female Skaven, locked away in me depths of the Under-Empire.

Female Skaven serveeo other purpase than [0 propag;:trc their vile species, and they are only 51 igh tly conscious of the events mar transpire around them. Coasranr applicauo» ofWarpstonederived narcotics beginning at a yDlLng age keeps them blissfully ignorant ofrhe events war transpire In the Under-Empire. So cloistered away from tile rest of their race are they that they do nor learn their race's chittering speech, nor are they pcoficienr in even. the simplest social skills ... or so We Skave:n believe.

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

-ToouOPWa-

STORMVERMIN

"Black oj fur, the Skaven elit~ are rearedfrom birth [0

be the ullimarewaniors. Trained rofighT and die if need be, Stormvermin are equipped with rhe bm -weapons and armour that the Lords of DeclU' have to offer. On the battlefield they have no equal, as they are rats &red for battle and weaned on r.he blood of cheir enemies."

-STm'AN PAULUS Ali>ELHOF, ScHOLAR. Of WOt.fENBORG I'Black Ska1)en are much~srrong and 10yaHoyal. Srormvermin guard Grey Seers and Warlords."

-SKll.m.IN 1'Htm.Nrn{, GREY SEER

Sronnvermin are the pre-eminenc rroops of me Skaven legions. They are, to an individual, larger chan roe average Skaven, well-muscled, and proficlenr in the use of various weapons and armour. TIley are aggressive by nature and are given IO even displays of pmw~ss in order (0 intimidate those around them, Like [be Gl't~y Seers, their future is determined at me rime of their birth, for only kaven with black IUr are relegated [0 the ranks of me Storrnvermin. As such, [here is a certain esprit de corps shared by all Srormverrnln that is lacking in other Skaven groups.

Of course, this camaraderie wiU only stretch So ru. Stormvermin are constantly on the lookour for any weakness in [heir peers, and those whe show such flaws will be mercilessly cur down by meLr brothers. Position in (he ranks of [he Scorrnvermin is achieved through a series of duels, though

Ir occasionally falls on the lasr rernaining urvivor of a unit

to rake command. 'Ihese Starmverrnln officers. known as Fangleaders, are some -of the deadllesr Sromrvermin of all.

T'he Skaven arsenal is immense, filled with maAY unique weapons and instruments o f death. Not all of these are weapons that are forged of seed and iron. Some are magical powers and sorceries, mastered by the rat kin's warlocks and Wizards. Others are ltcms of magical origin, either created by Skaven smiths or stolen from enemies in rimes of barrie or through covert iucrjgue.

WEAPONS OF THE SKA VEN

The craftsmanship of Skaven arms and armour is routinely shoddy and unsophisticated, especially given the massive demands placed on the Under-Empire's forges. The items produced in these smithies are manufactured quickly in order co meer me requirements of me teeming multitudes of Clan rat warriors infesting the Skaven warrens. Even though such Items are of poor or, ar best. common qualiry, [hey are nonetheless elfectivewh.en wielded by thelr intended consumers.

The weapons found on. Table 6-1: Skaven Melee Weapons and Table 6-2: Skaven Missile Weapons are described here, along with any special rules that: arise as a result of Wielding

WARLOCK ENGINEERS

"Skryre'S most powerful engineers meld sorcery and science until the rwo are indivisible. These individuals are called Warlock En;giT1£ers, imd they are more akin. t0wilking af"senals than ro Skaven .. Warp enerffJcracklesfrom theb1.ades that emerge from the flesh of their arms, and their rar-like bodies are couered in all manner of bi;(arre artifice. Tubes

and wires pulse and b~ wirh unho(y life as rhey crmmcrthe Engineer to his htlTneSS and irsfanmsric apparatus. Fea.rful and horrible, indeed,.is Skryre'Hechnology, if ir allows such an unholy allumee of flesh and 1IUIthih~!'

-STEliEAN PAULOS ADFLHOF, ScHOLAR. Of WOLFENBURG "Warlock Engineers have strong technology, better rhtln stunt-things!'

-SKREELJN THtnumK, GREY SEER

Witb their gaggles, harnesses mat s~emillgly beep, whit, and click of their own accord, and me warp-blades mac protrude nom [he flesh af their arms, Warlock Engineers arc an intimidating Sight. Individually, [hey are capable of decimaring entire enemy columns with a few short bursts of b.ighly-focused warp energy. So lang as (heir rechnological components Function normally; they bring rerror and death to any battle "Or skirmish in which rhey parricipare.

W."lrlock Engineers are me pinnacle of Skaven rechnoman cy. 1l1CY combine well-known weapons. such as warp-blades, with heavy armour and experimental devices. Each Engineer equips his own harness with the device rhar he prefers. These machinations do not always function Aawlessly; however, and many Warlock Engineers have mer their doom as the result of an exploding warp power accumulator.

them in combar, Note that all prices are listed in Warp Tokens. These hems are never available for sale on the surface.

Blowgun

Clan Eshin Assassins use these simple lacquered cubes to fire poisoned darts, Usually abour a foor to three feet ill length, one end is firrc·d with a Bexible cup crafted from leather chat firs over the mauch DE the firer. WhUe [he damage. inflicted by blowgun dans is negligible, the tips are often coated wirh virulenr poisons. Arty hit by a poisoned dart that inflicrs Wound damage upon a rarger resulrs in the delivery of me pOiS011.

When nor using them as weapons, Clan Eshins Assassins have been known to use their blowguns as norkels as [he), hide beneath the placid surface of a pond, lake, or stream.

Plague C..emer

One 'of the grearest.honours bestowed on members of Clan Pestilens is the bestowal of me plague censer. 1h:i~ large, incense-filled Hall disperses Warps[one incense smoke uch mat those struck by the weapon conrract a supernaturally-enhanced

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

TABLE 6-1: SKA YEN MELEE WEAPONS
Name Cost Ene Group ~ Qualities Availability
1'1-ague Censer 10 85 Flail 5B+1 Impact. Special. nrillg Rare
Punch Dagger 15 Ordinary SB-l Balanced. Defensive Average
RaJ Claws 2 10 Ordinary SB-:3 Special Scarce
Tail Blade 2 5 Ordinary SB-2 Fast, Special Common
'Ihings-Carcher 13 170 Two-handed SB+1 nare Scarce
TABLE 6-2: SKAVENMIssILE WEAPONS
Name Coat Ene Group ~ Range Reload Qualities Availability
Blowgun 2 10 Blowgun 0 8/16 Half None Very Rare
Poisoned-Wind 6 5 Throwing Special 4/20 Full Special Scarce
Globe
8 10 Engineer 3 '0130 10 Full Experimental, Shrapnel Very Raze
3 5 ThrOWing 4/20 Full Scarce
Warplire1hrower 10 Engineer 4 Special 10 Full Experi rnent, pedal Very Rare
Wlll]Jlock jezzail 12 60 GWl owder 5 48/96 2 Full Armour Piercing, Unreliable Rare
Warp lock Pistol 10 25 Gunpowder 5 10/20 2 Full Armour Piercing. Unreliable Rare disease. Though 1101 conragious by normal means, the disease ravages the lungs and B:esh of [hose ir affects, leaving [hem choking upon their own doning gore as they die.

When. usee in com bar, any living erearure struck by this weapon musr succeed on a Hard (-200/0) Toughness Tesr or 10 e 1 d 10/2 Wounds regardless oFToughness Bonus or armour. Furrhermore, those who fuil. rhe initial resr muse pass Challenging-lO%l Toughness Test on me followtng round or lose an additional

I d 1 012 WOUIlds regardless of'Ioughness Bonus or armour. FinaJIy,.living creatures struck by plague censers and who survive tate a special horror. After 24-bours.1h.ey must make 11 Routine 1.+ J 0%) Toughness Test. If they fail, their race changes [0 Mutanr and ~hey gain 1 mutation. Por more information on playing Muranrs, be sure co check Our Tome e[Corruption.

For as long as the Wa.r:psrane incense bums, everyone around the Plague Censer (including irs bearer) i ae ri k of its horrid effects, All living creatures within 2 yards (1 square) of a burning plague censer musr succeed on a Toughness Test each rOLLOd or lose 2 Wounds regardless of armour or Toughness Bon LIS d ue co the toxic Fumes.

Paisoned Wind Globe

A Clan Skr.yre innovarion, these small hellow.glass spherescontain a noxious gas. When thrown, me sphere shatter , dispersing me poison. Use;d extensively by Clan Slayre Clan. Rats, mese weapons are devas~dng [0 both Skaven and their enemies.

To use a poisonedwind globe, select a square withinrange. Make a Ballistic Skill Test as normal. If you fail [he rest. roll IdlO and consult the following charr to see where it sharters.

Roll 1: You drop the poisoned wind gl0be at your teet, but somehow ir doesn't break.

Roll 2-9: The poi oned wind globe falls I d I 0 yards horc of die rarger. ee diagram as [0 where.

~ .. 4~
3
~5 TARGET 6~
~ 8 ~
• Roll 10: You.drop the poisoned wind globe.ar yow: feet and it sharters.

When the globe shatters, ir releases a cloud of poisonous gas. Use the small template. The gas remains for 1 d 1 0/2 rounds alTer which time it loses potency; Any creature caught in [he cleud must succeed on a Challenging (~10%) Toughness Test or rake a Damage 4 hit that ignores armour and Toughness Bonus.

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

PAIN-PAIN SNAIL

While ner a w-eapon per se the Pain-Pain Snail is a useful creature rhat the Skaven have cultivated for centuries, Taken from me

j ungles of Luscia, these inoffensive-looking creatures seem innocuous eno ugh 2.[ first glance. But when placed en flesh, r;hey exude a horrible acid rhar eats rhrough Resh quickly, Skaven Interrogators I.l.IC these creatures to coax iuformaticn fromr;hei[ cap rives. IT'S said char 110 one has beld but past three of these things placed in the soft tissues and cavities of the body:

When placed on the flesh, me Pain-Pain Snail deals 1 point of Damage thar ignores armour and Toughness Bonus each round until removed.

Each round [he peison ga remains potent, the cloud dl·irts ldlO/5 squares. Roll Id l O and consult the diagram to see which direction it moves (though the GM may override the result ir there is a specific wind direction and strength). On a roll of aI, the cloud stays where ir is. On a roll of a 10, it suddenly loses potency and disperses.

Punch Dagger

kaven of Clan Eshin use punch daggers, a type of weapon that features one or (W0 piercing or slashing blades that jut between the lingers and are arrached perpendlcularly (0 a handle. orne variations require the wielder to strap the weapon to the wrist. To use, the wielder makes quick stabbing motions 01' rnSt slashes. These weapons, which are of teo used in pairs, are nor common outside of Clan Eshin,

Rat Claws

Another Clan Eshin device, a rat claw is a metal place threaded wia, a leather strap to tie to che paw, and three to five Heel daws extending our from me place. While the claws are nor overlarge, rhey are used ro enhance unarmed arracks. In addition, rar claws are useful climbing tools, providing a +10% bonus to all Scale Sheer urface Tests.

RatlingGun

One of-Clan Skryte's newer Innovadons, the rarling gun consists or a lar~, multi-barrelled repearing firearm. Unlike ocher gunpowder wea,.p0IlS, me railing gun can spray anwnber ofWarpswne bullets at once, decimating entire formations or troops. This weapon requires a crew of rwo to use: a gunner and loader.

Smoke Bomb

Skaven smoke bombs ace found among rhe Skaven of Clan Eshin, Using craftsmanship techniques learned in Cathay and NiPPoD, these small fragile grenades are filled with an explosive powder that detonates with a flash on impact.

To usea smoke bomb, selecr a square within range. Make a Ballistic Skill Test as normal, IJyou fail the test, roll uno and consulr the poisoned wind globe chan (page 73) to see-where it shatters. When rhebornb shatters, it releases a cloud of oily smoke. Use me small (em plate. The cloud remains for 1 dJ 012 rounds, after which rime ir loses potency. All creatures within the cloud have their vision reduced to :2 yarns (1 square).

Each round, the cloud drifrs IdlOf5 squares.. Roll 1 dIO

and consult the poisoned wind globe diagram to see which

direction it moves (rhough [he GM may override the result if there is a specific wind direction and strength). On a roll of a 1, [be cloud stays where it is. On a roll of a 10, it suddenly loses potency and disperses.

Tail Blade

Tail blades are small bladed, barbed, or spiked weapOllS designed to be worn or scrapped to a Skavens tail. Tail blades that are used by more. affluent Skave.n are often ornamental

as well as deadly, erched with glyphs and studded with small cry ral shards and bits ofWarpsrone. In comparison, chose used by Clanrars are almost alway homemade. To effectively use

this Weapon, you must have the Tail Fighting Talent.

Tbings:Catcber

11115 two-handed pole. arm has alarge, rong-like head lined on [be inside witb spikes. De igned to be thsust around che torsos and extremities of foes, these weapons can immobilize creatures of nearly any size. Clan Moulder ls me only Skaven dan to

usc rhings-carchers on a regular basis, though they are also employed by warbands that are senr to fetch slaves or prisoners.

Warpfire Thrower

One of the most feared weapons employed by the Skaven is

the warpfire thrower, Anorher mac! innovation by the Warlock Engineers of dan Skryre, rhese "C:lllIlCII1S" release a stream of sricky burning gel made. from Warpsrone that lncinerates nearly anything with which it comes inro contact. Too large to be used by just one Skavcn, these weapons have crews of three or four.

U e the cone template, All creatures caught in the.cone rake the indicated damage regardless of armour; In addition, they must succeed on an AgiliryTest or catch fire (see WFRP, page 136). However, me lire can only be extinguished by smothering il completely, such as with WEal immersion In water, sand, dirt, and so on. Alrernadvely, the victim can put himself our by scraping die stuff Qff and succeeding on a Challenging (-10%) Agili ry Test.

'Those Livi ng creatures who survi VI! me Sames of a warpf te thrower face a special horror. After 24-hours, they must make a Romine (+ I 0%) Toughness Test. If rhey faLl, their race changes [0 Mutant and thq gain 1 mutation. For more lnformadon on playing Muranrs, be sure to check our Tome ofCor-ruptioTi.

WarplockJezza:i1

Similar in some respeCts ro rhe [ezzails of Araby (see Old World Armour] page 46), me jezzails employed by the Skaven use

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

a distinct "warploek" rechnology perfected by me Warlock Engineers. The warp lock [ezzail 0perares on a principle similar (0 that of a wheel-lock rrrusker, but small arnounrs of Warpswne have been worked into born the weapon's metal components and its ammunition. This provides for added barrel strength, aJlowinga larger measure of Warps tonefortified powder to be loaded into me weapon.

WarplGGk jemailscanutilizemumlancgunpowderandbnllets.bm chis [educes their Range to 24172. and (educes the Damage to 3.

Warplock Pistol

Warplock pistols are commonly used by higher-ranking Skaven especially the fingleaders of CLan kryre, Similar

in design ro warplock jezzails, ye[ smaller.in scale warplock pistol are devastating at close .range,

Warpl0dt pistols Cal) utilize mundane gunpowder, bur this reduces their Range to 8/16, and their Damage to 4-.

CLAN SKRYRE'S TOOrsOFWAR

Any discussion of she Skavens arsenals would be incornplere wirhour rncnrioning rue less vile but still dfecrive support equipment design by Clan_Skryre.ln_Iacr, the kaven.have grown to e."'pect disastrous malfunctions from their weapons. and many Q-f'rue i[!!IDS below were designed to protect the Skaven fromtheir own wea-gallS moreso than from those of their enemies.

Oan Sktyre Gas Mask

Clan Skryre's poison Globacliers wear complicated contraptions upon their backs that consist of metal rubes and bellows, all of whith connect to their gas masks. These masks, designed solely for the use of Skaven, grant me Globad:iers some protection from the gasses thar often escape from suay or malfunction ing wi.nd globes.

Any Skaven thar wears a Clan SkrJIe gas mask gains a +20% bonus to any Toughness Tests be makes [0 resist the effects of Inhaled poisons or gasses.

Supertbarged Warp~ Power Accumulator

A Warlock Engineer equipped with a supercharged warp-power accumulator Increases the amounr of warp energy channelled inro any Warp Lighrning spells thar he cast ,-When rolling Damage for rue Warp Lightning spell. the Wadod< may roll rwe dice and choose the one with the higher result.

Tf both dice have me sam!' reSIJ I t, no matter how high or low, me warp-power accumulator begins [0 overload. Unless the Warlock Engilleer can shut rhe accumulator dawn, which requires a Hard (-20'%) Intelligence Test. it explodes. Use [he large template ro represent the explosion. Any creature caught in (he blast rakes a hit thar deals DamageS.

Upgraded Warp Energy Condenser

Warlock Engineers char use warp-blades in order to cast the Wiup Lightning spell can benefit from [he addiricn of an upgraded warp energy condenser. The condenser focuses warp

75

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energy, further powering the Warlock's weapons. When usl ng mul ti tude of wi res feed the blades, which hum with barely-

warp-blades in combat, a WarioaEagit,eer with an upgraded coruained warp energy. When used in hand-to-hand combat,

warp energy condenser inlliccs an additional + 1 Damage. warp-blades are treated as either halberds (in the case of

Whel' casting me Warp Lightning spell through a warp-blade, tho e mounted on poles), OJ" hand weapons (when they arc

me Warlock can add one die [0 his Casting Roil. implanted into a Warlock's arms), both wi th a + t bonus to Damage.

Warp-bJades GaTI also be used by Warlock Engineers to cast me Warp Lighrning spell. The spell is case a normal, but me warpblades act as a magical ingredienr mat grams a +2 bonus to me Casting Roll.

Wjrp~ Blades

Warp-blades art! -unique to Clan Skryre, They are commonly attached [0 poles.crearing halberd-like weapons or rhey are directly implanted inro me arms GfWarloGk Englneers. A

In.gredient: A pinch 0fWarpstone- powder (+ 1)

Description: You conjure a small blob of glowi'lg green fire out of thin air. It drips viscous fluid a'S it burns. You may hurl this nery mess at a [arget within 8 yards (4 squares) .in wh lch case ghostly jln:nre functions as a magic missile with Damage I. Otherwise, thi petty spell generates light equivalent to a torch and remains for one hour before sputtering our.

W ARPSTONE TOKENS

Though used as cutrency in rhe Under-Ernpire, Warpsrone Tokens Gall also be used to empower {I spellcaster's ability [0 work magicr. Grey Seers and other Sksven spellcasters can augrnenr their Casting Rolls by consuming one or more tokens. Each token devoured grants a+.3 bonus te [he spellcasrer's nexr Casting Roll. However, each use also Increases me danger of'TheentCh's Curse:

Treat doubles on Casting Rolls as triples ana triples as quadruples.

WheFI one thinks of Skaven Magic, the first iliing most think of is dlcat' used by the Grey Seers. A perverse blend of arcane sorcery with divine inspiration, Grey Seers are powerful ana unpredictable in [heir black arts. Bur magic is deeply invested in Skaven sociery, and the Grey Seers are not me only ones who have some degree ef .rnasrery of sorcery. The Plague Priests and Deacons have developed their own breed of horrid spells, willie [he Warlock Engineers learned co dra the Warp energy containedwithin Wa.J:psC0f1e and channel i, into their perverse arcane devices. Whar follows is a survey of the IYpes of magic employed by [he Skaven.

PETTY MAGIC (WARP)

Regardless of the type of spellcaster, Skaven who dabble in magic must learn. to master these spells hj· L Anyone with Petty Magic (Warp) can a[tempe to cast the following spells.

Favour

Casting Number: 5

Casting Time: Half action Ingredient: A bit of Human Hesh (+ 1)

Description: You gain a +5% bonus to yOU( next resr, Alternatively, if you are using the Favour of the Horned Rar rilles, described in Chapter VI: Skaven Characters, [his perry spell steals the favour of die Horned Rat from another Rarman within 16yards (8 squares). You need nor know which Skaven had the Favour. If (here are no Skaven in range with [he Favo\ll, then (his spell auromaticallyfalls.

Ghostly Flame

Casting Number: 6 Casting Tillie: Half action

Mark of the Homed Rat

Casting Number. 3

Casting Time: Half action Ingredient: A rotten tooth (t 1)

Description: A t2J"get creature ofyqu.l: choosing within Hi yards (8 squares) must succeed on a WUI Power Test: or gain an. unsigluJy blemish. taking the form of an apen weeping sore on his forehead or rhe back of his hand. 'The blemish remains fot l d to hours and imposes

a -5% penalty co alJ Fellowship Tests for as long as

ir remains. Grey Seers use this spell TO mark their messengers.

Rat Thrall

Casting Number: 3 Casting Time: HaJf action

Ingredient: A bit of mouldy cheese (+ 1 )

Description: You summon an ordinary brown rat. For the next iaio hours, you may communicate with me rar as if you shared a common language, and it muse obey all of your commands even if ir would cause irs own dearh to do so. Rat thralls can fetch small objects. gnaw through mpes, and ocher general tasks thar an ordinary rar should be able to do, bur such missions are limited by the rae's animal intelligence.

77

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

W ARPSTONE ADDICTION

Though Wru:psrooe pervades the lives of rhe.Skaven, seme can become overly accustomed to ingesting it, becoming addicted [0 me. substance. Each time-a Skaven devours aWarpstqne token, he must make a Challenging (-10%) Will Power Test or become addicted [Q Warpsmne. He must consume 1 Warpswne Token each day or take a cumulative -10% penalty [Q all Tests for each day he has gone. without Warpsrooe. If the penalties reduce his Toughne s to 0, he dies. Unlike ocher drugs, the addiction eo

w hich can be. escaped after extreme suifering, Warpsrone addictien is life long.

Though there is greer risk with Waxpsrone addietien, there is also great reward. Skaven €har<l.ccers a£Ilicteo with chis disorder have no penalty when using Warpsrone TOKens as part of Slaven magic, meaningdrar mer do not creat doubles as rriples, nor do dTey treat triples as quadruples.

Vector

Casting Number: 4

Casting Time: Half action Lngredient: A wad 0f d u.ng (-t 1)

Description: One target within Lo yards (8 squares) must succeed on a Toughness Test OJ' take a -20% penalty [0 all rests made [G resist disease lUI' 24 hours. Targets with Re istance [0 Disease may apply thartalenr's bonus co Tests made to resist rhis spell,

Wrack

Casting Number: 5 Casting Time: Half action

Jngredienu A rear from a Human child (+1) Description: You cause a single rarge, within 12 yards (6

squares) co experience a.jolt of searing pain. The target must succeed on a Toughness Test 01' rake II. -5% penalty to Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, and Agility Tests for

1 dl 0 rounds.

DARKLoRES

To [he Skaven, -all magic originates from the Horned Rat.

From the terrible sorcery of the Grey Seers ro [he pestilential machinations or me Plague Prie cs, .ir all comes from rhe same source: their powerful and fickle god. Dogma aside, rhe rruth is [hat Skaven magic still involves me rnani puJadDJl of the arcane energies blowing south From [he rurbulenr polar region beyond me Chao Wastes, and without rhi energy nor even me mosr devout and cunning Skaven could weave the simplest spell. Skaven use Dhtl7> or Dark Magic, much like the Thrall Wizards of'Tzeemch, Necromancers, Black Magi ters, and Wirch.es. Skavendllfer from these casters, however, in [he product and foCI:IS of their black arcs.

Though other variations may exist, there are three fundamental types ofSkaven magic, each organized into a separate lore-Plague, Srealrh, and Warp. A rare few Skaven dabble in

ecrernancy and fewer still abandcu me ways of their people ro embrace anomer Chacs God. Such instances almost always result with the disinregrarion of the offending.5kaven.

As wirh all Dark Lores, casting spells using Dhar carries great risk of developin g unwanted or unexpected side-effects (see

WFRP, page 159). As well, Skaven spellcasrers use Warpstone. heavily in their spells, which not only creates greater risk of mishaps, but: also takes its toll on, their bodies.

Knowledge of these spells is raughr &om master to apprentice, and is carefully prorected amidst the ambition and rreachery prevalent runOJlg all Skaven. Though a master might reach the rudiments of Warp Magic, he does so grudgingly, as his student: must eventually contest his power and perhaps even try ~o overthrow him. Thus, Skaven mentors are careful ro instil fear and respect in their apprentices and to play favo.u ri res, always working to pix one srudent again~t another to distract these treacherous pupils from betraying their master.

THE LORE OF PLAGUE

The Lore of Plague is a fou.l magical technique, The Plague Priests of Clan Pesrilens use rhls magic, which is the product of _generarions of isolation in Lusnia, to oow the Clanrats

and other Skaven who swear allegiance to their Warlord. Specializing in matters of disease and decay, this lore is repellent and rhoroughly evll, designed. to spread sorrow cane! death in enemies . Each mortal who succumbs re me ravages of these spells exalts [he power and majesty of the Horned Rae in his plague-bringer aspect. As dle Plague Priest grows more powerful, he finds hiS body ravaged by rhe magic he employs. Commonly, this results in rorring extremities akin ro those suffered by lepers, infestarions of ffu1gg0[S and mites, and a general collapse of [he spellcasrer's body. While powerfuL the Lore of Plague brings its pracririoners' deaths with it.

LOJ:e Skill: Intimidate

TABLE 6-3: LORE OF PLAGUE

Mantle of Contagion Musk oFT error Pesrilenr Brearh Plague Poisonous Pustule

Putrefy Toxic Rain VeiL of Flies Verminnde

Weeping Wound

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

THE Loas OF STEALTH

Learned from. the Carhay sorcerer of the distant: e:)_st, the

Lore of Stealth is used by [he ever rare Eshin Sorcerer. UU$e spells are designed to altgmcnr the stealth, speed, and strength of the Clan's anack farces, and none are quire sure whether Clan Eshin Skavens legendary skills have ever been completely m undane, Clan Eshin guards the secrets of sh i.s arr [0 ensure rhar none of the rival Clans learn the answer.

Lore Skill: Prepare Poison

TABLE 6-4: Lons OF STEALTH

Black Whirlwind Buoyan r Passage Death Frenzy Peh of the Assassin Poisonous Pustule Ski tte rl cap

Srickypaws Swifiscamper Traceless Demise Warp tars

THE LORE OF WARP

'Ihe province of the terrible Grey Seers. the Lore of Warp allows Skaven to dabble in rhe domains oFPlaglic and. Stealth as well as [0 harness me pewer of Warp erlergy il"liclf.111e older and more practised me practitioners oFWarp Lore become, [he longer their horns gtow, and often the greater their dependence on WarpstDne.

Lore Skil1: Academic Knowledge (Theology)

TABLE 6-5: LORE OF W ARF

Armour of Darkness

Crackling Doom Deazh Frenzy Flensing Ruin" Pestilenr Breath

Plagne Skitrerleap Vermintide Warp Llghming Warp Storm

NEW SPEI.IS

TI1C foJ lowi ng new spells com e from thee three new Dark Lares (Plague, Srealth, and Warp).

Armour of Darkness

Casting Number: 10 Casting Time: Half action

Ingredient: A piece of blackened leather (+2) Description: You sol idilJ' the hadows arou nd yow: body.

In addition to making you harder to See in low light cocdirions, this shadow armour also protects you from harm. You gain I armour point to each location, and you gain a +20% bonus (Q any Concealment Skill Tests YOll make in dim ccndlrious. The effects of this spell last a number of minutes equal to yom Magic Characreristic. You cannot cast this spell if YOIJ are wearing any normal armour, Should you don armour while the spell is ill effect, the spell ends.

Black Whirlwind

Casting Number: 20 Casting-Time: Full action

Ingredient: Aglass vial filled with ash (+3)

Description: You summon a purrid whirlwind of vile smoke and sri nging ashes anywhere within 4& yards (24 squares), Use the small rernplare. The whirlwind moves lip to l~ yards (5 squares) per round, in any direction you wish. Those affected by (he whirlwind take a Damage 2 hir, and. must succeed on a Toughness Test or take a -20% penalty to their Weapon Skill; Ballistic Skill, Agility Tests, and Perceptioll Tests involving Sight For L .n 0 minutes. This swirling cloud lasts a number of rounds equal (Q yOllr Magic Characteristic

Buo:yantPassage

Casting Number 6

Casting Time: Half action Ingredient: A piece of cork (t 1)

Description: You become as buoyant as a piece of balsa wood, allowing you [0 tread over liquid surfaces like water, sewage, or oil as iF they were solid. The efFects of this spell last a number of ruinutes equal to you.r Magic Characteristic.

Chapter V: SkavenWarfare

Crackling Doorn

Casting Number: 7

Casting Time: Half action Ingredient: A coil of copper wire (+1)

Description: You send a single crackling arc of greell ellergy at any opponent within L2 yards (6 squares. Crackling doom is a magic: missile with Damage 2. In addlrion, anyone damaged by this spell must succeed on a Routine (+ 10%) Toughness Test or become stunned for 1 round.

Death Frenzy

Casting Number: 18 Casting Tlme: Full acrlon

Ingredient: Two drops of blood from a rabid animal (+2) Description: You 511 an ally with :i horrible l:aVe:J.lOUS hunger,

causing foam to Heck his rnourh and his eyes to roll madly ill his he-ad. Select one allied character within 18 yards (9 square J. That creature gains the Black Hunger Talenr (see Chapter VI: Skaven Characters) for Id 1 0 munds plus a number of rounds equal re yom Magi!; Characteristic. 111e subjecr of this spell must enter Black Hunger as soon as me spell is cast, or loses the benefits of me spell,

fleming Ruin

Casting Number: 25 CastingTime: Full action

Ingredient: A piece of tanned skin from a Human, Elf or Dwarf(~3)

Description: Green: ribbons orWarp energy rear the flesh from me target's bones. Select a single carger within 10 yards (5 squares). That rarger takes a Damage 5

h it each round, regardless of armour Of Taughne s Bonus, for a number Qf rounds equal to your Magic Characteristic.

Mantle of Contagion

Casting Number: 6 Casting Time: Half action

Ingredient: A SWatch, of flesh cut from me back of a plague victim (t 1)

Description: You tairrr a blanker, cloak, or piece of clothing with a virulenr straln of Krurs, Anyone rhar touches or wears the item for a minute or more must succeed at

a Challenging (-10%) Toughness Test or conrract the disease.

Musk of Terror

Casting Number; 20 Casting Time: Half action

Ingredienc An iron token carved with the Horned Rat's symbol ('t-3)

Description: 'lou summon a large cloud of demonic musk, forcing all erearures within to cower with [error. The cloud appears anywhere within 36 yards (18 squares) of you, and lasts for ~ number of rounds equal [Q your

Magic Characteristic. Use. the large template. Anyorre within the cloud must succeed at a Terror Test (see WFRP. page 198). Skaven suffer a -10% penal ty [Q this test. An affected character mat has been rernevedfrorn the cloud conrinues (0 suffer from [be effects of Terror fm 1 additional minute (6 rounds).

Pelt of the Assassin

Casting Namber: 1 Q

Casting Time: Half action Ingredient: A chameleon scale (+2)

Description: By aJlLllg upon the. ever-changing chaos

of [he Warp, you alter the. structure of your fur so that it changes colour ro march your surrpundtngs. 'When perfectly rill, you gain a +30% bonus [Q any Conceal rnenr SkU! Tests you make. felt of t/-;e assassl» lasts a number of minutes equal (0 your Magic Characterisric.

Pestilent Breath

Casting Number: 16 Casting Time: Full action

Ingredient: A stick of Warps cone incense lint borh ends (+2) Description: You exhale a pestilent, poisonous cloud ar your

enemies. Use the cone template. Anyone within rhe

cone. must succeed at a Challenging (-1 O%} Tough ness Test or take a Damage 4 hir regardless of armour or Ibughuess Bonus. You are immune to your own pestilent breath.

Plague

Casting Nurnber: 26

Casting Time: Pull action Ingredient:Aspcitrldingofseveral dead fleas (+3) Description: You infect one Or more characters within 18

yards (9 squares) with the Green Pox. Use me small template. All affected characters musr succeed, at a Toughness Test or suffer the immediate effecrs of the disease, losing 5% fmm every characteristic 011 their main profile. The firsr rime ocher characters came into dose contact (melee range) with anyolle a.ffecred by me pla.gue, [bey mUST also succeed at Toughness Tests or they will also become infected with Green Pox. These secondary rargcrs suffer rhe normal effecrs of the disease, rather chan the rapid-onset version suffered by the original rar-ge[s. Likewise. these secondary targets can only pass on the disease by normal means rather than

to anyone who comes near them. Arryone who succeeds on either Toughuess Ten cannot be afftlcted by other casdngs of the plagll£ spell, even if GIS[ by other wizards, for 24 hours.

Poisonous Pustule

Casting Number- 10 Casting Time: Half action

Ingredient Arus~healer's lance (+2)

Description: You create a pulsing, seeping pustule on one of your extremities, When lanced and drained (which

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

inflicts 1. Wound upon you, regardless of yOUI' Toughness Bonus or armour). the pus from ills weeping sore can

be spread oruo a band weapon. If a weapon coated with this toxic secretion inflicts at leasr 1 Wound, it deals

an additional number of Wounds equal ro your Magic Characrerisric unless [he target ucceeds at a Hard (-20%) Toughness Tesr.

Putrefy

Casting Number: 8 CastingTime; Half action

Ingredient: A handful of rorren grain (+1)

Description: With a flourish and a curse, you Gause an amount of food to rot and decay, rendering it rorally inedible. Use the large template. You can plJtrejj any amount of food within this radius, This spell is used with great effect [0 induce famine in urface populations. Any creature char ears the infected food is auromarically infected with rue Galloping Trots.

Skitterleap

Casting NWDbu, 8

Casting Time: Half action Ingredient: lhehind legofarar (+1)

Description: With a sound of inrushing air and a puff of brimsrone-scented smoke, yQU teleport yourself or one ally within l2 yards (6 squares) to any locarion that you have line of sigh c to. If releporting an ally. he rnusr be of Human-size. or smaller. You must be able to physically see the location due youa.re releporcing yourself or your

ally ro, and this location must, be free of obstructions and at leasr Z yards (1 sQU31'c) removed from any objects (other [han me surface yo L1 will end up standing on) or creatures.

Stidzypaws

Gasting Number: 12 Casting Time: Half action

Ingredient: A drop of glue or honey (+2)

Description: You gram yourself me ability to walk er crawl upon walls and ceiling at a speed equal [Q yQur normal Movement Characteristic. This spell lase; a number of minutes equal to your Magic Characteristic, Objects you carry or wear are still affe,cted by gravity in a normal fashion, and taU to the greund if dropped.

SwiftscaWper

Casting Number: L4

Casting Time: Half action Ingredient: An Elf's scalp (+2)

Description: You gmnr YOUIseLf the ability move at an increased rare. 'i. our Movement Characreristic increases by an amount equal to your 1agic Characteristic. This additional speed lasts for one minute (6.rOlLnds), plus one additional round per poinc thatyouf Casting RoLL exceedsthe spell's Casting Number.

Toxic Rain

Casting Number: 24

Casting Time: fuji action Ingredient; A baby cave viper (+3)

Description: Calling upon me power of the Horned Rat, you conjure a poisonous cloud that drifts above a dozen

feer above the ground up to 36 yards (1 B squares)

away. Use tire large template. On the round following roe tasting of this spell, the cloud rains a lethal polson upon all characters within the affected area. All creatures in 'roe affected area must succeed at a Toughness Test

or slip lnro a nightmare-filled slumber. Additionally;

ail Characters in the affected area must succeed all. a Challenging (-10%) Toughness Iesr each round or

rake a Damage 2 hit, regardless of arrnou r or Toughness Bonus. Slumbering characters who succeed on three Toughness Tests in a row throw off the illens of this spell. Otherwise, they can be awakened normally;

The poisonous cloud lasts for one minute (6 rounds), plus one additional round per point of y:o.m Magjc Characteristic.

Traceless Demise

Casting Number: 22 Casting Time; One hour

Ingredieat. An ounce ofWarpsrone. consumed by the rargerfs) (+3)

Descriptionr The body of any crearure that dies while under the o:ffecrs of this spell melt'S away into a fauL-smelling black slime. Traceless demise is commonly easr upon the assassins of Clan Eshin before they embark on a hum.

80

Chapter V: SkavenWarfare

ensuring that no Skaven corpses are le.ft behind. This spell aflecr a number of allies equal ro four times your Magic Characteristic, and lasts for a: number of hours equal [0 your Magic Characreristic,

Veil of Flies

Casting Number: 18 Casting Time: Full action

Ingredient: A piece ef Nurgliog dung (+2)

Description: Wirh a curse and a tlailing of your arms. YOll summon -a cloud of gnats and biring flies. They swarm about you, biting and stinging your enemies. Cenne the small template on you. The swarm moves wid) you and lasts for a number of rounds equa.l to twice your Magis Characteristic. Opponents within the swarm suffer a -1(1-% pena1~ [0 all tests. veil of flit!! alse makes it hard for you r enemies to see you .• imposing a -20% penalty to all Ballistic Skill Tests madeagainsr yeu.

Vennintide

Casting Number: 14 Casting Time: ,Full action

Ingredient: A wheel of Good cheese (+2)

Description: You summon a mass of voracious rats to swarm over and arrack your foes. Centre the large template on you [0 represent the rats. All crcarures (except you) within rile area of thisspell ['<ll<e a Damage lhit each round they remain in tne swarm. On rhe following round, the swarm of tats moves L2 yards (6 squares)

in a direction you specify. Once they move you lose eontrol over the swarm, and each round rhe swarm moves in a random direction. 'The warm retains irs cohesion for 11 number of rounds equal ro yowr Magit:

Charaoreris ric,

Warp Lightning

Casting Number: 11

Casting Time: Half action Ingredient: A slender €.Opper rod. (+2)

Description: You send a powerful, sizzlIng belr ofwarp lightning at a Single foe within 48 yards (24 squares). This is a magic missile with Damage 5,. For every 1 war comes up Oil your Casting Roll, you take a Damage I hit as you lose control of the wa_[p energy-you try ro harness.

Warp Stars

Casting Number: 26 Casting Time: Half acrion

Ingredient: A silver shuriken carved with runes of chaos (+3) Description: You conjure up a number of poisoned wnrp

slim equal ro your Magk Characrerisricand Bing them at one or more opponents within 36 yards (18 squares). Wtlrp stars are 71illgie missiles with Damage 2. A utarp star rhar deals at least 1 Wound deals 5 additional Wounds unless the rarger succeeds ar a Hard (-20%) Toughness Ten.

81

Warp Storm

Casting Number: 18 Casting Time: Full acrion

Ingredient: The 1 ikeness of the Homed Rat carved from copper (+2)

Description: You summon a storm of warp lightning anywhere within 48 yards (24 squares). "D-us storm i formed of pure warp ene_rgy. fuelled by the malignant power of

the Horned Rat, and mar appear in any locale, even underground, Use [he large.remplate [0 represent the WllI-p storm. An chose affected rake a Damage S· hit. For every I thar comes up on your Casting Roil, you rake a Damage :3 nit as the power of the warp careens our of your control.

We'lling Wounds

Casting Number: 12 Casting Time: Half action.

Ingt'edient: AgobLjnclaw cover-ed in furL, (+2)

Description: You cause an enemy's wounds [Q become horribly infected. -weeping wounds.is a magic missile with.arange of2{ yaras (12 squares). lfi[ .irnpacrs a mcger wbo has suffered one ormore Critical Hits, the targets wounds become infected. Infection is a disease mar lasts 7

day, The victim of an infected injury does nor recover Wounds normally, and suffers a -10% penalty ro ill

the Charaererisnes on his Main Profile. Characters with the Heal skill can shorten me duration of this disease

as normal. bur rhe difficulty of the Heal 'Iesr to do so is increased [0 Challeaging (- J 0%).

The biggesr Ilsers-{)fWarpSt0ne ill the Old World are undoubtedly the Skaven. They have devised, all manner of uses fOJ the subseacce, from augmenting their spells to powering strange automatons. If a character is lucky (or unlucky) enough to uncover a piece ofWarpsmne, he may use ir, Warpstone.is quire parent, bur it is also dangerous. even rnore so [0 those who don't respect or understand irs pawer. Warpsmne·s effec[s depend on ehe form in which it i found as well as LtS quantiry and me degree of exposure,

Any character who fuils his Toughness Test" when exposed to Warpsmne gains 'a mutation. Roll on Table 2-1: Expanded Chaos Mutations in me Old World &.rtiaryorTable 11-1:

Chaos Murations in WFRP,

W ARPSTONE DUST

Achieved by gI:inding Warps(one into a line whire powder. this dust has irs grearesr effect when ingested. Warp,smne Dust is commonly used by Grey Seers to enhance their ability [0 manlpulare sercerous energies. For these nor accustomed [0 eating Warpsrene. the effecrs are quite dangerolLS, causingall sorts of negative rnurarioas.

Skavcn treat Warpsrone Dust as if they bad consumed a Warpsrorm: Token. For all others, subjects must succeed on a Tough ness Test wj~ba diflicuhy dependanr on me exrenr of conraor or gain a .muration. A Single dose ofWarpstone Dust is one, ounee,

Very Easy (+30%): pilling a small amount on clothing. Easy (+201)/0): Skill contaot with a small amount. Routine (+10%): Skin conracr with a moderare amount. Avel'age (+0%): Swallowing or breathing in a small amounr or skin coruact with a large amount. Challenging (-10%): Swallowing or breathing in a moderate amount or skin contact wirh one dose.

Hard (~O%): Swallowing or breathing in a lWO doses 'or more.

Very Hard (-30%): Swallowing or breathing in the five doses Or more.

W ARPSTONE TOKENS

Warps[Q[lC Tokens are small pieces ofWarpstonc, occasionally sbaped in rusks, but also in rings. wedges, or small blocks,

kaven eat them to aid in .spellcasdng, Other characters mat come inro contact with a Warp tone Token must succeed On a Toughness Test or gain a mutation. Ir is geLle.rally impossible for non-Skaven co successfully consume one of these Tokens, but if arrempred, rhe individual must succeed on a Hard {-20%J Toughness Test 00 avoid gaining a mutation.

Assuming a character survives contact with a Warpsmne Token lnract, he can use the substance as an additional tngredienr, Each Token used adds +3 [0 che next Casting Roll, bur ir

also increases me risk ofTzeecch's Curse. Treat all doubles on Casting Rolls as triples, and all triples as quadruples.

UNREFINED W ARPSTONE

Raw Warpsrone is dangerous even [0 Skaven, Touching this substance with unprotected hands deals a Damage 3 hit (regardless of armour or Toughness Bonus). III additi011, the subject permanently loses 1 Wound as the bum FrQffi couching the rock never heals. Finally, subjects au rornarically gain 011 rnutation.

Warlock Engineers, Master Moulders and other villains in

kaven society treasure such lodes since it allows them co create me most abominable creations, ranging from Warpfire Cannons [0 Rae Ogres_SpelLcasters who casting spells within

6 yards (3 squares) or less of unrefined Warps COlle gain a +6 bonus to Casting Roils, but must also roll an addirional die called a Chaos Die. Do nor apply this die towards me spell's Casting Number. Instead, it is used simply 10 increase the chances of Tzeenrch's Curse. If the spellcaster does roll doubles. he also gains a side effect as if he bad ased Dhar.

-

-

Warpstone is me cornerstone [0 Skaven magic, Sorcerers; Grey Seers, and even Plague Priests aLL tap Into [he resource re augmenrtheir spells, and the rnaterial also fuds their magical devices. Most Skaven magic items are weapons; they-are a warlike race, afrer all. A fsw are protective devices, bur these are rare since It is in [he besr interest of any Skaven to allow his fellows (0 perish so mar be may climb [0 power.

Nor all of these objects ace fashioned by Warlock Engineer paws. A few hearken back to d:1I~ earliest days ofSkaven society; having changed hands fm generations. These items are as fickle as the Skaven god, and ace exceptionally dangerous to handle, ler alone use.

Finally, the Skaven are.never shy about appropriating items from their noa-Skaven enemies. Many of me Items that the Skaven now chum as their own were originally created by other races, bur .have since been lost [0 the Rannan hordes. To rum an adwt;sary's weapons againsr him is an act of spite thar aU Sk.aven relish.

Amulet of the Horned One

Academic Knowledge: Magic

Powers. So long as me character wears me Amulet of the Horned One, he regains 1 Wound each hour. The user must continually wear the Amuler for: an hour to gain its effecrs.

Histo.ry: It is not dear from where me Amulet of the HOI'Iled One came. Some claim ir is a gifi from me Homed

82

Chapter V:

One himself, and its history supports this view. Ir is

said [hat the Amulet first appeared around me neck

of the dreaded Scrench, a Seer Lord of no mall skill. For as JOl'lg as he wore it, he could survive me worst treacheries, recovering from knife wounds, spells, and even poisoning, One day, rhough, when ccnfrenred by a group of his students, he prepared rodesrroy them

all when the Am ulet van ished from around his neck. Fearing he had lost the favour of the Homed Rat, he tried ro Ree but fell [Q the wicked knives of his former apprentices. Since Scrench' dearh, me Amulet of the Horned One has changed hands many times, and mosr recently hangs from the neck of the infamous Grey Seer Thanquol himself:

Blade of CorruptiaD

Academic Knowledge: Magic

Powers: The Blade of Corruption funetiens as a hand weapon.

However, if the wielder lnflict'S a Wound with this weapon, his epponenr must immediately make a Challenging (-10%) Toughness Test. On a failed te t, the character rakes an additional Damage 3 hit as the weapon~ poison courses througn his ... eins, If used by

a non-Skaven, me Blade of Corrupdon slowly poi ons irs wielder. The victim must succeed on a Challenging (-10%) Toughness Test each time he uses it in combat, On a fulled rest, he reduces his Toughness haracrerlstic by -ldlO%. If the Blade of Cecruprion reduces his Taughness to 0%, he dissolves into a srisky mess of pestilential goo.

Hlsrory: The Blade of Corruprion has long been a treasured arrefacr from the days when Clan Pesrilens haunted [he lands of Lusrrla, A vile weapon, it has It long wavy edge and drips It foul green Huld from its rip. The Skaven whisper that this weapon was forged ill [he earliest days of Skaven hisrery and was cooled in [hoe blood of Slann.

aoak of Shadows

Academic Knowledge: Magic

Powers: While worn, any creatures thar attask you using ranged weapons or magic missiles must first succeed on a Challenging (-10%) Will Power Test. On a faUed test, the artaeker must select a different target.

History: Woven from the hair of Clan Esh i n murder victims, this long black cloak casts a pall over its wearer. Though ancientrthe Cloak of Shadows has survived countless wars and attempts to kill irs wearer. Stranger still, even though it has been CUt, burned, and nearly incinerated, i. always repairs itself, Some Skaven believe that the CJoak grows with each kill made by an Assassin Adept.

Dwarf~S1ayer

Academic Knowledge: Hisrory

Powers: This hand weapon inflicts SB..,3 Damage vs, Dwarfs.

To addition, the Critical. alue of any Crirical Hirs illtlic[ed upon Dwarf rargers is increased by +3,

lf'used by a non-Skaven, Dwarf-Slayer devours me mind of the wielder: Each time the user touches this weapon,

he must succeed on a Challenging (-10%) WilJ Power Test or gain J Insanity Point. If rhe wielder gains 6 Insanity Points from this weapon, he auromarically gains a terrible hatred of Dwarfs and must henceforth attack these creatures on sight,

History: The Dwarf Slayer is an ancient blade fashioned by

the Skaven when they barded against the Dwarfs for conrrel of the World's Edge Mountalns. Again-st Dwarfs, Ir idiers horrendous wounds. f ts curved blade is deeply etched with epithets and curses agai nsr rhe Dwarfish race, and each engraving is filled with the dried blood of coundess stout folk.

Fellblade

Academic Knowledge: History

Powers: TIle PeJlblade is a sword with the Impaer Quality

rim i nflicrs SB+ 1 Damage. Any Skaven wieldi ng the Pellblade has his Strength Characreristlc increased by +200/0·. Each round that a characrer wields the Fellblade, he musr succeed ar a Hard (-2-0%) Toughness Test or rake a Damage 3 bit regardless of armour: orToughness Bonus. on-Skaven mUST succeed at a Very Hard (- 30%) Toughness Test or [like a Damage 5 hlr regardless of armour or Toughness Bonus.

History: Inthe dim days of Skaven history, the Rarmen waged war against Nagash. To aid intheir efforts co destroy [his vile ecrornancer, they forged this wleked sword. blending Gromril stolen from Katak AzgaI with Warpsw[]e. The result of their horrid labours was chis long-bladed sword. The weapon exudes power and malice, and chose Skaven who-use tbis weapol'l in battle are almost always consumed by [he sword's hate.

The Fogl Pendant

Academic Knowledge: Magic

Powers: Curls of green foul-smelling smoke rise from mis blasphemous arrefact, granting the wearer 2 Armour Poinrs to all locations. The prorecnon.granred From this device overlaps with any armour worn.

History: Gifts from the Council of Thirreen te their most dedicated and accomplished (oHowers, Foul Pendants oft-en switch hands soon aftet they are awarded. The)' a"e tokens in rhe.form of iii. simple rat skull strung upon an iron main. Skaven who are blessed Wirh a Poul'Pendant are often singled out for pecial trearmenr by [ealous rivals and covetous allies.

Staff of the Homed One

Academic Knowledge: Magic

Powers: The wielder of the Stalf of the Horned One may case an additional Lesser Magic Spell of his choosing. Once selected, the wjeJder cannot change the lesser Magic pell invested in me Sralf If die item changes owners,

the new possessor seleersa new Lesser Magic Spell.

History: This long Staff is made of blackened wood and capped with a Warpstulle symbol of the Lord of Decay, Believed to be-the symbol ofauchonry of the first Grey eer, ir has a long and colourful history; having changed

83

~k· ~~~±f~~~~~===~~.~:~p~te~.r~V;:~S~k:av~e~n~VV~·~ruf~.;ar~e==~~~~~~~~~~~

hands dozens ofnmes since irs creation.The Grey Seer strange ideas to life by constructing all manner :of weird devices.

Thanquo] came into possesslon of this Staff early in his Whilemis is fine, it's important DO note that building larger

career a,frer murdering his mentor and teacher, and stranger devices is beyond the scope of ihis game and best reserved for 1i?i1l'hammer FtmtllSJ Battfa. What follows are basic rules to construct Skaven -cechnology of your own design.

CLANSKRYRE TECHNOMANCY

While there areareaae items aplenty in Skaven society, most of me objects [bat COme [I;) mil surface are devices assembled by Warlock. Engineers, Unreliable, dangerous, and thoroughly destructive, this equipmenraiJows me WailockE:ngineers

to rival [be migor of the Grey Seers themselves, thougb they would never-openly admit this.

Given the experlmenral nature of these devices. they have it tendene)" ro explode ar unexpected rimes, desrroylng as many Skaven as they do their enemies. Furthermore, these items

are deeply infused with Warpsrone and Warp energy. malting handling such devices risky and often lethal. Handling an item that uses or iacorporares 'Warpstone in its design 1s tantamount to coming in direrr contact wi lit the material itself fu; a general rule, to uch ing a Warpst!;,lI1e Anefact requires a non-Skaven character to make a Challenging (-l 0%) Toughness Test or

gain IdIOtS mutations. .

In this chapter, we've seen a variety of Skaven devices fro:m the wsrplock jeuafls[.() me poisoned wind globe. While these common items are good examples of devices iliat work, they barely scrarch the sw:fiu:e of the less reliable innovations round in the Claa Ski-yre Workshops. Skave.n Player Characters who are members of CIao Skryre may W;lri[ to biing their OWIl

REQUIREMENTS

To ccasrrucr a teclulnlogica:ldevice, a Skaveu must have the Trade (Engineering) Skill and the Warlock Engineering Talent. In addition, he must have an ample supply ofWarpsron'e.

DESIGN

The first step in buildlaga new piece of rechnology is [0 determine what it should do. The more powerful rhe device, [he more. complicated and challenging the construction, );0 consider carefully the o.bjecr~ purpose. As a rule, it is better to make something char does jusr one thing rather than a device that does a number of things ..

Malfunctions

111e more powerful the device. the grearer chance 11: has. of malfunctioning. This is represented by rnalfimcrion-c-a value measured bya .percentage chance [bar the ebjeet breaks. Add the malfunction numbers together to determine the hnal chance of breakage every rune the device: is used. Furthermore, while consrructing [he object, there's a good chance that }'0u'll add a few more Haws through sloppy design. Each rime you fail a Trade (Eagi,neering) Test, you increase rhe .malfimctlon chance by I d 1 0%. Y0U can starr over at any time, bur Tokens used are wasted.

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

ExISTING WARP TECHNOLOGY

The described Clan Skryre devices are cried and [rue. with all. the problems generally presem in Skaven redmolegy worked our. Though.some of these devices rna)' have their own drawbacks, (hey are nor subject co me malfunction rules presented for new rechnology,

Building Warp device; uses a great deal ofWarpsrone. Each uade'rest requires 1 Warp Token. In addition, once assembled the device must rely Of! Warpstsne fur power. Each function lists the required RJI'lOlIm ofWarpsrone pe): use. Note that 1 pound ofWalJlswne geuetates 4 tokens.

Encumbrance

All}' given device has an encumbrance. value of] dl 0 x 5 pl!r function.

Categories

A possible device falls inro one or more of the following caeegorles:

Characteristic, Skill, Talent, Warp, or W~pon

The category determines [he base dHliculTy of the Trade (Engineering) Tesr. For devices that full under more than one. category (such as one mat boch improves a Characteristic and grams a Talenr), use the harder difficuLt;y. Furtherrnere, the more powerful rhe device. the more successes you need ro complete its consmrcrion.

CbaracteristjC5-Hard ( -2096)

There are two rypes of Characteristic functions. The 'first is rhar of a replacement body part. While relatively reliable, the)' wreak havoc with. the subject's body and mind. Each replacement body parr reduces the subject's Tougb:n.ess by -ld.lO% and bestows Insaniry Points depending on the effeccivcmess of the replacement parr.

The second Cl1aracretistic function is augmentation, These devices improve a Skavel1's existing abilities. For example. a Warp-steel arm frame might bestow a bonus re Srrengrh Tests. while a Skaven thought mulriplier mighr bolr onro a subject's head and grant a bon us 10 Intelligence Tests.

Characteristic funcriens can only alter Characterisrics on

the Main Profile. Using-a Characteristic Device is a Free Action. Roll for malfunction whenever me device is used (essentially whenever called co make a Characteristic: Test

or associated Skill Test). You can halve rhe.amounr of Malfuacticn by imposing twice the bonus as a penalrytc anomer Characteristic. If the penalty reduces the subjeet's Characceri tic to 0% or lower, the subject explodes ill a greasy mess of fur and gristle.

TABLE 6-6: CHARACI'ERlSTIC FUNCI'lONS

Cost Malfimction Insanity

Increase by + ] d 1 0% 5 10/0 3-
Increase by +2d I 0% 10 1%
15 1% 8
entatum
+ 1 0% bonus 3 2%
+20% bonus 6 3%
+30% bonus 12 6%
TABLE 6,: SKILL FONCfIONS Cost Malfunction
2 L%
4 2%
8 4%
16 8%
4 2%
8
16 8%
32 16% Function

Bestow Skill

Basic

+10%

--------------~----------

+20%

+30% Advanced +10% +20%

+30%

mtSkill General

'-------

+10%

+20% +30%

2 4

-- 1%

2%

4%

8

Specific +10%

1%

+20%

2

2%

4

SkiU--Challenging (-10%)

Skaven technology can also provide. skills or bonuses to skills. Like Charaererisr.ic functions, Skill functions fall into rwo categories. The Ilis[ is Bestow Skill. Here, me user gains access to a new skill. The second is Skill Augmemation, providing a bonus ro all or some Tests using a skill char (he user already has. For instance, a device might confer a bonus [0 all Perception Tests or [0 Ilstening-based Perception Tests. Ln me case of'the former. this is called a General kill Augmentation, and in the later, lr is called a. Specific. Skill Augmentation.

You can halve theamounr of Malfunction for General Of Spedfic kill Augmentations by imposing twice me bonus as a. penalty to-another Skill.

85

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

TABLE 6-8: TALENT FUNcrIONs

Function Cost Malfunction

----------- ------------

Black Hunger" 4 4%

Flee! 3

Fleet Footed Frenzy

5

5% 4% 6%

4

---------

6

5 6 5

5%

5%

---------

6%

4

4%

5

5%

Quick Draw Rapid Reload

---

3% 2% 3% 3%

-----

4%

Resistance to Disease

Resistance to Poison

Skaven Construct"

4

4%

10

Strike Mighty Blow

6%

6

Unsettlln

5 4

5% 4%

"See Chapter Seven: Slewen Characters for details.

+*When applied ta anomer creature, this Talent is permanenr and cannot be removed. There's a 50% chance thar this Talent also provides the Unreliable Construct Talem" as well.

Of me skills in WFRP, only the following can be bestowed or augmented: Command. Concealment, Follow Trail, Hypnotism, Intimidate, Magical Sense, Navigation. Perception, Pick Lock, Prepare Poison, Sale Sheer Surface, Search, Silent Move, Speak Language, Swim, Terrure, Trade, and Ventrilequism ..

Talent-Nard ( -2Q%)

Skaven devices can also gram use of certain ral en rs, A device that grants the Prenzy'Talent might inject me Skaven with stimulants, while a device mat grants Night Visien might take the form of goggles. You cannot reduce. the malfunction chance for these Talents.

Warp---Yery Hard ( -to96)

The very- best Warlock Engineers use their talents co harness the latent dark energies found in WarpstoD.c to produce nigh-

TABLE 6--9: WARF FUNcrIONS

These spells appe-ar in Chapter Seven; Magic, in WFRP.

Cost
'( Characteristic'
+J 5
+2 10
+3 15
+4 20
Armour of Darlml'JJ 5
Black Whil'lwind re
Chaos' 5
CrackLing Doom 4
Dark Hand oj Destruaion" 9
ToI(ch of Chaos'" 10
~i' ojCorrupr;.on· U
I~I}' Lightning 6
9 Malfunction

2% 5% 5% 6% 3% 5%

magical effects. In effect, they gain powers akin rothose [rained in magic through the machines rhey construct. These objects essentially function like pells, requiring the user co throw Casting Dice to hit the spell's casting number. fu; with casring a spell, using these devices are extended aerions (see WFRP, page 141) and each round spent using the device consumes the normal amount ofWarpsreoe (see Using the Deviee, below).

When constructing a Warp device, you must first purchase

a number of effective Magie Points contained within the

object. These poinrs are an inherent Magic Characteristic (or determining how many dice are thrown during the Casting Roll. N with [be casdng of any spell, Y011 are subject [0 Tzeentcb's Curse. lfl.fitct, it's even worse for these devices: eyery time you make a Casting Roll, you must J0U a number of dice equal to the Magic Characreristic (you. can never use fewer dice).

At the CM's option, other spells may be available for Warp technological items. Generally speaking, the items cost in Wacpstone Tokens is half the Cascing Number of the spell and the chance tor malfunction is half the W:l.tpsmne Token COSt. In both cases, round up.

The Warlock Engineers of Clan Skryre are most famed for their weapons. Wafplod jezeails and pistols. Poison Wind Globes, and a variety of other nefarious devices inspire team in chose who have faced the Skaven.

Witbin this anegory, youcan do one of two things with weapons. First, you can. upgrade.an existing miSsile weapon,

86

Chapter Y: Skaven Warfare

6-10: WEAPON FUNCTIONS

Cost

ijlpgrade

Add Qua1iry Increase Damage +1

+2

10 5'%
10 5%
'20 10%
30 15%
5 2% 1
10 5%

4 2%
8 4%
16 8%
32 16%
64 32% Per Quality Ranged Darna e 1

2

3

4

5

Number of Hits 1

2

3

4

4% 80/0 16%

8 16 32

------~--------

Area.

Single Target Cone

Small Template Large Template

Ran$,e (per +2/4 __ ) _

Reload

Half

Eiull

2 Full 3 Full 4 Full

10 10 20

5% 5% 10%

5

20 10

10% 5% 3% 10/0 1%

5 2

as With the warplock jeszail. Basically, YOll rake an existing weapon and make ir bener.lfyou upgrade an existing weapon, it gains me unrel iab!e quality. 1£ the weapon already has the unreliable qualiry, it gains the experimental quality. If it already has the experimental qualiry; it jams if the arrack roll is 90-97 and explodes on. resulrs 0 f 9·8-00,

Second, you can bulld a weapon from scratch> as with the warpfire cannon. Have your GM assign the weapon to the appropriate group. Y0lLC GM may impose other expenses depending 011 we particular weapon you'd like to build.

Other Tyl'fs

TIle categories described here.are JUSt the beginning of what can be. constructed using Warlock Engineering. Your imagination Is die anly llrnit to whar can be creared, FOt example, you might be in retested in creating a hand-held Farsqueaker device, one that would allow l"\VO Skaven [Q communicate over a vast distance. In this case, you'd have [0 determine [he range of communication, the clarity of the tran mined signal, and the difficulry for ereauug thls obiecr; ketch out: your ideas and work with your GM [Q come up with afiir solution.

BUlLDlNG THE DEVICE

Once you determine all the functions the device should have, you need ro make a series of Trade (Engineeriog) Tests [Q complete me object. The number of successful tests required equals the number ofW::upstoJle Tokens used divided by 3 (round [.\P, minimum 1 Test). Recall thar every fiiled test increases the device's malfunction chance by +ldlO%. Each Test counts as one day's work

USlNG THE DEVICE

As mentioned. activating a device is a free action. bur ifjt's a weapon, you'll srill need to take the normal required actions (aiming and firing, swinging, erc.) to use it. Also, every

warp device requires Warpscone to operate. The alUOUlH of Warpsrone required PI!,r use is equal ,0 one-quarter the total number efWarjlstOne Tokens invested in me object's creation (round up). You Can feed as many Warps tone Tokens into [he machine's hopper as you like.

So, [eve defines mel paLamerers of me device. Er,S(, it will have two functions, so It has an encumbrance oF2dlO x 5. Steve rolls an] 1, so [he item has 55 units of encumbrance, ,

. a lime more bulky than a blunderbuss, Nex:r, Steve decides this machine will Improve me user's Srrengrh Char;:le[e,ri~tic

by + 10% and. provide a +200/0 bonus La aU Perception Tests, Looking atTable 6-7: Characteristic Functions, be finds mar the device's Strength increase function costs 3 Warpsmne tokens and gives lt a 2% chance of rnalfuncdon, NelIT he

looks at Table 6-8: Skill Functions, To generally enhance

a skill requires four more Warpstone tokens and increases

the malfuncrlon chance by 2%, SQ, this device will cost 7 Warpsrone tokens and has a 4% malfunction chance,

Steve calls the device me Srrong-Smarr Mega-Enhancer. It censists of a frame worn over barb arms, each of which is connected to a hose thar feeds into a generator rhar the Skaven wears 011 hi~ back Finally, small wires rna from the generator directly into [he Skaven's head. [0 stimulate the proper portions of the brain for sensing attackers.

Now, all that's left: is to make the skill rests, He clivi des the number ofW.arpsrone tokens needed to build the ireru, 7, by

3, resulting in 2,~. Rounding up, he Ends that irs going [Q

take three successful tests to complere me ccasrruction over

three days, He fails the first rest, racking another day onto the construction process and increasing the machine's malfunction by + 1 d 1 0%, He rolls a 5 for the malfunction increase, then proceeds [0 succeed on his next three Trade (Engineering) T esrs, allowing him [0 complete the machine. Kycldl bestows me gift

ro Slinock and rakes a frigh~enedsrep back, bowing his head

in deference, Slinock can now use me Srrong-Srnart MegaEnhancer. It uses 2 Warpscone Tokens every dille he uses It, so he makes sure: ro load lr full before scrring our. However, whenever be makes a Strength or Perceprion Test, mere's a 9% (base 4% + 5% for the fitiled Trade rest) chance mat rhe device maltimcdons.

Chapter V: Skaven Warfare

MArruNcrroNs

Any time the machine malfunctions, roll on me following table ro see what happens,

FlUJNG IN THE BLANKS

Once you've builr the device, your nexr step is t€l derermine whac it looks like, how it functions and what ie's called. Use common sense as fa>: as what it hould 100k like, so don't, for example, have an item char improves one's sense of smell look like a pair of trousers, The device should be strange, unnerving, and full of pipes, hoses, whirly things, and gauges, none of which make.sense co anyone except (he builder,

As far as names go, use pseude-scienrlfic prefixes like super-, giga-, mega-, and so on, and arrach them to other mechanical terms llke accumularcr, conductor, or rransistor. AlrermHively, you could, name them after their function- in a decidedly Skaven way, A device thac aids in climbing mighr be called

a Quickclimber or Heighrreacher. Likewise, somerhing that spews molten Warpsrone could be called Man-thing megaincinerator, Be creative, and a little silly.

SAMPLE DEVICE

Steve is playing a Clan Skryre Warlock Engineer named Kyrk~. To irnprove.hls standing In the group, he decides

tt;! .make a special !1evice for Slineck, his Clan Chief, He decides to cneare all object drat improves Streng~h and char also sharpens his senses, So, cousulring with his GM and

the appreptiace Tables, Sceve sees he'll have [0 make Hard (- 20%) Trade (Engineering) Tests=-caugh, bur nor impossible. And, If the device malfunctions while Slinock uses it, Kyrkil' character's Station will simply Increa e, Kill-kill, quick-quick. and all rhar,

01-10 11-20

21-3D

31-50 51-60

61-70

71-80 81-90

6-n: MALFuNCTIONS

What} that I'm!!"? The device works normally, bur a compol'lcm starts [0 smoulderIncrease mal function chance by + 1 %,

Is it hot in hm!? The device works normally, but It catches fire. Make an Agility Test or you catch fire: [DO. If extinguished in

...... ldlO/2 rounds., it can be saved, only increasing the malfunction chance by Idl0/5%. OthelWjse, it is ruined. -'

Whqri! does this piecfgo? The device works normally. but spits aut an Impertanr compon!!ll(, Increase malfunctlon chance

by +ldl0/2%

I The item doesn't function this round.

--~--- ------

What in the name o/the Harned God was THAI? The device doesnr function this round" instead making a horrid. sound

and using wke [he number of WarpstOl1e Tokens.

r-----

5rupjd machine! The device doesn't function this round, instead making a tremendous .racker assomething integral breaks,

Increase malfunction chance +ldIO%

--------

Ouch! The item bursts with.a feeble esplosicn. Take a Damage 3 hit.

Exp/osionfThe device explodes. Use me small remplare. All characters in me affected area take a Damage 4 hit char ignores armour.

91-00 MtlJsi1lt: Explosion/The device explodes in a shower of green energy, Use me huge template, All characters in die affected area rake a Damage 5 hit mar ignores armour.

88

Chapter VI: Skaven Characters

~i~ ~j)@~

"Lisren up boys. In my experience, [here are three types of Skaven: whire ones, black ones, and everything else. Some may be big, some small, but aU die covered in

h . . "

r etr own p~ ...

-FINAL WORDS OF GREGOR ScHMIDT, SEWER JACK CAPTATh"I

Even for Old. Worlders who believe in me existence ef [he Skaven menace, few would gIl so far as to arrribute to these beasts the in telligenee and personality of Humans.

kaven society does not celebrate individual worth, So those who interact with Skaven as individuals have-a hard time noting distinct personaliry traits, and when .. a horde offur,

teem and claws boils our of the bowels of a city, no one

takes time [Q hold a conversation. This error of judgemenr is made by Humans time and again, and oFren enough leads to [heir downfall. For the Skaven are thinking things-hungry, intelligent, and deadly rhings, And underesrimaring them is rhe surest road to damnation.

The Skaven are creatures of pure ego and sdfishness moriva red only- by rhe Fear of those above them in rank. the burning desire (0 replace those superiors with themselves, and a duty [0' exterminate

all.races noe rheir own, They have little consideration

fin anything beyond zhese goals-no honour, no courage. no sense of decency or justice, and absolutely no ethics.

Whioh are, of course, the opposite of characteristics commonly fauud in heroic characters in a roleplaying game: a sense of'honour, courage under fire, a devotion to something greater, and a firm dedication [0 teamwork and collaboration, Playing a Skaven means forgerting alJ rhar. It means cad ng only

about your own measly bide. It means being cowardly, craven and despicable. It means stabbing your buddy in the hack.

Ir's.irtiporeanr, dierefere, [0 ensure [hat any antagonism in a

Skaveo sampaign is kept between characters and 110[ players. BefaIe you do anydring, everyone at the table needs re understand and accept the kind (1F moral backsliding involved. Otherwise, miscommunications can occur, and tedings might get .hurc However, _baYing established this, yell are free to give In [0 }JOW" baser desires, which i what makes playing a Skaven se much fun.

Quiek-quick! MCY1Je--move! The man-thing looks away. Strike now.!

Oh mo5trorten of hearts, eater of cheese,ye oj great and circular inreUecr,I quait before you andyour almost majesty. Have mercy em OUT poor retched hides,jor we are be.nealh conrempt, (00 iMignificanr to be struck down by you vast-vaSt power ...

- ~ICAL CLANRAT dDDRESS TO A GREY SEER

'1:' es, of COU·Tse I understand. Just be sure ••• be su.re •.. to hide rhis. If ix came our ... well, I'd be ruined!'

If you are a G M, you have ''Yes-maybe, man-thing. We hiIle-1'eveal seerers, You serve-

nothing [0 worry about obey "us, 1O~ rward!'

1 because you are used to giving

-EYEWIT!iIESS ACCOUNT OF SOME SHADOWY into your baser desires. But

1."lI.ANSACI10N for players and GMs alike, it

-SNICKlTCH, Ci.t.WLEADER.

Chapter VI: Skaven Characters

isn'r always easy co bring uhe psychology of a character off the pag!': and into-the game. To help geryou starred, here is a.list of some of the major aspects of mosr Skaven characrers, as welJ as the ways in which they are expressed in their actions and choices.

Nobody wants to spend we entire session talking in a high pitched squeaking voice, bur a disrincrive Skaven voice can go along way to establishing mood. Whining is geed if you call keep rr from being annoying; equally suirable are a scratchy hiss, 11 snarling growl or an excited whisper . Remeruber [he. nature ofrhe Skaven language, as well: usc lOIS of short.

sharp sentences ramer man one long one, and repeat words

to indicate emphasis. kaven also speak rapidly and typically skip all but me most essential elements of their m.cssages-Ilot because they're dour like the Dwarfs, bur because they're crying to calk as fast as [hey chink. TIley also don'r talk about anything else except what's immediately Important. The Skaven are pragmatists, and-they live in the moment. Keep everything short, punchy and relevant.

CoWER

L1 the Skaven mindser, nothing is of value except yOU! 11fe and your srarus, and the e rwo things arc constandy threatened.

50 the Skaven are constantly afraid. and rend [0 be Inveterate cowards. Even me slightest him of a changing of the odds in the. enemies' favour (even if it i just a bad omen) can cause them to frer, panic, or abandon their mission alrogerher, Your ,cypi,c,'lJ Skaven is lneredibly paranoid, seeing bidden enemies everywhere and certain doom at every turn.

Of course. jllS( because you're paranoid doesn't mean rhey aren't our [Q get YOll. At any moment a Skaven may be challenged

or assassinated by anunderling, or demoted by a superior,

or sacrificed against impossible odds on rhe whirn of the

Lords of Decay. A Skaven's life is cheap, and everyone of his fellow Rarmen is ready, and willing to end.ir, Especially his Clanmares.

This fear does net completely paralyse the kaven, however. They still anacit superior odds or charge into certain slaughter iF roe circumstances, [he Musk, or a superler demand it. JUSt be sure that such acts arc not done OUl: of any sort ofbravery or sense of dury, but rather our of fear of the punishment for failure, due t.O mindless instinct and blood rage, Or due to oueright arrogance ar srupidiry,

SNIFF

Being cowards, Skaven almost never rush into things. Nor when rhey can make orneone el e rush into dUngs first (which is why rhey prefer to lead from [he back). This is true on both a mill rruy scale and a personal scale. In me former case, [he

kaven never arrack wirhour acquiring as much intelligence

as possible. They warch a rarger for weeks or even months, Learning eveeything they can and putting their plans into action. with great slowness and i nfin i re patience, This way, they ensure rhar they won't be observed, and when rhe Cfap finally doses-months or even years lacer_no one sees itcoming.

On a personal level, the Skaven always ral<e. a- sniff around a corner before turning ir, for who knows who er whar might

be waiting there? Likewise, [bey rarely rake acrion without considering all the possible outcomes and other options. TIley ofeen delay their firsr actions in a combat co wait and watch their opponents, so rhey can besr decide whether to fight

or run. At me back of a Skaven's mind, (here is always rho question "What's in it for me?" If the answer isn't one. he likes, or if there is too much of a risk of harm or hindrance, he won't immediately go forward-and he may even go backwards.

SPIT

For a Skaven, nothing is ever as it should be. I f things were as they should be, he would be rulingrhe wodd on [be bones of the lesser races, with a score of breeding females at his beck and call. Bur luckily, he's nor [0 blame f0! this un fomlll are state of affairs.

How can he be, after all, when the Skaven are we rna ter race, and he i the greatest example of mar race? 0, it is most likely me faulr of the lesser races, They constantly refuse ro recognise roe grearness of the SkaveD. They refuse ro die swifcly when attacked, and semetimes even insist on fighting back. This is terribly-frustrating, especially when they win.

To me Skaven, the lesser races are a tide of vermin, existing only to ruin [heir plans. 1hLIS a Skaven is filled with a fiery hatred fm every ocher race, and an unending fulY [Q reach them (heir proper places (which areeither dead ar in their belly). They consider it an insult ro be arracked by them, and even in their death throes they will nor srop spirting our [heir harred .for the inferior scum mat broughr them down.

91

Chapter VI: Skaven Characters

WHlNE

Of course, his nor always the fault of the lesser races mar chings go wIong. Much of me rime, mere is someone else

to blame: your fellow Skaven, After all, ifsomeming: does

go wrong; it can't be your faulT, because you are 'me greatest' Skaven who has ever lived. The only other explanation, men, r5 that one of your superiors or inferior is working against you.

Any setback, therefore, may starr a Skaven into a long and detailed whine about how [he sause of this and every other problem is his Sbven enemies. If a squad is routed, it is rue faulr of the Clanrars' cowardice, Or the cheating Pawleader Erem whom they were purchased. If a tunnelling party gers lost, it is me fault of me foolisb Lords of Decay for providing

a poor map in an attempt to lead you [Q your doorn.Tf ir rains 000 much. or me wells dry up, or it is too hot, Of roo cold. it

is the fault of meddling Grey Seers, trying to crush your spirit with black magic.

Everyrhlng is a plot, II scheme designed byyeur legion of enemies, F(;H [he sele goal ofhurcing you, personally if [rungs were Fair, if things were different, if only your enemies' bones were dusr benearhyour feet and their servants your slaves, iF you were in charge of running things, if you didn't have [0 deal with all the other srup.id, weak and du pllcirou Skaven that surround you. , . if aU of [hose things were the case, men no rhi ng would ever go wrong. and none of whatever trouble YOlI'[C in would ever have happened,

Of course, when your superlors are present, you can'r ,~ay all this.

I nstead, you muse bow and scrape re them, lest They discover your plans to bringthem down. Flanery is 3150 important, although it shouldn't be flowery-a simple recognition of their greatness !irs better with the Skavens dipped language. There is no shame or insult in this deference, however. Your masters have proven their superiority [0 you, and as such it is yOUt duty [0 be below rhern and their righe co treat you as worthless. The aim of me Skaven iSTIOC [Q throw off me oppression of his masters, bur ro become them. Until such time, it is pmdenr and natural ro suffer the conseqllence..s of your lower rank. It i also prudenr and natural, however, [Q find every way possible [Q lessen the worn of these consequences, or [0 pass [hem down onto your own underlings,

CHEW

peaking of underlings, it is a Skavens dury [Q treat lower Ratmen as.harshly as possible. They would do nothing less if they were in your position, and there is noming to be gained by being kind. A Skavcns rroops sbould live in fear of their master's smell, and with the eousranr knowledge he is ahove them in all ways. What is more, should me}' ever even consider thinking otherwise, Or failing co follow orders, mey rrrusr know your vengcal1c:e will b~sw.if[, brutal, absolute and ter.rityil'lg. Of course, truly excessive cruelty can also provide roo mum motivation fur rebellion. The desired balance is to ensure rhar underlings fear terrible retribution if they Gross you yet also. believe they are better off with yell rhan anyone else. This

makes them afraid. to consider assassin arion , and even those who consider it are more likely to squabble over who will lead afterwards than to actually carry OU[ their plans.

A wise Sk:a;VeJ1 does n01: bring too much attention to hls self, lest he become too tempting a target [0 his underlings or roo dangerous a risk to his superiors. However, Ids Important char your underlings understand hew much better you are [han them, and your superiors understand how essential you are ro making them look good. Skaven have a natural tendeney to believe ill their own greatness.

So, JUSt as all &iluees ate due EO me weaknesses or plots of others, all successes are In fact due to your incredible talents. If an assault group decimates the enemy, it is because of your brilliant planning. If a runoelling squadernerges in rhe right place, ir is because your genius intellect found the correct path. Whenever it is the right time, rhe right place, the right weather-this is JUSt more proof [hat you are a master of strategy; logistics, and everyrhiag else.

With greater status ill Skaven sociery comes greater access

ro food, possessions, slaves and living pace. It is therefore Imporranr ro let everyone know exactly what belongs to you, as these positions Indicate your srarus, The more things you mark and the stronger you mark them, the more people learn of your greatness, so be sure ro always make clear what is yoms. Obviously. anything you can fi nd rhar isn'T marked by a superior is aurernarically yours. This is particularly [rue of anything owned by the lesser races. including che races themselves. should you Want some slaves.

DEVOUR

The Skaven apperite is a harsh mistress, and a Skaven is never sure when his next meal will come. So anything hll5.nds that he can eat. he will eat, preferably as SOOE and as faSt as possible. Skaven can digest almost anything, and will frequently do so, but they prefer Fresll meat most of all. Thi is another reason that they like to take captives and, slaves, as they provide portable fresh food if notbing elseis available. Orherwise, rhey ear every animal they find, and the passing of rhei r armies leave behind nothing bur bones.

SURVIVE

Although tile Skaven like to kill and eat everything in rh€ir way, they are not creatures of berserker rage like the Beastmen, 1hey NC cool and calculating, Of at least subtle and sly, and

any violence. rheydo alway has a greater purpose, Nor an:

they truly cowards: they simply refuse co risk rheir lives in

[he unpredierablllry of barde II nless Chey are sure ofwinnlng. The Skaven are nor che strongest of races, and so they have learned co our-rhink [heir opponents. A Skaven almost never gives up his 11fe willingly. He always attempts (0 Bee tEl fighr another day,"of offers a bargain, or volunteers to become a slave or prisoner. Likewise, there's always some way to get Out of

.~~~~~~~~~~~====~Clm~:p~~:er~V1~:~S:h:v~en~c~oo;rn~c~te~~~.==~~~~~~~~~~~~~

dangerous duties like working me railing gun, or co pass them build plans on TOp of those plans, arid couch everyrhi ng [hey

on [Q someone else. To a Skaven, nothing is worth dying for, do in lles and deception. A clever-Skavea never attacks anyone

for where there's life. there's hope for revenge. direcdy, because it is roo risky and exposes his true position. Rather, he makes bargains, ferges alliances and uses trickery, so when die.final blow falls, it fulls wirh aU the weight: of numbers behind it and with as little risk as possible, To help with this, SkaVeL1 quickly learn co never tell the whole truth, because. yOlt never know when you'll need to hide something and because you never want your enemies [Q be too well informed, And when you're a Skaven, everyone is your enemy.

LIE

Ln a world where everyone you know is out to stab you in the back, the: Skaven have learned to be subrle and cunning. They cannot hope to overthrow l:t1'ger tars with force. nor openly _plor against their superiors. So the Skaven hide their plans. and

potential and capabilities. A white or grey-furred Skaven is vastly superior to others of his kind, gifted with [be ear of the Horned Rat and me power of his divine might. Black-furred Skaven are larger, rougher. and more deadly. And what of the resr? Brown, red, beige. and all the other fur colours in between make up the teeming masses of Clan rats, laves, and charrel that suppOrt the Under-Empire.

Adding a Skaven Player Character (Q an advenruring pany of Old Worlders would be disastrous; Skaven do nor ger-along well with ocher races. However, a group comprised exclusively ofSkaven makes for an interesting experience,

one full of intrigue and treachery. Parries of Skaven musr not only €Qurend with orher herrors, bur must also face their own kind, nor to mention each other. Such games ate true rests of roleplaying, where players pm; aside their Iriendshrps ro enter the paranoid world of me Under-Empire.

To the casual observer, ir may seem l1ke the dlfferences between the Skaven are superficial. One might have blotchy fur, another white. another black fur. Some Skaven are bigger than others, and some have horns or other mutations. But co the Dwarf's axe, they aU squeal the same when ehe blade falls.

Within Skaven sociery, however, issues of colouring and size are imponanr disrirtcrions, revealing the individual Ruman's

GM RULE: FAVOUR OF THE HORNED RAT

For patties ef Skavea, Cbildwl'a! fhe Homed Rot adds an additional mechanic. At the starr of eVery game, .have all players at the table write down their name and a number from 1 [0

IO (they may share their selection or keep it ecret, though Skaven characters should be suspicious of such outward acts

of coeperation). Have [hem [urn their selection in and, rhen secrecly roll ldlO. Player Charactess whose number marches

the die result gain the Favour of (he Horned fun, [hough

be sure to keep all successes secret. At any point during the game session, a Skaven player may call upon the Favour of me Homed Rar re achieve any of me effecrs ordinarily gained by expending a Fortune Point. However, only a character who atrually has the Favour derives the benefit. During the course of [?Iay, another character can take [he Favour of the Horned Rar by killing a Skaven character who has ir. Of course. killing a character who does not have the FaV:OlL[ of the Horned Rae lTIay or may DOT (at the GM's discretion) warrant gaining [he 'Favour. Betrayals such as-these are heartily rewarded by me Dark God of me Skaven, and the more clever and nasty the betrayal, the more the Horned Rat laughs.

THE CHOSEN

When a Rarrnorher births a White or grey Ratman with small nubs on its head, it is always an auspicious event; a sign of the Horned Rat's favour. These pups are taken to a special creche where they are raised in seclusion fro· III me rest-of Skaven society" Their parh is set. From [heir lim metering steps onwards co adulrhood, drey are trained in the arts

of [he Warp. learning the dogma of me Homed Rar and

rhe rnanlfestarion of his will-c-ruagic, 4s rhey gfOW older,

the nubs grow into horns akin to those of the Homed Rar himself.

Though rhey enjoy an exalted srarus, Grey Seers are TIe more safe from [he treachery that makes up me foundariens of Skaven culture. They must contend with the capricious will of their masters and the treachery of rhei r kllow apprcn aces, and they conssantly strive to remain in me favour of [heir god. One miss rep means dearh,

Racial Features

A white or grey-furred Skaven gains the following skills and talents:

Skills: Common Knowledge (Skaven), Perception, Speak.

Language (Queekish)

Talents: Aerhyric Arrunemeru, Coolheaded Night Vision, Perry Magic (Warp), Sa.vvy

Special: Yom first career must be Apprentice Grey Seer.

THE MIGHTY

Those Skaven born with black fur are also separated from their birch cla ns, Bra ughr to a separate nursery, they are raised EO become the teui:f)ring Stormvermin, me best trained warriors in [he Under-Empire. Because [hey are separated from their Clan, they are loyal to whomever they are assigned by the Council of Thirteen, whether ir be a Clan Chieftain or Grey Seer.

92

Chapter VI: Skaven Characters

TABLE 7-1.: ST.ARTING CLANS,

Clan Benefit

Eshin Gain Concealmenr and Silent Mov; Hand We;tpon. IdlOl5 + I Wrupstl)neTokens'

06-1 0 Moulder Gain Animal Tralning and Command; Hand Weapon, Leather Jerkin, ld10/5 W stone Tokens

Roll 01-05

11-15 Pes rilen s Gain Academic Knowled,gl; (1heology) and Dodge Blow; Hand Weapon. M..,ggo~s:, I dl 0/5 Warpstone Tokens

16-20 Skryre Gain Scale Sheer Surface and Silent

Move; Hand Weapon, Idl0 .. 2/4 Wa stone Tokens

------ .........

Blern Gain Concealmenc; Hand Weaj'lon

--~-,.._"

Mars Gain Command and Prepare Polson;

Hand Wea on

Skab Gain f-b:rdy; Hand Weapon

~-~~-

Skaar Gain Trade (Miner); Hand Wea n

..__--

41-50

51-60

61-70

Skaul

Verms Cain Ourdoer Survival; Hand Weapon Hand Weapon

Racial &stUtts

A black-f~lrred Skaven gains the 'foJlowing skill, and talents:

Skills: Common Knowledge (Skaven), Perception, Speak Language (Queekish), Swim

Talents: Coolheaded, Night Vision, Sturdy

Special, YOU{ ruSt career must be Black Skaven,

THE CoMMON

Most Skaveu fall into chis c;uegory. Born WiTh little to distinguishtng features, me pewers [hat be see them as merely parr of a horde of wonhlessfu rand llesh whose only purpose is re serve their Chieftains as Clanrars or to serve their society as slaves.

RacjaJ Features

A common Skaven gains the followiog skills and talents:

Skills:. Cammon Knowledge (Skaven), Perception, Speak Language (Qceekish), Swim

Talents: Night Vision

Starting Clans

For Skavec, Clan allegiance is almost asimporeant as fur colouring. Certainly, the Iabreeding within Clans produce unusual physical side-effects (Clan Pestilens are aImosr always

TABLE 7-2: CHARACfERlSTIC G:F.NERJlTION

Chosen

Charaneristic

50 -f- 2d10

20 +-2dlO

Weapon Skill (WS) 1 0 +- 2d 1 0 10+ 2dlO

Will Power (WP) Fellowship (Fcl) Arracks (Aj

25 + 2dl0 20+2dlO 25 +- 2dW
30 + 2dlO I) + zaro 20 t 2cliO
25 + 2dlQ 20 + 2d10 15+2d10
20 + 2dlO 10 -t 2dlO 10 t zaio
1 I 1 Wounds (W)

-Roll IdlO and consulc Table 7-3:

S Wou.il.t:b-

-Equ.aJ to the first digkof your Strength Chalacteristic-

-Equal to me Iirsc digirof YOU{ Toughness Cbaracrertsric=-

4

'5 o o

o

-Roll I d 10 and consul! Table 7-4:

TABLE 7-3: STARTING WOllNDS

dlORoU Chosen
1-3 $) II 8
4-6 10 12 9
7~9 11 13 10
10 12 14 TABLE 7-4: STARTING FATE l'OrNTS

dlO Ron

Mighty o

o

Chosen

Common

1

2

8-10

3

2

malformed, whileClan Eshin are always a shade darker than oilier Skaven}, but loyalties and con8icts between compedng Clans aeefar more imporranr. Furthermore, Skaveu of'the Grear Clans have access to more resources than orher Ratmen, granting them natural advantages over their kin. Skaven who

93

Chapter VI: Skaven Characters

arc neither Mighry nor Chosenmust roll on Table 7-1: Clan Affiliation to determine theirafliliarion and what benefits, if any, they gain. These Skaven gaIn a +10% boous to Common Knowledge (Skaven) Tests involving [he Clan of [heir birth. For details on the particular Clans, see Chapter ffi: Skaven Society.

GENERATING RACE

Unlike T10tmaL WFRP g:;mes, racial selecdon is nor up to you. The Homed Rat makes all decisions regru'ding this tnaner, Each player rolls a ld 10. Ifhe rolls 11. "1," be may choose his starting race. Otherwise, all srarrlng characrers are common. brown-furred Skaven, A player who rolled a "1" can give Lip his epportuniry £0 selecr a Chosen or Mighty Skaven, giving rhar

oppormnlry te another ph}'!':! in exchange for in-game favours, oaths, or trades. The GM must be aware of' all deals. for players malcingthe offer and ncr-abiding by nhe terms stand to face severe repercussions (essenriaUy, [hey can never gain the FaVOU[ of [he Homed Rat; see page 92). Altematively, if the player who rolled rhe l selects-a Chosen, he may automatically prom0ce any oilier character co Mighcy [Q serve as his bodyguard.

FATE OF THE WEAK

Weak Skaven rarely SUNiv..:: [0 adnlthood, being eaten, murdered, enslaved, or sacrificed to the Helmed God. As a result, you may replace anyone Characteristic from your main profile with me average result forYQu..t race. This is handled in the same way as SbaJJya's Mercy (see WFRP, page 19).

While dearly blessed with. power, an Apprentice Gn~y Seer bas no guaran(e~ of survival. Esrablished Grey Seers look for any excuse [0 destroy these upStaIrs, killing rhern with rhe slightest provocation, As a result, Apprentice Grey Seers break with duir masters 3S early as they can, teaching themselves what else theymust [0 survive until clmy can prove themselves as capable as their masters.

Skills! Academic Knowledge (Magic), Channelling, Common Knowledge (Skaven), Magical Sense, Perception, ReadIWnte, Search, Speak Arcane Language: (Magick), Speak Language (anyone)

Talmcs: Fast Hands, Lesser Magic (any two), Publk Speaking, Savvy or Suave

Trappings: Grey Robes, Q uarter Sraff, 2 Warpstono tokens

Career Enrries: None

Career f.xirs: Grey Seer, Scribe

For ordinary Skaven foes played by the GM, the Bruce, Sneak ana Chief are line ternplares. However, Skaven Player Characrers have aceess ro as wide a variety of opportunities as characters of orhec races, If you wound lip with a Common Skaven, roll for your starting career on Table 7-5: Skaven Starting Careers. [f your roll indicates a career exclusive [0 a Clan you are nor a member of, you begi n playas a lave owned by char Ian ([ur instance, if you are Clan kaar and rolled Nighr Runner, you'd become a Slave owned by Clan Eshla). Otherwise, Chosen Skavea begin playas Apprentice Grey Seers and Mighry Skaven begin playas Black kaven, Check with your GM abour the appropriateness of US Lng ocher careers.

In the career descriptions below, talents marked widl a * are new talents described thereafter.

BASIC CAREERS APPRENTICE GREY SEER

Description: Every once in a grear while, a Ratman is born with small nubs on its brow and white or grey 1Ur. eparated From the resr of the lirrer, this rnewllng horror's course is Set. Ahead lay a lift filled witb brural uaining, but also one of excess and €:omfOrt. These rare Skaven are living syrtIbols of the Grear Rat'S fuvonr, manifest: as the abiliry to .m,aster the magic of the Warp.

&; the grow and develop their talen ts, these S ka ven owe no allegiance to any particular Clan, bur rather. serve as advisors

ro, or more often as outright masters of, me lesser members of their kind. Commanding through fear, they make examples of treacherous thoughrs and acts by destroying we guilty in the most exeruciaring ways.

BLACK SKA YEN

Description: Black Skaven is a catch-all catllgory for chose Skaven born heavier, larger, and far more powerfulrhan the ordinary Ratman, This breed of SkaVCIl has dark, :if nor black, fur. and Herce fearures, Almost: aU Black Skaven train (Q join the ranks of

94

95

Chapter VI: Skaven Characters

the illustrious Stormverrnln. UIl[U then, they guard Appre n rice Grey Seezs, Clawleaders, and -other figures of minor import.

Skll1.s: Dodge. Blow, Intimidate

T Cllents, Hardy. Ljghrning Reflexes or Very Resilient, Specialist Weapc;>u Group (Two-banded), Street Fighting, Strike Mighry "Blow

Trappin.gs: Great Weapqu, Ijght Armour (Leather Jack and Leather Skullcap)

Career Entries: ~

Career E:I1iu: Mercenary, Outlaw, Pit Fighter I Stormvermin

CLANRAT

Description: Whether working in the greal and awful facrorles of .the Under-Empire or serving on the Front Hoes of a strike force to Invade a town or even city, Clanrars are the heart of Skaven society: By far me

most populous and varied, Clanrats serve ill a variety of roles, from tolling alongside the Skaven's slaves [Q serving as spies for a Grey Seer or as foot soldiers In a Clan Wadord's horde.

Clanrst warriors (the majority of those Skaven who have this career) may nor have [0 conrend with malfuncdonlng equipment and long spirit-crushing labour, bur [hey are the from ranks of rhe Skasen host. It is these warriors who are commanded (from rhe rear, of course) [0 blunder through me shadowy byways

into Human cities, boiling up [0 (ear apart the weaker races. Shamefully, they are also JUSt a'S likely to die as sacrifices or decoys as they are as warriors. so long as their de:uhs fulfil the needs of mad plans hatched by the Warlorru OJ; Grey Seers.

Lift': as a Clanrar is shortand brutish, being filled with wants and desires, hunger, pain, and fear, Very few- survive for

long, bur those who do may, depending 0Il their for runes, be elevated to positions of responsibility. becoming Clawleaders, 'kirmishers, and so on. The unlucky ones are sent to Clan Moulder for experimentarton and mutarion or ttl the Grey Seers as 'Sacrifices.

Clanrars are Common in alrnoseevery clan except Clan Bshin and Clan Pescilen . Both of these Clans have. Specialised warriors with whom to shoulder the burden of advancing one's

TABLE 7-5: SKA~ STARTING CAREER

RoU Career (Clan restriction. Skaveo Exits
if any)
01 Agiraror Clanrar, Outlaw, Rogue,
Slave, Zealou
Barb .. r-Surgeon Inrerrogator, Gtave Robber.
Slave, Vagabond
03 Boatman (Sleddt) Clanrar, avigator, Slave,
Smuggler
04-05 Bodyguard Bounty Hunter, Interregaror,
jaller, Mercenary, Slave
06 Bone Picker Clanrar, Fence. Grave
Robber, Slave, Smuggle:r
07 Bounty Hunter Mercenary, P;\CKma.,u:r,
SCOUt, Slave
08-50 Clanrar ew, ec cnrry
51 Grave Robber Sb\'I;!, "Thier
Hunter Mercenary. Packmasrer, Slave
Jailer Bodyguard, Clanrae,
Interrogator. Slave,
Watchman
54-55 Mercenary Hunter, Night Runner
(Eshln), Slave, Veteran
Messen r Clanrar, Scout, 51.3"(:
58-60 Miner Clanrar, Mercenary; Seonr,
lave
61-65 Night Runner (Eshln) New. see enrry
66 Outlaw Slave. ThieF; Vagabond,
Vereran
Packmasrer (Moulder)
Plague lonk (Pesrilens)
Servant Agitator, Messenger, Slave,
S , Thlef
kirrnisher (Skryte) New, see entry
Slave New. see enr
Smuggler Boarman, Slave, Thief
Thre£' Clanrat, Night Runner
(Eshin), Slave. Tomb Robber
89-90 Thug Bodyguard. Clanrar,
Interrogator; Mercenary,
Night Runner (Eshin), Slave
1)1 Tomb Robber Slave, Thtef
92-94 Tradesman Clanrar, Engineer,
Skirmisher (Skryre), Slave
95 Vagabond Clanrar, SCOUt, SI31'<:' Thief
96-99 ·W.1.[<zbman Clan rae, Mercenary,
Skirmisher (Skryre), Slave,
Tradesman
Zealot Agtraror, Censer Bearer
(Pestllens), Outlaw Slave Chapter VI: Skaven Characters

tanorr.Jf you are a Skaven From Clan Eshin, you may swap this caree.r fer Night Runner. Li1 e ewise if you are a member of Clan Pesrilens, you can swap Clanrar f0r Plague Monk.

Skil15: Common Knowledge (Skaven), Concealment, Outdoor Survival, Scale Sheer Surface, Silent Move

T Qtenr5: Specialist Weapon Group (Sling), Tunnel Rat

Trappings: Light Armour CLeatherJack and Leather Skullcap), Hand Weapon, Dagger or Sling, Shidd

Career Entries: Agitator, Boat:mm,JaiIer, Messenger. Miner, Slave, Thief, Thug, Tradesman, Vagabond, Warchreen

Cgreer E~irs: Barber-Surgeon, Bodyguard, Bone Picker, Bounty Hunter, Censer Bearer, Clawleader, Grave Robbet,Jailer, Mercenary, Night Runner, Outlaw, Padullascer, Plague MolIk, Skirmisher, Slave, Thief, Thug, Tomb Robber, Tradesman, Vagabond, Zeak>t

Trappings: Light Aonour (Leather Jerkin}, 2 Hand Weapons, Sling or -4 Throwing Stars

Caner Enrries.: Clanrat, Mercenary, Thief, Thug

Care,er Ex.irs: Bodyguard, Bounty Hunter, Clawleader, Gutter Runner, Mercenary, Outlaw, Slave, Smuggler, Sorcerer,

Thief, Vagabond .

PACKMASTER.

Description:

Packrnasrers are

kaven overseers responsible fur corralling and controlling the monsters created by the Master Moulders. M05~ Packrnasters prod and conrrol Rat Swarms and

Giant Rats .. driving them inco the

teeth of their enemies. Others are charged with controlling the dreaded Rat Ogres. Eventually. most

Packmasrers wind up as meals fOr rheir charges.

Only members of Clan Moulder may become Packrnasrers.

NIGHT RUNNER

Description: The mainstay warriors of Clan Eshin. are [he Night Runners. Whar differeuuares these expendable foot sold lers from other Clanracs

is rhar they receive rudimentary naming in

rhe fightlng styles learned

from distant Camay. Paster than rhe ordinary Clanrar, they kill quickly so they can move on to eliminate their nexr

foes. Those Night Runners who prove their rnetrle

sometimes rise to become Gutter Runners.

Ouly members of Clan Eshin may become lghr Runners.

Skills: Common KnOWledge (Skaven), Concealment, Dodge Blow, Navigatiqn, Outdoor Survival, Perception, Scale Sheet Surface, Silent Move

Talents: Fleet-rooted, Orientation, Rover, Spocialist Weapon Group (Sling) or Specialist Weapon Group (Throwing), TunnelRat

96

Skills: An4nal Training, Command, Commo.n KnOWledge (Skaven), Concealment, Outdoor Survival, Perception, Seale Shea: Surface, Silent Move

Talenrs: MaStfI" of the Lash·, Specialist Weapon Group (En~ling), Tunnel Rat

Trappings: Light Ann01tt (Wther Jaek and Leather Skullcap), Hand Weapon, Whip, Thing-Catcber, I Giant Rat

CarBeT Entries: Boumy Hunter, Clanrar, Hunter

Career Exirs; Bounty Hunter, Clawleader, Master Moulder, Mercenary; Slave, 'rhug, Vagabond

PuGUEMONK

Description: Plague Monks arc rhe grunt tIElOpS of Clan Pestilens. Fully In me thrall of me pewerse teachings of the Plague Priests, these wretched $kaven are filthy decrepit things, often crawling with vermin

and infected with some awful rotting disease. Most Plague Monks succumb to their affiicaons before ever facing their enemies in battle. They

Chapter VI: Skaven Characters

are easy to identify, as they wrap themselves in filthy bandages and are surrounded by douds of Hies rhar feast on (heir leprous hides.

o 111y members of Clan Pesrilens may become Plague Monks.

Career Enrries: Clanrar, Tradesman, Wnehman

Career Exits: Bodyguard, Qawleader, Engineer, Mercenary, Pistolier, Tradesman

SLAVE

Skills: Academic Knowledge (Theology), Cerumen Knowledge {Ska:ven),Concea1ment. Dodge Blow, Outdoor Survival, Scale Sheer Surface, Silent Move

Talenrs: Fearless, Frenzy, Resisunc:e to Disease. Tunnel Rat Trapp~ngs: zHand Weapons, Disease (GM's choice), Maggots, ¢Io Flies

Career Entries: Oanrat

Career Exits: Censer Bearer, Claw1llder, Interrogator, Plague Deacon, Slave, Zealot

SKIRMISHER

Description; Among the Cia mars of Clan

Skryre, a few are entrusted with devices of import such as Poison Wind Globes and

Warp lock hrearms.Whcm focmed into units, these Skaven can be devsssadng on the batrlefield-e-borh to themselves and their enemies. The best of these

are ushered inro the higher secrets of rhe Warlock Engineers, d10ugh such promotions are rare.

Only members of Clan Skryre may become Skirmisher-s.

Skills: Aeademic Knowledge (Engineering), Common KnOWledge (Skaven), Concealment, OutdeoI" Sl1TVival, Sale Sheer Sarface, Silent Move

Talents: Master GWlner, Rapid Reload, Specialist Weapon Group (Gunpowder), Tunnel Kiit

Trappings: Light Armour (Leather jerkij), Hand Weapon, .

Watp.loc.kJezzail or 2 Warplock Pistols or 2 Poison Wind Globes

Description: Without Slaves, Skaven society would €eUapse. "These miserable wretches are bought and sold for Warpston:e Tokens on me slave blocks in the rnajor

communities of the Under-Empire.

When. they arrive at (heir new homes rhey find endless toil and pain: clearing new tunnels, feeding the Rat Ogres, becoming food for rhelr masters, and servl ng as rest

subjects for some new Clan Skryre a r Clan Moulder enrerprise are only a few of [he many possible fares dlat await Skaven Slaves.

Skills: Blather, Common Knowledge (Skaven), Concealment, Perception, Search, Speak Language (Q ueekish)

Ta/ems: Acute-Hearing or Excellent Vision, Flee! or Hardy, Natural

Weapons

Trappings: None Career El1rries: All

Career Exits: Clanrat, Clawleader, or Any {see special rules}. Special Rules: Unlike all the Other new careers described in thiS

chapter, any race can automatically enter this weer. It costs

no experience points to enter, merely the circumstances of enslavement. Any character enslaved by the Skavenmus! succeed on a Will Power Test each week of enslavement, or i.mn)ediatelyexit their current career and assume this one. NonSkaven Slaves must stay in this career until they somehow find a way to escape captLviry. Assuming they do, they Call anempt a Will Power Testeach week thereafter. A saceessful Test allows ehemto.resume their previous careers.

Anv ANCED CAREERS

Skaven are cunning, bur few are lucky enough tosurvive the tempesruous political rnanoeuvrings of the Skaven underworld. Even rhose who de manage to creep up the chains of power TO carve a spot oftheir own must-always watch ourfor diose who would supplant them. Skaven wirh any of the f0Llowi ng careers are rherefo re exceedingly rare.

Chapter VI: Skaven Characters

CENSER BEARER

Desenptlom One of the highest honours accorded to Clan Pestilerrs Skaven is the rigb r [Q beat the Plague Censer. TIlls awful weapon is functi.onally a Rail, bur instead of a solid ball, It has a censer at the end of the chain. The Plague Priests load the censerwirh Warpsrone and materials infected wirh disease. The Censer Bearer ignites the contents and c!urges into hartle, swjnging chis cursed eoolwtrh wild abandon, spreading woe and sl,lff"ering to all he strikes. The honour of widding this weapon is a death sentence, however, as the Censer Bearer is always exposed ro the worstof the fumes.

Only members of Clan, Pes tile us may becorne Censer Bearers.

$;Ufs: Dodge Bl0w, mtimidate, Outdoor Surviva1,l'ercepti.on Ta/mrs: Black Hunger", Fearless, Frenzy, Hardy, Mena.cing, Resistance .0 Disease, Specialist Weapon Group (F1ai.I). Strike Mighty Blew, Warrior Born

TTapp[ngs: 2 Hand Weapons, Plague Censer, :2 Warpstone Tokens Car«r EntTies: Clanr:at, Plague Morik,Zealot

OqrteT Exits: Bttoming 8. CenSer Beater is rhe gm~Cst honour Clan Pestilens awards. The only escape from this career is death.

CLANCHlEFTAIN

Description

Clan Chieftaios conrrol a ~egmen[ of me larger Clan. Where a Clan aught have represenration in one Under-Brnpire ciry" the Chleftii n receiyesiruuunioBS from his Warlord and master. Though still subservient [Q another more powerful Skaven, '>'lithia their demesne they lmve nigh absolute allchoriry. 'Ihose Clan Chieftains

who prove themsebes may one day riseeo become ·WwQcds

themselves, supplanting rheir masters and perhaps even gaining a sea! on me Council of Thirteen. ,"Vhile all Clan ChieftaIns believe this ls their righ r and due, few su rvive long enough to achieve such lofrygoals.

Skills: Academic Knowledge (History or Srraregy/facrics), B1arheF, Charm, Command, Common Knowledge (IUlY. three). Dodge Blow, Evaluase, Gossip, Intimidate, Outdoor Survival, Perception,. ReadfVolrite, Scale Sheer Surface, Speak Language (any three)

Talenrs: Disarm or Quick Draw, Lightning Parry, Master Orator" Men~~g, PubUcSpeakmg, Sinh5erue.or Ve~Rcsili~llt, Spcmalist Weapon Group ()ny !Wo), Strike Mighty Blow, Strike to Stun

Trappings; Medium Armour: (full Mail Armour), Shield, I2Watpstone Tokens, >Pia Clanratsand jdIO Slaves

Career Enrrr.e5: Clawlelidcr, Gutter Runner, Master Mut1tor, Master Moulder, Plague Priest, Warlock Engineer

Career Exits: Maslerhssassill, Maner Mutator,. Slave, Warlock Master

CLAWLEADER

Description: Clawleaders are Sksven in posnions of some responsibility, galned either 25 a promotion OF by murdering their previous Claw!ea'ders. While they haveurrquesuoned control over the Clanrars inthel r charge, they an: liztle bette. than self-inflated Clanrars to Chi·eftains-and Wad0n:ls. As such, Clawleaders are as expendable as anycrher Skaven.

TIle Clawleader career encompasses a ca[egory efleaders rhar

is found ill nearly all Clans and castes, each wi rh diffe.rem names bur [he same career characrerisdcs.Clawleadcrs typically leadgroups ofClanrars, Fangieaders lead Stormverrnln.

Nighdeaders lead Nigh!; Runners, and Pawleaders lead slaves.

98

Chapter VI: Skaven Characters

Skills: AcademkKllowledge (Smnegytractics), Command, Common Knowledge (any two), Concealment, Dodge Blow, Irrdmidate, Outdoor Survival, Perception, Scale Sheer Surface, Silent Move, Speak Language (anyone), Swim

Talents: Kilen Senses, Menacing, Schemer, Seasoned Traveller, Street Fighting or Wrestling, Suike Mighty Blow, Strike to Injure

Trappings: Light Armour (Full Izather Armour)' Hand Weapon, Shield, ... Warpstonl! Tokens, tdro Clanrars, Night Runners, Slaves, or Stormvermin

Career Entries: Cianrat, Night Runner, l'ackmaster, Slave, Stormvermi.n Omer Exirs: Clan Chieftain, Guner Rurmer, lnterr~tor, Master Moulder, Slave, Veteran

GREY SEER

Description: 1J1C Grey Seers hold a spclllil place j n Sk~ven society. Using the pOWtr granted by their p-rofane god, they and they a100e can interpret me Homed Rat's will and desires. As such, they are prophets and inrermedlaries, Grey Seers typically counsel Waclo,rd. Clans, su~clyguiding them to achieve whatever sinister pler they've concocted, whether irwas in pired by [he Horned Rar or from their own dark imaginings, Grey Seers have unrnarched power, for any who oppose them arc-denounced as heretics and rralrors, earning a swift and terrible death. Their influence and position gjv~ these leaders a linle more security and freedom than mat available [(1) other Skaven, bur treachery

is ingrained ill this culture. With power comes resentment, rewarding no few Grey Seers witha knife in the back,

Skills: Academic KnOWledge (Magic), Academic Knowledge (Theology), Academic Knowledge (anyone), Channelling, Command,. Common Knowledge (any two), Inrimi.date, ~iml Sense, ReadIWrite, SPeak Arcane Language (Daemonic fIT Magi,ck), Speak Language (any two)

Talems: Dark Lore (Warp)", Dark Magic fIT Strong-minded, Fast Hands or Ve.ry Resilient, Lesser .Magic (any two), Master Orator, Meditation or Mighty Missile

Trappings: Grey Robes, Q uaner Staff', 8 Warps tone Tekens, J Skaven Magic Item

Career Entries; Apprentice Grey Seer Career Exits: Scholar, Seer Lord

Description: Clan Eshin Nigl1t Runners who manage (0 survive have two options open co them if [bey wish

[0 advanee in their Clan. First, [hey <could accepr me POSt 0 f respo nsi biliry, becoming ighdeaders (see Clawleader, above) and leading missions against the Clan's enemies. Or

second, [hey could be selecred (O learn the darker mysteries of

the Arc of the Silent Death, Those who choose the latter undergo intense [raining, honing their skills of combat, stealth, and murder. Gutter Runners operate onrside normal Skavea groups and often alone, being better suited ro infiltrate their enemy's encampmenrs and wreak havoc behind enemy lines.

Dilly members of Clan Eshin can become Gurrer Runners.

Skills: Common Knowledge (Skaven), Concealment, Disguise, Dodge Blow, Evaluate, Lip Reading,. Outdoor Survival, Perce"(ltion, Pick Locks, Scale Sheet Surface, Search, Silent Move, Sleight

of Hand, Swim -

T alems: Fleet-FOOled, Natural Weapons, Orientation, Rover, Specialist Weapon Group (Crossbow), Specialist Weapon GtOUp (Throwing), Trapfinder

Trappings: Light Armour <Leather Jack, Leather Skullcap), Hand Weapon, Punching Dagger, Crossbow Pistol with 10 bolts, 4 Throwing Stars, Best. CraftSman5hip Rope (re Yards)

Career Entries: Night Runner

Career E;(irs: Bodyguard, Bounty Humer, Clawleader, Hunter, Master Assassin, Mercenary, Slave, Scour, Sorcerer, Spy, Veteran

WARLORDS AND THE CoUNClL OF THIRTEEN

While ir's conceivable that a campaign featuring kaven as Player Characters could lasr so long rhar they eventually rise to claim a sear on the Council of Thirteen, it's unlikely, Wm:lorcls and the members of the Council represenr (he heights of Skaven power and should remain sinister and mysterious, far beypnd [be reaches of o rdinary Pu_ Hence, just as you won't find an Emperor career in 1.'(IFRR nor will yuulind a Warlord career in Childrtm afthe Horned Rat.

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