Few humans have ever ventured into Skavenblight, and fewer still have ventured out. For many decades, despite the appearance of skaven runic symbols on battlefields across the old world, it was believed that the Skaven lacked a written language of their own. In support of this theory, it was pointed out that Skaven battle standards are often written in the common tongue, bearing such epitaphs as "we shall inherit" and "wither and decay." However, we now know that the Skaven use the common tongue solely for their opponent's benefit - in an attempt to break enemy morale. Only recently, through the interrogation of human cultists of the Horned Rat, and careful study of a few captured tattered pages of the "Liber Boubonicus" have the mysteries of the Skaven written language begun to unravel. The Skaven alphabet contains 19 letters. There is no hard and fast rule concerning whether material is written from left to right, right to left or up and down. Each of the 19 letters takes the form of a runic symbol. These symbols, when appearing alone, have a distinct meaning within Skaven society. In addition, however, the word or phrase associated with each symbol also represents a certain sound in the Skaven alphabet. For example, the skaven symbol for the word "warpstone" may appear alone, and often does. However when it appears with a group of other symbols it may also represent the "Wa" sound, or the letter "W". In addition to their 19 letters, the Skaven alphabet contains 7 vowels. The vowels are often omitted in informal writing, as the Skaven vocabulary appears to be so limited as to have little need of them. Thus, a word like "water" will usually appear using the runic symbols for "W", "T" and "R" only. Finally, the Skaven use a single punctuation symbol in their writings: the double scratch mark, or "//" symbol. When this symbol appears after a word, the word is always pronounced in a stuttering fashion, such as "Die-die" or "Hate-hate". No other punctuation is known to exist in the Skaven written language. It is believed that the question mark is not used because written requests are of no importance in Skaven society. No Skaven would ever respond to a request such as "where is the warpstone kept." Such information would only be given in person, either to a more powerful Skaven, or extracted by his assassins. Before we proceed the reader should note that not every series of runes can be directly translated into the common tongue. Merely knowing what sounds a runic letter makes does not solve the riddle of the skaven language. While the Skaven generally speak in the common tongue they also have a warped language of their own, used primarily by Warlocks and Seers to inscribe magic items and scrolls. As to the translation of these words, the use of a Skull Staff is still recommended. This page contains descriptions of the various Skaven runic symbols and letters.

"Skaven" By far the most common of all Skaven runes, three over-lapping lines forming an inverted triangle, simply means "Skaven", and is also used to signify the "S" sound. Its shape embodies the outline of both the Horned Rat and the Skaven face, and as such it represents the (so called) divine nature of all Skaven. See Skaven army book, page 5 (upper right).

"Warpstone" A series of two over-lapping lines crossing at 45 degree angles and forming a "tic-tac-toe" board on its side. This symbol represents a series of inter-locking tunnels surrounding the world in the never ending search for warpstone. The symbol was originally adopted at Cripple Peak by Clan Rikek to mark shipments of Warpstone to Skavenblight, and is now generally used to represent the letter "W". See Skaven army book, pages 15 and 69, second rune from left. (It can also be found on the reverse side of the warpstone counters in the Battle Magic supplement).

"Horned Rat" A diamond with a horn-like extensions forms the symbol for the Horned Rat as well as the "H" sound.

To this. however is given a single horn to indicate its subservience to the Horn Rat himself. It is also used generically for the concept of "tower" and so is assigned the same sound as the letter "T". Note. "Bell" .See Skaven army book. The other symbols do not appear to have sounds associated with them in formal writings. It bears strong resemblance to the Horned Rat's symbol. second rune from the right. ('Eavy Metal). a single scratch mark signifies a Warlock Master. See Clanrat banners. page 60. The Grey Seer's symbol is given the sound of the letter "G". as well as the Grey Seer's cloak on army book's cover. This is the symbol for the Vermin Lord. this symbol makes the sound of the letter "V". center rune (with vowels). This symbol may also appear with scratch marks to separate one individual Vermin Lord from another. page 69 far right. This is the symbol for the "B" sound. as this is strictly associated with the Vermin Lord's runic symbol. however. "Council of Thirteen" "Vermin Lord" A diamond with a single horn and stem. page 70 far left. Skaven army book page 49. A stem (representing a connection to the realm of the Horned Rat) is added for Warlock Champions. that Warlocks and Seers never use a "horn" as an adornment to their blazons. on Screaming Bell miniature. collectively known as Clanrats. See Skaven army book. page 41 ('eavy Metal) on Screaming Bell Miniature. See Skaven army book. "The Gathering of Clans". This symbol resembling a roof and two walls or tower. See Skaven army book. It is also used to represent the capital letter "C". It is often found adorning the standards of mobs of Skaven of more than one clan. The symbol on the right. Individual Warlocks and Seers generally add additional adornments to these basis shapes. three over-lapping lines forming an inverted triangle followed by a series of overlapping lines below it of descending size represents the joining together of two or more skaven clans for a common cause. page 49 ('Eavy Metal pages). or "Clanrats" This elaborate design on the left is the symbol for the Council of Thirteen. These symbols are used to represent Warlocks and Seers. A single diamond with no adornment represents a Warlock Engineer. "Skavenblight" A solid line with two curved lines sloping down vertically from its lower half. The Stem represents the connection between the material plane in which we inhabit and the domain of the gods. while a stem with two scratch marks is the basis of a Grey Seer's blazon. greater deamon of the Horned Rat. See Skaven army book. They are often fashioned to resonate at a precise pitch capable of focusing warp energy. and is used to represent "Skavenblight". When appearing in words. the Horned Rat among them. page 69. Bells have great significance in Skaven religion and magic.

they have been known to place this symbol over the bones of fallen comrades to ward off Necromancers. It therefore has the sound of the letter "J". this simple symbol is used by Clan Pestilens and has the same sound as the letter "P". Skaven army book cover."Warlord" A Scratch mark leading into a solid line with a second gouge below it. See Skaven army book. pages 16 and 60. It is used as the Skaven letter "D". Is it the stylistic equivalent of the clan's "dagger in hand" glyph. and is given the same sound as the letter "L". which is painted in a glowing mixture of blood and warpstone on the clan's stronghold in Cathay. It is also used generically to commemorate the defeat of Nagash in -c1200. This is the symbol of a Skaven Lord. See Skaven army book. "Moulder" . The symbol is seldom used otherwise. page 60. The Symbol has the sound of the letter "N". and is used to represent the letter "M". Similar to the letter "P" in appearance. A fist holding a whip. page 70. particularly the Jezzail. rune on far right. where it is given the sound of "F". See Skaven army book. "Fellblade" This is the symbol for the dreaded Fellblade. Doomwheel banner. The more elaborate symbol to the right usually adorns shields and banners of the clan. second rune from the left. facing right. See Skaven army book. "Eshin" A small darkened pyramid over a pair of elongated darkened and inverted triangles forms the runic symbol of Clan Eshin. "Skryre" ("wheel") The three spoked pin-wheel has been adopted as the symbol for Clan Skryre. as well as the gates to the Hell Pit. unless in its letter-form. This is the symbol for "Dwarf" and was adopted from the Dwarven rune for the letter "D". It is the symbol of Clan Moulder. center rune. This symbol is often drawn runically as a simple series of lines forming a spiral. "Warp energy" This symbol represents the machinations of Clan Skryre and all warpstone devices. "Pestilens" A vertical line with a triangle on the top half. "Dwarf" A double triangle facing left. When used as a letter it has the sound of "K". following the fall of Karak Eight Peaks in -c513 (Now known as the Skaven "City of Pillars"). Although Skaven do not formally bury their dead. pages 11 and 72.

See Skaven army book. third from left. See Skaven army book. "Clan Mors" A crossed series of arrows pointing in all directions incorporating a skaven "S" runic symbol."Red Pox" This symbol is used to evoke the inevitable victory of the Children of the Horned Rat. for the skaven word "queek". Its appearance resembles that of warplightning striking. page 70. This is the symbol for Skaven battle magic. It is thus no coincidence that it was first used by Clan Pestilens to mark cities infected with the "red pox. The symbol suggests an alliance between the Skaven and the minions of Chaos. corresponding to the letter "Z". "ZZZZZZZot" A single horizontal line with a series of zig-zagging lines descending from its lower half. which loosely translates into the word "mine. particularly Warplightning." . This is the mark of Clan Moors (pronounced "xmors"). This symbol was first found in the vicinity of the City of Pillars. page 70 (and the heads and hind quarters of numerous rat ogres and slaves). and has come into wide usage to represent the letter "x". page 69. The symbol has the sound of the letter "Q". and ill tidings for all others. second rune from the right. It is believed that the particular scent given off by each Skaven's fingernails in scratching this symbol on their possessions places other Skaven on notice of the owner's claim. "Queek"("Mine!") This symbol is usually drawn on objects to denote their ownership. See Skaven army book." It has the sound of the letter "R". page 9. and is given roughly the same sound.

the principle Skaven Clan in the Dark Lands. As mentioned above. Their runic symbol is rarely seen on battlefields outside of the Dark Lands. triple inverted pyramid = y. 1997. They often appear below or above the letters they are intended to modify. these vowels are seldom used. See Skaven army book pages 6. opting instead to use halberds to maximize their already enhanced strength. can be attributed to this Rune. Skaven vowels are as follows: A single pyramid = a. single inverted pyramid =o. and there appears to be no uniform agreement on their placement. This may be a matter of Clan dialect. double inverted pyramid = u. if any. Clan Rictus breeds a remarkably large number of black-furred warriors who in turn make up the bulk of the Skaven military elite known as Stormvermin. double pyramid = e. as Stormvermin seldom carry shields. Copyright © 1996. 7 and 63. It is unknown what sound. triple pyramid = I."Clan Rictus" This is the symbol of Clan Rictus of Crookback Mountain. 1998 Bob Lippman .

Exclamation . You can come back to this menu after viewing each rune to select additional runes.THE SKAVEN ALPHABET Select a letter of the alphabet to learn about its Skaven Runic equivalent: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Misc.

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