Skaven

“Steeling themselves, the pitiful remnants of the citys once proud populace descended. In the ancient halls of kingship they found the Dwarfs, now naught but gnawed bones and scrapes of cloth. And there they saw by the dying light of their torches the myraid eyes about them, glittering like liquid midnight as the rats closed in for the kill…..The manlings stood back to back and fought for their lives, but against such implaciable ferocity and countless numbers of the verminous horde, their weapons were useless. The tide of monstrous rats flowed over them one by one, dragging them down to be torn apart, the yellow chisel-teeth sinking into their soft-flesh, the dark futted mass drowning their pitiful screams with their hideous chittering…..”

—Translated from the Tilean tale “The Doom of Kavzar” also called “The Curse of Thirteen”

The Skaven race are a species of humanoid rat creatures that currently live within a massive continent-spanning underground network of tunnels, called the Under-Empire, where at the very heart of Skavendom lies the great skaven city of Skavenblight, the species capital city and the probable birthplace of the Skaven race. The Skaven as a whole are one of the Old Worlds most numerous species, often having a population number of several million in the Old World alone, as these creature breed at a very high exponential rate. Such is the size and numbers of the Skaven race that in nearly every major stronghold or cavern that the skaven occupy, the average population numbers would be around the hundreds of thousands, and are often near other large population centers of races such as humans, often scavenging over the filth of these races or as a staging point for a possible invasion unto the city from below.

The main skaven religion that dominates nearly every single aspect of the Under-Empire is the veneration and worship of a minor Chaos God , known by many names, but its well known title is that of the Horned Rat. This deity takes the form and appearance of a massive horned rat, with its symbol of power being the number 13, along with the rough equilateral triangle and the horned bell as its holy icon. For the few people that do know of their existence, eye witnesses describe the skaven race as an often unjust society, where the aspects of wit and strength are held foremost above all other traits, and the ideals of compassion and cooperation are often denied existence within this Under-Empire. As such the Skaven as a whole are divided, often far more divided then any other race in the Old World, due to the fact that this society promotes methods such as backstabbing, assassination, and betrayal as an essential part to progress through their society. Such ruthless lack of cooperation has led many of their kind to do things that would endanger or perhaps ensure the death of nearly hundreds of their own kind — all for the greed or ambition of just one Skaven. Such corruption and dis-union has caused the Skaven race to splinter into hundreds, if not thousands of unstable, clan-based societies, where each skaven clan has a certain skill or trait that is often seen as “unique” to other skaven communities, providing either food, goods, or weapons of war for the trade of other goods made by other Skaven clans.

Skaven

WFRP - Karak Azgal HPLovecraft