DIE DIE MANTHING! LOOT LOOT RATKIN! RAPE RAPE DAEMONMEN!
- The Chant of The Horned One being still illiterate
By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation.
The Horned Rat is the festering disgusting god of the equally disgusting Skaven race in the Warhammer Fantasy setting. Think of what happens when the Machiavellian backstabbing genius of Tzeentch meets the ratty repulsiveness of Nurgle.
Spreader of AIDS and STDs, rolling around in his own muck, the Horned Rat only exists to troll his own worshippers and the rest of the world and to tear down civilization, the arts, anything remotely good and replace it with his own favourite pastimes (namely disease, backstabbing, and cruelly toying with others).
He hangs out in an area of the warp known as the realm of ruin, a decaying hellhole that resembles a world completely taken over by skaven. The realm is inhabited by as many verminlords as there are living skaven, as well as demon rats and the souls of dead skaven. This is no heaven for the skaven, since most of them are turned into suffering demon-rats or fat blind mice that are forced to wallow in their failure for all eternity. The only good fate that awaits a skaven is that he becomes a vermin lord
As you can expect, no one likes him and he is the archenemy of several gods, particular Sigmar and Sotek. The only reason he hasn't been curbstomped and fumigated is because he has perhaps more worshippers alive then any other god in the setting and this gives him a bloated amount of power (and a needless sense of self-importance). Granted each individual skaven isn't worth squat but put enough together and it gives him enough power to be a major god of the underworld.
However, he doesn't do anything, as he is too busy getting eaten by Sotek or his head smashed in by Sigmar's hammer.
Once his divine majesty deigned to make an appearance, to end one of the civil wars that was tearing his people apart. Summoned by the Grey Seers, he ate a few skaven, gave them a telling off, ate a few more and then left some pillars of warpstone behind with instructions on how to backstab and bitch better in his name. And no word of him since then.
The Horned Rat keeps going on about a great plan to take over the world and passes it onto his Grey Seers for them to tell the masses but this is really just a tool to keep the Skaven in line and generally striving towards the Rabid Rat's goals. Needless to say, once (if) the Skaven do take over the world, then the Horned Rat will swoop in, thank them for their hard work and then eat them all, satisfied he has finally won (just as planned).
He has his own greater daemons, the Verminlords, who are renowned trollers who give any skaven and others quite rightly the creeps. It is one of the toughest units a Skaven force can wield, combining powerful magic, strong combat skills and general unpleasantness into one hideously glorious model.
Considering his penchant for scheming he is probs Tzeentch's pet rat that got too much of an ego boost and decide to go it alone. Although equally possible with his connection to disease he is Nurgle's test subject and is taking out his pain through others. Khorne regularly tries to stomp on him since he despises cowards and well...does Khorne need a good reason to get angry? Slaanesh meanwhile constantly has strange ideas about what to do with the Horned Rat that for reasons of mental hygiene cannot be repeated here.
Whatever the case is, other chaotic beings look down on the Skaven and the Horned Rat as mere vermin, perhaps useful to a degree but not worthy of respect and they are usually killed on sight. And this is what other chaos races think of the Skaven. So being a ratman is not a good sell.
Should you see a Horned Rat in your area, call your local fumigators to get rid of the problem. Nothing ruins a day like a nasty ratmen infestation.
One interpretation is that the Horned Rat is actually a guise cooked up by Tzeentch to create his own exclusive race of mortal worshippers. Let's see; a race driven entirely by ambition (Tzeentch's fueling emotion), that prizes constant innovation (Tzeentchian doctrine), noted for its embrace of both constantly changing technology AND rampant mutation/biomanipulation (more Tzeentchian doctrine/methodology), with a creedo of being the ultimate survivors and manifest destiny (you see where I'm going here, right?)...
The only possible dissension is the existence of Clan Pestilens, which reveres the Horned Rat as a spirit of disease, decay and ruination. But this is still compatible with the interpretation above when you remember Clan Pestilens and its doctrine came after Clan Pestilens was trapped in Lustria for multiple generations and had a "revelation into the true nature of the Horned Rat", and that the other Skaven considered Clan Pestilens as heretics when they first returned and still regard them as heretical to some extent today. This suggests, then, that Tzeentch made the Skaven first in his guise of the Horned Rat, and then Nurgle took on the Horned Rat's guise himself to try and stick his grotty fingers in Tzeentch's pie by luring the Skaven into worshipping him instead.
In the End Times, the Horned Rat plays a major role in Thanquol. He speaks directly to the Council of Thirteen and politely tells them to cut all the shit and stop fighting each other; after all the Warhammer World is ripe for the taking and the Horned Rat wants the Skaven to conquer it, as a unified race. To emphasize this, he incinerates the current Grey Seer and replaces him with... Thanquol. Yes, that Thanquol. The drugged up failure of a rat, so incomprehensibly incompetent that he could only function as "that one guy who tries to be evil and cool but fucks up all the time because of how fucking stupid he is." Although, of course, he makes an easy pawn for the Vermin King.
Anyway, for the first time in history, the Skaven are truly united and rise to the surface in the millions at the command of the Horned Rat. They then take the role of the Tyranids and squat Estalia (olé-olé!), Tilea (Rome burns, yes-yes), the Border Princes, Araby, the Kingdom of Ind (Ant nikat hai!), the Southlands, Lustria (meteor-induced dinosaur extinction!), Bretonnia (c'est terrible!), Naggaroth (though all they did was helped destroy one city), Nuln, Nippon (banzai!), Karaz Eight Peaks, Cathay (though Cathay was triple-teamed by them, the followers of Chaos and the Orcs, though the Cathayans managed to wipe out the Skaven in their lands and fled on boats on their own terms)... Actually, let's just say the only nations they didn't wipe out, heavily damage, or at least do harm to were:
- Ulthuan (because the Elves already fucked it up pretty badly as-is, in addition to being unable to reach a seaborne island by tunneling underground)
- Nehekhara (because Nagash and co. got there first and worked it over. This can be explained with a series of equations. Skaven = cowards, undead = scary, kingdom of undead = very scary, Nagash = terrifying, Nagash + kingdom of undead = TOO FUCKING SCARY, I'M OUTTA HERE! To be fair, they did send an assassin to Prince Apophas to point out the Destroyer of Eternities as a means to kill Nagash. Apophas even managed to stab him with it but at that point Nagash had reached godhood so it was as dangerous to him as a back scratcher)
- Athel Loren (because magic shenanigans).
And then they blow up Morrslieb, which is both fucking Awesome and incredibly stupid, since the Warhammer World would have been destroyed by the resultant meteors (which it would have been if not for the Slann managing to stop most of the meteors from colliding).
The Horned Rat moved Skavenblight into his Realm of Ruin, as the physical world was destroyed by Archaon & Co, later becoming part of the Realm of Chaos when Slaanesh disappeared.
As of Age of Sigmar, the Horned Rat has added the term "Great" to his title and has been promoted into a major Chaos God, replacing Slaanesh as the fourth Great God of Chaos, so things are looking up for rats in the world. The rest of the Chaos Gods hate his guts even more than they hate each other, and when he tried to grant his blessing to Archaon, the new Incarnate of Chaos literally just spat in his face.
|The Chaos Gods of Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy|
|Four Main Chaos Gods:||Khorne - Nurgle - Slaanesh - Tzeentch|
|Other Gods of Chaos:||Archaon - Horned Rat - Malal - Necoho - Zuvassin|
|Chaos Gods of Law:||Alluminas - Arianka - Solkan the Avenger|