Skaven

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DIE DIE SOLDIER MANTHINGS DIE!!!!

"Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage!"

– The Smashing Pumpkins

"Rodents of unusual size? I don't believe they exist."

– Free Company Sergeant Roberts, last words

"Is it possible to succeed without any act of betrayal?"

– Jean Renoir

"Rats, we're rats, we're the rats! We prey at night we stalk at night, we're the rats!"

– Jerma985

Technologically advanced ratfolk in the Warhammer Fantasy and Age of Sigmar settings. Ugly, evil creatures that spread plague wherever they go and topple kingdoms for fun and profit, you will be hard pressed to find a more unlikeable race out there.

The Skaven are said to be the most evil race in the entire setting. Depending on their intelligence, the undead are either mindless automata executing their programing or capable of genuine love and altruism. Dark elves are cruel and have a culture based on torture and slavery, but are more driven by historical grievances and living in an inhospitable homeland, with some of them being decent or questionably heroic. Orcs are violent brutes but they'll develop what could be considered friendships and attachments to their fellows, and even the most brutal Black Orc will cry if his pet squig dies (though not in front of the other boyz because that just makes him look like a runty git). The mortal followers of Chaos are capable of honor, friendship and a warped form of love. Even the Beastmen, who are inherently evil like the Skaven, display pack-like tribal loyalty to their fellow Beastmen while being capable of honor towards allies and respect to worthy foes. Skaven have none of the above while hating everyone and everything: they are more cowardly and paranoid than any goblin, more cruel and hostile than Dark Elves and more fractitious than Chaos. Love, friendship and honor are completely alien to the Skaven's psyche. Due to their chronic backstabbing disorder, nobody trusts them, likes them, or wants to be 'allies' with them (except Dark Elves, who have a treaty with them that both sides betray at times). The only times they have done something that benefited non-Skaven or the world, such as helping beat the first incarnation of Nagash, are due for purely selfish reasons - Nagash did his best to enslave them and deny them warpstone. As one can expect, they are rather bitey.

It should be noted that there is one non-evil one in Warhammer Adventures, the Warhammer children's book series (yeah, that exists). Named Kreech, he's still the villain of that series, but by the standards of regular Warhammer he's damn near a fucking Grail Knight. Screech actually lives in human culture, preferring it to his own people's, and has a 12 year old human slave as his sidekick. Now that he's been given a mention, let's never speak of him again...

So who are they?[edit]

In a lot of science fiction going back to Starship Troopers there are races of Hive Creature. Vast beings that may have separate bodies, but have one will. One Consciousness. Each "individual" is akin to someone's finger, or a cell on someone's fingertip and is ultimately an expendable resource in service to the greater whole. All march in lockstep to expand the influence of the gestalt consciousness across as far as possible, either assimilating or crushing any other they come across. The Skaven are the antithesis of this, though this fact in no way makes them nice.

The Skaven are a race of walking humanoid rats with dubious (but not to be underestimated) intelligence and a hideous feral cunning out to conquer the world in the name of their God, the Horned Rat (not to be confused with the Emprah), and also for their own personal gains. If there was one quality which defined their species, it would be raw unconstrained Selfishness. Each Skaven is pure evil, and this is not racism speaking here; by instinct each Skaven is self-obsessed, paranoid, greedy, doesn't give a rats ass (hehe) for their family or their race's well-being unless their own is at stake, and find the concepts of love, honor and friendship to be so alien they can't comprehend them. To give context for this, a greenskin in the End Times event was traumatized by the loss of his beloved Squig while no Skaven individual has ever, at any point, been shown to have an attachment to any living thing other than themselves. (Not entirely true, Queek cares for both his trophies and his second-in-command, Ska Bloodtail. Though to be fair, Queek is hardly an example of good, Skaven logic)The closest they can get is the exceedingly rare example where a Skaven can understand that certain other individuals are tools worth cultivating, protected from outside threats and are assets too valuable to be casually destroyed or squandered. The only thing a Skaven hates more than other Skaven is creatures who are non-Skaven, and this gives the ratmen the vaguest ability to work together when they have a common enemy, otherwise they would fall on each other like, well, a pack of rats.

Skaven have an odd relationship with fear. On the one hand cowardice is the order of the day. They definitely don't want to be sliced, stabbed, shot, skewered, squished, scorched or Slaaneshed. They'll do it for the prospects of rewards, killing rival Skaven or non-Skaven (which they collectively call "Things") and because their bosses WILL have them killed horribly if they don't at least try to fight, but most skaven have a reticence to enter battle unless the odds are decidedly stacked in their favor and they're more prone to breaking and running if things go pear shaped. On the other hand, Skaven have a weird fondness for quick routes to power. If you give a Skaven a potion which has a 25% chance of killing them quickly, a 25% chance of killing them slowly, a 25% chance of doing nothing and a 25% chance of giving them the ability breathe fire like a dragon they'll usually take it.

In terms of physiology, Skaven are shorter than humans, less bulky than them, slightly weaker (surprisingly not as much, considering the difference in size and mass), and generally "less" in every regard, but one. Where they do pick up is speed - Skaven live their life in perpetual super speed with all it's advantages and drawbacks - they move faster, think faster, breed faster and age faster, generally reaching adulthood at five months and growing old, gray and frail by the age of thirteen (though very few survive for that long). All that speed builds an almost insatiable appetite, and as they have no body fat reserves, they're always hungry, except maybe after the battle when they can eat the dead (of both sides). Skaven look unnervingly twitchy and energetic to other races (even Elves, who also have a kind of inherent superspeed), while Skaven see others as slow lumbering idiots. Like rats, the Skaven has good sense of smell. It is stated by Teclis in Total War: WARHAMMER 2's high elves vortex campaign that they could smell "treachery". According to Teclis, the Horned Rat's rat swarm smelled through the fake Galifreius' disguises, went for her while ignored Talarian. We are not even sure if this should considered canon, especially when this is the same game that introduced Skaven's fake comet space shuttle.

They live in a massive underground empire (with the Horned Rat being the God Emperor, ironically far more successfully than the OTHER Emperor) called Skavenblight which spans through the Warhammer world like the Underdark, before it was teleported to another dimension post End Times. No one trusts them quite rightly and few other races resist killing them on sight, which is reciprocal. They are more numerous then any other race in the world and only one enemy keeps them truly in check: themselves.

History[edit]

No-one knows where they came from but it is suspected Tzeentch had a hand in their creation using Warpstone, a hideous amount of mutation, and generations of breeding with normal rats. (That is to say, breeding rats with other rats, not Tzeentch breeding with the rats. That's more Slaanesh's thing.) There's a poem in the Skaven codex, dating all the way back to their first codex in 4th edition, called "The Doom Of Kavzar". Written in-universe by an author in the Warhammer world's equivalent of Italy, it offers what is generally accepted as the most concrete explanation of their origins. To summarize;

  • Humans and Dwarfs lived together in a city, and decided to build a Noblebright Tower of Babel rip-off to thank the gods for their prosperity. But even Dorf engineering couldn't complete it, so they got some mysterious stranger to complete it who added his own dedication to the gods in a giant bell. Then the temple sealed itself shut, the stranger disappeared, and terrible things happened. The weather turned bad with constant Warpstone-laced rain, crops failed and rats multiplied while growing bigger and smarter. Older fluff said the stranger cursed the city because the people cheated him of payment for finishing the temple, newer fluff just makes him out to be evil and mysterious. Realizing things were becoming Dwarf Fortress, the humans asked the Dwarfs for help. The first time the Dwarfs turned them down after calling them wimps for complaining about rain. The second time they were rebuffed was due to the rats eating all the Dwarfs' food. The third time the surviving humans got desperate and smashed open the Dwarf gates to demand their help. But all they found were bearded Dorf skeletons and well-fed, but still hungry, hordes of rats and the poem ends with them eating the humans to the soundtrack "...of dying screams and hideous chittering..."

tl:dr a wizard met humans and dwarfs, someone was swindled so magic happens that makes Skaven.

And the rest, is history...

Incidentally, this isn't the only theory presented to their origins, but it's the one most gamers take as canon. Some in-universe origin theories mentioned in the 6e fluffbook "The Loathsome Ratmen and Their Vile Kin" include:

  • An Imperial naturalist named Wilfried Schtutt argued that the skaven descend from rats warped into a semblance of the human form by some malign external power, such as Chaos.
  • A Tilean classicist, Marcelli Verdallo, argues that the skaven are living proof of the ancient philosopher-sage Proti's theorem that all things in the universe are created by the mystical interactions of cosmic archetypes from beyond time in space, being the fruit of some union between the archetypes of Rat and Man.
  • Johannes Krueger's Bestiarium mentions an ancient Estalian legend wherein shipwrecked survivors turned to cannibalism and were cursed by Manann, the Sea God, assuming rat-like forms.

Even the Doom of Kavzar has some doubts thrown upon it, because the Skaven race is actually surprisingly old (but young none the less when compared to the likes of Dwarves and Elves). They were actually well-established before the rise of the Tomb Kings as the undead rulers of Khemri - in fact, they had a grubby little paw in that whole sordid affair.

It was the Skaven that supplied Nagash with the warpstone to build his black pyramid. It was the Skaven that supplied Nagash with many slaves and warriors such as savage orcs for him to kill and raise. It was the Skaven that helped Nagash to poison the River Vitae, unleashing a magical plague to decimate every living thing in Nehekhara. And it was the Skaven who betrayed Nagash by assisting the human Alcadizaar in his defeat, which resulted in the rise of the tomb kings since Nagash was no longer around to control the dead Nehekharans. So, aside from the Dark Elves who taught Nagash the Lore of Darkness magic that would eventually evolve into the Necromancy all vampires love, and the Nehekharans hate, the Skaven were the ones that supported Nagash, making him powerful and undefeated. (This is because every time Nagash died, he re-spawned back to his black pyramid. Although it takes a fuck load of time for him to actually get up, it allows him to grasp the mortal world while preserving his existence. Also the pyramid itself is indestructible so he has no need to trust anyone to guard it.) In the end, they still betrayed him for their own selfish desires. Classic Skaven.

The Skaven have been popping out numerous times across history, trying to weaken the forces of order to favor themselves in the long run. For example, they appeared during one of the Norseman invasions, when Sigmar was still around. In fear that Sigmar's Empire might threaten their very existence, they tried to use the invasion as an opportunity to destroy mankind, but failed none the less thanks to the Dwarfs that were blocking their tunnels.

After that, The Skaven didn't lay a hand on the Empire until after their own civil war. It was at this time that Clan Pestilence developed a new disease called the Black Plague (nice real life reference GW), spreading it among the Empire's population. The plague not only killed and reduced its population to less than half the size of the generation before, it also killed the current Emperor (AKA the worst Emperor, who was actually killed by an Eshin assassin's shuriken, but who cares) and every other corrupt nobility in his hideout, and good riddance some say. The Skaven then launched their attack after the plague weakened the Empire, but were stopped by a pretty cool guy named Mandred von Zelt of Middenland, who gathered the rest of the elector counts and launched an anti-Skaven crusade. Ironically, the black plague played a major role in many of Mandred's victories, since the disease affects the Skavens' rat bodies as well, weakening the Skaven army and killing enough of them to force their retreat. In the last battle, the Skaven launched their last counter attack, only to fail after they realized their leader, Vrrmik, the warlord of Clan Mors, and a member of the Councils of Thirteen, was slain by Mandred. The rest of the vermin were then driven back to their under-Empire by the Empire’s forces while suffering under their own plague from the war. What's worse for the Skaven was that the slaves they bought ended up revolting, and destroyed several already plague weakened clans while Mandred, who was declared the Emperor and sporting Vrrmik's own helmet at the time, rebuilt the Empire. The process was faster than the Skaven could expect, with the Humans even installing the sewer watch to prevent further Skaven movement on the Empire. After such a humiliating defeat, the Council received many compensation notices from other disease ridden clans. But the Council decided to just assassinate them all, including our beloved Emperor rat slayer, and called it a even. The assassination made mankind forget about the Skaven, even dismissing them as myth.

Also, if the above story "The Doom Of Kavzar" turned out to be true, then it probably took place a few hundred or so years before Nagash's reign.

The Skaven are also pretty famous on the eastern side that Games Workshop refuse to talked about. Clan Eshin's ancestors once journeyed far to the east, losing contact with its society for 100 years. When they came back however, they had learned the art of NINJUTSU from some jerk-off at Nippon where they have skilled rats throwing shuriken, and frigging ninja flipping better than the Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos. In Cathay, some filthy beastman and a Sun Wukong wannabe become the Emperor of not-China and took an Eshin Skaven warlord as his right hand man. Thus began an unhealthy relationship of trading warpstones and rat shit, which means either the Cathay Emperor is nuttier than a warp fruit cake (which should be obvious since the new Emperor was mentioned to be a fucking magical monkey beastman, or probably something worse if he is also like Wu Kong born from the meteor except the meteor is made of warpstones), or Eshin Skaven are slightly more trustworthy than the rest of Skaven. It might be true depending on how weeaboo the Eshin has become; if you look up on real world ninja, they do tend to be surprisingly loyal compared to what you might think. However, one could say that the eastern legion don't really have any experiences with Skaven betrayals, plus the Skaven did assist the Chaos Dwarves in the End Times to siege Cathay during the End Times, meaning everything the Skaven did in Cathay was but a diplomatic ploy to fool the Cathayan.

As if the Skaven aren't popular enough, they have the operation world wide. There is Clan Pestilens in Lustria, who like to infect themselves with diseases that Nurgle doesn't approve of, and throw feces at lizard-things for the lulz. Some of the rats made it into Naggaroth (probably as slaves or a few via the under-Empire) while trying not to provoke the wraith of the strongest mama's boy in Warhammer history. The only place they could never set their foot on would be Ulthuan, which is a giant continent that floats on top of the water and obviously can't be connected to Skavenblight via tunnels. It's regardless just too scary for the rat-things to deal with: flame spewing dragon-things, elf-things that shoot rains of arrows from far away, and mages that have the power to summon a giant bombardment of nukes from the sky.

The Skaven themselves have no records of their origins, and do not particularly care about their past. As far as they are concerned, the only relevant historical eras are "now, when we don't rule the world" and "soon, when we will be ruling it". Of course, any given Skaven will be plenty interested in the history of his own life, but the history of the rest of their race is dismissed as unimportant.

Society[edit]


If you do not know much about rat social behavior, you might be surprised to learn it is fairly well developed and includes among other things evidence of rodent altruism. As you might expect, GeeDubs ignored it entirely to make the Skaven more grimdark and work on people's stereotypes of what rats are like rather than how rats interact. Skaven society is rather literally cutthroat when it comes to promotions (but luckily not PROMOTIONS). In a world where you have chaos warriors who can Honor the chaos gods by killing/raping/getting minions caught up in complex plots, beastmen which are in a similar lot as chaos on top of animalistic aggression who still practice a survival-of-the-fittest pack-mindset based loyalty, orcs that are hardwired to love to scrap, goblins who are no strangers to bacstabbing and dark elves who've literally made assassination and tretchery an art the Skaven have managed to collect the gold medal in (f)ratricide. After receiving said award they've promptly began killing each other to see which Skaven individual got to keep it in a conflict which continues to this day with no resolution in sight. The only reason why their society has not murdered itself into extinction is because of a very high reproductive rate. Despite their teamkilling tendencies they obey the Grey Seers, the prophets of their god the Horned Rat, without question. Except for the other Grey Seers.

Hierarchy[edit]

The Skaven race is ruled over the by council of thirteen, Skaven of such evil they have been chosen by their vile god and manage to survive the constant threat of assassination, most likely because everyone is too afraid of these uber-ratman to go near them. Although they squeak big about their plans for world domination, they are too busy trying to outdo and kill each other (just like in real world politics!). Despite the name there is only twelve Councillors; the 13th seat is symbolic and reserved for their god and woe betide anyone that tries to sit on it! To become a member of the council all any Skaven need do is touch the sacred Black Pillar and challenge a current member for his seat in a duel. In practice it has been over 200 years since someone actually manage to pull it off, which is a minor point in favor of the current crop of leaders on it, even though a large part of it is that touching the Black Pillar has a tendency to make Rats explode.

Beneath the council of thirteen are the Grey Seers and the Warlords. Grey furred skaven pups are raised to be the priests and magic users of Skavendom that act on behalf of the council. Ironically enough the Skaven are more prone to throw around claims of HERESY! than the Sigmarite Empire. Not showing proper reverence to the Horned Rat brings down that his wrath on the offender any everyone around him, so they take an dim view of anyone who misses their services. Secular Rodentism is not something which is going to catch on in Skavenblight. Warlords are those lucky rats that have managed through guile, luck, accomplishment on the battlefield and the elimination of rivals to get in charge of a Clan. Sometimes you get a Grey Seer warlord.

Beneath them you have an upper crust of prominent individuals within the clans: Warlock Engineers, Master Molders, Plague Priests, Assassins, high ranking officers and so forth. Either through command of some arcane skill or having armed rats behind them they have wealth, better accommodations, hosts of underlings and regular access to breeders. Underneath them are those with a modicum of cultivated value: the merchants, the technicians, the packmasters, the rank and file of the Stormvermin, the apprentices to the great ones, the Gutter Runners, the overseers, skilled workers and so forth. All of which have to some degree or another got their position by struggling tooth and claw, with most of them rising from the Clanrats. These poor bastards live in poverty packed up like sardines and have to work hard for their daily Skavenbread™. But even these wretched rats have it better than the Slaves. They are the remnants of defeated clans, the pups deemed surplus to requirements if not quite bad enough to be culled, those that earned the ire of their overseers and those who's power struggles failed them and avoided being killed. Their status is somewhere between that of a native in the Belgian Congo and a Pig in a Factory Farm. Skavenslaves are actively worked to death, thrown at the enemy to absorb arrows and are fed a meager diet of scraps, garbage and each other. That's when they are not being taken to the butcher's block. The best they can hope for is that a superiors fucks up and dies, leading to enough shuffling in the org chart that they can get promoted to clanrat status. But while skavendom produces a lot of fuckups, it also burns through skavenslaves like nobody's business.

Two key facts of this hierarchy is that Shit Flows Downhill and Stepping on Your Fellow Rats to Get Up. To a high ranking Skaven everyone else is a rival, either one that's an immediate threat or one in potentia just waiting for the right moment to make it's move against you, so you got to keep a lid on them if you can. Subordinates are to be given the minimum they need to accomplish their tasks, some rewards if they exceed expectations and nothing else. If they step out of line they can be beaten. If they cause too much trouble they can be replaced with some up and coming Rat eager to not be a skavenslave. If things are going badly for you, assert your dominance with a show of force. Even if things are going well, you should put the fear of the Horned Rat into your underlings just to remind them who's boss to be on the safe side. This comes before the fact that Skaven are vindictive little shits that have no qualms about taking out their frustrations on others. A sternly worded Letter to a Warlord from the Council of Thirteen will lead him snapping at his second in command and will eventually manifest itself in clanrats biting the tails off Skavenslaves because they'd been the subject of the ire of their overseers and need to re-assert dominance

Likewise if you want to get up (and between their megalomania and what the bottom is like ALL Skaven want to go up all the way), you need to not only excel or have some useful talent but also deal with the million other rats out there with the same ambitions. If you want to survive in the slave pits, shiv your neighbor and eat him to get enough calories so you'll have the strength to see another day. If the clawleader's favorite mug has gone missing, say the guy who's always admired it stole it to bring down the bosses wrath upon him so you have one less rival, the boss's wrath is directed elsewhere and if you happen to be right he just might throw you a bone for being (for what of a better word) loyal. Apprentices could and should steal the ideas of their fellows to become Warlock Engineers. Attempting to police the Skaven to stop such backstabbing is usually an exercise in futility, especially since whatever Police Rats you can scrounge up will inevitably engage in said activities on their own. Not that it matters much in most cases, there is always a fresh stream of replacements and those eager for dead rat's shoes. At most murder provides a excuse for removing individuals that they don't like in a move that is slightly less likely to spark the paranoia of your rivals. A good Skaven leader knows how to use this competition to keep his minions in line and to get the most out of them. A bad skaven leader is going to end up on the barbecue sooner rather than latter. This is the case from birth, even for those who's role was determined at birth like grey seers and stormvermin have to fend off both ruthless instructors and backstabbing fellow applicants. Nobody is unscathed.

Misc[edit]

Although unintentional on the side of writers, there are circumstances where real life rats can become Skaven-like. In a series of social experiments involving overpopulation designed to see what effects human overpopulation in cities like New York or Tokyo could be paralleled, rat populations with far too many beings in far too small an area begin to go, as individuals, insane while the group becomes far more violent despite having more than enough food and water to sustain the entire population. When a high-density population that shows these behaviors is given more area to roam in by having another set of open cages attached or being shifted to smaller population cages, the behavior remains the same meaning the rats have been permanently mentally damaged; only with successive generations do they regain sanity. So in a way, Skaven have inadvertently made themselves fucking insane by choosing to live in horrible conditions and to overpopulate. Theoretically, saner and more level-headed (if not necessarily less evil) generations of Skaven could emerge if the species got access to more room and better conditions, which they had in Age of Sigmar... and then promptly fucked up, proving that they are in fact just that rotten.

In fact, if the root of the Skaven's evil nature could be traced to both their terrible environment and the terrible culture that both feeds and feeds off of that environment rather than anything genetic, theoretically, there could actually be good Skaven if they were somehow separated from Skavenblight immediately after birth and raised outside of it by someone willing to give them a chance. However, seeing as how the primary…“engines” of Skaven reproduction are heavily guarded in the very heart of Skavenblight, and literally every other race in Warhammer is hard-wired to kill the mangy rat-bastards on sight (and with FUCKING good reason), such a thing will almost certainly remain purely theoretical. Especially since all that trouble would ultimately amount to little more than proving a petty point, with little to no real pay-off beyond making the Horned Rat personally pissed off at you (then again there are some that might find that outcome a goal in and of itself).

Clans[edit]

Skaven organize themselves into Clans, through which they organize their backstabbing. The individual backstabs for position within a Clan, the Clan backstabs for position in Skaven society. Each Clan later became a type of Clans in Age of Sigmar.

There are many Clans, far more than any being other than the Horned Rat (presumably) knows. Clans rise, fall, split, infight, reform, and even ally constantly. Each Clan seeks to have one of their members in a position in the Council of 13, which runs the business of their entire race.

The Council of 13 is conveniently organized like a clock, with 13 at the 12 position which is representative of the Horned Rat. Members are called Lords of Decay. Each position is more powerful within the Council based on their proximity to the Horned Rat, so the Lords of Decay at the 1 and 12 position are the two most powerful, 2 and 11 behind them, while the Lords of Decay at the 6 and 7 positions are the weakest. Each Lord of Decay can outright veto the position of the one opposite them. Each Lord of Decay has their position marked by a symbol, either that of themselves or that of their Clan. The Lords of Decay have thus far remained in power for most of the existence of the Council thanks to the life-prolonging Warpstone they use (so Skeksis), although they rise and fall in power.

Skaven Clans fall into two categories: Clans and Thrall-Clans. Clans are extremely powerful, and epitomize the different aspects of Skaven society. Thrall-Clans are weak Clans that swear allegiance to a Clan to survive or grow in power. Of course thanks to Skaven backstabbing, a Thrall-Clan is an expendable frontline infantry source while the Clans are just sources of really neat toys like Rat Ogres and Ratling Guns, and of course every Clan and Thrall-Clan are waiting to betray each other while making allegiances to other Clans and Thrall-Clans to betray their REAL allies that they're of course waiting to be backstabbed by while totally being unaware of the fact that a fourth set of Clans and Thrall-Clans have set up the backstabbing conga for their own benefit, and so on as far as you want to get into it (note: this describes a single day of plotting or so).

Most Clans are Warlord Clans, producing large numbers of warriors and focusing on conquest to earn the supplies and finances needed to purchase goods from other Clans.The Pestilent Brotherhood is the religious faction of the Skaven, mostly focused on the disease aspect of the Horned Rat (so Skaven Nurgle devotees). They are allied clans (more so than the usual at any rate) by default when not backstabbing for more power within the Pestilent Brotherhood.

When fielding an army, one or two Clan paint jobs and multiple Thrall-Clan paint jobs are quite fluffy.

The four greatest (and best-described in fluff and crunch) Clans are:

  • Clan Eshin, the ninja assassin Clan. {MURDER ALL OF THESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!}
  • Clan Moulder, the Clan which breeds monsters and sews them together Frankenstein style to make even better monsters.
  • Clan Pestilens, the founder of the Pestilent Brotherhood and the largest and most powerful Pestilent Brotherhood member.
  • Clan Skryre, the Clan which produces Warp-powered Tesla cannons, machine guns, vehicles, and other assorted machines.

In addition, there is the Grey Seers, white-furred Skaven with horns that represent the servants of the Council and the Horned Rat. They are above all Skaven other than the Lords of Decay and as a result tend to be somewhat free from the backstabbing conga, other than that of other Grey Seers. Any white-furred Skaven who do not have horns are part of the Council Guard, the elite warriors that protect the Council and the Grey Seers.

The Thrall-Clans are:

  • Clan Carrion, nomadic scavenger Skaven, loot anything not nailed down unless they can take the nails too.
  • Clan Crooktail, Skaven who live under the Frozen Wastes who are prone to radical and advanced mutations.
  • Clan Ektrik, Skaven obsessed with lightning and machines. Have created Skaven cyborgs.
  • Clan Feesik, a Pestilent Brotherhood member Clan so poor it was mistaken as being blessed with extreme disease and elevated falsely into the Pestilent ranks.
  • Clan Ferrik, smiths and miners with many Dwarf slaves that actually produce shiny and new well-crafted masterwork sets of arms and armor.
  • Clan Fester, a Pestilent Brotherhood member that are so diseased they are in active states of decay. Made famous in Vermintide and Vermintide 2.
  • Clan Flem, a Clan focussed on the art of the plague without having the trappings of the Plauge Monks. Toadies of Clan Pestilens.
  • Clan Gangrous, a Clan of gladiators with weapons replacing missing limbs.
  • Clan Gristleback, Skaven who live under tyrants (for Skaven) whose underlings are chained together and have their tails cut off.
  • Clan Gritus, a Warlord Clan split-off from Clan Mors that mostly fights other Skaven, quite successfully. Fairly wealthy.
  • Clan Grutnik, the Clan most wealthy in Warpstone.
  • Clan Gnaw, Skaven who capture monsters in the Badlands for Clan Moulder. Skaven cavemen.
  • Clan Krizzor, a Warlord Clan allied with Moulder.
  • Clan Kreepus, a clan conquered by Clan Grikk that fought for freedom with the help of Clan Eshin.
  • Clan Mange, the most loyal (meaning they work purely for profit) Skaven have. Almost furless.
  • Clan Morbidus, a Pestilent Brotherhood member that acts as mercenaries.
  • Clan Mordkin, a Warlord Clan obsessed with death due to fighting heavily against Nagash.
  • Clan Mors, the primary Warlord Clan which has had the most success against the Dwarfs. Is currently ascendant and well underway to become one of the most powerful Clans.
  • Clan Rictus, a Warlord Clan that controls the passages leading to the Night Goblins, who they use as their primary source of slaves.
  • Clan Scruten, a secret army disguised as a Clan by the leader of the Grey Seers.
  • Clan Septik, a Pestilent Brotherhood Clan who are the most faithful Skaven to the Horned Rat and often are sent on (and succeed at) suicide missions.
  • Clan Skab, the clan that produces the most Stormvermin. These warriors are often sold to the other Clans as soldiers or bodyguards.
  • Clan Vruzz, POISON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Clan Skrittlespike, Skaven who live the deepest underground with pure black bulging eyes, and large ears. Terrified of loud noise.
  • Clan Skrapp, the poorest Clan of the Skaven. God tier liars allied with Clan Eshin who claim to have the most powerful army, which no Clan wants to test.
  • Clan Skully, Skaven who idolize Eshin but use heavy armor which makes the sneaking pointless.
  • Clan Skurvy, Skaven pirates. More paranoid than most Skaven.
  • Clan Skuttle, Skaven pirates who are arch enemies of Clan Skurvy as the second largest naval Clan.
  • Clan Spittl, Skaven of Lustria who hunt Lizardmen. Almost certainly went extinct by Age of Sigmar, give all Skaven are terrified instinctually of Lizardmen now.
  • Clan Treecherik, the assassin Clan that backstabs more than any other and almost entirely just fights Skaven and itself.
  • Clan Volkn, a Warlord Clan based in a volcano with obsidian weapons and armor.
  • Clan Vrrtkin, a Clan obsessed with poisons and gasses which are pledged to Clan Skryre.
  • Clan Jamcreermin, Skaven freedom fighters.
Clans of the Skaven
Great Clans: Clan Eshin - Clan Moulder - Clan Pestilens - Clan Skryre
Thrall Clans: Clan Ektrik - Clan Feesik - Clan Fester - Clan Flem - Clan Gratzz - Clan Kreepus
Clan Morbidus - Clan Septik - Clan Skrat - Clan Treecherik - Clan Vrrtkin
Warlord Clans: Clan Carrion - Clan Corpulent - Clan Crooktail - Clan Famin - Clan Ferrik - Clan Festerlingus
Clan Festus - Clan Gangrous - Clan Gnaw - Clan Gowjyer - Clan Grikk - Clan Gristlecrack
Clan Gritak - Clan Gritus - Clan Grutnik - Clan Jamcreermin - Clan Klaw - Clan Krik - Clan Krizzor
Clan Liskit - Clan Makris - Clan Mange - Clan Mawrrl - Clan Merkit - Clan Mordkin - Clan Mors
Clan Rictus - Clan Rikek - Clan Rikket - Clan Scruten - Clan Skab - Clan Skaul - Clan Skitr
Clan Skitterbite - Clan Skrapp - Clan Skrittlespike - Clan Skully - Clan Skurvy - Clan Skuttle
Clan Sleekit - Clan Spittle - Clan Verminus - Clan Volkn - Clan Vruzz

Deity[edit]

The Skaven worship their creator the Horned Rat, a god as sickening and vile as they are. God of disease and vermin, thankfully he gets the crap kicked out of him by Sigmar and Sotek on a regular basis and frankly anyone that feels like having a go. He got fed up with such bullshit at the End Times, telling the Skaven to stop backstabbing eachother and get shit done, which they proceed to do by destroying many cities. He also made a deal with the Chaos Gods as he cannot defeat them.

As of Age of Sigmar, Slaanesh was kidnapped by three Elf gods that were formerly mortals (Tyrion, Teclis, Morelion) at the manipulations of Tzeentch and the newly-appointed HNIC of all Chaos Archaon. This resulted in Nurgle and Khorne immediately voting with them to boot him out of the pantheon and the Great Game and promoting Horned Rat to proper Chaos God in his place. Horned Rat immediately renamed himself Great Horned Rat, but found out that the big kids table was full of backstabbing assholes with absolutely no respect for each other, and somehow even less for him. When the Chaos Gods gave Archaon their blessings, Archaon rejected the Horned Rat's blessings and spat directly in his face for daring to presume GHR can bless the self-righteous ass that is Archaon.

Magic[edit]

Skaven wield a form of Dark Magic fueled by warpstone and derived from their own inherently corrupt abilities. However, select kinds of skaven are capable of actually tapping that energy; traditionally, only the Grey Seers, rare mutants who function as the skaven's shamans and the Warlock Engineers of Clan Skryre, who use magitek devices to draw upon and manipulate Dark Magic, possess this power, but that lore has fluctated over editions.

In 4th edition, Warlocks could be 1st to 3rd level casters, with Grey Seers being 4th level casters, and both used the same "Lore of Skaven" magic system.

In 6th edition, only Grey Seers were casters, still using the Lore of Skaven; Warlock Engineers instead had to spend points on magitek weapons that also allowed them to cast a single spell, Warp Lightning. However, the optional rules for Great Clan armies in the back of the book also featured clan-based casters; these "lesser mages" were treated as level 1 casters who only knew a single pre-selected spell. Clan Eshin had Sorcerers (Skitterleap), Clan Pestilens had Festoring Chantors (Pestilent Breath), and Clan Moulder had Harbingers of Mutation (Vermintide). Clan Skyre's Warlock Masters could still only cast Warp Lightning, but could try and cast an 11+ variant that was much more powerful.

In 7th edition, things changed; now, Skaven had two different schools of magic - Ruin and Plague, with Warlock Engineers being Hero level casters of Ruin and Plague Priests getting an upgrade to be Hero level casters of Plague, with Grey Seers being Lord level casters who could mix and match spells from both lores, and had access to the unique "Dreaded 13th Spell", which could transform enemy troops into skaven clanrats.

"Children of the Horned Rat", the skaven sourcebook for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd edition, tweaked the Skaven magical lores around. Naming the two primary schools of Skaven magic as Plague and Warp, it also upgraded Eshin Sorcerers to full-fledged casters, with their own unique school of magic; the Dark Lore of Stealth, a corrupt form of Shadow Magic that lets them do more animesque ninja stuff. As CotHR was written around the time of 6th edition, it doesn't quite mesh up with either 6e or 7e fluff; instead of being masters of all the skaven styles, it's implied (it's a little hard to ascertain) that Grey Seers only use Warp Magic, whilst Plague Priests and Eshin Sorcerers only use Plague Magic and Stealth Magic respectively. Warlock Engineers, meanwhile, can't use magic at all, but instead can make unique magitek gizmos.

Also, CotHR says that rogue Grey Seers can learn Chaos Magic or Necromancy, although this paints them as skaven heretics.

Army[edit]

Skaven are your standard easily abused horde army. Lots of cheap vermin, whose numbers allow them to easily ignore their one theoretical weakness: shitty leadership, backed up by more expensive and/or specialized units, that are in theory unreliable but will still wreck your shit moar consistently than most anything else by sheer volume. Also, DOOMWHEELS.

Under current rules they are have always been considered overpowered, except for a brief period where DoC reigned thanks to your Spiritual Liege. They have now reclaimed their mantle, since 8th edition heavily favors mass infantry blocks, and the Skaven can easily throw out a block of 100 models for less than what some other armies will spend on a lord, no, I'm not exaggerating, which under the current rules is virtually unbeatable.

Special Characters[edit]

Wargame[edit]

The cast of Skaven special characters has shifted and flowed across editions, but this is the original list from 4e:

7th edition added two new characters to the list:

6th edition also saw the creation of a handful of new characters, whose stats appeared either in White Dwarf or on Games Workshop's website - back before they turned it into a mere shopping center. In addition to converting many 4e characters who'd been left out of their 6e army book, such as Snikch and Ikit Claw, 6e saw the creation of:

Fluff-only, Other Games, Other Continuities[edit]

All the other characters.

  • Kreech

FUCK, I thought we agreed never to mention him again. Exists in Age of Sigmar to be the Thanquol to the pacifist protagonist adolescents of Warhammer Adventures, is a complete weab for humans, and has a slaveboy from the Realm Of Beasts named Scratch.

Fun Facts[edit]

  • They consider the number thirteen to be lucky/holy. This a reference to how thirteen is seen as unlucky in Western society. However, several real-life nations/cultures consider thirteen a lucky number.
  • Grey Seers regularly ride giant bells on scaffolds into battle
  • DOOMWHEELS
  • Their leaders lead from the back, to get a better view of the battle of course and not due to the meatshield tactic.
  • They can improve anything, with the additional of magical radiation rocks!
    • This may or may not involve improving themselves by snorting said rock.
  • GIANT LIGHTNING CANNONS
  • Backstabbing little bastards, they'll fuck you up five different ways without you even knowing about it, if you're lucky.
  • Skaven do not abide by any codes of honor or battle etiquette, and as such, they WILL bring a gun to a swordfight (and even then they'll try to steal your sword beforehand (and poison you (and improve themselves with warpstone before (aaaaand the gun might be a DOOMWHEEL)))).
  • Skaven have a combination of ego and incompetence that would make Starscream look down his nose at them.
  • Skaven do NOT think about the potential consequences of anything that they do. Taken to its logical conclusion in The End Times when they blow up the motherfucking Chaos Moon and nearly destroy the planet with moon-fragments.
  • At one point they had the cheapest troops in any game setting. How cheap? It was measured in fractions of a point!
  • They can carry giant rocket launcher weaponry that will most likely explode in their own damn faces.
  • As per Total Warhammer II skavens are the first WFB race to have achieved spaceflight, no, seriously, go play the campaign!

DIE-DIE MANTHINGS![edit]

The above sentence clearly illustrates the quirks of skaven language: they often say certain monosyllabic words twice (words like "die-die" and "fool-fool" are popular) Also, they often end the name of a species with the suffix -things, so men are man-things, dwarfs are dwarf-things, et cetera. This helps indicate that non-Skaven are not people in their eyes (although considering their backstabby natures it isn't as if they're trying to avert sense of shame or horror from killing others, which is why humans dehumanize during war... so why?).

Female Skaven[edit]

Canon image of a female Skaven.
The closest thing to a female Skaven model to come out of Games Workshop.

The skaven as a whole fit the idea of "ratmen" - with particular emphasis on the men part. All named skaven characters are male, and new fans invariably wonder; what about females? Where do skaven come from?

There was never any great emphasis placed on them. Indeed, they were left so ambiguous that the first ever description of skaven females actually came about as a result of one fan's fanfiction, during those hoary days when Gnomes and Half-Orcs were still canon. In "The Book of the Rat", a fan-made netbook of skaven lore for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st edition, female skaven were stated to be as sapient as their male counterparts, but hugely oppressed; they were kept as sexual slaves in segregated chambers of the warren, to which only the clan's elites were allowed access. Kept in miserable conditions, their life consisted of nothing but rough sex, pregnancy and looking after their mewling ratlings. Female skaven were described as rarer than male skaven, partially due to biology, primarily because their mothers and the bitter, infertile/elderly midwives tended to be particularly callous towards the female offspring and so female skaven have a much, much higher mortality rate than the males.

Those looking for official lore had to wait until the first ever Warhammer Armies: Skaven sourcebook was released, way back in Warhammer 4th edition. There, fans were presented with what is the earliest known mention of skaven females: a single line describing them as being "indolent" and "semi-intelligent" in the general Skaven entry in the bestiary section (page 50).

Modern lore, established in the Skaven's 6e army book and preserved since then, built upon this singular line and is considerably more grimdark than the fanon presented in "The Book of the Rat": female skaven are horrific monsters, implied to be basically female Giant Rats of enormous stature, who build upon their description in 4e by being described as feral, effectively non-sapient creatures. They are basically giant wombs, locked away separately from the males and existing only to feed and produce offspring, so monstrously pregnant and indolent that their limbs have atrophied, rendering them incapable of doing anything but wallow in the breeding pits.

Further female skaven lore, such as it is, was fleshed out by Black Library fiction and most prominently by Children of the Horned Rat, a skaven sourcebook for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd edition. In CotHR, it's theorized that only one in ten skaven are female, reaching sexual maturity at the age of 2 and spending the rest of their 2 decades of life doing nothing but breed, averaging 12-24 pups a litter and 4-5 litters per year.

What's explicitly stated in that same book is that skaven females are not naturally mindless, but instead this is the result of the skaven's malevolence and their need to "improve" upon nature; from a young age, skaven females are constantly dosed with Warpstone-based narcotics and hallucinogens, intended to keep them docile and segregated, so they will not protest their life of endless baby-making. There is a single line hinting that this may not be as effective as the male skaven think: "So cloistered away from the rest of their race are they that they do not learn their race’s chittering speech, nor are they proficient in even the simplest social skills…or so the Skaven believe." But still the vast majority of "Rat Mothers" spend their lives incessantly pregnant and an interminable drug-fueled haze, often blind and/or crippled, and dependent on the ministrations of the "Ratwives" - castrated skaven who serve as nurses to the female Skaven themselves and midwives to their endless litters.

Access to the females is carefully guarded. The most powerful of skaven are allowed to own one or more females for their private use - females are readily traded between clans as extremely valuable bargaining chips - and access to the communal females in the breeding pits is restricted to high-ranked or otherwise successful skaven; in one of the Gotrek & Felix novels, a Skaven is rewarded by his superior by being given permission to mate with one, whilst "Thanquol's Doom" features a skaven who partially lost their nose in an "incident" whilst mating with a breeder - apparently, she got too excited and tried to eat him.

It bears mentioning that the status of the "breeders" does have some real-world basis to it. The rodent contains the only known eusocial mammals; the mole-rats, who live in colonies consisting of a single reproducing female with one (or up to three, for naked mole rats) reproducing males reigning over a large brood of sterile offspring that work as a collective to survive. In these cases, however, there are equal numbers of males and females, and it's the presence of a breeding queen and her pheromones that causes sterility into the younger mole-rats; if removed from her presence, they become fertile in turn.

It also bears mentioning that, in Blood Bowl, the Skaven team comes with cheerleaders who are non-"Breeder" females, which you can tell because they have four big breasts each. But then, Blood Bowl also has fem-Orcs, so its connection to canon of any edition after 3e is kind of dubious.

Non-Canon Female Skaven[edit]

PROMOTIONS-small.pngThis article contains PROMOTIONS! Don't say we didn't warn you.
Commissar.gif This article or section is EXTRA heretical. Prepare to be purged.

Fans being fans, and the natural appeal of the skaven as a beastfolk race to furries, there have been many fans who find the fate of female skaven to be rather... disappointing. So, there is an undercurrent in the seedier, steamier depths of /tg/ where fans like to talk about non-Rat Mother female skaven. Many have tried arguing that, given the reverence for the Grey Seers, combined with the Chaotic tinge of the skaven, then surely there are rare female Grey Seers who are thus spared the fate of their sisters. Others have pointed that since Breeders are heavily dosed up with chemicals, then if that fate was spared for some reason, then surely female skaven would turn out to be at least as competent as their brothers. Still others note that skaven can't resist tinkering, so it's not impossible a Grey Seer or Master Moulder might make use of a "thinking Breeder".

And, in fact, this last argument one even has a dash of canon to it: in C.L. Werner's "Grey Seer" novel, Thanquol encounters a Grey Seer (Thratquee of Under-Altdorf) who owns two personal breeders he has "improved", granting them an unusual clarity of thought, freedom of motion and muscle hidden under their chub; built like a cross between a breeder and a Rat Ogre, they're essentially the skaven equivalent of amazon bodyguards, and Thanquol is simultaneously horrified and a little impressed at the realization that these "harmless females" will actually kill any skaven who dare to threaten their mate. This makes them the ultimate bodyguards in the eternal backstab-fest that is skaven society.

All of these arguments are reaching, understandably. But that hasn't stopped fans from dabbling in fem-skaven homebrew characters or more cheesecake-level artwork. One infamous skaven-loving furry even created his own homebrew clan of renegade female skaven, Clan Sniek, an offshoot clan of Clan Eshin who scavenge on the outskirts of skaven society and raid weaker warlord clans to steal away their females to bolster their own numbers. Clan Sniek is also known to "dabble" with human men, for pleasure and/or procreative purposes; there's even a named Gutter Runner female in a relationship with an Imperial human. His artwork tends to pop up whenever a ratfolk thread does or the topic of non-Breeder female skaven arises.

Thus, the argument about whether or not Rat Mothers are interesting will probably rage forever. You'd think that with the talks of non-breeder females and Clan Sniek that there would be more Sniek, fem-rats, or even Skaven related stories in general at the Smut archive, but hey what are you gonna do? You can't fap it to femskaven stories if there are no femskaven stories.

Clan Sniek

Beastmen connection[edit]

So, since this is a race made of humanoid rats empowered by Warpstone (which is officially described as being Chaos energy manifest), you may be wondering whether or not they're Beastmen. Well, the answer is that it kind of flips back and forth. Way back in the early editions, yes, Skaven were explicitly a break-away faction of relatively stabilised Beastmen, even pitching in with the Hordes of Chaos or spawning Chaos Champions of their own -- the "Design a Daemon Prince/Chaos God" rules in 3e's Slaves to Darkness - The Lost and The Damned even features a skaven turned Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided.

Since then, the connection has been downplayed extremely; the Empire generally describes Skaven as just "Beastmen who happen to look like rats", but there's no official connection between the two other than the fact Grey Seers have horns that signal them as important (a classically Beastman trait) and the fact both are animals mutated by Chaos-stuff.

Warhammer 40k[edit]

While no direct space Skaven exist, there are ratlike mutants described in the fluff, rat-worshiping cultists in Necromunda, a mutant race called Ratlings which despite being more halfling than rat could be argued as a successor, the Imperial Guard itself which serves as uneducated and amoral xenophobes who are mass-bred and treated as currency by the Imperium with access to some nice and fancy toys which are more likely to cause teamkilling than damage to foes *BLAM* HERESY!, and lastly there are the Tyranids who are 40k's version of ungodly numbers faction crossed with the Ogre Kingdoms motivation to eat everything in sight (though for different reasons). The Hrud used to be the Space Skaven, as in giant dieselpunk rat people, but that was pretty much retconned. They look different now (on the rare occasion they are mentioned in the fluff), so the only actual space Skaven are the Veer-Myn from Warpath by Mantic games. As usual, most of their models are, well not terrible, but not the greatest things ever, there is however great potential for a fantasy warlock engineer conversions. However, it does appear that the recent Skitarii model releases may have taken inspiration from the Skaven aesthetic (though not gameplay) with their many steampunk-styled weapons, most notably the Transuranic Arquebus and Radium Jezzail.

Age of Sigmar[edit]

As of Age of Sigmar, Skaven had survived the end of the old setting by teleporting Skavenblight to another dimension. When Horned Rat became Great Horned Rat he immediately drew Skavenblight into the Warp and created more of his Daemons. Skaven had a golden age where there was Warpstone everywhere to be found, they had the direct blessing of the Great Horned Rat, and unlimited space and potential around them. They promptly did the impossible and somehow dug so deep that part of the Warp collapsed into Skavenblight which collapsed into the material realm which is now made up of eight "nearly infinite" planes made of the former Winds of Magic.

Skaven now have access to all of reality at once, and can appear everywhere from beneath Sigmar's throne to beneath Khorne's throne. As can be expected the tunnels are not stable and thus only the Skaven are willing to use them usually, as even immortal and deathless Daemons can somehow vanish into the space between spaces never to be seen again when Skaven are involved.

Skaven have also had an exponential population boom, which is impressive considering they damn near outnumbered insects in the old setting. Each former Clan is now only a type of Clan; what was once the billions of ratmen that made up clan Moulder for example is now billions of Clans of billions of ratmen each which all identify as a Moulder type of Clan.

Skaven thus far in the fluff have predictably allied most with Nurgle.

Despite this massive buff to their lore, the arch-enemies of the Skaven, the Lizardmen, have gotten a boost too. Slann have lost the ability to see the present and instead are nearly omniscient concerning the past and future which allows them to outplan their enemies (the statement was vague, and it may or may not include Tzeentch himself considering even Sigmar was able to create a wall Tzeentch couldn't see past). The Lizardmen themselves are now beings of pure light, whose blood cleanses all Chaos taint and turned Nurgle's most beloved champion into a clean and healthy human again while purifying an otherwise permanently desecrated pool of water. Their numbers are unending, and to make matters worse for our beloved ratmen there now exists an ancestral memory in all Skaven. At the sight of Lizardmen all Skaven suffer PTSD flashbacks to jungles and stalking lizards tearing out the hearts of their kin, despite having been born only a few years ago and having never encountered them before.

As a result, while Skaven were backstabbing fucks who were against literally everything in the setting including themselves, in Age of Sigmar they now have a clear arch-enemy faction akin to the High Elves/Dark Elves of Fantasy and aligned with Grand Alliance: Chaos.

Models[edit]

Skaven are one of the primary things in the Warhammer IPs that are actually unique to Games Workshop. As a result, its hard to obtain miniatures for them from third party companies, which is of particular irritation to Skaven players who want Skaven Slaves to actually look like downtrodden Skaven or those who refuse to give any more money to Games Workshop.

However, Reaper Miniatures thankfully has begun to produce a "Wererat" range which includes decent alternatives to Rat Ogres, Assassins, a Verminlord, and even a female Skaven with six breasts for those wanting to have the most unique Warlord in the FLGS. This is in addition to the ordinary rat models, useful for spicing up scenery or large kits (or obtaining cheap Rat Swarms). These models are produced in the "Bonesium" material in the Bones line, which while being prone to bending badly is LUDICROUSLY cheap and completely safe from being dropped from any height onto any surface. Notably, some have taken to replacing the parts notorious for bending (weapons, especially spears) and replacing them with kitbashed weapons or even greenstuff. As far as the metal range goes, Reaper also produces Barrow Rats which can be useful as Pox Rats, Giant Rats, or Rat Hounds.

A further alternative source is Mierce Miniatures, in particular their Vras faction of models. They have two warrior characters, more hamster-like than rat-like in proportions but with a paintjob serve as spectacular bloated disease-spreading characters (or just fat rat bastards). More importantly, Mierce has five large creatures that serve as Hellpit Abominations or as Verminlords. "Flint-Fang, Kill-Thing of the Infernal Pits" is preferred by some as an Abomination for its less Akira and more Frankenstein appearance (some praise or are horrified by its...anatomical correctness). "Back-Cracker, Goz-Horror" is an Abomination looking more like some kind of mad science genetic horror, while "Three-Faces, the Verminous Horror" takes the basic Games Workshop Abomination and replaces "steam-powered" with "tumor". "Scar-Claw, Rat Fiend" and "Scar-Scath, Vermin-Fiend" are alternative Verminlords, and thanks to the monopose nature of the End Times Verminlord kits make decent alternatives or just sources of kitbashing materials when fielding more than one.

Otherworld Miniatures produces both small rats and naked ratmen, although the latter sadly only come in two poses.

Mirilton Ratscum resemble Slaves or Clanrats, have ratmen gunners, and ratmen cavalry riding weasels, although the sculpts are in different proportions to the Skaven in many cases and resemble older Games Workshop models (this can be a bonus to some people however).

Curious Constructs produces weapon sets including a Gatling Gun, Mortar Launcher, and Flamethrower which could be kitbashed with any ratmen models to produce the various weapons teams of the Skaven.

Black Tree Design produces ratmen monks, assassins, warriors, a rat ogre creature, and rats in gas masks with poison bombs.

Impact Miniatures produce not-Bloodbowl ratmen models that require little to no alteration to become Skaven soldiers. Or that Skaven Blood Bowl team fielded as Stormvermin for a silly army.

Of course, Screaming Bells and Plague Furnaces can be made with balsa wood and the kinds of things one can find at any head shop or similar purveyor of hippie paraphernalia.

Gallery[edit]

See Also[edit]

Playable Factions in Warhammer Fantasy Battle
Human Kingdoms: The Empire of Man - Bretonnia
Elves: High Elves - Dark Elves - Wood Elves
Dwarven: Dwarfs - Chaos Dwarfs
Undead: Tomb Kings - Vampire Counts
Heirs of the Old Ones: Lizardmen
Greenskins Orcs - Goblins
Ogrekind Ogre Kingdoms
Servants of Chaos Warriors of Chaos - Daemons of Chaos - Beastmen
Skavenkind Skaven
Playable Factions in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
The Alliance of Order: Stormcast Eternals - Extremis Chamber - Sacrosanct Chamber - Seraphon - Sylvaneth - Fyreslayers - Kharadron Overlords - Devoted Of Sigmar - Free Peoples - Collegiate Arcane - Ironweld Arsenal - Devoted Of Sigmar - Dispossessed - Eldritch Council - Phoenix Temple - Lion Rangers - Order Draconis - Swifthawk Agents - Scourge Privateers - Daughters of Khaine - Darkling Covens - Shadowblades - Order Serpentis - Wanderers - Idoneth Deepkin
The Alliance of Chaos: Daemons Of Chaos Undivided - Daemons Of Khorne - Daemons Of Tzeench - Daemons Of Nurgle - Skaven - Host Of Slaanesh - Khorne Bloodbound - Nurgle Rotbringers - Tzeentch Arcanites - Everchosen - Slaves To Darkness - Monsters Of Chaos - Thunderscorn - Brayherds - Warherds - Chaos Gargants - Legions Of Azgorh - Tamurkhan's Horde
The Alliance of Death: Legions of Nagash - Deathlords - Soulblights - Deathmages - Deathwalkers - Deathrattles - Flesh-Eater Courts - Nighthaunt
The Alliance of Destruction: Ironjawz - Greenskinz - Bonesplitterz - Gitmob Grots - Aleguzzler Gargants - Moonclan Grots - Spiderfang Grots - Gutbusters - Beastclaw Raiders - Firebellies - Maneaters - Troggoths - Fimir