Skweel Gnawtooth is a skaven special character in Warhammer Fantasy. Introduced in 7th edition, he is the second special character associated with Clan Moulder, preceded by Throt the Unclean. While Throt is undeniably the best Master Moulder of his clan (i.e. he's really good at making crazyass monsters), Gnawtooth is the most successful and competent Packmaster in all of Clan Moulder, which is very impressive considering that's their key gimmick and export. Skweel was born a runt and should've died almost immediately as a result, but the Horned Rat apparently had something different in mind for the strange young Skaven. It quickly became apparent to all that Skweel had an uncanny, almost supernatural, affinity with non-Skaven rats. Indeed, it was this special ability to commune with his lesser cousins that saved Skweel from an early death in murderous Skaven society, as anyone who threatened him always seemed to fall prey to mysteriously well-motivated and orchestrated hordes of rats. Of course, such "accidents" are common in Skavendom, but as it became more and more apparent that Skweel was sicking his rat buddies on Skaven who displeased him, he began to build up a bit of reputation.
When the Master Moulders of the clan heard about this dreadful Skaven that could command the will of beasts, they were naturally interested. So they found Skweel lurking somewhere and decided to give him a chance to interview for a prestigious position in the clan's hierarchy. And by interview, they meant that they would throw him, unarmed and alone, into a pit with monsters much larger and more dangerous than simple rats. Much to the surprise of all the Skaven watching, Skweel was not ripped limb from limb and devoured. Instead, he proved himself to be quite the go-getter, and rather than maul him, the beasts in the pit seemed to have the same natural attraction to the runt that rats did. Understanding they had struck gold with Skweel, the Master Moulders soon enrolled him in Packmaster academy where he completed his training with flying colors.
Unlike most other Packmasters, Skweel does not treat his beasts with contempt or cruelty. In a most unskavenlike fashion, he almost seems to care deeply for his charges, more guiding them into battle than driving them forward like so many of his kindred. Each rat-ogre, rat-swarm, or worse that Skweel commands is like a beloved pet, and it's not unknown for him to reward his monsters with choice bits of their prey at the end of successful missions. Belly rubs and squeaks of, "Who's a good mutant? You are!" are presumably also included. Other Skaven naturally keep their opinions on Skweel's relative strangeness to themselves, lest they find a swarm of rats waiting for them in some dark alley or tunnel. Given his affinity with monsters, Skweel is often the first Packmaster to test out training and directing the new creations of his clan's Master Moulders. Skweel has demonstrated masterful command of innovative creatures such as Wolf-Rats, Hyper-gland Rat Ogres, and specially-bred siege beasts. Unfortunately, he's had less success with Hell Pit Abominations, but they'll probably come around to him and his charms sooner or later.
A veritable Mozart of Packmasters, it's little surprise that Skweel is considered one of the most valuable members of Clan Moulder and is suitably rewarded with wealth and respect. Lord Verminkin, the leader of Clan Moulder and its representative on the Council of 13, only hires out his beloved Packmaster to the richest and most fortuitous of clans on limited term contracts. To his credit, Skweel seems to genuinely love his work (what a motivated employee!) and has traveled the Underworld in service of his clan. He has led Tunneling Gnawbeasts into Dwarfen strongholds, hunted rogue assassins with sniffer-beasts, and waged war with Clan Mors at the head of a packs of horrific Black-Rage Rat Ogres. After each victory, Skweel returns to his clan, fat, happy, flush with success, and ready for his next deployment.
In battle, Skweel's beloved Wolf-Rat Gutsnagger (try yelling that name out at the dog park) leads a bodyguard swarm of rats to protect his master, and they rip and tear anyone capable of battling past Skweel's beasts and attacking him. To protect himself and "encourage" his beasts, Skweel carries a warp-lash, essentially a Packmaster's whip studded with shards of warpstone for maximum devastation. This weapon is truly horrific, capable of slicing through armor like paper and ripping and tearing the flesh beneath with horrific, warp-laced wounds. It also doubles as a status symbol, given that it's probably a pretty expensive item in and of itself.
Unlike many other Skaven characters but similar to the aforementioned Throt, Skweel did not make an appearance in The End Times despite the Skaven going ham on the entire world. Presumably, he was out there doing what he does best and guiding horrific monsters into battle on behalf of Clan Moulder. It's relatively likely that he died when Prince Apophas raised the Hell Pit, Moulder's stronghold, on behalf of his new master Nagash, considering that Ghoritch, the Castellan of Clan Moulder, was slain in that same battle.
Skweel has yet to reappear in the Age of Sigmar, so it sort of seems like he's been written off, but who knows? The runt's got a knack for survival, after all. His model now serves as the generic "Master Moulder" for Skaven forces.
|Deathmaster Snikch - Ghoritch - Ikit Claw - Klawmunkast - Lord Skrolk |
Morbus Sanguis - Queek Head-Taker - Skreet Verminkin - Skweel Gnawtooth
Thanquol - Throt the Unclean - Tretch Craventail