"Betrayal is the only truth that sticks."
- – Arthur Miller
"He lives! NOOOO no no no no no it cannot BE! Not HIM! Not again! Not like this! Always the same! I want him dead dead dead! AAAAAAGH!"
- – Thanquol's reaction to discovering Gotrek has shown up in the Mortal Realms and is already wrecking his plans
Grey Seer Thanquol is one of the main antagonists of Gotrek & Felix series and the first skaven to have his own trilogy of novels, featuring his attempts against the enemies of the Skaven, which, amusingly, always end in utter and complete disaster both for the skaven at his command and up to a point, to his enemies. Every time he is in a plot it's a death sentence for any Skaven surrounding him, with casualties mounting to entire skaven settlements. He's so bad at actually letting the skaven win that a Slann that has Thanquol dead to rights deliberately lets him go and whips up a favorable current to carry him back to the Old World, because he has visions of just how badly Thanquol will screw things over for the skaven.
Yes, that's right, the member of a race that considers skaven worse than daemons is willing to let Thanquol go, as his survival will be that beneficial to the lives of everyone who are enemies to the skaven.
As any of the readers may attest Thanquol is also a source of endless lulz, as he often acts like your classical Saturday-morning cartoon villain, being a funny mixture of Team Rocket, Skeletor, Invader Zim, and Dr. Robotnik, with more than a little Starscream in the mix. In other words, he is basically Abaddon as portrayed by /tg/.
He also does warpstone dust, as like Snowflame, he is empowered by his use. But then, this is common for all Grey Seers.
He is arguably the most powerful Grey Seer that ever existed and has even had Teclis thinking that maybe he should be practicing his spells more. However Thanquol's full potential is lost under a swarm of distractions, incompetence, cowardliness, anxiety, backstabbing, pesky kids and their damn dog or just plain fucking up because it wouldn't be Skaven if everything went according to plan. An example of this is when Thanquol attempted to summon a Vermin Lord but then accidentally summoned Skarbrand, the most powerful of Bloodthirsters, due to a spectacular mistake in interpreting the use of a powerful relic (it was a mummified Grey Seer's paw that had secretly been sabotaged long before Thanquol found it). Keep in mind that Chaos sorcerers have to sacrifice hundreds of slaves to even attempt this and even the sorcerers themselves are likely to explode from the backlash, but instead Thanquol, showing no signs of repercussion, simply chewed another warpstone rock candy, wash his hands of the entire mess and casually (but quickly) strolled away while both dwarfs and skaven proceeded to start killing EVERYTHING with Skarbrand happily smooshing single book exclusive characters out of continuity. Oh also Queek Headtaker was over there, but what'evs.
As you might (or might not) have expected, Thanquol's the big boss character for the Skaven-focused fourth book of The End Times, which is, fittingly, named Thanquol in his honor, yeah. No, seriously, he actually receives a massive competence boost as a well as a new mega-Boneripper, which he rides around on, much like how the Glottkin ride around on their youngest brother.
Considering Chaos won The End Times this makes him canonically more competent by default than Abby and his missfired warp rift "I-AM-BEST-ANTAGONIST-VILLAIN THAN THE ARMLESS CHAOS-THING YES-YES!".
He was confirmed active in AoS as of Realmslayer making him the oldest known skaven alive. He is now a feared Skaven mastermind going by the moniker "The Grey Lord", whose brilliant master plan to destroy the multidimensional city of Hammerhal would have succeeded if a certain one-eyed dwarf hadn't returned from chaos and wrecked it almost incidentally. Thus stoking speculation that Gotrek's return is not to find Felix but to prove that Thanquol can never ever have nice things. Most recently Thanqoul caused one of the greatest fuck ups in skaven society and started the year of the Drowned Rat. How he did this was simple: he had thousands of skaven dig a tunnel into the realm of death from Skavenblight, "YES-YES A MOST CUNNING IDEA-THOUGHT!!" but this being Mother Fucking Thanquol it was bound to fuck up and so the tunnel opened up into the bottom of a sea. YES HE BUILT A TUNNEL INTO AN OCEAN OF SHYISH, "well at least it could not get worse-worse", which caused immense flooding and drowned thousands of skaven. Now because this being Old Naggie's domain and these waters being part of it, OF COURSE the water was full of zombies and OF COURSE any Skaven killed by the Shyishian waters or zombies became zombies themselves and the Age of the Drowned Rat began (this also means Thanquol unintentionally helped Nagash find the Idoneth Deepkin). "WELL AT LEAST WE STILL LIVE YES-YES, ISN'T THAT RIGHT BONERIPPER 999?". He somehow managed to stop the invasion, saving the Blight City, then he fled fearing envy and blame from his rivals.
So he actually gets shit done now. Sometimes. The new Skaven Battletome mentions how some of his plans can go spectacularly well or screw up in the most catastrophic ways. Also, nowadays he receives the occasional help in escaping from his own failed schemes from the Great Horned Rat himself, who finds his antics absolutely lulzy. Thanquol seems unaware of that fact thinking it's just his endless talent and skills. "LIES-LIES! I AM AWARE-KNOW HORNED SENPAI NOTICES ME AT LAST-LAST!".
Thanquol got his very first speaking role in Shadow of the Horned Rat, although the credits are completely vague on who was responsible for his voice acting. If he had a NEW voice actor, you can bet it would be Joe Pasquale. Failing that, Richard Horvitz.
Thanquol's Brilliance in Action
Thanquol paced. The plan was not going well. Surely, thought Thanquol, he was the most potent of mage-rats, the most exalted of the Council's agents. Why, then, did the Lords of Decay keep sending him inferiors to work with? Warlord Skrich of Clan Krik had jeopardised the task of destroying Citadelle La Bouef. True, Thanquol had promised the drawbridges would be down, but that had been the fault of those worthless Gutter Runners. Yes, the poison Thanquol had bought for them turned out to be so watered down as to be safely drinkable, but he had saved many warptokens. Thanquol gnawed his pale, rubbery tail, recalling how the Duke had counter-attacked, sending the Clanrats fleeing. The fool Assassin should have already slain that manling! Of course, Thanquol had reassigned the Assassin to kill several upstart Skaven in his own ranks, a mission from which the Clan Eshin agent had never returned. Such failures could only be devious sabotage! But who, thought Thanquol, would dare match wits with so mighty a personage as himself? The hidden foe must be dangerous indeed.
Relationship with Gotrek & Felix
As mentioned above, Thanquol first appeared as a recurring nemesis in the tales of suicidal stuntie and mighty whitey, with Gotrek repeatedly destroying Thanquol's minions and plans, and slaying several incarnations of Boneripper. This culminated in Elfslayer, when Thanquol finally captured Gotrek & Felix only to learn that they had never even known his name and they were not, as he had thought, dedicated to his personal destruction, but had merely butchered their way through what were to them nothing but random encounters. This did not sit well with Thanquol's ego, to say the least.
Here is an example of him using his limitless cunning and subtlety as he manipulates the duo into dealing with one of his rivals, a series of events which would directly lead to the failure of the invasion of Nuln that he was in charge of:
Frends – be warned! Evil ratmen of the trecherus skaven klan Skryre – may they be poxed forever, espeshully that wicked feend Heskit Wan Eye – plan to attak the Colledge of Ingineering this nite during the dark of the moon. They wish to steel your secrets for their own nefare-i-us porpoises. You must stop them or they will be wan step closer to conquering the surface world,
Things have changed following the jump to AoS, as upon learning of Gotrek’s survival, Thanquol had a legendary freak out and ordered the slayer’s immediate death. Gotrek now sees the rat as a proper enemy and swore to cut him down in the name of Felix’s dead father, who had died previously due to Thanquol’s schemes. The seer and the slayer finally reunite face-to-bearded-face in “Blood of the Old World”, where they duel for control of a Realmgate leading to the World-That-Was. Thanquol lost and the gate was destroyed but the fight was spectacular.
Thanquol on the Tabletop
Thanquol is one of the oldest playable Skaven special characters, having appeared in the 4e skaven army book alongside Lord Skrolk, Ikit Claw, Throt the Unclean, Deathmaster Snikch and Queek Head-Taker, and by the Age of Sigmar he appears to be the only survivor of the bunch.
In this edition, Thanquol costs 380 points and can be accompanied by Boneripper for +45 points. He has M5, WS6, BS6, S4, T4, W4, I7, A4 and Ld7, wields a sword, is a level 4 Grey Seer, and may carry up to 4 magic items. He has the special rules Warp Tests (reroll the dice for any Warp tests he takes) and Blessing of the Horned Rat (each time Thanquol is wounded, roll a D6 for each wound; on 4+, that wound is inflicted on a friendly model within 2" instead chosen by the skaven player), which protects him against spells, hand-to-hand and shooting attacks.
Boneripper has M6, WS5, BS0, S5, T5, W3, I6, A3 and Ld5, and the special rules Cause Fear, Stupidity and Bodyguard. With this latter rule, Boneripper must stay with Thanquol at all times; Thanquol can send him to attack an enemy model or unit within charge range, but once that foe is dead, Boneripper must immediately begin moving back to rejoin Thanquol. As long as they are together, Boneripper does not have to test for psychology separately.
One of only two characters actually statted in his book, the other being Throt the Unclean of Clan Moulder. He comes as a pair with Boneripper the automaton, cosing 560 points for both of them and using up a Lord slot and a Hero slot.
He's a level 4 Skaven wizard and his stats are basically those of a Grey Seer, except for having +1 to both Initiative and Leadership in comparison. Thanquol is someone you don't want to be sticking in melee if you can, since he's got no armor and only a basic close combat weapon to fight with. You can stick him on a Screaming Bell for +200 points, if you want. He has the unique rules of Warpstone Addiction (can re-roll a 1 caused by a Warpstone Token, but the second result stands), Blessing of the Horned Rat (4+ Ward Save, but each successful save "deflects" the wound; if there is a Friendly model within 6", that model takes a wound instead), and Arch-rivals (Fears and Hates Gotrek & Felix, who in this edition had rules in Warhammer Annual 2002). He carries the Staff of the Horned One (knows +1 spell), 13 Warpstone Tokens, and the Amulet of the Horned One (roll a D6 at the beginning of each turn in which Thanquol has 1 or 2 Wounds left; on a 5+, regain 1 Wound).
Boneripper has M5 WS3 BS- S5 T5 W3 I2 A3 LD10 and he sports close combat weapons and a 4+ armor save. He has the special rules of Automaton (Unbreakable + immune to poison attacks), Cause Fear, Warpfire Thrower (breath weapon that inflicts S4 hits with a flame template, casualties cause a Panic test), Safety Valve (cannot fight, fire upon or charge/overrun a unit containing a Clan Skyre member) and Pawn (dies if Thanquol dies, roll a D6 at the start of each turn; on a 1, he malfunctions and has a 50-50 chance of either just standing there doing nothing for the turn, or fighting under enemy player control for their next turn).
Thanquol and Boneripper come as a matched set for 450 points, using up a Lords slot.
Thanquol is a Grey Seer with +1 Initiative. Not that you want to be sticking him in close combat if you can, since he's got no armor and only a basic close combat weapon to fight with. Thanquol's a level 4 wizard who can mix and match his spells from both the Ruin and Plague lists, and who can switch one generated spell for The Dreaded Thirteenth Spell. He starts with D6+2 Warptokens and bears the Warp-amulet (Talisman; roll a D6 at the beginning of each turn in which Thanquol has 1 or 2 Wounds left; on a 5+, regain 1 Wound) and the Staff of the Horned One (Arcane Item, Thanquol knows +1 Spell, giving him five in total). He has the common Skaven rules of Strength in Numbers, Verminous Valor, and Scurry Away! He also has the unique rules of Warpstone Addiction (can re-roll a 1 caused by a Warpstone Token, but the re-roll only works once and if re-rolled will cause a Wound on a 1 or a 2) and Blessing of the Horned Rat (4+ Ward Save, but each successful save "deflects" the wound; if there is a Friendly model within 6", that model takes a wound instead).
Boneripper is a Rat Ogre with - 1 Movement, Initiative 1, +1 Toughness and Attack, and Leadership 10. He causes Fear, is Unbreakable, has a once-per-game Warpfire Thrower shot, and his Bodyguard of Thanquol special rule means that he shuts down and is pretty much dead if Thanquol gets more than 12" away from him. If Thanquol dies/flees, Boneripper is lost too.
End Times Version
Alright, so, how does Thanquol change in the End Times?
For starters, he's another combined rules model, like Karl Franz Ascended, Malekith the Phoenix/Eternity King and the Glottkin before him. So you're looking at +200 points on his old 450pts cost for a single M6 WS4 BS3 S6 T5 W8 I5 A5 Ld7 Monster (Special Character) unit.
He keeps all of his old special gear and spellcasting abilities (Staff of the Horned Rat is +1 to Casting Rolls now, though). He's now an Unbreakable Large Target that causes Terror, and Warpstone Addiction now makes him immune to taking damage from warp-tokens. He still has Blessing of the Horned Rat as a danger to everyone else around him, though.
Boneripper sports two sets of Warpfire Projectors. He uses them as clubs in melee, but it gives him something to shoot in the Shooting Phase; Warpstone Ranged Weapons, S5 Flaming Attacks, Multiple Wounds(d3), Move or Fire, Quick to Fire, , Wildly Off-target (hits friendlies within 12" on a misfire). He's also got a special rule that lets him shoot at two different targets in the same shooting phase. Alternatively, if close combat's more your thing, you can trade them all out for Warpstone Braziers - Warpstone Melee Weapons, Strength +1, Flaming Attacks, Multiple Wounds(d3), Storm of Attacks(reroll failed to-wound rolls), Warp Fumes(all models in btb make T test or suffer a wound). This is a one or the other switch, you can't mix and match.
|Deathmaster Snikch - Ghoritch - Ikit Claw - Klawmunkast - Lord Skrolk |
Morbus Sanguis - Queek Head-Taker - Skreet Verminkin - Skweel Gnawtooth
Thanquol - Throt the Unclean - Tretch Craventail