Great Horned Rat
|Titles||The Vermin King[6a] |
He Who Gnaws[6a]
The Horned One[6a]
Lord of Decay[6a]
Lord of Assassins[6a]
The Shadow That Kills[6a]
Shadow of Murder
He has thirteen sky-scratching whiskers and colossal chisel-like teeth that glint with the glow of warpfire and infernal industry.
The Great Horned Rat is pleased with the multitudes of Blight City, finding their endeavours and their numbers which are so large that it is hard for even him to keep track, extremely pleasing.
The Great Horned Rat's most zealous and fervent worshippers are the Skaven of the Clans Pestilens, who horned their deity in the aspect of the Great Corrupter, the bringer of plague. In contrast to the plague god Nurgle, who finds great satisfaction in the cycle of death and rebirth, the Horned Rat cares only for entropy and the pestilent withering of all. He seeks the final corruption of everything, knowing this will bring about his own ascension as the most powerful deity of them all.
The Great Horned Rat has multiple aspects worshipped by each of the Great Clans, [4a]
- The Great Conqueror is also known as the King of Lashes is a warlike and arrogant being worshipped by Clans Verminus who exhorts his worshippers to tear apart their enemies and feast on their corpses. [4a]
- The Great Corruptor is worshipped by Clans Pestilens as a virulent horror of sloughing flesh and rotted bone who desires to unleash the Thirteen Great Plagues upon the Mortal Realms. [4a]
- The Dark Innovator worshipped by Clans Skryre is a monster of infernal machinery and in his name the Skaven seek to twist and re-purpose the mechanisms of reality itself. [4a]
- The Writhing Bloodsire also called the Fleshgifter is worshipped by Clans Moulder as a protean mass of heaving ratflesh that seeks to bury all the realms in endless vermin. [4a]
- The Shadow of Murder also called the Scuttler-in-the-Walls is worshipped by Clans Eshin and in his name they seek to assassinate leaders and champions to bring anarchy through the collapse of just rule.[4a]
Skaven legend tells that, during the last days of the world-that-was, he became so powerful that the Gods of Chaos themselves were compelled to admit the Horned Rat to their ranks. Thus was he able to spread his children across the Mortal Realms, and though the other Dark Gods see this newcomer as little more than an amusing distraction, the rat-god plans to prove them wrong.
Now called the Great Horned Rat, he is blight and pestilence incarnate. Having recently ascended to the pantheon, the skaven deity is not yet considered an equal by his dark brothers.[1a]
Entering the Mortal Realms
The Great Horned Rat, like the other Dark Gods, was unable to send his agents to the Mortal Realms at first due to the purity of their magic and their ignorance of its natives about the Gods of Chaos. To gain access he tormented many Ghyranite tribes beset by verminous infestation with visions of baleful eyes in their dreams, turning them to his worship. They started to wear the pelts and tails of the largest vermin they could slay, and started dancing on their fours around the corpses of local rat-catchers. The next time the gravid moon rose green, the skaven were able to reach the realms and devoured these worshippers.[3a]
Times of Tribulations
The plan of the Great Horned Rat was to let his fellow Dark Gods take the brunt of the resurgence of the Pantheon of Order and let each other expend their strength as his swarm of skaven continued to grow in power and numbers in the corners of the Mortal Realms. He would then unleash his might, turning the Mortal Realms into blighted wastelands fit only for vermin and forcing the Chaos Pantheon to kneel before him.
However he sensed the surging power of Nagash, the touch of undeath felt even in Blight City and felt in him a rival that contended for the same power as him, one that would be able to disrupt his ascension. This and the sneering contempt of the other Four primary Gods of Chaos forced him to intervene.
Forces dedicated to the Great Horned Rat
The scheming clans of the Skaven hide in dark places across the Cosmos Arcane, where they can multiply their numberless hordes. They seek nothing short of overrunning all of reality. There are none they would not be willing to betray to achieve their goal, least of all each other.[6a]
Most numerous of all Skaven are the Clans Verminos, worshippers of the King of Lashes aspect of the Great Horned Rat. It is from within their ranks that the Clanrats and Stormvermin that make up the war-swarms that all Skaven rely upon for their conquests.[4a][6a]
The rabid zealots of the Great Corruptor are known as the Clans Pestilens. These verminous acolytes are on a quest to find, and unleash, the Thirteen Great Plagues upon the Mortal Realms. With these mystical maladies they hope to infect all of reality.[4a][6a]
The fleshcrafters and beast-tamers that follow the example of the Fleshgifter are known as the Clans Moulder. The deranged rats of these clans use foul methods, many that even other champions of Chaos are repulsed by, to create their armies of horrific mutants. Warpstone, the Realmstone of Blight City, is one of their favored ways of unleashing mutation.[4a][6a]
The dark science of the Clans Skryre, disciples of the Dark Innovator, has led to the creation of many wonder-weapons that have caused devastation across the Mortal Realms. It is Skryre that supplies a substantial portion of the weapons and machines used by their fellow Skaven.[4a][6a]
The spymasters and assassins of the Clans Eshin venerate the Great Horned Rat as the Scuttler-in-the-Walls. They are an aberration within the the teeming ranks of Skavendom, for a position among the Eshin must be earned not conspired for. Their agents have infiltrated cities all across the Realms, even Azyr.[4a][6a]
Manipulating all of these fractious clans is the Masterclan composed of the most powerful servants of the Great Horned Rat, the Grey Seers, his Skaven sorcerer-prophets, and the Verminlords, his Daemons. Under their guidance the Skaven are forever pursuing innumerable schemes to outwit their enemies throughout the Cosmos.[4b][6a]
- For Great Horned Rat in the World-That-Was see: Horned Rat.
- 1: Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
- 2: Malign Portents
- 3: Age of Sigmar: Core Book (2nd Edition)
- 3a: Daemon Incursion, pg. 34-35
- 4: Battletome: Skaven (2019)
- 5: Soulbound Core Rulebook
- 5a: Chapter Ten: Religion & Belief
- 6: Age of Sigmar: Core Book (3rd Edition)
- 6a: Skaven, pg. 190-193