"The Ratmen live just beneath our very feet. Can you hear them? Skittering and scurrying, gnashing and gnawing, peering and preying. They are twisted, sick abominations of nature, unholy - they would deserve naught but death...but yet death is their ally."
- Excerpt from an ancient tome written on the Skaven race.
The Skaven, also known as the Ratmen, and the Children of The Horned Rat, are an evil, foul race of subterranean humanoid rats, living underneath the surface of the moon of Heraklon in the Io universe. The Skaven were little more than a myth in the past, a horror tale of the Heraklonian peoples to frighten misbehaving children into place. However, recent events have proven the Skaven to be very much real.
Skaven live exclusively underground, in massive burrows and tunnels that seem to stretch and wind on and on forever, deeper into the dark below of the world. All these tunnels lead to their capital, the dark dreadful city of Skavenblight far below the deep. It is a huge landscape of towers that belch green smoke, and deep glowing pits, where the clanking of machines and screams of the tormented echo always.
Skaven society is built on greed and treachery. Indeed, they live quite as their ancestors did - survival of the fittest. Only the most cunning, traitorous, and bloodthirsty Skaven earn places of recognition in society. The Skaven are ruled by the Council of Thirteen, a collection of the most powerful leaders of the Skaven, whom make all decisions for the direction of the Under-Empire. The Skaven worship all manner of demons, especially the Burning Legion, however their one true god is known as the Great Horned Rat, whom they believe is their great father.
The Skaven are a race that reproduces extremely rapidly, and so the numbers of Skaven existing underneath Heraklon are unknown, but theorized to be beyond comprehension. Many theories surround the origin of the ratmen.
According to known sources, all of Skavendom is ruled by a Council of Thirteen. This council is composed of 12 members who represent different clans of the Skaven, while the thirteenth seat always remains empty. This is because the thirteenth seat is symbolic and represents the Great Horned Rat, their king and supreme deity.
The Skaven race is divided into a great many clans, however only four clans stand out in terms of number, power, influence and strength, and have earned the rank of Great Clan. These Great Clans are as follows:
- Clan Moulder - Infamous for their extensive genetic and surgical experiments, Clan Moulder is responsible for creating horrific and deadly abominations of dark science. From war-beasts, rat ogres, utility beasts and much more, Moulder spares no expense in their creations. Led by Throt the Unlcean.
- Clan Eshin - Responsible for rearing fierce assassins, brewing deadly poisons, and even sabotaging other clans, Clan Eshin is a collection of Skaven that takes their natural preference for backstabbing to the next level. Eshin assassins are undoubtably the best sneaks and assassins in all of Skavendom, feared even on the surface world. Led by Nightmaster Snikch.
- Clan Pestilen -
- Clan Skryre -