Toby Pilling

New 'Secrets of the Skaven' article

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Follow the link below to the latest issue of the Skavenblight Gazette - an e-zine which contains an article of mine for WFRP.

 

I would like to thank my esteemed friend Dave Allen, late of Black Industries, for his creative input to the article. I think Clanlord Trask has done an excellent job of formatting the article and displaying it.

I present it for your edification:

http://www.skavenblightgazette.com/issue/SG-Issue09.pdf

 

Toby

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dvang said:

Don't you know ... Skaven don't exist.  gui%C3%B1o.gif 

Hence, no secrets to learn about.

 

partido_risa.gif

  

 

If Skaven don't exist, then how do they have their own zine?  sorpresa.gif

NOW I'M CONFUSED!

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I think that one thing which Toby's article could shed some useful light on is the motiviation and makeup of those humans who form cults of the Horned Rat. In previous adventures, stories and articles were such cults have been mentioned the gerneral assumption seems to be that they are working for the skaven in general sort of terms.

As Toby illustrates, Skavendom, whilst a recognisable entity and culture, is far too multifaceted and fractious to effectively work as a whole through human agents. Such cults are therefore almost certainly in contact with skaven go-betweens who merely act on behalf of a single facet of skaven society, such as a clan at the most - more probably a faction within a clan such as the various ones Toby supposes in his article or a single maverick skaven such as Thanquol.

This could make the skaven cult a particularly interesting adversary for a party of adventurers, as they work on behalf of a hidden enemy that even the cult have only a very limited understanding of and who might even be maverick wierdos by the standards of 'typical' skaven.

There is also the possibility that two different skaven cults - the Poison Claw and the Yellow Fang for example, might be the pawns of very different facets of skavendom. Perhaps the Poison Claw were set up on the instigation of Warlord Gnawdwell of Clan Mors, and whilst they beleive they are worshippers of the horned rat and skaven in general they are actually working to further the schemes of Gnawdwell in particular. Perhaps the Yellow Fang are the human eyes and ears of certain Clan Eshin cells. Perhaps the two cults would fight sooner than cooperate. Perhaps their very existence is seen by some Grey Seers as heretical, whilst other Seers, such as Thanquol, see human agents as key to bringing about the Great Ascendancy.

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The other great thing about using skaven as an adversary is that the PCs who confront or defy a particular group of skaven will almost certainly be acting in the interests of another group of skaven whether they know it or not (and they probably won't). This can lead to some interesting plot convolutions as the PCs may receive surreptious assitence from the same foe they seek to eliminate (as happens a lot to Gotrek and Felix in Skavenslayer).

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Thanks and thanks again!

 

Skaven have long been my favorite race in Warhammer, and to see such resources available, you made my day :)

 

 

 

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Having human cultists in thrall to the Horned Rat being infiltrated or subverted by unscrupulous Skaven (are there any other kind?) has indeed already happened in some of the older scenarios. Remember 'The Ritual', published for 1st edition? The Skaven Clawleader there was a renegade lunatic.

I guess to humans, all Skaven look the same and they are likely to have little idea of the subdivisions within the society of the Under-empire. Even more reason for the Skaven to be paranoid about their human cultists - they are all too easy to infiltrate and subvert.  

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Sure, and I think Skretth's attempts to practice necromancy away from the prying eyes of his fellow Grey Seers is perhaps best explained as an attempt to develop a skill that will give him an edge over them. I don't personally see Skretth as being the skaven behind the Poison Claw cult, but more that he has subverted the Delberz cell to his own ends.

Thinking on it more it's clear from The Ritual that the cult has it's birthplace in Tilea, and that those assisting Skretth are "misguided" members of Clan Skryre, so I would lean to veiwing the Poison Claw as being set up by Clan Skryre originally, and that most of the functioning cells work according to the instructions of their Skryre contacts, but that the Delberz cultists had been co-opted by Skretth and his renegades at the time of the events of The Ritual.

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