13 Lesser Skaven Clans
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Skryre, Pestilens, Eshin and Moulder – we’re all very familiar with the four Greater Clans, and the upstarts of Clan Mors who wish to join their ranks. But if you are running a skaven-heavy game, or indeed a campaign where the players are playing skaven – then these four may not provide enough options. After all, the skaven have fairly restricted lifestyles and few career options, so choosing a Clan for them to belong to is one of the few ways to distinguish between them. Children of the Horned Rat discusses the chemists of Clan Flem, the knightly Clan Skab, the miners of Clan Skaar, the sailors of Clan Sleekit, the addicts of Clan Skaul and the entomologists of Clan Verms. Below are thirrteen more minor clans for your skaven PCs or NPCs to be born into, or used to add more intrigue, in-fighting and background to any game set in the Under Empire. All of them were built using the Clan building rules in CotHR. Clan Abrak Clan Abrak had made a niche for themselves as scribes and mapmakers. They invented the method for creating warpstone ink, and guard it jealously as it provides their chief influence with the Grey Seers. Skaven rarely keep written records so Abrak skaven have no greater access to information (this is instead the domain of Clan Kisk) but not even the oldest skaven can remember all the tunnels of the Empire. It is said that Clan Abrak keep some of their maps secret, so that there are whole networks that have fallen into disuse and remain known only to the Abrak Clanmasters. This allows them to move around secretly, and prepare great armies without the knowledge of the Greater Clans. Abrak has yet to use this advantage for themselves, but could easily turn the tide of a power struggle by joining one side. Clan Size: 400,000 (approx) Clan Influence: High Clan Settlements: Rich Holdings Clan Talent: Orientation Clan Chittin Clan Chittin are a very small clan, and one fading from power. Chittin originally gained influence thanks to their singular gift for climbing, particularly mountains and the sleek edges of dwarfholds and castles. Nowadays, the skaven concentrate their attacks more on the cities, and Clan Eshin outshines Chittin in that arena by far. Unable to sell their troops, Chittin lost their wealth and with it their influence and their numbers dwindled. So far, no clan has seen it to be worthwhile to gobble up the remains of Chittin, and the Clanmasters work hard for it to remain so, including building their warrens high in the mountains to deter invaders. Clan Chittin thus has learnt to survive despite the odds, and as this is the most important skill a skaven can have, they may one day rise to prominence again. Clan Size: 1000 (approx) Clan Influence: None Clan Settlements: No Holdings Clan Talent: +10% to all Scale Sheer Surface Tests Clan Dirg Clan Dirg were a weak and sickly clan, and when they began to acquire the trait of being born blind, it looked like it was all over for them. However, Dirg looked to the example of Pestilens and Eshin, and decided that their fortunes might be improved from exploration. Instead of going outwards, though, they went downwards, descending miles and miles below anything the skaven had ever plumbed, where even the dwarfs fear to go, for it is said to be the land of their Dead. Whatever they found there, they do not speak of, but they recently came back with strange new gifts. They had shed their fur, leaving only white, leathery skin. And they claim their new “darksight” lets them see the spirits. With knowledge of tunnels and magic unknown to all the other clans, Clan Dirg could be the next Pestilens, if their numbers grow. Clan Size: 900,000 (approx) Clan Influence: High Clan Settlements: Modest Holdings Clan Talent: Sixth Sense
Clan Frife Clan Frife is perhaps the largest of the Lesser Clans after Clan Mors. That they yet lack influence in skaven politics is due to their distant location – they live solely in the burrows under Norsca and Kislev. The cold, snow-blown lands have caused their fur to grow extremely thick, and turn a very light brown, almost white, and to the untrained eye they are sometimes mistaken for Grey Seers. Their fur is also water-tight, and Frife are good swimmers even in those frozen northern oceans. Their location puts them very close to the Chaos Wastes, and they know more than any other clan about fighting the mutated beasts of Chaos. Thus their soldiers are often sought out for such battles, and they can command almost as high a price as those of Clan Skab. Their thick fur and layer of blubber makes them significantly hardier than the average skaven as well. Clan Size: 2,000,000 (approx) Clan Influence: Moderate Clan Settlements: Vast Holdings Clan Talent: Hardy Clan Husk Clan Husk are the opposite of Frife, coming from the lands to the south, their warrens snaking under Araby and the Badlands. The desert heat and harsh winds has caused these skaven to shed their fur down to a thin coat, and learn to close their nostrils and eyes to keep out the dust. To compensate, their sense of hearing is phenomenal, which also helps them hunt food even when it is hiding six feet under the sand. Lacking bonechewers or sufficient moisture to remove their dead, Clan Husk have borrowed from the Tomb Kings certain arts to speed up dessication. The preponderance of skeletal remains that are produced from this process feature much in Husk armour and vehicle design, another similarity to the Tomb Kings. Clan Husk has now formed an alliance with these undead monsters, in a hope of learning more of their magic, as well as improving their chances in overthrowing their rival northern clans. Clan Size: 1,500,000 (approx) Clan Influence: Low Clan Settlements: Vast Holdings Clan Talent: Acute Hearing Clan Kilik In the skaven world, death is one of the few constants, and not every carcass is eaten, especially during plagues. The clan which found its niche in dealing with this problem is known as Clan Kilik. They gather the fallen in their wheelbarrows and drag them off to midden pits where they can decompose out of the way. They also steal anything left on the body, which helps keep them in warpstone and troops as necessary. Naturally, all this handling of the dead and diseased makes the skaven of Clan Kilik even more hideously diseased, infected and noxiously smelly than Clan Pestilens and this, combined with their lower status means that most skaven give them a wide berth. Yet all skaven agree they are necessary, even vital, so they are never removed. Thus they survive without great strength, and who knows how large their numbers are growing and what long-term plans they are making? Clan Size: 100,000 (approx) Clan Influence: Shunned Clan Settlements: Vagabonds Clan Talent: Resistance to Disease Clan Kisk Clan Kisk are the living memory of the Grey Seers and Council of Thirteen. Skaven have little use for remembering things most of the time, but occasionally it is important to record who said what, and how they said it, and few skaven have the time or patience to write things down. Hence rich and powerful skaven will turn to the scribes and memory-magicians of the tiny clan of Kisk. For a small fee, they will record what you ask them to in their huge tomes, but as this is rather insecure, many prefer the deluxe service of having a Kisk skaven remember it all instead. Kisk Clanmasters ensure that any such information their members recall will never be revealed to another, even under the depredations of Clan Slike by fitting poison sacks into the mouths of their agents,
triggered by any large jerk of surprise, fear or pain – an option also often used by the agent’s master if he no longer needs the stored information. Kisk skaven therefore have a typically short lifespan, and the clever ones make sure that they are so useful that their masters will never tire of their service, nor dare risk their capture. Clan Size: 60,000 (approx) Clan Influence: Excellent Clan Settlements: Modest Holdings Clan Talent: Savvy Clan Rictus Until recent times Rictus vied with Mors as the most powerful of the Skaven warlord clans. The warlord of Clan Rictus, Lord Kratch Doomclaw (so called because of the artifact he is always seen wearing - an oddly segmented gauntlet rumoured to discharge warp lightning), was a feared and respected member of the Council of Thirteen. The strength of the clan primarily lay in the large contingents of Stormvermin they could bring to battle. Rictus broodmothers seem to give birth to the black-furred killers more regularly than those of other clans and Clan Rictus had grown strong and wealthy as a result. However, sustaining their most vital holding is leeching that strength and wealth. Crookback Mountain was an old Goblinoid stronghold to east of the World’s Edge Mountains. Its position was deemed important to the Skaven, as many shards of warpstone can be easily gathered from the plains of the surrounding Darklands. The Council of Thirteen assigned Kratch Doomclaw the task of clearing Crookback Mountain of the Goblins that made it home. Rictus’ warptoken coffers were nearly emptied purchasing Clan Skryre weaponry, Clan Moulder monstrosities and the talents of Clan Eshin, but they swiftly succeeded in enslaving the Goblin tribes and securing a hold over their new Mountain fastness. Since that early victory the Clan has been involved in a war of attrition, and their once mighty cohorts of Stormvermin have been decimated in countless engagements with raiding Orcs and Goblins, as well as skirmishes with an even deadlier foe, the Chaos Dwarfs who also make the Darklands their home and compete with the Skaven for slaves and warpstone. Within the UnderEmpire things are no more stable. The Clan were savvy enough to repay their debts to the Warlock Engineers of Clan Skryre and the assassins of Clan Eshin, ensuring that Kratch Doomclaw continues to receive a certain level of safety and regard during his visits to Skavenblight, but Clan Moulder remain creditors. With most of Clan Rictus’ strength committed to maintaining control of Crookback Mountain smaller holdings have come under attack from Moulder forces, the survivors led back to Hell Pit in shackles. Now the members of Clan Rictus face uncertain times, watching the ascending star of Clan Mors with envious eyes. Kratch Doomclaw no longer holds his position as a member of the Council of Thirteen, and Lord Verminkin continually calls for great concessions in the hope of further humbling this once-mighty clan. Clan Size: 1,000,000 (approx) Clan Influence: Moderate and falling... Clan Settlements: Vast Holdings Clan Talent: None, but when generating race a Skaven Character can choose to be a black furred Skaven on the D10 roll of a 1, 2 or 3 Clan Scruten Scruten are the watchers of the Under Empire. Their philosophy is simple: the more you wait and watch, the more you learn, and the more you learn the more powerful you become. Scruten are expert hiders and are able to remain perfectly still for days at a time, even sublimating the skaven’s terrible hunger to do so, such is their power of concentration. Like Chittin, however, their abilities as spies are overshadowed by Clan Eshin, but also like Chittin, they have survived by staying under the radar. Scruten skaven are so good at hiding that few skaven ever notice they are there, even if they could be bothered to kill them. But those few who do remember them also
remember that when it comes to observing a target for a long time, and gathering all the information on their weaknesses, there is none better than Scruten – and their prices are much cheaper than Eshin. Their star is on the rise as a result, and these watchers bear close watching themselves. Clan Size: 1,000,000 (approx) Clan Influence: Moderate Clan Settlements: Rich Holdings Clan Talent: Excellent Vision Clan Slike Clan Slike are masters of pain, both their own and others. Among the skaven of Slike, any wound, scab or scar is a sign of status, and the Clanmasters of Slike are a tapestry of suffering as a result. Most Slike skaven are flagellants, constantly beating themselves with sticks or whips. Others are more creative, and may pull out their claws, pierce their skin with metal or cut off their ears – anything to experiment with the rush of pain. Their study of this sensation has also led them to be great torturers, and upon this have they raised the fortunes of their clan. When the Grey Seers or Lords of Decay wish to obtain information from a recalcitrant rat, they hand him over to Clan Slike to do their worst. Slike doesn’t charge much for this, as the skaven usually go mad in their devices, and at the end, what is left of the victim gleefully joins the ranks of his mutilators. Clan Size: 50,000 (approx) Clan Influence: Excellent Clan Settlements: One Holding Clan Talent: Unsettling Clan Skryver All skaven are thieves, but some skaven are more thieves than others. Some skaven are bigger eaters than others too, and both of these descriptions fit the skaven of Clan Skryver. They are masters of feeding their bellies with the best of produce, particularly from the meadows and barns of the Empire’s farmers, and they are typically huge and fat as a result. They are not weak however, and guard their sources and expertise very fiercely. For a small fee, they will provide vast stacks of meat to the Clan too busy preparing for war to seek it themselves, or not well versed in the surface world to find it easier. All in all, though, the skaven will eat anything, so the services of Clan Skryver are much like the services of the drug-makers of Clan Skaul – reserved for the high in status who wish to show off their position. Their little use and their fat bellies means Skryver are the odds-on favourite to be the next Clan subsumed by the might of Mors, or whoever else gets there first. Clan Size: 30,000 (approx) Clan Influence: Low Clan Settlements: No Holdings Clan Talent: Dealmaker Clan Skree Clan Skree has set itself up as the servants, attendants and hired muscle of the Grey Seers. When it is time to worship the Horned Rat, it is the skaven of Clan Skree who make sure there are tails on seats in the grand hall, and a fresh sacrifice on the altar. When a youngling is born with horn stubs, it is Clan Skree who takes them away for their training. Clan Skree also form an ecclesiastical secret police.. While Clan Eshin help enforce the will of the Seers throughout the other clans, Clan Skree makes sure that only the most faithful of young Seers rise to the priesthood, and that all of them toe the party line. While the word of the Seerlord is gospel, there are plenty who wish to undermine that position. Clan Skree keeps a watch on these, and thus ensures that the Seers remain united and inviolate. Protected by the Seers, Clan Skree is almost untouchable and will likely never be destroyed – but likewise, the Seers make sure its numbers stay small, lest the servants ever think of replacing their masters. Clan Size: 700 (approx) Clan Influence: Excellent
Clan Settlements: No Holdings (they live amongst the Seers) Clan Talent: Schemer Clan Skritt Prior to the invention of the Farsqueaker, Clan Skritt was as powerful as Mors or Skab, and might have made a play for being a major clan one day. Some suggest this is why Clan Skryre warlocks built the squeaker, but whatever the case, its invention did make the Skritt skaven obsolete as message-runners for the Lords of Decay and the Grey Seers. However, not every message is sent by ‘squeaker, and there are more beyond the Council of Thirteen that wish to send messages very quickly, so Skirtt has survived. Their knowledge of the tunnels and in-bred gift for speed also means their members can quickly escape if a skirmish turns against them. These runners were on shaky ground for a while but rallied around their fiery need for revenge against Skryre. Skaven of Clan Skritt will take any opportunity and any risk to harass the skaven of Clan Skryre, and are currently talking to Clan Mors about an annexing, on the guarantee that Skryre take the brunt of Mors’ rise to the rank of a Greater Clan. Clan Size: 40,000 (approx) Clan Influence: Low Clan Settlements: One Holding Clan Talent: Fleet Footed