Icon of the Clans Verminus

The Clans Verminus[1] are a Skaven Great Clan on par with the better known Clans Pestilens, Moulder, Skryre, and Eshin.

Verminus' specialty is the very core and basis of Skaven society: the sheer weight of its numbers. They are a highly warlike Great Clan, and thus imagine their deity, the Great Horned Rat, to behave in much the same way.

There are said to be more Skaven in the world than grains of sand in Shyish, the Realm of Death, and that at times, the Great Horned Rat himself has trouble keeping up with these numbers.

The Clans Verminus are the most populous of the Great Clans, and control more of the Skaven population, either directly or through thrall clans, than any of their peers. Indeed, the Clans Verminus command entire spearheads of Stormvermin, putting to shame even the likes of Clan Rictus.

While the other Great Clans have specialities wrought from beasts of the world, or magic, or plagues, the Clans Verminus look within to distinguish themselves from the others.

Skavenblight, the rotten heart of Skaven society, maintains a presence from each faction of the Great Clans, but Verminus' presence is particularly noted in Skavenblight's military. It also owns and deploys the bulk of the city's slaves.

Verminus lacks a particular specialisation, something the other clans enjoy dwelling on, to the annoyance of any ratman claiming fealty or allegiance to Verminus.

This lack inspires scorn, but the fact remains that without Verminus providing the bulk of the Skaven population, Skavenblight and perhaps even Skavendom itself would eventually cease to exist.

This is because while their clan's clawpacks are simple in nature, lacking any arcane elements or pestilences or dangerous weapons, it is exactly this lack that allows Verminus to grow and replenish numbers more efficiently than the other Great Clans, whose specialisations often result in the deaths of large swathes of their members.

Each Verminus clan is heavier in warriors than other clans. Most Skaven swarms, allied to Clans Verminus or not, are said to contain warriors who have origins in this Great Clan.

While looked down upon by other Skaven, the Grey Seers of the Under-Empire see the Verminus as a valuable resource.

For their part, the Verminus are acutely aware of their importance in the empire and the warlords under their banner often boast of this.

They will happily send legions of Clanrats to fight for other clans, caring not for their deaths and only for the debt they are owed from those clans who borrow their services.

Verminus are the most territorial, aggressive, and well-armed of the Great Clans and believe in direct assault of the enemy with simple sword, tooth, claw, and shield.[2]

History

Age of Myth

The Clans Verminus are a Great Clan with a sizeable portion of Skavenkind under their banner.

In the early days of the Age of Myth, when the Great Horned Rat first birthed the progenitors of each clan into the world, it was actually made up of two clans: Clan Klaw and Clan Skarrik.

These clans eventually combined and grew further through conquest into Verminus.

Age of Chaos

As conflict erupted across the Mortal Realms with the invasion of the forces of Chaos, the Clans Verminus and Ikk went to war against each other with each holding four seats on the Council of Thirteen.

The seven other Great Clans scurry to ally with one side or the other and the conflict rages for twenty-six years without a clear winner.

Finally, the Clans Pestilens assisted Verminus by infecting their foe with a variation on the frothjaw plague -- over the next two years, the Skaven of the Clans Ikk are transformed into ferocious animals, causing more havoc but eventually being culled. Yet the war between the Great Clans continues.

It was at this time thagt Skreech Verminking arrived in the masterburrow, finding it torn apart by the inter-clan warfare. He reduced a number of the Lords of Decay including Grand Clawlord Thrakk into slime with a twitch of his tail.

Though Verminking finds the civil war amusing, as does the Great Horned Rat, he orders the remaining Skaven to focus their wrath on the other followers of Chaos and the remaining strongholds of Order in the Mortal Realms.

Age of Sigmar

For many years Clawlord Splitfang of the Clans Verminus fought over the ruins of a Duardin karak with other Skaven, but suddenly his rivals among the Clans Eshin departed, leaving him to claim his new stronghold.

Shortly after Splitfang's victory, the Stormcast Eternals of the Astral Templars arrived and overwhelmed him and his newly-claimed fortress. The few Skaven survivors of the Sigmarites' assault were claimed by operatives of Clan Stryk.

The city of Anvilheim was constructed unknowingly above the Skaven war-burrow of Lurkspine Deeps.

Thirteen years after its construction, Verminus Skaven arose from below, assisted not only by Grey Seers but also Skreech Verminking.

Despite the formidable defence by the Anvils of the Heldenhammer, Freeguild and Ironweld Arsenal, the city was lost to the ratmen of Verminus.

Organisation

Verminus and its lesser thrall clans are militant, arguably more so than other Skaven clans.

Verminus clans are led by Skaven warlords called "clawlords," ruthless ratmen who epitomize aggression but also self-preservation. It is not an earned position, but one that is taken by the killing of the previous clawlord.

This can be through "unfortunate" accidents, mysterious poisonings, battle "mishaps" or any number of underhanded methods.

However, some ratmen will directly challenge a clawlord to a death battle with the winner consuming the loser and usurping him.

The challenge then is to keep their new position and a clawlord's reign can be as short as three days, or can stretch into years depending on his ability to maintain loyalty, destroy rivals, and keep detractors quiet through fear or mollified through successful conquest.

The clawlords rule over Clanrats and Stormvermin. The Clanrats make up the bulk of the Clans Verminus as they do many Skaven clans, with the Stormvermin being their elite fighting force.

Stormvermin are more disciplined than Clanrats and are given more important tasks, such as guarding clan assets, breeder pens, and the clawlord himself.

Verminus produces many Stormvermin, who are sold to other clans and ratmen of rank, such as Grey Seers, Master Moulders, and the like.

However, the Skaven occasionally maintain loyalty to their clan of origin and will hack or skewer their charges should a reason and opportunity arise.

Thrall Clans

Sources

  • Grand Alliance: Chaos (1st Edition), pp. 246-247
  • The Realmgate Wars: Balance of Power (1st Edition)
  • Battletome: Skaven (2nd Edition), pp. 8, 12, 22-23, 27, 42-43
  • Spear of Shadows (Novel) by Josh Reynolds
  • Skaven Battletome (2nd Edition), "War Between the Clans," pg. 12
  • Skaven Battletome (2nd Edition), "The Clans Verminus," pg. 27
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