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The Horned Rat is the god of the Skaven race, and is worshiped by all of the many clans. It is often depicted as a large Skaven with one or two sets of horns on its head. Because of the large amount of Warpstone present in Skaven territories, and the fact that the rat-men themselves are mutants, much discussion has been made as to if the Horned Rat is actually a god of Chaos.
The Horned Rat, also known as the Horned One, is the patron deity of the Skaven, and is worshipped exclusively by them. The Horned Rat represents the characteristics of the Skaven race itself — deceit, spitefulness, backstabbing, disease and corruption. Despite these characteristics, the Horned Rat wishes that the Skaven work together to rule the entire world, which would then allow him to return, though what this "return" means is not further elaborated. Fortunately for other races of the Warhammer world, the Skaven, much like Orcs, number many, but are too divided and bickering, some even at war with each other, and do not have the unity to pose a dire threat to the existence of other races.
The Horned Rat is typically depicted in icons as a large rat's head with four horns — two long goatlike horns, and two curled horns similar to those on a ram. On the rare occasions when the Horned Rat has personally appeared, he has held a similar, albeit monstrous, appearance. Other symbols of the Horned Rat involve an assortment of variations on general Chaos icons and those of the Skaven race, often incorporating horns or rat heads. The Horned Rat's favored number is thirteen, and this number affects important parts of Skaven society.
Cult of the Horned Rat Edit
The mortal worshippers of the Horned Rat are mainly of the Skaven race. Various Skaven factions, called clans, have arisen which emphasize an aspect of the Horned Rat. For example, Clan Pestilens focuses on the spreading of pestilence and disease; Clan Eshin emphasizes stealth and assassination; and Clan Skryre emphasizes cunning and evil intellect.
The Horned Rat's commands are interpreted by the council of Lords of Decay; this council of the twelve most powerful clan leaders (the council includes the Horned Rat symbolically, making a total of thirteen members) acts as the ruling force of the Skaven race, coordinating efforts to destroy the other factions of the Warhammer world; however, as deception and treachery are traits of the Skaven, the council is often the scene of shifting alliances and intrigue.
The powerful Skaven wizards known as Grey Seers act as prophets of the Horned Rat, driving the clans into action against other factions. They command the respect of other Skaven, and those who defy the Grey Seers risk being declared heretics by them, which is considered a terrible crime and can lead to attacks by other clans. Despite their influence, Grey Seers are not immune to the treacherous nature of their race, and must still be wary of potential assassins.
The Horned Rat has very few daemons that serve him. The one known daemon is a Greater Daemon known as the Verminlord. This large daemon resembles the Horned Rat himself wielding a large halberd (known as the Doom Glaive); it is said to be the corrupted form of an ancient Lord of Decay, and is thus similar to a Daemon Prince.