Skaven are the humanoid rat-men of the Under-Empire, and the secret shapers of the world. Skaven live in a phenomenally vast and intricate network of underground tunnels called the Under-Empire, which extends all throughout the Old World and beyond. They hide themselves away from the eyes of surface-dwellers, particularly the humans of the Empire emerging only to carry out their secret schemes and to gather the massive amounts of warpstone needed to sustain their magic users and the arcane machines of their warlocks. On rare occasions the Skaven clans gather in vast swarm armies to wage sudden war on the other intelligent races of the Warhammer World in the name of their foul God; the Horned Rat.
Skaven in WAREdit
Skaven have been shown to be an NPC race in WAR with a major role to play in end-game PvE content. In the Imperial (human) capital of Altdorf, players may hear rumours of strange Rat-men lurking in the sewers from superstitious commoners, including being able to fight said Rat Men who are hiding in barrels as the City level gets higher. When Altdorf reaches it's maximum level, the sewers under the city are opened for players to explore, including Skaven tunnels underneath them. It is unknown if the player will have any contact with the Skaven before this point. A WAR expansion has been confirmed to be planned, and this has led some to believe that the Skaven may be added as a playable faction, and paired against another faction (also playable) such as the Lizardmen. However this is by no means confirmed.
There is a tower located in Talabeclad, located outside the Chapter 11 Chaos camp that contains Skaven, at the very top of the tower there is a clickable banner that unlocks a tactic that gives a bonus to dodge any attack by a Skaven opponent. They range in level 21-24. There is also a friendly Skaven at the top. In addition, many deep places in the world have Skaven lurking insiduously in them, such as the Altdorf Sewers.
A magical effect, "Curse of the Horned Rat," changes the characters appearance to that of a Skaven. This is an activated effect of the Skaven Skin Cloak, an exclusive in-game item available to those who attended one of Games Workshop's Games Days, in North America, as well as in late 2008 as a special item code that was available with Warhammer online store purchases. And a special code that came with copies of Dragon Age: Origins that were bought from gamestop
- Von Staufer & Richard Williams. "Liber Chaotica"