And so we begin. Here is my transcript of the Prologue and Chapter 1 (of 7) of Warhammer: Thanquol.
-It is revealed that the Horned Rat resides in the Realm of Ruin, a piece of the Realm of Chaos that was "nibbled off" and that another Council of Thirteen exists, the Shadow-Council comprised of the greatest of all Verminlords. These Verminlords mirror their mortal counterparts and are led by Skreech "The Rat King" Verminking, a Greater Daemon that according to Thanquol is the result of an entire Council of Thirteen being elevated to Daemonhood at once and in one being.
-The invasion of Tilea and Estalia were great victories for the Skaven, but they were not as clear cut as previous books made them seem. Many more warriors than expected fell in the battle to take the southern nations, some of the weaker Warlord clans were annihilated entirely, and the in-fighting between the victorious clans after the Fall of the South claimed more Skaven lives than the actual campaign did. Resources were at an all-time high, but impetus was killing the Great Uprising before it could even truly begin.
-The Horned Rat manifests in a meeting of the Council of Thirteen and expresses his displeasure with his children, but particularly the Grey Seers. Seerlord Kritislik is executed by the Horned Rat for wasting the favour that he has bestowed upon the Grey Seers, who it is revealed are also known as Clan Scruten. The Horned Rat informs the Council that he is granting them "Thirteen times thirteen revolutions of the Chaos Moon" to conquer the world for him, or else his displeasure will be made manifest. Rather than elevate a successor to Kritislik, the Lords of Decay unanimously vote to expel the Grey Seers from the Council of Thirteen. Since a successor cannot be decided upon without civil war that the Skaven now cannot afford, the First Seat is left empty for a period.
-Prior to his death it was revealed that Kritislik and the Grey Seers were attempting to bring Morrsleib closer to the world through magic, which he believed would enhance each Skaven soldier's natural speed and strength ten-fold. However something prevented them from accomplishing this. After Kritislik's death the Grey Seers summon a Verminlord who informs them that the Slann are responsible for the plan's failure before escaping into the world for a purpose that none can fathom.
-Clan Skryre, in a bid to secure the First for themselves, begins construction on the Moonstriker, a giant Doomrocket that will destroy Morrsleib completely and rain warpstone meteors down on the entire planet.
-Grey Seer Thanquol is expelled from the Order of Grey Seers for daring to speak in a meeting of Clan Scruten and for his uncountable legion of failures in the past. Thanquol and Boneripper decide to head for Clan Skryre and see what aid they can barter for their.
Chapter 1: Assault on Lustria - Autumn 2523 - Winter 2524
-For the last three years the City of Echoes, Ancient Xahutec, has been the site of a continuous battle. A rip in reality has allowed hordes of Daemons to endlessly pour through into Lustria, only the defence masterminded by Kroq-Gar and his cohorts has kept Lustria from being crushed from within.
-The geomantic grid has been greatly damaged over the thousands of years. Recent Chaos attacks led by Vashnaar the Tormentor and Kairos Fateweaver have destroyed even more nodes, weakening the network further and making it harder for the Slann to view the skein of fate and predict the future.
-Lord Mazdamundi and the Slann begin the Exodus in response to the failure of the Great Plan. However Mazdamundi receives a dream of the future, one that he is certain contains a message from the Old Ones that holds the key to saving the world.
-Lord Skrolk is placed in command of a massive force with the goal of conquering Lustria. Clan Pestilens in its near entirety marches to war with the blessing of the Council of Thirteen. Pestilens creates innumerable and horrific plagues under Skrolk’s supervision, many Skaven dying as a result of the toxic fumes that spread through the tunnels. As the Twin-Tailed Comet blinks thirteen times, the war begins.
-The Grey Seers bring Morrsleib closer than ever to the world, stopping it puts all of the Slann out of commission for a while, including Mazdamundi and Kroak. Even they cannot prevent pieces of the moon breaking off and hailing down on Lustria, though before slipping into unconsciousness Mazdamundi is able to keep them from hitting the inhabited cities and limit the concussive blasts that meteorfall causes.
-The first attack falls on the City of the Moon, Tlaxtlan, under Plaguelord Kreevgix the Ravener. The Skaven assault the city heavily, climbing the massive walls under a rampart comprised of five attack waves of their own dead. Tetto’eko, the Astromancer of the Constellations, attempts to raise the ancient barrier that protects the city, but with all the Slann out of commission, they are unable to raise the necessary magics. As the battle turns against them Tetto’eko decides that the Slann take precedence over the city and organizes a retreat, taking the prone mage-priests with them. However the obstinate Skink attendants delay the process, long enough that Pestilens overruns the Temple of Chotec and rip two Slann mage-priests to shreds. The Lizardmen evacuate the city after this, however Pestilens follows them, determined to slaughter the Slann, three more of whom are killed brutally due to their attendants foolishly putting bureaucracy over safety. As they escape Tetto’eko uses his power to draw a comet to Tlaxtlan, the impact of which annihilates the Skaven force, most of the Lizardmen cohort convoy and turns the city to rubble.
-Plaguelord Gritch, the third of The Seven Plaguelords, leads the attack on the Temple-City of Itza. The Skaven swarm the watchtowers and prepare to siege the great city by excavating a great moat around the eight-thousand year old city, knowing that a conventional slave-wave attack is useless. Directing his troops’ ire against the Skavenslaves, Gritch surrounds Itza with a large number of Plagueclaw Catapults, while surviving skink ambushes and beast attacks from the jungle, though this effort utterly decimates the slave ranks. The Contagion Conclace under Lord Grilok arrives with the Cauldrons of a Thousand Poxes after surviving a harrowing trek through the jungles. Unleashing Grilok’s latest creation, Gritch bombards Itza for a full day with plague bombs. Contact with the vile substance causes Lizardmen to melt down to the bone, erode their structures into a sickly green mist and even damages the legendary obsinite. Next Pestilens unleash every disease they have; Red Pox, Seeping Pox, Scalamundrax, the Oozing Eye plague, and many others into Itza, creating a ring of toxins around the outskirts of the city that prevent the Lizardmen from advancing beyond the interior of the city. Every attempt by the Lizardmen to bring the battle to the Skaven is ruined by the toxic mist, until help arrives from an unexpected quarter. All of Gritch’s rear-guard are eradicated before they can raise an alarm, and the army of Tehenhuain the Prophet of Sotek arrives, heralded by millions of snakes. Smashing into the rear of Gritch’s army, Tehenhuain leads a complete massacre of the Skaven forces, slaughtering any who stand to fight while any who run are butchered in the jungle by chameleon skinks.
-Plaguelord Skrimanx, Second of the Seven, and Plaguelord Blistrox attack the Temple-City of Xlanhuapec, the City of Mists that is permanently shrouded by eldritch fog. To counter this Skrimanx sends slave-units with brazier lights into the mist and promises food and freedom for any unit that actually gets into the city, his real army following them and using the lights for guidance. Lord Blistrox instead relies on the guidance of a Warlock-Engineer named Reekit who claims he can get through the mists, with Blistrox marches the Pestilential Brotherhood, a group made of up of the clans that are sworn to Pestilens, including; Clans Feesik, Gangrous, Fester, Morbidus, Septik and Griblobe. Skrimanx’s army makes good progress but begins to falter as the hallucinogenic mists create multiple light sources, while the real Skavenslave-carried lights are devoured along with their carriers, pulling Skrimanx’s army apart while ambushes from beasts and skinkpatrols further whittle down the ranks. One by one Skrimanx’s army is killed until the Plaguelord himself orders a full retreat back into the jungle, cursing Blistrox all the while and praying for his failure. Meanwhile Blistrox’s plan is a raging success, Reekit and his engineers can see through the fog, can tell which beasts are illusions and which are real, and can see where skink ambush parties are waiting for them. The Warlocks also provide fire support that deals with the Kroxigor and beast attacks, keeping Skaven casualties relatively low and allowing the Pestilential Brotherhood to make it into Xlanhuapec. The defences are limited due to most of the city’s cohorts being sent to Xahutec to help Kroq-Gar. Blistrox sends Eshin gutter runners into the city while ordering a full assault on the cohorts, supported by poisoned wind globadiers and warpfire-thrower teams, and crushes the Lizardmen defence. Xlanhuapec is sacked brutally, buildings pillaged, creatures devoured and treasures destroyed; one team finds a strange device that allows communication with beings from beyond the stars, however when used “a querulous voice spoke through the stone speakers, the melodious tones that issued forth were, if anything, akin to the despised speech of the elf-things.” Disliking it, the Skaven pull it apart. The Skaven assault the Slann Temples but are repulsed from many of them, bar one; the temple of Lord Huinitenuchli. A team of gutter runners penetrate the temple and attempt to assassinate the Slann but are repulsed by Chakax, the Eternity Warden. An Assassin attempts to finish the job and stabs Chakax with a Weeping Blade, but the ancient Lizardman survives the blow and kills the Assassin. Desperate to see the Slann dead Lord Blistrox leads an attack on the Temple of Infinite Coils, by sheer chance this is the temple that generates the mist barrier, and murders Lord Hua-Hua of the Third Spawning. However the success is short-lived as the mists lift just in time for the Skaven to see the combined armies of Kroq-Gar barrelling down on them, (The sight of which causes Blistrox to soil himself). Blistrox flees the battle with his chosen guards, while Kroq-Gar’s forces annihilate the Skaven that have raped and defiled Xlanhuapec beyond any repair.
-The first Assault on Lustria is a failure due to Pestilens attempting to keep the glory to themselves rather than cooperate with the other clans as the Council of Thirteen ordered. Before the army can fragment however Skrolk summons Lord Vermalanx the Corrupt, a Verminlord Corruptor, and together keep the Skaven army from collapsing into in-fighting and back-stabbing, while planning the next stage of the assault.
-The Slann return to consciousness and discover the damage that has been done to Lustria, and the murder of many Slann. They also learn that the Winds of Magic have been split and sense the return of Nagash. The biggest worry however is that Xahutec is no longer under siege by Daemons, they have left for an unknown reason, and when the Slann attempt to probe that area briefly they can hear only the mocking laughter of the Dark Gods.
Chapter 2: Blood Beneath the Mountains is coming soon.