- "Vermin of any stripe are bad. They devour the grain stored for lean times or get into the seed. It’s natural for farmers to make up stories about the worst vermin, just like fishing stories they are. Each one gets bigger in the telling and a rat that was once the length of a forearm grows to pony size in the end. I’ve heard tell of rats bigger than wolves and twice as mean hunting down villagers and such. Rubbish. Oh, there’s big rats aplenty in the north, and I’d allow that one or two may have been touched by Chaos, but how many could there possibly be?"
- —Kastar Handlin, Travelling Merchant[3a]
The Giant Rat is a staple product of Clan Moulder bio-engineering, who long ago unlocked the secrets of growing, mutating, and surgically augmenting typical rats into the ferocious predators they are well known for today. At a distance these creatures might be mistaken for large dogs, but on closer inspection their foul and unnatural disposition is all too clear. Like their smaller cousins, Giant Rats have hairless tails and feet, but unlike their natural brethren, Giant Rats exhibit rampant signs of severe mutation and the diabolic grafting so frequent in Clan Moulder-made beasts.[3a]
Many Giant Rats have additional heads, sets of extra limbs, multiple tails, or even more monstrous additions. Spines, spikes, tusk-like incisors, or vast hunches of bony plates can be almost commonplace, while some of the more grotesque creations have exposed ribs, enormous mounds of throbbing buboes, or worse. Giant Rats have even been seen walking upright in parody of man, or gifted with odd technical parts such as wheels or mace-enhanced tails. Regardless of their bewildering variations, all Giant Rats are vicious, wicked, and eternally hungry.[3a]
- "Down there, in the darkness, if you ever face one of the great ones, know that neither sling nor dog will serve. Carry a sharp dagger and know how to use it, as swords are no good in the tight confines of a sewer. Put your torch to their noses if you can, as that’s death for ‘em and they’ll shy from the fire. You’ll have to learn not to fear them, as they’ll smell it on you, or its lack. Remember always, what occurs below, stays below."
- —Tobias Drak, Rat Catcher Extraordinaire[3a]
While countless rats skulk through the sewers of the Old World, there are very few capable of killing grown men without help, but such do exist. While a few of them have crept down from the north, where the Chaos Powers twisted them beyond their natural size, the majority are the result of generations of Skaven breeding experiments designed to combine size, ferocity, and any other traits the foul experimenters of Clan Moulder found desirable. Other Skaven clans frequently purchase them from Clan Moulder, as they are the cheapest war beasts that Moulder has to offer.[3a]
Driven to battle by Packmasters or a Master Moulder, Giant Rats form a seething and snarling mass that seeks to rip, tear, and gnaw at any enemy they can reach. When deployed in number their powerful jaws and wicked sabre-like incisors can bring down far larger prey. Given free rein, the horrid creatures will strip all flesh from their victims. In a matter of moments there will be naught left behind but cracked and gnawed bones. Giant Rats are easy to breed and by far the cheapest beasts on offer from Clan Moulder. A few packs of Giant Rats are a common sight amongst the Warlord clans. A few clans, notably Clan Mortkin and Clan Carrion, have been known to dye the hides of their Giant Rats, branding clan symbols into the mangy fur in the same way that Skavenslaves are marked.[3a]
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (7th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 54
- 2: Children of the Horned Rat (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 2a: pg. 51
- 3: Old World Beastiary (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 3a: pg. 40