- "At the time of the three-hundredth cycle of this world, the two moons shall unite and summon forth the rodent god and his evil spawn to deliver plague and pestilence upon the land named Lustria...."
- —Extract from the "Prophecy of Sotek"
The Rise of Sotek was a cataclysmic event that shook the jungle-continent of Lustria around the year of -1339 IC, a conflict that has resulted in one of the longest war ever fought between the Lizardmen Empire of Lustria and the Skaven of Clan Pestilen. This massive continental invasion ravaged the continent of Lustria for nearly 1,000 years, until the day came when Sotek, God of Serpents unleashed his holy wrath upon the ratmen clans, finally forcing the Skaven host off the continent in a mass Exodus towards the Southlands.
This catastrophic event was triggered when an un-named Skaven Clan (Clan Pestilents former name) had unexpectedly found a massive tunnel that burrows its way below the Great Ocean and towards the other side of the very world, right at the heart of the Lizardmen Empire. From below the city of Chaqua, the Skavens poured forth and instigated a war that has become the stuff of legend.
Since the Skaven have little to no use of recorded history, only the Mage-Priests called the Slann have any documented accounts of the catastrophic war, as the resulting legacy of the conflict still echoes to the very foundation of their empire to this day. The very plagues the Skavens unleash still cling on to the very stones of the cities that it has contaminated, and the corruption was so strong that neither Sotek nor the Mage-Priests had any way to eradicate it. Only the Prophet of Sotek had managed to at the most, quarantine the corruption from leaking its way out of the city, provided that they appease their snake-god with an abundance of Skaven sacrifices.
When the Old Ones perished, so too did the Slann of the first spawning. The last of the first-spawned Slann had inscribed the great world plan of the Old Ones onto sacred plaques of gold before they themselves perished with their masters. These plaques were copied by the remaining Slanns and were brought and kept within all the remaining temple-cities still within Lustria. The Slann that remained continued on with their works given to them by their masters, never stopping nor giving upon the task that is now far too hopeless to achieve. It is uncertain whether all the copies were faithful in every detail to the master's copy, since half of which has now vanished through the predation of plundering invaders. For this reason, every sacred plaque is precious to the Mage-Priest, for it may reveal unknown details of the divine plan of the Old Ones. The Mage-Priest will go to any length to retrieve sacred plaques that were stolen by invaders, giving up the lives of hundreds for the chance to return the artifact to its Rightful place.
For countless centuries the Prophecy of Sotek was an obscure detail known from only one plaque, which was kept in the great Pyramid-City of Chaqua. Only the Mage-Priest of this city knew about it but never pondered to its true meaning for fear that their brothers would demand the knowledge themselves, or worse, purged it from the archives as nothing but corrupt and misinformed. The Mage-Priest of Chaqua believed that this prophecy was not corrupt, but the true words handed to them by the Old Ones to fulfill a purpose on the imminent future. But, sadly the concerns of the future were far ahead of them, and the Mage-Priest ignored the warnings and the omens until the appointed time, by which it was far too late.
The Prophecy of Sotek not only predicted the collapse of the Warp Gates but also the cataclysmic invasion of Lustria by an Enemy that would bring nothing but Plague and Pestilence in their wake. The Prophecy stated that this enemy and this cataclysm had to be endured. It would come, it would rage on for centuries, and in due course it would pass. It would herald the ruination of many cities such as Chaqua, and the spreading of a great and terrible plague. The time of the rodent spawn would eventually be brought to an end however, when the mighty serpent Sotek would appear and bring forth destruction upon their kin. Sotek was destined to prevail over the rodent spawn and would be heralded by the appearance in the sky of the forked tongue of the Serpent. The Mage-Priest of Chaqua considered Sotek to be none other than one of the Old Ones, who would return to save his faithful servants from the dire perils that beset them.
The Coming of PestilenceEditThe coming of Clan Pestilens to the lands of Lustria was heralded when a mighty plague of unfounded power began to infect the spawning pools just south of the Temple city of Chaqua. Eyewitnesses near the area saw that the verdant pools began to fester and rot, as the waters began to grow black and sickly. Rather than birth the growth of a newer generation of Skinks, those that came out were born twisted and malformed, dragging themselves into the sun to wither away and die within hours. When word of this tragedy reached the Mage-Priest of Chaqua, they dispatched a cohort of warriors to investigate. At the Sacred Pools known by the Skinks as the Pool of Reflected Rain Cloud, the Lizardmen cohorts encountered a strange and horrible abomination creeping its way towards the pools. For the first time, but far from the last, the Lizardmen were faced with the sudden onslaught of the Rat-Spawn hordes of Clan Pestilens.
Wholly unprepared for this encounter, and having no knowledge of these new invaders, the Lizardmen were cut down, forcing them to relinquish the Pools to the verminous hordes. The Plague Monks however had spied upon them for a long time, plotting and scheming for a way to bring about their doom and destruction. In the end, the brave Saurus warriors made a last stand on top of the temple itself, so that one single Skink could escape the slaughter and bring a dire warning back to Chaqua. But the Skink was foolish, for instead of bringing the salvation of Chaqua, it brought about its mortal doom, for within him, buried deep inside his very veins lays the seeds of its destruction. Within days, the city was in chaos, the virulent plague began to run wild in its streets and the rise of Clan Pestilence was coming nearer by the day.
It wasn't until this virulent pestilence made its way into the city of Chaqua that the Prophecy of Sotek was finally read at full detail by the Mage-Priest. This process took a long time, and in the streets of the city, the Skinks began to die by the hundreds as they were the most vulnerable against this horrible plague. Finally, after many long days of collaboration did the Mage-Priest proclaim the prophecy to the populace and dispatched warbands of Skinks to find and attack the rodent stronghold and bring back captives for sacrifice. The Mage-Priest had made up their minds to invoke the powers of Sotek in an awesome ritual that would drive these creatures back to the vile place that birth their horrible race. They hoped to also attract their gods attention with the smoking stench of the rat-servants arch-enemy, the Rat God himself. Few of the Skinks returned, but those who did had not returned empty handed. Unfortunately for the Lizardmen, their captives too brought the plague into the city with them. The Skaven chiefs were duly sacrificed upon the new altar of Sotek and the god was invoked. Within weeks however, the city was devastated further by a new wave of plague and pestilence. The Mage-Prieset of the city had also perished, their Saurus bodyguards taking their remains into the crypts and sealed up the passages from within, determined to defend their masters to the bitter end.
While this catastrophic event was unfolding, a new sight appeared in the night sky, a comet with a two-tailed shape like the tongue of an enormous serpent was seen by the populace in the eve of the burial ceremony. The last Mage-Priest left alive in Chaqua witnessed its coming, weeping pus and tears at the entrance of the temple doors before being sealed forever within his tomb.
The Forgotten WarEditWith the inevitable destruction of the city, the surviving Skinks of Chaqua were left lost and leaderless. This unique breed of Skinks were notable for having red-crest in their heads, and being of a more war-like nature similar to their cousins the Saurus. It was during this dire time that a leader rose up and aided his brethren in their time of need. Tehenhauin, the self-proclaimed Prophet of Sotek, rallied the other Skinks to his banner, and led a massive host of fanatics and warriors to combat the Pestilent Threat. He declared that the sign of Sotek had appeared in the sky as predicted by the sacred plaque of Chaqua and demanded that all the Lizardmen cities to unite and drive back their common foe. With the plaque placed in a reliquary, the entire population of the Red Crested Skinks deserted the dying city of Chaqua, and began to migrate their massive host ahead of the virulent plague that is spreading quickly across the region. Wherever the Red Crests went, they proclaimed the Prophecy of Sotek and urged the sacrifice of any at all rat-spawn they encounter to provoke their god into this world and ensure their total destruction.
The vast majority of Lustrian Skinks were swayed by this new growing cult, due to the fact that the Skinks were the weakest towards the plagues, and as a result, was its main victims. Tehenhauin and his Red Crest proliferated the Cult of Sotek, leading their own personal armies to combat the Skaven wherever they found them. This was a period of total war spanning the entire continent of Lustria, with an uncountable number of cities having been relieved from both siege and disease by the Red Host of Tehenhauin. There was no remorse, no mercy in this war, for each side were indiscriminate in their attacks, using every kind of tactic imaginable to ensure the utter destruction of the other race, a war that proved just as cold and merciless as those warriors fighting in each side. In order to fulfill the prophecy, the Skinks had to gather an unimaginable number of Skavens onto their holy altars and sacrifice their corrupt bodies for their god to fully manifest into this world. But this effort was proven difficult as even their own allies, the Mage-Priest of the other temple-cities have forbidden the bringing of sacrificial victims into the great altar-ziggurats of their own cities, resulting in Soteks coming to be delayed for several more centuries.
As for the other Mage-Priest of the other temple-cities, they viewed the prophecy with disdain and ignored it, despite the heavenly signs indicating its truthfulness. Their forbidding of the bringing of rat-captives into the temple-cities has instigated massive unrest by the local Skink population, as they felt that the Mage-Priest care little for their blight and the sacrifices they endure to bring the prisoners into the city. It was not bore long that the Skinks began to conduct their very own ritual to provoke their god into this world and finally end this grueling war.
The Emergence of SotekEdit
As the grueling war dragged on, and the number of sacrifices begins to increase at a very dramatic rate, the Serpent God Sotek heard their invocation, and began preparations for his manifestation. Although the coming of Sotek was foretold, and the moment of his coming was heralded by the comet, it was still neccessary for his followers to make him as strong as possible for when he was due to appear. As stated by the Prophecy, Sotek would appear to the masses as an enormous and a mighty Serpent of incredible size and power, the swallower of all rodent kind. A serpent of such awesome size and appetite, this God was told to have the ability to swallow the Rat God himself and make him spend a thousand long years digesting him. The Rodent God shall fall and be crushed within his mighty coils, so says the prophecy itself.
In time, Tehenhauin gathered a massive and mighty host of warriors that composed predominately of Skinks, and set a cunning trap for the rat-spawn at the Battle of Gwakmol Crater. The battle raged on for nearly several days, with the Lizardmen host eventually emerging victorious, and with them, came a massive wagon-train of rat-man slaves that number in the thousands. They brought the vermin's deep into the jungle canopy of the continent, where at a disclosed location, upon the crumbling ruins of a sacrificial altar to a long forgotten Lizardmen God, the Skavens were sacrificed by the hundreds within each passing hour. The Prophet of Sotek took personal command of the ceremony, and it is said that the river Amaxon ran crimson with the blood of the uncountable thousands of Skavens sacrificed in that horrid place.
The Time of Sotek was nigh, for it became clear that the God has finally drunk his fill of Skaven blood that it would drown the Old World in a crimson tide. Within the Skaven Stronghold of Clan Pestilens, the comet had been taken as an omen of another kind by the Plague Monks of Pestilens. A mighty snake infestation appeared out of nowhere in the lower working of the Stronghold, forcing the Skavens up from their tunnels and into the ruins of the city, the serpents proving virtually immune to every single pestilence that the Plague Monks unleashed upon them.
The ExodusEditAfter a great many battles, the Skaven armies were pushed back all the way to the ruined city of Quetza, where there, they were encircled by the full-fledge armies of all the Temple-Cities, gathered to finally rid the world of the Pestilent Threat once and for all. Encircled and isolated, the Plaguelords of Clan Pestilens had but one recourse if they wished to live.
Mustering the entire Clan into a single titanic horde, an ocean of rat-spawns was gathered for the coming Exodus, stretching from horizon to horizon, all ready to give up their lives for the safety and ensured survival of their brotherhood. With the command issued, the Plague Lords led their entire Clan in a breakout that smashed through entire Lizardmen armies, making a breach from which the entire horde swept out and made course to open sea. This massive Exodus was a war in itself, as battles raged for hundreds of miles east, hoping to reach the coast, and eventually their salvation.
Every step of the way was a massive battle, for the Lizardmen fought with a savage zeal unsurpassed by any before them, for each and every one of them knew that they would never get a better chance to wipe-out the rat-spawn from the face of the world once and for all. The final battle was fought upon the vitrified shores of the Fumming Serpent Island, where the Clan began construction of a roting fleet of ships to bore them towards the Southlands and salvation from the serpent threat. It is said that the mighty Sotek appeared at the height of the fighting, accompanied by a slithering horde of snake spawns. The Snakes and Lizardmen crushed the last of the Skaven forces defending the shores for their comrades to board the ships, but it was too late, for much of the ships were able to flee the scene, and the time of ultimate triumph was finally lost to the Lizardmen host once and for all.
But Sotek was not disturbed by this, as the Serpent dove into the sea after the rats, and pursued them across the world all the way towards the Southlands. It is also said that from the Southlands he slithered into the depths of the earth in his relentless pursuit of the Skaven that now lurks there, feeding endlessly on their kins and protecting his people from their menace forever. Such is the myth of Sotek and his ascension to God-hood.
- Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (6th Edition) pg 10 - 35
- Warhammer: Lustria (RPG) pg 48 - 54