- "You owe your fur to the Nightlord!..."
- —Deathmaster Snikch, Chief Assassin of Clan Eshin[3a]
Deathmaster Snikch is the chief assassin and prime agent of Lord Sneek, Lord of Decay and Nightlord of Clan Eshin. His infamy is only exceeded by the mystery which surrounds his whereabouts at any particular time. Lord Sneek ensures that this is the case - as long as no one knows the location of his chief assassin no one can feel safe. Deathmaster Snikch has appeared all over the Old World at one time or another, seldom being seen but always leaving his distinctive symbol traced in blood beside the decapitated heads of his victims.[2a]
No one truly knows what horrors the Deathmaster has perpetrated during his long and mysterious existence. Of how many ships have been sunk or foundered with mysterious leaks or severed rigging, of how many towns have been consumed by fire or pestilence released from the sewers below or even how many people the Deathmaster has killed in his lifetime. It is only on the battlefield that the Deathmaster presence can atleast been known to dwell, stalking his victims, concealed beneath the magical Cloak of Shadows, its ensorcelled power strong enough to make a mockery of the most intricate defenses. Where the stealthy tread of Deathmaster Snikch falls, no prince or warlord is safe from his blades.[1a]
Ever since Snikch became a Deathmaster of Clan Eshin, his deeds have become legend amongst the Warlord Clans. When acting on Council orders, Snikch leaves his distinctive symbols so that all would know who have done this grisly act. Warlord Sskut of Murkpit had his neatly removed head stacked atop 100 heads from his Stormvermin bodyguard. When Clan Festerlingus began selling their own mutated mix of Giant Rat and alligator, it was Snikch’s mark that was scrawled over the mutator's bodies. Such rituals are enacted when the Nightlord wants to seed terror, an example to those that cross Clan Eshin or the Council.[2a]
Of course such gory rituals are only enacted when the Nightlord feels that an example should be made, usually to other defiant Skaven. In the lands of men. Elves and Dwarfs it is harder still to divine the Deathmaster's presence, save perhaps by effect and implication only. For example, the bizarre deaths of Frederick Hasselhoffen and his entire household in Altdorf have never been explained to this day. And the fate of the Celestial Wizard Heinrich Frisen, found flayed in his observatory tower with the door still locked from the inside, left city watch officials mystified. Many muttered about daemons but the truly erudite know that daemons seldom leave so few clues.[2a]
Almost assuredly the fate of the Celestial Wizard Heinrich Frisen, found flayed in his still-locked observatory tower, was the work of Snikch. Some speculated about Daemons, but the truly erudite know Daemons seldom leave so few clues. The Dwarf Lord Dromgar, brother to King Belegar of Karak Eight Peaks, was slain in a heavily fortified stronghold. That Dromgar is still missing his head points strongly to the ultimate killer. While a master of murder, it is likely that Snikch is also behind many of the ratmen's most devious acts of sabotage. The Great Fire of Lothern, the bombing of the Imperial Navy in the Reiksport, and the destruction of Dwarf Engineer Thornik Thorson's Iron Cog-dragon on the eve of the Battle of the Bitter Peak, yet no one truly knows of this is the work of the mysterious Deathmaster.[1a]
- Whirl of Weeping Blades - Deathmaster Snikch uses a secret three-sword techique when he goes on the hunt for the next target. With a poisoned sword on both hands and his own tail, few warriors can survive long against the Deathmaster.[1a]
- The Cloak of Shadows - Woven from stolen human hair and spider silk, the Cloak of Shadows conceals and silences the wearer, making Snikch near invisible when in darkness.[1a]
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (7th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 75
- 2: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (4th Edition)
- 2a: pg. 73
- 3: Thanqoul and Boneripper: Thanquol's Doom (Novel), by C.L. Werner
- 3a: Chapter Two: "Streets of Skavenblight"