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"I've fought some beasts in my time: tusker boars, corpse hounds, greenskins - and once I even killed a bear with two heads out with a hunting party in the Drakwald, but what attacked us in the hills near Helmgart was like nothing me nor the lads had seen before. Scrawny things they were, like rats but bigger than wolves, and just as damned quick! Mikoff was the first to go, dragged off his horse when two of the bloodthirsty beasts leapt at him from the trees either side of the path. Leitold was next, then Grimald then Berthar, all hamstrung and ripped open, bleeding out - good as dead before any of the rest of us could bare steel. Then the woods were alive with the vile things, screeching like razors on glass. So what did I do? I high-tailed it out of there of course. I'm not bloody stupid!"
—Testimony of Sergeant Otkar, 1st Altdorf Militia[2b]
Warhammer rat wolves

A pair of Rat-Wolf hybrids

Rat-Wolves or Wolf Rats are distinctive creatures, blending the appearance of both Skaven and wolves. Covered in a thick pelt of grey fur flecked with white, they have shorter legs than their Skaven ancestors, keeping them low to the ground and suggesting that they are always ready to pounce. Their natural gait is to move on four legs, which only makes their ability to clumsily grasp and manipulate objects with their forepaws that much more horrifying. Their tails are long, pale, and naked of fur, and they have broad rat-like heads filled with sharp yellow canine teeth.[1a]

In times long ago, Clan Moulder experimented with combining their Skaven blood with that of the great wolves of Kislev. The result was a bloodthirsty monster of such foul temperament that the Master Moulders could hardly contain it, much less train it for war. They managed to wipe out nearly all of the creatures, but despite their best efforts, a few escaped into the tunnels of the Under-Empire. In the intervening years, some escaped altogether, but a few remained behind to hunt their Skaven creators.[1a]

OverviewEdit

Wolf Rats Skaven Forge World illustration

Rat Wolves attacking.

Many are the strange and twisted creatures that have been spawned through the warpstone-tainted meddling of Skaven Clan Moulder. Many too are thankfully rare, while others, such as the twisted Wolf Rats, have bred true and multiplied in the manner of their verminous masters, and when a Skaven slave escapes from its holding pen, it best run 'quick-quick' as its pursuers will not be far behind, the skittering and scratching of claws behind them not those of their gaolers in furious pursuit, but instead those of the packs of Wolf Rats that many a Skaven clan keeps for such bloodthirsty hunts.[2a]

These ravenous monsters are neither rat nor wolf, but an aberrant amalgamation of the two, both lean and insatiably hungry. No one, not even the Skaven Master Moulders themselves exactly know how they came into being, but they can be found almost everywhere that the Skaven infest - from the tunnels and sewers that run below the towns and cities of other races, in Skaven nest-lairs, as well as existing freely in the wild. Wolf Rats are kept by the rat men for a myriad of uses, most commonly for guarding their lairs, hunting down creatures for their hideous experiments, and even in times of famine as food, although the Skaven sent in to kill them are just as likely to end up as the Wolf Rat's next meal. The creatures can never be tamed and often break from the heavy chains used to restrain them, causing havoc throughout the clan's tunnels until they either escape once more into the wild or are hunted down themselves and destroyed.[2a]

In battle the Skaven will unleash the slavering Wolf Rat packs ahead of their own troops as, unlike the cowardly Skaven, these beasts will readily charge headlong into an enemy - so eager are they to feast upon flesh. Fearless enough to dash into a hail of arrows, they will pounce and rip out an archer's throat before he has had time to draw his bow for a second shot. Then, tensing back on their long muscular limbs, they will leap hungrily into the ranks behind to take their fill of the bounteous feast laid before them.[2a]

AbilitiesEdit

Wolf Rats are diverse and twisted creatres, prone to mutation and afflicted by their foul appetites. Some have an even more deadly bite due to their diet of diseased carrion, others have been augmented with warpstone-impregnated implants on their fangs and claws by Clan Skryre Warlock-Engineers, and some others are many times the size of their kin, swollen brutes with a limitless hunger.[2b]

The Wolf Rats' voracious appetite means they are usually close to the point of starvation, having killed most of the smaller prey creatures in their pack's territories. Should they be summoned to battle their hunger will send them tearing through the ranks of an enemy unit, their strength being bolstered with each mouthful of blood-soaked flesh they gorge themselves upon.[2b]

MiniaturesEdit

  • Forge World.

SourcesEdit

  • 1 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Children of the Horned Rat
    • 1a: pg. 115
  • 2 Warhammer: Monstrous Arcanum
    • 2a pg. 56
    • 2b pg. 57

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