Acolytes of the Withered Word
The Fecund Hordes of the Ashen Wastes
The Skaven Clans, and most particularly the teeming hordes of Clan Pestilens, are infamous for their Gnawholes, unstable tunnel-gates that run between the realms chiselled into being by the twisted claws and sorcery of the rat-men and guided by their insidious Verminlords. They can be seen dotting the realms, particularly great sites of battle during the Realmgate War, leaving warping and twisted effects upon the nearby landscape. However despite their repeated attempts to achieve such, the clans have yet to successfully penetrate the dark and mysterious realm of Ulgu, the infamous realm of shadow.
The Roiling Basin
Deep within the twisting ash-storms of Aspiria in the fiery realm of Aqshy lies the realmgate known as the Shadowhame. One of the few stable realmgates that runs to the realm of Ulgu, it sits deep in the centre of a shattered volcano in what appears to be ancient azyrite ruins. The crater, known as the Roiling Basin due to the ash storms that whip around it’s interior walls as they blow in from the eastern plains before churning out over the western seas, has been settled by an enormous contingent of Skaven Great Clans hailing directly from the Blight City itself. Towering and haphazard Skaven constructions are piled atop ancient Azyrite heritage sites as the industrious Skaven claw the skies with their fell machinery, their destructive and corrupting presence going so far as to warp the nearby landscape and even the weather. Wealthier members of the clans have their residences and bases of operations in the high towers, with Skryre and Pestilens holding dominion over their respective supporters from on high. Moulder Clan members prefer to practise their disgusting bio-science in the depths of the crater and Clan Eshin’s base naturally remains a mystery as to its location. The lowest members of the system such as Skavenslaves and lowly Clanrats eek out an existence in the Depths, killing one another for scraps that fall from above and mysteriously disappearing into the Moulder surgery-labs. The Shadowhame realmgate itself lies in the Pestilent Knave known as the Prior Vermalanx, deep in the structure and well-guarded by acolytes and the Plague Guard.
The Church of Contagion
Skaven city-warrens are usually inhabited by clans belonging to a single Great Clan or an uneasy alliance of multiple clans present for their own interests. While the Roiling Basin is inhabited by representatives of all the Great Clans, Clan Pestilens is currently ascendant amongst the group due to the overwhelming ranks they currently count in their faithful throng. No mere no-name virulent procession, Clan Morbidus of the Pestilens are an ancient and wealthy clan that proudly boast of heritage that dates back to the World-That-Was. Faithful to their god and mindless in their devotion to his ascension, Morbidus offers it’s prayers up to the Verminlord known as Vermalanx, a legend among the pestilent clans who lead the Pestilens Clans during the Realmgate Wars and dared to scheme against the Glott Brothers and Nurgle himself, all while seeming to aid them in their goals. Allegedly defeated by the Stormcast Eternals at Rotwater Swill, Vermalanx has since arisen once more by the Corruptor’s claw to lead his most faithful of children. Bearing twin Plaguereapers forged from raw warpstone dipped in the filth of the Horned One itself, plague monks gladly throw themselves to a gory death at the orders of the dark servant of The Great Witherer itself. The dominance of Morbidus has forced the other Great Clans to toe the line against them feebly for now, with them offering up gifts of arcane ingenuity, shadow operatives and hordes of lowly rats to break against the ranks of the enemy before the Plague Monks destroy all opposition.
Ruler of the Rat-Race
Ruling over the Church of Contagion and by extension the Roiling Basin itself, Archdeacon Skirik Vileclaw presides over his “beloved” flock with sharp claws and a tendency to hurl those who oppose him from the high points down into the Depths. Quite unlike most rulers of his race, Skirik has little in the way of cunning or subtlety. Prone to fits of deranged madness due to the fever in his brain and the poison in his veins, Skirik’s temperament veers wildly between the faithful servant of the Great Corruptor and behaving like a rabid animal. Riding an enormous Plague Furnace into battle known as the Altar of the Redmaw, named for the Great Plague Skirik so famously brought back to the faithful long decades ago. His lifetime long enhanced by the righteous fury in his body and the ministrations of the absolute pinnacle of Skryre and Moulder sciences, Skirik has plagued Aqshy for as long as many in Aspiria can recall.
The Shadowhame Gate
The focal point of the entire settlement, deep within the Pestilent Knave lies the Shadowhame Gate. One of only a mere handful of stable gateways to Ulgu, and one of the scant few held by the forces of Chaos, this gateway represents an incredible potential advantage to the chaos forces as Malerion and Morathi’s machinations are kept secret beyond the twisting fold of the realm they rule over. Forces from the Roiling Basin have established a foothold on the other side of the gate, a continuous supply of troops marching through to man the defences and fortify the location further. Known as the Rotted Claw warren, Malerion has been forced to drop his façade of bored contempt for the Skaven to actively destroy the gateaway, knowing that while he faces Plague Monks and baying Clanrats today, tomorrow it could well be the Varangard riding through the mists.
Schemes Within Schemes
With Malerion and Morathi throwing their forces into the fortification of the Rotted Claw bastion and increasing aggression from the resurgent forces of Order in Aqshy, the Roiling Basin’s constant threat may yet be dealt with by the allied forces of Order. However, while the fighting forces of the rats hold back their aggressors Clan Skryre has begun a grand undertaking in the Warpstorm Tower, the only tower to rise higher than the Prior Vermalanx (a fact that Skirik has hurled many a warlock engineer to their doom over when reminded), with their research into the construction of a stable Gnawhole built using the arcane secrets gleaned from the Shadowhame Gate that will lead directly to the Blight City, enabling an enormous horde of Skaven without number to storm through. The completion of this gate will see all of Aspiria brought to it’s knees by the Skaven, and Ulgu flooded with resurgent forces to bring an end to the God of Shadow’s dominion.