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Clan Prepnik (Old World adaptation)


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Clan Prepnik is a Skaven clan that cultivates vast fields of black corn and stores huge underground stores of food in preparation for the Black Hunger they intend to spread throughout the mortal world for the Skaven and the weak. The cult is led by Grey Seer Bouldrak, a paranoid and megalomaniacal Skaven completely terrified of starvation.

 

The explorer who dared to venture outside Pigbarter, along the River Ruin and then south, would come upon an amazing landscape. He would see fields of black corn stretching as far as the eye could see, but would find no farms. "How could such barren, polluted land support such vegetation?" he would ask himself. No matter how hard he searched, he would not find the hidden caves in the middle of the fields that led to the underground farmland of Clan Prepnik.

 

For there is nothing natural about these fields of Black Corn - the aridity of the Dark Lands and the stench of the River Ruin would never have allowed such an abundance of crops. This abomination is the work of the Skaven of Clan Prepnik, living in tunnels dug and hidden beneath their own fields. The Black Corn cobs are not fertilized and watered on the surface - the environment is far too hostile and the enemies far too numerous - but underground, right at the roots. In the same way, the ripe corn is harvested from underneath, pulled by its roots. No one can therefore suspect the intense agricultural activity of the Skaven on these inhospitable lands. Let us live happily, let us live hidden.

 

But how and why did the Skaven start farming? To understand this, we must go back to the origins of the Clan Prepnik's master, Grey Seer Bouldrak. Long ago, Bouldrak was locked up and cursed with a Dark Hunger spell by his former traitor-sneak disciple. For days he was faced with insatiable hunger, reduced to the most primal instincts of common sewer rats unworthy of a descendant of the Horned Rat such as himself. "No more hunger, never-no" Bouldrak swore to himself, traumatized by the experience. Once he had escaped and his traitorous disciple was exterminated, Bouldrak set out to build the largest food supply a Skaven clan had ever known. He will have so much food, he thought, that all Skaven, humans, dwarves, and other enemies will have no choice but to pledge allegiance to Clan Prepnik, once the Black Hunger consumes them all. They will then beg Bouldrak, or die on an empty stomach.

 

Clan Prepnik stores their precious crops in huge underground silos guarded by Grainkeepers, shock vermin with an absolute fear of the Black Hunger. Bouldrak exposes them at an early age to the same treatment he once endured: locked up with a Black Hunger spell until they die or escape loyal to Bouldrak. At their head is the Warlord Snut Grainsplitter, Bouldrak's loyal servant and rumored to be able to split a black corn kernel in flight.

 

These silos are sometimes coveted by certain Prepnik rats, who don't understand the point of storing food rather than devouring it quickly. If a thief gets past the Grainkeepers, Warlord Snut Grainsplitter, Grey Seer Bouldrak (who lives in the silos), traps scattered outside and inside the silos, but gets caught, he is immediately condemned to starve to death in the very heart of the silos of his lust.

 

In order not to put the reserves under pressure, the Prepnik clan carries out a drastic management of its births. The females deliver small litters, regulated by Bouldrak and his Packmasters. If overpopulation should inadvertently (or treacherously?) occur, members of the clan are locked up together and condemned to kill each other until only one remains, who is then released and promoted to unit leader. In the event of an impending war, the abundance of food allows the population to increase in anticipation of losses.

 

The lifespan of the Skaven of Clan Prepnik is relatively short, even by Skaven standards, probably because the ceiling of the galleries, made of Black Corn roots, oozes with the pesticides spread daily and concocted from Warpstone and polluted water from the River Ruin. Perhaps also because the work is hard and all the members of the clan work tirelessly to cultivate the unlikely Black Corn in these desolate lands.

 

After years of cultivating hidden and ignored by all, Clan Prepnik is beginning to emerge from its burrow. To increase his supply, Bouldrak now reluctantly finds he must interact with other clans. He needs beasts from Clan Moulder, muscular but genetically modified to be frugal. He needs brains from Clan Skryre to design new and more efficient agricultural machines. They need to diversify their food sources, so they don't have to rely solely on Black Corn, and so they trade. Emissaries from Clan Prepnik are about to be sent to the markets of Pigbarter, Under-Delberz, Under-Altdorf and Skavenblight...

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