Council of Thirteen
"A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours."
- – Milton Berle
With a race as fractured and self centered as the Skaven, it can be nigh impossible for them to coordinate their efforts towards any unified goal. That’s where the Council of Thirteen comes in, representing the most powerful and influential clans and Grey Seers. The Council is comprised of the twelve Lords of Decay, who meet in one of the highest towers of Skavenblight (or Blight City in AoS) to scheme and manipulate their brethren into eventual world domination. Their meeting place is a round table with thirteen seats, one of which is at the head of the table and always left empty to symbolize the Horned Rat. The remaining seats are numbered like a clock, with the two seats closest to the Horned Rat’s (1st and 12th) possessing the most sway regarding council decisions.
To join this “honorable” society, a skaven must first prove himself by placing a paw upon the Black Pillar, a massive chiseled chunk of warpstone with glowing runes all over it. If the skaven doesn’t immediately die in any number of agonizingly horrid deaths, they must then challenge one of the current seat holders in a life or death challenge. What this is varies depending on the Clans participating, but it usually ends in, surprise, death for the loser. The winner gets the seat and gets to partake in political intrigue with the other Lords of Decay. Have fun!
At some point in Skaven history, one iteration of the Council of Thirteen greatly pleased the Horned Rat, so he immortalized then by melding their bodies and minds together to become the Verminlord Skreech Verminking.
During the End Times, the Council was comprised of Verminkind of Clan Moulder, Plague Lord Nurglitch of Clan Pestilens, Nightlord Sneek of Clan Eshin, Morskittar of Clan Skryre, Gnawdwell of Clan Mors, Kratch Doomclaw of Clan Rictus, Vrisk Ironscratch of Clan Skurvy, Seerlord Kritislik of the Grey Seers, and the unnamed leaders of the Clans Morbidus, Carrion, and Skab.
Age of SigmarEdit
It was during the Age of Chaos that the Great Clans Verminus and Ikk each held a staggering four seats on the Council, and the power struggles between these two groups would lead to the complete extermination of the Clans Ikk and the start of the Great Skaven Civil War. The war raged on and left the Council of Thirteen a squabbling mess. Then Skreech Verminking appeared before the sniveling horde with a message from the Great Horned Rat which can basically be summarized as “You had your fun, now you gotta get back to work.” Work being invading the mortal realms. To prove his point, Skreech killed half of the Council (Arch-Warlock Snitterkrit, Great Plague-Speaker Ebolox, Grand Clawlord Thrakk, Things-Twister Rukhtik, Lieweaver Yrkrit, and Shadowmaster Pheng) with one whip of his tail. The seats were quickly filled and Skaven went about razing the surface world.
With the Age of Sigmar, the Council of Thirteen suffers tremendous losses thanks to the Year of the Drowned Rat and subsequent Corpse-Thing War. It was only thanks to an opportunistic Grey Seer Thanquol that Skavendom was able to push back Nagash’s legions, though the Grey Seer wasn’t too keen on sticking around to let the Council “reward” his efforts.
Currently the 1st seat is held by High Arch-Warlock Skrach of Skryre Clan Ezzik, who instigated a wild goose chase for realmstone to help further his megalomaniacal agenda. The other known members include the 10th seat Master Moulder Zhurn Aelf-Eater of Moulder Clan Dregg, Lord Hakkrit of Verminus Clan Fang, and the two unknown representatives of Eshin Clan Scurrie and Stryk.