Deep underground deeper than the deepest dwarven stronghold. Two Skaven clad in hooded capes walked among the squalor of a slave town. The machines of clan Skyre pumped black clouds into the air of the dimly lit space. Slave skaven ran to and fro carrying rocks and working with pick axes. Digging deeper ever deeper for their precious prize. The left skaven remarked to the other as he walked, every shrill step showing his disgust in being there.
“ Boss Pleton. Why here among the slave things?”, he said as a slave barely strong enough to walk collapsed in front of him. For a moment they paused and then Pleton kicked his slumped kinsman out of his way, where he was shortly trampled by a squad of slaves urged by the whip of their master urging them forward with a constant barrage of cracks nipping at their furry heels. The other rat chuckled as they resumed their trip through the digging site.
“Strong things Retz,” Pleton said, as the two began to leave the sound of machinery, backbreaking labor, and pain behind them. “Grow in place like this.” Soon they came upon a door leading to a burrow. Three quick raps on the door from Pleton and a few seconds later the. A sliver of wood slid across the crude door to reveal one bright red eye.
“Waiting much much time for Eshin Pleton to come. Bring bring you quick to trouble slave.” The peephole was closed and the rusted door slowly and noisily slid open. There standing in front of the two skaven was another. His fur was dark and mottled with patches missing around his face and arms. His face, much like the rest of his body showed the signs of the harsh conditions of the mine. Both ears showing signs of being gnawed on. Left eye permanently closed by deep claw marks on his face. Multiple teeth missing and one front one that seemed to teeter on the edge of falling out. Heavy armor was strapped to his chest just as rusty as the door. Two weapons at his sides. A many notched dagger and a ragged whip that had seen much use, but the barbs at the tip were as sharp as any of the mining tools. He beckoned them in and the began the descent into the burrow. Strange noises began to faintly echo throughout the hallways. Retz turned to look at Pleton, who was unfazed and kept his eyes focused and forward at all times. Their tour guide noticed the movement and began to speak to Retz.
“ It take much much work to get slave things to work hard, find much much wardstone for clan Eshin. Many many slave things need to be taught to work hard.” He quickly Put one patchy arm around Retz and continued to rant as he lead the way.
“ Slave things need taught lesson to work very very hard. Mangle Manghide teach all those no work hard why should. Gesturing to himself with a cheesy smile.
“ This slave thing? Is smart is it? Pleton asked. Eyes still focused forward not bothered by the sounds becoming loud screams as they passed room after room of pain. Manghide left Retz’s side and rushed to the other member of clan Eshin. The faint noises were replaced by loud screams and whales.
“Yes yes very very smart!” Manghide almost shouted as he barely gave Pleton enough space to walk. An arm reached out to grab him much like Retz, but for the first time the focus of the ratkins eyes changed. The beady piercing red globes came to fall on Manghide, who quickly pulled his arm back and leapt back giving the Skaven a wide berth. Pletons eyes focused forward and he began walking again. Leaving both Manghide and Retz to catch up.
“Here here!” Manghide jumped up and down as he moved to a door no noise came from. Digging a pair of keys out the jailer quickly unlocked the door and ushered his guests in. Inside it was dark save for one tiny light source. A large glowing stone in the middle of the room. That illuminated a tiny skaven fettered to a wall, whose eyes were transfixed on the stone.
“Warpstone?”, Retz asked. Manghide was all too happy to answer.
“Slave thing sneaky. Steal warpstone from Manghide, but might Manghide catch him and punish sneaky slave thing. Sneaky slave thing of use to clan Eshin. That’s why no kill. Sell for much much warpstone to might clan Eshin!” Halfway through the boasting Pleton made his way to the tiny ratkin. A faint smile appearing on his illuminated face as he spoke.
“Clan Eshin has use for sneaky skaven. You steam much from Manghide and should die. I have deal for sneaky skaven. You want?” He asked. Pleton and the prisoner looked each other in the eye for what seemed like an eternity to the two others in the room and then he spoke. A horse squeak issued forth from him.
“Yes.” was the word Pleton wanted to hear. He then ordered Manghide to undo the shackles and within moments The tiny one was free and standing among the much larger Skaven.
Manghide smiled and held out his paw. To which Pleton pulled out a fairly large pouch and tossed it to the floor. It tumbled open slightly revealing the colors of green and gold. A few warpstone coins and gold coins fell out. Manghide dove for the bag, but a thrown dagger that dug into the ground just in front of the bag halted his advance. The skavens gave fell on Pleton who spoke looking at nothing but the tiny ratkin.
“ You want be clan Eshin kill Manghide. Prove you worth. Kill weak useless one!” Manghide ‘s eyes grew wide with a bizarre terror and anger. “You cheat Manghide! Manghide kill kill tiny thing. Then workers kill you!” Retz pulled forth two curved blades whose end dripped green liquid that sizzled as it hit the dirt floor. A single had from Pleton relaxed the battle ready warrior.
“Manghide lose much much warpstone. Not worthy of job. Want to look behind”, Behind the slave master the tiny skaven had the dagger in hand, poised to strike a blow against his larger opponent. Manghide pulled out his own dagger and unfurled his whip with a flick of the wrist and a crack, that sent dirt flying in his attackers direction.
“Die !” He yelled, as he charged.
Three figures walked through the horde of slaves busily working, spurred on by the sound of machinery and whips alike. Two cloaked Skaven and a tiny one clutching a blood soaked dagger and a pouch close to his chest.“Name tiny slave?” Retz asked.
“Squeek Squeekerson.” The ratkin responded. Retz Laughed aloud and Pleton just stared forward a slight smile on his face.
Meet Squeek and the crew!
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