Death Skulls

Death Skulls

The Death Skulls consist of Human, Beastman, and Skaven skulls which have developed powers due to prolonged exposure to warpstone. Normal skulls do not react to warpstone in this manner; it requires special chantings and rituals soon after the creature’s death to produce the effect.[1a]

The skulls have no innate intelligence but can be used to carry out the direct and indirect commands of a controlling spellcaster. A skull may be in one of four states.[1a]

  • Active: (indicated by the eye sockets glowing bright-red) whenever the controller is in direct command.[1a]
  • Passive: (indicated by a dim red glow in the eye sockets) when the skull is carrying out pre-set instructions.[1a]
  • Dormant: when a skull is neither under direct or indirect control. In this state a skull will seek to return to the “Chaoscave” immediately. The skull will simply orientate itself to face the cave if it is prevented from returning there for some reason. The actual rotation (if not the cause) is obvious if the skull is observed while moving it about. Enough perception is needed to notice the effect if the skull is moved without being watched. This orientation effect will be overridden if a localised source of Chaos (say, a small fragment of warpstone), is brought within 5 yards of a dormant skull. In this case the skull will try to get to the nearer piece for as long as it remains within the stated range.[1a]
  • Dead: when the skull is sufficiently damaged or has been away from a source of Chaos for more than 24 hours. From this point the skull becomes quite “normal.”[1a]

A skull’s usual condition is dormant. To achieve control a caster must first be within 1 yard of the skull, then attempt channelling into it. If the caster fails, the skull "dies." If control is established, the skull becomes attuned to the spellcaster. It can then be made passive by giving it instructions to follow, or active by continuing direct command. An individual may have up to 4 skulls following passive instructions at any one time. Active control of any of these 4 can be achieved by concentrating; a spellcaster may therefore flit between passive skulls, making each one active as he does so, at will.[1a]

In its active state a skull sends visual signals back to its controller. When controlling a skull an individual must remain completely relaxed and composed. Any physical movement will immediately negate control, as will giving into fear or the like. The command range is 6 miles and command lasts for as long as the spellcaster can maintain complete concentration. The spellcaster may use the skull to follow direct commands or “re-program” the skull to carry out a new set of instructions.[1a]

Any skull will become dormant if it becomes separated from its controller by more than 6 miles, or if completely shielded from its controller by a metal barrier for a select amount of time.[1a]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Plundered Vaults
    • 1a: pg. 20

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