"You disappoint me, Queek. To be a Lord of Decay is not to stab and kill and smash all things aside. You lack circumspection. You are a killer, nothing more. You were so magnificent when I found you, the biggest in your litter, and they were all large before you ate them. I raised you, I fed you the best dwarf-meat and man-flesh. And you have become even more magnificent. Such courage. There is none other like you, Queek. You are unnaturally brave. Others think you freakish for leading from the front, not the back. But I do not. I am proud of my Queek. But you are a blunt tool, Queek. A blunt and dangerous tool. I always hoped you would become Lord of Decay after me, because with one so big and deadly as you as master of Clan Mors, all the others would be afraid, and the air would thicken with their musk."
- —Warlord Gnawdwell, Lord of Clan Mors[5a]
Queek Headtaker, is the legendary and much-feared Skaven Warlord also known as "Lord of the City of Pillars," "Great Warlord of Clan Mors" and the personal right-claw of Warlord Gnawdwell, the one and true grand ruler of Clan Mors.[1a] He has been groomed by Gnawdwell from the moment of his birth to be the ultimate warrior, provided with the best armour and weapons, protecting him from the other Lords of Decay, and also staging assassination attempts to keep him on his toes.[3a]
Queek is an uncommonly bloodthirsty and egotistical Skaven warrior whose need to conquer even the most impossible challenges has since earned him infamy in the annals of Skaven history as the legendary Headtaker, the Dwarf-Smiter, the greatest Skaven Warlord to have ever graced the tunnels of the Under-Empire.[1a] His temper is infamous amongst both his enemy and allies, having fought, defeated and survived almost every challenge that was thrown against him.[2a][3a]
Upon Queek's trophy rack are the body parts of all those that have challenged Queek in the past. These include the hand of Baron Albrecht Kraus of Averland, the head of King Krug Ironhand of Karak Drazh, that of Warlord Ikit Scratch of Fester Spike, and that of Warlord Sleek Sharpwit of Clan Mors, amongst other noteworthy challengers.[2a][3a]
Within his powerbase underneath the once majestic stronghold of Karak Eight Peaks, now called the City of Pillars by the Skaven, Queek has been fighting a never-ending war of attrition against the battle-hardened Dwarf armies of King Belegar Ironhammer and the Greenskin hordes of Warlord Skarsnik. A powerful warrior in his own right, Queek's deeds have since garnered him the respect of the Orcs, the fears of the Goblins and the eternal hatred of the Dwarfs.[3a]
"Who is Queek? Queek is warlord here, not grey ones from far away. He claim he come from Council. He claims his good intent, but Queek is not stupid-slow, Queek knows Grey Seers and their treacherous ways. White-fur will never be warlord here! He is never free of Queek's sight. Queek sees him always."
Queek headtaker, like many Skaven before him, was born unto this world within the many Breeding Pits owned by the burly warriors of Clan Mors. Queek's litter was born large and black-furred, a sign that these Skaven would grow up to be true killers within the violent and unstable society of their Clan. However, Queek was by far the largest of his lot, and in time, he eventually devoured his own brothers even before he opened his eyes or fully grew out his fur.[4c]
Seeing great potential within Queek, Warlord Gnawdwell personally took Queek under his wing and trained him extensively to be his new protege. As such, Queek was granted the finest luxury that can be afforded by a Skaven of such high status. He was given the best food, the greatest arms and armour, and was hand-reared by Gnawdwell personally to become the ultimate warrior.[4c]
When Queek grew to be 4 years old, the young Skaven rose swiftly through the ranks and earned himself a string of victories. The majority of Queek's exploits have always been in the tunnels, lairs and caves beneath the surface of the Worlds Edge Mountains. The warlord's fame grew exponentially as word of his deeds and conquests spread across the length of the Under-Empire.[4c]
Deeds of the Headtaker
"Dull! Boring! Queek see hundreds of thousands of millions of skaven in his life. They all the same. Furry faces, pink noses. Some die, all die. There are always more. What need mighty Queek see all rat-faces?"
- —Warlord Queek Headtaker, inspecting his troops.[5b]
Queek's first major exploit was his daring attacks against the Greenskin stronghold of Black Crag, where he personally slew Big Boss Morglum Blacktooth in combat. Morglum would later become Queek's first trophy amongst the many that would follow. It is said that the severed Orc head whispered instructions on how to find Dwarf Gouger, an ancient, magical spike-maul forged during the time of the Goblin Wars many centuries ago.[4c] At the time, Queek was still a mere chieftain, but it was widely believed that he led the attacks that claimed the Night Goblin lairs near the ruins of Black Crag for the glory of Clan Mors. Having first pick of the spoils, Queek took Dwarf-Gouger as his own signature weapon.[3a]
Queek would later lead another assault against Warlord Ikit Scratch and the traitors of Fester Spike. Demonstrating a greater degree of his otherwise inept cunning, Queek was able to trick Warlord Ikit into thinning his battleline just as Queek personally led the spearhead straight into the heart of Fester Spike. The head of Ikit Stratch was later placed upon another spike of Queek's growing trophy rack.[4i]
Thanks to his many deeds and growing infamy, Queek would later be promoted by Lord Gnawdwell, replacing the once also-legendary Sleek Sharpwit as the new Skaven Warlord of the City of Pillars. For many years afterwards, Queek fought a never-ending war of attrition against the Dwarf armies of King Belegar Ironhammer and the hordes of Warlord Skarsnik.
Queek would later make another appearance during the Skaven assault against the Dwarfs of Karak Angkul, where he was convinced by the deviously cunning Grey Seer Thanquol to attack the Dwarf Hold while it was left undefended.[6a] Queek and his army attacked without any major opposition until he was blocked by a newly assembled army in the upper deeps.[6b]
Queek, not taking failure so lightly, forced Thanquol to summon forth the daemonic Verminlord Vecteek onto the mortal plane to help him win this battle. The ritual ended in utter failure, as instead of summoning forth a Verminlord of the Horned Rat, Thanquol summoned the Khornate Bloodthirster Skarbrand. Even for a warrior as fearless as Queek, the Warlord could not even face such a monster, let alone kill it, and instead called it quits and hastily left the battlefield.[6b]
Queek's latest exploits include being given command of an invasion horde of Skaven nearly a hundred-thousand strong, a force meant to destroy the great stores of powerful runic weapons within the armouries of Karak Azul. Needless to say, despite the best efforts of the old and grizzled Warlord Sleek Sharpwit and the deviously pious Grey Seer Razzel, Queek's headstrong nature resulted in a disastrous defeat.[4h]
Yet, from the clutches of that defeat, the deviously cunning Sleek Sharpwit managed to string a series of events to his own benefit, leading Queek towards Black Crag where he hoped to instigate a war between the Orcs and the Dwarfs of Karak Azul.[4j] It was from there that Queek not only battled and survived an encounter with the legendary Gorfang Rotgut in single combat, but he also had the chance to lure the entire army of Karak Azul into a pitched battle. With the entirety of the hold's weapon stores dedicated to this costly battle, Queek had achieved the mission given to him, and upon his trophy rack would sit a new addition to his collection.[4q]
After he learned of Sleek Sharpwit's scheming, Queek sought out the old warlord and made him pay for his manipulation. Warlord Sharpwit was able with the aid of Warpstone to fight the Headtaker to a standstill before the grizzled warlord gave in to the frailties of his old age. Sharpwit's severed head is now one of Queek's most prized possessions, so much so that Queek can still be seen talking to the old warlord, listening to his hard-earned advice.[4q]
"Queek killed many Dwarf-things - soon there will be no more left to kill. This makes Queek sad. Maybe Queek take a few of High King Thorgrim-thing's littermates back to Skavenblight for fighting practice? Truly Queek is merciful..."
- —The last words of Queek Headtaker
Queek met his demise during the events of the End Times, slain by the High King of the Dwarfs, Thorgrim Grudgebearer. The Skaven warrior had rushed into combat against the Dwarf King, only to be quickly blinded by his rune-inscribed axe. Queek was then lifted into the air by his foe, who used the Headtaker's own jagged sword to cut loose his treasured back banner. The skulls of Queek's slain enemies fell to the ground, free at last.
Queek was left struggling within Thorgrim's iron grasp, desperately scrambling as the Dwarf king roared a litany of grudges. He continued to paw at his enemy, even as his own claws tore and bled on the king's impenetrable armour. Eventually, Queek's neck snapped and his struggling ceased. Throwing Queek's lifeless body to the ground, Thorgrim stamped upon it with ironshod boots, shattering the Skaven's bones, before spitting on it with disdain.
Queek Headtaker's personality can be associated with that of a powder-keg; unpredictable and dangerous.[4r] It was said that Queek could not be bribed, that he didn't care for threats and that he led armies fearlessly from the front. Queek was an unnaturally fearless and bloodthirsty Skaven with an overinflated ego to match. Queek considers himself the greatest Skaven Warlord to have ever lived, as any self-respecting Skaven should.[4c]
However, unlike many other Skaven warlords before him, Queek has been known to back-up these claims as willingly as he is to boast about them, as shown with the many heads that now decorate his trophy rack. Indeed, Queek has shown an unnatural interest in both finding and fighting the strongest enemy he can find. From massive Black Orcs to Dwarf thanes and rival Skaven warlords, Queek has fought and defeated each and every one of them.[4c] Due to his unnatural sense of self-worth and belief that he is the mightiest of all Skaven, Queek is enraged by those few warriors who have managed to defeat him. Warriors such as Gorfang Rotgut, Grimnar Halfhand and Belegar Ironhammer are perhaps his most despised enemies as a result.
Alongside his infamy as a great Skaven warrior, Queek had also earned himself a reputation for madness. Queek has a disturbing affection for the collection of severed heads he keeps upon his trophy rack. Those that would dare to touch his prized possessions have had their paws cut off by Queek personally. At times, Queek has been seen talking to these heads when nobody else is looking, and at times even when they are, as if the skulls themselves still retain the souls of those he decapitated in ritual combat, giving the warlord advice on how best to destroy his enemies.[4d]
Although Queek is a magnificent warrior, the warlord isn't known for his cunning, if he has any at all. Queek is as thick as he is bloodthirsty, preferring a daring frontal assault rather than to use wiser and more efficient means of attack. In comparison to other Skaven, Queek dislikes scheming and intrigue of any kind, which is one of the reasons why the warlord has a great distrust of the politically-minded Grey Seers.[4h] Even Lord Gnawdwell has expressed his disappointment at Queek's inept intellect for things other than fighting, often remarking that the warlord is a dangerous yet ultimately blunt instrument.[5a]
Nevertheless, Queek's combat skill, coupled with his immense bravery and fearlessness in battle has granted him many great victories. When Queek goes to war, he is often accompanied by a retinue of crimson-armoured Stormvermin known as the Red Guard, which is led by his second-in-command Ska Bloodtail, an unnaturally loyal and obedient Skaven that is larger than even Queek himself. [5a]
Queek has a sort of loyalty for Ska, mourning his apparent loss (even renaming one of his Stormvermin after him) and pursuing him when he discovered that Ska survived a knife to the heart. Sleek Sharpwit described Queek's relationship as an "unhealthy attatchment" and indeed, Queek's affinity for Ska is used as leverage by Grey Seer Razzel.[5a]
- Dwarf Gouger - Queek wields the magical war maul Dwarf Gouger, an ancient weapon forged during the time of the Goblin Wars. The war maul is so powerful that few forms of armour are able to deflect its penetrating blow.[1a]
- Warp-shard Armour - Queek usually goes to war with a suit of spiked plates encrusted with shards of pure Warpstone, which protect Queek from harm whilst also harming those who strike him by way of Warpstone poisoning.[1a]
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (7th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 72
- 2: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (6th Edition)
- 3: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (5th Edition)
- 3a: pg. 74
- 4: Headtaker (Novel) by David Guymer
- 5: Rise of the Horned Rat (Novel) by Guy Haley
- 6: Thanquol and Boneripper: Thanquol Doom (Novel) by Clint Werner
- 7: Warhammer: The End Times Compilation
- 8: The End Times Vol IV: Thanquol (8th Edition)
- 8a: pg.58