- "Not truly Skaven, the Rat Ogres, but they are aberrations nonetheless. I have seen but one in my travels and it is a memory that I hide even from myself. Bred in the pits of the Master Moulders, no two Rat Ogres are the same, yet they share enough similarities to be easily identified. When driven by Moulder’s Packmasters, Rat Ogres are effective weapons of war. If left to their own devices, however, they are just as likely to feed on nearby offal as to kill the Skaven or their enemies."
- —Steffan Paulus Adelhof, Scholar of Wolfenburg[2a]
Rat Ogres are massive hulking monstrosities that represent the very pinnacle of Clan Moulder ingenuity, a lethal killing-machine beast that combines the inhumane reflexes of a Skaven with the brawn and size of an Ogre. Though many would be mistaken otherwise, Rat Ogres are not a separate breed of the Skaven race, rather Rat Ogres are creatures born from the fusion of crossbreeding different types of horrific creatures with Skaven blood, and surgically augmenting what is left.[2a]
While Clan Moulder certainly succeeded in creating deadly war beasts, Rat Ogres are arguably flawed creatures, bereft of reason and nearly devoid of sanity. Their unlikely genesis has left them utterly dependent upon their creators for any kind of mental faculty and they are literally incapable of functioning without the direction of another's will. Their small brains are as such devoted singularly to the pursuit of fighting, tearing and simply enacting wanton bloodshed.[1b]
- "Yes-yes Warlord Krizk - for a treaty-pledge of just 200 Slaves, 12 claws of warptokens, a Breeder and certain alliances and pledges, one of our very-very finest Clan Moulder Rat Ogres can be yours..."
- —Clan Moulder Haggle-master[1b]
Once a potential Rat Ogre is born, the creature is subjected to a long series of experiments intended to encourage traits that their creators favour, such as overwhelming bloodlust, mindless ferocity and unnatural loyalty. Many of them may indeed have Ogre blood in their long and varied ancestry, though none but the eldest Master Mutators could say. They generally appear to be massively over-muscled Skaven standing some 10 feet tall at the shoulder, though many of them are grossly misshapen, and may have grafts, both metal and flesh, fused to their bodies.[2a]
Though they all share similarities, no two Rat Ogres are physically identical. Mutations bred into the creatures by the Master Moulders give them a variety of different shapes, sizes, and capabilities. Some are even surgically modified with implanted weapons, many of them experimental creations of Clan Skryre. Each Rat Ogre receives training, of a sort, which involves constant deadly duels with Clan Moulder’s other foul creations. Therein they learn to follow the guidance of their Packmasters and become used to the rigors of violent combat. They might also gain valuable insight into tactics and strategies, if they didn’t forget anything too complex after a day or so in their pens. Despite their physical boons, Rat Ogres are barely sentient. Without the constant supervision of Moulder’s Packmasters, a Rat Ogre would wander aimlessly about the battlefield, only stopping to grab a quick snack or to rip the throat from any living thing that was unlucky enough to attract its mercifully short attention.[2a]
- "Rat Ogres much-kill. Tough-strong, but hard to control, only the Packmasters can use them well-good."
- —Skreelin Thurntik, Grey Seer[2a]
In battle, Rat Ogres are usually sent in packs while being supervised by a small team of Packmasters. Once unleashed, a Rat Ogre is totally consumed with an unnatural rage and would begin to rip, tear and kill anything that the Packmaster has directed his wrath to. A Rat Ogre pack moves with a terrifying speed on the battlefield. Once the pack collides with the enemy, all that can be heard over the battle are splintered shields, snapped bones, and the roars of the Rat Ogres drowning out the screams of their victims.[1b]
As such, a Rat Ogre is incapable of almost anything except killing and warfare. After a battle, Packmasters must hurry to capture and restrain these brutes after a victory before they start killing each other. Such confrontations have left many scars upon the Rat Ogres skin, both from battle and the abuse of their masters. At the height of their rabid fury, Rat Ogres have been known to rip and devour chunks of their own flesh, as if they sought to tear apart the monstrosity that Clan Moulder has made the creature into.[1b]
- Rat Ogre Bonebreaker - Bonebreakers are a much larger and more specialised breed of Rat Ogres. They are physically larger than a typical Rat Ogre, often being twice in size and muscle mass as well as sporting a monstrously swollen upper frame. They are often granted as mounts to Skaven Warlords, grafted with a palaquin from which a they can literally ride into battle.[1a]
- Armoured Rat Ogre - Particularly hardy Rat Ogres who are often further modified with armored plates and crude weapons attached to their bodies, granting further resilience.[3a]
- Mutant Rat Ogre - Born of Moulder's desire to improve upon their designs, these grotesque creations often posses extra limbs, heads and even minds as Master Moulder Throt the Unclean has begun transplanting human brains into Rat Ogres.[3a]
- Augmented Rat Ogre - Born from the rare cooperation of Clan Moulder and Clan Skryre, these Rat Ogres have been "improved" with Skyre tech implants. Augmented Rat Ogres are as much machine as they are flesh, erratically hissing and clanking across the battlefield as their grafted pincers snap like shears and their warpfire projectors throw great gouts of fire into the enemy ranks.[3a]
- Stormfiend - The result of the unholy union of Clan Moulder's bio-engineering and Clan Skyre's technology, Stormfiends combine a Rat Ogre's hulking strength and the lastest of Skyre weaponry and armor. After previous attempts to improve upon the Rat Ogres, Throt decided that they did not lack on physical might, but on intelligence. For all their might they were single-minded creatures incapable of fighting rationally, much less wielding weapons. Time and resources were needed to train them to the point they could even be lead to battle, and even then they would attack erratically and be difficult to control. Attempts to improve their brains made them less violent, which was out of the question. Throt solved this issue by fusing the packmaster and the beast itself, breeding his own Skavenslaves into submissive creatures with unusually large brains and attaching them to the Rat Ogre's back with a harness, connecting both brains via surgery. The result was a creature as ferocious as a Rat Ogre, but that could understand and follow orders thanks to their auxiliary brain. Looking for weapons for his new creations, Throt sought an ally in Ikit Claw, the Mad Chief Warlock of Clan Skyre. Ikit found himself with test subjects far more durable and strong than the average Skaven, and he fused to them weapons and armor he had developed that proved too impractical for a Skaven to yield. The resulting creatures, dubbed Stormfiends became a most profitable venture for Clans Skyre and Moulder, and soon they were sold all over the Under-Empire.[4a]
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (7th Edition)
- 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Ed: Children of the Horned Rat
- 2a: pg. 71
- 3: White Dwarf UK (Issue #311)
- 3a: pg. 115
- 4 Warhammer: The End Times Thanquol Book 2
- 4a pg. 36