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"At the time of the three-hundredth cycle of this world, the two moons shall unite and summon forth the rodent god and his evil spawn to deliver plague and pestilence upon the land named Lustria...."

—Extract from the "Prophecy of Sotek"


The Rise of Sotek was a cataclysmic event that shook the jungle-continent of Lustria around the year of -1339 IC, a conflict that resulted in one of the longest wars ever fought between the Lizardmen Empire of Lustria and the pestilent hordes of Clan Pestilen. This massive continental invasion ravaged Lustria for nearly 1,500 years, until the day when Sotek, God of Serpents unleashed his holy wrath upon the ratmen, finally forcing the Skaven host off the continent in a mass Exodus towards the Southlands.[1b]

This catastrophic event was triggered when the ancestors of Clan Pestilen unexpectedly found a massive tunnel that burrowed its way deep below the Great Ocean and to the other side of the very world, right to the heart of the Lizardmen Empire. From below the city of Chaqua, the Skaven poured forth and instigated a war that became the stuff of legend.[1a]

Since the Skaven have little to no use of recorded history, only the the Slann have any documented accounts of that catastrophic war, for the resulting legacy brought about by the conflict still echoes to the foundation of their empire to this day. The plagues the Skaven unleashed still cling to the stones of the cities that it contaminated, and the corruption was so strong that neither Mage-Priests nor Sotek had a way to eradicate it. Only the Prophet of Sotek managed to, at the most, quarantine the corruption from leaking out of the cities, provided that they appease their snake-god with an abundance of Skaven sacrifices.1e  


When the Old Ones perished, so too did the Slann of the first spawning. The last of the first-spawned Slann inscribed the great plan of the Old Ones onto sacred plaques of gold before they themselves perished. These plaques were copied by the remaining Slann and were kept within the remaining temple-cities of Lustria. The Slann that remained continued on with their work given to them by their masters, never stopping their tasks that were far too hopeless to be achieved. It is uncertain whether all the copies were faithful in every detail to the master copy, since half of the plaques have now vanished through the predation of plundering invaders. For this reason, every sacred plaque is precious to the Mage-Priests, for they may reveal unknown details of the divine plan of the Old Ones. The Mage-Priests will go to any lengths to retrieve the sacred plaques that were stolen by invaders, sacrificing the lives of hundreds for the chance to return the artifacts to their Rightful place.[1c]

For countless centuries the Prophecy of Sotek was an obscure detail known only from a single plaque, which was kept in the great Pyramid-City of Chaqua. Only the Mage-Priests of this city knew about it but never pondered its true meaning for fear that their brothers would demand the knowledge themselves, or worse, purged it from the archives as corrupt and misinformed. The Mage-Priests of Chaqua believed that this prophecy was not corrupt, but true words handed to them by the Old Ones to fulfill a purpose in the imminent future. But, sadly the concerns of the future were far ahead of them, and the Mage-Priests ignored the warnings and the omens until the appointed time, by which time it was far too late.[1c]

The Prophecy of Sotek not only predicted the collapse of the Warp Gates but also the cataclysmic invasion of Lustria by an Enemy that would bring Plague and Pestilence in their wake. The Prophecy stated that this enemy and this cataclysm had to be endured. It would come, it would rage for centuries, and in due course it would pass. It would herald the ruination of many Lizardmen, and the spread of great and terrible plagues. The time of the rodent spawn would eventually be brought to an end only when the mighty serpent Sotek would appear and bring destruction upon the ratmen. Sotek was destined to prevail over the rodent spawn and would be heralded by the appearance of the forked tongue of the Serpent in the sky. The Mage-Priests of Chaqua considered Sotek to be one of the Old Ones, who would return to save his faithful servants from the dire perils that beset them.[1c]

The Coming of Pestilence

The Last of the Saurus Warrior making a Final Stand

The coming of Clan Pestilens to Lustria was heralded by a mighty plague infecting the spawning pools south of the Temple city of Chaqua. Eyewitnesses near the area saw the verdant pools begin to fester and rot. The waters growing black and sickly. Rather than birthing a new generation of Skinks, those that came out were twisted and malformed. Dragging themselves into the sun, they withered away and died within hours. When word of this tragedy reached the Mage-Priests of Chaqua, they dispatched a cohort of warriors to investigate. At the Sacred Pools, known by the Skinks as the Pools of Reflected Rain Clouds, the Lizardmen warriors encountered strange and horrible abominations creeping their way towards the pools. For the first time, but far from the last, the Lizardmen were faced with the sudden onslaught of the Ratmen hordes of Clan Pestilens.[1d]

Wholly unprepared for this encounter, and having no knowledge of the new invaders, the Lizardmen were cut down, relinquishing the pools to the vermin horde. The Plague Monks had spied upon The Lizardmen for a long time, plotting a way to bring about their destruction. In the end, the brave Saurus warriors made a last stand on top of a temple, so that a single Skink could escape and bring warning back to Chaqua. But the Skink was foolish, instead of bringing salvation, it brought its doom, for within him, deep inside his veins laid the seeds of destruction. Within days, the city was in chaos, the virulent plague began to run wild in the streets and the rise of Clan Pestilence was coming nearer by the day.[1d]

It wasn't until this pestilence made its way into the city of Chaqua that the Prophecy of Sotek was finally read in full by the Mage-Priests. This process took time, and in the streets of the city, the Skinks began to die by the hundreds as they were the most vulnerable against this horrible plague. Finally, after many long days of collaboration the Mage-Priests proclaimed the prophecy to the populace and dispatched warbands of Skinks to find and attack the rodent stronghold and bring back captives for sacrifice. The Mage-Priests made up their minds to invoke the power of Sotek in a ritual that would drive the rat creatures back to the vile place of their horrible birth. They hoped to attract their god's attention with the smoking stench of the servants of the Rat God. Few Skinks returned, but not empty handed. Unfortunately, their captives brought the plague into the city with them. The Skaven chiefs were sacrificed upon the new Altar of Sotek and the god was invoked. However, within weeks the city was devastated by a new wave of plagues and pestilence. The Mage-Priests sickened. Their Saurus bodyguards took their remains to the crypts and sealed up the passages, determined to defend their masters to the bitter end.[1d]

While these catastrophic events were unfolding, a new sight appeared in the sky, a comet with two-tails. Shaped like the tongue of a serpent it was seen by the people of Chaqua on the eve of the burial ceremony. Weeping pus and tears at the entrance of the temple doors, the last Mage-Priest alive witnessed its coming, before being sealed forever within the tombs.[1d]

The Forgotten War

The Forgotten War of Lustria

With the inevitable destruction of the city, the surviving Skinks were left lost and leaderless. This unique breed of red-crested Skinks were notable for being more war-like nature, similar to their cousins the Saurus. It was during this dire time that a leader arose to aid his brethren in their time of need. Tehenhauin, the self-proclaimed Prophet of Sotek, rallied the Skinks to his banner, and led a massive host of warriors to combat the Pestilent Threat. He declared that the sign of Sotek had appeared in the sky as predicted by the sacred plaque of Chaqua and demanded that all Lizardmen unite and drive back their foe. With the plaque placed in a reliquary, the entire population of the Red Crested Skinks deserted the dying city of Chaqua, and began to migrate ahead of the plague that was spreading quickly across the region. Wherever the Red Crests went, they proclaimed the Prophecy of Sotek and sacrificed all rat-spawn they encountered to invoke their god into this world.[1d]

The Skinks were the most vulnerable to the plagues, and were its main victims. Thus the majority of Skinks were swayed by the growing Cult of Sotek. Tehenhauin and his Red Crests proliferated and lead their own armies to combat the Skaven wherever they found them. In this period of total war spanning the continent of Lustria, a countless number of cities were relieved from siege and disease by the Red Host of Tehenhauin. There was no remorse, no mercy, on either side. Each side used every tactic imaginable to ensure the utter destruction of their opponent. The war proved how cold and calculating the warriors on each side were willing to be. To fulfill the prophecy, the Lizardmen had to Sacrifice an unimaginable number of Skaven captives for their god to manifest in the world. But this effort was difficult. The Mage-Priests of other cities, forbade bringing captives into their ziggurats, resulting in the delay of Soteks coming for several centuries.[1d]

The Mage-Priests of the other temple-cities viewed the prophecy with disdain. Despite the heavenly signs that indicated its truthfulness, they ignored the prophecy. However, by forbidding rat-captives in the cities they had instigated unrest in the local Skink population. They felt that the Mage-Priests cared little for their blight and the sacrifices endured to bring the prisoners to the cities. Before long the Skinks began to conduct their own rituals to invoke their god and end the grueling war.[1d]

The Emergence of Sotek

Tehenhauin, and the great Sacrifice after the Battle of Gwakmol Crater

As the grueling war dragged on, and the number of sacrifices begins to increase at a very dramatic rate, the Serpent God Sotek heard their invocation, and began preparations for his manifestation. Although the coming of Sotek was foretold, and the moment of his coming was heralded by the comet, it was still neccessary for his followers to make him as strong as possible. As stated by the Prophecy, Sotek would appear to the masses as an enormous and a mighty Serpent of incredible size and power, the swallower of all rodent kind. A serpent of such awesome size and appetite, he had the ability to swallow the Rat God himself and make him spend a thousand long years being digested. The Rodent God shall fall and be crushed within his mighty coils, so says the prophecy.[1e]

In time, Tehenhauin gathered a massive and mighty host of warriors composed predominately of Skinks, and set a cunning trap for the rat-spawn at the Battle of Gwakmol Crater. The battle raged on for several days, with the Lizardmen host eventually emerging victorious, and with them, came a massive wagon-train of rat-man slaves that numbered in the thousands. They brought the vermin deep into the jungle canopy, where at an undisclosed location, upon the crumbling ruins of an altar to a long forgotten god, the Skaven were sacrificed by the hundreds every hour. The Prophet of Sotek took personal command of the ceremony, and it is said that the river Amaxon ran red with the blood of the Skaven sacrificed in that horrid place.[1e]

The Time of Sotek drew nigh, for it became clear that the God had drunk his fill of Skaven blood. Enough to drown the Old World in a crimson tide. Within the Stronghold of Clan Pestilens, the Plague Monks had taken the comet as an omen of another kind. A snake infestation appeared out of nowhere in the lower levels of the Stronghold. The serpents proved immune to every plague that the monks unleashed forcing the Skaven up from their tunnels into the ruins of the city.[1e]

The Exodus

The Armies of Pestilens gather for the coming Exodus

After many battles, the Skaven armies were pushed back to the ruined city of Quetza, where they were encircled by the armies of all the temple-cities combined, gathered to finally rid the world of the Pestilent Threat. Encircled and isolated, the Plaguelords had but one recourse if they wished to live.[1e]

Mustering the Clan into a titanic horde, stretching from horizon to horizon, they gathered for the Exodus. All ready to give up their lives for the survival of their brotherhood. With the command issued, the Plague Lords led the clan in a charge that smashed through the Lizardmen army, making a breach from which the entire horde swept out and made due course to the open sea. This massive Exodus was a war itself. Battles raged for hundreds of miles east. The Skaven hoping to reach the coast, and their salvation.[1e]

The rat-men paid in blood for every step of the journey. The Lizardmen fought with an unsurpassed and savage zeal. For they knew that they would never get another chance to wipe out the rat-spawn from the world once and for all. The final battle was fought upon the shores of Fumming Serpent Island. The clan began construction of a roting fleet to bare them towards the southlands and salvation. It is said that the mighty Sotek appeared at the height of the fighting, accompanied by a slithering horde of snakes. The Snakes and Lizardmen crushed the last of the Skaven forces defending the shores. But it was too late, much of the fleet was able to flee the beaches, and ultimate triumph was lost to the Lizardmen host.[1e]

But Sotek was not disturbed. The Serpent dove into the sea after the rats, and pursued them across the world. From the Southlands he slithered into the depths of the earth in his relentless pursuit of the Skaven feeding endlessly on their kin to protect his people from the menace forever. Such is the myth of Sotek and his ascension to God-hood.[1e]


  • 1: Warhammer: Lustria (6th Edition Expansion)
    • 1a: pg. 11
    • 1b: pg. 50
    • 1c: pg. 51
    • 1d: pg. 52
    • 1e: pg. 53
    • 1f: pg. 54