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"The great battle of the plain hereabouts. The turning of the armies of the Empire! To a Man, we all sensed that something was amiss that day... something unnatural. Fear where there was fearlessness, a weakening of iron resolve. Brave men, Greatswords true, quailed and broke rank, sewing shame and enmity amongst their allies..."

—Sir Vogel, Imperial Greatsword.[2a]

A Grey Seer leading the Skaven hordes upon his battle-altar with its Screaming Bell dedicated to the Horned Rat.

The Screaming Bell is an unholy battle-altar dedicated to the Skaven deity known as the Horned Rat, driven forward by the whim of the Skaven hordes with a Grey Seer at the fore.

History

"The horses were the first to be affected. With but a single haunting peal of that dreadful bell they began to panic, throwing their riders and trampling them under their hoofs in their desperation to escape. Then, as the bell rang out again and again, all good order collapsed, as to a man every one of us found ourselves gripped by the same strange and nameless terror. Here and there, seeking to restore cohesion, the captains cried out for the men to turn and face the approaching horde. But it was too late. We were already doomed..."

—Testimony from a survivor of the Battle of Boronadin, in the year 2303 IC.[3]

The tolling of this unholy relic strikes deep into the hearts of the evil ratmen, inspiring such awe to its allies while inspiring fear into the hearts of the enemy. The Screaming Bell itself is an ever-present symbol of the creation-legend of the Skaven race and it is from these unholy altars that the Grey Seers preach their plans of total domination.[1a]

These relics were cast in the hellish warpforges deep beneath the city of Skavenblight, using bronze alloy laced with pure warpstone to create the bell itself. The Warlock-Engineers of Clan Skyre are the ones who aid in the casting of the bell, joining alongside the Grey Seers in a thirteen-day ritual. The monotonous chittering incantation causes glowing runes of balefire to writhe mystically across the bell and as the casting is cooled, the metal is coated many times over with sacrificial blood. Once forged, the Bell is installed upon a wooden carriage drawn forward by a horde of fanatical followers and a great Rat Ogre to ring it.[1a]

Rumour has it that some piece of the great tower of Kavzar is incorporated into each Screaming Bell, be it a chunk of masonry or some small part of the Horned Bell (known to the Skaven as the Great Shrieking Bell) that sits within the tallest tower of the Temple of the Horned Rat. In battle, the ominous tolling of the bell resounds above the clamor of the fighting, a message of death to foes but a declaration of supremacy to all Skaven. The deafening sound drives the Skaven Hordes into a reckless frenzy, hardening their craven hearts to feats of uncommon savagery. The thunderous tolling is magically amplified and with each toll, the din grows louder and more terrible, causing the very stones to split and buildings to crumble. To those that are attuned to the Horned Rat, each toll gives out one single worded message: doom.[1a]

Gallery

Miniatures

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (7th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 42
  • 2: Condemned by Fire (Comic)
    • 2a: Chapter: "Prologue"
  • 3:The Loathsome Ratmen and All Their Vile Kin (Background Book)
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