- “Skryre’s most powerful engineers meld sorcery and science until the two are indivisible. These individuals are called Warlock Engineers, and they are more akin to walking arsenals than to Skaven. Warp energy crackles from the blades that emerge from the flesh of their arms, and their rat-like bodies are covered in all manner of bizarre artifice. Tubes and wires pulse and buzz with unholy life as they connect the Engineer to his harness and its fantastic apparatus. Fearful and horrible, indeed, is Skryre’s technology, if it allows such an unholy alliance of flesh and machine.”
Warlock Engineers are the pinnacle of Skaven technomancy. They combine well-known weapons, such as warp-blades, with heavy armour and experimental devices. Each Engineer equips his own harness with the devices that he prefers. These machinations do not always function flawlessly, however, and many Warlock Engineers have met their doom as the result of an exploding warp power accumulator.[2a]
With their goggles, harnesses that seemingly beep, whir, and click of their own accord, and the warp-blades that protrude from the flesh of their arms, Warlock Engineers are an intimidating sight. Individually, they are capable of decimating entire enemy columns with a few short bursts of highly-focused warp energy. So long as their technological components function normally, they bring terror and death to any battle or skirmish in which they participate.[2a]
The notorious Warlock Engineers of Clan Skryre are the artificers of Skaven society, blending arcane sorceries with technology in an insane and mind-boggling mix. For the other races of the world it is hard to differentiate or define where the science stops and the power of magic begins, although such delineation never occurs to Skaven. Warlock Engineers see the two elements as one and the same – machines and sorcery blended together to create impressive killing power.[1a]
On the battlefield, it is readily apparent that some of the Warlock Engineers are able to channel and cast magic in the traditional ways understood by the races of the world. They harness the energies of the Winds of Magic and channel it to foul Skaven effects. Whether or not this is done with the aid of warped machinery is unknown. Although they can cast and countermagic, the Warlock Engineers are not nearly as adept at sorcery as the horned Grey Seers. Some Warlock Engineers are unable to cast spells at all, but instead, seem wholly absorbed with the building and firing of a variety of mechanical weapons capable of dangerous and unpredictable effects.[1a]
Warlock Engineers appear as other Skaven, but it is invariably harder to discern their shapes as they are typically covered in whirling, hissing, clanking contraptions of their own devising. The normally twitchy Skaven energy is partially confined due to the number of wires and attachments that trail behind the Clan Skryre ratmen. There is a frightening tendency towards body-part replacement amongst many Warlock Engineers. This is partly due to limb loss from explosive mechanical mishaps but, disturbingly, much of it is by choice. The endlessly tinkering Engineers are always assured they can ‘build a better one’ and so eyes, limbs, and more are gleefully replaced with cog-driven mechanical parts. At the heart of most Warlock Engineer upgrades is the driving force behind all Skavendom – the dreaded warpstone. The green-black luminescent stuff is used as a power source, providing potent chaotic energies to many strange and diabolic devices.[1a]
The sorcerer-inventors often go to war carrying many of the latest devices. This seems to be true for both the sorcerer-rats that can cast magic and those that function along the more traditional engineer role. From handheld weapons such as warplock muskets or poisoned wind globes of devastating potency, to blades powered by crackling warpstone energies, the anarchic arsenal of the Warlock Engineers is both varied and destructive.[1a]
Accounts from The Loathsome Ratmen
- "Marching to war with magical machinations; outrageous and heretical, but most of all deadly."
- —The Warlock Engineers.
Each individual Warlock Engineer is a walking arsenal in his own right – a weapon every bit as deadly as the jezzail, Poisoned Wind Globe, Warpfire Thrower or Ratling Gun. Menacing and unearthly figures, Warlock Engineers wear a harness covered in all manner of gauges, tubing, eyepieces, antennae, dials and other bizarre devices whose different functions can hardly be guessed at until the Engineer lifts the strange blade-like devices they all bear, either set at the end of a polearm or fused to the flesh of their arms. Abruptly, the harness comes alive, humming with the power of unknown mechanisms as the gauges flicker and coruscating eldritch energies play across its surface; energies that are suddenly unleashed from the Warlock Engineer's blades as bolts of vivid lightning capable of reducing their victims to charred cinders.[3b]
- 4: Total War: Warhammer