And in the fetid wastes of rot and pestilence, where decay consumes all, vermin become kings, and kings become gods. All is reduced to nothing as his ravenous teeth devour the universe.— Irkallan Epitaph, describing Skanqrak
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Skanqrak resembles a gigantic, monstrous rat whose head is adorned with many curved horns. His eyes glow a powerful green light, and the skin around his mouth is rotten away from disease, leaving his jaws resembling a grin. His body is covered in many pustules and boils, many which ooze pus and blood in a near-constant basis, and ends in three lashing, hairless tails.
History[edit | edit source]
Skanqrak is said to be among the oldest demon lords, though he held little power among his peers in the past due to being considered repulsive by both mortals and gods alike. With the rise of the Rakash, however, the Rat King finally was able to spread his pestilence to the Material Plane. Thrusting a pillar of foul demonic rock into the Material through a powerful ritual, foul ratmen begun spreading across the subterranean reaches of the world, pledging absolute loyalty to the Rat King and causing his powers to rapidly grow through their worship and bringing him to the level of the other demigods of Irkalla. With the Skitterfall Under-Empire waging war across the world in his name, Skanqrak has become one of the greatest enemies of the civilized world.
Remarkably, there is no evidence that Skanqrak had any major involvement in the Great Gap. However, scholars of ancient lore are unsure if he was entirely absent, for there is the chance that he was too weak, or perhaps too furtive for the Primordials to notice his presence.
Realm[edit | edit source]
Skanqrak's realm of Festerblight is a series of tunnels polluted with extreme amounts of disease. Great marshlands of toxic fungi grow through these caverns, inhabited by all sorts of disease-ridden souls and demons. The Rat King rests at its depths, feeding on corpses who fall into the realm's many pits. Fiendish Rakash swarm the region by the thousands, with the most vile of them typically claiming entire sways of lands to themselves; the afterlife of Skanqrak's chosen is not too different from their actual lives, being one of constant danger, betrayal, backstabbing and devotion to Skanqrak.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Skanqrak is perhaps the most hated of all demon lords; no being, demon or otherwise, appreciates his presence, though lesser demons know well when to bow to a demigod and generally keep their opinions away from his rat-like ears. The other lords see him as an annoyingly persistent vermin who refuses to die, while angelic beings see him as an affront to life, for all touched by his grubby rat fingers rots and decays in his corruption. His role as a deity of decay puts him at odds with Eostraeya, an archangel dedicated to nature, and he attack her or her clergy at every possible occasion. Skanqrak feels as much contempt for all other beings as they do for him, and wishes nothing more than to humiliate them before him and watch a rat beat them to victory.
Cult of Skanqrak[edit | edit source]
The Rat King is nigh-exclusively worshipped by the fallen ratfolk of the Skitterfall Under-Empire. Their worship is a mix of awe over his god-like powers and awesomeness, hate due to general Rakash jealously, and fear of his wrath; when displeased, Skanqrak often blames them and punishes them by devouring great numbers of their people. Even when pleased, the Rat King is prone to consuming his "children" when called in order to satiate his infinite hunger. Records of non-rats attempting to worship Skanqrak are extremely rare, and as such his stance on the matter is unknown.
The religious force of Skitterfall, the Pestilent Priests, serve as clerics and inquisitors of the Rat King's word, ensuring all Rakash are worshipping him as required. All, from the most decorated warlords to the lowest slaves, pray to the Rat King at least once per day, with it being an essential part of their daily lives. So important is the word of Rakash that the ruling body of Skitterfall, the Council of Clans, leave a seat for him to serve as a tiebreaker when required, with his word being interpreted by the Arch-Pestilent of the Pestilent Priests; due to their treacherous politics, however, the Arch-Pestilent will usually purposely misinterpret the Rat King's word in order to fuel his own agenda, a fact that, in most cases, amuses Skanqrak greatly, for he is fond of such deception.
Artifacts[edit | edit source]
The stalagmite of demonic stone which seemingly created the Rakash has become known as the Rat King's Pillar, the most important artifact of all ratman faith. Another unholy item of the demon lord is the Verminlord's Demand, the flail wielded by Vetch of Ten-Thousand Plagues; its stench can send men comatose and those struck by it begin rapidly rotting alive.