Something has summoned four Deathmasters from Clan Eshin and things get predictably messy for the Skaven.
Anytime Skaven are involved, something is going to explode. I’m pretty sure that’s part of their appeal! This thing is you just never know how or what is going to go boom. In any case, we’re going to discuss the short story Dark Offerings. It’s the latest Broken Realms lore drop from Games Workshop and it’s a quick read. Check it out before we get to the spoilers.
Still here? Let’s dive into the story!
Four Deathmasters of Clan Eshin have arrived at a shadowy hall. A “being on the throne” in the chamber has summoned Mikkerik, Curr, Gnawspot, and Crixxit. Each of these Deathmasters is apparently quite skilled and have brought gifts to showcase their skills.
However, before we get to the meat of the story I just want to pause here for a moment and look at the descriptions of this “lord” of this shadowy chamber.
The Being on the Throne:
- voice was the sound of swords scraping upon bone
- thick shadows obscure the speaker
- vague outline of a hulking, winged body
- the centre of that black mass were two terrible eyes – twin shards of ice, pitiless and ancient.
- a clawed hand that could tear off any of their skulls with a single wrenching motion
- winged monstrosity
Could it be Malerion?
Whoever this person is, they are referred to as “Great Master” and ” the shadow-lord” within the story. So who is this, exactly? And why do these master Assassins fear them? That’s unclear. Furthering the mystery is the fact that the Skaven don’t have any “winged” units in their army. There is a good chance that this creature isn’t Skaven, much less Chaos…but let’s get back to the story.
Each of these Skaven have been called here to essentially make a pitch on why this creature should hire them for some unknown task. They have brought gifts to showcase their talents. First up is Mikkerik.
Mikkerik has brought a bloody sack with three heads inside. The heads once belongs to “the Light-lords of Elune” – so this Deathmaster managed to infiltrate their Palace of Prisms and take out each one and escaped afterwards – not too shabby!
Curr is next up and he downplay’s Mikkeriks achievements and presents the shadow lord with a set of three keys, one bronze, one silver, and one gold. “The forge keys of Dhrazmmar” – which he retrieved from the Duardin of Dhrazmmar. Obviously, he killed them and escaped with those keys – again, an skillful feat by itself.
Gnawspot is the third Deathmaster to step up, and he also downplays the other two’s feats. Gnawspot has brought a mirror from the Mirrored City. This actually perks up the shadow on the throne and he gives Gnawspot a compliment.
” ‘Impressive,’ the being muttered. ‘The Necromancer’s cursed prison is not easily breached and less easily escaped.’ ” So again, we see that this creature also knows about the Cursed City so they have some connections, too. And at this point, as the reader you’ve got to be a little impressed with Gnawspot here. Shadespire has a curse that any creatures that enter can’t get out and are doomed to fight and die and come back to do it again. It’s the whole story behind the first season of Warhammer: Underworlds. There are now some ways in and out, but knowing about them and finding them are two very tall orders. So again, this is possibly the most impressive feat so far.
And then we meet Crixxit. Deathmaster Crixxit has brought the most brutal gift of all. NOTHING.
“‘Mighty-powerful one, Crixxit needs no trophy to prove his skill. It will be obvious any moment now, when he slays these scab-furred fools.’”
Crixxit is feeling mighty confident in his abilities and this boast not only makes his fellow Deathmasters want to kill him, the shadow-lord basically gives the other three the okay to do so.
And then it hits.
Because this is a Skaven and they occasionally do have their master plans work, Crixxit’s plan goes off flawlessly. All three of the other Deathmasters suddenly go into a painful death rattles. It’s worth a read just to see the descriptions but it sounds awful. And again, because we’re dealing with Skaven, things go BOOM as each of them explode in a shower of gore!
Apparently, Crixxit had poisoned each of them with “Yskian livid spore” and the results speak for themselves.
” ‘All it takes is a single sniff-sniff, and it brews inside your belly until it bursts. Crixxit poisoned them days ago, but timing can be… imprecise. Here is proof that Crixxit is the deadliest master-murderer of all.’ “
So what does the Kill contract end up being?
” ‘To destroy the impossible,’ said the winged monstrosity, rising from its shadowy throne. ‘And in doing so, to bring about the end of the eternal.’ “
Okay – so there you have it! There is a lot to wonder and unpack in this story. Obviously Crixxit go the job but can he handle whatever this task is? I guess we’re going to find out…
Who do you think this Shadowy figure it? Let us know your guesses in the comments!