||This Warhammer-related article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (October 2009)|
The Lizardmen are a faction in the fictional Warhammer Fantasy setting, and an army in the tabletop wargame Warhammer Fantasy Battle (based in the same setting), which is created by Games Workshop. The Lizardmen forces have a mesoamerican / Aztec themed culture, and are composed of various reptilian and amphibian creatures, including many based on dinosaurs and pterosaurs.
In earlier versions of the setting (up to and including the 3rd edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle and the 1st edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay) there was a separate Slann army based in Lustria. The background story of the Warhammer world described its creators as the "Old Slann" or "Old Ones" interchangeably. These were the ancestors of the current Slann, froglike creatures who once ruled Lustria in a great empire with an Inca, Aztec and Maya feel, leaving behind a legacy of high-tech/magical items called Power Weapons, made of a mysterious black substance. Forces available to this army as allies or enemies included humanoid pygmies with blowguns and Amazonian warrior-women, as well as lobotomised slave-soldiers.
In the third edition the warrior Slann were separated into various totem warrior groups, e.g. "Jaguar" and "Alligator," wearing the skins of their totem animals. Slann warriors rode Cold Ones into battle (as did Dark Elves & Lizardmen) - a role taken by the Saurus in the current Lizardmen army. Lizardmen were a race entirely unrelated to the Slann, and who inhabited the deep caverns underneath Goblin lairs and Dwarf strongholds in the mountains east of the Old World. They were described as one of the native creatures of the Warhammer world before the coming of the Old Ones. Troglodytes, lizardmen and lesser-lizardmen were analogous in size to kroxigors, lizardmen and skinks, although they didn't belong to a common society (e.g. troglodytes lived in their own, separate societies). Lizardmen and Troglodytes were among the various allied troops that Slann armies could include.
After being absent from the game during the 4th Edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, they returned in 5th, re-imagined with The Old Ones depicted as God-like figures who created the Slann as a priest class, the Saurus as warriors, the Skinks as messengers and artisans, and the Kroxigors as manual labourers;. Starting in 5th edition also, many dinosaur-themed monsters were included into the Lizardmen army.
Fictional History of the Lizardmen
The history of the Lizardmen begins with the arrival of the Old Ones in the Warhammer world; some of the Slann traveled among the stars with their godlike masters. When the Old Ones arrived on the Warhammer world, they settled in Lustria where they created the Sub species of the Lizardmen (Saurus, Skinks and Kroxigors) from creatures already living there as servants that would help the Slann to fulfill the Plan of the Old Ones. During this time, generations of Slann were spawned on the earth as it was being shaped to how the Old Ones wished it. Armies of Saurus destroyed unwanted races, and the Old Ones created the races of Elves (powerful magicians), Dwarfs (magic resistant), and Men. Sometime during the earliest days of the Warhammer world, the Orcs and Goblins came into being, probably the result of some interstellar spore or parasite that had hitched a ride on the Old Ones' ship. They were not part of the Old Ones Plan, but despite many attempts to exterminate this parasitic race, the Greenskins survived, and to this day, they are the bane of the civilised races.
The Old Ones created two massive gates at the poles that allowed instant transport between the Warhammer world and wherever the Old Ones came from. Later, in the coming of Chaos, the Old Ones either went missing, or sacrificed themselves to try to destroy the polar gates and halt the never-ending tide of Chaos in a cataclysmic explosion. Every race formed by the Old Ones fought against the threat of Chaos, including the great armies of the Lizardmen which consisted of billions of Saurus. After the wars, the Slann immediately put defences and wards in place to better contain the threat of Chaos.
Eventually, the Lizardmen become isolated, and the younger races forgot about them and the Old Ones. The High Elves barely remember them, sometimes stumbling into Lustria and being attacked because according to the Slann "They should not be here." according to the great plan of the old ones.
About 3,000 years after the great war on Chaos, the Skaven of Clan Pestilens invaded Lustria, marking the start of a thousand-year war. They appeared in the caves of Lustria, where they fell victim to the tropical diseases that were in Lustria. As a last resort they pleaded to the Horned Rat to help them. The foul deity did just that and thus the plague monks were created. They were foul Skaven feared by all, for they had immunity to disease as well as the unholy skill to create new ones. This war ended with the Serpent God Sotek destroying almost all of the Skaven on Lustria. Dark Elves also began to make raids upon the Lizardmen, as did the Vampire Luthor Harkon of the Vampire Coast, who constantly wages wars against the Slann, yet has always been defeated. The Lizardmen do not tolerate such raids in the slightest and react violently to any "warmbloods" who invade their realm, always recovering the stolen relics. Once the army of Hexoatl even invaded Naggaroth to recover the Star Stela of Quetli from Clar Karond.
Eventually, Lustria is "discovered" by the Tilean merchant Marco Columbo of the Old World who witnessed the defeat of a Dark Elf raid on Tlaxtlan. This started a new age of exploration in Lustria (called the New World of Gold by men) who started to probe the borders of the continent. The Lizardmen tolerated their settlements on the coast but if there was any looting the perpetrators were hunted down and mercilessly exterminated.
Each sub-species of Lizardman was bred for a particular role in the Old Ones' plan, with their particular racial traits chosen and adapted to ensure a smooth, functional and organized society.
In early versions of Warhammer the Slann was an army of amphibians with a culture reminiscent of the Aztec. In the current version the Slann only appear as fat toad-like creatures ruling over the Lizardmen.
The Slann priests act as the custodians of the Old Ones, and rule the Lizardmen. These bloated, ancient creatures resemble giant frogs and are extremely adept at using magic, though their bodies are frail and weak. Powerfully telepathic, the Slann share the task of carrying out the Old Ones' Plan, and direct their considerable mental and magical energies as well as the massive armies they command towards this goal.
The Slann, under the direction of the Old Ones, separated the Warhammer World's continents and altered the world's orbit to bring it closer to the sun, warming the planet and helping to bring forth the other races. When the Old Ones vanished from the world during the coming of Chaos, much of the Slann's knowledge and wisdom was lost with them and it was left to the Slann to divine the full extent of the Old Ones' Plan.
The Old Ones spawned five generations of Slann. All Slann of the First Spawning are dead, but their mummified remains are powerful enough to aid other Slann in battle. The remains of Venerable Lord Kroak, most powerful of all the Slann, is still brought forth in times of great need. Even the most junior Slann rank among the most powerful magic users in the Warhammer world, and the powers wielded by the elder Slann are unimaginably powerful. Venerable Lord Kroak in particular can destroy entire cities with a single gaze.
It is the Slann who maintain the invisible magical barriers around the Northlands and the South Pole which keep the legions of Daemons at bay.
Most of the Slann race were either killed during the war against Daemons or have gone missing. Only a few of them are left to continue to serve the Old Ones' plans.
- Venerable Lord Kroak: The first Slann spawned in the world and the most powerful wizard in the game. His corpse is carried into battle, but his soul does the fighting, and is helped by his loyal mummified skink attendant that helps him fight in close combat. He was the ruler of Itza, the first city, during the Great Cataclysm and defended it for nearly a year before being destroyed by a host of greater daemons of Khorne, and yet his spirit lived on and continues to fight the forces of Chaos to the present day.
- Lord Mazdamundi: Literally "light of the world" (from Mazda and Latin "mundi") The oldest living Slann and the most powerful living practitioner of magic in the Warhammer World, Mazdamundi is solely responsible for the downfall of the Dwarven empire by causing a massive continental shift that caused many of the holds of the Dwarves to be flooded by lava, and many of the others were overwhelmed by the Greenskins that invaded in the aftermath of the disaster. Through sheer domination of will power he rides a mighty Stegadon into battle and his gaze humbles all but the mightiest of warriors.
- Adohi-Tehga Lord of Tlaxtlan: A second generation Slann and second only in power to Mazdamundi.
- Lord Xltep of Itza: A third generation Slann. One of the most aggressive of all the Slann of his generation, Xltep employs numerous incantations and bas-reliefs inspired by Sotek to draw energy from the Snake God and wage endless war on the invaders of Lustria.
- Lord Ulha'up: A Slann who went missing to explore the world. He believed the world was corrupted by Chaos and is therefore trying to heal the world once again.
- Lord Chuqa-Xi of the Moon City: The very first Slann to use humans or "warm-bloods" as slaves. They capture them first, bring them to the City of the Moon and lobotomise them.
The Saurus were bred by the Old Ones in response to the physical frailty of the Slann, and the subsequent requirement for a strong and numerous warrior breed to protect them from the more numerous Younger Races. It is unknown when exactly, or how, the Saurus were conceived, but it is believed they were adapted from the native lizard species of Lustria and their sturdy construction is a testament to such a heritage.
Standing taller than any man, the Saurus are the backbone of the Lizardman society's armies. Exceptionally strong, and covered in thick, thorny scales, the Saurus are brutal and savage foot-soldiers, with a formidable ability to both take and deal damage. However, they are confined to using only hand-to-hand weapons, as their primitive brains have proven largely incapable of mastering more complicated tools, like bows. Although (with the exception of Temple Guards) Saurus do not wear armour, their thick, scaly hides are functionally equivalent, in-game terms, to light armour. In the 7th edition army book, Saurus scaly skin is equivalent to heavy armour.
Saurus live for thousands of years - they have never been known to die of old age - if they are not killed in combat, and never cease growing, becoming larger and tougher as the centuries elapse. Many of the heroes and leaders of the Saurus have risen to prominence by being essentially unkillable in combat. Oldbloods have lived for a very long time and are instinctive and savage fighters who make great generals, while Scar-Veterans have fought in many battles. The scales of a Saurus became thicker and stronger throughout the ages.
There are several roles a Saurus can be spawned to accomplish:
- Saurus warriors: They are the backbone of the Lizardmen army. Saurus Warriors are vicious predators whose very bodies have been created to maximise their fighting potential in close combat. Their bony crests and tough, scaly hides can turn aside the surest of blows. Even unarmed, Saurus Warriors are formidable foes, with sharp claws and teeth capable of tearing out throats and biting off limbs, along with a powerful tail that can smash a man's ribcage.
- Temple Guards: The Temple Guard are an uncommon spawning of Saurus created to protect the Slann Mage-Priests and the temples in which they dwell. They are armed with massive ceremonial halberds and shields festooned with sacred glyphs and gruesome trophies. Their bodies are clad with armour plates created from the strongest bronze and they have an unshakable resolve to guard the Slann Mage-Priests at any cost.
- Cold One Cavalry: The mighty Cold One Cavalry have an innate aptitude for mounted warfare. Sharp dewclaws act as natural spurs allowing the Saurus to grip the flanks of their reptilian steeds, leaving them free to carry spear and shield. When Cold One Cavalry charge they smash into enemy regiments with a force sufficient to slay even the mightiest of foes. Wholesale butchery quickly ensues as Saurus and Cold One alike revert to their more bestial nature.
There is a very rare breed of Saurus that are marked by the Old Ones, indicated by the fact their scales are pure white. These Albino Saurus are seen as prophets, chosen by the Old Ones for their Grand Scheme. A good example of one of these albino Saurus is Gor-Rok.
- Kroq-Gar: Ancient Scar leader, Last defender of Xhol
- Kroq-Gar is an ancient Saurus, possibly among the first spawned, as he was alive and active in the first major conflict between the Lizardmen and the forces of Chaos. Kroq-Gar is known and feared for his tactical prowess, having led vast armies of veteran Cold One Riders against the forces invading Albion, the site of an immensely powerful Lizardmen lode-stone. With the new city of Konquata under construction, and jungle spreading through the interior of Albion, Kroq-Gar has secured a strong holding point for the Lizardmen, and a place from where they can begin their own offensive. His duty done, he has since led his army back to Lustria.
- Chakax: The Eternity Warden, Prime Guardian of Xlanhaupec
- He is the last surviving member of his spawning, and the eldest of the city's Temple Guard. He has never yielded in his task and has butchered whole regiments of foes that have dared attempt to kill his charges, each sweep of his Star-Stone Mace leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The star-stone mace's material was never quarried upon the Warhammer World. Chakax bears the title and the responsibility as Eternity Warden and guards the key to the chambers where his master meditates with his life. He commands the Temple Guards of the younger generation with a strict task.
- Gor-Rok: The Great White Lizard, The Scarred One
- An albino Scar-Veteran with a brain. He is a very skillful, intelligent Saurus who is blessed by Tepok with the gifts of fighting masterfully and is almost impossible to kill (he has survived, among other things, being hit by a chariot and impaled through the chest with a lance by a Dark Elf warlord). His shield, the magical Shield of Aeons, acts like an obstacle for those who are foolishly brave enough to charge him with full force.
Skinks are the artisans of the Lizardmen. Gregarious and talkative, they do jobs like metalworking and temple organization in addition to being the personal adjutants of the Slann. Some Skinks can use magic, though not so effectively as their ancient masters. In times of war, the skinks take up weapons such as blowpipes and javelins and march to battle with their warrior cousins, led by stronger Skink War Chiefs.
There is also a sub-species of skinks, the chameleon skinks. They are slightly more aggressive creatures, and resemble chameleons in the way they have bulging eyes that can look independently. They can also change skin color to blend in with their surroundings, and are patient hunters, sitting unmoving for hours waiting for an opportunity to strike.
- Tehenhauin: the Prophet of Sotek, Harbinger of the Serpent God
- Variously translated disparagingly by Humans as Tenehuini and Teenijuan. Tehenhauin leads the faithful of Sotek in ceaseless wars against the Skaven of Clan Pestilens. He is a living manifestation of the vengeance of his kind, and his destiny is to bring about the incarnation of the Serpent God himself. Tehenhauin leads his kin, the Red Crested Skinks, in battle after battle against the Skaven, taking captives where he can, and offering them up as sacrifices to Sotek. Though the Slann Mage-Priests may not yet have realised it, Tehenhauin is the greatest hope of the Children of the Old Ones, for his role in combating the blasphemous and unnatural rat-spawn is pivotal in the Old Ones' plans for the world.
- Oxyotl: Survivor of Pahuax, The Returned.
- One of the rare breed of Chameleon Skinks, Oxyotl was already an accomplished hunter when Chaos came to the world. He and his spawn-kin mounted bold ambushes against the horde, but were forced to retreat within the sacred walls of the temple-city of Pahaux, a host of Greater Daemons following hot on his heels. Oxyotl was sucked into the realm of chaos along with most of the city. However, Oxyotl escaped the daemons using his hunting skills, and returned to the material realm through unknown means.
- Tiktaq'to: Master of Skies, The Eye in the Heavens.
- Tiktaq'to is Master of Skies, a pre-eminent position amongst the Skink Chiefs, answerable only to the Skink Priests and the Slann Mage-Priests themselves. He is a master of strategy and directs many Terradon patrols in their constant vigils, intercepting intruders, outflanking and destroying forces many times their own size. He is mounted on Zwup, the mightiest of the Terradons.
- Tetto'eko: Astromancer of the Constellations, The Beholder.
- Tetto'eko is the Chief Astromancer of the Temple of the Eclipse in Tlaxtan. At over a century old, he is very ancient for a Skink, yet his mind is still keen and inquisitive. He is responsible for the upkeep of many artifacts including his prized treasure; The Eye of the Old Ones.
- Ten-Zlati: The Oracle. The word of the Old Ones.
- Lord Kroak's oracle advisor and the most powerful skink priest to be ever taught by Lord Kroak. He has learned some of the most powerful spells available.
Kroxigors are heavy laborers in Lizardman cities, and can also be used to terrible effect in battle. Although they resemble gigantic, broad-shouldered Saurus, they have a lot more in common with the skinks, for the two are spawned from the same pools, frequently at the same time, & they frequently perform different tasks together. They are large, but fairly simple-minded, with their gigantic weapons typically chained to their wrists to keep them from dropping them during battle, due to their natural instinct to use their razor-sharp claws and teeth.
Kroxigors are giant crocodilian creatures whose bodies consist of slabs of sinewy muscle and a massive jaw bristling with razor-sharp teeth. They are exceptionally resilient and can survive a score of blows that would fell a lesser being. Kroxigors are devastating on the battlefield - unleashed as shock troops to break the back of an enemy battleline, they plough into enemy regiments with blood-curdling roars and massacre all before them.
- Nakai the Wanderer: Sacred Kroxigor of the First Spawning.
- Nakai is an albino Kroxigor with unusually thick skin, even for a Kroxigor. In the siege of one of the temple cities, Nakai held off five legions of daemons by himself until the arrival of reinforcements. He disappeared after the battle and was believed dead, but has reappeared numerous times since then, often arriving at a temple-city shortly before it is attacked. Many Skink priest implies that he may actually be an avatar of Quetzl and will one day return to fight for Lustria once again. He once fought alongside Tehenhuain and the red-crested skinks against the Skaven.
Beasts of War
The reptiles and dinosaurs that inhabit the jungles surrounding the ancient temples of the Old Ones are captured (usually collected as eggs), and are trained by Skinks as beasts of burden or ferocious creatures ridden or goaded into battle.
Note: not all of these creatures are models and many are just stories
Such creatures are:
- Amphibious lizards that can spray a burning, corrosive acid onto prey and predators. They are used as living war machines, but are highly temperamental, and are known to eat their handlers on occasion. Tactically, their ability shoot on the move without penalty and good fighting characteristics lead many Lizardman generals to deploy them in the front line so they can fire while supporting advancing troops. They seem to have been based on the depiction of Dilophosaurus in Jurassic Park. Earlier models for Salamanders were based on Dimetrodon, a mammal-like reptile with a sail-like fin on its back which flourished during the Permian age.
- Large predatory dinosaurs which are ridden by Saurus lords, they belong to the family Carnosauria. They are the dominant predator in the dense, harsh, jungles of Lustria. Carnosaur eggs are stolen by Skinks (a dangerous task, since adult females guard their nests furiously) and brought up by trained handlers (also dangerous, since even hatchling Carnosaurs are capable of tearing a Skink in half), and made accustomed to being ridden. Only Saurus Lords can ride them, for in battle, Carnosaurs often go into a bloodthirsty frenzy, becoming so utterly intent on killing that only a rider of supreme will can control them. In appearance, they resemble a large theropod, like Tyrannosaurus, but have a fourth toe and finger, and a crest on their head and back, much like Acrocanthosaurus. It is possible that their design is based on that of Allosaurus or Giganotosaurus. Large enough to take down almost any prey, Carnosaurs are the top predators of the Lustrian jungles, and have been known to attack even the mighty Stegadons on occasion. Carnosaurs are built for speed and power, and their crushing jaws can rip huge chunks of flesh from their prey.
- The Stegadon is a large dinosaur used with a howdah fitted on its back. The howdah is either used as a carriage for a leader or, more often, fitted out with a massive crossbow similar to a "bolt thrower", giant blowpipes or have Engine of the gods on their back. The skink crew can also throw javelins from the howdah at the enemy. In appearance, Stegadons have features common to many herbivorous dinosaurs; it resembles a Triceratops, but can have horns along its neck frill like a Styracosaurus and its tail has a thagomizer on the end, like a Stegosaurus. They are vicious omnivores who will eat everything in their way, from tree trunks to Skinks that stand too close. Against other beasts of the jungles, including its own kind Stegadon almost always fight to the death. As Stegadon age over time, their bodies become heavier and thicker. An Ancient Stegadon is calm compared to younger Stegadon, used in battle and to bear powerful artifacts called Engines of the Gods. The spikes on their bodies can vary in size, shape, and number, but always do substantial damage to those they attack. These behemoths are amongst the very largest of all the beasts that dwell in Lustria and are terrifying in battle, crushing anything beneath their massive bulk to a bloody pulp.
- Cold Ones
- Thick-skinned, vicious, but stupid animals, they are used by both Saurus and Dark Elves as mounts. The Cold Ones also separate into two species, although the only difference is cosmetic (Lustrian Cold Ones are built more solidly, with a Saurus-like head and a large claw on their hand (similar to Baryonx), as opposed to the Velociraptor-like toe claw on the Dark Elves' Cold Ones). Game lore also states that Cold Ones ridden by Lizardmen are native to Lustria, while those used by Dark Elves breed in caves under the city of Hag Graef. Only Saurus that are bred from the Old One Itzl can ride these beasts properly.
- Horned Ones
- An extremely rare and preternaturally swift subspecies of Cold One, spawned on the same pool and at the same time as those who will ride them into battle. They are slightly faster in movement, have a higher initiative and possess more intelligence than a common Cold One. They can be ridden by both Saurus and Skink characters.
- Based on the pterodactyl, particularly species like Rhamphorhynchus and Dimorphodon, they are a tree canopy-dwelling species ridden into battle by Skinks. They are used for hit-and-run tactics, and the Skinks on top can hurl javelins down at those below. They also have the ability to drop rocks on enemy units. Terradons are large flying reptiles that have haunted the skies above the jungles of Lustria since the prehistory of the world.
- Mighty beasts that dwell in the jungle, rarely seen by anyone. These creatures were used in the battle against chaos before the coming of Tehenhuian and the Stegadons. The Arcanodon was introduced in the "Lustria" campaign setting book and they once bore the powerful artifact called the Engines of the Gods. The Arcanadon resembles a sauropod, but have thick scales and much more aggressive.
- A dinosaur with barbed spikes surrounding its body. This dinosaur was based on an Scelidosaurus/Ankylosaur (Its design also somewhat resembles the thorny devil). It is more nimble than a Cold One and is able to move across the battlefield quickly. When attacked, it will use its tail as a club and thrashes to attack the opponent. It can release its long spines by using a massive muscle spasm to dislodge the spikes and hurl them towards the enemy. It is said to be like being hit by thousands of arrows and those struck, if not killed outright, rapidly bleed to death from injuries caused by the barbed spines.
- Guardians of the sacred places and the rarest creature in Lustria. They are believed to be the manifestations of the Old One Tepok. They are enormous, dragon-like serpents with wings and masters of their own magic believed to be a gift from Tepok. Most likely, this creature was based on the depictions of Quetzlcoatl, the feathered serpent-god of the Aztecs.
- Thunder Lizards
- A group of gargantuan dinosaurs of phenomenal strength and power often seen in groups. Their size is so massive that it dwarfs the mighty Stegadon and makes it impossible prey for Carnosaurs. No Lizardman is able to either defend themselves from these titanic creature nor able to kill them. Even the Slann find controlling these frenzied creatures proves too much for them, they are just too stupid and too volatile. Fortunately, they were rarely seen near cities. They are likely to have been based upon the largest of all the dinosaurs, such as Brachiosaurus, Titanosaurus and Sauroposeidon.
Lizardmen Temple Cities
Lizardmen live in massive Temple Cities like The Aztecs. Some of them are still intact, while others are decayed and broken. The list is as follows:
- Pahuax (Ruined)
- Tlanxla (Ruined)
- Xahutec (Ruined)
- Tlax (Ruined)
- Chaqua (Ruined)
- Quetza (Ruined)
- Huatl (Ruined, but being rebuilt)
- Xhotl (Ruined)
- Oyxl (Ruined)
- Chupayotl (submerged)
- Axlotl (Ruined)
- Tlaqua (Ruined)
- Konquata (Under Construction)
These cities are connected by lines of magical power, making transportation and communication between them instantaneous.