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Clan Pestilens is a playable faction of Skaven introduced in Total War: Warhammer II. It is led by Lord Skrolk and can be found in the southern parts of Lustria.

The faction is playable in multiplayer and campaign.

How they play[]

A summary of Skaven gameplay:

  • Units: Masses of cheap expendable units, backed up by horrifying monsters, and devastating war machines. No cavalry or flying units.
  • Skaven Under-Empire: Skaven settlements appear as ruins to other factions, until discovered. Additionally, Skaven can establish secret Under-Cities beneath enemy settlements.
  • Food: Food is a special resource that Skaven must manage alongside money. It can increase usage of army abilities or help upgrade settlements.
  • The Menace Below: In campaign battles, Skaven have a unique army ability called The Menace Below which summons Clanrats. Spending food increases the amount of times this can be used.
  • Skaven Corruption: In campaign, Skaven must manage Skaven Corruption which both benefits and harms them.
  • Loyalty: Lords have different loyalty levels, which can cause them to take their army and rebel against you.
  • Stances: Stalking replaces default stance and gives a chance to ambush. Skaven also have access to the Underway, like Dwarfs and Greenskins.
  • Rites: Skaven have access to various rites which grant bonuses in campaign.


Brother-under-the-fur. Ha! Now you are brother-true. Reject false-words of seers and embrace true face of the Horned One! Bring Skrolk to the Wormstone, and you will be Plague Priest. Betray, and you become pus-bag.

Clan Pestilens is one of the four Greater Clans. Its members are the Plague Monks – the disciples of disease and decay. Clan Pestilens dedicate themselves with insane fervour to spreading corruption in the name of the Great Horned Rat. Pestilens was the first clan to reach Lustria; there, in the hot, fetid conditions, did the disease-ridden ratmen start to overcome the climate to found Clan Pestilens. It wasn’t long before the emergent clan encountered the Lizardmen and an age-old enmity was born. Of all the warm-blooded invaders to trespass on Lustria, it is the Skaven – and Clan Pestilens in particular – that the Lizardmen hate the most. Eventually, after decades of self-imposed exile, the Plague Monks re-joined the Under-Empire and immediately claimed their place on the Council of Thirteen. Their leader is Arch-Plaguelord Nurglitch, and while he controls the clan from Skavenblight it is Lord Skrolk that remains in Lustria to return Pestilens to greatness.

Lord Skrolk is an affront to nature. Plants wither and die where Skrolk treads and even the air around him seems to congeal and darken. Skrolk is ancient and blind, but only a fool would mistake his lack of sight for weakness… In battle, Skrolk leads from the front so he can unleash his rabid fury, wielding the Rod of Corruption and reading from the Liber Bubonicus - a tome describing every disease conjured by Pestilens that even the Chaos God, Nurgle, is said to covet. But Skrolk’s greatest asset is and always will be his cunning. This Plague Priest has lived for countless centuries and is far more than a mere frenzied zealot!

In battle[]

Clan Pestilens plays like a regular Skaven faction. See that page for details.

In campaign[]

Clan Pestilens plays like a regular Skaven faction. See that page for details.


Clan Pestilens has received a few nuggets of plaguey goodness to spice up their campaign as of the Potion of Speed Update:

  • Clan Pestilens now unlocks the Rite of Pestilence when constructing a Pox Cauldron instead of a Pestilent Nave
  • -15 turn cooldown on the Rite of Pestilence
  • Clan Pestilens now enjoys uniquely large benefits for spreading plagues to their own forces and cities, granting growth and economic benefits for cities and powerful combat bonuses for forces (Frenzy, Unbreakable, and 10% boost to replenishment)
  • Clan Pestilens now has access to a special Under Empire building that continuously spawns a plague in the settlement above
  • New faction effect: Chance of a plague spreading +50%

These were further tweaked in the King's Shilling Update:

  • Regional army-to-settlement spread probability has been increased to 25%
  • The plague can now spread to adjacent regions
  • The plague now lasts for 2 more turns
  • Skrolk’s plague-spreading chance has been increased to +100% making all his armies and regions have twice the chance of spreading (50%/50%)

Further effects to Clan Pestilens-specific units were added in the The Rakarth Update

  • Clan Pestilens units will no longer take attrition damage from Skaven plagues (all Skaven factions)
  • Clan Pestilens units will now receive vigour loss reduction when afflicted by Plagues (Clan Pestilens only)

Legendary Lord choices[]

Climate preferences[]

Climate preferences for Clan Pestilens:

  • Habitable: Savannah, Jungle, Desert, Temperate, Mountain, Wasteland
  • Unpleasant: Chaotic Wasteland, Frozen
  • Uninhabitable: Island, Magical Forest

Start locations[]

Eye of the Vortex
Mortal Empires

Victory conditions[]

Eye of the Vortex
  •  ?
Short campaign
  • ?
Long campaign
  • ?

Diplomatic traits[]

  • Spineless - Typical verminous valour - easly dominated and prone to flee.
  • Ruin-Dweller - This one often sends troops to capture the ruins left behind by destructive forces.


In Eye of The Vortex, Clan Pestilens starts surrounded by enemies on every side. To the West, the Spine of Sotek dwarves and Ironbrow's Expedition. To the south, the Cult of Sotek. To the east, The Blessed Dread, and north lies Itza. It is suggested the player takes it slow and play a more defensive role early game. The first order of business is to exterminate the Southern Sentinels. They will be a thorn in your side until removed. South of you is a small settlement called the Sentinel of Time. It is suggested to occupy that before The Blessed Dread does. Once the Southern Sentinels are all dead, make a non agression pact with The Blessed Dread, only to double cross them later. Due to your position, being at war with them would be bad when the dwarves decide to attack. Itza will occasionally ask the player to give them money, as long as they can spare it, comply with them to prevent an early war.

Victory through attrition, you are the "Viet Cong" of Warhammer![]

The following text is written by an editor as a tip on how to play Clan Pestilens.

Clan Pestilens excels at weakening foes prior to engagement through rites that become available after constructing certain buildings such as the Pox Cauldron while also spreading corruption. Increasing corruption spawns rebels that are easily defeated for food and experience. Your campaign movement style occurs by Stalking, and allows for many ambush opportunities, the success of which diminishes the inherent weaknesses of the Skaven by not allowing the enemy to properly form up. The foundation of your economy will be Under-Cities with an emphasis of building towards "ratkin mafia" which gives an absolutely amazing 50% of the revenue of a territory! A rite which spawns the DOOOOM! Engineer occurs every 30 rounds and can be used to create an Under-City without the need to conquer! Just run to the closest high value province capital and your economy will soon grow tremendously.

Overall Clan Pestilens and the Skaven in general have very soft infantry. You should consider building towards growth maximization so that newly conquered territories can expand to Tier 3 as soon as possible in order to develop the "construction cavern." This tree allows for the Skaven's most valuable asset, artillery. Use disposable lords from your heartland territories to ferry infantry to front lines that have artillery already produced. Sally forth and establish Under-Cities for passive income and intelligence whilst also increasing Skaven Corruption. Corruption is great in that rebel factions double as food and experience for lords. The rite which spawns the Pestilent Scheme Priest should not be overlooked. Not only does it reduce an enemy's settlement income and growth, it is spreadable and also buffs Pestilens Skaven that come into contact with it, hence the attritional focus of your warfare style. Your armies are weak and you will lose battles, but the cheap upkeep and easy passive income allows you to win the war by constant pressure and expansion and the inhibition of enemy counter offensives by plagues and income diminishment.


  • Clan Pestilens is the clan ruling over Clan Fester, being their superiors. Clan Fester serves as the main antagonists of the Vermintide games.