The Lizardmen are fictional reptilian humanoids from the Warhammer Fantasy setting. The term covers a range of different creatures who inhabit the continent of Lustria, and the Southlands, which are roughly analogous to South America and Africa respectively.
The Lizardmen were created by godlike figures known as the "Old Ones". The purpose of the Lizardmen is to carry out the plans of the Old Ones and to oppose their masters' antithesis - Chaos.
The Lizardmen are a formidable army in the Warhammer game. Their balance of great combat, average ranged attacks and strong magic in Warhammer make them formidable opponents.
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 ruled Lustria in a great empire with an Inca
feel whose fallen empire left 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 pygmys 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, eg "Jaguar" and "Alligator," wearing the skins of their totem animals. Slann warriors rode Cold Ones into battle (as did Dark Elves) - a role taken by the saurus in the current Lizardmen army.
Lizardmen were an entirely separate race who inhabited the deep caverns underneath Goblin lairs and Dwarf strongholds. No explanation was given how a cold-blooded creatures such as bipedal lizards existed underground out of sunlight, but they were described as the original inhabitants of the Warhammer World, essentially driven underground by the vastly superior Slann.
In later versions the Slann had conquered the civilisation of another non-mammalian race, the "lizardmen" which resemble the Saurus of the Lizardmen army, and there were giant bipedal lizard creatures in their service called "Troglodytes," which in appearance and description resemble the later Kroxigor.
History of the Lizardmen
The history of the Lizardmen began before the Old Ones arrived 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 used the amphibious
creatures already living there as bases for races that would serve the Slann. Out of this the first spawnings of Saurus, Kroxigors, and Skinks were formed. During this time, the Slann spawned on the earth as the world was being shaped to how the Old Ones wished it. Armies of Saurus destroyed unwanted races as the Old Ones created the races of High Elves
, and Men
Later, in the coming of Chaos, the Old Ones went missing in a cataclysmic explosion after the collapse of the polar gate and immense armies of Daemons
invaded the world. Every race formed by the Old Ones fought against the threat of Chaos, including the great armies of the Lizardmen which consisted of millions 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 (except for the Elves) forgot about them and 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 that ended with the Serpent God Sotek
destroying almost all of the Skaven on Lustria. Dark Elves make raids on Lustria as does the Vampire Luthor Harkon of the Vampire Coast who wages war against the Slann.
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.
Each sub-species of Lizardman was bred for a particular role in the Old Ones' plan, with their particular racial traits chosen and adapted for to ensure a smooth, functional and organized society.
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' final plan, and direct their considerable mental and magical energies 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.
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. Lord Kroak in particular can destroy entire cities with a single gaze.
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 all the fighting), Lord Mazdamundi
(literally "light of the world" from Mazda
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 slightly taller than a man, the slow-minded and brutish Saurus are the backbone of the Lizardman society's armies. Exceptionally strong, and covered in thick, horny 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 armor, their thick, scaly hides are functionally equivalent, in game terms, to light armor.
Saurus live for thousands of years - and it is unknown for one 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.
There are several roles a Saurus can be spawned to accomplish:
- Saurus warriors: They are the backbone of the Lizardman army, savage warriors that can sometimes emerge blessed by a particular Old One.
- Temple Guards: They are the elite, spawned to defend the temples and the Slann. They guard the Slann both in peacetime and in the heat of battle. They wear the skulls of young stegadons as helmets, and are armed with halberds. Unlike normal Saurus, the Temple Guard are allowed to wear ceremonial armour, hewn from precious gems and metal.
- Cold One Riders: Spawned to ride Cold Ones into battle, they display an unusually large crest and excrete an odd smelling musk due to their sacred spawning of Itzl (one of the Old Ones) which calms the Cold Ones native blood-lust and allows them to be mounted.
As mentioned before, All Saurus are capable of being spawned with the blessing of one or more of the Old Ones. These few privileged Saurus are physically different from the norm, being stronger, faster, having more ability, or any combination of two or three. There are also an even rarer breed of Blessed Spawnings: the Mark of the Old One. These Albino Saurus are seen as prophets, chosen by the Old Ones for their grand scheme.
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
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, lead 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.
: the Prophet of Sotek, Tichi-Huichi was responsible for making Sotek one of the principle deities of Lustria, after convicing the Skink population of several cities to use the god's power to aid them in their war against the Skaven
Oxayotl: A mysterous Chameloen skink hero whose origin remain unknown. He was known to have one of the most deadly poison needle in all of Lustria. In the 5th edition, he was the only Chameleon of his kind due to the destrution of his birthplace. At Forge World has a model of him.
Kroxigor are heavy laborers in Lizardman cities, and can also be used to terrible effect in battle. Cousins of the Saurus, 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.
In earlier editions of Warhammer, Kroxigors were able to join ranks with a unit of skinks, increasing the ferocity of the regiment while swinging their great weapons above the heads of their smaller kin, but as of the sixth edition of Warhammer Kroxigors are unable to form units with skinks, although they can charge through them to reach their enemies.
Nakai the Wanderer:
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 preist implies that he may actually be an avatar of Quetzl and will one day return to fight for Lustria once again. An official rumor stated that Nakai will have a model and his offical profile next year.
Beasts of War
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 prodded into battle. 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.
- 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 and brought up by trained handlers, and made accustomed to being ridden. Only Saurus Lords can ride them, for in battle, Carnosaurs often go into a bloodthirsty frenzy, becoming 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.
- 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". 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 has 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 it's own kind Stegadons almost always fight to the death.
- Stegadons often function as flankers in Lizardman battle plans, where their high speed and substantial combat abilities allow them to defeat most enemy flanking units and threaten the center. Some generals alternately deploy them in the center, using their high-impact charge to support the main regiments.
- 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(Lustria Cold Ones are more raptor shaped, with a head resembling a Saurus head). Only saurus that are sacred to the Old One Itzl can ride these beasts properly.
- Cousins to the cold ones who are swifter, smarter and not as strong. They are found in the southlands and are ridden by skinks, not saurus.
- Based on the pterodactyl, 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.
- Mighty beasts that bear powerful artifacts called Engines of the Gods. These artifacts cause meteorites to strike the battlefield as a weapon. The Arcanodon was introduced in the "Lustria" campain setting book. The Arcanadon resembles a sauropod.
Many of the Lizardmen special characters ride Dinosaurs into battle. In a nod to the Transformers
, each of their rides is named after one of the Dinobots
, albeit with an Aztec-inspired respelling. The most obvious being Kroq-Gar's Carnosaur steed, Grymloq. Others with dinobot inspired names include Lord Mazamundi's stegadon Sl'aq and Ten-Zlati's terradon Zwup.
The Old Ones also make an appearance in the Warhammer 40000 background; they are described as the original creators of almost all civilised races there also. The Slann are given an illustration in the 4th edition rulebook as well, wielding some form of Flamethrower
In 3rd edition of Warhammer Fantasy, the Slann were their own army with little mention of other lizardmen. Some old models may still be found on websites such as ebay
The Blessed Spawnings
On some rare occasions some skinks or saurus are spawned under the influence of one of the Old Ones.
- Tzunki: Tzunki is associated with water; those spawned under his influence may have sea-green skin, gills and webbed hands.
- Sotek: Although Sotek is not an Old One, he is a Lizardman "God" in the conventional sense (a being created by the subconscious of those that worship him). Skinks and Saurus are still spawned under his influence. These are invariably furious fighters and have red skin, scales, or crests.
- Quetzl: Those spawned under the warrior and protector have bonier crests and are hardier than other Lizardmen.
- Tlazcotl: Those who have yellow crests or scales are blessed by Tlazcotl. They fear nothing when entering into the battlefield.
- Chotec: Those blessed by the Solar One have great reserves of energy that them keep going while other cold-blooded creatures stop. They have a fiery orange hue to their bodies.
- Huanchi: The Jaguar One of the earth and night passes on ability to pass through the thickest foliage and undergrowth with ease.
- Tepok: Those blessed by the Winged Serpent have purple coloring and are resistant to magic.
- Itzl: Itzl's spawning is recognized by the large bony crest and the musk that calms Cold ones.
- Xhotl: Those watched over by Xhotl have a magic field protecting them that also strikes all those who harm the marked warrior.
- Blessed Mark of the Old Ones: The rarest of all spawnings given only to saurus and skinks: recognised by white or albino colouring. Lizardmen possessing this are believed to be destined for greatness.
Kroq-gar: the greatest of all Saurus warriors and the only scar-leader alive. He was spawned in Xhotl and fights from atop the back of mighty Carnosaurs. His twelth and current carnosaur mount is Grymloq. Both are well known from their fights against chaos and daemons during the event known as the fall which resulted in the destruction of Kroq-gar's home city Xhotl.
Lord Mazdamundi: The most powerful Slann alive, who saved the world from Chaos after recovering the mythical Staff of Jade from the Crusader City of Antoch. He also rides upon a stegadon called Sl'aq which he commands through his own force of will.
Lord Kroak: The oldest mortal being in the world. Even though he is dead, his mighty soul endures within his mummified corpse, and still has the power to crumble a mountain. He is arguably the single most powerful mortal character in Warhammer and a literal army in his own right.It is believe that despite his flesh has overaged for sometime, there is not a single being who can match his knowledge in magic or power he has over Lustria. Many had said that he still has energy to once again bring downs entire continent as they believe.
Ten-Zlati: Lord Kroak's oracle advisor and a powerful skink priest he fought during the defense of Itza against the skaven and choas. He is often seen in battle riding upon a terradon which he calls Zwup. Unlike other terradons, Zwup said to be the oldest terradon there is. Under the guidence and teaching of Lord Kroak, he was able to learn the language of the old ones and capable to cast powerful spell.
Nakai the Wanderer: A Kroxigor from the first spawning, known to have killed legions of Chaos worshipers and Daemons as well as Dwarfs in the battles of Itza and Albion. He once fought againest Skaven with Tehenhauin and the red-crested skinks, but then he broke a fever after defecting a giant, disfigured, enraged rat ogre. When he recovered from his fever, he left the temple and disappeared into the jungle.
Tehenhauin: A mighty monstrous Skink who has led the red-crested Skinks against the Clan-Pestilens Skaven for many years. He is the prophet of Sotek, and is rumored to be the great hope for the Lizardmen in this world.
Oxayotl: A first spawning Chameloen skink who is known to have fought against the raid of dark elves when they pillaged the temple and took every treasure. His blowpipe contains the most poisonous needle which came from a deadly insect. It is believed that Oxayotl was spawned from the city of Pahuax before it was destoryed.
Lizardmen Temple Cities
Lizardmen live in massive Temple Cities. Some of them are still intact, while others are decayed and broken. The list is as follows:
- Pahaux (destroyed)
- Tlanxla (destroyed)
- Xahutec (destroyed)
- Tlax (destroyed)
- Chaqua (destroyed)
- Quetza (destroyed)
- Huatl (destroyed)
- Axlotl (destroyed)
- Xhotl (destroyed)
- Oyxl (destroyed)
- Chupayotl (submerged)
These cities are connected by lines of magical power, making transportation and communication between them instantaneous.