The Grey Seer Thanquol is a prominent villain in the tabletop wargame Warhammer Fantasy Battles. He is a major member of the Skaven under-empire and a favored agent by the Council of Thirteen. He appears in the series of novels, Gotrek & Felix, as the arch-enemy of the titular duo of heroes and he's also the main antagonist of the strategy videogame Shadow of the Horned Rat.
He is often assisted by a huge Rat Ogre named Boneripper.
Like many other Skaven, Thanquol shares the same tendency for greed, jealousy, and treachery each and every Skaven harbours ever since they were mere pups. He is also prone to be hypocritical about every subject, saying things and doing stuff that contradicts even himself. Unlike his kin however, Thanquol is far more intelligent that even the more gifted of individuals with the Under-Empire, and far more cunning then even his own brothers of the Order. After joining the Priesthood, Thanquol was required to follow a field of expertise on any race that lives within the Old World. Thanquol thusly picked the humans as his avenue of research, studying their society and culture to better understand and perhaps even ensure the destruction of their race for future Skavens to learn from. As a Grey Seer, Thanquol is a fairly powerful Sorcerer by traits, with few within his own Order to match his magical power, except, of course his master Sleekit.
All Grey Seers have a particular field of expertise and Thanquol has chosen to study humans. From Tilea to the northern boundaries of the Empire, Thanquol has an extensive knowledge of the man-things' languages and history and has spent much time seeking the best ways to manipulate such creatures. Thanquol has had much success corrupting and bribing many individuas, building a nefarious network of informers and agents in many of the major human cities.
Though he swore loyalty to the Council alone, deep inside he is only interested in the well-being of himself, missing no opportunity to use his scheming guile to improve his own social standing. He is also a master of manipulating or "misunderstanding" orders to his own personal advantage, which often leads Thanquol to shrewd and constantly re-evaluates his plans, always probing for different sides or angles for new benefits to be gained. Over time, Thanquol has sustained his frantic pace and massive reserves of magic through the copious use of Warpstone, a deadly and intoxicating substance that fuels most of the magic used by the Grey Seers. The result of using so much of it has given vivid, if twisted, visions that race through Thanquol's warp-addled mind and gifted the Grey Seer with more than usual insights. This sixth sense has cause Thanqoul to alter plans at the last minute, or urged him to jump twitchily for no tagible reason. Although erratic, this sudden instinct has saved Thanquol's life on more than one occasion.
Very few knows the true origins of Grey Seer Thanquol, what his previous Clan was, nor even early records of his first few exploits. Like all of his kind, Thanquol was born from one of the many breeder mothers that provide the Under-Empire with an inexhaustible supply of warriors and slaves for the clans. Unlike his brethren however, he was fortunate and perhaps even blessed by the Horned Rat himself to be born with the extremely rare case of having grey-colored fur and stubs of growing horns. Whether it truly was the will of the Horned Rat to make this ratling his messenger and prophet is uncertain, and only the God of the Ratmen know the true answer. Like his fellow grey-furred brethrens, by the time Thanquol's former Clan figured out that one of their own kin was one of the legendary Grey Seers, they are ordered by the Council and the Priesthood of the Horned Rat to forfeit the youngling to the Order, and indoctrinated him into the Priesthoods beliefs and society.
When becoming an initiate into the Order of the Grey Seers, Thanquol became the apprentice to Master Grey Seer Sleekit, along with several other initiates that Thanquol had a strong rivalry with. Although he is suppose to be a loyal apprentice to his Master, Thanquol like many of his kind despises his betters, and had always dreamed of the day he would see his Master dead, and take all his worldly possessions. When Master Sleekit's time of doom was upon him, Thanquol did what any sensible Skaven would have done. He stole his Master's magical Talisman and scurried off into the distance, chittering triumphantly at his pitiful dismay. Thanquol just had enough time to savoir the look of disbelief on his Masters face before hundreds of tons of rock and debris fell upon his former Master. With his Master gone, Thanquol had the rights to acquire his Masters staff and talisman and took up the mantle as the new Grey Seer of the Order, and began his long and glorious career as the Council of Thirteens most favored messenger.
Battles with Gotrek & Felix
After many long years of somewhat faithful service under his Skaven Overlords, Grey Seer Thanquol has gained a considerable reputation amongst his kin as one of the Under-Empires most powerful of sorcerers, and a capable leader of great cunning and intelligence that rivals few amongst his brothers within the Priesthood. Along with his powerful staff and magical talisman, Thanquol was given a Rat Ogre bodyguard by the Council of Thirteen as a reward for succeeding in his numerous missions. With these gifts, he was also given new orders to go into the great Imperial City of Nuln and instigate a massive civil war between the Imperial Capital of Altdorf and her sister city of Nuln. This process would be done by using his puppet, Fritz von Halstadt and his paranoia of mutants to his advantage, killing off key individuals within the Nuln nobility. For the better part of the plan, it worked, and eventually, he planned to make his pup pet kill the Emperor's own brother-in-law to seal the deal and ignite the flames of Civil War.
Unfortunately for Thanquol, his ingenious plan began to suddenly unravel as an unlikely duo of warriors entered the Imperial City, and caught wind of his cooperation with Fritz von Halstadt. The two heroes, Gotrek and Felix, was on patrol with the local Sewer Watch when they caught the Chief Magistrate talking to a Skaven in the Sewer networks of Nuln. Fortunately for Thanquol, Fritz von Halstadt managed to conceal his identity and escape from the Sewer Watch before he was caught. His companion, the Skaven messenger however was not so fortunate. Disturbed by this confrontation, and fearing that his plan might be revealed to the Imperial authority, Thanquol ordered a small contingent of elite Stormvermin infantry to ambush the Sewer Jacks before they caught wind of more of their operations. These warriors were the best of the best within Clan Skab, and the host-leader of this pack was a birth-kin of the Skaven messenger who Gotrek killed and desired revenge for his loss (althought it was later revealed he was just annoyed he had to find a new ally for his ambition).
Infuriated by his servants lack of conviction and courage, Thanquol had no choice but to confront his puppet about the matter at hand. The Grey Seer went into the Chief Magistrates small mansion in the Noble Quarter and entered his filing chamber. Von Halstadt wasn't too pleased by his presence, fearing that his servants might see him and attract unwanted attention to their dealings. But Thanquol was no fool, and he ensured the Magistrate that his servants were all asleep, a simple incantation he used. Relaxing his shoulders, the Chief Magistrate listened to what the Grey Seer had to say. Thanquol explained the situation at hand, he told von Halstadt about the two warriors, and was concern that the Sewer Watch might be a danger to their associations. This gave Von Halstadt the desired effect Thanquol wanted, and the Cheif Magistrate looked worried about this situation. Giving in, he gave Thanquol his word that they must die, and will have their Watch Captain interviewed. He also handed Thanquol a file concerning them, and their current whereabouts.
After reaching the Sewers, Thanquol cursed himself for dealing with such a low-life surface dweller like von Halstadt. Yet he knew that he still needs him for the coming plans, and ordered his new Rat Ogre bodyguard, Boneripper to follow him to the suppose location of their prey. For several hours they waited, but the blond-furred man-thing has not shown up to his bedding. Getting impatient, Thanquol decides to head back to the Cheif Magistrates office to discuss this inaccurate information. It was upon their entrance to the secret tunnel of the mansion that Thanquol found the door open. Extremely worried that the Sewer Jacks have found out about his plan, Thanquol entered the doorway and ordered his Rat Ogre to pounce on an unsuspecting Sewer Jack awaiting at the entrance.
Suddenly, Thanquol heard fighting coming from the Magistrates chambers and ordered his Rat Ogre to lead the way. After sprinting through the winding halls of the mansion, his bodyguard came into an erupt stop, with Thanquol smacking snout first at the creatures massive frame. Looking beside his bodyguard, he saw a very menacing looking Dwarf, with a hideously large axe. Thanquol in reaction ordered his Rat Ogre to charge and kill him, whilst the Dwarf still stood where he stands. Filled with momentary triumph, he watched as a ensuring slaughter began. But it was not the kind of slaughter he was hoping of, for at the very last second, the Dwarf raised his massive axe and clove the massive beast head in two. Fear gripped Thanquol as he stood alone with the red-crested Dwarf. Thinking that evasion is the better part of valor, Thanquol retreated back to the sewers to leave his puppet to his fate.
The following days led to Thanquol to answer for his erupt failure at instigating a Civil War between the two Imperial city's. Within his chamber, the magnificent Far-Squeaker was constructed to allow him to answer to Seerlord Tisqueek directly. At first, the communication was mostly static, and using this to his advantage he told his Master of great victories to come, only mentioning momentarily about the death of his puppet. But the Seerlord could not be fooled, and he simply turned a nob, and the screen was clear, and there his Master sat staring at Thanquol evilly. Fearing for his life, Thanquol tried to find an excuse for his failures, but it was when the Seerlord told him that the plan has changed did Thanquol relax his paranoia. The Seerlord said that the Invasion will start within a few week, and ordered Thanquol to relinquish his command of the army and aid Warlord Vermek Skab in his role as "Supreme Commander".
Deep inside, Thanquol was bitter at this change of events, but he knew better then to anger the Seerlord. It was then that Thanquol realised that the machine began to smoke and roar more loudly then usual, and saw by the edge of his eyes, all his servants running away from his chamber. Just before jumping out of his chair and leave the Chamber with all his might, the Seerlord told Thanquol something that glued him to his seat. He told him about a Man and a Dwarf, whose destinies would be intertwined with his. It was before the last few words were spoken that the Far-Squeaker exploded, throwing Thanquol off his stool and into the floor. Picking himself up from his feet, Thanquol saw his servants return, and with a very imposing voice he ordered the Skavens to summon the Gutter Runners, and kill the Human and Dwarf, lest his Masters prediction become true.
After nearly 20 years since he has last seen the hated duo, Gotrek and Felix, Thanquol has aged considerably during those years. A Skaven rarely lives longer than a decade but Thanquol in power and wealth once more despite his venerated age. For long years, despite all the rivals he had slain and the indignities he has avenged, there was only those two that were all thats left, and Thanquol knew that he would never rest easy until they are found and dead. And so did Thanquol searched for them for nearly 20 years, and for 20 years they have alluded him until the day they returned to the city of Altdorf. There, Thanquol procured the aid of Shadowfang and his elite force of Gutter Runners. Yet the duo managed to escape their clutches and disapeared once again.
Infuratied beyond comprehension, Thanquol shook with rage at the failure of his underlings. His eyes glowed and his body shook as he snorted warpstone until his body shook no more. His voice dripping with malice and madness, he ordered Shadowfang to locate them at once under pain of excruciating death. Using his cunning, Thanquol managed to inflirate the house of Felix Jaeger's father, torturing the poor soul for information on the whereabouts of his son.[11a] At last he found where they were heading. Gotrek and Felix were onboard a vessel carrying a duo of Celestial Wizards as they sought after an artifact of ancient power amongst the swamps of Marienburg.
At long last, Thanquol managed to finally find the duo as they embarked upon a journey in the swamps. He unleashed his horde of warriors upon them but they were beaten back by the fury of the ships crew of Swordmasters and Rieksguard Knights. Despite this, Thanquol attack at the dead of night and overwhelmed the duo and an accompany Elf scholar. He brought them into his submarine and had them chained to pipes with long strangs of metal string. Unable to move, Thanquol gloated as his prize was once more at hand, all the indignities and failure that was wrought upon him the day he met the two.
Yet as he stood gloating, Felix couldn't help himself but asked who he was. The question was a huge blow to Thanquol's pride. The ratman staggered back, eyes rolling, and collided with its tailless servant. The servant squeaked and the ancient whirled on it, swiping at it with its staff and spitting shrill abuse. The servant cringed back, then scurried unsteadily out of the chamber, leaving the old skaven screeching after it. The rat ogre lowed anxiously and thumped the deck with its huge paws. The skaven spun back towards its captives again, shaking with rage and tearing at the few tufts of fur on its skeletal head, wailing of how all that has happened to him was all by chance his whole life!
With a whimpering wail, the old skaven began to scrabble furiously at its robes, checking pockets and sleeves, and finally raised a small stone bottle in its shaking paws. It pried out the stopper, tapped a mound of glittering powder in the hollow between its thumb and foreclaw, then inhaled it through the ragged wet hole that served it as a nose. For a moment after it had ingested the stuff, the skaven shook even worse than it had before, and its escort of armoured troopers took a nervous step back, but then, with a final seismic shake, the tremors stopped and it stood straight, taking a deep, if thready, breath. It turned back to them, calm and composed, a stream of blood and mucus trickling unnoticed from its nose-hole as it glared at them with eyes that blazed with green fire. With his indignities further strained by the duo, Thanquol was ready to unleash all matter of tortures before the accompanying Elf scholar foolish let loose the information of an artifact of great power.
Using his magics and vicious torture techniques, Thanquol removed the information from the Elf and realising the power it held, finally decided to free the duo in the hopes of them recovering the artifact for him. When at last they did as they were told, the Black Ark which held the harp had sunk and the Skaven quickly went through the wreckage and stole it from them. Unfortunately, the duo managed to also survive the disaster and the two fought the sorceror with all the might they had. In the ensuring struggle, Gotrek cleave his axe through Thanquol's spell and struck the harp, releasing its energies upon the submarine, exploding in a magnificent display of power.
Later, a depressed Thanquol sat chest deep in water in the bottom of a leaky ale cask in the middle of the Sea of Chaos, contemplating the follies of ambition as his servant, Issfet Loptail, bailed water using a dark elf helmet for a bucket. For almost twenty years Thanquol had longed for only one thing, vengeance on the tall blonde human and the mad dwarf with the red mohawk. For almost twenty years he had nursed his hatred for the pair and dreamed of new and more creative ways of dismantling them body and soul. And after twenty years he had had them at last. They had been at his mercy. He might have done anything he pleased with them, but he still failed miserably.
It is unknown what happened to Thanquol during the End Times storyline, although he and his loyal Boneripper are alive and active in the new world of Age of Sigmar.