His Mist Runner career is still in progress, but if there’s interest I’ll post it up later!I’ve been at home taking care of a sick family member for a few days, and I decided to develop ideas for a skink character. With the runaway success of Vermintide 2, I am hoping that the devs might consider adding new characters in the future - even if not, this was a fun way to pass the time. I enjoyed it a lot, and it didn’t actually take nearly as long as you’d think.
So, reasonings; With the border to Bretonnia, a character from there seems a really obvious possibility, but . . . I think very limited in scope. Kruber is a Knight, and while Warhammer fans know that Knight Kruber would be quite different from a Bretonnian Knight, to more casual players, it won’t be a very interesting addition on the surface. A Lady might be more interesting, but would be limited to three types of spellcasters (unless they pull a Joan of Arc type career out).
Others have suggested a Greenskin (I’d love to see a Gobbo because I just love Greenskins), but we all know there are a lot of reasons that be difficult to justify. Ditto for Vampire; I think Bardin would kiss a Goblin before Saltzpyre would work with a Vampire, personally.
There are a slew of potential human characters from the Empire that could be added, representing a myriad of roles and jobs.
However, one idea that has been thrown out as a longshot that I LOVE is a Skink.
The Lizardmen, despite being objectively one of the absolute coolest factions in Warhammer, really don’t get enough love. They are dinosaur people riding dinosaurs with an Aztec feel (I know I am already preaching to the choir here).
I don’t think it’s as far-fetched as it seems, with distance being the only real factor against it - but that’s not even true factor, as there are settlements and boats that would take anyone - for a price - across the sea.
Once across the sea - there’s really no issue, is there? Victor is the only one who might have reason to dislike or distrust him, while many others (including probably Lohner) would know enough to understand that a Skink would be an ardent enemy of Chaos.
My particular Skink, Eztli also brings a lot of options to the table. Being an Astromancer means he can use magic with elemental effects that are fantasy tropes yet we don’t see in the game already - wind, ice, and lightning.
His weapons would also be extremely unique in appearance, and while in function they wouldn’t be ultra-unique (I mean there’s only so many ways you can hit stuff, right?), he would have a very unique assortment of ranged weapons, like a sling, blowgun, and a discount Hand of Gods.
Eztli the Skink
Born from the spawning pools during a time when Mannslieb obscured Morrslieb, an inauspicious time considered to be an ill omen. Eztli was something of a mutant, and was very nearly killed by the guardians of his spawn pool. When he first emerged from the spawn pool, his scales and crest were a deep red - leading to his name, which means ‘blood’. Within a few hours, however, he began to change color. Not quite a normal skink, Eztli has some of the traits of a chameleon skink without being a true chameleon; his skin can change tone slowly, over a matter of hours. This does not allow him to hide the way chameleons do, but marks him out as odd.
The sight of a non-chameleon changing colors alarmed the spawn pool attendants, who sent word to the Slann Mage-Priests, asking for guidance. Told that he may be executed for being potentially corrupt, Eztli accepted that this might be the decision as a Skink should. But then he did something rather un-Skinkly and asked that if a death sentence be handed down, he be allowed to die in a way that served the Old Ones.
When these words were conveyed to the Slann, it convinced them that Eztli was not tainted by chaos. However, the plan of the Old Ones for this aberration was not clear to the Slann, and they have vacillated much over what task he should be set to.
Due to the astrological connotations of his birth, he was first sent to train as an Astronomer, to understand the heavens. This was a task that Eztli accepted dutifully and found aptitude for, though he never enjoyed it, hoping for a more active role.
It was not to last; as the Slann mumbled in their near-sleep states, the Skink Priest attendants came to believe that they had changed their minds about Ezti’s role. After a few decades studying Astromancy, he was ordered instead to join the frontline cohorts in battling whatever scourge threatened Lustria - clearly indicated by his birth color of blood-red!
Spending time first as a Cohortian, Eztli’s skill in combat was also above the standard, and thanks to his slow color adaptation, in certain predictable environments he became able to blend in. Eventually, this talent was put into use when he was sent to aid the Mist Runners who guarded the shrouded city of Xlanhuapec.
Yet even here he felt something important was missing - it was not personal fulfillment he desired, but that he felt that the Old Ones had a more important task set for him.
After a series of prophetic dreams involving a city far from Lustria, however, Eztli finally felt that that purpose had become clear. Perhaps it was the Old Ones, or perhaps it was bloodthirsty Sotek, eternal enemy of the Ratmen, but Eztli felt he must travel to a keep near the far-off city of Helmgart. Telling his dreams to the Skink Priests, they approved of his journey - not least to take this particularly small and difficult conundrum away that irritated their active and orderly minds to no end.
In personality, Eztli is far from a robot; he has a dry humor but is generally positive, though he has had relatively little contact with other races in his life (outside of combat). He is well-acquainted with the combat skills of both Skaven and Northlanders. Middle-aged by Skink standards, he is still physically capable, and years of fighting as a skirmisher or cohortian have left him in a very fit shape.
Travelling across the sea was not easy, but with an offering of yellow metal, many other races will accept strange passengers. Swimming up to a High Elf ship that had stopped at Skeggi for victuals, he snuck aboard - or attempted to before the keen-eared elves noticed him. More curious than hostile, Eztli was interrogated and offered the captain an armful of golden ingots for a trip across the sea. The captain accepted, bound for Marienburg anyway. Once there, Eztli did not attempt to enter through the docks, and went into the river to swam past the city, led by visions in the skies and in his dreams. He could see a bridge of shadows in the patterns in the sky, its focal point leading towards his goal.
Upon reaching the place known as Taal’s Horn Keep, he made his presence known. Though all inside were surprised, Lohner was no fool and knew that the Lizardmen, strange as they were, were true enemies of chaos and welcomed the aid of one of the world’s most ancient species.
I love to imagine the way each character would react to Eztli.
I think Bardin and Kerillian would know what he was, since both of their kind has had long contact with them. Bardin would be affable, if finding him a bit odd (as surely he doesn’t drink), while Kerillian would be guarded - she’d know that a Skink will do what its masters deem best for the Great Plan, not for any particular people or society. Her snark would often fall on deaf ears, but he’d snap back that his people were ancient before hers even existed when she pulls the age card.
I think Sienna would be rather fascinated and often asking him questions (which he might find tiresome). Her knowledge would be much more theoretical, like Lohner’s.
Saltzpyre would be suspicious that he was some kind of chaos creature, but grudginly accept him due to the acceptance of the other and their dire need. He would have heard rumors of the jungle monsters, but not likely put much credence in them. I’m sure, though, that Eztli would find the whole Sigmarite faith rather quaint and silly, which could hilariously enrage Victor.
Kruber . . . well, he’d just be flummoxed. He’s a pretty simple guy, and just would kind of have to take it on faith that this weird thing was in fact an ally.
Without further ado, the classes:
Eztli utilizes a bulb of the sacred Fog Lotus to create a veil of fog around him that causes him to become invisible to enemies for 6 seconds. The fog is considered blessed by the Old Ones and will poison chaos-aligned enemies who stand within it (in other words, it does not cause friendly fire).
On each ranged attack, there is a chance for Eztli to fire two shots without additional cost.
Increases ammunition capacity.
When Eztli is not moving, his ranged weapon accuracy vastly increases, and he has a higher critical hit chance against enemies who are not targetting him.
Creates an aura of razor-sharp shards around Eztli that deal damage to enemies near him, even through armor. This does not deal friendly fire damage.
Read the Heavens
Eztli has a glimmer of warning when an enemy is targeting him from the sides or flanks (as a yellow flash on the edges of the screen) even before they begin to attack. This effect will be stronger when targeted by an elite or special enemy.
Portent of Amul
Sometimes when an enemy strikes a blow that would be fatal against Eztli, they will instead themselves be struck dead from out of the blue (does not work on bosses).
Reduces damage taken based on overcharge (higher overcharge reduces incoming damage). Stacks up to 4 times.
Gift of Itzl
For x seconds, Eztli moves and attacks faster. This would basically be like a mini Speed Pot for Eztli, on a relatively short cooldown (say 60 seconds), allowing him to be quite strong and controlling in combat.
Increases the armor-piercing damage of nearby allies.
Strength of the Old Ones
Increases Eztli’s Hero Power by 10% when he’s holding a melee weapon.
Eztli has more effective dodges before becoming fatigued.
Macuahuitl (sword-like; obsidian blades set in wooden haft)
Macuahuitl and Shield (sword and shield; the shield has a sharpened edge and so is used in his basic combos, but not being made of metal it doesn’t give as much defense)
Great Macuahuitl (halberd-like great weapon)
Tepoztopilli and Shield (spear and shield)
Dagger of Sotek (poisons enemies in melee)
Paralyzing Blow Gun (Paralyzes enemies hit, allowing you to CC a single non-boss enemy for a few seconds)
Poison Blow Gun (poisons . . . obviously)
Golden Hand (essentially a lesser version of Kroq-Gar’s famous golden hand, this could shoot fiery blasts or create a burst in front of the user, and would generate overheat)
Staff of Cracked Skies(Astromancer only) (shoots lightning bolts and charges to shoot chain lightning that hits multiple enemies)
Staff of Northern Winds (Astromancer only) (shoots icicles or creates a rain of iceshards on a chosen area that slows enemies as well)
Staff of Gales (Astromancer only) (Wind blasts that push enemies back and a wind curse that deals DoT to a group of enemies)
For headgear, he could have a variety of crest colors and styles, holden or feathered headdresses, helms made from skulls, things like that.
Design-wise, I decided to give Eztli a more unique backstory as far as a skink is concerned for several reasons; first, the confusion about him would justify why he has been trained in multiple different roles. His careers don’t represent different paths for him, but different roles he can choose to assume and gear for. While Skinks seem to have lifespans comparable to humans (one at 100 was described as ancient), I imagine they don’t start suffering from old age as quickly as humans, meaning he could still be fit and nimble at an age where humans would be getting a bit too old for this sort of thing. This would give him time to have learned many skills and spent much time fighting.
His semi-chameleon skin is intended to justify giving him a unique color palette for each career; this way players will be able to easily tell which career is there. I also tried to avoid overlap in some things; so the Astromancer has feathers, but the Cohortian doesn’t. The Mist Runner doesn’t have any gold on at all, and so on. I think they work. I know I’m not a great artist, but I did the best of my amateur abilities here.
As an addendum; I’d appreciate corrections on lore mistakes, and it’s fine if you don’t like it; just be polite. This is really just for fun and because I was in a situation where I had a lot of free time. I don’t put this up expecting it to be put into the game.