Gotrek & Felix
The Dwarf and Associates
Gotrek, son of Gurni: The most
manly dwarfy Dwarf ever, he's butchered his way through so many legions of monsters, horrors and demigods it just makes your balls shrivel in honest to gods jealousy (and more than a little fear). The Slayer is armed with a mighty rune axe that was probably forged and used by the Dwarf ancestor god of war and vengeance in the first big throw-down with Chaos. The axe is also mutating him into some sort of super-Dwarf.
The result is a Dwarfen demigod of violence and vengeance, a mythical ass-kicker of truly earth-shattering proportions. He wants to die in battle, but is just too good at winning. Also, the axe won't let him. Before taking the Slayer Oath, Gotrek was just an engineer with a wife, Helga, and a daughter, Gurna. Then, his best friend Snorri convinced him to sign on for a crazily ambitious plan to travel to the Chaos Wastes and recover treasure from a lost Dwarfhold. The expedition went wrong and Gotrek got lost. During his trek home, he discovered the axe on the corpse of a Dwarf lord. When he finally made it home, goblins had burned down his village and murdered his family. And then some dick of a dwarf thane (possibly his own, since Snorri confirms Gotrek is a "kinslayer") provoked him until he snapped and killed the prick.
Gotrek finally meets his Doom in the novel Slayer, in combat with none less than Grimnir himself. Grimnir then resurrects Gotrek, cedes his position as the Dwarfen God of Vengeance, and presumably retires. His last moments show him rejoicing in the prospect of eternal war, and sends Felix back to the "real" world before going to slaughter an infinite army of daemons.
More recently, he found himself spat back out into the Mortal Realms. While the Slayers have ceased to exist as he knows them, Gotrek has a sense that he was called to the Mortal Realms for a reason and believes that if he can reunite with Felix he will be able to return to his doom. The stories of the Stormcast Eternals he has heard have led him to wonder if his old friend might be among their number, and he plans to find out for himself.
Gotrek eventually realized that even if Felix became a Stormcast, he wouldn't remember Gotrek so it would be pointless to try and find him (and if you really buy the idea that Felix isn't coming back sooner or later, I can give you a great price on the Golden Gate...). His current quest is to find Grimnir's axe again, and use it to kill Thanquol and Nagash.
In the upcoming audio drama, he is voiced by the legendary BRIAN BLESSED.
Felix Jaeger, Esq.: The Robin to Gotrek's Batman, the Samwise to his Frodo (or the other way around, since Samwise does all the heavy lifting while Frodo frequently fucks up and needs saving). Felix is, despite appearances and his occasional obnoxiousness, the real hero and narrator of the series. To Gotrek, Felix is his pet human/toy/best friend/memoirist/biographer who is travelling with the dwarf to record his death in an epic poem. Felix is pretty much permanently terrified of dying randomly while Gotrek throws down with godlike evil, and his constant whining about the same is one of his least endearing characteristics, at least during the early books. He also typically acquires a wench-of-the-week in the early books. His long golden hair must have a magic appeal (it does nearly get him raped by mountain men in the first book "In the mountains I'm from, anything like that looks good").
At some point, after realizing he's made about 1% as many corpses as Gotrek, Felix finally wises up to the fact that he, too, is not only a formidable combatant but probably not entirely human. The point is driven home in one of the later books when he returns home to Altdorf and meets his older brother Otto, who is about 70, while Felix still looks 20. Whatever enchantment affects him, he also comes to crave violence and danger, if to a lesser extent that Gotrek. In the final books, after Felix has married one of the aforementioned wenches and had a daughter, he finds himself despondent at domestic life and utterly uninspired by taking over the family business or restarting his once-promising poetry career. Thankfully, Gotrek shows up and sucks him back into the fight and indeed into the End Times, where both he and Gotrek play pivotal roles. It turns out that the Axe of Grimnir's super-Dwarfifying aura is affecting Felix (and Felix's own enchanted sword, Karaghul), too, nudged along by an enchantment placed on Felix by a witch who wanted to make sure Gotrek fulfilled the axe's destiny, as well as Felix's own, which turned out to be preventing Bel'akor's ascension to become the fifth Chaos God.
Dr. Maximillian Schreiber: A badass Gold (later retconned to Light) Wizard and scientist who accompanies Gotrek, Felix, and bunch of other Dwarfs on a giant air battleship to investigate the fate of the lost hold Karak Dum, in the Chaos Wastes. Originally a slightly disgraced wizard, having been expelled from the Imperial College for his insistence that Chaos must be understood if it is to be defeated, Max was hired to magically ward the airship. On the subsequent adventures, Max proves himself a valuable asset in combat against all sorts of nasties, a steadfast companion and good friend. Initially involved in a love triangle with Felix and the Kislevite noblewoman Ulrika (who later became a vampire, for reasons too idiotic to go into), which was a source of pointless tension between them and prevented them from becoming real friends, even though holy shit! they're the only two Empire dudes for hundreds of miles. Disappeared from the series when Gotrek and Felix got teleported to Albion. Showed up again much later, and was the guardian of the most butt-fuck retarded witch girl in the entire Old World; this caused yet another quarrel between Felix over a girl, but this time it was because the loopy bint came on to Felix and Max thought Felix was being a lech. Reappears in Kinslayer as a prisoner of Throgg. His capture prompts the gang to reunite in order to rescue him. By Slayer he's returned to his old badass self as he has grown to encompass multiple schools. He dies after being blasted off an airship, after fighting Be'lakor one-on-one and banishing him from the material plane. It's even implied by Be'lakor that Max might have utterly destroyed him if Max hadn't been also protecting Felix, which is badass as fuck.
Lady Ulrika Magdova: A tomboyish (even having short hair) Kilsevite noblewoman. Very lusty because, despite resisting Felix's advances throughout his stay at her father's manse, she throws herself at him the night before he leaves by showing up in his bed nude. She becomes Felix's girlfriend for awhile, though tensions emerge due to their respective duties. Ulrika eventually grows close to Max after he saves her from a Nurglite plague and a lot of unrequited attention, ending her relationship with Felix. Before Ulrika and Max can consummate their relationship she gets kidnapped by the vampire Adolphus Krieger, first as a human shield but then Krieger takes a liking to her and turns her into a vampire. She leaves with Krieger's vampiric sire to work with the Lahmian vampires. The events are covered in two novels that the fanbase is divided on. Reunites with Felix twice later to help him record Gotrek's doom and live to tell about it. Though their relationship is completely finished Ulrika occasionally teases Felix about it. Then she succumbs to her vampiric bloodlust and Felix is forced to kill her in self-defense.
Snorri Nosebiter: Gotrek's best Dwarf friend and fellow Slayer. Complete idiot without two brain cells to rub together, he's still a badass and can almost keep up with Gotrek. He and Gotrek go way, way back, when they were the sole survivors of an expedition to the Chaos Wastes. A massive sweetheart for a Dwarf, he's good friends with Felix as well. Disappears from the series around the middle, he returns much older and even more befuddled, to the point where he can't remember the shame that drove him to become a Slayer, which is a massive dishonor in and of itself. This is exactly as pathetic and sad as it sounds. Still kicks ass, though, and finally manages to find his doom with his memory restored, and go on to whatever awaits. It turns out his shame is his blaming himself, justifiably, for Gotrek's taking up the Slayer Oath. He was the one who convinced Gotrek to go on the disastrous expedition, which is bad enough. But on the way back, he got drunk and got into a fight with some rangers, preventing them from stopping a goblin raid, which is heavily implied to be the same one that killed Gotrek's home town. And then it turns out Gotrek's daughter was killed by goblins, but he killed Gotrek's wife on arriving at the burnt out village, since he was drunk and it was smokey, so he mistook her for a goblin that had remained behind to loot, she was on fire and would have died anyway. Gotrek finally kills him, reluctantly, after Snorri recovers his memory and confesses to Gotrek, thereby technically fulfilling the sad old Dwarf's Slayer oath. This shit here is real tragedy, you stone-hearted monsters. His ghost makes a cameo in Realmslayer, apparently the realm of Shyish is also home to people who died from the World-that-was.
Malakai, son of Makai: Insane genius Dwarf Slayer engineer, who designed the above air battleship and countless other super-badass but ultimately overambitious war machines. Speaks with an awesome Scottish funetik aksent that makes him one of the funniest (and funnest) characters in the whole series. Only side-character to make the jump to the fantasy game besides Thanquol; one of his war-machines was part of the Slayer Army of Karak Kadrin in Storm of Chaos. He comes back in Slayer, still alive and having invented the Dwarven version of the Vindicare assassins. He has also rebuilt his airship and was planning on using it to drop bombs on Chaos, before being convinced to seek out the Temple of Grimnir. His fate at the end of the series is unknown. Though he is not shown to have died unlike everyone else, a character mentions that Malakai died; so the story killed him off in a footnote. It is hinted at during Realmslayer that he might of survived.
Teclis of the White Tower: Showed up in one book to help Gotrek and Felix kill possibly the greatest threat (though not the greatest physical challenge) they ever faced, the sorcerer twins below and a brainwashed giant (of the ancient 600-foot Sky-Titan variety, not the current 60-foot inbred variety). Earned something within shouting distance of Gotrek's grudging respect by kicking almost as much ass, which speaks volumes considering how much he hates elves. Also spends most of the book with an Amazon girlfriend/bodyguard.
Grey Seer Thanquol: The primary recurring villain, a Skaven wizard whose incredible power is matched only by his incredible arrogance and exceeded only by his incompetence. Seriously. In one of his spin-off novels, a Slaan deliberately makes sure Thanquol survives to get back to the Under-Empire because he is such a Starscream that he will certainly cause unparalleled disaster for the Skaven whilst he lives. Yeah, that's right, this guy is so good at screwing things over for his own damn team that a member of a race dedicated to the destruction of his race considers him more useful alive than dead. Is the only member of the novels to repeatedly get playable rules in Warhammer Fantasy throughout multiple editions. Loses a hand in Elfslayer, but uses warpstone paste to grow a new one. Ended up playing a major role in The End Times when the Horned Rat appointed him as his new Seerlord. Survived into Age of Sigmar, and when Gotrek arrives in the Mortal Realms in Realmslayer, the dwarf and rat immediately resume their old animosity.
Assorted Slayers:Thoughout the series, starting in the book Dragonslayer, Gotrek and Felix are joined by several slayers. The most notable two are mentioned below, the others include a former cowardly Dwarf who's a loudmouth, a slayer with a hate-boner for the dragon, a Dwarf who's hairless due to Skaven weapons and a lecherous Dwarf (he's so horny he bangs a half-elf chick despite Dwarves usually hating elves) who gets more nooky than even Felix though he's in fewer books.
Various monsters/villains of the week: Axe fodder.
Tens of thousands of trash mobs: Wet toilet paper.
Maleneth: What appears to be Gotrek's new travelling companion for his Mortal Realms adventures. A Khaine-worshipping elf member of the Order of Azyr (AoS equivelant of witch-hunters), she was sent on a mission to steal the Master Rune from a Fyreslayer lodge, and after Gotrek lodged it in his body she sees it as her duty to follow him around and hopefully either badger him into visiting the Order so the rune can be studied or take it from his body once he dies in battle. Gotrek obviously dislikes her for being a filthy dark elf, and she dislikes him for making her mission such a hassle, though their shared struggles have given them a mutual respect. Has a vial of blood around her neck which allows her to communicate with her former mistress.
Feats of the Dwarf
Gotrek's feats are legend. Read this and wet yourself in terror/awe/appreciation:
- Killed some orcs and daemons and mutants and werewolves and goblins and some more daemons and mutants and lots more orcs (Trollslayer and every other book too)
- Cleansed the sacred tombs of Karak Eight Peaks of a warpstone-mutated troll, returning countless Dwarf spirits to their rest. In the process, Felix acquired the sword Karaghul and the name of Dwarf Friend (Trollslayer)
- Stopped the Skaven from conquering Nuln, by killing them (Skavenslayer)
- Killed a million skaven, and some rat ogres too (Various)
- Killed a Bloodthirster of Khorne aided by Felix Jaeger who threw an ancient magical dwarven hammer belonging to the dwarf king of Karag Dum at the bloodthirster weakening it giving Gotrek the chance to slay it with his even more formiddable rune axe formerly wielded and crafted by the dwarf slayer god Grimnir. (Daemonslayer)
- Outdrank a bunch of Kislevites in a vodka drinking contest
- Killed a million orcs (Every book)
- Drank two beers at once (Skavenslayer)
- Slew ancient dragon Skjalandir (ok, that was mostly Malakai's rockets and a Dwarf gyrocoptor's kamikaze attack, then Felix struck the deathblow) and then immediately dove into a battle between greenskins and human bandits after the dragon's hoard. Gotrek slew the Orc warlord while an airship bombing run shredded his army. (Dragonslayer)
- Killed a chaos lord of Tzeentch in hand to hand combat and stopped his beastmen armies from conquering Praag (Beastslayer)
- Slaying a vampire lord in the seat of his power while that vampire lord was supercharged by one of Nagash's artifacts (Vampireslayer)
- Killed a mind-controlled Sky-Titan including cutting out it's eye and rappelling down with it's optic nerve (Giantslayer)
- Helped Teclis stop a pair of mad Tzeentch wizard twins from blowing up the world (Giantslayer)
- Making Teclis walk carefully around him (Giantslayer again; yes one of the most powerful spell casters in the world is wary of him and his axe)
- Became the tyrant of an ogre tribe by defeating the former tyrant in unarmed combat
- Killed a million billion orcs (Orcslayer)
- Killed his best friend Hamnir (he knows what he did - Hamnirslayer)
- Killed a giant psychic alien insect (the fuck is this, 40k?)
- Killed a daemon made of cannons and blood, possessed by the souls of dead chaos sorcerers (Manslayer)
- Drank enough to almost die of alcohol poisoning (a feat no dwarf has ever come close to before)
- Killed a Sea Monster and the Dark Elf knight riding it despite being in the water with them (Elfslayer)
- Nearly killed a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh, it ran away because it was scared (Elfslayer)
- Sank a Dark Elf Black-Ark and tanked an explosion from destroying a world ending artifact (Elfslayer again)
- Stops a beastman shaman from turning every human in the Empire into beastmen (Shamanslayer)
- Killed two of every animal
- Killed some zombies (Zombieslayer)
- Teamed up with some Tomb Kings to destroy a vampire empire in the Southlands. (The Serpent Queen)
- Killed so many things he ran out of things to slay and they had to stop using '------slayer' in his book titles for a while
- Constantly giving a middle finger to the chaos gods and spoiling every plan they try to put in motion
- Causing Grey Seer Thanquol countless losses and headaches, to the point where Thanquol considers Gotrek his greatest nemesis, even though Gotrek and Felix never learned Thanquol was behind all the Skaven plots they fucked up
- Probably killed like half of all the orcs that have ever been killed by dwarves. At least
- Defeats Throgg, the Troll King, officially making Gotrek the greatest Trollslayer ever (Kinslayer) Confirmed Throgg was in the battle for Middenheim at the end of Lord of the End Times and crushes Sigvald's head with his club, clearly very much alive.
- Killed the same Bloodthirster of Khorne from Daemonslayer in single combat. Again. (Slayer)
- Prevented Be'lakor's ascension to the fifth God of Chaos by hitting him with that same Bloodthirster (Slayer again)
- Ascends to Godhood (Slayer was pretty awesome)
- Holds the line against an infinite army of daemons, forever. (Go buy Slayer - it's the least you can do)
- Kills Felix by sending him back to suffocate under a temple of rubble. (Slayer again, you missed alot if you didn't read it) Probably -1 to his tally.
- Comes back to the Mortal Realms, to fix that last one (Realmslayer)
- But failed -1 again.
- Effortlessly wielded a legendary Rune Axe that was infused with so much of the essence of Grimnir that only the most legendary of Fyreslayer Beserkers can wield it without going insane or outright dying ("Realmslayer")
- Makes a speech impressive enough to intimidate a Godbeast into retreating (Realmslayer)
- Gets the Master Rune implanted in him, officially making Gotrek the avatar of Grimnir (Realmslayer)
- Got ambushed by a bunch of rogue Kharadron Overlords and then proceeded to escape by crashing their ship, roasting them by saying Malakai was a better pilot("The Bone Desert").
The Doom of the Dwarf and the End of All Things
With The End Times upon us and the world's destruction, Gotrek has finally met his doom. Although the last book heavily teases Be'lakor as his killer, the actual doom is at the hands of Grimnir, the God of the Slayers who has been waging a ceaseless war against the forces of Chaos for time untold. Grimnir tells Gotrek that ever since Gotrek found his axe, he has been reshaped into Grimnir's heir, then proceeds to effortlessly kill the Slayer.
He then laughs at Felix's attempts to attack him, resurrects Gotrek, and proceeds to endow him with the axe of Thorgrim Grudgebearer, and instructs Gotrek to head off and prevent Be'lakor from ascending to Godhood inside the Realms of Chaos. Gotrek fights first the Bloodthirster he beseted in Daemonslayer, and then once Felix draws the aggro of every daemon present faces off against Be'lakor, beating him back and cutting off the daemon's arm.
The series ends with Gotrek inheriting the mightiest doom of all - Grimnir's. He is charged to forever hold back and endless tide of daemons to prevent them from overwhelming all of creation. This news seems to put Gotrek at peace for the first time ever, and he sends Felix back to the real world so that someone can write down and remember his story.
Then the world ends and presumably everyone else dies. However bear in mind
- Every Elf in the world is now dead.
- Every Grudge in the Book of Grudges is counted as fulfilled.(yeah but the dwarfs are fucking destroyed so yes!!!
but not reallyWhatever, for a dwarf death is a small price to pay for settling a grudge)
- Gotrek gets to fight everything forever.
Looks like we might have been a bit premature there. Gotrek's back in the realm of the living, getting used to the Mortal Realms and ready to find his old friend Felix. He has no idea how he got spat put of the Realm of Chaos or why he was unable to meet his long awaited doom, but it seems Grimnir might have had even greater things in store for the dwarf. Naturally, Thanquol was less than happy to learn his arch-enemy had survived the End Times.
The Dwarf in Print
Written first by William King (before it taken off him by BL for some random reason) and then given to a bunch of other writers to continue, the series at first followed the ingenious idea of naming the book after whatever is going to feel Gotrek's axe thumping into their heads. So you ended up with titles such as Trollslayer, Skavenslayer, Dragonslayer etc. Recently though they have dropped this brilliant approach to whack any old title on the cover. This can only confirm the fact BL and GW is stretching out the series as far as they can, as they have literally used up all the possible names to slay things with that they can. In practice this is because the ones that are part of the main story follow this pattern, the side stories don't. The last entry, appropriately enough, is just called Slayer.
The Dwarf on the Tabletop
As mentioned in passing above, Gotrek and Felix were playable special characters, once upon a time. But that was way back in the mists of time, 6th edition specifically, before William King stopped writing, and so they haven't gotten rules since; officially, they're so insanely awesome that they can't figure out how to make them balanced characters. Sadly, The End Times came and went with no sign of the duo on the tabletop.
For those chasing them up, here's their last set of rules, from Dogs of War back in 6e: http://www.bugmansbrewery.com/tutorials/article/82-gotrek-and-felix/