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 this one bridge in Brooklyn...). His current quest is to find Grimnir's axe again, and use it to kill Thanquol and Nagash.
In the latest audio drama, Realmslayer, 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. He mentions seeing Max and Ulrika once long ago, but not Malakai Makaisson.
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 Slann 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 (following a hilarious panic attack on the rat's part).
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 Witchblade: Gotrek's new travelling companion for his Mortal Realms adventures. A former Witch Aelf, she joined the Order of Azyr for protection after killing her own mistress (whose soul is now contained in a vial of blood around her neck). She was sent on a mission to steal the Master Rune from a Fyreslayer lodge, and after Gotrek lodged it in his body to prevent it from falling into the hands of a Chaos arny 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. She is very much aware that both of these are rather unlikely knowing Gotrek's history.
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 (to say nothing of Gotrek's admitted need for someone to teach him about how the Mortal Realms work). Despite this shared respect, Maleneth is exceptionally opportunistic, seizing every chance she sees to tear the master rune from Gotrek’s chest, even if it means she’d have to fight a God-Beast on her own.
In case you haven't noticed from her name, opportunistic nature and her constant arguing with a malevolent voice only she can hear, she's basically a gender swapped Malus Darkblade, albeit more neutral than evil and without the beloved cool steed or the owner of the malevolent voice having any control over her body.
Jordainn: A prince of the african-esque nation of Edassa who Gotrek befriends in Aqshy. After Jordainn died in battle, Gotrek starts wearing his lion-engraved pauldron as a memento. He eventually gets resurrected as the Stormcast Prosecutor Jordaeus and reunites with Gotrek, only for Gotrek to hate him because he broke his oath to defend his fortress, which got overrun by Skaven while he was absent. This results in him being riddled with guilt, yet still following Gotrek out of a belief that Sigmar intended him to guide Gotrek to his destiny. Also he hears the voice of Grimnir whenever he tries praying to Sigmar.
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 (Daemonslayer)
- 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 the ancient chaos 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 (Short Story - Ogreslayer)
- 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?) (Orcslayer)
- 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)
- 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
- Killed a ton of Khornate warriors culminating in a Lord of Khorne that was one skull away from opening a new Chaos Rift. Also cockblocked the King of the Slayers to do it. (Road of Skulls)
- Teamed up with some Tomb Kings to destroy a vampire empire in the Southlands. (The Serpent Queen)
- Killed Mordheim, City of the Damned. More or less. (City of the Damned)
- 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. Then again, Throgg's regeneration is overpowered even by troll standards so it is possible Gotrek killed him but he just walked it off after a while.
- 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 to the Mortal Realms to fix that last one (Realmslayer) (But gave up, so still -1 so far. Although word is Felix is not in the Realm of the Dead...)
- Fights his way out of the Realm of Chaos, bites off the nose of a Fyreslayer Runeson who got up in his face, effortlessly wields a legendary Fyreslayer Greataxe that kills most duardin who even touch it, intimidates a Godbeast into running away, slaughters his way across Aqshy and Shyish killing Chaos worshipers, mad Sylvaneth, undead, skaven, saves the city of Hammerhal Aqsha from being destroy from within by a Tzeentch cult, and has a Fyreslayer Master Rune implanted into his chest, signifying him as a living avatar of Grimnir in the eyes of the Fyreslayers. Also gets drunk and headlocks a Stormcast Eternal. Gotrek is back, baby. (Realmslayer)
- Made a Nighthaunt so depressed it killed itself (Short Story - One, Untended)
- 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. (Short Story - The Bone Desert).
- Picks up and uses an Anvil of Power as a projectile weapon, something Maleneth claims no mortal can lift. Before he gets the Master Rune. (Realmslayer)
- Kills six drakes one at a time. And who knows how many more non-winged ones, according to Maleneth. And tanks their landslide breath without a scratch which could have leveled a fortress (The Neverspike)
- Kills a hundred foot tall ghoul. (Ghoulslayer)
- Finds the only portal to the World That Was, and destroys it after finally accepting that he belongs in the Mortal Realms now. (Reamslayer: Blood of the Old World)
- Killed (or at least defeated) a Godbeast (Realmslayer: Blood of the Old World)
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 bare 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.
Gotrek in the Age of Sigmarthem all! And I want my axe back!"
- – Gotrek Gurnisson, Realmslayer
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 out of the Realm of Chaos or why he was unable to meet his long awaited doom (although he is very cross with Grimnir, who he feels has betrayed him by not letting him meet said doom), but it seems Grimnir might have had even greater things in store for the dwarf. Ever since he absorbed a powerful rune from the Fyreslayers and unintentionally became an avatar of Grimnir in their eyes, there's also been lot of folks affiliated with Order who have an interest in keeping him alive. Much to his annoyance, of course.
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 before AoS, 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/
Good news everybody! Gotrek is back for Age of Sigmar. Felix is currently indisposed as discussed earlier, but Gotrek is back with a fancy new model in all his badass slayer glory, much to the annoyance of many Skaven players. Not mountable without some overlap on a square base unless its 40x40mm (best Unit Filler ever though) or you cut him off his badass base, which is forgivable if you stick him on something more impressive than some rubble and dead Skaven (so Be'lakor's severed head doesn't count).
Gotrek is the biggest murder machine in AoS now, bar none. Greater demons, gods of death, even archaon, all have no chance. His axe, Zhangrom-Thaz, is a 6-attack 3+/3+/-2/3 monstrosity, but the real frosting on the cake (or in this case, the beard on the dwarf) is that he gets to reroll all to-hit and to-wound rolls, which is damn insane. But's that's not all! Each time he rolls a 6 to hit, he deals D6 MORTAL WOUNDS. with six attacks, that's an average of once every time he fights. Just to top it all off, if anyone's still alive at the end of the combat phase, Gotrek can fight again. he's also a tough bastard: The Avatar of Grimnir ability not only reduces the damage value of any multi-damage attack to one, but if a spell or ability would outright slay him, it just deals one mortal wound. Throw on that he ignores wounds and mortal wounds on 3+, he can eat up a frankly disgusting amount of punishment. Perhaps the only way to kill him (or at least slow him down enough) is through massive tarpits that have access to mortal wound saves, and all the better if you can resurrect those models. In short, a massive blob of Spirit Hosts with all the resurrection abilities you can afford. All in All, Gotrek is back in style and ready to cut a bloody path across the mortal realms.
Confirmed to appear in Total War: Warhammer II on October 17th (though White Dwarf readers can get a code with the September issue just the same way it was with Grombindal) and available for The Empire, Dwarfs and Bretonnia as a mercenary Legendary Lord (Gotrek) and Hero (Felix) - and yes, BRIAN BLESSED has reprised the role of Gotrek for the game. Their use is time limited (but long enough to do a big job) and they will disappear when Gotrek's deathseeker instinct triggers. Though they will reappear to the player after some time later even better.