- "To one as ignorant of the true state of our legal systems as I then was, it seemed all too possible that the entire apparatus of our mighty and extensive state might be bent to the apprehension of two fugitives such as ourselves. I did not then have any idea of quite how feebly and randomly the rule of law was applied. It was indeed a pity that all those sheriffs and all those bounty hunters who peopled my imaginations did not, in fact exist--for perhaps then.....evil would not have flourished quite so strongly within the boundaries of my homeland."
- —by Herr Felix Jaeger, (Altorf Press, 2505)
Gotrek Gurnisson, a Dwarf Slayer, and Felix Jaeger, his Human chronicler, are a duo of warriors travelling throughout the length and breath of the Old World, battling Dark Forces and stopping plots in Gotrek's quest for a heroic death against a terrible foe. The adventures of these warriors have been written down in the series of books: "My Travels with Gotrek" by Master Felix Jaeger, which outlines Felix's many adventures with his maniacal comrade throughout many of their endeavours, recording everything till the day Gotrek has finally met his doom, and will finally be allowed to enter the halls of his ancestors.
The skills of these two heroes is near unequal in the known world, their deeds becoming near legendary in the eyes of many of their own people. Their exploits have led these two warriors to places only heard of in whispers and legend. Such extraordinary lands includes them taking an expedition to the far north, towards the ancient Lost Hold of Karag Dum, being teleported to the mysterious foggy swamp-lands of Albion, travelling to the scorching sand-encrusted palaces of Araby, and even going as far east as the great cities and spires of legendary Cathay itself. In these distant lands, Gotrek has cleaved a mighty toll of beast, monsters, and warriors alike, as he tries his greatest to find the glorious deaths that seems to elude him on every battlefield. Alongside this fearsome warrior travels a young poet and swordsmen by the name of Felix Jaeger. A black sheep of a rich mercantile family, this poet and writer had been with Gotrek for nearly 20 years, fighting alongside his maniacal companion as he writes down all of his mighty deeds within one of his many published and popular books.
Though sometimes considered vigilantes of the law, and sometimes having themselves locked up by the very people they tried to protect, such is the deeds these two have achieved in their twenty long years of battles after battle that the Old World gives them a silent prayer of deliverance and thanks, for these two have done things no mortal has ever been able to accomplish in many generations, having defended many mighty cities like Nuln and Praag from utter destruction, saved entire Kingdoms from the claws of ruination, and felling mighty warlords of the northern wastes, who seek to bring the end of the world as we know it. The forces of evil they encounter during their journeys will always be stopped, for these two are almost unrivalled in combat, and are considered among the world's most powerful heroes of this age, and many ages since.
Gotrek Gurnisson is the greatest (or worst, depending on the viewpoint) dwarf slayer to have ever lived. This apparent contradiction is rooted in the nature of the Slayer Oath. Having committed a crime so terrible that only death in battle will serve as atonement, Gotrek has fought and slain numerous monsters, including hordes of orcs and skaven, a giant, trolls, Chaos warlords and sorcerers, an entire Black Ark of Naggaroth, and even a Bloodthirster of Khorne, and unfortunately (in his mind) lived to fight another day. His inability to find the heroic end he seeks begins to take its toll after a time, and by the events of Orcslayer, Gotrek is becoming worried that all that remains for him is a pathetic doom against unworthy opponents like goblins, or even worse, death as a result of old age. An experienced adventurer before taking the Slayer Oath, Gotrek has travelled across many lands and faced numerous foes of the dwarven people, and possesses some engineering experience, including the ability to pilot gyrocopters. Gotrek is also a very grim and moody figure, even by dwarven standards, and possesses the same stubborn character, obsession with honour, oaths and grudges, unerring sense of direction, prodigious love of ale, and general distrust of non-dwarves that is typical of his people's culture. Like all slayers, Gotrek shaved his crimson hair into what usually is a crescent shaped mohawk. He is described as broader than he is tall, heavily muscled, and wears a patch to cover an eye which he lost in battle with orcs and goblins. He is also far stronger than the average dwarf and is able to perceive secret passageways in seemingly impenetrable tunnel walls. He is seemingly impossible to kill, having survived, among other things, single combat with a Bloodthirster of Khorne, being hit by a stone hurled by a trebuchet, being catapulted into an orc ship and falling three hundred feet off a cliff.
The exact nature of Gotrek's crime has never been explicitly revealed; like many slayers, Gotrek considers his transgressions an intensely personal shame, and has threatened to kill those nosy enough to pry. However, some hints have been revealed over the course of the novels, though the authenticity of these sources is somewhat questionable. In a vision of the slayer's past seen by Arek Demonclaw, it is shown that after returning from his first incursion into the Chaos Wastes, Gotrek found his wife and children dead. The vision then shows Gotrek in the court of an unnamed dwarf lord, and Gotrek arguing with said lord. Afterward the dwarf lord sentences Gotrek to an unnamed fate, at which Gotrek kills the lord and his bodyguard and all others that do not flee. Wracked with guilt and shame, Gotrek shaved his hair, becoming a slayer.
His signature weapon is a battleaxe imbued with powerful rune magic, having gained this weapon during his first excursion into the northern Chaos Wastes, where he recovered it from the dead son of King Thangrim Firebeard. Gotrek's axe is as powerful as that wielded by the dwarven High King, Thorgrim Grudgebearer. This weapon was the axe of the runemaster of the lost dwarven fortress of Karag Dum, and supposedly previously belonged to the dwarven deity Grimnir. The elven mage Teclis once read the magical aura of Gotrek, and determined that immense power is flowing from the axe and slowly changing the slayer into something greater than an ordinary dwarf - having already been proved in the previous eight books when all the creatures Gotrek has killed are considered.
Felix Jaeger is Gotrek's reluctant companion and "rememberer." The black sheep of a rich Imperial mercantile family, he was initially a poet but was expelled from university after accidentally killing a student in a duel. After Gotrek saved Felix from being killed in the Window Tax Riots in Altdorf, Felix, in a drunken stupor, swore a blood-oath to record Gotrek's doom so that his honour could be maintained and to let him be remembered by the world. A blood-oath is the gravest oath a dwarf could make (even for a society obsessed with the sanctity of oaths), and so Felix was compelled to travel with Gotrek. A major theme in the novels is the tension within Felix between his desire to settle down in peace and comfort, away from the danger of being Gotrek's companion, and his longing to escape the banalities of civilized Imperial society for a life of heroism and adventure, and it is this conflict that shaped much of his relationship with Gotrek and his family.
In contrast to Gotrek's taciturn and absolutist mentality, Felix is a much more romantic, pragmatic figure, and frequently serves as the voice of logic and moral reason of the duo in order to remind Gotrek of the long-term consequences of his actions and guide him towards greater heroism. He also finds himself serving in a more diplomatic role, helping to soothe bruised egos after Gotrek's anti-authoritarian nature provokes allies or civilized society. Felix is also something of a womaniser, and forms several romantic relationships over the course of the series, most prominently with the Kislevite noblewoman (and eventual vampire) Ulrika Magdova.
Felix is a human with a swordman's physique and long blond hair, who favours a chain shirt and red cloak. Over years of following Gotrek, Felix has become an accomplished swordsman and duellist. His own weapon is the rune sword Karaghul, a blade with a dragon hilt recovered from the fallen hold of Karak Eight Peaks. A relic of the Knights of the Order of the Fiery Heart, it was forged for the purpose of slaying dragons. As shown in Dragonslayer, it grants him a shield from a dragon's fiery breath, as well as providing a powerful confidence when facing such a creature. As the decades pass, old acquaintances comment that Felix has not aged a day. First shrugged off as niceties, this soon becomes fact when, in Elfslayer, Max Schreiber verifies that Felix has indeed become immortal, or as close as to make no difference. Upon self-inspection, Felix also discovers that many of his old scars and wounds have vanished from his body. Max attributes this immortal state to various causes, from both Felix's and Gotrek's magical weapons, to some force encountered during their sojourn in the Chaos Wastes, to his passing through the wormhole in Sylvania. Many of his diaries concerning his and Gotrek's adventures have been published by his brother, Otto. The outlandishness and impossibility of the tales in question have brought most of its readers, including Otto, to believe it to be pure fiction.
Attention, Empire Citizens!
This article may contain spoilers from Books or Novels
Long before these two mighty heroes had made their sacred Blood-Oath in the city of Altdorf, Gotrek Gurnisson was a talented Engineer amongst his people. For many years, his profession was not one of destruction and violence, but one of science and logic, designing and crafting wonderous inventions for the benefit of his kingdom. Whether it was fate or the hands of the gods that had intervened in Gotrek's life will never be known, as all that is for sure is that his life changed forever when he journeyed to the northern wastes. As part of an expeditionary force lead by Borek Forkbeard, Gotrek was entitled to aid in the protection and care for a convoy of heavily armored steam wagons, whose purpose was to reach the ancient lost hold of Karag Dum, deep within the Chaos Wastes of the north. Though protected by armoured steel and magical enchantments, the convoy was bogged down by the unnatural landscape of the waste, and the convoy's occupants slowly died by dehydration, starvation, mutation, and things far worse. One by one the wagons were destroyed or fled back, until one wagon remained, hopelessly venturing ever further through the lands unknown, until an attack from a beastman herd had destroyed the vehicle, leaving only Gotrek, Snorri Nosebitter, and the expeditionary leader Borek Forkbeard still alive.
Seeing the expedition as a lost cause, the survivors tried to trek back towards their homeland, but a massive storm suddenly sprang out from the depths of the waste, huge dust clouds smothering the very sky until finally Gotrek was separated from his two companions. Seeking refuge from the storm, Gotrek delved deep within a cold dark cavern where he was beset by a horde of beastmen, eagerly confronting their next prey. Trying desperately to find a way to fight against these monstrous foes, Gotrek went ever deeper into the tunnel. It was finally deep within the depths of the tunnel that Gotrek's destiny caught up with him, for there laid a long-dead dwarf prince, surrounded by a mass of mangled bodies of beastmen and daemons. His dead skeletal hands held an artifact of dreadful power, forged in ancient times, powerful enough to kill even the monsters of Chaos. Upon touching the axe, Gotrek's life changed irrevocably. After butchering the horde that tried to kill him, Gotrek wearily traveled back to his homeland, growing more powerful as he sought desperately for the comforts of hearth and kin. However, upon his arriving at his village there was nothing but ruin, bodies and burned houses everywhere. The dwarf entered a stone house, and within sprawled the wretched body of a dwarf woman and her child. Gotrek bowed his head at the sight and wept. After an unknown length of time, Gotrek found himself within the halls of a dwarf lord, where he stood, arguing passionately with a long-bearded noble. There was a sneer on the noble's lips. He spoke mockingly, it seemed, and made a chopping gesture with his hand, perhaps forbidding Gotrek to do whatever he wished to do, or perhaps even ordering his death.
The older dwarf shook his head and grinned darkly at Gotrek, and then ordered the guards to seize the axe-bearer. It was a mistake. Within a span of a few minutes, all that was left in the hall were bloodied dwarf corpses. Driven by shame and grief for what he had done, Gotrek took up a knife and hacked away at his hair. Soon it was shaved bare, saved for a small rough strip. And so Gotrek strode out of the world, and became the slayer he was destined to be.
Felix Jaegar is a man not at first glance the hero many believed him to be, for he was once a son of a wealthy merchant family, and a poet at the University of Altdorf. His whole life, Felix had dreamed of the many great adventures he had read about in books and stories of his childhood, and so decided on becoming a successful poet and writer in the University, hoping to achieve such heights. However the grim realities of life shattered that dream forever the day Felix accidentally killed a student in a sprawling match during his years as a student. Having been kicked out of the University, Felix soon became an instigator of the infamous Window Tax Riot. The riots became so bad that the emperor and his Reiksguard came in to quell the fighting, where Gotrek saved the young Felix from the death charge of the knights as the horsemen cleaved through the tightly packed masses of protesters and agitators. After the incident, the two came into a tavern and there, young Felix got drunk on booze and misery, alongside his new companion. The two talked, and as they spoke Felix became more and more interested in Gotrek's tales of glory and fame, and thought of an idea to make a good book and even a possibility of being able to return to the University. In a drunken stupor Felix unwittingly promised Gotrek he'd be the dwarf's chronicler and write down his deeds and tales until the day he met his doom. Gotrek thusly took up a knife and the unlikely pair swore their blood-oath of brotherhood. On that day, the destinies of these two warriors became legendary for ages to come.
The Night of Geheismnisacht Eve
- "After the terrible events and nightmare adventures we endured in Altdorf, my companion and I fled southwards, following no path more certain than that chosen for us by blind chance. The extent and nature of the evil was to become very clear to me one dark evening after boarding a southbound stagecoach, on what is perhaps the most ill-omened night in our entire calendar..."
- —"My Travels with Gotrek" Vol. II, by Herr Felix Jaeger (Altdorf Press, 2505)
After the incident in the Imperial capital of Altdorf, Felix Jaegar was now a wanted man for being the main instigator of the infamous Window Tax Riot, along with his new companion Gotrek, also a wanted criminal for the killing of several Reiksguard knights during the chaos. In an effort to escape captivity and possible execution by the Emperor's forces, the duo fled south upon a stagecoach through the forest. During their exodus, Gotrek got into an argument with the coach driver on the matter of not being inside the coach. The argument eventually boiled into a full fight, and Gotrek and Felix were unwittingly dumped into the Reikwald on the unholy night of Geheismnisacht Eve, where the daemon moon Morrslieb was at its largest and brightest of all the year.
Without any transport, the two heroes walked on foot along the road side, hoping to find an inn further down the path. Gotrek was not pleased by the treatment he'd gotten from the coachers, and grumbled and cursed along the way. Felix was not feeling too good himself, for he felt ill, possibly a fever he had caught before the riot. As they traveled, Gotrek grew with blood-lust, and demanded that the ancient evils of the night give him a champion worthy of his axe. As if answered by the ancient powers, far, far off in the distance, a large, jet-black stagecoach roared past the duo, almost trampling them in its wake. Luckily Felix jumped out of its path onto a pile of leaves and bush before it reached him, while Gotrek stood defiantly in its way. Upon his recovery, he found Gotrek still alive, filled with great excitement and fury, and ordered Felix to follow him towards the coach. Felix reluctantly followed. As they followed the Bogenhafen road, they found themselves on the doorsteps of a small roadside tavern, known as the Standing Stones Inn. At first the inn looked deserted; not a single light was lit, and no sounds were heard of instead of the few ponies in the stable. Felix argued with Gotrek to at least stay in for the night, before they pressed on after the coach, but only the mentioning of ale proved Gotrek's downfall. The door to the inn was boarded and locked, and though Felix tried to persuade its occupants to let them in, only Gotrek's axe convinced them to open the door while it was still intact. Upon entrance, Felix apologized to the people about Gotrek's rudeness, and then sat down at a table in the main room.
While there Felix managed to get some information about the jet-black coach seen earlier, by both the inn keeper's family and several commoners that were present in the tavern. They told him about the dark rituals that were seen during the night and how the son of the innkeeper himself had gone missing the evening before. After drinking his fill, Gotrek burst into a vigor of activity, excited by the prospect of battle and that he might finally find his doom at last. Together with Felix, Gotrek set off on the trail along the road, eager to find a foe. Deep within the forest of the Reikwald, the duo crept through the underbrush, silent and tense. Gotrek was especially talkative at the moment. The pair exchanged words for a time until finally, Felix broke the tension by asking Gotrek a very demanding question. What was it that Gotrek had done to drive him to this?
The question rocked Gotrek; his muscles bulging, as if restraining the fury with him. Gotrek's response was that he would kill any other man if he asked that question to him, but due to Felix's youth and ignorance and the bond of friendship they shared, he would spare him from a gruesome death. It grew tense and quiet for a few moments after, until the duo heard a maniacal laughter coming from deep within the forest. There a mutant walked idiotically towards Felix, and was ready to pounce upon the paralyzed poet. Gotrek was swift however and cut the abomination's head before he could leap at Felix. Then the two heard distant chanting further into the dark and followed the strange sound to its source. There the duo spied a disturbing sight, a dark ritual taking place with many mutants of all kinds writhing in a mass of excess as they praised the word of Slaanesh. Felix watched, fear-stricken at the sight of drummers with the heads of goats, pipers with the heads of dogs, mutant men and women all together in the ceremony, and finally the one thing the duo has been searching for: the black coach. The door swung open, and from within emerged a man and woman carrying a child. The drums increased in tempo until finally the man placed the child on an altar. There dancers began to dance, and the robed man produced a knife and held it high, as a mist of eldritch energies appeared over the young sacrifice. Felix couldn't take it anymore and, together with Gotrek, assaulted the cultist.
A great battle ensued between the two heroes and their dark adversaries as Gotrek cleaved a hefty toll of the dead with his mighty axe, while Felix managed to hold his own. However, the cultists' numbers were overwhelming and Gotrek was finally overcome by a wave of bodies. Hoping to finish the ritual once more, the cultist leader held the knife high once again, and the mist began to take shape into a monstrous daemon. In desperation Felix gave a prayer to Sigmar and threw a dagger at the cultist, hoping to stop the ritual before it was too late. Sure enough, the blade managed to hit the throat of the cult leader, and with the untimely death of their master, the mutants all fled in fear. Gotrek's body burst from the sea of mutants and began a massacre of gruesome proportions, and the mutants' courage was finally broken. After the battle, Gotrek rescued the young still-living infant, while Felix unmasked the cultist leaders. Beneath the masks, the face of the innkeeper's son stared up at the dark moon, with his bride-to-be alongside him, and with a sad sigh he told Gotrek:
"I don't think we will be going back to the inn."
The infant was found on the doorstep of a Shallya temple a day later, a hammer necklace around the infant's neck, a sack of gold beside it and wrapped within a red Sudenland cloak; Felix's cloak. The two never returned to the inn again.
The Journey to Karak Eight Peaks
- "It was perhaps typical of my companion that for no more than this slim provocation, he was willing to risk life and limb in the wildest and most barren places imaginable. Or perhaps it was typical of the effect of "gold fever" on all his people. As I was later to see, the lure of that glittering metal had a terrifying and potent power over the minds of all of that ancient race. In any event, the decision to travel beyond the Empire's most southernmost borders was a fateful one, and it led to adventures the dreadful consequences of which haunt me still...."
- —"My Travels with Gotrek", Vol.II, by Herr Felix Jaegar (Altdorf Press,2505)
After the horrific endeavor the duo had been through on Geheimnisnacht eve, the two warriors headed further south, in the hopes of reaching the ancient lost hold of Karak Eight Peaks. Having gotten information from an old dwarf prospector by the name of Faragrim working at a tavern, Gotrek sought to claim the lost hoard of Eight Peaks himself, and also hoped to fight the massive Chaos troll that supposedly guarded it, granting him the doom he desired. The two traveled towards the southernmost border of the Empire, making their way through the legendary Black Fire Pass, in order to reach the other side of the Black Mountains. Before moving further, the two took a stop at a local trading post in the southern reaches of the Worlds Edge Mountains. Once there, Gotrek had to deal with some business, leaving young Felix alone in the local tavern. It was only a few moments after Gotrek left that young Felix had gotten into a brawl with three trappers over the issue of a girl. Felix, though well, fit, and tall, was no match for the three brawny men, and only the intervention of Gotrek stopped the three from crippling Felix.
After the brawl, Felix felt responsible to see to the care of the girl. The girl's name was Kristan, a maiden and resident of a large caravan heading east towards unclaimed lands near the Thunder River. With this information, Felix thought it wise to tag along with these travelers, providing him with both security and transportation along the journey to the Eight Peaks. Felix, though drunk, managed to get the stubborn Gotrek to agree with the plan, but only under the condition that they don't tell anyone of their quest, and so the mentioning of gold and a free ride managed to convince the slayer. Felix thusly sought the pair employment as mercenaries with the baron who owned the caravan. A former noble of the Empire, the baron couldn't pass up the service of a slayer and employed the two with several glittering gold coins.
Their travels took them through many harsh and untamed wildernesses filled with both danger and foul creatures that inhabit the frontiers of the Border Princes, but they found much natural beauty as well. Felix had time to take a look at this new frontier, tree-covered hills stretching towards the horizon, and beyond them the massive and imposing Worlds Edge Mountains, the realm of the dwarfs, loomed like a giant in the far distance, while the great and mighty Thunder River flowed heavily by their side. There and again, Felix can see several walled towns as they trekked through the wild, and just to the south, he saw another range of hills, all bleak and barren. A feeling of foreboding came into Felix's mind. The caravan met several attacks from greenskin wolf riders along the trail, but Gotrek's ferocity in battle managed to stem the green tide from coming in with more numbers. The attacks had severely injured many of the caravan soldiers however, and so the baron finally decided to march into one of the local walled towns, and made Felix his herald in an effort to gain some aid from the town's residents.
Even with Felix's kind words of wisdom, the village chief would not risk his town being overtaken by the baron's small army, and so denied them entrance. However, the chief did tell Felix about a few unclaimed lands just south of Thunder River for the baron to occupy, but he gave a grave warning about the trail heading south, and begged the baron to under no circumstances cross over the Geistenmund Hills, but follow the valley along Thunder River itself. Felix relayed the chief's response, but going against the advice of his mountain guide, the baron felt going through the hills would be much better, fearing that wolf riders would come in greater numbers near the river.
After trekking for a while down the hills, the caravan settled down for the night. Felix and Kristen talked throughout most of their journey, and eventually Felix developed a deep affection for the young girl. It was during the night, that the two walked together near the river, and in the light of the moon, that they kissed. Felix later got back towards the caravan and took his nap, Gotrek taking his first watch. Though quiet and gloomy at first, Felix dreamt of skeletal beings, and when he woke the dreams of terror seemed to have been brought to life, as a horde of undead warriors ambushed the sleeping caravan. Gotrek's battle-cry echoed through the night, and a cacophony of shouts and cracks were heard all around the caravan. Felix rushed towards the location of Kristen and protected her from the horrid foes.
The raging battle lasted throughout most of the night until the undead horde were driven back towards their graves. Those left living burned those that were dead in great funeral pyres, as to not see their loved ones rise up again. While there, Gotrek inspected the runes around the grave catacomb's entrance. With a savage grin, Gotrek told Felix that someone within the camp did this. As they traveled the caravan finally found cultivatable lands, and an old fort to settle down. It was there that Gotrek felt it right to leave and head to Eight Peaks. But Felix found he loved Kristen, a feeling he had never expected to know. Thus Felix climbed up onto the fort's battlements and there he saw Gotrek. There, Felix talked to him, about his relationship with Kristen, and settling down and making a family in this new land, each word feeling like a sting of betrayal to Felix's conscience. Gotrek didn't say anything as he talked. Felling guilty, Felix felt required to give just one more kind word of compliment and thanks to the deeds Gotrek had done for him in the past . . . when suddenly Gotrek spied something in the distance. Filled with horror, Felix realized it was a massive horde of goblin wolf riders descending from the forested hills. All around the fort, everyone grabbed their weapons and fought bravely against this blood-thirsty foe. Felix went after Kristen to protect her, while Gotrek swore to hold the walls as long as he could.
As he entered the keep looking for his love, he found only the bloodied bodies of two women. With tearful sorrowful eyes, he walked towards one and found that one of them was Kristen. Before her death, Kristen spoke a few heart-felt words of longing and love before she passed into Morr's embrace, leaving Felix alone and heart-broken. Filled with rage, he sought after the murderer who done this, only to find that all that was within the keep was the young nobleman Mannfred, cousin of the baron. The nobleman smiled evilly at Felix and explained to him his entire plan from the start, how he became an agent of the dark powers and sought to end the line of Von Diehl, and that all the incidents that befallen the caravan was his. Driven with maniacal rage at this revelation, the two fought, blades ringing and clashing. But it became apparent that Felix was slowly losing, and with a smile, Mannfred said "Goodbye, Herr Felix". But Mannfred's over-confidence proved his downfall, for Felix managed to step on Mannfred's foot, tripping him, and the treacherous noble fell upon Felix's sword.
Felix felt nothing after that moment; no feeling at all, no emotion. Only the face of Kristen kept coming into his mind, and with a casual step, he walked onto the cold night air, Felix embraced his death from the greenskins. Yet fate once again denied him this, for all Felix found was mangled bodies everywhere, human and greenskin alike. All that stood moving was Gotrek, at the center of the battered gate, bloodied and scarred, missing one eye.
Felix watched as those few survivors of the battle took refuge with the other towns of the surrounding lands the next day, and surveyed the large graves that were dug out, his future with Kristen buried in one of them. Before leaving, Felix gave a long and sorrowful good-bye to Gotrek. Gotrek rubbed his new eye patch and told Felix that there were still trolls in those mountains, and that he was going to get them. Before his departure, when Felix spoke, his voice was flat and devoid of emotion.
"Lets go and get them."
Gotrek and Felix looked at each other with mutual understanding. Gotrek grinned and simply said: "We will make a slayer out of you yet, manling."
The Dark beneath the World
- "After the dire events at Fort von Diehl, we set off with heavy hearts towards the mountains and Karak Eight Peaks. It was a long, hard journey, one not made any easier by the wilderness of the country that we passed through. The hunger, the hardship, and the constant threat of marauding greenskins did little to improve my state of mind, and it may be that I was perhaps particularly susceptible when I first looked on the fading grandeur of that ancient ruined city of the dwarfs, lost amid those distant peaks for all those ages. In any case, I now recall that I had a terrible sense of foreboding about what we would find there and, as was usually the case, my fears were proved amply justified..."
- —"My Travels with Gotrek, Vol.II", by Herr Felix Jaegar (Altdorf Press 2505)
With the memories of the fort behind them, the duo set off on the path towards the Eight Peaks. Felix felt empty after the death of Kristen, as though a void had opened up in his heart. But the doom that burned within Gotrek's was much greater, and young Felix marched wearily to the mountains beyond with him. During their trek to the Eight Peaks, the duo encountered several orcish war-bands marauding the area around the lost hold. It was during their final trek up into the mountain passes that the duo heard thunderous fighting coming from the far distance. Felix strained to hear, but Gotrek's senses were far keener than any human's, and ran eagerly toward the sound of battle. Gotrek climbed the steep hillside of the woodland areas with relative ease, while Felix struggled far behind, his footing not as keen as the dwarf's. When Felix finally reached the top of the hill, he saw before him a battle between two ancient foes. Around a fast-flowing river that led towards the hold hunched a circle of armed Imperial soldiers, fighting desperately against a war-band of orcish warriors. Outnumbered 5 to 1, and having already lost half their numbers, the soldiers were ripe for slaughter.
Gotrek, however, was enraged at the thought that the greenskins dared to defile the road to Karak Eight Peaks, and with frenzied eyes he charged into the orcish flank. Felix was more hesitant, his footing still uneasy in the rough terrain as he ran and slid down the slope of the hill. Gotrek's axe reaped a hefty toll of greenskin warriors with every swing, but the damage was already done, and only three soldiers were still fighting in the ambush. Felix entered the fray and managed to kill an orc warrior while also wrestling with another, trying to drown him and throw him off the ledge. But, by Sigmar's grace, Felix managed to live through the ordeal, and regrouped with the band of Imperial soldiers. The supposed leader, an armoured knight by the name of Aldred, explained to the duo their situation, and how they seek to go to the hold themselves, to seek a lost artifact of their order. Alongside him stood a Imperial wizard named Johann carrying several scrolls of magic with him, along with a fur-clad Bretonnian mountaineer called Jules, the group's guide. Though Gotrek rejected it at first, Felix thought it alright to tag along with these mighty warriors as they headed to the gates of the hold.
The group made their way along the road leading to the valley below, surrounded by eight mighty peaks that encircled a small stone city in the valley floor. Upon their entrance into the valley, Gotrek reminisced about the olden days of his people, the golden age this once-mighty hold. However, his story became a tale of woe, as he told of the great things beneath the world that had destroyed the hold, the monsters of the deeper dark. Gotrek's stories put the group on edge about the dangers that lied ahead, beyond the doors of the hold itself.
The group reached the gate of the hold just before dusk, where a small garrison of dwarven warriors lead the group to Prince Belegar Ironhammer, last descendant of the royal blood-line to this lost hold. There the group gave the prince their pleas to enter the sacred hold, which the prince allowed, hoping that this group might be able to destroy the darkness awaiting them below. As darkness closed in, the group rested in their beds for the journey ahead tomorrow when they were visited by the strangest visitor that night. Magda Freydotter, the runemaster of Karak Eight Peaks and the carrier of the Book of Remembering, came in, warning of the dangers that Gotrek would face down in the depths, and the ghosts of the ancestors that haunted the tunnels. Gotrek, for the first time ever, grew pale, as if stricken by fear of the prospect of meeting such ghosts of the past. But he knew that his doom lay just ahead, and he would not give up.
The following day, the group departed to the tunnels below, via a large staircase that led hundreds of feet below the city hold. As they descended they come upon a large corridor that led deeper into the tunnel networks that branched out of the main hold's corridors, aided by glow stones engraved upon the ceiling. Their journey had led the group to tunnelways that held many dangers within in, and in one battle the group found themselves right in the middle of two warbands of greenskin warriors waging a territory war. Only Gotrek's instincts saved the group from utter destruction. After walking for hours, the group took a small break in one of the lost corridors for the time being, eating and resting for the battles ahead. Gotrek stood watch, but was not aware of the horror he would face in the darkness. A wail echoed through the tunnels, alerting all the group members on guard. An eerie greenish glow washed across the slayer's face as he faced the ghost of the ancient dwarfs of the past. The ghost begged Gotrek for mercy and aid, but Gotrek, too frozen with fear, held no response. The ghost disintegrated soon after and the tunnel grew quite once more.
It was finally after hours of walking that the group got to the vault where Gotrek's doom and Aldred's artifact laid. However, the group was surprised to find the door open, and the massive hoard inside to be unguarded. Gotrek was deep in thought about this, but the revelation came like a sting of betrayal and rage to his lips as he relayed to the others that it was Faragrim that had opened the door, knowing the darkness that might worm its way through once he did. Aldred was not deterred, and rushed towards the pile of treasure to find an ancient dragon-hilted sword lying at the top. Aldred held the sword high, praising Sigmar for his deliverance to his quest. Suddenly, without him knowing, a massive monstrosity emerged from behind the noble knight, and with a mighty swing of his iron-hard claws, he ripped the knight's head clean off. This was not an ordinary troll, but a troll mutated by the powers of Chaos, horned and deformed, with a third pincer arm and a baby-faced shoulder. The source of this corruption laid in the large warpstone necklace around the creature's neck. Gotrek rushed at the creature, weapons high, and chopped at it maniacally with his runed axe. The others, however, were still struck with fear, and did not seem too eager to enter the fray.
Gotrek's axe chopped and slashed, but the creature's unnatural regeneration made his attacks useless. Gotrek, with a mighty sweep of his axe, removed an entire section of the troll's baby-faced shoulder. It lopped onto the floor in front of Felix, and Felix in reaction hacked at it frantically. But the thing would not die, and it was only when Johann came with a fireball in his hand that the thing finally stopped moving and burned to ashes. Jules, however, was driven insane with fear and had unexpectedly lunged at the troll from behind and hacked at its flesh over and over again. But even with all that effort, the Bretonnian was casually swatted away like a pesky fly, his body crashing into the wall, hisblood splattering the cold, hard stone. Sensing the new danger from the wizard, the troll caught the mage with his pincer arm. Johann cried out in terror and he blasted the troll's face with fire in hopes of being freed, but it only ensured his doom as the pincer closed in reaction to the pain. The troll once more faced Gotrek and the two fought with a daemonic ferocity.
Felix looked at the bodies of the others and was filled with dread. Gotrek would not be able to keep this up, and once he was dead, Felix would die too. It was while Felix frantically looked for another way to win the battle that he remembered Johann and the baby-faced shoulder before; fire could kill it. He took out his knapsack and produced several vials of oil from his sack and told Gotrek to keep it busy. Once in position, Felix flung the vials at the beast's back, and grabbed his lantern and flung it once more onto the troll. The beast howled in pain, was engulfed with fire, and died in the spot.
The room grew quiet, only the two of them in the chamber. Felix had thought the worse was over and he might indeed survive the journey when off in the distance a horn was sounded, and there approached an entire horde of goblin raiders, having followed the group after their encounter in the tunnels earlier. Outnumbered and exhausted from their battle with the troll, the duo knew that this was how it will end. Felix felt no more fear; the prospect of death dulled such petty feelings. He casually walked over and drew the sacred sword from its scabbard, a musical tune ringing as he did. Gotrek looked at Felix and grinned:
"This is going to be a truly heroic death, manling. My only regret is that none of my people will ever get to hear it."
Felix tried a few swings of the sword and responded.
"You don't know how sorry I am about that."
The duo knew that this was the end, and watched as the horde surged forth to drown them. But the greenskins wavered and halted, as if fear had struck their savage hearts. Cold green light streamed over their shoulders and the spectre forms of ancient dwarven warriors cleaved through the horde with a furious vengeance until the goblins finally fled the scene. Once more it was only Gotrek and Felix in the quiet and bloodied vault, until a greenish light reappeared and the ancient dwarf from before stood in front of Gotrek. The ghost gave the slayer his greatest thanks, and promised he and his kin would never forget this deed for his people. The ghost seemed to coalesce into one cold green flame that glowed like a star in the darkness. The light changed from green to warm gold and then became brighter then the sun.
Felix closed his eyes and, upon opening them, the room was empty once, save for Gotrek. After long minutes, the slayer shrugged and turned away. Felix followed and asked if they should bury the dead. Gotrek simply responsed:
"Leave them. They lie among the mighty. Their bodies are safe."
The duo stepped through the arch, and Gotrek paused to touch the runes laid out in the ancient pattern. The tomb was sealed. Then they made their way up through the old darkness towards the light of day.
The Dark Forest of the Empire
- "As money was short, we decided to return to the Empire to seek gainful employment of some sort. Our return from Karak Eight Peaks was in no sense an easy one.....In our desire to avoid any possible encounter with the agents of law, we wandered far from the normal haunts of man, and ended up deep in the forest, in an area long thought to be the site of a black altar of Chaos. Little did we suspect when we set out that we would soon meet startling proof of that dire fane's existence, and also that we would soon do battle with the most powerful of all the followers of Darkness we had yet encountered......"
- —"My Travels with Gotrek", Vol.II, by Herr Felix Jaegar (Altdorf Press,2505)
As the duo made the long trek back towards Felix's homeland, they faced fierce weather, orcish warbands, and treacherous terrain along the road leading to Black Fire Pass. Their first destination was the town of Fredricksburg, and upon their arrival Felix and his companion had managed to reveal the dreaded corruption that ran deep within the nobility of this small city. Fearing persecution from the nobles of the town, the duo fled the region and followed the road to the Wissenland capital of Nuln. After taking a small break at a local tavern, the duo drunkenly thought it wise to avoid the main road in order to avoid any agents of the law that might have been trying to seek them. This decision however was a dreadful mistake, for the two warriors were lead into woods long thought to be the site of an ancient Chaos sacrificial altar.
Their journey through the woods led them toward the ruined husk of a once mighty town. All around it, the two saw burned houses, charred bones, and overhead at the town's main keep laid the heads of the town's occupants. Felix felt uneasy at the sight and told Gotrek that it was best they moved on. Gotrek, however, wanted to know who did this, seeing a good prospect of battle to come. Unknown to these two warriors, somewhere in the ruins laid something still among the living. Gotrek heard the thing, and motioned Felix to look. Felix, still fearful of the supposed danger present within the ruin, ordered it to move out of its hiding place slowly.
What Felix saw come out was just a young girl, and Gotrek strode towards the young child with grim determination. He demanded to know what happened here very harshly, while Felix spoke more softly and asked the girl her name. The girl, still fearful of these two strangers, told them her name, Kat, and her story. A massive herd of beastmen had come upon the town just the previous night,and destroyed all they'd come across, including the garrison within the keep. Felix felt pity for Kat, and reassured her that she would be safe for now. Gotrek, however, simply reaffirmed his hatred for trees, and the two moved on with the girl. When darkness fell, the group made a camp for the night, and Kat fell asleep. The two heroes talked about what they saw the previous day, and talked about the girl also.
Felix was uneasy at the sight of the ruins, and felt there would be something wrong with the girl also. Gotrek told him not to worry about it and get some sleep. Felix sighed and went over to his bedding of grass and leaves. He slept well, yet old nightmares stalked his dreams once more. Felix didn't know how long he slept, but something didn't feel right. It was finally the sound of Gotrek's stone-hard voice that finally awoke Felix. He roused slowly from his dreams, his neck hurt and his back aching. Felix looked up at the sky, the moon almost set. Dawn was just coming. Felix asked Gotrek what was going on, but the dwarf ordered him to be silent. Felix listened and surveyed his surroundings, finding no movement except for Kat, who was wide awake near the fire. Felix told Kat to hide somewhere, and told her no matter what happens to them, she must stay hidden. It was her best chance of survival.
What first came was a howl from several directions, with bestial forms forming up a half circle at the edge of the forest's edge. They both faced each other, each one looking to who will make the first move. Gotrek asked Felix if he was ready, and the young man replied "As I'll ever be." The duo thus charged the beastmen, and fought savagely upon contact. Gotrek's axe smashed through the guard of one beastman, and sliced into another with his return swing. Felix, however, was struggling, fighting against a scimitar-wielding beastman. The battle raged, but it was the duo that once again survived the battle. Having slayed their pack-leader, the rest of the beastmen turned tail and ran from the gruesome axe-bearer. Felix was glad, for again he might live to see the light of another day.
The following dawn, the group headed out once more, upon a trail that led to a small village just past a fork in the road. Felix noticed many stumps that littered the forest floor, with a few saplings here and there, and the smell of freshly cut logs in the air. There was obviously a large logging industry at work here, a sign of civilization not far away. Just before reaching the supposed location of the village, the group was ambushed by a warband of local hunters and rangers that guarded this region of the forest. Gotrek, not the most diplomatic of sorts, demanded the foresters to show their faces, while Felix tried to advert any violence. It was Kat's soft and youthful voice that managed to convince the leader of the band, Messener, to allow them entrance to their village. Once safe inside, the group told him about the dangers that the village will face soon, if they don't get prepared. Messener knew of this danger, and sent a pigeon with a message for the local duke that ruled this patch of land to come for aid. He thusly ordered the village to fortify the surrounding area with traps and stakes. For the whole day the villagers carried out the plan, with foresters and trappers laying a complex network of pits and traps along the forest edge, while the women of the town gathered what was left of the crops within the walled settlement.
Felix stood upon the battlements along with Gotrek, after having a prayer at the local temple of Sigmar. Both of them looked at the forest edge with grim faces, but Gotrek, as always, seemed ready for the battle to come. He assured Felix that the beastmen would be there soon, not realizing that was what Felix was worried about. Just a moment later, a rustle was heard among the trees. Gotrek was the first to see the metal beast that burst out of the undergrowth. As the beastmen army marched out of the forest, alongside them stood a metal abomination, a long-snouted, multi-barreled cannon with a dragon's head muzzle. Their twisted leader cranked a large lever and aimed the cannon at the village wall.
The cannon roared to life, and hellfire blasted apart the fortifications. In response, the beastmen all charged for the gaps towards the small village. The archers on the walls let loose a barrage of arrows, killing dozens upon dozens with each volley. The traps along the valley floor came to snapping life, impaling scores of the foe in spike pits while metal jaws sheared through bone. Felix and Gotrek stepped down from the battlements and joined the fray. The leader, a warrior in jet-black armour, rode her steed toward largest of the holes in the walls. Felix fought against several beastmen warriors upon their entrance to the battle, but he had unsuspectingly lost contact with Gotrek during the ensuing fighting. He disengaged from the battle for a moment to catch a breather as he saw the chaos engulfing the town. Fires were burning in the buildings all around, and the horde had not relented their attacks on the breach. Felix knew that he needed to find Gotrek, or his chances of survival would be miniscule. He thought he heard Gotrek's battle-cry out in the distance but couldn't tell for sure under all the noise. Felix prayed to the gods for deliverance and protection for him, Gotrek, and Kat. Felix then began to wonder where the girl was.
Kat was hiding amidst some barrels of water during the battle, unable to find a hiding spot before the beastmen had gotten inside the village. She watched the battle with dread, and remembered the horrors she faced in her old town, and the black armored woman that spared her life before. As if in response she saw her again, the same warrior with her black armour striding towards her. But Gotrek walked out of the shadows and issued a challenge. The woman snarled and fought fiercely against Gotrek, while Kat, being too afraid of the woman, stood by helplessly. The two fought with blinding speed, with Kat's eyes barely registering the flash of steel on steel as they traded blows. The two then locked weapons with one another, each immobile as they strained their muscles. It was at that instance that a beastmen tried to lung at the slayer while he was distracted. Kat, without thinking, screamed a warning at the slayer, saving the dwarf's life. The two disengaged and Gotrek was caught in battle with several other beastmen. It was at that moment that the woman saw Kat once more, and strode casually towards her.
Felix tore around a corner in an effort to find his companion and Kat. The clamour of battle rang all around him as the heat of the flames warmed his body. He heard Gotrek's shouts just a bit off in the distance, but his attention was drawn to the warrior in black armour. She strode casually towards Kat, and it was at that moment that she saw some kind of resemblance between the two. The same wide eyes, the same narrow jawline. Seeing the warrior raise her sword, Felix instinctively tackled her before she could bring it down. Felix sprawled around the ground as the woman tried to get up. He pierced the woman's back, but it did little to her, and soon her mailed hands had found themselves around his neck, her impossibly heavy armor knocking out the breath from his lungs.
As she tightened her grip, Felix strained to resist her snapping his neck. For what an eternity, Felix fought on, and the woman grinned evilly and told him "Now, you will die." Suddenly, her grip began to lessen. She looked down stupidly at the blade of her own sword emerging from her breastplate. She stood upright, reeling onher feet and looked in the direction of the blow. Kat stood behind her, and she looked at her killer with a terrible ironic smile as mad laughter bubbled in her throat. The Chaos warrior strode towards the girl but began to falter, slowly toppling forward as she laughed. She collapsed heavily, her body disintegrating at an unnatural rate until all that was left was her armour and bones. Rain began to fall as the storm finally broke, with water smothering out the flames of the village. Kat then hurried towards Felix and asked if it was over. Felix responded "It soon will be".
The following day, the battle was over, the duke's forces finally arrived at the pre-dawn hours of the day, hunting down the last of the beastmen before they could escape to the safety of the woods, Gotrek taking the lead in the hunt. All that day Kat begged Felix if she could go with them, but Felix knew the dangers they would face and declined every time. With Gotrek returning from the hunt, he told the young Felix that time was wasting.
Felix shook hands with Messener before their departure, and Kat hugged first Felix and then the slayer. Messener had to pull her away in the end.
"Goodbye," she said tearfully. "I'll always remember you."
Gotrek responded softly, "You do that, little one."
They turned and walked away from Flensburg. The path was steep and the road was rocky. Ahead lay Nuln and an uncertain future. At the top of the slope Felix turned and looked back. Below them Messener and Kat were two small figures, waving. Felix prayed they'd be safe.
The Imperial City of Nuln
- "At long last we found ourselves in the great elector city of Nuln, a place of refinement, sophistication, wealth, and great learning . . . and a city in which my family had long had business dealings. At that time, the countess Emmanuelle was at the height of her fame, power, and beauty. Her city attracted the wealthy, the aristocratic, and the famous like a candle attracts moths. Nuln was one of the most beautiful cities in all the Empire. Of course, our own entry into the life of the city was made at a level far lower on the social scale. Short on cash, hungry and weary from our long journey, we were forced to take employment in what was possibly the very worst occupation we were to pursue in our long wandering. And during that period we encountered a fiend who was to bedevil our paths for long years to come."
- —"My Travels with Gotrek" Vol.III, by Herr Felix Jaegar (Altdorf Press, 2505)
After their long trek through the central forest of the Empire, facing both sorcerers and werewolves on their journey, the two finally reached the great Imperial city of Nuln. Being still wanted for the Window Tax Riot in Altdorf, the two tried to sneak in without being noticed, and, being extremely poor, took jobs that didn't require a background check. The two unexpectedly became part of the Sewer Jacks, a band of men whose job is to clear the local sewers of small roving bands of goblins and mutants. Felix was not too pleased with the prospect of being part of this sewer watch, cursing the gods all around, for in his long hard journey with the slayer this was possibly the worst surroundings he ever found himself in.
Gotrek, however, seemed somewhat cheerful in this type of environment, not heeding in the slightest the smell or the narrowness of the tunnel network. Perhaps, Felix thought, it was that he felt at home in these tunnels, his squat muscular body well-adapted to life underground. In the sewer watch, Felix managed to get acquainted with the others in the group. Alongside the slayer and Felix was the tall Gant, a toothless, bad breathed sewer jack of twenty years, and the leader of the group in this small expedition into the tunnels. With him stood his second-in-command Rudi, a squat ape-like man with a massive barrel chest and hands almost as big as Gotrek's. Then there was Hef and Spider, the new boys, as Gant liked to call them. They were twins, almost exactly alike in appearance and personality, and a member of the Sewer Jacks for almost seven years.
Gant led the group deep into the tunnel networks of the sewers in search of goblin occupants reported to be living throughout the vast catacombs. Sure enough, Gant laughed menacingly when he found some tracks along the sewers pavements. Gotrek, however, knew those tracks far too well; goblins were sheep compared to the makers of those marks. "Skaven", Gotrek said grimly, and the word filtered out towards all in the group with both dread and disbelief. Everyone remembered the tales Gant had told about these monstrous beings, of how the sewers are the havens of humanity's many foes, such as mutant hideouts, goblin lairs, Chaos cults, and rat creatures of darker origins. The group followed the tracks through the network of tunnels, Gotrek at their fore leading the group into unmarked sections under the city's districts.
It was finally then, once the group reached the section of tunnels just below the Old Quarter of Nuln, that Gotrek heard voices coming down the tunnels and readied his axe for combat. The Sewer Jacks steeled themselves for the coming violence, preparing for a meeting with creatures of the darkest legend. Sneaking quietly to the location of the voices, the Sewer Jacks heard the voice of a man, and another that didn't seem human. It was finally after creeping agonizingly close to the assailants that the light from Gant's lantern revealed the two individuals. One was a man garbed in a dirty robe, and the other looked like a rat, but standing on its hing legs. With the assailants paralyzed by the sudden appearance of the Sewer Jacks, Gotrek charged at the individuals and prepared his axe for the killing blow, but the fiendish rat creature threw a greenish orb that erupted in front of Gotrek, while the robed man scurried away. The poisonous gas quickly spread and nearly everyone was coughing horrendously. It was by luck that most of the group held their breath before the gas came near, except for one poor soul. When the group recovered, they saw Gant dead, in a pool of his own blood, and the rat creature dead with an axe in its skull. The two carried their dead sergeant back, towards the gloomy graves of Morr's embrace.
After the incident, Felix left from his duty for the day, and headed towards his rented apartment. Felix tried to go to sleep, but the previous engagement had shaken him, and made Felix think about all the things that happened to him, and how they all could have been so different if his luck had gone differently. It was during this train of thought that Felix heard footsteps coming through the apartment. At first Felix didn't care, but the foot steps came close and closer until finally someone knocked on his door. Felix prepared himself for the worst and readied a knife. It was finally after tense moments that Felix realized that it was Frau Zorin, the apartment owner. Felix opened it to find two burly men standing menacingly in the door steps. But it was the well-garbed men in the middle that Felix noticed first. Otto, Felix's older brother, came to him that night to get acquainted once more with his little brother after the incident with Wolfgang Krassner, the student Felix killed. Otto's expectation of his little brother had changed, and to Felix so had Otto. The two talked for a good few minutes about the state of the family, their business in Nuln, and the dangers it held within, and that's when Felix learned of a secret police force within the city walls. It was at the end of the conversation that Otto gave his little brother a chance to fill his stomach and get closer to his brother again, and asked if he wanted to join him for dinner. Felix agreed, and Otto went off, leaving Felix alone to be with his thoughts.
The following day, the Sewer Jacks once more descended into the stinking sewers of Nuln to do their daily duty of patrols. Bringing with them scarfs soaked with urine to be used against another gas orb from one of the Skaven assailants, the group decided to investigate the scene where Gant died and get revenge. It was at the crime scene that the group found the body of the Skaven missing. Having left the corpse there last night, the group found a trail leading away, further into the sewers. It trailed out, until it just vanished into the wet and the muck. The group speculated for a while what could have done this, some saying it was scavengers, others saying it was dark sorcery, but it was Felix who came up with the most logical theory. Felix speculated that the skaven had used a small boat to haul out the corpse, and probably also for smuggling operations in the city. The group continued on their search for the ratmen, but found no more evidence, except for the bars of the tunnel leading to the docks cut open.
That evening, Felix had gone towards the Golden Hammer diner in Nuln to attend the small dinner Otto proposed. Felix, now well garbed in nice clothing and a bath, looked very different from the way he'd appeared before. The servant at the door led young Felix to his brother's table, where there he proposed to Felix a chance of redemption. Otto gave Felix the chance to return back home, and leave the life of an adventurer behind him. The choice shocked Felix; half of him craved the chance to return to the life he'd known, but half of him had fallen in love with the open road. Straining to decide which to choose, Felix only then noticed a man coming into the diner. As the man walked, silence spread in his wake. Felix asked his brother who the man was and found out it was Chief Magistrate Friz von Halstadt, the leader of Nuln's secret police. Felix stared at the man's face, and knew in his heart that he had been the one in the sewers. After his dinner with Otto, the following day, Felix relayed this information to the other Sewer Jacks. None of them really believed him, even with Felix's constant persuasion. Rudi dismissed the idea, and asking Felix how a bunch of Sewer Jacks would be able to convince the elector count of Nuln to believe them. Felix was unable to deny Rudi's facts and the group went back to their duty. It was during their daily trek through the sewers that the group noticed something odd. The rats that were previously skulking out of sight disappeared and the sound of small foot-steps were heard from behind. Gotrek realized this and told Felix to prepare the others for the coming fight. The group huddled together, and laid out the plan. Gotrek and Felix would fight those behind them, and the others will handle those in front.
Gotrek was the first to charge at the enemy, and it was he and Felix that perpetrated the carnage that unfolded. In mere seconds, Gotrek had already slain several black-furred skaven soldiers along with the leader of the group. Fear gripped the skaven at the near instant loss of their leader and every one of them fled. The duo returned to the group and found them alright, the skaven up front having fled after seeing their comrades get butchered. And so the group grabbed one of the ratmen's corpses to prove to the city the skaven threat, but it would all be for nothing. The secret police had taken the skaven body just after the captain reported its presence. After the previous engagement, Felix once more went to his brother Otto for a conversation on the matter. He tried to convince him about the skaven, but Otto didn't want to really believe him, and recalled rumours of some such incidents, on how there were mutants, cults, and monsters living in the sewers. This news was old to Felix, but the seriousness in his face restrained a mocking smile from Otto. Felix asked if he knew where to find von Halstadt, or his suppose establishment. Otto, glad to change the subject, relayed what he knew about him. Felix decided that it is time to take this matter into his own hands.
It was the following morning that Felix woke up earlier than usual. Ignoring an ominous smoke coming from Cheap Street, the young chronicler went towards the Hall of Archives national building to look for something detailing anything about the sewer networks underneath the Magistrate's manor. After many hours of looking, and a couple threats and bribes, Felix had gotten what he was looking for, and returned to his duties to present them to the group. It was finally reaching his post that the Sewer Jacks were ordered to assist the city-watch with the local fire in Cheap Street the morning before. To Felix's horror, he later found out whose house had burned. Hef and Spider, the twin brothers of the group, had supposedly been killed in the fire, but all that remained was the seared corpse one of the twins' lover, Gilda. Felix knew who had done this, and he swore revenge on those responsible. Driven with a grim determination, he presented to Rudi and Gotrek the map layout of the sewers and told Gotrek to look for the secret passage underneath.
After several hours of trekking through the sewer tunnels underneath the Chief Magistrate's manor, Gotrek finally found the secret doorway. Sliding in one of the bricks, the door mechanism inside the walls opened and allowed the Sewer Jacks to infiltrate the Magistrate's office. Rudi, not too keen with being caught within the private residence of such a high-ranking official, stayed behind and watched the exit. Gotrek and Felix split up after finding that the manor was empty, with Gotrek searching downstairs while Felix looked upstairs. To Felix's luck, he found the Chief Magistrate's office, peeked through the files stacked all around the room, and got many bits of information from the Magistrate's studies. It was during his look through the many notes and papers of the office that he noticed someone coming. The Chief Magistrate opened the door to be surprised to see Felix there. Felix was the hero in this situation, just like those plays of Detlef Sierck as a youth, however Felix's overconfidence blinded him to the danger the Chief Magistrate had to offer. It was after von Halstadt's last attempt to bribe young Felix that he lashed out with his sword. The two talented swordsmen circled and wheeled at each other, looking for openings or a weak spot to exploit, but it was von Halstadt that found it first, and the Chief Magistrate managed to wound Felix's arm, following with a nasty gash above his eye.
It soon became apparent that Felix was slowly loosing, as the blood streaming down his eyes was beginning to obscure his vision. It was only a matter of time before his own death by the sword. However, the sound of something like a tree falling down shook the manor walls with great force, distracting von Halstadt long enough for Felix to swing his sword at the Chief Magistrate, killing him instantly. Great pain seared through Felix's body until finally he collapsed unconscious. It was mere seconds later that Gotrek had gotten to the office and woke Felix up with a bucket of water, telling him that the guards are coming. Felix, too tired and sore to stand up, waved the slayer back, but Gotrek's constant persuasion finally managed to get Felix up and running. Before leaving, Felix knew those papers were nothing but bad news for this city, and made sure that they and the whole manor would come down in ashes.
The Assassins of Clan Eshin
- "Needless to say, we could not tell the authorities the whole truth of our encounter with the skaven, for in doing so we would implicate ourselves in the murder of a high official of the court of the Countess Emmanuelle. And murder, no matter how deserving the victim, is a capital crime. We were dismissed from service and force to seek alternative employment. As luck would have it, during a drunken spree in one of the less salubrious quarters of the city, we happened upon a tavern, the owner of which had been a companion of the slayer's in his mercenary days. We were employed to eject undesirables from the bar, and believe me when I tell you that people have to be very undesirable indeed to warrant being thrown out of the Blind Pig. The work was hard, violent, and unrewarding, but at least I thought we were safe from the skaven. Of course, as was so often the case, I was wrong. For it seemed that one of them at least had not forgotten us and was plotting revenge..."
- —"My Travels with Gotrek", Vol.III, by Herr Felix Jaegar (Altdorf Press, 2505)
After the great fire that consumed much of the Chief Magistrate's residence, the two warriors were discharged from duty, as they were unable to tell the authorities what happened in the manor. Luckily, they were not under arrest for the suspicions of the death of the Magistrate, and as such the two went on their way to look for another job in Nuln's many districts. It was during one of their many drunken sprees that Gotrek found an old comrade in the Blind Pig from his mercenary days who gladly hired them.
Now employed as a bouncer for Heinz's small security, Felix had to break up fights, watch over the tavern girls, clean up after them during the busy hours of the day, and was in charge of the removal of any "unwanted" occupants that lingered too long in the building. After working for several days, the two warriors had gotten accustomed to this bouncer life, for this gave the two a free home to sleep in, and a few free drinks on the house, which Gotrek was extremely pleased about. However, Felix would still always be complaining about his current situation, cursing the gods for the fate he was bestowed with. Along with the small group of mercenaries acting as Heinz's other bouncers, the tavern owner told Felix about the many occupants that would fill the Blind Pig to bursting every night. All kinds of vagabonds, street thugs, criminals, and even nobles would come to the Blind Pig for either refreshments or some kind of drama from the local inhabitants. It was commonplace in this part of Nuln, as the Blind Pig was located within one of Nuln's poorest and crime-ridden districts of the city, and seeing criminals and nobles walking through the alley streets was not uncommon.
After cleaning up a fight, and saving one of the tavern girls from a group of young, arrogant nobles, Felix finished his shift for today, and went to his room. The room was very small, with very little in it but a small bed of straw. Felix tried to sleep, but the events that had conspired to put him on this path kept him away, along with the many moans and noises some of the other customers were doing in the next room over. After a few frustrating moments, someone knocked on his door. To his surprise it was the girl he saved earlier from being raped. Her name was Elissa, and she came to Felix to thank him for his efforts and wanted to give him an appropriate reward. It took Felix a moment to understand what was being offered, and slowly he let Elissa in and locked the door behind him.
It was during Felix's moments of embrace with Elissa that he swore he heard something outside. Elissa was worried, but Felix told her it was nothing and returned to their passion. But again the sound came moments later, and this time it was louder, almost like fighting. Feeling a great foreboding, Felix slowly untangled himself from Elissa and whispered her to be quite. He heard something from the window and prepared his sword for the worse. At that moment a black-clad skaven launched itself at him and tried to kill Felix with its fangs and dagger. Nonetheless, Felix was now a quite experienced warrior and slew the creature. Unfortunately, a wave of its brethren swarmed through the window to overwhelm him.
Felix saw Elissa frozen in fear, and told her to get out and get some help. After tense moments she got up, but looked back once more at Felix, unsure if she wanted to leave him. The grim look in his eyes answered her doubts; she had to, or he would die. Felix held off the first wave of gutter runners, but he was slowly being outnumbered as more and more poured in. In desperation he threw his lantern at his straw bed and an inferno separated him from the rest of the gutter runners. He jumped through the fire and smashed through the wall of the room, leaving him in the hallway of the building. He ran down it in hopes of reaching the stairs, while also seeing one of the nobles faint at the sight of the skaven behind him.
Felix crashed into Heinz at that moment and the bouncers and Gotrek faced the oncoming horde. Along with the bouncers, bodyguards of nobles from the other room came in to find out what was going on and engaged the skaven at the rear. A gruesome massacre ensured and no Skaven survived that day.
Felix laid at the wall of the hallway, tired and hurt with Elissa clutching him from his side. She snuggled close and whispered to his ear, "Thank You."
Those few words and the girl's smile comforted Felix greatly.
Warlock-Engineer of Clan Skrye
- "It is a frightening thing to have enemies unknown, invisible and untraceable, who can strike at you when they wish without fear of vengeance or punishment. At least, I found it to be so. If my companion shared these feelings, he never gave any sign of it to me. Indeed he seemed rather to enjoy the situation . . . which I suppose was natural enough, given that his avowed purpose in life was to seek a violent death. Yet I was worried. The attack on the alehouse had left me shaken, and the knowledge that somewhere out in the night an implacable foe was lurking did nothing to calm my fraught nerves. But it seemed that we had allies as well, who were determined to aid us for their own unfathomable purposes."
- —"My Travels with Gotrek", Vol.III by Herr Felix Jaegar
With the death of the skaven assassins, the duo and the bouncers readily put out the fire that consumed part of the tavern's structure. Luckily, the fire didn't spread far from Felix's room, and the entire tavern was saved from ruination....
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