Friday, July 20, 2018

Fantasy Buzz: Warhammer Fantasy Strikes Again

Credit: Creative Commons
Gotrek and Felix go together like peanut butter and jelly.

What does it take to stop an army of the undead? A mohawk, a bad temper, and a really big axe. Gotrek Gurnisson is back. And Felix, too.

He has a large orange mohawk, is covered in swirling tattoos, has a chain from his nose to his ear, and usually doesn't wear a shirt. He is hugely muscled, wider at the shoulders than he is tall, and carries an enormous, single-bladed rune axe that is so big and heavy a normal human could barely lift it. Of course, he wields it one-handed and rumor has it the axe belonged to Grimnir himself. He is missing an eye, and several of his teeth are nothing but blackened stumps. He often uses animal fat to keep his mohawk up and it is more than likely that he does not shower very often. Because of some crime in his past, he has joined the Cult of the Slayers to gain atonement. His goal: to die in battle against the biggest, baddest, and ugliest monster he can find. I speak of Gotrek Gurnisson, one of the original badasses from the Warhammer Fantasy universe.

The latest installment in the Slayer series, Zombieslayer, picks up right where the previous book ended. The Imperial Army is victorious against the army of beastmen led by Urslak Cripplehorn and Gargorath the God-Touched. Both leaders are dead and the giant herdstone has been destroyed, ending the Chaos ritual enacted by Urslak. But as the heroes take a breath of relief (or curse in despair for not finding their doom) the dead begin to rise. Soon every casualty of the battle, friend and foe alike, has joined the growing ranks of zombies. Exhausted and outnumbered, the reeling Imperial Army retreats the way it came, hounded by the taunting voice of the necromancer and pursued by the army of relentless dead. Hans the Hermit, revealed as the necromancer himself, claims that he used the Slayer to destroy the herdstone, which prevented him from using his necromantic powers. Eventually, Gotrek and his companions find themselves besieged in Castle Reikguard. Surrounded by a sea of undead, the beleaugered defenders slowly dwindle as wave after wave of zombies assail them. Is Gotrek's doom finally upon him?

This is the twelfth book in the series and the fifth written by Nathan Long, who took over for William King in 2006. At first I wasn't sure about the switch, since Nathan is not William. However, Nathan soon proved that he was more than capable of filling William's rather large shoes. This is Warhammer fantasy at its best: extreme carnage as the forces of good fight against a seemingly unstoppable evil. Gotrek is the ultimate badass as he literally wades through oceans of foes, his rune axe cleaving through most enemies as a warm knife through butter. With the ever-present Felix at his side, Gotrek is quite possibly unkillable. While this is a sore-spot for Gotrek, since he has not been able to meet his doom just yet, it is awesome for the readers since there are (hopefully) many more adventures before he meets his end. Keep up the incredible work, Nathan!

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badmojoe78 is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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