A Tale of Felix & Gotrek

Something I penned a little while ago…

 

 

A wickedly barbed arrow hissed through the air as it ripped straight through Felix’s faded red cloak. Cursing out loud, he ducked another missile shot by the Goblin bowman just a few yards down the dark corridor.  He glanced over to his companion and saw that the bright red-crested Trollslayer was in the thick of combat, his huge axe rising and falling amongst the horde of greenskins that threatened to overwhelm them both.  An arrow had dug its way into Gotrek’s right arm and though blood flowed freely from the wound, the powerfully built Dwarf seemed not to notice.  His axe never slowed as Goblins fell to the floor screaming, clutching stumps of limbs or trying to hold various parts of their bodies together.  Behind the two adventure seekers, the wet flagstones of the corridor were littered with Goblin dead and dying as they pushed forward, intent on reaching the heart of the Goblin’s stronghold, now just a hundred yards ahead, Felix was sure.

A wild-eyed Goblin, taunting Felix in its guttural language, stabbed forward with its crude and rusting scimitar.  The runes on Felix’s sword glowed brightly as he felt his sword snake forward almost under its own will to casually nudge the scimitar safely to one side, before Felix gathered his strength and leaned forward on the blade, pushing his weapon into the heart of the Goblin warrior.  Another arrow aimed at him caused him to flinch as it shot past his ear.  He felt the force of air of the arrow and he fixed his stare on the Goblin armed with the bow.   It was laughing maniacally at him.  Felix had been through too many scrapes with death and disaster to end up spitted on a badly made greenskin arrow.  Hefting his sword he swung it in a wide arc that felled another Goblin as he started his march to the bowman.

Gotrek was enjoying himself.  Bleeding from a dozen small wounds and sword cuts, he never slowed in his steady advance along the corridor.  This was no challenge for someone seeking a glorious death, but surely somewhere in the Goblin stronghold he would find a worthy foe.  Live or die, Gotrek would be remembered for his purging of the greenskins today.  He barked a short laugh as another Goblin stepped in front of him, nervously holding out a club and preparing to strike.  Gotrek flexed his great muscles and swung his axe down, cleaving the trembling Goblin almost in two.  Taking another step forward he prepared for his next victim, not noticing as his foot fell in a growing puddle of noisome Goblin blood, congealing from his many victories in this fight.  He gave a cry, not of fear but annoyance as he fell heavily on the floor.  Almost immediately the Goblins were upon him.  From somewhere far off he heard the manling cry out his name before he felt innumerable stabs from Goblin knives and swords.  He axe was torn from his mighty grasp as he tried to throttle his nearest assailant, but the sheer weight of all the Goblins pressing around him bore him down.

‘No!’  Gotrek shouted the word, deafening the nearest Goblin whose face was being pressed on top of the Dwarf’s by the weight of its foul behind it, all eager for their part in the kill.  By Grungni, all the Ancestors and the foundations of Karak-Kadrin, I will not die here, Gotrek thought.  This was not a glorious death, this was ignominy, brought about by the blind forces of chance.  There was no way he was going to die here, not if he had anything to say about it.

The Trollslayer gathered his energies and focussed on his muscles, ignoring his protesting wounds as he first arched his back and then forced himself up on to his knees.  His left hand shot forward and grabbed a Goblin’s neck.  After a quick twist, the Goblin fell lifeless to the floor. Inch by inch, Gotrek fought off the massed press of Goblins as he raised himself to his feet.  With a huge bellow that shocked the greenskins into a split section of inaction, Gotrek concentrated all his anger, all his pain into just one thing.  The death of his enemies. The need to kill.

The smarter Goblins turned and started to flee when they saw the pure blood lust in the Dwarf’s crazed eyes.  The braver or slower-witted ones recovered from their shock and readied their weapons to fight the unarmed Dwarf.  One gave a cry and charged forward with his spear, but Gotrek grabbed the shaft as it was thrust forward and pulled.  The Goblin, already unbalanced by his momentum, rocketed forward until it was stopped dead by the Dwarf’s fist.  Even over the sounds of combat, everyone in the corridor heard the crunch of bones as the Goblin’s skull was shattered by the hammer-blow.  A sword dug deep into Gotrek’s arm but under the influence of his battle rage, the Dwarf barely noticed the wound as he sprung upon the Goblin and pounded his huge piston-like fists into the unfortunate greenskin’s head, chest and body.  The other Goblins gave each other uncertain glances, then began to back away from the enraged Trollslayer, chattering hurriedly amongst themselves.  Gotrek neither knew nor cared what they were saying as he rushed forward again to seize another Goblin with his bare hands.

Felix was limping now as he approached the bowman.  An unseen Goblin spear had cut a deep furrow in his thigh and though the owner of the weapon had fallen beneath Felix’s rune-covered blade, he was in some not inconsiderable pain.  He took consolation that Gotrek was now back into the fight, as he had been sure he would fall next when he saw the Dwarf disappear under a veritable mountain of greenskins.  He should have known better, he thought ruefully.  He and Gotrek had been through too much in their chequered pasts to die in a place like this.  It would be within the heart of this stronghold where their fates would be decided, one way or the other.

The Goblin readied his bow once more, but Felix was very close now and the Goblin could do little more than stare at the runes on the human’s blade that glowed with a mighty sorcerous energy.  He fumbled with his weapon and the arrow he was preparing to skewer Felix with dropped from trembling fingers to clatter on the flagstones at its feet.  With a final look into Felix’s angry eyes, the Goblin turned and fled back down the corridor.  Felix snarled as he started to give chase and immediately wished he had not tried to run as pain shot up from his thigh.  With a glance over to his companion, he saw that Gotrek had driven off his own enemies and was now pounding a Goblin senseless into the floor with his hands.  Limping over, Felix picked up Gotrek’s axe from under a Goblin body.  As soon as the Trollslayer had worked off this bout of battle rage, they would be ready to continue.  Continue to the heart of the stronghold and the prisoner they sought.

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