TrollSlayer

Credits

References

  • The 1st book of the series!
  • The 1st Gotrek & Felix book!
  • The 1st Gotrek & Felix Anthology.
  • Written by William(Bill) King.
    • The 1st Gotrek & Felix novel by William(Bill) King.
  • Cover by John Gravato.
  • 1st Gotrek & Felix cover.
  • It consists of the following 7 (stand alone) novellas (with appearing order) :
  • First published in the UK by Black Library in August 1999.
    • UK ISBN : 1-84154-100-1.
  • US edition published by Pocket Books in March 2000.
    • US edition : ISBN 0-671-78373-4.
  • RePrinted(2nd Printing) in the UK by Black Library in April 2003.
    • UK(2nd printing) ISBN : 1-84416-002-5.
  • US Edition, RePrinted(2nd Printing) :
    • Published by the Black Library in May 2003.
  • 2nd Printing(UK and US) Cover Artist : Geoff Taylor.
  • A free ebook edition was made available on the Black Library website in October 2010.
  • RePrinted in the UK by Black Library in October 2013 as Black Library Classics series.
    • Also published as an eBook.
  • Black Library Classic Cover by Nicolas Delort.
  • Notes :
    • The 1st ever Black Library novel!
    • Cover paintings are included without letters / titles.
    • Also, included a visual concept – rough prior to painting the cover by Geoff Taylor.
    • This is an anthology book, with loose connected or totally independent novellas. So, each story is a chapter and it features a different adventure with different supporting characters and different villains.
    • Novellas from this book and the book itself is included in numerous other (printed and digital) omnibus, collections, bundles, etc. For more details check the TrollSlayer and the novellas tags.
  • In his introduction to the 2013 edition of Trollslayer(Black Library Classics), William King revealed that :
    • He wrote Geheimnisnacht as a one-off story, in 1988, in which Gotrek was meant to die at the end, but later revised it based on his liking for the characters(Gotrek’s fake death in the story was initially written as permanent). In his own words : ” People often ask me how Gotrek Gurnisson dies. I usually give an evasive answer, but the truth is that I have already written his death scene. I did it in the very first version of the very first story of this book, ‘Geheimnisnacht’. If you look closely, you can even see where it happens. There’s a moment where the Slayer (and he was a Slayer a long time before Buffy) goes down beneath a tide of mutants. In the original version of the story, that’s where he dies and Felix has to save himself. Reading over my first draft on that long-ago day some time in 1988, I thought wait a minute, what am I doing? These are great characters. They could run and run.
    • In part they are how they are because of where I came from. I don’t mean the influence of working class Scottish culture either, although there are definite traces of it in Gotrek’s hard man persona and black humour. It comes from how I got into Warhammer. Unlike the majority of people, I did not get into it from the miniatures side but from the role-playing side. I was an enthusiastic player of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay from the very start. I chose to write about a dwarf Slayer because they were the most popular role in the game among my players, and it was easy to see why. They were original, distinctive and very appealing in a nihilistic sort of way. The role-playing game featured a very detailed and, to me, very believable society that just begged to be the setting for stories.
    • The plot of ‘Geheimnisnacht’ came from a game I ran for friends and family in Edinburgh one summer. It really was that simple. I just put Gotrek and Felix into the same situation as my players had been and watched them run with it. The fun of it was not in the plot but in the way they dealt with it and in the interaction between the pair. There was as much conflict between them and their world views as there was with the sinister followers of Chaos. It was a pattern I was to follow in the next few stories.
    • The story was enormously enjoyable to write, and of a type I had always wanted to write – classic sword and sorcery. Gotrek and Felix are very much heroes of that genre: down at heel, wandering adventurers who live by their own code.
    • Geheimnisnacht’ was popular with the editors and another story was commissioned.
    • This led to ‘Wolf Riders’ and into another aspect of the series. Gotrek loses an eye in a fight where he pretty much slaughters an entire tribe of goblins. I wanted to do a series where characters really got wounded and did not stroll invincibly through battlefields and emerge only with cosmetic scars. This also incidentally reflected the brutal critical hit tables of the original WFRP.
    • The third story, ‘The Dark Beneath The World’, was an invitation to illustrate the scene on the cover of the role-playing game. It was a picture I loved and I was happy to do it. The characters were illustrations of the painted miniatures shown in the game. I lifted their names from the pages of the book, gave them some backstory and sent them on their way. The story was a chance to look at some of Gotrek’s dwarf heritage and to do a classic dungeon crawl. As with ‘Wolf Riders’, I pretty much made the plot up as I went along and stopped when I had reached the required word count. The characters carried the tale, as they always did.
    • The next stories represent a change of pace as well as in my technique. I was commissioned to write a book about the pair, novel length. I had never written a novel before and it was a daunting task, so I decided to make things easier by writing three linked novellas which would be longer than anything I had ever written before, but were still not quite novel length. These dealt with our heroes’ eventual return from the Border Princes and their journey to the city of Nuln. The stories were ‘The Mark of Slaanesh’, ‘Blood and Darkness’ and ‘Skaven’s Claw’ (which does not appear in this book but in Skavenslayer [the follow-up novel to Trollslayer – ed.]). You can see some of my growth as a writer. They are shown from different points of view and the plotting is somewhat more complex than random violent encounters strung together until I reached a required word count. The Slaanesh story is notable for Felix being forced to take on the role of hero as Gotrek is turned amnesiac by a blow to the head. ‘Blood and Darkness’, as its title would suggest, was the darkest and nastiest of the stories written and our heroes’ involvement is almost incidental.
    • Sadly, GW Books was closed before what would have been my first novel-length work hit the stores and that seemed to be it for Gotrek and Felix. I went on to write other things until late in the 90s I ran into Andy Jones in a bar at a convention in the United States. He told me that Games Workshop were restarting their book line and asked if I would care to do some more Gotrek and Felix stories for the new fiction magazine they were planning, and perhaps a novel or two to go with it. I leapt at the chance, and in due course, ‘The Mutant Master’ and ‘Ulric’s Children’ appeared in Inferno!. The collected stories went into this volume along with the linking matter from Felix’s journal to give the whole tale some coherence.
  • Notes (from Trollslayer introduction ) :
    • Trollslayer, a novel written by William King, is the first in a series of many books following the adventures of Gotrek & Felix. The book is an anthology. Some of these chapters are old stories of William King written(and published) in the late 80s and early 90s. These stories were gathered together and new ones were added to create Trollslayer, a compilation of seven short stories. Only The Mark of Slaanesh and Blood and Darkness were previously unreleased stories.
    • The story led to the commissioning of another by Games Workshop, and then another, which led to Wolf Riders and The Dark Beneath the World.
      The success of these three stories led to King being commissioned to write a full-length novel, which he approached by writing three novella-length stories in episodic format, which became The Mark of Slaanesh, Blood and Darkness, and Skaven’s Claw.
    • However, Games Workshop Books closed unexpectedly, and the publication of the novel was delayed until 1999, when it also included The Mutant Master and Ulric’s Children, which had previously been published in Inferno! magazine. The novel also added the prefacing excerpts from Felix’s journal.
    • The Mark of Slaanesh and Blood and Darkness were eventually published as part of Trollslayer, while Skaven’s Claw became the first chapter of the subsequent novel Skavenslayer.