The Dark Beneath The World



  • A novella by William King.
  • Can be found in the following books / magazines :
    • Red Thirst (1990, 1995).
    • Trollslayer (1999, 2003, 2013).
    • 1st Omnibus(1st edition) (2003).
    • 1st Omnibus(2nd edition) (2006).
    • 1st Omnibus(3rd edition) (2013).
    • 1st Omnibus(4th edition) (2018).
    • Also modified as a huge Advanced Heroquest adventure including character profiles- art (in White Dwarf #125, by Andy Warwick and William King).
    • In numerous other (digital) publications (mostly collections) from Black Library.
    • Because this is the story that includes how Felix found his sword, Karagul, numerous other books refer it directly or indirectly such as Grudgelore and Omens Of War.
  • 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) . 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.
    • In his own words: ”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.
  • In his introduction from the 2019 edition of Trollslayer(20th Anniversary Edition), William King revealed that :
    • More stories were written for the GW Books anthologies – ‘Wolf Riders’ was the title story of one of the collections. ‘The Dark Beneath the World’ was written so that the original cover illustration from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1986 edition) could be used as a cover for that anthology. That idea fell through but it does explain why the supporting characters in the story have the same names as some of the miniatures in that old rulebook – the ones for the characters on the covers.
  • Note :
    • This post includes only what has to do with it and not the whole interviews, intros, etc.