Giantslayer (Novel)

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Author(s) William King
Preceded by Vampireslayer
Followed by Orcslayer

Giantslayer is the seventh novel in the Gotrek & Felix (novel series) by William King. It was the last novel in the series written by King, after which the series was continued by Nathan Long and later by David Guymer.

Cover Description

Separated from their friends during a vicious battle, Gotrek Gurnisson and Felix Jaeger are magically transported to the storm-wracked isle of Albion. Strange and dangerous creatures stalk the island and omens tell of a great evil that is rising - an evil that might destroy the entire world. With the aid of the natives of Albion and the mighty high elf mage Teclis, Gotrek and Felix must stop the secrets of the mysterious Old Ones from falling into the hands of servants of the Dark Gods.

Plot Summary

In Ulthuan, island home of the High Elves, the powerful mage Teclis is concerned by growing instability in the network of magic that prevents Ulthuan from sinking and receives a vision from the eldest mages of his race warning that the Paths of the Old Ones have been opened and that their uncontrolled energies will soon spell doom for a large portion of the Old World, Ulthuan included. Determined to investigate and prevent the catastrophe, Teclis breaks into a forbidden chamber and discovers a network of extra-dimensional tunnels located somewhere between reality and the Realm of Chaos. These tunnels lead to the Paths of the Old Ones, stable passages through the realm of Chaos built by the Old Ones which connect to various points across the entire Old World, but both the tunnels and the paths have been tainted by Chaos energies which have worn down the Old Ones' ancient wards. Worse, the Chaos sorcerers Kelmain Blackstaff and Lhoigor Goldenrod, last seen orchestrating the siege of Praag have discovered the tunnels and are using them to transport warbands of beastmen and Chaos warriors from the tunnels' nexus point on the isle of Albion to locations across the Old World. One such warband emerges from the portal in Sylvania and attacks Gotrek, Felix, Snorri and Max, who are recovering from their battle with Adolphus Krieger. The four drive their attackers back to the portal but when they attempt to pursue them into the tunnels Snorri is hurled out by a tentacled monster and crashes into Max, separating them from Gotrek and Felix as the portal closes.

Overcoming the monster, Gotrek and Felix wander the tunnels seeking a way out but run into another beast which overpowers them and hurls Felix into the Paths of the Old Ones proper. Gotrek is saved by Teclis, with whom he forms an uneasy alliance in order to save Felix. They enter the Paths of the Old Ones and rescue Felix from a bubble dimension in which he is tormented by a daemon, but only just manage to escape the tunnels ahead of a pursuing pack of the fiends. Emerging back into reality, they find themselves on Albion.

Searching Albion for the mysterious Oracle of the Truthsayers whom Teclis was advised to find in his vision, Gotrek and Felix learn the ancient history of the Old Ones and the trio are taken in by the native tribespeople of Crannog Mere. They learn from the tribe's leader Murdo that Albion's recent history has been plagued by orcs, who multiplied from shipwrecked freebooters and now war with the human natives. The trio join an expedition to consult with the Oracle, along the way investigating a ruined temple guarded by giant mutated spiders, the Chaos-mutated remains of the guardians placed to watch over the temple by the Old Ones. They reach the Oracle's cavern in the mountains just in time to save her and the last of the women warriors protecting her from orcs. The Oracle tells them all that Kelmain and Lhoigor's experiments with the paths will result in global destruction if they are not stopped, and that they have enslaved a Chaos-mutated giant named Magrig One-eye to guard the temple-city where the Paths of the Old Ones meet. The Oracle's guardians and the men of a nearby hill-clan join the expedition to the main temple, aiming to stop the catastrophe however they can. The gathering energies attract Albion's orcs, who unite under one leader and prepare to attack the temple as well. A splinter group of greenskins attack the human expedition on a mountain path, but Teclis kills their leader and the survivors flee.

All parties arrive at the temple-city, where the orcs do battle with Kelmain and Lhoigor's Chaos warriors and beastmen. Gotrek, Felix, Teclis and the humans of Albion fight their way to the inner sanctum, where Gotrek slays Magrig by pulling out his remaining eye, cutting his Achilles tendons to bring him down and then severing his windpipe and jugular vein. Teclis engages Kelmain in a sorcerous duel but is nearly overwhelmed when Lhoigor abandons his attempt to control the increasingly wild magical energies of the paths and joins the attack. Gotrek fights his way to Lhoigor and kills him, allowing Teclis to magically obliterate Kelmain. As the temple begins to collapse Gotrek, Felix and the surviving natives flee back into the Paths of the Old Ones while Teclis tries to stabilise the collapsing magical network and save the world. He is aided by the spirits of Slann who sacrificed themselves to guard the paths from corruption, but one of their number is missing and Murdo sacrifices himself in its place to complete the spell. Even still, Teclis is only able to buy the world two decades before the energies overwhelm the defences once more. Resolving to return with an army of mages when the time comes, Teclis plans his journey home while elsewhere in Albion Gotrek and Felix do the same.

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