Manann’s Own

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might recall a little book I wrote a year or two back called Knight of the Blazing SunThen again, you might not. That’s okay. Poor old Goetz and co. don’t really get any attention compared to Neferata and Gotrek. That said, one character from KotBS managed to shove his way into the extreme edge of the limelight and stay there.  

Erkhart Dubnitz, Knight of the Most Holy (and Violent) Order of Manann (Bless His Scaly Nethers), despite wearing armour and riding a horse, isn’t so much a knight as a very well-armed thug. He’s Falstaff without the cowardice, or Porthos without an Athos or Aramis to keep him in check. He’d rather drink and whore and gamble than fight, and he’d rather fight than go to church, and rather go to church than be dead.

He got to help Goetz, the main character from the aforementioned novel, fight a castle full of death-traps and book passage on a boat. Strangely enough, despite his limited screen-time (though perhaps unsurprisingly given that he’s a fairly lethal cross between Brian Blessed and Ray Winstone) turned out to be the most popular character from the book.

So much so that, not long after the book came out, I was asked by my editor to write a story featuring Dubnitz in the starring role. That story, “Dead Calm” introduced several supporting cast members who subsequently appeared in the three stories that were swiftly commissioned after the first. Among these was Esme Goodweather, a priestess of Manann, who popped up again in the second story, “Stromfels’ Teeth” to help Dubnitz fight a city full of demonic shark-men.

Other characters, such as the apoplectic, trident-handed Grandmaster Ogg and the frighteningly cunning one-eyed Master of the Marsh-Watch, Aloysius Ambrosius (both of whom appeared in Knight of the Blazing Sun), drop in and out of the stories as well, netting a mention if not an appearance. Enemies abound as well–the Cult of Stromfels, the Massacre-Monks, Franco Fiducci the necromancer, Uli Tassenberg AKA Tassenberg the Slaver and Otto Schelp, the Sewer-Wolf, to name but a few.

There are currently four Dubnitz stories available, and the whole lot are available in The Best of Hammer & Bolter, Volume 2, a simply massive brick of a book that collects issues 12-24 of the late, lamented Hammer & Bolter magazine. The book is available from the Black Library, or from diverse and sundry book retailers, including Amazon, Waterstones and Barnes & Nobles.

There has been one more Dubnitz story written, but as to when or where it’ll appear, I can’t say. It’s a bit longer than the others, and a bit more epic in scope (there are landships in it!), and if it’s the last one ever to appear, I think it makes a fitting capper for the series.

The series, and where you can find them, are listed below:

“Dead Calm”

The Knights of Manann battle an undead crew of pirates, looking to plunder Marienburg!

“Stromfels’ Teeth”

The Knights of Manann protect Marienburg from an invasion of shark-creatures, servants of the dreaded storm god Stromfels!

“Lords of the Marsh”

Sent to secure warhorses for his order, Erkhart Dubnitz of the Knights of Manann finds himself dealing with angry Averlanders, plundering pirates and monstrous marsh-daemons!

“Dead Man’s Party”

A wealthy benefactor has pledged his entire fortune to the Knightly Order of Manann. With assassins lurking at every corner, can Dubnitz and Van Taal keep the old duffer alive long enough to collect?

 

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6 comments

  1. I quite liked the interplay between Goetz and Dubnitz, and was a bit disappointed when Dubnitz didn’t accompany Goetz to the island to confront the Knights of the Blazing Sun. Weren’t there some initial plans to have Dubnitz accompany Goetz or was that a figment of my overwrought imagination?

    Anyway, I’m going to have to hunt up the Best of Hammer and Bolter vol. 2. Amazon, here I come!

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