QUICK REVIEW: Shiprats – CL Werner

A prequel to Overlords of the Iron Dragon, CL Werner’s Kharadon Overlords short story Shiprats sees Captain Brokrin Ullissonn and the crew of the Iron Dragon battling an infestation of rats that threatens their cargo and even – to their horror – their beer. Desperate for a solution for their rodent problem they seek the assistance of the Kheitar lamasery, where they hope the lamas (monks, not cute animals) will be persuaded to offer both their help and, because these are duardin we’re talking about, their goods to trade. When the lamas prove willing, something in their eagerness seems a little strange…

While the Overlords are a brand new faction, their inherent dwarfishness will feel nicely familiar to anyone used to Warhammer fiction. Currently only available in the Black Library Events Anthology 2017/18 this is a light, enjoyable, old-school story that deserves to be made more widely available. Werner plays with plenty of the usual dwarf/duardin tropes, gently touching upon some Kharadron-specific elements like their code and their aether technology, but really not labouring the point – this is no introductory, fit-all-the-new-stuff in story. Instead it’s a fun, standalone tale that doesn’t try to be too sophisticated but instead aims for entertainment and succeeds, with a blend of old and new Warhammer that should please old and new fans alike.

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