Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Backstories: Herr Barabus Bütschwil

High in the Ahlsberg hills there stands a lonesome manor house and the ruined hamlet that once supported it. This is Bütschwil, home of Herr Bütschwil, a knight-errant suffering under a horrific curse. Ahlsberg has been blighted by the War of the Cross—a Free City of the Empire, devoutly loyal to Imperator Reifenstahl and the Holy Republic, it suffered more than anywhere else throughout the war as one of the most critical points to move troops into the southern reaches of the Holy Eisen Republic. It was filled with loyal knights and pledged its taxes directly to the Imperator each year for support of the war effort. Today, it stands a ghostly shell of its former self.

Herr Bütschwil was said to be one of those knights. He fought on the walls of Ahlsberg against the 1663 siege of the city, repelling a Sieger siege tower with his bare hands. However, the infamous Objectionist champion Ritter Karla Hansbach struck him down from the wall with her pike, sending him nearly to his death; he tumbled into the moat of Ahlsberg, and the weight of his dracheneisen armor nearly pulled him to the bottom. When he emerged, it was a haunted man, driven to ever more desperate acts.

It was on the streets of occupied Ahlsberg that Herr Bütschwil encountered the curse that would dominate his life and spell the ruin of Bütschwil Manor. Among the waisen wandering forlornly in the streets, Bütschwil encountered a wizened old priest in Objectionist colors. He attacked this chaplain on sight, little realizing that the city was already under Objectionist rule. The old man died beneath his blade, but cursed the knight with his final words: "May Theus take from you all that you are, and hold it in his hand, until the day you realize the gravity of your sin!"

From that day forward, the orchards of Bütschwil produced only rot. Its people were cursed as lepers. The Ritter himself found that all of his glorious past was forgotten—literally. The priest's curse has left him senseless and without comprehension of anything that occurred before the Siege of Ahlsberg. He remembers only his ignominious defeat, the burning drive to prove himself better than his fall from the wall, and the slaying of the nameless chaplain... which has damned him so.

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