The Enemy Within Revisited
Zealot of Sigmar
The third son of a minor Ostland noble house, Wolfgang’s quiet thoughtfulness and low inheritance prospects propelled him toward academia once he came of age. He found the rigorous and controlled environment stifling and swiftly recused himself from study, returning home with dreams of glory and honor hard-won on the fields of battle.
The realities of fighting marauders and chaos-spawn on the frozen ground of the Kislev frontier proved very different from his imaginings, however. The horrors of war and privation took their toll on Wolfgang, and he was ashamed at his relief when he received his discharge. Troubled by memories of carnage, disease, maimed comrades, and starvation, he turned to drink and carnal pursuits in search of respite. As these base distractions lost their potency and the psychic wounds flared up again, Wolfgang turned to yet greater depths of debauchery. His wanton behavior repulsed and alienated his family, who could not bear to watch his descent.
His saving grace in this time of deepest darkness was his cousin Yvette, a bright and gentle girl who neither judged nor turned her back on him. It was Yvette’s patience and kindness that helped turn Wolfgang from despair and the lure of depravity, and he loved her deeply for it.
But the Ruinous Powers had long arms in Ostland. A local magistrate and head of a vile cult of Slaanesh had secretly targeted Wolfgang for corruption. Realizing that his efforts were being undone by Yvette’s love, the magistrate arranged for her to be abducted. On an unhallowed night when Morrslieb shone brightly in the sky, men wearing cowls and grotesque masks dragged Yvette from her chambers and bore her to a blasted grove deep in the woods. Her piteous cries rang unheeded long into the night. The cult then scattered clues designed to lead Wolfgang and his search party to the grove, believing that the discovery of her defiled and mutilated body would push him to the brink of madness. They were not wrong.
His mind blasted with horror and guilt at Ygritte’s gruesome end, Wolfgang was nearly lost to humanity. Anguished beyond endurance, he stripped himself and entered his family’s shrine to Sigmar, seeking absolution or death. That night, amidst incoherent prayers and cruel snaps of the penitent’s lash, clarity struck him like a comet. In a burst of insight seemingly sent by Sigmar himself, Wolfgang plainly saw the magistrate’s subtle hand in his descent. His disparate, drink-addled memories wove together to reveal a deliberate plan of depravity and corruption, with Wolfgang’s own soul as the final prize.
Wolfgang rose and departed from the chapel, muttering a prayer of gratitude to mighty Sigmar. Purpose and righteous anger seared away the fog in his mind and drove him out into the cold night. Still, he knew the magistrate’s position and influence meant a direct confrontation would succeed only in implicating himself in Yvette’s demise. He set aside his thirst for vengeance and chose to lurk in the township like a patient hunter, observing the magistrate and recording his habits and associations. When the witch hunters arrived days later to investigate the girl’s killing, Wolfgang presented his case to them in secret. They were sufficiently impressed with his fervor and earnestness.
Together, Wolfgang and the witch hunters identified the weakest link in the magistrate’s web and put him harshly to the question. The wretch broke swiftly under torture, and the other cultists fell like dominoes once the conspiracy was brought to light. Bound to a stake in the village square, the last thing the magistrate saw before the flames stole his sight forever was the grim face of the young man who proved his undoing.
Thirteen cultists shrieked on the judgement pyre that day, and as their stinking smoke rose to the heavens, Wolfgang Krieger knew something akin to peace. He understood Sigmar’s intent for him in that moment, and when dawn rose the next day he left hearth and home behind to hunt and destroy the heretics of Chaos festering in the heart of the Empire.