Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Christof von Plauen
A tall, pale brother of the Teutonic Order. His expression is solemn, even stern, but his dark eyes are not without kindness and he seems the very soul of chivalric regard. Although young for an officer of the order, there can be little doubt that he has seen a great deal of battle. He is missing the pinky finger on his right hand, the result of an old clash, and he has a tendency of kneading the stump absent-mindedly, as if he can still feel the missing the digit. His sword is belted on his right, and he fights sinister.
This ancilla is a vitally important cog in the wheels that turn Lord Jürgen’s military machine. Since the inception of the Teutonic Order and its secret sub-order of Cainites and ghouls, the elusive brother Christof has been a bailiwick commander. He is nominally in charge of the Order of the Black Cross throughout the Landgraviate of Thuringia from the order’s castle at Zwätzen, outside the city of Jena, which he also watches over in Lord Jürgen’s name. However, he usually leaves his childe, Father Hugo, to watch over his domain while he ranges back and forth on the secret business of the Order and his lord. In recent years, these duties have brought him to the Transylvanian city of Kronstadt.
He was the first of the Order to arrive in the Burzenland, and for the length of the Teutonic Order’s presence in the settlement, he has been responsible for much of the night-to-night affairs of the Black Cross within the city walls. Since the arrival of the Swordbearer and his fellow brethren, Brother Christof has also coordinated the activities of the secret sub-order of throughout the Burzenland. He has become his lord’s second in managing the Order in the region, but until the Summer of 1214 he occasionally undertook secret missions abroad. When Lord Jürgen elected to take an army through the pass to the south, hoping to draw out the Cuman Gangrel warlord, Kordönül, it fell to the commander to remain behind and see to the security of the city. Though he was loathe to remain, Christof stoically chose to accept the endorsement of his abilities rather than take the order as a slight.
Together with Sister Lucretia and Baron Heinrich, he is also one of the architects behind the creation of the organisational structure of both orders, and his role has tended to slip into that of performing as aide-de-camp for either of the older ancillae over time. While Lucretia is considered to be Lord Jürgen’s second in most respects, the limitations of her sex in an overwhelmingly male dominated order tend to reduce her effectiveness in some situations, so Christof has been known to serve as a proxy when dealing with the uninitiated brothers. Moreover, his charisma, leadership skills, and experience in battle are enviable, and some might argue that he has earned more respect and adoration from the rank and file than that enjoyed by Baron Heinrich, who has been known to care little for his soldiers so long as his objectives are obtained.
In addition to his administrative duties, Christof is thought to be the best swordsman in the Order of the Black Cross, if not the entire Teutonic Order, with the possible exception of Lord Jürgen himself. Certainly, it would be fair to say that Brother Christof has more raw talent than his grandsire, but that the gifts of the Blood as well as the extensive experience of the Swordbearer gives him a nigh unassailable edge. Even so, the ancilla has been known to defeat his elder on any number of occasions when they have sparred in company with their fellows. Bothand have benefitted greatly from his experience, as the commander commenced training them both extensively and intensively in the arts of sword and lance fighting in the summer of 1214. The former Cainite is required to disguise herself as a man to enjoy the benefits of Brother Christof’s tutelage, lest tongues wag regarding the inpropriety of a Teutonic knight having dealings with a lay woman for any reason, let alone teaching her the ways of battle.
Embrace: AD 1161
Lineage: His lineage is proude is of the 8th generation. Brother Christof is the childe of the late Erik von Baruth, childe of Lord Jürgen von Verden, childe of Hardestadt the Elder, childe of Erik Eigermann, childe of Ventrue. Erik once served most ably as his sire’s envoy to the court of Magdeburg in addition to assisting Lord Jürgen in his rise to power over Thuringia. He was often touted as Lord Jürgen’s favourite, and would have been a prime contender to inherit his sire’s empire if the Swordbearer were to fall in battle. Although he had no extensive dominions of his own, most of Jürgen’s vassals referred to him as Lord Erik, in recognition of his status. He suffered the Final Death in the Great Fire of Magdeburg in AD 1188. Christof has several consanguineous brothers and sisters who serve their lord in various roles, the most prominent being the eldest, Walter von Lippe, who serves as prince of Salzwedel.