Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Gottlieb von Koblenz
The quartermaster of Kronstadt for the Teutonic Order. He is a talented, but deeply cynical and sarcastic, man.
A stern, iron-haired, middle-aged Teutonic knight. His arms, armour and snow white surcoat bearing the black cross of his order are immaculately kept, and he moves with the stiff-backed precision of a man used to a life of military order and discipline. His brown eyes bear a bitter cast, and his face is set with the harsh lines of a man who has seen much blood, death and cold disappointment.
As a fully vowed brother of Teutonic Order, Gottlieb Ritterbrüder von Koblenz has forsaken his own coat-of-arms, and chooses to wear only the black cross on a white field of the German House of St. Mary of Jerusalem.
This dour, cynical and sarcastic brother of the Teutonic Order has been quartermaster for the Commandery of Kronstadt since early AD 1214. His experience and talent as a logisitician is apparent to all who have dealt with him, and Brother Gottlieb has done much to improve the efficiency of both the Teutonic Order and the secret Order of the Black Cross. Even so, he much more likely to be remembered for his curmudgeonly criticism of others. Only his domitor, Brother Berengar appears to be spared the sarcasm of the quartermaster altogether, although his companion-at-arms, Brother Dietrich, is given all due respect for his seniority in front of the men. Gottlieb only grumbles in the presence of the senior knight, and is quick to offer advice when the impulsive Dietrich takes him aside to ask his counsel. Those who know him are usually forced to admit (however privately) that Gottlieb's ideas are usually the smartest way to go, but his manner is so brusque that sometimes his common sense is ignored.
Brother Gottlieb appears to be a good 10 years older (and a good deal more sensible) than Dietrich, but he is a relative newcomer to the Teutons and the Order of the Black Cross so the younger knight is thus his senior. It is known that the quartermaster's military experience is profound, however, for in addition to many years of service as a household knight he served in the Third Crusade. In quiet moments among the senior brothers, he has spoken of the lengthy stuggle of the Siege of Acre, the great dignity of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the valour of his son, Duke Frederick of Swabia. However, among those he does not know and trust implicity, Brother Gottlieb is tight-lipped in the extreme regarding his history. Indeed, he ends to deflect such questions with curt rejoinders regarding logistical matters or pointedly sarcastic criticisms of the flaws he sees in others.
It was this trait that caused some disruption when Brother Gottlieb made the acquaintance of the equally ascerbic Heironymous, the Seneschal of Etteldorf. Left together to discuss and plan a joint effort to strengthen the defences and infrastructure of a ruined village in the Burzenland, the two seneschals quickly fell to bickering. The intercession of Helena Korosi served to quiet, if not mollify, them and their domitors were forced to intercede to see that both men did their jobs properly. This was a rare failing on Brother Gottlieb's part, but it left a telling impression on those gathered at the village of Etteldorf.
The acrimony generated by Sir Ulrich’s political machinations only deepened the dislike between his and Berengar’s underlings, but despite their difficulties the logisticians among the Ashen Band managed to work together for the next 3 months to bring the Cuman campaign to a successful conclusion.
Afterwards, Brother Gottlieb busied himself assisting his domitor in shaving the fat off the Order’s operations at the Kronstadt commanderie. In this he worked with a number of other ghouls of the Black Cross, and over the coming years his leadership assisted in deepening the cooperation between their Cainite masters. His efforts reflected well upon his master, whose own status had been utterly depleted by his inability to neautralise Ulrich’s “missteps” in Oltenia.
In 1217, he and his brother-ghoul Dietrich, were among the mortal members of the Order of the Black Cross to undertake King András II’s crusade to the Holy Land. While not among the most senior of the ghouls of the Order, Gottlieb’s logistical brilliance and Dietrich’s leadership skills marked them as quiet pillars of the Black Cross.