Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Thaddeus von Werl
A zealot who gives his all for the Order of the Black Cross in defence of the Burzenland. His sire was the mortal enemy of Bernhard Billung.
A short, wiry knight wearing the garb of the Teutonic Order. He appears to be a man of puritannical habits; his brown eyes are forthright, his blonde hair cut in the manner typical of German warriors, his chin freshly scraped, and his manner soldierly, formal and erect.
The uniform coat of arms of the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, also known as the Teutonic Knights. Having sworn his vows as a full monk of the Order, Thaddeus Ritterbrüder von Werl no longer makes use of the heraldry that he bore until fore-swearing worldly concerns and joining the Military Orders in 1208.
Bernhard Billung first encountered Thaddeus von Werl in the city of Braunschwieg in the year AD 1140. At that time he was a nervous ghoul and squire in the service of his eventual sire, Guy d’Arles, forced to contend with the rage of the Gangrel knight when his domitor hunted, tortured, and exsanguinated Bernhard’s ward and lover, Jana. To his credit, despite his obvious terror of his undead opponent the ghoul fought with great skill and courage against Bernhard while his master finished taking his fill from the young woman and left her to bleed out. Both domitor and ghoul survived only because the incensed Gangrel was more concerned with his futile efforts to save Jana rather than revenging her, and they managed to flee once his way to her was clear.
In 1147, Thaddeus was present when Guy and Bernhard (now a penitential crusader calling himself Gunthar von Sankt Wolfgang) encountered each other in the city of Pressburg. This time, there was no need for Thaddeus to intervene, as between them Guy and his ally, István Árpád, were able to subdue the Gangrel when his own companion, Vicelin de Marseille, refused to raise a hand against his own clan-mates. Thaddeus watched the fracas with an expression of calm detachment and professional interest.
By 1212, he had entered the ranks of Clan Ventrue in his own right, for he was numbered among the Knights of the Black Cross who took up residence in the Burzenland. Furthermore, Berengar von Dohna was quite well aware that while Thaddeus was yet a neonate, such were his years, dedication, accomplishments, and skill at arms that he was considered an ancilla by his superiors. He formed a coterie with the ambitious and charismatic Otto von Everstein and the pragmatic, war-weary Ludolf von Oschersleben, and over the coming years he and his fellows took responsibility for the construction of a fortification at the northern mouth of the Törz Pass (called Bran by the Cumans and the Turks). At first constructed of earth and wood, they struck upon the novel idea of reinforcing the castle with brick instead of stone, thus circumventing the letter of the agreement made between King András II and the Teutonic Order. The castle, known as Dietrichstein among the brothers but commonly called Törzburg by the local folk, was a vital cog in the defences of the Burzenland against the hordes of Kordönül, and Thaddeus and his brothers held it against numerous Gangrel-backed sorties during the Cuman War. In the final stages of that campaign, the Dietrichstein coterie were active in several battles, and Thaddeus performed with conspicuous valour.
He has a reputation for being almost punishingly puritanical and quite zealous in his habits, as if the notion of penance for past sins is always on his mind. Like his coterie-mates among the Törz Brotherhood, Thaddeus is rarely to be found within the walls of the city, but unlike them when based at Dietrichstein he spends little time at the castle. Instead, he and his immediate cadre of ghoul and mortal brothers of the Black Cross patrol the pass and the hinterlands incessantly, seeking righteous battle to make the people of the Buzenland safe. Like Otto and Ludolf, he also spends considerable time in Cumania, seeking to reinforce their recent conversion to Christianity and prevent any atavistic return to their pagan roots. When it is necessary to make an example of a rebel chieftain or bandit lord, Thaddeus considers it to be his role to bring them to heel.
Embrace: AD 1184.
Lineage: Thaddeus von Werl is of the 10th generation, and of a noble bloodline of the Ventrue. He is the childe of Guy d’Arles, childe of Prince Kuritz of Lüneburg, childe of Baron Hredel, childe of Prince Felix of Passau, childe of Hardestadt the Elder, childe of Erik Eigermann (d?), childe of Ventrue.
(d?)= Probably Destroyed.