The Hellion's Wake
Leopold Bernhard Honthorst
Kapitän der Sumpfschild
Once a noble militia dedicated to protecting their families from the blight of the horrors, der Sumpfschild dwindled and disbanded years ago. Sensing opportunity in the vacuum of their absence, Leopold restored the order. Relying on the goodwill of its name, Leopold conned the locals of der Unsterbliche Sumpf until he had systematically brought a corner of Sieger’s land to heel in his vision of a protection racket. The downtrodden who remain have little choice but accept their lot, the exploitation and humiliation they face at his and der Sumpfschild hands is just preferable to being eaten alive by the horrors which crawl out from the swamp. Der Sumpfschild apply their dishonest trade with the full and legal backing of Eisenfurst Sieger, who simply does not care for the plight of the peasants, and is marginally grateful to Leopold for assuming this responsibilty on his behalf for a meagre pittance.
Rumours suggest that Leopold’s avarice and ambition stretch beyond the Unsterbliche Sumpf. Frightened locals and boasts from militia men suggest fragments of a disturbing whole. Leopold’s correspondence with Countess Wische would surely be of interest to Erich Sieger. Perhaps the Hexe who spend his coin and who come and go at all times of the night from Honthorst manor are responsible for the dark omens and malaise that suffuses the swamp. Leopold’s own bold claims of big changes for the Unsterbliche Sumpf worry its people and inspire his underlings to cruel opportunism, ever vigilant for instances to ingratiate themselves with their unscrupulous master, hopeful for a seat at the table should his designs come to pass.