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Gunther Stahlberg was a Witch Hunter Captain who led an ill-fated expedition into Sylvania.[1a][1b][2a][3a]

During Sigmarzeit[1a] 2520[3a], Stahlberg was dispatched by Grand Theogonist Volkmar to investigate rumours of the restless dead in Sylvania. He gathered a retinue that included Klaus Kriegsburg, a Warrior Priest of Sigmar, Hans, a Hochland swordsman, and Dieter, an adjutant. While in Sylvania, he heard from local peasants that a minor Necromancer had taken up residence in Drakenhof Castle. In addition, Stahlberg's retinue burned the villages of Lichenheim and Folburg, believing the peasants' custom of hanging bundles of garlic and witchbane to be blasphemous practices.[1a]

Upon reaching Castle Drakenhof, Stahlberg noted that the ruined battlements had been repaired, and a banner depicting a wolf was flying from the topmost tower. The witch hunter's warband then encountered a group of dire wolves. A fight ensued, and three of Stahlberg's men were killed. However, all of the dire wolves were eventually defeated. Following this, the witch hunters decided to camp outside the castle. However, when they awoke, their sentries were found dead, expressions of terror etched on their faces. One man attempted to desert, and was shot by Stahlberg. The rest of the band was convinced to follow him into the castle.[1a]

The castle's entrance was not guarded, but lit braziers were found in the halls of the castle. However, the witch hunters did not meet the castle's inhabitant until they reached the great banqueting hall. Here, they encountered a grisly scene: laid on a red silk tablecloth was a feast of human flesh. Human body parts were laid out on silver plates, and blood filled golden goblets. At the head of a table was a tall, gaunt man with canine fangs referring to himself as "von Carstein." Immediately, the warband attacked him. However, they were no match for the vampire, who slew two of his opponents before they could even attempt to strike him. The rest of the warband retreated.[1a]

Fleeing into the Sylvanian woods, they were hunted down and picked off one by one by horrors such as dire wolves and Fell Bats. It was here that Stahlberg, understanding his death was imminent, wrote a letter to the Grand Theogonist. He attached it to the collar of his last warhound, Stein. However, this was not successful, as the communication fell into the hands of one of Mannfred's lackeys.[1b]

Later, when Mannfred von Carstein wished to announce his presence to the Cult of Sigmar, he sent some sort of winged terror to Altdorf with the mutilated corpse of Gunther Stahlberg. In his mouth was a letter declaring the independence of Sylvania under Mannfred von Carstein.[2a]


Sources

  • 1: White Dwarf 236 (US)
    • 1a: pg. 37
    • 1b: pg. 38
  • 2: Sigmar's Blood (Novel) by Phil Kelly
    • 2a: Chapter 2: "The Conclave of State"
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts (8th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 23

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