- "The Gods see fit to populate the Old World with all manners of foul monsters. They've also seen fit to grant me a keen eye and a strong bow to hunt them with."
- —Markus Wulfhart, the Huntsmarshal of the Empire.[1a]
Markus Wulfhart, known by his title as the Huntmarshal, is the Emperor's "Captain of Scouts" and one of the most successful hunters and monster slayers in the entire Old World. Markus was originally an ordinary inhabitant of the village of Drakenburg, situated within the deepest forest lands of the Middenland province.
"Wulfhart's Hunters," as they call themselves, are an elite rag-tag group of trappers, hunters, archers and scouts drawn from all over the Empire. Nowhere else in the Emperor's armies can a more diverse group of warriors be found in one unit.
Such grim men come from as far south as Wissenland, or as far north as Middenland. City-born men of metropolises like Nuln or Altdorf rub shoulders with their comrades of more rural birth from the agricultural lands of Averland or Stirland.[1b]
These brave men fight side-by-side under the charismatic leadership of Markus Wulfhart, and any regional differences are snuffed out instantly under his command. An eternal bond of brotherhood is forged as they fight against a common foe.
Under the masterful leadership of Markus, Wulfhart's Hunters have earned the respect of their countrymen by being the most accomplished group of monster slayers in the Empire, and some say the entire Old World. Such hunts include the killing of the Talonbeast of Stirland, the Ostermark Ice Dragon, and even the Chimera of Flamespire Peak, to name just a few.
Whilst lesser men would run horrified by the monsters the world harbours in its dark corners, Wulfhart's Hunters stand their ground against such impossible odds, as both Markus and his men calmly steady their bows and aim for the killing strike.[1b]
Markus' former life was one of a simple commoner living in the town of Drakenburg, a small community deep within the province of Middenland in the dense woods of the Drakwald Forest. His former life was one of a simple huntsman, not the monster hunter he became years later.
However, his simple life was shattered on the day a one-eyed Bonegrinder Giant, known by locals as the Drakwald Cyclops, emerged from the forest and destroyed the town. Such ruination and misery was brought upon Markus that day, that though his eyes were filled with tears he swore to hunt down the beast and make it pay.[1b]
With the fires of vengeance smouldering in his heart, Markus tracked the great beast to its lair. A skilled marksman, Markus blinded the beast's single eye with a well-placed shot from his bow and severed its rope-like hamstring with repeated strikes from his sword.
Blinded and hamstrung, the beast tumbled to the ground, but Markus showed no mercy. With his blade he continued to hack at its neck until the monster's massive head rolled from its body and Markus' sword arm was numb.[1b]
Having slain the creature that butchered his people and destroyed his town, the vengeful fire within him still blazed hot, for Markus knew that there were many more monsters still lurking within the depths of the forest.
He was determined to not let another settlement suffer such a fate, and swore that he would not rest until he had hunted down and slain all of the monsters that preyed upon the Empire. Only when every last one had fallen to his bow and blade would he finally find peace.[1b]
As his deeds become legendary amongst the people of the Empire, the Emperor himself offered to grant Markus a knighthood and a nobleman's estate. An ordinary man would have gladly accepted such honours, but Markus was not tempted by such mundane luxuries.
Markus respectfully declined, and asked only that he be allowed to continue his quest to slay all the monsters of the world. Impressed with this grim determination, the Emperor instead offered the huntsman a different gift.[1b]
From the depths of the Imperial Vault, Karl Franz presented Markus with a powerful artefact made long ago: the Amber Bow, a magical bow created and carved from the wood of a fine Drakwald Oak and imbued with magical enchantments from an Amber Wizard.
This magnificent bow is imbued with the magical ability to guide the arrows it fires towards the very heart of a monster. In addition to the bow, the Emperor bestowed upon Markus the title of Imperial Huntsmarshal -- the Emperor's Captain of the Scouts.
Markus was tasked by Karl Franz with recruiting a band of like-minded individuals to continue his quest of hunting and slaying the worst monsters of the world. And so was the legend of Markus Wulfhart born.[1b]
- Amber Bow - The Amber Bow was carved from a Drakwald Oak and enchantments were placed upon it by a powerful Amber Wizard. Its shots are guided by this inherent magic to strike the hearts of the fiercest monsters.[1b]