Tzeentch's followers constantly work toward their master's inscrutable aims – often unwittingly. The Great Conspirator works in mysterious and confounding ways, and the schemes attributed to his grand designs are varied and many.[1a]

Following is a recollection of one such scheme, which has become known as the Scandal of the Shroud by those with the insight to see the subtle influence of Tzeentch's manipulation that set things in motion. These scholars and historians rely exhaustive research, ancient texts, or zealous fervour to support their claims.[1a]

However, others argue that any such conclusions are all just speculation and conjecture, historical coincidences and hearsay that prove nothing save the active imagination of the person seeing some greater intelligence at work where none exists.[1a]


Gunthar von Bildhofen, brother of Magnus the Pious, was a charismatic champion of the common man, who would have proved a popular and able Emperor had he succeeded to the throne, as everyone expected him to. Magnus had elevated him to the position of Grand Duke of Middenland, which was left vacant after the Great War Against Chaos.[1a]

At his capital in Middenheim, von Bildhofen, an outsider, came to rely on the counsel of Ar-Ulric, the High Priest of the Cult of Ulric. This was despite the fact that the cleric had shamed himself at the start of the Great War by castigating Magnus as a blasphemer when he came to the City of the White Wolf for military support. The high priest was hostile towards the Cult of Sigmar, which Magnus revered. This ancient religious rivalry was quietly fostered by the high priest's most trusted counsellor, Rolf Lugner. This trust would soon be betrayed, however.[1a]

This treacherous advisor secretly worshipped Tzeentch, and had wormed his way into the Ar-Ulric's confidence. Lugner gradually persuaded his patron, who still smarted from his humiliation at the hands of Magnus, that the Grand Theogonist of Sigmar plotted to usurp the position of Emperor in order to institute a theocracy ruled from Sigmar’s temple in Altdorf. Fearful of this rumour, the high priest convinced von Bildhofen of its veracity. Both agreed that something had to be done.[1a]

Miracle of the Shroud

In 2369 IC, the Emperor Magnus passed to the halls of Morr. At his state funeral, the Grand Theogonist revealed the miracle of the shroud that had covered Magnus's corpse. Magnus's saintly features had become supernaturally imprinted on the cloth. The mourners were awed.[1a]

However, von Bildhofen’s suspicion, magnified by the rumours spread by Lugner, overcame him. Scarlet with rage, he publicly insulted the high priest, claiming that the shroud was a callous trick to win support for the Cult of Sigmar. The mourners were mortified by this blasphemy, and von Bildhofen was forcibly ejected from the memorial ceremony. Only his status as the dead emperor's brother saved him from arrest.[1a]

Needless to say, when it came to the selection of Magnus' successor, none of the Elector Counts deemed von Bildhofen fit to rule, fearing Sigmar's wrath should the man who had insulted his high priest be elected emperor.[1a]

Thus Magnus' crown passed instead to Count Leopold of Stirland, a much lesser man than Grand Duke Gunther. Had Magnus' heroic brother ascended the throne, he would no doubt have proved a capable emperor, who would have strengthened his realm, but instead he ended his days in disgrace, forced to abdicate as Grand Duke of Middenland by the machinations of the vengeful Grand Theogonist.[1a]

The Scheme Unfolds

It was the grandson of Count Leopold, Emperor Dieter IV, who proved such an incompetent and greedy ruler that he allowed Marienburg to secede from the Empire in 2429, severely weakening the Empire's economic strength. He was eventually deposed by Wilhelm III, Prince of Altdorf, which causes antagonism between Stirland and Altdorf to this day.[1a]

Likewise, the current Graf of Middenheim, Boris Todbringer, is descended from von Bildhofen. Although he is outwardly a loyal supporter of Karl Franz, does he secretly resent the fact that he has a stronger claim to the throne? This does nothing to heal the historical rift between Middenheim and Altdorf. Lugner's poisonous tongue has caused divisions within the Empire even to this day.[1a]

Such is Tzeentch's Will

This is how Tzeentch works – pulling the skeins of history so that a single event will snowball into a crisis over time. He is often seen as the most patient, subtle, and devious of the Ruinous Powers.[1a]

Tzeentch may wait for centuries for a plan to come to fruition, as he manipulates dozens of interwoven threads, intricately tied together in delicate, complex knots. And while a virtuous man may attempt to undo one of Tzeentch's knotted schemes, only time will tell if in truth he merely set the knot more securely.[1a]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd ED -- Book of Change
    • 1a: pg. 12

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