Welcome to Marauder Moments - a chronicle of the Mortimer Street Marauders; the games we play, the rules we use, the figures we play with and the scenery they fight over. Hope you enjoy these pages and maybe call back to catch up with our escapades.

Monday, 10 June 2019

The Curse of Wulf Tower - 1809

Historical back drop to our next Napoleonic battle report - Olde skool Marauder style.

On this occasion we are in rural Austria taking in picturesque romantic lakes, forests, mountains, towns, farms & castles. The armies of France & Austria are about clash, it is 1809, war is at hand.     
Our next battle report has a bit of background fluff to soak up before the solid shot flies, sabres slash & muskets flash. This is a snippet of local history which might explain why this valley seems to feature so many battles between warring armies over centuries - always at immense cost to the apparently innocent civilian populace. Who knows, may there is some truth to the myths...

Bucolic scenes in this broad river valley in rural Austria.
Pretty townships & farmsteads dot the landscape.  

We find lakes & forests in the foot hills & an unusually large amount of wayside chapels & crucifixes.
The forested foothills & cold deep lakes hide many secrets. 

Wulf Tower is no secret though... 
 The open secret of Wulf Tower

Stories concerning Wulf Tower go back many centuries. The castle has been in the Wulf family as long as anyone can remember; the Wulf family claim to have been gifted the land in the time of Charlemagne for good services rendered to the Holy Roman Emperor. Whatever the provenance of the claims other myths persist about the Wulf family. Devout Christians they maybe, some even went on the Crusades, but local tradition has it that the line Wulf is cursed! Legend alleges they are werewolves - lycanthropes  at the mercy of the full moon. Such nonsense is clearly not credible. Peasant & merchant jealousies have played on the family name, chattering ladies & sultry slatterns fill each others minds with ever more gruesome tales.

For all the superstition & idle gossip however, there was something in the dark forests which couldn't easily be explained... A great beast, with four legs but walking upright on two. Covered in fur, armed with fangs & claws it hunts on the full moon taking livestock & on occasion - human flesh. 
         
The Beast feeds
In typical fashion people were happy to blame the unbelieving authorities for doing nothing; the church for not sending in the Inquisition & frankly to be thankful the Beast had spared their families.
So things persisted for years & decades. The Wulf family were respectable aristocracy, admired & applauded across Europe - accept in the valley of their home.

However things were about to change. One mid summers day, which coincided with a full moon,  everything changed forever. Jan Hobaust's young wife was taken by the Beast & mutilated before a horrible death - he alleged. Stricken with grief his anger quickly turned to revenge. The local peasantry were feasting & full of fiery schnapps, wines & spicy sausages - Jan appealed for their help & soon led an angry mob. With pitchforks, clubs & torches they drove hunting hounds after the beast before trapping it in a well. It was never seen again...       
     
Hunting the Beast
Enraged by the disappearance of their quarry the mob marched on Wulf Tower from whence the Beast must have come. Jan implored them not to do what they now threatened - to no avail. The Wulf family were feasting too. They died in terror as flames tore through the ancient timbers & tapestries engulfing all. The sheer heat & billowing smoke blackened the stonework cracking much and tumbling the castle into ruin. No one survived.

The "Blackening" of Wulf Tower
Unbeknownst to the mob young Clemency Wulf awoke from her sleep as flames licked around her &  screams of the household filled her ears. Leaning from her window she saw the mob, saw them dancing for joy, chanting & laughing. In her tear filled disbelief she uttered a terrible curse on the inhabitants of her valley - that they should endure the horrors of fire & hatred of violence in each & every generation, forever. 

Death would often walk these lands as He now stole young Clemency from this world.   

The Curse of Wulf Tower 
Who knows how much of this is true, werewolves & curses? Whether Clemency's curse was real or not this valley has seen much war over the intervening years. Now the French are coming & the Austrian army marches to meet them in the shadow of Wulf Tower.

Next...

Hope you enjoy this snippet of fluff & whimsy! Basing is nearing completion so I'll set up the table for our next game soon & hopefully report very soon afterwards.  Both Tonys are painting 10mm's & I am churning out more buildings, possibly pimping some old roads we have. Just maybe normal service will resume soon.

Best wishes one & all,

Jeremy