Doktor Baron Ludwig von Sturmburg Volkhammer
A talented physicist (often mistaken for a wizard) who wields the awesome power of intellect.
Doktor Baron Ludwig von Sturmburg Volkhammer is a very academically talented physicist. A learned man, his knowledge of the Aether (the force that binds the Universe together) grants him wizard-like powers, stemming from his ability to manipulate the very fabric of the Universe itself. He is not to be confused with the sorcerers of the land, however, and Ludwig vehemently denies being a wizard (‘I am a man of science, not magic’) and in fact has learnt to despise their kind.
He is interested in technology and direct manipulation of the quantuum (magic to most people), Ludwig joined WHG13 to study the Wraiths. His favourite hobbies include thinking up new theories of how the Universe came to be, and creating smaller and more intellectually capable automatons (he has 179 patents to his name, but being a perfectionist is not happy at all with them).
He carries his many books everywhere with him, to the obvious dismay of Boryn el Burro, not at all a fan of books or intellectual material.
While he is at home at the academic capital of the world, Tormbridge, he is most out of place amongst the party of marauding dwarves that is WHG08. At 22, Doktor L. S. Volkhammer MD PhD has light brown hair and sharp, intelligent blue eyes which are certainly uncommon to dwarves. He towers above the rest of the party, tall even for a human, and carries a bar of soap in his backpack at all times when venturing with the primitive kind.
The time for first impressions has come, and the Doktor is not that impressed by his companions, with the features and mental capacity of a Neanderthal (which of course won’t be known about for at least a good few hundred years, but anyway…). Despite this, or actually because of it, he is surprised that they have actually survived through the years, and is bemused for the reason. Many academics have (discreetly) trodden these grounds before – the most widely accepted theory is that dwarves are reliant on other races to do their thinking for them (eg. to invent new weapons or tools), buying this knowledge with precious metals and craftsmanship.
His only self-designed and -constructed automatons that have survived the Doktor’s perfectionist purges are his electromagnetic radiation automatic surveillance electronic rotor-propelled hovercraft (aka his radio-controlled camcopter) and his translucent fibre AI claw-equipped automaton (known as the invisible stalker).
His hi-tech Tome allows him to manipulate the aether, changing chemical and physical properties (such as electromagnetic wavelength absorption), precipitously supply kinetic and thermic energy to specific objects, and activate specific neurological pathways in the grey matter of biological organisms.
While studying Physics at Tormbridge University, Ludwig joined a tight-knit group of elitists (known as the Enlightened Ones) who taught him the secret science of the Aether. Ludwig had of course heard of this force, previously ‘discovered’ and subsequently scoffed at by various scientists for centuries, and was very surprised to learn that this force did indeed exist.[1 ]
The Enlightened Ones kept the knowledge of this force from the masses, for in the hands of ‘simple folk’ would bring unprecedented chaos and destruction to the entire planet.[2 ] Since being sworn in as a member, Ludwig has learnt to wield wizard-like powers, not by the worship of gods, but by the power of his mind.[3 ]
Graduating from the University, Ludwig still kept in touch with the Enlightened Ones and sends his latest theories and automaton designs to be tested.[4 ]
Ludwig joined WHG13 primarily to investigate how the wraiths switch between the realms of the world, but has to admit that the chance to ‘show off’ the power of science in battle is quite an exhilarating experience.[3 ]
[1 ] “The Early Life of Ludwig – A Diary” Baron Ludwig von Sturmburg Volkhammer
[2 ] ********** Club Records (various authors)
[3 ] “The Career of Ludwig” Doktor Baron Ludwig von Sturmburg Volkhammer PhD
[4 ] ********** Theoretical ******* Records
Ludwig’s life spiralled out of control one morning when he was send a letter from Professor Namuruas of the University of Tormbridge, for “matters concerning the very fabric of the Universe itself.” The letter bore the stamp of the Eagle of the Enlightened Ones, and at the bottom said “Most Urgent – come at once!” It was 8:32 in the morning, and Ludwig was hungry like hell. The Namuruas would have to wait a sec.
Ludwig ordered a quick pizza before hopping onto his horse, Elgae, and setting a blistering pace straight towards Tormbridge. Suddenly Elgae skidded to a stop, in front of a huge mass of people. Damned market day. “In the name of science,” Ludwig yelled, “move!”
Unsurprisingly, the mass did not obey his command. Instead Ludwig had to endure the inconvenience of slipping off his horse and guiding it through side streets until he could remount and set off once again towards Tormbridge.He arrived at the University sometime around three o’clock, and Namuruas wasn’t pleased to not see Ludwig sooner. Nevertheless, he beckoned for Ludwig to follow him into the Hall of Science. “Take a seat,” he invited in that weak voice of his, taking the Great Mind’s seat. Ludwig chose the Lead Technocrat’s chair, to the right of Namuruas’s.
“Now, Ludwig, I see you are here late – no matter, no matter… It concerns the wraiths of the land – yes, yes, their existence has not been reliably proved – but – we think we may have evidence that they do.” Namuruas was saying all this at a rate of fourteen syllables a second – very fast. “Why am I telling you? We want to find out what ‘powers’ these wraiths have and how they use them – if they exist. Intelligence from Crag (yes, those unreliable drunks we bribe) says that there are these Wraith Hunter Groups marauding around. Are we concerned? No. But – but – we are interested in finding out about these wraiths, they do sound very interesting. Now, you might be wondering,” he coughed violently after this rapid-fire speech, and paused to rest his abused throat.
“Why,” he croaked, “did I choose you, Ludwig Sturmburg?" He smiled gently at Ludwig. “You are the only one qualified enough – 100% each on Aincent Languages, Dwarven culture, Aether Manipulation and, most importantly, you are expendable,” he said this flatly, unemotionally. “If anyone else – who could do it! – were to be sent, the students here would lose out on much of their education. I’m sorry, Ludwig, but it has to be you.”
He reached into his breast pocket of his hooded jumper and withdrew a small box. “In here is all the information you will need, compacted 90% so be very careful with it. It includes some of our contacts, some hidey-holes to use if you need them, info on Crag, myths and legends to do with wraiths, etc. Just get to Crag ASAP and send me your reports – discreetly! – through the contacts.”
“Now these wraiths are very dangerous, apparently. Oh, and if those dwarves find out who you work for you’ll be skinned alive – so don’t be captured alive! Remember, this is for the advancement of science. For the good of all. So do it!”
Ludwig scuttled out of the door, his head spinning. Namuruas smiled at Ludwig’s disappearing back. He knew it may be the last time he saw his promising young student. And Ludwig now knows that too.