After the Storm
The dashing and heroic one
A tall Ostlander with chiseled features and strong jaw line. To Amalei Steiner he was her Schragflache [square face]
Gunnar began to suffer from Stray Thoughts (insanity) on Sigmarzeit 22, 2523. He will check for recovering on the 22nd of each month, needing to accumulate two passed checks before he will recover from the memory of shooting dead the ‘burned and burning’ Ernst Feir, and being thanked by the accursed mage.
Gunnar began to suffer from Mental Mutation (insanity, reflecting the fear one is or is becoming a mutant) on Sigmarziet 26, 2523. This he will check on the 26th of each month, needing to accumulate three passed checks before he recovers. This insanity is most apt for a foe of chaos who finds his body cured of the loss of a limb – what has happened to his body…?
Gunnar Holck is the only surviving Holck brother.
He and older brother Borgir served in the Imperial army at the Third Battle of Blackfire Pass, having been seen off in Averheim by little brother Magnus. The two survived and mustered out, seeking the adventure of the Southlands Expedition to the Southlands and the port of Sudenberg.
When Magnus came to Averheim in 2522, he learned that Borgir had not survived and that Gunnar had vanished upon the expedition’s return to the Old World.
Gunnar was in fact at that time in Averheim, having delivered a letter from the expedition navigator Eothlir Valandar to his cousin Korhadriel, another veteran of Blackfire Pass also residing in Averheim. Eothlir and Gunnar both had suspicions about the expedition, the recovery of a strange effigy and the death of Borgir and the expedition leader Templemann during its recovery.
Gunnar thought there was something off about Templemann (like a merchant trying too hard to sell spoiled goods) and got him drunk enough in Sudenberg once that Templemann revealed, “there’s a big payoff in Averheim if I find what the map she gave me points to – oh the beauties I’ll buy in the Arbyan markets with the money she’ll get him to pay me to hand it over. But should I, he’s likely to claim I’m already paid. Perhaps I should find another buyer.”
Gunnar never found out who the he and she were but pieced together that Templemann’s grand expedition that he “sold” his backers on, principally Graf Friedrich von Kaufman, was really, as far as Templemann was concerned, about finding one particular thing marked on another map he had by an explorer who also followed the ancient explorer Ibn Jellaba’s route but only 180 years ago.
Gunnar was reluctant to relate anything about this to people in Averheim as he has no idea who was involved in whatever Templemann was up to (the list he stole implicates many people).
Gunnar watched Bischoff after Templemann died but never caught him being other than quick tempered and a cruel brawler. He determined to follow Bischoff.
The high elf navigator’s Eothlir Valandar’s suspicions of the effigy (it was the last item recovered, Bischoff brought it back from the foray Templemann died on) and gold plaque meant when Gunnar asked him (assuming all elves know about magic etc.) if there was anything suspicious going on and Eothlir said not that he could see but that he felt something was wrong with the expedition the two thus connected.
Eothlir was pursuing his own inquiries while Gunnar shadowed the returning expedition and the one man who came back from that trek into the jungle, Bischoff. After giving Korhadriel the letter (which told Korhardriel that the man who delivered it, Holck, could be trusted), Gunnar disappeared into the underworld of Averheim.
Shadowing Bischoff, who was quickly elevated to a chief enforcer for the Black Cowl’s Brotherhood, Gunnar sustained injuries and learned enough to have increased suspicions. He sweet-talked Amalie Stiener a lady in waiting in the household of Graf Friedrich von Kaufman and thereby gained entry to the mansion. He went through the Graf’s papers while most of the household was busy at a great event he was holding at the Averburg menagerie grounds.
He stole the Graf’s copy of the map Templemann had. The effigy is the most significant items found at the location on the map (a ruined city in the highland jungle known as the Screaming Darkness) and so it is probably whatever it is Templemann was really after. He couldn’t find evidence of “he and she” in the papers though he identified the major planners in expedition (Graf Friedrich von Kaufman, Captain Marcus Baerfaust, and Luminary Konrad Mauer) and investors (Kaufman, the rich Frau Hurdleberger, noble Klaus von Döhnenleiter – older brother to Wilhelm, are the major shareholders, notable amounts also come from the Steiner [Kaufman’s cousins, Amalie’s family] and Baum [Leitdorf supporters] noble families, and the Temple of Verena, there are a half dozen other small investors noble and silver tier.)
He was briefly reunited with Magnus, discovering his young brother was involved in dealing with other machinations of this, but they were separated when the Black Cowl’s Brotherhood found them. Gunnar teamed up with another investigator, Witch Hunter Adele Ketzenblum, but they were in constant danger for getting too close to the truth of the Black Cowl and had to flee Averheim.
They ended up in Middenheim, where Gunnar was instrumental in saving Magnus and his comrades from a trial in front of Ketzenblum. He was last seen heading north to see what had befallen the Holck family in the course of the invasion of Ostland by the hordes of Chaos.
Magnus since then died in the Black Cowl’s attack on nobles gathered in the Wisseland Plaza of Altdorf on Nachgeheim 11th, 2522.
Gunnar joined Magnus’ surviving companions in mid Bezahltag 2522, returning with them to Averheim as one of the Hunters of the Black Cowl.