This young Gangrel of rough appearance but courtly manner is the grand-childe of Bernhard von Billung. He serves the Iron Covenant as the Scourge of Schaasburg, though he more frequently finds his niche amongst them as a scholastic instructor or herald.
A short German knight with a barrel chest, strong arms and a grizzly, patchy beard bisected by a small scar low on his left cheek. His deep set green eyes are dull and calm, and he has an unassuming air quite unusual in a warrior. His helmet, mail, sword and dagger are of excellent quality, bearing the signs of a master’s workmanship. A golden wolf leaping over a sheaf of wheat is emblazoned on his red surcoat.
The Scourge of Schaasburg is the youngest member of the Iron Covenant, though he holds his own in their company. Sir Heinrich, while he is of rough appearance and is clearly a skilled warrior, is noted for his polished manner and erudition. His grasp of court etiquette and ability to discuss the finer points of history and philosophy is a true asset to his coterie. He charmed more than one Tzimisce knez during the Covenant’s harrowing journey to Tihuta through the fragmented lands of Poland and the bloody wilds of northern Transylvania.
Heinrich’s claims to hail from a cadet branch of the Bartensleben Grafs (Counts) of Wolfsburg. As such, he is connected to a family of great importance in Saxony, as their lands abut and protect one of the approaches to the important trading city of Brunswick, which lies just 20 miles to the southwest of their castle. Furthermore, Wolfsburg is less than 60 miles from the strategic city of Magdeburg, and the unstable and wild lands that lie beyond the banks of the Elbe.
The knight is graciously evasive concerning his own mortal life, saying only that he was granted his spurs by none other than Frederick Barbarossa, but that he was never called upon to go to war, nor did he see fit to join the Holy Roman Emperor on his ill-fated Crusade to the East. It is also clear that he has been granted an education that a university instructor would envy, and that he has spent considerable time learning the courtly graces that only a high noble would learn.
The knight is also evasive concerning the circumstances leading up to his Embrace, but it is known that he was sired by the Scourge of Pressburg, Jana von Dorsten, at some point in the first years of the 9th decade of the 12th century. Jana released him quickly, and by 1195 CE he was serving Prince Frederick the Bold of Brunswick as his Scourge. Frederick placed considerable trust in the very young Cainite giving him such an important duty, and many princes in Saxony and even further abroad took note of the Gangrel. Regrettably, Heinrich failed in his duties and the prince, along with his two childer, Brigitta and Gotthold, were slain just 18 months later by a roving pack of Furores. The Sheriff of Brunswick, Klemens of Clan Toreador, was also destroyed in the attack and so the blame fell squarely on Heinrich. He was soon cast out by the opportunistic new prince, Norbert von Xanten of Clan Lasombra, and chose to wander to the Hungarian marches to take counsel with his sire and search for a new beginning.
He found it with the Ventrue Matthias Granz Ritter von Bamberg and his allies in the formative coterie now known as the Iron Covenant. Sir Matthias and Janos Kádár, his clan-mate and sword-brother, cared little for the whimsies of fate or the tide of politics. On the advice of the Malkavian Matthilde Wallenstein, they took a chance on the outcast Gangrel and included him in their ranks. Heinrich has not disappointed them, proving his quality by navigating them through the difficult legal systems and Cainite courts of Hungary and the Holy Roman Empire as well seeing them safely through the treacherous demesnes of the Tzimisce of Poland and Transylvania.
Heinrich instructs his coterie-mates on the intricacies of court etiquette, and he has also markedly improved their own proficiency of the seven liberal arts. He is second only to Janos as a fighter, and his calm disposition and stringent code of honour helps Sir Matthias keep the coterie grounded with sound ethics. They have accepted him fully as one of their own, and will answer any reference to his past failure in Brunswick with stony silence and oaths of retribution. While the Holy Roman Ventrue have no love for the young Gangrel, he is known to enjoy the respect of Prince Gregor of Pressburg and Prince Vencel Rikard of Buda-Pest.
Sir Heinrich’s lineage was unknown to the Concord prior to the ceremony ratifying Bernhard von Billung’s claim on the princedom of Kronstadt. While the new prince reacted with surprise and pleasure to the news that Heinrich was his grandchilde, Prince Bernhard’s scornful castigation of Sir Matthias over the impolitic presence of Lorea and Nicoleta caused immediate family friction. Indeed, Sir Heinrich seemed to be deeply disappointed with his grandsire over the matter.
Lineage: Childe of Jana von Dorsten, Bernhard Billung aka Gunther ritter von Wolfgang, Childe of Lucien, Childe of the Savage aka Velatorix the Averni (d); Unknown lineage beyond this.