Accept it. We're not getting out of here alive...Wilhelm, to one of his dying men.
Wilhelm von Gerich is a minor character in Amnesia: The Dark Descent and in the Remember short story collection. He was a member of the Order of the Black Eagle who kidnapped many innocent people to Brennenburg Castle for the use of Baron Alexander.
Wilhelm was born into the House of Gerich in 1670. He was a decorated soldier, though in which army he served is unspecified (most likely the Royal Prussian Army). Though a nobleman, neither he nor his family were particularly powerful or prominent, which was why he sought to advance his career and especially to be accepted into the Order of the Black Eagle, a prestigious Prussian knightly order.
Serving at Brennenburg
In 1702, Wilhelm received a surprising invitation from the reclusive Baron of Brennenburg. He quickly realized upon meeting Alexander that the reasons why he was being recruited were the "follies of [his] past," implying some immoral deeds in Wilhelm's history. Nevertheless, he signed the Baron's proposed contract and pledged to become Alexander's goon for a total of three years, in exchange for recommendation to the chivalrous Order of the Black Eagle, of which Alexander was a member, and to the Prussian royal court. He and his fellow hired men were employed to kidnap humans and bring them to the castle, ostensibly for punishment; in fact, they were taken for the sake of experimentation and vitae extraction.
Though he'd lost count of exactly how many abductions he'd committed, Wilhelm estimated that he may have brought as many as a hundred to the Castle. The historian Klaas later wrote that "39" men from Altstadt were arrested from 1702-4 and their families banished, to the heavy detriment of the little town's population, only possessing "89 souls" in the first place.
Wilhelm served Alexander as a secret lawman from "early winter of 1702 until late summer of 1704." His capacity was apparently entirely outside the bounds of normal law enforcement. Historians later opined that if this was examined, as it was eventually threatened to be, the actions and arrests made by Wilhelm under contract with Alexander would be held unlawful, thus null and void. Nevertheless, Wilhelm and other hired men made many arrests over the two-year period, of which none were passed through the justice system nor recorded by the local magistrate. His last case was the fire at Stoss' farmstead, on September 28th, 1704, where the farm holder died and the farmhand, Emil, was incriminated and taken to the castle.
After two years, Alexander tired of the imprudent behaviour of Wilhelm and his men. Their carelessness had attracted the attention of the Königsberg sheriff, who had begun hunting in the woods around Brennenburg and killing Alexander's other servants. Before the arrival of the sheriff, he lured Wilhelm and his men to the Wine Cellar, proposing a toast and drinking a glass himself before leaving them to drink their fills. Alexander then locked them in, having tricked them into drinking the poisoned wine that would twist their bones and turn them into the Gatherers. None of the men in their revelry, including Wilhelm, seemed to notice when the Baron had left nor that he'd locked the exit until it was far too late.
The other men began their painful, deadly transformation and begged Alexander to release them. Wilhelm merely accepted his fate, to the consternation and disbelief of his fellow hirelings. Waiting for his inevitable end, he wrote a final note, confessing the details of his history with Alexander. He presumably died while writing this note, ending midsentence.
From the outside, the ceasing of Wilhelm's extra-legal activities coincided with the investigations a sheriff who, representing the king's government in Königsberg, in and around Brennenburg. The sheriff reported that the crime rate had dropped in Altstadt, but Wilhelm was nowhere to be found, and no activity of his was reported since. The historian Ludwig Kleist writing on the subject assumed, in the face of a lack of documentation, that Wilhelm was "allowed to leave on his own accord"—oddly, in spite of the sheriff's claim to have not met with Wilhelm at all.
Events of "House of Gerich"
Almost seventy years later, Herr Klaas Gottschall visited Altstadt to research the final whereabouts of Wilhelm von Gerich, but discovered little new. He attempted to arrange an appointment with Baron Alexander, but received no response. The story ends with Gottschall's attempt to meet the Baron in person, knocking on the gates of Castle Brennenburg, with unknown results—most likely nobody except Alexander, and Daniel, would ever know of Wilhelm's ultimate fate.
Events of Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Over the course of his stay at Castle Brennenburg, following his self-inflicted amnesia, Daniel discovered pieces of Wilhelm's history: his contract with Alexander and his last words. More strangely, Daniel (somehow) recalled conversations between the hirelings, including a conversation involving Wilhelm, as audible memories.
- "So begins the punishment for our sins."
- Given Altstadt's low initial population of "86," Wilhelm may have been mistaken in his high estimate of abductions and arrests. However, it's also possible that the farmers living in the surrounding countryside were simply not counted as part of the town. Wilhelm's men may also have abducted or arrested travellers as well as locals. It is not specified either way in The Dark Descent nor in "House of Gerich."
- A fan theory concerning Wilhelm's fate suggests that he was specially transformed into a Brute.
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "Wilhelm, the vigilant, was from the House of Gerich."
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "In 1704... he was but 34 years old"
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "A sheriff from Königsberg was sent to investigate Wilhelm’s endeavors, but he returned early winter, 1704, reporting that crimes had dropped in Altstadt and that there was no trace of the nobleman."
- Wilhelm's Last Words (TDD)
- "Transformation 2/2" (TDD)
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "...most arrests were handled by an unknown nobleman named Wilhelm."
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "Baron Alexander... acquired assistance from the decorated soldier from Gerich."
- Wilhelm's Last Words (TDD): "the reason I was chosen was... not the honors I've been rewarded with during my time as a soldier."
- Wilhelm's Contract (TDD)
- Amnesia: The Dark Descent – English credits: "Dan Zullo as Wilhelm & Thugs"
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "39 men were arrested and locked up in castle Brennenburg’s dungeons. In most cases the criminal’s family would be banished from the land, effectively cutting the already dwindling population of Altstadt with 86 souls."
- "House of Gerich" (Remember)
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "This arrangement was most likely not administered by the King, at least not officially, and if investigated would fall apart from a legal standpoint."
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "The magistrate’s office has almost no records detailing these crimes, as most arrests were handled by an unknown nobleman named Wilhelm."
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "On Thursday, 28 September, 1704, there was a fire which consumed a barn a few miles south of Altstadt. It was Wilhelm’s last case."
- Regarding Closing of the Wine Cellar (TDD)
- "Transformation 1/2" (TDD)
- Wilhelm's Last Words (TDD): "Blood has begun to pour from my eyes and I can no longer...[sic]"
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "In 1704, a sheriff from Königsberg were sent to Altstadt to question Wilhelm about the civil arrests he had undertaken."
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "It seems safe to assume that Wilhelm was made to cease his efforts, but was allowed to leave on his own accord, as no documents details this meeting. Considering that the arrival of the sheriff coincides with Wilhelm’s last case this fact seems glaringly obvious."
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "Zimmermann laughed. '1704? That’s almost seventy years ago!'"
- "House of Gerich" (Remember): "'You could ask for an audience with Baron Alexander.'
'I have, but haven’t heard back.'"
|The Dark Descent, Justine, and Remember characters|