Wilhelm von Murnau was born on the longest, darkest night of the year, as a storm-wind full of phantom voices rattled the shutters of his mother’s birthing-room. All but her most faithful servants cowered in fear. He drew his first breath on one side of midnight, and his younger twin, Weyland, took his on the other. Unlike their older siblings Frederick and Franziska, the boys were strange and fey from earliest childhood: secretive, silent, and more comfortable with each other than with the rest of the family. Their father made no secret of his dismay with them, distrusting the strong bond between them, the way they seemed to share one soul and one mind between two bodies. His prejudice filtered down to the rest of their kin to greater or lesser degree.
Weyland grew to become a quiet, thoughtful young man, introverted and shy but willing to return affection when it was given. His gentleness of spirit and intelligence softened the regard of his siblings, though he never managed to win over their father. Wilhelm was also quiet and thoughtful, but with a sullen and embittered quality to his silences. He resented being regarded as freakish and strange by his bizarre family, and though he loved his twin dearly, he also grew to loathe the bond between them. A gnawing dissatisfaction filled him as he grew older, and he began to fear that he would never be complete in himself, only the shadow of sweet and charming Weyland.
As the twins grew older, they gradually became more estranged from one another. Wilhelm withdrew further from the family as Weyland was accepted more closely into it. Eventually, the situation reached its breaking point. Wilhelm manifested the Curse of House of Murnau far earlier than most of the family suspected. Only Weyland knew how long his twin had really been listening to the spirit voices the Curse made clear to him. Eventually, he began to do more than merely listen to those voices. He began to ask them questions, take their counsel when they offered it, and seek out their company.
In the Bavarian forests beyond Murnauer Berg he sought and found the first of his advisors, a lady of the Courts of Winter who found his mortal passion enchanting and the darkness growing within his soul a worthy thing to cultivate. At the age of fifteen, Wilhelm von Murnau turned his back on humanity to pursue the truth of his family’s legacy, and inaugurated that decision in the blood of his twin brother. Weyland’s death was considered a tragic accident; Wilhelm was sent away from Murnauer Berg to recover from the terrible blow. Within a month, he had murdered the family that hosted him and vanished, leaving behind letters for his parents and each of his siblings, promising that he would look in on them from time to time.
Decades passed in silence, but Wilhelm’s family did not forget the promise he had made them, nor did he forget the vengeance he owed his siblings. In the icy halls of the Courts of Winter and the twilight gardens of the Courts of Autumn he sought and found power, took service in exchange for knowledge, swore binding oaths in return for tutelage in a thousand black arts. In the black school Scholomance, he learned the ways that forced demons to bend knee and do his bidding, that bound spirits great and small to his whims. He mastered the arts of night and winter, blood and death. In these unholy places, time passed with exquisite slowness; his form remained youthful even as his soul steeped black in its own wickedness. When he turned his malignant attention back to the world in which he was born, he was in the prime of his youth, his power, and his cruelty.
His first victim was his much-despised eldest brother, Leopold, whom he intends to corrupt and destroy. Pursuing Leopold, however, brought the existence of the Shadow Inquisition to his attention. This is a matter of no small concern to the Courts in which he dwells. While Wilhelm’s personal ambitions involve grinding his family into the dust beneath his feet, he is not adverse whatsoever to turning his attention on their conspirators, and is even now considering ways to do so. He has already made contact with the demon Byleth, whose desires coincide quite happily with his own. The two are even now gathering the intelligence and resources to pursue their vendettas most completely.
- Dark Ages: Inquisitor Companion, p. 67, 140-142