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by Bruce Heard

Type: Light warbird, Waffenadler class
Date of Commission: AC 1016
Port of Call: Grauenberg

Service Records: The original warbird to bear this name was destroyed during the battle of Freiburg (AC1015) when the dragons of the Wyrmsteeth Range engaged the Ordensflotte. The crew fought valiantly despite a raging fire aboard, protecting ships unloading their Simbasta troops down below. The entire crew died in the action. The original Sturzhahn like its present day successor was originally assigned as the garrison ship of Grauenberg.

Its commander, Luftkaptän Friedhelm von Donnerschlag, aka Bodo Pflugweg in real life, came from a most humble rural background. Barely capable of reading, he progressed through the ranks of the Order from an indentured soldier all the way to the rank of warbird commander. He owes this success to his unusual cunning, bravery, and quick-thinking in combat. Brother Friedhelm often joins his crew when hard work is needed, often remaining bare-chested rather than wear the Heldannic robe. Somewhat uncouth he also comes off as gruff and rude especially with those he suspects have a more refined upbringing or some noble family background. In fact, he genuinely dislikes intellectuals and enjoys making their service on board the Sturzhahn as unpleasant as possible. Rather then concluding a conversation with the customary "Dismissed" when he addresses one of his least favourite crew, he invariably relies on colourful, blunt, and offensive equivalents instead. Similar language awaits those sailors who err in their duties, often provoking smirks from the rest of the crew who have gotten accustomed to their captain's style. So far, due to his ability as a commander, no one has reported Brother Friedhelm for his misconduct.

The Sturzhahn is often called upon to patrol the seas due-west of Grauenberg, especially to keep an eye on marauding Ostlanders. Like his predecessor, the Sturzhahn is notorious for its ability to dive upon a fleeing longship and drop a boulder on cue. In most cases, the longship sinks shortly thereafter - a testimony of its captain's skill and his crew's training. Like many other warbird commanders, Brother Friedhelm is just waiting for an occasion to do battle and once again, earn renewed notoriety like his illustrious predecessor.