Sylum Inspiration: William Tell

Weisheit Kin Clan: Lead Hunter

 

William Tell is the Lead Hunter for Weisheit and works with Wilhelm Brandenstein to patrol the Ehre/Weisheit Territory.

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Several accounts of the Tell legend exist. The earliest sources give an account of the apple shot, Tell’s escape, and the ensuing rebellion. The assassination of Gessler is not mentioned in the Tellen lied but is already present in the White Book of Sarnen account.

The legend as told by Tschudi essentially follows the account in the White Book, but adds further detail, such as Tell’s given name William, his being from Bürglen, and the precise date of the apple-shot of 18 November 1307.

William Tell was known as a strong man, a mountain climber, and an expert shot with the crossbow. In his time, the Habsburg emperors of Austria were seeking to dominate Uri and Tell became one of the conspirators of Werner Stauffacher vowing to resist Habsburg rule. Gessler, the newly appointed Austrian Vogt of Altdorf, raised a pole under the village linden tree, hung his hat on top of it, and demanded that all the townsfolk bow before the hat.

On 18 November 1307, Tell visited Altdorf with his young son and passed by the hat, publicly refusing to bow to it, and so was arrested. Gessler—intrigued by Tell’s famed marksmanship yet resentful of his defiance—devised a cruel punishment: Tell and his son would be executed, but he could redeem his life by shooting an apple off the head of his son, Walter, in a single attempt. Tell split the apple with a bolt from his crossbow.

But Gessler noticed that Tell had removed two crossbow bolts from his quiver, not one. Before releasing him, he asked why. Tell was reluctant to reply, but after Gessler promised he would not attempt to kill him, he replied that if he had killed his son, he would have used the second bolt on Gessler himself. Gessler was angered and had Tell bound, saying that while he had promised to spare his life, he would imprison Tell for the remainder of the life he had been granted.

Tell was brought to Gessler’s boat to be taken to the dungeon in his castle at Küssnacht. But, as a storm broke on Lake Lucerne, the soldiers were afraid that their boat would founder, and they begged Gessler to allow them to remove Tell’s shackles so he could steer the boat and save them. Gessler agreed, and Tell used the opportunity to escape, leaping from the boat at the rocky site now (and already in the White Book) known as the Tellsplatte (“Tell’s slab”), since the 16th century the site of a memorial chapel.  Tell ran cross-country to Küssnacht. As Gessler arrived, Tell assassinated him with the second crossbow bolt along a stretch of the road cut through the rock between Immensee and Küssnacht, now known as the Hohle Gasse. Tell’s blow for liberty sparked a rebellion in which he played a leading part, leading to the formation of the Swiss Confederation

According to Tschudi, Tell fought again against Austria in the 1315 Battle of Morgarten. Tschudi also has an account of Tell’s death in 1354, according to which he was killed trying to save a child from drowning in the Schächenbach river in Uri.

For More Information Contact the Vampire Council Library

William doesn’t tell what is myth or legend. He likes to leave a bit of Mystery.

He will tell you him and Wilhelm met in a bar. They ended up out back drunk and seeing who had the best archer’s aim.

William is still not sure how he woke up dead.

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