Wulfrik the Wanderer
"Face me if you dare, stunted whelp, or do you lack even an Elven maid's courage? I thought the Sons of Grungni were great warriors, but perhaps you are no true Dwarf. Indeed, maybe you are instead some breed of bearded goblin, though in truth, I have seen a finer beard on a Troll's back-side."
- – Wulfrik, roasting some stuntie welp so hard it literally set their beard on fire.
"You favour birds, Zarnath? Since you like birds so much, traitor, I will make you one."
- – Wulfrik, about to rape Zarnath with the torture death of Blood Raven
"We seek the monsters that you fear the most. We chase the nightmares that haunt your cowardly dreams. The deadlier the prey, the more we exult in the hunt! The more we honour our Gods! This harsh land breeds the savage; and we revel in it. The Old World calls, ripe for our taking. We fought monsters, and we became them..."
- – Wulfrik, during the trailer for the Norsca faction of Total War: WARHAMMER
Wulfrik the Wanderer, also known as the Eternal Challenger, the Inescapable One and the World Walker, is the ultimate sea-faring warrior as well as the Chaos Gods' most favorite and deadly executioner. He was cursed some time ago to forever kill scary beasts or champions of distant lands by the chaos gods for being too damn yappy after a long night of drinking with the lads. The curse stated that, should he fail or fall in battle, his soul would be damned forever to be viciously ravaged by Slaaneshi daemons, unable to enter the halls of Khorne.
In addition to being a warrior of immense skill, he is also a roast-master, able to burn the unholy 'FUCK' out of anyone in the Warhammer world. His curse grants him the ability to speak and understood Khazalid, Eltharin, Queekish, Reikspiel, and even forgotten language like ancient Nehekharan, or untranslatable brute language growl used by beasts like Yeti, with the fluency of a born native. This ability shouldn't be underestmated however, for it makes it easiler for Wulfrik to force his opponent into offense mode by roasting their sorry asses charcoal black, forces them to enter a state of blind rage that they disregarded all of their advantageous tools of war (their comrades, range/black powder weaponry, magic, etc...) and just charge into Wulfrik while leaving themselves open to any attacks.
He is not to be confused with a similar character who also has the same red hair, a massive sword and the ability to pull a long 1 minute insult from Samurai Jack.
It is a shame that he did not duel Gotrek or feature in any of their novels, despite the fact that both kill monsters and champions on weekly basis.
It is also a shame that he never fought Nakai the Wanderer on any occasion since both shared the same nickname.
Wulfrik was born into the Norscan clan of Sarl, bearing the mark of chaos upon his birth. He would grow to become a skilled, if somewhat arrogant warrior. After a particularly glorious victory from a battle known as the "Battle of Thousand Skulls" (the prizes of which were the hand of a beautiful princess named Hjordis, a well known beautiful blondie with an arse everyone wants to bang and the crown of chieftain), Wulfrik attended a celebration held in honor of his clan's victory over their enemies, known as the Aeslings. Wulfrik, after having chugged eight barrels of mead and more than a few shots of Jägermeister, declared loud and for all to hear that he and he alone could best every warrior in the world, because he was the greatest and even the gods could not train a more formidable warrior.
Insulted beyond compare, the Chaos gods sent an emissary to Wulfrik as he lay sleeping. The daemon emissary came to Wulfrik's dream and carried him into the warp before proceeding to give him a tour of the world from the "heavens" above. They visited the realms of the Elves, and the dark domains of the Skaven. They went to the woodland realms of the Wood Elves, the strongholds of the Dwarves, the quiet dead halls of Nagashizzar and the gleaming cities of the Empire and everywhere they went would drown in a great tide of blood. The daemon then informed Wulfrik that the gods had decided to impose upon his arrogance, the terms of which state that he is to wander the world and claim the skulls of dreadful monsters and powerful champions. If he succeeds, he will be counted as an honored servant of the gods. If he fails (read, dies) well... Slaanesh gets to decide what happens then.
Wulfrik woke up the next morning with a crippling hangover and more importantly, "the gift of tongues." This "gift" manifested itself as a mutation that twisted his tongue into the shape of a bird's and made it so that he could speak foreign languages as if he’d been born to each as well as understood foreign tongue when he listen by focusing his mind. A side effect is that he may shout random insults at people at completely inopportune times (no doubt Tzeentch was pissing himself after he came up with that one). Another "gift" was that he could now hear the gods in his head. From their whisper, they implore Wulfrik to go out and defeat a Tomb King named Khareops and offer up his rotten entrails to Nurgle. The voices began driving Wulfrik mad and so, between searching for a cure to his "gifts" and being a bad ass, he started searching for some way to get to Khemri.
Understood that the hot climate in the Southlands was no joke (most Norscans just don’t like it because it's hot... and because everyone's favorite desert daddy fucking pwned them the last time they landed, see Settra's crown thief.) He learned from his trusted mentor Sigvtar that there is a certain powerful magical ship that can transport anyone anywhere in an instant (or close enough), crafted and held in a mighty stronghold by a Skaeling witch,
Baba Yaga Baga Yar. Wulfrik uses pretty much all of his life's savings buying an army to lay siege to this fucking thing, and after he finally manages to get inside, he hacks the witch to pieces out of sheer spite. The witch doesn't die (TIS BUT A FLESH WOUND) so he drops her old ass in a pot to boil to death while he goes down to claim his new ride. With ship, sword, bird-shaped tongue and a bloodthirsty crew, Wulfrik sets out in his journey of slaughtering anything with red blood, a pulse or able to move. Seriously. Giants, abominations, undead beasts, famous champions and noble heroes-- fucking no one is safe.
Despite the fame coming from his various deeds completed for the gods, Wulfrik found no enjoyment, for he only wish to rule his clan and wed Hjordis. Logically, his wishes should've been granted for slaying Aeslings' King Torgald, but the chieftain Viglundr, a devout follower and chosen of Tzeentch (he has the mark of Tzeentch on his heart) rejects it due to the sudden curse Wulfrik received (or so whatever bullshit a Tzeentch follower could spew). Viglundr believes a man who is cursed by the gods to hunt their preys for eternity is too busy to rule and adore his daughter that he would rather have Sveinbjorn, his son-in-law and an Aesling prince to received that privilege, also another way to forge a new alliance with the Aeslings (the same tribe Wulfrik pwned the night he received his “gifts”) as part of his scheme.
At some point during his adventure, Wulfrik meets Zarnath of Tokmars, a Kurgan shaman. He claimed that he knew a way to remove the gods' "gifts", but he would only do so if noble and oh so heroic Wulfrik could do a quick RPG fetch quest and get a certain artefact called the "Smile of Sardiss" from the infamous Chaos Dwarves for him. Wulfrik did just that, flew his ship to the dark land (a barren wasteland with little water source and is impossible to travel through sea and river mind you) with his companions, risking their lives being shot at by a fuck tons of chaos stunties armed with Blundbuss (shotgun), hacked through uncountable amount of hobo goblins sentinels, killed a bull lord (it was enraged by Wulfrik's insult and left an opening for Wulfrik to put his blade in) and battling the chaos stunties' foul machinery (it was a chaos dwarf lord armed with power armor and flamethrower, but Wulfrik managed to burn him alive with his own weapon). The fight was so intense that Zarnath had to help with his magic (which he had constantly made excuses and insisted to not lend a hand), but is no different than surviving daily battles in Norsca and Wulfrik triumph like the fucking beast he is. He gets the artifact at the cost of his dear friend Sigvatr (died to the blades of two traitor comrades beside him), one of the few people he actually cared about in this war torn world. The fight also killed Zarnath except he's shown up again back on the ship because magic.
In the mean time however, Viglundr's scheme with the Aesling alliance isn't going well since Wulfrik is the one that killed the Aesling king and the relationship between the clans is a bit tattered even with their new chieftain, Sveinbjorn, and it will remain that way so long as Wulfrik lives. Viglundr decides then that the red haired badass must take a snowy dirt nap if his dreams of power and prestige are to have any chance of coming true.
As soon as Wulfrik and Co. returned, Wulfrik was welcomed with the news of his lovely princess's marriage to prince Sveinbjorn. The prospect of being cucked by Sveinbjorn angered Wulfrik to no end and led him to challenging Sveinbjorn to a duel. Going along with the flow, Sveinbjorn was ordered by his father to put Wulfrik’s little victory streak to an end. They would settle their score in the Wolf Forest, an private arena owned by Wulfrik (often he used that place for many things: recruitment, celebrations and duels) where they would do glorious battle in the name of the gods. However, to Wulfrik's surprise, the combatant wasn't Sveinbjorn, but rather a huge (about as tall as a troll), bloated chaos champion that Sveinbjorn’s daddy had hired. Note that the champion was a famous Aeslings hero known throughout the Norsca by the name Fraener, whom the gods has abandoned and its now but a Forsaken. Thanks to his own huge balls of titanium, Wulfrik beat the champion to sludge in a battle (even with the champion's transformation midway into the battle, Wulfrik fought savagely and pounded the abomination down below the spike-filled arena pit), thus earning the respect of several hundred warriors and increasing the size of his horde significantly.
Having had their plan fail like a typical Saturday morning Cartoon Villian, Viglundr decided to have Sveinbjorn bribe one of Wulfrik's men, Broendulf, into betraying him. As for the second part of Zarnath's quest, he told Wulfrik and his gang to go to Ulthuan (also known as Alfheim in Norscan, nice Norse myth reference there Gee-dubs) in order to obtain the cure for Wulfrik's curse gift by having the magic of that place absorbed into the artefact he got before. Turns out, Zarnath is a treacherous asshole who had been plotting Wulfrik's demise from the beginning, meaning the quest to obtain chaos dwarves' artifact was naught but an excuse to get Wulfrik killed. After the gang landed on Cothique, climbed its cliff shore and traveled down its prairie. There, the sorcerer fooled Wulfrik and his merry band of merry savages into killing a group of Elven maidens praying at a shrine, telling them that they were vile witches preparing to unleash havoc on the Norscans with foul elven magic. Turns out, they were the wives of Elven nobles, praying for fertility and healthy babies if they were already pregnant (oh boy Khorne's gonna be pissed, slaughter of the weak? Big no no. Tiny skulls do make good necklaces tho, but Khaine? He should be the one killing these Elf feotuses!)
Zarnath then revealed his true nature, presumably twirling a cartoonish mustache, before disappearing into a cloud of smoke (because it was but his magic hologram which he controlled from Norsca), alerting nearly every warrior on the bloody continent of Ulthuan while doing it. The Elves and Wulfrik's gang then had a massive battle that caused Khorne to violently ejaculate molten brass all over the place (Slaanesh was indeed pleased, before you ask).
The Elves were vengeful, filled with determined hatred toward these barbarians, to the point Wulfrik could hear "panic" from their conversations: fear of letting them get away without torturing them! Not only do the Elves outnumbered the gang with high numbers of Silver Helms and Elven bowman, some of them were experienced veterans from when Erik Redaxe invaded (which he was defeated by Tyrion's army) meaning the Elves are damn good at dealing with Norscans.
Despite all the odds, the Norscan gang fought to the very end, especially Wulfrik, who was fairly lucky the whole time (The Smile of Sardiss he bought contained some kind of Daemon, which it kept away Elf phantoms that tried to rot them) and so pissed off at the betrayal that he injured a great pale Merwyrm while fighting his way back to the sea. Still, the battle ended up killing everyone involved and destroyed the Seafang (leaving only the figurehead which was, conveniently, the only part that mattered as it held all the magic in it), except Wulfrik and a warrior named Broendulf. The two warriors escaped using just Seafang's figurehead, strapped to the front of an Elven galley.
While trespassing the warp in a fashion related to 40k, Broendulf confessed to Wulfrik about Viglundr's plotting against him as well as his part of the plan. Hilariously, the reason for Broendulf's betrayal is so he could have Hjordis for himself since Sveinbjorn himself claimed to him that he has erectile dysfunction and is not interested in the princess the slightest. The statement was later rebuked by Wulfrik by him calling him twice the fool for believing them and said that most of the tribesman were actually Sveinbjorn's bastard sons, as well as those of the nearby tribe. Whatever the misunderstanding, Broendulf was unable to turn on Wulfrik who had saved his life so many times during the battle. Despite his part in the treachery, Wulfrik partnered up with Broendulf, with Broendulf vowing to remain by Wulfrik's side until their enemies had been dealt with.
The two later found themselves in Reikland, near the Empire city of Wisborg. After killing some weak Southling riverwarden and soldiers, Wulfrik came to a conclusion that Zarnath is but a Southling wizard since it was he that willed the ship to fly to where Zarnath lives, and yet the ship carries them to a Southling city. Planning to exact his vengeance on this traitorous Southling dog, Wulfrik traveled back to Norsca and his clan to muster himself up a massive army. To do that, he went for the higher-ups (also known as Viglundr and Sveinbjorn). Broendulf had to stay at the Southling city to watch for Zarnath's movement.
As he slaughtered his way into the tower where Sveinbjorn's quarter located, Wulfrik in all his anger caught Sveinbjorn and Hjordis naked in the bed. Apparently, after done tricked Wulfrik and his gang, Zarnath told everyone in the tribe about Wulfrik's death (or he thought) then said he is going back to his homeland far north (or scramble back to the further south where he and the weak Southling lives). Wulfrik angrily bitch slapped the ever loving shit out Sveinbjorn for trying to have someone kill him rather the trying to do it himself, before continuing to bitchslap him Deadpool style (HE LOVES ME. HE LOVES ME NOT.). He also called Hjordis a cheating slut for immediately sleeping with another man shortly the rumor of his demise. The memory of Zarnath's treason and Sigvatr's death made him all the more angry and he pounded Sveinbjorn even harder. The beating stops when Viglundr showed up. Not wanting the Aesling to attack due to the death of their puppet lord, Viglundr beseeches Wulfrik to spare Sveinbjorn's cowardly ass, offering him the support he required to muster enough troops to siege the city (even offering Hjordis to him, except she is but "damaged goods" to Wulfrik now), but only if Wulfrik abandoned any lord status in the clan and vowed never to try at claiming the crown again. Wulfrik did just that, abandoning his desire for power and embracing his new role as the Gods' Executioner. He then repaired the Seafang with wood from an ancient and dangerous troll tree monster (most likely a chaotic brother to the Oak of Ages) living in the Norscan tundra and prepared his troops to attack the Empire city.
It turns out Zarnath was an Imperial named Ludwig Stossel of the Celestial Order. The real reason why "Zarnath" tried to kill Wulfrik was because he had foresaw his death at Wulfrik's hands from his crystal orb. He tried to prevent it by killing Wulfrik early on but failed, and he can't killed him directly because he knew Wulfrik's curse would transfer to him. Perhaps if Ludwig hadn't given the man who he had foreseen to kill him a reason to want him dead, he would have lived longer, oh well.
Either way, Ludwig was doomed from the start anyway since it was Tzeentch who had request Wulfrik in a dream to retrieve the "last breath" of a town. That last breath actually belongs to the wizard, except Wulfrik didn't know back then, nor did Tzeentch reveal the bounty's name (the god of change likes his complicated riddles) and it was way before Wulfrik had met Zarnath.
In the siege of Wisborg, Wulfrik defeated a powerful warrior priest (whom Wulfrik insulted by comparing the twin-tailed comet symbol to that of Slaanesh, mocking he has seen similar hammer from his father which he assume he got from the priest's father, and that his hammer is but kitchen tool used to tenderize pork), the baron of Wisborg (whom Wulfrik makes fall from his horse and stabs after the baron killed his war hound), the baron's wife (whom was used as part of the insult for Wulfrik to force the baron's army out of the gate, claiming he only came to see his "wife and children"), and then ordered the entire city stripped of its valuables... Norscan style (translation:they looted and pillaged the FUCK out of it and maybe raised a few idols of their dark gods and all).
Broendulf was later found in a torture cage with his eyes dug out (he was caught because of a tavern brawl where he injured no less than 7 people (2 Morr priests and 5 healers) while posing as a Middenlander). Despite the pact he had made with Broendulf, Wulfrik thought of it but a hollow mockery like the dreams his gods shown to him, something that is not worth winning. Despite Broendulf's constant chaotic pleading to die fighting in his state of blindness, Wulfrik did not gave him an honorable battle, but a stab in his brain while mocking him as a Southling in front of his helmsman friend, as if they've never met before.
Zarnath or rather Ludwig was by this point hiding in the last safe place in the town: the castle's tower where his laboratory resided. He was in fact having quite the guilt trip. He regretted the death of many innocents that died in the town and the Elves that were killed on Clothique (but not the Chaos Dwarf or the Norscans because chaos is bad, but he has no right to judge since he was even WORSE). In the last act to redeem himself, he decided to kill Wulfrik by any means necessary. He resorted to dark magic to power a statue, an automaton he made based on the designs of the Tomb King's Ushabti. Now that he had tainted his soul with dark magic, even if he were to survive, he would either be hunted down by witch hunters or vigilant agents from his own order (the dark gods gets to have his soul all the same). Ludwig is. In. Every. Possible. Way. FUCKED.
In the final confrontation with the wizard, Wulfrik fought his Ushabti on a spiral stairway leading to his lab. The Ushabti's material body shows strong resistance to Wulfrik's blade, and its gigantic blades are capable of cutting down Norsii warriors like butter. The tide turned when he notices a black bird cawing at a flask on the floor. The flask's leaking, floor-melting content and its smell was enough for Norscans like Wulfrik to realized it was troll vomit; he threw the damn thing at the Ushabti, melting its inner components and thus shutting it down.
For Ludwig's treason, he was subjugated to one of the most torturous deaths imaginable... the Blood Eagle, a popular Khornate sacrifice ritual (as well as a reference to the alleged viking sacrificial ritual - but let's pretend it's real) done only by the Norsii to their most hated enemies. The performer must cut open and dig out their victim's lungs while they are still alive, then place both lungs over their shoulders to give the appearance of blood soaked wings, hence the name "blood eagle". With Ludwig letting go of his last dying breath, the bounty was fulfilled. Tzeentch is pleased.
With the death of Stossel and Broendulf, Sveinbjorn was next. Sveinbjorn, being treacherous scum like his father, had already schemed to take over Seafang by smuggling more than a dozen of his men onto the ship and bribing the crewman to hoard all the loot onto the Seafang, planning a hasty escape. Wulfrik of course saw through the snake's scheme and out-bribed Sveinbjorn. He promised his crewman with every bit of Sveinbjorn's possessions: coin, beer, his hold and his thrall if they've captured him, whereas Sveinbjorn only promised a quarter of the loot from the raid.
Wulfrik then proceed to humiliate Sveinbjorn by stripping him naked, and then had his army's long ship fly Sveinbjorn's flag, for Wulfrik had plans to damn Sveinbjorn's honor to all eternity. To do that, he first released the warrior priest that was defeated and captured earlier. The priest was mounted on Sveinbjorn's steed to deliver Wulfrik's message to the Emperor, which the priest agreed due to vengeful intent to see the Norscans' destruction, because the Emperor would respond by sending a fleet after them. Just before Seafang used its warp teleportation to send Wulfrik and his allies' fleet back home, Wulfrik cut the chain, stranding his allies in the Southling land as the target of the Southling's fleet sent by their Emperor. Since the Seafang flew Sveinbjorn's banner at the time, both the Southlings and the Norscan allies blamed Sveinbjorn. Any Norscans who made it back would tell everyone that Sveinbjorn had betrayed them to the Southlings, causing everyone to brand him a worse traitor than Dletch Ogrefeeder! (Note: Dletch is known for allowing an Ogre tribe called the Blackgut into his Chaos host and paying them by letting each ogre eat one of his soldiers everyday). Sveinbjorn of course was horrified by what was coming to him and begged Wulfrik for mercy. Too late bitch!
Wulfrik then shoved a pipe in Sveinbjorn's mouth and through it a venomous snake down his throat, promising him that as the cherry on the sundae of his humiliation Sveinbjorn's body would be sent back to his father's hall with the name "Sveinbjorn Snakebelly".
After that, Wulfrik returned to Viglundr with news of his son's passing and misbehaving. With Aesling's chief dead and the hope of peace destroyed plus the betrayed Norscans from the raid after him, Viglundr could only sit in his throne and weep softly as Wulfrik turned and left the hall of the Sarls, knowing as he did that though Wulfrik never raised his sword, he had killed the entire tribe.
The Eternal Executioner of the Dark Gods
In the end, Wulfrik realized that his curse was more of a blessing then he gave it credit for, a true gift from the gods. Without the power of the Seafang, he could not have appeased the gods by collecting the skulls and hearts of their enemies. Without his fame as the Worldwalker, he could not have gained the loyalty of his men, and without the lies of Zarnath, Viglundr, and Sveinbjorn, the pieces would never have come together. The Gods had ultimately helped him exact vengeance and gain glory, if in a really dickish and convoluted way.
Once he was alone on the ship, Wulfrik brought a silk sheet out of his cabin to make a sacrifice to the Chaos Gods-- the remains of Hjordis, who he had killed, dismembered and wrapped in the sheet, throwing the pieces over the side one-by-one:
First, her pale face skin for Khorne, a face he would kissed.
Second, her heart for Slaanesh, which he would've cherished.
Third, her belly for Nurgle, which would've held his sons and daughters when pregnant.
Then finally her golden hair to Tzeentch, the last hope of his love.
With his faith restored, his old tribe gone, his enemies slain, his forces replenished and his unfaithful lover screaming in the hands of the gods, Wulfrik set out on his quest once more, embracing his destiny as the Wanderer.
The End times
According to Josh Reynolds, Wulfrik was first seen with his flying ship in Ind. The gods probably told him to offer the skulls of the thousand gods, fitting for an executioner like him. Other champions like Galrauch, Arbaal and Dechala were there as well.
After that, his super convenient ship carried him back to the siege of Middenland where Archaon's army resided. He got bored waiting for Valten so he decided to duel Valnir to pass the time (What a great guy), with Sigvald inviting himself to watch. When Valten got there, Wulfrik was still dueling and Sigvald was bitching at Valten on how he deserved to fight the real Sigmar (what a prick), using that excuse to leave. As soon as Sigvald left, Wulfrik happened to finish off Valnir and went straight for Valten. It is said that Wulfrik put up the strongest fight out of anyone against Valten (aside from Archaon) but he still got a decent helping of sacred warhammer straight to the face. Just before then, with his dying breath, Wulfrik said to Valten "gg" before his soul was torn from his body to be tortured by the demons of the warp forever for failing in his impossibly difficult task. The dark gods might resurrect him in the Age of Sigmar, but one can only guess, and hope that one day, the wanderer will wander his way back.
On the tabletop
Wulfric is an incredibly powerful unit in the tabletop. He has 8 weapon skill, 5 strength, 4 toughness, and 2 wounds. This is nothing too incredible (besides his overwhelming strength) and since he is a bit flimsy he could potentially get taken out by a stray arrow or two. However, the thing that really makes him terrifying is his Gift of Tongues special ability. This ability allows him to challenge any unit in the opponent's army to battle, and guess what? Your opponent can't say no. See a flimsy general? Dead. Irritating caster? Dead. Keystone model, like a Packmaster? Dead. Paint job so horrible you can't help but rage at it? Ziggity Zed, they're FUCKING DEAD.
Total War: WARHAMMER
He was a DLC lord, serving as the faction leader of Norsca (later changed into World Walkers in the Potion of Speed update) in an original Chaos sub-faction as the last DLC for the 1st game. The difference between the tabletop is that he is now able to ride a mammoth and summon his magic boat in battle to wreck Empire fools in a straight line (on the tabletop, Seafang is a special rule that allow Wulfrik and his marauders to ambush their enemies using their magic ship). While his Gift of Tongues ability is missing due to the absence of duel challenge system, he does have another ability from the tabletop called the "Hunter of Champions", which is an extremely powerful debuff that decreases the armor, melee defense and the speed of an opponent, as if Wulfrik is hexing them like a wizard instead of challenging them since it also benefits other units into attacking said weakened character.