No mercenary is more beloved by locals than Toymaker.
Karl Krämer is one of the few German soldiers who survived the great betrayal of 1916 but the attrocities he witnessed left him broken in spirit. Unable to cope with the reality of war, his mind returned to the happiest days of his life and his small workshop.
Every time he passes by a village, the wandering artisan brings children gifts and helps the poor.
Toymaker takes great pride in his work and when he is not fighting, he crafts new toys as he was taught before the war by his late father.
“It is real, the ghost in the trenches. I know because I’ve seen it.
It was the night that all went to hell. Back then I was attached to a Stray Dogs mixed squad, saboteur division. We found ourselves deep into enemy territory, the trenches were crawling with German soldiers, screams and laughter filled the air. Despite our best efforts, ultimately the primary objective was lost. We were outnumbered five to one and most men were killed in the first moments of the attack. The order to fall back was issued and we broke ranks.
My rifle was damaged by a grenade shrapnel and I had to drop it. I run as fast as I could but I got lost in the unfamiliar trenches, losing the remnants of my comrades as I stumbled into a dead end.
I turned around and there stood a single German, the piercings on his face stretching the skin in bizzare ways as he smiled. He walked slowly as he took aim.
I closed my eyes, preparing for the end. Out of nowhere came a clang followed by an agonised scream. I opened my eyes and was shocked to see the German soldier screaming and cursing, his foot was caught in a mechanical trap, metal teeth biting deep, touching bone.
Then I saw it, the ghost in the trenches. A man in heavy clothes walked from the shadows, his arm extended, revolver in hand. He moved towards the trapped soldier slowly, until the barrel of the gun touched the German’s nose. They both stood there for a long moment, unmoving and silent. The man holstered his gun and reached for the axe on his back. The German’s head hit the ground with a dull thud.
The man then picked up the bloody bear trap, strapped it on his back and turned his head towards me one last time before disappearing in the darkness.”