Coffin Map Picture

"I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body:
My manners are tearing off heads -

The allotment of death.
For the one path of my flight is direct
Through the bones of the living.
No arguments assert my right"
- "Hawk Roosting" (excerpt) by Ted Hughes

Shoutout to S0lstice-S0ng for pointing me toward Ted Hughes and his terrifying nature poetry (no but really). This one fits Bernhardt like a glove.

For the uninitiated, Lukas Bernhardt is one of the antagonists from my WWII story, Silver Wings. He's a bit like a mash up of Hannibal Lecter (minus the cannibalism), Dexter, and Hans Landa, with the emotional range of a teaspoon. Killing is his trade and he does it to feel normal. I'm still working out his details, but the gist is:

Full Name: Lukas Adalwulf Bernhardt
Age: Late 20s, early to mid 30s
Rank: Standartenführer (similar to Colonel)
Appearance: Dirty platinum blond hair, brown, muddy eyes, average height, lean but very muscular. He often wears a bored expression, punctuated by an expression that looks as though someone is holding something foul smelling under his nose (curled lips, scrunched nose, etc.).
Potential Nicknames/Monikers: the Draugr of Kiev, the Koschei of Kiev, der Phantom

History: I don't know much about his childhood yet, except that it was, actually, remarkably normal -- at least it seemed so. He's the son of rather wealthy parents who loved and cared very much for him. Despite this, he had and acted upon murderous tendencies from a very young age by killing animals. He did, however, know that they were wrong, as he sought to kill in secret.

Bernhardt earned his stripes working in the Einsatzgruppen units before and during the early parts of the war. He was a natural, perfect for the job, feeling no remorse for what he did, and quickly rose through the ranks. Known to make even hardened SS officers uncomfortable, Bernhardt became a specialist in killing and was often called in for more difficult assignments. He considers himself a hunter and rarely cares much for the ethnicity, gender, etc. of who he's hunting. He would (and has) killed other SS/Nazi officials when asked. Had the Nazis not come to power, he likely would have been a civilian serial killer. As it was, his murderous tendencies were valued and even sanctioned by the SS. Despite the discomfort he usually caused in his fellow SS members, he was often well regarded wherever he went.

After many long years and countless bodies working with the Einsatzgruppen, the SS officials in charge decided to reward Bernhardt by placing him in charge of a Concentration Camp, but he found it immensely boring. The thrill of hunting people down was gone as they were carted to him like cattle. It was at this time that he started killing the SS men working under him to satiate his need to hunt and kill. SS officials eventually realized he was miserable and put him in charge of a SS-Verfügungstruppe in Western Germany/Eastern France and tasked with stopping invading Allies from crossing the Rhine.

As with the Einsatzgruppen, Bernhardt did remarkably well in this capacity. His troops are some of the most efficient, due in part to the dire consequences he would enforce should they fail to meet his goals and expectations. He was known to shoot, stab, and strangle those under his command for insubordination, failure, or, sometimes, just because he felt like it. This, in turn, cause those under him to become just as ruthless as he was, throwing others under the bus so that they could appeal to their leader. It got the job done. Similarly, when he captured enemy forces, he was known to leave no man alive, taking particular time to kill officers and gain information.

When Strasbourg is taken by the Allies, Bernhardt and his men hide out in town, using their murderous, ruthless reputations to keep the townspeople in line. He had plans to overthrow the American forces stationed there and stage a battle behind American lines to retake the city, but those plans are eventually derailed by his own paranoia and Cooper and Keith.

He goes on the run after Strasbourg, and is eventually captured and turned over to American MPs whose intentions were to have him executed. Rather than make excuses, Bernhardt accepts his fate, and even offers the MPs suggestions on the best methods for dispatching him. However, the night before his planned execution, he manages to escape.

Miscellaneous: He is fascinated by mythology, particularly Norse mythology. He grew up a Catholic and can discuss Christian religion at length, but has never felt like he belonged because of the "Thou shalt not kill" commandment. He turns to other mythologies instead, particularly ones that excuse and even encourage killing.

He is rather fond of the Totenkopf and keeps it on his uniform even after he is no longer technically a part of the TV.

He reads poetry and often writes some of his own, often asking others to read it. Depending on how they respond depends on whether they live to see the next day or not. I imagine he's a rather poor wordsmith, and therefore keeps up a steady supply of victims.

TL;DR: Bernhardt is a cold, calculating, emotionless, murderous psychopath from the very depths of yours and my worst nightmares.

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This was going to be a quick thing, but quickly got out of hand. I'm morbidly fascinated by him for some reason, and drawing him helps me understand him better. He's definitely the most morally terrible character I've ever made, and that takes a lot of brain wrapping to understand haha.

I added the coffin map: www.ushmm.org/exhibition/kovno… to the background. This was done almost 100% in Procreate on the iPad. Font is Brain Flower and can be found on dafont.com.

REQUISITE "I JUST DRAW NAZIS BECAUSE THEY ARE CHARACTERS IN MY STORY; FASCINATION-DOES-NOT-EQUAL-SUPPORT" DISCLAIMER.

Silver Wings and all its concepts and characters, including (unfortunately) Lukas Bernhardt, (c) wyldblueyonder, aka me.

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