Out of the Past
Grand Burgher Jakob Ehrgeiz
Lord Mayor of the Free and Imperial City of Freiburg
Jakob Ehrgeiz is a man known to both all and none. Some say he is a tyrant, others say he is the city’s savior. Some say he is both. What is for certain is that he came to power at dark time in Freiburg’s history, and under his leadership that changed.
Born to an upstart merchant family right at the twilight of Freiburg’s Golden Age, his mother died in childbirth and his father was more concerned with enjoying the money he had come into than in managing it, much less helping alleviate the ensuing period of poverty, neglect, and disorder. As such, Jakob grew into a very isolated, intelligent, and driven young man, throwing himself into his family’s business and the city’s public service.
By the time of his father’s early death, he had already nearly doubled his family’s wealth and status. He also had become an indispensable fixture of the Freiburg’s government and bureaucracy, acting as personal secretary and assistant to the city’s Imperial overseer. When he died in a battle against one of the large criminal groups prevalent at that time, Jakob stepped in to lead Freiburg through the ensuing chaos while they waited for the Empire’s response.
Jakob proved to be an efficient, if somewhat ruthless, leader though, and rather than descend further into anarchy the city seemed to actually be improving. With the destruction of one of the largest gangs the rest quickly were driven to the outskirts, and under their new master’s control the vast coffers of the Ehrgeiz mercantile empire were opened to the city’s benefit. And still, an Imperial envoy was nowhere to be seen.
Eventually, both the city and the Empire admitted the obvious, and to both’s relief Jakob Ehrgeiz was officially installed as Lord Mayor and Freiburg reinstated as a Free and Imperial City. Shortly thereafter, after twice losing them young, a son was born to Jakob and his wife Margarete. The Ergheiz dynasty, and Freiburg with it, stood poised on a new age.