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Yea, 'tis I; the duncefellow, the gowk, the simpleton - the dark deceiver.
―Wendel revealing his true nature

Wendel Maculatum was a stoat jester with a talent for carving puppets. Secretly he was the high priest of Hobb.


While in his jester persona, Wendel wore a red and yellow costume and three-pointed headdress tipped with bells. As the high priest of Hobb, he donned a silken red bodysuit with elaborate stitching to resemble an écorché.


Wendel was tasked by the treacherous Morwenna with retrieving the missing silver acorn amulet, symbol of the squirrel queen the latter had murdered, the Starwife. It possessed untold powers and with no reigning Starwife to control it, had the ability to do anything, even evil. Wendel and Morwenna planned to use it to summon the evil rat god Hobb from the far reaches of the Pit and bring the world to ruin.

Arriving at the squirrel kingdom Coll Regalis in his guise as a jester, Wendel entertained the audience of woodlanders during the Altertide festivities. The young princess Ysabelle was especially amused by his antics and unknowingly befriended the wicked stoat. When the bat army flew overhead, pursuing the falcon to whom the dying Starwife had entrusted the silver acorn, the amulet fell into Ysabelle's paws during the battle. Now the bats set their sights on Ysabelle, viciously swooping down to attack her, but Wendel saved her life by letting her hide under his cart. However, it was not out of concern for her safety, but because he didn't want to lose track of the amulet.

After the bats had left, confounded by the daylight and resolving to attack Coll Regalis at nightfall, Ysabelle's parents decided it best that the princess travel to Greenreach and become the new Starwife. They would remain behind and act as a diversion for the bats. Ysabelle requested that Wendel accompany her entourage on their journey into the woods to cheer her up. Later that evening, the company stopped to rest in the woods and captured by members of the Hobb cult. In the scuffle, Wendel disappeared and changed into his high priest outfit, a ghastly red silken bodysuit and hood made to resemble a flayed corpse.

The prisoners were led to the Ring of Banbha, a group of stones sacred to the Hobbers. Wendel, as the high priest, reappeared on the largest of the stones and called for victims to be brought to the altar. Several squirrel guards were untied and taken to Wendel, who skinned them alive as sacrifices to Hobb. Wendel had stolen the silver acorn from Ysabelle and called on Hobb to appear whilst dipping the pendant into the blood of his victims. Ysabelle's tutor and advisor, Master Godfrey, watched all this with horror, informing the princess that as the high priest possessed the amulet, he did indeed have the power to summon Hobb. Godfrey quickly devised a plan to free everyone and battled Wendel to retrieve the acorn. He was able to knock out the high priest and gave the pendant to the princess, but had been mortally wounded. Ysabelle was forced to continue her journey alone save for a young bat named Vespertilio who had been captured to use a guide to take her to Greenreach.

Wendel caught up with Ysabelle and Vespertilio and, though the powers of a stream protected by the belevolent Green Mouse deity prevented him from reaching the two, he was able to lay curses upon them. Vespertilio he doomed to die surrounded by the sound of bells, and Ysabelle would be destroyed by Hobb when he emerged from the earth in three days' time. He reported what had happened to Morwenna, who was furious and ordered him to do whatever was necessary to seek out Ysabelle and get the acorn back.

In the dark forest, Wendel would come across Ysabelle and Vespertilio, along with their newfound friends Giraldus the leprous mole and his shrew guide Tysle. When Ysabelle asked him where he had been, Wendel claimed to have wandered aimlessly in the woods and been menaced by Hobbers who left him terrified. He'd heard rumours, though, that a group of animals had rose up in resistance to the Hobbers. Perhaps they might be willing to help Ysabelle, though Wendel did not know the exact location of their headquarters. Pretending to lead Ysabelle's group to the woodlanders, Wendel instead took them to the shore of a gloomy lake where they were forced to set up camp for the night. Later, the undead spirits of creatures who had drowned in the lake emerged and attacked Ysabelle, Vespertilio, Giraldus, and Tysle. Wendel was going to leave them to die, but they managed to escape, causing him to feign cowardice as an excuse. The group were understandably angry at Wendel for a while afterward.

Eventually, Ysabelle and friends found the mound where the woodlanders dwelt. At a celebration the next evening, Tysle slipped away and couldn't resist looking in Wendel's cart, left unattended in an empty tunnel. He greatly admired the jester and wanted Wendel to carve a puppet in his likeness. But Tysle found a strange chest which contained the red silk bodysuit. Years before, Tysle had been the sole survivor of a Hobber attack on his village, and he remembered the garment as being the very one the high priest had worn. Terrified, he was going to run to tell Giraldus what he had discovered, but Wendel appeared and murdered him to keep his secret.

The woodlanders discovered the little shrew's skinned body and became aware that a Hobber was in their midst. In the meantime, Wendel had set up a signal to alert the cult members to the location of the woodlanders. Escaping through a secret tunnel, Ysabelle, Vespertilio and Giraldus found themselves trapped by Wendel, who finally revealed his true nature to them. Giraldus was driven to fury at the revelation that the stoat had murdered his best friend, Tysle, and began attacking him. But Wendel was easily able to gain the upper hand over the disabled mole and started choking him. Near death, Giraldus used his remaining strength to cause a tunnel collapse which killed both he and Wendel, but allowed Ysabelle and Vespertilio to escape.

Ysabelle finally made it to Greenreach, where she took up the Starwifeship and was able to banish Hobb using the power of the silver acorn amulet. On her coronation day, Vespertilio came to see her and begged her to give up her high office and run away with him. Believing her duty to be more important, Ysabelle rejected him and left him alone. A mysterious hooded figure approached the heartbroken bat and offered him a drink. Vespertilio accepted, only to realise with horror that the drink was poison. The figure revealed himself to be the ghost of Wendel, returning from the other side to ensure his curse was fulfilled. Ysabelle, regretting her previous treatment of Vespertilio, came back looking for him. She was devastated to find him lying dead, surrounded by bluebell flowers.


Wendel's last name, Maculatum, comes from Conium maculatum, the hemlock or poison hemlock. It is a highly poisonous biennial herbaceous flowering plant in the carrot family Apiaceae, native to Europe and North Africa.