Witch Finder and The Perils of Good Intentions

The second book in the Warhammer Fantasy themed ‘Witch Hunter’ focuses on the theme of good intentions – and how harm can result from them.

Surprisingly, it’s not our hero, Matthias Thulmann, who is the teacher in C.L.Werner’s second Witch Hunter book – Witch Finder – but his nemesis, Doctor (or, “Doktor” for you Warhammer fans) Freiherr Weichs.

The Doctor is a medicine man and a scientist who uses his patients as lab rats to analyse the effect of warpstone – a material that’s found all across the land and often toxic to the people who inhabit it.

After tracking the Doctor across countless miles, our protagonists Matthias and Streng come to Wurtbad: a city infested by plague.

As the Witch Hunter digs deeper into the source of the illness sweeping the city, he discovers that the plague is not a natural phenomenon; but rather caused by the Doctor. Although it’s not the only problem our hero has to iron out, Doctor Weichs is the one who has the most to teach us about the perils of good intentions and where they can lead you.

You see, Doctor Wiechs doesn’t believe that what he’s doing is bad. He’s convinced that his experiments will lead to a cure for all diseases caused by Warpstone, and therefore help humanity in the end. He believes that casualties are inevitable in the cause of science, and that the greater good outweighs the bad he’s done along the way. As the old saying goes, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

While Wiechs may actually be right about the benefit of his research, it doesn’t justify his actions.

If you find yourself in a situation where your end goal is good, but the way there is bad, you may want to pause and re-think your goal. Is it worth it? You may be right, it may be worth the harm that it’s going to cause. But if people you respect are telling you that what your doing is wrong, it may be time to stop, and see if there’s another way to get there.

– Ilana Pender-Rose

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