Is Gabriel Knight, writer and now inhabitant of Schloss Ritter in Rittersberg, Bavaria, ready to take on his role as a Schattenjäger (shadow-hunter)? It is the time of trial by fire in this second Gabriel Knight game, The Beast Within. A baby has been attacked and killed, apparently by a wolf, but the locals believe it was the deed of a werewolf. That would require the intervention of a Schattenjäger.
With Grace in Bavaria, furious at having been left out of the werewolf investigation, Gabriel thinks he can keep her out of trouble by directing her towards researching apparently irrelevant historical events, such as the life of the bizarre King Ludwig II of Bavaria. He never imagines it might lead to vital information for the case. And as the circle of suspects tightens, involving people close to Gabriel and members of the hunting club (which Gabriel joined in order to know more about the disappearance of a couple of wolves from the Munich zoo), it becomes clear that it is where the shadows end that the hunt shall begin.
The situation becomes increasingly tense when Gabriel is bitten by one of the werewolves. Now his very soul is in danger. His only hope for salvation is a legendary opera written by Richard Wagner for King Ludwig and now lost, but even finding the opera might not be enough. Will Gabriel be able to defeat the beast within himself and destroy the werewolf, now that he shares its condition? Will he resist the temptation of experiencing virtually untrammelled freedom of choice? This time not even Grace, his faithful and caring right hand, can tell what will happen. Nothing is left, but hope.
Spoiler The fact that the hunted werewolf is none other than Gabriel's new friend, the intelligent and charming Baron Friedrich Von Glower, does not make the choice any easier. The charmingly quaint tarot-reading tourists cannot provide a solution, and neither the power of the music of Wagner's lost werewolf opera nor Grace's newly discovered paranormal skills can help... This time Gabriel is totally alone.