Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Strange History of Mordante

First, a bit of background.  Years ago, scholarship revealed the ability of the dreaded Count Dracula to create "soul clones."  These are vampires under the control of Dracula Prime, even to the point of believing they are the Dark Prince themselves.  Dracula Prime uses them as his agents, since his powers are weakened whenever he leaves his homeland and its native soil.  Most usually, these pawns were vampires created (or "turned") by the Impaler himself.  I believe sometimes he turned an already-existing vampire into a soul clone.

More I believe one such creature has been identified under the name Mordante (or Dracula-Mordante).

Apostle of Chaos
The bulk of accounts regarding this particular soul clone comes from chronicles in which he interacted with the mysterious female known as Vampirella.  Others have already done much to identify this lady, so my focus is upon the individual with whom she vied (and sometimes helped) who called himself Dracula, but also "Mordante."  In these accounts several details emerge.  One is that for a time Count Mordante was a faithful worshiper of a demon called Chaos, generally taken to mean none other than Azathoth.  Another is his attitude towards women, which remained exploitive yet also showed some gallantry, coupled with a melancholy desire for genuine love.  Indeed, he also showed at times remorse for his evil deeds, a longing for redemption, followed by a fierce acceptance of his role as a lord of darkness.  In other words, he exhibited symptoms of what we would call bipolar personality disorder (or manic depression).  Dracula Prime showed none of this.  He proved an implacable enemy of the Old Ones, whom he evidently viewed as rivals for control of the world.  More, while Vlad III of Transylvania (to use his mortal name) demonstrated passion, he generally treated women as inferior creatures.  Certainly he never seems to feel guilt for his crimes, which achieved legendary status while he yet breathed!

Mordante would appear to be a soul clone somewhat out of control, at least in the 1970s.  Keep in mind that according to some accounts Dracula Prime for a crucial part of this period was in torpor until revived by his descendant Frank Drake in late 1972.  His (Mordante's) plans to bring Azathoth into this world failed before then, and his castle in the Carnic Alps destroyed.  Legally, this 'Count Dracula' was dead, his last will and testament leaving his vast fortune to one Nadine Okusdar, a Turkish girl turned by Mordante after he saved her from rape in Istanbul many years earlier (again, a gallant action out of character for Dracula Prime).  Mordante, however, resurrected himself and soon (to his surprise) encountered a mysterious woman called The Conjuress, who claimed to have known him from a previous existence on the planet Drakulon.

Many theories have been put forth about Drakulon, supposed homeworld of Vampirella.  My own is that no such world actually exists.  Rather, it is a garbled memory of two places blended together in the minds of the two individuals who claim to have been there.  One is the now-lost planet Krypton, from whence came the costumed adventurer Superman (whose powers have been exaggerated to absurd lengths in subsequent stories).  The other is a place I have dubbed the Vampire Dimension--a kind of mini-hell where the race of Turok Han either originated and/or to which they were exiled in the ancient past (the location, I suspect, of the frozen castle in the motion picture Van Helsing as well a the place to which the amulet opened a door in the motion picture The Monster Squad).  My theory is that both Mordante and Vampirella lived on Krypton in a past life, and some of their memories of a world under a red sun fed delusions created by stress. But this is something of a tangent.

Back to the Past(s)
The Conjuress' avowed purpose was to lead Mordante down the path of redemption, which he himself seemed to great with equal parts enthusiasm and despair.  Part of this involved time travel.  She brought Mordante back to the year 1892 where the Abraham and Boris Van Helsing sought to revive Lucy Westenra and cure her vampirism. Mordante himself masqueraded as one of Dracula's descendants, a man eager to atone for his ancestor's terrible acts.  Those associated with Dracula Prime's London mission in 1887 remarked upon the resemblance between the two.  Remember this.  Likewise, during this period Mordante suffered no ill effects from the sun (exactly like his get Countess Nadine).  In theory this was due to the Conjuress' powers, but Dracula Prime also suffers no harm from sunlight.

Ultimately, Mordante failed his test--to refrain from feeding--and again voyaged in time to San Francisco in the year 1906.  At this point the Conjuress appeared to be slain, triggering the Great Earthquake.  I say "appeared" because a being of her powers seems unlikely so easily dispatched.  More probably she wished Mordante to think himself without her.  Subsequent events showed Mordante targeted by a prostitute named Josephine and a witch named Elizabeth--both of whom wound up Mordante's vampire slaves.  They boarded a ship to take Mordante back to Europe.

Here some of the perils of time travel begin to make themselves known.  Back in 1849, Mordante had been in England (the chronicler of these events for Eerie #48 set them in Transylvania, which makes little sense given that land is landlocked) and wounded.  Nursed back to health by a deaf mute girl named Gwethalyn Christen (her name is a pretty clear clue as to the tale's true location), the vampire fell in love with her and managed to conceal his nature.  Eventually she became pregnant and bore a son.

Now, in 1906, that (middle-aged) son awaited Mordante with a shotgun, loaded with silver buckshot!

What happens next is conjecture, it matches the facts.  Mordante had not in fact fled to THE Castle Dracula, stronghold of the fearsome Prince of Darkness.  This was one of many castles held in fiefdom to that terrible figure.  In this case, the castle belonged to Marya Zaleska, biological daughter of the gypsy woman Maleva and the soul-clone Lejos (aka Armand Tesla).  It was she who rescued Mordante from his "son" Sandor with whom she felt a kind of kinship--indeed, she so entranced him he served her loyally for many years upon the promise that one day she would make him immortal like herself.  Until then, he merely demonstrated the long life and slow aging of his mixed heritage (in time, the Countess betrayed his trust and he fired an arrow into her heart as recorded in the motion picture Dracula's Daughter).

For Mordante, the experience proved surreal in the extreme.  Already emotionally unstable, disoriented from time travel, severely wounded by a half-forgotten son and now saved by a never-suspected daughter...!  No doubt his resemblance to Dracula Prime likewise confused Zaleska.  Once recovered, he found himself told to leave her castle and his unstable mind wove all this into a new delusion.

The motion picture Dracula's Great Love chronicled in part what happened next.  Mordante took over an abandoned sanitorium near the Borgo Pass and began trying to make sense of his experiences (he likely had used this location before in the midst of various errands for Dracula Prime).   Pouring over notes by Professor Abraham Van Helsing, he presumed some of the man's theories must be true--especially the idea that Dracula (i.e. Mordante) needed his "daughter" to be fully restored.  In a flurry of activity, he arranged for his minions to find the remains of the woman he assumed to be his daughter--the powerful vampire witch Sascha Karnstein.  In 1909 her body was smuggled into the old sanitorium.  Mordante planned on an occult ritual which would restore them both!  Then, Mordante fell in love with the young virgin who was to be central sacrifice of the ritual.  He tossed the coffin of his "daughter" into a river and drove a wooden stake into his own heart!
Exactly what happened after this is not at all clear, although at one point it would appear Dracula Prime may have been "re-imprinting" his personality upon Mordante via re-enacting events from Bram Stoker's novelization of events--with an airplane's passengers and crew substituting for the Demeter, for example.  All this might have proven necessary due to the loss of an enchanted coffin (see below).

Before Chaos
What had Mordante been doing before this?  Prior to the chronological loop that led to his own self-sacrifice?  That makes for quite a tale in and of itself.
The earliest record we have of Mordante remains 1849, when he loved Gwethalyn Christen.  He seems anything but a weak vampire at this time, but demonstrates the same personality traits which perhaps allow us to identify him.  As it happens another extremely similar vampire existed just prior to this date, but his story was told in such a jumbled mess details prove elusive.  In Varney The Vampyre or The Feast of Blood by James Malcolm Rhymer we read of the title character's haunting of the Bannerworth Family (whom I believe to be a fictionalized version of the Durwards--one of whom married into the Karnsteins as told in Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter).  Sir Francis Varney showed all the signs of a Karnstein-type vampire.  He hungered especially for certain types of blood (that of Flora Bannerworth), while exposing himself to the sun with ease (Mordante evidently only believed he could be harmed by daylight).  Likewise he was moody, seemed to long for understanding even love from his victims, sought to "cure" his affliction through marriage (one wonders if he planted such a notion in the mind of Countess Zaleska?).  Much is made of the notion his original grave lay among the vaults of the family he stalked.  His rambling and badly-written story comes to an abrupt end circa 1847 after Sir Francis fled England for the Continent.

Two years later, Mordante made his first known appearance as Dracula.  Evidence suggests he in fact was the vampire once known as Sir Francis Varney (or Durward), perhaps even physically transformed into the likeness of the dread Impaler (or perhaps, like Frank Drake, his parentage included the Dracula family).  Given an enchanted coffin that helped enforce his identity as Dracula, Mordante then went ahead to England, to act as an advance scout.  Perhaps it was even in the original Count's mind to use Mordante as his viceroy at the heart of the world's newest and most powerful empire.  If so, small wonder he changed his mind.  A clever and ruthless warrior, Mordante also proved emotionally unstable.

But here events took another surprising turn.  When in 1887 Dracula Prime arrived in the British Isles, he had a perfect role for Mordante, who by chance or design resembled him so closely.  Quite simply, he functioned as a decoy!  On a superficial level, the two vampires seemed identical!  Van Helsing and others believed themselves battling one vampire when in fact they struggled against two--but were aided that the junior vampire was equally unaware of that fact!  Indeed, the ever-romantic Mordante muddied waters further by falling in love with the wife of Jonathan Harker, Mina (nee Murray).  To some extent she also fell for him (one of several reasons that marriage ultimately ended).
We should note Dracula Prime was himself quite busy in London, having to deal with (among others) Professor James Moriarty who wanted the vampire's blood to save his daughter Agatha.   Likewise, under mental control, Mordante shadowed his unknown master all the way back to Transylvania where he turned Quincy Morris (as chronicled in the novel Quincy Morris, Vampire by P.N.Elrod)

Dracula Prime meanwhile was successfully staked, but within a year was revived by faithful minions.  By 1891 however he'd thought of another use for his clone, Mordante.  Staked and beheaded, Mordante's coffin was shipped to Sir Francis Varney's last living relative, Lord Adrian Varney (as told in Creepy #8 and #9).  Said coffin became a method for Mordante to take possess and take complete control of Lord Adrian, then seek vengeance on those who had dared thwart Dracula.  But Van Helsing and company managed to defeat him, the coffin itself ending up at the bottom of the sea, probably the English Channel.  So it might have remained, save that magical items very rarely stay "lost."  Sure enough, someone did indeed find the coffin and under the influence of its magic, lay inside to be possessed and transformed into Mordante!

But by now, Dracula Prime was again staked, dormant until 1973.  Mordante found himself confused and in Mississippi in 1908, visiting the weird and mysterious King Carnival (which in retrospect seems to have had some connection to cults devoted to the Old Ones or perhaps Chaos/Azathoth).  He turned a young woman named Cassandra Kiley whose diary eventually came into the possession of the editors of Vampirella #39 and #40.  Together they traveled the American South while Denrom and even a later version of Mordante himself were active in Europe.  But it seems pretty clear from the bizarre creatures at the King Carnival that here the powerful vampire fell under the sway of Chaos, began to lead an increasingly powerful and dangerous cult devoted to that mad entity, eventually leading to the disaster at the Carnic Alps.
Yet one other thing happened in the wake of his legal "death" following that disaster.  The ever-delusional Mordante's more emotional, gallant, romantic side reworked the events surrounding Dracula's foray into London.  He even wrote an account of events as he grew to remember them--a version in which Van Helsing was an incompetent religious fanatic, Mina the vampire's one true love who chose to ultimately join him in undeath, where rather than conquest his motive for going to London was adventure, excitement, a surcease to loneliness.

As per his will, this account ended up in the hands of a writer willing to tell the "true" story of Dracula, and in 1975 it was published as The Dracula Tape by Fred Saberhagen.

I must thank this wonderful breakdown of Dracula in EERIE magazine and Charles Loridans for his initial research in discovery of Dracula's soul clones.  Also the members of the Wold Newton Family Yahoo Group have been invaluable in providing hints, clues and theories.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The House of Karnstein (pt. 5)

The Patriarch
A big part of the history of the Karnsteins relies upon understanding who nurtured this family, and why.  It all goes back to the most ancient history of the undead, probably as far back as Atlantis.  According to various accounts (including Marvel Comics), at this time several sorcerors created the vampire race while attempting to fashion a new kind of weapon against their enemies.  Their plan went horribly wrong.  Vampires proved far too difficult to control.

In time, the oceans drank Atlantis, but some of the undead survived.  These few may as well be called Antediluvians, for they pre-date the Flood which ended that continent's history and civilization. Among these were Varnae, Rasolom, Qu'ra, and the entity that in time came to be known (by some) as the Patriarch (according to legend, a much earlier female entity, usually called Lilith was also a primal vampire, perhaps THE primal vampire--it isn't clear, although the name "Lilith" came to be used much as European monarchs like calling themselves Caesar--Czar, Kaiser, etc.).

He had many names.  Which even vaguely resembles his original no one probably knows.  Even he may have forgotten it.  But certain patterns allow us to trace a little bit of his story as he wandered across the pages of history, dripping blood as he went.
  • We know he was male.
  • We know him as an ancient vampire (he even claimed to have brought about the fall of the Roman Empire).
  • We know his thirst could rise to extreme levels, wiping out towns and laying waste to regions.
  • We know him deeply interested in the breeding of humans, not least because he evidently had trouble turning others into vampires.  Hence his ages-long efforts to foster those families (such as the Karnsteins) who could in turn become his progeny and minions.
  • We know also he seemed actively Satanic or Demonic.  Not merely evil in terms of selfishness and ruthless disregard of others.  Worse even that cruelty.  He seems something of a philosopher, an active worshiper of darkness and/or chaos.
  • We also know that, unlike some (Dracula for instance) he seems content to remain totally behind the scenes, demanding abject obedience in those around him, but otherwise preferring the wielding of power over anyone's knowledge of it.  This reflects in his attitude towards his (many) names.
One of his most famous aliases arose from a killing spree in Central Europe during the year 1710.  At this time a supposed plague spread through the region, prompting one Prospero Karnstein to seek refuge from the disease in an abbey, amidst friends and luxury.  His plan came to naught.  Inevitable, since the "plague" was in fact the desperate hunger of a very old nosferatu, on that had in fact been nurturing Prospero's family for centuries.  In fact, it seems more than likely this being, known during this era simply as Red Death, fostered the dark tendencies in those infamous vampire witches--Wandessa, Donia and Sascha.  Prospero fell prey to the fangs of this creature and rose as a vampire, eventually being destroyed over one hundred years later when Castle Karnstein was attacked and looted the final time.

Keep in mind there's no reason to believe the Karnsteins his only breeding experiment.  Quite the opposite!  Evidence strongly suggests he was behind the infamous Mitterhaus family (although they may well have interbred with the Karnsteins--so many records were lost).  More, central Europe in the Renaissance and early Enlightenment fairly seethed with terrible stories of decadence, blood-lust and supernatural horror.  Evidence of the Patriarch's undead hand?

At any rate, by 1863 a secret castle stronghold existed for the Patriarch (now using that name/title) and a court of followers, few of whom ever set eyes upon him.  What we know of this location and events there come from notes by a young vampire named Mihel Beheim, who revealed that the vampires there reveled in the fostering of certain tasteful bouquets of bloodline, among humans/peasants servicing the castle.  In that year a shocking crime took place among the assembled undead (some of whom almost certainly were Karnsteins).

By 1876, the Patriarch had decided to move to America.  Perhaps the number of undead in Europe made his thirst more difficult to safely manage.  Or it could be this formed part of a plan to expand his supernatural power.  The town of Hangman's Corners, Texas, was his target.  With him came an array of demonic minions as well as an occult ring somehow connected to the Old Ones (possibly Hastur).  But in the face of unexpectedly powerful magical opposition, the Patriarch (referred to by others as simply The Stranger) fled.

This was hardly his only or even first foray into the New World.  A Vermont town called Jerusalem's Lot, inhabited by an offshoot of the Shakers, vanished without a trace in the 1820s--victims to a wave of unquenchable thirst by this ancient evil.  In 1850 a descendant of a leader of that group uncovered evidence of vampirism and demon worship (very much resembling that of the Old Ones) among his ancestors in the nearby town of Preacher's Corners.  Rather than further what he calls a "polluted bloodline" he commited suicide, but an illegitimate son moved to the town to seek to redeem the family name--Boone.

At least for a time, the Patriarch seemed to have decided at this point to foster a more direct plan to acquire power in Europe.  He began to sire a group of dhampirs, human-vampire offspring (from rape in this case) then killing all the human families so as to leave his offspring nowhere else to turn.  Likewise he began encouraging a variety of dark occult movements, especially in and around Germany.  Such was the work of generations but he had long grown accustomed to thinking in those terms.  For this aspect of his plans he took on a new name:  Kagan.

The Nazi regime which Kagan (among others) helped establish furthered his long term goals admirably.  Worship of death and chaos was the least of it.  The SS breeding programs might well have given rise to vast numbers of potential recruits.  Yet his efforts also brought forth their own failure.  Hitler's Third Reich attracted the negative attentions of many groups and whole nations (including, interestingly, Dracula Prime himself).  Meanwhile, Kagan's attempt to create an army of dhampirs from his loins spawned an implacable enemy--his daughter Bloodrayne.  An ally of hers detonated a powerful bomb in the same room as Kagan--not killing him but wounding him severely.  While his powers slowly healed him, World War Two was fought and (from his perspective) lost.

At this point, the Patriarch needed to rest and when he woke his ravaging thirst very nearly ruled him.  He ended up with a loyal servant named Richard Straker.  In 1973 Straker transported his master (under the alias Barlow) to the small Maine town of Salem's Lot.  It seems almost certain the town was founded by servants of the Patriarch long before, with a variety of families whose bloodline allowed them to become vampires from his bite.  But perhaps due to his own weakened state, or corruption from too-close interaction with Old Ones, the vampires Barlow created as he devoured the town proved nearly mindless.  An erzatz band of amateur vampire hunters managed to drive a stake through Barlow's heart, then leave him in the sun.  Later, they burned the town to ashes (it had gained a hideous reputation in surrounding communities).  Straker, the loyal servant to the Antediluvian, had already died at his master's fangs. As far as anyone knows, that was the end of the Patriarch.

More speculative is the Patriarch's role in creation of the Corvini line of vampires, most probably by blending his own vampiric line with that of the alien Wamphyri.

The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
The Vampire Virgins (unproduced sequel motion picture to Twins of Evil)
Vampire Circus (motion picture)
Metzengerstein by Edgar Allan Poe
The Golden by Lucius Shepherd
Tex Arcana (graphic novel)
The Garbage Truck by Stephen King
Jerusalem's Lot by Stephen King
Bloodrayne (video game)
Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Underworld motion pictures
Necroscope novels by Brian Lumley

I was one of the judges in the third Vampire Film Festival, and one of the films submitted for such was a short in which Rayne met Captain America This is my (somewhat tenuous) basis for including Rayne and Kagan in the WNU.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The House of Karnstein (pt. 4)

The Last Scions
If the 20th century saw a fall to so many other noble houses, it should come as no surprise to learn the Karnsteins also faltered.  While individuals of that family's bloodline--alive and undead--almost certainly walk the earth, the bitter truth remains that by the 1970s two young women would seem to be the last of that name

Countess Irina
When the head of the Italian branch, Count Leopold, died in the late 1960s, his bride soon followed.  It remains unknown whether he himself ever discovered his bride was in fact possessed by Millarca Karnstein, the vampire of centuries past.  However, it remains certain their daughter, Irina, ultimately inherited some aspect of the Karnstein darkness. Whether she was in some sense a dhampir (i.e. the offspring of a human and vampire) or perhaps one of the last Karnsteins to suffer the kiss of the Patriarch, or something else must remain a matter of speculation.  Yet are facts have come to light.  Born in the late 1950s, she was young when coming into her title and wealth.  A strange, melancholy person, she in fact chose for a considerable amount of time to remain mute.  Even when interviewed by a journalist in the Riviera, she refused to actually speak.  That journalist later turned up dead, as did numerous others in the vicinity of Irina.  Reading their autopsies makes for a strange experience.  Most seem to have died of shock, not only to blood loss but also from what one coroner called "sexual excess."  At any rate, the Karnstein reputation by now had grown much too intense.

In the early 1970s Irina vanished from Europe.  Evidence suggests she changed her name and enrolled in a Canadian private girl's school under the name "Enessa."  She stayed but one year, during which time a teacher and two students died--and at least one dog was found on campus more or less ripped to shreds.  One student fatality had lived across the hall from Enessa's room.  The two had grown close. This girl, Lucy (a very unlucky name for women who encounter the undead), was said to have perished of severe anemia.  The point should be made that Lucy's best friend had a nervous breakdown at the end of year -- she also noted in a personal diary how Enessa hardly ever ate anything while avoiding the sun.  Meanwhile, the teacher who died suddenly (her autopsy report remained confidential) had evidently disliked "Enessa" intensely and punished her. 

What happened next remains speculative, but she seems to have fallen into the company of one of Dracula's soul clones, quite possibly none other than a melancholy and despairing Lejos.  Once a Hungarian nobleman, then transformed into a puppet by the Prince of Darkness, he had seen his children brought low and his own efforts thwarted far too many times.  After taking severe wounds from the werewolf Lawrence Talbot, sightings of this once-mighty vampire lord described him as withered, tired--still wielding great power and dignity, yet a shadow of his former self.

He had fallen in love with a gypsy woman, engendering a male child named Edgar.  Lejos was one of the few of Dracula's clones who had this ability.  Knowing he also had had a daughter (one he had in retrospect mistreated) he mistook Irina/Enessa for her and--perhaps longing for the family now gone--she went along with this pretense, even taking a new name for herself, Nadja.  Lejos even gave her a Renfield as her personal slave.  When one of the Van Helsings (probably an aged Adam van Helsing) managed to kill Lejos, Nadja (aka Irina/Enessa) sought out her "brother" Edgar, the only person with whom she now felt any kind of emotional bond.  Repeating her mother's experiment, she managed to use her own blood to possess Edgar's fiancee, while allowing Van Helsing to find then destroy her body.

At the present the ensuing events in this couple's lives remains unrecorded.

Luisa,  Heiress in Iberia
Relatively little is known about the Spanish branch of the Karnsteins save that they were known as Karlsteins, had the title Conde (or Count), and were viewed with extreme distrust by locals in the coastal area where their castle had been reared.

Circa 1971, the heiress the estate returned there as her aged grandmother lay dying.  The heiress, Luisa Karlstein, found the sick old woman insisting on telling her the family secret--that they were the guardians of none of that Count Dracula!  In fact, it seems much more likely the vampire in the Karlstein vault was a past Conde of that family.  The old woman was very sick, after all.  Luisa, visiting that very crypt, discovered there was indeed a nosferatu there.  Under his influence, she even began to demonstrate vampiric traits herself!  She even drank the blood of a girl with whom she'd fallen in love.  Mysterious murders led a small band of amateur slayers to that very crypt where they destroyed the coffins and their inhabitants with fire.

Nothing more has been heard from the Spanish branch of the Karnsteins.

Erotikill (motion picture)
The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein
Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (motion picture)
Nadja (motion picture)
La Fille de Dracula (motion picture)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The House of Karnstein (pt. 3)

Many Ladies, Few Names
In the annals of Karnstein, the curious tradition of naming females with an anagram of Millarca arose.  Precisely why remains a mystery.  Most common ended up being Millarca, Marcilla and Carmilla.  Given that it seems each and every holder of these names became a vampire, one wonders if this was some kind of sign?  Perhaps the family assigned such to the children destined to be the brides of their undead patron?  If so,  how was such chosen?  A lottery?  We may never know.
Millarca I journeyed from Paris to Rome in the year 1460 CE.  She sought a dispensation from Pope Pius II to wed her cousin Leopold.  This dispensation was only won upon Leopold agreeing to take part in a Crusade.  However, this Crusade ultimately never took place.  Leopold served His Holiness faithfully and received lands as well as permission to marry Millarca.  They settled there, founding an Abbey as well as the Italian branch of the Karnstein family, which interbred with the Austrian branches several times over the centuries.  But Millarca I seemed destined to reincarnate again and again, ever seeking to marry Leopold once more.  Her tomb was almost desecrated by a peasant's revolt in 1765, led by a local priest.  Her beloved's namesake Leopold of that era hid her grave.  He later became engaged no less than three times, each of his fiancees dying at Millarca's fangs before they could actually wed.  Soon after the second world war, a Carmilla Karnstein became possessed by Millarca (see below). 

Little is known about Mircalla I (1522-45) save that she met her final death at the blade of General Spielsdorf in 1819.  Apparently, she was one of those undead who disliked her state, felt some measure of guilt over her actions, especially the hunting down and draining of young women she first befriended.  She even tried to take her last victim, an expatriate English girl named Emma, with her.  Certainly this Mircalla's tomb was in Castle Karnstein, one of those few missed by Baron Hartog on his vengeful spree in the year 1794.  Curiously, she apparently was under the control of an older male vampire, at least during her last active period.  When finally destroyed, the portrait of her in Castle Karnstein suddenly aged and withered, becoming that of a fanged crone, then a skeleton.  One must wonder if perhaps that portrait provided some means of controlling her?  As to the identity of the male vampire watching over and controlling her, the most likely candidate would be the ancient undead known as the Patriarch.
 Mircalla II died just two  years after her namesake, which meant they must have been contemporaries.  This lady showed little or no hesitation as far as feasting on human blood was concerned.  Sometime prior to 1780 she entered into hibernation, waking only when Count Damien Karnstein dared to commit human sacrifice in an effort to raise her.  She rose and lay with him, then slaked her thirst on his blood, transforming him into a vampire like herself.  What happened to her afterwards is something of a mystery, although it is at least possible she and Carmilla III are the same person (see below).

Countess Mircalla III (1679-98) was woo'd and then attacked by a vampire after a ball.  Many Karnstein females fall into the voluptuous blonde type, but others--like the third Mircalla--were darker, often rather exotic in appearance.  A haughty young woman, she nevertheless seemed to love at least some of her victims.  As a matter of record, a former (male) lover of hers named Vordenberg hid her grave but in old age, thinking better of his actions, left instructions about where to find her.  A Vordenberg descendant believed he did so, and destroyed her.  In fact, Mircalla (who used the aliases Carmilla and Millarca at one time or another) had substituted a peasant girl for herself.  She then wandered for many years, until finding another girl to love--in Chicago circa 1996.  She turned this girl, Lauren, but she ended up leaving her maker alone in Europe.  A decade or so later, Mircalla was spotted in Paris where she again fell in love, this time with an American student who came upon her feeding after midnight.  At last report, they remained in Paris, which became their hunting ground. (This would be the "Carmilla" in Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's famous novella of the same name). Evidently this lady is fascinating as well as beautiful, having won the hearts of so many in her long life.

Mircalla IV (sister to Damien Karnstein) married a Spanish nobleman in 1772.  She eventually murdered him.  According to legend this was because he made her do "unspeakable things."  Given that two centuries later the family has no portraits of any female ancestors, this seems believable. Exactly what happened in the aftermath of this murder is not clear, but she herself becomes a vampire. She was last heard of at the estate of her husband's family, where she seduced the the wife of the descendant of her husband as well as a schoolgirl.  The husband killed all three by cutting out their hearts and was arrested.  Given that Mircalla IV was only a vampire and not a vampire witch like some of her kinswomen, it seems likely this was the true death for her.

Carmilla I Karnstein was sister to the notorious Count Prospero and like him died feeding the thirst of the vampire known variously as the Patriarch or the Red Death in 1710.  Either Prospero or perhaps the Patriarch himself resurrected her in 1830 (or maybe a soul-clone of Dracula Prime, seeking to wrest control of the Karnsteins from the Patriarch).  She masqueraded as a student at a local private girl's school, using the name Millarca.  At that time she seduced and drained more than one of her fellow students, as well as a would be occultist professor who guessed her identity.  But another teacher she entered into a relationship with, without feeding upon him.  At this time, a well-armed mob attacked Castle Karnstein and burned it, leaving it a ruin.  One eyewitness claimed her heart was pierced by a falling wooden beam.  She may however have been resurrected at a later time, as someone matching her description and giving the name "Carmilla Karnstein" reported more than a century and a half later in the United States (and at that time serving a cult that worshiped Cthulhu).  Was this the same Carmilla?  Difficult to say, not least because of other such vampiresses named Carmilla. 

Carmilla II (so called for convenience sake) never once gave her name as Karnstein.  But circa 1850 she became part of the household of a plantation in the American South.  There, typical of so many vampiresses of that family, she seduced the daughter of the house, Marie.  It turned out Carmilla had visited many years earlier and turned Marie’s mother as well.  Upon discovering this, the girl helped her father destroy a nest of the undead, including (eventually) Carmilla who died with Marie's name on her lips.  Yet it was too late.  Marie become a vampire herself.  Her own eventual fate remains unknown.  I do however have a theory about this specific Carmilla's identity, which makes her a Karnstein by blood but not by blood relation.

It goes back to the early 1800s, not long after the Napoleonic Wars.  At that time a young woman named Carmina had just married a Captain Hans Broken.  Due to a peculiar set of circumstances they ended up spending the night at the castle of one Countess Karnstein (fictionalized as "Kronsteen").  The Countess was destroyed--but not before she seduced and turned young Carmina, after persuading her the Captain had already been unfaithful. The young lady, like the Carmilla of three decades or so later and on the other side of the Atlantic, was a doe-eyed brunette with a waif-like air.  Her maker's identity remains harder to pin down, not least because as yet her first name remains unknown.  However, it remains possible she also was a Carmilla (whom we might as well call III), the chosen bride of one of Dracula's soul-clones who later encountered the fourth Batman and sought to resurrect her.

 Carmilla IV was certainly a Karnstein, the only daughter of Count Konstantin Karnstein, originally of the Hungarian branch.  Her grandfather had ultimately inherited the title after the main branch in Styria went extinct.  She herself was raised in Italy after the first World War, with her cousin Leopold.  Sadly, this led ultimately to her possession and destruction soon after the second World War ended.  She discovered the hidden tomb of Millarca I, becoming possessed by that vampire and eventually killed in her name.  Millarca meanwhile managed to possess Leopold's fiancee--an "unfinished business" which evidently allowed Millarca to rest in peace once her life with Leopold was done.

Yet this proved hardly the end of the story... 
Blood and Roses (motion picture) 
The Vampire Lovers (motion picture) 
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Carmilla: The Return by Kyle Marffin 
Paris Je T'aime (motion picture) 
The Blood Spattered Bride (motion picture) 
The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
Lust for a Vampire (motion picture) 
Mall of Cthulhu by Seamus Cooper
Nightmare Classics (television film) 
Lesbian Vampires Lovers of Lust (television film) 
Batman Versus Dracula (motion picture) 

Unreliable reports of at least one possible far future indicate a fantastically vile vampire noblewoman known as Carmilla also sought to resurrect herself following destruction. Or will seek to do so.  Her efforts will be thwarted by in part by Vampire Hunter D.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The House of Karnstein (pt. 2)

The Vampire Witches
A pattern emerges in the Karnstein family history, that of women who came to worship the forces of darkness, becoming not only witches but remarkably powerful vampires. More than once, these women survived their own homicides, lingering in spiritual form until the opportunity to be reborn presented itself.  Three in particular stand out.
1. Wandessa "Satan's Favorite Mistress"
Circa 1480, Countess Wandessa d’Arville de Nadasdy, age 28, was murdered by her lover after discovering she was a vampire.  Wandessa had in fact been born a Karnstein and practiced all manner of black magic.  The murder weapon was a silver dagger cross, made from the Chalice of Mienza.  That it took an actual holy relic to dispatch her--which in the end proved insufficient--gives some idea as to her inherent power.  Once the dagger had pierced her heart, she was buried in a remote part of northern France.  Her epitaph read "Satan's Favorite Mistress."  When accidentally revived in the 20th century by a history student named Elvira, Wandessa lost little time in seducing the young girl and turning her into a vampire [It remains possible the student in question survived the ensuing adventure and became a horror movie hostess in America].  Her next step was an attempt to open the doors between realities, allowing some vastly powerful demonic entity to come through and bring Chaos to the world.  This would seem to be the same CHAOS later to prove a foil for Vampirella, and might be identified as the Lovecraftian deity Azathoth.  Wandessa herself seems to have been solely attracted to women, which makes it likely the lover who managed to successfully kill such a powerful vampire-witch was one of the mystical line of Slayers.  Wandessa died a second, presumably permanent, time at the claws of the werewolf Waldemar Daninsky.
2.  Donia, the Other Impaler
Very nearly the same time as Wandessa fell to a silver blade, her younger sister Donia (Baroness Varga) became the first known Karnstein to fall victim to an angry mob of peasants.  Like the far-more-famous Count Dracula, her cruelty often took the form of impaling those who displeased her upon a wooden stake.  At last her home in a remote part of the German mountains fell to a peasants' revolt and she herself burned at the stake, her ashes scattered.  Clearly her death was the work of amateurs, for this allowed the Baroness to influence the world still.  Nothing sealed her in her grave, as the silver dagger did Wandessa.  Rather, a malign influence in and around the castle ebbed and flowed for centuries.  More than one follower/worshiper of Donia became a vampire and had to be destroyed, including a wicked old woman in the 1930s.  Following the second world war, the entire area had become deserted, until two young women were lured to the castle in 1969.  Donia had had a daughter, who ended up in the care of a loyal servant named Ulla Borisov, who in turn had a daughter the same age.  The two young women were direct descendants of the two daughters, and the decadent cult under the control of Donia's spirit brought them together in order to incarnate herself in the flesh once more.  She succeeded in possessing one of the girls, but was destroyed by an occult expert whose brother had fallen under the vampire-witch's sway.

In retrospect, one has to wonder what kind of home produced two such extraordinarily evil and rapacious women?  Their lives do coincide with the construction of Castle Karnstein itself for whatever that is worth.

3.  Sasha, Bane of Her Own Blood
Unlike the other two of this list, Sasha Karnstein did not marry.  She lived over a hundred years after her forebears and in fact sprang from the cadet or Hungarian branch of the Karnstein family tree.  Her tale was chronicled twice in different motion pictures, each changing all kinds of small details but keeping the basics intact.  In this they resemble two more-or-less faithful adaptations of Dracula--that of the BBC in 1979 and the Francis Ford Coppola version in 1992.  Yet apart from the peculiar details of the story which remain identical, other hints clearly show them to be the same story--not least the reference to the silver griffin which is the heraldric sigil of House Karnstein!  Neither film uses her correct name, however.  One dubs her Asa and the other Sera (the former also relocates the story to Moldova in the Russian Empire). 
Essentially, Sasha Karnstein fell victim to an Inquisitor of the Church, her brother Gregori Karnstein.  He discovered her crimes, including the worship of Satan and the practice of vampirism, and oversaw her execution.  She leveled a curse upon him and his descendants, vowing to return.  He evidently took precautions, nailing an iron mask upon her face and sealing her casket with a cross to hold her there.  This was April 23, St. George's Day, 1660 CE.  According to legend, exactly one hundred years later she sought to escape her grave but failed.  Masha Karnstein, her physical twin, died that very night mysteriously.
At this point something truly strange--but for Sasha, fortunate--happened.  One of Dracula's soul clones, dubbed Mordante (who would later encounter Vampirella), suffered pretty clearly from what we would call bipolar personality disorder.  His lair in Transylvania lay near the Borgo Pass, in an abandoned asylum once used as a kind of 'blood farm' by Dracula Prime and/or his get.  But Mordante, emotionally unstable, somehow got ahold of some notes by one of the Van Helsing family speculating about Dracula's many appearances.  Taking these theories as gospel, Mordante decided he needed to resurrect "Dracula's Daughter" to be fully himself again.  Either he himself or his servants stole the mummified corpse of Sasha Karnstein, intending to resurrect her in a blood ceremony.  However, having fallen in love with the woman whose sacrifice was to be the heart of this ritual, Mordante let her go.  Instead, he tossed Sasha's coffin into the river and destroyed the other vampires he had created there.

I date this event to 1909, in terms of how the characters have heard of Count Dracula (making it well after 1897 when Stoker's novel saw publication) but also due to events surrounding the somewhat convoluted life of Mordante (who at one point ended up stranded in his own past).

Sasha Karnstein's body was found by a doctor who soon fell under her power.  Although lacking (as yet) a body with which to fully reincarnate, Sasha proved fully capable of killing most of the young females of her despised brother's family, including Tilda daughter of Franz Karnstein.

Now by this time the Styrian title had gone to the Hungarian branch, by then headed by one Count Ludwig (circumstantial evidence indicates his mother was English, of the same family that gave rise to the Dracula soul-clone known as Denrom).  He had two children, Konstantin and Katia.  This latter was the physical twin of Sasha.  More she possessed psychic gifts.  In her dreams she saw her young cousins dying one by one, saw herself as the guilty party, and began to believe herself somehow damned.  A young doctor staying at her father's castle tried to comfort her, but to little avail.  Then Sasha's astral form--insubstantial but real to mere human senses--infiltrated the household as a beautiful stranger.  Slowly she began to feed upon Katia, initiating the process that would allow her to possess the living girl's body and live again.  The young doctor, following clues in the family portraits at the castle, eventually tracked down Sasha's grave, destroying it.  He believed he'd saved his love.

He was wrong.  Not knowing precisely how to destroy a vampire-witch like Sasha Karnstein, he merely delayed her.  Katia married her seeming savior, until the taint within her grew too strong and she consumed his life's blood.  Rather than threaten her brother Konstantin and his family (his daughter Carmilla would run afoul of a another vampire soon after WWII), Sasha fled to America.  There she found a small town called Astaroth that she slowly converted into her own personal territory, eventually having to fight off an attempt by Orlockians to take it over.  In this she found herself behaving more and more like the long-dead Sasha, even as she changed her name to Lemora. 

The 1973 film that chronicled a portion of this story noted how "Lemora" became entranced by a girl named Mary Jo, who ultimately died without becoming herself undead.  While the film indicates Mary Jo died sometime in the 1890s in fact she must have died between 1910 and 1920.  Sometime before 1933 (the end of Prohibition) another beautiful girl child came to Astaroth, named Lila. Her appearance coincided with the final battle between Lemora's vampires and the Orlockians.  Lila herself accidentally removed the wooden stake with which Lemora had been defeated, leading to her own victimization.  Unlike Mary Jo, she did become a vampire. 
Parenthetically, it seems more than likely Lila come to the town of Los Alamos New Mexico in 1983 where she was responsible for several murders, yet evidently fell in love with a twelve-year-old mortal lad named Owen.  They left the small town together.  By then Lila, like many undead who move around a great deal, had changed her name, to Abby.

Katia/Lemora on the other hand would seem to have taken another name in the interim, that (ironically) of Diana Le Fanu who lured both men and women into her arms to feed upon their blood.  Her lair in the 1970s had become a ranch in the Southern California desert, which made preying upon the swingers of that era so much easier.  

By the 1980s she was on the other side of the continent, hunting and seducing in New York City under yet another name--Rachel.  Interestingly, her prey still only sometimes turned into vampires themselves (although one memorable victim named Peter came to believe he was undead).

Werewolf Shadow (motion picture)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (t.v. series, comics, novels)
Vampirella (comic book)
The Devil's Plaything (motion picture)
Lust for a Vampire (motion picture)
Vampyr (motion picture)
Mask of Satan (motion picture)
Dracula's Great Love (motion picture)
Crypt of the Vampire (motion picture)
Lemora (motion picture)
Let Me In (motion picture)
The Velvet Vampire (motion picture)
Vampire's Kiss (motion picture)

The above clearly disputes some of the conclusions of Mr. John Small in his seminal work Kiss of the Vampire, in which he traces the life and undeath of Vampirella.  However, for the record, I totally agree with primary point, the identification of that lady with the 19th century adventurer Lady Rawhide.  I have my own theory about what this individual was doing between her falling victim to Carmelita and her appearance circa 1969 as the aforementioned "Vampi."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The House of Karnstein (pt. 1)


No one knows the precise origin of the Karnsteins, although they were first mentioned in the (now lost) Styrian Chronicles in 1187 CE.  Even the name remains a bit of a mystery.  It may refer to cairn, i.e. a collection of stones used to mark a grave, or to the German word for carnivore.  But the family's reputation for evil and decadence remains certain.

But not completely deserved.  Many Karnsteins seem to have been ordinary persons, untainted by the worst of their kin.  Still others dedicated their lives to fighting demonic evil.  In fact, more than one Karnstein's evil career came to an end because some other family member brought them to justice.

In their day, they spread nearly as far as the Oldenbergs or Bourbons.  Branches took root in their native Styria, in neighboring Hungary, in Spain as well as Italy.  Scions of that house found their way to England and eventually to the New World.  These days the name may be extinct, but the blood, that continues still.  Indeed, circumstantial evidence suggests that among their relatives would be none of than the Van Helsings!  Yet who can deny their zenith is long past?  That hour of history would seem to have been in the 17th and early 18th centuries.  A peculiar practice of that era involved naming the girl children.  Many such ended up with anagrams of Millarca, including Marcilla and Carmilla and of course Mircalla.  Such did no help to any historian!  Yet an overall pattern does emerge.

For the House of Karnstein, the beginning of the end occurred in 1710 when Prince Prospero of that house--a man who in the words of one chronicler "out-Heroded Herod"--sought to avoid a terrible plague, a pestilence known as the Red Death.  He walled himself and a coterie of friends inside an abandoned monastery, one outfitted for all manner of luxury and indulgence.  What neither he nor any of his guests suspected was the truth.  Plague?  There was no plague.  Rather the lands suffered the thirst of an ancient and terrible evil, a vampire whose name is now lost to history.  Over two and a half centuries later this creature was destroyed in a tiny American town called 'Salem's Lot.  At that time he called himself Barlow and boasted of having brought the Roman Empire down by his personal efforts.  Yet in the early 1700s his thirst could not be easily quenched nor could any mere human abode withstand him, no matter how well-built or locked against intruders.  Prince Prospero, his guests and many of his relatives died in a single night, slaking the boundless thirst for human blood of a creature older than Christendom.  Some rose from their graves, undead.  Others simply rotted.

At this point only a tiny few of the main branch of the Karnsteins survived.  Within two generations only two remained--Millarca IV and her brother Damien.  She went to Spain and married a man whom she later murdered.  He had, according to legend, demanded of her "unspeakable things." Exactly what happened next is unclear, but paintings of her were destroyed.  The castle where she had wed became her haunting ground for the next two hundred years, drinking the blood of those she desired.  Her brother Damien fared less well, or better, depending upon how one views it.  Obsessed by the occult, he finally committed a human sacrifice in an effort to raise one of his undead ancestors--and succeeded!  Mircalla II Karnstein emerged from her tomb to couple and then feed upon him, transforming Count Damien into a vampire.  He did not enjoy his immortality long.  A band of local witch-hunters caught wind of his activities and stormed mighty Castle Karnstein.  The Count was killed, beheaded, and the castle itself looted, partially burned.  Within another dozen years, the Baron Hartog crept into the remains of the Castle, driving stakes through the hearts of all he could find, in vengeance for the death of his sister at the fangs of a Karnstein.

So ended the main branch of the once-mighty Karnsteins.  But such was hardly the end of their story...

The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
The Blood Spattered Bride (motion picture)
The Vampire Lovers (motion picture)
Twins of Evil (motion picture)
Lust for a Vampire (motion picture)
Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter (motion picture)

The question seems valid--can we be sure the Karnsteins belong in the Wold Newton Universe?  As evidence I would point to the following:
1.  The MONSTAAH timeline includes mention of both Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu as well as a purported meeting in the 1700s between various major undead as recorded by Kim Newman in Red Reign.  This last included both at least one Karnstein (exactly who remains uncertain) as well as Dracula Prime.
2.  The same source which chronicled much of the unlife story of Denrom also related many involving various members of the Karnstein family.
3.  The Dr. Who episode "State of Decay" chronicles The Doctor meeting a human woman named Karmilla who had become a vampire.  Circumstantial evidence to be sure (and very vague at that), but offered for what it is worth.
(edited to add...)
4.  In the story Mall of Cthulhu by Seamus Cooper a vampire named Carmilla Karnstein makes an appearance.
5.  The soul clone encountered by Batman IV in the film Batman Vs Dracula had a vampire bride he sought to resurrect named Carmilla. Her last name is not given, but anagrams of Millarca made up a significant number of female first names in the Karnstein family.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Upon the Classification of Vampires

A word of warning--my tendency is towards being inclusive rather than exclusive when it comes to vampires and their tales. Should, in my opinion, something be able to fit into the Wold Newton Universe, that will tend to find a way in here.

Perhaps controversially, I regard the material from White Wolf as of real (albeit very limited) use. The theory that they got ahold of an incomplete copy of THE BOOK OF NOD as well as hearing some rumors appears perfectly workable in my eyes. However, using White Wolf terms creates the wrong impression. With that in mind...

PRIMORDIAL vampires aren't so much a bloodline as they are a category, including the Turok-han (Buffy) as well as creatures like the Great Vampires (Dr. Who) and other beings encountered in pre-history such as the adventures of Conan the Barbarian. Most of these have vanished from the world we know, did so before the sinking of Atlantis.

Most other vampires arose from efforts by a coven of powerful magic users to create a new (or recreate an old) kind of demon/monster. Since this occurred on the lost continent of Atlantis, the bloodlines that arose can be called ATLANTEANS. But there were several such types, probably because of the different sorcerors involved and/or different demons used to "create" vampires.

ORLOCKIAN vampires are a bloodline named for their most famous member. They don't look very human, dislike sunlight, and when they do gather in groups behave like predatory packs--obediently serving the Alpha Vampire. In fact, killing such an Alpha in combat confuses these undead, making them unwilling to attack the successful vampire hunter in front of them since their instincts evidently say this is the new Alpha. Examples: Graf Orlock in "Nosferatu" and the creatures in both 30 Days of Night films as well as the nameless vampire in Shadow of the Vampire but the Asian Seven Golden Vampires likewise belong to this bloodline.

DACIAN vampires are so-called because that area (roughly equivalent to modern Romania) seems their ancient stronghold. Dacians in many ways are the most 'human' vampires, looking normal as well as not requiring great quantities of blood. They are, however, not hurt by sunlight. But, they are weakened when separated from their native soil.  The most obvious such vampires are Dracula Prime and the Count of Saint Germain, as well as their many progeny.

SUTEKHITES vampires originally arose in the land of Kemet, or Egypt. Whereas some vampires burn in sunlight, Sutekhites combust. More, they find holy objects intensely uncomfortable. Their founder, Qu'ra, seems to have been an acolyte of evil who initially sought out the most horrible examples of humanity to turn. His powers stirred the worst instincts of all his get until Dracula Prime committed the crime of devouring his blood and power sometime around 1500. Thus Dracula Prime gained many of Qu'ra's powers but many of his get also gained Sutekhite weaknesses. All vampires in the Forever Knight series are Sutekhites, as is (indirectly) Denrom. (Note: A web comic provides a crossover between Dr. Who and Forever Knight providing the vital clue showing Sutekhites as part of the WNU)

KARNSTEIN-TYPE vampires predate that notorious family by many centuries, but have become associated with it. Immune to sunlight, gifted with powers to control men's minds (this ability can be learned sometimes by others), they however suffer from a terrible thirst that often leads them to kill their prey in one feast. Also, relatively few people can become Karnstein-type vampires, which is why the Patriarch (aka Red Death, Barlow, etc.) fostered that family and tried to spread it throughout the world. In fact the Karnstein-types have dwindled in numbers and influence, especially over the last two centuries. Apart from the Patriarch, vampires in films like The Vampire Lovers and Vampire Circus as well as The Moth Diaries belong to this type.

[Note: Although Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla about one of these creatures is accounted as part of the WNU, it remains difficult to say for certain that the Karnsteins are indeed part of the WNU.]

BESTIAL vampires also burn in the sun, but do not combust. They assume a 'game face' while feeding or hunting, and have very powerful predatory instincts although not so much as the Orlockians. These two bloodlines may well be related. Examples include the undead in Buffy and Supernatural as well as The Lost Boys.

WAMPHYRI come from an alternate earth known as Starside where an ecological catastrophe occurred. Only a few were exiled here, where conditions forced the evolution of their governing parasite into a more covert form. Apart from the Wamphyri in Brian Lumley's Necroscope novels it seems certain those in the novel Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Linqvist as well as the film Hanna Queen of the Vampires are this type.

[Note: that Wamphyri exist in the WNU remains speculative]
CORVINI vampires seem pretty clearly to be an experimental hybrid created by the Patriarch, a blend of the Karnstein and Wamphyri. In particular they share a rare ability with the latter--that of fertility. Corvini vampires can breed rather than infect, as can the Wamphyri. Apart from Victor, Selene, etc. from the Underworld films the Dracula soul-clone in Van Helsing are all Corvini.

[Note: that Corvini vampires exist in the WNU remains speculative]

OCEANIC vampires originally come from many thousands of years in Earth's future, as noted by renegade time lord The Doctor. One was pulled to the 9th century CE by an ancient evil entity called Fenric. From then, other such creatures have been created. The so-called mermaids of Pirates of the Carribean 4 would be an example, as would the priest in Children of the Night. It seems likely the Patriarch tried to experiment with them as seen in another Dr. Who adventure, "The Vampires of Venice."

A New Blog...

This will be where I'll put my stuff devoted to the Wold Newton Universe, especially vis-a-vis vampires.