Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Dracula's Revenge and the Great God Pan
This horrific vision never came to pass because of many factors, not least the expertise and readiness of Abraham van Helsing (whose bride Elizabeth had slaked Dracula's thirst in 1876 as recorded in Dracula Lives! #3). But he did not act alone. Without the aid of Arthur Holmwood (later Lord Godalming), Dr. John Seward, Quincy Morris, Jonathan Harker and his bride Mina the dread Lord of the Vampires might yet have carried out his plan. Instead, forced to retreat to his stronghold in Transylvania, the Impaler was put down by a band of seemingly ordinary human beings.
He did not, alas, stay that way. Nor was he likely to forgive such an affront. His vengeance against those individuals and their families proved complex and ruthless--mostly involving soul clones.
Dr. Chuck Loridans posited years ago that Dracula developed a method of creating a vampire like himself, but then infusing himself into that being, creating a soul clone--a puppet who believed himself to be Dracula but exhibited individual characteristics and variations like any vampire. Few such soul clones ever exhibited the raw power of Dracula Prime, for which the world can be grateful. The actual process of creating such was dramatised in the film The Seven Golden Vampires. The full history of these creatures, which sometimes created soul clones of themselves, makes for complex reading. For now we are concerned with Dracula Prime's revenge against the Van Helsing, Holmwood, Seward and Harker families. Four different soul clones--dubbed Balderston, Saville, Matheson and Dragoti--were created in 1907 and dispatched to England in 1909, targeting those very families.
chronicled by Arthur Machen in his novella The Great God Pan). In other words, this elderly Englishman, named Raymond, already displayed a propensity for evil, as well as antipathy for the Holmwood family (Lord Godalming's cousin, Lord Holmwood had been a rival of Raymond's years earlier). Raymond's associates, a secret society known as The Brotherhood, had been contacted by Lord Holmwood's son George. The young man had learned only days after proposing to the girl he loved that he had been born with syphilis, and indeed such was the reason for his mother's suicide. Within days Lord Holmwood died, body and mind destroyed by the disease, leaving his son with a vivid image of what future awaited both him and Erica, his fiancee. Desperate, he had agreed to pay the Brotherhood's leader Singleton (very likely Adrian Singleton, former friend of the strange, seemingly ageless dilletante known as Dorian Gray) any amount of funds to wash his blood clean.
At this point the stage was set. Raymond only too willingly agreed to become a vampire--the prospect of youth and vigor and immortality overcame any meager scruples he may have had, while revenge against his old rival Holmwood he saw as an extra treat. The eclipse of his own identity was never mentioned.
to the point, he filled in all the details for George and Thomas, including the terrible fact of what they had to do with Erica, i.e. drive a wooden stake through her heart. (Although she was staked, it remains uncertain if she remained that way--reports indicate her presence a century later among a formal Coven of mostly-Corvini vampires in Hungary, as per the motion picture Underworld ).
Nina did not at first believe the bizarre tale from these three men, one of whom she did not even know. Ultimately, though, they went back to the headquarters of the Brotherhood in London where Dracula-Pan had used his mental powers to make Singleton kill himself. The vampire easily killed George Holmwood, but in the end saw defeat as Seward drove a wooden stake into his heart. Or so they believed. Some evidence suggests this particular creature survived, perhaps because the stake missed or only grazed his heart. If so, it would seem he then lost the youth and vigor stolen via the blood of others. Exactly what became of him remains to be seen. Dr. Seward meanwhile married Nina Murray. It seems more than likely their offspring continued to play parts in the secret history of the world.
When dramatized, the filmmakers (as per usual) included elements from the novelization by Bram Stoker in telling the tale of this specific soul clone--such as changing people's first names, the name of the ship that bore the vampire to England, the location of Holmwood Castle, etc.