Friday, November 25, 2011

Wolding Twilight

This is going to make some folks unhappy, but I'm finding it difficult not to include the Twilight novels into the WNU.  It belongs due to a solid link noted right here by James Bojaciuk.  Honestly, that some mythologists so dislike anything aimed at a primary audience of teenage girls (or whatever) to my mind simply cannot count as a factor in this.

Instead, let us examine precisely what the genuine problems of including the Twilight Saga might be.

First, the bloodline of vampires involved.  Actually, this one proves pretty easy to narrow down.  The Cullens (who are the vampires with whom we must deal at the moment) nearly always kill any human being they bite, but can (out of habit and rigid discipline) avoid human blood by feasting on animals.  More, they suffer little or no ill effects from sunlight.  In the books sunlight doesn't bother them at all, but they avoid it anyway--because they sparkle.  Leave the sparkling aside, all this pretty much matches up to the Dacian bloodline to which the Karnsteins belong. Yet there remain disparities. 
A Karnstein vampire in sunlight
The Cullens are much stronger and faster and more durable than any Karnstein.  More, we are told they never sleep whereas Karnsteins evidently most certainly do.  And as far as we know, no other Dacian vampire sparkles.  Unless we consider the question of fictionalization.

Storytellers tend to exaggerate for effect.  In fact the extreme degree of personal strength and power demonstrated in Stephanie Meyer's book would seem exactly the kind of thing an author might bump up.  Just as Superman went from being able to leap tall buildings to easily capable of picking up and throwing a white dwarf star, so the vampires in Forks could easily be a lot less Kryptonian.  When you think on it, that detail makes zero difference to the story. Neither does the sparkling.

If we then identify the Cullens as a group of Dacian vampires who're trying to be "good" a la Nicholas Knight, the vampires of Sundown, etc. what of the other undead in the series?  Who are the Volturi?  Most likely some upper level members of the Myskatos Sect (as identified by Marvel Comics in The Death of Dracula) aka the Corvini Coven (so-called in the Underworld films and novels), rumor of which may have suggested the Camarilla to White Wolf Publishers, creators of the role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade and later Vampire: The Requiem.  It seems clear from these and other sources that some kind of social order exists among the undead, rather loose in structure but iron-clad when it comes to certain matters--especially allowing the bulk of humanity to realize vampires exist.  Within this social structure Dracula would appear to be a monarch--preferably an absolute one but (as ever) having to contend with efforts by other undead to get away with what they can.  My theory, then, is that the Volturi (named for the town where
Death Dealer
they make a base, Volturra Italy) are the equivalent of upper level aristocrats under the vampire 'king' Dracula.  Most likely their concern about Edward and Bella successfully bringing for a child stemmed (officially) from fears over the creation of yet another dhampir.  These beings, such as Blade, have often proven extremely dangerous vampire hunters.  Of course we also know that the leader of the Volturi hoped to "collect" some members of the Cullens for his court.  In which case the Volturi 'guard' are essentially what in another context we would know as Death Dealers.

As for the other vampires in the tale, they are simply other undead of various bloodlines, pursuing their own agendas.  Much is made of Forks' cloud cover, which might account for why various undead were willing to act during daylight (if indeed they did any such thing).  The Wolf Tribe of shape-shifters offer no real impediment to the story's inclusion.  Actually, given the Corvini centuries-long war with werewolves they justify the Volturi's reaction even further.

Having read the Rip Haywire strip used as a crossover, I must also point out the lack of anything I could call sparkling.  At least I didn't spot it.  But then, I can also pretty easily explain why one specific vampire might sparkle--namely his presence at an explosion near some diamond dust.  The dust became embedded in his skin and there's just too much of it to feasibly remove.  Voila!

And there's also a comic book called Female Force that explains how Stephanie Meyer is under the control of one of Dracula's soul-clones, in an effort to diffuse fear of the undead (Many thanks to the aforesaid Mr. James Bojaciuk for uncovering this tidbit as well as the Rip Haywire comic)!  One the basis of the above, here therefore is a scenario to explain the true history behind Twilight:

Carlisle Cullen
We know a movement exists among some of the undead to live in harmony with human-kind.  At least two of Dracula's soul-clones actually adhere to this idea (Grimpod as well as Latos).  The Sutekhim Nicholas Knight as well as Turokians Angel and Spike plus the Varnean undead Barnabas Collins do as well.  An entire colony of vampires in Arizona have dedicated themselves to exactly such a lifestyle (as chronicled in Sundown The Vampire In Retreat).  Evidently two other covens do as well--one of rather sirenesque women who make their home in Alaska, and the wandering Cullen family, who sometimes make their haven in Forks.  The Cullens are quite clearly Dacians and their sire Carlisle an elder.  He personally turned four others--Edward, Esmee (who became Carlisle's mate), Rosalie and Emmett (who became a couple).  In time their coven was joined by two others, Alice and her mate Jasper--evidently both Dacians and the former (like Edward) possessing extraordinary psychic gifts.

Sometime after his turning during the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, Edward left Carlisle's side seeking to hunt murderous humans.  We can guess it was at this time he suffered an accident involving an explosion and diamond dust.  Quite probably he returned home after this humiliation, when he became The Vampire Who Sparkles (mind you, how diamond dust might have interacted with his vampire physiology remains an intriguing question).

At one point, the Cullens encountered and made a treaty with the wolf-based shape-shifting protectors of a Native American tribe in the vicinity of Forks, Washington.  Many decades later, one of this tribe fell in love with the local sheriff's daughter, Bella Swan (one suspects her father was in his youth a dirt bike racer who accidentally became his own great great grandfather due to a time travel experiment).  What caused a problem was when Bella met and fell in love with Edward Cullen, and he likewise fell for her (part of the initial attraction may have been his inability to read her mind--a side effect of her father's time travel--Edward even
The start of the Swann Clan
notes in Midnight Sun how difficult it is to "read" Bella's father).

One should note this means the fictional retelling of Charles Lyle Swann in the film Timerider (with took place five years before Bella's birth) made him seem almost twice his age at the time.  Likewise, he must have been a few years older than his wife Renee rather than high school sweethearts (probably this was a projection by Stephanie Meyer, echoing her own marriage at age 21).

Leaving the details of the love triangle aside, Edward ended up marrying Bella and making her pregnant.  Vampires generally are not fertile, although this might be a little less rare than it seems.  Circumstances being what they are, the opportunity for non-Corvini or non-Wamphyri vampires to impregnate human women doesn't seem to happen that often.  Also, just because an opportunity exists doesn't mean the woman will conceive.  Yet it does happen.  Sometimes.  Whether Bella's status as the offspring of a time traveler (see River Song for one example) had anything to do with it remains to be seen.

Their child would be a dhampir, like the notorious vampire-hunters Blade and Eve as well as Lilith "Lilly" Munster and a few others.  Coupled with the Cullens' alliance with a race of beings not unlike werewolves, this combination of events brought the attention of the Volturri, almost certainly high-level elders within the Myskatos Sect, one or more of whom might be a Corvini vampire (who have a long-standing feud/war with werewolves, their former slaves).

We don't know what precisely happened next.  But Dracula Prime or one of his soul-clones saw a potential in this story to influence the mainstream of humanity.  Most likely the example of Lestat's increasingly fictionalized versions (eventually becoming entirely imaginary) of his biography as written by Anne Rice served as inspiration.  A Mormon housewife with some undeveloped writing talent became the focus of the Impaler's will.  She even admitted in interviews to the dreams which led her to write the books.  Her world-view became the lens through which she saw and related this story.  Edward sparkled, so in her mind all vampires did.  She herself almost certainly waited until marriage to consummate her relationship, so naturally her Bella and Edward followed suit (which may have happened in the real world as well--it remains perfectly possible).  Likewise she gave to "her" characters the happy ever after ending she so ardently desired for them.  Eternal happiness together, an immortal child who would mature into a young woman, reconciliation with Jacob, the Volturri in effect giving up with none of their friends having to die, etc.

But what really happened?  Well, in Rip Haywire Edward seems to have a human girlfriend.  But she's blonde.  Poetic license?  Or a hint that Bella may be no more?  Where are the rest of the Cullens?  It isn't as if Edward needs to spend every day with his family.  On the other hand... the ending in the book really does seem too good to be true.  The Myskatos as a group react very badly to disobedience or what they see as challenges to authority.  Corvini elder Viktor killed his own daughter for mating with a werewolf.

We.  Don't.  Know.  Bella and her Edward might well be raising their half-vampire child somewhere right now, along side the Cullens and a protective pack of semi-werewolves.  Or the whole group may have been decimated.   Or something in between.  The truth, as some have said, is out there--but that doesn't mean it is always easy to find.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Elegant Warlords: The Corvini

I am grateful to the Underworld Wiki as well as MONSTAAH and The Crossovers Forum without which research on this article would have proven far more difficult, perhaps impossible.

Motion pictures, novels and comic books under the general heading of Underworld tell the story of a specific bloodline of the undead.
Selene & Selene
I maintain that within the (very) ficitonalized tales from Marvel Comics lie numerous hints of the Corvini, their activities and members.  One obvious such, mentioned in the Curse of the Mutants storyline, must be the Myskatos Sect--a faction of vampires who embrace technology and modern business techniques, preferring to function "behind the scenes" rather than seek overt political power.  Among other things they maintain a large public hospital whose high security allows members a haven as well as a source of blood.  This easily corresponds with what we know of the Corvini Coven (as it is called in the motion pictures).  Another bit of circumstantial evidence is the Marvel villain named Selene, a supposed mutant "energy vampire" whose lifespan extends centuries (eventually becoming the Hellfire Club's Black Queen).  Although on the surface the two appear quite dissimilar, in other ways they are remarkably alike.  Given Marvel's tendency to make up lurid details (see Legion of the Strange) for the purposes of story, this at least seems a possible point wherein the Corvini vampires and their faction interacted with characters established as part of the WNU.

Lady Holmwood & Erika
Another example is in the character of Lady Holmwood whose fate was chronicled in the BBC 2006 production of Dracula, telling one part of the multi-pronged effort in 1909 for Dracula Prime to have his revenge against the families who thwarted him in 1887.  While it is by no means conclusive, some evidence suggests that Lady Holmwood, after becoming a vampire, ended up as the concubine to Lord Kraven of the Myskatos Sect in Budapest nearly a century later (the novelization contradicts this, claiming Erica had been a vampire less than a human lifetime, but doesn't really specify what that means--making it possible that detail is a mistake)..

Far more suggestive, however, are events involving the so-called Vladislas soul-clone and the enigmatic being known as the Right Hand of God, i.e. Gabriel Van Helsing in the film Van Helsing.  Elements of that story contain numerous parallels with the Corvini.  Among the most obvious is that the Dracula-Vladislas (and his
Hybrid vampire form
three brides) showed the same startling hybrid form as Marcus Corvini--a huge humanoid bat.  This, we are told, stems from the unique genetic heritage of the descendants of Hungarian warlord Alexander Corvinus.  One of his sons was bitten by a vampire, another by a werewolf while a third remained human.  Most humans could not become either vampire or werewolf from the bite of a Corvini, but descendants of Alexander's third child could.  Dracula-Vladislas counted among his (human) relatives a young man of the Valerius family who became a werewolf of the same type of the Corvini lycanthropes (i.e. Lycans).  The sister of this young man also bore a startling resemblance to the Death Dealer Selene.  One is left with the strong suspicion that House Valerius descended from the immortal Alexander Corvinus (much as virtually all members of the Karnstein family have the potential to become vampires of a specific bloodline).
Then there is the television show Castle in which the title character--a successful author who has done lots of research into conspiracy theories and fringe movements as well as obscure lore--casually mentions his knowledge of the Vampire-Lycan War.  Another mythologist, James Bojaniuk, also pointed out:
Underworld uses the exact same wolf howl from An American Werewolf in London; Underworld: Evolution uses the werewolf transformation from An American Werewolf in London. These two bits of evidence seem to say that the already-included American Werewolf in London takes place in the same universe as the Underworld series.

Another detail that bears mentioning--Alexander Corvinus was the sole survivor of a plague in 5th century Hungary.  He emerged immortal from the experience, or so the story goes.   Methinks this might be something of an (understandable) assumption by observers.  We don't in fact know if his survival made him immortal,
Corwin of Amber
only that he did in fact survive.  I posit he was already immortal, or at least extremely long-lived by human standards, due to his paternal heritage.  Alexander Corvinus may have been the son of the Amberite Prince Corwin,  whose natural lifespan is certainly measured in centuries if not millennia.  Corwin visited Earth on many occasions, once during the Black Death (which he survived, although it left him with amnesia so he wandered the world for centuries, an unaging warrior with no idea who he might be--which brings up another wild possibility, that of he or one of his Shadows being the Left Hand of God, aka Gabriel Van Helsing!).   Although not particularly promiscuous, Corwin hardly could be called ascetic and we know he ended up with at least one offspring of whom he initially knew nothing.  Might he have impregnated a Hungarian woman sometime in the fifth century?  If so, it would help explain much of how Alexander Corvinus (note the name) came to survive that plague.

Still another--and not at all mutually exclusive possibility--remains.  Corvini vampires as well as the Vladislas clone possess one extremely unusual trait--fertility.  Male and female vampires of this bloodline can have children, with each other or with others.  Now and then other vampires (such as the Lejos and Mordante
Dracula-Vladislas & Brides
soul-clones) have shown the abiity to impregnate mortal women.  Others have managed to do it with mystical aid (the method used by Dracula Prime).  But for a vampire female to become pregnant, much less bring the child to term, hardly ever happens.  Among Corvini the evidence suggests this is very nearly the norm.  Indeed, since so few humans can even become Corvini vampires this might well be the primary method by which they increase their numbers!  Dracula-Vladislas encountered some difficulty, but one wonders if that is not because of his unique situation.  If indeed the Vladislas family are descended from Alexander Corvinus, as seems likely, it does not follow that the man eventually known as Dracula-Vladislas became a vampire of the Corvini line.  He might well have been bitten by some other type of vampire and his latent genetic heritage manifested in a way that was not seen again until the early 21st century with the mutation of Marcus Corvinus (as seen in Underworld Evolution).  We have no reason to suppose his 'brides' were related to the Corvinus family, so their ability to reproduce was seriously flawed, requiring help from Dr. Frankenstein to make their offspring viable (see the Van Helsing motion picture).

One more thought--also not at all exclusive to what is mentioned above.  One other breed of vampires demonstrated fertility, extreme damage from exposure to sunlight (several types of vampire find sunlight harmful and/or uncomfortable only) and radical shape-shifting.  I speak of the alien Wamphyri, from the alternate Earth called Starside, a handful of whom were banished to this world over the past few thousand years.  One of them, perhaps not coincidentally, vanished and was presumed destroyed by pirates in the 5th century near the Black Sea.  Nearly the same time and location as the plague from which Alexander Corvinus alone survived.  One must wonder if there is some connection?

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Dragon and the Griffin

Possible Dracula-Karnstein arms

The late 20th century proved a time of great tumult for the world, both natural and supernatural.  One particularly vexing problem faced by the dread entity known as Dracula Prime was the increasingly renegade nature of his soul clones.  Denrom, Mordante, Grimpod, Latos, Lejos and others at one time or another broke free of their master's control.  At the same time, vampire hunters increased in numbers, in sophistication and in organization.

One intriguing solution to much of the above involved an experiment that in many ways was the dark mirror of the League of Anti-Diabolists' success story with the soul-clone Grimpod, his daughter Lilith (or "Lilly), her husband Herman (the creature created by Dr. Frederick Frankenstein) and their adopted son, a boy tainted with lycanthropy they named Eddy.

As chronicled in the motion picture Nadja, the last child of the Italian branch of the Karnsteins--a melancholy young lady named Irina--fell into the company of Lejos, a soul-clone of Dracula.  He had (presumably still has) with the rare ability among vampires of being able to father children.  Recovering at this point from a battle with a werewolf soon after WW2, Lejos had fallen in love with a gypsy girl and by her had a son, Edgar.  Irina ended up virtually adopted by Lejos (whose idea this was remains a valid but unanswered
question) and she developed a strong emotional bond to Edgar her dhampir "brother."  In the end, sometime circa 1990 she enacted the same process as her mother when possessing Georgia, Leopold Karnstein's fiancee.  Irina/Enessa/Nadja took over the body of Edgar's lady love, and so married him.

Dracula Prime saw this rare, probably unique set of circumstances as an opportunity.  Two dhampirs had wed, and in the process one had created in effect a living soul-clone.  Neither Edgar nor his "sister" ever realized Lejos wasn't the real Dracula.  So neither expected to be kidnapped by agents of that entity, soon after confirming her pregnancy.  Brought to Transylvania, the son of Lejos found himself transformed into a full vampire, a soul-clone we might as well designate Dracula-Edgar.  His bride underwent a similar fate, but one with a twist.  In 1909 Lejos had met and vampirized Lucy Weston (as told in the 1931 motion picture Dracula) who somehow escaped the men focused on hunting down her sire.  She had found this dashing aristocrat very attractive and soon after became a willing servant of Dracula Prime deep in the heart of London.  Now, he had another use for her--as the template from which to create a
Dracula-Edgar & family
new soul-clone out of Edgar's pregnant wife!  A new being emerged, taking the name Magda Westenra, a vampire female fully capable of not only becoming pregnant but bringing that child to term!  She and Dracula-Edgar were to be the Adam and Eve of a new vampire species!

Next, the two were given a castle of their own, well as a Renfield to serve as their slave/servant.  Other controls were put into place, including (most importantly) a talisman of great power called the Blood Mirror.  This enchanted item is a mystical portal to some aspect of the Vampire Dimension, a means by which the vampiric aspects of this new family would be reinforced.  As the couple's first child, a girl named Ingrid, was born its need became apparent.  Ingrid seemed human in most ways, but close examination revealed the taint of vampirism dormant within every cell of her body.  In time, the Blood Mirror would activate that taint, transforming the eager girl into a fully-fledged nosferatu (proudly proclaiming herself The Princess of Darkness).  Soon after, a son named Vladimir ("Vlad" or "Vlady"for short) joined her, showing the identical
Magda's paramour as a child
signs.  He, however, showed little or no desire to be a vampire.  Quite the opposite!  Likewise the marriage (or union, since neither could recall a formal marriage ceremony) of Magda and Dracula-Edgar began to fall apart, not least given the latter's flagrantly sexist attitudes towards all females (including Ingrid).  Eventually, Magda ran off with a werewolf (there is some evidence this particular werewolf was none other than the very boy-child once adopted by the so-called Munsters).  In time, she even had a child by him, who showed his true heritage almost immediately by shifting into a wolf at the first full moon after his birth.
By then, Dracula-Edgar had fled Romania (in theory, ahead of a rampaging mob) and had taken up an abode in an old English castle.  Fortunately, one side-effect of Dracula's experiment was that this new kind of vampire could subsist on animal blood and even solid food (preferably raw meat).  Thus he was able to maintain a relatively low profile, at the same time demonstrating nearly the full range of Dracula Prime's powers.  Young Vlad began to show his own extra-human abilities by age thirteen, impressively being able to hypnotize even his own father!  Yet he continued to struggle with his own birthright, capable of genuine
Vladimir Dracula
friendship with the human beings he met (whom his father contemptuously called "Breathers") and with an honest streak that sometimes made him a target at school for being too nice!  More interestingly, he began to have prophetic dreams which attracted the attention of a vampiric cult called the Moksha Sect (as seen in The Death of Dracula #1 from Marvel Comics).  They have since dubbed him The Chosen One, destined to usher in a new age of the undead.

Moksah Sect Member
Sects, cults and factions within the covert society of the undead remain pretty much the norm.  Evidence suggests the Moksha, ascetics who starve themselves for the save of prophetic visions, enjoy relatively high regard--enough to get at least lip service from many.  Much of their reaction to Vlad stems from his ability to wear an ancient crown whose owner is held in much prestige--not least because the crown literally destroys anyone unworthy who dares to don it.  That a Dracula now wears it--even a teenager only indirectly related the Dark Prince--probably puts Vlad under Dracula Prime's protection.  For now.  Arguably the most powerful such sect is the Mystikos Sect,  in effect a cadre of vampires who function as businessmen and powers-behind-the-scenes in the human world.  Rumors of the existence may have led White Wolf Publishing into their using such as a template for the fictional  Camarilla (just as they may have turned the Moksha into the Inconnu).  Circumstantial evidence points to the Mystikos having been founded and led by the so-called Corvini vampire bloodline (as portrayed in Underworld).  Tentative evidence suggests Dracula-Edgar has relations with both Mytikos and Moksha Sects.

Erik van Helsing & son
Much of the story of Dracula-Edgar and his family, especially Vlad and Ingrid, continues to be fictionalized in a children's t.v. program called Young Dracula.  Keep in mind Marvel Comics also heavily fictionalizes events as well (some of these details came to light in the wake of an attempted coup against Dracula Prime, followed by an attempt to transform recent members of the Legion of the Strange  and probably others into vampires).  Thus the situation of one Erik van Helsing--whose marriage suffered from his dedication to hunting vampires and trying to train his son for the same--ended up played for laughs.

Ingrid Dracula
In at least one sense Dracula Prime's experiment would seem a resounding success.  Dracula-Edgar and his offspring have proven unusually powerful vampires, especially Vlad.   Yet more problematical, at least from the Dark Lord's viewpoint, is their relative humanity.  Dracula-Edgar for the most part seems as ruthless and cruel as might be desired, yet consistently shows real affection for his son as well as for some mere humans (albeit sometimes in very subtle ways) and even the child of his ex-partner, Magda (with whom he seems to 'enjoy' a love/hate/lust relationship).  His almost childish arrogance is probably no more than an annoyance in Dracula Prime's scheme of things.  Ingrid Dracula, who repeatedly vows to be the most evil vampire in history, fell in love with an ordinary human boy (and turned him--resulting in a blinding, vengeful rage after his destruction at the hands of professional hunters).  Likewise she showed gratitude to humans who were kind towards her, and even helped out her supposedly-despised brother on several occasions.  Vlad's open identification with humanity and desire for vampires to live with peace no doubt disturbs Dracula Prime very much, even as it offers hope for others--ironically enough, given that he is the offspring of the two of the most notorious family names in the long history of the undead.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dracula's Revenge and the Great God Pan

When the fearsome being called Count Dracula launched his plan to relocate in London during the year 1887, he had hoped to ultimately take over the heart of what was then the greatest Empire on Earth.  Some notion of what his goal can be glimpsed in the novel Anno Dracula by Kim Newman.  Imagine the Impaler as Prince Regent, a bodyguard of Eastern European vampires enforcing his will, civil liberties slowly but surely restricted until only the living become less than second class citizens, more like serfs, while the undead under Dracula's command fan out to invade and conquer.

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.

But the Dragoti clone proved a failure (as happens now and then in the process) so a new clone was created in 1908 to take up where the fourth left off--Dracula Pan.  However, this individual was a little different, a would-be occult scholar fascinated by primal passions who had succeeded once in an experiment which allowed the physical manifestation of a demon into this world via a girl whose mind was destroyed in the process and whose child then wrecked havok upon all who encountered her for decades (her career was 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.

Young George Holmwood paid for his own destruction, hiring the vessel that would bring Count Dracula (i.e. Dracula-Pan) to England.  Vampires of the Dacian bloodline are weakened by water, requiring more and greater feeding--hence sailing ships that carried vampires for any length of time tended to lose most if not all of their crews before arriving at port.  This eerie, tragic pattern occurs many times in those who study such matters.  Dracula-Pan, an old man seeking to regain and keep his youth, certainly proved no exception!  But instead of London, where the ship was supposed to arrive, it ended up further up the coast where Holmwood Castle stood (the seat of the Lords Holmwood, as opposed to Rings, the inland estate of their cousins, the Lords Godalming).  Here, George dwelt with his increasingly frustrated bride, Erica.  Her friend (and former suitor) Dr. Thomas Seward (a nephew of the man who helped defeat Dracula Prime) noticed something wrong in the marriage and in George himself.  Erica was far more open to her best friend, Nina Murray (Mina Murray's distant cousin), telling her details--that George refused to consummate their union, nor explain the reason why.  Nina sympathized, despite her own grief at the mysterious disappearance of her fiancee (in fact as a solicitor he'd been secretly hired by George as a legal agent to Transylvania--where his blood fed the vampire's lust).  Worse, her fiancee's partner had been murdered and his papers destroyed (by agents of the Brotherhood).

Into this brew entered Dracula-Pan, a suave but sinister figure radiating dark power and longing for eager young flesh.  Although Erica remained his primary target, he felt great interest in the delicate and genuinely religious Nina.  First, though, he crept into the new Lady Holmwood's bed to ravish her--flesh, blood and soul.  She nearly died that very day, saved only by a blood transfusion her husband forced a very suspicious Dr. Seward to perform using himself rather than George as a donor.  It did little good.  The vampire simply returned, mocking his "host" in word and deed.

Here Thomas Seward had a bit of luck.  Tracing George's movements to the Brotherhood's London headquarters, he discovered the Brotherhood's prisoner--David van Helsing (brother to Fritz) who had up until recently scoffed at the families tales of the walking dead and bloodthirsty ghosts.  Lured as an expert on folklore by the Brotherhood, Van Helsing ended up in their basement, filthy, half-starved and terrified.  More 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.