Friday, August 8, 2014

Dr. Sandorius and the Resurrection Men - Chapter VI - Tumults


The ballroom cleared in the panic that he had helped to create.  He saw Bobo Drko and Tsura the gypsy tending to Lady Dalhousie, blood everywhere.  With rising panic, he looked for Elizabeth. He found her lying prone just outside the postern gate.  He rushed to her and saw that she was alive.  However, her eyes were blank and she was mumbling to herself.  Sandorius knew immediately this was not mere shock but a darker condition.  In the few seconds she had contact with Elizabeth; the Countess had somehow ensnared her spirit.

He knew such spells could be broken, given time.  Time, however, was something he did not have. The Countess’ plans were advancing rapidly. He must take Elizabeth to safety first, and then think of his next steps. 

He picked her up and rushed from room, calling behind to the priest and the gypsy that he would find them after he had made Elizabeth safe.

Outside the castle, there was pandemonium, with soldiers running and riding about, trying to act as if they knew what they were doing but only adding to the panic.  With a wave from his hand, one cavalryman was knocked from his horse.  Sandorius quickly mounted and rode off.

He went first to his mansion. It would not be safe there but there were a few things, components for spells and rituals, which would be useful.  He could see the glow from the flames before he even reached the Belvedere Gardens.  As he drew closer, he could see that the fire was coming from his home.  He turned away with a consoling thought that at least the painting of Milna had likely gone up with his home.

Thinking quickly, he realized that the last place the Countess was likely to look for them was at the salt mines.  His attention had been split between protecting his daughter and stopping the Countess.  As a result, he failed in both.  Now, he would conceal Elizabeth there and deal with the Countess.

It was well after midnight when they arrived at the mines.  It was still abandoned and the silence, especially near the mine entrance, was chilling.

He settled them in the mine office.  Then he sent his spirit to search the Astral realm for any clue about the nature of Elizabeth’s condition.  He saw the line from her terrestrial body stretch off into a distant haze.  He could perceive her spirit a long way off, being held in a form of bondage that he could not entirely make out.  It was a very powerful spell, one that would require a great deal of effort to break.  He returned disheartened to the material world.

He then searched the area and found a secluded spot on the rocky mountain side.  He brought Elizabeth to it.  He easily manipulated the earth in the rock to create a space in which he could conceal Elizabeth.  He thought about trying the amber device to place her into a static form but was too worried that it might suffocate her.  Then he summoned an earth elemental and placed it to stand guard over her hiding place.  He instructed it that, if he did not return in three days’ time, it would find the priest, Bobo Drko and inform him of Elizabeth.

Wearied beyond measure, he went back to the upper room of the mine office and laid down to sleep.

It was only a few hours later that the sound of many horses awoke him. 

The Case of the Resurrection Men in The Natural Philosophy of Crime by Anton Smelchak

After “Big Saucy” went off on whatever business he had to attend, I saw that Lady Dalhousie was being brought out of the castle by the gypsy girl and Bobo Drko.  They said she had been wounded by the Countess Krimskaya but they had rescued her and were tending to her wounds.

“The Countess attacked her?”

“Yes, Lady D. tried to stop her kidnapping Mercurio’s daughter. Not to worry, I stabbed the Countess in the back.”

“My God!” I exclaimed.

“Exactly,” the priest replied.

“Where is the Countess now?”

“Turned to mist and fled.  She was a vampire you know.”

“I see.”  I was becoming quite used to accepting these incredible revelations.  Of course, I don’t think I shall ever be as blasé as Bobo Drko.

“What about Mercurio and his daughter?”

“She was in a trance.  The Professor has taken her off, probably to find a cure.  I think it might have been black magic.”  

“Couldn’t you have helped?” I asked.

“I offered but he didn’t think that much fire would be good for her.”

Not wishing to place Lady Dalhousie in proximity with Dr. Dippel, I directed them to place her in the gypsy wagon.  I then instructed “King” Zoltan to return her to the police barracks for which service he would be well paid.

It took us the better part of an hour to get through the city.  Large crowds were gathering in many of the larger squares.  The National Guard was patrolling many of the large thoroughfares, keeping watch that no barricades went up. Clearly, word about the disturbance at the ball had gotten out and rumor was rife that Leonardo had escaped.  I knew there were few troops in the city, just the Russian cavalry and the various Royal Guard units together with the National Guard who were of questionable loyalty and even more questionable capability.  If Leopold was actually approaching, there would be some serious problems for the Regent and his cronies.

Upon our arrival at the barracks, I ordered Dippel to be taken under heavy guard to Dr. Vlasic’s surgery.  I intended the Vlasic’s unsettling demeanor to have a role in my questioning of Dippel.  I then ordered all my gendarmes to duty and cancelled all patrols.  I wanted everyone one of my men available to aid, their lack of capabilities or enthusiasm notwithstanding.  I sent a runner to the Minister of Police informing him that the prisoner was in custody.  I then had Bobo Drko write to the Archpresbyter of Strelzov asking that the ecclesiastical court be convened as soon as possible on a case of the most extreme resort to deviltry.

As I was finishing these orders, I saw the gypsy wagon arrived.  Knowing that Lady Dalhousie was safe, I turned to the matter of my prisoner.

When I arrived in the surgery, Dr. Vlasic was already showing Dippel some of his most interesting surgical tools and explaining, one surgeon to another, exactly what they were capable of doing. 

While Dippel tried to put on bold front, I could see his courage was failing.  He tried to bluster his way out, saying that the Regent would have my head for mistreating him so.  To which I replied that the Regent had more pressing matters to attend to that night and by morning Dippel would be condemned by an ecclesiastical court. I then laid out the evidence that I had implicating him and the Regent in the foulest of crimes.  I emphasized the point that the Regent and the Countess were the ones I really wanted.  All the while, Vlasic was operating a small hand drill next to Dippel’s head.

The man’s courage was broken.  He whined that he feared the Countess more than anything we could do.  I assured him that if he confessed and gave testimony against the Regent and the Countess, he would be protected from her and that his cooperation would be noted to the court.

“Very well,” he said resignedly, “I will confess.”

Confession of Franz Dippel, Doctor of Medicine, Surgeon, and Hairdresser

Sworn before me this 1st of September in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-Two

Sergei Dumitrita

I have come from a long-line of men who have served the advancement of knowledge.  My great grandfather was famous throughout Europe for his discovery of Dippel's Oil, a useful lubricant made from the distillation of bones.  But it was my father who made the truly greatest discovery in history.  He discovered the secret of re-animating the dead.  This was when I was but a child but I remember sneaking into his laboratory one night and saw him reviving a corpse.  After my mother's death, he lost his senses, blaming it on himself.  He set off on a hunt for his escaped creation from which he never returned.

He was declared an outlaw for his work, his dedication to science. His laboratory and notes were destroyed.  Our family title and castle were stripped from us and I was sent to grow up a pauper, the ward of cousins.  I had managed to keep one of his notebooks, the one with many of the secrets of his process.  I determined that I would replicate his work and thus restore our family name and fortune.

Query: What was your former title?

We were the Barons von Frankenstein.

I studied medicine and became a doctor so as to follow in my father’s footsteps.  However, I knew I should need wealth for what I intended to do.  So I followed the most popular cures, whether they worked or not, and used them to gain entre to the highest level of society. 

That is how I met the Countess Krimskaya.  I tried no fraud with her; rather she understood what I was trying to do. I had had no success until I met her.  She provided me with ancient tomes that told me how it might be done.  She was very knowledgeable and made suggestions to improve to improve my work.  I was able to fill the blanks that were left open in my father's notebook. 

She also arranged for my position here in Ruritania, a quiet backwater where my work would not be disturbed.  She introduced me to Dr. von Elphburg, a kindred spirit with connections to the Royal Family, ensuring our work would be supported.

And, a little over a year ago, all my years of toil were rewarded.  I was able to revive the corpse of a beggar I had obtained from the resurrection men.  Soon after I did it again, and was able to reproduce the results regularly. 

The process, however, was not perfect.  The subject was reanimated and was fully alive in a physical sense but the mind no longer functioned properly.  They were nearly mindless incapable of any thought beyond the most basic. Sometimes they became savages full of rage.  Several of our assistants were harmed by the creatures, one even killed.  However, I discovered that a combination of mesmerism and galvanic shock would render them calm and pliable.  The Countess was the first to suggest the use of them as a sort of servant.  I thought this was as good a start as any.  In doing so the world would become use to the reanimated and lose its fear. 

But the creatures had little strength; they easily tired and were very fragile.  That was when I realized that an elixir based upon my great grandfather's formula could be used to increase the strength of the reanimated.  If used upon an outstanding specimen, we could produce supermen who answered our every command. Each specimen took a very long time in our limited facilities in the city and suspicions were being raised. The countess suggested that we find a remote area where we could expand our facilities and produce the reanimated in greater numbers. We built the laboratory at my country estate.  It was not too far from the salt mines from which we obtained the preservative while the process was completed.  The number of specimens increased substantial, along with our demand for source material to provide them.

It was then that the Countess confided in me the extent of her plans.  We would find another location, one closer to the great center of power. Britain. We would find a place in the north, in remote Scotland.  There we would not build servants but conquerors.   We would quickly build up an army of giants who would overrun the country.  We then would have the most powerful nation on earth under our thumb. With it, we would have its great capacities for manufacturing.  After all were we not manufacturing life?  We would change the face of the entire earth.

This was how we hit upon Baron Dalhousie, the greedy fool.  We would use his estate as our first base and he would serve as a cover for our smuggling of my creations into Scotland.

Query:  Is the Baron Dalhousie still alive?

He is still alive, in a way, at our original laboratory here in the city

Query: Where is that laboratory?

In the sewers...
The Pimp

Anatol Frufroque  was not a happy man.  He had been losing at cards all night and this at his own gambling establishment.  Then Baroosz had asked him to see Big Saucy immediately.  Well, Baroosz was his oldest friend and it gave him an excuse to back away from the gaming tables.  Still, Frufroque didn’t like Big Saucy, when he bothered to think about him at all.  Frufroque was the real leader of all the rackets in the city, just like Hozzenko the Brigand ran the countryside.  Who was this pimp to give himself such airs.  Thinks he’s tough?  Frufroque drank out of the skulls of such upstarts.

“What do you want, pimp?  I get plenty of girls without paying for them.”

“With due respect, Ban Frufroque, I’ve heard that girls were among the things that the Regent pays you to keep trouble down in the city.”

“Don’t get high and mighty with me, pimp.  I know that you, like the rest of us, get paid by the toffs to keep trouble down.”

“Maybe it’s time we paid the toffs back,” the pimp said.

Frufroque was startled.  That type of statement could get someone hung pretty easily these days.  Worse, it could get bring the Post Office down on you.  Big Saucy was supposed to be a careful man. There must be some angle.

“What do you mean, pim-“

“I prefer to be called ‘Saucy’”

At least the man had spirit, Frufroque respected that.

“What are you suggesting?”

“Things are heating up around town.  Old Leopold’s son escaped and someone tried to blow the Regent’s culo right off of Castle Hill. There’s going to be riots, or more, tonight.”

“And tomorrow the Army shoots everyone involved.  I’m not stupid enough to get involved in that.  I leave that to those school boys at the University.”

“You know Leopold crossed the border.”

“Of course, and I know that the Army was sent to stop him.”

“What if I told you the Army didn’t stop him.  That they marched away in the wrong direction.  Old Leopold captured Hcentzov two days ago.  Without a shot fired it’s been said.”

“How do you know this?”

“Men talk to my girls.  I keep in touch with my girls, even the ones I sent to keep those poor, lonely soldiers marching off to Leutonia.”

“You’re full of it, pi… man.  Why would the army march east when everyone knew Leopold was in the south, at Iskandernople.”

“Maybe the Post Office sent them the wrong orders?”

Frufroque thought about that.  The pimp was said to know everything but did that include what went on in the Post Office?  So far as to know which way they were going to jump in the current power struggle?”

“What do you want from me?”

“Let say I have friends who would like to see some trouble for the Regent. Some arson, maybe, shootings, the odd riot here and there…”

“What’s in it for me?”

“All the plunder you and your boys can carry.  Remember, in confusion there is profit.  I hear there’s a big fire down in the Belvedere already.  Get Little Leutonia riled up, those idiots are always ready to burn their own houses down when their angry.  You should be able to come away with quite a haul.  Look, if things turn around, you can always blame it on those damn students.  I heard they were the ones behind the interruption of tonight’s ball.”

“Saucy, I like the way you think.”

Letter from Lady Euphemia Dalhousie to Miss Elspeth Dalhousie, 28 August 1832

Miss Elspeth Dalhousie, Spinster
Ossian Hall
Cranlarich, Scotland

… I suppose it was the fresh air that revived me.  The next thing I kin, Sarah and the big priest Drko were carrying me out of the castle grounds towards a pile of carriages and wagons that crowded at the bottom of the castle ramp.  The priest pressed a flask to my lips and a hard but fine liquor poured down my throat.

“Here, man,” I managed to squeak oot, “if it’s free water o’ life, I’m game.”  I took the flask from his hand and downed it in a body gang.  I began to feel much better.

He said, “The miracle has worked but you must still rest. Also take this to be sure.” Then he passed me a small vial and told me to drink that as well.  When I asked what it was, he replied, “Antidote for wampyr bite.  This will make sure you not die and come back to drink blood.”

I drank as he instructed and a fouler mingin’ brew has nae crossed my lips.  “I think being a vampire might be preferable,” I said.

By now, we were down on the causey and I was a wee bit tipsy.  My head spun what with the loss of blood and the infusion of spirits and godknowswhat in the antidote.  I was vaguely aware that the Inspector was there saying something about nae putting me in the police wagon with Dippel but give me to the gypsies.  And in my state, I wondered if they would steal me like they’re said to do with wee bairns.

Sarah took me into the wagon and helped me out of my bloody gown. Then I lay down upon a wee scratcher in the wagon and promptly fell asleep to the rocking of the wagon.

I had strangest dream.  The most handsome man I had ever seen standing afore me in a state of nature looking down at me and sighing in admiration.  Well I was so flattered that I reached up a kissed him.  Then I kissed him again.  And again.  And one thing led to another and it was a most passionate and romantic dream.

When I awoke, Sarah was coming through the door saying something akin to “Sorry  we took so long, the streets are full of soldiers and Zoltan thought best to avoid-“  Then she gasped in surprise as I sat up. 

I said, “I don’t kin what ye and the Bobo packed in that draught but I ne’er felt better in my life!  Odd dreams thoucht.”

She pointed at the scratcher on which I sat and it was only then I realized that I was sitting next tae that handsome man from my dream.

He looked up at me with a stoatin’ smile and said, “Hewwo.”

Diary of Jan Milna, unpublished

1st of September, 1832

We searched through the castle crypts as quickly as we could.  It was clear that there had been a prisoner there recently but we could find no sign of what had happened to Leonardo.  As the sound of the oncoming guards reached our ears, we beat a hasty retreat out of the postern gate.  I noticed there was much blood on the floor here but thought nothing of it.

There was much confusion out on the streets and I saw no sign of Mercurio or his daughter.  I had faith that the wizard had taken Elizabeth to a place of safety.  We hurried back to our own place of safety, the Café Mirski.

We were a glum group as we sat guzzling our brfnish.  We had come so close to success only to be deprived of our goal. 

My mood was not improved by Nikolina who was cheerfully telling everyone, "My husband killed a vampire tonight! Cut his head clean off with one blow!" 

As if that was anything special.  Topicz killed two just by tossing a party cracker at them.

As the night wore into morning the café became more crowded rather than less.  There was great consternation among all the new arrivals. Then one of the new arrivals told us that the National Guard had invaded the University, arresting all the faculty and students of the College of Thaumaturgy they could lay their hands on.  They were claiming Topicz's toy was an attempt to assassinate the Regent.

It was then that Topicz staggered to his feet. "No, this must not stand!  They forbid us practice what they do secretly.  They steal the dead of the people.  Then they murder the people.  Now they trample the ancient rights of the University.  This cannot stand!"

We all looked at him in surprise.  Topicz was, like most Leutonians, taciturn and long-suffering.  But he had been pushed too far it seemed.  Being a large man, he had a powerful voice that echoed through the café.  Soon everyone was cheering and shouting at his words.  Then the singing began, old songs of the first Revolution.

Topicz continued, "Let us go now and throw those devils off of our University!"

"Wait," I cried, "The National Guard is well-armed.  We need more weapons, more guns.  The police have guns in the barracks just across the square.  Let us go and get them there.  If they will not give them to us, we will take them!"

Then Sufflay produced two kegs of powder, "Do you think this might persuade them?"

I said I would go to Inspektor Smelchak and ask him to help.  In case he refused, I sent some of the men to place the kegs near the back of the barracks.

I marched directly up to the front door of the barracks.  Bobo Drko was there with a couple of gendarmes.

"Bobo, I must speak with the Inspektor."

When he hesitated and asked why I looked so serious, I said, "The Revolution has come! We have need of the weapons in this barracks.  You were part of the Revolution in years gone by, help us now!"

"Certainly, my nephew," he said and struck me a hard blow with his closed fist upon my nose.  I fell back.  The ever-present Nikolina was there to catch me.  As my head cleared, I asked why he had struck me.

"Remember, suffering in defense of the Faith is the highest virtue.  I just gave you my blessing; now let's go talk to the Inspektor."

The Case of the Resurrection Men in The Natural Philosophy of Crime by Anton Smelchak

I was well satisfied with Dippel's confession. I still intended to catch Krotomanic and the other resurrection men in the act. That would provide final piece of incontrovertible proof of the crimes against which even the Regent could not stand.

That was when Milna appeared.  He was highly agitated and demanded I turn over any weapons in the barracks to his band of rebels.  When I asked why, he told me of the violation of the University.  I argued that I was in the process of an investigation that would bring down the Regent and thus right any wrongs now being committed. He would have none of this and said the law was being violated and that as a policeman, I was honor bound to try and stop it.

Before I could respond, I heard a loud, rhythmic banging coming from the floor above.  Fearing some type of problem, perhaps an attack, I assured Milna I would send officers to investigate the situation at the University.  I then rushed to the store room.

Letter from Lady Euphemia Dalhousie to Miss Elspeth Dalhousie, 28 August 1832

Afore I could ask who he was, Sarah threw a couple of throws over us and hustled us from the wagon and into the police station.  We hurried up to a store room where a young boy with a huge ring of keys let us in. Sarah told us to stay there until she could fetch us our clothes and she then she would find us a safer refuge.

I sat shyly, not knowing what to say.  Finally, I asked, "So it was nae a dream, then, we actually did …

"Oh yes!"

"I should be angry with you for taking advantage of me so-"

"What do you mean, taking advantage, you stawted it by kissing me."

"Well, I was nae in my right mind.  Why should I nae think I was dreaming when a stranger come upon me not wearing any…"

"The gypsies took my unifowm, they said it was too wecognizable."


"You awe vewy pwetty, I was just …wooking.  I would nevew have done anything if you hadn't stawted kissing…"

"Aye, I know, I started on kissing you."

There was a bit of a silence, very awkward.

"The gypsy giww went to get ouw cwothes."

"Aye, I know.  It may take a wee bit.  She has to go to my hotel to get new clothes, my gown was ruined.  Vampire attack."

"Oo. I'm sowwy… My fathew was a vampiwe for a bit…he got bettew."

"Weaww- really?"

More silence.

"It vewy bowing just sitting hewe."

"Aye, that it is."

So…shaww we do it again?"

"Oh, aye!"

Now we had just completed our intimacy when there was a knock on the door. We just had time to wrap our linens about us when in came the Inspektor himself, saying,”Lady Dalhousie, I have splendid news, your husband is alive.”

“You’we mawwied!”

He drew up short when he saw us together and his eyes widened when he recognized my companion.

"Count Leonardo?"

I suppose I kint who he was afore, after all he spoke with that speech impediment that I had been told was the inheritance of all the Radziwills.  Still, it was a wee surprise to hear it said out loud.

Now I do not mention all this to flaunt my infidelity in your face nor do I claim, as I would be fully justified by Jamie's own infidelities, that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.  Nae, in the brief time I had known Leonardo, known in a way a spinster like yerself could nae understand, I had more joy than in all the years I was married to your beloved brother, my worthless husband. 

  My heart is forever pledged to my Leonardo.  So kin that I can nae be as a wife to Jamie thocht he still be alive. And this is all more the case considering the state in which we found him…

The Case of the Resurrection Men in The Natural Philosophy of Crime by Anton Smelchak

Thus I found myself in the situation where I was close to solving the case that would either bring down the government or send me to the gallows, I had angry students on my doorstep about to blow up my barracks, and I had just found the most wanted man in the kingdom, hiding in my store room in considerable intimacy with the wife of the supposed victim of the crime that started all of it.

I stammered my respects to the Count when I heard a tumult outside. 

There was Milna, mounted on the roof of the pissoir in the middle of the square offering a harangue to the ever growing crowd in the square.  To my astonishment, he said that the police were going to throw the National Guard out of the University and bring the Regent to justice.

"We will help the police retake our University.  Then, we find Count Leonardo and make him safe.  Since we do not know where he is, we must make the whole city safe for him."

Suddenly, out of the barracks door came Leonardo, resplendid in his blue and red uniform, "Did someone say caww my name?"

The crowd exploded with cheers.  They lifted him up onto the pissoir roof where he joined in the rousing chorus of the forbidden "Leopold's March."

Lady Dalhousie stood gazing at him with obvious admiration.  "At least this time, he remembered tae put on his trousers."

As I stood there contemplating my likely fate, the runner I had sent to the Minister returned with word that he had been arrested.  The Regent had missed Dippel after all and so discovered the arrest.  I would certainly be next.  But what I found more of an outrage was that the Regent was abusing his power to arrest a man for doing his duty. 

I assembled the men of the barracks and said to them, "Men, it appears we are caught in the middle of a revolution.  We can run and hide or we can act as the true defenders of justice we swore to be."

They looked at each other confusedly.  Finally, Loncar asked, "Are you talking to us?"


"You mean you want us to be the defenders of justice? Us?"

"Yes!  What is the only protection that the poor and the weak have against tyranny but the law, fairly and impartially administered.  No king, no regent can stand against that!  You are ordinary men.  In some cases, less than ordinary men. But if we stand together in defense of the law, we will be more than men, tonight we will be the law, tonight we will be justice! Will you follow me?"

I swear for a moment I thought they were going to laugh. But then, looking sheepishly at each other, they began standing taller, shifting into ranks and coming to attention.  Finally, Loncar said, "No one ever thought we could be of any good.  God help us, Inspektor.  We will follow you!"

Diary of Jan Milna, unpublished

1st of September, 1832

The crowd cheered even louder when Smelchak and his men joined us. 

Cheering would not win the city alone and I said so to Count Leonardo. We still needed weapons and I asked for the police to open their arsenal. Smelchak took me aside and handed me a card.

It belonged to a Commander Fogge, military attaché at the British Consulate.  He said he met the man at the ball and inquire about our service to Lady Dalhousie. 

“He seemed more attuned to our affairs than usual…The English are worried about the Russians increasing their influence in this part of the world.  Perhaps he would be willing to help?”

I set off at once.  Nikolina came with of course.  This time however she was quite useful, helping me avoid the National Guard patrols.  We soon arrived at the British Consulate, just off Zagloba Prospekt.  I showed them the card and was admitted at once.

Commander Fogge was a bright, urbane man with the casualness that is associated with someone who is use to wielding power.

I explained to him that the Revolution had started, the police had joined us, and Leopold was on the march.  I said that with his country’s help, we would drive the Russians out and bring freedom to this nation.

“Well, frankly, Mr. Milna, we are having a spot of trouble at home with …your sort of people.  However, His Majesty’s Government is always interested in promoting freedom, especially freedom of trade.  Certainly, we are not particularly happy with what the Russians are up to.”

“Then you will help?”

“Not directly, of course.  Not yet in any event.  However, I will give you the name of a man who will take you to small warehouse not far from here.  There you will several hundred firearms and a large quantity of powder.  Wagons will be provided of course.”

He could see surprise on my face.

“Mr Milna, I knew someone such as yourself would be coming along.  I never leave such things to chance.  After all, Lord Dalhousie was not the only one in the business of smuggling.”

The Case of the Resurrection Men in The Natural Philosophy of Crime by Anton Smelchak

I sent word to the other police barracks that the Minister had been arrested illegally and that I would be acting Minister of Police.  There was an attempt underway to overthrow our constitution and all police were ordered to remain in their barracks and obey no orders that did not come from me.

I did not send the message to Bersa.  He was the senior Inspektor in the force and therefore the Minister’s successor.  A toady such as he would certainly back the Regent.  Fortunately, he was an incompetent idiot and most of the other district inspectors knew this.  That was why they looked to me.

We marched toward the University, my police wagon driven by Bogacz in the lead, Count Leonardo, the Bobo and I perched on the roof, the rest of my gendarmes following close behind.  We were followed by a multitude that grew with each residence we passed.

Two companies very nervous National Guardsmen were drawn up at the entrance to the University grounds.  I halted the procession and called out to them that they were acting illegally and must leave the University or else all face justice.  

They prepared to fire on us.

Bob Drko then spoke up, telling them that the Regent had sold his soul to the devil and practiced black magic.  If they didn’t quit, they would face the fires of hell as his accomplices.  He waxed quite poetic about the torments that awaited them in that case.  It definitely

Then a train of wagons began pressing its way through the crowd.  Milna and Nikolina were standing atop the first, handing out muskets to the crowd.  Soon hundreds of guns were pointed at the National Guardsmen.

A sergeant broke from the ranks of Guardsmen, “The hell with Leobald, what’s he ever done for us!”  The sergeant pointed at Lady Dalhousie, of all people.  “You see that pretty lady?  We met she came into the country.  She was the first toff that treated me and Petro here like humans.  If that is the type of people with Leonardo, then I am with Leonardo. And with Leopold!”

At this the Guardsmen broke ranks and joined with the crowd.  A couple of officers who tried to stop the mutiny were struck down instantly.

We now truly had a revolution.


The Tsar had told him to be guided by the Countess in all thing.  He would do so.  He hated the senseless cruelty of the woman, but she was the only one here who had any sense of things. He had been told that matters in Ruritania were coming to a crisis but he never expected it to unfold so swiftly.

At least they had returned to the Royal Castle.  It had been unseemly to have run off at the first whiff of trouble but the Regent was not the steadiest of men.  They were meeting in a small sitting room near the King's bedchambers.  Only the Regent was there with a few of his worthless generals, Narishkin, the Countess, and the Queen.  The King had gone to bed, thankfully; the last thing they needed was that doddering old fool.  The Regent was bad enough.

"How soon can your twoops be hewe?" the Regent asked.

"Word should reach them by morning.  A day's hard marching, two at the most and they will be here.  The Austrian Brigade should be here soon but they will be slow.  I have already seen that they are not ...enthusiastic with their role here."

"But the city is going up in fwames NOW!" The panic was creeping back into the Regent's voice."

Narishkin agreed, "There are reports of mobs looting mansions in the Bogatney district and the Belvedere Gardens.  Barricades are being erected in the Svenkta Methodi. Little Leutonia is in open revolt.  There are reports that the police have joined the mob."

"That scum, bah," scoffed one of Leobald's drill field generals.

"Yes, they are scum but no worse than the National Guard and without the National Guard, we have a few guard units and my cavalry."

The Countess finally spoke, "Enough!  We will withdraw from the city tonight."

"But we can't abandon the capitaw without a fight!" whined the Regent.

"There won't be a fight here,"  said the Countess. "The whole city is rising. Leopold will be here by dawn.  I have seen it.  There is a place a short distance from here where we can make our stand, gather our army.  We shall lure Leopold into a trap and destroy him."

That was good enough for Narishkin, "I shall give the necessary orders."  As an afterthought, he turned to the Queen who had been silent all this time. "If that meets with your approval, Your Highness?"

"Yes it does.  I shall wake the King."  She was fuming with anger when she turned to the Regent, "You have brought us to this, you fool.  Once we are out of this, you shall pay dearly, Leobald!"

The Case of the Resurrection Men in The Natural Philosophy of Crime by Anton Smelchak

The hour was close to two now and I had not lost my desire to capture the grave robbers at Saint Wanda’s graveyard.  I now had many other concerns but I still intended to bring them in and complete my case.  Perhaps it was the realization that, one way or another, promotion or execution, this was likely to be my last case as an investigator, I want to be in at the finish.

With Leonardo and Voynich sorting things out at the University, I felt safe in leaving the scene.  I told the Count that I would return shortly with the final evidence against the Regent and also information regarding Lady Dalhousie’s husband. 

“If you find him awive, you may not want to mention what Wady Effie and I …uh…”

“I shall be the soul of discretion, Your Highness.”

“Oh goodie!”

I gathered about a dozen of my gendarmes and National Guardsmen and we set off for the graveyard.  The Bobo was with us, of course, along with Lady Dalhousie and the gypsy girl, Milna and his ubiquitous bride, and Topicz.

Saint Wanda’s was the largest graveyard in the city, catering mostly to the large Leutonian population of the Old Town District.  We arrived at the graveyard about a quarter past two and surrounded the place. 

Much to my chagrin, the graveyard was empty.  It appeared that we had been spotted or they received some type of warning. There were clear signs of very recent activity, however, with several of the graves newly opened and a few coffins dragged out. 

Fortunately, Dippel had revealed that they had been taking bodies from the place periodically for weeks.  To aid them, they had installed a tunnel from one of the mausoleums down into a nearby sewer line.  This was the reason for the placement of their first laboratory in such a strange location.   A brief search of the mausoleums revealed the tunnel which had been left open in the robbers’ hasty departure.

Leaving a strong guard at the entrance, we descended into the noisome atmosphere of the city sewers.  These were far larger than I had expected and the channel provided a veritable underground river.  Dippel’s electric galvanic vines ran along the walls and roof, sparking occasionally to give us momentary illumination as if by lightening. There was a stone walkway along each side of the channel but it was narrow and we could pass two-by-two only with some difficulty.   

The rushing water coupled with the periodic crack of the galvanics made hearing difficult but one could make out occasional odd and disturbingly unnatural sounds emanating from down the passage.  We advanced towards those sounds.

As we advanced, I could make out large bodies moving in the water.  These seemed like some sort of over-sized sea creatures.  Occasionally, the movement of a particularly large specimen splashed water onto the walkway.  The water was too filthy and the light too dim to gain more than the briefest glimpse of these things.

Suddenly, there were shouts and then shots at the rear of our column.  Harsh gutteral roars and high-pitched squeals followed.  Before I could run back, Gendarme Drago reported that several ghouls had attacked the rear of our column.  The Guardsmen panicked and two were slain but the policemen rallied and destroyed the things, throwing them into the water where awful, tentacle beasts consumed their foul flesh.

We took up our advance again, more quietly this time, moving one-by-one with our lanterns hooded.  As we turned a corner, we saw that a large room opening off to the right of the passage, light spilling out from it.  We could hear voices now, distinctly human, calling upon each other to speed their departure.  Lady Dalhousie looked startled. “One of those is Jamie, my husband, but he sounds mighty queer,” she whispered.

Then I saw ahead of us a group of those ghoulish creatures advancing towards us along both sides of the channel.  Swallowing my disgust at the unnatural sight, I signaled to the party to press themselves along the wall, be silent, and let the things pass.

As I suspected, they were witless things and were not able to easily discern us.  There were five of them on each side of the channel.  When the five on our side had come up with us, I gave a signal and we all pushed against them.  They fell clumsily into water of the sewer.  I saw indeed that large tentacles engulfed them and drew them down into now roiling water.

The five on the other side of the channel had now turned.  The Bobo began crying out in a loud voice, summoning them to come and get him.  The five mindless creatures grew enraged and charged directly toward us, falling into the channel. They too were consumed.

Topicz now ran ahead.  He saw four large armed men who were coming to investigate the noise.  Topicz still possessed one of the devices that he had constructed for Mercurio.  This he threw at the feet of the four men and there was a popping sound and small flash.  The men were engulfed in a block of amber.  Their faces showed the distress of a sudden loss of air.

Before we could advance to support Topicz, a huge figure loomed out of the darkness and charged towards us.  It was fully eight feet tall and covering with a huge musculature.  Its face, barely human in aspect, was contorted with an insane rage.  It charged directly at me and I thought I would surely fall under its attack.

A great blast sounded and echoed through the dark passage.  A heavy ball struck the creature directly in the chest.  Amazingly, it did not seem to pierce the creature’s breast but the force of shot knocked it backward into the water of the channel. I glanced back and saw Lady Dalhousie, her just-fired elephant rifle in her hands.  I offered my thanks.

“Dinnae thank me, laddie, thank my Fiona,” she said, patting the rifle.

When I turned back I saw that the things in the water were consuming this ghoul as well.  Then, one of the tentacle monstrosities wrapped a limb around a grating in the walkway, seeming to be in the act of pulling itself up onto our level. 

I ran past it, firing one of my coach guns at the tentacle.  The shot hit and the creature let go of its hold.  Then an electric bolt crackled down from the galvanic vine, striking the creature and driving it back beneath the waters.

 I then followed Topicz into the large room.  I was dazzled by the sudden light but soon perceived it was a laboratory of sorts, filled with large machines that clicked and whirled and gurgled exotically.

There was one man left in the room.  He was trying to advance up a ladder to the surface.  The Bobo grabbed his collar and threw him to the floor.  It was Geli von Elphburg.

He smiled up ingratiatingly at me and called out, “Don’t shoot, Inspektor.  I surrender.”

I looked about but could not see anyone else.  As I turned Elphberg over to my men, a strangely mechanical voice called out, “Effie gel, is that you?”

Lady Dalhousie who had likewise been trying to find her husband, looked about her and said, “Jamie, is that you?  Where are you?”

“Why right here, gel.  Sitting in the garden by the oak tree.”

That was when realized that the voice was coming from a small grated box attached to a large, strangely wrought device in the corner of the room.  At the top of the device was a large glass jar.  With great horror I saw that contained within it was a human brain.

With a shaking hand I pointed this out to the others.  Lady Dalhousie whispered breathlessly to me, “Is that him?”  I nodded.  “Och, Jamie, you look a mite worse now than when I last saw ye.”

“Aye gel, I was in a terrible fall.  I cannae see.  I’ve been recuperatin’ in Dippel’s garden here for weeks.  He hopes my eyesight will return someday.”

The voice seemed slurred as if from drink.  I noticed that there were several wires and tubes leading into the glass jar, some attached to the organ within.  One of these seemed to be carrying an amber-colored liquor directly into the brain.  Dear lord, I thought, an appreciated of alcohol is one thing but to imbibe it in his state is a testament to Lord Dalhousie’s dedication to drink.

“Jamie, what have you been up tae here?”

“Ah gel, I was trying to retrieve my fortunes.  I was here looking into that mink business about which I wrote when I met Dr. Dippel.  He told me of his work, bringing dead paupers back to life.  I came up with the idea of shipping them home as cheap labor.  Think of it, gel!  They’re already dead so you dinnae have to pay them!  Every mill owner in Britain’ll want them as workers.  Dippel was breeding them big too so they could be used as navvies, and coal miners.  Och the possibilities were endless.

“Then I had a twinge of my conscience.  It dinnae seem right to be stealing all these bodies.  I wondered where they all came from.  I began to wonder if there might be some foul play involved.  So I told Dippel I wanted out of the deal and that he should stop or I would go to the British counsel and the local police and tell them all.

That’s when I had my fall.  I was leaving that contraption of von Elphberg and fell down asudden.  Took a long while to come to my senses but Dippel’s been taking care of me ever since.  He said I broke my neck but he made sure I could make a clean recovery although it will take a long time to fully heal.  I owe the man my life.  Oh, wait, I have to shoo the bunnies. Shoo, shoo, bunny!”

As the brain spoke these words, we saw one of the galvanic discharges arc down, striking a tentacled creature that raised its form out of the water. It retreated.

The Bobo said, “His brain is controlling the electric vines. They keep the demons under control.  That is why they’ve done this to him, so he will eternally act as a check on the qlippoth that have escaped into our world because of their experiments.  This is magic of the blackest kind!”

“Eternally?” I asked.

“If this device works properly, jar sealed tightly, normal decay would be prevented, the brain could last a very long time.”

“How long?”

Bobo shrugged, “Until the whiskey runs out.”

Confession of Franz Dippel, Doctor of Medicine, Surgeon, and Hairdresser

… Lord Dalhousie is very much alive, in a sense.  He grew too squeamish about our plans. 

At the same time, we were being troubled by the by-product of our experiments. My theory is that these were simply the microscopic creatures that dwell unseen all around us but now grown to size as a result of our processes. They began to infest the area around our laboratory and proved quite dangerous, more so than many of our wilder specimens. 

Fortunately, I discovered that electrical shock applied to the creatures kept them subdued.  That was why we installed the galvanic system in the sewers.  Unfortunately, the system needed constant control and the creatures needed constant watching.  There was an experiment in my father's notebook detailing the transference of a brain into an automaton.  He successfully did this with a cow that ran a well, thinking all the time that it was producing milk.  The same principle was applied here but because of the complexity, I determined that a human brain was needed.  Originally, I thought a reanimated brain would work but the poor functioning of the revived brain worked against this option.

Another reason we decided to deal with him in this manner was the ruby.  The Countess was a aware that his wife possessed an artifact that would, she insisted, help our goal on increasing production of reanimates.  She offered him a fortune but he refused saying it was wife's and it was obvious that his fear of his wife outweighed his greed.  We needed to lure his wife here and obtain the ruby from her.

All these points combined to lead us to using him as the engine, if you will, of our mechanism in the sewers. He was simply knocked unconscious and I removed his brain from his body.  Of course I believed that he would be more cooperative if he was unaware of his true condition.  I became quite adept at stimulating parts of his brain to make him believe he was enjoying a country garden.  Of course the whiskey helped.

Query:  What would happen if this system shut down and the brain removed.

I suppose the organisms in the sewer water would soon over run most of the city…

The Case of the Resurrection Men in The Natural Philosophy of Crime by Anton Smelchak

By the time we returned to the barracks, there was euphoria in the streets. Word had come that the whole city had risen, the mansions of the Twelve Families were being sacked and that the King and his Court, including the Regent were fleeing from the city.  Word had come that Leopold's army was approaching, having marched the sixty miles from Hcentzov in two days.

Since his exile in '15, Leopold had led his army of volunteers on a hundred fields of battle throughout the world, from the Aegean to the Caucasus, from the Andes to the Amazon, from the South China Sea to Himalayas.  Most recently, he had fought with the Greeks in their war of independence.  After the victory at Petra, he grew concerned about Russian intentions in the area.  Thus when they went to war against the Turks, Leopold was willing to consider the cautious offer of the Ottomans for his service.  However, the Turks were defeated before the details could be finalized and the Russians demanded as part of the peace that Leopold's army be disbanded and he returned.  He refused of course and the Turks had little stomach to force him.  He had thus been settled at the border town of Iskanderanople for nearly a year, anticipating the trouble that now gave rise to his return.

As dawn came to the city, his army marched in, the Regent have long since fled.  His regulars were few in number but well seasoned and dedicated, containing not only Ruritanians but Poles and Greeks and Russian Decembrists, Frenchmen, Venezuelans and Mexicans, even a few Armenians and a Chinese.  Any who wished to strike a blow for liberty.  His ranks were swelled by volunteers who had fled over the border to join him.  Much to our surprise there was a regiment made up of the former Leutonian miners of Grebnach, eager to combat the evil they had witnessed firsthand.  They were distinguished by the traditional Leutonian beret of pinkish crimson, the famous Ruritania Rasberry.

Leonardo arranged an audience for us.  The old Prince was over seventy but still energetic but easily distracted by shiny objects.  I did my best to explain our efforts and how the Regent had aligned himself with a vampire.

"Weawwy?  I don't cawe fow vampiwes, not good on the digestion.  I awmost became one once.  Sandowius cuwed me.  How I wish he was hewe.  He was vewy smawt.  You awe vewy smawt too.  What say we make you Ministew of Powice pewmanentwy?

Leonardo next introduced Milna, saying how he was the first leader of the uprising and former officer of Polish cavalry.

"Excewwent.  And a Powe as weww.  We have many of youw countwymen in ouw cavawwy.   What say we make you a Cowonew in ouw cavawwy."

"May I give you my blessing, Highness?" asked Bobo Drko, drawing back his fist.

"Thank you, no, Bobo. I wost thwee teeth at my wast bwessing.  I have been towd of youw howy devotion.  What say we talk to Pwesbytew and have you made an Awch-bobo?"

Topicz spoke up, "Your Highness, I am the one who first rallied the people to your cause."

"Good fow you."

Then Leonardo introduced Lady Dalhousie as his "giww."

"Weawwy?  She's quite the wookew.  Ah youth!  How I miss my deaw Webecca.  She was the best waundwess a man evew had."

"Highness, we must decide our next steps," this was from General Strakencz, the Chief of Staff.

"Of couwse, Stwakencz, whewe have my bwothews gone?"

"To the southeast, along the road to Apollograd, heading for the Trans-Ister steppe.  Leobald has supporters among the Kozaki there, he will seek reinforcements from them."

"Then we shaww puwsue immediatewy.

"Highness, that is impossible, the men are exhausted, they have forced marched over sixty miles in the last two days."

"No, we will west a few houws only.  We wiww have bweakfast and a bowew movement and then we mawch!  We must bustwe, Stwakencz, we must bustwe!  We awe hunting vampiwes!"


They were a troop of the Russian heavy cavalry that garrisoned Strelzov.  They appeared travel-worn and tired.  They dismounted but it appeared only for a brief rest,  after a few moments, they left, moving along the road to the southeast.  From the second floor of the mine office, he could see dust clouds along the skyline to the north, heading toward him.  Troops on the march, the Royal Army was concentrating, most likely to move against Leopold.  They weren't marching toward the capital.  That meant something had gone wrong for them there.  Perhaps the city had fallen.

The sound of pounding hoof beats disturbed his thoughts.  A courier was rushing down the main road.  With a flick of Sandorius' hand, the rider was knocked from his horse by an invisible bolt.  Sandorius quickly bound the young man and put him in one of the cabins.  Then he searched the courier's dispatch bag.  There were orders in it to various commanders, telling them to concentrate at the old castle on Lake Czud. 

Of course!  The tumulus of the old god. He knew it well.  A place of power. That was where the Countess would make her stand, draw her enemies in and then spring some hell she had in store for them.

Sandorius changed into the courier's uniform, then used a glamour to change his appearance to that of a non-descript young man, an aide de camp who flitted about a camp or battlefield with few questions asked.

Before he left, he summoned up a tiny elemental of air, "Fly to Fisztics and to Tsura.  Tell them I am hiding with the Royal Army by the shores of Lake Czud."  He let it fly off and set off after the departed cavalry

The camp of the Royal Army was already large by the time Sandorius reached in the late afternoon. Both the Russian and Austrian occupying brigades were there with cavalry and artillery supports.  Several regiments of the Royal Army had arrived, including the famed Cuirassiers and the heavy artillery. Several bands of fierce Kozaki stood guard at the castle.

It had been his castle at one time.  A manor house, really rising up from an island in the lake.  He had chosen it because it was close to the tumulus, a holy burial mound built by the ancient Kurgans, the legendary people who dwelt in these lands when the mountains were young.  He thought he could use the power of the place to aid his magic.  The power here was too strong and unpredictable.  He had left it then, never imagining that she would find it.

They had erected a large tower on the hill and atop it was a strange device.  This was a focus.  She would draw the power of the elements into a single spot.  But to what end?  Likely to raise her army of undead giants.  But how, he was not familiar with its operation.  He could not get close to it because of troops of Kozakis guarding it.

He decided to rest before plotting his next course of action.  He had not had a full night's sleep in a week and his power to work magic was completely drained. He had the time for once.  Leopold had just captured the city that day.  The old man would need time to sort the city out and rest his troops.  Sandorius had at least two or three days until armies clashed.

He found a tree near the castle bridge and fell soundly asleep under it.

He was awaken around four that morning. A large carriage had arrived.  It carried the Countess.  She was greeted by the Regent and Narishkin, the Russian Ambassador, now in his role of commander of the occupying army.

"Why aren't your men on the line?" She called harshly to them. Despite their rank and medals, it was clear that the two would take orders from her.

"The men need rest, many have marched a long way to this concentration."

"Fools, Leopold's cavalry is right behind us.  We were nearly captured.  His whole army is a few hours away.  Get your men into line, Leopold will be here by dawn!"

The pair rushed away, a cloud of aides scattering to get the army moving into place.

Sandorius stayed and watched her.  She ordered some of the Kozaki guards to unload a large crate from the carriage. They carried it into the castle.  A man dressed as a Kozaki officer came from the castle and greeted her. Sandorius knew the man was a vampire.

"Is all in readiness?" she asked.

"Yes, Countess.  But how shall we accomplish the ritual without the ruby?"

"We have another key, do not worry."

"May I ask what that is, Countess?"

He saw her white teeth smile in the darkness, "The magic of the fey.  We have a key to doors of Hy Brasil itself."

Sandorius knew then.  She had found Elizabeth.

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