Welcome to the second instalment of my look into the Royal Occultist universe. Today we’re taking a look at the Styrian monster-hunter, Baron Palman Vordenburg.
Baron Palman Vordenburg is the last in a line of Styrian noblemen, formerly of Graz, Upper Styria, and later of Piccadilly, London. Vordenburg comes from a long line of vampire hunters, stretching back through the centuries, and carries on his family legacy with a single-minded aplomb.
Prior to WWI, he held a position similar to that of the Royal Occultist, albeit acting on behalf of the Hapsburg Monarchy. In this capacity, he hunted and dispatched any number of continental horrors, including vampires, werewolves and ghouls. In the years following the war, Vordenburg, in search of a fresh start, upped stakes for England.
St. Cyprian and Gallowglass first meet Vordenburg during the events of the so-called ‘Coventry Street Terror’ in April of 1922, where his assistance in eliminating the undead monstrosity known as the ‘Wolf of Styria’ proves invaluable. Following this incident, Vordenburg becomes something of a consulting monster-hunter, offering his services to clients both in England and abroad.
Originally intended to be a spin-off character for a publication that has since ceased to be, Baron Vordenburg is based loosely on the actor Horst Janson, of Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (1974) fame. He took his name from the aristocratic vampire hunter who appeared in Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 novel, Carmilla. Is there a link between the three characters? I like to think so, if only because I’m an inveterate Wold Newtonian, and I enjoy dropping hints like that in even the most innocuous stories.
The Baron is also one of the first examples of the Royal Occultist’s international peers to appear in the stories. The British Empire isn’t alone in needing regular occult consultation. France, Russia, even the United States, all have their version of the office. Other characters like the Baron have appeared here and there throughout the series, both as allies and as enemies.
“The Coventry Street Terror”, the story in which the Baron makes his first appearance, was to be a backdoor pilot of sorts, appearing in the first issue of the aforementioned publication. Ideally, the story would introduce the character to existing fans of the Royal Occultist and new readers alike. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be and I wound up serialising the story on the old Royal Occultist site a year or so back.
But, I like the good baron too much to let him vanish into obscurity. So, to that end, “The Coventry Street Terror” is being serialised, starting today, over at my Patreon. It’s absolutely free to read, and a new instalment will be posted every morning, at the same time, Monday to Friday. Go check it out!
Baron Vordenburg has appeared in the following stories:
- “The Coventry Street Terror”
For more on the adventures of St. Cyprian and Gallowglass, as well as past and future holders of the office, take a look at the Royal Occultist chronology on this site, as well as a number of free short stories, available only on Patreon. And be sure to ‘Like’ the Royal Occultist Facebook page, in order to keep up with all the latest news and info on the series!