The French Connection


Today’s look at the world of the Royal Occultist features on another ally of Charles St. Cyprian, the French occultist, Andre du Nord…

Andre du Nord, latest in a proud Gallic line of sorcerers, occultists and necromancers. The du Nords have owned land in the werewolf-haunted province of Averoigne since 1281 and they are one of the Heritiers de la Sorcellerie–the great sorcerous bloodlines of France–along with the de Marignys and the d’Erlettes, among others.

St. Cyprian and du Nord first met in Averoigne in 1913, not long after the former had become Thomas Carnacki’s apprentice and the latter had completed his own training in the necromantic arts.

Later that year, the two men would participate in the 1913 Grand Prix, where they ran afoul of a rogue patisserie in Amiens. Their friendship survived this rocky start and flourished in the following years.

Since that time, du Nord has aided St. Cyprian in a number of cases, including the Carpathian Repatriation of 1920 and the ‘Immacolata Abominata’ incident in July of the following year. St. Cyprian has returned the favour numerous times, joining du Nord in his own investigations into the unknown.

Andre du Nord, like Baron Vordenburg, is one of the Royal Occultist’s international peers. And also like Vordenburg, he has a notable literary antecedent – Gaspard du Nord, the protagonist of Clark Ashton Smith’s short story, “The Colossus of Ylourgne”.

Observant readers will note that this isn’t the first time that I’ve mined that particular story for my own benefit – Ylourgne, and the alchemical experiments of the dwarfish necromancer Nathaire, are mentioned in another Royal Occultist story, “Dead Men’s Bones”. Given that “The Colossus…” is one of my favourite CAS tales, this is perhaps unsurprising.

While I initially had no plans to spin du Nord off into his own stories, I’ve since had a change of heart. France is rife with fodder for occult detective stories, from the Court of Miracles to the Beast of Gevaudan. While I likely won’t write a solo adventure any time soon, du Nord may well appear in a few more Royal Occultist tales between now and then. Like Vordenburg, I think he’s a character with a lot of potential, and I hope to be able to explore it in the future.

Andre du Nord has appeared in the following stories:


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!