Theobald de Rais
University professor, doesn't believe in vampires(ish)
Theobald was an elderly history professor at the university before being inducted into the ranks of the vampiric. Inadequately tutored by his sire, he finds himself at a loss in this strange new world, unbelieving of the supernatural nature of the events unfolding around him. He has spent his time since being reborn fervantly studying the disease and the occult, certain he can find some cure or at the very least a rationale explanation of some sort. At times his research has required him to break into museums or other research facilities to get access to the documents he needs but day to day he relies on his existing contacts at the university, in particular a young graduate student named Bernard.
Sire: Gilles de Rais
Man: 5 (Persuasive)
Int: 5 (Research)
Security: 4 (Alarms)
Academics: 5 (History)
Thaumaturgy (Blood): 2
Communication with Kindred Sire (Level 1)
Wolfsbane infusion (Level 1)
Accurate as of 23/6/16
Theobald hummed to himself as he packed away the lecture materials, the students streaming out past him without so much as a backward glance. Not that he could hold is against them – there was a lovely sunset outside and the weather was beautiful. While he had always found it fascinating he understood others could find some of his lectures a little…dry.
Still, he tried to spice them up where he could and he had great hopes that when he’d finished the research on his latest pet project it would be a goldmine of interesting titbits that he could use to rouse the flagging interest of dozy first years nodding off in the front row.
He walked back to his office, eager to review the latest book he had unearthed. It had all started when he started to research his own family tree and discovered with a certain degree of surprise that he was actually related to Gilles de Rais, an otherwise unremarkable 15th century French nobleman – with the exception of the rumours of mass murder. Theobald had immediately had his curiosity piqued and decided to do some more research into the man to figure out if the stories were true or fabricated character assassination.
Elements of the story were obviously farcical – tales of summoned daemons could be safely ignored. The more research he did and uncovered it became increasingly clear however that Gilles de Rais himself it seemed must have believed. He appeared to have amassed a vast collection of occult paraphernalia and it had become a hobby of Theobalds over the last few years to collect and research this topic. He rationalised this to colleagues by saying that you can’t understand a people unless you understand what they believed but this was only half true – he simply found the topic fascinating. He was hoping to write a book on the topic, maybe drawing together his research on Giles de Rais and Joan of Arc to highlight the role unfounded superstition through history with parallels in current mob mentality.
That was for later though – for now he had managed to source a book which the seller had claimed to be the diary of Gilles de Rais himself. He had been somewhat dubious of the authenticity, as the man had seemed somewhat nervous and had practically begged him to take the book. The man had refused to take any money for it though so if it was a fake it wasn’t clear what the motive was. He had only had a chance to give it a once over before his lecture when the man had dropped it off so he was looking forward to sitting down to give it a proper perusal.
His excitement rose as he read the document. The start was some sort of threat or curse against invading the privacy of the diary but the materials and language seemed to fit the time period. If this wasn’t real is was an incredible fake. He spent several hours translating before realising with a start that someone was knocking on his door as the moon started to rise in the window.
The students would have all gone home by now – presumably it was Bernard or one of the other post grads who had noticed his light on and were hoping to squeeze in some extra help with whatever their latest project was. With a sigh he put down his pen and yelled that it was open.
A sharply dressed man walked through the door, his eyes sweeping the room before latching on the book on the table and smiling. “Ah, goodness, you have no idea the trouble its taken me to track that down”, the man effused, speaking with a slight French accent. “And I’m sure it will be no trouble for me to take it away with me, yes?”, he cheerily said as his eyes seemed to grow, filling the room.
“Of…of course not”, Theobald struggled with himself. Clearly it was fine for the man to take the book away but it would be awfully inconvenient. The strangers eyes seemed to fill Theobalds mind. Yes, of course it was fine for him to take the book.
As the man picked up the book and turned to leave, Theobald was struck with a sudden panic. “Only…if you could bring it back when you’re done that would be much appreciated. I was hoping to write a book on my ancestor Giles de Rais and this is the only known manuscr…”, he trailed off as the man froze, slowly turning back to him.
As the man returned his gaze to Theobald he felt his whole life stripped away. It felt like the man was rifling through his memories, pausing on what interested him and discarding the rest. He heard the man giving him instructions and orders but they were lost in the haze. Finally, the man leaned forward, his teeth growing and growing and then darkness.
Theobald awoke in the darkness back at his house. He groggily sat up in bed groping for the light and felt something something on his bed side table. Looking down he saw a letter addressed to himself. He sat up in bed to read, reaching up to massage a stiff neck. The letter dropped from his fingers as he began to read.
My name is Gilles de Rais and I have shared my gift with you…