The Unseen Hand
The Revolution plunges France and Europe into turmoil. Can one vampire change the course of history and bring France back to stability? Or will he fail miserably like the countless humans before him who have tried to avert human suffering.
May 1774, Royal Court at Versailles France.
King Louis XV lies in bed dying, his body covered with pustules; the telltale sign of smallpox. His fever has abated but breathing and speech remain difficult. Court physicians crowd the royal bedchamber, unrelenting in their treatment of blood-letting as a means to fight the illness. It is futile, the King cannot survive much longer.
Within the royal bedchamber there is a sombre atmosphere, staunch and loyalty supporters braving the risk of infection to lend support to their King in his time of need. In opposing contrast the halls of Versaille are abuzz with activity. Courtiers and nobles lobbying and conspiring for their survival and advancement when inevitably a new King is crowned.
The King gasps for breath, struggling to raise his head from the pillow, he feebly points a fingers towards the Prince de Conde who has refused to leave his King, “Bring forth my grandson.”
Quickly the young Louis Capet is brought to the King’s bedchamber. As he enters his senses are assaulted. The odour of bile and faeces emanate from where the King lays, the smell of death surrounds him. On approaching the bed he observes the once proud and powerful man is now but a wasted figure, riddled with the suppurating sores of his disease. He kneels at the bedside to address the King, his grandfather, “Your Majesty you demand my presence and I am here.”
“I am not long for this world, despite the insufferable ministrations of these so-called healers,” the King says, his fetid and contagion filled breath washing over the young man. “There is something you must know.”
“I listen with all attention Grandfather,” young Louis replies, gently placing the dying man’s hand in his.
“When confronted with confounding reason and all paths are filled with trepidation, take heed; seek counsel from La Main Invisible — The Unseen Hand.”