“Rudolfo, come quickly, your father has been killed!”
This is the opening line of Vampires of the Scarlet Order. The year is 1491 and Rudolfo de Cordoba has recently lost his wife and daughter to bubonic plague. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella have nearly driven the Moors from the country. Rudolfo’s last living relative, his father, has recently joined the garrison surrounding the last Moor stronghold, the city of Granada. When Rudolfo learns of his father’s death, he rides off to take revenge, as shown by artist Steven Gilberts.
When Rudolfo arrives at Santa Fé, the Spanish city closest to Granada, he’s suspected of spying and brought before the Grand Inquisitor — no one expects the Spanish Inquisition! It turns out the Grand Inquisitor has a special means of determining whether or not Rudolfo is loyal to Spain. He introduces Rudolfo to a vampire called Draco. You can read more of Rudolfo’s encounter with Draco on the Vampires of the Scarlet Order Page.
When you read the sample, you will see that Rudolfo is presented with a choice, either join the Scarlet Order of vampire mercenaries or join his father’s militia unit. Those who have followed this blog, know that Rudolfo eventually does join the Scarlet Order. The problem is that he’s not content to take orders from Draco and fight as a mercenary. He wants to explore the world and understand why he has become a vampire. He explains this to Draco aboard a pirate ship after the Battle of Lepanto.
Pleased to be leaving the Gulf, Rudolfo leaned over the rail of the ship. He enjoyed the chill night wind as it blew through his hair, cleansing him. Draco stepped up next to him and leaned on the railing, watching as the waters of the Mediterranean opened before them. “We won my friend, but you do not look happy. Soon, money will be flowing again.”
Rudolfo looked down and shook his head. “This defeat of the Ottoman fleet seems shallow. Unless the empire actually falls, the Church will eventually stop paying.”
“The Ottomans are dying and sometimes death takes a long time,”
mused Draco. “To humans, it may take several lifetimes. Yet, we are
patient. Popes, Emperors and Sultans may come and go, but we’ll still be here, influencing the destiny of the world.”
“And what do we get for it all? Some more books? More Old World
knowledge?” Rudolfo looked into Draco’s gray eyes.
“They say gold corrupts.” Draco smiled warily.
“There are those who say we vampires have no souls to corrupt.”
Draco folded his arms and examined Rudolfo. “This isn’t about gold, is it?”
“I’m thinking about going to America and Mexico.”
Taking a deep breath, Draco closed his eyes and tried to remember
himself as a younger man. “You wish to explore…”
“Perhaps there is more to be learned by exploring new worlds than
there is in plundering old ones.” Rudolfo turned and faced the
Mediterranean again. “Queen Isabella granted you title to lands in the New World? Why don’t you come with me and claim them?”
The vampire lord turned his back on the sea and slumped against the railing. “I don’t think I’m ready, yet.”
Rudolfo snorted. “For centuries, you sat locked up in a castle in the Carpathians. Only now do you search for meaning. What makes you think you’ll find it here?”
“What makes you think you’ll find meaning in the New World with a
bunch of savages?”
“Perhaps, it’s not meaning I seek. Perhaps I am simply looking for
life. Perhaps in a New World, I can be reborn.”
As it turns out, Rudolfo does go to the new world where he meets Mercy Rodriguez, then marches into New Mexico with Don Juan de Oñate then disappears. We next see him when Jane Heckman wakes him up in the twenty-first century.
You can read more of Rudolfo’s story in Vampires of the Scarlet Order available as:
- A Nook format ebook from Barnes and Noble.
- A Kindle format ebook from Amazon.com.
- A print book from Amazon.com.