Today, I continue my look back at the origins of Vampires of the Scarlet Order. In the previous installments, I looked at the original stories set in the present day, which introduced the vampires Daniel, Mercy, and Marcella. By this point, around the end of 2001, beginning of 2002, I started to see a story arc developing. After writing “Vampires in the World of Dreams” I knew there were ancient vampires, but I had yet to explore who they were and what they did. That’s when I had the idea to introduce Rudolfo. He’s a vampire who came to the new world with the conquistadors, dropped into a long sleep and emerged in the modern world. I first told his story in a pair of stories which appeared in the zines Parchment Symbols and Night to Dawn.
Rudolfo’s first appearance was in the story “The Last Conquistador” which tells the story of a physicist named Jane Heckman performing tests on a new explosive and waking the slumbering vampire. Hungry, he kills two of her graduate students. Angry and frightened, Dr. Heckman confronts the creature which attacked her students. Rudolfo is intrigued by the woman scientist and chooses her to be his guide in the new era. The story appeared in Issue 9 of Parchment Symbols magazine.
After writing the story, I grew curious about Rudolfo’s origins, so I wrote the story “The Scarlet Order.” This story is set in 1492, during the reconquest of Spain. Rudolfo is a poor human, whose father is a caballero blockading Granada. When his father is killed, Rudolfo seeks revenge, only to fall in with a band of ancient vampire mercenaries—the Scarlet Order, led by Lord Draco. The story appeared in Issue 3 of Night to Dawn magazine and would ultimately become the first chapter of Vampires of the Scarlet Order.
Rudolfo became an important part of the Scarlet Order story. He soon becomes Draco’s second in command, which led to one of my favorite moments from the novel, which I read and made into a short film. The illustrations by Steve Gilberts are from the print edition of the novel.
As I envisioned it, the alliance of vampires was fragile at best. Rudolfo brought a semblance of stability to the Scarlet Order, but even he can only take it for so long. After about 50 years, he travels to America and joins Don Juan de Oñate in his conquest of New Mexico. However, the low population in the new world and the horrors of Oñate’s expedition drive Rudolfo into a deep slumber.
When he awakens, he finds a world he can live in, but he’s soon swept away. This leads Dr. Jane Heckman on a quest for the old Scarlet Order vampires. When she meets up with Daniel, Mercy, and Marcella, she’s not altogether happy with what she sees, but soon she learns they must stop an evil greater than vampires.
If you’d like to learn more about Rudolfo and the vampires of the Scarlet Order, be sure to enter my Rafflecopter giveaway. I’m collecting entries until the end of the month. See the first post in this series for more details or just click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway