A HISTORY OF IMMORTÉ:
Or, a Lucky Interview with a Lucky Legend
Written by and With Modern Expansions from Francine Rainsford, PhD
I originally wrote “A Lucky Interview with a Lucky Legend” just around the same time I realized that I was going to shift my pursuit of an MA to a full doctorate instead. This was in 1952, and I was still struggling with relatively typical grad school fears involving the length of time between the completion of my bachelor's and my commencement of yet higher learning. All the same, I had enough happiness mustered in this time to do some writing, and it was around that time that an old friend of mine decided to return to Earth. As you may well expect, this friend was of course Prince Immorté, properly Immorté Blood-Orloff, Rex Rhetonia. He had ruled the planet Rheton sagaciously for a number of years since he and I parted from our long adventures together, and we had the opportunity to catch up on what had since transpired between our meetings. I asked for his help in fleshing out details from some old notes I had from the '40s about some of his adventures during his exile on Earth during the 19th Century, and he agreed, under the condition that I cut off details of my account after they caught up with what I have already told the world. I edited the resultant papers into a timeline and published it with Immorté's consent. The following is that original timeline with new additions made based on details which Immorté has given permission for me to provide in his most recent visit, which ended six months ago. I hope it is of value to the reader as the starting point into a part of American history we don't talk about often enough. Once, Immorté walked in the shadows, like the dead man he resembles—he kept his life a secret. But now that his active role on our world has come to an end, let us turn instead to celebrating he who has inspired secret legends in generations past. Let us celebrate Immorté—a man who even today won't call himself a hero, but nevertheless incontrovertibly changed the course of history forever.
From Ingomar Manor with love,
- Dr. Francine Rainsford
Immorté was exiled to Earth in what would become his far future. Let that statement baffle those curious enough to dare its impossibility; the fact of Immorté's existence reveals that extraterrestrials exist and they can already travel through time. That the aliens who possessed this power attempted to conquer and destroy Earth is a sign that we should devote more energy to serious implications of time-travel so that we can better understand Immorté and his journey—but also so that we can defend ourselves from outside threats that may arise from a poor understanding of time-travel.1 While Immorté was born in 1922, and spent the first thirteen years of his life on his native world of Rheton, he began his adolescence proper in 1835 at an unidentified location in what was shortly to become the Republic of Texas. Accustomed to life on a world which would not be conquered by his true ancestors for many decades yet, Immorté was initially a poor fit for Earth. The life he had as a true Prince of Rheton was different than what the hard wastes of the Wild South promised. Though he had only just been tolerated by his parents, Prince Terry Blood (late of Earth) and Princess Ambia (late of the same Rogue Planet which threatened to collide with Earth in 1935), Immorté still enjoyed riches beyond most of our wildest dreams, which were taken away from him so suddenly as to nearly purge it from his memory. He had only his decorative royal clothes, and a Royal Guardsman's standard-issue weapon: a baton of sorts containing a crystal lens capable of shrinking a target and crushing them to death with their own mass. A simple derivation of Rhetonian gravity-manipulation technology. There was a legend that a large store of these weapons was stolen by a bearded stranger from another world, who wanted to use them to commit murder—Immorté only learned this aspect of the tale recently.
Using his compression-killer, he defended himself against the group of cutthroat ranchhands who decided to lynch him upon witnessing his demonic appearance. Immorté's resemblance to a skeleton has to do with his origins, which I should describe before proceeding further. Prince Terry Blood and his wife Katja Orloff were taken to Rheton after being rescued from a plane crash over Australia in 1914. Katja was killed, but Terry was allowed to marry Princess Ambia as a consort. Initially, the pair were unable to reproduce due to what we now understand to be a genetic difference, despite Ambia's resemblance to a human. They were forced to resort to arcane Rhetonian rites to conjure a child, using Katja's genetic material alongside their own, and the resultant being was the shadow-like skull-faced Immorté. He doesn't remember what they named him at birth. Thirteen years out of so many becomes like the blink of an eye after a while. Unfortunately, thanks to what he and I did together in 1942, no one survives who could tell him this name.
Immorté would eventually have a brother, born from true sexual reproduction, once Rhetonian genes were transplanted into Prince Blood. These genes slowly drove the Prince mad, and his next son, Mik'hel, was raised in a house of madness.
But to return: Immorté kept himself alive using his compression-killer. Seven shrunken corpses were found on the forgotten ranch which Immorté landed in once he was transmitted to Earth. In the beginning the former Prince was sure that the men chasing him were agents of his father and brother, who wanted to finish what Mik'hel had started back on Rheton. Mik'hel had dueled Immorté at the behest of the Prince Blood, and upon defeating him threw him into a teleporter to be scrambled. Surviving the journey sent him back in time a hundred years, but he didn't know that. His father and brother would not be born for years. How many died in these early days as the young, scared boy tried to defend himself remains a mystery; not even the killer himself remembers. He hid in a cave, and used his weapon until it ran out of power, hopelessly beyond repair in this technologically-primitive era. He was forced to give himself up, but the timing could not be more perfect. By this time, so many bounty hunters and other rabble had gone missing that a very particular man came in search of answers. A man, as it turned out, who would be willing to hear the boy's story, and help him redeem himself. This man was El Zorro, the Fox.
In those days two men operated as Zorro: Don Cesar, the apprentice of original Zorro Don Diego de la Vega, and Don Jose de la Torre. While it is hard to determine from historical sources which of the men it was who raised Immorté, Immorté himself says that it was both of them. He learned the way of the sword, the whip, and other weapons, and how to sneak, and indeed, how to charm. Don Cesar and Don Jose called their student “Pequeño Esqueleto,” or “Little Skeleton.” After six years among them, facing a variety of menaces, he was turned loose into the world, though he was always a friend to the bearers of the mantle of Zorro.
In 1841, at the age of 19, Immorté once again found himself struggling to make his way in life. He was able to convince many that he was a freak of nature, or otherwise a man in an unusual performance costume. As a result of his origins in the cauldrons of Rheton, he was born with the psionic gifts that many of his family members would demonstrate once empowered by the rituals of the planet's so-called “Wild Huntsmen.” Immorté obtained a small reputation under the name the Zorros had given him as a traveling mystic, using his psionic gifts to commune with the dead. At a writer's conference, Immorté was given a spectacular, hitherto-unrecorded audience with both James Fenimore Cooper and Edgar Allan Poe. Poe is known to be extremely disdainful of Cooper's work and so it was likely at Immorté's own request that the authors shared a room together. Immorté was familiar with Poe's work and sought to entertain him as well as Cooper—using his powers, he summoned what appeared to be the ghost of Nathaniel “Leatherstocking” Bumppo, of whom Cooper had written. While it is unlikely that Cooper was in an emotional state to interview the phantom and clarify some details from his books, it is notable that Cooper's accounts of Bumppo's adventures are particularly accurate, with distortions arising from Cooper's own notable prejudices.
Poe was left “in a bad temper” by Immorté's demonstration, which he viewed as trickery, but nevertheless made a significant wager at the conference in defense of the existence of the supernatural. Immorté was present when Poe encouraged young journalist Alan Foster to spend the night in Blackwood Castle—the so-called “Castle of Blood”—after Foster challenged the authenticity of Poe's tales. Immorté was similarly present in Blackwood Castle when Foster encountered the horrifying secrets of the old mansion. The Lost Prince barely escaped with his life.
Immorté was forced to raise money to return to Texas by taking work for a traveling show, an enterprise called Ceugère et Darque's Cirque du Fou. Here his demonstration of the psychic arts became popular, when he was billed as “the Deathless Skull.” When he returned to Texas he became acquainted with a local physician, a Dr. Bertram Adrian. Adrian proved to be a key player when one of the trained apes held at the show escaped and went on a rampage. Immorté discovered that Dr. Adrian had actually killed the ape and worn its skin to go on a killing spree, after he was driven mad by the death of his favorite patient. Immorté was unconvinced this was the sole reason for Dr. Adrian's insanity, however, and his investigations led him to the first hints of what he would initially call “the Curse of the Gorilla.”
Upon being able to return to Texas Immorté engaged in several forgotten adventures before he once more came in contact with the strange energies which had circulated around Dr. Adrian. In 1852, a man named Beto Chavez murdered his employer, a rancher named van Gelder, leading Immorté to investigate. He discovered that the murder had somehow cursed Chavez to become a were-gorilla. After defeating Chavez, freeing him from the curse by death, Immorté was unable to find answers, but he tried to seek out those who might find them.
His brief association of Edgar Allan Poe had given him the benefit of putting him in contact with the French detective C. Auguste Dupin, whom Poe had written partial biographies of, and who also had strange encounters with apes. Though Poe had since died, Dupin recommended a number of ostensible occult authorities in France, whose reputation had passed to him in rumor. He also noted that a man sharing his surname, perhaps a distant cousin, had also recently had a bizarre ape encounter, via the mysterious Nathaniel Mirakle. But Immorté was much more curious about the occult experts Dupin knew; among these still living was a philosopher and aesthete named Fortunio. Upon traveling to France to seek out Fortunio however, he learned that, after having faked his death several times, Fortunio had been vanquished by an old rival of his, a being like him who had been refined to a superhuman standard of perfection. Fortunio had been raised in an environment where he was denied nothing, and therefore had refined his tastes to the purest extent, having sampled all the sensations of life. This had the consequence of making him psychopathically violent when he was denied pleasure. Fortunio was a serial killer, the cellar of his house laden with the bodies of those who stood in his way. His killer had been justified in slaying him. Immorté wanted to seek out the man who struck down the philosopher as he figured that perhaps that man would have the answers to the energies he'd detected with both Adrian and Chavez.
This man turned out to be Valentine Guillois, who adventured for many years in Mexico and the southern United States. Just as Fortunio had a supernatural dedication to his tastes, Guillois had an obsessive dedication to his principles. Guillois and Immorté traveled together for years until the outbreak of the Civil War. Guillois returned to his native France once the War came, and Immorté, as an alien, didn't feel it proper to join the fighting. He would have fought for Texas if he wasn't opposed to slavery. During the War, however, he became acquainted with many individuals who survived the War, and more often than not he ended up entangled in what they got up to after the War. These individuals included Rhett Butler, John Carter, and Cyrus Smith.
Besides these individuals, Immorté had two other significant run-ins with soldiers during the Civil War. Specifically, he encountered two different Confederate battalions who were wiped out by Union forces. In both cases, the remains of these soldiers were bound to artifacts that gave them the power to reanimate. The first battalion was bound to their Captain's skull, and Immorté fought them in the company of a Union soldier named Steven Stark, apparently an ancestor of infamous criminal Benedict Stark. The second battalion Immorté faced alone, where he determined the soldiers were bound to their old field flag. Despite his best efforts Immorté was unable to break the curse keeping these soldiers' spirits from their rest, and it is believed these two ghostly regiments may still be found to this day. Immorté was able to determine that these Confederate undead were not linked to the same power as Adrian and Chavez's curses, but he never found out what it was. But a sometime-comrade of his named Silver John said that the area of Texas the regiments were lost in were known for Tsuu-Aas worship in some form or another since the days of Lope de Aguirre, Vargas the Diablo Giant, and other Conquistadors, which may have stained the area with dark power.2
After the War a great deal of its veterans continued adventurer lifestyles. There were those whom Immorté had met, of course, but others as well. In 1866, Immorté began a series of on-off adventures with War survivors Tucson Smith, Lullaby Joslin, and Stony Brooke, the trio of adventurers known as the Three Mesquiteers—Immorté was their sometime D'Artagnan. In the early 1870s the Mesquiteers were investigating reports that Dan Reid, a Texas Ranger, had survived his supposed murder at the hands of the wicked Butch Cavendish. Several reports say the brother of the man now known to be the Lone Ranger had adventures under various guises after his “death,” and Immorté substantiates that Reid indeed survived his vicious assault. The means of Dan Reid's survival, however, were strange indeed. The gulch where Dan Reid and his Rangers were gunned down was above an underground nexus of chronal energies—one of the so-called “Soft Places” which supposedly decorate the face of our world. This ancient deposit of primal energies created a crease into time linking two timezones split across fifteen years. When the Mesquiteers found Dan Reid, they also found Stagecoach Mary, aka Mary Fields, a mail carrier whose primary years of activity were in the 1880s and 1890s. Mary had some fame as an adventuress, as recorded by pens better than mine. She had been investigating stories in her own era of Dan Reid reappearing from the future after having been dead for many years. The circumstances under which Reid reappeared were enough to draw Mary all the way down to Texas. She and Immorté battled for a time before Tucson Smith was able to explain that they were here for Dan Reid. Immorté and Mary were more curious than the Mesquiteers, and with an equally-curious (albeit still wounded) Reid, they tried to find the reason for the time-warp, which was beginning to cause major damage to the local physics. They were able to discover that a broken time-machine under the control of renegade time-traveler John Bly, who had come from the future, was the cause. Bly had been knocked off-course by a typically-overzealous attack from the Scandium Conqueror, whom I know as Lord Scand. The trio nearly defeated Bly before he escaped, closing the anomaly and sending Stagecoach Mary back to her own time. Bly went on to become the nemesis of adventurer Brisco County Jr., whom Immorté would meet in the 1890s.
Immorté—who by now had obtained that name from a variety of linguistic sources via the people he helped—had several adventures before his run-in with the Lone Ranger's brother independent of the Mesquiteers. During this time he met two other time-travelers, the first being a strange man with pointed ears who stayed at the Stemple property in 1867. This man eventually claimed to Immorté to be a native to the 23rd Century, who had been rendered amnesiac due to a “mind-sifter.” Historians are still investigating if there is any link between this strange man from 1867 and a similar individual believed to be linked to the 1930 death of Edith Keeler, a person of interest by the government for her activist aspirations. On his own, Immorté also battled one of the schemes of Dr. Miguelito Loveless, nemesis of James West and Artemus Gordon, though the nature of this scheme seems to have a matter of banality for Immorté, who claims to have forgotten what exactly transpired.
After the Reid-Fields incident, Immorté spent the 1870s encountering and sharing adventures with many of the infamous vigilantes, lawmen, and outlaws of the age, including Django, Sartana, Sabata, Hex, Lash, and the Man with No Name. This was something of a golden age for the Lost Prince. His training both as a fighter and a gentleman paid him great favors in this time, and he became infamous among outlaws as a ghost who would hunt them down for their sins, much like past incarnations of Bloody Mary.
But as gritty and real as this world of crimefighting became for him, he also had further encounters with the strange and supernatural. In 1876, in the company of a man named Jimmy Ryan, Immorté had an encounter with the so-called “Beast of Hollow Mountain,” in reality a surviving dinosaur. Hollow Mountain appears to be another Soft Place, but if it was caused by time-distortion it was very far in the past. In the same area Immorté also encountered giant scorpions and an odd, nearly-humanoid creature capable of emitting different colored lights (one for each color of the rainbow), each with different effects. While Immorté was able to stop some of these creatures, some escaped back into the wild.
In 1883, Immorté saved a Mexican rider from a group of bandits, earning his gratitude. Taking on a mask similar to Immorté's face, the rider called himself “El Charro de las Calaveras,” or “the Rider of the Skulls.” The Rider of the Skulls became a famous gunfighter, saving a number of small villages from vampires, werewolves, and the like. It would appear that the Rider of the Skulls became a generational name, as the Rider was still active into the present day by my last check. Many of the vampires of the West both Old and New whom the Riders have fought who were not products of the various South American vampires were the creations of the vampire Drago Robles, who once operated as a gunfighter under the name Drake Robey. Robey and the Rider of the Skulls were rivals for some time.
1888 saw Immorté face one of his most baffling mysteries when he had to help stop “The Engine,” a sentient train which had begun rampaging across the southern U.S. While the Engine may have been a creation of Miguelito Loveless, or his brother Arliss, it appears that it may have also been contacted by an artificial intelligence from the future, brought through in a time-tear like that which preserved the life of Dan Reid. Perhaps this AI comes from further in our future but I recognize now it may be linked to the Colossus Project of Professor Forbin which went so terribly wrong recently.
In researching the possibility of the trains or other machines becoming sentient, Immorté studied first the automaton built by Hannah Hewitt during her 18th Century island exile, and then the “Steam Man of the Plains” built in 1867 by Johnny Brainerd. Then, he left the country where he performed extensive research on the engineering methods of the Isle of Sodor. As a result of his absence, he missed the reports out in Mescal, New Mexico that Jack the Ripper had gone west. There had been a streak of mysterious killings, which, upon Immorté's return to the States, had been pinned on a demented woman known around town as a prostitute. Immorté's suspicions pegged instead the mysterious stranger who recently fathered a son on one of the local women. This son was adopted under the name Armando del Valle, and Immorté intended to keep an eye on him.
In 1890 Immorté crossed paths with a German explorer who called himself the New Leatherstocking, having earned that name ostensibly from the same Delaware Indians who raised Immorté's old “friend” Natty Bumppo. The New Leatherstocking had been active for about thirty years and encouraged Immorté to join him as he traveled to Mexico to the so-called “City of the Gorilla Men.” The adventurer claimed to have made the journey before, but what they ended up finding at the city's usual location shocked even Immorté's senses.
The City they looked for was many hundreds of years more advanced than it had been when the New Leatherstocking had visited it last. Immorté cites technology that would be advanced even by Rhetonian standards, and when he left Rheton, it was a civilization capable of moving planets and warping gravity. The gorillas there immediately arrested them, recognizing both of them as their enemies. Immorté was confused by this, but he had come here because he wanted to solve why Bertram Adrian was “cursed” to dress like an ape, and to find out the nature of Beto Chavez's ape-curse. He would learn that both of these were related to a power these apes commanded.
They were brought to the rulers of the Gorilla City: the first being a gorilla named Solovar, and the other a human who identified himself as Dr. Moreau. The story of Dr. Alphonse Moreau would not be brought to the world for another six years, so the pair did not understand the reference at the time, but we know now that this Dr. Moreau was R.G.V. Moreau, born Robert van Ee, who forged his lineage from the Moreau family. At the time he claimed to be from a relative point in the 1980s, so unfortunately we have no way of corroborating Immorté's accounts at this point. “Moreau” had made what he defined as a bubble universe in order to house the beast-people whom he feared the outer world would destroy. He cited a trip by one of his “ancestors” to the Blazing World as his inspiration; and the work in “dimensional architecture” undertaken by Leonard Orlok and others as the means of carrying out his plan. The Gorilla Men of the City were his creations, but in their world they were outside the natural flow of time and thus had centuries in which to build their own civilization.3
Over time, the gorillas and Moreau worked together to conduct experiments on humanity and Earth. Never forgetting their own origins, the Gorilla Men strove to find the connection between ape and man, and exploit that to their own ends. Moreau remembered that historically, evolution did not enter mainstream scientific discussion until 1859, but the Gorilla Men tried to find a human who would be willing to delve into evolutionary connections early. To this end this they sent their agents to aid Dr. Nathaniel Mirakle, an eccentric researcher who was able to discover evolution for himself in 1846 thanks to the Gorilla Men. However, Mirakle insisted that the gorilla agents perform increasingly odd and dangerous tasks for him, such as performing for him in his evolution demonstrations and, eventually, murdering people. Mirakle was seemingly killed in 1846 but he was survived by three children. “Specimens” of Mirakle's gorillas were given by arrangement to the infamous Dr. Dionysus Orloff, who as late as 1870 was using them for invisibility experiments. Orloff may have been aided in this by the gorillas, who already knew of methods of invisibility from the future via the work of John Hawley Griffin and others.
The gorillas went back even further and established a group of agents in the early 14th Century, where some of them ended up working with the renegade group of Knights Templar who were conducting experiments out near Vietnam, on Warrior's Island, in the pursuit of eternal life—some of these Templars had agents in northern Africa as well who were also brought under the yoke of the gorilla-people. These Templars apparently succeeded in their quest for immortality, as evidenced by recent outbreaks of their undying members in Spain, but in order to do so they had to become ghoul-like creatures, blind and nearly immobile from decay. That certain members of the Gorilla Men joined these Templars helps explain confusing recuts of film adaptations of the recent Templar attacks which attempt to explain that the creatures seen in the film are not undead Templars but undead apes, in a ludicrous effort to cash in on that more famous speculative fiction film from six years ago.
Among the other chronal conquests that Moreau claimed for himself (Solovar was tellingly silent on the matter) he mentioned engineering other races of ape-creatures on ancient Earth, leading to the genesis of the mangani of Lord Greystoke's accounts, the giant anthropoids of Skull Island, and a subterranean race of bioluminescent baboon-people based under Ischia. He also boasted of creating several future timelines where apes reigned supreme, such as those depicted in the aforementioned '68 sci-fi film. These claims, in my opinion at least, should be viewed skeptically.
In his time as their prisoner Immorté learned much of the Gorilla Men's customs and why they utilized “curses” as they did. Both curses Immorté witnessed transformed their victims into gorillas in some way—Dr. Adrian began wearing one's skin, and Chavez physically became one. This was related to how the apes sought to explore their connections to mankind. The “curses” were cyclical psychic impulses sent to certain bloodlines that forced them to take on these transformations, which would be studied from a distance by ape operatives. In 1938 a descendant of Dr. Adrian's would also be compelled to dress like a gorilla; similarly, in 1949, a descendant of Beto Chavez would become a were-gorilla in South America. To inflict these psychic impulses the gorillas tapped into energy sources left behind by time-snarls such as the one Immorté faced previously, as well as power reserves left on ancient Earth by the powers known as the Great Old Ones. Some of these power banks were maintained by human agents who adopted worship of the apes into their beliefs. One such gorilla-cult menaced the home of archaeologist John Prendergast in 1932. Another branch of the cult eventually evolved to include worship of all animals: this group called themselves the True Believers. It is believed that murderous zoologist Eric Gorman, who died as a consequence of his killings in 1931, was a member of this cult, and it was confirmed in 1962 that the murders committed by zookeeper Michael Conrad were due to his association with the group.
Using the energies at their disposal, the gorillas under Solovar attempted other forms of ape-human hybridization, so as to better study the links between the species. They may have sponsored the infamous essay on ape-human hybrids published by the elusive “James Brewster” in the late 1930s, and it appears as well that they conducted experiments on transplanting the psychic essences of humans into apes and vice versa. The psychic ape-human hybrids they created built monarchic civilizations, leading to legends of “Ape Queens” in the jungles; testimony from one Laura Fuller, nee Carson, speaks of these Ape Queens “reincarnating” into humans, pointing to evidence for this spiritual link. Similarly, the record of the Jermyn family indicates that some of the apes who received human souls underwent changes to their fur color, becoming white or gold in color, gaining in the process the ability to reproduce with humans. Famously a golden gorilla once held the soul of explorer William Glenmorgan, aka “Congo Bill,” though it is believed that Ken Lance Hale, alias the Gorilla-Man, obtained his unique form through different means. At some point these apes were abandoned and new hybrids were created by sponsoring researchers like Sigmund Hummel Walters, who created the “captive wild woman,” Paula Dupree. As recently as last year (1973), Dr. Walters proved to be helpful to humanity, despite the destruction his 1941 creation unleashed—he helped repel an invasion of Africanized killer bees that spread to North America, assisting Dr. Bradford Crane in the same effort.
Of course, all of this is based on what the Gorilla Men told Immorté, passed through the additional veil of this being his testimony. He himself stated in our interview that “Dr. Moreau” could have drugged or hypnotized him and his companion and fed him this story. However, that this “vision” accurately predicted several events seems to offer legitimacy to the existence of these creatures and what they told him from their trips through time, bar a few incidents here and there. In the end, Immorté and the New Leatherstocking fought Moreau back and managed to sever the dimensional anchors between Earth and the Gorilla City. Though Moreau may have escaped the dimensional bubble, Immorté says, the New Leatherstocking assuredly did not. He gave his life stopping Moreau, dying in a gunpowder blast used to upset the critical links connecting the bubble to our universe.
Upon returning to Earth, Immorté spent some time recovering before next fighting a Mexican vampire named Baron Brakola, who been awoken by the recent activities of Dracula in London. Immorté seemingly killed Brakola but in fact only sent him back to slumber—it wouldn't be until 1965 that the vampire was destroyed completely, thanks to the heroic Santo.
Throughout the remainder of the 1890s, Immorté corresponded and shared adventures with Frank Reade, Tom Swift, Jack Wright, and their respective families. His experience with Johnny Brainerd's Steam Man of the Plains offered them insight into their own work. He broke ties with them at the end of the century, due to Swift and Reade's extreme bigotry. Independent once more, he found himself again south of the border where in 1908 he once more faced surviving dinosaurs in the Valley of Gwangi. He believed that these dinosaurs and those at Hollow Mountain were likely related, probably originally coming from Maple White Land in Brazil. Research that he conducted with Lord Greystoke, Bowen Tyler, David Innes, John Gordon, and others helped him determine that these creatures came from the same “subterranean” cosmos linked to Hollow Mountain, Maple White Land, Skull Island, Caprona, Cricket Creek, the Lost Land, and other locations around the world which have seen surviving dinosaur populations. He came to the conclusion that this singular space was a retainer dimension created by beings (justifiably) concerned about the continued survival of the dinosaurs and other presently-extinct species. He points out an external power would be necessary to keep “Pellucidar” from changing over millions of years and therefore creating an environment where the lifeforms within would evolve beyond recognizable appearance.
When he returned to Texas in 1910 he faced down a strange spirit-like creature which called itself “the Haint King.” I was able to discover that this entity was the same being known as the Pumpkin Master—he tried several prototype names in the early days. It is likely the Master didn't look like his present self in those days, as Immorté did not seem to recognize him when the two re-encountered each other in 1942. The “Haint King” banished Immorté into a “goblin universe” filled with mystical abominations, and it took him five years to get out. By then, he was unable to intervene in the abduction of his parents by Rhetonian forces in 1914.
Immorté fought in the First World War, albeit with a delay due to his not returning to Earth until 1915. The eternal adventurer still found himself with as many opportunities to meet the most famous participants of the War, as he had during the Civil War fifty years prior. Hugo Danner, Biggles, and the Dark Eagle were his allies, and Herr Doktor Krueger, Der Stahlmaske, and Hans von Hammer were his enemies. After the War Immorté stayed in Europe through 1919, before once more returning to Texas. In 1921 he had a run-in with an ostensibly-Scottish vampire calling himself Laird MacStuth, whom we know today as Count Substance, alias James Winston Kamarack. Immorté was able to defeat but not destroy Kamarack, who escaped to threaten others for decades to come.
The remainder of the 1920s saw him return to the small towns of the American West, facing down petty crooks like Henry Steele, Ace Lewis, Buck Houston, and the so-called “Rawhide Terror.” This sort of activity kept him close to the border, where he was still keeping an eye on Armando del Valle, the child he suspected was the son of Jack the Ripper. Initially it appeared as if del Valle was primarily interested in entomology, studying various species of ants around the world. But in 1934, when his wife became ill, del Valle turned to murder to steal the glands and hormonal extracts of young men to keep his wife alive. Astonishingly this is an almost perfect mirror to the “Case of the Vanishing Brides” which was revealed to involve a Dr. George Lorenz—a man who may have been Dr. del Valle's half-brother if research serves correctly. Immorté was forced to destroy del Valle's laboratory and drive him out of the country—reports indicated he was gunned down by the police while trying to flee, under suspicion of banditry. However, del Valle had sired twin sons by his wife, and once orphaned these children were raised under the names Baltasar Orloff and Peter Ulov. While Baltasar Orloff would become a criminal under the name “Dr. Orlak,” Peter Ulov was a brilliant scientist largely victimized by other scientists, who usually had terrorist persuasions—the foremost among them being Dr. Mabuse. Ulov ended up becoming an occult researcher as well as a scientist, and rather recently he helped dispatch the vampire Irina von Karlstein. In the course of studying the paranormal, Ulov was brought in contact with many other students of the occult, including Anton Zarnak, Sar Dubnotal, and the van Helsing family. In particular he was good friends with the estranged half-sister of one of my old friends, Loretta van Helsing, now sadly gone but survived by her daughter Rachel. Carmilla van Helsing (born von Helsing as her sister was) was the product of an affair between Muller von Helsing and a member of the same Karnstein family which produced Countess Irina—Muller would claim strategically that the affair was the result of hypnotism, but Loretta herself told me otherwise. He raised the daughter he sired with the Karnstein woman all the same, alongside Loretta.
Carmilla, however, still grew up distant from her sister, though they reconciled in the latter's later years. Carmilla defied her father by studying dark magic, though she learned how to use these powers to destroy the forces of evil. Sometimes she would allow herself to be taught by dark masters only to turn on them and destroy them with their own secrets. The lich of Zikali, “the Thing-That-Should-Never-Have-Been-Born,” was one such victim by that process; she also claimed to have been responsible for the dimensional banishment of Hazel Hexen “back to her homeworld of Alpha-Space.” Carmilla van Helsing's history is a new addition to this essay and will be of relevance later.
I don't know how Immorté spent the years leading up to our first meeting in 1942, but he was not active in Europe even after the U.S. entered World War II. He wasn't a previous enemy of the Ku Klux Klan when I found him but the Pumpkin Master, having now realized who he was, wanted to weaponize him. Working together we defeated not only the Pumpkin Master but also the Wild Huntsmen back on Rheton, breaking their dictatorship of the planet. Immorté and I eventually parted company so he could rebuild his homeworld and help his people.
We were, of course, reunited in 1952, leading to this essay. During this time, Immorté encountered a young Peter Ulov, who even then had an interest in the paranormal due to correspondence shared with Carmilla van Helsing. Through Ulov, Immorté met Carmilla, and the two formed a romance due to the latter's attraction to dark magic. They wed on Earth before Carmilla returned to Rheton as his royal consort.
I can now add certain events which transpired between the original publication of his essay and the time at which I make these amendments.
Immorté returned to Earth again in 1972. He came in the company of his wife Carmilla, unchanged by age since she had left Earth twenty years prior, as well his nineteen-year-old daughter. Theresa Blood-Orloff-van Helsing resembles her father greatly, possessing jet-black fabric-like skin and a glowing skull-face. She has also inherited many of his psychic gifts, including the power to burn blood. When she was active on Earth she used the name Immortée. She is currently stationed on Earth and in the last two years has had three cases.
In her first case, when she landed on Earth, she infiltrated a gang of hippies in London when rumors cropped up of the return of Count Dracula. Her father had once met Billy the Kid, who in turn had once fought Dracula or a version of him. The Dracula who attacked London and was repulsed by Immortée and Lorimar van Helsing—a cousin of Immortée's through her mother—was only one of several Draculas, but he was extremely powerful all the same. Immortée would keep in touch with several of these English hippies, including Noel, who had ties to the occult via his late roommate, the elusive rocker known only as Turner. Noel joined Immortée on a few cases in England in the company of her cousin Rachel, along with Rachel's notable team of companions, who banded together to face down Dracula. Eventually Noel would drop the facade and insist they start calling him by his real name, Blade.
Immortée and Immorté reunited in the latter's adopted land of Texas, and Immorté took his daughter on a tour of some of his exploits. In doing so however they ended up in a backwoods country where they noticed a young girl on the run on a dirt road. The girl was afraid of the pair at first, believing them to be “one of them,” but Immortée was able to use her telepathy to convince her they weren't there to hurt her. The girl told them her name was Sally and she was trying to escape a family of lunatics who had killed her friends and brother and nearly slaughtered her as well. Sensing that this was the truth, and seeing the faces of some of her attackers in her memory, Immorté took the girl to a place of safety and told his daughter to track down and stop the family she had mentioned. Setting out by following the set of footprints of left in the sand of the road, Immortée encountered the remains of a truck that had been ambushed, its driver killed. This truck had nearly gotten Sally away from the family before it was attacked. Eventually the tracks led back to a house which she presumed to be that which the girl mentioned. Here, Immortée found the house abandoned, albeit with signs of extremely recent habitation. As she explored the house, however, she was attacked from behind by someone with a sledgehammer. Her attacker was a large unkempt man, the older one who had appeared in the girl Sally's mind. She fought this stranger off only to be attacked by another—a thin, pale man with long, stringy hair and a horrible skull wound wielding a straight razor. Despite her strength and power, Immortée was nearly brought down by the ambush, but a quick burst of power drove them back and knocked them unconscious. However it also destroyed the house, and Immortée believed her targets were dead from the falling pieces of their abode. It was at this point that she heard a rage-crazed howl from the distance. Immortée was set upon by another of the men from Sally's vision, the big one with the chainsaw and mask made of human skin. Immortée was only barely able to overcome the so-called “Leatherface,” whom she brought into custody—though he later escaped, and is still at large.
This house was not the primary property of the cannibalistic Sawyer family, being instead a storehouse of a sort for them. Ever since the account of the crimes of the Sawyer family became popular in theaters earlier this year, Immortée has tried to determine their history. From Sally Hardesty's statement it appears that the Sawyers turned to murder as technological advancements and shrinking economic prospects destroyed the butcher industry which was the family's primary profession. However, it would seem that genetic corruption plays a role in the family's madness as well. While Immortée speculates that the Sawyers were relatives of boy adventure and detective Tom Sawyer, there is also evidence suggesting the family shares blood with the Femms of Wales and the medically-renowned Merrye family, who possess a degenerative illness unique entirely to their bloodline wherein members become violent and childish upon reaching adulthood. Through the Femms the Sawyers may be descendants of legendary British figures like Sawney Bean and Andrew Christie, also called Christie-Cleek. Some records also indicate a connection to a German-Italian family sometimes known as Wortmann, sometimes as Karamanlis, believed to be of some significance.
Immortée's next case did not involve her father but nonetheless brought her back in contact with her father's long past.
Reports began coming out of Mexico of travelers disappearing, falling victim to an organization called “La Gente Dedo.” Recognizing that name as “the Finger People,” a name synonymous with “Les Gens du Doigt”—a known Tsuu-Aas cult—Immortée sought to track them down, especially when it turned out that they were employing some of the same tricks which they had used during one of their American operations, led by Dr. Ernst Prell. Their victims were passed off as victims of a Bigfoot or yeti rather than a cult. However, this time their operations seemed to be different. In the past the creatures who appeared at the scenes of their crimes (such as in the Prell case) were fakes, actors in costumes, but now, they seemed to employ real ape-like beings. Back on Rheton, Theresa had heard stories of the City of the Gorilla Men, and now wondered if this was one of their operations—either from a point from before they met her father in 1890, or from a renewed connection with Earth. What startled her was that “La Gente Dedo” practiced cannibalism (through a dish called gin sung) and engaged in meat-trade with the similarly-cannibalistic Sawyers. While the Sawyers did not share the beliefs and practices of the Finger People beyond their eating of human flesh, a cousin of the Sawyers by the name of Emmet McGinty operated out in the Oregon woods where one of the many encounters with the simian agents of the Finger People took place—McGinty managed a pseudo-Christian apocalypse cult which likely fronted for the Finger People. Professor Bill Nugent and his students encountered McGinty's cult and the so-called “Bigfoot” they worshiped in the summer of 1973, an incident left them all dead or disfigured.
Nugent's run-in with Bigfoot was only one of many which have taken place in the last few years; it was not the only one where the creature proved violent. Just earlier this year, Dr. Brian Lockhart had an encounter with a similar creature in his expedition to locate it out in Arkansas. 1972 saw a creature attack the Rill Ski Lodge in Colorado, disrupting its annual Winter Carnival, and 1971 was the start of this reawakened trend of encounters via Ivan Marx's lengthy run-ins with Bigfoot throughout California and Canada. While there are documented sightings of Bigfoot throughout the 1960s, Immortée considers there to be a fifteen year dry spell for “legitimate” Bigfoot encounters (encounters with Bigfoot specimens aligned with the Finger People) in the time prior to Marx's, with the last before his being the 1956 archaeological trip led by Dr. Bill Wyman in Lincoln County, Nebraska. While looking for Native American artifacts, Wyman's students discovered a mummified Bigfoot and awoke it, causing it to go on a rampage until it was burned to death. Before this, in 1955, there was the Rollason-Friend expedition to Tibet, where they encountered a yeti. Dr. Rollason originally came to Tibet on a botanical mission; perhaps he was looking for the legendary Maripasia lumina lupina, last encountered by Western science in 1933. Given that plant's connection to werewolves, it is interesting to remember that one of the men known as Waldemar Daninsky was supposedly turned into a werewolf by the bite of a yeti. The Rollason-Friend expedition was a successor to the 1952 Frank Parrish mission, also to the Himalayas, considered to be the first mainstream scientific contact with the yeti.
As many cryptozoologists have theorized, the Asian yeti and American Bigfoot represent the same species. However, they are not the only entities which have been identified as Bigfoot or yeti. There is a known connection between the other race of yeti in the Himalayas, known to some as the mi-go, and the creatures used by the Finger People. The mi-go proved to be the key to Immortée's discovering where the yeti came from. When Immorté and the New Leatherstocking destroyed the dimensional link between the Gorilla City and Earth, several of Solovar's ape soldiers were caught in the resultant spatial distortion. Shredded on a fundamental level, these gorillas mutated into fungus-like beings. These subsequent “abominable snowmen,” as they were known to humanity after establishing themselves in the Himalayas, also set up a base on Pluto, where they began masterminding a new race of Gorilla-Men who could be used by their new allies—the Finger People and like-minded organizations.
The mi-go who went to Pluto had found other creatures like themselves already waiting, implying that the mi-go have several origins. These creatures introduced their new brethren to the worship of beings like Tsuu-Aas, and consequently they joined themselves to the allies of Tsuu-Aas on many worlds, including Earth. One faction of these mi-go, bound to Yog-Sothoth, created mechanical versions of themselves to serve their god, whom they called “the Great Intelligence.” These robotic creatures were encountered by the Edward Travers expedition of 1935. While the chance is remote, it is possible the remains of some of these robot yetis were recovered and used to build the automaton fought recently by Colonel Steve Austin. Other mi-go traveled back to the dawn of history to interfere with the course of time, but when they were forced away by the armies of the Elder Gods, one of their specimens was left behind. This yeti preserved himself over the millennia, and it was this creature who fought another cousin of Loretta van Helsing's, a man by the name of Wells, aboard the Trans-Siberian Express in 1906. (This Dr. Wells was married to a woman named von Steiner, and their son Erik von Steiner was an associate of mine in the year 100,000.)
Immortée has decided to remain on Earth indefinitely to repel any further mi-go intrusions. Her father, meanwhile, now probes the stars in search of their influence. One has to wonder how long it will be before the talk in the stars will be the same as it is here on Earth. How long will it be until the skies above shake with the same cry, with hope for the good and frustration for the wicked: “Immorté!”
1I highly recommend that institutions consider directing their funds specifically to my peer Professor Ernest Darwood at the University of Southern California. Professor Darwood does not know who I am but I have seen that he will have great things to offer us in the near future.
2Lope de Aguirre was an associate of Vargas' former commander, Ptolemy Firello. Firello in turn was the rival of the English explorer Gideon Drew, rumored to be a warlock who studied the texts of the infamous Alaric de Marnac—it was Alaric's tomes that were also used by the supposed necromancer Baron Vitelius of Estara. Drew's occult secrets may have been taken in turn from the works of the prophet Nostradamus, given that Alaric, Drew, and Nostradamus survived as severed heads into the 20th Century—those interested in the latter case should look into files on the late millionare Karl Brussard. Some traditions indicate that Nostradamus' powers came from a source of evil—a vampire claiming to be the son of Nostradamus threatened Mexico at various points in history. Despite this web of connections it appears that the methods by which Vargas survived into the 1950s were scientific and not magical in nature.
3Immorté also adds that Moreau had an assistant with him, whom he had plucked from the timeline—a man who possibly served as his “Montgomery.” The origins of Colonel Karl Osler remain a mystery, but certain details about his life have come to light after the destruction of his private island four years after the original writing of this essay. However, it seems as if Osler was an extramarital child of Dr. Armando del Valle (see below); making him a half-brother of Drs. Baltasar Orlak and Peter Ulov. Osler inherited the tradition of his father by having a wife, Mona, who was disfigured; like Dr. del Valle, Osler harvested essences from kidnapped girls to transplant into his wife to heal her injuries. However, in order to keep his subjects alive, he had to replace what he took from them with equivalent essence from animal subjects, turning them into beast-like monsters. This is why he was interesting to Moreau. Moreau took him out of time moments before his death and kept him alive in the Gorilla City—his ultimate fate remains a mystery.