Adolf von Retzner

Handsome, dashing, charming, and likely syphilitic swordsman


Adolf is a handsome man of medium height and athletic build. He has dark hair and a fashionable mustache. His clothing, while well made and once fashionable, is worn and patched, reflecting the genteel poverty into which his family has fallen. Rarely seen without a brace of pistol and a well-used rapier, Adolf gives an impression of energy, bluff friendliness, and cheer.


Born in 1630 near Dommitzsch in northern Saxony. The fourth surviving son of an impoverished Freiherr whose fortunes had plummeted due to the war, Adolf knew from an early age that he stood to inherit little more than a sword and good wishes from his father. At 17 he joined a cavalry unit but saw no action, even though the last campaign of the war raged through Saxony.

After the war he knew better than to return home and burden his father with another mouth to feed — and besides, his amorous adventures had led to certain complications at home. He wandered, occasionally taking work as a mercenary but mostly acting as an ‘adventurer,’ i.e. a vagabond. His natural charm, especially when ladies were concerned, and his noble manners did make him a popular guest at prosperous courts, at least until his irrepressible tendency toward hedonistic pleasures inevitably caused him troubles and forced him to move along.

A gentleman of the Enlightenment, Adolf never believe in the supernatural. However, an encounter with a old woman who turned into a giant raven to prey upon the weak opened his eyes and led him into a correspondence with Herr von Seigen.

Most recently Adolf spent about a year at the court of Friedrich Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg, where he was a popular courtier and an intimate of the Great Elector himself. Unfortunately he was even more intimate with Electress Louise Henriette, which led to a hushed-up pregnancy and caused poor Adolf to flee for his life with the henchmen of the Elector hot on his heels.

Adolf was felled my magic in an assault on the castle of the vampire Countess Both, fulfilling his lifelong dream of dying in the bedchamber of a beautiful woman.

Adolf von Retzner

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