The vampirino known as either Tomas de Macabea or Jonathon ben Macabi speaks ---
What shall I speak of? You know that Lawrence Edgerton saga (or the beginning of it) detailing Illuminati life in Regency England, was my idea. Billy had nothing to do with that one. I spoke. He typed. And all of it was true, yet it didn't pull you in. Still have hopes for that one. I will revisit it one night. Perhaps you will indulge me.
Night-folk love to revisit the past, especially moderately long lived specimens, like me. While I possess not the multi-millennia of 'Papa,' a thousand years still makes a fine collection. My favorite era, as regulars know, is Restoration London. To my way of thinking, that was the first, purely 'modern' time in the world. The son of a former (beheaded) king reclaimed the throne and if that piece of furniture was a bit truncated by an ever more democratic populace, life within the royal circle was never merrier. We had monkeys in London. For the first time, they were all the rage. Small, quicksilver, chattering things dressed up like Tudor gentlemen. Each trained to doff his cap to a lady. I think all the semi-exposed bosoms tipped them off. They doffed their little caps with such rapidity during the candlelit balls at St. James, it was almost like an early form of air conditioning.
I was Don Tomas de Macabea, grandee of Spain. That, as old friends know is my Catholic name. Jonathon ben Macabi is my Hebrew appellation. Vampires at the various European courts needed to pass as members of the majority faith. Muslim night-folk adopted patents of Sicilian nobility. Christians of Eastern Rites feigned Western orientation. Protestants passed as Catholic and those loyal to Rome played the part of Lutherans. That's how it was.
The freest court was The Purple Throne of the Emperor-Sultan of the Ottomans, the New Byzantium and the Third Incarnation of Imperial Rome. Some of you via your explorations of this site know of the venerable palace school, where likely young vampires were trained to be functionaries and assassins to the royal house. Ah, Topkapi was quite the place, Muslim in faith, but as I see it now, largely western in the superficialities. All roads led to Istanbul. Dissenters were welcome there. Indeed, the House of Osman championed the Protestant and even the Jewish cause, seeing them as more attuned to their own Sunni denomination. Look, you've seen the Renaissance and Baroque paintings. Granted, the rulers wore turbans. But consider the paintings of western gentlemen. Many of them wore turbans, or turban-like head gear too. Such was the age. It stood for opulence. It stood for wealth. But if I told you the portraits of the Osman royals were renderings of English, or Holy Roman or French royals you'd believe me. The doublets were the same, as were the pantaloons, hose and foot gear.
Henry the Eighth and his red headed daughter, what's her name, were pen pals with The Purple Throne, addressing each other as 'brother king' and 'sister queen' and all that. It's why they had so many coffee houses in Europe during those times. The Arabs discovered the drink in the Horn of Africa and brought it back to their territories. Turkish beys and pashas learned about it and soon there were coffee houses throughout Anatolia and the Balkans. Thus the world changes. Thus cultures grow. And I have seen a lot of adaptation.
I had a little monkey, Jacque.... The English always gave their monkeys French names. The French gave theirs English names. We fed them exotic vegetables from the Isles of Scilly off the tip of Cornwall, Britain's only semi-tropical territory. Jacque drank wine, when I'd let him and even rode 'horseback' on a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. Everyone at court loved him.
That's how I fell in with the Brigands, a group of fellows addicted to fine Aztec tobaccos and aromatic Turkish hashish. They also experimented with Tibetan magic of the tantric variety. Did they know I was a vampire? Not at first. But I was curious to see what this tantric knowledge might achieve, so I accompanied them on their evening sessions with a being as foreign to seventeenth century London, as denizens of Andromeda might be in my current city, Philadelphia, today. He was a Nepalese monk, studying at a Mumbai ashram when some British traders met him and he was just as curious about Europeans, as they were of him. So he agreed to sail with them, thus he reached England, where he quickly acquired a late night salon dedicated to the pursuit of all things arcane and mysterious.
That was where I saw my first mortal sublimate...
But Billy's tired and wants to go to sleep and I find typing quite tedious, So permit me to retire to my sleeping cabinet before the sun gets me..
Hasta la proxima y buenas dias.
<more next time>
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