The previous section dealt with Bram Stoker and his book, Dracula, and his real world connection with Dracula.

Also included are three lesser, non-vampire, henchmen.
This information is mostly given as a background to the book, Saragossa - The Vampire Legacy. In other words, for the most part, what has occurred since 1976 is not here recorded.

Radescu painting by Oleg Danilevski
Radescu - painting by Oleg Danilevski
Radescu is a blood kinsman of Dracula, the oldest of his lieutenants, and by far the strongest. He was born, in Wallachia (in modern Romania), about the year 1600. Before WWII he moved to Italy, involved himself with the Mafia, becoming capo di capi in the Piedmont region, and remained ever the totally loyal servant of Dracula. His wife was said to be an accomplished witch. They were the sponsors of Laurisio, called Stregar.

The artwork is by Oleg Danilevski after a description by Saragossa. In life one can see the redness in the eyes (and teeth) that comes from blood seeping in due to the phototoxicity disease in Dracula's 'children'. The painting hints at the quality of the skin, which, like Dracula's, was said to be leathery in feeling, but almost translucent, like oiled parchment. The painting was done after Danilevski moved to the USA.

Lorrigan was born around 1700 in Germany, in or near the small town of Gernsheim (overlooked by Castle Frankenstein), the daughter of a seamstress who never married Lorrigan's father, Johan Konrad Dippel. Dippel was a character of much local repute, being an alchemist/scientist/scoundrel. Among his more scientific feats was research on corpses (which he had procured himself), including cutting them up and sewing various pieces together with the hope of re-animating them. (Not to mention the elixirs of life he concocted from grinding the bodies up and mixing with alcohol for sale to the rich and gullible.) Lorrigan learned sewing from both parents. Dippel is, no doubt, the life model for Mary Shelley's Baron Victor Frankenstein (whom Dippel knew) who famously made a monster. The connection between Dippel and Dracula is unknown, except that Dracula 'sanctified' Dippel's daughter – that is, he made her into a vampire. She was active with Dracula in Germany during WWII, and later moved to the United States, settling in Denver, where she was known by the name 'Lorrigan' (it is uncertain as to whether this is a first name or a last name). She developed an organization there and remained in Denver for over two decades.

(Danilevski's Lorrigan artwork does exist, but is temporarily missing. At least I hope the missing is temporary.)

Her face was often described as 'cowlike', except for the eyes, which were wicked and depraved. Her body is said to have been voluptuous and seductive. This may have been no more than the accident of good genes and perfect health, as she never cared to mold her face into a more seductive (less horrific) appearance – which she could have easily done.

Stefan painting by Oleg Danilevski
Stefan - painting by Oleg Danilevski
Stefan – Dracula's agent in the Soviet Union, sent to suborn generals and gather intelligence. Said to be extremely elusive in thought, and perhaps the only servant of Dracula capable of hiding his interior musings even in the direct presence of Dracula.

This is another "Identi-Kit" style artwork by Danilevski, description by Saragossa – done some time after Danilevski moved to the USA. The clothes are fanciful, but designed to accomplish several objectives: to reflect Stefan's dramatic, almost capricious fashion sense; to create a bat-wing suit; to give a sense of effulgence.

Stefan is considered to have been the most subtle of all Dracula's organization - in fact, Saragossa considers it possible that Dracula never completely penetrated Stefan's mind or understood his depths, even though Dracula's domination of him would have been complete on all the levels that he did reach. In short, it is possible that Stefan kept a small corner of his mind free from Dracula's awareness and control. Strangely, Saragossa feels that the whimsical dress is a reflection of some subtlety. He does not really understand it even though the two met twice. Stefan's mind was too well guarded.
The bat-wing coat reflects the fact that Stefan, more than anybody else, gave the impression of being shadowed by a giant bat, of being accompanied by a huge set of not-quite-seen bat wings – some psychic projection of his vampire nature. Lastly, even though he is not as angelic in appearance as Seth, nor as strangely compelling as Laszlo - he seems incandescent. He radiates. His light is neither good nor evil - just iridescent.

If you contemplate these three attributes, do not forget to consider the incredible harm and evil Stefan committed during his hundred year servitude to Dracula. Also do not forget that that servitude was a chain set on his mind, and not a choice he made willingly. Who knows what any of Dracula's servants would have been like, but for the overwhelming pall of his mental powers? Were they chosen because they were apt to evil? Or solely because they had useful minds? I find this interesting to ponder.

Seth painting by Oleg Danilevski
Seth - painting by Oleg Danilevski
Seth – The most mobile of Dracula's agents and an astonishing polyglot. He spent decades in England, moved about Europe, Venezuela, Arabic speaking countries, China and latterly lived in several of the 'Stans', including notably Kazakhstan. Saragossa speculated a connection with oil, but if Dracula had some plot in that direction, it never became clear.

Seth, according to Saragossa (who only saw him from a distance and in the presence of Dracula), projected an absolutely angelic charisma. To see him in the same field with Dracula was a mental shock - an archangel attendant upon, and subordinate to, Beelzebub. It seemed to Saragossa that Seth had the power to tame wild beasts, and perhaps even to assuage the wrath and hunger-to-harm that emanated from the Dark One. Dracula seemed to suck at Seth like an asthmatic inhaling soothing vapors. Beneath the angelic envelope, lurked a great abyss of darkness. Saragossa had no opportunity to probe this region. Besides the dampening presence of the Son of the Devil, Seth himself was possessed of an astonishing, wiry mental strength.

Danilevski painted his interpretation of Saragossa's description of Seth, set against a Kazakhstan backdrop, where Saragossa had seen Seth (removed for this version). Some people have told me that they do find him angelic. Personally, I find an intimation of betrayal lurks in his eyes.

Laszlo – a polymath; the youngest (being born in the 20th century) and weakest of Dracula's lieutenants, but also the most brilliant in any field of science. He settled in Africa, where he ruled a large facility investigating bio-terrorism – not to prevent it, but to foment it. He culled from the many mortal disease agents in Africa the most virulent strains and sought to enhance their deadliness. It is possible that he had a hand in the spread of both ebola and HIV. It was thought that he remained under extremely firm mind control by Dracula, since Dracula loathed and distrusted technology, but recognized the need to use it. This tight control opened Dracula's mind more to Laszlo than to the other lieutenants, and resulted in Dracula's reveries seeping into Laszlo's dreams. It was speculated by Sandman that Laszlo was marked for elimination when he was no longer essential.

After 1978, Jon was able to establish communication with Laszlo and information was exchanged to mutual benefit.

Laszlo painting by Oleg Danilevski
Laszlo - painting by Oleg Danilevski 1998
Jon, Piper and I went to St. Petersburg, Russia in July of 1998. We had three purposes: to look for a vampire living in St. Petersburg; to see the bones of Czar Nicholas II being laid to rest in the Peter and Paul Cathedral (this was a whim of Piper's); and to have a sitting with Oleg Danilevski, a Russian artist, expert in police Identi-Kit style portraits. Jon (the only person in Saragossa's world to have seen Laszlo) described. Oleg drew. Jon criticized. Oleg revised. This artwork was the result.

 

 

Laszlo photo by Jon deBaker
Laszlo - photo by Jon deBaker

I was startled when, several years later, I saw an actual photograph of Laszlo (circa 2002) that Jon was able to obtain. (Jon and he seem to be forming a wary friendship.) I find the resemblance to be astonishing considering the circumstances under which it was created. Jon says Laszlo seems always to wear a lab coat - even to go out to eat.

As an aside, Piper did find the vampire. Of course, I did not participate in the actual meeting between Piper, Jon and the Russian vampire, but it seemed that it went satisfactorily. Whatever that meant.

As a matter of policy, I don't go anywhere near the wer-folk who are not firm friends of Piper's, but I did later take a look at the house. Actually Piper just showed me the block where the house was located and asked me to pick which one was the vampire's. (If you've never been to St. Petersburg, then you have no idea how LONG the blocks there are. There were a lot of houses.) I recognized it immediately upon seeing it. No credit to me. Anybody would have said to himself, 'Now that looks like a house where a vampire lives.' There was a genuine creepiness to it that went beyond simply being unkempt. The lair was large, dirty white, run down and simply scary. The doors and windows seemed to gape. It was an unforgettable experience.

It had long been traditional for 'non-Quetz' vampires to spend the summer in St. Petersburg because of the endless-day effect. Since they can abide the sun, but all the vampires of Dracula's making (i.e., all 'Quetz vampires'), cannot endure it, the non-Quetz vampires used northern Russian cities as a summer refuge, protected by the nearly twenty-four hours of sunlight. Then they would migrate south for October through March. None of the non-Quetz vampires are as old as Dracula; none, except Saragossa himself, are as strong even as Radescu.

Rourke was Dracula's main human servant (working directly under Lorrigan) in the United States since some time in the 1960s. He was a mystic and a martial-arts adept of a very high rank.

Rourke painting by Oleg Danilevski
Rourke - painting by Oleg Danilevski

This artwork was done by Danilevski after a description by Piper. It is set in Boulder at the same apartment complex mentioned in the book where the interaction between Rourke and Keri took place. If you know Boulder well, you will recognize the location – it was pieced together from photos. Danilevski inserted his conceptualization of Rourke into the actual setting. Of course, none of Dracula's set posed for photos (except Laszlo, recently), so the best that can be done is renderings of this type. Still, Niniane says the likeness and 'feeling' are uncanny. Rourke had an elegance (revealed in the pose, especially in his right hand), a somehow over-muscled body (which had a grace lacking in body-builders) and a handsomeness of face which did not hide the menace lurking there - if you were honest enough to admit it instead of being blinded by his sensuality. If somebody had given you that description, could you have come up with the visual effect?

Stregar was born in Italy and came to the US about 1970 as Radescu's agent. His birth name was Laurisio, but he took the nickname of Strego, 'witch', in Italian, due to his ability to find lost or hidden objects. He was trained by the Radescus, who also mentally enhanced his bodily strength, giving him the appearance of a hulk who had been on steroids for decades too long. His body and head were grotesquely distorted and his size was enormous. He might well have been the strongest human alive - although his might would have been insignificant compared to a master vampire. He and Rourke saw each other as competition, each realizing that the other 'had to go'. Stregar was much the stronger, but Rourke was faster by far and quite strong enough to crush Stregar's skull.

(I do not have any artwork of Stregar. I keep asking Danilevski to produce something, but he is busy with other projects.)

At one time Stregar had a fringe of longish hair, which he pasted up on his head. Later he shaved his head bald. That left it looking like a boiled egg, so he affected a hat, which made him look like a mafia hit man – not so far from the truth. At any rate, his appearance was so unusual, and alarming, that he couldn't leave his mansion without drawing attention -- the last thing he wanted.

Berkheimer painting by Oleg Danilevski
Berkheimer - an old image
Berkheimer was a professor of biochemistry in Denver, Colorado. He had begun his work in bio-terrorism by experimenting with pathogens for the Nazi regime during WWII. Through Dracula's organization (via Laszlo) he obtained documents that indicated he had spent the war in Africa doing humanitarian work. He was Jon's advising professor at the time of the book. Jon described him as a geeky caricature that reeked of foul karma. This image seems to be set in an ancient Viennese laboratory.

 

The next section focuses on Saragossa, the ultimate source of the information in this website.