Empire of the Dead is set in an age where a steampunk Victorian empire rules the world. An Empire fuelled by an extraordinary discovery. The mineral that has come to be known as Infernium.
But all is not well, dark shadows from our deepest nightmares stalk the smog shrouded streets of London an ancient evil is rising from defeat.
The very soul of man is at risk, it will take every ounce of out strength to survive.
God Save the Queen
Sir Theophilus Algernon Tanner (Theo) is a member of the Cloakstaff Gentlemen club of London. Born in India in 1860 he spent his childhood and teenage years with his father who at the time was training Nepalese recruits for the newly founded second battalion of the Queens 1st Ghoorka Regiment.
Theo thus began training for a military career at an early age intent of following his fathers footsteps. Theo was also a keen hunter and was a proficient duellist and marksman.
When his father fought and died in the Second Afhgan war of 1878 and Sir Theo inherited his fathers land and title he decided to change his plans and became a hunter. The quest for trophies took him all over the world Africa for its Lion's and other savage beasts.
Sir Theo soon however grew bored with hunting these mundane creatures and one night on a hunt in the jungle for an Indian Tiger overheard a conversation between his Nepalese trackers telling stories of the Meh-Teh (yeti) whilst eating there evening meal around the camp fire. Enthralled by the numerous tales of sightings and sometime attacks Sir Theo decided he would be the first man to capture or kill a Yeti
Recruiting skilled trackers from amongst the Ghurka recruits Sir Theo his English bull terrier Bo'sun and his best friend William set off in to the Himalayas searching for the Yeti.
Many where the rumours but very little physical evidence or any siting. After searching for two months rumours filtered in of attacks in a couple of mountain villages peaked his interest. Descriptions of the attacker where that of a tall fur covered man shaped creature, its victims where often slashed or had large bite marks.
Leading his hunting party to the village last rumoured to have been attacked he questioned the villagers hen and set off with his trackers into the mountains. For several days and nights his skilled trackers searched for clues to the beasts whereabouts to no avail.
On the seventh night whilst the party where asleep the two men who where on watch went missing large footprints where found and blood stains in the snow lead off deeper into the mountains. Sir Theo leaving William and four men to guard the camp Sir Theo nd Bo'Sun led his remaining men in pursuit of revenge for there fallen comrades and managed to track the beast to a shallow cave in the nearby mountains.
The men approached the cave with caution a footprints and blood splatter marks on the floor led them into the gloom of the cave. All of a sudden the beast struck ripping apart the four men at the front of the group the beast was far from ape like it would of better been described as having features of that of a wolf. Its coat was a reddy brown colour streaked with grey, its face was elongated and shaped like that of a wolf its long slavering tongue lolled out from its fanged mouth. Its hands ending long razor sharp slashing talons. It howled out a long piercing cry of a wolf and as it turned on them its eyes gleamed like glowing red coals and charged again
Fourteen men attempted to slay the beast. Surviving a volley of rifle fire it slashed and rent the men asunder. Sir Theo after emptying his revolver into the beast as it ripped his comrades apart drew his sword and charged the beast. After briefly trading blows with the enraged beast Sir Theo was slashed across the face and knocked unconscious.............The last thing he saw was Bo'Sun diving at the beast and latching onto its arm and trying to drag it down.
Awakening two weeks later in a bed in the village of Dhaka his head swathed in bandages his friend William described to him how after waiting for a day for his return they set off in search of there missing friends and comrades. The scene that welcomed them shocked and sickened the men. The cave was strewn with the ripped apart carcasses of the hunters. Entrails and bloody coated the walls and entrance to the cave. Whilst searching the cave for any survivors they had found Sir Theo with Bo'sun his loyal dog standing over him emitting a deep growl as William approached them. Shushing to calm the dog Bo'sun eventually let the men come near Sir Theo had nast gash across his face and was barely concious Bo'sun was not unscathed either his rear left paw had been torn off and he had several deep slashes across his face and body.
Sit Theo and Bo'sun where taken to a nearby village where they where taken to the local doctor to get there wounds treated. Whilst waiting for Sir Theo to recover consciousness William and the remaining four trackers returned to the cave to find some clue as to what had happened. Very little was found to explain the slaughter found there and William could only hope his friend would recover to explain what manner of creature had done such a terrible thing. Strange footprints of a barefooted man leading away to the west where the only clue found but no tracks of any beast could be found leading from the cave.
Sir Theo decided to retire back to England to his family's estate. To regain his strength and to investigate this strange creature he had come across. To honour his loyal dog Bo'Sun Sir Theo commissioned a prosthetic foot to be made so Bo'sun no longer hopped about on three legs.
Arriving at his fathers old home back in London he set about investigating this wolf-like creature, making enquires at various university's, sending letters to doctors, professor, exploreres anyone he could thing of who could but to no avail.
One evening Sir Theo was dining at home when he was visited by a gentleman who introduced himself as Lord Thomas Cloakstaff. Lord Thomas explained that he was aware of his quest regarding these mythical wolfmen and was arware of what had happened to Sir Theo in the Nepal and that if would come to a meeting at his Cloakstaff Gentlemen's Club he would be able to help him with his quest. Sir Theo eager for a lead on the wolfman agreed to attend at once.
Arriving at Lord Cloakstaff's club he was led into a private antechamber where several gentlemen where already seated smoking pipes and sipping brandy.
Lord Cloakstaff then entered. "please be seated Sir Theo, I am going to have to ask you to swear loyalty to me and the members of this club before we go any further. What you hear here must not be made common knowledge lest panic ensues amongst the more common folk". Sir Theo Agreed without hesitation as he was intrigued as to how this clandestine meeting was turning out.
Lord Cloakstaff accepting Sir Theo's word then went on to explain about all the mysterious circumstances occurring since this new mineral Infernium had been found. All sorts of creatures thought to be mere superstition or myth had started to appear and where interfering with the research and use of this new found source of energy.
Lord Cloakstaff explained to Sir Theo that the particular type of creature he had tracked and fought with was known as a werewolf and went on to say how lucky he had been to have survived without being killed or infected with its Lycanthropic curse. The tales astounded Sir Theo, Vampires, Werewolf's, Men dabbling in dark magic's where all described to him.
Lord Cloakstaff then offered Sir Theo the chance to join his club to help fight back against these creatures.
Sir Theo without hesitating agreed at once this was just the sort of thing he had been looking for.
Welcome Sir Theo as your first task I require you and your men to go a small village in the Devonshire Moor's. A doctor friend of mine has requested my assistance a number of villagers have gone missing and some farmers have been reporting livestock being fond maimed and torn apart. I'd like you to investigate it for me.
So onto the cast of this tale.
Sir Theophilus Algernon Tanner
The Four Trackers (no names yet)