Friday, May 18, 2012

Meet Augustin Calmet - Councilman

World:            There's a Fine Line
Name:           Augustin Calmet
Age:              266 (human: 1672 – 1757 vampire: 1746 – present))
Height:          5’ 8”
Weight:         180lbs (81.8kg)
Eyes:             blue
Hair:             white
Title:             Councilman for the North Eastern US Vampire Council representing the states of
Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont


Antoine Augustin Calmet was born February 26, 1672, at Ménil-la-Horgne, in the Meuse department, located in the region of Lorraine, France.  Destined for the church, he was educated at the Benedictine priory of Breuil in the town of Commercy, and in 1688 joined the same Order at the Abbey of Saint-Mansuy at Toul where he was admitted to the profession in October of the following year. After his ordination in 1696, he was appointed to teach philosophy and theology at the Abbey of Moyenmoutier. Here, with the help of his brethren, he began to gather the material for his commentary of the Bible. It was also here that he met a young man by the name of Drouet, a local who tended the store house and ran their errands into the nearby town.

Their meetings, at first, were infrequent for the lad preferred his solitude and Augustin respected his wishes. Augustin learned that the boy had been orphaned at a young age by disease and had travelled the continent ever since, working in many different churches of all denominations. While he confessed to not being the most pious soul, the beautiful structures, angelic music, and quiet solitude appealed to the lad. He also discovered that the young man had taken lessons in exchange for his work at one of the churches for which he’d worked and was a voracious reader. This sparked some of the most heated, and enjoyable, debates between the two that even drew the attention of many of his brethren.

The monk, whose books and treatises were elevating him slowly through the ranks of the church, was unwilling to lose his talks with the unique young man as he travelled from post to post on behalf of his Pope. He offered the lad a position as his personal valet, footman, butler, and anything else that was needed to keep the newly appointed Abbot’s life moving more smoothly. Though Drouet seemed uneasy about the arrangement at first, he reluctantly agreed and the pair settled into his spacious apartments at the Abbaye de Senones in Lorraine, France.

Augustin continued his holy work for the church while having some rather unholy thoughts about his new servant. He prayed and confessed and even scourged himself to be rid of his thoughts and desires but all to no avail. He wanted the boy in ways the church could never condone. The greater his torment, however, the better his work became as he pored his frustration and self-loathing into his dissertations. He was unaware of the nature of his valet or that what he was feeling was the pull of his mate.

It was a night like any other when he discovered the true nature of his serving lad. He’d burned through three full candles researching and making notes for his upcoming work, Commentaire littéral historique et moral sur la règle de Saint Benoît, a commentary on the history of St. Benedict, when he noticed a shadow entering the courtyard below his window. Fixing the shadow’s position in his mind, the now-elderly monk walked lightly down the stairs and through the back door in hopes of persuading any potential thief of the eternal consequences of their actions. Instead of a thief, he found Drouet collapsed in the roses in a bloodied and broken heap.

Awkwardly, the Abbot half-dragged, half-carried the young man into the study and fetched water, cloth, and spirits to tend his wounds. He prayed for lad’s swift recovery almost as often as he prayed for his own blackened soul for touching the soft, smooth skin of the beautiful young servant was like the answer to one of his unholy prayers. When he sponged the caked dirt and blood from the youthful face, however, the injured man’s eyes sprang open and they were changed – as crimson as the blood that stained his alabaster skin and filled with an unnatural hunger. Swift as lightning, the lad gripped his arm in fingers too strong to be human. Long, deadly fangs eased from the boy’s mouth, glinting in the candlelight before sinking deep into the vein in his wrist. The Abbot wondered if the devil had finally come for him for all his immoral thoughts when the pleasure hit. At nearly sixty years of age, Dom Augustin Calmet experienced his first orgasm from his mate’s bite.

It took weeks of prayer, debates, fasting, and discussions before the pair would concede to their rather unique relationship. Though it was officially frowned upon by all in positions of authority, many pious men in the church utilized the services of either men or women to slake their earthly lusts. It was fairly common knowledge both in and outside the church that several Popes had fathered children gotten on their mistresses during their papacy; it was less commonly known that some even kept male lovers as well. Researching these facts soothed the conflicted Abbot’s conscience somewhat and, though they could not be open about their unusual affection for one another, they celebrated the release of his work on St. Benedict by consummating their love at last. Augustin had just entered his sixtieth year.

Twice during the next decade of joyful exploration, toe-curling lovemaking, and philosophical debate, Dom Augustin was entrusted with the office of Abbot General of the congregation. During these years, they had to be slightly more careful of exposing their relationship to others but were otherwise unaffected by the additional duties of the office. It was only when Pope Benedict XIII wished to confer episcopal dignity upon him, that he saw the danger in his growing reputation. Allowing the Pope to believe that his humility could not be brought to accept the honor, Augustin graciously refused; stating his contentment with his post at the Senones Abbey and his duty to the congregation there.

Drouet continuously tried to convince the aging monk to cross over and become as he was, to live by his side forever, but his faith prevented Augustin from agreeing. It seemed to go against the very basis of his beliefs to deny his rightful judgment by St. Peter by avoiding death entirely. He did, however, begin work on the treatise that would ultimately cost him his mate, his happiness, and his life: Dissertations sur les apparitions des anges, des demons et des esprits, et sur les revenants et vampires de Hongrie, de Boheme, de Moravie, et de Silesie.

When the treatise was released in 1746, the vampire’s Primus Concilium ordered an investigation into the man placing their kind into danger by exposing the reality of their existence. Before the Special Investigator could arrive, one Blake Simons, the local coven that had long opposed the unusual mating of their kind to a human of the same sex decided to anticipate the Concilium’s ruling and attacked the pair in the Abbot’s home. By the time Blake had arrived, Drouet had been drained, dismembered, and his heart removed to prevent any hope of healing. Calmet, too, had been beaten and bled but he somehow remained at the very edge of death’s door. A pious, pacifistic monk, the sheer savagery of the attack spurred his yearning for vengeance against the coven that’d taken his mate. Blake changed the elderly man and helped him build a pyre for his beloved vampire servant. The elder vampire watched the monk’s faith dwindle as his lover’s body burned. There was little remaining of Augustin Calmet in the crimson eyes that watched the flame reduce the wood, flesh, and cloth to nothing but ash.

Their vengeance was swift, bloody, and necessarily savage. It was much a statement to others as it was a question of retribution. Calmet’s beast knew it was weaker than most, having been changed in the fading years of his life, and so it wished to preserve itself by denying that weakness in the most gloriously bloody way possible. The beast succeeded. The Concilium make a token protest at the destruction of the small coven of fifteen vampires but otherwise let the matter die. The treatise was mostly ignored by the learned population of Europe and the vampire scare soon faded under more pressing concerns. The Battle of Culloden in England, riots in Amsterdam demanding governmental changes, and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle to end the War of the Austrian Succession all were of far more importance to the powerful vampire council than the fate of a single, disruptive coven.

Augustin secured his works and groomed his successor at the Abbey over the next ten years while Blake remained to help his newling adapt to his new life. Dom Augustin ‘died’ in 1757, a pauper’s body lying in the closed casket at his funeral. The newling and his Sire traveled the length and breadth of the world for almost a century until their separate destinies pulled them in different directions. It wasn’t until the end of the Great War when the former monk felt the metal touch of his Sire. Augustin had been working in a soup kitchen when Blake personally delivered his corporation’s weekly donations. They’ve been in close but guarded contact ever since.

For more information on Dom Augustin Calmet and his theological works, check out Augustin's Wiki Page. For my research on sexual practices of the clergy of the Middle Ages, I used This Page

(The photo on the left is a portrait of the actual Antoine Augustin Calmet, Benedictine monk and Abbot. The photo on the right is, of course, Sir Patrick Stewart - the yummy actor. The left represents Calmet when he was human. The right, Calmet in the modern world.)

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