History of the Drakes
Researched by Susan Vencore
15 March 1892
Subsequent to the events at Drake Manor, I undertook some research using both the family volumes at the Manor Library and information from the archives at Baring House. Below are my findings. From my research, Domiano and Diamante would be well over 100 years old - something is wrong here. SV
The Drake Family
In 1737, Isabella Drake fled from Florence, Italy as a young girl of seventeen. She only had a handful of books, three bottles of wine, and a warm blanket knitted for her by her own mother to keep away the horrors. When she arrived in London, she became a house maid, and caught the fancy of the young and dashing Isaac Wallace, a brilliant mathematician. Soon the two were wed, despite the family’s disapproval. Cut off from his inheritance, Isaac made several failed efforts to start businesses of his own—he suspected his family of preventing his success—and committed suicide at the age of twenty-four, leaving Isabella alone and with child. George and Emma Wallace had a change of heart, and took Isabella and the baby, Thomas, into their home. She helped out with the cooking and cleaning, and within two years both George and Emma passed away under suspicious circumstances, leaving Isabella as sole heir to their estate. She collected her inheritance, boarded up the Wallace house, and was never again seen on English soil.
In 1760 (twenty years later), her son, Thomas, came to America as a man of wealth and power. He returned to the Wallace Estate and renamed the grounds Drake Manor in honor of his mother. He legally changed his last name to Drake, retaining Wallace as his middle name. Thomas had learned that his mother’s maiden name was Drago, which is Dragon in Italian, but when she arrived in London, her broken English made it sound like Drake, so it stuck. His mother had been remarkably fortunate in her investments when she left London. She had bought a new dress and some bits of fine jewelry, and was remarried to a Parisian diplomat, Comte d’Erlette whom she met while traveling across Europe. The man gave up his career for her, and through his contacts, started up a winery in the hills of Florence, a winery named in her honor, Il Dragone, a winery that become known for its distinct and full-bodied reds, a winery that made the family exceedingly rich and powerful.
Thomas had the estate restored, and time soon found him enmeshed in the politics of the area, wedding a prominent local girl, and becoming a city councilman. As the Drake Estate grew in prosperity, the children were traditionally sent abroad to undergo their educations, rarely seeing the estate until their twenty-first birthday, and then they usually never left the grounds again. This rich history, little regard for wealth and their occasional charitable works has made Drake Manor a sleeping lion in the three generations that have passed since Thomas’ untimely demise. Rumors have arisen of how the family estate has dwindled in the present economy, and how the grounds and manor have fallen into disrepair since Sir Emery Wallace Drake III’s fall from grace. Emery’s son, Jonathan Drake, has little aspirations himself, and resents his father.
Rather than studying abroad, he attends the local university and seeks low company in low places. It is no wonder then, that Jonathan Drake is found horribly murdered in a back alley one night. No wonder at all.
The Dark Twins
When d’Erlette committed suicide shortly after the birth of Isabella’s second son, Maximillian, in 1750 she reverted to her maiden name in all future personal and professional dealings and never remarried. Her son inherited the winery and went on to marry a woman of lesser nobility, who died in childbirth bearing twins. Both Isabella and Maximillian mysteriously disappeared less than a year later, leaving the twins, Domiano and Diamante in the care of the family attorney, Henri Matoi, until they reached the age of majority. Matoi retained the family caregiver, Nagy Piros, to rear the children. Under Matoi’s careful guidance, the family fortune increased ten-fold.
The Books of Power
As a child, Isabella revealed to her son, Maximillian, the dark reservoir of power that was at their disposal. He was brought up to respect the faith of the Old Ones and actively participated in the dark rites in the vineyards of Il Dragone. He learned what Il Dragone meant to him and his family: power at a great cost. However, when she went to give him the Cultes des Goules, it was gone. Only one other member of the family had access to it, Thomas, and he was in London. However, hidden away was De Vermis Mysteriis, and this she gave to him. That night, he sacrificed his mother to the Old Ones and bathed his infant twins in her blood, offering them up in return for even greater power. A laughing voice told him that the ritual was not done quite right, and a moving darkness swept over him as his flesh melted from his bones. The children were found the next morning in their cribs, their father gone, their grandmother gone, and only Isabella’s handmaiden, Nagy Piros, an old, gypsy woman, to raise them. As they grew older, the decrepit gypsy educated them in ancient rites and filled their ears with mystical secrets. She taught them the Weave of Black Ambrosia, the Stealing Kiss, and the Path to Leng. While Domiano lusted for more power, Diamante sought somehow to escape the horrible fate of her birth, and fled to London. Domiano has pursued her.