| 1675 - Walpurga Maria Theresa Von Wittelsbach-Esterhazy, Countess of Tyrol is a daughter of Bavaria and scion of duty. The Habsburg-Wittelsbach dynastic feud is at its height, and though she is a mere child in the bustling village of Innsbruck she can ill-afford to be oblivious of the fate in store for her. With the Empire so hotly contested, she must be the epitome of grace, poise and diplomacy. She finds herself woefully unequal to the task, her bluster and aloof manner win her no friends in court as her father seeks any suitor to save his dynasty and extend the family line.
In a stroke of luck she finds herself betrothed to the wealthy heir to the county of Tyrol, prince Anton of house Esterhazy. Replete with patronage and income from salt production, the young prince is far down the line to inherit the throne of his brothers and politically powerless. Indolent and vacillating, Walpurga is immediately disgusted with her match and vows never to wed such a man. War looms, and the Elector of Brandenburg personally assures her that this union will unite the realm and prevent the horrors experienced in the Thirty Years War not long before. Proud, defiant but not unkind, she yields to the marriage and accepts Antons hand.
With this, her fate is sealed. The Esterhazy family submit Tyrol to the Habsburg dynasty, leaving only Ambras Castle and the town to Anton and Walpurga. The betrayal by her husband is too much to bear, and with her fathers tacit approval she seeks to poison her husband. The method is slow, painful, and as a young wife she is expected to care for him in his infirmity. Even as she kills him, the young man opens up to her about his weakness and confesses his love for her. In the end, he knowingly accepted the plot if only to be wed to the woman he loved. Anger turns to pity, and pity to sorrow for the pathetic figure. She abandons her attempt on his life, nursing him back to health and dedicating herself to this new life with the man who cost her family everything.
As her edges soften, she becomes a dutiful countess and attends to her husbands need to create heirs with aplomb. Over the course of a mere fifteen years she produces ten children, all the while fighting to regain her birthright. The plentiful dowry and estates given to her through marriage are funneled into the church, especially the counter-Reformation and its militant arm, the Jesuits. At last her family is able to raise an army of mercenaries with a claim backed by the pope to take the Duchy of Bavaria. As the cannon fire rains upon her town as it is sieged by Hohenzollern forces, she prays to God begging for victory for her husband marching toward Munich.
1707 - The cannons cease. Has her husband succeeded? To her horror, her husbands body is wheeled up to the city gates. Foolishly her husband had inspected a siege from atop the ramparts and was struck dead with a musket ball to the temple. Silence. This is all she could muster for her lost love, and she never again marries. Her family will never again reach such prominence as it had before, and her children continue on as soldiers, as diplomats and as servants of the ascendant empire.
Reeling from her loss the love of her life and her purpose, Walpurga vows to live life as a widow, a recluse. She takes to reading sheet music and taking private lessons from the musicians that she patronizes, a burgeoning love of the beautiful music of Haydn, Bach and Handel drawing her from her self-imposed exile. This joy, this spark of creation permeates her, and soon others in the court take notice. A dark Polish hussar begins to court the older woman, much to her chagrin. She is a mother, a widow and he is simply a commissioned officer. This, of course, is untrue. The Toreador watches from afar, seeking the prestige of embracing such a noblewoman with this pedigree. Colonel Jan Dabrowski would be legitimized in the eyes of his court in Krakow.
1731 - It is much like a dance, and ever so slowly Walpurga is drawn into the world of eternal night. The promise of a future amongst the aristocracy of ancients entrances, but the fear for her eternal soul eats away at her. Sadly it is not to be, the Turk's encroachment into Christendom draws Jan's attention away, and Walpurga is abandoned without a protector amongst the Kindred. Desperately she watches her youth, her beauty drain with the years, writing letters begging for Jan to return. He never will.
Instead she is face-to-face with a stern-looking woman, a Prussian by bearing. Her presence is unwelcome, but her news more so: The Turk has taken Colonel Dabrowski's unlife at the machinations of the hated Tzimisce. With all her might she howls at the heavens, no regard given to the Brandenburg interloper in her midst, storming about the castle and preparing to march an army to Rum to avenge her lost Polish love. Did she truly have these feelings after all? It must be, as the absence has driven him deep into her heart.
1758 - The woman stops Walpurga where she stands, "Surely you wish to serve him in life, rather than join him in death?" The widowed countess has no choice but to agree, and into the service of Lucretia von Hardtz and the Order of the Black Cross she is brought. While she could never bring any matter of combat ability to this service, she remains loyal despite being controlled by the hated Prussians. Money, influence and many sleepless nights are given in it's service, and her age is no detriment, as the vitae provides the strength she needs.
War tears the continent apart, and her cherished castle is taken, but Walpurga never bends. She serves as diplomat, as agent provocateur and spy for the German Ventrue against the Tzimisce and Tremere of the east, Giovanni and Lasombra of the south and even Ventrue antithetical to the cause. Her service ends with the storming of the Bastille and end of the French monarchy. Stealing into the war-torn county, she is shot in the back attempting to rescue noble French Ventrue bound for the chopping block. The wound festers, and the hard-nosed von Hardtz is forced to bring her into the night for good, Embracing her on the banks of the Rhine.
1781 - Her reputation precedes her within the clan, but Walpurga is horrified to find her sire working hand-in-hand with the Lasombra and Tzimisce in the sect known as the Sabbat. Everything about it nauseates her, and knowing the consequences she breaks ties with her sire as time allows, seeking shelter amongst the Ventrue of Rome. The stain of her blood does not preclude her from duty to her clan, acting as Tribune and providing information to her betters. The relationship with the Hardestadts and Prussians never truly grows, but finally she finds her place and enjoys the respect it receives.
Old wounds never heal, however. The archbishop of Milan conspires with her sire to have the Tribune sent to the Bohemian court as ambassador to the Brujah there. Passing over the Carpathians she is accosted, outnumbered and desperate. With no other resource left to her, Walpurga leaps from the cliffs as an explosion demolishes her carriage and showers her with an avalanche of limestone debris. Inaccessible and doubting she could survive such a fate, the band of assailants leave her crushed beneath the rock. Here she lays for two centuries.
1989 - Time goes on without her, forgetting the name of the Austrian countess as hundreds of thousands more die in the Napoleonic wars, geopolitics winding its way to the modern nights. In 1989 the levee finally breaks, with Germans, Hungarians and Czechs dismantling the open wound dividing the continent as families are rediscovered. One such family is the Wittelsbachs desecendants of the countess who now number in the thousands. Their quest for knowledge comes to the attention of an elder statesment of old Polish Toreador, General Jan Dabrowski. Could it be her? Taking advantage of the technology now available and open borders, Dabrowski digs through many feet of rock, gravel and dirt accumulated over the years. Sure enough the crumpled, torpid form of Walpurga is exhumed, still with a spark within her.
The old lovers reunite and their passion begins anew, but the years have not been kind to the brash Polish hussar. Years of Communism and indoctrination drive him to endulge in his darker pleasures. Forever indebted to the kindred spirit, she wishes him well and with not a single cent to her name she moves across Europe seeking her fortune. A series of young men fall for the wily countess, and though she has aged the spark of undeath has honed her beauty into a weapon. Expats and pretenders to long-forgotten thrones patronize her with wealth and help her acclimate to this new world. Armed with the knowledge and wealth needed to survive the strange new nights, she seeks her old friends in Rome.
2007 - Much to her amazement, the Nosferatu hold sway, but those owing her boons offer her passage and lodgings in the New World where she may continue her service to the clan. To her astonishment she is given a letter by Helen Eszterhas, mother of two and the one whom sought her out so many years ago and led to her escape. As the new milennium dawns she arrives in America, land of opportunity. The middle-aged Esterhas finds an amazing sum of money upon her doorstep with no further explanation, and Walpurga returns to her roots as a socialite and spy. Eventually the west coast calls, and at the behest of her clan elders she comes to Prospect.
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