Sunday, November 29, 2015

Crossover of the Week

Tomorrow is Win's birthday, so in honor of my friend and mentor, here's a write-up of a story by him that has strong ties to the Wold Newton event. Happy early birthday, Win.
December 1113, 1795
In 1720, XauXaz of the Nine is killed by a man who appears through a mirror-like portal and is almost identical to himself, and who takes his place. XauXaz’s Other has a pocket watch embossed with a sapphire representing the star Capella. In 1795, at Blakeney Hall, the lord of the mansion, Sir Percy Blakeney, along with two of his guests, General Sir Hezekiah Fogg and Dr. Siger Holmes, are the first to discover a corpse, followed by Colonel Bozzo-Corona, his man Albert Lecoq, Sir Hugh Drummond, and Honoré Delagardie. John Gribardsun, who is known to them as Sir John Gribson, cuts down the body. Sir Percy identifies the dead man as Iain Bond, aide-de-camp to William de Winter, the king’s representative at his conclave. This is the second murder in as many days; both were accompanied by the sound of nine bells clanging. Delagardie complains about the previous victim, Gerolstein’s advances towards Philippa, Delagardie’s wife and Drummond’s sister. Gribardsun, investigating the grounds, catches a familiar scent. Peering upside-down through a window, he listens in on the men gathered inside a room, including Blakeney; Fitzwilliam Darcy; Fogg; George Edward Rutherford, the 11th Baron Tennington; Holmes; de Winter; and John Clayton, the 3rd Duke of Greystoke. Apart from Fogg, Holmes, and de Winter, all of the men in the room are Gribardsun’s ancestors. Sir Percy summoned all these people to Blakeney Hall to strategize about ending the Reign of Terror in France. Holmes witnessed Lecoq’s meeting with Countess Nadine Carody at the Calyx Bar last month. Sir Percy implies Marguerite and Alice have assured him Carody prefers the company of her own gender. Colonel Bozzo-Corona and his Brothers of Mercy provided Marguerite and Alice with the Heart of Ahriman, so they and Percy could use it to defeat Baron de Musard. Gribardsun shifts his attention to the women present at the gathering: Alice Clarke Raffles, Lady Blakeney, Elizabeth Darcy, Countess Carody, Miss Caroline Bingley, Philippa Delagardie, Alicia, Lady Greystoke, Lady Tennington, Violet Clarke Holmes, Elizabeth de Winter and Lady Drummond. Gribardsun remembers killing another Baron de Musard in the late 1500s in France. Gribardsun later looks in on the Continental group, which includes Gerolstein’s brother, Gustavas Kramm, and Carody. The following day, Miss Bingley is discovered dead. Sir Percy remarks Darcy will have a hard time writing a condolence letter to her brother. Gribardsun later spies on Lecoq playing cards with Louis Lupin, Delagardie’s coachman. He finds no sign of the other two coachmen, Arthur Blake and Etienne Austin. However, he finds Blake is also spying on them, and watches him report to Sir Hezekiah and Sir Percy. Sir Percy, who calls Blake “cousin,” believes someone at the gathering is a Capellean. Sir Hezekiah believes that person suspects not only that Blakeney is an Eridanean agent, but that Fogg himself is an Old Eridanean, and also believes the clanging comes from a distorter. Gribardsun, considering the distorter, thinks that his own ship, the H. G. Wells I, was a sort of teleportation device. He also considers whispers throughout the ages of a group called the Nine, which in turn leads to associations in his mind with the nine bells and the significance of the number nine in Khokarsan culture, including the nine-sided temple of Kho and the Door of Kho that leads into the temple, and Kho’s nine primary aspects. Gribardsun wonders if the Capelleans and the Eridaneans could be extraterrestrials, remembering his past experiences in Africa with exotic plants and a massive crystalline root system, both obviously alien in origin, which devastated the continent of Khokarsa. On December 13, the members of the party set out on their coach ride. Holmes’ friend Dr. Sebastian Noel accompanies them. Dr. Jacob Moishe, the head of the team that invented the time machine utilized by Gribardsun, had proven the actions of time travelers merely spurred historical events. Gribardsun catches the familiar scent again, and flashes back to Khokarsa in 10,814 B.C. In that time, he also smells a familiar scent. Gribardsun has enlisted a tribe of the Neanderthaloid Gokako to perform excavations in his attempt to find the source of the crystalline root system running through Central Africa, which will some day destroy Khokarsa, and whose devastating effects he first encountered in 1918. His current location is the future site of a city, founded by Lupoeth, priestess of Kho, which is very important to him. He turns to face an old acquaintance. When Gribardsun last met him, in Africa in 1912, he resembled an African witch doctor, and Gribardsun saved his life. The grateful man offered Gribardsun a concoction that granted him everlasting life. The man before him now looks very different, and identifies Gribardsun as Sahhindar, the Gray-Eyed Archer God, and also the god of plants, bronze, and Time. He states he has realized Gribardsun is an immortal time traveler, like himself. This individual states he wants Gribardsun’s secret of eternal life, having not yet met him in his own future. Gribardsun performs the ritual upon the man, who calls himself Kethnu, which means “head man.” In 1795, Gribardsun finds himself face-to face with the man once known as Kethnu. The blue sapphire on the former Kethnu’s pocket watch reminds Gribardsun of the nethkarna, the seed of the Tree of Kho, which the oracles of Khokarsa used to tap into the root system. Greystoke’s fellow immortal gives his current name as XauXaz. XauXaz has used a time distorter to travel to the year 1795. The duo battles and XauXaz boasts he is Gribardsun’s grandfather several times over. Finally, XauXaz persuades Gribardsun to let him turn on the distorter. The coachmen, recognizing the sound, turn the carriages around, just as a meteor falls from the sky. XauXaz reveals he hopes a descendant of one of the individuals present at the gathering will be able to assist him someday, and comments many of those descendants will have remarkable talents, such as Gribardsun’s ability to survive his jungle upbringing. He adds he had received an elixir from “my friends who are also my enemies” before he first met Gribardsun that was less effective than the one the jungle lord shared with him, but even the second elixir he took is beginning to wear off. About one hundred years ago from XauXaz’s perspective, he was impersonating a seal-hunting schooner captain named Larsen, and began experiencing debilitating headaches as a result of the failure of the second elixir, causing him to fake his death. He believes the meteor’s effect on his ancestors was responsible for the elixir’s efficacy upon Gribardsun, and hopes direct exposure to the meteor will have a similar effect upon him. If that doesn’t work, he hopes a descendant will uncover the key to the perfect elixir. He mentions the elixirs that have already been created by descendants of those present by his native time, including a Royal Jelly treatment whose vital elements include a shard of the Wold Newton meteor. In both 1917 and a few years afterward, XauXaz will attempt to steal such a shard, and battled with Sherlock Holmes over it. Another elixir, the “Oil of Life,” will be created by a Mastermind from the Far East, who will be the 3rd Duke of Greystoke’s grandson. XauXaz has high hopes his grandson, James Clarke Wildman, will be able to perfect the elixir. XauXaz, disguised as a German Baron, clashed with him near the end of the Great War, and sparked his interest in such an elixir. He states Wildman and his wife have not been seen for many years, but he is convinced Wildman is as young as ever. XauXaz tells Gribardsun the British Secret Service were interested in the latter’s instances of the “human magnetic moment.” XauXaz wonders before returning to his own time if the meteor would not have landed in Wold Newton if Gribardsun had not been right there to guide it to that very spot. Back in 1972, XauXaz reflects on his discovery of the Capellean distorter in the 1930s. In the 1940s, he discovered how to suppress its clangings if he so wished, and used it to puzzle the Gray Man of Ice with his impossible comings and goings. In 1972, hearing of similar advances, XauXaz has modified his distorter to travel through time as well as space. He learned of the divergent parallel universe, which was created tens of thousands of years ago, in 1720 when the Shraask entity touched his mind, and his allies-enemies in the Nine, Anana and Iwaldi, also existed in that reality. In 1972, the time distorter and Shraask, who had been invoked by the other world’s Nine in 1720, enabled him to travel to that particular time and reality, where he killed his counterpart. XauXaz traveled back and forth between his own universe and the parallel world, where he impersonated his counterpart. On his counterpart’s Earth, XauXaz’s brothers Ebnaz XauXaz and Thrithjaz died before Shraask’s advent, whereas the brothers of the XauXaz who encountered Gribardsun had died due to his refusal to share Sahhindar’s elixir with them. When the otherworldly Nine became suspicious in 1968, XauXaz faked his death. Impersonating an elderly man named Mister Bileyg, XauXaz injected himself into the bloodline of John Cloamby, Lord Grandrith and his half-brother, Doctor James Caliban, becoming their grandfather. Now, he intends to begin the next phase of his plan, having read in a newspaper about the alleged death of Doctor Wildman and his wife, following the disappearance of Greystoke and his own wife. He thinks of his prior battles with his grandson, who had known him as Baron von Hessel. Wildman’s last known location is a private clinic in New York. XauXaz considers extracting information from Wildman’s daughter Patricia.
Short story by Win Scott Eckert in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 3: Portraits of a Trickster, Michael Croteau, ed., Meteor House, 2012; reprinted in Tales of the Wold Newton Universe, Win Scott Eckert and Christopher Paul Carey, eds., Titan Books, 2013. This story explains the reason why so many people were at the remote village of Wold Newton when a meteor fell there in 1795. XauXaz, the Nine, Anana, Iwaldi, Ebnaz XauXaz, Thrithjaz, John Cloamby, Lord Grandrith; and Doctor James Caliban are featured in Farmer’s trilogy of novels consisting of A Feast Unknown, Lord of the Trees, and The Mad Goblin. In these novels, XauXaz is portrayed as the inspiration for legends of the Norse god Wotan. In Tarzan Alive, Farmer noted Wotan was an ancestor of the jungle lord, and suggested he may have been responsible for the meteor coming to Earth in Wold Newton. Shraask is from the unpublished fourth book in the Grandrith/Caliban series, The Monster on Hold. The latter novel implies, and this story confirms, Grandrith and Caliban’s exploits occur in a parallel universe to the CU. Characters from Farmer’s Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life include: Dr. Siger Holmes and his wife Violet Clarke, ancestors of Sherlock Holmes; Albert Lecoq, father of Lecoq of the Black Coats and grandfather of Monsieur Lecoq; Sir Hugh Drummond and his wife, Lady Georgia Dewhurst, ancestors of Bulldog Drummond; Honoré Delagardie and his wife Philippa Drummond, ancestors of Lord Peter Wimsey; Alice Clarke Raffles, companion of Sir Percy and Marguerite Blakeney, and Sir Percy’s future second wife; George Edward Rutherford, 11th Baron Tennington and his wife Elizabeth Cavendish, ancestors of the jungle lord; John William Clayton, 3rd Duke of Greystoke, and his wife Alicia Rutherford, also ancestors of the jungle lord; and Arthur Blake, ancestor of Sexton Blake. The Capelleans and the Eridaneans are warring alien races from Farmer’s novel The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, which is also the source of the distorter. Another time distorter, albeit operating on different principles, is used by Farmer himself in stories by Paul Spiteri. General Sir Hezekiah Fogg was mentioned as the great-grandfather of Phileas Fogg (from Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days) in the Have Gun–Will Travel episode “Fogg Bound.” However, according to The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, Phileas’ stepfather Sir Heraclitus Fogg was an Old Eridanean, a native member of the race rather than an adoptee. Therefore, Eckert proposed in “A Chronology of Major Events Pertinent to The Other Log of Phileas Fogg” (found in the 2012 Titan Books edition of Other Log) Sir Hezekiah was a prior alias used by Sir Heraclitus himself, who later posed as his own descendant. John Gribardsun, the H. G. Wells I, Project Chronos, and Jacob Moishe are from Farmer’s novel Time’s Last Gift; Gribardsun is actually the jungle lord, who received an immortality elixir from a grateful witch doctor according to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel Tarzan and the Foreign Legion. The timeline was split into two divergent realities when the H. G. Wells I’s second trip to 14,000 B.C. was diverted to 26,000 B.C. by Gribardsun’s presence in their intended time period, as chronicled by John Allen Small in his story “Into Time’s Abyss” (The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 2: Of Dust and Soul, Michael Croteau, ed., Meteor House, 2011). Sir Percy Blakeney and his wife Marguerite are from Baroness Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel novels. Percy, Alice and Marguerite battled Baron de Musard in Eckert’s story “Is He in Hell?” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 6: Grand Guignol, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2010). The Baron de Musard in that story is an ancestor of the Baron de Musard referred to in Farmer’s Doc Wildman novel Escape from Loki. Gribardsun’s battle with a member of that family in the 1500s was alluded to in Farmer and Eckert’s novel The Evil in Pemberley House. Colonel Bozzo-Corona and his Brothers of Mercy are from Paul Féval’s novels about the criminal conspiracy known as the Black Coats. Iain Bond is an ancestor of British Secret Service agent James Bond. William de Winter and his wife Elizabeth Richmond are from Jean-Marc Lofficier’s articles “Will There Be Light Tomorrow?” (Shadowmen: Heroes and Villains of French Pulp Fiction, Black Coat Press, 2003) and “The Tangled Web: Genealogies of the Members of the French Wold Newton Families–Rocambole and Fantômas” (found at The French Wold Newton Universe website); William is descended from Milady from Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. Gustavas Kramm is the ancestor of Dr. Cornelius Kramm from Gustave Le Rouge’s Le Mystérieux Docteur Cornelius, while the surviving Gerolstein brother is the father of Rodolphe de Gerolstein from Eugène Sue’s The Mysteries of Paris; both were identified as present at the meteor strike by Lofficier in“Will There Be Light Tomorrow?,” which also first proposed the reason why those present at the meteor strike were gathered together. Fitzwilliam Darcy, his wife, the former Elizabeth Bennet; Elizabeth’s sister-in-law, Miss Caroline Bingley; and Caroline’s brother Charles are from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Countess Nadine Carody is from the film Vampyros Lesbos. The Calyx Bar is from Louis Feuillade’s film serial Judex. The Heart of Ahriman is from Robert E. Howard’s Conan novel The Hour of the Dragon. Etienne Austin was identified as present at the Wold Newton meteor strike by Cheryl L. Huttner in her creative mythographic essay “Name of a Thousand Blue Demons” (Myths for the Modern Age: Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe, Win Scott Eckert, ed., MonkeyBrain Books, 2005); he is an ancestor of Professor Challenger’s chauffeur-butler Austin as well as Seabury Quinn’s occult detective Jules de Grandin. Dennis E. Power revealed Sexton Blake was related to the Scarlet Pimpernel in his series of articles “The Wold, Wold West” (found at the Wold Newton Universe: A Secret History website), a theory that was adopted by Eckert for his essay “The Blakeney Family Tree” (The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 1: Protean Dimensions, Michael Croteau, ed., Meteor House, 2010). Khokarsa is featured in three novels by Farmer, collected in the omnibus Gods of Opar. The Gokako are also from the Opar books, and Greystoke/Gribardsun appears in the series under the name Sahhindar. The Temple of Kho also appears in the Opar books. The nethkarna and the Door and Tree of Kho appear in Christopher Paul Carey’s novella Exiles of Kho. Lupoeth is mentioned in the Opar books, and her founding of Opar is depicted in Exiles of Kho. The city founded by Lupoeth is Opar itself, which is originally from the Lord Greystoke books. Dr. Sebastian Noel is from Rick Lai’s essay “The Secret History of Captain Nemo” (Myths for the Modern Age); he is the father of Dr. Noel from Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Suicide Club” and the grandfather of Professor Moriarty. The crystalline root system is from Eckert and Carey’s story “Iron and Bronze” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 5: The Vampires of Paris, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2009). The root system is an extension of the star-shaped mineral-vegetable king from J.-H. Rosny aîné’s novel L'Étonnant Voyage d'Hareton Ironcastle, translated and adapted by Farmer as Ironcastle, and is also related to the Crystal Tree of Time, which the jungle lord encountered in 1918 during the events of Farmer’s The Dark Heart of Time: A Tarzan Novel (based on ideas from “Crystal Corridors in the Farmerian Monomyth,” presentation by Christopher Paul Carey and Dennis E. Power, FarmerCon III, Peoria, Illinois, July 26, 2008). Wolf Larsen is from Jack London’s The Sea Wolf, and was identified as Doc Wildman’s grandfather in Tarzan Alive. Baron von Hessel is from Escape from Loki; Christopher Carey identified Larsen and von Hessel as aliases for XauXaz in his essay “The Green Eyes Have It–Or Are They Blue? or Another Case of Identity Recased” (Myths for the Modern Age). The Royal Jelly treatment was created by Sherlock Holmes, as revealed in William S. Baring-Gould’s biography Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street. XauXaz’s attempt to retrieve a shard of the Wold Newton meteor was chronicled in Watson and Eckert’s story “The Adventure of the Fallen Stone” (Sherlock Holmes: The Crossovers Casebook, Howard Hopkins, ed., Moonstone Books, 2012), which also revealed the British Secret Service’s interest in the “human magnetic moment,” first identified in Tarzan Alive. The Oil of Life was created by Dr. Fu Manchu, who was identified by Farmer as the grandson of the 3rd Duke of Greystoke in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. Wildman’s wife is Adélaïde Johnston Lupin, who appears in Eckert’s stories “The Eye of Oran” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 2: Gentlemen of the Night, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2005) and “Les Lèvres Rouges” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 3: Danse Macabre, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2006). Their daughter is Patricia Clarke Lupin Wildman, the protagonist of The Evil in Pemberley House. The Gray Man of Ice is Paul Ernst’s avenging pulp hero; Eckert has chronicled his battles with XauXaz in a trilogy of stories for Moonstone Books’ anthologies featuring the character. The private clinic is Doc Wildman’s Crime College.

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