We pick up where we left off last week, Diana and Matthew having said their farewells to Philippe and Sept Tours. Beginning a second arduous journey, this time to Bohemia. At the behest of the Queen, to retrieve her subject, Edward Kelley. When she had previously sent an envoy to collect him, they were rebuffed by the Emperor’s men. Matthew convinces her to let him go, as perhaps he might be more receptive to a one Mr. Roydon. (Diana and Matthew’s name in this time period). The guards attempt to politely decline their party entrance to the Emperor’s grounds, but our smooth-talking vampire will not be brushed aside so easily. Finally, he manages to make his way to Rudolph himself.
La Diosa Del Casa
Emperor Rudolph quite quickly becomes enamored with Diana, calling her La Diosa del Casa. (The Goddess of the Hunt) He is more than slightly thrown off to find that she is Matthew’s wife. He was surprised that his spies had not informed him that Elizabeth’s Shadow had taken a wife. Especially one so intriguing. So much so that quite quickly after they’ve arrived in their lodgings, Rudolph sends over an extravagant gift, delivered to The Goddess.
Rudolph, we quickly learn, has a predilection for collecting. Items, artifacts, information, knowledge, even people. If he believes that the book that Kelley possesses (or stole, depending on how you look at it) could give him the potential to craft The Philosopher’s Stone, then he will be highly hesitant to give it up.
While Diana gains an audience with the king, who falls even further under her charm, Matthew strikes out in his search for Edward Kelley. Unfortunately, everyone that he and Gallowglass meet and talk to seems to have no knowledge of Kelley being there, no sightings or glimpses. This did nothing to deter the search. Late that night, low and behold, we meet Mr. Kelley while he is being escorted around the grounds, who has effectively become a prisoner. After a moment of discourse, he sets off on what seems like a psychotic rant, telling Matthew that the book speaks to him, that it screams to him. This could appear as a simple example of psychosis until it’s followed by three highly significant sentences that every viewer of this tv series has heard countless times…
“It begins with absence and desire.
With blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.”
While the Emperor was otherwise occupied, Gallowglass took the opportunity to search the grounds and rooms in search of the book or anything that might aid their search. Disturbingly, he finds Rudolph’s secret collection, pieces of creatures. Preserved. The severed hand of a witch, a necklace of vampires teeth, and a preserved brain of a daemon. This sets off a blood rage, and intense protective instincts come out. Diana lulls him back to himself, seeming to get a handle on how to bring him back from the blood rage.
Making their way to an exhibition of sorts, all of Rudolph’s prized possession collectibles gathered in. The highly capricious Emperor flits from one emotion to the next with stunning speed. One minute apologizing for his behavior earlier on, to copious amounts of charm and flatter to Diana, to calling her a spy and charlatan the next. All his suspicions are drowned immediately when he witnesses her magic—falling to her feet, offering her anything, anything she wants. She wants the book! Bringing her to where he holds Kelley, literally chained to a wall in a palace dungeon. Diana finally meets the book again. But here, in this timeline, it is complete. That is until Diana manages to immediately magically connect with the book, bringing the illustrations to life. Rudolph then decrees to Matthew that he can have Kelley. He’s found something much more precious! (Straight up Lord of the Rings reference here)
His guards try to seize Diana, but she is accompanied by two vampires, never really in too much danger. They go to flee but not before grabbing the book back off of Kelley, who in his despair tears three pages from the book. Gallowglass had already arranged the traveling party outside the gates so they could successfully flee. Before they depart, Matthew scents the book, finding out its Anthropodermic Bibliopegy – the practice of binding books with human skin. But this is made with the skin of creatures, witches, vampires, and daemons. The ink is made from their blood, pages bound together with their hair. The book of life Matthew comments is more like a Book of Death. They are leaving us on another intriguing cliff-hanger until next week!