// Clarity: The origin story of Vampire Relations Representative Evelyn Dawsquire
Original story written by Fatimah Waghat, UCLan Illustration student
A stage magician who goes by the name of Evelyn (Eve) Dawsquire is a master of beautiful illusions and elaborate fabrication, among a lineup of other performers, who travel together as a Cirque du Magique.
With dazzling displays, they never fail to stun an audience, and are often cited as an unconventional circus truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen before - little do their audiences suspect, they are actually real sorcerers.
Cirque du Magique... an unconventional circus truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen before!
The troupe draws primarily on Light energy to source of their powers, obtained from emotions of joy, happiness and such. The Cirque du Magique is a way for them to receive consistent amounts of this energy, lest they give in to a conventional lifestyle without magic.
On her travels with the troupe, Eve hopes to track down her brother, Andrew Dawsquire - somewhat clairvoyant and a manipulator of fates, and their father Raymond - after their mysterious consecutive disappearances several years ago.
As the troupe nears the location of Andrew's last known whereabouts, Eve, frustrated with her lack of progress, decides on a whim to venture out alone. Vera, a fellow troupe member, gives Eve an enchanted doll for protection, predicting that, in the wrong hands, Andrew's powers could be used as a catalyst of colossal disaster.
The trail eventually leads Eve to a desolate clearing - a dead end. After searching for a way through with no luck, she resolves to head back for the day, when she is suddenly grabbed by the shoulder from behind. The attacker plants a firm bite on her neck before collapsing immediately. Hearing the thud of his fall, she turns to see a person with a crazed look in his eyes, lying on the ground desperately struggling to scramble away.
As she turns to run, the clouds part and the shimmering moonlight reveals a great shadow looming over her. She snatches a glance behind her to see a grand castle floating above the ground. This type of enchantment, the likes of which she has never seen, stirs up a great sense of unease within her.
Spooked yet curious, she cautiously flies up towards the strange building, discovering a huddle of mysterious cloaked figures. Eavesdropping on the gathering taking place, she finds that this castle is home to a hidden vampire cult known as The Quelling, whose aims are to "control the destructive and unacceptable instinctual behaviours of vampires". “We are among the world’s most cursed” is an utterance that strikes Eve as particularly tragic.
At the end of the meeting, the speaker senses her presence and calls on her as "freshly converted", inviting her to become a member of The Quelling.
With dawning horror she looks up to meet the eyes under the hood, confirming her worst fears. Almost instinctively, her psychic abilities kick in and she envisions his true nature.
/ / /
As cult leader, Raymond Dawsquire is a cold-blooded vampire, controlling the group by suppressing their vampiric urges for his own power, derived from Dark energy - a form of magic fueled by betrayal, sorrow, and anguish.
Raymond invites wandering guilt-ridden vampires into the castle, promising a chance at redemption, then uses his powers to render anyone who enters unable to leave. Over the years, many who have fallen victim to Raymond's trap have been driven insane, desperately looking for ways to escape or lure in small animals to feed on. Escapees often go berserk and embark on blood-draining sprees, their appetites seemingly insatiable.
Ultimately, Raymond desires to protect his people, the vampires, under his supreme reign and separated from human society, as he believes nothing good will ever come from integration. His end goal is to sabotage human-vampire relations and use the ensuing chaos to reap dark magic and become a formidable sorcerer. His mad quest for power leads him to abduct his own son, hoping to use Andy's abilities for his own ends.
/ / /
After a moment's silence, Raymond instead invites Eve to “embrace her heritage”, with a knowing grin. All too quickly, before she has the chance to respond, a cloaked figure appears behind him, plunging a stake into his chest. The dust settles to reveal the delicate visage of the assassin.
As it turns out, Vera has been following Eve's movements carefully, through the use of the bewitched doll. Before she traps his soul into an enchanted vessel for good, an unnervingly calm Raymond delivers his chilling last words: “This is not my last form, and certainly not the last lifetime I will live”.
Vera swiftly beheads him with a sword, ensuring his physical demise. His firm facial features crackle into a grey husk, the cloak like a moth’s corpse strewn upon the floor.
The cult members look up, some removing their hoods at the mix of feelings the death of their leader inspires. The spell on the castle is broken, causing the whole structure to crash unceremoniously to the ground onto the surrounding clearing.
Eve returns to tell the troupe of the events that have transpired. With Raymond’s physical being gone, they band together to reorganise and refurbish the castle, eventually transforming it into the Clarity Institute for the Rehabilitation and Betterment of Vampires, whose aim is to provide a space for those infected with vampirism to learn to control urges on their own terms and coexist peacefully with regular humans.
● Vampires are humans who have been infected with a disease that, when it enters the bloodstream, permanently alters the bone marrow where blood cells are made and causes instinctual bloodlust.
● A sorcerer's true name holds great power over them, which is why the names you see here are not true names.
● Much like sorcerers, the strengths and weaknesses in a vampire’s powers are influenced by each individual's personality. For example, not all vampires are hurt by sunlight. Some can fly; others can only hover. Most can turn into bats, though how easily and what species varies. Only centuries-old vampires need permission to enter a home. Some are even fortunate enough to be able to experience the luxury of a warm slice of garlic bread.
Once an energetic stage magician, now Vampire Relations Representative and co-founder of Clarity Vampire Rehabilitation Centre. As a sorcerer she was shunned by society throughout her childhood. Has the ability to read minds with shocking accuracy, however has decided it to be too invasive and would rather become acquainted with someone more traditionally than know all their pivotal life stories from the first encounter. Because of this, she also has a great sense of empathy and understanding of other people's way of thinking.
A similarly energetic and talented sorcerer, Andy uses his powers to discover people's true desires and bestow good fortune upon those he encounters, posing as a fortune teller. Employs props to trick clients about where the magic lies. Disappeared shortly after agreeing with his sister that they would search for their father.
Specialises in the art of inhabiting inanimate objects with the spirits of animals, which she carries out according to a strict personal code of ethics: no humans and no pets. In addition, the physical limitations of this magic mean that her creations must be at least vaguely similar in structure to that of the animal's previous body.
Sentient doll Bodgoz
A playful, sentient doll created by Vera and gifted to Eve. May appear small and insignificant, but has a transcendent power which taps into a fourth dimension that most humans cannot access. Can communicate telepathically and plant the seeds of ideas in people’s minds. Despite Vera’s code of ethics, this doll looks suspiciously humanoid...
A manipulative leader of the Vampire’s cult known as The Quelling. Desires widespread rule and infinite power. His dusty remains are now kept in an enchanted vessel.
Fatimah Waghat Online
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival competition for 2019 is a tribute to Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. Students are challenged to create their own new character who despite emerging from the hellish heat and fury of the underworld is, like Hellboy, a cool force for good.
Hell of a Comic Art Challenge is supported by the University of Cumbria