Pitch-a-Week Part 22: A Scandal in Sibiu

High Concept: Mannered Central European comedy of horrors in the Era of Revolution

Genre: Transylvanian Romance

Overview: At the turn of the 19th Century, the fires of revolution are fed on the bodies of the Un-Dead.

Coded messages in Poor Richard’s Almanack and Common Sense inspired American colonists groaning under the yoke of the British necrocracy to open warfare against their vampyric masters. The mob has elevated Maitre Guillotine and Père Feu to the status of secular saints in Revolutionary France.

All of that seems worlds away in the heart of Sângaria, nestled in the foothills of the Carpathians. Both the peasantry and the gentry in that mist-shrouded duchy know their place… or know when to flout the rules and when to cleave to authority. Lancea Sanctum priests admonish their Un-Dead parishioners to emulate the Beast Who Preys on Man while noble lords commission paintings and poetry for their mortal brides before devouring them. Elegantly-attired couriers vie for favor through decades-long games of political one-upmanship, while black-clad hussars hunt barbaric revenants and draugr in forests that have rarely seen the light of day let alone the hand of civilization. Brawls of fang and claw or duels of fang and steel are fought over obscure points of honor while the Un-Dead engage in stately, sepulchral balls and pageants. And, all the while, the peasants sweat and toil, dancing the night away at their lords’ command and quaking at the thought of attracting their masters’ attention.

The flame of liberty flickers softly in this dark land. Peasant vampyre-hunters, weary of predation and the rule of primae noctis, put new-born revenants to the torch and hide in the forest to form Peoples’ Armies. Spies and agents provocateur from France and America strike secretly, providing aid, training and hope to the masses. The Ordo Dracul promotes the concepts of change and dynamism among the conservative ranks of the Un-Dead.

And, in dark woods, ruined castles and proud manses, the lords and ladies of Sângaria dance their pavane of blood and vengeance, all the while listening anxiously for the rumble of open revolt…

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