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Count Four

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Count Four
Count Four meeting
The Count Four (from center clockwise): Tierry Darsus, Hans Memlink, Carrel van der Verf and Gie de Grandville.

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The Count Four is the governing body of a conglomerate of criminal organizations in the Four-City Alliance. With their combined influence, the members of the Count Four control the Alliance's criminal underworld. By 3060 AD, the Count Four consisted of the four counts—Carrel van der Verf, Hans Memlink, Gie de Grandville and Thierry Darsus—of Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bruges, and Brussels. After the death of van der Verf, Memlink referred to the group as the "Count Three."

DescriptionEdit

The Count Four is a tetrarchy consisting of the four regional counts of Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bruges, and Brussels. Their combined resources and control of the criminal underworld has enabled them to become a highly influential organization in the Four-City Alliance. As members of the Count Four, the counts execute large scale decisions through a consensus. As individual counts, they govern the criminal affairs of their respective cities as they see fit.[4]

The Count Four's foreign policy is determined by its member counts.[4] In the case of the Alliance's Terran government and the Vatican, the Count Four officially supports the promotion of cordial relations between the Vatican and the Alliance's secret Methuselah aristocracy. Therefore, the Catholic Church is allowed to operate in the Alliance's territory without fear of vampire-related attacks.[1]

HistoryEdit

By the mid-31st century AD, the members of the Count Four were all Methuselah noblemen: Carrel van der Verf, Hans Memlink, Gie de Grandville and Thierry Darsus. By 3050 AD, the Count Four seized control of various criminal organizations throughout the Four-City Alliance, Terran and Methuselah clans alike.[1] Despite their shared interests, particularly in regards to diplomatic relations between the Alliance and the Vatican, there was a considerable amount of animosity between the counts, especially Karel and Memlink. In 3060 AD, Count Hans Memlink of Antwerp murdered members of the Catholic clergy in the Oude Kerk, hoping that the blame would fall on his colleague, Count Carrel of Amsterdam.[4]

Though they regarded Terrans as inherently inferior to the Methuselah, van der Verf, Grandville and Darsus—unaware of Memlink's duplicity at the time—were determined to discover the identity of the culprit who was responsible for the murders. As the regional count of Amsterdam, van der Verf led the investigation into the Oude Kerk incident. After interrogating Agnes de Watteau, the sole survivor of the massacre and a witness to Memlink's crime, van der Verf learned of his colleague's treachery. Before he could act on the revelation, however, he was killed during a confrontation between the Amsterdam vampire clan and the AX agent Hugue de Watteau.[4]

In the wake of Count Carrel's death and the annihilation of the Amsterdam clan, the remaining members of the Count Four attempted to discover the identity of the Vatican priest who assassinated an entire clan of vampires. Aiding the Count Four in their investigation was Chief Inspector Jan van Maylen; a third class mercenary nobleman and childhood friend to Hugue de Watteau, Maylen betrayed Hugue and the Watteau family in order to escape the socio-economic conditions of his birth. Watteau learned of his former friend's treachery while conducting his investigation in Antwerp, and promptly swore to gain revenge by killing him. Before he could fulfill his vow of vengeance, Rachel van Maylen -- Jan's wife and Watteau's former fiance -- begged the priest to show mercy. Before Watteau could make his decision, Hans Memlink and the Antwerp clan attacked the three Terrans. Instead of defeating Watteau, however, the AX agent skillfully killed the vampires of Antwerp, including Memlink. He then grudgingly spared Jan's life, claiming that he had to eliminate the last two members of the Count Four. Unwilling to forgive his one-time friend's treacherous deeds, Watteau swore that he would eventually kill Jan after the last of the vampires were purged from the Four-City Alliance.[2]

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