Captain Lord Henry Baltimore was once a commanding officer during World War I. However, after running afoul of an enemy ambush, his entire squad was killed, and Baltimore's left leg was severely wounded. Left for dead, Baltimore faded in unconsciousness until he was awakened some hours later by giant bats who were feeding off dead men. When one tried to feed off him, Baltimore slashed at it with his bayonet and struck it in the eye. The bat retaliated by further wounding Baltimore and infesting his leg with severe gangrene, leaving no choice but to amputate it when he was finally brought to a hospital. Afterwards, a wooden leg is fashioned for Baltimore to use.
Unbeknownst to him, Baltimore had attacked a powerful vampire known as Haigus, who was outraged over the scar that Baltimore left him on his right eye, leaving it forever blinded. As revenge, Haigus declared war on humanity, bringing a plague of vampirism down upon all of Europe and killing thousands.
Haunted by what he'd encountered on the battlefield, Baltimore was happy to return home, only to discover upon his arrival that his parents and sister had all succumbed to the plague. His wife, Elowen, had survived, but only so that Haigus was able to kill her as Baltimore was forced to watch. It was then that Lord Henry Baltimore became set on his mission to kill Haigus.
He now travels the world killing lesser vampires in hopes of finding Haigus and avenging his family.
Lord Henry Baltimore was created by Mike Mignola, who originally came up with the character for the 2007 illustrated novel Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire. Mignola came up with much of the novel's plot, although Christopher Golden penned the novel based on their joint efforts. Later in 2010, Dark Horse Comics published Baltimore's first comic appearance, a five issue limited series called Baltimore: The Plague Ships, which was illustrated by Ben Stenbeck.
Major Story Arcs
Baltimore checks on rumors of WWI soldiers who were listed as both KIA and returned home. He finds one soldier having turned into a vampire and was feeding on Londoners at night. After slaying him, he visits the man's wife, finding she had been turned since he had come home. Baltimore instructed her on how to put herself out of her own misery
Baltimore investigates a rumor of a monster living inside of a derelict tank in France. Further inspection of the tank reveals a vampire living inside, hiding from a worse evil. As Baltimore approaches the tank, he is attacked by a number of goblin like creatures emerging from the mud. The hiding vampire took advantage of Baltimore's distraction to make his escape, but the goblins did not let him get far.
This incident proved to Baltimore that the plague wasn't just creating vampires and zombies but was attracting all manner of evil beings.
The Plague Ships
Baltimore was hunting vampires and a lead on Haigus on the coast of France when he was wrongfully arrested. Vanessa, a Romani woman he had crossed paths with earlier, offered to help him escape if he allowed her to accompany him on his quest. She arranged for them to sail out on her late father’s former ship, The Marianne, to Livorno, Italy, where they believed Haigus to be.
Unfortunately, the ship came across a bad storm and sank. Baltimore and Vanessa washed ashore on the haunted Furiani graveyard island. While searching for supplies among the many wrecked ships, they come across a plague ship with a strange fungus growing from it. Baltimore investigates further making sure that anyone who succumbed to the plague did not come back as a vampire or a zombie.
Overnight, the bulbs in the fungus bloomed, releasing a gas that reanimated the sailor corpses just off the coast. As they rose from the ocean, Baltimore forced Vanessa to take refuge in a grounded submarine, while he fought off the horde. He lasted until sunrise, which took care of the rest. That morning, a ship also came to their rescue, but Vanessa no longer had a desire for excitement and decided to return home.
The Curse Bells
After a Haigus trap for Baltimore failed in Switzerland, Baltimore found himself in Austria, exchanging notes with Simon Hodge, an American journalist fired from the Boston Globe for his ramblings about vampires. Hodge believes he had a run in with Haigus and pointed him in the direction of a nearby convent that was rumored to have nuns that rose from the plague, as well as a Bavarian soldier with a possible cure. Their recon mission found that the Bavarian soldier was running experiments. He had Haigus captive and was cutting into him for blood sacrifices he was using to raise a local witch, using a pregnant nun as a vessel.
After returning to town for more weapons, Baltimore and Hodge return and interrupt a blood ritual.They are quickly overpowered by the plague-ridden nuns who force the two men to witness the witch, Madame Blavatsky, rip through the pregnant belly of the sacrificed woman. In exchange for the return of her life, the Bavarian soldier demanded she put a curse on the convent’s bell tower that the ringing will turn anyone in earshot into an army of slaves for him to command.
While they prepare for the curse, Baltimore and Hodge are imprisoned in a cell next to Haigus. Despite being so close to his vengeance, Baltimore gave up his chance for it to stop the curse and save the nearby town from becoming slaves, including himself. He escaped from the cell and ran up to the bell tower, however, he was unable to stop the ringing. Fortunately, Baltimore mysteriously proves immune to the curse. He was able to kill the Bavarian’s familiar, an owl that could transform into an enslaved soldier, and convince the plague-ridden nuns that the Bavarian was a liar.
In the meantime, the resurrected witch released Haigus before Baltimore could find him. The convent turned on the Bavarian, leaving the townspeople zombefied slaves without a master to command them. The nuns requested that Baltimore be their witness as they burn up in the morning sun.
Dr. Leskovar’s Remedy
Baltimore crash-landed near a fishing village on the Dalmatian coast after fighting a demon on board a fighter plane. He was welcomed by the residents but implored to wait until morning to continue his quest. The surrounding forests were full of vampires mutated by the experiments of Dr. Leskovar in his search for the cure for vampirism. They occasionally come into the village to steal people to infect and then try to cure. The next morning he bid farewell but first made his way to Leskovar’s lab.
He was attacked by mutated vampires that tried to intimidate him. He fought his way to Leskovar, who panicked by the sound of fighting and drank his latest concoction. He referred to it as a solution, not a cure. He transformed into a larger monster and attacked the mutated vampires who had been holding his hostage. Baltimore helped exterminate the monsters.
With the vampire problem ended, they were drawn back to the fishing village that was being attacked by giant crabs that had been feeding on the monster in Baltimore’s crashed plane. When Baltimore alludes to monsters begetting more monsters, Leskovar agrees. The doctor ultimately fought the largest crab, dragging it out to sea where he mauled it and then drowned, thus closing the chain he created.
The Infernal Train
Baltimore receives a telegram from Simon Hodge. He warns him about Judge Duvic, a particularly obsessive judge of the Spanish Inquisition, who believes Baltimore’s soul is stained from all the evil he has witnessed. He had recently taken Simon and Vanessa as prisoners, killing Vanessa before Simon made his escape. Simon admitted to telling Duvic that Baltimore could be found in Budapest. Rather than accept the distraction, Baltimore decides to head to Budapest and confront Duvic.
Budapest was gaining notoriety for the walls they built to keep the plague out. Baltimore happened to come into Budapest at the same time as a train with plague furnaces that burned so hot that plague-ridden corpses were reduced to less than ash. Even stranger was how the walking dead seemed attracted to it. Upon further investigation, Baltimore finds a group of high priests of the Red King, like Haigus, taking refuge in one of the train cars. Needing more firepower to take them on, he returns to the town to raid their armory but is interrupted by Duvic. The two men fight, but Baltimore is snatched by an army of the dead sent by the train conductor, Fulcanelli. Duvic attempted to stop the train and save Baltimore for himself, but the train took off. Baltimore jumped aboard believing Fulcanelli had information regarding Haigus, and Duvic followed.
Fulcanelli proved to be a witch. She put Baltimore into a trance and shared with him the story of the Red King. He had come from Limbo with his high priests creating monsters out of humanity so they would worship him. As civilization left him powerless, he went into hibernation, and his priests devolved into savage beasts. It was Baltimore’s strike on Haigus that awoken from his animal trance. They have been trying to summon the Red King ever since, hence the spread of the plague.
Baltimore’s hatred for Haigus allowed him to break the trance and throw a grenade into the steam engine. The resulting train derailment killed the high priests or left them wounded and weak enough for Baltimore to dole out killing blows. With her last breath, Fulcanelli informed Baltimore that Haigus was headed to London. All that stood in his way was a final confrontation with Duvic. Baltimore threw a knife, hitting Duvic in the chest and killing him. Duvic was able to get a shot off that hit Baltimore, but it did not stop him from moving on.
Chapel of Bones
Baltimore was late to a meeting with old friends in London. He had written to three men he had crossed paths with on his quest to slay Haigus, including the surgeon that removed his leg as well as Thomas Childress, a childhood friend. They were some of the last men he trusted. He was prepared for his final confrontation with Haigus and expected to die in either defeat or victory. He needed these men to collect his body, burn it on Trevelyan Island, and scatter the ashes on the same beach Baltimore had scattered his own parents and sister.
However, due to his lateness, the men were approached by a fourth, an artist who delighted in their stories of Baltimore’s heroism. After last call, he invited the men to his studio to continue drinking as they waited for Baltimore’s arrival. To their dismay, this artist was a follower of the Red King and had Haigus waiting in his studio. Haigus intended to kill Baltimore’s friends to torture him from a far. The men gave Haigus and his revenants a good fight, eventually setting fire to the studio. Thankfully, they were rescued by Baltimore, who slayed them all including Haigus, finally. He also slashed at a portrait of the Red King the artist had created for good measure.
To his surprise, Baltimore was still very much alive. He believed the only reason he had survived to this point was because of his grudge against Haigus. That "fate" needed him to balance the scales. He even produces his gray heart from a hole in his chest with his wife’s wedding ring attached to it and set it on the table, proving to his friends he was being mystically kept alive to exterminate evil.
Thus, Baltimore knew he must continue his fight until the Red King is no more.
The Witch of Harju
After the death of Haigus in London, Baltimore was joined on his quest by a small group of defenders, including his childhood friend Childress. They made their way to Estonia after hearing rumors of witchcraft. As they approached the village of Harju, they came across a young woman, Sofia Valk, being chased by her undead husband. They failed to slay the monster but successfully chased it off, saving the woman. They invited Sofia to stay with them at the inn so they could continue protecting her from the undead.
The innkeeper informed them of the legend of the local witch, how she tortured a local man to death and her symbol, a blood red bird, has been painted all over town ever since, including the funeral where Sofia’s husband rose from the dead. When her husband attacked the center of town the next day, Sofia set fire to him, revealing a reptilian creature controlling his body. After Baltimore slays the creature, the witch appears on a rooftop to give them a warning.
Her warning gave no pause to Baltimore and his allies, although they had already lost one member of their group. During his burial, the entire cemetery rose from the dead during a rainstorm of blood. While his allies fought off the undead, Baltimore peeled off from the group to find the witch in a nearby cave spellcasting. He destroyed her effigy of the Red King, ending her ability to shapeshift. He chased her to a nearby coast, where he cut off her cursed hand and tossed her into the water where she drowned.
Unfortunately, they were not warmly welcomed back to town. Most of the residents believe they must be witches to have bested the witch. So, they depart with Sofia now a member of their fellowship.
The Wolf and the Apostle
In Crimea, Baltimore visited a wounded man in a hospital. He looked like he survived an animal attack, but Baltimore knows better. The man is Judge Rigo of the Inquisition, and, despite his distaste for the uncleanliness of Baltimore’s soul, he told him his tale. Rigo was part of a team to hunt down Judge Duvic. Duvic had survived his slaying at the hands of Baltimore by turning into a large werewolf. This transformation was thanks to a curse placed on him by Vanessa, the Romani woman from Italy that Baltimore met. Duvic had hunted members of the Inquisition to punish God for punishing him. They had cornered him in a castle, but only Judge Rigo survived.
Although Baltimore came to hear his story and then give him an ending, his story inspired Baltimore to invite Rigo to his hunting party, hoping he could rediscover his purpose against the darkness.
The Cult of the Red King
While part of his hunting party looks for the city where the Cult of the Red King was founded, Baltimore leads the rest of his allies to St. Petersburg in Russia. They were invited by a letter from a local priest, who was worried the recent frost that had surrounded the city was thanks to witches. However, Childress has been acting strange ever since he was joined by a new lady friend, named Zoya.
When the pair split off from the group, Baltimore silently follows them hoping to be led to her coven. When Baltimore is sensed, they activate their voodoo dolls of the town’s residents, including Childress, to protect them from Baltimore. While being run off, Baltimore encounters the ghost of a woman killed by her enslaved husband. She informs Baltimore of the voodoo dolls and begs him to destroy them. Baltimore retreats to his allies so they can fight off the coven’s slaves together, while Rigo locates and burns the dolls, freeing the men.
The witches also began to burn, while Baltimore mocks them. In anger, Zoya stabbed the now clear-headed Childress in the chest, killing him. The Blood-Red Witch, who led the coven, appeared before Baltimore and his team. She warned them of what was waiting for them and took the body of Childress for her own purposes.
Before searching for the Blood Red Witch, Baltimore first heads for Odessa to meet up with those of his hunting party who were searching for the Cult of the Red King’s first altar. Not only did Baltimore want to compare notes before they followed their lead on the Blood Red Witch’s mother in Constantinople, but they had graves to dig for their fallen allies: Childress and Simon Hodge and Captain Demetrius, who both died in Carthage investigating the Cult.
Baltimore and his team find themselves in Constantinople searching for Princess Rukiye, the supposed mother of the Blood Red Witch. The princess was only in her 20s and unable to be the mother of the adult witch they confronted. She is in fact possessed by the spirit of the witch’s mother, Helena Von Hahn. After freeing the spirit by killing the body, they investigated the spirit's cryptic words about the tomb of Suleiman the Magnificent. There, they find an altar to the Red King and the bodies of Suleiman and his sons possessed by cooperative spirits.
These spirits told the story of the Red Witch only for her to interrupt them, revealing that the Red Witch was in fact Madame Blavatsky, who Baltimore had fought in Austria in 1916. She was angry that Baltimore released her mother’s spirit and began raising the dead to fight against Baltimore and his allies. She targeted Baltimore personally, sending red tendrils up his nose and teleporting away with his body.
After blacking out, he woke up in a mysterious temple. He followed the chanting to the Red Witch and her apostles standing around an altar. On the altar was Childress. The Red Witch opened a portal inviting the Red King to possess Baltimore’s oldest friend. Baltimore tried to save him, but he was stopped by Dr. Rose and Mr. Kidd of his team while the witches made their escape. They had deciphered a book of Hodge’s that led them to this temple and informed them that the Red King would be easier to kill if made mortal. That news mattered little to Baltimore with his friend’s remains defiled.
The Red Kingdom
Baltimore has been missing for 2 years, and rumors of his death at the hands of the Red King’s army had spread across the world. These rumors were started by Baltimore’s friend, Sofia, to throw the Red King off his scent and inspire the armies of humanity to fight back. Meanwhile, his hunting party had scattered. Harish and Kidd joined the military to fight the Red King’s armies. Dr. Rose caught the plague and became very contagious. He locked himself in quarantine, cloaked in plague gear and researching old texts on the Red King. Judge Rigo joined a monastery but was recently recruited by the New Inquisition, which had turned away from the savage practices of former judge, Duvic.
Baltimore had finally come forward with a workable plan to take out the Red King thanks to the network of spies he had created within the ranks of the evil army. Baltimore had learned that the Red King was to have a coronation that would strengthen his powers beyond the frail human shell he was wearing. To do so, he would need to appear in public, giving the resistance the best opportunity to kill him. So, he rounded up his old allies, including Rigo’s New Inquisition teammates.
Baltimore split the hunting party in two. One half would dress as Red King soldiers, the other would parachute into the city center. The parachuters would work as a distraction by appearing as if they were trying to take the city back. Baltimore and the undercover team would make their way to Osita Antica, where the ritual was taking place. Once Childress was crowned, however, nothing happened. The Red King was still trapped in his flesh prison and, in anger, started turning on his worshippers. Baltimore and his team took this as an opportunity to strike. His allies cut through the worshippers, clearing a path for Baltimore to fight the Red King directly.
It was a bitter brawl, but Baltimore ultimately got the best of him with his trusty harpoon. On his knees, Baltimore screams to heaven for his reward, only to have blood start pouring from the fossilized hole where his heart used to be. Sofia, one of his remaining allies, returned to his body to rest at Trevelyan Island.
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