Meet the Cast: Ramsey Duvall

Sometimes opposites attract.  Maybe that’s why Ramsey and Benedict became such fast friends.  Ramsey is everything Benedict is not: fun-loving, dashing, charming, a little vain, and utterly un-tortured.  A former musketeer, Ramsey served King Louis XIV in life, and has continued his swashbuckling ways since … to the point that someone (perhaps Ramsey himself, perhaps a mortal) wrote a series of dime novels inspired by his life and exploits as “The Immortal Swordsman.”

While Benedict is driven by an oath of vengeance and protects the innocent almost incidentally, Ramsey lives by a sense of chivalry more at home in an Errol Flynn movie than a European battlefield (no matter what year).  He enjoys everything about his immortality, from the consensual blood-taking intimacies that sustain him to the strength that allows him to defend the weak, challenge the cruel, and come away laughing.

Ramsey wears his hair long, dresses finely but flamboyantly, and covers the scent of death that clings to all vampires with Farina’s 1709, Napoleon Bonaparte’s favorite cologne.  He’s quick with a laugh, almost annoyingly charming, lethal in a swordfight, and he smells like violets and oranges.

But Ramsey Duvall is not completely devoid of sadness.  Like all his kind, he passed through the ceremony of innocence; no one becomes a vampire without shedding innocent blood, without becoming a murderer.  True, that was nearly three hundred years ago, and he has mostly forgiven himself, but that shadow will never completely pass.  Likewise, he may never completely get used to the modern world, changing so rapidly, leaving the flintlock-and-aristocracy world of his mortal life in the dust, racing toward a mechanized and post-industrial future.  To Benedict, technology simply means more weapons in his thousand-year war; his oath is the one true constant, and everything else is just a means to that end.  But Ramsey actually lives in this world, and seeing it change so quickly can be dizzying.

Still, Ramsey presses on, holding his head high, keeping his sword-cane within reach, and smelling like violets and oranges.  I think that’s why I love writing him so much.  He’s going to be a part of Benedict’s story to the very end.


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