Real Name: Orphelus

Identity/Class: Human magic-user

Occupation: Most recent career unrevealed;
    previous Roman Centurion

Group Membership: Immortal Nine

Affiliations: Aged Genghis, Cagliostro, "Fu Manchu"; Yellow Claw;
formerly Al-Tothas


Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Currently unrevealed;
    most recent home unidentified;
    formerly Rome @ 1700 years ago

First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula I#15 (December, 1973)

Powers/Abilities: Orphelus retarded (and partially reversed) his aging via regular exposure to the Pool of Blood. Having lived over 1700 years, his extensive experiences granted him unspecified knowledge. He possessed an ancient locket with which he could destroy the Pool of Blood.



(Tomb of Dracula I#15 (fb)) <1700 years ago> - A young Roman Centurion, Orphelus became lost from his troops in ancient Britain, and he found the Pool of Blood. The Pool granted Orphelus immortality as long as he was regularly exposed to it.

(Jean-Marc Lofficier's untold Book of the Vishanti - BTS) - Orphelus became one of the Immortal Nine, those who gained immunity to aging from exposure to the Pool of Blood. They met once every century to renew their vitality at the Pool of Blood.

(Jean-Marc Lofficier's untold Book of the Vishanti) - Orphelus refreshed himself at the Pool of Blood alongside the Immortal Nine.

(Mystic Arcana: Black Knight#1 (fb) - BTS) - Merlin lured Orphelus  away from the  Pool of Blood and transported the Starstone, a forge, an anvil, and mallet to the cavern containing the pool. Merlin used the Pool's power to aid the Black Knight in forging the Ebony Blade and other weapons.

(Tomb of Dracula I#15 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually Orphelus came to see his immortality as a sin...a sin that none should ever fall victim to. After he saw himself aging after 17 centuries, he knew he must destroy the Pool before he died. He sought out an ancient locket which had the power to destroy the Pool.











(Tomb of Dracula I#15) - Orphelus, now an old man, summoned Dracula to his home, revealing to him his true age and origins. Intrigued by the Pool of Blood, which he saw as an endless supply of blood to satisfy his hunger, Dracula agreed to Orphelus' request to bring him to the Pool to renew his youth in exchange for being able to partake of the Pool himself from that point forward. Upon arriving at the Pool, however, Orphelus revealed that he wished to end his life instead of further preserving it. Dipping a magical locket into the Pool, Orphelus caused a massive upheaval that burned the Pool back to the Hell from which it had come. Orphelus died happy knowing he had destroyed the Pool, thus preventing anyone else from knowing the curse of immortality that he had.









Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer.

I'm not sure who would have been emperor of Rome when Orphelus was a centurion, because we're not sure exactly when he was active. IF we take the reference as exactly 1700 years before the date of publication, that would be 273 AD, which would apparently be Tetricus I or II. If we take it was 1700 before the events in modern continuity, then it is sliding around with the timescale, sometime after 300 AD. I'd think the former would be the case, but this was like a 5 page segment, and there might not have been too much thought put into it. Anyway, Roman Emperor info available here: http://www.roman-emperors.org/impindex.htm.
    If Orphelus was a Roman Centurion in Britain, it would have been between the reigns of Caesar and Claudius, about 15 BC to 25 AD, as that's when the Romans tried conquering the region--Will U.
Thanks. It didn't specify anything at all, just that he became lost in Ancient Britain.
I misunderstood JML's plot, thinking it described the Pool as being in the Middle East, but that is just where Cagliostro was as the flashbacks began. JML confirms its location in Britain.

    More info on the Pool of Blood and Jean-Marc Lofficier's untold Book of the Vishanti tale available here: http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/cagliostrosecret.htm

    Though disappointed to have lost a chance at assured immortality, Dracula ultimately resolved that it would only have quenched his thirst and never satisfied his spirit. He felt that he required the constant hunt for blood to keep his spirit alive.

After the destruction of the Pool, Dracula recalled a recent battle with Blade (in Tomb of Dracula I#13), indicating that this story took place in regular chronological order, during the modern era.

Profile by Snood.

The Immortal Nine have no known connection to:

The Pool of Blood has no known connection to:

Immortal Nine

Aged Genghis, Cagliostro, "Fu Manchu", Orphelus, Yellow Claw
    formerly Al-Tothas
    I personally vote to include
Yi Yang

    Since time immemorial, the nine beings who had gained immortality from exposure to the Pool formed a sacred pact. Once every century the Nine would meet by the mystic Pool of Blood and they would partake from its life-giving essence. For reasons unknown, they established a law that if one of the Nine could not appear at the meeting and another showed up in his place, that other person would become one of the Nine.

    Orphelus discovered the Pool and joined the Nine @ 1700 years ago.

    Sometime after 1000 A.D., the Aged Genghis, perhaps succumbing to hidden spells of persuasion, revealed the existence of the Nine and the Pool to Cagliostro. Cagliostro attempted to slay Genghis, but his spells bounced back as the wizard was too powerful. Cagliostro then instead slew the Egyptian wizard Al-Tothas, and took his place at the next meeting of the Nine. In this fashion, Cagliostro joined the Immortal Nine.

    Sometime after 1500, Cagliostro became concerned about being able to reach the Pool of Blood at the appointed time. Over the centuries many had tried to kill him and take his place in the Nine. From the Darkhold he found an easier way to prolong his life, a synthesis or duplication of the Pool of Blood. Though less potent and less long-lasting, it was much easier to make...though it required the blood of a vampire.

    Orphelus destroyed the Pool in the modern era, forcing the Immortal Nine to seek other means of survival.

Note: JML's Book of the Vishanti was also to hint that the Yellow Claw and Fu Manchu were brothers.

--Tomb of Dracula I#15 (Jean-Marc Lofficier's untold Book of the Vishanti(fb), ToD I#15

The thing is, some of the Nine died/ were killed & replaced by others (e.g. Althotas by Cagliostro) so the total number of people who were at one time or another members would obviously exceed 9. So while Merlin was a member in the days of King Arthur, it is questionable whether he would still be member today. The Roman who met Dracula in Tomb of Dracula is dead, so perhaps another has taken his place, or the seat is empty. Besides the pool of blood no longer exists since it was destroyed in TOD (which led to Cagliostro teaming up with Marie Laveau to develop alternatives). So it's a lot more complicated than just pulling out names.
However, the list at one time or another he intended included:
Aged Genghis
Fu Manchu
Yellow Claw
and someone from Wakanda, an earlier Black Panther.

Pool of Blood

    Located in Britain and composed of the blood of all those who had ever died in the history of the world, its powers allegedly came from Hell. Drinking of the pool restored a person to the prime of his or her life, though the effects may have only lasted 100 years. Since time immemorial, nine beings supped from the pool, once every century, though these Immortal Nine changed over time. Orphelus discovered the Pool @ 1700 years ago, while Cagliostro slew and usurped the role of Al-Tothas sometime after 1000 AD. In the modern era an aged Orphelus tricked Dracula into bringing him back to the Pool so he could destroy it to spare others from the sin of immortality. Contact with a certain ancient locket caused the Pool to burn back to the Hell from which it came.

--Tomb of Dracula I#15 (Jean-Marc Lofficier's untold Book of the Vishanti(fb), Mystic Arcana: Black Knight#1, ToD I#15



    Of unknown origins, this ancient locket held mystic powers and proved capable of burning the Pool of Blood back to the Hell from which it had come. Orphelus sought out the locket for the express purpose of destroying the Pool, and he accomplished this mission, destroying himself in the process.


--Tomb of Dracula I#15







Tomb of Dracula I#15, p10, panel 3 (old Orphelus, side view)
            panel 5 (locket)
            panel 6 (young Orphelus finds Pool)
        p12, panel 1 (destroying Pool)

Tomb of Dracula I#15 (December, 1973) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Mystic Arcana: Black Knight#1 (September 2007) - Roy Thomas (writer), Tom Grummet (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)

Last updated: 09/19/07

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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