HANS von FRANKENSTEIN
Real Name: Hans von Frankenstein
citizen of the Holy Roman Empire (but close enough to be included under Germans in my book);
Occupation: Baron of Castle Frankenstein and presumed ruler/owner of the land including Nieder-Beerbach
Group Membership: Ruling role over the village of people of Nieder-Beerbach;
Affiliations: Solomon Kane saved him from the Scheusslischer Lindwurm
Enemies: Annemarie, Cathryn, Katzenborn dragon, Scheusslischer Lindwurm,
Solomon Kane despised him for his cowardice and his causing Cathryn's death
Known Relatives: Phillip von Frankenstein IV (father, deceased) Margarethe von Frankenstein (nee Boeckle, mother, deceased);
Georg von Frankenstein (brother, deceased);
Arbogast von Frankenstein, Frank von Frankenstein (ancestors, deceased);
see Georg's profile's comments for other possible relatives.
Aliases: Baron von Frankenstein, Lord of the Castle on Magnet Mountain;
"Herr Baron," "spineless hyena" (from Solomon Kane)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Castle Frankenstein, on the northern edge of the Magnet mountain on the banks of the river Rhine, in the territory of Hesse/Hessengau, part of the Holy Roman Empire;
First Appearance: Savage Sword of Conan#22/5 "The Dragon at Castle Frankenstein" (September, 1977)
Powers/Abilities: Hans commanded an unrevealed number of knights, etc.
While occasionally putting on an air of false bravado, Hans was cowardly and unwilling to risk his life for others.
However, he was very willing to sacrifice innocent women in an effort to prevent the dragon from attacking the village/villagers.
He had access to and was willing to wield a sword, but he primarily did so in the hopes that his false bravado would deter a challenger.Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'10"; he looked to be just a little shorter than the 6' tall Solomon Kane)
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 (fb)) <1531 A.D.> - A dragon...
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 (fb) - BTS) - In an effort to spare the rest of the village from the dragon, Hans von Frankenstein again ordered the regular sacrifice of maidens.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 (fb) - BTS) <Circa 1555 A.D.; see comments > - Prompted by rumors of some "Hell-spawned" dragon plaguing the villagers of the region, Puritan warrior Solomon Kane journeyed to Nieder-Beerbach.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 (fb) - BTS) - A trio of knights grabbed the maiden Cathryn as she worked at the Black Raven Inn.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 - BTS) - As Hans watched from his castle, Cathryn was saved by Solomon Kane, who slew two of the knights in the process when they refused to relinquish her. Learning of Hans' order from the third knight under duress, Kane had Cathryn take him to Castle Frankenstein to confront Hans.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5) - Confronting Hans, Kane mocked the baron, noting that he should have more guards, unless he did not mind uninvited guests. Taking up a sword, Hans warned Kane that he now faced a nobleman, not three clumsy knights, but his wavering voice and hesistant sword hand showed Kane that Hans was not accustomed to battle, and so Kane stepped forward and struck Hans' blade hard enough to knock it from Hans' hands.
After Hans told Kane he had doomed not only him but also the entire village, Kane demanded Hans speak facts, explain his order, and tell him of the dragon. Recognizing Kane as a Puritan and acknowledging his people to be perhaps the staunchest of Christians, Hans assured Kane that he was a Roman Catholic who feared God as much as him. Hans then led Kane to the village church, showed him Georg's tomb, and told the story of the Scheusslischer Lindwurm and of the later Katzenborn dragon. Vowing to slay the dragon, Kane coerced Hans to lead him to the Katzenborn.
Minutes later, as they reached the edge of ravine, Hans noted
how they could hear the monster sloshing about and that night was
falling before stating that
he was going back to the castle while there was still some light.
However, Kane assured Hans that he would be either
going to Hell bloodied by Kane's sword or he would be joining him in
Katzenborn to meet both of their fates. Hans reluctantly complied, and
as Kane started down the rope first, he advised Hans that he could
still throw a dagger with his left hand.
Kane instructed Cathryn to remain on the surface to be a witness to the outcome of their adventure.
After Kane and Hans had both descended the rope to the bottom, Hans explained how the waters had turned black after being mixed with the previous dragon's blood.
After the dragon released a thunderous roar, Kane noted that the sound came from the tunnel that followed the streams underground, and he forced Hans to accompany him. En route, they spotted giant eggs; appreciating that these must be dragon eggs, Kane began shattering them.
As the dragon angrily confronted them, the terrified Hans dropped his sword (it may have been knocked from his hands by the dragon's tail), and he cursed Kane, reminding him that he had noted that they should have fled when they had the chance. As Kane ensured the destruction of the eggs, Hans stood transfixed, too aghast to move.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 - BTS) - Hearing the conflict and seeking to repay Kane for having saved her, Cathryn descended the rope.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5) - Kane confronted the massive beast, instructing Hans that he needed his aid, but Hans fled, noting that as the monster fed on Kane's carcass, he would have enough time to reach his castle.
As Cathryn approached Kane, she encountered the fleeing Hans. Surprised, she called out to the Baron, who urged her to get out of his way, noting that if she wished to die with the Puritan, he would not be in her way.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 (fb) - BTS) - Hans fled to the surface.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 - BTS) - Cathryn was slain by the dragon's stinger after delivering Hans' sword to Kane, who was caught in the dragon's tail and whose own sword had shattered against the dragon's hide. Finding the weakest point in the dragon's underbelly, Kane slew it.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 (fb) - BTS) - Hans heard as the dragon's roars ceased.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5) - After Kane carried Cathryn's body to the surface, Hans exclaimed that he must have slain the dragon. Denouncing Hans as a spineless hyena, Kane told Hans to stare at his handiwork. When Hans began to argue that he had not killed her, Kane told him to tell him that he was innocent of this child's death and that his soul was not blackened by this most grievous sin; hearing those words would "be justification enough for lopping off your head and tossing it down the Katzenborn to rot alongside the beast that nearly took both of their lives."
After Hans wisely remained silent, Kane gave him a look of intense loathing as he turned, noting that he was taking Cathryn to the village chapel for a proper funeral in the morning.He advised Hans that he attend in his finest black to mourn for Cathryn's soul and to pray for his own.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 (fb) - BTS) - Hans attended Cathryn's funeral.
(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5) - When Hans thanked the departing Kane for saving his life and that of every other person in his village, Kane reminded him Hans admitted the loss of Cathryn. Kane told Hans that he would see her face in his daydreams and nightmares, which would be his own private Hell until the day of his final judgment.
(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#37 (fb)) - The madness of regret descended upon Hans, and rumors of the curse of the Frankensteins grew ever louder, ever wider...
Comments: Created by Don Glut and Sonny Trinidad.
Hans von Frankenstein originally was covered within the von Frankensteins profile, first posted 01/06/2002. The von Frankensteins profile attempted to be all-encompassing, but it is limited in terms of breadth and depth. Hopefully profiling each of the von Frankensteins individually will allow superior coverage.
The von Frankenstein family sold their castle to the state in 1662. In 1732, Konrad Dippel received the title to Castle Frankenstein, founding a new dynasty of von Frankensteins. Thus, most von Frankensteins -- including, to the best of my knowledge, Alphonse von Frankenstein, Anna von Frankenstein, Basil von Frankenstein, Elizabeth von Frankenstein, Ernst von Frankenstein, Jason von Frankenstein, Konrad von Frankenstein, Lenore von Frankenstein, Ludwig von Frankenstein, Maximilian von Frankenstein, Veronica von Frankenstein, Victor von Frankenstein, Victoria von Frankenstein, and William von Frankenstein -- are not blood relatives of Hans.
This story noted Castle Frankenstein to have been built in 1250.
Solomon Kane was born in 1530 A.D. (according to, at least, The Trail of Solomon Kane, Kane... the Avenger), and most of his young stories occurred circa the 1550s. Fellow Appendix writer Wolfram Bane, whose Robert E. Howard knowledge significantly exceeds mine, placed the encounter with Kane and the Scheusslischer Lindwurm as occurring around 1555 A.D.
Given the above and the established death of Georg von Frankenstein
circa 1531, there would seem to be over 20 years between the rampages of the two
dragons, depending on how long between the second dragon's emergence
and Hans' sacrifices of women Solomon Kane arrived there.
Perhaps the dragon only emerged once a year, and Hans sacrificed a woman to it each time, for 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years?
The images and story in the Book of the Vishanti for the story of Hans,
Cathryn, and Solomon Kane don't quite match the story in Savage
Sword of Conan#22.
Profile by Snood.
Hans von Frankenstein should be distinguished from:
Savage Sword of Conan#22/5 "The Dragon at Castle Frankenstein" (September, 1977) - Don Glut (writer), Sonny Trinidad (art), Archie Goodwin and Roger Slifer (consulting editors), Roy Thomas (editor)
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#37 (January, 1992) - Jean-Marc Lofficier, Roy & Dan Thomas (writers), Geof Isherwood (artist), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
First posted: 03/05/2023
Last updated: 03/05/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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