|“||If there was but one chance for you to bring back the one you loved...what would you be willing to do?||„|
|~ Lord Leslie|
Lord Leslie is the head director of the Royal Medical Society in Shadow Hearts. Along with his right-hand man Dogol, he spearheads the Society's experiments into raising the dead by having the Émigré Manuscript stolen and using its forbidden knowledge to revive his daughter, Violet "Mary" Vermont.
Leslie troubles started when his daughter, Violet, ran away with an artist when she was just 17. Though Leslie, his wife and the rest of his family tried to trace her down they didn't hear from her for two years. Leslie didn't see his daughter again until after his wife's wake, when Violet showed up she was holding a baby, her daughter Joshua. Leslie could tell his daughter had been through a great deal of emotional pain and when he heard she didn't know who the father was he knew what had happened, that the man she had run off with had forced her into prostitution and mistreated her. But Leslie's anger was greater than his sympathies and when she tried to reach out to him he hit her. Leslie's pride was hurt that his daughter had become a whore but the main reason for his anger was that his wife had died worrying about Violet and she had never contacted either of them. Solemnly Violet left the wake with her daughter and Leslie suspected he would never see her again.
Leslie would come to regret he greeted his daughter again with anger instead of love and life lost meaning for him. One day however he met one "Mary Vermont" at a ball, who he recognized as Violet and attempted to make contact. However "Mary" as Violet was going by then, had sewn a reputations as a high-class prostitute. Mary's experience with her father had apparently inspired her to achieve some level dignity in her new life as a prostitute and had gained her a noble reputation in the business. Despite her clout she was still a well known prostitute and Leslie could not be seen associating with her because of his own family pride. Shortly after Leslie heard about her new life though Violet died from an unnamed STD. Leslie regretted he never got the chance to reconcile with his daughter and considered himself to be incompetent as a doctor for not being able to recognize her condition.
The Manuscript of Exiles
It was Leslie's right-hand man Dogol who brought the research of a man called Patrick Heyworth to his attention. Patrick Heyworth was a man who's wife Elaine had been killed by bandits and he had heard from a traveler about the Émigré Manuscript. The Émigré Manuscript was written by the great sage Roger Bacon, who was purported to have achieved immortality with the knowledge recorded in the book. The book itself was a copy Bacon had made for the Vatican of a much older druidic text that was so old it was feared to be close to disintegration at the time. After the translation Roger achieved a Revelation into the nature of the universe. The traveler knew this because he was a student of Bacon's a student that was alive and well over 300 years after Roger Bacon was last recorded in history. Patrick was considerably rich and an accomplished doctor and alchemist and begged the man to get the Émigré Manuscript for him, offering to pay him well. The man had his own plans for the Émigré Manuscript and intended to use Patrick's experiments as a test for his own schemes and so he happily stole the book for Patrick.
Dogol had kept in contact with Patrick as well once his research began. Once Dogol had confirmed what he had heard was true and that Patrick really did have the means to undo death he reported he whole situation to Leslie. Dogol told Leslie that if the experiment worked it was their responsibility as men of science to reproduce the results and strongly urged him to have the Royal Medical Society sponsor Patrick. Leslie quickly got behind the idea and though he used Dogol's justification that it was their responsibility as men of science, in truth he had no greater desire than to use the Émigré Manuscript to revive his daughter. Leslie put many of the Royal Medical Society's resources at Patrick's deposal including helping fund top-grade equipment, keeping his more illicit experiments above the notice of the police and making arrangements with a slave trade to bring in more people to be used as sacrifices for the ritual.
Ultimately Patrick did achieve some level of success or so the Royal Medical Society had thought but they never heard from Patrick again; In truth Patrick had only brought Elaine's body back as an undead monster and when he realized he had brutally murdered over 200 people only to defile his wife's corpse the combination of guilt and despair forced him to willingly feed himself to the monster. Leslie became concerned about his investment and though he had the Royal Medical Society search Patrick's home for it they never found it. Roger Bacon's copy of the Émigré Manuscript had already been retrieved by the student who had stolen it for Patrick in the first place. Dogol told Leslie that the research notes and his firsthand experience assisting with some of the experiments would still put them considerably close to following in Patrick's footsteps.
Leslie opted to have the original Manuscript stolen from the Vatican and acquired it through a series of well placed bribes. Thanks to Leslie the Royal Medical Society acquired the original book but it was 300 years older than it was when the Vatican had first started to notice it was on its way to being unusable and sure enough the restraints around the book were the only things keeping it from completely disintegrating, ensuring that the book could not be opened, to say nothing of it being in an ancient Druid dialect that only Roger Bacon could have translated. Leslie and Dogol form a backup plan though and while their researchers worked off Patrick's notes Leslie turned his attention to a witch named Koudelka.
Koudelka and the Author
When the Royal Medical Society found out that Koudelka had the power to channel spirits they became invested in acquiring her for their experiments with the Manuscript of Exiles. Throughout the manga Koudelka is harassed by the Royal Medical Society. Things finally come to a head when Leslie has Koudelka's friends kidnapped and brings in Koudelka herself. Koudelka met Roger Bacon in the Royal Medical Society lockup and together the two escaped captivity and broke into the lower levels of the Royal Medical Society's headquarters where the Koudelka's friends were being held; at the time Leslie was getting acquainted with Joshua. Leslie brought Joshua with him to see the final stages of the experiment to bring his daughter and Joshua's mother back to life shortly after they arrived in the lab Koudelka and Roger had broken in, however far from being worried Leslie had counted on Koudelka being there. While Dogol restrained Roger Leslie made it clear that if Koudelka wanted her friends back alive she would help him with the experiment. Dogol had revealed his hand in encouraging Patrick along and that he had seen enough of the Émigré Manuscript himself to make himself immortal just as Roger had. Though Leslie told Koudelka he was unsure what had happened to Patrick or the Émigré Manuscript he was close to replicating the experiment on his daughter's corpse which he had dug up.Koudelka, having been there top kill Elaine's body and seeing the grizzly research result's first hand revealed to Leslie what had happened, that raising the dead had only made Elaine a prisoner in her own body and manifested the malice of all those Patrick used as sacrifices as undead and demonic monster and ultimately the reason they had not heard from Patrick was because Elaine had eaten him. While Joshua, and most of the others were horrified at the prospect of what they realized Leslie's experiment would do, Leslie and Dogol were oddly unfazed. Leslie was convinced the only reason Patrick had failed was because of his unwillingness to pay the price of reviving the dead and were sure they could succeed we he had failed. Leslie and Dogol had used far more people for sacrifices than Patrick had. Leslie was willing to take the chance regardless of the possible consequences meanwhile Koudelka and Roger were able to clearly see "Mary's" spirit trapped in the apparatus with her body dragged back from her eternal rest and tethered to it. Dogol told Koudelka there was only that Roger had edited out a section of the Manuscript of Exiles from his Émigré Manuscript which is why they had acquired the original Manuscript. Leslie told Koudelka that she would use her powers to summon the spirit of the Author of the Manuscript using the Manuscript as a conduit. Roger warned Koudelka that the Author was a eldritch pagan spirit that had given the Former Druids the knowledge of the Émigré and that if Koudelka channeled it she would not be able to sever the connection effectively becoming completely possessed, but Koudelka was still left with little choice with Leslie threatening to kill all her friends if she did not comply. Even with the knowledge of what Leslie would be dealing with he ordered the experiment to proceed. Koudelka channeled the Author and become host to the pagan horror. Once invoked the Author asked Leslie and Dogol why they had dared to bring it forth, Leslie said he wanted the full power the Émigré to power his ritual and bring his daughter back to life. Hearing the request the Author obliged and made the proper alterations to the ritual and began gathering the proper amount of energy. As rats began to fall over dead and bird dropped out of the sky Roger tried to make Leslie aware of what he had asked for. Roger asked Leslie why he thought a society that could undo death was no longer around; The answer was that the unrestricted power of the Manuscript of Exiles drew upon the life force of the Formors themselves until they had unwittingly caused their own genocide through continued use of the rituals and that was probably not even the ultimate form of the ritual. The Author was not restricted by ignorance, lack of power or morality and was about to drain the life force of everything on the planet. That was why Roger had made the minor alteration in the instructions of the Émigré.
Leslie finally realized what was about to happen and became unnerved, Dogol on the other hand had suspected the nature the ritual might take at full power and was actually enthusiastic. Dogol said since he was now immortal he would remain unharmed by the ritual and when it was complete he would have access to magic generated from the death of an entire planet and become like unto a god. Dogol also broke open the apparatus containing Mary's body for he hadn't cared bout reviving her at all. Leslie realized Dogol had been manipulating him from the beginning. Joshua however used a pendant Koudelka had given her and told her that it would bring good luck if the worst were to happen. Dogol laughed at the concept of Joshua's naivety but was interrupted by Koudelka who was again in control of her own body. Koudelka had hypnotized herself so that the sight of her pendant would subconsciously reboot her mind no matter how deep in a trance she might have been. Since the Author was still in her body though Koudelka effectively had its power at her disposal and quickly turnesd it directly on Dogol. Even with what Dogol had learned from the Émigré the Author's power made short work of him and he was killed.
After Dogol was killed a light appeared from around Mary's remains and Violet's spirit manifested for all to see. Leslie did not have time to apologize to Violet before her spirit departed into ethereal light. Koudelka asked Roger if her spirit's brief appearance was a result of the ritual or something else, Roger himself was unsure. Leslie was left disheartened but unwilling to even attempt the ritual again, not that he could with most of his research and Dogol destroyed. Leslie is never heard from again but presumably made peace with his regrets after the events with the Author.
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