The Diogenes Club

by David Meadows 23. September 2016 21:16

Feeling guilty about only uploading one new page today, so I'll compensate by waffling more than usual about that page.

If you haven't read the page yet, it's an encyclopaedia page: The Diogenes Club. Go and read it, then come back for the waffle.

First, you're quite possibly aware that I didn't invent the Diogenes Club. I freely admit that stole it. I do that a lot actually (remind me to write a post owning up to all of it one day).

But I probably didn't steal it from where you think I did. I came across it about 20 years ago in Kim Newman's book Anno Dracula, which I highly recommend as an excellent example of alternate history with a lot of literary name-dropping:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1BvXUd71pco/Tht0ONSFzXI/AAAAAAAADu4/20bPao7XwOE/s1600/newman-anno_dracula-cent.jpg

Newman's book, set in Victorian England, had one character who was a member of "The Diogenes Club", a mysterious group who are into shady spy games.

When I later needed just such an organisation to play a minor role in the Game, I used the name, because I thought it sounded cool and I thought, well, Kim Newman's not going to know or care.

What I didn't know was that Newman didn't invent the club. He used a lot of public domain characters in the novel (so I'm in good company) and the Diogenes Club was no exception. But it was more than 10 years later that I found out the origin, when I got this book for Christmas:

 

https://03fcd67fd51850d3ba6b-6cb392df11a341bce8c76b1898d0c030.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com/large/9781/8402/9781840220766.jpg

 

Which of course everyone should read at some point in their lives (I would suggest sooner than I did).

It's first mentioned in "The Greek Interpreter", I think, which is also the story that introduces Sherlock's brother, Mycroft Holmes, and it crops up a few more times after that. Oddly, Doyle never hints that it's anything other than a normal gentleman's club. It's later writers (such as Newman) who have run with the name and made it into a secret-service type organisation.

Anyway, that's the background. My Diogenes Club shares nothing in common with Doyle's original (other than I listed Mycroft Holmes as a member, because why not). It shared more in common with Newman's version, but by now is its own thing (it's been so long that I would have to read Newman's book again to remind myself how much I did take from him; I think nothing but the name (not his anyway) and basic concept (also not his idea originally)).

Where does The Diogenes Club fit into the Heroes Universe? It still exists in 1987 but Strikeforce will never encounter it. It still exists in 2014, and the Heroes might encounter it, but not for a long time yet and only in a minor way.

But as I've said before, there's a lot of background history in my Game universe, and the "Notable Members" listed for the Club are all people who have played roles in the Game's history.

Alfred Cutler was a key member of Strikeforce: 1777, where he served as First Lieutenant on His Majesty's Frigate Atlantis.

Bertram Wellington was a member of Strikeforce: 1865, where he was part of the ill-fated Abyssinian expedition.

Charles West is a character with a long history that ties into a plethora of important events, and you will meet him very soon in the Strikeforce story.

Edward Gillifray is a new character (as in, I just created him this week) whose story is yet to be told, as is Hudson the club steward.

Edward Playfair is a character I actually played in a different game, a game of Call of Cthulu a friend ran some years ago. I enjoyed playing the character so much that I transplanted him to my universe and wrapped him into Charles West's history.

Peter Flint is another stolen character (anyone recognise where from?) who I borrowed to flesh out some more of the history of Charles West.

Patrick Muldoon is a charater you might encounter in a (far-)future issue of Heroes, and a (even-further-)future chapter of Strikeforce. He's a massively important character in the history of the universe, but I won't say much more as I need to keep some things up my sleeve for now.

So now you know more than you ever needed to know about my Diogenes Club. The only other thing you might need to know is that I'll be running the Strikeforce: Edwardian Times game starting in about two weeks, and the Diogenes Club is key to the setting. So now you know why I needed to write this article now...

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Comments (1) -

Stuart Forster United Kingdom
9/23/2016 10:40:36 PM #

I know who the peer Peter Flint is. Smile

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About this blog

The Heroes Universe is an ongoing work of fiction, conceived and chiefly plotted by David Meadows, with help from a group of friends, over a 30-year period.

I am slowly documenting the Universe on this web site.

This blog is a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of that history.

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