|Count Andreas Petofi|
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Presumed dead, killed in a fire started by the ghost of Garth Blackwood
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Count Andreas Petofi (1747-1897) is an extremely powerful mage who first appeared in the 1897 storyline. He used the alias of Victor Fenn-Gibbon and presented Edward Collins with a forged letter of introduction from his friend, the Earl of Hampshire (793) to establish residence at Collinwood.
Petofi had very poor eyesight, which was odd because his powers were so great one would imagine he might have corrected his eyesight. He wore glasses with very thick purple frames to help correct his vision (786). He had certainly found a way to stop or slow his own aging (801) as he was at least 150 years old in 1897 according to Magda Rakosi. According to the Count, he had once possessed a pet unicorn, which he had killed on the full moon before curing himself of the curse of the werewolf. It was telling this story that told Quentin Collins he was a werewolf at one time, because most people would not have known that a werewolf does not recall what happened when they are in beast form (801).
The Count explained to Edward Collins that he could barely speak above a whisper as he had served with Lord Kitchener in the Sudan. It seems that the knife of a tribesman caught him just above the shoulder blade, and the tip pierced his throat. Petofi claimed he was almost given up for dead (793).
Somehow Petofi had placed a large reservoir of power into his right hand, which he then lost as payment to the gypsy woman who cured him of his lycanthropy. In the place of his hand he wore a wooden hand which generally held his cane. The gypsies kept the hand in a box where it did not decay, and retained considerable magical powers. The hand was stolen by Magda from King Johnny Romano (778), but she could not control it (786).
Count Petofi sent Aristede to recover the hand, but by the time he found Aristede unconcious on the docks, Angelique was in possession of the hand. Later that evening he recognized the box it was being kept in, being held by Angelique at Collinwood (793). He watched through the window as Angelique attempted to use it to take away Quentin's disfigurement.
To accomplish this feat Petofi needed to recover his hand, which contained the greater part of his magical powers.
Petofi tried to recover the hand by various means.
On one occasion he turned Quentin Collins over to Aristede (795), who set in motion a swinging blade that would slice Quentin in half if Barnabas did not bring the hand within the specified time period.
When that plan failed, Petofi began to exact vengeance on the members of the Collins family one by one (803), promising that the terrors he unleashed at Collinwood would not cease until the hand was brought back to him.
Petofi soon caused Edward Collins to lose his mind (804). He also cast a spell on Charity Trask, who would later start to believe that she was Carl's deceased fiancee Pansy Faye.
Eventually, Petofi did manage to retrieve and reattach his hand after causing a great deal of misfortune to the Collins family.
A struggle followed which resulted in a fire, burning the building and presumably destroying both Petofi and Garth Blackwood. This is assumed because Petofi's glasses were found in the fire, something he could not get far without, and Blackwood was never heard from again (883).
Count Petofi makes a cameo appearance (played by James Unsworth) in the Big Finish audio drama The Crimson Pearl attempting to gain possession of the pearl from Millicent Collins in 1820.
Unlike the warlocks Judah Zachery and Nicholas Blair, Petofi has no allegiance to the devil, nor does he appear to derive his powers from any other demon or god. He claims to have but one god, "and his name is Petofi." (819) Thus, Count Petofi could be more accurately described as a mage or wizard. The character may have been inspired by the Count St. Germain, an alchemist who was said to have discovered the secret of immortality.
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