literary_equine (literary_equine) wrote,

Doll Wars Backstory

As the story I am writing for NaNoWriMo is becoming very complex, I have had to create a backstory to keep the continuity logical as well as keep track of the numerous characters.

Doll Wars Backstory
By Alan Loewen

(This is a work in progress)

In the late 1500s, Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel created a golem to defend the Prague ghetto from anti-Semitic attacks and pogroms. Since then, his descendants through his bloodline have had the ability to create golems and homunculi. However, the vast majority have been totally unaware of this ability.

In the early-1800’s in Italy, one of the descendants of Rabbi Loew, a Domenico Lorenzini became involved in the study of alchemy and the Kabbalah. Fusing the two occult disciplines together, he discovered he had the ability to create true, animated homunculi. As a side note, his son, Carlo Lorenzini (1826 –1890), better known by the pen name, Carlo Collodi, eventually wrote a morality tale about his father’s studies and its results, a story that became famously known as The Adventures of Pinocchio.

Able to sense those who had a strain of the old rabbi’s bloodline, Lorenzeni gathered about him a cadre of disciples who created elaborate homunculi in the shape of young girls. The dolls—composed mostly of wood—consisted structurally of slotted ball joints and sliding wooden planes for the face, trunk, palms, and feet that allowed for fine motor movements. It was not unusual for the construction of a homunculus to take five years as some had almost 300 points of articulation. They were then animated through magical means.

The dolls were not alive in the sense of life as people define it. Extensions of their master’s life force, these soulless creations nevertheless had limited freedom of will and volition. If their master passed away, unless they found another of Rabbi Leow's bloodline to take them as companions, the life force in the doll would eventually dwindle away causing it to fall to lifeless pieces in a few days.

An intriguing side effect of creating homunculi was the extended lifespan of the master. Though they would eventually die of old age as any mere human, living to 200 years or slightly longer was not unusual. When the novel Doll Wars occurs, Domenico Lorenzini is well over 200 years old.

Lorenzeni’s secret organization broke apart when the students discovered that their founder and teacher had ulterior motives, the subjugation of Europe under the rule of men commanding legions of completely loyal homunculi.

The groups split into two groups: the Dark group led by Lorenzini with his companion, The Black Queen (aka La Regina Nera), and the Light group led by one of the original students, Aldo De Luca and his companion, White Rose (aka Rosa Bianca). The groups and their members are composed as follows:

The Dark Group

The Light Group





Domenico Lorenzini

The Black Queen aka La Regina Nera

Aldo De Luca

White Rose aka Rosa Bianca

Paolo Constantino


Brother Arthur


François Dumont


Sáva Moravec


Maximilian Wolf

Death Angel aka Ange de la Mort

Klaus Wolf

Belle aka La Belle Dame sans Merci

Friedrich Fromm


Tristan Fontaine


Joseph Boehm


Eduard Bitterlich

Neria of the Light



Domenico Tuzzolino (MIA)



As of the writing of Doll Wars, there are, besides Lorenzini, twelve known masters, only two of which are Lorenzini’s original students: Aldo De Luca and Paolo Constantino. Domenico Tuzzolino, another of Lorenzini’s original students and a member of the Light, has been missing since the Battle of Florence that occurred in 1892 in which he lost his first companion and his whereabouts are unknown to both warring groups.


The magical laws that allow the construction of homunculi are barely understood and sometimes appear contradictory. What is known is the following:

1. Only individuals that can trace their bloodlines back to Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel of Prague can create homunculi which are animated copies of humanity.
2. A homunculus is not alive as we define life, being nothing more than extensions of their master’s life force.
3. A master can only create one homunculus and cannot create another unless the first one falls in battle. Somehow, Domenico Tuzzolino (aka Gavin Whitfield) found a way around this restriction, but the secret died with him.
4. The dolls each have different abilities for attack and defense, but their specific abilities appear to be randomly created.
5. Any master and their companion can willingly transport themselves into the Battleground dimension and back, but at the moment of the start of any battle in RealTime, the fighters are transported immediately to Battleground, even if against their will, and cannot return to RealTime unless they flee or are defeated.
6. A companion cannot kill another human unless given precise permission by their human partner. That act can only take place in Battleground.
7. It is not known exactly what Battleground is, but it always appears as deserted ruins of the place in which the masters or their companions left behind in RealTime.

Other Characters:

Domenico Tuzzolino aka Gavin Whitfield – One of Domenico Lorenzini’s original students. After losing his companion, Seraphiel, in the Battle of Florence, he went into hiding. Assuming the name Gavin Whitfield, Domenico passed away in May of 1902 known as only an obscure dollmaker in London. However, he made great personal strides in his magical studies, surpassing even his teacher. Before his passing he created two homunculi who were able to survive his passing.

Joshua and Collette (Heartstrom) Wakefield - Domenico Tuzzolino’s two homunculi who had the ability to appear as completely normal-sized humans in their late 20’s. Collette Heartstrom and Joshua Wakefield had a falling out after the death of their master and after a crisis in 1961 when Tuzzolino’s shop burned down forcing the two to revert to their lifeless doll form, the two were restored to their humanity by Ariana Winter in a manner neither three could fathom. At the time of Doll Wars, they are reconciled, completely human, and living as husband and wife with Ariana Winter in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Ariana Winter – a student of Collette Heartstrom. Though not a descendant of Rabbi Loew, Ariana was somehow able to restore Joshua and Collette back to their human forms after they reverted back to dolls due to the events described in In The Father's Image. Ariana has no idea what she may have done to make the restoration happen. She is aging normally and does not enjoy the longevity of a true master or any of the magic natural to those descendants of the rabbi.

Rowan Cobray – a very distant relative of Rabbi Loew, she has a rough ability to work with dolls and may actually be more powerful than Rabbi Loew himself.

Auden Gray – Rowan Cobray’s suitor.

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