Official Biography of Sir Differel

Defending Sovereign, Church, and Country from the Forces of Darkness

Sir Differel Isolde Churchill Pendragon Van Helsing was born on Sunday, the 9th of May, 1976, the only child of Sir Henry Arthur Richard Van Helsing, 15th Baronet of Denver, and Gwendolyn Isolde Lady Van Helsing, née Pendragon. Her mother died within days of her birth, and her father never remarried. Instead, he left her care and raising to his only living relative, Gwendolyn's sister, The Lady Miranda Guinevere Baroness Pendragon, whom she knew as Aunt Mandy, so that he could concentrate on running of the Caerleon Order. For the first twelve years, her life was comparatively normal, except she was unable to make any friends due to security concerns.

See Sir Differel's family tree and family heraldry.

(Click on an image to see a larger view.)

When she turned 12, her father planned to begin training her to prepare her to take over the Order when she came of age, but he died before he could. Though she would inherit the Directorship when she turned 21, Sir Henry's will named Aunt Mandy his executrix and Regent-Director, while making his butler, Aelfraed Dalton Walters, her guardian. However, Aunt Mandy tried to kill her, so that she could claim everything for herself, but she escaped to the family mausoleum. Mandy and her henchmen tracked her there, but when they tried to finish her off, a Vampire imprisoned in a sarcophagus broke free. It quickly killed the henchmen, and when only Mandy was left, it knelt before Sir Differel and acknowledged her as its master. Mandy subdued it and tried to shoot her, but a stable cat attacked, distracting her. As Sir Differel wished for a weapon, a sword appeared in her hand and she used it to kill Mandy by cutting off her head. She then revived the Vampire with her own blood and it introduced itself as Vlad Drakulya.

See the story "Life of Duty".

The attempted assassination created a controversy. There was no precedent for making a child Director of the Order, and by tradition it had always been run by a man. In the end, Sir Differel was interviewed by the Queen, who determined that though young, she was intelligent and capable. She made a royal decree emancipating her from Aelfraed's guardianship and granting her the Directorship, while appointing a regency committee of suitable advisers to help her. However, she also bowed to tradition and declared that, though she was the 16th Baronetess, she would have special dispensation to be titled as "Sir". Aelfraed in turn created an ad hoc "guardianship committee" consisting of himself, Mrs. Widget the housekeeper, Mr. Holt the house Master-at-Arms, and Vlad to oversee her training.

For the next four years, Sir Differel was extensively trained in the administration and operation of the Order, as well as weapons and martial arts. Vlad also instructed her on the finer points of monster hunting. During most of this time she delegated much of her authority to the various department heads and deferred many decisions to her regency committee. When she turned 16, however, her training lessened and she took a more active role in running the Order, though the committee continued to review her decisions, and she relied on her department heads to guide her. She also began participating in field operations, including reconnaissance and investigation, diplomacy, and interdiction. And her guardian committee gave her more freedom to go out on her own, reasoning that the only way for her to decide if she really wanted to be Director was to experience more of life in general.

Sir Differel assumed full control of the Caerleon Order when she turned 21, and few doubted she was capable. Before the year was out, however, the Fomorians invaded Britain, after having spent a couple of decades infiltrating many levels of the government and the military. It was a secret invasion: even at the worst of the fighting, the average citizen never knew anything was happening. Virtually the only organization not infiltrated was the Order, due largely to the fact that Aunt Mandy was to have been the Fomorian agent. Sir Differel responded immediately, but despite her best efforts the Order was nearly wiped out and she herself captured. She escaped and was able to rally what was left of the Order with the British Army, making a counterattack that swept the Fomorians from the island, but she lost Vlad in the process. In the aftermath, she was honored with numerous awards and declared the Hero of Britain, but she refused to acknowledge them.

In the years after the invasion she rebuilt the Order to better than it was before the invasion. She married Victor Edward Plunkett, 26th Viscount Dunwich. Vlad reappeared after a three year absence and became her servant once more. She and Victor had a son, Henry Abraham Vlad Helsing-Plunkett. Victor was killed by a rival monster hunting organization run by the Vatican, which nearly led to war between that group and the Order. In her grief, she gave her son up to be raised by Victor's family on condition she never try to visit him, in exchange for a yearly package of photos and videos.

Up to the present, she has engaged in numerous missions, but no new major threat has manifested itself. She acquired an airship, the HMA Britannic, for use as a command and control center for Order operations, as well as a number of ships, aircraft, and helicopters for reconnaissance and courier duties. She has recently reconciled with her son and formed a friendship with two American girls, Eile Chica and Sonne Hiver.

See Peer's Quarterly 20 Questions with Sir Differel Van Helsing for more biographical details.

Return to About the Director.

We Hold the Line, and This Line Shall Not Be Crossed!