For those of you who have missed these posts up til now, I am recapping a 1850s sort-of-horror serial for Halloween called Wagner the Wehr-Wolf by G.W.M. Reynolds. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of the recap. The original text is here. LET'S WRAP THIS UP.
Where we left off, Wagner and Nisida were partying it up, stranded on Premarital Sex Island. Nisida reveals that she had been faking being a deaf/mute for 10 years because I don't know why. Satan demanded Wagner sell his soul, but Wagner was like, "Nah." Giulia and Flora had been rescued from the convent by Orsini, and were just chilling. Giulia's husband, Count Buzzkill, found out she was alive and swore revenge on her and every single person who ever helped her ever *thunderclap*. Flora's borther, Alessandro, converted to Islam at the Constantinople court, started calling himself Ibrahim, and quickly became the grand vizier, marrying the Sultan's rockin' hot sister.
CHAPTER FIFTY ONE
Nisida's brother, Francisco, tracks down Flora and they have a sloppy, hurl-worthy reunion. Flora’s like, “I think your sister condemned me to die in the convent,” and Francisco is like, “Well, let’s forgive her, okay? Because she also disappeared.” And Flora’s like, “Durrrr, okay! I'm sure she'll never try anything like that again!”
CHAPTER FIFTY TWO
Alessandro/Ibrahim marries the sultan’s sister, Aischa, but quickly becomes a dissolute jerk. He isn’t allowed to have more than one wife, but he’s got a cah-raaazy harem. He [exact quote] “plunged headlong into a vortex of dissipation and pleasure.” Awesome. Vortex of Dissipation is the name of my new garge band. So Aischa is like, “Love me?” and he’s like, “Not now, woman, I have a sea of boobs to swim in!” And she’s like, “Uh, you know I got you promoted to grand vizier specifically so we could be married, right?” And he’s like, “Whatever, I have to go have a profoundly homoerotic scene with a young Greek singer."
CHAPTER FIFTY THREE
Aischa tattles to her brother and mom that her husband is sleeping with everything. The dowager sultana is like, “I got this,” and goes to plot evil mother-in-law revenge. Meanwhile, Alessandro/Ibrahim has started sleeping with his personal assistant, Demetrius's, hot sister, Calanthe. Then the dowager sultana’s thugs burst into the harem and kidnap Calanthe, telling Alessandro/Ibrahim that if he attempts to fight them off, he will be executed. And he’s like, “Whatever, take her, I have HUNDREDS of women.” They murder Calanthe. It's all fun and games until your #1 ho gets drowned.
MEANWHILE, back on Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow Island, Wagner and Nisida are slowly falling out of love with each other. They’ve been there for 6 months, and every time Wagner turns into a Wehr-Wolf, he tells her “Uh, I’m going to go to the other side of the island for a bit, okay?” And she’s all pissy because she thinks he needs a break from her every month and how DARE he not want to spend every waking moment with her? One night while they’re sleeping, Satan wanders by and casts a spell on Nisida which makes her MORE irrational.
CHAPTER FIFTY FOUR
The next day Nisida is like, “I WANT TO GO BACK TO ITALY. LET’S GO BACK TO ITALY.” And Wagner is like, “1.) We are stranded on a desert island, so what the hell do you want me to do? 2.) I was condemned to die in Italy and can never go back there.” And it starts a huge fight and she reveals that she condemned Flora to the convent, and Wagner’s like, “Wow, you’re kind of a huge bitch.” Then Wagner goes off to be a Wehr-Wolf and Satan appears to Nisida and is like, “Hey, babe, want to get off this island?” And she says, “Yeah,” and he says, “Get Wagner to tell you
his hideous secret that will ruin your love for him bwahaha why he disappears every month, and I'll send you a ship.”
CHAPTER FIFTY FIVE
Wagner is on the other side of the island, being a Wehr-Wolf, which basically just means that he runs around a lot. Satan again is like, “Sell your soul?” And Wagner’s like, “THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU, BITCH.” And then Wagner falls asleep and is visited by an angel who says, “You’ve resisted Satan 3 times, so he’ll leave you alone now. Maybe one day I'll help you stop being a Wehr-Wolf.”
CHAPTER FIFTY SIX
Nisida is like, "Hey, Wagner, Satan will give us a boat if you tell me where you go every month and sell your soul to him!" And even though Wagner just escaped Satan's clutches forever, he turns into a grade-A MORON and goes, "Well, the woman who I'm falling out of love with is really nagging me a lot, so maybe I should sell my soul and get us out of here, so we can go back to that place where I was condemned to die." THE ANGEL IS GOING TO BE SO DISAPPOINTED IN YOU.
He says, "Okay, I'll sell my soul and tell you my secret tomorrow." And Nisida goes–I shit you not–"Wow, well if we're exchanging secrets, I should probably tell you my deep, dark secret: I KILLED AGNES! Isn't sharing great?” And this is when I realize that she has got to be the stupidest character ever written in the history of literature. WHY WOULD YOU VOLUNTEER THAT INFORMATION? EVER? And he goes, “Agnes was my granddaughter! I am 95 years old! I’m a Wehr-Wolf! Aroooooooooooo! (that's a howling noise, btw)”
He runs off to (reasonably) freak out. Nisida is like, "Aww, baby, I don't care about that!" She's about to follow him, when she sees sails on the horizon. She instantly decides to leave (without even telling Wagner), go to Florence, ruin Flora’s chances with her brother, and then come back and be a good wife to Wagner on their deserted island forever and ever. When the ship gets there, it turns out to be a Turkish ship sent
by SATAN captained by Alessandro/Ibrahim. They sail off together.
CHAPTER FIFTY SEVEN
Meanwhile, Wagner’s on the other side of the island . . . running. BECAUSE THAT’S ALL HE DOES. He comes back and sees Nisida sailing away. He is visited by the angel again who says, “I’ve put a boat on the shore. It will carry you to Sicily. In Sicily, there is a guy who is 162 years old who can show you how to break the Wehr-Wolf spell.” And I’m thinking, “Aren’t you an ANGEL? Can’t you just handle this for him? What’s with the scavenger hunt?”
Nisida is on Alessandro/Ibrahim’s boat and he starts jabbering away, “Daay-uum she is hot. Since my last concubine got murdered, I am really jonesing for a good-looking lady.” And Nisida, who is faking deaf again because shut up, we don't have time to get into it, has heard everything. She also hears that Giulia's husband, the Count of Arestino, imprisoned her brother and Flora, purely because they were nice to Giulia, and he got Orsini arrested for sacrilege in the part he played in sacking the convent.
CHAPTER FIFTY EIGHT
Alessandro/Ibrahim decides to get busy with Nisida one night on the boat while she’s sleeping. But then the dowager sultana’s cock-block slaves spring up out of nowhere (I guess they were on the ship the whole time?) and are like, “Dude, we’ll have to kill her before you sex her up. Did you already forget what happened to Calanthe?” And he’s like, “DAMMIT.”
Wagner makes it to Sicily and hears a rumor about a dude who is 162 years old.
CHAPTER FIFTY NINE
Wagner finds the old dude, and after a lot of stupid crap that doesn't matter, the dude says, "You will stop being a Wehr-Wolf when you go back to Nisida and find the skeletons of two innocent victims." Yeah, like THAT will end well.
Meanwhile, Nisida and the Turks get back to Florence. Nisida is like, “Hey, Demetrius, I actually can hear and speak. Alessandro/Ibrahim tried to sex up your sister, Calanthe, and it got her killed. Meet me in my garden tonight so we can talk about it.” And he goes, “VENGEAAAANCE!”
Then Nisida reveals that she’s pregnant (!!!) and thinks, “Wagner, you better come and marry me. Don’t you abandon me, now!” And I’m like, “YOU, MADAM, left him STRANDED on an island without even saying goodbye. It’d serve you right if you never saw him again!”
Wagner rushes home to Nisida, but sees her in the garden with Demetrius. Thinking she’s cheating on him, he eavesdrops. Nisida says to Demetrius “We must punish Alessandro/Ibrahim through destroying his relatives. Especially Flora. Destroy her hard.” And she comes up with some really awful plans to have Alessandro/Ibrahim’s whole family burned at the stake by the Inquisition. Finally Wagner gets it through his head that she is seriously bad news and he could do much better. He leaves in disgust.
Meanwhile, Isaachar, the Jew, shows up again after 10,000 chapters. He is on trial and Orsini, who has also been taken prisoner, vows that the blood they found on Isaachar’s floor was his, not the blood of Christian babies being baked into bread (if I have to write that one more time today). The tribunal is like, “Eh, let’s torture the Jew anyway!”
Giulia is also being tortured. Her husband is standing nearby, eating popcorn and watching. She dies. They try to torture Orsini, but before they can strap him down, he manages to break loose, grab a crowbar and bitchslap Giulia’s husband with it. The Count dies from crowbar-bitchslap.
CHAPTER SIXTY ONE
Nisida and Demetrius rescue Francisco. He discovers that Nisida really WAS behind all the bad crap happening to Flora (wait, hadn’t we already established that he knew and forgave her?).
CHAPTER SIXTY TWO
Flora gets rescued from prison. Wagner tells Francisco he'll help get him and Flora together, but not to say anything to Nisida because that bitch be wack.
CHAPTER SIXTY THREE – THE
INFODUMP CLIMAX CHAPTER!
Francisco and Flora get married in Wagner’s house, because SUCK IT, NISIDA. She freaks, but Wagner’s there and calms her down, and I guess he doesn’t hate her as much as he thought he did, because they get back together (noooo!). Francisco remembers his father's will, and goes into the Secret Room of Secrets. When he opens the door, Wagner sees the two prophecy skeletons hidden inside, and THE WERH-WOLF CURSE IS BROKEN and lies down and DIES, and his corpse turns back into the corpse of an old man. They spend absolutely NO TIME on this in the actual text, by the way. I mean, he’s the main character. You’d think his death would get more than two sentences, but never mind, we can’t waste our time on Wagner, we have a creepy old manuscript to read!
(Talk about skeletons in the closet ruining a family function)
The manuscript tells the story of Nisida and Francisco’s mother and father. The old Count of Riverola though his wife was screwing around on him with another guy, because he kept seeing her give money to this good-looking dude. He thinks the other dude is Francisco's real father, hence the weird will the Count left, sorta wanting to disinherit Francisco. The next time he sees his wife met up with the dude, the Count jumps out of the bushes and stabs him (I see where Nisida gets her ill-planned stabbing instinct from). This is the horrible murder Nisida read about 7 million chapters ago in the first recap entry.
His wife faints in horror and dies from shock. Nisida makes the vow on her mother's deathbed that she will pretend like she’s gone deaf and dumb, because that seems like a reasonable thing to do. The Count puts both the dude’s skeleton and his wife's skeleton up in his horrible secret room.
So Nisida, who has just seen her brother marry her sworn enemy, seen her baby-daddy die in front of her and transform back into a hideous old man, seen her mother’s skeleton hanging up in a room, and had this awful family history read aloud, goes to her deathbed. Then she decides to reveal her own secret which she should have revealed WHEN HER FATHER WAS STILL ALIVE, but she didn't, because she's a fricking moron. The guy her mother is buried with wasn’t her boyfriend, but her brother. And for a bunch of really stupid reasons that would take too long to get into, Nisida decided to fake being deaf and dumb so her father would leave the estate to Francisco, rather than . . . you know . . . just telling her father, “Hey, Dad, Francisco really is your kid.”
Then Francisco and Flora decide it’s a good time to go consummate their marriage, leaving Nisida to maybe die in her sleep next to the dead Wagner, whose body they didn’t even bother removing. Are you shitting me? Am I being shat? Jesus Christ, you guys, this chapter. I can’t even.
CHAPTER SIXTY FOUR
The Turks take over Florence. Alessandro/Ibrahim gets Isaachar and Orsini released from jail. Orsini is like, “If this ‘torture’ shit is what it means to be Christian, I’m converting to Islam.” Alessandro/Ibrahim is like, “Awesome! Come back to Constantinople with me and we’ll have a swinging bachelor pad. Isaachar can come, too.” And they do.
The next day Francisco and Flora get up (allusions being made that they’d stayed up all night banging) to find that Nisida had died during the night. I don’t know why Reynolds bothered introducing the thing about Nisida being pregnant. It didn’t go anywhere. So they have a big funeral for everyone.
Alessandro/Ibrahim remained in power as the sultan’s grand vizier for sixteen years. Eventually Demetrius managed to kill Alessandro/Ibrahim, with the help of the dowager sultana’s slaves—who were actually the ones who killed Demetrius’s sister. Never mind that Alessandro/Ibrahim had basically nothing to do with Calanthe's death, except be attracted to her and have a jealous wife. OH WELL.
Then it says that Francisco and Flora had a bunch of kids and died of old age. Well, that’s just tickety-boo. THE END.
In conclusion: Wagner the Wehr-Wolf was not really about Wagner, and barely about Wehr-Wolves. It should have been called Nisida the Preposterous. What this book is REALLY about, however, is G.W.M. Reynolds getting buck-wild with a pen and having no one around to tell him, "NO."