Count of St. Germain
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One evening, M. de Saint-Germain was telling a story in which, as usual, he had played the principal part, but not remembering well all the details, he turned towards his valet de chambre:
"Am I not right, Roger?" he asked the latter.
"Monsieur le Comte forgets that I have only been five hundred years with him, so I could not have been present at that adventure; it must have been my predecessor."

- The Theosophical Path, Volume 6, Edited by Katherine Tingley

Basic Information

The Count of St. Germain is one of the most enigmatic and interesting figures in European History. We don't really know who he was, or where he came from, just that he traveled extensively and captured the imagination of the nobility and intelligencia of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Attempts to make a proper character sheet for the Count seem doomed to failure. His list of skills and talents is far-ranging, and likely to break most rules systems. He was a consummate artist - he played harpsichord and violin masterfully, composed classical music (over 50 works, including sonatas, arias, violin solos and songs), wrote beautiful poetry, painted with oils, set jewelry and cut gems. Some accounts have him doing two of these things simultaneously, one with each hand.

He traveled Europe (and Persia, and later the United States of America), and hob-nobbed with nobility. He was fabulously wealthy - he seemed to have a never-ending supply of gemstones. He predicted the French Revolution, and was present during the coup that placed Catherine the Great on the throne of Russia. His charismatic persona allowed him to navigate courtly intrigues, and wheedle his way into the good graces of royalty. In London, he was arrested as a spy, and then released. The King of France sent him on diplomatic missions.

"He sings, plays on the violin wonderfully, composes, is mad, and not very sensible. He is called an Italian, a Spaniard, a Pole, a somebody that married a great fortune in Mexico, and ran away with her jewels to Constantinople, a priest, a fiddler, a vast nobleman. The Prince of Wales has had unsatiated curiosity about him, but in vain. However, nothing has been made out against him, he is released; and what convinces me that he is not a gentleman, stays here, and talks of his being taken up for a spy.”
- Horace Walpole, 1745

He was involved also in occult circles, claiming to be a fourth-degree Mason and a Rosicrucian. More recently, the Theosophists, The White Eagle Lodge, The Summit Lighthouse, and the "I AM" activity all hold him to be an Ascended Master. It is said he could turn invisible, and predict the future. He seemed to have the ability to "melt" flaws out of stones presented him by others, or meld small gemstones into larger ones - a set of skills he claimed to have learned in India (and sounds very much like the set up to an elaborate confidence game). He was constantly discovering, promoting and speculating in scientific and alchemical processes - and some of the more scientific one (such as new fabric dying processes) even turned out to be true.

If you believe all the witnesses, he can be found all around the globe between 1710 and 1930, never aged, and may have even existed (and just escaped the spotlight) far enough back to have personally witnessed the birth of Christ. He never ate or drank in public, and is said to have subsisted off of gruel and tea he made himself in private. Either or both of these may be some Elixir of Life that sustained him over the years, as he appeared to be in his mid forties regardless of when he was encountered.

As near as this Arcanist can put it together, here is a timeline of St. Germain sightings:
Places Years
Venice 1710
Persia 1737 to 1742
Italy sometime before 1743
Spain sometime before 1743
Poland sometime before 1743
Mexico sometime before 1743
Constantinople sometime before 1743
London 1743
Verseilles 1743
London 1745 - arrested on suspicion of espionage, but released
Vienna 1745 to 1746
Potsdam with Frederick the Great
France Arrives at the French court in 1748. Is sent on a diplomatic mission by King Louis XV of France in 1749.
India 1755 - claims this is where he learned the secret of melting jewels
Paris 1757 - meets with Giacomo Casanova
Château de Chambord, France 1758 to 1760
Holland 1760. Helps build a porcelain factory.
England 1760
St. Petersburg 1761 - during the coup that puts Catherine the Great in power
Tunis 1762
Berlin 1762
Vienna 1762
Milan 1762
Holland 1762
Venice 1769
Livorno 1770
Neurenberg 1772
Mantua 1773
The Hague 1774
Bavaria 1774
Verseilles 1774
Austria & Germany 1775 and 1776
Dresden 1777
Wilhelmsbad, Germany 1782
Altona in Schleswig 1779 - meets Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel, sets up a textile-dyeing factory.
Eckernförde, Denmark 1784 - where Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel attested to his death
Paris 1785 - attends occult conference with Alessandro Cagliostro and Franz Anton Mesmer
Russia 1786
France 1788 and 1789
Sweden 1789
Austria 1790
Paris 1799, 1802, 1804, 1813, 1820, and 1822, but presumably not the intervening years
Gangotri, Himalayas - sometime before 1820
Paris 1835
London 1860
New York City 1866
Chennai, India 1885 - with Madame Blavatsky
Paris 1897
New Orleans Early 1900s
Rome 1926
Mount Shasta, California 1930

And that's just the more reliable, recent dates. As mentioned above, there's claims he was alive at the time of the Crucifixion.

In the late 1740s, an English mime and comedian (usually operating under the stagename Mi'Lord Gower when not being an impostor) would sometimes impersonate Count of St. Germain at parties in Paris salons. His stories were even crazier than those of the actual Count, adding to the mystique and legend, and probably getting confused for the real article more than once. This is probably the origin of the tales that the Count of St. Germain claimed to have known Jesus Christ personally (unless the count is legitimately a time-traveler or vampire or something along those lines).

By Any Other Name

Various sources have associated him with all of the follow individuals, as either a reincarnation, or literally the same ageless man - the ultimate Julius Beethoven Da Vinci:

And he was one of the inspirations for Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo.

He might also go by any of the following aliases, culled from various sources:

  • St. Germaine
  • Le Comte de St. Germain
  • Graf Saltikoff
  • Marquis de Montferrat
  • Comte Bellamarre
  • Chevalier Schoenig
  • Chevalier Weldon
  • Graf Tzarogy
  • Prinz Ragoczy
  • Ascended Master Rakoczy
  • Major Fraser
  • Simon Wolff
  • Sanctus Germanicus


Game and Story Use

  • What is St. Germain really?
    • He could be all he's cracked up to be - ageless alchemist with amazing powers.
      • And thus would make a great recurring character, such as an often-absent mentor for the PCs.
      • He could be Merlin or some other powerful individual from the list above.
    • Or he could be a family of con men claiming to be the same and not multiple generations. Grandfather, Father and Son who all looked much alike and play various support roles to help preserve the family mystique as they plunder the jewels of Europe.
    • The "I AM" activity associates him with Venus, so he could be an alien.
      • In the Scion RPG, he could be a half-divine love-child of the goddess Venus.
    • In the Continuum RPG, he's a Time-Traveller. He's provided in the main rulebook as a possible Big Bad Evil Guy, and is said to be opposed by Joan of Arc. Their elaborate battle stretches back to 5,557 BC, at least.
    • Just out of interest, where is St. Germain? Was it ever a county and, if so, where are its records of succession?
      • He used a ton of different titles and monikers, as was the fashion for rich noblemen of the time (and always a useful gambit for conmen, too). St Germain was just one of many, but it's been theorized to be derived from San Germano Chisone near Turin, Italy.
      • When not being evasive about his past, he sometimes claimed to be the son of Prince Francis II Rákóczi of Transylvania.
  • Any game set in the 18th or 19th century could feature a cameo by the Count of St. Germain. The timeline above is intended to help you pick a correct time and place for him.
    • Alternately, you could feature any of several historical charlatans pretending to be him (or lampooning his outrageous claims). Various courts of Europe had impersonators and entertainers, even in a setting where the man himself is actually all that's been claimed about him.
  • In any modern setting, all sorts of occultists, cultists, and conspirators could claim to be following his legacy, have been trained by him or his disciples, etc.
    • The Comte de St. Germain is a great alias for those who wish to borrow his mystique but remain anonymous. Sort of a less sinister version of Keyser Soze, for use among occult circles.
      • Only the GM will know for certain if it's just an alias, or if that new NPC is the real deal.
      • Hilarious if both happen to be true - and you find the aftermath of a fake Comte running afoul of the real thing.
  • The limited diet may point to him being something other than human - a bioroid, fetch, robot or some other kind of construct, a manifest spirit being or some kind of undead. Anything without a working digestive system is liable to hesitate to pour anything into itself that will need to be removed later. Alternatively a alien might not be biologically compatible with our planet's food and one of the fae … well, we're always advised not to eat anything they offer us
  • Possession could also be a thing, with a single personality body hopping down the years.
  • How about a version of the Dread Pirate Roberts? Inconceivable?
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