Once upon a time, there was a rather consumptive young chap called Aubrey, The Count of Ruthven. Quite the eternal idle fop was he. His early years were spent in an opium haze of romantic gloom, whiling away the hours contemplating shadows in the cemetery. Great mystery and myth were born on the Eve of all Hallows when Aubrey and his devoted man servant, Boris, attempted to communicate with the dead by casually indulging in a secret Satanic ritual (found in the colour supplement of the local Penny Dreadful) beside the tombstone of a favourite poet.

Aubrey claims to have been visited by a ghostly apparition (Boris maintains that it was a three legged fox), and thus shocked, startled and vexed, he was thrown backwards. He fell and hit his head upon the legendary Lord Byron's tombstone and lay unconscious for the best part of an hour, during which his previously wasted foppish life passed before him in dreams. His ever-dutiful man servant panic'd and administered a rather generous dose of laudanum discreetly laced with glycerine and mercury, his own special recipe.

Aubrey remained convinced by this supposed epiphany that his previous life was all for nought, and he must excel his existence to become MAD, BAD and DANGEROUS to know. Perhaps it was the opiate concoction combined with the blow to the head that sent Aubrey into the insane dimension from which he is yet to return! This episode has indeed left him with a lasting side-effect that seems to have all but disrupted his desire for himself and his new evil lifestyle to be taken seriously, for he has developed a strange tendency to lapse into moments of absurd backwardness. Quite inexplicably, he will begin to walk, talk or perform any behaviour in a backwards manner! Thus Aubrey has gained the distinct moniker of "Count Backwards."

The Crown Court judged him dangerous and insane, so they put him away in Arkham Asylum to treat, and hopefully cure, his backwardness. Not long after admission, he was befriended by a sullen young woman who had clearly been an inmate for quite some time. Their friendship exists, however, only when he is Aubrey; when he becomes Count Backward he is an enemy to all, living up to his creed. Boris, in an attempt to free his master, found himself trapped in the asylum - the Count and his acquaintance had disappeared.

Count Backwards was forced underground - quite literally - by his disturbing and outlandish behaviour, and he remains on the run from the authorities. His secret hide out is a crypt in the very cemetery where his fate was sealed. Surviving by any means possible - from petty theft to panto. He even ran a "want ad" in the International Herald and Tribune : "No-goodnik for hire, evil deeds done, no job too small." The ad was quickly answered by some toff planning a big "party" somewhere called Carpania.

COUNT BACKWARDS...the man who put the 'O' in COUNT!

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