Major Story Arcs
Four Devils, One Hell
Josef Mantovani is a typical down-on-his-luck private detective from Milwaukee. He is hired by Guillaume Batiaque to solve the murder of his brother Emile. After looking for information around town, Mantovani is attacked by a mysterious black-clad Grendel with a cajun accent. Mantovani is almost killed, but somehow manages to break the Grendel's sword blade with his one hand. The Grendel runs off. Mantovani goes back to check on Guillaume, only to find that the Grendel has already killed him.
Despite the fact that the man who hired him is dead, and so he won't get paid for the case, Mantovani decides to continue on--he feels inspired by the man's belief in him, which he hasn't felt about himself in a long time. He flies down to New Orleans, where the Batiaques were from.
He hears of a rogue Grendel named Calhoun--who he hopes will not be as corrupt as the local Grendel krewe, led by a man named Renute--and goes to see if he can help. Calhoun actually knew the Batiaque family, having married their cousin, Simone, and agrees to work with Mantovani. They try to find information on the black Grendel who attacked Josef in Milwaukee, and learn his name is Dulac. They capture and interrogate him. He tells them that Renute believes in a prophecy that whoever is the heir of Charlemagne on the 800th anniversary of Hunter Rose's death will become the reincarnation of Rose (the original Grendel). The Batiques were the closest descendants to Charlemagne, but Renute is also related, so if he kills off the Batiques, then Renute will become Rose himself. Dulac breaks out of his bonds and attacks them, but once again Mantovani stops Dulac's blade with his hand. Dulac runs off.
Mantovani and Calhoun try to find Calhoun's ex-lover, Simone, since she is the last of the Batiaques. They find her in a swamp, being attacked by Renute's men. She has been turned into a vampire and kills some of her attackers, as does her unnamed son, but she is killed herself. Calhoun and Mantovani finish off the rest of the men. During the battle, Mantovani's hand is hurt, and we see how he has been able to catch swords in it--it is a bionic hand made of pure silver.
Mantovani and the boy dress up like Sylvester and Tweety and hide in plain sight during Mardi Gras. However, Renute's men recognize them anyway and, with the help of Gloria DeVere, another rogue Grendel in town on other business, they capture Josef and the boy. DeVere recognizes that Josef has honest eyes, however, and realizes she is on the wrong team. Calhoun and another rogue Grendel, Alfred Bixby (another ex-lover of Simone) are also captured.
Renute, who is secretly a vampire, attacks all his own men and turns them all into vampires as well. Then he brings all the characters together in his headquarters, where he has amassed an enormous amount of Grendel-related treasure, including the Mona Lisa. He actually hates everything about Grendel, and has an atom bomb that he plans to use to destroy the relics and the heir to Hunter Rose. Mantovani and the others attack. There is a great battle. Mantovani kills Renute by pulling out his heart, using his silver hand. All of Renute's men are killed, and the bomb is defused, but DeVere and Calhoun are also dead.
The boy goes off to live with Bixby, and Mantovani goes home to resume his detective career. He takes a few baubles from Renute's horde to pay for expenses--and puts the Mona Lisa up on his wall.