July 20th, 1883. Leopold went to the Masonic temple with father. The Masonic temple was using an ancient rite when something went wrong. The Temple caught fire and many men were killed. Leo made it out with the book and his life, but lost his father to the fire. Leopold is only just become aware that something is different and that he might be able to harness it.
His childhood had been idyllic. His father was a timber baron made rich during the war supplying lumber to the Union and then diversified building supplies to everyone after the war. But then, Steel became king. Though Leo didn’t know it at the time, his family’s fortune was swiftly being consumed in bad business ventures and reduced demand. After the fire that claimed his father’s life, things went downhill…
His mother did what she could to mitigate the damage as shareholders and lenders tried to disassemble the family businesses. Justine, Leopold’s mother, was quite adept at dealing with adversity. The child of a landless, titled French aristocratic family that survived the French Revolution on wits and the loyalty of a few good servants, was raised to be a lady quite capable. However, as talented and smart as she was, she lost the house and most of the fortune. What she did keep for herself and her son, they lost the ability to turn a profit on.
Only two years into his college education, but without a solid financial future, the death of Leo’s father abruptly ended his college education at the University of Boston. After two more years of legal battles and struggling business, Leo and his mother took what was left of the family fortune and left Boston. A friend of mis mother’s family owned a shop in the Shopping district of New York and offered her a job as a ___; Leopold, with an incomplete education, was able to find work as a clerk. With Boston and his promised future long behind him, Leopold moved into a new chapter in his life.
Still, his dreams were haunted by the fire, and death, and a building rage for which he had no name. Driven by a need to understand, and perhaps cool the fire inside him, Leopold began to learn anything he could about the South American Jungle and the strange book he rescued the fire that nearly claimed his life.