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The Talamasca is a semi-secret organization operating in the world of Anne Rice‘s “The Vampire Chronicles.” Created in 758 C.E., the Talamasca studies supernatural (or what today is termed paranormal) activity. Over the years it has documented a wide variety of phenomena, including vampires. Researchers on vampires make a special effort to collect items that “vampires” have left behind, and so their files on vampires date to the early Middle Ages. The organization has offices around the world, and the collected data from its investigations are sent to the central files in the United Kingdom.
Through much of the last half of the twentieth century, the organization has been headed by David Talbot, its superior general. He welcomed Jesse, the mortal descendent of a worldwide family that originated with two ancient vampires, Maharet and Mekare, and in 1985 sent her on a mission to New Orleans to track down the truth behind a recently published book, Interview with the Vampire, which was reportedly the true story of an eighteenth-century New Orleans vampire. Jesse had attracted the attention of the Talamasca after a London tabloid had done an article on her psychic abilities. In New Orleans she was able to locate the house in which vampires Louis, Lestat, and Claudia lived, and located some items Claudia had left behind in a secret place in the wall. Unfortunately for her, the organization called her off the case just as she was getting caught up in her investigation.
Shortly thereafter, she read the recently published book, The Vampire Lestat, written by a rock musician who claimed to be the Lestat mentioned in Interview with the Vampire. While attending his concert in San Francisco she figured out that he really was a vampire. Before she was able to do anything with her new knowledge, another vampire, noting her connection with the Talamasca, attacked her. Her neck was broken, and her life was saved by being transformed into a vampire.
After her recovery, and the passing of an immediate crisis caused by the attempt of Akasha, the so-called Queen of the Damned, to take over the vampire community, Jesse placed Lestat in contact with Talbot. Unlike the vampire who had attacked Jesse, Lestat was fascinated with the Talamasca and even with the possibility of being a subject of study. He went to England to meet with Talbot and after getting to know him, offered him the Dark Gift (of being turned into a vampire). Talbot, already seventy-four years old, declined, but then went on to become involved with Lestat in the affair of the body thief.
Lestat was contacted by Raglan James who proposed that he and Lestat switch bodies for a brief time. Talbot was against the idea, but Lestat wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately, as soon as James got into Lestat’s body, he decided to keep the body, steal Lestat’s assets, and leave Lestat in his mortal state. Lestat then turned to Talbot and the Talamasca for help. They devised a plan to track James and knock him out of Lestat’s body. In the final confrontation, a three-way body exchange took place, and Talbot wound up in James’s youthful body. With his new body he was much more open to Lestat’s bestowal of the Dark Gift. Talbot’s involvement in this adventure broke the organization’s rule against involvement with the subjects of its studies and Talbot’s own rule about talking with a vampire.
After assuming James’s body and becoming a vampire, Talbot retired from the Talamasca. Thus he was available to be with Lestat when he returned from his adventure in heaven and hell and recorded his account. Most recently, Talbot has gone to Paris where he has convinced the vampire Pandora to tell him her life story.