By Wood, Alan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Whatever he did, he became a trusted adviser to the Tsar and Tsarina, giving them political advice, which they often heeded, and leading to issues within the Russian government. Aristocrats were angered, and a few of them conspired to kill him.
Only this mystic was a hard man to kill. They attempted to poison him with cyanide, but it had no effect, so then they shot him. At first, they thought he was dead, and left him on the floor. They discovered he was still alive when he went after his attackers. He was shot again, this time in the head, and it still didn't kill him. In a rage, one of his attackers went at him with a dumbbell. They then rolled him up in a rug and tossed him into a river. When he was autopsied later, they found water in his lungs, meaning he was alive when he went into the river. Accounts differ as to whether poison was actually found in his system, but his daughter said he couldn't have sweets, so she felt he hadn't eaten the cyanide laced treats.
It's important to note that he had been the victim of an attempted murder before, though from a group of women who wished revenge for wrongs he'd committed against them. He was stabbed in the abdomen by one of these women and left for dead. He survived. If nothing else, he was a hardy man.
The mystery here is two-fold. First, did he have magical healing powers? Or did he simply have common sense that benefited the young royal? Was it the magic of prayer? A miracle?
Secondly, why was he so hard to kill? Did it have to do with his powers of healing? Could he heal himself? Or was a higher power watching over him, giving him the chance to fight to save his life? Or maybe he was just a strong man.
What do you think?
May you find your Muse.