Thaddeus, Elizabeth, Lucien, 920 (A)
     Lucien Profile, circa 945 (A) / (B) / (C)

     Lucien at Alexandria's performance, 943 (A)
     The Painting of Alexandria, 944 (A) / (B)
     The Sword, 944 (A) / (B) / (C) / (D) / (E)
     Lucien and Alex meet behind stage, 945
                     (A) / (B) / (C) / (D)
     The Wedding, 945 (A) / (B) / (C) / (D) / (E)
     The Sacrifice, 945 (A) / (B) / (C) / (D)
                     (E) / (F) / (G) / (H) / (I) / (J)
     Lucien as the Thief, 947~8 (A) / (B) / (C)
     Lucien killed by 2nd DM (A) / (B) / (C)
     The Nemesis vs. Alchemists #1, 949 (A) / (B)
     The Nemesis vs. Alchemists #2, 949 (A)
     Lucien & Alexandria escape temple (A)
     Lucien & Alexandria Restored (A) / (B)

     Lucien's gold ring

     Lucien's known paintings:
          Rib Tickler
          The Promise
          The Daydream (on display at Conservatory)
          The Prince Enters the Forest (3+ panels)
          Long-Eared Fairy
          Lucien and Alexandria
          Alexandria Wolfe (partially burned)
          Sketch of the Four Alchemists      


Our love would have lasted forever; we swore this to each other.

But they lied to us, cheated us, and finally took her away from me,

bent on using her, wrecking her like a replaceable cog in the sick

machinery of their experimentation.

                                                           -Lucien Kaine, 948 GUE

Lucien Kaine was born to Thaddeus Kaine (age 20) to an unknown maiden at Castle Irondune on Oracle 10, 920 GUE. This woman died giving birth and Elizabeth raised the child as her own. The affair was concealed and most were ignorant of her not being the true mother. By 925, Lucien would be hospitalized on three occasions for Chronic Respiratory Stitial Virus. Kaine saw the birth of Lucien as the beginning of a great dynasty, but his son would grow to hate both war and his father.

Throughout Lucien's childhood and early adulthood, his father would be entrenched in a continual conflict between Ellron and an affair with Sophia. While Thaddeus was absence from the castle, he left Lucien virtually unattended. Although Sophia was uncomfortable around Lucien, on at least one occassion in 935, Thaddeus asked her to check up on him.

Sharply intelligent, quick on his feet, as a child, Lucien Kaine enjoyed opulent wealth, numerous servants, plus any toy—and later, any woman—he desired. In contrast to his hoarding father, material wealth lacked morals and meaning. Lucien was independent, eccentric, and arrogant—looking down on Thaddeus and his friends for their hypocrisy and shallow ambitions. He was not even present at any of the Regional Councils on War, Governance or Taxation that, as heir to Irondune, he would have been overwhelmingly likely to attend. He demonstrated creative impulses since childhood, mostly in painting. He proved to be an eccentric, obsessive artists, who was content to live in relative isolation and loneliness, until the night he met Alexandria Wolfe.

Lucien Kaine met the young violinist when he attended her performance of Harmony of the Spheres at the Frigid River Branch Conservatory on Oracle 15, 943. When she finished, there was no response from the audience—only a long silence. A glimmer of uncertainty came over Alexandria’s face. Then, from the box opposite, came the sound of one person clapping—Lucien Kaine was applauding enthusiastically. They held each other’s gaze. Lucien continued his solitary approbation. After the concert was over, Alexandria and Lucien met for the first time.

Alexandria was a gifted violinist and her intense intellect and beauty captivated him. With Lucien, the quiet, inward Alexandria found expression. For here was a man who shared her emotional fervor; a man as independent-minded as she. But most of all, here was a man who lit a flame that illuminated the empty spaces in her life. Together, they were complete. But not all as well. For unknown to Lucien, his father, along with three others (Erasmus Sartorius, Sophia Hamilton, and Francois Malveaux) were part of a dark alchemical cult. They had "created" Alexandria and raised her up in purity so that they might sacrifice her and obtain the Elixir of eternal life. Lucien was an intervention into their smooth plan. They had to be kept apart, because if they came together, all the alchemists’ years of possessive preservation of Alexandria’s purity would disappear in an instant.

At the same time, Alexandria joyfully contacted her adopted father, Francois Malveaux (943-05-01):

Dear father,

I’ve met someone and for the first time in months I feel optimistic about the future. I sleep. I dream. His name is Lucien Kaine, and he is the one person, except for you, who seems to understand my music. When around him I don’t have to apologize for who I am or what I believe. I’ve finally found my kindred spirit, as you always promised I would.

Be happy for me!

your Alexandria.

Thaddeus Kaine forcibly forbade that his son have any contact with Alexandria, though he knew that Lucien would not be swayed. When he was unable to rein Lucien, he requested the help of Dr. Erasmus Sartorius, addressing him in a fictitious manner that defied their cordial relationship:

Dr. I am writing concerning an uncomfortable matter. My son, Lucien, has been behaving strangely. It appears he is infatuated with Alexandria and nothing I say or do can deter him. He is close to fanatical about the subject—spends days in a room painting her image over and over. He is obsessed. We have never had any such behavior in the Kaine family and I am unclear how to handle him. If his mother were still alive, she would know how to handle matters of the heart. As for myself, I have no solution. Please I ask for your help and recommendations.

Soon after Sartorius received Kaine’s complaints of rebelliousness and cowardice, Lucien was hospitalized at the Gray Mountains Asylum where he was examined and treated. He was diagnosed as having obsessive disorder and prescribed Prozork. After being released, his behavior was to be closely monitored. His father was to be prescribed mild sedative. Sartorius wrote to Kaine:

I conducted a careful examination of Lucien and have found that he is a deeply troubled man who most likely should be institutionalized and subject to my ecstatic-shock therapy. The sooner you bring him, the more likely we will be able to stop his deviant obsessions.


By the way, thank you for your generous donation. Finally I meet someone from the community who understands true brilliance.

Lucien refused to take the medication, crumpling up the Prozork prescription and tossing it a corner in his room. Kaine relates his resentment to Sophia in a letter (943-06-02):


You say I seem wrathful—Aye, that and far beyond—I am close to giving up on my son. I have tried to control him. I talked to Dr. Sartorius who prescribed Prozork for him but he refuses to take it. Lately, Lucien has become suspicious—nearly paranoid—searching my room, pilfering my private papers. I have been forced to lock my room. I am at a loss. He is in love with that girl—your precious “prodigy,” I know—and nothing I say or do will stop him. You say to be forceful—and I try—but he is my only son. It is hard for me to deny him that which he wants most. I know it is a phase and that it is best for him, still it is hard. So what then?


It appears that Sophia and Kaine tried to restrain Lucien and Alexandria's relationship without informing the other alchemists (at least Malveaux). When their interactions were discovered by him, the disturbed Malveaux wrote to Sophia (944-03-02):

Dearest Madame,

I have much unsettling news. It has come to my attention that Lucien Kaine, with his troubled, rebellious spirit, his slacker morals—and his strange disposition—has been bothering Alexandria. Under your own roof. Madame! I fear she knows little of the ways of men—who are not monks, that is. Please—you should know better than I—Alexandria needs to study and perfect her art.

Father Malveaux

In the meantime, the romance between the two lovers intensified, such as is seen in this undated letter:



I love you. Have I written you that today? I’m distracted and playing quite horribly. I have been having nightmares again, the same ones. My father is performing some Zorkastrian fire ritual, and the flames leap up, higher and higher, until they devour him. He screams in pain but I cannot move. Then the sky grows dark and I cannot see the sun. I don’t know what it means. I know I worry as his illness worsens. Come tonight. I am afraid.


Thaddeus Kaine diligently and ferociously tried numerous ventures to force his son Lucien away from Alexandria. Hoping that his son would grew up to be as fierce and ambitious on the battlefield as himself, his attempts centered around either provoking Lucien to rage or to persuade him into joining in his battles against Ellron. In an undated letter found at the Frigid River Branch Conservatory, Lucien shares his feelings with Alexandria, how Thaddeus had tried to keep them apart:



I paint, I write, I draw and I miss you. My father wants me to join his army in their fight against the Enchanter’s Guild and Ellron. He’s been our nemesis for so long, I feel I know him intimately. Magic, powers and politics, When did they get so complicated and corrupt? My father says he fights in the name of honor and truth. No truth I know of. Medicine, Education, Law and Religion: they mean nothing to me. My only trust is you and your music.


Although Lucien had perpetrated no deed that robbed Alexandria of her virginity, Thaddeus sought to invoke his son’s rage with slanderous accusations. On that certain day, Lucien was in his bedroom in the process of painting a beautiful and erotically charged portrait of Alexandria.

Kaine entered, approaching his son and examined the painting. Lucien sat, jaw clenched, daring for his father to speak.

“Is this your imagination or your memory?” Kaine inquiring of the painting.

Lucien hesitated. Kaine figured he had made the right conclusion. He “hemmed.”

“The archbishop would take a very dim view of your bedding his daughter.”

“I want to marry her,” Lucien returned.

Kaine had amused indifference. “An orphan, without a name?”

“She can have mine.”

Though speaking in a tone of camaraderie, Kaine knew he was being ugly in the subtext. “Let me ask you something. It was easy, am I right? She gave herself to you? It was even her idea, perhaps?”

The slur his father put on her character angered Lucien. If this had been anyone but his father… His voice was menacing. “Don’t talk about her like that.”

“Go ahead, amuse yourself, if you must. For Godsakes, be discreet.”

He turned passionate, threatening.

“But remember this,” Kaine added. “She will never have your name.”

Lucien proceeded to finish the painting. This was just one of the many he would paint of Alexandria. One of them, an erotic and blazing sketch of himself and her with their naked bodies entwined, he sent to her once it was completed. In the meantime, Lucien would also attempt to sabotage his father’s campaign against Ellron. One of these acts included the theft of gunpowder. Kaine was not originally aware that his missing supplies were due to the defiance of his own son,as can be seen in this undated letter found at Castle Irondune:


I am missing twenty sacks of gunpowder. How can I defeat my enemies abroad when Irondune itself is not secure? Look into it.


On Oracle 5, of most likely the same year, Kaine, having realized that his son was behind the disappearance of the gunpowder, recorded his frustration in a journal entry:

I don’t know what to make of Lucien’s odd behavior—painting pictures of naked women and then hiding them on his own easel.

     He’s becoming a man, with a man’s freewill. But what of my missing gunpowder and supplies? Am I to tolerate insurrection in the name of my son’s independence?

     It seems as if he wants nothing better than to irritate me. Much more of this and I will be forced to send him to his mother in Antharia.

When Lucien was unyielding to his father’s demands to join with him against Ellron and the Enchanters, the angered Thaddeus scorned his son. While the following event is not dated more precisely than the year, it may have been in response to Lucien’s failure to obey the draft notice which had been issued on Mage 5, 944:


This is to certify that:

Lucien Kaine

By the powers vested by the Authority of Syovar, General of the Royal Quendoran Army, you are hereby drafted into the ranks of the Military forces of the Desert River Regiment.

General Thaddeus Kaine,

Desert River Regiment


Thaddeus Kaine again confronted his son:

Lucien sat in a corner near the fireplace of the Irondune ballroom sketching a violent scene. Thaddeus, dressed in battle gear, approached his son. In one scabbard on Kaine’s waist was a sword, in another short scabbard also hung a dagger. He pulled the sword from the scabbard and offered it to Lucien.

“Take it.”

Lucien continued to paint without even glancing at his father, faintly indicating “no”.

In disgust, Kaine threw Lucien’s sword to the ground. “You should be with me. You belong by my side.”

Lucien painted calmly, eyes still intently pinned away from his father.

“Children draw pictures. Men fight.”

There was still no response from Lucien.

With greater disgust, Kaine spoke outright, “If you didn’t sleep with the archbishop’s daughter, I wouldn’t even know you were a man.”

Lucien was riled. He raised his eyes to his father’s. “I don’t want you to talk about her.”

Kaine was amused at the anger that had ignited in his son. He sought to fan it further, “Who? Your whore? Maybe I’ll try her myself.”

Unable to contain his rage in spite of his father’s heavy insults, Lucien leapt to his feet, knocking over his easel. He grabbed the dagger from Kaine’s belt as he knocked him to the floor. He forced the blade to his father’s throat, pinning him down.

“Finish,” Kaine demanded, in a commingling of anger and fear.

“Father, I’m…” The shocked Lucien could barely force the words through his mouth.

Ashamed at himself, he relaxed the weapon, but Kaine put his hand to the dagger tip, keeping it held in place. The father showed his teeth in a wolfish smile.

“I said, finish it!”

Kaine pressed the dagger into his own flesh, drawing blood. But Lucien, fighting against the desire to lash out as his father, withdrew the dagger from his throat, got up and walked away. Kaine was left on the floor, panting for breath, still gripping the sword at his side.

Sometime after this engagement, Kaine’s sword was sundered in two. It is this same sword that is referenced in this undated letter, which is but another attempt to tame his son:


I have decided that you will be joining me on the hunt next week. I think you will come to appreciate the art of the sport. We don’t have much time to prepare. You don’t seem to have any kind of knife of your own, so I thought you might make something of my old broken one. There’s no scabbard for it—any empty one will do.


The concerned Alexandria, obviously having heard firsthand from Lucien in regards to the theft of the gunpowder and the other conflicts with his father, contacted him in this undated letter:

…it’s just that I don’t understand your relationship with your father. If you don’t believe in Kaine’s wars, if you won’t fight his battles, just tell him. Don’t sabotage his campaign against Ellron, and don’t steal from him. He is a good man, who has raised a good son. You must know he loves you, as do I, your devoted.


While Malveaux and Sophia attempted vainly to further urge Alexandria away from the "trouble youth", Lucien began to grow suspicious of his father. Thus he proposed to secretly leave the Eastlands with Alexandria (944-12-12):


There is something going on with my father. I thought it was something to do with Thaddium and his battles with Ellron. Now I suspect it is far more dangerous than that. He says little of his latest invention, only that it involves pure lead—and it is very dangerous. My father would not harm us, but I fear he cannot save us either. You once said you wanted to explore the Empire, voyage across the Great Sea. Come with me.


Judging from the nature of a few correspondences between Alexandria and Lucien, the two lovers began to understand that some sort of conspiracy or scheme was going on behind their backs that was deeper than either of them would have anticipated.


I discovered M. Sophia has a secret lab. I heard the five sacred notes and looked in to see her boiling some green crystals. What do you make of it?




I will meet you behind the stage tomorrow at midnight. I think I have discovered something strange.


A possibly unsent letter, as it was discovered in Alexandria’s violin case:


Meet me behind the backdrops at midnight. I think I have found something that may shed some light on the Director’s strange goings-on. 


Another likely unsent letter, as it was found crumpled on the floor of Thaddeus Kaine’s bedroom in Irondune:

Alexandria, we must get out of here. I don’t know what is going on but I believe my father is involved. I don’t know what they want…

The two did manage to secretly meet one night behind the stage at the Frigid River Branch Conservatory in 945 GUE.

Alexandria grabbed her locket off the floor which was lying beside her violin. Lucien had lowered his shirt for her gaze and she studied him coolly—like he was an object. He was very awkward and self-conscious. Alexandria moved away from her belongings to join him.

“I feel like a fool,” Lucien stated.

“Mmm. A beautiful fool,” she returned.

Alexandria trusted her arm at him and the locket’s silver chain spilled out of her clenched fist. She opened her fist and showed it to him. Inside was a picture of her mother, Zoe Wolfe.

“Here, this is for you. I want you to wear it.”

Lucien nodded, transfixed. She rose on tiptoe to clasp the locket around his neck. Their faces were close, and moving closer, into an embrace, but Sophia’s voice calmly interrupted out of their range of sight.


Lucien pulled back guiltily. The moment was broken, but Alexandria still tried to kiss Lucien in order to spit the meddling Sophia who had caught them together. Lucien refused, drawing his shirt back on.

“Lucien.” Sophia was shocked by his presence, staring as he dressed. “What a…pleasant…surprise.” She noticed the locket around his neck. “Your locket.”

Lucien, very self-conscious, slipped the locket from around his neck.

“I’ve never seen it off you,” Sophia finished.

Alexandria would not deign to answer.

Sophia took the locket into her hand, pretending to admire it. “It’s lovely.” Then she accidentally dropped it, feigning to be upset. “Oh!”

The broken part of the locket fell on the floorboards, bounced, then slid through a crack in the stage floor. The broken piece continued its downward flight, coming to rest on the floor, near a pool of water in the boiler room, glittering in the darkness.

Sophia later wrote an undated letter to Kaine regarding this event:

I caught the two together on the stage of the conservatory. Imagine the nerve of the girl! Does she think I am an idiot? She brazenly disregards all rules of the school and certainly all rules of decency. Do something about your son. He is poison to her and to us.

Alexandria wrote to Malveaux regarding her decision to marry Lucien (945-05-22):


You are the only one I can confide in. The girls here are gossipy and jealous. They think I am strange—and I must say, I agree. I don’t fit in here. I have tried over and over to play the sappy and boring music they find fitting. I have tried to be sweet, I have tried to care—but I don’t. There is something strange going on and I have to get out of here. It is best. Lucien wants to marry me. And I want to marry him. Please understand that this is right for me. I know that you will. We will come to you at the next full moon. Marry us and give us your blessing for the future. I know your concern for “purity of the spirit” but remember, not all of us are destined to marry Yoruk and live in a Monastery.


Almost immediately after, Alexandria wrote to Lucien:

You are right. Something is going on. We must leave. I wrote Father, telling him everything and asking him to marry us. Father will miss me, but he’ll understand. We will escape to the Westlands. I’m not frightened, Lucien; I know everything will be all right, if I am with you. Does that sound childish? I’ve never felt more a woman—and I am, as always,

    your Alexandria

Kaine wrote to Malveaux about his suspicions:

While there is no cause to be alarmed, I do believe that Lucien may be planning to elope with Alexandria. He left me a note alluding to his leaving and he has been suspicious as of late.

The four alchemists gathered at the Steppinthrax Monastery to make plans on how to quickly and effectively deal with the situation. At the same time, Lucien took his own initiative to investigate more of the scheme that was transpiring around him. While the precise date of Lucien’s “haunting the asylum” and “threaten[ing]” of Sartorius is not known, it may have happened during one of his scheduled treatments. Sophia writes (945-06-17):

Dr. Sartorius,

I understand you are still perfecting the science of the ritual, but we must act now; if we do not, the quintessence will slip through our fingers. I know he has threatened even you, haunting the asylum. Patience has its place and so does action. During the next solar eclipse we must make our move. Our work must be completed at the Temple of the Ancients. Write and I will arrange to meet you there.

Soon, Doctor.


Regardless that they still had much to prepare, the four feared that they would not be able to keep Lucien from sullying Alexandria and could not wait any longer. They met at the Temple of Agrippa to accelerate the schedule for Alexandria’s sacrifice to coincide with an upcoming partial eclipse.

As Alexandria prepared to leave the Frigid River Branch Conservatory and make her way to the Steppinthrax Monastery for the wedding. Hoping to persuade her from leaving the school, Sophia confronted her in the student dormitory on the night before she left:

Alexandria lay on the bed, while Sophia sat on its edge. They were only lit by the light of an oil lamp. Sophia talked quietly, regressing into her heart. She spoke with thought and deep commitment.

“I know the power of love. It attacks your heart until you have no power to fight. Sometimes it picks men who’ll only hurt you. It becomes stronger than you, and sometimes you end up doing stupid things, enduring infidelities…and still there’s nothing you can do because you love him.” Sophia realized that she had revealed more than she wanted to, and smiled wanly.

Alexandria replied, “I’m in love with Lucien, and that’s my business.”

“Alexandria, I want you to find love. But I don’t want you to lose anything by finding it. I was a pianist. I wasn’t like you—a genius—but some thought I had talent. Some thought I could be…great. And I gave it up because I thought I was in love.”

“I want to make my own mistakes.”

“I listen to your music,” Sophia continued, undaunted, “to the passion and brilliance of it, and I know that you are not ordinary. Don’t you see that?” She leaned forward and put her hands on Alexandria’s arms. “You are brilliant. Important.” Then she whispered, “Magical. Please don’t throw away this power.”

“I won’t. I’ll always play the violin. Even after I die. I’ll play.”

“It’s not worth it. Let him wait. Please. Don’t leave.”

Sophia got up from the bed, kissed Alexandria on the forehead, and picked up the lamp to leave.

Adamantly refusing to heed the warnings of Sophia, Alexandria travelled to the Steppinthrax Monastery to elope with Lucien. Thaddeus Kaine was warned and hasted for the Monastery with two of his armed soldiers.

That night, Malveaux stood with Alexandria and Lucien in the cathedral of the Monastery, unaware fully of the conspiracy transpiring around them. Besides the three, the room was bare of occupants. The couple’s beaming faces glistened with love for one another. Neither was dressed in anything expensive for the wedding—both suits proclaimed casual formality and nothing of glamour. Lucien was in his normal garments, while the black dress and flowers of Alexandria reflected the haste with which their plans were made, as well as her strange imagination. Malveaux gripped a holy book in one hand.

Alexandria had a moment of intimacy with Malveaux, while Lucien waited at the altar. She teased him, much like when she was but a young girl. “Today you’re my father and my priest. You have to give me away, and then you have to marry me.”

Malveaux seemed distracted as though his mind was possessed by other things and that she was a little annoying. “Alexandria, your mind is always working…”

She kissed his cheek and then joined Lucien. He grasped her left hand with both of his.

“This is an extraordinary day,” Alexandria spoke, radiantly jubilant.

“As befits my extraordinary child.” Malveaux took his place before the two at the front of the cathedral. Then, opening his book, he continued, “Now… It’s time for us to begin. Under the fire of Yoruk...”

Suddenly the doors burst open. The shout of Thaddeus Kaine reverberated throughout the vast cathedral. “No, I think actually it’s time for all this to finally end.”

Turning, the couple spied Lucien’s father marching into the room, flanked by two Irondune soldiers. They walked briskly towards the front. Kaine gestured and the two soldiers apprehended the befuddled Lucien, who could only reply almost stunned, “What are you doing?”

“You’re being arrested,” Kaine returned coldly, and disturbingly placid.

“For what?”

As the two soldiers dragged Lucien before his father, wide-eyed Alexandria protested hysterical, “Leave him alone!”

Without much of a struggle, Lucien broke free from the soldiers and adamantly stated, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Kaine wordlessly retaliated with a strong slap across Lucien’s face. The two soldiers again restrained Lucien and ushered him forcibly towards the doorway.

Alexandria shouted, “Please, stop!! Leave him alone. Lucien!!” Dauntless, she tried to run after Lucien, but Kaine blocked her with his big body. She stared directly into the eyes of the stringent, ill-tempered man and straightforwardly asked, “Why are you doing this?”

Countering with an icy, unsympathetic stare that pierced the depths of her soul, Kaine set his back to her and tromped down the hallway without explanation.

Turning around, Alexandria yelled, “Father, help me!” But Malveaux had vanished. Desperately she looked around the room. Confused and betrayed, she could barely force the words past her numbing lips, “Father!?”


Disconcerted, Alexandria returned to the Frigid River Branch Conservatory alone. There, on Augur 1, 945, the depressed woman would manifest her dismay by performing “Descent of Yoruk into Hell.” Lucien Kaine was imprisoned with the Irondune dungeon while the four alchemists, knowing that they could not wait, finalized and expedited their plans to sacrifice Alexandria during the solar eclipse at the Temple of Agrippa. And thus the alchemists set out to abduct Alexandria. Her body was useless; it was her spirit that they required.

Lucien was confined in his cell at Irondune, where he sketched out profiles of the four alchemists and painted Kaine’s earthen symbol on the stone wall with the following message: “I found this symbol in his room. It must be the key.” When an unknown guard approached his cell, he leapt to his feet. The guard quietly opened the cell door and received the bribe money. In return, he whispered to Lucien, “The temple” and left.

It is unknown why Lucien’s first destination was the Steppinthrax Monastery, but when he arrived, he found that the alchemists were not there. Instead, he confronted one of the Zorkastrian monks (one of the two who would later refuse to abandon the Monastery under the Grand Inquisitor’s condemnation of the building), throwing him against the wall and demanding to know, “Where are they?”
“The old temple: they’re at the old temple.”

The alchemists, dressed in their ceremonial attire, gathered in the dome room of the Temple of Agrippa to invoke the Great Eclipse. Sophia restrained Alexandria, who violently struggled to gain her freedom. Sartorius forced a bowl to her lips, steam swirling out of the liquid. She drank and her eyes instantly began to droop.

The four alchemists placed Alexandria upon the altar in the center of the temple; an altar which they had personally constructed. She was sitting up, but only with the help of Sartorius and Kaine. Sophia made a last brush stroke through her dark hair, then set down the brush to take a white veil, which she placed over the head of their virgin sacrifice.

Alexandria’s cloth-covered body was lowered upon the altar. She was sleeping peacefully. Kaine held the alchemy book. All gathered around the altar, with their hands outstretched over her body, except for Malveaux, who raised a sacrificial dagger into the air. He began to chant,

“No generation without corruption.

No life without death.

The blackness of putrefaction

Must precede the whiteness,

As night precedes day.”

Then the four alchemists in unison chanted, “Natura, Anima, Spirit of Perfection. Purify, Cleanse, Transmute these metals into the Philosopher’s Stone.”

Sophia closed her eyes, swaying to the sound. The intensity increased. Sartorius waved his hands above the altar symbols. The symbols began to spin. The knife of Malveaux lifted higher. It hovered for a beat above Alexandria.

Beyond them, at the top of the stairs leading to the altar, Lucien suddenly rushed into the room, crying out, “No!”

But was too late, for Malveaux drove the dagger into Alexandria, taking the life of the young woman. She convulsed. The culmination of their dark ritual was finished, and they knew they would soon become immortal creatures.

Just at the moment when they were becoming empowered, the rage of the warrior came to the fore. The chagrinned Lucien, entangled by blind rage ran up to the altar and rushed for Malveaux. Easily overtaking the frail monk, he pushed him backward. The momentum threw Malveaux back toward the railing that surrounded the altar. He fell and was impaled on the shard finial of the banister. Malveaux gagged and gasped with the metal piercing entirely through his body.

Sartorius tried to get away, but quickly spinning around, Lucien picked up a candle and flung it at him. Sartorius’ robe caught on fire, engulfing him in flames. As he burned, Lucien looked to the altar where Sophia was trying to complete the ceremony with Alexandria’s body. He approached her.

In despair, Sophia muttered with fear, “No, please don’t! No.”

But Lucien was not sedated. He reached both hands around her neck and strangled her beneath her punitive whining, “Noooooo!” Dead, he tossed her to the floor.

Lucien looked in anguish at Alexandria, who lay dead with the sacrificial knife deep in her chest. Then he looked up across the altar and saw his father glowering at him. Yanking the bloody dagger out of Alexandria’s chest, Lucien turned to face his father, who contemptuously stood his ground fearlessly placid. Had Lucien not been consumed by his terrible bombastic rage, he would have noticed that his father was eerily calm. They stared into each other’s eyes, until Lucien placed the knife upon his father’s throat for a moment, just as Thaddeus Kaine had dared him to do in their previous encounter. But his father did not wince.  He simply lifted his hands in the air as if in a state of worship, a martyr pleased to accept his death. And unlike before, Lucien stabbed deeply into the throat of his own father and he fell dead.

Dropping the knife, Lucien leapt upon the altar, crawling over the lifeless body of his beloved Alexandria, and sat over her. His eyes were glued to her and already filled with the haunted, hunted look of the Nemesis. He touched her face, the lifted up his hands to shield his own as though an invisible entity were coming down upon him. And he screamed, “NOOOO!” in a voice that was not his own, but hideously demonic—the primal yell of anguished filled the entire temple.

As a result of the conflict, Lucien, initially a young innocent, was transformed into the embittered, tortured dark force known as the Nemesis at the moment he watched all those whom he had trusted plunge a dagger into his lover’s heart. Though the ceremony was incomplete, Alexandria’s spirit was dispersed throughout the temple and remained trapped within.

Four huge glass sarcophagi beneath the temple dome were created the moment Lucien murdered the cabal. Because they had been in the midst of a powerful alchemical ritual, when Lucien plunged the knife into each of their hearts, their elements (fire, water, earth, air) consumed them. The Nemesis, realizing that these elements might be important instruments, ripped their elements essences out of their souls by unknown magic and placed their souls in the four sarcophagi. Although Lucien did not know at this time the significance of these substances, he knew that they were powerful and held the key to some form of eternal life. He knew they could prove useful in the future. Thus he kept these elements alive and vibrant, but hidden throughout the temple where he presumed no one could find them. Lucien was able to keep the souls of the four alive in their bodies, while maintaining intense torture for them in an “eternal hell.” Lucien also smashed the four’s alchemical device and placed the different colored fragments of their metals in another room of the temple to be studied.

Unable to return to his life back in New Kivolli, Lucien stayed at the Temple of Agrippa mourning his lover. He initially buried her in the mausoleum in front of the temple. However, he could not accept her death and dug her up, placing her preserved body deep within the temple, on the site of the original temple altar. Obsessed with the death of his lover, Lucien dedicated the remainder of his life to finding the secret of bringing Alexandria back to life—a secret he knew his father and the cabal had already discovered. Lucien became obsessed with the occult and spent all his fortune searching out every occultist in the land. From quacks to scholars, he sought out their advice and discoveries to no avail. He obtained much knowledge, but could implement only two powers—keeping the body of his lover in stasis, and trapped the souls of the dead cabal in their sarcophagi. Still, he was unable to find the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone or the Elixir of Life.

After the tragedy at the Temple of Agrippa and the great imbalance of the Empire, a curse cast its shadow. The bitter Lucien wandered the Eastlands, manifesting his anger by tormenting the scattered enclaves of society that occupied the regions near the alchemists’ homes. Almost at once, affairs in these regions soured as evil began to emanate from the land. Haunting and hallucinations began to sprout in various cavities of the former Empire. The Gray Mountains slipped into oblivion first, being plagued by magical storms and fires. The inhabitants of Frostham complained of horrible screams and an inescapable stench that pervaded the area. Reports came from the Desert River next. Merchants and trading caravans that still moved through the areas untouched by the war began to report nightmares and visions so powerful that they lingered for weeks in the minds of the victims, while chronic hallucinations haunted the natives along the borders. Travelers began to disappear. Soon the entire sky over that area became covered with distorted faces and figures. A strange figure called the Nemesis was placed at the center of these events.

King Syovar, who was already dwindling in power, was wary of the bizarre haunting taking place on the fringes of his domain. Fearing that the land was being controlled by his political and ever increasingly powerful opponents, the Enchanters, he was prompted to declare these lands “The Forbidden Lands.” (The circle of Enchanters also dubbed them the same.) All access was barred to the desolate Desert River and Gray Mountain provinces. Various penalties were imposed on those that trespassed, including the pain of death. Most of the refugees managed to make it out in time. Those who did not later died or wished they were dead.

When Bivotar ventured into the Desert River Province at the close of 947, he described the devastation firsthand:

Immense scars and patches of burnt land are visible with alarming frequency, as if the Implementors have tormented the province with an unceasing series of lightning strikes and fire storms. Giant corbies circle overhead menacingly, already waiting for me to collapse in exhaustion. This is no place for the living.


And again:


It is clear to me now that the Vice Regent’s order to make all of the eastern provinces outside of his control into forbidden territory was a wise decision. It is doubtful to me if even Syovar the Strong would be able to defeat the force that has taken control of this land. What that force might be, whether it truly is a curse, or simply the latest terrorist tactic of the Enchanters’ Guild, I still have no idea. Moreover, since the fall of the empire, all of these lands have been devastated by famine and barbarian invasions of the worst kind. It would be a wasted effort for Syovar to attempt to recapture these territories in hopes of restoring the Great Underground Empire… Civilized life will never again thrive in these territories, but the reasons are much deeper than we had ever feared. Some sort of evil spirit has come to reside…


While no one knew during those days that Lucien Kaine was the cause behind the devastation, many believed that the curses were signs of the Enchanters’ Guild gaining the upper hand against Syovar’s Kingdom of Zork:


Are the recently evacuated “Forbidden Lands” really cursed? Or is Regent Syovar simply becoming paranoid, now that the Enchanters’ Guild composes the first substantial challenge to his political supremacy? The theory of the curse seems legitimated by the dark series of earthquakes, draughts, missing persons, and general ill-humor of the inhabitants of the region following the Great Eclipse. Though the Guild denies responsibility for any black magic in the region, the disappearance of General Kaine from Irondune suggests political conspiracy. And since we all know the trolls, orcs, and gnomes of the Flathead Mountains are only waiting for the slightest hint of civil strife to stake their own claim to that corner of the Empire, the clock is ticking on the Forbidden Lands.


As the twisted and tormented Lucien sought alchemical answers in hopes of reviving Alexandria, he recorded many of his explorations and discoveries upon heavy brass medallions, that when spun worked as a primitive recording/playback device.

Last day of the Year of the Misuse, I’ve hidden the sources of their powers away from their control. Without them, they are unable to hold back the very elements they used to keep dominion over. (945-12-31)


I live every day with the reminder of the horror I have inflicted on the others. Their crimes were great, and I had to be judge, jury and executioner. Yet, they do not succumb to my torture. Sartorius seems the weakest, but even that bastard will not break his silence. (undated)


I tried to contact Dr. Vexing about the meaning of the Alchemy plate symbols. He told me that all symbols have meanings in alchemy, and that everyone is controlled by the orientation of these symbols. He could not, however, tell me more of use. The man is nearly deaf and blind, a condition that I feel describes perfectly my search for answers. (945-02-03)


I've learned of four key steps used in Alchemy: Sublimation, distillation, calcification and coagulation. I know there is more to be found. Something is missing, some vital step. (undated)


It is apparent that Lucien Kaine harnessed the full powers of a magical hourglass in the Temple of Agrippa, that seems to have had similar properties of temporal travel as the legendary Phee Hourglass. For certain relics from the future found their way into his possession—these included a tele-orb, and a copy of Boos Miller’s book “Great Underground Empire Toasts.” (The crystal ball of Radnor found in the Steppinthrax Monastery may also have been placed there by identical means.)

Scouring Zork in his juvenile quest to find a way to revive his lost Alexandria, Lucien’s search took him throughout the world, during which time he squandered the last of his father’s fortune. Gossip abounded that he killed his father himself. When the wealth was nearly gone, he set out in search of answers elsewhere. He had heard of rumors speaking of riches “beyond the hills,” which turned out to be a vast subterranean land filled with magic and mysteries—the Great Underground Empire beneath the White House. It may be interesting to note that this house, which in these days was owned by Ellron, was not abandoned during this period, but still used by him during the days when his armies seemed to have turned into lunatic beasts.

Unwilling to earn money through traditional means, Lucien was forced into the life of a thief – initially a petty thief then a highwayman – to sustain his studies. According to his journal:

However, I haven't found any creature knowledgeable in the black arts. A wizard may be somewhere underground, but I have yet to find him. Other treasure hunters have discovered the ruins, and I’ve had to kill them to protect my belongings.


Thus obsessively protecting his treasures in the hopes that the riches derived from their sale could keep his studies in alchemy alive, Lucien became the infamous Thief. Bivotar, writing in 948, could not understand why the Dungeon Master would permit this murderous young man to dwell within his domain:

For sixty-five years now the Dungeon Master had fiercely guarded every entrance to the old underground realms, insisting that no one would enter until the time was right. Not even Syovar, the rightful heir to the empire, had been allowed to enter until recently. Why the Dungeon Master would let this young Lucien run around down there made little sense indeed.

As the thief, Lucien was a slippery character with beady eyes that flitted back and forth supiciously. While wandering around the Dungeon of Zork, the tall, lean and hungry-looking man carried, along with an unmistakable arrogance, a large bag over his shoulder and a vicious-looking stiletto, whose blade was aimed menacingly in the direction of any intruder, proclaiming that the bag would only be taken over his dead body.

Rumored never to have been seen by the light of day, this seedy-looking individual liked to take things. Since he stole for pleasure rather than profit and was somewhat sadistic, he only took things which other adventurers had seen. Although he preferred valuables, sometimes in his haste he took something which was worthless. From time to time, he examined his take and discarded objects which he did not like. He occasionally stopped in a room which other adventurers had been visiting, but more often he just wandered through and ripped them off (he was a skilled pickpocket). All of his treasures were deposited in a large chamber whose east wall was solid granite.

Although Lucien was skillful with the blade, he did at times determine discretion to be the better part of valor, and decided to terminate little contretemps, using his knowledge of the underground passageways to ambush his victim at a more convenient time. Being a man of superior breeding, randomly refrained from attacking a helpless opponent, but on most occassions, being essentially a pragmatist, forgot his genteel upbringing and dispatched his defenseless adversaries as a threat to his livelihood.

Thus the thief caused a great amount of trouble, up to and often including death, for many adventurers who tried to map out the Great Underground Empire. But oddly, he still warned other adventurers of dangerous pitfalls, such this barely legible (although done in very elegant copperplate) letter which he set before a passage that at once time connected his treasure room to the Royal Puzzle:

To Whom It May Concern:


       I regret to report that the rumors regarding treasure contained

in the chamber to which this passage leads have no basis in fact.

Should you nevertheless be sufficiently foolhardy to enter, it will be quite

impossible for you to exit.


                    Sincerely yours,

                    The Thief

During the days of his habitation within the Dungeon of Zork, Lucien Kaine found that he still carried the lustful passions his unrestrained youth. Despite his devotions to Alexandria, he was unable to sedate himself in the seductive presence of Threnia, the Muse of Modern Fantasy Novels. This affair of unknown duration produced a son named Spike the Protector. It seems from the testimonies of Spike, that he had vague remembrances of his father, although, given the possible age of the child, it seems unlikely that a mere two or three year old would have any recollection. In fact, it is unknown whether Lucien knew of his son’s birth at all, or if Threnia abandoned him immediately after birth. All that is known is that Spike was abandoned as an orphan at an early age, where, in order to survive, he would teach himself to follow in the footsteps of his father, where he would live in the Dungeon of Zork until at least a decade later when he was recruited by the Supernatural and Fantastic Wayfarers Association.

The disappearance of the four prominent figures of Quendoran society, interwoven with the hallucinations and other wicked effects transpiring around their homelands, brought much devastation upon their establishments. Sartorius’ asylum was forced to close down after all the patients escaped (save for one) and was sequentially abandoned. The Frigid River Branch Conservatory, located in no-man’s land halfway between Irondune and Syovar’s strongest positions, was closed down due to a lack of students and funds and suffered much desolation at the hands of Ellron’s rampaging hordes. The Steppinthrax Monastery, which had been under suspicion for quite some time (as it was hardly proper for a monastery of male monks to be raising an orphaned teenage girl), was overtaken and closed by the Grand Inquisitor in Syovar’s name in the third month of 947 after claims of demonic infestations. The monastery was then abandoned to two insane monks who refused to leave. These two had gone mad from the evil and demons they testified to that were everywhere around, especially in the master’s room.

Lucien the Thief was unable to uncover any knowledge suitable in his quest to revive Alexandria, save a manuscript written in an ancient tongue unknown to him. He believed that, once deciphered, this document would provide him with the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone, known also as the Elixir of Life, which would be capable of restoring Alexandria to her former glory. All whom he encountered were unable to translate the tongue. His only promising lead was mention of the Wizard of Frobozz, who resided in a deeper level of the same Dungeon of Zork from which he had already been obtaining many treasures from. If he could only find the Wizard and show him what he had learned, he could teach him the rest. He alone could give Lucien what he needed to bring Alexandria back to her. But he had not yet discovered a way into the portion of the underground where the exiled wizard dwelt.

Bearing with him his hefty bag for treasures, deadly stiletto, a piece of waybread, a considerable amount of zorkmids, and a rusty brass lantern, Lucien set out once again from his lair beneath the White House in attempt to locate another entrance to the Wizard’s lair, or perhaps find someone else wise enough who would be able to translate the manuscript for him.

At the base of the White Cliffs, near Lover’s Leap, Lucien located and befriended Harlon the Hermit. Lucien was delighted to hear that the old man was familiar with the obscure script that had not  been used in ages. Handing over some coins, Harlon quickly translated the manuscript for Lucien. However, much to his disappointment, this was only a vague and partial translation, nothing capable of restoring his beloved Alexandria.

On his travels back to the White House Lucien spotted the thick tendrils of black smoke spilling out of the forest of trees. The small village nearby was aflame, the results of another barbaric orc raid. Upon arrival, the fierce growls of orc warriors were only punctured by the helpless screams of a single woman breaking forth from a wrecked hovel. As Lucien approached to rescue whoever was inside the hut, one of the brutal beasts rushed out, pushing him rudely out of the way, growling fiercely in some vague imitation of common Quendoran.

Knowing the simplicity of bribing the greedy creatures, Lucien tossed a sack of coins his way. The orc relaxed somewhat, pawing through the coins, pretending to be able to count them. Using the distraction as an initiative, Lucien slit the throat of the prowling beast, reclaimed his booty and entered the hovel.

The first thing he noticed was the beautiful imperial scepter that she held. Undoubtedly this was some magical relic that would prove useful. She eagerly handed it to him without his asking for it, the effort of the motion sending her body into a series of painful spasms and coughs. Little did Lucien know, but this was the lost imperial scepter, once belonging to Wurb Flathead.

When he showed her the manuscript, she admitted her lack of skill with the ancient tongues, but directed him to the Wizard of Frobozz. As this was who he had been seeking, he attuned to her words, believing this to be some divine guidance to his goal. Coughing and gasping for breath, she grabbed a scrap of paper and scribbled a few lines and symbols upon it. It was a map to the hidden barrow near the White House. She had barely told him what it was before she collapsed dead. Lucien would never put this map to use, but it, along with the scepter, would be put to use by an unknown adventure on his quest to succeed the Dungeon Master. Lucien headed back to the White House, but would be furious by what he would find: and adventurer had stolen from the house and descended into the cellar.

Lucien the Thief locked the trapdoor. He could hear the adventurer struggling, pushing against the door in vain, frustrated and fearful. Someone had finally broken into the underground. Initially questioning if it was one of Syovar’s men, Lucien quickly denied this, then wondered if this new captive would be of some use to him. While he detested the intruders that dared to rob him of his fortunes and to plunder his treasure room, he would test this one. Since he stole for pleasure rather than profit, and was somewhat sadistic in this nature, he decided to only take the things which the adventurer had already seen. And to cause scattered confusion to this plunder, he planned to take worthless items and instill further bafflement by discarding items that he did not like.  This would be amusing. He did not plan to let him escape. And this adventurer would be forced to master the tunnels.

Lucien knew that he would go into the underground after the newcomer, but through another less-traveled route. He backed out of the window the way he came in, glad to be out of that cursed old relic of a building. While Lucien knew his way around down in the Dungeon like the back of his hand, the great maze of twisty little passages he had long mastered would give him considerable advantage for wandering around to chart the adventurer’s progress.

Having perpetrated the Dungeon with valiant deeds, including the slaughter of a troll wielding a bloody axe and the recovery of a platinum bar, Lucien encountered him in the heart of the maze. He realized that the brave and foolhardy adventurer did not look like much and wondered if he had overestimated him. Lucien watched his nervous, curious reaction to his presence as he stood there smirking at him. The possessive thief knew that the adventurer desired his little bag of treasures, but Lucien was tempted to steal one that the adventurer had obtained. He lashed out at the adventurer, managing to steal the platinum. The adventurer fought back with the elvish sword, but was no match for Lucien’s skill with the stiletto. The unknown man fled into the opposite direction, leaving behind the platinum bar as well as a jewel-encrusted egg and a spillage of blood.

It would not be for quite some time (after having found a lovely clockwork canary within the innards of the jewel-encrusted egg, used the magic stored in the imperial scepter to put a stray gnome to sleep that had wandered into one of his passageways and then stashing it in a nearby gold coffin), that Lucien was trigged by the hidden magical alarm that he had implemented into his treasure room. He screamed in anguish at the thought of his booty being raided by this impendent adventurer. As he raced through passages unknown to the adventurer, Lucien regretted his activity of keeping him alive for preserve amusement. Arriving within the treasure room before the unknown man had yet a moment to nab anything of value, the thief gestured mysteriously and everything in the room suddenly vanished.

This time the adventurer was equipped with the nasty-knife and as Lucien challenged him to the death, found that his skills had increased in just the little time that had been allocated for the adventurer to roam the caverns. After an exchange of knife slashes and punctures, a dark fog swirled about Lucien. He turned around, clutching the adventurer’s knife that now was sticking in his stomach. The thief pulled it out from his gut and tossed it aside. He looked down at the gaping wound between his fingers. Lucien was at an end. The thief disappeared into a cloud of black fog along with the knife that he was killed with.

Although murdered by the Dungeon Master, Lucien could not die. As a ghost, his tortured soul returned to the Temple of Agrippa more embittered and determined than ever. The temple was to be his limbo, his purgatory, his hell. It was at this point that Lucien transformed into a demon, the Nemesis, an embittered, ruthless soul in pure anguish. Fed by fury, his soul had smoldered over the years, growing in desperation and power. He tried even more desperately to torture the four alchemists to learn their secrets but to no avail. The Nemesis gained some supernatural powers which were limited to the temple. He had the power to appear and manipulate objects and influence the perception of reality, however, he could not directly interfere with a person.

Confined as a spirit within the Temple of Agrippa, the Nemesis did not cease to expand his knowledge of alchemy in order to resurrect both himself and his beloved. He continued to inflict grievous tortures upon the four.

From their sarcophagi, they will tell me nothing: I have all but ripped their throats out, so that is to be expected. How many threats can you use upon the dead? It sickens me to live here, a Daemon trapped in a temple. But I must finish their work, and fuel my hate with the power of the Quintessence. (948-11-06)

Now that I have stolen the four elements—Earth, Air, Fire, and Water—I have hidden them in this unholy temple, where they will never be found. I cannot risk their discovery, and have employed a great number of deadly lively machinations to assure their seclusion. (949-02-22)

Some small progress. I can now link each of my rotting alchemists with their respective signs. Malveaux has mastered the element of fire—and has made a lucrative career of fire-worship along the way. Sartorius, my mad Doctor, is Air—precisely because it is largely this element that fills his pompous brain. Kaine must have chosen earth, because his head is filled with sod and his soul is consumed with earthly things. And Sophia, mistress of the Frigid River Conservatory is water—as befits the cold hag.

    I have secreted their alchemical elements away in the temple, employing, as security, a complicated series of machinations—the solutions to which I alone know. They will never be able to reclaim their powers, or their secret science. They will never be able to surpass the nefarious obstacle of the star field. They will rot; unavenged IN HELL…

    Still, I find myself spending endless hours in the lab, with the shades drawn. My work with air has been frustrating thus far. I accept the irrefutable precept; that air has no color. I will keep working, alone in the dark until I find the best method of purification. But make no doubt I will possess the four elements and then the four metals. I will find the Quintessence, and forge the Eclipse. There is no hatred stronger, no power greater, than that which will be mine. (undated)

It is more difficult to forge the four alchemical metals than I first thought. I have learned, through a painful process of trial and error, that it is not safe to keep the elements in their purified form. The four are not so stupid as they look; gaining access to their secret laboratories has been a labored process. I will go drag a hot poker down Malveaux’s rotting belly and see if he cries out something helpful. (949-05-15)

I am tired of this game. I ransacked Sartorius’ laboratory today, and while blood flowed down the halls, I made little progress in my quest for his tin. I am as impatient as that stupid spy who thought any fistful of dirt, any drop of water – a spark from his fine Accardian cigar, or a mouthful of his foul breath – would constitute an element. I must return to my work with elemental Air. As I rise up to my lab and pass the twinkling star field, the blue reminds me of blue skies, a more peaceable time. But I can remember little of my life before the evil descended. Before my bloody rebirth. (949-08-25)

I ransacked the Doctor’s Asylum today and while I was letting the blood flow in his halls, I found a revealing notebook. Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Tin, Lead, Copper and Iron. Four are hidden in the Temple. For are not. If I can recover them all, I can summon the Quintessence.

    But finally it will be wasted effort if I cannot discover the fifth element. I have searched many books—but philosophers disagree as to the nature of that element. The strongest power in my universe is hatred and wrath. There is nothing that cannot be tortured into existence, of that, I am certain. (949-08-25)

All was not well in the heart of the Second Dungeon Master, the Conqueror of Zork. He was still troubled by the murder of the thief Lucien, which had been committed in self-defense, and devoted the entirety of his strength and resources to undoing his deed. Using his most powerful magical spells, he summoned an outsider to his assistance. Having been chosen by the Dungeon Master, she arrived at the Temple of Agrippa. 

The spirits of the four alchemists, Alexandria, and Lucien were still trapped within the temple environment, but their interactions were limited. They were able to react to the pilgrim’s stimulation, but went off on their own dialogue course. The trapped spirits worked in this fashion because they were imprisoned in another dimension. Certain enchanted objects were able to invoke them, but they were not completely free.

Once inside the temple, she discovered that the strange building was haunted by an evil creature called the Nemesis, who warned her to keep away. With horror, she learned that the souls of the four alchemists were entrapped in grotesque stone crypts in the temple dome room. When she first encountered the alchemists, they had almost no powers. They were trapped and tortured souls whose very spirits were being drained and sapped by Lucien. They claimed to have been entombed by a vengeful half-human creature they called the Nemesis. The four said that without her help, they would perish. She was their only chance of salvation. The pilgrim also learned that if she did not assist these trapped souls, she would suffer the same miserable fate. Each made enigmatic request in turn to search the temple for their alchemical element that would restore their strength so they could be freed from their suffering. Fire belonged to Malveaux, air to Sartorius, earth to Thaddeus Kaine, and water to Sophia. Afterward, the souls could only speak in gasps unless their life elements were brought to them.

To retrieve these elements, the pilgrim solved a series of puzzles within the Temple of Agrippa, enabling her to retrieve each of the four elements. As the each of the four elements was unearthed from their hiding places deep inside the dark recesses of the temple, each one was placed upon the temple alter where they became fused to it and could not be removed. In turn, the souls of the alchemists were temporarily revived. Each related a corrupted version of their story, donning the role of an innocent and staging the Nemesis to have been evil from the start. They also wore facades of regret and shed false tears of repentance for their acts of involving Lucien and Alexandria, which resulted in their murders at the hands of the Nemesis. Once all four were helped, the Nemesis awakened.

Dressed in a hooded robe that obscured, but did not hide his face, the Nemesis strangled Sartorius’ soul with a botl of lighting before preparing to murder the pilgrim with a ball of fire from his fingertips. The alchemists marshaled their meager elemental powers and drove him away at the last minute, but he promised that he would return. The four captives told more of their distorted tale and implored her to travel to each of their homelands to forge the four powerful alchemical metals which would bring each of their souls to life and allow her to escape from the Nemesis’ clutches.

Their powers were still weak, and the souls of the alchemists dematerialized, leaving behind a sphere of pure gold. She placed it into the position of the sun in the temple orrery. Whenever the pilgrim aligned its gaze with any of the four planets that corresponded to the alchemists, she would transport herself to their worlds through the magic portal resting at the center of the gilded planetarium. These were Steppinthrax Monastery, Gray Mountains Asylum, Castle Irondune, and the Frigid River Branch Conservatory. Until the pilgrim arrived, the Nemesis had been unable to leave the temple or even enter the portal worlds. When she entered those regions, the door was left open for the Nemesis to follow. In this way, the Nemesis was able to attempt to thwart her progress--the evil and perverse prince of shadows that haunted and hunted.

Each of the alchemists hid their practice of alchemical magic, Lucien and Alexandria’s forbidden love affair, and their larger conspiracy in a quest for eternal life. The metals were hidden from the Nemesis, and thus it took much effort for the pilgrim to discover and forge each character’s metal (a purified object that represented each of their contributions to the alchemical table).

In the process, she learned of the narrative that occurred in each of the abandoned environments through flashbacks and hallucinations. The spaces were surreal and strange, haunted by the still smoldering souls of the dead inhabitants and vibrant with memories of past events. When she touched certain powerful objects in each of the buildings, she released the energy and memories they contained. Sometimes these memories were forthright, but most were strange and disjointed, providing snippets of events she had to put together. She also heard audio hallucinations or fragments of conversations and events that took place long ago. Through these mechanisms, she was able to put together the past relationship of Alexandria and Lucien and the evil cabal.

After returning each metal, the alchemists felt as though they had been freed from debilitating torture of their earlier state. It was only after the pilgrim had found and transmuted each of the four purified metals and correctly arranged them on the temple altar, that the alchemists became enfleshed creatures will full alchemical powers. When she placed the fourth and final metal object upon the altar, she was flung backward as if she had been blown into the closest behind the altar. The doors slammed shut. When she opened the doors, she saw the four alchemists standing by the altar with their sarcophagi splintered and cracked apart.

Before her, hovering in space was a strangely luminescent liquid in a crystal vial. The four urged the pilgrim to quickly drink the so-called Elixir of Life, else they would all perish. Having experienced enough of the hallucinations within their homelands, and having unraveled the mysteries of the alchemical schemes, she already did not trust the four. When she refused to swallow the poison, they realized that she was not as stupid as they thought.

Hoping to repay Lucien with an even greater extreme of torture than he had permitted them to suffer, they summoned the Nemesis. He appeared, trapped in a glowing, alchemical force field. Lucien was enraged at what the pilgrim had done by resurrecting the four alchemists. Hoping that she may in fact be able to redeem herself, Lucien tossed a golden ring from his finger to her. As he did so, the pilgrim was thrown backward out of the temple dome room and into the cloister.

When she touched the ring, she received a hallucination of the death of Alexandria. All suspicions were thoroughly confirmed. The four souls that she thought were allies were really her enemies. Lucien, the Nemesis, was truly anguished. Dead was only a physical state, and like all metal in alchemy, may be transformed. The Circle had used this pilgrim in a last ditch effort to complete the ceremony Lucien interrupted so many years ago and made another try at eternal life. The eclipse that would be perfect for the sun and moon to join and their eternity to open drew near.

In the final confrontation between the evil alchemists, the pilgrim had to use everything she had learned about alchemy. Descending into an enormous subterranean world beneath the temple, she searched for Lucien’s and Alexandria’s metals of gold and silver. Using the proper techniques in unison with the mystical and archaic devices in the inner sanctum below, she forged the two metals into one—into the quintessence.

When she returned to the temple dome room, the alchemists were standing around the altar, chanting. The translucent, shimmering soul of Alexandria levitated above the altar’s center. As the eclipse drew towards its completion, the ceiling rent asunder and its shadowy form appeared in the sky above the altar space. At the moment that the eclipse formed, she tossed the quintessence towards the altar. In midair, a blast of light from above struck the infinity symbol and reflected into the four sarcophagi. The alchemists, realizing too late what she had done, screamed as they and their sarcophagi exploded in a blast of wind, fire, water, and earth.

The process, with its permanent destruction of the four alchemists, in turn fully restored both Lucien and Alexandria to the flesh. Holding hands, they directed the pilgrim out of the temple. Once the three emerged, the entire Temple of Agrippa exploded behind them, leaving nothing but scattered ruins. Lucien and Alexandria invited the pilgrim to come with them and they departed through a gate towards the waning eclipse.

What became of Lucien Kaine and Alexandria Wolfe is unknown, except that Lucien’s life ended sometime before the end of the First Age of Magic (966 GUE), when he would meet his illegitimate son, Spike the Protector, face-to-face in Hades. He provided his son and companions with five oboli to present before Charon, so they could cross into the kingdom of the dead and return with Mirakles of the Elastic Tendon. All this was done in exchange for a good, long, healthy drink of blood.Lucien's fate in the treacherous underworld makes one wonder if he ever truly repented for his crimes against the alchemists (among other misdeeds of fornication and murder).

The alchemical cabal classified Alexandria with the following alchemical information:
    Planet: Solis (the sun)
    Element: none
    Metal: gold
    Zodiac: Brogmoid

As the Nemesis, Lucien had several magical powers, including the ability to torture Sartorius with a bolt of lighting and to emit balls of fire from his fingertips.