Lewis and Erasmus, <916 GUE
  Sartorius Photo (A) / (B)
  Sartorius Photo (A) / (B) / (C) / (D) / (E)
  Sartorius Photo (A) / (B)
  Sartorius finds a host, 925 (A) / (B)
  Magical Injection, 925 (A) / (B)
  Baptism of Alexandria, 926 (A) / (B) / (C) / (D)
  The Sacrifice (A) / (B) / (C) / (D) / (E)

  949 GUE:
    Sartorius in sarcophagi  (A) / (B)
    Sartorius implores the pilgrim (A) / (B)
    The Four vs. Lucien #1 (A) / (B) / (C)
    Tempting the pilgrim with poision (A) / (B)
    The Four vs. Lucien #2 (A) / (B) / (C)
    The Ceremony (lose game) (A) / (B) / (C)
    The Ceremony defeated (A) / (B) / (C)

  GUE Tech degree
  Antharia University degree
  Galepath University notice of expulsion

DR. ERASMUS SARTORIUS
Chief of Staff, Gray Mountains Asylum / Research Scientist / Physician

Erasmus Sartorius was born to Lewis Sartorius in Frostham on Jam 19, 895 GUE. He was one of the chief cornerstones in the establishment of the curse of the Forbidden Lands which would completely devastate much of the Eastlands in the 940s. This secret circle of outwardly respectable citizens were in reality rogue alchemists—the pious Bishop Francois Malveaux, the military hero General Thaddeus Kaine, the music conservatory mistress Madame Sophia Hamilton and respected asylum chief Dr. Erasmus Sartorius. The cult was in search of the goal of alchemy: the fifth element of the quintessence, the elixir of life, the philosopher’s stone which would bring to each one immorality. But unlike traditional alchemy which teaches that it is through the distillation of metals, that the elixir can be found—this cult practiced a twisted, deviant belief. They believed that this elixir could be created, only when the final element—a drop of the most purified, rarefied blood was distilled and spilled. To achieve their goal, they would create a woman. In the process, these four would release a vengeful force known as the Nemesis which tormented innocents throughout the Eastlands.


Erasmus Sartorius (914~8 GUE)
Son of the great alchemist and doctor Lewis Sartorius, Erasmus was abused as a child and raised with little concern for his health or safety. He looked to medicine as a way to give people what he never had. Except that his ideas were twisted. It seemed simple to him: To learn about pain, you inflict it. Even as a child, he operated on dolls with sick medical instruments. As he matured in age, Sartorius became obsessed with learning the secret of the origin of life, how to create life, and the reviving of the dead. He initially left Frostham and attended the Galepath University, from where he was quickly expelled.

The Notice of Expulsion, dated Ottobur 10, 914 (which he proudly framed and later showcased in the Gray Mountain Asylum) was written by Dr. Belzork Anthrax of the university:

 
Dearest Mr. Sartorius,

Although we understand your need to pursue a meaningful curriculum, we strongly object to being called “fat flatfooted brogmoids.”

Therefore I must inform you that, in the name of the Moss League of Colleges, you are hereby expelled.

Have a nice day.

Dr. Belzork Anthrax 

Almost immediately after, Erasmus Sartorius attended Antharia University. He graduated from the university on Jam 6, 915, honored with a degree in Home Thaumaturgy and Science. That same year, his father Lewis died. He left his book, “The Blood Alchemist” for his son. Written in the front was the following:

My Son;

I now lie on my deathbed. I leave so much work undone. I sense I am close to the truth, yet the quintessence still eludes me. Follow the new school of alchemy. There are rumors of an ancient underground temple; a shrine which has the power to create the philosopher’s stone. It was created by an engineer of Duncanthrax named C. Agrippa, but his work disappeared. You must find it.

-Your Loving Father


Erasmus Sartorius wanted only one thing: to complete his father's controversial work—a study of blood alchemy. Through the research of his late father, Sartorius learned of alchemy and the new school of alchemists. While the conventional philosophy looked to science and chemistry for some of its answers, the new school believed that they had found the answers to the search for the Elixir of Life. These alchemists believed that the fifth essence was the purified spirit. Alchemy was his answer to his questions about the physical world. His medical quests had already led him to every part of Zork, and into every form of science, and his attendance at GUE Tech was no exception. Sartorius graduated from the school on Jam 7, 918 with a D.T. (Doctor of Thaumaturgy) degree in the Science of Enchantment.

Because of his strange experiments and theories, Sartorius was rejected by the medical establishment (had his membership revoked from the Quendoran Medical Association), whom he considered lazy, self-congratulatory, and fattened hypocrites. Undaunted by the skeptics who attacked him, he pursued his alchemical obsessions with zeal and passion. Alchemy was Sartorius' answer to his questions about the physical world. Helping to create eternal life was the ultimate scientific achievement and his ultimate revenge on the petty and uninspired medical establishment. Sartorius' airy Asylum exposed his need for control over everything physical.


Francois Malveaux Elected Bishop (922 GUE)
In 922, Francois Malveaux released his Zork-wide best-selling book, “Revelation and Eternity,” which thousands in Zork credit for a resurgence of interest in (and financial contributions to) the Zorkastrian religion. That same year, Sophia Hamilton, Thaddeus Kaine and Erasmus Sartorius all read Malveaux’s book.


Malveaux's Sickness (922~3 GUE)
Living off tithes and indulgences, Malveaux knew that he was already damned; he would never rise above his current position or stature and attain to Grand Inquisitor. Worse still, he began to suffer from a horrible disfiguring disease. He attempted everything to cure his disease. Although it appears that Erasmus Sartorius initially contacted Malveaux, the bishop’s search took him to inquire of the Doctor in regards to his sickness. Sartorius replied with this letter (922-05-07):
 

    Dear Father,

    I have investigated all the texts I can and researched extensively your disease. There is no known treatment. It begins with a simple lethargy, sometimes a small rash. It is a quiet disease. It makes no noise coming in and no noise going out.

    Sartorius

Malveaux’s reply has been lost to us, but Sartorius wrote a further correspondence to Malveaux (922-12-15):
 

    Dear Father,

    You must live with it. Accept the life that you have and accept the death that will come–for all of us—someday. Perhaps you would like to be included in my experimental work. If I am successful, you will be cured of every ailment you have ever suffered—there are certain risks of course.

    Sartorius


Malveaux finally wrote the following reply to Sartorius (923-08-05):


   Dear good doctor,

   I find myself getting weaker and I find I have strange fevers which leave me sweating profusely. At nights, I burn as if on fire. I thought I would be ready for death. I have spent my life preparing for the afterlife. But in my heart I am not prepared. I am ready to do experiments, risky as they may be. My mind is open.

    Yours truly,

    F. Malveaux

 

It is probable that Sartorius sought to test the waters before revealing his controversial alchemical studies to the Bishop. For in the following undated journal, the Doctor, having made a collection of his father’s work, wrote about additional correspondences with Malveaux and the desire to meet with him face-to-face:
 

Horrible fire last night. A miscast GONDAR spell only made things worse. Maybe I should leave the magic to the magicians. Most of father’s notebooks caught in the blaze. Currently piecing together what little I can. One fragment:

 

Temple of the Ancients -- deep in the Eastlands and now supposedly inaccessible to all except the alchemical initiates.

 

I do not know why the secret order did not remain at the temple forever. Maybe the mystical aura of the place simply became too intense for daily life. Malveaux’s book on revelation is bringing people back to the fire-cult by the thousands, but I suspect there is more to the man than he lets on. The notion of fire-worship is close enough to the alchemical tenets of respect for the elements to make me suspicious. I was right to contact him. His reply was guarded, but he will open up should I pursue him further.

 

Here, Sartorius mentions that Malveaux had sent him a brief piece on the Steppinthrax Monastery, which in turn the Doctor suspected to be the new center of the alchemical cabal.

 

The brochure goes on, but says little more of importance. The connections at least have become more clear. From Malveaux and the fire-worshippers of today, there is a direct line of succession back to Agrippa, Locksmoore, and perhaps through them even back to the ancient knowledge of Yoruk himself. I must go there, and learn the truth for myself.

It is ironic that modern thaumaturges and enchanters try to claim Ozmar as one of their own. They quote that one sentence of his [“a great union will be formed between magic and science, and the final mysterious will be solved”] until they are blue in the face, yet they ignore the rest of his words. How clear that he was one of us! Read:

 

What most of us have failed to realize is that there are indeed two paths to the truth, two differing roads with the same identical goal. The path of magic is hazy and unclear. Even the most brilliant minds have failed to penetrate it. Magic elicits amazing effects from trivial causes. It makes something out of nothing, and no one can comprehend how! The path of the Alchemical Sciences lies along different steps, and makes different claims. This science offers a clear-cut path to purity, through the transmutation of the six baser metals into their pure and virgin state. Magic would attempt this task by reliance on the invisible, on the supernatural. Science offers a different approach, through the four visible elements of earth, air, water, and fire.

It is true of course that the Quintessence, the Fifth Element, remains undiscovered. Not until this elusive element is found can the process begin that will result in the creation of the Philosopher's Stone. It is possible that the Alchemical Science alone is not sufficient to this task, but it is also true that magic itself has already failed. Perhaps the two together would provide the necessary wisdom. One day, perhaps, a great union will be formed between magic and science, and the final mysteries will be solved.

 

Sartorius and Malveaux finally met at the Steppinthrax Monastery. It was then that the Bishop realized that his only salvation was in alchemy. Not only would the art give him eternal life for survival, but a chance at religious power. Thus the two began to explore the power of alchemy.

After their first meeting, Malveaux wrote, suggesting a location suitable for them to meet and discuss the powers of alchemy. What he did not know was the Sartorius had already learned about this place:

 

Dear Dr. Sartorius,

I believe I have stumbled onto a place of power and magic. I believe it was built by Agrippa, an engineer of the time of Duncanthrax who built the great underground highway. It appears that Agrippa shut off this temple, using it for his own rituals which I believe may have involved alchemy. I found the map of this place in the secret catacombs below this monastery. We must meet there.

Malveaux


Drawn by these legends, the two selected the Temple of Agrippa as their site of worship. Remote and forgotten by all, this temple proved to be the perfect place for discreet worship and ritual, free from the stifling restrictions of the Guild of Enchanters. Since the days of Duncanthrax, the ceiling of the hollowed out mountain where the temple dwelled had suffered from earthquake damage, exposing the earthen innards to the sky.



Sophia Meets Sartorius (924 GUE)
Malveaux, who had been collaborating with Sophia for approximately two years, decided that he would write to inform Sartorius that be believed she would be able to assist them in their endeavors (924-01-20):

 
Thank you doctor. You are truly a misunderstood genius. For the first time in many months I have hope of a life without pain. Knowing our need for further apprentices, I spoke to Madame Sophia of the Frigid River Branch Conservatory. I believe she is the perfect person to assist us in our quest.

Francois

Sartorius heeded Malveaux’s advice, and the Bishop quickly arranged to introduce Sophia to the Doctor. Afterwards, Malveaux invited Sophia to meet with them at the Temple of Agrippa. Malveaux’s correspondence (924-02-12) to Sophia:

 
Dear Sophia,

Dr. Sartorius is a brilliant man. This experiment will be the biggest breakthrough since the beginning of Zork. If you are still interested, make your way to the Temple of Agrippa. But—take great care, and do not speak of it. There are those who misunderstand Alchemy—those who would kill for our secrets, in their search for gold.

Father Malveaux

In response, in an undated letter, Sophia wrote to Malveaux:

 
You are right. Dr. Sartorius is a brilliant man. He is strange and he has that annoying laugh, but nonetheless I think his medical studies may be very valuable. Please send me any alchemical materials or notes that you have obtained.

The following undated letter was most likely composed after Estuary of 924. He wrote the following to Sartorius:

Dear Erasmus,

I cannot sleep – the weight of invention pressed upon me. I believe, Doctor, that we have discovered a science – a philosophy – that will relieve of us of the binds of mortality and of our bodies. It is a science that will surely transform the world – Yoruk will praise this Great Work!

Francois


Despite Malveaux’s jubilation, Dr. Sartorius did not share the same enthusiasm. It seems from the countenance of the following journal entry, dated 924-04-07, that the Doctor may have originally sought to fulfill his alchemical pursuits as a loner. His doubt and distrust of the other two seems to be hinted at.


I am frustrated. I have devoted my career to completing my father’s quest, but I now realize that one man cannot find the alchemical secret alone. Each element requires absolute mastery. Each metal requires its own Adept. I must enlist others in my search; but I must take care. Alchemy draws vain fools, in search of common gold, and I must seek out only my more enlightened brothers.



General Kaine Joins the Alchemists (924 GUE)
Although Sartorius’ doubts about uniting with Malveaux to find the quintessence were suppressed, it appears from the following letter (924-08-02), that Sartorius had not yet been convicted that Sophia was the third member to join their cabal.

Dear Father,

I am encouraged by your zeal in finding the quintessence. I do not mean to be discouraging but alchemists, including my father, have searched for ages for the philosopher’s stone, the elixir of life with little success. I have come to see that the quintessence cannot be created by one person. There are four elements we must master, and four metals we must purify. Much as we have found each other, we must search out two others who have the will and courage to take on this study.

S.

 

General Kaine was engaged in a war against both Ellron and the Enchanters' Guild. He refused to give up his ambitions, but was uncertain how to achieve ultimate power. He found his answer that same year, when his lover Sophia introduced him to Malveaux and Sartorius. Kaine was skeptical at first, as can been seen in the following letter (924-11-20):

 

Sophia,

Dr. Sartorius is a strange but fascinating man. I agree he has ideas what while almost fanatical, could be the final solution. As you know I am not prone to dabbling into strange, self-indulgent philosophies or womanish New Age experiments—but there is something to the man, of that there can be no doubt. And still I wonder—might the Doctor’s way be the only way of securing power in this perpetually unstable world? I could have great use for him—and his philosopher’s stone—in my campaign against the Enchanters. I cannot hold them back much longer.

Say nothing—I will write you of this further.

Kaine.

When Kaine realized the reward for the practice of alchemy could mean eternal life, riches, and power, his attitude towards the art changed. The practice of alchemy was unconventional and potentially treasonous, but Kaine was independent and driven. So he preserved and became an alchemist. When Sartorius was informed of the General’s decision to join the alchemical Circle, he wrote this undated reply to him:

 
I am pleased that you have joined us in our quest for the meaning of all life. In answer to your inquiry, the process of distillation of alchemy is essential to its success. All alchemical processes must involve the presence of earth, air, water and fire which are used to distill the essence of the metal or substance. This is important. The order of the processes, the colors that result are part of the mystery revealed through experimentation.

 By the end of that year, the four alchemists delved deep into the power of dark alchemy. They learned that to finish their work and gain eternal life—the ultimate transformation—they had to conceive and sacrifice a virgin during an eclipse. She had to be born under the perfect alignment of the spheres, raised and have her soul purified through the power of music. A short undated journal entry of Sartorius’ details his thoughts regarding this process:

The quintessence can only be obtained through blood. Pure blood. This person must be pure of heart, pure of spirit, conceived in purity, conceived when the sun and moon are aligned as one.


In turn, each of the four took responsibility for one of the elements and began to study it intensively. In addition, each had a mystical sign, indicating planet, and took upon themselves a certain metal. Sartorius' element was air, his metal was tin, his planet Juperon, and his zodiac bloodworm.


Sartorius Finds a Host (925 GUE)
At the beginning of 925 GUE, Sartorius, in his quest for creating the pure spirit, sought a host for the birth of their virgin from amongst his own patients at the Gray Mountains Asylum. Three selected women in flimsy hospital gowns were placed in a row. One was barely out of her teens, one was in her mid-twenties, the other in her early thirties. They were all lunatics. The youngest patient picked imaginary insects off her body, threw them to the floor and incessantly stepped on them so that she was in a constant tormented movement, accompanied by little moans. She was well groomed and clean, but her features were extreme. The oldest patient was heavyset, with a fixed gaze on a plastic doll that she cradled in her arms, twirling its artificial hair, as she rocked, humming. The third, Zoe Wolfe, had filthy, matted hair, a smudged face, a mud-caked body, but she was gorgeous. Her paranoid eyes were fixed on a spot on the floor; her arms were crossed over her breasts, shielding them. She was also wearing a beautiful locket.

Sartorius placed his fingertips on the first patient’s head and conducted a phrenological examination. He jotted notes on a clipboard that hung by a chain around his neck. He performed the same examination on the other patients, feeling bumps and jotting notes. Finally, he stood in front of the beautiful Zoe Wolfe, still writing. He noticed the locket around her neck and looked at her thoughtfully. This was the one whom he chose and became fully obsessed with. He quickly contacted the others with his decision. One such correspondence, an undated letter to Malveaux, has come down to us:

I have found the perfect specimen. On the day of the solar eclipse we will be ready. Kaine has volunteered to assist in the conception.


Zoe was taken into the Surgical Theater on the 20th Level of the Asylum where she was placed on a treatment table.


Sartorius in surgical garb puttered, setting up his equipment while Malveaux looked on. Although Sartorius claimed that Kaine had volunteered to assist in the conception, it does not appear that he was able to attend.

Zoe weakly protested, grieved and convicted, “Please, I can’t. It’s…a sin. It’s wrong.”

Malveaux was comforting. “Never. Your child will be conceived in purity.”

“How…?”

“Miraculously. Divinely. And the child? Her destiny will be great.”

Zoe began to clam as Malveaux’s words worked their soothing magic.

“Yes,” he continued. “And your name will be blessed, for bringing this child to the Great Empire.”

Sartorius turned towards the table, holding a syringe, prepared for the artificial insemination. Malveaux, barely able to repress a wince, spoke softly to her, “It’s time.”

Zoe saw what was coming, but her trust in Malveaux was strong. Summoning up her courage, she laid down. Sartorius stepped forward with the nasty syringe.

“Relax, dear,” Sartorius spoke calmly and prepared for his injection into her belly.


It is uncertain if Sartorius had sexual relations with Zoe Wolfe and impregnated her prior to the syringe injection, or if it was the medical techniques alone that injected some sort of purified sperm into an unfertilized egg already present. Regardless, Sartorius used a special technique to ensure that this child would be the perfect specimen for their alchemical ritual.


Persecution from the Enchanters (925 GUE)
The war against Syovar did not cease the Enchanter’s Guild of their persecutions of the alchemists, nor those who practiced magic illegally. In a letter discovered at the Gray Mountains Asylum, the Enchanter’s Guild, having heard of Sartorius’ violations of their laws, confronted the Doctor (925-05-15):

Dr. Sartorius

It has been called to our attention that you have been practicing unorthodox and unauthorized magic. As you know, it is in violation of Magic Code #6547 for a non-guild member to engage in any magical practice. Cease and Desist or we will file for Fudgunctive Relief.

-The Enchanters Guild



Birth of Alexandria Wolfe (925 GUE)
As the birth of the child of purity grew near, Sartorius contacted Malveaux reminding him of his task involving her upbringing. This letter was discovered in the Steppinthrax Monastery (925-05-15):

Dear Malveaux,

As we discussed, I will bring her to you one week after birth, with a nurse who will raise her through her early years. In this way her education in purity and religion will be insured. Do not underestimate the importance of your task. Her spiritual progress and the purification of her soul is essential to the process. She will be a gift to all mankind.

Dr. Sartorius


Soon after, the four alchemists stood together in the patient ward of the Gray Mountains Asylum:

Zoe Wolfe lay on her side in a fetal position, gazing with pure love at her newborn infant, who was on the bed in the tiny circle of space between her mother’s bent knees and arms. It was a lovely moment of bonding. Sartorius had a pair of bloody forceps in his hands. Both he and Sophia, in doctor’s garb, looked exhausted, but were really gratified, for they had obviously assisted in the birth. Kaine and Malveaux were visitors/well-wishers.

“This is the Genesis moment.” The pumped up Sartorius made a giddy laugh. “Now I know how God felt.”

Sophia laughed. She teased him, but with less of an edge than usual. They had bonded through birthing this baby.

“Who’d have dreamed Sartorius—the great man of science—would get so excited over…” she finished dryly, “…a little bitty wrinkly baby.”

“Baby? That’s not a baby. That’s a formula. The key to unlocking the most hidden knowledge in the universe.”


And thus, Alexandria Wolfe was born under the perfect connection of stars and moon. Her mother, Zoe Wolfe, died in the asylum soon afterward under mysterious circumstances; it was later confirmed that Sartorius had murdered her.

The Baptism of Alexandria (926 GUE)
They sought to bring Alexandria up in the Steppinthrax Monastery in an environment where her purity and progress could be carefully monitored and controlled. In order to gain the Grand Inquisitor's permission for her to live amongst the acestic order, Malveaux fabricated a plausible tale that, as a baby, she had been left on the local monastery’s doorstep, the illegitimate daughter of a peasant. On 926, the four alchemists gathered at the Steppinthrax Monastery for Alexandria's baptism ceremony:

The four alchemists, dressed in their priestly gear, surrounded a stone basin in a semi-circle. Malveaux held the baby Alexandria, who was wrapped in a silver cloth, in the air above the basin. Malveaux rose the wrapped infant into the beam of light coming down from above. He whispered a line from a magical text and tossed a small bit of powder into the bowl. The flames briefly flared up. He then lowered the baby into the flame for a second.

In turn, each of them spoke a line from the following demonic chant:

Endless fire which passeth through all things.

Cleanse soul through flame.

Protect the innocent and perfect the healing stone.

Let this spirit be washed and whitened by the Philosophic Fire.


Alexandria was then carefully raised by Malveaux as an orphan, with a focus on ensuring her purity, singing music of the spheres to ensure that Alexandria would be cleansed. It was certain that she was born with a musical gift. From the age of three, as she grew under the loving, yet controlling hand of Bishop Francois Malveaux, Alexandria would have a genius for melody.


Erasmus Sartorius’ Determination (929 GUE)
Two entries in Dr. Sartorius' journal read:

The fifth essence is the Quintessence: the elixir of life, the philosopher’s stone. Alchemist fools through the centuries have looked at metals, vapors and gases. And Love! What rot! It is none of this, it is blood—this much my father knew. The blood, the essence of innocence. But where does this blood exist? How does one distill its purity? I am surrounded by blood every day, the spilt blood of suffering. Yet the answers elude me. I am a disappointment. (929-10-20)


Every day I get closer to the truth. The others all want the elixir, each for his own mundane, personal reasons. I, on the other hand want the elixir for its pure knowledge, as I search for the final spiritual truth. Truth and answers. I think of my father’s works. One day soon I will possess the secret of eternal life; the Quintessence. I will have perfect knowledge, knowledge enough to halt the growing evil that threatens us. This is powerful magic, and there is a powerful resistance; but we must not let it stop our work. (929-11-20)



Decision to Bring Alexandria to the Frigid River Branch Conservatory (c. 935 GUE)
The Grand Inquisitor required that Alexandria, at the age of 10, be removed from the ascetic Monastery as she was becoming a possible temptress for the other monks. It was arranged to have her brought to the Frigid River Branch Conservatory where she could be monitored by Sophia Hamilton. But
it would be approximately two years before the Frigid River Branch Conservatory would be Alexandria’s new home (the beginning of 938 at the age of 13).


Praise of Sartorius (935-04-19 GUE)
In this letter of minor importance, discovered by Bivotar, most likely at the Gray Mountains Asylum, Agba Skimlipt wrote to Sartorius, praising him for work done. Little did Agba realize, but most likely the son was used as a subject in one of the Doctor’s sadistic experiments and the reason the son spent all his time there was due to some sort of corruption.

To Whom It May Concern:

It is my most sincere wish to make known to all public people through-out the Empire that Doctor Sartorius, the kind and generous Doctor, has done a deed so thoughtful, so helpful, that words cannot describe the things I am trying to say at this time.

    My son was so sick, he could not talk, or read or do anything intelligent or smart like usual. We were in money problems (as we are poor), and could not find a person for helping us. Doctor Sartorius said he would fix my son with no money. Not only did he fix my son, he gave him some jobs to work at the Laboratory, and my son spends all his time there now.

    Doctor Sartorius is the greatest kind of man I have known. His things he learns about health have saved my son. I am forever in his debt.

Sincerely,

Agba Skimlipt



Alexandria Meets Lucien Kaine (943 GUE)
Following her Oracle 15, 943 performance of "Harmony of the Spheres" at the Frigid River Branch Conservatory, Alexandria Wolfe met Lucien Kaine, son of Thaddeus, and they fell in love. The infuriated Sophia saw that Lucien was an intervention into their smooth plan. She had to keep them apart, because if they came together, all the alchemists’ years of possessive preservation of Alexandria’s purity would disappear in an instant.
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.
An undated letter from Sartorius 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.

Sartorius.

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.


The Alchemists Continue Their Work
Although the four alchemists feared that the untamed Lucien would despoil their virgin of purity, they delved even deeper into their dark arts. The battles against Ellron and the Enchanters Guild kept Kaine considerably occupied. There was continuous correspondence between Sartorius and the other alchemists. Sartorius wrote this letter to Kaine:

Dear Kaine,

I have long dwelt on the power of air, but not considered it as a source of Purification. At such velocities as your blueprints describe, I feel sure it would tear impurities from even the very core of evil. I am certain none but the purest metal could withstand it. Destruction of purity. A perfect solution.

    Still, I have some misgivings. Before Air, your plans suggest the simultaneous combination of forces of Fire, Water and Earth. This must necessarily be an explosive combination, but not an impossible problem. I have long experimented with injection unmolding for limb replacement. As long as the mold is inserted into the case holding before applying heat, my experiments have been successful.

Sartorius


A letter from Sartorius to Sophia (unknown year-04-07):

Dear Sophia,

I have had some success supersaturating liquids in the generation of large crystals. It appears small crystals are ideal seeds for growth. I feel this combinations of water and earth, heated with fire and burning with air, will provide fertile new avenues for our venture.

Sartorius


Another letter from Sartorius to Sophia (unknown year-05-31):

Sophia,

Your concerns about the purity of my crystal generation is well-founded. I think I have the solution. It involves the dissolving of white calcium bromide, which has the added benefit of settling my acid indigestion while I am in the lab.

Sartorius


A letter from Malveaux to Sartorius:

Sartorius-

I have recently come into possession of a most unusual relic, a mirror know among Zorkastrians as the Implementor’s Eye. Like an ancient seerstone, it alters the words of the faithful to illuminate hidden truths. Hopefully, it will expedite my attempts to refine the alchemical essence of Iron. Perhaps Yoruk takes pity on this old, sickly monk, and sends help at last.

-Malveaux


A letter from Sartorius to Malveaux:

Malveaux,

I am familiar with the old school of alchemy although not much remains on it. They believed that pure love was the 5th element and only the pure of heart could evil distill it. My father and I have refuted that na´ve, albeit charming, philosophy. Read this-

S.



The Alchemists Fear Lucien (944 GUE)
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 attempted to persuade Alexandria to cling to purity. In the meantime, the romance between the two lovers intensified.


Decision to Marry (944~5 GUE)
Lucien began to suspect that there was something greater going on with his father than he first thought.
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. They decided to get married in 945. Alexandria arranged for the ceremony to take place at the Steppinthrax Monastery. In response, Sartorius, Kaine and Sophia gathered with Malveaux in his office at the Steppinthrax Monastery:
 

The Bishop stood between the others who occupied three of the four chairs. He took a letter from the copious sleeve of his robe and laid it on the table.

“Our worst fears have come true,” Malveaux stated. “They’ve asked me to marry them. They intend to leave.”

There was an exchange of alarmed looks from the others.

“No, she cannot leave,” Sartorius protested, “absolutely not.”

Sophia had angry concern. “Leave? What are you talking about?”

Kaine directed his words to her, “Don’t act so surprised. It’s all taking place under your roof. You can’t pretend you didn’t know about it.”

She spoke through gritted teeth, “I tried to guide her, Kaine. I can’t run her life. If she wants to spend time with Lucien, let her. But marriage, Malveaux? Surely you didn’t encourage them.”

Malveaux spoke as though he had a dark secret, “But I did.” Despair creased over his face even further. Once Kaine had left, Malveaux continued, “I tell you he’s watching everything we do. I can sense it. He’s dangerous – and he’ll do anything he can to get what he wants. Our only hope of survival is to give him our secret.”

Sartorius was wrathful, “Have you gone mad?!”

“I don’t want to die,” Malveaux replied, remorseful.

“We can’t give in to him,” Sophia stated.

Malveaux shouted back, content, “He’s insane!”

“We must be strong,” Sophia comforted. “We can’t give in to this, this Nemesis.


It appears from both the above conference and the following letter, that 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. This letter was discovered at the Gray Mountains Asylum (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.

    Sophia


A letter discovered at the Frigid River Branch Conservatory, in response to the above:

Madame Sophia,

I have much to prepare. I don’t think you understand the intricacies of this philosophy. This is not cooking, this is science. This is the true mystery of life. Nonetheless, you are right—we cannot wait any longer. We must take a risk. Meet me at the Temple of Agrippa. I will summon the others. What has begun must take its course. It is our only chance—before we are destroyed—

    Sartorius


Thus fearing that they would not be able to keep Lucien from sullying Alexandria, the Circle of four met at the Temple of Agrippa to accelerate the schedule for Alexandria’s sacrifice to coincide with an upcoming partial eclipse.


Final Preparations (945 GUE)
Thaddeus Kaine interrupted the wedding ceremony and had Lucien imprisoned within the Irondune dungeon. With him firmly out of the way, the four alchemists hastily finalized their plans for Alexandria’s sacrifice. Sophia composed letters to at least two of the alchemists. The first, to Sartorius:

We will meet during the solar eclipse at the Temple of Agrippa.


And the second to Kaine:

I think there is only one solution to this mess. We must expedite the process. It cannot wait. The next eclipse will be in three day’s time. This is our only chance. Do what you must. It cannot wait.

–S


Kaine’s favorable reply to Sophia:

Ellron is at my gates, threatening to destroy the little power I have left. You are right—we must act now.


Before stating Malveaux’s reply, two undated correspondences between the Bishop and Doctor show the state of Malveaux’s sickness and the urgency he would display when writing Sophia. The first, from Sartorius to Malveaux:

Based on all that, I can see you are in some kind of remission. This is a devious, dexterous diseased. It is smarter than we know. But the players are smarter. Trust in all we have done, trust in the prima material. Eternal life will be ours.


And another from Sartorius:

X-ray results reveal that the disease is beginning to spread again. The time of the Great Experiment is nearly upon us. Keep up your hopes.


Thus when Malveaux wrote his reply to Sophia, the further development of his disease is clearly manifested:

I have spoken to Dr. Sartorius, and we are both ready. My fevers are worse, and now I constantly burn. I have very little time left, and I am ready to begin my leap of faith.


Sometime prior to Sartorius’ final departure for the Temple of Agrippa, this undated letter, which was discovered at the Gray Mountains Asylum, was sent to the Doctor:

Good Doctor,

Since your cure, my son has kept something of his Magic Eye. He still sees things that cannot be seen, and for a fortnight he has wept for you day and night. He begged me to write you a warning.

     There is a great evil waiting for you. You will soon be dead, he cries, the Asylum destroyed, your great work unfinished. He fears powers have been disturbed, and the innocent will pay. Good luck, Doctor. May Yoruk be with you.

    —S.J.M.


And thus the alchemists set out to abduct Alexandria and bring her to the Temple of Agrippa to be sacrificed. Her body was useless; it was her spirit that they required. In the meantime, Lucien Kaine escaped from his cell at Irondune and made his way for the Temple.


The Sacrifice (945 GUE)

 

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. Lucien 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. 

Several entries in Lucien's journal detail his workings with the alchemists and their elements:

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)

Lucien was killed by the Second Dungeon in 948. 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)


RESURRECTION OF THE FOUR ALCHEMISTS
A lone female pilgrim made their way to the Temple of Agrippa in 949,  where the spirits of the fourl alchemists, Alexandria and Lucien were still trapped within the temple environment. 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. 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 bolt 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 use it to operate the temple orrery and transport herself to each of the four alchemists' "worlds." These were Steppinthrax Monastery, Gray Mountains Asylum, Castle Irondune, and the Frigid River Branch Conservatory. 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.


MISC:
At some point in his career, Sartorius had a lawsuit against him from Contessa of South Shanbar regarding facial deformities she suffered under Sartorius’ care.

This following letter from Sartorius to Sophia is in response to a question she had about Countless Orlanda and may have been one of their first correspondences:

Yes, I did a magnificent job with Countess Orlanda’s skin. It went from the skin of a wrinkled hag to the skin of a young child. The fact that she never followed the careful instructions I dictated to her illustrates her own stupidity. I could do the same thing for you. I am currently experimenting on something that could be much more powerful. By the way, I understand you have been experimenting with herbs and natural substances. Could you share some of those with me?


After Dr. Sartorius had been murdered by Lucien, and most of the patients having escaped from the Gray Mountains Asylum in 945, an female patient with an unknown psychological diagnosis remained within the institution at least until 949. Believing that she was Dr. Sartorius, she frequently used his
therapeutic device, known as A Thousand Fingers, and forced (with a smile) any wandering adventurers to share in the same treatment. One of these was an unknown female pilgrim.