We continue to publish exclusive Angel of Darkness documents from Murti Schofield, the writer of the game.
ALLACORD SIGLUM ALCHEMIST
His links to an alchemist of earlier years.
Allacord Siglum was a twentieth century bloodline descendant of the medieval alchemist Arne Saknussemm. In fact he bore an astonishing resemblance to Saknussemm in ways that most people who understood such matters found deeply disturbing. Saknussemm was an Icelandic savant and explorer who was active in the 1400 – 1500’s and reputedly even as far back as the late 1300’s. After Saknussemm’s works were burned by the Inquisition in Copenhagen in 1573 and he himself evaded burning alive, almost all trace of him vanished.
It was thought that he must have continued his old practice of adopting different names and identities and being constantly on the move to avoid the unwanted attention his apparent lack of ageing inevitably drew to him. There is no definitive record of his activities from that time on or of his eventual demise. But there are some disconcerting appearances, brief and never confirmed, of someone who could have been the Icelandic fugitive in his latter years. Clearly he had taken great care to cloak his continuing work in secrecy, no doubt advancing his great endeavour of alchemical research into the many aspects of dissolution, transfiguration, and resolution – ‘solve et coagulae’ as the ancients would have it.
Throughout the centuries there have been alchemists of vastly differing abilities whose work was misunderstood and they all gained much ill repute, deserved or not. Some would appear to have modelled themselves on the mysterious and long absent Saknussemm. Cases are recorded where it was claimed that signature features identified in disturbing portraits and engravings were those of the gaunt faced Icelandic renegade thought to have perished in the sixteenth century. But of course this was all the merest supposition.
Such beliefs and theorising gave substance to the dark fables of Cursed Eternals, the Wandering Jew, the Undying Mage and so on. Several attempts were made to piece together clues that there were certain individuals slipping through the timestreams of history adopting a succession of guises and assumed names to evade detection. Such attempts came to nothing however as those involved would disappear under grim and often grisly circumstances.
Saknussemm’s name occurred frequently in this connection and he was often cited as the prima example of an ‘accursed eternal’, a long lived creature aged far beyond the normal requirement or desires of everyday humanity. From time to time such an accursed one would surface beneath the lens of history only to disappear again leaving no discernable trace.
1930’s and 1940’s
Allacord Siglum, or at least an ominous individual using that name, made his first appearance during the tumultuous 1930-40’s upheavals in Germany. His origins were obscure and his presence created quite a stir amongst the upper echelons of the Nazi party who were becoming increasingly engaged in all kinds of occult investigations and insane rituals.
His name was hinted at in reports by British Intelligence linked to disturbing practices in certain concentration camps and the Georg Helser conspiracy to assassinate Hitler at the Bürgerbraukeller in 1939. It was the failure of this ill conceived plot which led to Hitler’s increased popularity and eventual election as the German Chancellor. Siglum was also named in association with the arrival at the Berlin Unterwelten complex of a consignment of Tibetan mummified corpses amongst many other exotic and abstruse items. Construction of this vast labyrinth of bunkers had begun in 1937 with a ‘mystical’ Baetyl foundation stone delivered by Siglum and laid by Hitler himself.
Beyond that Siglum’s name crops up repeatedly in intelligence reports on the Occult Reich. One puzzling event is worthy of note: he seems to have been key in a misdirected Allied bombing raid which took place over a remote region on the Czech German border in 1945. Quite why the bombing of Schloss Kriegler was of strategic importance to the Nazi party at the very end of the war has never been properly explained.
Further traces of his activities were linked to a list of shadowy projects with names such as:
- Zwei Länder (Two Domains)
- Fleisch Materiums Konstrukt (Flesh Math Construct)
- Eiszeit Festung (Ice Era Fortress)
- Das Dunkle Welten Program (Dark Worlds Programme)
- Gehirnkabinetprodukt (Brain Cabinet Product)
- Zweites Reich Program (Second Domain Programme)
- Fleischantwort (Flesh Answer-retort)
- Lebendegehirnmachine or Bewussteskabinet (living calculus engine)
Whether these were linked or distinct projects never became clear because, once again, nothing substantial could be confirmed due to the agents connected with the reports simply vanishing without a trace, sometimes an entire network – gone overnight. What was pieced together about several of these projects was Siglum’s involvement in Hidalgo-Zennikco Transport, a large haulage firm working for the Nazi war effort. The company was contracted to transport immense amounts of archaeological material and artefacts to the Berlin Unterwelten Complex from all over the world. Routes extended as far as Anatolia, Tibet, the Far East, Egypt, Scandinavia and the Eastern Baltic states.
As the war progressed the number of overland convoys did not diminish though it was noticed that larger and larger amounts of equipment and personnel were being diverted to ports serving maritime convoys. Three of these housed fleets of specially constructed Uber Submarines or Ubermarinekraft, which were capable of covering vast distances under water. The models identified were classed as Unterschalenkraft (exact meaning unclarified; Shell Craft?).
Oddly none of these Unterschalenkraft were ever involved in sinking Allied supply ships or sighted on the open oceans. What they were used for was clandestine transport, presumably for the materials amassed within the Berlin Unterwelten labyrinth and now being relocated. But where?
One exception to this was an Australian Polar vessel which reported sighting the conning tower of a submarine craft of unusual configuration. This was close to the 60 degree southerly latitude. Its heading was due south which, if continued, would bring it to landfall on Antarctica. The Polar vessel, the Orion Fuwalda, was never heard from again. No further light was ever thrown on the Ghost ship, its destination or its fate.
What is beyond dispute is Siglum’s connection to activities carried on in more than one of the concentration camps. The kinds of horrors perpetrated within these abominable places are on record but even after the Allied and Russian liberation of the camps evidence of some of the worst abominations was considered too shocking to be made public.
In the early 1940’s fragmentary reports by a Polish intelligence cell kept mentioning something called Das Fleisch Materiums Konstrukt (Flesh Math Construct). The implications of these incomplete transmissions were too appalling to contemplate and frankly beyond belief. Mention of a ‘living calculus engine’ or Bewussteskabinet prototyped in the concentration camps excited initial interest, then disbelief. Things weren’t helped by the sudden and unexplained disappearance of the Polish cell.
The camps in question were known to have been involved in breeding experiments, amongst other horrors, and something understood to mean genetic vivisection, though often the terms used were either intentionally bland or deliberately obscure. It is to be noted that details of all such reports were routed to Bletchley Park in the UK where all trace of the reports promptly disappeared behind a barricade of Top Secret classifications. Every hint or whisper of their existence was simply stone-walled and buried. At the same time any possible disclosures were threatened with the harshest possible sanctions and reprisals. Loose talk costs lives – possibly yours!
However, in the absence of verifiable facts about these dark projects surmise amongst the intelligence community was rife. No sanctions however brutal could prevent lively minds from conjecture and imaginations ran riot. At the very end of the conflict in Europe horrors that were filmed and paraded in public were almost beyond belief. How much worse must the gruesome findings of the secret Nazi Dunkle Welten programmes have been to require such rigorous cover-ups? The possibilities were enough to make the skin crawl. It would seem that no grotesque idea that could be dredged up from the imaginations of these unhinged monsters was beyond their boundless and perverted ingenuity; they would conceive and attempt anything.
And as always the shadowy figures most responsible would not be the ones to appear in any court trial. Whatever involvement Allacord Siglum had in these atrocities it was as if he simply evaporated like mist, rather like the Geister Flotille Unterschalenkraft, Ghost Fleets themselves.
Time and the seas swallowed everything up.
MORE CONTEMPORARY EVENTS.
A shadowy figure, Allacord Siglum, is known to have been involved in the elimination of Lux Veritatis elder Konstantin Heissturm beneath an extinct volcano in Iceland. This enigmatic individual had been vying for several years to gain membership of Eckhardt’s inner Cabal circle and had advanced his claim by ruthlessly eliminating all competitors for the position. When Konstantin was finally taken down, Siglum gained possession of two valuable Lux Veritatis weapons. But he was incensed to discover that the particular LV weapon he most sought to get his hands on, the Chirugai, was not with the murdered adept. No trace of it could be found.
The next time the Chirugai came to the Cabal’s attention it was in the possession of Konstantin’s son, an enigmatic individual named Kurtis Trent, who was known to have changed his name years before and absented himself from the ranks of the Shadow War. The possibility that he might even be deceased had been considered for a while. It soon became evident that the young inheritor of the LV Chirugai weapon was hell bent on hunting and eliminating not only those who had murdered his father but had his sights set on Eckhardt, the Dark Alchemist himself.