We continue to publish exclusive Angel of Darkness documents from Murti Schofield, the writer of the game.
VASILEY FAMILY TIMELINE.
Mathias and daughter Morgau.
1915 – Mathias per Madura Vasiley born during WW I in the Sierra de Gredos mountains above Madrid. His family line is directly linked to the Knights Templar and one of his ancestors was amongst those slaughtered in the Montsegur extinction of the Cathars, in the Languedoc region of Southern France.
1921 – Age 6 Mathias is enrolled into the Lux Veritatis by an obscure relative who suddenly appears in his village and takes him away from his family. Mathias begins the exhaustive LV training programme that will enrol him into the elite ranks of el Protectivores. Over the next decades he proves a worthy and highly capable initiate and progresses steadily through the LV ranks.
1932 – Age 16 Mathias achieves full LV initiation and receives the honorary name Petral ser Vykanaur. He begins leading actions against the deadly Cabal of the Dark Alchemist Pieter van Eckhardt. This take him across Europe, the African continent and into the New World.
1939 – Age 23 Mathias runs anti Nazi resistance cells from within Germany. He uncovers evidence of ominous dark programmes being controlled by mysterious figures he intuitively feels to be Cabal or Cabal affiliated. Some terms and names reoccur time and again: Fleisch Materiums Konstrukt (Flesh Math Construct), Eiszeit Festung (Ice Era Fortress), Das Dunkle Welten Program (Dark Worlds Programme), Der Zweites Reich (The Second Domain). He suspects something ancient and sinister at the roots of the newly established Reich.
[For further details on the Dark Reich projects see doc: ALLACORD SIGLUM (to be published soon).]
1945 – In the concluding stages of WW II Vasiley is working as an undercover LV operative within the ranks of British Intelligence. He is entrusted with covert missions wiping out pockets of Cabal infestation throughout mid-Europe. One mission is to arrange for the bombardment of a Cabal stronghold on the fringes of the Reich fatherland. Unfortunately he has been misled by the Shape Changer Karel posing as another LV adept within British Intelligence. The coordinates given to Mathias have been doctored so that a diverted Allied bombing raid intended to wipe out a Cabal containment bunker is in fact the location of Schloss Kreigler. This is where the Dark Alchemist has been held prisoner by LV guardians for 400 years. The bombing raid succeeds in releasing Pieter van Eckhardt and unleashing a rein of horrors the Lux V have sought to protect the world from. They have invested the lives of generations of dedicated combatants and guardians to contain this slumbering evil and now it is loose again.
The Lux Veritatis elders are incensed and declare Mathias per Vasiley to be apostate and defectus. He is to be hunted down and eliminated.
Pursued by both LV and the Cabal, Vasiley has no choice but to go on the run, at least until he can prove his innocence. And that may take some time.
1950’s /1960’s – Mathias constantly changes his identity and moves between widely scattered locations, sometimes just ahead of hunter packs and killer squads sent to eliminate him. The Lux Veritatis regard such a renegade as a singular danger to their Order as he possesses knowledge their enemies would sacrifice many lives to possesses. Clearly taking him out of the equation is tabled as a high level priority.
Meanwhile, Mathias himself is trying to track down the stranger who misled him into misdirecting the fateful Kriegler bombing raid. He does not know it but with a master manipulator and entity as elusive as the Shape Shifter Nephilim he has close to no chance whatsoever of success.
He pursues his own relentless war against the Cabal. He has no scruples about his methods which are often as brutal and extreme as those used by the enemies he loathes with such passion. Subverting a close aide of a current Alchemist Cabal member, Ludosa Voynich, he manages to isolate, cripple and capture this key Cabalist. Despite being mercilessly tortured she cannot divulge any useful information about the elusive shadowy figure he seeks. But amongst her pain addled ramblings, as she tries to bargain for her life, she spits out the location of a concealed research base. This bunker labyrinth is currently used to process longevity serums used by the Cabalists and sometimes granted to select lieutenant operatives. He kills Ludosa out of hand and escapes with samples of the Vitalis Eterna serum which he analyses and infuses into himself over a long period of careful experimentation.
Such practices are strictly forbidden by Lux Veritatis tenets but Vasiley is now far beyond any such niceties. He is evolving his own set of far more pragmatic tenets forged in the furnace of his outrage and hatred.
1976 – A huge battle takes place in Anatolia in which only 6x LV Adepts (including Konstantin Heissturm) survive. Cabal forces have laid a complex and lethal trap and it nearly succeeds in wiping out the last remaining Adepts. Vasiley is present and helps two of the LV escape but once again his actions and motives are misinterpreted and his branding as a traitor is confirmed. Mathias is too despondent to attempt making his case to the LV.
In weary resignation he retreats into the wilderness of the American Nevadas. Clearly it is time to die. Here he sets about devising a fittingly dramatic scenario with which to stage his own death. It is well planned and he takes many dark agents with him. The ploy works beautifully and once recorded as dead he considers himself veratis, justified, with no debt owed and no further responsibilities in the Shadow War. By his own reckoning he is free.
1983 – Age 83 with a surprisingly spry appearance and an acute mind Mathias is astonished to be presented with the birth of a daughter. The mother, Nanoopaqua,is a Nesquimaux of Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) and has been living with him, mostly in the Hudson Bay area, for six years. Recently returned to Europe Nanoopaqua gives birth to Morgau Nanuaat Madura Vasiley at Huskvarma on the Vättern fjord in Sweden, just west of Gotland. Unfortunately Nanoopaqua dies in childbirth. This hits Mathias hard and he now dedicates his entire energies to protecting his daughter and preparing her for life in a brutal unforgiving world. For her to be able to survive she will need training, special training, special skills of combat and concealment – and special facilities. He will train her, to the limit of his abilities, as a Lux Veritatis. It is what he knows best.
Morgau Vasiley has unknowlngly entered the ranks of the Shadow War.
1989 – The training is gradual. Initially it is an inculcation of values, ideals, attitudes. But as Morgau reaches 6 years of age the more advanced process of LV training takes over. Always her father seeks to show her by example hoping to inspire her to accept the high of ideals of Lux Veritatis dogma. The problem is that he himself has many reasons to doubt these professed principles and he is not always as convincing as he might be. Not only does he not have access to the proper LV resources for training an initiate but over the years he has resorted to brutal and indefensible short cuts to ensure his own survival and gain advantages.
So it is that much of what he teaches Morgau stresses hard line martial discipline and accepting that sometimes extremes of aggression are justified. Morgau’s weapons training is eclectic and thorough. She is schooled in languages, ciphers, ancient lore, the transliteration of ancient texts and symbols and psychic control of attenuated materials. This occult aspect of her training is of necessity limited. She obviously cannot become familiar with any elite LV weaponry as they have no access to such. But Mathias does what he can to amass esoteric artefacts and lore. There is not way he can obtain any of the sky-iron weapon artefacts such as the Chirugai or Irenwaepn, not even the basic training Baetyl stones, meteroric fragments used to teach an initiate how to atune and control small arrow-head shaped missiles.
[N.B. Kurt Heissturm had once almost killed an Elder with a Baetyl when his psychic talent flared uncontrollably and he lost his focus in a training chamber.]
To provide her with authentically arcane items Mathias begins to operate an international antiques referral and provisionary service. In that way he often uncovers rare items of archaeological interest and his reputation grows. He is even able to provide her with rare fragments of genuine Lux Veritatis scrolls that she is taught to transcribe. Mathias came into possession of these fragments during the awful slaughter of the LV Adepts in Anatolia in 1976. Clearly he should never have held onto them but his reluctance to ensure their safe return was part of the bitterness he felt at being misunderstood, abandoned and hunted by his own kind. He was constantly torn by inner turmoil about the Order that had betrayed him, or so he felt.
An unfortunate side effect of Mathias’ inner conflict about the Lux Veritatis is that Morgau becomes increasingly aware of the inconsistencies in her father’s behaviour. She begins to exhibit a wayward, independent spirit, something that springs from her confusion about what her father is trying to instil in her. She shows great promise but her training does not go smoothly.
1992 – On one of his forays across Europe with Morgau, Mathias tracks down the Obscura Engravings in an ancient monastery in the mountainous regions of Spain. He knows these are linked to Five Paintings of demonic origins and he sequesters the Engravings in a safe holding location until he can decide how best to make use of them.
[Ten years later Mme Carvier contacts the Vasiley antiques dealer in Prague making enquiries about certain works known as the Obscuras. Mathias agrees to pass on 4x of the Engravings.]
1997 – Morgau, aged 14x is injured in a conflict she unwittingly walks into in Morocco. Her injuries are not life threatening, and she deals with her attackers almost casually. But it is enough for her father to take things further than he had originally planned. He starts her on treatments of the Vitalis Eterna elixir that he has been taking himself for decades. Up to this date he had been reluctant to go down this route because LV principles forbidding any ‘unnatural’ interference with human genetics were still lodged in his heart. Being a desperate and increasingly haunted man he pushed these considerations aside. Dammit he would endow his sole progeny with any and every advantage he could muster whether questionable or not.
And so the treatments began.
Morgau went into a coma lasting three days.
Her recovery is slow but once on the mend she responds well to the elixir. Her healing rate is enhanced. Mathias is elated. Like him, she will also display signs of prolonged life that will stand her in good stead. What is not so positive however are the increased mood swings she exhibits. She becomes noticeably more erratic and argumentative. Part of this unpredictably results in her suddenly taking off on her own for extended periods and returning as if nothing has happened. She will not explain what she has been up to or where. Sometimes she is awol for months. Her moods become darker and more prolonged. Perhaps it has something to do with hitherto unsuspected attributes of the Vitalis Eterna serum. Could it, in fact, also be partly to blame for his own darkening nature over the decades, a subtle poisoning of his innately positive mind set? In any case it is now far too late to do anything about. The runes have been cast.
2001 – Morgau has been absent for longer and longer periods and Mathias is beside himself with despair and anxiety. It is then that news arrives of Konstantin Heissturm being murdered by Cabal agents. The Dark Alchemist could now be that much closer to tracking down the Obscura Paintings and Mathias is torn by the realisation that he could….could do something to influence the outcome of the final showdown. He is torn between wanting to remain incognito and continue protecting his daughter’s identity – but he also knows he must do something. He must act. He goes as far as warning Von Croy about the kind of monstrosity he is dealing with in Eckhardt and leaves clues about the location of certain key items. This is his undoing.
Morgau meanwhile has been captured by Eckhardt and experimented on as part of his alchemical vivisection and augmentation programme intended to produce one hundred percent dependent and dependable warriors.
[see notes on Morau’s part in Konstantin’s death and her own capture elsewhere.]
Such enhanced humans, or Nephumans, have been a goal of Eckhardt’s since the days of his first meeting with the true Nephilim in the 1300’s. An immense amount of his time, arcane skills and life force has been expended in this task. And now, in Morgau, he finally sees the desired result. She proves to be his most successful meta-progeny yet. And more. Not only is she a superlative working specimen and an outstanding field operative but he can use her skills and LV training to translate LV codes. Cracking this code systems could possibly enable him to translate, partially at least, some of the Sleeper Scrolls key to his long term plans. These scrolls have so far evaded his every attempt to decypher and he needs them to pursue his dream of Nephilim resurrection. He tries to rename her Lilith but even in her extremes of suffering she refuses to acquiesce to this further indignity and clings on to her fragile sense of identity. She is a slave but not pet.
[Eckhardt of course doesn’t crack the Sleeper Scrolls in Game I. The Scrolls will come to prominence in Games II and III.]
KAREL IN THE BACKGROUND
Karel, meanwhile, has been arranging things from within the shadows behind Eckhard, as befits a master manipulator, and he has recognised the value of Morgau as an asset – if only she can be controlled. He has assisted Eckhardt in forging her into a living weapon totally dependent on the sustaining elixirs and bio-essences that maintain her life. When he finally disposes of Eckhardt he will control one of the most powerful living combatants on the planet bringing his plans one step closer. The time is coming!
2002 – Mathias Vasiley is murdered in Prague, apparently by a sinister figure called the Monstrum. By this time Morgau, age 19x, has been out of his life so completely that she hardly registers the cataclysmic news. She exists in a private universe bounded by agony and rage and she is totally pain-slaved to Eckhardt. Her life is has no dimensions other than working as the Black Alchemist’s most effective and deadly lieutenant. In effect she is an abomination, feared by her enemies i.e. Eckhardt’s enemies, and distrusted by those who make use of her.
But in the deepest recesses of her tortured mind she plots and schemes of pursuing a violent, deranged agenda of her own. She understands that she is a travesty of nature, a mockery of natural laws but she must be free and she will act with fanatical ruthlessness to become so. There is nothing else that matters in her entire existence. Nothing will stand in her way.
MORGAU’S PHYSICAL MAKE UP – A SUMMARY.
What Morgau has become defies easy summation. It is certainly something other than human – possibly the name Lilith would have been appropriate after all. [in Game II someone makes the mistake of taunting Morgau with this name and pays the price.]
Her skin is albino pale. Her body slender. Her eyes milky blue, until something triggers her latent psychic powers when they become translucent. This is the time to beware as it is also the time when her tendency to erupt into frenzied Hulk-like violence is nearest the surface.
On one occasion she led an incursion team into an enemy LV base in Russia but in the heat of battle her unpredictable psycho-fury became triggered, possibly by proximity to an LV Adept. Whatever the cause she erupted into a maelstrom of slaughter, killing the Adept, the opposing forces, her own squad members and destroyed much of the surrounding building. When she returned to the Strahovwith nothing to show Eckhardt was incandescent with fury and was only dissuaded from punishing her brutally by Karel. The Shape Shifter was delighted with the way this unique asset was shaping up and he convinced Eckhardt to send Gundersonout with her out on more missions to test the extent to which she might be controlled. Morgau and Gunderson were constantly at each others throats, which suited Eckhardt’s way of keeping the Cabal from engaging in plots to overthrow him. Divide and rule – a favourite strategy of another megalomaniac who threw Europe and the world into bloody conflict for six years in the 1940’s.
Physically Morgau is a mass of contradictions. It is almost as if her body is at war with itself, attempting to tear itself apart. Though immensely strong and fast she is at the same time incredibly vulnerable being dependent on the specialised elixirs that keep her functioning at such a high peak. Her torso is encased in an armoured corselet or cuirass, not entirely dissimilar to that worn by Eckhardt. Whereas the Black Alchemist’s chest plates and metallo-mesh bodice is to hold his physical form together after the ravages of his centuries long confinement Morgau’s is there to deliver the alchemically derived elixirs and bio-essences that maintain her life.
Beneath the corselet Morgau’s torso is semi transparent. Close examination would reveal her internal organs functioning as if viewed through a murky X-ray screen. Her spine is exposed along its length each vertebrae being welded to rows of bone, silver and ivory rods which in turn are interwoven with carbonite threads anchored to her entire skeletal structure. The corselet-prosthesis delivers the necessary life support through a network of fine tubing.
Despite inhabiting a physicality that is so flawed and at war with itself these augmentations mean that Morgau is incredibly fast, strong and preternaturally quick to heal. [for more details see: Morgau Vasiley Hope Or Peril.]
MORGAU IN THE FOLLOW ON GAMES
A brief summary of how Morgau encounters Lara Croft and Kurtis Trent in subsequent games is found in other documents.
At this stage Morgau exchanges mutual hostility with all members of the Cabal and lower ranks –everyone she comes across really. She defers only to Karel, or Karel-as-Eckhardt as he first appears to the reformed Cabalists. When the Eckhardt charade is finally dropped and everyone accepts that the Black Alchemist really is dead and dust and that Karel is now numero uno Karel keeps Morgau in check by promising her that there might be at least a partial remedy for her dependencies.
There is an ancient Mayan equivalent to a modern genome sequencer that could unravel the damage done to her body. Utter nonsense of course but by this time Morgau’s body has shown an alarming tendency to erupt into weird metallic extrusions, similar to the grotesque semi-crystalline growths witnessed on Bouchard’s man in Paris. Morgau is inclined to seize any chance of a remedy with fists bleeding if she has to. If left untreated she would be suffocated by her own monstrous extrusions. And so she toes the line and carries out Karel’s bidding…for now
Karel is delighted at the way things are progressing. He even assists her in gaining possession of a genuine LV weapon, the Culcrys, something no one else can wield without losing limbs and body parts they want to remain intimate with.
He sees Morgau as a foil to the young adventuress Croft, who refused his offer of a place in his plans for a new world beginning at the end of AOD. In his eyes Morgau is a shadow Lara, the perfect deterrent against the Amazonian threat. Morgau will also be a match for the Lux Veritatis Trent matched as they are with LV Irenwaepn. Chirugai –v- Culcrys what a grudge match that would be.
Suffice it to say that as The Lost Dominion kicks off the first contact (as far as the three key antagonists know) between Lara, Kurtis and Morgau is characterised by violence on an epic scale. Yes, extreme warfare, arcane combat and pyrotechnics will be the order of the day.
No one is interested in spending time trying to empathise or ‘understand’ anyone’s damaged childhoods. None of them are inclined to consider their adversary’s point of view. There is little time for anything except kicking the bejabbers out of the f***er who is currently trying to kill you. It is vicious, merciless conflict with no prisoners.
Kurtis is looking to re-establish the Lux Veritatis along its original enlightened path, an obligation laid on him by Karel in the previously unrevealed ending to AOD. He sees Morgau, initially, as a prime obstacle to that goal. The fact that things shift and he comes to an uneasy alliance with his erstwhile foe would unfold in Game III. It is not an easy association with someone so seriously damaged as the barely human Vasiley – but it might just work.
Lara meanwhile is beginning to unearth evidence of how something of Eckhardt’s work seems to have had an astounding influence on her own roots, her family, her bloodline and that of many prominent figures throughout recorded history.
The emergence of the truth behind the Sangreal legends and others such as the Calix Immanis (Savage Cup) offers a disturbing possibility that something or someone is responsible for many of the ‘enhanced’ individuals that have marked the pages of history with their achievements, right up to and including the present day. Is there something to the theory of a shared ancestry for all the heroes we admire and know so well? Who knows.
NB See reference to Philip Jose Farmer’s WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE in the document ‘Eckhardt and Breeding.’