Albertus Magnus, born under the name of Albert de Groot, was born in Larvington an der Donau, Swabia (now Germany) between the years of 1193 and 1206, although, this date as well as his date of death (presumably November 15, 1280) is still being debated to this very day.
Background[edit | edit source]
It has been said of Albertus, that he was a "Magnus in Magia, Major in Philosophia, and Maximus in Theologia". Among his many talents he was also a physician, an astrologer, and physicist. He was also a master of the magical arts (black and white). Albertus' detractors have accused him of holding communications with Satan and using "The Black Arts" to create a "living automa", on the other side of the coin, it has also been alleged that the Virgin Mary appeared to a young Albertus and bestowed upon him the entire sum of all the knowledge of the Universe past, present and future.
Albertus was self taught in natural science (of which he became the Patron Saint in 1941), and was regarded as an expert in logic, rhetoric, mathematics, ethics,and metaphysics. He was also the only man to be referred to as "Magnus" i.e. "The Great" in his own lifetime and won the title of Bishop of Ratisbon.
After becoming an instructor at The University of Paris, Albertus became mentor to St. Thomas Aquinas, to whom he left the secret of the Philosophers Stone, a magical substance which could turn lead into gold and could unlock the secret to immortality.
Configurations of Albertus Magnus[edit | edit source]
"Msr. Kunst explains that his work was inspired by puzzles crafted in the thirteenth century by Albertus Magnus which, when opened, introduced unknown wonders to the solver." "...I shall do my best to learn more of these creations of Msr. Kunst and Albertus Magnus.
- Journal of Philip LeMarchand April 17, 1749
Albertus' writings indicate that after he completed the construction of his first box, Albertus began a thirty year long task of building an automaton which he named "Android".
Using the "...angels from the netherworld..." and the powers of the philosophers stone he created the "metals and material unknown to this world..." and chose them "according to the stars and planets...".
The android was instilled with the powers of speech, thought, and according to some reports a SOUL. Upon completion of this project, his student St. Thomas, destroyed the "diabolic being" and denounced it as "...a tool of satan and a blasphemy to God". According to the records of death for the year of 1280 Albertus' body was laid to rest. However, further investigation reveals that his puzzle boxes continued to appear throughout the centuries. The writings of Philip LeMarchand, in fact, speak of "The Magnus" showing him how to unlock the secrets of the world as well as how to construct "...a toy of magical properties."
Quest for Leviathan's Metal[edit | edit source]
In the 1700s, Philip LeMarchand, was an architect and artisan who was a devotee and scholar of the occult. While studying through various treatises and arcane books, he came across several reference to Albertus Magnus and "Coenobytes" - supposedly members of a supernatural order not unlike demons or angels. The mysterious Cenobite known as Baron, was discovered by Philip LeMarchand sometime in 1749, when he visited the chateau of Antoine de Moret and related to him his tales of artistic frustration. Monsieur de Moret produced a slender volume from his collection of books and from inside the book he removed several loose sheets of paper, which he explained were from the diary of Gilles de Rais LeMarchand was no stranger to the legend of Gilles de Rais - lieutenant of Jeanne d'Arc, who was later executed for murdering over a hundred children as sacrifices to the devil. He had become something of a boogeyman to the children of France.
Leafing through these pages, LeMarchand learned that Gilles de Rais was not evoking devils, but a 'Cenobite', as it was spelled in this text, who called himself Baron. Gilles de Rais had first learned of the Cenobites through an Angevine knight in 1426 who was subsequently imprisoned, accused of heresy. Monsieur de Moret assured LeMarchand of the authenticity of the formula contained within the sheets of pager, now in his possession, were one in the same as the formula utilized by Gilles de Rais. Upon this revelation, LeMarchand was filled with intense anticipation. Monsieur de Moret then imparted one final gift to LeMarchand - the box of Albertus Magnus. LeMarchand purchases both the pages and the box at considerable cost, requiring that he offer his architectural services when he returned to New York.
While sailing for New York, LeMarchand studied the box constructed by Albertus Magnus for much of the first night. After several hours of manipulating the tiny brass plates adorning the surface of the box, it began to move and shift. Finally tiny hatches, numbering nine on the face, opened to reveal tiny brass birds which joined to produce a delicate and beautiful harmony unlike any he had heard before. But through this melody, LeMarchand also heard the chiming of distant bells, and noted the scent of vanilla. This was when one of the cabin walls did open up, revealing a place other than the adjoining cabin; a dark and cold place, made of stone. He immediately recognized it for what it was - Hell, as described by Livingston Merrick. Out of this passage stepped a sort of man, of most gruesome appearance. His skin was nearly blue, and pulled taut across his skull, giving him a most dreadful grin. His cheeks were rouged, and he seemed heavily perfumed.
Though initially taken aback by his appearance, LeMarchand eventually found his voice and inquired whether or not the stranger was, in fact, a Cenobite. The creature replied that yes he was, and introduced himself as Baron, Duke of the Order of the Gash. It was the same Baron with whom Gilles de Rais had had dealings some three hundred years earlier. LeMarchand proceeded to explain his reason for contacting one of his Order, and described to the Cenobite the events leading to his attempts at evoking him, and his frustration and failures with steel as applied to his chosen art. LeMarchand produced for him several of his own sketches for the boxes which he had hoped to construct using this unknown material.
Appearing to be quite intrigued by the designs, Baron asked LeMarchand where did his inspiration come from? LeMarchand explained that they were constructs based on his own fascination with order and geometry. The Cenobite handed back LeMarchand his designs and related to him that, "you will serve us well." Baron then stepped forth into the adjacent hall as he opened the door to the seamen's quarters. LeMarchand asked what he was doing. The Cenobite replied that he could not return to Hell empty handed, and since LeMarchand would serve his master best by staying behind, he would have to procure another person to return in his place. LeMarchand looked on in horror as he swiftly dispatched one of the crew. Following his visit with the Cenobite, LeMarchand could not recalled the events that transpired after this meeting, but knew that this was merely the beginning of a long sequence of unsettling events which were to follow.
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Hellraiser Companion: Book of the Damned #3 (Epic Comics)
- Albertus Magnus - Wikipedia Entry