Letter of Marque: a virtual pirate’s charter; Issued by the British government from the early 1700s to the late 1800s, Letters of Marque were official warrants granted to private parties that worked under strict instruction to search property, seize goods and destroy assets belonging to the country’s enemies or those so reckless and naive as to break the law.
Most commonly, they were used to raid merchant ships of enemy nations. Sir Francis Drake and William Kidd were amongst those that received these commissions, however, Kidd was himself later brought-up on charges of piracy.
The great sage and adept, known by many generations of mortals as The Alchemist, studies in silent piety. He toils ceaselessly for years in the sanity of his cloistral solitude in his devout resolve to decipher the wisdom of the ancients and to unlock the greatest of the unrealised secrets.
And from the unedifying darkness of this mortal earth, there appeared at last a bright star illuminating the way. They knew him to be a great leader of souls and wanted him to share in their knowledge and sapience, and they bathed him in the Light of Chaldea.
By around 3,500 B.C. near the city of Uruk, an ancient, unknown, highly developed and sophisticated tribe from Mesopotamia had established many astonishing observations and theories in respect of the powers of the stars and the heavens. This tribe, who would later be known as the Chaldeans, were ultimately to become the most learned and respectful seet of the Quabbalists, and the fathers of astronomy and astrology.
AST.51 Light of Chaldea (Stash Tin)
Loki: A jötunn (giant) of Norse mythology; shape shifting assistant to the gods, eventually punished for causing mischief and orchestrating the death of Balder, god of light and beauty. Bound with the innards of one of his sons, a snake dripped venom upon Loki from high above, causing him to writhe in pain.
Loups Garou/Werewolf: Shapeshifting humans popular in mythology and folklore, also known as lycanthropes. Able to transform themselves into a wolf, or a human form with anthropomorphic, lupine features, these cursed individuals were most often subjected to a bite or scratch from another werewolf in order to gain their gifts. Blessed with heightened strength and senses and only able to shift on the rising of the full moon, werewolves remain dominant figures in the realms of Gothic horror for their savage demeanours. However, it remains to be seen as to whether they are truly evil creatures or, as some believe, the hounds of God sent down to do battle with witches and demons. Individuals with epilepsy were often thought to mistakenly have lycanthropy, and in medieval Europe, methods such as surgery and medicine were used to attempt to cure it. Some were even executed and their bodies cremated, the better to stop them from rising again as vampires. While crucifixes and holy water have no effect on the beasts, only silver weapons seem to cause the werewolf any harm, most commonly in the form of bullets.
Lycosa: One of the genus known as wolf spiders. A bite from a Lycosa tarantula was thought to bring on tarantism; a sickness sourced in southern Italy during the 16th and 17th centuries that manifested in fevers and cold sweats, and could only be cured by performing the tarantella dance.
Marquis de Sade: Originally christened Donatien Alphonse François, the Marquis de Sade revelled in debauchery and his name even gave rise to the term ‘sadism’. A French revolutionary, aristocrat and lover of the hedonistic lifestyle, de Sade wrote many short stories and plays, often violent, pornographic and outrageously blasphemous towards the Catholic Church.
He was renowned for employing prostitutes and then poisoning them, and for engaging his wife’s sister in an affair. For thirty-two years of his life, the Marquis was imprisoned in various institutions and insane asylums throughout France, including the Bastille and the Conciergerie, before dying in 1814, shortly after the beginning of an affair with a thirteen year old girl. To this day, he is still known as one of the most notorious libertines to have lived.
Metatron: Revered as the highest of all God’s Archangels, exalted and often named in Medieval Judaism and Rabbinic tradition. Thought to have come into being at the very beginning of existence, as God created the world, only Metatron is permitted to look upon his countenance and sit upon the clouds of heaven. As the celestial scribe and beloved advocate of Israel in the heavenly court, his duty is to write down the deeds of his people and keep them safe for all of eternity.
Mircalla: From the famous novel ‘Carmilla’ by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Countess Mircalla Karnstein was the ancestor of Laura, and became the vampiress Carmilla upon her death. Often assuming the form of a large cat, she takes young girls as her prey and leaves her mark by biting them on the chest.