Eons ago, the evil Elder God known as Chthon wrote all his evil works and spells on indestructible parchment. Originally written on flesh before being transcribed to stone and later a collection of parchments often referred to as the Chthon Scrolls. The pages were later bound together into a tome, of the codex type, named "The Darkhold," and also called "The Shiatra Book Of The Damned" or "The Book Of Sins." It has served as the source for other such books of spells as the Necronomicon. Chthon left these scrolls on Earth so that they might always serve as a conduit to the Earth-Realm for Chthon's influence and power.
- 1 History
- 2 Content
- 3 Alternate Realities
- 4 Trivia
- 5 See Also
- 6 Links and References
Billions of years ago, the evil Elder God known as Chthon was forced to flee Earth from Demogorge, the God-Eater. Before doing so, he wrote all his evil works and spells onto indestructible parchments of flesh,[verification needed] at the Darque Hold, a chamber among the caverns inside the mountain known in the Modern Age as Wundagore.
Chthon left these scrolls on Earth so that they might always serve as a conduit to the Earth-Realm for Chthon's influence and power, with the purpose of opening a doorway from Earth to Chthon's dimension. The scrolls were transcribed, first to stone and later to a collection of parchments often referred to as the Chthon Scrolls.
Alternatively, the Logomancer theorized that the Darkhold, the Necronomicon, the Oracles of Zoroaster, and other mystic scrolls and books were in fact simply a collection of imperfect copies of the ancient writings etched on the walls of R'llyeh by ancient and hideous "things", the Great Old Ones, among which Chthon was allegedly the greatest, despite generally being recognized as an Elder God.
Humans first found the Darkhold during the Pre-Cataclysmic Era, when the lands of Atlantis and Lemuria were still above the waves. When the warrior Kull slew the dark sorcerer Thulsa Doom, Doom's followers, the Darkholders, utilized a spell contained in the Darkhold to create the first vampire, Varnae. Varnae had been mortally wounded in battle with Kull. Varnae consumed one of the Darkholders who attempted to command him, and began creating other vampires. Some surviving Darkholders managed to make off with the Darkhold before Atlantis sank. Sources place the rise of Kull and the fall of Thulsa Doom circa 18,500 BC.
When Atlantis sank, Varnae went into hibernation and did not revive until circa 10,000 BC.
During the Hyborian Age, Varnae found that some parchments of the Darkhold had been left behind in the Flaming Mountains of Khorasha, and he attempted to recover them. In an altercation with Conan, Red Sonja, and the sorcerer Zula, Varnae controlled the bat-like humanoids the Afterlings. Zula used the Darkhold against Varnae casting an incomplete incantation that shocked him. Zula apologized, explaining the spell as written was incomplete: "I'm sorry the incantation ended where it did--and only hurt Lord Varnae, rather than destroying him." The spell appeared to Zula in Stygian - Shemek Iref Wenek Tjhen Inek It-Ek Chthon Djedeni Emm-Maat Wenen Taeei Hemet Ankh-Ek Isheset Antioo Djedte Nes Sep Iree NEn Renek Anhkhu Wi-Im Valka!
Zula also used the Darkhold against the Set-worshipping sorcerer Thugra Khotan. Later Red Sonja and Zula travelled to Zamboula, a the western city of the Turanian empire. Totrasmek, a priest of Hanuman, who had been searching for the scrolls for years came into possession of the Darkhold. Zula recovered the Darkhold and used the scrolls, however, and use it to transport himself and Sonja away. Zula noted that the scroll disappeared as a result of using the spell.
Historians in the Vatican would note that at some point during the Hyborian Age, the Chthon scrolls were taken East,[verification needed] taken during the two following millenniums into what would become Tibet.
In circa 500 A.D., or in the 6th century AD, Morgan Le Fay bound the scrolls into book form for the first time as "The Darkhold." It also came to be called "The Shiatra Book Of The Damned," and also "The Book Of Sins." Morgan and the Darkholders attempted to use the Darkhold to summon Chthon to do their bidding, but he proved much too powerful for them. Although unable to send him back to his realm, Morgan managed to imprison Chthon's spirit underneath Mount Wundagore. Morgan's lover Magnus, having witnessed true evil, betrayed Morgan and stole the Darkhold, sealing it within the Tower of the Darkhold on the Isle of Wight. Magnus enchanted the tower so that no one with evil intentions might enter.
During the time of King Arthur, a well-meaning mystic named Modred entered the tower seeking to use the Darkhold as a force for good. The Other, Chthon's avatar on Earth, spoke out to Modred and demanded that he sacrifice his soul in exchange for the power he sought. Modred initially resisted, believing that doing so would be the only way to attain the Darkhold's powers, but relented when The Other began to attack his bride-to-be Janice. Having sacrificed his very soul, Modred was placed into a centuries-long deathlike slumber. Saint Brendan was dispatched by the Church to fight against the evil inadvertently unleashed from the Darkhold. He would later scatter the Darkhold's pages throughout the world.
Necronomicon and other copies
The scrolls also inspired other black magic tomes, such as the legendary Necronomicon, a powerful black magic tome patterned after the Darkhold, created by Abdul Alhazred during the 8th century.
In 1149, a heretical monk named Aelfric had recollected the pages of the Darkhold. The monk was burnt at the stake, the Darkhold with him. However, the Darkhold reformed itself, and was purchased by a trader, who was then murdered.
In 1150, Paolo Montesi of the Catholic Church bound many of the Chthon Scrolls into "The Book Of Sins." His is the family whose heirs rediscovered the spell in the Darkhold by which vampires might be destroyed, and the said spell is named "The Montesi Formula" in their honor.
By the 1600s, the Vatican came to possess the Darkhold. Dracula sent a thief to acquire it for him, but Cagliostro slew the thief and took it for himself. At some point, the vampire Lord Ruthven might have possessed the Darkhold.[verification needed]
In the 1920s, the pre-Babylonian tomb was discovered by archaeologists who were rendered insane by their attempt to translate the hieroglyphs depicting the Darkhold source.
Before late 1930, Gregor Russoff acquired the Darkhold. He would later copy much of its content into the journal of his ancestor, and used it as a journal for himself. Accounts vary as to how he came to possess it. Two accounts say he purchased the tome, but others say that he took it from the sorcerer Taboo. In any event, when he read of the origin of lycanthropy in the Darkhold, Gregor himself contracted lycanthropy. Gregor, whose ancestor Grigori had also been a werewolf, would later pass the curse on to others in his family: his son Jack Russell, and his granddaughter, Nina Price. During this time, Dracula shadowed Russoff.
Possibly circa 1958, Gregor Russoff attempted to raise Chthon hoping he could cure him of lycanthropy. Chthon struck out at Russoff, seeming to strike him dead. The High Evolutionary and Magnus then managed to defeat Chthon. Russoff evidently survived somehow. Presumably, the revived Gregor Russoff recovered the Darkhold and somehow managed to hide his activities from the High Evolutionary and Magnus for some time. He was later slain by villagers no earlier than approximately 20 years ago.
Later, Russoff's son Jack also became a werewolf. Recovering the Darkhold from Miles Blackgar, he gave it to a Father Joquez to translate. Aelfric's ghost possessed Jacquez. At the end of this struggle, Russell erroneously thought that the Darkhold was destroyed. Later, Russoff travelled to Transylvanian with the Indian woman Topaz to visit Russoff Manor. There they found Gregor Russoff's diary. Dracula came to possess the diary and left it behind in a blizzard in the Alps (since the diary contained a copy of the Montesi Formula to destroy vampires). However, Morgan Le Fay later recovered the diary.
During the Rise of the Midnight Sons - when Lilith and her offspring, the Lilin were released into the world once more - the Darkhold went missing from the Vatican. At that time, the Darkhold Dwarf began appearing to people around the world, giving them small black envelopes containing pages from the Darkhold and enticing them to use its forbidden spells to fulfill their wishes for power, immortality, riches, and revenge. Victoria Montesi - reluctant heir to to the Montesi responsibility of safeguarding the Darkhold, as well as the prophesied Montesi "incorruptibility" - began having visions as the pages were used. When she herself was attacked by the Darkholders, she resolved to hunt down the pages of the book with the help of Interpol agent Sam Buchanan and occultist Dr. Louise Hastings. These Darkhold Redeemers (as Lilith once called them) managed to collect a number of the pages before they eventually disbanded.
The Darkholders took interest in Carnage, based on the prophecy in the Darkhold that says "When the Red Slayer spills blood on sacred stone, He Who Sleeps shall wake and what walked will walk once again." Cult member Barry Gleason orchestrated Cletus Kasady's meeting with them, and the Darkholders attempted to sacrifice Carnage to awaken Chthon. This resulted in Carnage instead being empowered by Chthon, stealing the cult's copy of the Darkhold, and attempting to use it to summon the Elder God. Carnage and Chthon were stopped by Victoria Montesi, Toxin, Man-Wolf, and Jubulile van Scotter; with Victoria taking the copy of the Darkhold to the Children of Midnight.
The Darkhold's pages contain a number of powerful black magic spells. However, its influence is so strong that all those who read it are corrupted, losing their souls and becoming possessed by Chthon. In a sense, it is the anti-thesis of the Book of the Vishanti. The Darkhold Dwarf and the Other are known to appear either to challenge those who attempt to use it, to warn them about the dangers of the Darkhold, or to entice a person to use a page or spell.[verification needed]
- Accessing Limbo
- The origins of lycanthropy
- Conjuring Darkforce
- Controlling the will of others
- Summoning Chthon and other malevolent elder gods
- Siphoning psionic energy to empower a target
- The origins of vampirism
Perhaps the most well known spell found in the Darkhold is the so-called Montesi Formula, a powerful incantation that can utterly destroy all vampires.
Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)
The existence of the Book of Sins was known for many years and it was sought out by many, including Johann Schmidt, Werner Reinhardt, and Nick Fury. It was eventually found by Lucy and Joseph Bauer who used it to create Quantum Batteries at Momentum Alternative Energy Laboratories. However, they were betrayed by Eli Morrow, who wanted the book for himself and beat Joseph into a coma while forcing Lucy and her co-workers into the Quantum Particle Generator, which caused them to become stuck between dimensions.
In her incorporeal form Lucy was now unable to read Darkhold, whose text appeared to the user in their native language. The book was retrieved by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Holden Radcliffe took one look at it before closing it and warning that its knowledge was not meant for human minds. In order to rescue Phil Coulson and Leo Fitz from a hellish dimension, it was decided to let Radcliffe's Artificially Intelligent Digital Assistant read it.
However, both Radcliffe and Aida were still corrupted by the Darkhold, which enabled Radcliffe to create fully-functional Life-Model Decoys as well as upgrade the Framework to become a full virtual recreation of the real world, complete with self-conscious copies of the real people living in in. Aida then sought to use the Darkhold to replace her robotic body with a real human one, and enhanced it with Inhuman abilities. Though she achieved her goal, the Darkhold was later taken from her by the Ghost Rider, who after helping defeating Aida, departed into another dimension, intending to hide the book out of harm's way.
Despite his best efforts, the Darkhold later resurfaced in the hands of Morgan Le Fay after she escaped from the Dark Dimension. She combined it with her own magic to create the new "Corvus" WizPhone that would allow her to influence people and drain power from her followers. It was briefly stolen by Robert Minoru who managed to record a spell that could banish Morgan back to where she came from on his smart glasses and transmit it to his wife and daughter before being killed by Morgan.
The ancient sorceress Agatha Harkness was in posession of the Darkhold as of 2023. She kept it in her bewitched basement in Westview, New Jersey during the events of the Westview Anomaly. Harkness tells Wanda Maximoff that there is an entire chapter of the Darkhold dedicated to her, the Scarlet Witch.
After their faceoff and the destruction of the Hex, Maximoff (now the Scarlet Witch), is shown to be in posession of the Darkhold. She fled to a secluded cabin in an unknown location, where she projects her astral form to study the Darkhold.
- In Carnage Vol. 2, the Darkhold is written in the eldritch language from H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, and paraphrases the chant from Call of Cthulhu.
- 105 appearance(s) of Darkhold
- 8 minor appearance(s) of Darkhold
- 29 mention(s) of Darkhold
- 16 image(s) of Darkhold
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Darkhold