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For other Darkholds, please see Darkhold (disambiguation)

Quote1 A long time ago, when the world was so new nothing had a name, something woke up. It learned all about what was and what would be... but most of all it learned what couldn't be, what shouldn't be. And it gave those things names, names it wrote on indestructible pages, because a namer has mastery of the named. Quote2
Diabolique[src]

Eons ago, the evil Elder God known as Chthon wrote all his evil works and spells onto indestructible parchments. 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."[13] The Darkhold has served as the source material for other such books of evil 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 evil influence and evil power.[14]

The original flesh Darkhold, the true Darkhold, is currently fused with the Scarlet Witch.[15]

History

Ancient History[]

Chthon (Earth-616) and Gaea (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 187 001

Chthon writing the Darkhold

Billions of years ago, the evil Elder God known as Chthon was forced to flee Earth from Demogorge, the God-Eater. But before doing so, he wrote all his evil works and spells onto indestructible parchments of flesh,[14][verification needed] at the Darque Hold, a chamber among the caverns inside the mountain known in the Modern Age as Wundagore.[16]

Chthon left these scrolls on Earth so that they might always serve as a conduit to the Earth-Realm for Chthon's evil influence and evil power,[14] with the purpose of opening a doorway from Earth to Chthon's dimension.[17] The scrolls were transcribed, first to stone and later to a collection of parchments often referred to as the Chthon Scrolls.[14]

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,"[18] the Great Old Ones,[19] among which Chthon was allegedly the greatest,[20] despite generally being recognized as an Elder God.

Pre-Cataclysmic Age[]

Darkhold from Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 1 15 0001

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.[21]

When Atlantis sank, Varnae went into hibernation and did not revive until circa 10,000 BC.[22]

Hyborian Age[]

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![22]

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 the scrolls, however, and used them to transport himself and Sonja away. Zula noted that the scrolls disappeared as a result of using the spell.[23]

Historians in the Vatican would note that at some point during the Hyborian Age, the Chthon scrolls were taken East,[24][citation needed][verification needed] taken during the two following millenniums into what would become Tibet.[3]

Antiquity[]

A pre-Babylonian tomb was carved with hieroglyphic depictions of the Darkhold source.[17]

The scrolls (apart from the one with the vampire-destroying spell) passed to the likes of Babylonian savants, Egyptian priests, and Hebrew scholars.[3]

Middle Ages[]

At some point, Mephisto imprisoned a demon called Darklove into a page of the Darkhold.[25][26]

6th century[]

In circa 500 A.D.,[24] or in the 6th century AD,[3] Morgan Le Fay bound the scrolls into book form for the first time as "The Darkhold."[2] It also came to be called "The Shiatra Book Of The Damned," and also "The Book Of Sins."[13] Morgan and the Darkholders attempted to use the Darkhold to summon Chthon to do their bidding, but he proved much too powerful for them. Though she was unable to send him back to his realm, Morgan did manage to imprison Chthon's spirit beneath Mount Wundagore. Morgan's lover Magnus, having witnessed true evil, betrayed Morgan and stole the Darkhold, sealing it within the Tower of Darkhold on the Isle of Wight. Magnus then so enchanted the Tower that no one with evil intentions might enter it.[24]

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.[8] 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 Earth.[21]

Necronomicon and other copies[]

The scrolls also inspired other black magic tomes, such as the legendary Necronomicon,[3] a powerful black magic tome patterned after the Darkhold, created by Abdul Alhazred[27] during the 8th century.[3]

12th century[]

In 1149, a heretical monk named Aelfric had recollected the pages of the Darkhold. The monk was burned at the stake, and the Darkhold with him. However, the Darkhold reformed itself, and was purchased by a trader, who was then murdered.[28]

In 1150, Paolo Montesi of the Catholic Church bound many of the Chthon Scrolls into "The Book Of Sins."[10] 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.

17th century[]

By the 1600s, the Vatican came to possess the Darkhold. Vladislav III Dracula, by then a vampire and indeed the ruler of Earth's vampires, dispatched a thief to acquire it for him, but Cagliostro slew the thief and took it for himself.[29] At some point, the vampire Lord Ruthven might have possessed the Darkhold.[30][citation needed][verification needed]

Modern Age[]

20th century[]

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.[17]

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 that he purchased the tome, but other accounts 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.[28][31]

Taboo, the sorcerer, claims to have found the Darkhold in an old Balkan castle. He apparently did so no later than 1958.[30]

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.[32]

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.[33] 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.[34][35]

At some point Doctor Doom found a part of the Darkhold that allowed him to cast a spell to access Belasco's Limbo.[25]

During the Rise of the Midnight Sons - when Lilith and her offspring, the Lilin, were again released into Earth - 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.[36]

21st century[]

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."[13] 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,[13] 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.[37]

Baron Helmut Zemo used the Darkhold to enhance Blackout's powers to cover Manhattan in a shroud of Darkforce shadows.[38]

To investigate the origin of a monsters invasion, Elsa Bloodstone cross-referenced the Daveroth Fragments with the Scrolls of Chthon, and the Le Fay Testimonies with the Darkhold.[7]

The True Darkhold[]

Darkhold from Darkhold Alpha Vol 1 1 001

Reading the true Darkhold

While there are copies of the Darkhold in existence, there is only one "true" Darkhold: the original Darkhold, made from the flesh of an Elder God. For eons, the true Darkhold was hidden until it was uncovered in Abysmia by Doctor Doom and Victorious. The reading of the true Darkhold awakened Chthon and opened a pathway between the Other-Realm and Earth.[1]

Victorious and the Scarlet Witch gathered Iron Man, Blade, the Wasp, Black Bolt, and Spider-Man, and had them read the true Darkhold to temper them with madness in preparation for the Other-Realm.[1] However, they read too much, got fully corrupted, and saw distorted versions of their lives.[39][40][41][42][43] Wanda sent them to the Other-Realm anyway and later joined them alongside Doom. With the true Darkhold in hand, Wanda and Doom were able to defend against Chthon's true form. Realizing that the Darkhold had power over Chthon, Wanda fused herself with the true Darkhold, and as a result, she was able to absorb Chthon. With the Darkhold and Chthon's power inside her, Wanda reversed the corruption done to her comrades.[15]

The sorceress Agatha Harkness decided to create a new Darkhold by taking control of several heroes through Chaos Magic. She took control of Wolverine, Storm, Human Torch, Taegukgi, White Fox, Venom and Cyclops after having them battle other heroes and went to the Bermuda Triangle to form the new Darkhold. Her plan was, however, sabotaged by the arrival of the Avengers, resulting in an explosion. This led to Harkness' copy of the Darkhold manifesting in the form of a young boy named Darkhold who slowly began amassing power.[44]

Content[]

"Ph'nglui mglw'naft Chthon K'lay wgah'nagl fhtagn".[45]

The Darkhold's pages contain a number of powerful black magic spells. However, its evil influence is so strong that all those who read it are corrupted,[17] losing their souls and becoming possessed by Chthon greatly increasing its dark side. 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.[46][verification needed]

The Darkhold mentioned the island in the Timor Sea, southeast of Java, with an altar guarded by the Daughters of Chthon.[47]

Spells include:

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.[48]

The Darkhold had a page known as the Demogorge Page that Chthon added in order to ensure that if a new Demogorge appeared it would be under his control, though he also added a counterspell that could only be casted by a non-magic user.[49] Blade used the page to become the murderous Switchblade,[50] but was returned to normal by Louise Hastings at the cost of part of her soul.[51]

Chthon assured that the Darkhold is intelligible in any language,[21] though Carnage had trouble deciphering it, even after he had possessed it for several weeks.[20]

The Darkhold held a prophecy that told about the Werewolves becoming free of Khonshu's enslavement. This would involve the King of the Wolves using the Moon Knight and his offspring to kill the moon god.[52]

Alternate Realities[]

Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)[]

Darkhold from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

The Darkhold of Earth-199999[53][54]

In this version the Darkhold not only gives information about spells, but also scientific data that had not been discovered before.

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.[55]

In her discorporate form, Lucy was now unable to read the Darkhold, whose text appeared to the user in their native language.[56] 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. To rescue Phil Coulson and Leo Fitz from a hellish dimension, it was decided to let Radcliffe's Artificially Intelligent Digital Assistant read it.[57]

However, both Radcliffe and Aida were still corrupted to evil 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 it.[58] Aida then sought to use the Darkhold to replace her robotic body with a real human one, and enhanced it with Inhuman abilities.[59] 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.[60]

Despite Reyes's best efforts, however, the Darkhold later resurfaced in the hands of Morgan Le Fay after she escaped from the Dark Dimension.[61] 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.[62] 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 Morgan killed him.[63]

Darkhold from WandaVision Season 1 7

Darkhold as it appeared on WandaVision

The ancient sorceress Agatha Harkness was in possession of the Darkhold as of 2023. She kept it in her bewitched basement in Westview, New Jersey during the time Wanda Maximoff possessed the town to play out her fantasy of living a happy family life, including imaginary children created out of magic. Harkness told Wanda Maximoff that there was an entire chapter of the Darkhold that had been dedicated to her, the prophesized Scarlet Witch.

After their faceoff and the destruction of the Hex Anomaly, Maximoff (now the Scarlet Witch), got possession of the Darkhold. She fled to a secluded cabin in an unknown location, where she studied the Darkhold to find alternate ways to be with her children.[64][65][66]

Over the following months, Wanda, now corrupted to evil by the Darkhold, used its powers to possess alternate reality versions of herself (referred to as "dreamwalking") in a quest to find living versions of her children in other realities. During this saga, the Darkhold was destroyed by Sara. Wong later told Wanda that the Darkhold was merely a transcription of spells originally carved into Wundagore Mountain, by Chthon.[67]

Earth-TRN994[]

The Darkhold has the same effect of corrupting beings, but in this universe it is not only mentally but physically as if they were Fallen Angels converted to demons, which is the case of Lilith who was worshiped by the Hydra sect as a demonic deity before she was corrupted by the Darkhold, which was part of a prophecy handed down millennia ago. Even the way in which the corrupt energies of the Darkhold corrupt the physical form of any being depends many times on the species of the Fallen. For example, if in case of normal human beings, normally altering them with green eyes and the part of above the cracked face, Bruce Banner still retained part of his human form, yet his physical transformation into the Hulk gave him a more demonic appearance. Other beings like the mutants, the symbiotes or even races of divine ancestry like the Blood have a more demonic appearance, being the case of the already mentioned Lilith, the Scarlet Witch and Sabretooth, although the mutants and the Blood usually have scaly skin more similar to a demon. Lilith can also spread the Darkhold's corruption with only touching other beings as a kind of mind control.

No being corrupted by the Darkhold is capable of resisting its corruption by its own will and the dark energy that poisons the minds of beings is apparently impossible to purge, however there is a spell that can absorb the corruption emitted by the Darkhold, although one has to die in case it is a normal human. That spell was invented by a sorcerer from Ancient Egypt experimented with a pharaoh who was also corrupted by the dark magic of the Darkhold. People can also be uncorrupted by destroying the Darkhold itself, which happened with Lilith who returned to her human form. However, in case you do not reach the total corruption phase one can fight against the influence of the Darkhold and without being physically demonized, as is the case of the two Ghost Rider of modern times, Johnny Blaze and Robbie Reyes.

Trivia

See Also

Links and References

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Darkhold Alpha #1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 History of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons & Various Monstrosities #1 ; Darkhold's entry
  4. Conan Saga #82 ; A Chronology of Conan's Career - Chapter Seven: Red Sonja and Black Colossus, XI. Vampires of the Border
  5. 5.0 5.1 Savage Sword of Conan #205
  6. Marvel Tarot #1
  7. 7.0 7.1 Monsters Unleashed (Vol. 2) #1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Marvel Chillers #1 ; Magic Is Alive!
  9. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #12
  10. 10.0 10.1 Vampires: The Marvel Undead #1 ; Varnae' entry
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic #1 ; Tomes of Eldritch Knowledge: Darkhold
  12. Savage Sword of Conan #194 ; The Road to Zamboula
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Carnage (Vol. 2) #4
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Silver Surfer Annual #2
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Darkhold Omega #1
  16. Mighty Avengers #22
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Carnage (Vol. 2) #8
  18. Namor: The First Mutant #3
  19. King in Black: Namor #2
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Carnage (Vol. 2) #14
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #11
  22. 22.0 22.1 Conan the Barbarian #245
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Savage Sword of Conan #195 ; Swordless in Zamboula
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22
  25. 25.0 25.1 Excalibur #37
  26. Marvel Comics Presents #134135
  27. Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic #1 ; Abdul Alhazred's entry
  28. 28.0 28.1 Werewolf by Night #3
  29. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #1215
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Werewolf by Night #13
  31. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #27
  32. X-Men Annual #12
  33. Werewolf by Night #13
  34. Tomb of Dracula #1819
  35. Werewolf by Night #15
  36. Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins #116
  37. 37.0 37.1 Carnage (Vol. 2) #16
  38. Secret Empire #0
  39. Darkhold: Iron Man #1
  40. Darkhold: Blade #1
  41. Darkhold: Wasp #1
  42. Darkhold: Black Bolt #1
  43. Darkhold: Spider-Man #1
  44. Avengers Annual (Vol. 5) #1
  45. 45.0 45.1 Carnage (Vol. 2) #15
  46. Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins #1
  47. Carnage (Vol. 2) #9
  48. Doctor Strange (Vol. 2) #6062
  49. Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins #11
  50. Nightstalkers #10
  51. Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #13
  52. Moon Knight Annual (Vol. 3) #1
  53. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  54. Marvel's Runaways
  55. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E04
  56. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E05
  57. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E07
  58. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E15
  59. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E20
  60. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E22
  61. Marvel's Runaways S3E06
  62. Marvel's Runaways S3E07
  63. Marvel's Runaways S3E08
  64. WandaVision S1E07
  65. WandaVision S1E08
  66. WandaVision S1E09
  67. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  68. Carnage (Vol. 2) #6
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