Artefacts - Murti Schofield

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1/ In 1445 Eckhardt’s 100 years pact with the Nephilim is up. Apart from carrying the task they set him on the human breeding colonies, he has been working on his own plans. He intends to betray the Nephilim, crush and rule over them and take control of the new Nephilim race by transforming himself into a neo-Nephilim, supreme being of the revitalised race.

2/ To dominate the this declining race and take their powers he needs a weapon, an unbeatable power source.

3/ His researches through obscure manuscripts came up with mention of three crystalline shards of power used by the Nephilim - the Three Periapt Shards. They were looted and brought back from Turkey by Crusaders in the 1200’s. But Eckhardt was never able to track any of them down. In fact they were in the hands of his mortal enemies the Lux Veritatis.

4/ But he does track down five other Nephilim artefacts made from prima materia, alchemically refined metals, the purest elemental form it is possible to achieve. He sets out to create his own talismans of power based on what he has learned of the Periapt Shards.

5/ Using his advanced alchemical expertise he creates the Sanglyph, five separate but interlocking metal symbols cast from the purified Nephilim elements. The process involves the darkest of black arts and human sacrifice where elements within his victims’ bodies are brutally transmuted and then ‘harvested’ violently.


6/ Each symbol is in the Nephilim alphabet-glyph for that element. The power of each individual symbol is keyed to its particular element in the atomic scale: sulphur, iron, copper, phosphorus and potassium. When used in unison or locked together the five Symbols can be used to overcome the Nephilim. Or so Eckhardt believes.

NB. The ancient Nephilim alphabet and the overall design of the Sanglyph Symbols are based on the curlicue patterns seen on the Nephilim’s bodies.

7/ Eckhardt  was convinced that not only would the Sanglyph Symbols be a potent weapon and protection against the Nephilim’s powers but that they would eventually enable him to transform himself into a neo-Nephilim. To disguise their purpose the symbols were built into five Paintings (icons). But he never got to use them properly. Though in decline and weakened the Nephilim were far more cunning and far stronger than anything Eckhardt could create. They crushed him when he tried to change the terms of the pact and attack them.

8/ As an object lesson they confined him to the hideous Vita Mortua – the living death of the pit. They intended to set him free once his bitter lesson had been learned, say after a decade or so. They still need him to complete the tasks they had set him. Nephilim do not experience time as mortals do and can exhibit incredible patience on a non human scale of decades or centuries.

9/ The Lux Veritatis complicate things by galloping in, strengthening the forces holding Eckhardt prisoner by using the Periapt Shards and building a massive fortress on top of the pit. The undying Eckhardt was in for a longer stay than the Nephilim had originally intended..."  

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The Brother Obscura Manuscripts



The Sanglyph or ‘blood sign’ was a series of five images, paintings of dark power created by Eckhardt for a grotesque ritual. Originally known as the Sanglyph Paintings they passed into history as the Five Obscura Paintings. Each painting contained a hidden metallic symbol built into the thick wooden base. These were the source of the paintings’ power.

After Eckhardt’s power was broken by Nephilim in 1445 the Lux Veritatis built Castle Kreigler to keep him confined. The still dangerous Sanglyph paintings were seized and dispersed to widely scattered locations.

Whenever it gained control over objects of power the Vatican’s practice was to secrete them away rather than have them destroyed. Despite the urgings of the Lux Veritatis that the objects be destroyed it was decided that the five paintings would be preserved under strictest secrecy. It made no difference that the objects originated from an evil source. The power they contained might be turned and used for good at some future date. And there were no shortages of remote monasteries and strongholds where they could be entombed.

But the risk of spiritual contamination from these evil works was considered a very real danger. As an extra measure of protection the Sanglyph Paintings would have to be painted over, disguised beneath layers of Christian imagery. No ordinary artisan could be trusted with the task. Someone special, someone dispensable would have to be sacrificed.

The ideal choice was a reformed heretic, now a monk, who had once been a great painter.  He had suffered questioning by the Inquisition and was now a crippled deaf-mute. All he wanted was to be left in peace and forgotten by the world.

Snatched from cloistered exile he was informed that his name was now Brother Obscura. After being sworn to secrecy and threatened further with the Inquisitors this unwilling victim was instructed in his secret duties. He was to spend the next two years being ferried to each of the five isolated locations where the Sanglyph paintings were housed and paint over the objects with images approved of by the Church and the Lux Veritatis.

He was never allowed out of his designated quarters into daylight. He ground all his own pigments and prepared his own food which he would eat alone denied even the simple comfort of human contact.

For months he laboured in darkness over each of the evil images and was then whisked away in great secrecy to the next location. As a further measure the paintings themselves were also moved to new, secluded locations.

Within two years his work was done. Everything he had used, all his brushes, pigments and sketches were burned. All trace of his work was obliterated and he was returned to the monastery which he had been forced to leave. But Brother Obscura was not well. Confinement with such potent sources of evil had taken its toll on his mind. Two weeks after his return he was found hanging from the rafter beams in his own cell. It was reported that he had taken his own life..."

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Kurtis blade weapon

The discus blade used by Kurtis is an ancient Lux Veritatis weapon made of ferilium, a meteorite alloy. He inherited it along with the Periapt Shards when his father was killed by Eckhardt. Kurtis’ ability to control the terrifying weapon comes from his Lux Veritatis initiate training and knowing the Blade’s secret Veritatis name.

There are other Lux Veritatis Blade weapons still in existence but non-Veritatis can’t use them effectively and they are well hidden. Kurtis may discover other Blades in Game II. One could have slots for crystals or rods of alchemically pure elements. When these are locked into place the Blade exhibits different qualities such as hovering invisibly, turning its targets into ice, solidifying them, making them burst apart in flames or crumbling them into dust. Another Blade may split into half a dozen tiny razor discs and swoop like a flock of birds. Another may be locked onto a particular person/target and pursue them out of the controller’s viewpoint.

Ultrix = (avenging)
Ultrax = avenging blade
Panax = blade of peace or travelling blade.
Tenax = (tenacious/grip)
Scutax = (scutella flat dish,) (like scud missile).
Psychax = mind weapon
Mentax = mind blade/knife
Volax = flying blade
Arrapax = arrow of peace
Lumenax = blade of light

Chirurgi = (violent measures/surgery)
Chirugai = (like assegai or shuriken)
Jattaca = throwing blade
Feravis = iron bird
Metaculum = mind weapon (Gk)
Cogilum = thought javelin
Radius = blade
Tellum = blade/beam of light
Gladius = sword
Glaeve = sword
Chatka = ring thing
Iactus = throw
Lamina = blade
Lancea = flying blade


Knife missile
Mind blade
Mind javelin
Flying axe
Mind arrow
Light blade
Thought missile
Mind knife
Light knife"

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History of the Periapt Shards
The three crystalline shards, which became known as the Periapts Shards, are objects  
of power from Pre-biblical times. They can only be used by beings properly attuned to  
their properties.
  1. They were originally created by the Nephilim to focus destructive impulses but they themselves proved especially vulnerable to the wild energies channelled by the crystals. As a safeguard they were hidden away in labyrinths beneath the Anatolian wastelands of ancient Turkey.
  1. All three Shards were stolen by Crusaders in the 1200’s and brought back to Europe. The marauders misinterpreted the devastating effects the Shards wreaked on the few Nephilim they encountered in the desert lands. But clearly they were artefacts great powers, possibly works of the Devil. So they were disguised as treasure trove and taken out of the country.
  1. The true nature of the Shards was only revealed when they were handed into the Lux Veritatis’ keeping. The Lux Veritatis were formed in 1176 as an inner corpus of the Knights Templar and were intended to suppress all works of devilry and magic. The Shards were ideally suited to use by these dedicated ‘demon suppressors’. The crystal’s powers seemed to disrupt magical forces in the most devastating and spectacular ways.
  1. In 1445 the Lux Veritatis used the Shards to permanently imprison Eckhardt the Black Alchemist, who had been condemned to the Pit of Pain by the Nephilim when he tried to betray them. The Lux Veritatis invaded the Pit, took it over and built a fortress prison on the site - Castle Kriegler.
  1. The Shards were perfect for keeping Eckhardt weakened by pain. It seemed impossible to kill him (the Lux Veritatis’ preferred option). He had become other than human due to a pact formed with the Nephilim in 1335. His life was unnaturally preserved and extended and his inhuman powers could only be incapacitated by something as powerful as the Shards.
  1. In 1945 Eckhardt’s prison was virtually demolished by misdirected Allied bombers and he escaped. He took one of the Shards with him, vowing it would never again be used against him. The other two were taken into hiding by Gerhardt Heissturm, Kurtis’ grandfather and Lux Veritatis guardian of the Pit prison.
  1. Eckhardt buried the Shard in his subterranean alchemy lab beneath the present day Strahov in Prague.
  1. Kurtis inherited the two Lux Veritatis Shards when his father, the last of the LV adepts, was hunted down and killed by Eckhardt’s forces.
  1. Now Kurtis is out to reunite the three Periapt Shards in order to use them against Eckhardt, preferably to finish him off permanently this time."

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Copyright (c) 2024 Murti Schofield. Lara Croft and Tomb Raider are the property of Embracer Group AB and Crystal Dynamics (formally Core Design, Eidos Interactive, and Square Enix).
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