Modred the Mystic becomes the unwilling servant of the Elder God Chthon and eventually joins the Darkhold Redeemers to protect humanity from the powerful spell book, the Darkhold.
An apprentice magician in 6th century Britain during the time of Camelot, Modred learns basic magic from the wizard Gervasse and becomes engaged to Gervasse’s daughter, Janice. Modred hopes to become the apprentice of the wizard Merlin, but the real Merlin had been replaced by an imposter (later known as the Mad Merlin, the Maha Yogi and Merlin Demonspawn). The imposter’s behavior frightened many in Camelot, and Modred decides to confront the false Merlin. To gain the necessary power, Modred seeks out the Darkhold, the book of black magic created by the Elder God Chthon. The Other, an emissary or avatar of Chthon, offers Modred great power in exchange for his soul. Modred refuses until the Other attacks Janice. To protect his betrothed, Modred sacrifices himself to Chthon, which corrupts his soul. Gervasse has no choice but to place his former apprentice in suspended animation, where Modred lays for centuries.
Before encountering the Darkhold, Modred was an apprentice mage able to use only minor magic spells. Once the Darkhold had corrupted him and connected him to Chthon, Modred’s mystical abilities increased exponentially. Mystically telepathic, he can dominate the minds of others. His acute mystical senses can detect the presence of other wizards or magically enchanted places or items. He seems to be especially aware of any magic connected with his native country of England or linked to Chthon and the Darkhold. Modred has also displayed the powers of flight and teleportation. At times, he has even been able to transport himself inter-dimensionally. Modred can cast realistic illusions, fire bolts of mystical energy, and create magical energy shields. Since his contact with the Darkhold, Modred has become especially adept at manipulating the elements of fire, earth, wind, and water. Modred can also cast any of the vast numbers of powerful spells within the Darkhold. On rare occasions, he has utilized spells that tap into the energies of mystical entities other than Chthon, such as Cyttorak and Munipoor.
The Darkhold contains spells to summon powerful demons such as Dragonus, the Hellhound, Monstrosity, and the Wish-Demon, but Modred has not knowingly tapped into this resource.
Elder God Enemies
Modred makes a deal with the Elder God Chthon to protect his betrothed, Janice. In so doing, he sacrifices himself to Chthon, which corrupts his soul. While he gains power from his connection to Chthon, he goes in and out of Chthon’s influence for various reasons but always ends up under it again.
Modred the Mystic observes the Darkhold Redeemers and declares himself their leader to the chagrin of Redeemer member Sam Buchanan. Other members include Victoria Montesi, Louise Hastings, and William Hastings, AKA Jinx.
A Mystic’s Memoirs
Janet Lyton and Grant Whitaker accidentally revived Modred in recent years. When a landslide trapped them all inside the mountain, Modred used his powers to clear a path to freedom. Though he hoped to make a fresh start, the mystic found the modern world strange and confusing and ended up fighting the police. Realizing Modred was distracted and weakened, the Other revealed itself and attacked, but Modred defeated him, temporarily freeing himself from Chthon’s influence.
Modred’s good nature briefly overruled his dark side. He helped Jessica Drew, AKA Spider-Woman, and Ben Grimm, AKA The Thing, battle creations of the false Merlin. Modred also worked with Canadian adventurer Eugene Judd, AKA Puck, to defeat the Benedicto de vica Severtes, AKA Brass Bishop. However, in spite of his best intentions, Modred succumbed once again to Chthon’s influences upon receiving a Darkhold copy (Grigori Russoff’s diary), with which he recovered the original Darkhold.
Modred then lured the Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch, to Mount Wundagore and subdued her, giving her body to Chthon. The Scarlet Witch had been born on Mount Wundagore, which linked her to Chthon, so the Elder God could partially possess her body and began to manifest on the material plane. Still, the Witch’s Avengers teammates, including her brother Pietro Maximoff, AKA Quicksilver, ultimately banished Chthon. The battle killed the Witch’s adoptive father, Django Maximoff, and left Modred with the intellect of a child. Bova Ayrshire, a female humanoid cow, genetically engineered by the High Evolutionary, had briefly cared for Wanda and Pietro as infants before the Maximoffs adopted them. Still living on Wundagore Mountain, Bova volunteered to care for the helpless Modred, who was content to stay with her and play with his toys. Though he remained in this child-like state during encounters with the Thing, the Puppet Master, and Alicia Masters, Modred unconsciously retained a fraction of his magical power. He even unconsciously helped the Scarlet Witch by mystically warning her of her father Magneto’s imminent arrival.
Soon after that incident, Bova was injured and Modred wandered away. He was mystically drawn back to his native England. As he approached his homeland, his intellect and power returned, as did his desire to complete the very task that had led to his downfall. He wanted to defeat Merlin. Since Modred assumed that the “Mad Merlin” and the “True Merlin” were the same, he targeted the real Merlin’s servant on Earth: Brian Braddock, AKA Captain Britain. Modred defeated Merlin’s champion and took possession of Captain Britain’s magically empowered costume. With the costume’s power-enhancing his own, Modred also defeated the visiting Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. Working together, the two beaten Captains defeated the misguided mystic by turning Modred’s powers against himself. The true Merlin arrived and took Modred to Otherworld for safekeeping. Though his body was unable to leave Otherworld, Modred briefly gained psychic control over Captain Britain’s Excalibur teammate, Rachel Summer, AKA Phoenix (now Marvel Girl). Excalibur and the cosmic hero Wendell Vaughn, AKA Quasar, defeated Modred and cast him into a distant dimension.
With the seeming death of the true Merlin, the dimensional barriers weakened, and Modred was able to return to his home dimension. The time and distance had restored some of Modred’s original integrity, and the mystic was determined to confront Chthon and regain his lost soul. After observing the Darkhold Redeemers, a group of normal humans and mystics who were fighting the Darkhold’s power, Modred was inspired to join them. He declared himself their “leader” and helped them fight the N’Garai demons and the feral villain Sabretooth.
Though he seemed intent on doing the right thing, Modred’s sense of morality had been impaired by his mind wipe and his years of servitude to Chthon. When a misunderstanding resulted in a battle between the Darkhold Redeemers and Stephen Strange, AKA Doctor Strange, bound Modred to the island of Maui. This prevented Modred from countering the Darkhold’s “Demogorge” spell, which transformed the hero Blade into the monstrous Switchblade. Modred escaped Strange’s spell by teleporting sand from Maui with him, hoping to destroy Switchblade, who instead killed Modred. When the Darkhold Redeemer Louise Hastings cast the Demogorge’s counter-spell from the Darkhold, she returned Blade to normal and restored all of Switchblade’s victims, resurrecting Modred.
After Modred’s resurrection, the Other’s servant, the Dwarf, offered him a chance to regain his soul if he would obtain a pure replacement soul for Chthon. Modred agreed, and in an abbey in Bath he discovered a blind and ancient holy woman with the pure soul he needed to trade. He offered to restore the old woman’s youth and to return her lost love to her in exchange for her soul. The old woman agreed, and Modred thought he had beaten Chthon until he saw the old woman’s now-youthful face and realized that she was his long-lost love, Janice. With her eyes restored, Janice realized that this man was her lost love, Modred. The Other appeared to take Janice’s soul, but Modred gave his soul instead, and Modred, enslaved again to Chthon, held Janice as she died his arms. Modred returned to the Darkhold Redeemers and began training Louise’s grandson William Hastings, AKA Jinx, in the magical arts.
When the demonic Lilin attacked the Darkhold Redeemers and their magical allies, the Midnight Sons, Modred defended them, but his teammates had become distrustful of his erratic behavior. When the Lilin’s mother, demon-goddess Lilith, and her consort Zarathos joined in the battle, Modred’s former “friends” were convinced he was secretly behind the attacks. Jinx even accused his ex-mentor of killing Louise, though the vampire Morbius had actually slain her. Seeking vengeance, Jinx attacked Modred. When the two had battled each other into mutual unconsciousness, Lilith captured them. Modred escaped and led the Redeemers to the home of the ancient and powerful clairvoyant Truthsayer. Just as Truthsayer revealed to Modred that Chthon was about to enter the Earthly realm, she was attacked by her evil shape-shifting sibling, Metarchus. Modred and the Redeemers defended Truthsayer, but when Metarchus took on Modred’s form to confuse the heroes, Modred took advantage of the confusion and killed Truthsayer himself. The Redeemers blamed the shape-shifted Metarchus, never realizing that a Chthon-controlled Modred had murdered the wise woman. Modred wanted to prevent the Redeemers from learning that the Elder God was about to be reborn on Earth through the womb of their fellow Redeemer, Victoria Montesi. Following Louise’s funeral, Modred abandoned Jinx and the rest of his former allies.
Modred replaced Jinx with a new disciple—Dr. Strange’s former apprentice Kyllian—renaming him Wildpride. Wildpride and Modred joined with Modred’s mind-controlled vampire, Morbius, and Jack Russell, AKA Werewolf by Night, to attack Strange’s foe Salomé. When the foursome reached Salomé, Modred offered her a truce, telling her he would kill Dr. Strange for her, but Salomé just laughed at Modred and blasted him. She might have killed the mystic, but Wildpride reluctantly saved him. Though Dr. Strange’s doppelganger subsequently helped Modred escape from the clutches of the Clave (technologically oriented beings from an alternate future, Reality-950108), Modred later attacked Dr. Strange. Modred’s master Chthon still hoped to access this dimension through the womb of Modred’s former teammate, Victoria Montesi, and Victoria had come to Dr. Strange hoping he could prevent it. When Modred tried to keep Strange from interfering, Strange defeated the mystic, stripped him of his magic power, and teleported him to Thailand. Strange then exorcised Chthon’s presence from Montesi’s unborn child.
Succumbing to Chthon’s influence yet again, Modred reassembled the Darkhold within the Darque Hold (the caverns below Mount Wundagore), slaughtering the New Men when they confronted him, though he notably spared Bova. Duping Quicksilver into entering the caverns in hopes of saving the New Men, Modred captured him. Reading from the Darkhold continuously for one day, Modred magically transferred the Darkhold’s written contents to his flesh and caused a chaos cascade to ravage the Earth as he granted Chthon access to Earth via Quicksilver’s form; and thus trapping Quicksilver in the Darkhold. The Asgardian trickster-god, Loki Laufeyson, AKA Loki, posing as the Scarlet Witch, guided a contingent of Hank Pym-led Avengers to Modred for his own reasons. Sending mystic rune-animated stone warriors formed from the cavern walls against the Avengers, Modred was distracted by Bova (guided to Pietro, whose consciousness transferred into the Darkhold itself), and incapacitated by Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man. Later, with Modred tied up, Dr. Pym drew Chthon out of Quicksilver. During this moment, Modred escaped his bonds and attempted a spell but Vision recited some of the text which freed Quicksilver and trapped Modred in the Darkhold.