Sam, Louise, and Vicki are the Darkhold Redeemers who dedicate themselves to saving the world from the Darkhold, an arcane evil and the greatest known compilation of black magic bound in a book. Together, the trio adds to their ranks and with supernatural allies at their side, and prevents the Darkhold’s vast number of spells from unleashing hell on Earth.
Billions of Years in the Making
Billions of years ago, the Elder God Chthon inscribes all his dark mystical knowledge on indestructible parchment. Forced to flee extra-dimensionally from the Demogorge summoned to eradicate the evil Elder Gods, Chthon leaves behind the scrolls as his link with Earth. To ensure any future Demogorge would be under his control, Chthon includes a spell that would cause the caster to become a new Demogorge. Chthon also creates a counter-spell that would undo the Demogorge, which could only be cast by one without mystic abilities. Circa 18,500 BC, a group of sorcerers in Atlantis—former followers of Thulsa Doom—find the scrolls, and one dying sorcerer, Varnae, became the first vampire; as the scrolls would eventually become the Darkhold, these sorcerers were later referred to as Darkholders.
Surviving “Darkholders” relocate the scrolls before Atlantis sank 500 years later. The scrolls pass through many hands over the succeeding years, many holders adding to its arcane lore, including Zamballan sorcerer Zula, Babylonian savants, Egyptian priests and Hebrew scholars, monks that worship Chthon as well as thieves and evil sorceress Morgan le Fay. Morgan later allies with the legendary Merlin and the Catholic Church’s St. Brendan, to banish Chthon, but instead traps some of the demon’s essence in a single earthly location, Wundagore Mountain.
Having seen true evil, Morgan’s lover Magnus renounces the Darkholders and steals the Darkhold, hiding it where none with evil intent could get it: on the Isle of Wight in what would become the Tower of the Darkhold. Towards Camelot’s end, the young mystic Modred came to the Darkhold Tower seeking to use the book for noble purposes. The Other, Chthon’s earthly aspect, demands a soul sacrifice from him in exchange for the power that he sought. Modred resists, but when the Other menaces Modred’s betrothed, Janice, Modred sacrifices his own soul to save her. St. Brendan then placed Modred into a deathlike sleep and scattered the Darkhold’s pages throughout the world. Morgan, meanwhile, projects her spirit into the future in hopes of regaining the Darkhold to free herself from the binding spell that Merlin had placed on her.
Churchmen eventually obtain the Darkhold scrolls and send them to the Vatican for safekeeping. Young monk Paolo Montesi, curator of St. Gabriel’s Library (containing dangerous occult objects), studies the scrolls, learning of the Malachy Prophecy—predicting the Papal succession until the end of time—and other dark secrets. Though tempted and tainted by the reading, Montesi’s extreme faith keeps him from using the book. Pope Eugene III tasks Montesi’s bloodline with watching over the scrolls, granting special dispensation to marry to continue the line; the Darkhold’s magic thus extended the Montesis’ life spans.
The pope instructs Paolo to bind the scrolls into what they call the Book of Sins. Fearing the Church would learn of the book’s vampire eradication spell, in 1190, Varnae leads a vampire host in attacking Rome. Montesi leads a successful counterattack, but Varnae ultimately slays him via deceit; as this occurred, Montesi’s wife dies giving birth to his son, Giacomo, who succeeds Paolo as the Darkhold’s watchman.
Over the years, the family protects humanity from those who would seek to use the Darkhold. In modern times, the priest Vittorio Montesi inherits the family mission. Though sterile, Vittorio makes a deal with the demonic being Chthon and casts a spell from the Darkhold. As such, Vittorio has a daughter named Victoria, whose true parentage is Chthon.
Settling in Rome, Italy, Victoria falls prey to disturbing visions every time someone uses a page from the Darkhold. A group of Darkholder cultists tries to kill her, planting a bomb that left Victoria’s lover, Nash Salvato, in a coma. The Vatican convinces Interpol to assign Sam Buchanan to protect Victoria, and the two of them were soon allied with Professor Louise Hastings against cultist Donald Walsh and his Chameleon Worms. After being aided by Danny Ketch, AKA Ghost Rider, and former Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze, the trio elected to remain together in hopes of opposing the Darkholders.
Defenders of the Darkhold
Repeated use of the Darkhold spell book weakens the dimensional barrier between Earth and Chthon’s K’lay, AKA Other-Realm. Chthon sends the mysterious Dwarf to Earth to obtain the original Darkhold pages separate from the bound tome. Dwarf offers people pages as a solution to their woes. To oppose this, occult scholar Louise Hastings joins with Interpol agent Sam Buchanan and psychic Victoria Montesi, daughter of Vittorio, successor as head of St. Gabriel’s Library. As the Darkhold Redeemers, they track the pages’ use, which Victoria can magically sense, and collected the pages to prevent further usage.
After observing the Darkhold Redeemers, the reformed Modred the Mystic feels inspired to join them in their quest to fight the Darkhold’s power. He declares himself their “leader” and helps them fight the N’Garai demons and provides them with the feral villain Sabretooth to assist them. Though the Redeemers distrust Modred’s untrustworthy behavior and thought him selfish. The Redeemers are later joined by Hastings’ grandson William Hastings, AKA Jinx, and Modred becomes his teacher in the magical arts.
Any who read the spells from the Darkhold endanger their very souls and risk becoming Chthon’s pawns for eternity. Chthon both supplies the power for the Darkhold’s spells and gains power from those under his sway, which also weakens the dimensional barriers preventing his return to Earth. He sends his minion Dwarf to offer pages form the Darkhold so that they can be used to weaken said barriers.
High-ranking Interpol agent Randolph DeGuzman, secretly leader of a group of Darkholders, dupes Interpol into thinking these Darkhold pages are letter bombs and has the organization collect the letters, hoping to find a specific page, the Demogorge page. The Redeemers thwart and expose him just before his demonic step-daughter, Diabolique, slays him.
The Redeemers often contend with those who come into contact with Dwarf and use the pages. They also face Darkhold cultists, those obsessed with using the magical Darkhold for nefarious uses. The team goes up against the Mother of Demons, Lilith, and her spawn known as Lilin as well.
To oppose the forces intent on using the Darkhold, the Darkhold Redeemers ally with Ghost Riders, Danny Ketch and Johnny Blaze to stop Lilith. The group battles Lilith and her Lilin, travels to South Carolina to ally with Sabretooth against the N’Garai with Modred’s assistance, and fights Rev. Styge alongside the Frank Castle, AKA Punisher. They also join Dr. Stephen Strange, AKA Doctor Strange, Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch, and Agatha Harkness against the Pearl Harbor bombing “Memory Spell” of Mr. Haywood.
During their battles and adventures, Buchanan refuses to believe in the supernatural events surrounding him and grows to suspect that Victoria is somehow directing them. He eventually comes around and does everything he can to protect her and their teammates.
The Darkhold Spells Trouble
The Redeemers go up against all manner of Darkhold page users. Morton Thurnton summoned the Hellhound, which ultimately devoured him to recover a Darkhold page he had eaten to hide it; Aurora Poule attained beauty but was then raped; Aurora subsequently used a revenge spell that led Chthon’s N’Garai demon spawn to slaughter her hometown of Perfection; Reverend Styge obtained resurrection powers before being slain by the Punisher; the aged and paralyzed Clarice Van Ripper summoned a demon to commit the murders she could no longer do herself; imprisoned serial killer Norman Zachos sought to escape his paranoid visions only to be tormented by real demons; and Reginald Hayward’s memory spell which unwittingly caused demons to mirror the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack.
While on a flight to Los Angeles, the trio ran into Louise’s daughter, Caprice, who worked as an airline attendant. Victoria experienced a strong vision indicating someone had used a Darkhold page on the plane—a fellow flyer Sarrah Roberts’ used a wish spell which summoned the Wish-Demon who fulfilled wishes in the most violent way possible. During the chaos, Caprice died but not before entrusting her mother Louise to look after her son, William. Louise then used the wish spell page to summon the Other, but only to tell it she refused to fall for the trick of using it to revive her Caprice.
After the group gained new allies in the forms of Modred the Mystic and Louise’s grandson Jinx, Buchanan learned that his superior, Randolph DeGuzman, was a Darkholder who masterminded a kidnapping of Victoria. Buchanan rescued her, as the child-demon Diabolique slaughtered DeGuzman and his followers.
Since Victoria had used a Darkhold page despite the Montesi family’s supposed incorruptibility, Hastings investigated Victoria’s past. She learned that Vittorio Montesi was sterile and had used a Darkhold spell to conceive Victoria, who was actually Chthon’s child. When Switchblade claimed the original Darkhold, it activated a protective spell of displacement, which tried to pull the book into a vortex where Strange could later find it; aided by Danny Ketch, AKA Ghost Rider, Hastings prevented its departure.
The Redeemers then battled Switchblade, who was, in fact, a Darkhold-empowered/corrupted Eric Brooks, AKA Blade the Vampire Hunter. In the battle, all of the Redeemers perished save Louise, but she used the Darkhold to revive them, tainting her soul. Victoria was next to give in to temptation, to revive a stabbed Jinx, and after failing in an attempt to use the Darkhold to revive Nash. Jinx began training with Modred to be his magical apprentice as Louise learned of Victoria’s true origins but kept it from her. At this same time, the Dwarf offered a Darkhold page that would make Victoria love him, but he refused to use it. Around this time the Darklove page was used in Manhattan, briefly unleashing Darklove .
When Louise discovered that Morbius changed from an infection of Lilin blood, he attacked and killed her. Before she died, she uttered “mo” but her ally and occult investigator Frank Drake who found her dying, heard her and assumed Modred. He attacked the sorcerer out of anger. Seeking vengeance, Jinx also attacked Modred. When the two 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.
The group reeled from their losses, but the worst was yet to come. Victoria then became magically impregnated with the essence of the demonic Chthon. As the Redeemers group dissolved, Doctor Strange placed Victoria in magical stasis, who later aided her in terminating the pregnancy and escaping her fate.
As Victoria’s father Vittorio became Jinx’s tutor at the Vatican, and Modred departed to pursue different goals, the Redeemers disbanded, and the Darkhold (and possibly the Redeemers’ gathered scrolls) allegedly vanished. Most of the Redeemers are still alive, though they are not known to have any contact with each other at present.