... and old Ludvig Prinn's hellish
De Vermiis Mysteriis.
-- H.P. Lovecraft
- The Haunter of the Dark


De Vermiis Mysteriis
(The Mysteries of the Worm)

Ludvig Prinn was reputedly the 'only' survivor of the ill-fated ninth crusade (1271-1272). Despite being led by Prince Edward of England (later Edward 1st), the ninth crusade never reached the Holy Land. After landing at Acre, initial losses persuaded the crusaders to sign a treaty with the Moslems and return to Europe. When Vatican scholars attempted to verify Prinn's claims, centuries later, they discovered mention of a Ludvig Prinn as a gentleman retainer of Montserrat. They naturally dismissed this as either coincidence, or perhaps some kind of fraud on the part of Prinn. There is some evidence to suggest that Prinn was a member of, or at least associated with, the Tectonic Order- a Prussian offshoot of the Knights Templar. Before the crusade, he did spend considerable time in the Ordenstaat- the independent principality the Teutonic Knights controlled that encompassed most of North-East Europe. When the Inquisition finally came for him in 1542, it was his association with this group that they originally cited- the witchcraft and devilry only made things easier.

The truth of the matter was, Prinn was indeed the original crusader knight. Taken prisoner by the Saracen forces, Prinn was originally kept as a slave- during which time he travelled across most of the Middle East in the service of various nomadic tribes. At some point, Prinn 'went native'- abandoning the Christian God and adopting those of his captors (who could only be described as 'indifferent' Moslems- worshipping the likes of Umr At' Tawil, Yig and Nyarlathotep). It was around this time that he stopped being a slave- and was accepted as an equal. Prinn's long descent into darkness had begun.

Over the next two hundred years Prinn was sighted in numerous locations throughout the Middle East. It is known he spent considerable time in Egypt and the Holy Land. He was associated with a number of different groups and organisations, including the legendary Nizari Isma'ili; who, although broken as a 'recognised' power in the region, continued to operate as a secret society. Prinn was often seen accompanied by a group of fanatical Isma'ili assassins, who appeared to be at Prinn's beck and call. Prinn also acted as a go between for that cult and the Knights Templar (until that order was dissolved in 1312).

The book goes into great detail on many of the occurrences that Prinn witnessed during this time, as he dissects these incidents and dwells at length on the facts he has discovered in the course of his travels- a journey that lasted some two centuries. Amongst other things, he extensively examines the Egyptian pantheon- as well as less well-known Arabic deities- and goes into particular detail on the many forms of Nyarlathotep and its relationship with Nephren-Ka, the Black Pharaoh of Egypt.

Finally returning to the Flemish lowlands of his youth around the turn of the fourteenth century, Prinn took up residence in a pre-Roman tomb some considerable distance from the nearest human habitations. It seems he craved isolation from all human contact, seeking to continue his studies away from prying eyes. Nevertheless, rumours of his evil experiments filtered down to the surrounding villages- whose inhabitants kept their distance from the tomb and surrounding forest. Prinn gained a reputation as a skilled 'necromancer' although it is unknown what incidents occurred that might have warranted such a title. He also entertained occasional visitors- including representatives of the Teutonic knights. It seems that Prinn acted as an advisor to various cults and secret societies throughout 'civilised' Europe on matters unknown. It also seems that it is this association that finally brought him to the attention of The Inquisition (the Teutonic Knights severed their links to the Church in 1522- siding with the heretic Luther).

They were unable to break Prinn through torture (one inquisitor commenting that Prinn was obviously insane, given his ability to withstand pain), and so threw him into a dungeon, where he would await trial. It was during this period that Prinn wrote De Vermiis Mysteriis; smuggling out the original manuscript just days before his death by fire at the stake.

No one knows why Prinn spent his last few days of his life frantically scribbling out his infernal masterpiece; or why he went to so much trouble to see that it survived him.

You could say he put his soul into it.

Recent History

Van Dultz's copy of De Vermiis Mysteriis is the original, hand written manuscript of Ludvig Prinn. It is for this reason that the Fate are pursuing it- even though they have a copy of one of the fifteen original editions from the Cologne printing. Prinn invested the manuscript with more than just his knowledge, and this will prove to be a powerful addition to the compendium.

Van Dultz, for his part, recovered the manuscript in a thrilling adventure set in Constantinople, circa 1932; which saw him obtain the book from under the noses of both the Order of St Jerome and the Black Brotherhood. Over the next few years of study, Van Dultz became aware its terrible power, and came to realise that even a great man like Adolf Hitler could never be allowed to possess it. The book was just too dangerous. This was the beginning of Van Dultz's disenchantment with the Nazi movement- which out of nationalistic pride he had previously supported. No human was righteous enough not to be corrupted by Prinn's filth- the Nazi's Aryan pretensions were just meaningless gloss in the face of evil like this. In the final years of his life Van Dultz went to great lengths to sabotage the Karotechia's occult investigations. When the Gestapo finally came for him, he made sure De Vermiis Mysteriis would be forever beyond their reach; instructing his friend Hassler to secret his entire library forever.

Technical Details

Tome: De Vermiis Mysteriis by Ludwig Prinn (Latin Original)
Sanity Loss: -1D6/2D6
Mythos: +12% ( skill checks in Occult, Astronomy, Maths, History)
Spell Multiplier: x2
Language: Latin
Study Time: 52 weeks
Publishing History: Cologne, 1543 (around 15 copies)
Spells: Contact Byatis, Contact Yig, create liao drug, Create Scrying Window, create Zombie, Invoke Demon (Summon/Bind Byakhee), Invoke Child of the Goat (Summon/Bind Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath),, Summon/Bind star vampire, prinn's Crux Ansata, Spirit transfer, Summon Ghost, Voorish sign, banishment of Yde Etad, Bind soul, Call/Dismiss Umr At' Tawil, Contact formless Spawn, Create Self-Ward, Eye of Light and Darkness.
Condition:  
Sources: Robert Bloch- The Shambler from the Stars;
Dennis Detweiller - DGEO2: The Fate.
Note: The Teutonic Knight, Templar and Isma'ili parts of Prinn's history are entirely speculation on my part.


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