A Path Into Darkness (5th Column)
- Story Arc
- The 5th Column was overthrown by the Council in Issue 3: A Council of War. All 5th Column story arcs were replaced with slightly modified ones featuring the Council.
- Issue 3
- Colleen Nelson (Brickstown)
- The Book 'The Rites of the Dark'
- 35 - 40
Capture 5th Column soldiers before they flee the country
The 5th Column is planning on getting a number of it's men out of the country. Each one is on the most wanted list for numerous crimes, it would be a tragedy if they escaped justice. luckily, I had an informant tip us off to where they're being gathered right now before they go on their trip. Would you be interested in rounding up these men before they can flee the country?
I think there might be more at work here than getting these men out of the city. I have a feeling that this could be the start of something larger.
The objective for this mission is simple. Defeat all of the 5th Column in that base. Make sure none of them get away.
@ Kings Row (5th Column)
This base's entrance was well hidden. If it wasn't for the tip, you'd never have found this place.
Mission Complete: You have defeated the 5th Column fugitives. During the battle, you found a clue.
You caught them all, Red Tomax, good work. it's a little strange that they all had these books on them. it looks more like an initiation guide than a book of information for fugitives. I'm going to look into this. Talk to me soon, I may have some more information on this 'Path of the Dark'.
Raid Oranbega for information on the Path of the Dark
I did a bit of research on this 'Path of the Dark' mentioned in the books you found on those fleeing 5th Column soldiers. One of my contacts with an occult background mentioned that he'd heard the name before, when he was doing some research for the old Midnight squad. Unfortunately, most of these documents were lost when the Circle of Thorns raided occult libraries in the wake of the War. He did have a rough idea where the Circle might have kept their stolen tomes. I think that learning about this 'Path of teh Dark could be very important in the long term. If you're up to it, getting those stolen documents back could be the first step in finding out about the Path of the Dark.
The Circle won't be happy with your intrusion, so you should expect some resistance. You might want to take an ally along with you, if you aren't already.
All you're looking for in there is a book that mentions the Path of the Dark. The Circle will try to stop you, but fighting them isn't your main priority. Once you have the book, you're done.
The dark halls of Oranbega press in as you begin your search for the knowledge stolen by the Circle of Thorns.
Objective: None of the arcane tomes here mention The Path of The Dark.
Objective: You found a book that mentions The Path of The Dark.
The account laid down here belonged to an un-named Roman imperial guardsman who had been assigned to guard the last Emperor of the Roman Empire, Romulus Agustulus. Much of the account involves minutiae of politics and daily life, but a particular section near the end stands out, detailing the deposed Emperor's attempt to contact a supernatural power:
'Dorjan did as the Emperor bid him, and led us down to the dark to meet these friends in darkness his family was supposed to have. We followed Dorjan deep underground through dark caverns until we found worked stone and great halls. Then there was movements in the shadows, and we all felt surrounded by spirits. A man came forth and welcomed Dorjan as a brother. he welcomed the Emperor to the halls of the Path of the Dark, and bid us enter. Then I saw that this man was not a man, nor were any of those who watched from the shadowed halls. I looked to Dorjan for guidance, as we had fought together and stood side by side. But now I saw that Dorjan was shifting form into a shape that was not his own.'
'I saw things moving towards us. The Emperor exhorted them. Fear overcame me.'
'Through the darkness, I ran.'
Mission Complete: You have recovered a book with a reference to The Path of The Dark
This is strange, Red Tomax. This account you found makes it seem like the Path of the Dark is an ancient order dating back to Rome. Why would they be hooked up with the 5th Column? This can't be good. I'm going to keep lookign into it. I'll let you know as soon as I have something.
Meet with Bentley Berkeley
I've been researching this 'Path of the Dark' for you, and I think I may have a break through. I was contacted by a man called Bentley Berkeley, who claims to have fought the Path before, back in the 1920s and 30s. mr. Berkeley claims to be immortal, too, so I didn't know what to make of him. I checked around, and a lot of people who know about that kind of thing couched for him. he asked to meet with you, and said he might have some leads. Would you like me to contact him and arrange the meeting? This is getting into some dangerous territory, though. It might be a good idea to bring some allies with you, just in case.
Okay, you'll be meeting with Bentley in an old office building he owns part of. I'll give you the location. If he's tangled with The Path of The Dark in the past he might have some information about what we're up against, or how they're connected to the 5th Column. According to the people I've talked to, Bentley's story about being immortal seems to check out. It shouldn't be too much of a surprise, I guess. Statesman himself is probably nearly a 100 by now.
This old building once held a prestigious banking firm, but now has been laid low by neglect
Objective: You take the note.
Mission Complete: Bentley Berkeley has been kidnapped.
The 5th Column must have been watching us and grabbed Berkeley to keep him from telling you what he knows about the Path of the Dark. It looks like he was anticipating that, though. I got a message while you were out from someone who said they were a friend of Berkeley's with what looks like co-ordinates. I'll take a look at them and see what they mean.
Rescue Bentley Berkeley
I checked those coordinates we got after Bentley Berkeley was kidnapped by the 5th Column. They may be the location of a 5th COlumn base, probably the one where they're keeping Berkeley. So, are you ready to go rescue an immortal?
This one will probably be tough. They may not be expecting you, but they'll likely have a heavy guard on him, just in case. I'd recommend that you prepare yourself and take some friends with you.
There's sure to be a lot of 5th Column in there, but your goal is to free Bentley Berkeley. I'd hate to think of what the 5th Column could to to him if they took their time.
You found a secret entrance in the basement of this old office building.
Mission Complete: You rescued Bentley Berkeley, who directed you to see Peter Stemitz.
After rescuing him, bentley Berkeley told you:
'Hi there. Bentley Berkeley here, pelased to meet you. You did a big thing stopping those 5th Column fellas from leaving. They were going to join something called 'The Path of the Dark', a nasty secret society I first encountered back in the 1920's. I got hooked up with a bunch of guys and dolls who were fighin' the worst the supernatural could offer, and Tha Path of the Dark was on that list.'
'I only tangled with the Path a few times, but others in the group fought them extensively, or fought to keep their power out of fascist hands. Back then all the fascists in Europe were crazy for any supernatural power, and the Italians under Mussolini weren't any different. There was this functionary in Mussolini's government named Ridolfo Uzzano who was determined to contact them, Jennie Bassie and her team often clashed with his boys when they were trying to stop the Path and he was looking for them.'
'I mat not have known a lot about the Path, but Jennie Bassie's grandson live in the city, I know that Jennie kept a journal, and that might give you some insight.'
'I don't know where the kid is these days, I got a bad habit of losing track of people. you'd think I'd learn wouldn't you? talk to Peter Stemitz, he tends to keep an eye on things. And tell Pete hello from me. He wasn't Pete the last time I knew him, but Pete should remember me.'
Red Tomax, good to see you. Yeah, I got word to expect you from good old Bentley. Man, Bentley and I used to hang out way, way back. We took on the Path, Baron Zoria and his Circle of Thorns, all kinds of wierd stuff. Man, that was an intense time for me. Well, I wasn't me then, but, like, the part of me that kinda goes from one me to the next through the years, that's how I know him.
Yeah, it's wierd. I just deal with it.
Anyway, I know where Bassie's grandson is. I already told him to expect you, so he should have his grandmother's journal for you. Let me warn you, though, that this road you're on is a dangerous one. The masters of the Path of the Dark are already aware of your interference, and are planning against you at every turn/ you're on the verge of some big-time secrets, but the answers ain't gonna give you much comfort. This is so gonna get worse before it gets better, dude. Sorry man, but I figure you'll get through.
you might want to hurry to talk to Sam Bassie and get his grandmother's journal, though.
You found Sam Bassie's office in the building's index easily enough. You also found 5th Column troops waiting for you.
Objective: You found a piece of Jeny Bassie's old journal
This section of Jennie Bassie's journal chronicles the adventures of Jennie and her husband Henry back inthe 1920s. You read:
'April 21st, 1926'
'It was Ridolfo Uzzano who got it rolling again, they say he was about to become a priest before he became a fascist, you know. This time he'd gotten something out of the Vatican records after he'd had Mussolini force them open for him. We caught up with some of his thugs as they were beating information out of farmers in the countryside, but by the time we caught on we were too late. Uzzano's goons were already preparing an expedition into some hidden caves to find those beastly Dark Path types. From what we could gather, he thought that he could talk to their leader, an immortal mad king called 'Emperor Agustulus'. Henry got all portentous about the name, but I've never had ahead for history and fell asleep as he was explaining on the train.'
Objective: You found a piece of Jeny Bassie's old journal
This section of Jennie Bassie's journal chronicles the adventures of Jennie and her husband Henry back in the 1920s. You read:
'April 22nd, 1926'
'We followed Uzzano and his fascist thugs underground. We caught up with them far below. The fight was terrible in the darkness. Gunshots rang out, and the lights of our electric torches whirled every which way. I lost track of who was where for a moment and looked around, trying to find Henry, or Big Six, or anyone. As my beam played about, I saw that we'd entered a cavern of worked stone, with high carved columns and arches. I swear I saw men moving, or things like men, dressed like roman soldiers. There were other things that moved, too, but they avoided my little light. Then Big Six's hand was on my shoulder, and I was back with him and dear Henry and Spencer and Miss Akihara. The fight was over, and though we'd won, they couldn't find Uzzano. Our lights began to give out all at once, and we shone them around to locate Uzzano. Then we saw that the bodies were being dragged back into the darkness by something. And Uzzano. Uzzano had got past us. We saw him then, for the last time I think, as the darkness writhed aroudn him. It moved around him like an ocean wave dragging a man out to sea, and he was screaming, screaming.'
'But I cannot say if he was screaming in terror, or in ecstasy.'
Mission Complete: You rescued Sam Bassie from the 5th Column and retrieved the journal.
This section of Jennie Bassie's journal chronicles the adventures of Jennie and her husband Henry back in the 1920s. You read:
'May 6th, 1926'
'Still can't write about it. Sweet, sweet henry tellsme I should sleep, but every time I close my eyes, I still see Uzzano, screaming at the end. now we're on the run from the latest terror the fascists have unleashed, a walking shadow in uniform they call Requiem. He hunts us everywhere.'
'June 24th, 1926'
'We only just escaped Italy, but not without loss. Requiem, that fascist monster, tried to stop the train. Big Six went out to fight him. I could only hear the battle as Miss Akihora used her 'Nin-jya' arts to help us escape, but it was terribly violent, and terribly short. Big Six is dead. he was strong as a locomotive, indomitable in the face of evil, and had a heart as big as the world. And that fiend slew him in minutes. That beast Requiem gloated as he died. I tried to concentrate and fight back the tears, but as I listened I had a sudden, horrible shock! Henry says it couldn't be, but I recognised that voice, that tone, when Requiem spoke. He looks different now, and I hope that whatever happened to him hurt horribly, but that voice, it was Uzzano! I don't know how he survived the Path of the Dark, but the monster called Requiem is Ridolfo Uzzano! I swear it!'
This information in this journal is a lot to absorb. If Jennie Bassie was right, and Requiem was a fascist functionary from the 20's named Ridolfo Uzzano, then it could be that he got his powers from this 'Path of the Dark'. The world hasn't been flooded with people like Requiem though, so I wonder what this all means to the 5th Column? I think we may need to move back a step and take a closer look at those 5th Column soldiers who were going overseas, and where they were going to. I should have something for you soon.
Invetsigate 5th Column's travel agent front company
I did a bit of digging, and I found that all of those 5th Column agents who were being sent overseas to join the Path of the Dark. They all booked their flights through the same agency. From the low numbers of bookings and theway that they're clustered, I think that this agency might be a front company for the 5th Column. If you could investigate the place and locate their records, it could give us a clue to how they were channeling those men out of the country, and maybe even why they'd send them to the Path of the Dark.
Look for any records of where those men were going to or coming from. That could tell us a lot.
This place is remarkably devoid of workers for a firm of any kind. You keep on alert, the 5th Column may be nearby.
Objective: You found something.
These listings show the movements of a number of 5th Column soldiers from paragon City to Italy. All the orders for tickets are made from the same office, probably a 5th Column base, but the location is encrypted. As you copy the files, you also notice that of the many soldiers sent out, not all of them return.
Mission Complete: You found some travel reports that gave you a lead. You'll need to have them decrypted, though. You instantly thought of Marisel Valenzuela, the freelance investigator.
This will be easy, Red Tomax, I will be pleased to decrypt this file for you. Any blow struck against the 5th Column is good. I'll mark the location of the base for you. If you can find out what became of these men, it could be very important.
Be careful, however, they may have strong defenses ready for you.
Beneath the warehouse you find a hidden 5th Column complex.
Objective: You found a clue on the computer.
Objective: You found a clue in the files.
These handwritten instructions detail the careful security around an upcoming shipment arriving in Paragon City. It reads, in part:
'It is by my order that security be increased before the Shadow Seed arrives. It is of such utmost import that no precaution is sufficient. Once the seed has been implanted in the caverns beneath the city, it shall establish a branch of the Path of the Dark here in America. We shall no longer need to send initiates overseas, and can flood the streets of Paragon City with bonded War Wolves. I cannot overstate the import of the Seed's safe arrival and emplacement underground. Do not fail in this.''
' - Requiem'
Mission Complete: You have found some important information about the 5th Column and the Path of the Dark.
So, the initiates into the Path of the Dark return as War Wolves. That explains where the 5th Column has been getting those creatures from. The 5th Column didn't have them back in the 40's, so maybe this is a new development in the relationship between the Path of the Dark and the 5th Column. If they can bring that 'Shadow Seed' to the city, they'll be able to send out hordes of War Wolves into the city. I'll start looking for more information on the seed. I'll have a new mission for you soon. There may still be time to stop them.
Take the Shadow Seed from the 5th Column
There may still be a chance to stop the 5th Column from smuggling a Shadow Seed into the city to start a new branch of the Path of the Dark and flood the city with their War Wolves. This is going to be a very tough battle, but if you're ready, I have the location of where the Seed it right now.
This will be extremely difficult, Red Tomax. I'd really recommend gathering as many allies as you can before you enter this one.
Your goal is to find the Shadow Seed. I don't know what it is or what it will look like, but if the 5th Column can use it we may find the city over-run with their strongest monsters. It may still be in a crate, or the leader of the operation might have it. He should be a Vampyr named 'Blutzahne'
The darker corners of this old warehouse seem stronger somehow, and the edges of the shadows writhe at the corner of your vision. The Shadow Seed must be close.
Objective: This crate is empty
Objective: This crate is now empty, but the seed was here!
Mission Complete: It looks like the 5th Column was one step ahead of you. The Shadow Seed is gone.
After his defeat, Commandant Blutzahne told you:
'You are too late, fool! We knew you were onto us, and this is but a distraction! The seed is even now being emplaced deep beneath the fround. Soon it shall grow and the 5th Column shall conquer! The 5th Column and the Path of the Dark!'
We missed it? How could that be? f they can plant that thing, then there could be no stopping the 5ht Column and the Path of the Dark. it's not over yet, Red Tomax. I don't know how, but I'll find some way to locate the Shadow Seed before the Path of the Dark can take root under Paragon City.
Take the Shadow Seed from the 5th Column
You aren't going to believe this, but I know where we can find the Shadow Seed and stop the 5th Column's plan to plant it beneath the city! Do you remember Bentley Berekely? The immortal guy who fought the Path of the Dark back in the 20's? Well, after you rescued him he kept following the case. he's there, now, deep underground where the 5th Column have the Seed. I can give you his last location the moment you're ready.
The 5th Column will likely throw everythign they can against you to protect that thing. You'll need all the allies, supplies, and luck you can get. Tell me when you're ready.
The Shadow Seed is your top priority, but in order to get it away safely you'll also need to defeat the leader of the force down there, a Vampyr Commandant called 'Todesangst'. To top it off, I think that Bentley Berkeley might be in trouble. He's done too much for the city to just leave him there to the 5th Column's mercies. If this all works out, it could be one of the biggest defeats the 5th Column has suffered in years.
Cavern @ Perez Park
The power of the darkness down here is almost overwhelming.
Objective: Though you have destroyed the chest, the Shadow Seed in unharmed.
Mission Complete: With the Seed in hand, Bentley Berkeley freed, and Todesangst defeated, you return to the surface.
The 5th Column have suffered a major defeat, Red Tomax, and it was all thanks to you. I'll make sure the Shadow Seed gets to the MAGI vaults.
It's really amazing to think about all that we've learned so far. About Requiem's origins as Ridolfo Uzzano and the Path of the Dark, the source of the War Wolves and Requiem's power. There are still so many questions, too. Like just how much influence The Path of the Dark has on the 5th Column, or what the Path actually is. Maybe the Shadow Seed can give us some answers.
But that's another worry for another day. Right now, the entire city owes you a debt of thanks it may never be able to repay. You're a true hero, Red Tomax.
Souvenir: The Book 'The Rites of the Dark'
You kept a copy of this thin book on the strange secret society you fought as a memento of the adventure you call
A Path Into Darkness
It all began when you stopped a group of 5th Column soldiers who were about to be sent overseas. After capturing them. you found that each of them carried a book of strange initiation rites for something called 'The Path of the Dark'.
You began to look for more information on 'The Path of The Dark.' Deep in the Circle of Thorns' city of Oranbega you found the firsthand account of a Roman soldier. who encountered the Path while guarding the last Roman Emperor. Romulus Agustulus.
With this chilling account heavy in your mind. you were contacted by Bentley Berkeley. an immortal who had fought The Path of The Dark back in the 1920s. When you went to meet him. you found that the 5th Column had already captured him. But all wasn't lost yet.
You received a tip to Bentley Berkeley's location. and were able to free him from the 5th Column. He told you something about his own battles against the Path of the Dark in the 1920's and directed you to find a man named Sam Bassie. the descendant of Henry and Jennie Bassie. people he used to battle the supernatural with. You contacted Paul Stemitz. who had also worked with the Bassies in an earlier incarnation. You went to get Sam Bassie's grandmother's Journal. but had to defeat the 5th Column in order to protect him and get the book. The Journal detailed the battle against the Path from almost a century ago. including the final fate of Ridolfo Uzzano. a power-hungry Italian fascist. Most chilling of all was Jennie Bassie's certainty that Requiem was none other than Uzzano. given power by the Path of the Dark.
With a better idea about the Path's history. you continued investigating it's connection to the 5th Column. By following the travel records and personnel files. you were able to discover that many of the initiates sent overseas by Requiem to join the Path of the Dark returned as War Wolves. You also discovered that Requiem was planning on setting up a branch of the Path of the Dark beneath Paragon City using something called a Shadow Seed.
You struck the 5th Column to intercept the Shadow Seed. but found out that it had been a trick! They knew you were looking for the Seed and had already made off with it deep beneath the city.
Just when all seemed darkest. you received a message from Bentley Berkeley. He'd followed up on the whole operation. and had tracked the 5th Column and the Shadow Seed deep underground. You attacked the 5th Column at Bentley's location. and found that the Circle of Thorns had also moved to stop the 5th Column from planting the Shadow Seed and starting a branch of the Path of the Dark so close to their own sunken city. The caverns beneath Paragon city became the battle-field for a three-way war. but you emerged victorious.
The 5th Column has suffered a major defeat. and the Shadow Seed is now in MAGI's hands. where their studies will help to determine the nature of it's malign power. You are left with a number of questions about the Path of the Dark. Requiem. and the 5th Column; but for now you know that the City is safe again thanks to your actions.