Is THAT What Really Happened?
By Michael. (Or is it?)
Shadow history. Conspiracy theories. The truth. Ideas like these tend to make some of the most intriguing fiction. We’ve all seen them, and most of us have one or two piece of fiction in this category that we absolutely love. And you may not even know it yet. But you will. Because I am here to enlighten you.
Now, the impetus of this idea came from my recent re-reading of Simon R. Green’s appropriately titled “Secret History” series, staring Shaman Bond, aka Edwin Drood. (Titles of the books are, in chronological order, The Man with the Golden Torc, Daemons are Forever, The Spy Who Haunted Me, From Hell With Love, For Heaven’s Eyes Only, and [not yet published] Live and Let Drood.) The books postulate that, from druidic times, one family in England, the Droods (see, they were druids … heh) have been the secret masters and puppeteers of the world. Gifted with torcs that expand into invulnerable armor, they are the rulers and protectors of humanity … that no one has ever heard of. Throughout the series, not only do you get awesome supernaturally-tinged spy amazingness, but you also learn the actual whys and hows of some of history’s greatest mysteries. In fact, The Spy Who Haunted Me is centrally themed around discovering the secrets behind five big world mysteries. For example, you learn what Nessie (The Loch Ness Monster) really is, what really happened that caused the Tunguska Event in 1908, who Bigfoot really is, the true history of the Philadelphia Experiment, and the actual goings on at Roswell. Just in that book. Read the books. Trust me.
Every form of media has some sort of example of this type of fiction. Here are some fine examples. Be prepared.
On December 13th, 1795, a meteorite fell to earth in the hamlet of Wold Newton, Yorkshire, England. There’s a monument there and everything. Scientists used it as proof that extraterrestrial matter was composed of the same stuff as terrestrial matter. End of story, right? WRONG! What you didn’t know was that there was a coach passing by Wold Newton at that time, and the radioactive materials emanating from the meteorite genetically mutated the occupants. This mutation caused their descendants to be exceptionally gifted and intelligent. They were driven to be pinnacles of good (or evil). And we know most of them rather well. Descendants of those radioactive travelers include:
- Sherlock Holmes (and Professor Moriarty)
- Doc Savage
- Solomon Kane
- The Shadow
- Allan Quatermain
- Fu Manchu
- Sam Spade
- James Bond
- Philip Marlowe
- Captain Blood
- and the Time Traveler (from H.G. Well’s The Time Traveler)
Yeah. Awesome, right? All these characters in the same universe? Welcome to the Wold Newton Universe. Starting with Philip Jose Farmer’s two biographical works Tarzan Alive! and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, the WNU has become fertile breeding grounds for awesome crossover fiction. If you’d like to know more, visit here: http://www.pjfarmer.com/woldnewton/Pulp2.htm
In the 17th Century, Queen Gloriana (an analog to Queen Elizabeth I) wanted a group of extraordinary individuals brought together to protect England, outside of government regulations. This League consisted of Prospero, Caliban, Ariel (all from The Tempest), Christian (from The Pilgrim’s Progress), Captain Robert Owe-Much (from The Floating Island), Don Quixote, Amber St. Clair(from Forever Amber), and Orlando (an immortal from many works of that era). Then Lemuel Gulliver formed a League in the 18th Century, followed by the League of Extraordinary Gentleman we know and love. Very much like the WNU, the League took characters from multitudes of literary works of the time and smashed them all together. Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil have chronicled the history and world of these Leagues in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vols. I & II, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century. Read the comics. Ignore the movie. Please, ignore the movie. Trust me.
Centuries ago, Those Who Came Before conceived children with the human race, begetting the first of what would later be known as the Assassins. During Roman times, these proto-Assassins fought with the SPQR, the Roman ruling body, and precursors to the Knights Templar. Throughout the centuries, the Assassins and Templars have fought over “Pieces of Eden,” artifacts created by Those Who Came Before, as part of a battle for the free will of humanity. Betcha didn’t know that, huh? The Assassin’s Creed series will enlighten you not only to these truths, but also allow you to help assassin Desmond Miles in his quest to stop Abstergo Industries, the Templar’s modern face. There are three main games, so far, in the series: Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed II, and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood; upcoming is Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. There are a multitude of other games, stories, movies and comics that flesh out the universe, including an upcoming encyclopedia. Are you ready for the true wars for mankind?
There are wizards and witches all around us. They have schools in England, France, Eastern Europe … Okay, c’mon. It’s Harry Potter. Weren’t expecting that, were you? Do I really need to tell anyone about this?
There are secrets all around us. And, thankfully, there are brave chroniclers out there willing to tell us what’s really going on out there. Over the course of the next few months, I will be examining some of these shadow histories in detail. So be prepared. You may not be ready for what you will learn … but the truth will set you free.