The call of ships charged with frequently ill, sometimes dying slaves, profoundly marks Adam Crowley. He becomes aware of World suffering and decides to devote his life to soothing it. It is thanks to the money in the family that young Adam has the opportunity to study medicine. This turns out to be a revelation for him.
He throws himself headlong into Science and falls in love. His strength of character along with his innate talents catch the attention of a professor, Anthony MacLeister, who takes him under his wing. This encounter changes young Crowley's fate forever. MacLeister shows him the means of investigating the art of surgery, that is to say research on corpses and experiments with no limits. The dissection of stillborn fetus', the removal and re-implantation of organs and trepanning on the living were part of everyday life for the two men for two long years. The Academy of Medicine presents him with his surgeon's diploma on his twentieth birthday.
During the party organized in honor of his diploma, Crowley proves to be extremely worrying for his parents. Ignoring all the rules of etiquette, he is provocative and drinks too heavily. His father suddenly starts convulsing. MacLeister promptly carries the shaking body off to his laboratory. MacLeister does his best to save Crowley's father but his attempts are in vain. When Adam Crowley sees his father die in the arms of his mentor, a strange transformation comes over him. Like an illumination, Crowley convinces himself that suffering cannot be abolished without attacking Death. He would be the vector of this destruction of Death, a being of another kind, perfect.
His mentor, MacLeister, remains imperious to Crowley's vision. He reacts violently and looks at his young colleague as if he had lost his mind. Crowley decides to get rid of his old teacher, poor imperfect man who cannot share his vision. MacLeister dies a few hours later on the operating table under Crowley's scalpel.
MacLeister's position at the Academy is now his and Crowley has neither rival nor limit. He has all the means he esteems necessary. His reputation rapidly spreads around the London circles and reaches the ears of the members of the Watchmen, a brotherhood of guardians of occult secrets. Samuel and Daniel Pepys, two distinguished members of the Watchmen contact Crowley and initiate him. Crowley is both alarmed and fascinated at the information he learns. He realizes how much these occult secrets are perfectly fitting to his own views. Constantly reading esoteric books in the Watchmen's very comprehensive library, Crowley learns the existence of evil entities driven back to the ends of the earth by old occult groups, ancestors of the Watchmen. He learns that these entities are, in fact, a product of Nature and are simply tools destined to free the Earth of humans. Hence a plan germinates in his head, the realization of his desires.
Crowley's plan is simple: attract one of these entities to him, dominate it and offer it the World as its prey. While the Watchmen are busy performing magic practices to repress the entity which has a natural attraction to catastrophes like the 1665 plague, Crowley decides to manipulate the Watchmen. During the ritual destined to banish the entity forever, Crowley betrays his allies and changes the direction of the ceremony to the immense horror of the Watchmen.
In a maelstrom of confusion, Crowley is on the verge of calling up the Entity; he touches and kisses it. But suddenly the link breaks. The Watchmen seize Pepys' secret book containing the details of the ritual. It is at this precise moment that the members of the horrific Ordo Malleus Maleficarum, a secret and armed branch of the Inquisition choose to attack. They sow death and desolation in the ranks of the Watchmen, who defend themselves as well they can with their magic fires. A fiercely intense fire quickly spreads. Crowley regains consciousness, surrounded by flames licking his emaciated body, jumps out of a window and crawls into a sewer.
Five years later, the London sewers have become Crowley's kingdom. Obsessed with Death and his failure, Crowley throws himself headlong into perfecting a method to delay him from aging. Crowley soon becomes an inhuman creature of the underground World without the slightest scruple. He captures tramps and beggars shamelessly, sublimating the work that MacLeister had taught him so well. He tortures, burns, removes and grafts, cuts up and sews back on, slowly losing any notion of respect for human beings. A rumor starts spreading in the city: a monster craving human flesh is roaming in the sewers.
Thanks to the magic disclosed by the Watchmen and his insane talent as a surgeon, Crowley finally reaches his goal. He creates a terrifying device that allows him to feed on the essence of other living beings to considerably slow down the aging of his body. In 1696, Crowley has spent nearly thirty years in his underground Kingdom. He is surrounded by wild beggars and lunatics who are either amputees or sick and uses them as servitors as well as the raw material for his experiments. He slowly starts to lose his last traces of reason. He receives the visit of a small group of men who claim to be members of the Brotherhood of Hecate, a very old secret society. Lured by Crowley's incredible discovery, the Hecate Brothers ask him to join their ranks. What Crowley discovers is a new shock, which saves him from complete degeneration. He learns the existence of bio-sorcery. The Brotherhood developed its techniques, a mixture of sorcery and surgery, a delicate and cruel art form with unbelievable power.
He soon becomes a member of the Brotherhood and uses his new knowledges to prolong his own life but also some of the Brothers'. The side effects start to show on Crowley's body. Even though he only appears to be 30, his silhouette gets thinner and his features hollow. He is a scary sight. A few years later, he becomes a master of the art of bio-sorcery. He finally understands the different facets of bio-sorcery and the Entity, and the vision of himself as the living link between the two types of magic. He now knows how to successfully call up the Entity. However, he cannot do this alone, he needs a lot of servitors. He takes control of the Brotherhood and travels the World to learn all he can about bio-sorcery. He takes his time to build up his magic knowledge, preferring this time not to rush things and thanks to his life machine, he has got time on his side. He needs over one hundred and thirty years to succeed. In 1828, Crowley is, without contest, the master of the Brotherhood of Hecate.
In 1834, when Crowley is back in London, he learns that Pepys' books, that he thought had been destroyed in the fire, are in the possession of an American occultist, John Franciscus. The Pepys brothers' books hold information about the rituals that Crowley has been looking for such a long time and he does everything possible to get hold of it. A few weeks later, he assassinates Franciscus and steals the book that he immediately uses to bring the nightmare creatures "to life", as they will serve him as henchmen.
But yet again, Crowley comes up against the Ordo Malleus Maleficarum, represented by its surviving member, Ignatius Blackward. Accompanied by Franciscus' daughter, they destroy Crowley's creatures and he flees. Crowley is in despair. He sinks into complete madness and is locked up in an asylum. He is saved from this in extremis by a few remaining faithful members of the Brotherhood of Hecate. But Ignatius Blackward and Nadia Franciscus, who form the Circle, a secret society of occult investigators, kill these few allies. After several years of roaming, Crowley realizes that he will not reach his aim without the help of supernatural forces. He finds this help in a secret library in Lhassa. He learns that the Entity has supernatural agents in the physical World: the Emissaries. Imprisoned by humans since the dawn of time, it would seem that the Emissaries are still alive.Once freed, they would make perfect allies.
In 1891, Crowley secretly leaves for Paris. He learnt about the existence of pre-Roman ruins, supposedly sheltering the tomb of an Emissary. A few months later, he found the tomb. He is jubilant and sure to succeed. But the Circle is on his heels. Rather than put the tomb and its antediluvian contents in danger, Crowley sets the creatures loose in the underground passages, creating a diversion that is sufficient enough to fool the members of the Circle of his real intentions. But this victory cost him dearly: all the members of the Brotherhood of Hecate are either killed or reported missing. Alone, Crowley took things carefully. He decides to seal the Tomb and take his time in re-forming the Brotherhood of Hecate in America.
He recruits occultists as well as criminals and louts in the New Continent to be sure of having an impressive striking force. Adam Crowley is now 260 years old but only appears 50. His sorcery starts showing its limits and although he is still in full possession of his intellectual powers, he undergoes physical degeneration and slowly loses any resemblance of a human. In 1915, back in Paris, Crowley awakens the first Emissary. He makes a pact with it and learns the whereabouts of more Emissaries. The four Emissaries, wholly devoted to the return of their Entity, accept to help Crowley. But he still lacks some ancient magical artifacts which he could use to carry out complex rituals in order to channel the fear, the terror and souls of all his monsters' victims. An immense offering for the entity that he calls "Devouring Death".
Crowley discovers that one the Circle is in the possession of such occult treasures. By stealing these objects from them, Crowley will be able to accomplish his plan and definitively take revenge on those who had dared to defy him one century earlier.
On a windy night in 1934, he entered the bastion of the Circle and seconded by a bunch of his dreaded creatures. The slaughter was merciless, of the small society, only Rachel, the daughter of a Lord assassinated that night by Crowley survived. Eager to fullfill his demented scheme, Crowley ignored that Rachel and Wallace would team up to stop him at all costs.