Allan and the Sundered Veil
|“||"I've killed many men in my time, but I have never slain wantonly or stained my hand in innocent blood, only in self defense."||”|
Allan Quatermain (c. 1825-2009), also known as Macumazahn (Zulu for "Watcher-by-Night") was an English-born professional big game hunter and occasional trader in southern Africa who supported colonial efforts to spread civilization; he also favoured native Africans having a say in how their affairs are run. He became a quintessential imperial outdoorsman who finds English cities and climate unbearable, and thus prefers to spend most of his life in Africa, where he grew up under the care of his widower father, a Christian missionary.
History[edit | edit source]
Adventures in Africa[edit | edit source]
Quatermain was frequently accompanied by his native servant, the Hottentot Hans, a wise and caring family retainer from his youth whose sarcastic comments offer a sharp critique of European conventions.
Quatermain became ensnarled in the vengeance of Zikali, the dwarf wizard who plotted and finally achieved the overthrow of the Zulu royal House of Senzangakona, founded by Shaka and ending under Cetewayo.
He had married his childhood friend, Stella Carson in one of his earliest adventures in Africa but she died giving birth to their son, Harry. He widowed twice and eventually lost his only son while working in the smallpox ward of a hospital shortly after getting his medical degree. He longed to get back into the wilderness. His adventures were published by H. Rider Haggard.
Having persuaded Sir Henry Curtis, Captain John Good, RN, and the Zulu chief Umslopogaas to accompany him they set out from the coast of east Africa into the territory of the Masai and while staying with a Scottish missionary are attacked by a group of these tribesmen whom they overcome with heroism. There follows a voyage along an underground river to a lake in the kingdom of Zu-Vendis, a warlike white race entirely isolated ruled jointly by two sisters, Nyleptha and Sorais; both fall passionately in love with Curtis and this together with the rejection by Sorais of the nobleman Nasta results in a civil war between them (Sorais and Nasta's forces against those of Nyleptha, Curtis and Quatermain). After a battle Queen Nyleptha is victorious but then threatened by the treachery of the priests who plan to murder her in the palace. Umslopogaas and one loyal warrior manage to save her from this, killing Nasta and the chief priest Agon. Sorais, defeated and jealous, takes her own life: Nyleptha and Curtis become King and Queen; Quatermain feeling tired and old, decided to fake a brave death from a wound suffered in the battle.
His friend Lady Ragnall was informed about Allan's death by George Curtis Sir Henry Curtis's brother. In 1889 Allan returned to England to seek Lady Ragnall and her supply of taduki. Taking too much of the drug, he temporarily entered a dreamland where he fought alongside John Carter, Randolph Carter and The Time Traveller against the forces of the Great Old Ones, and nearly had his body stolen from him by an eldritch abomination.
The Taduki made him addicted and resolved to opium. By 1898 he was to be found in Cairo frequenting in an opium den. It was where Mina Harker was ordered by Campion Bond to find him and bring back in the service of England. Quatermain was reluctant, but when Mina was assaulted by rapists he did not hesitate to attack them.
Together they left the den and Mina ran with him until the docks, an angry mob after them, where Captain Nemo showed up and took them below the sea.
Service to the Empire[edit | edit source]
Fu Manchu & Professor Moriarty[edit | edit source]
In June 27, they arrived to Paris to find a certain missing English doctor. There Mina contacted Chr. C. Auguste Dupin who would tell them about the incident of the Rue Morgue some decades earlier and the reappearance of the ape-like monster. Mina posed as a prostitute in order to lure a possible suspect. Quatermain and Dupin were to watch after her, but Quatermain was attracted by a pharmacy, and went to buy a bottle of laudanum. When he returned, Mina was missing.
Helped by a prostitute, Dupin guided Allan to Henry's apartment in Rue Richelieu where they heard voices and cries. They found an ape monster threatening Mina; Quatermain managed to put the bottle into its mouth, and made it sleep over a window.
After Jekyll was apprehended, Murray, Quatermain and Nemo were sent to the Correctional Academy for Wayward Gentlewomen by Campion Bond to apprehend Hawley Griffin. Murray presented herself and Quatermain as parents who wished to inspect the place before lodging their daughter.
During their stay there, Quatermain slept in the guestroom with Nemo who accompanied them as a manservant. Then they saw Griffin trying to rape Pollyanna Whittier. The two men tried to catch him but he hit Quatermain with a lamp, and crushed Nemo's nose. Murray threw a bucket of white paint on him (belonging to the decorators who were working there) and delivered him to the Empire.
While Quatermain and Jekyll's first task was to see their contacts in Limehouse. Quatermain first met a Chinese woman who redirected them to Ho Ling at Shanghai Charlie's. There, he met Shen Yan asking for Ho Ling who supposedly owed him money. Then he saw Ho Ling tortured by Fu Manchu. Shen Yan however realised that Quatermain was an opium addict and Ho Ling did not owe him money. Quatermain made up the story that Ho Ling sold them tar instead of opium and he wanted a refund. After leaving Shanghai Charlie's, Quatermain was greatly bothered by the crime lord's visage, and he reported back to the rest of the League. Mina on the other hand, had discovered where Fu Manchu's operatives were storing the Cavorite. It was located in an abandoned channel passage that ran beneath the Rotherhithe bridge and the Thames. The only known entranceway was through a homeless shelter. Once again, Allan and Mina posed as a married couple seeking a place to stay. They found the passageway, which led them to the center of Fu Manchu's operation. With some assistance from Edward Hyde and the Invisible Man, they were able to steal the Cavorite. As Fu Manchu's men surrounded them, Allan blasted a hole through the glass roof of the tunnel with his elephant gun. As river water poured in, Mina activated the Cavorite and it pulled them all upwards through the water to the surface where the Nautilus promptly scooped them up.
Quatermain and the League gave the Cavorite to Bond, who gave it to M. The Invisible Man secretly tracked down Bond and discovered that the League was actually employed by Professor Moriarty. Quatermain and the League then used a dirigible provided by Nemo to attack Moriarty before he destroyed all of East London to destroy Fu Manchu.
Quatermain took a machine pistol from Nemo and used it to shoot down most of Moriarty's men. But Moriarty quickly shot Quatermain. Moriarty mentioned that Holmes had mentioned Quatermain, and had considered him a coward. As this is occuring Mina Murray destroys the glass containing the Cavorite. Moriarty tries to grab the Cavorite, but then falls into the air.
The airship falls, and the League sinks to the ground in the hot air balloon because Mr. Hyde weighs far more than Dr. Jekyll. As they fall Mina begs Allan to hold her much to his surprise. The League survive the fall and meet the new M, Mycroft Holmes, who keeps the League Employed.
Martian Invasion[edit | edit source]
A year after Moriarty's plot, the League was tasked to inspect a crater which is revealed to be harboring Martians. The Martians immediately kill hundreds of innocents, but the League is able to survive. The League then lodges at a small inn, with Quatermain sharing a room with Nemo.
The next morning, the League was forced to retreat to London after a failed army attack and the arrival of another tripod of Martians. Thereafter, after debriefing with Mycroft Holmes, Quatermain, Hyde, and Nemo returned to Horsell for reconnaissance and came close to a Martian tripod. The group swiftly returned to London and discovered Hawley Griffin's betrayal. Shortly after, Mycroft Holmes sends Quatermain along with Mina Murray on a new mission to the Southdowns, giving them very vague instructions concerning their task in finding an elusive doctor.
Quatermain and Murray encountered an insane man named Teddy Prendrick, who gives them little information, save that in the woods nearby lurks a doctor whom he once encountered. Staying at an inn, Quartermain and Murray admit their long hidden feelings to each other, and become lovers. Allan finally learns why Mina always covers her neck when her scarf falls away. She is horrified when he sees her scars, but she is taken aback when he tells her he is not repelled by them. He tells her that his second wife had a terribly scarred neck from a fire, and is amazed that these two women he has loved are united by this flaw. He tells her he finds her scars beautiful.
The two meet Dr. Moreau, who lives in a cottage hidden deep in a woods, surrounded by the multitude of numbered half-animal, half-human hybrids he has created. Moreau is surprised when they ask him for hybrid H-142, but he provides it to them in a sealed crate, and warns them to be extremely cautious in handling it. They transport H-142 back to London on a special train, without knowing what they actually carry. As British agents race to prepare the mysterious hybrid for use, Hyde sacrifices himself to delay the advance of the Martian tripods across a critical bridge. Artillery shells filled with H-142 are fired at the Martians, which Campion Bond then reveals to be a weaponized hybrid of Streptococcus and Anthrax. The Martians quickly die from the biological weapon. Nemo is appalled at his unwitting participation in the use of such a horrid weapon, and angrily resigns from the League.
After the defeat of the Martians, London's large central park becomes Hyde Park, in honor of his willingness to die to save the city. A large statue of Hyde is built in the park, and elsewhere, a playground is built around an empty Martian tripod, but proves surprisingly unpopular with children. Mina tells Allan as she needs to have time alone, much to Allan's disappointment, and leaves for a women's colony at Corradine.
Traveling around the world[edit | edit source]
Several years later, Murray and Quatermain have reunited, and they leave together on a world tour to investigate strange and legendary locations on behalf of MI-5. They visit many places in Europe and Americas, and eventually head to Africa. In Africa, Allan seeks the Pool of Fire that grants all who bathe in it eternal youth and immortality. Allan is reaching the end of his life, but wants to become young again for Mina. Mina agrees, and the two eventually reach the hidden Pool of Fire. Rocks at the side of the pool bear carved names of some who have visited it, including Homer, Ayesha and Orlando. Mina becomes immortal, but is disappointed that its waters do not remove the scars from her neck. Allan, however, is rejuvenated into a young man in his prime, and the two celebrate their immortality with three weeks of passion. Allan and Mina agree the powers of the pool are too dangerous to be known to those in power, and report falsely that the pool had no effect whatsoever. To hide Allan's transformation, Mina sends a message to Campion Bond informing him that Allan has died of old age in Africa. She then later tells Bond that she has encountered a long-lost son of Quartermain in Africa, also named Allan, and has entered into a relationship with him. Allan assumes the identify of his fictitious son, "Allan Quartermain Junior," to conceal his eternal youth.
Continuing their travels, they move through Asia. In China, they meet Orlando in a holy man's cave high in the mountains. Orlando recognizes them as fellow immortals, and they quickly become friends. She encourages them that being immortal makes all actions not a question of if they shall do it, but a matter of when they shall do it. Orlando joins Allan and Mina, becoming a third lover to the two.
Murray, Quatermain and Orlando return to London and form a new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 1910. New members include the psychic detective Thomas Carnacki and the thief AJ Raffles, who comes under British Employ as a way to be pardoned of his crimes. The new League tries to prevent a crisis foretold in a vision of Carnacki at King George V's coronation. The League travels to a club home to many magicians, and they are warned of an occultist named Oliver Haddo, who is said to be dangerous. League members try to thwart Haddo's plans, believing him to be at the root of the disaster seen in Carnacki's dreams. However, the massacre proves to be a bloody revenge assault on the docksides by the crew of the Nautilus, now commanded by Nemo's daughter, Janni.
Resigning from the Empire[edit | edit source]
World War II and Big Brother[edit | edit source]
In the 40s, Carnacki resigns from the League due to age and declining health. During World War II, Allan and Mina speak to a drunk Winston Churchill who sadly forsees that the Post-War Britain will have the Socialist Totalitarians win the elections. Disturbed by this prediction, Murray and Quatermain leave Britain for America.
In America the two have adventures battling a descendent of Fu Manchu. They also have an adventure transcribed on a record. Allan and Mina eventually go to the Blazing World, living there for many years.
In 1958, Murray and Quatermain return to London which has recovered from years of Big Brother. Murray encounters Jimmy Bond who takes her to the Ministry of Love and attempts to rape her. Murray beats Bond and takes The Black Dossier, a transcript of the history of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Together they escape England with it and go to the Blazing World.
Relapse into drug addiction[edit | edit source]
Allan is seen with Orlando in Paris of 1964 where the two engaged in sexual games of dominance and submission. Mina does not accompany them, and it is hinted that she had began drifting apart from both Orlando and Allan.
In the year 1969, Mina forms a League with the surviving members of the Second Murray Group in the hopes of preventing the birth of the Moonchild whom is destined to bring forth a dreadful new aeon. Allan, just like Orlando, is rather dismisses much of Mina's attempts to adapt to the times and the entire era as being hollow in their peace objectives. Mina thwarts Haddo in a psychic battle, but then succumbs to insanity when she faces a swarm of bats in a mentally weakened state. Allan and Orlando search for Mina in Hyde Park, but cannot find her because she had been taken to a lunatic asylum. Eight years later, in 1977, Allan had become addicted to drugs again, heroin this time, causing a rift between him and Orlando (Allan tried to sell Excalibur for drug money).
Death[edit | edit source]
In 2009, Allan is lost in his addiction, and unable to recover from the disappearance of Mina. After Orlando's release from the asylum, Mina also finds an Allan and he asks her to return, but he also flees from her. Allan considers suicide and puts a gun in his own head, but can not bring himself to the trigger. Promising not to die like a coward, he meets Orlando and Mina in their battle against the Antichrist, and shoots the monster with an elephant gun. However, the Antichrist simply regenerates from his wounds and kills Allan
After the battle ended, Allan's body is brought to ZuVendis, Africa, and buried in an existing grave dating from the time he originally faked his death. Others buried in the graveyard were:
- Umslopogaas (d. 1885)
- William "Bill" King (b. 1913)
- Raboo (d. 1950)
- Sir Henry Curtis
- Richard Seymour (1928-1998)
- Martin Fraser (d. 1960s)
- Tarna (d. 1963)
- Saber (d. 1960s)
Film adaptation[edit | edit source]
In the 2003 film adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Quatermain is played by Sean Connery. In this version, he is residing in a British hotel in Kenya. Rather than becoming an opium addict. Here Allan is the leader of the League instead of Mina Murray. He becomes a mentor-of-sorts to Tom Sawyer and dies in the film's climax. Connery and the film's director Stephen Norrington failed to cooperate and frequently argued during the film's production, and the film was Connery's last before his retirement.
Source material[edit | edit source]
Allan Quatermain is the protagonist of H. Rider Haggard's 1885 novel King Solomon's Mines and its sequels. Allan Quatermain was also the title of a book in this sequence.