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Society of the Black Cloak

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The Society of the Black Cloak (aka the Black Cloak) is a shadowy organization made up of evil Wizards and magicians. All known members are male.

BackgroundEdit

There is little information about this group, and what is known concerns their plot to rule and cause destruction against the Land of the Green Isles. Two letters (in KQ6) link together three characters as a group of associates with at least two of them members of the society in all respects (Mordack's situation is unclear), and Shamir is linked to the organization through Alhazred (Sbamir himself is called a 'black cloak' in the The Official Book of King's Quest, Third Edition[1]). The King's Quest Companion offers a few more details.

The Oracle of the Winged Ones mentions the society while reading Alexander's future; "I see a maiden--Lovely and pure, but surrounded by evil. She is a rose amidst bitter thorns. It is her fate to be the pawn of dark powers...and yours to try to redeem her!...I see that any attempt to reach the girl will force you into battle, a struggle against a dark force. If you lose, your life will be forfeit. A great darkness surrounds your adversary, preventing me from seeing clearly... I can only make out the shape of a black cloak...These shades could help you destroy the dark force if they were to be brought back to their spiritual form..." Alexander later learns more when he reads he listens in on Abdul Alhazred writing a letter.[2][3], and finds a letter from Shadrack in Alhazred's room.[4][5].

Vizierstudy

Other references include; Abdul's wardrobe is filled with black cloaks[6], and there is a black cloak on the wall of Alhazred's study, which he takes up when he leaves the room in the novelization (in the game he leaves without it)[7]. One of Shamir Shamazel's guises 'The Old Man in Black' is of elderly individual wearing a black cloak (the old man's wardrobe is focused on throughout the story). It is also pointed out that another guise, the old women Alexander encountered at the top of the Logic Cliffs also wore a black cloak.[8]

There is little known about the hierarchy within the organization (other than the mention of 'brothers'). The only exceptions is a reference in the Companion to Alhazred being a minion to Mordack, and it is known that Shamir Shamazel was subservient to Alhazred. It appears that Shadrack and Alhazred are equals (this is more clear in the game itself), but Shadrack appears to be independent of Mordack. Shadrack also seems to acknowledge Mordack as a very powerful wizard (his better or at least his equal), as he refers to the late sorcerer as the 'great Mordack' (some lore suggests that Mordack is one of the most powerful evil wizards in the world, at least more powerful than his own brother). Likewise the Companion seems to suggest Shadrack sees himself somewhat greater than Alhazred in their joint plans to destroy the kingdom (note in KQ6 it was primarily Alhazred's plan to become king, and the Companion makes it both of their plans), but Shadrack acknowledges that Alhazred's successful attempt at dividing the islands and eliminating the king and queen was a stratagem worthy of himself...

When Mordack visited the Green Isles, he traveled there via his Roc. It is known that Mordack was associated with evil men, who were sometimes entertained [9] ("THEM") in his castle (which may include members of the Black Cloaks).[10] Alhazred appears to have traveled around to various places (including the various islands) with the help of his genie.

MembersEdit

However, despite his associations with members of the society it is unclear if Mordack himself is a member, and it has not been said directly either way (but he is listed here as he was at least manipulated into the Green Isles conspiracy).

Green Isles ConspiracyEdit

The Wizard Abdul Alhazred, the minion of Mordack[11], somehow came across a copy of the Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles, and decided he wanted to go there and take over[12]. He apparently showed this to Shadrack, and they both decided it would be a good idea to cause destruction to the land as well. To set up their plan, they first needed someone to infiltrate the kingdom and set their plans into motion. Abdul Alhazred, was chosen for the part, who traveled to the Islands along with his genie Shamir Shamazel and soon worked his way into the royal household of the Crown of Green Isles, where he soon became the new Vizier.[13] He impressed the king with his knowledge and fine-sounding ideas. It didn't take long for Alhazred to convince the king to trust him with the 'minor problems' of daily government, while they took care of their new daughter. Caliphim also put trust him thinking him he would make a good son and husband for his beloved daughter. The wizard had his eye on Cassima even as a young girl.[14]


Over the course of fifteen years[15], he stole artifacts most precious to each island (with the help of Shamir)[16], and then leaked rumors making it look as if another island was responsible. By spreading the lies he had sown discord amongst the various inhabitants among the islands. In time, almost a decade later, as the civil unrest increased and the islands began to feud, and travel became unsafe for 'the Crown'. After Queen Allaria and Princess Cassima returned from trip when things had become nasty, and they had been received coldly[17], he ordered that the island's single mode of travel, 'the Ferry' be put into drydock, effectively shutting down the islands main mode of communication and transport[18][19].

Around this same time, the members of the Black Cloak plotted a way strengthen Abdul's position and make him heir to the crown. To do this, they had to get rid of Princess Cassima, so that Abdul would be next in line for succession. To do this, Abdul invited Mordack to the Green Isles[20], the evil wizard visited the islands, posing as Abdul's friend. He showed interest in the King and Queen's daughter Cassima. He expressed his wishes to marry her, but she refused (and her parents sided with her).[21] Enraged by this, Mordack kidnapped Cassima with Alhazred's help and put her to work as a scullery girl on his island until she would marry her.[22] In remorse and left without an heir, the royal family soon adopted Alhazred as their son and heir[23].

Some time later, in an attempt to secure his rule of the kingdom, Alhazred murdered King Calphim and Queen Allaria [24] by stabbing them while they slept[25]and spread the word that they had died of illness[26]. Since he had blocked off travel between the islands, no protest was able to develop. Less than a year later, Mordack was slain, and Cassima returned her island home (not long after her parents death), foiling his plot. Shadrack gave instructions to Alhazred that the only way he would get the crown if he married Cassima, and then got rid of her either through sending her away or killing her. He requested that she be sent to him dead or alive to fulfill his peculiar interests. However Alhazred refused to send her to him, since the last time they tried that, it hadn't worked out too well.

He began his plans for the wedding. Since Cassima wouldn't marry him willingly, he had her locked in her room claiming that she was sequestered in mourning, so she would have no visitors. He claimed it was the wishes of her parent's that they be wed, and that was what Cassima wanted. He planned to have his genie Shamir pose as the princess during their wedding ceremony. Before the wedding ceremony began, he wrote and quickly sent a letter to Shadrack, confirming his plan for the wedding (Shadrack would have had a chance to read the letter while the events were happening). He then tied Cassima up and moved her to one of the palace towers. He planned to do away with the real Cassima soon after the wedding. He returned to the throne room, with the fake princess, and the wedding ceremony began.

However, Alexander with the help of newly resurrected king and queen were able to see through the scheme and the imposter. They called the guards, and Alhazred was forced to order his genie to attack the guards, and defend him, as he attempted an escape. He entered the tower behind the throne room. Alexander followed, chasing him to the top of the tower. Cornered, Abdul called Shamir up to the tower to stop Alexander. However, Alexander was able to get the genie's lamp with the help of the court jester, Jollo, allowing him to rescind the command. Left defenseless, Abdul pulled his sword on Alexander, and Alexander grabbed a rather heavy and unwieldy ceremonial sword from a nearby wall. After a long and strenuous duel, Cassima freed herself of her bonds, ran up behind Alhazred and stabbed him in the shoulder, allowing Alexander to get the upper hand. With his last bit of strength, Alex struck the evil vizier with the word, knocking him out cold. He was soon arrested and locked away in the castle dungeons. The ferry was repaired by Shamir, allowing trade and communication between the islands again, allowing the stolen treasures to be returned, and bringing delegates to Alexander and Cassima's wedding and coronation a week later.[27]

As for Shadrack it is unclear what his fate was following Abdul's defeat.

CorrespondenceEdit

ShadrackLetter

Letter written by Shadrack to Alhazred

In the Companion's Chronicles of Daventry (novelization of KQ6), and within the game, there are two letters between members of the Black Cloaks; one is written by Alhazred by Shadrack, and one written by Shadrack to Alhazred. The companion included extended versions of both letters which shine more light on society's plans for the islands. According to those letters; Shadrack's nickname is Shade, and that it is his hidden name for himself. It it is stated that he is also a member of the Society of the Black Cloak, and that Shadrack wanted to see the destruction of the islands. The letters also help to explain much of Abdul Alhazred's plans, and also hint on the importance of events in KQ5. The letters do not seem to point to any hierarchy between members (at least no known one other than another reference within the Companion to Alhazred being an underling of Mordack's), and Shadrack and Alhazred seem to be equals. In addition, in KQ6 its suggested to be primarily Alhazred's plan ("my long preparations"), with recommendations from Shadrack. Whereas the Companion suggests that it is their joint plan together ("our plan"). Also noteworthy in the Companion, Shadrack also seems to see Cassima as actively meddling into their plan (where as in the game, he just thinks it might be smart to get rid of her before she causes any problems)...

Below are two letters constructed from the information presented in both versions of Shadrack's letter and Abdul Alhazred's reply.

Shadrack's letterEdit

To Abdul Alhazred, brother of the Black Cloak
From the Wizard Shadrack, also of that company,
Greetings to a brother of the Black Cloak,
I was sorry to hear of great Mordack's death, though he was a bit of a ninny at chess
But it seems the plans for that little kingdom of yours are coming along, you seem to have the destruction of the kingdom well in hand.
I must congratulate you on your handling of the king and queen.
Isolating the Islands so that no protest could develop was another brilliant stroke.
Turning the Islands against one another, and eliminating the King and Queen is a stratagem worthy even of me.
It looks like there's not much left to stand in your way. Do as I advise and recommended with that girl, the meddling brat Cassima, and you shall surely have your crown.
Shade[28][29].

Abdul Alhazred's replyEdit

My Dear Shadrack:
Salutations from a fellow member of the Society of the Black Cloak, etc. etc. Our plans and my long preparations are about to come to fruition.
In a matter of minutes, by the time you read this, I will, and shall have wed the lovely <hah-hah> Princess Cassima, and become a grieving widower as well.
The princess has proven infuriatingly stubborn, as you know. She's becoming quite a dangerous little thorn in my side. Once I establish my power and my crown, I can stage another 'accident'.
In a way, it is a shame that Cassima must die and I have to kill her--she is lovely and would be amusing to keep around, but the people are loyal to her and I have been unable to gain her trust. I can't risk her talking treason to one of the guards. So far, I've managed to keep her locked away, but I can't continue that forever.
Well, on to it now. Knowing your peculiar interests, I wish I could make you a present of her dead or alive. I'd send her to you, but as you know, I had no luck in doing so with Mordack. When I presented her to Mordack, he was slain and she was back here within the year. I will not allow that to happen again.
I close in triumph--KING Abdul Alhazred.[30][31]

Behind the scenesEdit

It seems suggested in KQ6 and KQC that only members connected to the society are male, and only male members are mentioned, terms such as 'brother' are used. Of those known members they seem to be particularly chauvinistic towards women. This may imply that it is a men's club or brotherhood.

The fact that Shadrack is a member of the Society of the Black Cloak originates from the King's Quest Companion. In fact a single reference within KQ6, only confirms that Abdul Alhazred is a member, "Salutations from the Society of the Black Cloak, etc. etc. My long preparations are about to come to fruition." There is only an offhand implication that Shadrack is a member as he refers to Abdul as '...a brother of the Black Cloak...', suggesting if he is not a member he at least knows of the organization. Without the King's Quest Companion to put things into perspective, the above quotes could even imply that Shadrack is outside of the Society of the Black Cloak (i.e. not a member), and that the conspiracy in the Green Isles to become king, were Abdul Alhazred's plans alone (which is also supported by the KQ6 Hintbook by Lorelei Shannon). Mordack is not specifically stated to be a member of the Black Cloak within KQ6 either, although he is connected to Shadrack within the game through his letter to Abdul Alhazred (and KQ5 connects Mordack to the Vizier). The companion goes on to further suggest that Abdul was a subordinate of Mordack's which may imply a deeper connection to the society, but its still unclear.

Likewise its unclear how much involvement Mordack had in the 'plans' for conquering the Green Isles. It is unclear if he was fully aware of the attempt, or if Alhazred simply took advantage of his friendship/insubordination to the evil Wizard, to get rid of a loose end to his plans.

In KQ5, Cassima initially fears King Graham thinking he is one of 'them', evil men who often visit Mordack at his castle. It is possible these men could include Shadrack, or other members of the Black Cloak.

This article chooses to reflect the uncertain connection between Mordack and the society proper, by point out that he maintained at least an association with members of the group, if not a true membership.

DevelopmentEdit

The Black Cloak Society was one of the ideas created by Jane Jensen, rather than Roberta Williams;

"The "Black Cloak Society" was never an actual term that I instigated or thought up. I'm not actually sure where that came from. The closest thought that I have on that subject is that: when I was working with Jane Jensen on King's Quest 6, and we thought up the evil vizier, we talked loosely about the possibility of putting Manannan, Mordack, and the vizier together as group -- possibly -- in a future King's Quest. There was loose reference to the possibility in King's Quest 6, although nothing was set in stone at that time. I think that it's possible that Jane Jensen might have mentioned the possibility (perhaps) in subsequent interviews on the subject, although, I'm not sure about that. Later on, I heard about the Black Cloak Society and kind of wondered where that phrase came from, but, I never refuted it as I thought it was kind of cool and, probably, would have gone on with the idea in future King's Quests had I had the chance. And, one final thing: Hagatha was never part in any discussion of a Black Cloak Society.

- Roberta Williams at SierraGamers (6-9-2003)

Based on this while Manannan may have at one point been considered for inclusion in the Black Cloaks (though this never bore any direct fruit), Hagatha was never intended to be a member. While Manannan and Mordack have direct interaction in KQ5, there is no reference to Manannan in relation to the Black Cloaks in KQ6.

An item in KQ2 included a Black Cloak with a red velvet liner, which was the symbol of Count Dracula. Likewise an item in KQ7 included a Black Cloak, that belonged to Elspeth Tsepish. However these are not indication that Dracula or Elspeth were members of the Society of the Black Cloak.

Many of the other King's Quest villains such as Dahlia, Hagatha, sorcerer/enchanter (KQ1/KQ2), Three sisters (KQ4), Lolotte, Witch of the Dark Forest, and Malicia wear dark or black robes (rather than cloaks), however this is not an indication that they are members of the Society of the Black Cloak. Although on a related note there may be some implication in first or second edition of King's Quest Companion that would imply that the sorcerer, enchanter, and Manannan, are one of the same individual, and is a member of another organization, the Magician's Guild.

Note: While he's not directly mentioned, Manannan may have been intended to be a member of the society through Mordack (there was discussion of linking him to the group during KQ6's development). In official lore he actually specifically tied to another society, the Magician's Guild. While Mordack is linked to the Society of Wizards. In the companion Mordack, Manannan and Hagatha are linked to another group as a family of Evil. Although Hagatha is said to be the biological sister of Mordack and Manannan (King's Quest Companion & King's Questions), there is no official evidence that links her as a member of the Society of the Black Cloak (and she was never originally intended to be).

Black Cloak Society (unofficial)Edit

Usually known as the Black Cloak Society by the fans, the organization has appeared in multiple fan fiction including fan games. Many fans believe that it is possible that the other King's Quest villains are members of the Society (including Lucreto, Malicia, Lolotte, Dalia, Manannan, Witch of the Dark Forest, and Hagatha). However this is not directly supported by any known facts, at least Hagatha is specifically stated to not have been included.

ReferencesEdit

  1. TOBOKQ3E, 223
  2. "My Dear Shadrack: Salutations from a fellow member of the Society of the Black Cloak. Our plans are about to come to fruition. By the time you read this, I shall have wed the Princess Cassima, and become a grieving widower as well. It is a shame that Cassima must die, but the people are loyal to her, and I have been unable to gain her trust. Knowing your peculiar interests, I wish I could make you a present of her either dead or alive. But as you know, when I presented her to Mordack, he was slain and she was back here within the year. I will not allow that to happen again.", King's Quest Companion, Third Edition, 307.
  3. Abdul Alhazred (KQ6): "Dear Shadrack. Salutations from the Society of the Black Cloak, etc. etc. My long preparations are about to come to fruition. In a matter of minutes, I will wed the lovely <hah-hah> Cassima. The princess has proven infuriatingly stubborn, as you know. She's becoming quite a dangerous little thorn in my side. Once I establish my power and my crown, I can stage another 'accident'. In a way, it's a shame I have to kill her--she is lovely and would be amusing to keep around, but I can't risk her talking treason to one of the guards. So far, I've managed to keep her locked away, but I can't continue that forever. Well, on to it now. I'd send her to you, but as you know, I had no luck in doing so with Mordack. I close in triumph--KING Abdul Alhazred.
  4. Narrator (KQ6): The letter is addressed to Abdul Alhazred from the Wizard Shadrack. It reads: Greetings to a brother of the Black Cloak. I was sorry to hear of great Mordack's death, though he was a bit of a ninny at chess. It seems the plans for that little kingdom of yours are coming along. I must congratulate you on your handling of the king and queen. Isolating the islands so that no protest could develop was another brilliant stroke. It looks like there's not much left to stand in your way. Do as I recommended with the girl, and you shall have your crown."
  5. "To Alhazred, a brother of the Black Cloak, from Shadrack, also of that company, Greetings: I am sorry to hear of Mordack's death, but you seem to have the destruction of the kingdom well in hand. Turning the islands against one another, and eliminating the king and queen is a stratagem worthy even of me. Do as I advise with that meddling brat Cassima and the crown shall surely be yours. "Shade", KQC, 307
  6. Narrator (KQ6): "Alexander sees...lots of black cloaks?"
  7. "Taking up his own black cloak--which in light of the letter assumed for Alexander a dire significance...", KQC, pg 306
  8. KQC, 4th Edition, 273
  9. KQC2E, pg
  10. Cassima (KQ5): "I don't believe you! You're probably one of...THEM!"
  11. "...Abdul Alhazred--vizier of the Isle of the Crown, minion of Mordack, murderer of Cassima's parents, jailer of Cassima, and sower of dissension among the land of the Green Isles.", King's Quest Companion, Third Edition, pg 306
  12. "That Alhazred found a copy of the "Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles," and that was why he decided to come to this kingdom and take over?", KQ6 Hintbook, pg 74, Narrator (KQ6): "A few worn leather books occupy the trunk. The top one is entitled "Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles. A book like that might have been a big help when Alexander first arrived! The trunk's owner obviously found it interesting, too, for the guidebook is dog-eared and stained."
  13. Jollo (KQ6): "Alhazred brought Shamir with him when he came to this kingdom."
  14. Jollo (KQ6):"Well, he's had his eye on Cassima ever since she was a young girl. And she IS the only thing between him and the throne."
  15. Jollo (KQ6):"He came to the kingdom some fifteen years ago. The king was fascinated by his knowledge and his fine-sounding ideas. It didn't take long for Alhazred to convince the king to trust him with the 'minor problems' of daily government. You see, Caliphim had a wife and a new daughter he wanted to spend time with. Alhazred became vizier."
  16. That the islands were feuding because Alhazred had his genie steal each one's most sacred treasure?, KQ6 Hintbook, pg 74
  17. Hassan (KQ6): "I remember their last trip. Things had started getting nasty by then, and when they came back aboard I gathered that the queen and the princess had been received coldly. Princess Cassima was...terribly upset.'But, who could be spreading these lies?' she asked the queen. But the queen had no answer."
  18. Hassan (KQ6): It just ain't safe to sail these days, what with the islands feuding and all. Vizier Alhazred ordered the ferry closed 'til things settle down.", "A few years is all, but it's been long enough", "This old thing? This ferry's been out of water so long, she's no longer even seaworthy."
  19. That Alhazred shut down the ferry to further breakdown the relationships between the islands and their contact with the Crown?", "That Alhazred weakened the kingdom purposely so that it would be easier for him to take over?", KQ6 Hintbook, 74
  20. KQC, 4th Edition, 243
  21. Cassima (KQ5): "Wherever did you FIND my gold locket? I thought it was gone for good. I lost it on the island just after I was brought here by Mordack.", "My name is Princess Cassima from the Kingdom of the Green Isles. My father, the King, employs a horrible Vizier who befriended Mordack. When Mordack saw me, he immediately wished to marry me and bring me here. Naturally I refused and my father agreed with me. But our refusal angered him so much that he stole me here anyway, and put me to work as a scullery girl. He says he will never let me go...that a scullery girl I will remain until I agree to marry him. But the thought revolts me! What am I to do?!"
  22. That Alhazred was the one who helped Mordack kidnap Cassima?, KQ6 Hintbook, pg 74
  23. Caliphim (KQ6): "I placed trust in Alhazred because I so wanted a son and husband for my beloved daughter. I was wrong.", "Abdul Alhazred (KQ6): "As was her parent's wish, Cassima and I are to be wed."
  24. "That Alhazred murdered Cassima's parents", KQ6 Hintbook, pg 74
  25. Queen Alleria (KQ6): We were murdered in our beds by our trusted vizier. Like a viper, he snuck during the night and stabbed us in our sleep!.
  26. Abdul Alhazred (KQ6): "Cassima's parents both became ill and died while she was gone."
  27. Saladin (KQ6): "With Shamir saved, and his power used for good, reuniting the islands will be far easier. He has already repaired the ferry."
  28. Narrator (KQ6): The letter is addressed to Abdul Alhazred from the Wizard Shadrack. It reads: Greetings to a brother of the Black Cloak. I was sorry to hear of great Mordack's death, though he was a bit of a ninny at chess. It seems the plans for that little kingdom of yours are coming along. I must congratulate you on your handling of the king and queen. Isolating the islands so that no protest could develop was another brilliant stroke. It looks like there's not much left to stand in your way. Do as I recommended with the girl, and you shall have your crown."
  29. "To Alhazred, a brother of the Black Cloak, from Shadrack, also of that company, Greetings: I am sorry to hear of Mordack's death, but you seem to have the destruction of the kingdom well in hand. Turning the islands against one another, and eliminating the king and queen is a stratagem worthy even of me. Do as I advise with that meddling brat Cassima and the crown shall surely be yours. "Shade", KQC, 307
  30. Abdul Alhazred (KQ6): "Dear Shadrack. Salutations from the Society of the Black Cloak, etc. etc. My long preparations are about to come to fruition. In a matter of minutes, I will wed the lovely <hah-hah> Cassima. The princess has proven infuriatingly stubborn, as you know. She's becoming quite a dangerous little thorn in my side. Once I establish my power and my crown, I can stage another 'accident'. In a way, it's a shame I have to kill her--she is lovely and would be amusing to keep around, but I can't risk her talking treason to one of the guards. So far, I've managed to keep her locked away, but I can't continue that forever. Well, on to it now. I'd send her to you, but as you know, I had no luck in doing so with Mordack. I close in triumph--KING Abdul Alhazred.
  31. "My Dear Shadrack: Salutations from a fellow member of the Society of the Black Cloak. Our plans are about to come to fruition. By the time you read this, I shall have wed the Princess Cassima, and become a grieving widower as well. It is a shame that Cassima must die, but the people are loyal to her, and I have been unable to gain her trust. Knowing your peculiar interests, I wish I could make you a present of her either dead or alive. But as you know, when I presented her to Mordack, he was slain and she was back here within the year. I will not allow that to happen again.", King's Quest Companion, Third Edition, 307.

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