|Owner||Tiago Marqués (real owner), Roman Medovsky (official), George Stobbart (found)|
Le Lézard Bleu Art Gallery, Paris, France
Hobbs' Studio, London, England
Castell dels Sants, Catalonia, Spain
|Appearance||Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse|
- "Whoever gets close to it will burn in Hell"
- -Father Simeon talking about La Maledicció
It is one of the key elements of the plot in Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse.
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's CurseEdit
After months of not seeing each other, Nicole Collard and George Stobbart find themselves in the same exhibition on Le Lézard Bleu Art Gallery which surprises them. George has been invited because the company he works for, Paris Mutual, is hired to insure the event. On the other hand, Nico’s boss has chosen her to write a very insignificant article about it for La Liberté.
Not very long from the beginning of the event, an unknown individual breaks into the scene holding a gun and an intimidating aura. The audience, overwhelmed by the situation, tries not to interfere except from the gallery’s owner who stands in front of a painting located in the far wall from the main entrance. The furious man doesn’t think about it twice, shots Henri and steals the artwork.
After searching the place and talking to the other observers, he finds a little more information about the painting that was stolen thanks to Father Simeon, the Dominican priest. He specifically remarks that the portrait called “La Maledicció” is evil, very evil. The only thing the painting brings is death, and clearly in this situation it did.
Even though George finds a compromising letter confirming that a man called Roman Medovsky is the legal owner of the painting, a man named Tiago Marqués appears in Nico's apartment and tells her that the painting belonged to his family in Catalonia, Spain in the thirties before the Spanish Civil War. But in 1938, the Fascists stole it. When they came for them, they killed his father but he was able to escape with his mother and has been looking for “La Maledicció” ever since. He has an old photography of him and his family to prove that he is the legal owner of the painting. It shows “La Maledicció” above their fireplace and an interesting medallion with the symbol of the Ouroboros, a snake eating its own tail, that his father gave to him just before he died. "La Maledicció" is sacred to the Gnostics, hence they both display the Ouroboros.
After many investigations in Paris, France and London, England, Nico and George find “La Maledicció” in a secret safe in Hobbs' Studio, Roman Medovsky's restorer. He forged both Medovsky’s provenance (see in Trivia) and the painting itself. The original version is supposed to be well hidden behind “Bijou’s behind” and the forged copy is stolen moments before George and Nico arrive to the property. After recovering the painting, Nico notices smoke coming underneath the door which states that the one who stole the reproduction has set the place on fire to cover all the evidences of Hobbs’ murder. Luckily, George and Nico find a way to exit the place through the roof only to see no one other than Richard Langham, the alleged Interpol Inspector, walking peacefully out of the property. Both try to scream for help, but not only he hears them but casually wives them back and walks away. Nico, disconcerted, asks George why Langham isn’t helping them. George explains her that clearly he is the one who broke into the building before them to kill Hobbs and steal the painting. Fortunately, he doesn’t have the original painting and is not succeeding in killing them either.
Some time later, George and Nico find out that Marqués is still alive in Castell dels Sants, his father's family house. They bring him “La Maledicció” back from London. Tiago tells George that before her mother died, she told him that once painting hung in the fireplace of the house again its meaning would become clear and the route of the Tabula Veritatis would be revealed. Unfortunately, the room has changed and Marqués doesn’t know what is missing. George helps Tiago decipher what is needed to reveal the painting’s secrets and manages to find a secret Gnostic Chapel inside a hidden path in the fireplace.
In the meantime, Nico learns thanks to a map founded inside Gehnen’s trunk in the library, a connection between some relevant places of Catalonia and “La Maledicció” that in a specific order show the location of the Tabula Veritatis. After discovering this breakthrough, Richard Langham appears on the scene exposed now as Gehnen’s grandson with Tiago Marqués being held captive. Langham now knows where the Tabula is located and plans to take Marqués with him to Montserrat. He leaves Nico, George and Eva locked inside the library with no way out. Because of a shoot from Langham’s gun to a wall of the room, a dim of light is exposed meaning that this particular part of wall is fake or hidden door. George inspects it and finds a secret mechanism which opens a hidden passage outside the property. Once outside, they all agree to travel to Montserrat’s train station to follow Langham’s footsteps and save Tiago Marqués’ life. Already in Montserrat, they learn that there is a religious sanctuary and refuge used by the Gnostics hundreds of years ago up the hill called Santa Cova Chapel. Location to which “La Maledicció” indicates is the real location of the Tabula Veritatis.
- Provenance: a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality.
- The painter is known by "El Serp". Father Simeon explains He was a man playing with fire, the fire of eternal damnation. Purveyor of blasphemy, a servant of the anti-Christ. It is clear from his work.
- It is seen in the Character Model Sheet of the game that Hernandez is in fact "El Serp", the artist who painted "La Maledicció". It is not said in any part of the story, so it might be possible that the script changed after the model sheet was shared.
- In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, a group of soldiers allied with the Fascists break into the family house of Xavier Marqués in bringing their bloody war to his house. Commanded by Gehnen, the military smash everything in their path searching for something, probably the Tabula Veritatis. Hernandez, a family’s friend and Marqués try to escape with “La Maledicció” to the library. Unfortunately, they are shot to death like animals before they manage to escape. Gehnen’s men search their bodies and find the valuable painting.
- “La Maledicció” is without doubt heretical. Because it is filled with evil Gnostic imagery, And Gnostics are heretics. They see God as simply the creator of the physical world and revere Lucifer as the Lord of the spiritual realm. Gnostic symbols on the painting:
- The Ouroboros - The Snake eating its own tail. It marks something that is hidden. There are trees illustrated within the Ouroboros. They symbolise knowledge. So - the Ouroboros alludes to hidden knowledge. The painting must be destroyed to stop this knowledge being revealed.
- Images of false saints - heretical saints. Saints that have not been beatified by the Church. They question orthodoxy, lure the unwary down dark paths of forbidden knowledge and condemn innocent souls to the fires of damnations.
- Description of the "La Maledicció" elements:
- The tower of saints had led us to the Castell.
- There was a tower within the ring.
- Inside the ring was what looked like an affluent town.
- Within the ring there were a number of houses. It was a village or a small town.
- Inside the ring was a castle of gate.
- It was the figure of a priest - but with a dog's head. The figure was pointing up at the ring above him. (The Town)
- It was the figure of a priest with a padlock through his mouth. The figure was pointing to the ring below him. (The Tower) It is known as St. Ramon, the patron saint of the falsely accused. The moors put a padlock through his mouth.
- It was a tower of tormented souls. They looked like the damned.
- The bearded figure was similar to the one on the fireplace in the hall. The orb n the old man's hand glowed with a green light.
- The figure of the young man was just like the one on the front of the fireplace. The youthful figure held a glowing blue orb in his hand.
- Wilfred Hobbs' sketch showed an image hidden inside the Ouroboros, a dangerous image. The symbol represents a heresy, an object that the Gnostics call the "Tabula Veritatis": The tablet of truth. But in fact it is a tablet of Lies: a tool of Lucifer, an artefact capable of undoing the whole of creation. It was smuggled out of the Holy Land millennia ago, and brought to Europe by the Cathars, an evil Gnostic cult. In 1209 the Church launched a glorious Crusade in the Cathar heartlands of Southern France. The Dominican Order wiped out almost all the Cathars and with them - The Evil that is Gnosticism. Father Simeon's order, the Dominicans, were formed at that time to seek out and eradicate any remaining Gnostics. But they failed in their primary objective. They did not find the "Tabula Veritatis". The Order presumed it lost, but the painting suggests it is still in Gnostic hands.
- The same sketch drawn by Hobbs that is later shown to Father Simeon, features a hidden symbol within “La Maledicció”. The Ouroboros shows a different content on the original painting, before Hobbs is able to restore it and discover what it looks like a face of a man with a symbol on his head that means “Tabula Veritatis”, the tablet of truth. On the forged painting of La Maledicció made by Hobbs, the man does not appear because the copy is exactly to the original version.
- The painting cost 40 000 € in Le Lézard Bleu gallery.
- La Maledicció is Catalan and means "The Curse".
- El Serp is Catalan, too and means "The Serpent".