"In Purgatory's Shadow"

"Faust's Decision"

Written research by Mark Adams

One of LeMarchand's infamous orb puzzles, The Divine Lights' Apathy
was recorded as being constructed with wood, brass, leather and bone. 
A replica of the orb is seen here as part of a private LeMarchand collection.

“And this be hell, I’ll willingly be damn'd”

- Christopher Marlow, Doctor Faustus.

The Divine Lights’ Apathy is one of the most intriguing and mysterious of LeMarchand's devices.  Created in 1799, at the dawn of a new century, it was said to have been completed on the exact stroke of midnight welcoming in the year 1800.  Of course many such rumours exist with no real way to verify them, but evidence does exist to suggest that LeMarchand took particular care over this piece.

“I had known him to get involved with the contraptions he created, but something was very different about this model.  He would not answer a summons, or reply to any of my many letters.  After some time, I became worried about his well being.   I sent one of my butlers, Charles, to his home in the hope of discovering whether or not he had met some ill fate.  Indeed, I believe he may have.   When Charles returned, it was with terror on his face, ranting that he had seen Philip in communion with some ungodly creature.  I immediately dismissed his ramblings as nonsense, but was intrigued as to what could have driven a man to see such horrors.  However, what I saw when I reached his abode, I shall take to my grave.   Suffice to say, I headed back to England shortly after and never once looked back.”

- Sir Jack Windsor, Memories of the New World , published 1813 in the United Kingdom.

For centuries, New Yorkers have been throwing New Year's Eve parties. 
The uneasy relationship between festivity and debauchery has challenged
civic-minded New Yorkers to find safe and organized ways to unleash the
city's spirit and contain its excesses.

Sir Jack Windsor’s account, however vague, does give us a clue to how important LeMarchand considered this piece.  Though who or what he was seen with remains a mystery.  The story given does match with another text found in the occult volume, “Heaven and Hell: Reality or Myth?” , which features texts and notes from various unidentified scholars who claim to have seen these realms.  However, because of the dubious nature of the material, this should not be taken as fact.

“My brother has persuaded me to put to paper an experience I had recently involving one Phillip LeMarchand. Though I have little belief in these occult matters which he is interested, I write this as my official statement.

I was present at a ball to celebrate the dawning of the new century.   The party had began to slow when I noticed a gathering in the far corner of the room.  Upon investigating, I found that a man by the name of Jacque had produced a small puzzle box, which he referred to as LeMarchand’s Box.  What interested me more though was the fact that it's very creator was said to be at the party.”

(Section abridged)

“I ventured through the upper landing in the hope of meeting this man who seemed to bring enchantment to so many.   I heard a terrible cry from the room ahead.  Instinctively I ran to help, only to find the door locked.  However, I found I could see through the crack around the frame.

LeMarchand was there, and he appeared to be arguing with someone.   His face was filled with exhaustion, and he was far from the elegant noble I had expected to see.  What else struck me was the unnatural blue light emanating from inside the chamber..  At this point, I realised I had stumbled upon something no man should ever witness.

'Finish it.'

It wasn't only these words that would haunt me forever, but also the female voice that uttered them.  At once angelic and deadly.   A demand spoken by someone whose voice filled me with a sense of utter dread.  Fearing for my safety, I retreated back downstairs.

Later that evening, as midnight approached, LeMarchand briefly came down amongst us.  He managed to entice one of the young ladies whom Jacque had been amusing.  Though I wasn’t going to judge this man, something did not feel right.  After the clock  struck twelve, I noted with trepidation that Phillip had finally rejoined the celebrations, albeit alone.  Of that young lady, I saw no more a sign.   After that night, both Jacque and LeMarchand vanished from the area.”

- Unknown Author, Heaven and Hell: Myth or Reality, first edition published 1803.


Given the time frame and nature of events, it would seem that LeMarchand was given assistance from some other source in constructing this legendary puzzle.  Assistance perhaps not of this world.  Whatever the truth, these accounts lend credence to the stories that The Divine Lights’ Apathy claimed its first soul on the eve of the new century. 



The name Faust’s Decision  is an interesting one.   It is unclear whether this was given to the piece at the time, or came later.  Whilst it is true that LeMarchand would know of and may well have read Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, there is little indication of why he would dub the puzzle after it.

What is interesting is this small extract taken from Klauski's book “Of Hell”:

“…escaping hell is thus difficult and a rare occurrence.  However, a man by the name of Henry Young actually claimed he had been allowed to go free after he solved a puzzle, which he named as “Divine Light’s Apathy”, without knowing the power he would unleash.  He told me that the Cenobite it brought forth asked him if he truly wanted to explore the path of Leviathan, and simply left when Young revealed his lack of knowledge.  He may have been mocking an old man, but if what he said was true, then perhaps some of hell’s gateways have their own unique rules.   Perhaps there lies a puzzle that will only accept those truly willing to go to the limits.  Nevertheless, this experience taught me one thing… no man can ever know the full extent of hell’s design.”

- Isadore Klauski, Of Hell, Leviathan Press 1928.

Orbs have long been used in the coronations of Kings and Queens as
a symbol of state power.
Passed down from generation to generation, they affirm through symbolism the continuity and
unshakeability of supreme Leviathanic autocracy over the Earth.

Some dismiss Klauski's work as rumour and nonsense, and others feel it a misinterpretation of the facts.  As researchers, we must try and stick to the facts as much as possible.  There are no known owners of the orb, and whilst some have claimed to possess this piece, none have yet proven it.

“Think’st thou that Faustus is so fond to imagine
that after this life there is any pain?”

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus.

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