Vicarius Leti: The Lich Pope
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This page is an archived contest submission for the Myths and Magic Contest. To read the current version of this article go to RPC-009.

Registered Phenomena Code: 897

Project Personnel Info


Assigned Facility: Site-073

Director of Research: Dr. Abbondanzio Impellizzeri

Assigned MST(s): MST Bravo-46 ("Edict of Francia"), MST Echo-73 ("The Bastards")

Director of Containment: Dr. Alighiero D'Angelo


Object Class:

Beta - White

Responsible Departments:

History.png Department of HistoryBoA_Theistic_Department.png Department of Theistics

Hazard Types:

Hazard Types:Additional Properties: h-sapient.png Sapient h-contact.png Contact divine-hazard Divine

General Properties:

Hazard Types:Additional Properties: h-animated.png Animated h-organic.png Organic

Containment Protocols:

RPC-897 is to be contained in a 5m x 5m statuary room within Site-073 located at Tuscany, Italy. RPC-897 should be subject to standard preservation methods for wood and textile artifacts as determined by the Protocol Laboratory. In the event RPC-897 awakens from stasis, assigned research staff are to conduct an immediate on-site interview with the entity to discover more information about its anomalous nature.1

RPC-897 is currently speculated to be in the possession of the Association for Ecclesiastical Primacy at their outpost facility embedded within St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City State. MST Bravo-46 ("Edict of Francia")2 and MST Echo-73 ("The Bastards") have been assigned to recover RPC-897 from the AEP Association should an opportunity for asset retrieval become possible.

The information contained within this file is based on archival records of RPC-897 created during the Papal Auctoritas Imperatus era. These documents have been translated from the original ecclesiastical Latin into English text, and are presented here in modern formatting. As such, information on RPC-897 is subject to revisions as more data becomes available.



Painting of RPC-009

RPC-897 is the cadaver of the former ecclesiarch of the Roman Catholic Church identified as Pope Formosus. Despite its death in 896, RPC-897 displays only an average amount of decomposition, forensically similar to that of a body which has been buried for around 11 months.3 This evidence suggests RPC-897 is in an unconventional state of partial incorruptibility.4

RPC-897 displays signs of a prominent injury on its right hand, with its index, middle, and ring fingers appearing to have been severed off its body. RPC-897 is propped up against a painted wooden throne engraved on its front face with the Latin phrase Cathedra Petri, translated as "the Chair of St. Peter."5

RPC-897's anomalous properties manifest when a human being makes physical contact with any part of its body. Subjects will begin to experience anomalous effects resembling those typically associated with divine miracles from touching a Christian saints' first-class relics. In rare circumstances, RPC-897 is capable of spontaneous reanimation back to life. In this resurrected state, RPC-897 is capable of fine motor movement and verbal communication, irrespective of its physical condition.


In January 897, the cadaver of RPC-897 was exhumed and dressed in papal robes on the orders of Pope Stephen VI in order for RPC-897 to stand trial postmortem for crimes related to its papal election. It was contended that RPC-897's position as the Cardinal Bishop of Porto6 rendered its papal election illegitimate. This was due to a prohibition in canon law forbidding bishops from administering more than one district.

After RPC-897 was found guilty by the Aula Pontificia7, three fingers on its right hand were cut off, and its body was thrown into the Tiber River. It was at this point that an unknown individual, identified in primary texts as "the Necromancer", retrieved the body of RPC-897 after it washed ashore on the river bank and reportedly performed miracles on those who made physical contact with its remains.

The history of RPC-897 during the Cadaver Synod is recorded in classified pages of the Liber Episcopalis, a biographical tome on the Bishops of Rome up to Pope Stephen V8 written by papal notaries. These pages have been provided below, translated from their original ecclesiastical Latin into English.


Following RPC-897's entombment in St. Peter's Basilica, it is believed that the recently formed Milites Sacra Laterani18 oversaw the protection of RPC-897's crypt throughout the succeeding centuries. After the Council of Vienne in 1312, these responsibilities were assigned to the Occulta Animi Inceptum19, a new anomalous organization based out of the Apostolic Palace.

In 1216, at the Fourth Lateran Council, Pope Innocent III issued a declaration authorizing the Auctoritas Ecclesiastica Prima, a branch of the Papal Inquisition formed from remnants of the Ordo Veri Crucis military order after their excommunication for the Sacking of Constantinople in 1204. This agency was tasked with the acquisition and safeguarding of Christian anomalies, including RPC-897, alongside anomalous organizations operating within the Papal States.

In 1456, following the Fall of Constantinople, Pope Callixtus III issued a papal bull mandating the establishment of the Papal Auctoritas Imperatus, a semi-independent organization charged with surmounting the political divides of Europe to combat the growing Ottoman incursions in Europe. It is at this time that RPC-897 was documented by the Auctoritas.

The Auctoritas conducted several tests with RPC-897 to determine if any of its abilities described in the Liber Episcopalis were still active, or if events after the Saeculum Obscurum20 had neutralized the anomaly. Although researchers were unable to trigger RPC-897's secondary ability, several subjects did experience anomalous effects similar to those described in the text and associated with sanctified relics.


In 1834, at the 8th French National Exhibition, the "Authority Agreement" was drafted by members of the First Directorate, officially disbanding the Auctoritas and reforming it into a global body independent of the Papacy. In response, Pope Gregory XVI excommunicated all members of the RPC Authority. It was not until 1846 that Pope Pius IX acknowledged the Authority and retracted the excommunication.

The Authority's separation and subsequent excommunication from the Holy See resulted in an internal schism between factions loyal to the Pope and to the First Directorate. Despite their isolated support internally, this pro-Catholic faction began to forcefully occupy several regional facilities in the Papal States, taking on the name of the 13th-century Auctoritas Ecclesiastica Prima.

Although most of these bases were recaptured following the dissolution of the Papal States in 1870, several sites located within the Vatican quarter of Rome resisted acquisition attempts by the Authority. At the First Vatican Council, Pope Pius IX restored the excommunication of the Authority and reestablished the AEP in order to defend papal anomalies from secular governments and the Authority, modernizing the name to the "Association for Ecclesiastical Primacy".

The containment facility located within St. Peter's Basilica is currently not controlled by the Authority. As of this data entry, RPC-897 remains in the possession of the Association. The following files were obtained by MST Echo-73 operatives during the recapture of an Authority facility in Ravenna, Italy.

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