The Curious Events of the Year Sixteen Hundred and Two
2003 a document detailing previously unknown events towards the end
of Queen Elixabeth I's
reign was uncovered by noted author Neil Gaiman,
had gained access to the Bibliol Library
document begins by claiming
Sir Nicholas and Dr Strange had learnt, in their different ways, that there was a plot against the Queen. After interrogating an attempted assassin, Sir Nicholas learnt the mastermind was Prince Otto of Latveria . He had already sent an agent to Latveria to investigate, but now he felt it necessary to visit Latveria himself. He left his apprentice, Peter Parque  to guard the Queen, while he headed to Latveria in the Eagle's Shadow, a ship cunningly designed so that it could be successfully sailed by a crew of four.
The agent he had sent was a blind minstrel by the name of Matthew Murtagh. The fact he had the same abilities and disability as his descendent Matt Murdock should be unsurprising to anyone familiar with the Murtagh family and the true origin of these abilities . Murtagh had been blinded by agents of the Nine, but their attempts to get him to join them failed, as he was too much of a free spirit to owe allegiance to anything or anyone. (He saw himself as an Irish patriot, but only if there wasn't better money somewhere else.)
route to Latveria, Matthew was to meet
another agent, who was described in the document as "A Man of great
Religious sensibilities, yet possessing a Staff of Pagan Magicks
for his Protection". While Gaiman named
as Donal, and equated him to Dr Donald
seems likely that it was actually Solomon Kane, called from
The Eagle's Shadow was crewed by four remarkable people. Gaiman describes them as the 17th century version of the Four, and in a way, perhaps they were, although only one of them possessed remarkable powers. A ballad written by Murtagh (found with the document) describes them as "The Captain, the Lord, the Hothead and the Lady".
The Captain was the famous privateer Sir Geoffrey Thorpe, late of the Albatross . The Lord was Sir Christopher "Kit" Walker, better known as the second Phantom. The Lady was his wife Marabella, the grand-daughter of Christopher Columbus . The Hothead is harder to place., but may have been the young knight (as (s)he was then) Orlando, who is known to have worked for a later incarnation of British Intelligence . This Four, along with Murtagh and Kane, formed a loose-knit organisation Sir Nicholas called "The Brotherhood of Extraordinary Persons".
breaching the castle's defences, they found it deserted, save for
the guards and the two nobles, who explained
Otto was already on his way to
happens next is unclear. The document implies Prince Otto escaped,
and made another attempt on the Queen's life, this one successful. This
course, ridiculous, and probably what led Neil Gaiman
to view the story as an alternative history or speculative fiction. In
case, something happened that led to Sir Nicholas deciding to leave his
service, and head for the
their arrival in the
colony's leader, a man named
any case, Sir Nicholas reconsidered
It was when they went to see the meteor that David Catlum caught up with them. He was uninterested in the colony and the meteor, his job was to kill Nicholas Fury. When he lunged towards Fury however, the former spymaster used the agent's own momentum to throw him... right against the rock.
There was a blinding flash of light. When it was over Catlum lay unconscious, face down. Orlando, who was closest , turned him over, and gasped. The rock had activated his latent theriomorphism and he had become a monstrous bear/human hybrid. He regained consciousness, and did not appear hostile, or even intelligent. Rogers balked at killing a being who was technically human and not a current threat, but it was obviously unsafe to leave him on the island so, after some discussion, they took him to the mainland and left him there, where he would become one of the sources for Bigfoot sightings.
Nicholas decided to remain with the colony. His descendents and
Four returned to their adventures. The line of the Phantom
continued, as did the life of
Murtagh also returned to his freelance adventuring, although, upon Elizabeth's (second?) death and James VI of Scotland's ascension to the throne, he devoted a certain amount of time to breaking into the Palace and harassing the King from the shadows, in the hope of persuading him to change his mind about the Protestant Scottish and English colonies being set up in Ireland. (Given his gifts, perhaps he foresaw the full extent of the Troubles?) Strange, meanwhile, was executed by James, who had a paranoia about witchcraft.
Virginia Dare was accidentally killed a few years later, having taken the shape of a white doe to escape an over-eager suitor .
Gaiman's version, the ship is piloted by
"Witchbreed"; the Four having been captured
by Otto, who is using "Sir Reed"'s
knowledge to create a mechanical assassin. In fact, this role was
served by two
minor nobles of
 The document doesn't name these nobles, although it gives a not terribly flattering description of them. Describing one as conniving and slippery and the other as woolly-minded and obsequious, it gives them the epithets "the Serpent and the Sheep".
 A possible explanation as to how Prince Otto Ludwig von Latveria was able to kill Elizabeth, when nearly all historical records show her ruling for another year, may be found in one of the exceptions, the widely discredited Blackadder Chronicles.
 The reason for this is unknown, as is the reason the colonists, the Eagle's Shadow and David Catlum's ship were able to find it. It is possible there is a connection in the fact all three crews contained a latent shapeshifter, who may have been somehow drawn to the island's thyophite.
 As alluded to in the previous footnote, the meteor was thyophite. See http://www.pjfarmer.com/secret/hyde/hydenhair2.htm for further details concerning this xenomineral and the effects of its radiation.
not know if this is connected to the fact that, some time later,