The Dark Project was the name of a plan devised by The Trickster to return the City to nature through the use of an artifact known as The Eye, which would allow him to open a direct portal between the real world and The Maw of Chaos. It was the primary focus of the plot of Thief: The Dark Project/Thief Gold.
Origins of the Dark ProjectEdit
The Trickster had long been dismayed by the constant advancements in human technology and the encroachment of modern buildings and machines on the forests and wild lands over which he presided. He felt that humans had gone astray, and that his counterpart, The Builder, had gained too much influence over the humans. Such humans as remained loyal to him were branded pagans and shunned from modern society.
He devised a plan which he called the Dark Project, in an effort to return the City to the way it had been before such advancements in technology had allowed it to grow so vast. The Dark Project was a way to connect his realm, The Maw of Chaos to the real world, which would allow his armies of Chaos Beasts to enter the real world and wage war with humans, especially the Hammerites.
Execution of the PlanEdit
In order to connect the Maw of Chaos with the real world, a special ritual had to be performed, and this ritual required the use of a sentient artifact known as the Eye. The Eye, however, was trapped inside the Hammerite cathedral in the sealed section of the Old Quarter. After The Cataclysm, the cathedral had been sealed by Keeper wards which the Trickster and his aide, Viktoria, were unable to open, as the seals were specifically designed to ward off the sort of magic they and the Eye used.
The Trickster needed to find someone else to acquire the Eye for him, someone highly skilled, who would be able to pass the Keepers' seals and avoid the spirits which lay within. In an attempt to locate such a person, the Trickster assumed the form of an older man using the pseudonym Constantine, and had a large mansion constructed in the city, where he took up residence with Viktoria. From here, Viktoria began a search for a thief of exceptional skill. She eventually located Garrett, and hired him to break into Constantine's mansion and retrieve his prized sword. In fact, the mansion had been constructed simply as a test, to see if Garrett was up to the task the Trickster needed him for.Garrett passed the test, and Constantine offered him the job of breaking into the Haunted Cathedral and retrieving the Eye. With the price offered by Constantine, Garrett could not have turned it down. Garrett headed out to the sealed section of the Old Quarter and reached the Haunted Cathedral, but the seals proved impossible to open without four talismans which had been scattered about the city and hidden by the Keepers as a way of ensuring the cathedral would never be reopened.
Garrett, realizing his job had suddenly become much more complicated, reluctantly began hunting down the four talismans. He had to travel to the Mage Towers of the Hand Brotherhood, protectors of the Talisman of Earth, to the Lost City to retrieve the Talisman of Fire, to an trap-filled cave to find the Talisman of Water, and finally a Hammerite temple to acquire the Talisman of Air.
After assembling the talismans, Garrett was eventually able to release the Eye from the Haunted Cathedral, and soon after he presented it to Constantine. Upon receipt of the Eye, however, the Trickster, instead of paying Garrett the promised amount, had Viktoria remove Garrett's eye, as the Eye required a real, living eye to reach its full power. The Trickster brought the Eye back to the Maw of Chaos in preparation for the ritual which would open the gate between the worlds for good. Garrett, however, had followed him and replaced the Eye with a forgery constructed by the Hammerites. Upon completion of the ritual, the eye exploded, evidently killing the Trickster.
With the death of the Trickster, The Builder had full control over the progression of mankind. The Keepers had predicted such an event, but saw it as an inevitable turn of events. Under the influence of the Builder, the advancement of human technology spiraled out of control, leading to the establishment of the Mechanists, an ultra-extremist sect of the Hammerites, which eventually overtook them almost entirely. The Mechanists' belief in the supremacy of order over chaos led them to think that all flesh was imperfect. Their quest for the perfection of machines led to the dawning of The Metal Age.
- After "Camelot" was dropped from the name of the original project (Dark Camelot) the game's working title became simply "The Dark Project". This address became so widely used that it eventually stuck and was worked into the plot.