“Le Main De Henri Jean-Claude Du Corriveau”

1209, Beziers, France. In the bloodiest massacre of the Albigensian Crusade, which was the only Crusade called by the pope against fellow Christians, 15 to 20 thousand citizens died at the hands of the invading Catholic army. The entire town was put to the sword. But unknown to the invaders, nine deaths had preceded them. In the weeks before the invasion, seven innocent citizens, two men and five women, had been literally and horrifically torn to pieces by the “Beast of Beziers”. A Satanic beast was believed to be the murderer, a hairy demon which struck in the dark hours under the summer moon. A newcomer to the town, Henri Jean-Claude Du Corriveau, was suspected of being the servant of the devil and responsible for the crimes. Even amidst the fear of the impending invasion, the townspeople rose up against Corriveau, led by the Catholic monk, Frère Louis Garou. Corriveau was hounded and cornered in a nearby farm at the stroke of midnight. “The form of the beast was upon him, and all men withdrew from their fear”. Only brother Garou had the strength of his convictions, as well as a blessed pike-axe, to confront Corriveau. The ensuing battle was reputed to be terrifying, but at length the beast that was Corriveau was finally put to the axe, his head severed from his body. The beast left him and he was as men had known him before, with the exception that his right hand, which had been severed in the fray, did not return to its human form, but retained the mark of the beast. Brother Garou, wounded in the battle, took the hand and left the town that very night. He was to be the only survivor of the event. By the end of the next day, there were no living citizens in Beziers and all records of the beast Corriveau were lost. The hand is said to have made its way to Arnaud Amaury, who became Bishop of Narbonne. It remained in the confines of the church until sometime in the late 1800s, when it was reputed to have been smuggled away to private concerns. How it has recently become an addition to the collection s a matter not open for discussion. Let it simply be said that this may be the only extant evidence of a true Lycanthrope.