The Black Coven was an occult secret society led by Doctor Felix Kriegslieter which allied itself with the Nazis prior to World War II. Secretly a front for the War Lords, the coven was part of an attempt to create an army capable of conquering the universe after their previous attempt with the War Games failed.
After the Second Doctor summoned the Time Lords to put an end to the War Lords' War Games (TV: The War Games) the War Lords, along with their renegade Time Lord ally, the War Chief, were imprisoned on their homeworld. The War Chief regenerated from his injuries but it was aborted, leaving him largely deformed.
During their imprisonment, the War Lords contemplated their failure and attributed it to the complexity of brainwashing so many different individuals from different time periods. They resolved to try again with the same basic plan, but centred around a single, unified warlike organisation. They found such an organisation in the Nazi Party and its loyalty to Adolf Hitler. The War Lords observed the Nazis' early history.
When they came to power in Germany in 1933, the War Lords allied themselves to the party by winning favour with certain Nazi leaders. The War Chief assumed the name Dr. Felix Kriegslieter, the surname being the German translation of his title, and had regular correspondence with the Nazi hierarchy, and Schutzstaffel (SS) and Gestapo leader Heinrich Himmler in particular.
Kriegslieter won favour with Himmler by appealing to his obsession with Teutonic mythology. Convinced of their occult credentials, Himmler granted Kriegslieter and his colleagues the use of his private castle of Drachensberg as their base. The War Lords organised themselves into the Black Coven, using advanced technology disguised as black magic to keep up the pretence and maintain favour with Himmler, who usually left their wing of the castle alone.
The grand strategy Edit
Led by Kriegslieter and the son of the original War Lord leader who was executed by the Time Lords after the War Games, the Coven worked on developing a strategy to ensure Nazi Germany would win World War II. The strategy involved ironing out fatal flaws identified while examining the history of Germany's war effort, such as the pivotal halt which saved the British Army from destruction at Dunkirk, and the premature invasion of the Soviet Union. The Coven favoured defeating the Allies in Western Europe, including the United Kingdom in order to keep the United States neutral, and then abiding by the Soviet non-aggression treaty consolidating Germany's grip on the continent. They also planned to provoke a war between the Soviets and the US, leaving Germany undisturbed while establishing a presence in Africa, Asia and the Far East.
The Coven also turned their efforts to building up their new army through the Aryan Research Institute. To do this, they developed an even more extreme version of the SS training programme. The process left the Aryan recruits emotionless and totally obedient. They were even fight on after death through a literal realisation of the Prussian military phrase "corpse discipline": "the kind of discipline that makes a corpse jump to attention". Additionally, they worked on developing new technologies to assist the Nazi conquests, including an early nuclear reactor and atomic weapons to give Germany a nuclear monopoly, for use against the larger landmasses of America, Russia and China.
Hitler was acknowledged as the focal point of the Reich and the Coven provided him with assistance in his leadership by enhancing his charisma. However, throughout the 1930s, Hitler became prone to fits which left him unconscious, caused by the Timewyrm. The Coven feared that he may become too unstable and began planning to replace him as Führer. Himmler was their preferred candidate; his rival Hermann Goering was seen as "too individualistic" and it was deemed best to plan for his removal. Himmler was not immediately told about any of this; in fact he was loyal to Hitler and disapproved of the idea. To keep Himmler onside, the Coven performed the occasional ritualistic sacrifice using animals. These sacrifices had no purpose other than to satisfy Himmler's belief in the occult.
The Coven's endgame was to help the Nazis conquer the Earth. Then they could accelerate Earth's technological development. Under the singular rule of the Nazis, the War Lords could then pull the strings of a more united army that could travel into space and conquer the galaxy, then the universe, effectively realising what the War Games had failed to achieve.
In the early days of World War II, following the German invasion of Poland and Britain and France's subsequent declaration of war on 3 September 1939, the Seventh Doctor and Ace uncovered the schemes of the Coven whilst on a mission to prevent the creation of an alternate timeline. They were captured and imprisoned at Drachensberg. Ace was selected as the first human sacrifice to put on a show during the visit from Himmler.
However, the Doctor had tipped off Goering of treasonous activities going on in the castle and sought to buy time before Goering arrived with an armoured column. He offered to perform the sacrifice himself to prove his loyalty to the Third Reich and then disrupted the proceedings with a canister of nitro-9a at the last second, just as Goering's column arrived. The SS soldiers were sent into action but without a sense of self-preservation, they actually proved ineffective against Goering's forces and were all swiftly dispatched by Goering's men. The Doctor and Ace blasted open the castle gates with an anti-aircraft gun, allowing Goering's forces to enter the courtyard. They swarmed the premises and killed all the members of the Coven.
The Doctor informed Hitler of the Coven's treasonous activities when the Führer arrived to investigate. The Doctor and Ace remained behind after Hitler, Himmler, Goering and the armoured column departed. However, corpse discipline then came into effect, with Kriegslieter and his zombie SS soldiers chasing the time travellers through the castle. The Doctor destabilised the already-dangerous nuclear reactor which went critical. After he escaped in the TARDIS, the undead Coven was consumed in an atomic explosion which obliterated the castle.
A radioactive cloud hung over the area for days after the incident. People who stayed in the area began dying of radiation poisoning while others abandoned the area. As the world was not aware of what radiation poisoning was, the area in which the Coven had once operated was believed to be cursed. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)