The Silver Path (or Chemin d'Argent as it is known in San Monique) is a Voudun sect that equates the spirit world with cyberspace and mixes advanced technology with traditional voodoo rites. The Silver Path is funded by criminal activities, most notably drug trade.
The Silver Path has been based on the Caribbean island of San Monique for centuries. They controlled the drug trade derived from the plantations of opium poppies on the island nation and used voodoo magic to increase their power. By the mid-twentieth century the Silver Path had all but eliminated all the rival voodun sects and through intimidation and fear they controlled the entire island. Control of San Monique was all the Path's leaders felt they needed, it let them become wealthy on the drug profits and kept them safe from international reprisal. Their contentment with the status quo left the sect's leaders unprepared for Julian LaCroix.
LaCroix was the illegitimate son of one of the Silver Path's mambo's and the former French ambassador to San Monique. When he was thirteen Julian stowed away on a freighter bound for France to meet his father. When he arrived in France, his father denied that Julian was his son. Trapped in France with no passport, Julian fell in with the criminal underworld. He discovered he had a knack for the criminal enterprise and soon rose to a position of power in the French underworld. With the formation of the European Union Julian's fortunes took a turn for the worse and he fled France with the authorities and rival criminal organizations on his tail. Julian quickly made his way back home to San Monique
It turned out that LaCroix had returned home at an opportune time. One of the members of a Haitian branch of the Silver Path, Jean-Louis Droo, had been ejected for what the others saw as heresy, he sought to combine traditional voodoo magic with technology. Droo took his initial successes and began a criminal career as Houngan, a member of the new Brotherhood of Evil. When his experiments proved successful, there was dissent amongst the Path's members, who regarded the leaders of the sect as fools for rejecting this new technology.
A new group of houngans, under the leadership of LaCroix, took control of the Silver Path and began actively exploring new applications of voodoo practices using modern technology. When they learned of the American scientist Dr. Marie Ste. Claire's theories on Droo's technology, they covertly gave her financial backing. Having been rejected and ridiculed by most of the scientific community, she did not look too closely at the new source of funding. With the Silver Path's resources at her disposal Marie was able to create the prototypes for the techno-voodoo cybernetic and computer technology. The breakthrough came when Marie made contact with something on the 'Net claiming to be the voodoo Loa Legba, guardian of the gates. After contact had been made with Legba, the technology advanced quickly, perhaps Legba himself was helping. Other Loa were discovered on the 'Net and soon a means was found to allow the Loa to mount a person equipped with special cybernetic implants. Other technologies followed: brainwiping, zombification, and finally the In-betweeners. With the new technology in their hands, the Silver Path began a massive expansion of their criminal empire. When Marie learned of the true nature of the Path, she tried to escape, but the houngans of the Silver Path stopped her. She was brainwiped and became the test subject for the prototype of the next generation of cheval implants. When it was done, she was a zombi cheval under the control of the Bokor.
Marie later mysteriously regained her free will and fled to America, where the Path's operations had come to the attention of the heroes Renegade and ArcAngel. Marie joined with the heroes and together they thwarted one of the Silver Path's major drug smuggling operations. The Silver Path vowed vengeance on the heroes and swore that Renegade's home of Superior City would pay the price. In response Renegade, ArcAngel, and Marie (calling herself Mystère), formed the new Enforcers of Justice to present a united opposition to whatever the Silver Path was planning for Superior City.
To implement the Silver Path's revenge, LaCroix turned to some of his underworld connections and made contact with the organization called the Crime Cartel. The Cartel made LaCroix an offer. If the Path supplied the funding, the Cartel would organize a bounty on Superior City. The deal was that any so-called "super-villain" who could prove to the Cartel that they successfully committed a crime in Superior City would get paid a bonus equal to 10% of the value of whatever they stole in Superior. In addition to organizing the bounty, the Cartel also requested that the Silver Path allow them to use San Monique as a safe haven for Cartel members who needed a place to hide and as a site for the Cartel to set up computer data havens for their hackers to use. LaCroix readily agreed, knowing the association with the Cartel would grant the Silver Path more power and bring them onto the world stage.
As the bounty took its toll on Superior City, with super-human crime rising dramatically, LaCroix and the Silver Path began planning their next major move. They stepped up heroin production and prepared the infrastructure to capture the market for the drug in America. Meanwhile the Path's houngans had finished the next generation of cybernetic vévés, and LaCroix had them implanted in himself. These new vévés allowed LaCroix to gain the powers of the Loa without having to surrender control to them. When the Path was ready to implement their plan they took steps to prevent the Enforcers of Justice from interfering. First they kidnapped Marie, bringing her back to San Monique to witness their triumph, then they dispatched a group of In-betweeners to kill the rest of the Enforcers.
The Enforcers defeated the In-betweeners and set out for San Monique to rescue Mystère and stop whatever the Path was planning. They arrived too late to save Mystère, who had been killed by LaCroix, but they did implant a computer virus designed by Marie into the Path's computers. The virus destroyed all of the technology based on Marie's designed. In an instant all of the Path's chevals lost their ability to channel the Loa, even LaCroix lost his abilities, and the In-betweeners all shut down. With their main offensive power eliminated the Silver Path was no match for the Enforcers of Justice who decimated the organization, capturing or destroying most of the heroin that was destined for the U.S. and capturing LaCroix and turning him over to American authorities.
Without their leader or technology the Silver Path has fallen into disarray. Their agents in the U.S. have all gone into hiding or have started forming their own gangs to survive. Back in San Monique many of the rival sects the Path had driven away a half-century ago have begun to emerge to seek vengeance on the Silver Path. The chaos in San Monique will likely not last, as the Crime Cartel has begun to move in to protect their investments on the island.
Organization and Technology
The Silver Path is controlled by a council whose members include the top houngans and mambos and top-ranking members of San Monique's government, military, and business community. Other than Julian LaCroix, who was in overall charge, membership in the leadership council is determined by the Loa, based on divination rites. LaCroix himself was also a member of the San Monique government, the Minister for Security, until his arrest.
Here is a summary of the organization and its tools. Many of the terms are from traditional voodoo and are used to describe their technological equivalent in the Silver Path.
Theoretically there are many more Loa in the 'Net, but the oungans of the Silver Path were never able to successfully create the cybernetic vévés needed to summon them before Mystere's virus destroyed the technology.
Disclaimer: while many of the concepts described for the Silver Path are based on the actual Voudun religion, these concepts have been altered to fit into the DC Heroes universe. The elements described on this page should not in any way be interpreted as a factual representation of the Voudun religion.