Born to a poor family in Frascati, Italy, Leonardo Sarducci studied at the Sorbonne and received his doctorate from the University of Rome. He taught in Rome until the outbreak of World War I, when he enlisted as a captain and suffered a head wound during battle. The injury, coupled with the loss of his wife Mona, who died during childbirth while Sarducci was fighting abroad, led to a psychotic breakdown.
After brutally maiming the doctor he blamed for his wife's death, Sarducci was judged criminally insane and imprisoned from 1918 to 1921. While incarcerated, he authored what would become a best-selling manifesto, denouncing science and reason and promoting as substitute a belief system based on the archaic. The book caught the attention of Benito Mussolini, who pardoned Sarducci and made him his minister of the archaic in 1927.
Next, he turned his attention to the Voynich Manuscript, convinced that the ancient text contained the key to discovering the legendary Philosopher's Stone. He stole the manuscript and enlisted the help of British alchemist Alistair Dunstin. The pair determined that an unusual tattoo adorning the back of Alistair's sister, Alecia, contained a map to the Tomb of Hermes, the resting place of the Philosopher's Stone. Together, Sarducci and Dunstin lured Alecia and her traveling companion, Indiana Jones, to Libya, where Alistair used the tattoo to pinpoint the location of the Tomb. Ecstatic, Sarducci held the Philosopher's Stone in his bare hands, learning too late that his flesh could not withstand the power of the mystical object.