Protectors of the Hidden Word
|Protectors of the Hidden Word|
|Leaders||Mistress of the Labyrinth|
|Appearances||Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth|
Protectors of the Hidden Word is the name of a faction that appears in the 2011 novel Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth.
In the novel, they are an ancient secret society set up to guard the secrets held within the ancient labyrinths designed by legendary Greek craftsmen Daedalus. When archaeologist Luka Hzujak discovers what he believes to be a fourth labyrinth, the Protectors kill him and pursue his peers who have attempted to complete his research.
The Protectors of the Hidden Word were first founded following the Minoan eruption that took place during 2 millennia BC. Following the eruption, the labyrinth designed by Daedalus on Thera, Greece was devastated, and Daedalus moved to create a new labyrinth beneath what is now known as Nanjing in China to store his treasure. However, as Daedalus was doing this he died, leaving his nephew Talos to begin work on the labyrinth. When Talos began work on the labyrinth - known as "Diyu"; Hell in Chinese mythology - he requested an army of slaves to build the labyrinth and an army of protectors and overseers to watch the labyrinth.
 Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth
In October, archaeologist Luka Hzujak researches labyrinths with his wife Olivia and Norwegian businessman Tyr Henriksen. However, during his research he comes across hints that there may be a fourth labyrinth to accompany the three already known to have been crafted by Daedalus. After making this discovery, Luka begins talking to his peers, Dr. Maynard Cheney and Ian Welch. However, the Protectors of the Hidden Word believe that Luka is too close to revealing their secret, and kills both Luka and Dr. Cheney. Luka's daughter Jadranka "Jada" Hzujak then takes up Luka's research with Luka's friends Nathan "Nate" Drake and Victor "Sully" Sullivan, and the Protectors begin monitoring their activity.
In Egypt, near the labyrinth of Sobek in Crocodilopolis, Jada is attacked by thugs working on behalf of Henriksen. However, the Protectors appear and kill the thugs, before telling Jada to go home. Jada doesn't need the warning and the next day visits the labyrinth of Sobek with Nate, Sully and Ian Welch. There they discover a secret passage behind the labyrinth's anteroom that reveals the location of the third labyrinth on the Greek archipelago Thera. Again, the Protectors take this as a threat and attack those in the labyrinth, kidnapping Welch as they make their retreat.
When Jada, Nate and Sully arrive in the labyrinth of Poseidon on Thera, they are again attacked by the Protectors. However, this time Tyr Henriksen and Olivia Hzujak are also present with a number of Henriksen's hired guns. This combined force overwhelms the Protectors and forces them into retreat, but not before they drag Sully into the darkness.
With their two hostages, the Protectors retreat to Diyu, where they feed them concoctions containing the white hellebore flower in order to brainwash them. When Henriksen, Olivia, Jada and Nate arrive in Diyu with a squad of mercenaries, the Protectors are quick to attack them. The battle between the Protectors and the mercenaries goes on for some time, and although the mercenaries win thanks to their superior weaponry, the Protectors severely deplete the mercenaries' numbers. When Olivia and the mercenaries reach the heart of the labyrinth, there are only three remaining, and the "Minotaur" is able to kill of them. However, mercenary Suarez is able to slay the beast, before he and Olivia join Henriksen, Jada, Nate and Sully in the treasure vault.
In the treasure vault, the Mistress of the Labyrinth remains with the final three Protectors and an previous, ageing Minotaur. Henriksen, Jada and Nate are each able to kill a Protector before the Mistress slits Henriksen's neck with a blade. Suarez then opens fire on the Mistress, killing her. Olivia gorges herself in the treasure, but sets off a trap that begins filling the chamber with water. The ageing Minotaur drags her below the water and Suarez dies while escaping, leaving just Jada, Nate and Sully, who burn the remaining white hellebore flowers and then seal the entrance to Diyu.
There are many Protectors of the Hidden Word, identifiable from their hoods and the blades they use to carry out more sinister deeds. The modern leader of the Protectors, who seem to comprise mostly of people of Asian descent, is the Mistress of the Labyrinth.
- The Minotaur is not the mythical beast, but rather the name for the main protector of the labyrinths. It is a man who has been transformed after excessive consumption of the white hellebore flower.
- Victor "Sully" Sullivan is a Protector for a brief time while under the influence of the white hellebore flower.
- Ian Welch is another individual who is brainwashed by white hellebore. However Welch's brainwashing turns out to be fatal, as he is shot and killed by Tyr Henriksen while in this state.
- Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth (novel) (2011)