Men of Letters
We're preceptors, beholders, chroniclers of all that man does not understand. We share our findings with a few trusted hunters – the very elite. They do the rest.
The Men of Letters is a global secret organization of scholars who research the supernatural. They undergo a period of teaching in areas of arcane knowledge and rituals and, if they pass, are initiated into the most secret knowledge. They saw hunters as a necessary evil in doing their work, but viewed their use of violence with contempt.
- The symbol of the group is the Aquarian Star.
- Membership of the group is predominately male but women can become members.
- Membership appears to be largely hereditary.
- Albert Magnus is the name members use when going incognito. Albertus Magnus was a German Dominican friar from the 13th century who advocated the peaceful coexistence of religion and science.
- In 8.12 As Time Goes By, it's stated that they have stored in the Bunker their collected knowledge: "every object, scroll, spell ever collected for thousands of years under one roof... the safest place on earth, warded against any evil ever created." The key to this place was placed in a box, and given to Henry Winchester by Larry Ganem to protect it from the demon Abaddon.
- There were a number of of Men of Letters Chapter Houses, or Capitulum's, located across the United States. When Sam searches in a journal for the address of the St. Louis chapter, other chapters are noted including Roswell (Area 3682 bunker, Roswell, NM), Missoula, (1 North Central Street, Missoula, MT), Canton (43211 Chino Street, Canton, MI). The St. Louis Chapter house where the Werther Box was hidden was at 2111 De Fay Street, St. Louis, MO. According to Sam, there is only one bunker in the United States, but the Men of Letters have smaller outposts throughout the continent. Two of their Capitula also include Capitulum 1 in Jamestown, Virginia and Capitulum 7 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
In 2013, Sam and Dean learn of the Men of Letters existence from Henry Winchester, their grandfather who was an initiate and one of the only survivors of the order. After defeating Abaddon, they found the Men of Letters Bunker and moved in, taking on their roles as Legacies and continuing the work of the order, using the Bunker's resources to aid in their own fight against evil.
In 2015, the former head of the Grand Coven, Olivette, told Rowena how the Men of Letters had led a pogrom against witches, and had taken all their books of lore and spells. She says that the Men of Letters had bunkers "all over the world" and that they were too well protected by spells for the witches to enter. The Grand Coven is aware that the American chapter had been decimated in the 1950's, but that the Bunker had recently become inhabited by Sam and Dean Winchester.
In 2016, Sam, Dean, Castiel, and Mary learn that a branch of the Men of Letters organization is still active in Britain in the London Chapterhouse.
Record of Membership
- Clive Dillon aka Michael Carter - Was the first member of the Men of Letters to discover and travel to Oz, due to leaving the Key to Oz behind, he became trapped. A coven of witches would use the Inner Key of Oz on Dillion to remove his inner darkness, creating a new entity who would go on to become known as the Wizard of Oz. After his "good self" was rescued by L. Frank Baum, Clive went into retirement under the assumed name Michael Carter. Due to time in Oz working differently, Clive was able to live well into 2014 despite being over 100-years-old. Clive died in 2014, sacrificing his life to stop his darker half from killing Sam Winchester.
- L. Frank Baum - Member of the Men of Letters and a writer, L. Frank Baum was the member tasked with rescuing Clive Dillon from the Land of Oz. Unbeknownst to him, his daughter Dorothy stowed away and became briefly trapped. Baum would go on to write the Wonderful World of Oz book series to leave clues for his daughter to fight the Wicked Witch of the West. L. Frank Baum died on May 6, 1919.
- Dorothy Baum - Daughter of L. Frank Baum and a Legacy in the Men of Letters, who chose to become a hunter rather than a "librarian." Dorothy became trapped in the Land of Oz when her father went to save Clive Dillon, she would become a key figure in winning the war against the Wicked Witch's coven. In 1935, she successfully captures the Wicked Witch of the West, and brings her to the Men of Letters Bunker to try and find a method to kill her, the Wicked Witch breaks free from her bondage but is quickly trapped by a binding spell performed by Dorothy, and would remain trapped until 2013. Dean inadvertently releases both Dorothy and the Witch when he knocks over the jar used in the binding spell. After she works with Sam, Dean, and Charlie to defeat the Wicked Witch, Dorothy returns to Oz alongside Charlie to win the war for the Emerald City. While Charlie's dark half wins the war single handedly and both she and her good half return to Earth, Dorothy remains in Oz, presumably as its new ruler.
- Diego Avila - Assigned to Capitulum 7 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Diego Avila was a Men of Letters member who went rogue. A veteran of World War I, Diego's experiences fighting left him damaged and only able to see the worst in humanity. In 1925, feeling the world needed to start fresh, Diego and small group of followers summoned an inter-dimensional god, Yokoth, to bring a new paradise to the Earth. Yokoth, however killed Diego and most of his followers. Any survivors were expelled from the organization and Capitulum 7 was shut down and used as a makeshift prison for Yokoth and constantly under guard by the local descendants of the expelled Men of Letters members, including his great-grandchildren.
- James Haggerty - Assigned to the Men of Letters Bunker in Lebanon, Kansas in 1935 along with Peter Jenkins. After Dorothy Baum became trapped with the Wicked Witch, Haggerty spent the rest of his career until his retirement trying aid Dorothy against the Wicked Witch. He would go on to discover a weakness to the Wicked Witch in poppy seed extract as well as write a file on the "Inner Working of Angels" and theorize a method to extract residual grace from a former vessel.
- Peter Jenkins - Assigned to the Men of Letters Bunker in Lebanon, Kansas in 1935. Initial excited to be in the "epicenter of the ultimate chess match between good and evil" Jenkins would become disillusioned by his assignment in six months time. Jenkins fell under the influence of the Wicked Witch and was killed by James Haggerty.
- Tyrone Edmund Power - A better swordsman than most, a wartime pilot, who had a heart attack while shooting a duel in Spain and died on November 15, 1958. His belongings, including a robe, remained in the Men of Letters Bunker after his death.
- Edward Durban II - Member number 056794-DE-762-2, born in Ireland, Edward was inducted into the Men of Letters on September 12, 1939. His duties included being a part of a delegation sent to Europe to investigate a file known as No. 58904-R. His last report was sent from Galway, Ireland on December 4th, 1941.
- Heinrich Weiderskaus - Austrian in origin, Weiderskaus was inducted into the Men of Letters on September 12, 1939. He reported to the Vienna offices of the Men of Letters where his duties included inspection and development of data collection and organizational systems, as well as being the primary liaison for Section 12.
- Wilson MacArthur - Member number 9057833-DE-987-W, MacArther was a Scottish born member inducted on May 30th, 1936.
- Louis Hols - Member number 0768904-LM-693-O, inducted on February 21st, 1936, the German born Louis Hols' duties for the Men of Letters included: German document translation and advanced knowledge of surveillance systems used behind enemy lines in WWI, and used this knowledge to develop systems for the Men of Letters.
- Walter Coleman - Member number 3684553-WC-562-7, an Irishman, Walter Coleman was inducted into the Men of Letters on September 12th, 1938. He was enlisted to perform detailed analysis of data from electronic surveillance and interpenetrated data from wire taps.
- Adrian Krytask - Member number 056794-DE-762-O. Born in Czechoslovakia and inducted into the Men of Letters on September 12th, 1939.
- Delphine Seydoux - A Woman of Letters who acted as mistress to German SS officer Befehlsleiter Gumprecht, in order to retrieve a Hand of God from the Nazis. Delphine and the crew of the USS Bluefin perished when Delphine used the Hand of God to destroy the German Destroyer that had crippled their sub in order to prevent the Nazi's from regaining the Hand of God in 1943.
- Clifford Henshaw - Mentor of Delphine Seydoux and a Bunker based Men of Letters who arranaged for the transport of Delphine Seydoux and the Hand of God on the USS Bluefin in 1943.
- Cuthbert Sinclair - Master of Spells and mentor to Henry Winchester, Cuthbert Sinclair would go on to create most of the warding in the Men of Letters Bunker soon after his initiation. He was also the creator of the Werther Box, an enchanted vault created to hide a special codex from the Grand Coven. Sinclair was expelled from the Men of Letters on May 16th, 1956, due to his proposed projects being deemed "eccentric and irresponsible" and his clashes with the other members over wanting to rid the world of monsters, rather than continue cataloging and observing. Soon after his separation, he would take on the name "Magnus" and begin building his own menagerie of the supernatural, collecting various mystical objects, spells, weapons, and monsters and storing them in his invisible fortress. Cuthbert was killed in 2014 by Dean Winchester, who along with Sam approached him about attaining the First Blade, which was recently added into his collection.
- Markham - A member of the Men of Letters who presided over the expulsion of Cuthbert Sinclair on May 16, 1956. It is assumed he was killed in the 1958 massacre perpetrated by Abaddon.
- Fletcher - A member of the Men of Letters who happened upon the Werther Box and was killed by it two hours later in May of 1956.
- Martinez - A member of the Men of Letters who discovered the method to shut down the Werther Box. Slitting his own wrists, he died of massive blood loss in May of 1956.
- Father Max Thompson - Father Thompson was a priest with "unorthodox" ideas which greatly interested the Men of Letters. Father Thompson theorized and proved that, as a demon is just a human soul twisted and corrupted by its time in a Hell, the taint could be washed away, restoring the souls humanity. After successfully curing a demon possessing a man named Peter Kent, news of this reached Hell and the Knight of Hell, Abaddon, was sent to kill him on August 5th, 1958.
- Henry Winchester - A Legacy like his father and grandfather before him, Henry was to be officially initiated into the Men of Letters on August 12th 1958. Due to the Knight of Hell, Abaddon, slaughtering the organization, Henry was forced to use a Blood Sigil to escape her, sending him into the future to 2013. In trying to stop Abaddon, Henry sacrificed his life and died of his injures.
- Josie Sands - An initiate into Men of Letters, Josie was present with Father Max Thompson and Father Simon as they attempted to unsuccessfully "cure" a demon, filming the entire ordeal. She was to be initiated into the Men of Letters alongside Henry Winchester on August 12th, 1958. She however sacrifices her body to Abaddon in order to spare Henry Winchester from being possessed by the demon. On the night of Josie's and Henry's final initiation, Abaddon uses her body to slaughter the Men of Letters at the initiation ceremony, and follows Henry Winchester to 2013 where Josie's body becomes a temporary prison to Abaddon when she is shot with a devil's trap bullet. Sam and Dean later reconstruct her body to cure Abaddon to complete the third trial and close the Gates of Hell, but she removes the bullet and escapes. When she attacks Crowley, Sam incinerates Josie's body with holy oil, forcing the power mad Knight to dispossess Josie's body. Later, a demon follower uses a spell to restore her body which was inhabited by Abaddon until she was killed by Dean Winchester.
- David Ackers - Was one of the elders present at the initiation ceremony on August 12th, 1958, where he was killed by the Knight of Hell, Abaddon.
- Ted Bowen - Was one of the elders present at the initiation ceremony on August 12th, 1958, where he was killed by the Knight of Hell, Abaddon.
- Larry Ganem aka Captain Thomas J. Carey III - An elder present at the initiation ceremony on August 12th, 1958, and was only survivor of Abaddon's slaughtering of the Men of Letters, becoming blinded in the attack. Faking his death, Larry took on the alias of Captain Thomas J. Carey III and protected the key to the Bunker until 2013 when he discovered Henry Winchester was still alive and gives it to Sam Winchester to keep it safe from Abaddon. However, Larry's wife was possessed by Abaddon, who proceeded to kill him and take Sam hostage.
- John Winchester - Son of Henry Winchester, had the Men of Letters remained in existence, John would have become a Legacy member of the Men of Letters. After the death of his wife Mary on November 2nd, 1983, John would spend the next 22 years becoming a hunter and tracking the demon that killed her. Ultimately John would sacrifice his life to the demon Azazel in order to save his eldest son Dean's life. John died at 10:41 AM on July 19th, 2006.
- Dean Winchester & Sam Winchester - Upon meeting their grandfather, Henry Winchester, Sam and Dean learn that they are Legacy members of the Men of Letters, going as far back as their great-great-grandfather. When Larry Ganem gives Sam the key to the Bunker, rather than toss the key in and lock the doors as Larry suggested, Sam and Dean take up residence and use the Bunker's vast resources to help them on hunts.
- Eileen Leahy - An Irish born hunter, and granddaughter of Edward Durban II, making her a Legacy. She was rendered deaf and an orphan as an infant when a banshee killed her father and her mother sacrificed her life to banish the banshee from their home. Eileen was soon found by a hunter named Lillian O'Grady, who raised and trained her how to hunt. Lillian would die of cancer when Eileen was 16, leaving her on her own to hunt down the banshee that killed her father. She is killed in 2017 by a hellhound under the control of Arthur Ketch, for her part in the death of Renny Rawlings.
- Dr. Hess - Headmistress of Kendricks Academy and high ranking member of the British Men of Letters. A true believer, Dr. Hess operated in a cold and emotionless manner for the British Men of Letters to succeed in their plans. She was shot and killed in May of 2017 by Sheriff Jody Mills during an assault on the British Men of Letters U.S. base of operations.
- Lady Antonia Bevell - A high level operative in the organization, Lady Bevell took a specific interest in Sam and Dean Winchester, cataloging all the near apocalyptic incidents they had been party to. She goes rogue after being sent to America to set-up the U.S. expansion by kidnapping and torturing Sam Winchester. Lady Bevell is killed by Arthur Ketch in May of 2017.
- Ms. Watt - An enforcer in the British Men of Letters, Ms. Watt was a highly skilled fighter and trained in the art of torture. She was sent to America two weeks ahead of Lady Bevell to set-up a safe house in Aldrich, Missouri. Ms. Watt was killed in 2017 by Mary Winchester.
- Mick Davies - An operative of the British Men of Letters, Mick was sent to the United States to relieve Lady Bevell of her post and take over the U.S. expansion. During his time in America, he would offer aid and intelligence to the Winchesters, eventually coming around to their point of view and turning away from the Code. His betrayal of the Code in refusing to murder Eileen Leahy led to his being shot in the back of the head by Arthur Ketch in 2017.
- Mr. Arthur Ketch - An experienced hunter and well versed in the art of torture, Arthur Ketch was a top agent for the British Men of Letters, typically used for jobs requiring wetwork, torture or executions. He was deployed to the United States to keep an eye on Sam and Dean Winchester, and "clean up" should they not complete the job on a hunt. Ketch was shot in the head by Mary Winchester and presumed dead in May of 2017. After his body was dumped in a waste canal, a resurrecting charm given to him by Rowena in his body was activated. He is currently excommunicado from the British Men of Letters, keeping a low-profile using the alias "Alexander" and working as a hunter/mercenary. If he were to be discovered alive by the BMOL, he would be executed for desertion.
- McGillicuddy - A soldier for the British Men of Letters, McGillicuddy was the first guard to die in the vampire assault on the BMOL Mobile Command.
- Alton Morehead - Was the head of research & development of weaponry and spells for the U.S. expansion. He worked on Project V, which was to be the extermination of all vampires in the United States. He was killed by the Alpha Vampire in 2017 after he and his remaining children in the Midwest assault to BMOL base.
- Serena Colman - Was the head of security for the British Men of Letters Mobile Command. Serena was killed and fed on by the Alpha Vampire when she tried to avenge the death of Alton Morehead during the vampire assault.
- Renny Rawlings - Assistant to Dr. Hess, Renny was also top of his class at Kendricks, a fact he happily bragged about to no one's interest. Sent by Dr. Hess to aid Mick Davies, Renny was accidentally shot and killed in 2017 by Eileen Leahy, who was attempting to kill the Prince of Hell, Dagon.
- Paige - A technician in the British Men of Letters Mobile Command. She is a shot and killed by a hunter named Jerry in May of 2017 during the hunter assault led by Sam Winchester.
- Charlie Bradbury - An ally of the Winchester brothers and an unofficial Woman of Letters, Charlie used her technological skills and unrivaled knowledge to aid Sam and Dean in a few of their hunts. She is able to hack into the arcane computer in the Bunker to pull the Men of Letters' files and travels to Oz along with Dorothy Baum after killing the Wicked Witch of the West. Charlie uses her skills to locate and decrypt the Book of the Damned, but she is killed by Eldon Styne after sending the code breaker to Sam so he can use it to learn how to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean's arm.
- Ophelia & Marco - The great-grandchildren of Diego Avila, Ophelia and Marco Avila are unofficial legacies who are stationed in Capitulum 7 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. They, along with previous members of their family, were placed there to keep the god Yokoth from escaping her prison. They work alongside other local legacies, including the sheriff, to prevent Yokoth from getting released into the world. Using the records in Capitulum 7, Ophelia and Marco have gained special knowledge on how to use the Seal of Solomon to open and close an inter-dimensional rift between alternate universes, including the world where Yokoth originated from.
- Judah Initiative - A secret society of Rabbis formed to fight the Thule Society and the creators of the Golem of Vitsyebsk.
- Grand Coven - The formerly supreme governing body of witches, the Grand Coven has become a relic of what it once was due in part to the Men of Letters, who used their political influence to stoke the flames of anti-witchcraft sentiment. And would plunder the Grand Coven's archives, taking all spells, books and potions and storing them away in various bunkers around the world.
- Thule Society - An evil secret society of German necromancers with plans for world domination that sponsored the early days of the Nazi Party. The Judah Initiative was formed to fight them along with their creation -- the Golem of Vitsyebsk. The Men of Letters fought against them as well during World War II.
- The Styne Family - With files dated back to the early 1800s, the Men of Letters kept tabs on the Stynes, documenting their use of spells to create disease and destabilize markets. As well as their aid of the Nazis before they came into power.
The Men of Letters Massacre of 1958
The order was seemingly destroyed by the Knight of Hell -- Abaddon -- on August 12, 1958. The surviving members of the American Chapter; Henry Winchester, and an elderly Larry Ganem, both died at the hands of Abaddon in 2013. Any other surviving members of the organization went incognito after the massacre and the Legacies, their descendants, are left to quietly continue their work, stationing themselves at the other Capitula scattered across the country.
The only other known survivors of the Men of Letters after the deaths of Henry and Larry were Cuthbert Sinclair, a member of the group who was expelled in 1956 due to his experimenting with lethal spells without their oversight, and Clive Dillon who after he returned from Oz was able to retire from the order, under a secret identity. Cuthbert was killed in 2014 by Dean Winchester and Clive in 2015 by Charlie Bradbury.
In 1958 Abaddon, one of the Knights of Hell, was sent by party or parties unknown to kill the members of the group who were gathered in Normal, Illinois. They were gathered for the initiation of Henry Winchester and Josie Sands.
After possessing Josie, Abaddon killed David Ackers and Ted Bowen, and blinded Larry Ganem. She then went on to burn down their quarters before following Henry through the portal created by his blood spell, which took him to 2013. Henry has with him the Key to the Bunker - which contains where all the knowledge the Men of Letters have collected. It is later learned that the organization has been disbanded after the Abaddon incident. The only known survivors of that incident were Henry and Larry, but both of them were killed by Abaddon in her search for the Box in 2013.
Sam and Dean travel to the Men of Letters Bunker in Lebanon, Kansas and find it abandoned, having apparently been deserted in response to Abaddon's attack. Searching for any groups of hunters that worked for the Men that might still be active, Sam and Dean find a case dealing with the Judah Initiative, a group of Rabbis that worked with the Men during World War II.
Looking for information on how to break Zeus' curse which is affecting Prometheus' son Oliver, Sam and Dean search through the Men's books in the Bunker and find the journal of Greek hunter Dracopolis which the Men had translated into English. From the journal they learn how to summon, trap and kill Zeus.
Sam and Dean discover that the Men of Letters recorded every demonic possession for 300 years up until their destruction in their files. They possessed a rating system for the type of possession with a possession like the one in The Exorcist being a Class 2 Infernal Event. Sam and Dean discover a file for a Class 5 event labeled "weird!!!" and find a film taken by initiate Josie Sands of a different type of exorcism that fails. They learn from Father Simon, one of the priests that took part in the exorcism, that the Men of Letters were interested as the other priest, Father Max Thompson, had a theory that a demon could be cured and turned back into a human being. The exorcism was a failed attempt at doing that. Thanks to the discovery of this file, Sam and Dean eventually learn of a way to cure a demon and complete the third trial.
After Sam and Dean put Abaddon back together, she reveals that she was the one that killed Father Thompson and learned about the Men of Letters and Josie Sands from him which is what led to her attack that destroyed the Men of Letters.
In 1935, two Men of Letters, James Haggerty and Peter Jenkins travel to the recently finished Bunker to work on cases that come up, but get bored quickly. Sometime later, Dorothy contacts them to help her kill the apparently-invincible the Wicked Witch of the West, but the Wicked Witch breaks free and possesses Jenkins, forcing Haggerty to kill him. Dorothy binds herself and the Wicked Witch to stop her and Haggerty spends the rest of his career trying to find a way to save Dorothy and stop the Wicked Witch. He eventually comes upon the idea of using poppy seed extract from the Oz books and makes a deal with a fairy to get some. In the present day, Dean accidentally releases Dorothy and the Witch and working together with Charlie Bradbury, they stop her once and for all, solving the Men's old case.
After discovering that Sam still possesses some of Gadreel's grace, Castiel looks through the Men's archive for further information. Castiel discovers from one of their books that is written in Enochian that part of an angel's grace stays inside their vessel when they leave it and that it is harmless to the vessel. However, he also finds a confidential file written by Man of Letters James Haggerty that states that the Men believed that if the grace was extracted, it could be used in a tracking spell to find the angel but they were never able to test it as they couldn't find anyone to use it on. Sam and Castiel try the spell, extracting the grace with one of the Men's implements, but Castiel is forced to stop when the procedure nearly proves fatal to Sam. Though they get some of Gadreel's grace, it proves to be not enough for the Men's spell to work.
While looking for the First Blade, Sam and Dean learn it was acquired by a man going by the name Magnus, the alias used by the Men when they want to remain incognito. Looking through the Men's files, Sam and Dean figure out that Magnus was Cuthbert Sinclair, the Men of Letters master of spells who designed most of the warding that protects the Bunker and was kicked out of the society. Originally, he wanted to make the Bunker completely invisible and only accessible by spell. After tracking down Magnus, Dean is forced to kill him with the First Blade to save himself and Sam.
Investigating a possible demonic possession in Milton, Illinois, Sam learns that in 1958, shortly before their initiation, the Men of Letters sent Henry Winchester and Josie Sands on a field mission to investigate a similar occurrence to help them gain experience. During the mission, Henry expresses doubt about joining the Men as he worries about leaving his family. Eventually, Henry and Josie find the four demons responsible and exorcise two. One of the others, the Knight of Hell Abaddon proves immune and plans to possess Henry to investigate and infiltrate the Men of Letters. Josie convinces Abaddon to possess her instead and she does, telling the remaining demon, Sister Agnes to pretend to be exorcised so she can trick Henry and to continue their work once she is gone. The ploy works and Henry leaves with Abaddon, unaware of the truth of what was going on, that the demons were really stealing people's souls. The experience also causes Henry to lose all doubt about joining the order.
In the present, at the Bunker, Dean goes through the Men's files while on his obsessive hunt for Abaddon and Sam joins him after learning that Abaddon is stealing people's souls in order to create her own demon army loyal only to her, meaning they need to stop her as soon as possible.
Looking for a way to repair the Key to Oz, Sam and Charlie Bradbury investigated its history with the Men of Letters. They discovered that a member named Clive Dillon found the Key and traveled to Oz with it though he left the Key behind. L. Frank Baum used the Key to go to Oz to rescue him and during that time his daughter Dorothy got stuck in Oz herself. After Clive's return, he retired and the Men of Letters put him in a sort of witness protection, hiding him under the name Michael Carter in Junction City, Kansas where he was still alive in 2015. Sam and Charlie track down Clive in hopes that he can help them fix the Key to Oz so Charlie can return and get the Wizard of Oz to reunite her and her dark self. Clive reveals what isn't in the Men of Letters' file on his adventure: he was kidnapped by an evil witches' coven and split into his good and dark selves as well. The Wizard of Oz is Clive's dark half and is trying to gain power in Oz. In order to save Oz, Clive summons the Wizard by shooting himself and Charlie then kills Clive and the Wizard.
Olivette reveals that the Men of Letters used their political power to whip the church and people of Europe into a frenzy over the Grand Coven, leading to many of the Grand Coven's best being burned at the stake or forced into hiding. The Coven's most powerful spells and potions were plundered by the Men of Letters and hidden in their bunkers across the world.
When Sam and Castiel need to find a way to make contact with Bobby Singer in Heaven, they pay a visit to Oliver Pryce -- a psychic who was being trained by the Men of Letters to control his abilities before the 1958 massacre. With Oliver's help, they succeed in reaching Bobby and planning a prison break for Metatron.
Trying to figure out who they are dealing with that wants the Book of the Damned, Sam and Dean bring the Men of Letters files on various supernatural families to their meeting with Charlie Bradbury. Eventually Dean determines from the tattoo that Charlie saw that they are dealing with the Styne family which the Men of Letters files describe as an evil family who cause destruction.
Looking for a way to read the Book of the Damned and find out how to save Dean from the Mark of Cain, Sam turns to Rowena who reveals that the only witch who could decode the book, Nadia, was murdered by the Men of Letters. However, she kept a decoding codex that the Men took when they killed her. Sam finds the minutes of a meeting which discusses the codex and Cuthbert Sinclair's expulsion from the Men of Letters. Listening to a tape of the meeting, Sam learns that Cuthbert hid the codex in a creation of his called the Werther Box that kills those who try to open it. Cuthbert tells Markham that it is to protect the codex from the Grand Coven who will want it back and refuses to disclose how to disarm the fail-safe spell which had killed two Men of Letters (Fletcher and Martinez), even to keep from being kicked out of the order. Markham orders the Box hidden and guarded at the St. Louis chapter house where Cuthbert had created it. After Abaddon destroys the Men of Letters, the house is abandoned until Suzie and her family move in and she tries to open it, causing her family to kill themselves.
In order to get the codex, Sam travels to the old chapter house where he is joined by Dean. Sam unsuccessfully tries to disarm the spell and unleashes it upon himself, Dean and Suzie. Suzie kills herself while Dean falls into a catatonic state where he imagines he is in Purgatory with Benny Lafitte who encourages him to kill himself. With the help of a hallucination of Rowena, Sam realizes that only the blood of a Man of Letters or a Legacy can break the spell. Sam spills his blood, but learns that the Box needs all of his blood to break the spell. Sam nearly sacrifices himself, but Dean breaks free of the spell and saves him. Dean then adds his own blood to the mix and the fail-safe spell is broken. They get the codex and Dean destroys the Werther Box just in case.
When Sam and Dean are hunting a banshee, they meet up with another hunter named Eileen Leahy. Her grandfather was Edward Durban II, a Man of Letters that was inducted in 1939. A man who was part of a small delegation that was sent to Europe. Eileen's parents were killed by the same Banshee the Winchesters are hunting. Eileen's mother knew of some celtic spells and used one to banish the Banshee just before she died. The Banshee's shriek caused Eileen's ears to bleed rendering her deaf as it was killing her father. Eileen is adopted by another hunter named Lillian O'Grady who taught her everything she knew about hunting before she died of cancer when Eileen was 16. At some point, Eileen learned about her role as a legacy and her parent's knowledge of the supernatural. Eileen eventually gets her revenge by killing the Banshee after it was trapped by Mildred Baker. Sam invites her to come over to the bunker whenever she wants.
In 2016, Sam finds out about the Hand of God being stolen by Delphine from history books and the fact that the Nazis learned that she was a Woman of Letters. Believing the Hand of God to be a viable weapon against Amara, the two then look through the Bunker's records and find a report in French written by Clifford Henshaw, a Bunker-based Man of Letters in 1943 that they translate using the Internet. They learn that after Delphine stole the Hand of God, Henshaw arranged for Delphine to transport the weapon back to the Bunker on the USS Bluefin, but the submarine was sank en route and the contents never recovered. As a result, the Hand of God never made it to the Bunker. In order to get at the Hand of God, the Winchesters then call what they believe to be Castiel to the Bunker but is in fact Lucifer. Lucifer is surprised that any of the Hands of God survived the Flood and the twentieth century and tells them that he can get them to the past. After an argument about who will go, Lucifer takes Dean back in time to the Bluefin, leaving Sam behind in the Bunker.
After Lucifer is blocked by warding from getting aboard the Bluefin, Sam looks through the Men of Letters records to find a spell that can clear the protective sigils from the outside. Sam's research led him to uncover a theoretical incantation recorded within the Bunker called The Spell of Gathering that could clear all mystical and/or occult blockages, but it has never been used before because it requires the power of an archangel. After Sam offers to use his soul to help "Castiel" power the spell, Lucifer reveals himself to Sam and nearly kills him before being stopped by Castiel.
In 1943, Dean attacks Petey Giraldi and uses his clothes to sneak through the Bluefin until he finds Delphine. Delphine is suspicious as no one on the sub knows her name until Dean identifies himself as a Man of Letters and mention Clifford Henshaw. Dean explains to Delphine and the sub's crew that he's from the future and the sub will soon be found by a German destroyer and sunk. Moments later, a German ship is reported approaching and Delphine realizes the Nazis are coming for the Hand of God. Delphine explains that the warding on the Bluefin is of a type her mentor taught her before he died to protect her and the Hand of God from supernatural interference. Dean realizes it also protect against angels and tells Delphine that they need to clear it so that he can get off the Bluefin before it sinks. When Delphine is reluctant, Dean tells her "Men of Letters to Men of Letters" that the submarine sinks but the Allies still win the war. However, he needs it to win a war unlike anything she can imagine in the future. Despite Dean being a stranger, Delphine believes him as he's another member of the Men of Letters and shows him the Hand of God which is a fragment of the Ark of the Covenant. Delphine then goes to clear the warding from the sub so Dean can get the Hand of God back to the Bunker in the future. As the German destroyer attacks, Delphine tells Dean he has to kill her to destroy the warding she has carved into her own chest as part of her mission. Before Dean can decide, the destroyer disables the Bluefin and the commander turns out to be a member of the Thule Society. In order to stop the Thule and the Nazis from getting the Hand of God, Delphine absorbs its power and uses it to destroy both the Bluefin and the German destroyer while Lucifer returns Dean to 2016.
Sam looks through the Men of Letters files which he has added to his computer for information on soul eaters. Sam discovers that despite what the lore said about soul eaters being impossible to kill, the Men of Letters found a way and added it to their archives.
As the sun begins dying, Lady Antonia Bevell arrives at her home in London, England. Inside she meets with her housekeeper, Anna, who says her son is taking a nap and has her tea ready for her in the next room. As Toni sits for her tea, she watches the news reports regarding the suns 6% decrease in energy output, she soon gets a phone call about what is happening to the sun and proceeds to a cellar entrance adorned with the Aquarian Star and descends downstairs into a secret office. As she continues talking, she she looks at a large cork board covered with information about the Winchesters, which include mug shots, newspaper clippings, family trees, etc... and tells the man on the phones she understands and is on her way before hanging up.
As Sam and Castiel enter the Bunker Toni stands out of their line of site, her hand dripping with blood. As Toni greets the two, she places her hand on the angel banishing sigil on the wall, causing Castiel to disappear. As Sam reaches behind for his gun, Toni draws on him and tells him "don't." Toni then introduces herself to Sam, stating she is from the Men of Letters London Chapterhouse. She tells him she was sent to bring him in, if the world didn't end, citing his and Dean's past involvement with archangels, Leviathans and the Darkness. Telling him the "old men" have had enough and that he has done more damage than good due to playing with things he and Dean do not fully understand. As Sam begins protesting Toni presence, he starts to walk towards her. Toni warns him to stop, but Sam continues walking towards her telling her to put the gun down, as she won't pull the trigger, at which point Toni fires the gun and the shell casing clatters on the floor.
Sam reveals to Dean that his search of the Bunker's records for any information on the British Men of Letters only yielded a single, redacted letter.