Commonly known for his ties to the Russian mob, Alyosha is more notably a treasure hunter. For the majority of his confirmable recent past, he has been notorious for breaking into archeological digs or restoration sites and stealing various, uncommon relics. More than a few of these items have possessed a mystical aspect and have sold very well to interested collectors of the occult. Some of these items, however, were not sold and instead kept by Alyosha himself. Several years before Alyosha gained some degree of infamy, he made his first major discovery: The Bleeding Hourglass. It bound itself to him, marking him with a visible symbol of their symbiosis.
The tales of the Hourglass indicate promises of a greatly prolonged life, heightened physical capabilities, and an unnatural ability to avoid death - provided it is sufficiently powered by the bearer.