The torture chamber sports the proudest collection of artifacts of war and desolation.
Weapons — not their material form, but their tainted energy forged by death and misery — hang along the wall. The souls of swords wielded by conquerors throughout the edges. Like the sabre of Genghis Khan, with a hilt wrapped in hate, and edge dripping with genocide.
Artifacts of torture instruments, like the hooks and daggers of Baron Gilles de Rais — french nobleman and catholic-turned-satanic child-rapist.
This room is testament to all the dark and evil mankind has ever brought forth. A collection of torture, pain and death. And those instruments of destruction, the weapons of massmurder and madness, they aren’t just for show. No, their still-lingering essence, the evil they reflect, is to be used.
These are the toys of the keeper. And this is his favourite pastime activity: the torture of those unwilling to obey, with the tools so many great figures throughout time have used before.
Adam is tied to ropes in the middle of the room. His wrists are wrapped in those ropes tightly, stretching his arms towards the ceiling — again, a lifeless void with no end. His toes barely touch the dry ground beneath him. He dangles there, turns slightly to the left, then to right. The keeper stands before him, inspecting a knife used by Elizabeth Báthory — a hungarian countess born in the sixteenth century.
“She was said to have killed hundreds over hundreds of young women for pleasure,” he says. “This knife she used to cut off slices of their beautiful faces. See, Elizabeth could not stand looking at her own ageing face, and believed that consuming the youth of those poor young woman would restore her own glory and radiance. Those slices she would then devour to let their beauty be part of herself. You could learn so much from the like of hers. She also bathed in the blood of virgins to regain youth and strength. Of course, these are just myths and rumours about a serial killer from centuries ago, and as such should be taken with regard to historic inaccuracy and biased from those recording the events.” He plunges the knife deep into Adam’s side. It shreds through his flesh and into his kidneys. Dead or not, the pain is real and throbbing through his body like a pulse of maggots. Maggots with razor-sharp teeth. “Nonetheless, this knife has seen the death and torture of countless young women through the hands of a psychopath. That’s why it’s here now. The essence in this blade is dripping with death. And death, as you know, is something I’m very fond of. After all, I am the Lord of death.
“I am your Lord!” His boss twists the knife inside Adam’s flesh. “I can’t have you show me this little of respect, Adam.”
Adam growls out like a helpless animal. He twists and struggles, forcing the ropes around his wrists to dig into his skin. His shoulders bent in unnatural ways as his body tries to escape the pain in any direction, while his arms are immovably hanging in place. With a sound like a cork flying off of a champaign bottle, his shoulder pops out of place, and new wave of pain crawls through his system. Sprays in a fountain, like the champaign would.
The keeper walks around Adam. On his way by, he pulls the knife from the defenceless body and wipes off the the blood from it’s edge with his fingers. “You’re my servant. You belong to me like a dog does to his master. Like this blade in the faces of too-beautiful young girls. It is not your job to question me or your mission. Your obedience is all that is of matter, Adam.” Again, he thrusts the knife into Adam’s body, into his back. Puncturing between his rips, driving the tip of the blade into his lungs. Adam wheezes, feels his lungs fill with liquid. Breathing becomes harder, and he knows that on earth, this would mean certain death. But here, death is long behind him. So he would suffer in eternity, subject to the keeper’s mercy. With his lungs filling with blood, Adam is drowning on the inside, gagging, choking up blood; a feeling strangely familiar to Adam, though he doesn’t know why.
The keeper says, “It’s only a few hours before midnight, Adam. She will be taken away soon. And with her, another soul belonging to me. But your unruly escalate has made you fall behind. Fail me this time, and it will be the last mistake you’ll make, my champion.” He says the last word with disgust.
Now standing before him again, the keeper puts his hands around Adam’s face. He grips his skin tight with thin, long fingers and pulls his hands away slowly. With it, the keeper takes away Adam’s soul, pulls it from his body. Before him, Adam sees the shimmering, fog-like ghost of his own existence. Suffering, struggling against the keeper’s touch. An eery chill creeps through his veins.
“Do not forget where your loyalty lies, Adam. Do not forget that-“ He turns the ghost towards Adam. The keeper’s voice falls deeper, grows in intensity, becomes a guttural growl. “-your soul is mine!”
His soul looks straight at Adam. It opens its mouth and cries a cry of pain and misery into his face.
Then, his heart stops. All pain intensifies in one last cramp of blasphemous agony, before all goes limp. His vision blackens, and he loses all sensation of the world, the underworld, around him.
Now he stands on a dark path, and a bright light shines in a far, far distance. He starts to walk. Adam, though he should know better, believes to have finally died. That his soul could no longer endure the torture and simply gave up. The darkness around him is like tar, like a thick substance hindering him from running any faster. But he reaches the light. Adam stretches his ghostly fingers out, touches the warm and promising end of the tunnel. Then, a sudden jerk, and his soul is pulled into the light, and back to earth.