A massive oak and iron door blocked Daniel's path to the designated meeting ground. The heated discussion between him and Alexander still echoed in the Englishman's ears. This was where the baron had told him to go, and common sense pointed to the impregnable door. He ran a tentative hand across the eagle emblazoned across the mighty entrance. Daniel turned to the curved bloodletting blade; the silvery edge stained with countless sacrifices. Placing his shaking pointer finger on the blade, a single drop of blood trickled down onto the arcane sigil. The arcane symbol shimmered and glistened red. With the blood offering accepted, the door unlocked with a loud groan. Daniel returned to the newly revealed hall, staring out into the cold, uninviting darkness. Only dim, blue torches lit the path ahead. The young man shuddered and rubbed his hands together in anticipation. Alexander had been suspiciously quiet about this secluded part of the castle. Why had the old baron been hiding this from him up until now? Daniel lit his trusty lantern, the amber light illuminating the sweat on his brow, and continued down the hall. He noticed the tan walls and the carved columns. The memories of Tin Hannan, Mithraism, and the Guardian flashed through his mind's eye. Now almost panicking, Daniel picked up the pace. Why was there Mithraic architecture and Vedic Sanskriti deep below Brennenburg? Daniel ran his shaking hand over a strange wall of text. The symbols had no relation to any alphabet that he had ever researched. Such an alien structure confounded the archaeologist's racing mind. How much did Alexander really know, and what did it all have to do with his salvation? Now, only a single carved door separated him from the truth.
Daniel sighed with anticipation and pushed open the gates to his salvation. A beautifully lit chamber greeted the archaeologist. Countless blue torches and candles filled the air with sharp and suffocating shadows. Daniel cautiously approached the centre of the chamber. A large, well-padded bowl was carved out of the sandstone, with silk pillows and velvet sheets filling the stone nest. He couldn’t help but admire the beautifully carved bed frame, its curves and intricate design would make the Queen herself envious. A sudden crash startled Daniel out of his admiration, a high-pitched scream escaping his dry mouth. The sound had been produced by a fallen statue. Daniel picked up the statue and examined it. The statue had been a wooden penis, each vain and wrinkle expertly carved out. A warm sensation spread through the young man's nether regions. Daniel rubbed at his budding erection, eyeing the dildo with sexual intent. The rest of the nest was filled with similar phallic objects and tools. He stroked a large, stone tablet. An effigy of two serpentine figures wrapped around each other, frozen in an act of intense lust. Was this what Alexander wanted him to see? These mysterious objects and alien artefacts all seemed related to the act of copulation. If the baron intended to abscond him of his sins, then what was he planning to do to him? Suddenly, a whisper brushed across Daniel's subconscious.
"Look upon it Daniel, look upon my haven." His heart dropped to his stomach.
"Wha-What is this place?" his voice was starting to shaking uncontrollably.
"A place where I can shed my skin, and be free from my mortal shackles."
"Are you Satan? The voice of my sins?" Daniel could barely hear his voice over his pounding heartbeat.
"I am Alexander, the baron of Brennenburg, and the dark sultan of Earth. Turn around and face me, little one. Gaze upon my true, perfect form Daniel." With a choked sob, Daniel turned to face what he once thought was a man. The sight that greeted him brought Daniel to his knees and clutching his head. The horrid visage of the beast before him was too much to bear. Now completely in hysterics, the Englishman sputtered out;
"What the hell are you? What are you and why do you torment me so?"
"I have not brought you here to torment you child of man, but to make you my own."
"You brought me here so you could lay with me? To violate my body with your unholy form is far from redemption baron! You fowl blooded fiend, your words are poison!"
"Silence your voice Daniel! Now uncover your eyes and look upon me once more. I command you to do so!" Daniel felt his hands being pried away from his tear-streaked face against his will. Hazel eyes met hollow ones, and Daniel knew only submission.
Alexander filled his mind with images of beautiful men, their naked bodies ripe for the taking. Their voices pleading to be violated echoed through Daniel's mind. The sickening sweet scent of pheromones wormed their way through the young man’s weakened mind. He wanted only to wake up in the safety of his bed, but the crimson talons caressing his face said otherwise.
"Witness the conception of your demons Daniel. If you submit to my will fully and allow me access into your body, you shall be free from this torment. When you face the Guardian, your soul shall be pure and true. " Still sobbing, Daniel nodded. What choice did he have? Die a sinner and a whore, or lay with this abomination and taint his body with its seed?