As the old saying goes, a man's home is his castle.

            There are some that take this saying too seriously.

            To tell the truth, Castles are a fairly common sight in Europe; with good reason, to boot. Back in the feudal era, every Baron, Duke, and Prince required his own drafty fortress for a place to live and take refuge from the varying sieges and other such battles that were common at the time. All castles required a few basic elements; thick walls, a strategic location, a modicum of towers…and the occasional dungeon.

            Even once the age of chivalry and knights had long since passed away, there were still two subcultures that found quite a use for the old structures: Nefarious Villainy and Gothic Poets. The black-clad poets found something tragic in the passing of a romantic age, often citing the ruined battlements as bleak tribute to the futility of man's endeavor, gray monuments to be torn down by the incessantly steady tides of entropy, parallels to their own miserable, angst-ridden existences.

            As for Nefarious Villainy, another black-clad subculture (though a far more interesting one) their own reasons for inhabiting abandoned castles are (and always have been) far more practical. Not only does such an environment add a general level of dramatic flair to any situation, but an ancient castle is a prime location from which to base one's Death Ray, Weather Machine, Doomsday Device, Cloning Tanks, Dark Ritual, or other tools of world-threatening Evil. Or, for those without the time or resources to construct or acquire such wonderfully lethal devices, abandoned castles are prime repositories for the occasional damsel hostage.

            Or, in the case of one unique combination of a Nefariously Gothic Villain Poet, one such typical abandoned castle was the perfect place for holding a damsel who just happened to be a weapon.

            Or would that be a weapon that was also a damsel?


            Within the dank confines of that dreary dungeon, Testament stood still as a statue, leaning against his scythe. His posture was stooped- carefully so, as to drape his long tresses of hair over his face in the properly brooding manner.

            Across the room, against a moist wall, Testament's prisoner hung, shackled at the wrists.  Stirring herself into consciousness, she peered upwards, face obscured by her own lengthy blue hair. Dizzy felt just that, fighting to keep the room from spinning. Shaking her hair from her eyes, she glared at Testament. "What…what's going on?"

            Testament didn't respond.

            Dizzy tugged at her chains once again, using a great deal of her supernatural strength in an attempt to escape, yet the adamantine bonds held her fast. Chains rattled, she sighed, looking back to Testament. "Why am I chained up?"

            Testament didn't move.

            "Where are we?"

            Testament remained still.

            "What do you want?"



            Testament started to life at the shrill exclaimation, losing his grip on the scythe he leaned on, toppling over to the floor in a pile of pasty white and black leather. Immediately afterwards, he was back on his feet, attempting to look brooding…and failing, miserably. "So, you're awake. Good."

            "…Why have you got me chained here?"

            "Ah, a very astute question." Testament shook his greasy black tresses from his face. "As you've learned, Dizzy, the world is a very dangerous sort of place…which is why I've brought you here." He gestured to the darkened dungeon about them. "It's for your own safety. Here, you'll be safe from any Pirates, Bounty Hunters, Assassins, or Overzealous Knights that might want to hurt you."

            "…And I'm chained to the wall because…?"

            "Because, sometimes you wouldn't appreciate such safety. Don't worry, it's for your own good."

            "You expect me to just sort of hang here and rot for…how long now?" Dizzy scowled, again tugging at her bonds.

            "Oh, you're not going to hang there for too terribly long. Just for as long as it takes for me to convince you that staying here is all you need to do…"

            "But…but there's a whole great world out there! So many things to see! So many things to do! So many people to meet! Why can't you let me free?"

            "I'd thought you'd say that. But don't worry-" Testament stalked closer to his captive, leaning in uncomfortably close to the young female, close enough for Dizzy to feel his cold breath upon the nape of her soft neck. "I've can think of a few ways for us to…pass the time." Slowly, tentatively, Testament reached up, using the tips of his delicate fingers to trace the shapely contours of Dizzy's body, bare millimeters from the surface of her skin.       

            Testament reveled in Dizzy's discomfort, a long dormant sensation running up his spine, the electric sensation threatening to override his higher mental processes. He allowed himself a moment to savor the feeling.

            It was at that moment that he realized the particular stinging sensation wasn't much like any sort of sexual feeling he had experienced before. Rather, it felt more like the particular sensation that comes about due to the physical intervention of something large and pointed to the back.

            Testament glanced over his shoulder to find an arrow poking out of his left buttock. "What the hell?"

            "You didn't kill him, Ranger!" spoke a voice from the darkness.

            "Well, I tried!" A second voice.

            "You shot him in the ass!"


            "You were supposed to kill him so we could save the damsel?"
            "Well, I can shoot him again." With that, the Ranger did, placing another arrow into Testament's other buttock.

            "You shot him in the ass again!"

            "I'd like to see –YOU- do better, I mean, it's dark in here- I'm operating with, like, a -3 penalty here!"

            "Oh, fine. I'll do the dirty work, as per the usual. Magic Missile!" A bolt of white-hot magical energy streaked out from the shadowed hallway, crashing into Testament, complete with a peal of lightning. The gear-lord could only blink as the energy sent him flying across the dungeon room to crash into the stone wall, leaving a gear-shaped crater within. With a groan, Testament fell to the ground in a pile of unconscious limbs and polished vinyl.

            From the shadows, two figures emerged. The first, decked out in varying items of leather, wool, and chain mail must have obviously been Ranger, due to the bow in his hand. His robed companion followed, leather-bound tome in hand and triumphant smirk on his lip. "Ha! Critical Hit, bitch!" the wizard-apparent declared, pointing triumphantly at the heap of Testament.

            "Now…where's the loot?"

            "CUT!" Said one otherworldly voice.

            "Oh, playing director now, are we?" Came the flippant baritone of Tumbleweed.

            "THAT is not what I wanted!"

            "Hey, you said 'something with a dungeon', and that's what I gave you!"

            "But…it was supposed to have whips and chains and other kinky stuff!"

            "Well, sorry. But it's a documented fact that every good Dungeon has some adventurers sifting through it for loot."


            "It's true. Right up there with the slime and rats.  Union rules, these days. Do you want me to get the contract?"

            The second voice muttered several obscenities beneath his breath. "…Let's move on, Tumbleweed."

            "Alright, alright. Don't worry- I've got something spectacular in mind."